Archive | Anti-war

Addicted to War

US orders airstrikes against Syria if our pathetic 50 person “army” threatened

Addicted to War

The Pentagon has labored mightily to train Syrians to fight Assad. The result is a bizarre little 50 person contingent, which just had its leader kidnapped by al-Nusra. Rather than admit the obvious, which is the U.S. hasn’t a clue what is happening in Syria and attempts to intervene invariably backfire, Obama is now huffing and puffing, saying any Syria attempts to threaten this wee little ragtag army will be met by airstrikes.

This would be comical except Pentagon attempts to intervene make things worse for the U.S. because, wait for it, the locals don’t like being bombed. The “plan” here, if it can even be called a plan, is clearly to oust Assad. Then U.S. conquerors will be greeted with sprinkled rose petals in their paths when they enter Damascus to liberate it. Oh wait, isn’t that exactly what the neocons said would happen in Baghdad too? It didn’t turn out quite that way, did it?

We as a country are Addicted To War. That’s why we have so many of them. And why they generally don’t turn out well. Addicts have terrible judgement. They do it because they must. Our war machine profits mightily from this, the rest of the country and the world, not so much.

It goes without saying that covert US efforts to aid the multifarious groups vying for control of the country have met with disastrous consequences so far, but if there’s anything Washington is particularly adept at, it’s making bad foreign policy outcomes worse, which is why we weren’t at all surprised to learn that the commander of the Pentagon’s new Syrian “force” was captured, along with his deputy, by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra last week near the border with Turkey.

This makes the Keystone Cops look like grizzled professionals.

Posted in Anti-war, Banksters

Killer robot

Robotics and AI are taking over, not necessarily a good thing

Killer robot

What could possibly go wrong with autonomous killer robots?

Robots do many useful things. However, they are replacing jobs once held by carbon-based lifeforms. This may be one reason the employment rate isn’t recovering. The standard argument here is those displaced people will find new jobs created by new technology. However, jobs making robots just aren’t going to be that plentiful.

This trend emerged during the most recent recession (February 2008 – February 2010) and isn’t stopping any time soon. According to data from the Associated Press on the labor market during the recession, industries that pay middle class wages lost 7.5 million jobs. Despite the economic recovery, only 3.5 million jobs have reappeared. This begs the question, where did 4 million jobs disappear to after the recession ended? AI seem to be one of the primary culprits, since the time period when the jobs went missing corresponds to increased levels of AI use by businesses.

Autonomous robotic killing machines are a really bad idea. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and other say they should be banned. “Newsflash, Sep. 1, 2030. The Pentagon apologized to the residents of a small town in Iraq after a supposedly fail-safe RobotWarror deployment malfunctioned, identifying an orphanage as a terrorist encampment and destroyed it.” And won’t it be fun when drug cartels get such weapons too?

The signatories argued that the deployment of robots capable of killing while untethered to human operators is “feasible within years, not decades.” If development is not cut off, it is only a matter of time before the weapons end up in the hands of terrorists and warlords, they said.

Posted in Anti-war


Islamic State continues gains. Obama Administration clueless


The Obama Administration is willfully and deliberately ignorant about the situation in Iraq and Syria, desperately trying to convince itself and the public that IS hasn’t seized large amounts of territory and weapons. Yet IS has, and the response from DC has been more of the same, bomb them, just bomb them, hoping this time will somehow be different and tactics that have repeatedly failed will somehow prove victorious.

The only way any of this makes sense is to assume the US has an out-of-control war machine whose gaping maw must be fed, regardless of consequence. And liberals, please stop babbling about how this is somehow the fault of Dubya Bush. The truth is both parties own it.

Americans blame Obama and Bush equally for Iraq

The new survey shows that Americans blame his military policy about as much as they blame the Iraqi army (40 percent to 38 percent) for the problems, and a new CNN/ORC poll finds that Americans blame Obama (44 percent) about as much as George W. Bush (43 percent) for Iraq’s problems.

Water as a weapon. Both the US and Iraqi said retaking Ramdi would be simple enough yet, as usual, the propaganda falls way short of the reality.

Islamic State has shut down all the gates of a dam in the recently-seized Iraqi city of Ramadi causing widespread concerns of an impending humanitarian crisis.

Anbar provincial council chief Sabah Karhout told AFP that the IS move lowered the level of the Euphrates River and cut water supplies to government-held areas of Khaldiyah and Habbaniyah to the east.

Gosh, the more weaponry we lose there, the more we must send. I’m guessing profits for defense contractors are soaring.

