Putin Says. Obama Says. Who Are These Guys?
September 12, 2013

Vladimir Putin, wannabe emperor of Russia, wrote the following in an op-ed in the New York Times today:

A strike [against Syria] would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Barack Obama, President of The Most Powerful Nation In The History Of The Multiverse, has said a number of things, but they can be summed up as follows:

Failure to strike [against Syria] would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Ummm…. Vlad? Barry? Whassamatta you?! Civilization cannot afford this crap.

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Domino Theory Redux, By Obama
September 11, 2013

And by the way, all that talk by Obama about if we don’t stop Assad from using chemical weapons, then other countries will use them and Iran will get a nuclear bomb and blow up Washington, yeah, that’s the same nonsense that the Johnson Administration used to lie the country into Vietnam.

It’s called the Domino Theory. It was false then and it’s false now.

In fact, the only domino game being played right now is the one the United States is playing as it knocks down countries around Iran. Iraq. Afghanistan. Syria. And if you add in the countries in Africa and South Asia and the Middle East where the United States is murdering people with drones and without legitimate reason, yeah, looks a lot like the United States is playing Death Dominoes with the lives of millions of people.

But of course the United States is the good guy, right, and it gets to set the rules, right? Right?

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Obama Pretends America Not A Murderous Hypocrite
September 11, 2013

Twelve years ago today, but it was a Tuesday then, some men flew a couple of airplanes into some buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C., and turned the world upside down. America reacted in its usual clumsy, stupid fashion. And here we are. Still.

Obama gave a speech about Syria last night but, getting old, I fell asleep at the beginning, before the beginning. Woke up a bit after it, when the pundits were punditing. Apparently Obama didn’t say anything new or different. But I did hear, on the news, his line that went something like ‘What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way?’

Well, we’d be the kind of country that invaded a third-world country for no other reason than the egotistical desires and greed of a few powerful men in Washington. We’d still be the kind of country that uses white phosphorus weapons, as we did in Iraq. We’d still be the kind of country that uses depleted uranium weapons, as we did in Iraq, spreading the poison of radiation over the land and through the generations of survivors. We’d still be the kind of country that uses cluster bombs that kill children long after the bomb has been dropped. We’d still be the kind of country that refuses to agree to ban land mines. We’d still be the country that dresses up all pretty to cover up its ugliness, its disregard of its own people, its greed and stupidity and willingness to kill and maim and destroy to get what it wants. That’s the kind of country we are, one that engages in invasion, destruction, and slaughter of innocents because we can, international law be damned.

To bitch at Assad because he’s a vicious, murderous human being who uses deadly weapons on the people he rules is, for the United States, an exercise in vast hypocrisy, an exercise in profound deceit, an exercise revealing the United States as the dictator slaughtering lives and generations around the world.

What kind of world would we live in, asked the President of the United States. We already live in that world, Mr. Obama, and it is uglier and more brutal and more deadly than ever because of the government of the United States, because of the men who aspire to run that government, because of the men who do, now and in the past thirty years, run that government.

It’s ironic that the government of the United States wants to attack another third world country while at home it allows policies and acts that threaten to turn the United States into a third world country ruled by theocrats and plutocrats, an oligarchy of the worst that America has to offer.

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Syria Resolved! Thanks Russia!
September 10, 2013

On Syria, the Russians have a plan with which the Syrians seem to agree, at least last I heard. Syria will surrender all its chemical weapons to international control in specified areas in Syria where the weapons will be destroyed, thus averting an American missile attack, and thus allowing Assad to continue killing the citizens of Syria in mass numbers by using conventional instruments of mass slaughter.

Sure. Sounds equitable.

Are these people serious?

The problem isn’t the weaponry. The problem is the mind of Assad. That’s what needs killing, in both senses.

