Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Richard Holbrooke, Diplomatic Giant: Not So Much, Not So Much
December 14, 2010

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and military intelligence officer, doesn’t agree with all the praise being heaped on the freshly dead Richard Holbrooke. He’s got quite another point of view, expressed at the site Consortium News.

A couple of bits:

And, in the curious standards of Official Washington, Holbrooke’s circumspection and silence – even as countless “small” people get wounded and killed – is cause for lionizing him in death.

And…

And the American troops? It is hard to escape the conclusion that Holbrooke shared the view of Henry Kissinger, another devotee of Realpolitik diplomacy who had little regard for the humanity and value of common soldiers.

In the book Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed its Own POWs in Vietnam, Kissinger is quoted as saying: “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

Not the hero our politicos and media pretty boys are making him out to be.

Worth reading.

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Americans, Afghans Negotiating Peace With Taliban Imposter. Now, About Those Drone Strikes…
November 23, 2010

According to the New York Times the man the American and Afghan governments have been negotiating with to bring peace to Afghanistan is an imposter who does not represent the Taliban.

Think about that for a minute. They vetted this guy, they sat down at a negotiating table with this guy, they gave him a lot of money, and it turns out he’s a fraud, possibly even a Pakistani ISI agent. This was one guy, in the open, in a high profile setting, and everybody got it wrong.

What does that say about all our drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan on ‘suspected’ insurgents, people who don’t get vetted, don’t get talked with, don’t get questioned, don’t get investigated? We just kill them, and everyone around them, including women and children, because our bright boys in the government and the military ‘suspect’ them. Some dumbass twenty-year-old American ‘warrior’ or ‘hero’ in Oklahoma pulls the trigger on a pilotless drone on the other side of the world and blows away families because somehow someone ‘suspects’ somebody getting blown up is an ‘insurgent’.

That’s about as good a definition of insanity, stupidity, and evil as we’re going to get, and it works for the whole American government, right up to the top.

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Let’s Burn Those Korans!!
September 7, 2010

The Dove World Outreach Center, some kind of fundogelical church in Florida run by a fellow named Terry Jones, plans to burn a bunch of Korans on September 11 to send some sort of message to Muslims around the world.

The powers-that-be in Washington, including General David Petraeus, are bent out of shape about the event, claiming that it will put American soldiers at risk of harm.

"I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible Koran burning," Petraeus said. "Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

Sorry, but this is a huge load of crap all around.

Americans are in jeopardy over there because American politicians put them in jeopardy by starting and continuing two dumbass wars.

Petraeus and his minions are worried that burning Korans will make the Muslim peoples angry. Maybe someone should tell the arrogant bonehead that burning their children to death, killing wives, husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, innocents of all stripes for the last decade pissed them off, among a host of other frankly evil things the Americans and their allies have done to Islamic peoples.

And frankly if these Muslims are so ignorant, so superstitious, so foolish as to think that burning a mass-produced book is such a damned insult that they have to riot en masse, then what the hell is the United States fighting for over there? Let them fight their own civil wars. Let’s spend our money here, in America, for Americans, to save a country that really matters to Americans.

And why on earth should people in the United States get all nervous when they want to express their free-speech rights? If people are going to riot because some fruitcake fundogelical burns a book, hey, more power to both sides. Yeah, kind of screws up the myth of the big, powerful United States, doesn’t it? Walking around on tiptoes over a thing like this. And the General, nothing like a full American General trying to shut up voices of dissent in America, no matter how ignorant those voices are. Bill of Rights, anyone? Constitution, anyone? You worried about your troops, General? Then maybe you should get off your public relations tours and get your ass back there and do something to protect them from the people they keep trying to kill.

But these goddam religious freaks on both sides are dragging the world down into a pit of ignorance, fear, superstition, and just plain stupidity. To hell with both sides.

Let’s burn a bunch of Korans, and let’s burn a bunch of Bibles too. Fair’s fair, isn’t it?

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Beck And Gingrich Gin Up The Hate And It Comes To The Lion’s Town
September 3, 2010

A friend stopped by this morning on her way to work and told The Lion what happened at the gas station a few moments earlier.