Dude, where’s my Humvee? Iraq losing equipment to Islamic State at staggering rate

Iraqi security forces lost 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles when Islamic State overran the northern city of Mosul in June 2014, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday in an interview with Iraqiya state television. Coupled with previous losses of American weapons, the conclusion is simple: The United States is effectively supplying Islamic State with tools of war the militant group cannot otherwise hope to acquire from its patrons.

Maybe ISIS isn’t as religious as we think.

ISIS forces controlling Ramadi are ex-Baathist Saddam loyalists

ISIS’s roots in Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party are deep — many of the group’s most devoted commanders, advisers and fighters started out as Baathists. The ex-Baathists essentially run ISIS, and their past is evident in the tactics they are using now.

Posted in Anti-war, Water


Obama delusional, says US not losing to ISIS

Control of terrain in Syria. May 22, 2015
In the fantasy land of D.C. spin and optics, two major cities falling to ISIS as they march towards Baghdad and control 50% of Syria, is not losing but merely a “tactical setback.” These wee little speed bumps, the talking heads of DC assure us, will be overcome by more training of militias and course, shipping in more weaponry and ammo. Some of the weaponry will fall into the hands of ISIS when the Iraqi military and militias retreat yet again. This will please the diseased twisted hearts of defense contractors in the US, as they’ll just have to ship in more weapons, won’t they? As for training militias to fight ISIS when the armies of those countries are apparently incapable of or unwilling to fight, well, training takes months and assumes the militias are loyal to the US.

And by the way, why is this our fight? The truly worrying thing here is the steady groundswell from D.C. from both parties saying that doggone it, the US may have to send it more ground troops. Because that worked so well the first time, didn’t it?

In reality, McCain said on CNN’s “New Day,” “the President’s strategy is certainly not succeeding — it’s an abject failure,” one that will eventually bring Americans around to the prospect of deploying boots on the ground in Iraq.

I just heard a Democratic member of the House imply the same thing on CNN, saying it’s very very sad, but US troops on the ground may be needed again. The difference between Democrats and Republicans on endless war is it ostensibly makes Democrats very sad to have to do it.

Obama is living in a reality-free zone, where spin is assumed to be the same as facts.

“No, I don’t think we’re losing,” Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. “There’s no doubt there was a tactical setback.”

“And one lesson that I think is important to draw from what happened is that if the Iraqis themselves are not willing or capable to arrive at the political accommodations necessary to govern, if they are not willing to fight for the security of their country, we cannot do that for them.”

Well, if we can’t do it for them, let’s leave and let them sort it out.

Posted in Anti-war


US alarmed Iran supports allies in Yemen just like US does


The Hill has a marvelously deceptive Newspeak article about the conflict in Yemen, chock-a-block with thinly disguised Pentagon propaganda pretending to be news. The US, you see, is Deeply Concerned about Iran sending warships to Yemen to supply and protect their allies, the Houthi rebels, and worse, isn’t even pretending hiding their actions. Unnamed sources in the Ministry of Propaganda are actually using the word “brazen” to describe Iran’s actions, somehow forgetting the US is supporting and arming Saudi Arabia in bombing Yemen (something which is apparently not brazen, since we are doing it.)

It gets even sillier. You will be happy to know the US is engaging in “consensual” boarding of ships in the area, to search them for possible Bad Stuff (none has been found so far). Keen observers of propaganda have probably already deduced “consensual” means “Let us search your ship or we attack you.”

U.S. officials say they are unsure why Iran is making the brazen move. One theory they have floated is that the Saudi-led coalition has effectively blockaded any air routes into Yemen and there are no other ways to resupply the Houthis.

Here’s is what the US and Saudis are probably actually afraid of, as well they should be.

Yet another theory is that Iran wants to force a confrontation with Saudi Arabia that it believes it will win, because Iran views the Saudi military as weak and suspects the U.S. lacks the willpower to support its Gulf ally.

Tell me again why a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen is any of our concern, or what we could possibly hope to gain from it, especially since we are negotiating with Iran on the nuclear deal.

So there you have it. Only our foes are brazen, we consensually board ships to search them, and support thugs because they are making the world safe for democracy. Orwell would understand this language perfectly.

The proximate cause [of bombing Yemen], it would seem, is the interruption of what US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called the “peaceful, inclusive, and consensus-driven political transition under the leadership of the legitimate President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.” One problem with this formulation is that Hadi’s “legitimacy” derives from his being installed as president by an international diplomatic coup, followed by his election in a race in which he was the sole candidate. Essentially, there is no legitimate government of Yemen and has not been for decades at least. The present war of aggression by outside powers intervening in a multifaceted civil war relies for its justification on fiction.

