Archive | Anti-war


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-war1 Comment


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-war0 Comments

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

RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova,Donetsk International Airport. Image from Facebook by Vyacheslav Gumennuy

Bad craziness in Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, coming to Saudi Arabia

RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova,Donetsk International Airport. Image from Facebook by Vyacheslav Gumennuy

RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova,Donetsk International Airport. Image from Facebook by Vyacheslav Gumennuy

We are going through extraordinarily unsettled times. US interference in Libya and Yemen certainly helped create the chaos in those countries. No one in Ukraine appears to be paying much attention to what the US says or tries to do. And the thug kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now becoming encircled by unfriendly insurgencies.

Libya central bank branch in Benghazi has been seized by insurgents. There are multiple warring groups of insurgents and the government is apparently non-functional. Perhaps they would like some freedom fries with their chaos?

The battle for control of Libya threatened to break open its central bank on Thursday as fighters with one of the country’s two warring factions seized control of its Benghazi branch, risking an armed scramble for its gold reserves that could cripple the last functioning institution in the country.

Yemen risks disintegration as south rejects Shi’ite group’s takeover. Meanwhile the US blathers on about how drone strikes will continue, oblivious to the radically changing situation in Yemen.

The emerging fragmentation of the Arabian Peninsula country has sparked fears of the “Somalization” of a state which is home to a revitalized al Qaeda insurgency as well as a neighbor to top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia could soon face ISIS attacks from Iraq in the north and from AQ from Yemen in the south. Saudi Arabia was essentially created via jihads very much like what ISIS favors now and its support of Wahhhabism makes it vulnerable to internal attacks.

A century ago, the House of Saud started a jihad to do exactly what ISIS is doing today. In that earlier case, the Saudi Ikhwan (a fundamentalist militia that is similar to ISIS) expanded until it conquered the territory that is now Saudi Arabia.

The Ikhwan eventually turned on the Sauds when they called an end to the jihad. The Sauds won that fight and spent the next century building a variant of Wahhabism to legitimize their rule. However, the Sauds never did eradicate the part Wahhabism that seeks expansionist jihad, and this will return to haunt them.

War is exploding anew in Ukraine; rebels vow more.

The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.

Bad craziness, all of

Posted in Anti-war


ISIS gaining in Syria despite US airstrikes


The US has bombed 800 targets in Syria. ISIS continues to gain territory. Insurgents cannot be defeated from the air alone. They just can’t. This a lesson the US resolutely refuses to learn. By bombing whatever, we will inevitably kill noncombatants who will probably then be way more sympathetic to ISIS. And why are we bombing Syria anyway? Why is this our fight? The US detests Assad, who we now are implicitly backing. All of this makes absolutely no sense.

This Pentagon pronouncement reminds me of propaganda we heard from them during the Vietnam War. “60 Viet Cong were killed. One US soldier suffered a hangnail.” It wan’t true then, it’s not true now.

“Yes, they have gained some ground. But we have stopped their momentum,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast.

A map developed by the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS), a Syrian-American opposition umbrella group, shows that ISIS has nearly doubled the amount of territory it controls since airstrikes began last year.

Gosh, ISIS doubling seized territory in a year does not sound like their momentum has been stopped.

From the always savvy War News Updates.

If the Islamic State is gaining territory in Syria …. despite consistent and persistent U.S. air strikes …. one has to wonder if the Obama administration’s Mideast strategy is working. When this U.S. campaign started a few months ago …. top U.S. Generals and Pentagon spokespersons reiterated the need for time …. but that time is now coming to an end …. and I do not see any progress at all.

Posted in Anti-war


Show me the way to the next little war, oh don’t ask why.


The West is silent as Libya falls into the abyss. The chaos there will inevitably create more wars and conflicts for the US to “intervene” in. Which is precisely the point. The US doesn’t blunder into war. It needs them to exist. That’s why we have so many of them. It doesn’t matter if we win. The cold hard facts are the US has lost most of the wars it has fought since WWII. Yet the war machine grinds on, even as the wheels seem to be falling off a bit lately. Our Middle East / North Africa adventurism has gone rather badly, both for the U.S. and for the occupants of those countries we intervened in, mouthing platitudes about democracy, which we promptly ignore, backing one warlord against another and then wondering why it all went so badly.

Libya has now disintegrated into at least two civil wars. The U.S., France, and Britain are nowhere to be seen.

It is easy enough to deride the neo-imperial posturing of David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, or to describe the abyss into which Libya has fallen since 2011. The people whom that intervention propelled into power have reduced a country that had been peaceful for more than half a century to a level of violence that is beginning to approach that of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatever Western intentions, the result has been a disaster. In Libya, as in Syria today, Western intervention was supposedly in support of democracy, but was conducted in alliance with the Sunni absolute monarchies of the Gulf who had no such aims.

In all three cases [Syria, Afghanistan, Libya], the West intervened in somebody else’s civil war and tried to dictate who won. There was a pretence that the Taliban, Saddam, Gaddafi or Assad were demonically evil and without any true supporters. This foreign support may give victory to one party in a civil war, as in Libya, which they could not win by relying on their own strength. In Iraq, the beleaguered Sunni could not fight a US-backed Shia government so it needed to bring in al-Qaeda. Thus the conditions were created that eventually produced Isis.

Now the U.S. can have more wars, this time against ISIS. I’m not pacifist. Some fights need to be fought.  However, why not let the Middle East sort out its own problems. We have plenty of our own at home to solve and it’s obvious to all except DC insiders and the war pigs, that our military adventurism in other countries is beyond self-defeating.

Posted in Anti-war

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