The Lion notes that most of the gas stations in town are owned by a fellow who is either Middle Eastern or of Middle Eastern descent. Many of his workers have similar backgrounds.

The woman was filling her gas tank when a fellow drove up, grumped out of his car and went inside, apparently to prepay. She said he seemed in a bad mood.

Moments later he came out muttering angrily, and then the clerk ran out and shouted at the guy, “You’re a racist,” and then they jawed at each other angrily, with the customer at one point telling the clerk to go back to the country he came from.

Even at second hand it’s ugly.

But this is what Newt Gingrich and Glen Beck, both ugly, ugly personalities, and the Republican/Tea Party have brought to just about every town in America. Those two and their compatriots in the hate-wins-power movement are doing their best to destroy the United States in order to satisfy their voracious, narcissistic egos and win political power. The Republican Party/Tea Party are doing their damndest to ride their ginned-up hatred back into power, where they promise to shut down the government.

Of course it does make perfect sense that they would shut down the government if they got into power. They’re not competent, not capable of governing. They just want power so they can destroy the social fabric that holds the country together, based on some ignorant and thoughtless idea of what they call ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’.

These are evil people. They are soulless and murderous.

Gingrich is stumbling all over himself over the Islamic center planned for Lower Manhattan, a couple of blocks from the construction at the World Trade Center.  His latest plan calls for the Federal Government to make the WTC a ‘national battlefield memorial’ so that the government can deny the Islamic project.

From TPM:

"I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war," he said, apparently thinking that if Ground Zero was a national park, Park51 would be restricted from building near it.

Just for the record, the WTC was not a battlefield. It was the scene of a vicious and clever mass murder carried out by a determined band of religiopolitical thugs under the noses of a Republican administration that deliberately and arrogantly ignored the warnings of experienced anti-terrorist experts that a terrorist attack was going to happen soon. ‘The war’ was what followed, when the American political and military establishment, aided and abetted by a compromised press, initiated two wars of choice, carried out by an arrogant, bumbling, ignorant bunch of Republican ideologues whose emotional and intellectual development stopped when they were twelve years old. Two countries have been destroyed, millions of people displaced, and untold tens or hundreds of thousands of innocents killed. By American arrogance. By American stupidity. By American lust for power.

But Gingrich, the anti-government maven, doesn’t care about that. He wants American government to commit suicide.

And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.

"The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to."

Remember that Gingrich is a fellow who once shut down the government, and who believes government should stay out of people’s lives and business and religion.

But here he is, not only cheering the movement to shut down the government if the Republicans regain the House this Fall, but insisting that all levels of government should stop a peaceful religious project for the basest of reasons: that ‘those people’ are different.

There are no legitimate moral, ethical, or legal grounds for stopping or objecting to the project. The Gingrichian motives are base and evil, stemming from nothing more than a sociopathic attempt on the part of the fear-crazed, power-hungry Republican/Tea Party to gain political power and use it against the majority of Americans and to favor their corporate masters, who take taxpayer money and rake in consumer money and lavish the wealth of princes and kings on themselves while they rip apart the country and the people that made their success possible.

The great evil is not Islam (or Judaism or Catholicism or Hinduism or whichever Protestant sect the other Protestant sects disagree with). The great evil comprises those who proclaim their patriotism and love of country while they do their best to shred the foundations of democracy and freedom. The great evils are named Gingrich, Beck, Limbaugh, the Koch brothers, and others among the nation’s wealthy, the princes of Wall Street, the vampires and bloodsuckers in their mansions and limousines.

They have sown the seeds of hatred and violence, even here in a small local gas station, in search of personal aggrandizement.

If they succeed, The Lion fervently hopes they reap what they sow, in spades.

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Not The Pretty Barbie-Doll American Version Of The War In Afghanistan
July 29, 2010

What you see in American media about the war in Afghanistan is a lie. It’s prettified and cleaned so you won’t be offended by reality.

It’s John Wayned.

It’s obscene.

The rest of the world gets a look at the real thing, or as real as it can get for not being part of it. Consider these videos at Guardian UK.