Posted in Anti-war

Oil fields near Tikrit

So many questions about Islamic State, so few answers

Oil fields near Tikrit

Oil fields near Tikrit

So how is it a non-state paramilitary just pops out of nowhere, well-funded and trained, and is on the verge of taking over at least two countries, while no one in the West has a clue what to do. Really? And where was NSA and the rest of military “intelligence”? None of them saw this coming. Thus, the hundreds of billions they spend each year to supposedly defend and protect us is almost completely wasted. As with the financial crisis of 2007, it was bloggers and other fringees who saw the crisis coming, and who were then ignored or ridiculed until the crisis hit. Then mainstream media and government had to admit all those crazy conspiracists were right.

The same thing is happening with IS. Big media are not asking or digging to determine who funds IS, where their support comes from, as specifically which Middle East governments tacitly or otherwise are backing them. Instead we get Wolf Blitzer blithering about minutiae (“Who is Jihadi John?”) “and ignoring the big issues.

Who benefits from this madness? The war machine, of course. There’s lots of money to be made, even as what passes for strategy from the White House and Pentagon has failed yet again. Oh well, that just means more opportunity for war.

Iraq is now a sectarian civil war. Shi’ite militias and Iran are attacking Tikrit, which is overwhelmingly Sunni. It doesn’t matter which side “wins”, the result will be slaughter and reprisals.

IS blows up oil fields near Tikrit to slow Iraqi forces.

IS has taken over Libya oilfields, as the situation there deteriorates too.

Posted in Anti-war

Is this defensive or offensive war damage. Hmm.

Contrary to D.C. propagandists, defensive wars do not exist

Is this defensive or offensive war damage. Hmm.

Is this defensive or offensive war damage? Hmm.

How many times have we heard blather from Washington that we need to arm someone, but strictly for defensive purposes. Anyone saying that is a fool or a liar, because when the shooting starts, you shoot back and attack when you can. It is intellectually dishonest to say wars can be defensive only – yet that’s precisely what Obama and Kerry are trying to do, send weapons to Ukraine then pretend they will be used for defense only.

Kerry pretends the US isn’t arming Ukraine against Russia (something France and Germany strongly oppose)

“We talked about the largest threat that Ukraine faces today, and that is Russia’s continued aggression in the east. There’s no other way to call it. We’re not seeking a conflict with Russia. No one is. … The president is reviewing all of his options. Among those options, obviously, is the possibility of providing defensive — defensive — assistance to Ukraine.”

Make no mistake, Obama and Kerry and too many other supposed liberals now support all war all the time.

Just as NATO allies Germany and France were undertaking a peace initiative with Russia and Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry turned up in Kiev at the same time, seeking to poison the talks before they started by spouting yet again the ritual U.S. accusation of “Russian aggression.” The incantation is meaningless without context. Its purpose is mesmerize a false consciousness. “Russian aggression” may or may not exist in the events of the past year, just like “Russian self-defense.” Reporting on the ground has been too unreliable to support any firm analysis, never mind the provocative “Russian aggression” the U.S. brandishes as a virtual call for war.

The US has no clue what it will do in Ukraine if serious war starts yet is doing its best to provoke a conflagration anyway. We have no strategy, no tactics, no plan for an end game. Nope, just charge ahead and make the world safe for democracy (again) then wonder a few years later why we’ve created such a mess (again.) We do little half-assed wars and not full-on wars is because 1) our populace is tired of them and 2) war is bankrupting us. A much better idea then, is to let those in a disputed area fight it out, rather than insisting we become involved too.

This also applies to ISIS. Most Middle East countries have shown little interest in fighting ISIS. Until they do, why should we get involved?

Posted in Anti-war

Getting all macho may be precisely what ISIS wants

Jordan invading Iraq may be precisely what ISIS wants

Getting all macho may be precisely what ISIS wants

Getting all macho may be precisely what ISIS wants

Jordan is massing troops on their border with Iraq. An invasion is certain to follow. Despite much macho blustering from Jordan and the US, an invasion may well fail, and fail spectacularly. This may have been ISIS’s intent in burning the pilot alive, to provoke Jordan into rage, then sucker them into a trap. All of this is greatly aided by chowderhead US politicians and generals (who mostly seem to be pimping for the war machine) screaming we must have more war, even as we use the exact same tactics that have failed us multiple times in the past. Surely this time will be different. Air strikes will defeat the foe. The populace won’t turn against us just because we accidentally bomb a few wedding parties.