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Syria: To Bomb Or Not To Bomb? Doesn’t Really Matter, Does It?
September 9, 2013

As far as the stated reasons the U.S. gives for unleashing cruise missiles on Syria, that the U.S. must warn Assad that he must never use nerve gas again, I see that as a vast hypocrisy. Simple math: 100,000 dead by other means, and no outrage of the sort that would lead to military action; 1400 dead by gas and now they’re upset enough to want to fire some ordnance ‘in a limited way’ at some unspecified narrow range of military targets, accomplishing, in effect, nothing good and very likely vast amounts of bad.

No. I can’t support that. Originally I did support such an idea, but no more. It makes no sense. We sat on our hands for two years while this murderous civil war went on, and now over what amounts to a minor killing we want to risk all out war in the Middle East. And war with Russia and Iran, the latter perhaps being the goal of the whole exercise. The neo-cons, the hawks, the draft dodgers, would appear to still be pulling the strings, pulling Obama’s strings.

Perhaps that’s why he decided to turn to Congress for a vote. If he feels he’s being strung along, he might have decided to open up the bag of influence peddling for everyone to see by throwing the matter into the lap of Congress. But Congress, this Congress, is most likely to do whatever they think will hurt Obama the most rather than what is right for the country. To ask this Congress to demonstrate a high moral standard or a high intellectual standard is to simply make a bad joke.

Frankly I think Obama should simply shut up about Syria, withdraw his request to the Congress, and instruct the military to simply kill Assad and his cronies wherever and whenever they can effectively target them. Assad is the core of the problem. The result will be considerable long-term turmoil in Syria, but that’s going to happen now no matter what anyone does. If the Assad regime collapsed tonight, the infighting among the factions would begin before the news of the collapse got out. If the Assad family and cronies were killed tonight, the infighting would begin before his body even began to cool. But that’s the cost of the world’s inaction for two years. Had the West taken the side of the rebels six months into the conflict, armed, supplied, and trained them, Assad would have been gone within a year, most likely, and Syrians would have stepped into the vacuum. As the situation stands now, the battle against Assad is not being waged solely by Syrians, but by outsiders too, all wanting a piece of the post-Assad pie.

I suspect Israel might want Assad to stay in power because a Syria under his dictatorial control offers less of a threat to Israel than a Syria fractured and factionated into Islamic groups that fundamentally hate Israel and which would make no accommodation with Israel. But then the Israelis are just as bad, frankly, and could easily be seen as wanting to create a fractured Syria so that Israel could grab more land from Arabs.

In a word, the Middle East is fucked. We do not need to drag ourselves into that shitpot of the world. But the oil, the oil… Yeah, if we had put the money we wasted on war in that part of the world into renewable energy in our part of the world the stinking oil wouldn’t matter. But the United States has been, and is, a stupid country full of stupid people whose only redeeming quality is their shortsightedness. And that chicken is coming home to roost.

I think we’re going to have our own civil war in the not too distant future. There are too many guns in too many hands, there are too many people carrying too much anger, and there are too many people who know nothing of American history, of politics, of civility.

Then who will we bomb?

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Alan Grayson, Calling Out The Hawks
September 8, 2013

Florida Representative Alan Grayson’s op-ed from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON – THE documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion.
On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was "no."

The Syria chemical weapons summaries are based on several hundred underlying elements of intelligence information. The unclassified summary cites intercepted telephone calls, "social media" postings and the like, but not one of these is actually quoted or attached – not even clips from YouTube. (As to whether the classified summary is the same, I couldn’t possibly comment, but again, draw your own conclusion.)

Over the last week the administration has run a full-court press on Capitol Hill, lobbying members from both parties in both houses to vote in support of its plan to attack Syria. And yet we members are supposed to accept, without question, that the proponents of a strike on Syria have accurately depicted the underlying evidence, even though the proponents refuse to show any of it to us or to the American public.
In fact, even gaining access to just the classified summary involves a series of unreasonably high hurdles.

