The US government has not a clue how to win the 17-year war in Afghanistan, but there’s no plans to get out. From Maj. Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
Americans are still dying for a hopeless cause in Afghanistan; meanwhile, the media and populace simply ignore a seemingly perpetual war.
The absurd hopelessness was the worst part. No, it wasn’t the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) blowing limbs off my boys, or the well-aimed gunshot wounds suffered by others; it wasn’t even the horror of ordering the deaths of other (“enemy”) human beings.
No, for a captain commanding 100 odd troopers in Southwest Kandahar province at the height of the Obama “surge” of 2011, what most struck me was the feeling of futility; the sense that the mission was fruitless operationally, and, of course, all but ignored at home. After a full year of saturating the district with American soldiers, the truth is we really controlled only the few square feet we each stood on. The Taliban controlled the night, the farmlands, the villages. And, back in 2011, well, the U.S. had about 100,000 servicemen and women in country. There are less than 15,000 on the ground now.
If you climb into bed with the morally reprehensible, sooner or later the moral reprehensibility rubs off. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
Over the weekend Donald Trump warned of “severe punishment” if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia “plays an impactful and active role in the global economy.”
Message: Sanction us, and we may just sanction you.
Some of us yet recall how President Nixon’s rescue of Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War triggered a Saudi oil embargo that led to months of long gas lines in the United States, and contributed to Nixon’s fall.
The presumption of innocence, as applied by the US government, is far stronger for Mohammad bin Salman than it is for Vladimir Putin. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Two disappearances, and two very different responses from Western governments, which illustrates their rank hypocrisy.
When former Russian spy Sergei Skripal went missing in England earlier this year, there was almost immediate punitive action by the British government and its NATO allies against Moscow. By contrast, Western governments are straining with restraint towards Saudi Arabia over the more shocking and provable case of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The outcry by Western governments and media over the Skripal affair was deafening and resulted in Britain, the US and some 28 other countries expelling dozens of Russian diplomats on the back of unsubstantiated British allegations that the Kremlin tried to assassinate an exiled spy with a deadly nerve agent. The Trump administration has further tightened sanctions citing the Skripal incident.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Investigations, Law, Politics
Tagged Jamal Khashoggi, Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia, Skripal investigation
Politicians’ worst nightmare: someone who remembers their every word. From Kristen Breitweiser at washingtonsblog.com:
By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows – known as the “Jersey Girls” – instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kdbreitweiser.
Road to Damascus Conversion: Derived from the Biblical story of Paul, the term “Damascus road conversion” is commonly used to refer to an abrupt about-face on a serious issue of religion, politics or philosophy. In this type of change, a single, dramatic event causes a person to become aligned with something he or she previously was against or support a position that he or she previously opposed. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-damascus-road-conversion.htm#didyouknowout
As a 9/11 widow who has spent the last 17 years fighting for accountability with regard to the 9/11 attacks that killed my husband and 3,000 others, I find the recent uproar over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder interesting and out of character for many of those decrying his disappearance and demanding an investigation and accountability.
Frankly, 9/11 Family members keep a running list of all those in Washington who have proved by their past actions to be against U.S. victims of terrorism and in support of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with a long history of supporting global Wahhabist terrorism. As victims of terrorism, we are ever vigilant and watchful about all those named on our lists. We follow these folks actions, their speeches, their legislation, because we know that they are never looking out for our best interests as U.S. victims of terrorism. As a group, our institutional memory is broad and long. And we never forget.
Posted in Politics, Business, Foreign Policy, Law, Civil Liberties, Governments, Geopolitics
Tagged Lindsey Graham, Saudi Arabia, 9/11, Barack Obama, Jamal Khashoggi, Bob Corker
Trump will have to make some big decisions about Saudi Arabia. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
They can’t help themselves even as they hurt themselves. Look guys, chill! I saw someone imply on Twitter that Donald Trump is an accomplice in a murder cover-up. This person knows as well as all the ones who liked the tweet that they all just don’t know. They don’t know exactly what Trump knows about the chilling Khashoggi execution.
Just like they don’t know exactly what happened in the consulate. Information from anonymous Turkish sources is dripping through drop by drop, and it looks terrible -and terribly graphic-, but the conclusion that Trump wants to cover up a murder is multiple tokes over the line.
The Saudi attempt at labeling the execution a kidnapping gone wrong is out the window if only a tenth of the Turkish sources’ claims is true. What emerges is a picture of premeditated torture and murder. And one that was ordered by someone in the royal family. Which can really only be one of two people: the King or his son, MbS, and the latter seems more suspect. But what any of it has to do with Trump remains to be seen,
Posted in Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Investigations, Law, Morality, Politics
Tagged Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump, Saudi Arabia, Turkey
Here is an issue, rather than the manufactured scandal or perpetual outrage, with which Democrats could actually make headway with the voters: America’s never-ending wars. From Jeff Cohen at antiwar.com:
Chants of “No More War” from delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention gave voice to sentiments that still resonate through the base of the party and the broad U.S. public, notably in communities with higher rates of military sacrifice.
While Trump’s 2016 victories in swing states may well have been aided by his posing as a foe of protracted war, his administration’s Mideast policies have largely exposed that masquerade. Unfortunately, the weak and confused positions of Democratic leaders on endless war and bloated military spending offer little alternative to war-weary voters.
It is long past time for the US to change, and perhaps end, its “special” relationship with the corrupt, repressive, and criminal Saudi Arabian government. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:
The Saudis are doubling down on their denial that they had anything to do with the disappearance of Washington Post journalist and sometime Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi: “enemies of the Kingdom,” they say are responsible. Nowadays that includes an awful lot of people, as the Washington cognoscenti rush to distance themselves from a regime once hailed as an exemplar of “reform.” It’s a stampede for the door, and soon there will be no on left standing: one rarely sees a collapse like this, at least when it comes to entire countries. One minute they’re on top of the world with Donald Trump, playing with swords and getting away with murder: the next minute they’re international pariahs.
Threatening “major consequences” if it turns out the Turks are right and the Saudis interrogated, tortured, and murdered Khashoggi, Trump may do far more than merely cut off Riyadh’s arms supply. He may decide to stop backing the Saudis entirely, abandoning their role as the anchor of US policy in the region, and subsequently downplaying and eventually abandoning the anti-Iranian obsession that has so far overshadowed our regional policy.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Investigations, Morality, Uncategorized
Tagged Turkey, Saudi Arabia, President Trump, Jamal Khashoggi