These videos won’t say it outright, but the subtext is that all that the war hawkers in Washington, including Obama and the Democrats as well as virtually every Republican, all that they say is lies and bullshit and political ego and ignorance. The reality is that American soldiers are being killed and maimed for a lie; that the American society is being raped by fool politicians and robbed by war profiteers who have bought the fool politicians.

Anybody that tells you that war is noble and heroic, that this war is noble and heroic and necessary, is full of shit and should be beaten into the ground and sent away bloody.

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Corrective Rape: The Best People Do It
April 8, 2010

The United States Department of State reports in today’s Globe, in an AP article, that gays in the broken and destitute nation of Zimbabwe ‘face widespread harassment’.  Homosexual acts are illegal in Zimbabwe.

Not only has Zimbabwe stepped back into medieval ignorance and brutality on just about every front imaginable, it has sunk to new depths of stupidity too.

Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the US Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.

“Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct,’’ she [State Department political officer Amanda Porter in Harare] said Tuesday.

Corrective rape. Think about that for a minute. Let it work around your consciousness for a while. Corrective rape.

If someone doesn’t agree with your rules, your style of living, well, rape them. Brutalize them, and that will turn them into good little conformists, that will bring them around to your way of thinking.

Corrective rape.

But what can you expect from a country driven back into primitive times by a psychotic dictator who is no better than a common thug informed by witch doctors?

Right?

One could argue that the best people, the best governments, do the same thing. The United States did it in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iraq didn’t fit into George W. Bush and his bunch of neocon witch doctors’ world view, so that country had to be correctively raped. Of course, the gays in Zimbabwe are real gays, and the stuff Bush used to justify raping Iraq had to be made up, but rape is rape. Iraq now stands corrected. If we listen hard we can hear explosions of joy almost every day now in Iraq.

And Afghanistan continues to receive its therapy of corrective rape, begun under Bush and continuing under Obama, who is apparently under the spell of Democratic witch doctors. The Taliban, who never attacked the United States, and who are out of power, or would be if the United States wasn’t supporting a corrupt and apparently addled fellow who may or may not be in control of Kabul, the Taliban are the current recipients of corrective rape as applied by Obama and the United States government and the United States military.

The Taliban are not, of course, the nicest people, and they disagree with the United States and do not want to follow the dictates of the United States. So they should be raped. Correctively. By bombs. By rockets fired from anonymous drones. By American soldiers eager to prove their own ignorance and brutality by killing as many women and children as possible, knowing that the military brass will brush off such murder as ‘collateral damage’. The difference between ‘collateral damage’ and corrective rape? None if you’re the one taking the damage, the one getting raped.

So, the difference between the putatively most technologically advanced nation on earth and one of the most backward nations on earth? None, really.

And Obama and his political shamans brought that home with even more force with the recent revelation that he had ordered the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, a loudmouth jihadi born in New Mexico, operating overseas, linked to the Fort Hood killings and the Christmas airline bomb plot.  Like it or not, the man is an American citizen, entitled to the protections of the Constitution and laws. That means dragging him into court and proving the case against him and then sentencing him to death if warranted. Like it or not, the United States claims to be a nation of laws. There is no middle ground. You cannot be a nation of laws sometimes, and not at other times when it may be inconvenient or may not suit the particular neurosis of the crew in power.

If an American President can order the murder of this American citizen, then he, or the next one, or the one after that, can order the killing of any American who disagrees with the crew in power. There is no middle ground.

And given the actions of the United States government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it has become apparent that the United States is no longer a nation of laws, but has become a nation that justifies the application of corrective rape not only to nations that disagree with it, but to its own citizens.

The virulent right will cheer the application of corrective rape, whether in the United States or overseas. The left will cluck-cluck powerlessly. The middle will continue on in ignorance, letting it happen while they worry about bills and jobs and school bullying, not understanding the significance of the matter because for the most part they understand nothing about the republic in which they live. The ironic thing is that all of them, no matter their persuasion, can now be considered suitable, by some crew in power, for corrective rape.