We have to descend into the bowels of the Capitol Visitors Center, to a room four levels underground. Per the instructions of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, note-taking is not allowed.

Once we leave, we are not permitted to discuss the classified summary with the public, the media, our constituents or even other members. Nor are we allowed to do anything to verify the validity of the information that has been provided.

And this is just the classified summary. It is my understanding that the House Intelligence Committee made a formal request for the underlying intelligence reports several days ago. I haven’t heard an answer yet. And frankly, I don’t expect one.

Compare this lack of transparency with the administration’s treatment of the Benghazi attack. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to her credit, made every single relevant classified e-mail, cable and intelligence report available to every member of Congress. (I know this, because I read them all.) Secretary Clinton had nothing to hide.

Her successor, John Kerry, has said repeatedly that this administration isn’t trying to manipulate the intelligence reports the way that the Bush administration did to rationalize its invasion of Iraq.

But by refusing to disclose the underlying data even to members of Congress, the administration is making it impossible for anyone to judge, independently, whether that statement is correct. Perhaps the edict of an earlier administration applies: "Trust, but verify."

The danger of the administration’s approach was illustrated by a widely read report last week in The Daily Caller, which claimed that the Obama administration had selectively used intelligence to justify military strikes in Syria, with one report "doctored so that it leads a reader to just the opposite conclusion reached by the original report."

The allegedly doctored report attributes the attack to the Syrian general staff. But according to The Daily Caller, "it was clear that ‘the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions.’"

I don’t know who is right, the administration or The Daily Caller. But for me to make the correct decision on whether to allow an attack, I need to know. And so does the American public.

We have reached the point where the classified information system prevents even trusted members of Congress, who have security clearances, from learning essential facts, and then inhibits them from discussing and debating what they do know. And this extends to matters of war and peace, money and blood. The "security state" is drowning in its own phlegm.

My position is simple: if the administration wants me to vote for war, on this occasion or on any other, then I need to know all the facts. And I’m not the only one who feels that way.

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Boston Bombings Created In Washington? The Blood-Dimmed Tide of Blowback.
April 21, 2013

I’m a bit put off by the screechy patriotic noises emanating from the aftermath of the Marathon bombing. The local Boston commentators go on about how Boston will take two punches to deliver one, how the firefighters and cops and others ran into the bombed area to help people, as if everyone else in the world would run away and only Bostonians are noble enough to rush to the aid of the injured, and so forth and so on.

The only attempt to connect what happened in Boston to events elsewhere in the world has been to blame Islamic extremism. Not registering on the radar of these preachy screechers is the fact that if the United States had not been such a bad actor in the world this sort of thing wouldn’t have happened here.

We ripped Iraq apart for no reason and now scores of people in Iraq die in terrorist bombings every week. Week after week. That’s on the United States for destroying a stable, if unsavory, government. We have shredded Afghanistan, and continue to kill innocents, women and children, every day, and terrorist bombings there have been picking up the pace of late.

And Syria. Bloody Syria. The ugly regime of Assad has slaughtered untold tens of thousands of its citizens for two years, while the United States twiddled its thumbs. When the U.S. finally decided it might be to its advantage to intervene to stop the slaughter of innocents by the government, it first pleaded, then it made empty threats and set up useless sanctions, and then decided to send aid. Blankets and medicine to fight jets and artillery. But no weapons, none of the arms so desperately needed by the rebellion, by the people doing the fighting and dying, because…wait for it… because later on the weapons might fall into the ‘wrong’ hands. So it’s okay for Assad to engage in the mass slaughter of unarmed civilians, to send jets and helicopters and artillery against women and children in cities, to unleash some of the most vicious militias on the face of the earth against families, but not for the U.S. to provide arms and ammunition to the fighters because of some possible consequence out there in the future. The only thing such a policy accomplishes is to make sure that if the rebellion succeeds the people who fought and bled will remember that the United States sat on its hands and watched thousands die at the hands of a vicious dictator.