John Robb:

ISIS used the video to provoke Jordan. ISIS selected the punishment (it was insulting) and the victim (he was the son of a politically important tribal chief) with care. This implies that the video was meant to produced outrage, not coercion. ISIS did this to provoke Jordan into rash actions that it could take advantage of.

Further, ISIS knows there isn’t a strong coalition against ISIS, that bombing won’t hurt them much, and is hoping Jordan will make a strategic mistake, like getting sucked into the Syrian civil war, invading deep into Iraq and getting its supply lines too stretched-out, cracking down massively on dissent within the country with the usual effects of driving more people to ISIS.

But the war machine only know how to do one thing.

A week after the release of a clip with sported professionally produced, near Hollywood-level editing and effects, showing the brutal burning of a Jordanian pilot hostage, Jordan announced it has deployed “thousands” of ground troops to its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against ISIS militants, two Jordanian government officials told NBC News.

The crown jewel in all this for ISIS would be to create enough chaos that they could attack the Saudi border.

Posted in Anti-war, News


“Low life scum” and addiction to war


Protesting a withered old war criminal simply cannot be allowed in the august, mostly reality-free halls of the U.S. Senate. Congress and the Administration are busily preparing for more war in Ukraine and the Middle East so when that petite troublemaker Medea Benjamin and her Code Pink cohorts protested Henry Kissinger the only thing John McCain could do is sputter they were “low-life scum.” Really?

Why is that the U.S. Congress never really considers the possibilities of peace and of not going to war?  It’s not like we’re hugely successful at war. Iraq and Libya are in chaos now. IS, at least partly spawned in our prisons in the Middle East, is running amok. We can’t even decide who to back in Syria. Yet the war machine lumbers on. Gosh, it’s almost like we’re addicted to war.

No, this time won’t be different, especially since as a country we refuse to see how our actions, belligerence, and assumption of superiority often make bad situations worse for inhabitants of countries we invade and for ourselves. Here’s a hint. Every time a drone goes astray and hits a wedding party or a bomber hits a hospital by mistake, dozens of new terrorists are born.

These questions arise amidst reaction to the scene at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on January 29, when the committee decided it would be useful to hear from a nonagenarian former secretary of state and unindicted war criminal named Henry Kissinger. As reported by the Associated Press in the New York Times, this appearance of a former government official, who was an architect of American failures from Viet-Nam to Chile, left unasked the question: why would the Senate leadership today want to hear from a man so steeped in making war – and losing?

The question of war or peace is a question the Times and most of the mainstream media would rather not consider, even though they’re covering a Congress that has been noisy with war drums for months, or years now.

Posted in Anti-war

zacharias moussaoui

Moussaoui claims Saudi royals ‘funded 9/11 attacks’

zacharias moussaoui

BBC Radio interviewed the lawyer who interviewed Moussaoui. The lawyer says Mosssaoui’s testimony is credible, and backed by other evidence. The official Saudi denial was curiously worded. It said no government officials were involved but specifically did not say royals were not involved. Moussaoui says he kept a database of AQ donors, shuttled messages between bin Laden and royals, who were supporting jihad to make points with the Wahhabi fundamentalist thugs whose support the regime needs. (I listened to the interview on Sirius and can’t find a link online yet, just a news link)

The US and allies are blundering around trying to fight a new kind of war with old school tactics and strategy. First off, maybe this isn’t our war. Let the locals fight it out, as, as apparently, as always, Sunni-Shia disputes are at the center. Second, if we try to fight it with bombs, we will just make things worse and less safe for ourselves. Third, let’s determine just exactly who are friends, if any, are in the Middle East.

The Telegraph is blunt. And if you ask why I quote from The Torygraph, you miss the point. This isn’t about left vs. right.

War with Isis: If Saudi Arabia isn’t fueling the militant inferno, who is?

Jordanians, more than half of whom are Palestinians, must now debate the dichotomy of tribal loyalty and religion, and ask a simple question: who are their real allies – and their real national enemies – in the Middle East?

The searchlight beam of their attention, and of Washington’s, will now again pass over the Gulf and that most Wahhabi of nations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Put bluntly, should the world blame the Saudis for the inflammable monster that is Isis?

And in more news of the mad.

Boko Haram kill more than 100 in Cameroon.

Gunmen storm Libyan oil field, kill four, apparent Islamic radicals.

Posted in Anti-war


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