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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:39)


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  • Rush to Western Strike on Syria slows, but does not Stall
    • I love how the current favored media and official expression is "pinprick strikes" or "targeted strikes." If someone lobbed a cruise missile into the US and hit , say, the Pentagon or a military target of any sort, would that be shrugged off as a "pinprick strike?" What about any killed civilians? Shrug, right?

      Let's see -- what nation got into an utter tizzy over a couple of small bombs in Boston not long ago? What people became completely overwrought and apoplectic? Of course, this is far more important and tragic than what happens EVERY DAY on an unbelievably larger scale in Iraq (which we broke and declined to put back together). or Afghanistan. Or Syria.

      Americans are very accepting of inflicting miseries on other countries and other innocents but convinced that their own pain is somehow more deserving of sympathy and vengeance than anyone else's.

      It's too bad more nations can't fight back, we'd not be so blase about starting wars and lobbing missiles and bombs at helpless victims in the name of our cause du jour.

  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • I agree with this. Either we're a democracy or not, and increasingly, it seems that Presidents take us into war with regularity and without regard for public wishes. Except to harness the media for propaganda points. No one likes seeing images of dead or injured children, but will we see these same photos after a US missile/bombing attack? What about the thousands and thousands of civilian Iraqis and Afghans who were blown to smithereens by American munitions and "collateral damage"?

    • Well, if the US wanted to give Assad a reason or motivation to supply chemical weapons to al-Quaeda, they could hardly do better than attacking him. Isn't what they're supposed to be, a deterrent? If you have a deterrent and don't use it to deter an attack or to save your own hide, what good is it?

      I like the point raised above -- if the Syrian rebels, those good ol' heart-eating noblemen, use chemical weapons will we then turn on them? Or will we look the other way as we looked the other way when the Iraqis, then our good buddies, gassed the nasty Iranians in the 1980s?

    • Yes, exactly. Where is the concern for the Egyptian "regime" that is also currently killing "it's own people"?

      Hypocrisy on paraded as usual.

    • It's all about making the US feel good because it "did something" and Obama can use the blood of Syrians to show how tough he is about drawing red lines and posturing as the world's cop. Of course, there won't be a word in the media about how the US armed and enabled Iraq's gas attacks on Iranian troops in the 1980s.

      And if the Syrians dare retaliate against Americans or Israel, it will provide a convenient justification for even more strikes. And the American weapons industries can rejoice, because without Iraq or Afghanistan, how are they going to keep their profits up for 2014? New wars are mandatory!

  • Syria: Will Killing of Hundreds with Sarin Gas force Obama's Hand?
    • I continue to not see how the US has a dog in this fight. Principles? (ha -- our "principles" far as I can see are based on expedience and self-interest.) If it's the principle that a government is not to be allowed to supress internal dissent by whatever means it sees fit, then I await our imminent decision to embargo Egyptian products, isolate its government, seize its assets, and ship arms and supplies to the Muslim Brotherhood faction there.

  • The Coming Israeli-Russian War?
    • PPS: And also, is part of Israel's unhappiness due to the possibility that if Syrian airspace is no longer easily penetrable, the avenues of aerial attack on Iran (across northern Syria) are significantly reduced?

    • PS: Also, exactly how many battalions are we talking about, and at what level of resupply? Is this going to be a one-shot weapon of very limited means, or a true, sustainable, comprehensive air defence system? And how well trained would the Syrians need to be to handle it competently and how long would that take.

      There's more to the military angle of all this than I am reading in the media to date.

    • How exactly are these missile defense systems being taken to Syria? By sea or by air? The large numbers of vehicles in the system leads me to expect naval shipping is required. How fast is this, and from what home port? If by air cargo transport (faster), what route would the flights have to take? I don't see how the Russians would get permissions to cross the air spaces between themselves and Syria. Or how they could quickly fly so much large equipment. The whole process would seem on the surface to require a substantial transport effort that would be trackable by aerial reconnaissance. You'd think if the Israelis were intent upon interdicting these shipments, they would do so en route or immediately upon arrival. I don't know if they think they're invulnerable to any retribution if they do so, which would be a new level of arrogance for even them.

  • A Forever War that Dares not Speak its Name (Bacevich)
    • Given the bloody history and ongoing collisions involving the adherents and/or descendents of the Abrahamic religions, maybe it's time to reconsider some of the unhappy patriarchal, antagonistic legacies of these faiths, born out of semi-arid landscapes and long-separated from the perspectives of Europeans, at least. There are lessons to be relearned, perhaps, from the long-buried native religious traditions. The ancient Celts and Scandinavians, for example, treated women much more equally than the stern and intolerant monotheists of the desert. If we're going to be influenced by the past, Europeans might give more weight to our roots -- more Athena and Apollo and less Jehovah.

      Then there's the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but they're seldom addressed in Western commentary, even though Westerners could learn a great deal from these ancient and beautiful traditions.

      I wouldn't say that the contest between Islam and Christendom ever really stopped with the end of the western Crusade movement (try telling that to Eastern Europeans), more that the struggle entered a period of abeyance in western/northern Europe following the halt of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, just in time for the conquest of the New World to take center stage. It may be resuming now, following the counter-attack of Europe that was the Age of Imperialism. Maybe there is indeed only room for one. We need not be enemies, there is no inherent reason in these so-called enlightened times for us to be, but hotheads on both sides seem to prefer it that way.

    • "Yet not many decades ago, diehard supporters of the Lost Cause insisted on referring to that conflict as the War Between the States or the War for Southern Independence " -- well, I don't know that you need be a die-hard Confederate to argue that either of those terms is more accurate, even if they have been co-opted by partisans. A civil war to me implies factions within a single nation contending for dominance over the others. The English Civil war was very much this. So were the Roman civil wars of the late Republic, or even the wars between rival Emperors during the empire. But in the American Civil war, the southerners were not attempting to seize power over the entire Union. The South sought separation. It *was* a war of independence to them. As was the American Revolution -- no one seriously calls that the "Second English Civil War," do they? But when such wars fail, they usually become known to history as "rebellions." The Jacobite Rebellion, for example, might be known as something different had it succeeded. The southern war for independence was lost, but independence was what was sought by the South. Approve of not, the southern states had, in fact, established a de facto independence from the outset, which was then suppressed by force of arms. But the South did not desire to conquer the North, nor to replace Lincoln with Jefferson Davis.

      Seeing as how the Confederacy was a fully functional coalition of states in conflict against a similar coalition of Northern states, I think "War Between the States" is plausibly the most representative and correct term. But I do recognize that "Civil War" is more commonly evoked. It's shorter, if nothing else.

  • When Politicians promise 'Lower Taxes' they are promising Collapsed Bridges
    • ?? How exactly do you make your way across the landscape? Do you hike on your good two feet at all times? Do you fly across water obstacles? Does your food come to you by magic genies?

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