And why? Because when the Soviets occupied Afghanistan the United States sent arms to the rebels there and the rebels ultimately turned out to be people the geniuses in the U.S. government couldn’t control or buy off. So now the current geniuses, who probably went to the same school as those other geniuses, have decided to change the policy. In other words, they’re still thinking in terms of the Afghan-Soviet conflict and ignoring the completely different Syrian rebellion that’s happening under their noses.

No one should doubt for a minute that if Assad succeeds in crushing the rebellion the United States will just cozy up to him again. And when it does, the Syrian people will see that and they will remember.

But that’s how the United States does business in the world. Never mind the people. Love the tyrant. Love the money. Screw the peasants. That’s how it does business in the Middle East, in South Asia, in Central America, in South America, in the Far East. We shout ‘Democracy!’ and we shout ‘Liberty!’ and then we send in our corporations to rape the people and to rape the country.

And then when someone steps on our little toe, as at the Boston Marathon, because they see all of this and decide to take a bit of revenge, the United States gets offended and plays the victim of horrible, terrible, evil people. I’m surprised we haven’t bombed Dagestan or Kyrgyzstan, where the Tsarnaev family came from. Or Cambridge, for that matter. After all, that’s where these two killers lived. Must be an evil place. 

Yes, the Marathon bombings were tragic. Yes, it’s sad about the deaths and the injuries and the suffering. Yes, the Tsarnaev brothers were bad actors.

But what the people of Boston and the United States refuse to see, refuse to understand, refuse to even consider, is that the act was inevitable, if not in Boston then somewhere in America, that it was a direct result of the actions of the United States in the world. It’s called blowback, and the winds of blowback are getting stronger. They swirl into every corner of the United States and they’ll touch people who do see, who have a stake out there in the world – brothers, sisters, parents, children, cousins, a town, a village, a city – and who recognize the futility of trying to talk sense to a government that puts itself above all others and arrogantly seeks to rule the world, arrogantly ignores international law, arrogantly attacks innocents in pursuit of endless war benefiting only war profiteers and corporations who refuse to pay taxes while profiting from having their talons deep in the bowels of Congress and every Executive Administration of the last several decades.

Cry for the victims of Boston if you will, and you should. But don’t ever forget that the bombs of the Tsarnaev brothers were created in the inner circles of the United States government.

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End The Bloodshed in Syria: Kill Assad
May 27, 2012

Bashar al Assad in Syria killed some ninety people in the town of Hula yesterday or Friday. Thirty-two were children. Assad claims he was acting against ‘armed terrorist groups’, his standard justification for his mass murders. Pictures of dead children, their heads split open, name Assad for what he is.

The world wrings its hands and asks him to stop using heavy weapons in civilian areas. There are calls for the United Nations Security Council to meet and condemn the action. The United States wants Russia to help ‘ease’ Assad from power.

Ease Assad from power?

The man is a liar, a psychopathic mass murderer, a piece of moral scum no decent human being would have in his home. He murders children, not as ‘collateral damage’ but as policy.

And analysts and government spokesmen in the West bemoan that there is no easy solution to the situation. It’s too complicated, they say. Our hands are tied, they say. Israel is too close to Syria, they say. Alawite Christians are involved, they say. The Syrian army is too strong, they say. Our actions might precipitate civil war, they say. So they let it go on and make mewling noises about what a terrible thing it is that the Syrian government is slaughtering its own people, that Syrian soldiers, under the command of Assad, are splitting open the heads of children.

You cannot negotiate with an animal like Assad. His father was an amoral animal. His brother is an amoral animal. Both have bred spawn.

There is only one way to end Assad’s murderous rampage. Kill him. Kill his wife. Kill his children. Kill his brother. Kill his brother’s children. Kill the entire Assad family.

