The Appalachian Messenger, 7/22/16

This week’s Appalachian Messenger.

He Said That? 7/23/16

From Albert Einstein, discussing the letter he sent Roosevelt raising the possibility of atomic weapons, “Atom: Einstein, the Man Who Started It All,” Newsweek Magazine (10 March 1947):

Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would not have lifted a finger.

Quack Addendum, by Eric Peters

The deterioration of American healthcare accelerates. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Well, I finally saw the Quack.

Actually, his PA. Nice guy. I told him about the indifferent response I got the day of the accident, when I called to see about getting an emergency appointment to deal with my fresh – and gaping and bloody – chainsaw wound. About how the Frau at the desk Doc-blocked me. The PA told me that, in the future, if something like this happens again, that I should use a Special Secret Codeword to get around the Frau.

That’s what it’s come down to in these Obamacare Days. But while it’s easy to blame Obama (it does have his name on it) the fact is the insurance mafia wrote Obamacare; the presidente was just the sock puppet. It is the insurance mafia that has turned medicine into “health care” and put us all under legal mandate to have (to purchase) health insurance but the mafia under no obligation to deliver medical treatment. And when it is grudgingly provided, to finance-rape us such that we, in future, will be very reluctant to seek treatment again.

Meanwhile, we pay.

Which, by the way was part of the reason I didn’t go to either the ER or the Urgent Care joint when I was doc-blocked by the Frau. Because I knew – as we all do – that going to an “unapproved provider” for a procedure not “pre-approved” would result, at the very least, in weeks and probably months of hassling over a huge bill that the mafia would not pay until they had tortured me with their bureaucracy … for weeks and probably months.

If they ever did pay.

That plus the prospect of what probably would have been at least $1,500 for 4-6 stitches (Dr. Eric’s estimate) and some bandages kept me away – which is exactly what the mafia wants. They want your money. They do not want to spend money on you. This is the sum total of the rigged game long con that is “health care” in the age of Obama but also long before. Read up on it. Especially, read up on Tricky Dick Nixon and his doings with Kaiser Permanente. You will be edified.

As well as some other things.

So, I ended up not getting stitches. Too late for that (after 24 hours, apparently, it is Too Late) but that’s ok because the only consequence is a scar and I gather chicks dig scars. As it turned out, I did a damned decent job of treating the wound, which had closed up on its own by the time I got through the Frau screen and finally obtained an audience with the PA (but not the doc). The PA used some adhesive tape to shore up my body’s own “glue” – and assure the wound stayed closed – gave me a Tetanus shot and sent me on my way.

My leg will be ok.

The “health care” system not so much.

No matter which buffoon ascends to the Dear Leadership. The she-wolf will simply enshrine Soviet-style doctoring while the Bloated Bloviator will “reform and replace” it. Mark that. He will not rescind it.

Abandon all Hope.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/07/23/quack-addendum/

Armageddon Approaches, by Paul Craig Roberts

It is not an overstatement to label a potential military conflict between the US and Russia as Armageddon. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

The Western pubic doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany.
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/09/germany-preparing-for-war-against-russia.html
This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.

Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.

Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQm8L8d8uDc

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/08/are-you-planning-your-retirement-forget-about-it-you-wont-survive-to-experience-it/ See also: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45055.htm
Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the imbecilic Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”

The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.

Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.

I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/22/armageddon-approaches-paul-craig-roberts/

The Turkish Coup——-The Back Story, by Eric Margolis

SLL has posted several articles positing various theories about the Turkish attempted coup. This article has a theory that is the most sympathetic to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, from Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

September 1961. Geneva, Switzerland. A Turkish classmate of mine named Turgut burst into my room, crying, ‘those bastards just hanged my father!’

The ‘bastards’ in question were Turkey’s generals. They had overthrown the civilian government of Adnan Menderes and hanged my friend’s father. Since, then, the mighty Turkish armed forces has tried to overthrow the government about every ten years.