Not quite what the Founders had in mind, though they were well aware of the difficulty. As Ben Franklin said, “[We’ve given you] a Republic, if you can keep it.” Apparently, the Republic has been correctively raped by its people and its government. Old Ben must be rolling about in his grave with both hands over his ass.

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Achillean Rage, Right On The Button
March 10, 2010

 

 

U.S. Military Lies Deliberately, Gets Caught, People Die. Again.
March 8, 2010

Remember the story about Marja being a town or city of 80,000 or 125,000 people, a logistical hub of the Taliban, a major strategic objective of the American military? Remember that? Just a little while ago?

It was a lie.

A deliberate lie by the American military command in Afghanistan headed by General Stanley McChrystal, under the overall command of General David Petraeus under the leadership of President Barack Obama, enabled and abetted by the right wing of American politics.

A key element of the lie:

The COIN manual asserts that news media "directly influence the attitude of key audiences toward counterinsurgents, their operations and the opposing insurgency." The manual refers to "a war of perceptions…conducted continuously using the news media."

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of ISAF, was clearly preparing to wage such a war in advance of the Marja operation. In remarks made just before the offensive began, McChrystal invoked the language of the counterinsurgency manual, saying, "This is all a war of perceptions."

The Washington Post reported Feb. 22 that the decision to launch the offensive against Marja was intended largely to impress U.S. public opinion with the effectiveness of the U.S. military in Afghanistan by showing that it could achieve a "large and loud victory."

The false impression that Marja was a significant city was an essential part of that message.

McChrystal and the American command structure created the lie to impress the American people and show that their dollars and lives and blood were not being poured uselessly and wastefully into the sands and hills of a sad little medieval culture on the other side of the world.

Marja is not a city or even a real town, but either a few clusters of farmers’ homes or a large agricultural area covering much of the southern Helmand River Valley.

"It’s not urban at all," an official of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), who asked not to be identified, admitted to IPS Sunday. He called Marja a "rural community".

"It’s a collection of village farms, with typical family compounds," said the official, adding that the homes are reasonably prosperous by Afghan standards.

So tell the truth, reader, did you think the big bad American military machine was fighting an intense urban battle against some of the nastiest enemies since the Nazis?

Yeah. That’s what you were supposed to think. You were supposed to think that so that you would shut the hell up and support a war that has no other purpose than to advance the careers of a bunch of West Point officers and give the right wing politicians back home something to crow about when they attacked the Democrats for being soft on security.

Afghani people, innocent people, men, women, children, died in Marja to pump up the resumes of American military officers and keep warmongering politicians in office.

American soldiers died there, in Marja, in a senseless attack built on lies and deceit, to pump up the resumes of American military officers and keep warmongering politicians in office.

And let’s not forget that those people also died to keep in power a corrupt, venal government that the Washington politicians want to use as a puppet, and whose influence barely extends beyond the walls of the capital city, Kabul, and that’s with the help of the American military and American tax dollars and American blood.

Innocent people died there to keep you, reader, as far away from your conscience as the American government could manage.

Welcome to your real America. Live large, watch ‘em die so you can live the lie.

Update: Further information on Marja(h) and American strategy in Afghanistan.

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If You’re Still Confused About Terrorism…
January 9, 2010

Here’s an article at Common Dreams by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern that will set you straight… unless you’re a knuckle-dragging Republican (okay, sorry, that’s really an oxymoron). 

On the other hand, the same information has been available to Democrats and their knuckles are dirty too.

The Lion tends to think that the terrorism thing might be solved by getting our troops and predatory corporations out of Muslim countries, buttoning up our security procedures at home, start treating Israel as the rogue, racist, proto-Nazi nation it acts like, and letting the Muslim world settle the terrorist problem. Without the United States as a Satanic boogeyman, the various terror groups would soon enough likely start ripping into each other.

Maybe then we can get better schools, real health care reform, and jobs here in the United States.

Don’t hold your breath.

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Great Quotes For Today… And Tomorrow… And Yesterday
December 14, 2009

“They don’t hate us because we are free,” Gravel said of the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “They hate us because we are killing them.”

– Former Senator Mike Gravel, quoted by Chris Hedges at Common Dreams.