Meet savagery with savagery. Hunt them with SEAL teams. Send cruise missiles into their mansions and palaces and homes. Hound them until they are hiding in caves and then fire the caves with napalm.

But before you do that, take Bashar al Assad aside in one of those fancy rooms where diplomats and politicians decide how many of what kind of anonymous people they will arrange the deaths of and tell him he has two hours to withdraw his forces to barracks. At the end of the two hours, if he refuses, tell him there is no place on earth he, his wife, his children, his relatives, can hide. Tell him they will all be hunted down and killed. The legacy of Assad will be… exactly nothing. The blood of the Assad line will water the desert and disappear forever.

And then do it. No matter if he stops the attacks on the Syrian people. Kill him and his no matter what. Such people can not be tolerated any longer. Not in the Middle East. Not in Africa. Not in Asia. Not in Europe. Not in South America. Not in North America. Not in the United States.

Of course none of that will happen. Assad will continue on his merry, bloody way knowing the countries that could stop him haven’t got the balls to do it. He knows they will continue to wring their hands and say bad things about him, but will do nothing. The response of sanctions is simply a joke. They don’t affect him and his in any serious way and he doesn’t give a damn about what the sanctions visit on the Syrian people. He knows, in that clear-sighted way that psychopaths know things, that he will never be called to account for the blood on his hands.

When you look into the abyss of human nature, when you look into the darkest, ugliest places, the depths of what we are, you will see Assad grinning back at you.

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“Never Again!”–Well, Except Maybe This Time Because It’s Special… Syria.
April 5, 2012

Syria.

Syria, run by a psychopathic mass murderer and liar operating an army that drags children out into the street and cuts their throats, that drags old men into the street and shoots them in the head, that unleashes furious artillery bombardments on civilians, on Syrians – Syria, a blood-drenched span of territory that exposes the moral failure and cravenness of the Western European countries and the Arab world.

Never mind Russia and China’s objections. They understand Bashar al Assad. He’s doing what they do when they decide it’s necessary. The rule is to kill and keep killing until nobody is left to fight back. By their lights and their morality Assad is a piker, a ten-cent killer.

But the West?

Time and again the West and the Arab nations have taken Assad’s word that he would call off the murder of civilians, and time and again he has lied and continued the slaughter.

And the American State Department? They talk of two things. Graduated sanctions and stability. Nonsense on both counts.

Sanctions haven’t slowed down the killing. And if Assad wins out, crushing the opposition, what then of the precious sanctions? Keep them in place and further crush the Syrian people while Assad eats caviar and orders movies from Amazon? Or remove them and concede victory to a mass murderer?

And then there’s stability. That’s a big word with the State Department. We can’t arm the opposition, say the suits, because that might destabilize the country and the region. Apparently they don’t follow the news or read their own cable traffic.

The region hasn’t been stable since our own psychopathic killer, George W. Bush, illegally invaded Iraq nine years ago. And Syria is not going to be stable until Assad slaughters a few hundred thousand of his fellow Syrians.

State’s other big selling point is ‘We can’t arm the opposition because we don’t know what will come of it.’ Oh, well perhaps they know what will come of the ongoing slaughter? It seems they define certainty as continued slaughter by Assad until he is firmly in charge again.

The Arab world is no better. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the United States has armed to the teeth several Arab countries, and yet those arms sit quietly, unused, while the Arab leadership decries the murderous bloodbath in Syria.

And the United States itself? A complete moral failure compounded with rank hypocrisy. The West took on Libya with little delay, but Syria? Oh, the terrain is difficult there. And the military is kind of tough.

Did you ever notice that the only countries the United States is willing to take on militarily are weak, if not pathetic, militarily. Panama. Grenada. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. The vaunted American military machine has shown that it can be stopped by little brown people armed with AKs and homemade explosives. The Syrian army is a different kettle of fish, isn’t it, Generals?