Last weekend’s military coup in Turkey was the fifth coup since the 1960’s. Many had believed the mighty, 610,000-man Turkish armed forces, backed by 379,000 trained reserves, NATO’s second largest forces after the US, had finally been driven back to its barracks by the popular democratic AK party government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

So it seemed until last Friday when tanks seized the two Bosphorus bridges in Istanbul, and attacks were staged against key targets, like TV stations, the intelligence HQ, and government buildings. Five very senior generals and 25 colonels were reportedly at the core of the uprising.

A special commando team was sent to capture or, more likely, kill President Erdogan who was vacationing at the seaside resort, Marmaris. He managed to escape minutes before the plotters struck. A number of his bodyguards were killed. Erdogan boarded a small plane and flew to Istanbul as two rebel F-16 jets were hunting his black-out aircraft. The president and his military loyalists rallied troops and the air force. It was all eerily similar to the 1991 coup attempt on the vacationing Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, by hardline Communists.

Turkey and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, have been vexed by military meddling and plots since the 1600’s, notably by the elite military corps, the Janissaries.

Today’s Janissary are the modern Turkish armed forces. They have long been joined at the hip with the Pentagon. Like Latin America’s generals, Turkey’s pashas (generals) were far to the right, hidebound, and reliant on US finance and arms. Turkey’s pashas were also virulently anti-Muslim. They regarded Islam as backwards and a threat to the secular oligarchy that long ruled Turkey under successive military juntas.

The coup leaders believed they would have popular support. Far from it, throngs of Turks poured into the streets supporting Erdogan’s AK party and calling the insurgents traitors. Five Turks were run over by tanks after they sought to stop the rebel armor with their bodies.

The government squarely blamed the prominent Sufi religious leader, Fethullah Gulen, who lives, of all places, in rural Pennsylvania. Gulen runs a vast and shadowy religious-business-education empire that has a very large following across Turkey that included leading newspapers, academia and many in the military.

Gulen was a close ally of Erbakan, but they fell out and became bitter enemies. Gulen was close to the US and often sided with Israel. His exile in the US was reportedly engineered by the CIA.

This has led many Turks to accused Washington of trying to overthrow Erdogan by using the military and Gulen – which the US denies.

Adding yet more mystery, the Turkish commander of Incirlik airbase in eastern Turkey was a key coup plotter. Incirlik is used by the US Air Force for Mideast operations.

The F-16 pilot who downed a Russian SU-24 bomber last year, sparking a huge crisis with Moscow, has been arrested in the coup dragnet. Could the ambush of the Russian warplane have been part of a plot to embarrass and undermine Erdogan? Looks like it.

Furthermore, the coup reminded the world that the US keeps 50-60 B-61 thermonuclear bombs at Incirlik. These H-bombs could have fallen into the hands of the rebels. What purpose do these Cold War antiques serve today?

To continue reading: The Turkish Coup——-The Back Story

We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Than During the Cold War, by Conn Hallinan

The next president needs to turn down the heat on the US-Russia relationship, or we could all end up nuclear detritus. The answer as to which candidate is more likely to do so is obvious: Trump, which is probably reason enough to vote for him. An excellent article from Conn Hallinan at antiwar.com:

“Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War,” warns William Perry, “and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.”

A former U.S. defense secretary from 1994 to 1997, Perry has been an inside player in the business of nuclear weapons for over 60 years. And his book, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, is a sober read. It’s also a powerful counterpoint to NATO’s current European strategy, which envisions nuclear weapons as a deterrent to war: The purpose of nukes “is to prevent major war, not to wage wars,” argues the Alliance’s magazine, NATO Review.

But as Perry points out, it’s only by chance that the world has avoided a nuclear war – sometimes by nothing more than dumb luck – and, rather than enhancing our security, nukes “now endanger it.”

The 1962 Cuban missile crisis is generally represented as a dangerous standoff resolved by sober diplomacy. In fact, it was a single man – Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov – who countermanded orders to launch a nuclear torpedo at an American destroyer that could have set off a full-scale nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the United States.

There were numerous other incidents that brought the world to the brink. On a quiet morning in November 1979, a NORAD computer reported a full-scale Russian sneak attack with land and sea-based missiles, which led to scrambling US bombers and alerting US missile silos to prepare to launch. But it turned out there was no Soviet attack – just an errant test tape.

Lest anyone think the incident was an anomaly, a little more than six months later NORAD computers erroneously announced that Soviet submarines had launched 220 missiles at the United States. This time the cause was a defective chip that cost 49 cents – again resulting in scrambling interceptors and putting the silos on alert.

But don’t these examples prove that accidental nuclear war is unlikely? That conclusion is a dangerous illusion, argues Perry, because the price of being mistaken is so high – and because the world is a more dangerous place than it was in 1980.

A Worsening Climate

It’s been 71 years since atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity’s memory of those events has dimmed. But even were the entire world to read John Hersey’s Hiroshima, it would have little idea of what we face today.

The bombs that obliterated those cities were tiny by today’s standards, and comparing “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” – the incongruous names of the weapons that leveled both cities – to modern weapons stretches any analogy beyond the breaking point. If the Hiroshima bomb represented approximately 27 freight cars filled with TNT, a one-megaton warhead would require a train 300 miles long.

Each Russian RS-20V Voevoda intercontinental ballistic missile packs 10 megatons.

What’s made today’s world more dangerous, however, aren’t just advances in the destructive power of nuclear weapons, but a series of actions by the last three US administrations.

To continue reading: We May Be at a Greater Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Than During the Cold War

 

Murder and Militias – Iraq’s Sunni-Shiite Plan After ISIS, by Anhvinh Doanvo

Getting rid of ISIS in Iraq will not get rid of sectarian violence there. From Anhvinh Doanvo at antiwar.com:

Since ISIS’s losses of 45% of its Iraqi territory over the past two years, we may be approaching the end of the war on ISIS. The conflict’s progression nevertheless raises hard questions on the potential resurgence of Sunni insurgencies like ISIS as American and Iraqi governments have failed to rein in destabilizing groups operating in Western Iraq. So long as murder, torture, and other human rights violations recur with impunity among Shiite forces operating in Sunni Iraqi provinces, there will be little reason to remain optimistic for the stability of Iraq.

During the capture of major Sunni cities from ISIS, the Iraqi army’s inefficiency demanded supplementation from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a counterinsurgency umbrella group composed of 100,000-120,000 volunteers operating under numerous, mostly Shiite, militias. In many of the largest battles, Shia PMF militias have played a larger role than indigenous Sunni militias – they’ve made up a third of the forces recapturing Ramadi and Fallujah and two-thirds of the fighters retaking Baiji and Tikrit. In Tikrit, Shiite PMF outnumbered Sunni militiamen by 20,000 to just 1,000. In each of these cities, Sunnis comprised the majority of the population, with as many as 90% of Ramadi civilians being Sunni.

Contrary to pro-Shia sources, the PMF’s commitment to the fight against ISIS has demonstrated sectarian aims with little respect to Sunni civilians, not the rebirth of Iraqi nationalism. In Tikrit, 200 Sunni civilians were abducted, and several hundred homes to Sunnis were demolished by the Shia Hezbollah Battalions and League of the Righteous Forces. Reports of Shia PMF indiscriminately targeting civilians in Ramadi remain unclear, but more recently in Fallujah, they tortured more than a thousand civilians, beating them while dragging them by car. In every Sunni, they see an inhuman enemy, with a militiaman saying that “80%” of Sunnis are part of ISIS.

The PMF’s human rights violations have virtually become a national security risk – the intelligence community has said that because of fears of the Shia militias’ participation in the fight against ISIS, “Iraq’s Sunnis will remain willing to endure some deprivation under ISIL rule.”

To reign the PMF in and perhaps because militias are prohibited by Iraq’s constitution, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi adopted the PMF as part of Iraq’s armed forces earlier this year, while calling for the appointment of thousands of Sunnis to the PMF. A prison was also established for human rights offenders last year, but these measures have translated into little accountability.

According to the Human Rights Watch, more than 90 men of the Hezbollah Battalions tortured at least 600 civilians during last month’s Fallujah assault, but as of July, only “four or five” were arrested. Basam Ridha, the Washington representative of the PMF, said that “The reality is that they do cover for each other,” making it impossible to find credible witnesses. “They have done a lot of vicious activities… but they get away with it.”

To continue reading: Murder and Militias – Iraq’s Sunni-Shiite Plan After ISIS