But this American military machine, backed by a vast and vastly expensive intelligence machine (turned against its own people of late), can’t take its million dollar cruise missiles and put them on Assad’s head and on his family’s heads and on the heads of the generals who murder children in the streets of Homs? That hugely expensive and expansive military machine of the Americans can’t send its billion dollar invisible bombers over Syria and cripple the tank columns of the Syrian army, smash command and control installations, flatten military supply dumps?

Apparently not. That might destabilize the country.

Here in America we make guns freely available to any creep, cretin, or violent moron who wants one. But we can’t provide small arms to people fighting for their lives in Syria? Because we can’t see the future? Because they might decide that the United States is crap and not to be trusted?

With this kind of thinking the Holocaust would have gone on until every Jew in the world was ashes; Rwanda would still be going on… oh, wait, nobody did anything to stop that either – they just ran out of people to hack to death; the Balkans would to this day be bathing in enough blood to satisfy even the depraved Countess Elizabeth Bathory. And on. And on. And on.

‘Never again!’ is a joke. It’s a phrase used by politicians and people everywhere to make themselves feel better when they haven’t the guts or the moral courage to do what’s right. It’s what they say when it’s happening, again, right under their noses. It’s their magic charm to ward off evil while they delicately and mincingly step around the pools of blood.

Syria will bleed and nobody with the power to stop it will lift a finger. And soon enough Bashar al Assad will again hobnob with the heads of state in the West and the Arab world. And no one will hear the blood of children crying out from the sands of Syria.

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America: Ship of Fools
March 6, 2012

In the Middle East the people of Syria are being slaughtered.  Thousands have been killed by the Syrian army.

In America we are debating the potty mouth words of a fat man calling a female law student a slut because she testified before Congress on health care and contraceptive drugs.

In Syria civilians are bombarded by tanks and artillery of the Syrian army under the control of a certifiable psychopath, al Assad.

In America candidates for the Presidency throw money and insults at each other as they try to prove to an ignorant, thoughtless, narcissistic mob of voters which of them is more Christian, which of them is more rigidly and mindlessly ideological.

In Syria soldiers are dragging old men into the street and shooting them in the head.

In America a President threatens yet another Middle Eastern country with destruction as he backs them into a corner, leaving them little option but to snarl and fight and do the thing he says they shouldn’t do, while the Israelis do their best to pervert the American government into doing their paranoid dirty work for them.

In Syria children’s throats are being slashed open by soldiers and the blood of children runs in the streets.

In America families lose their homes. Workers lose their jobs. Bobbling head media ‘personalities’ spew nonsense and call it ‘news’. Roads and bridges crumble. Schools cut education. And ugly men and women collect millions of dollars from amoral and immoral corporations as they spew hatred and bigotry and a vision of ignorance and greed over the broadcast frequencies owned by the people of the United States.

In Syria thousands flee for their lives from their murderous government, spilling over the borders into other countries, fleeing with nothing but the clothes on their back, running from armies of their fellow Syrians wielding artillery, tanks, automatic weapons, and knives dripping with the blood of children.

In America one political party seeks its sole goal of chasing that nigger from their White House and are willing to bring the government to its knees in order to accomplish that goal. And the other party tries hard not to make anyone upset at them, so they adopt the position of standing for nothing.

In Syria the blood of old men, women, and children flows freely in the dirt and gutters.

In America the politicians say they support the Syrian people. One might ask which Syrians the Americans support: the dead ones or the ones about to be slaughtered.

In Syria the government of a murderous tyrant murders its citizens at will, by the scores, by the thousands, freely, without reservation, without reason.

In  America the Attorney General of the United States and the President of the United States publicly seek to justify the murder of American citizens on  the order of the President, with no charges made, no judicial review, no recourse. 

America, the enlightened democracy of the twenty-first century? Or a ship of babbling fools playing to an American mob of ideological and theocratic conformists raptly listening to ugly voices promoting hatred of American against American and American against all non-white , non-English speaking people in the world.

Choose.

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