Refusing to leave a country that’s supposedly an ally, and then waging war on it, definitely sounds like arrogance. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
Look, I’m no doctor; not a scientist; certainly no expert in epidemiology. So I’ve kept silent, for the most part, on the Coronavirus. Being more than a little out of my depth on the subject, I’ll continue to do so. Nonetheless, it is striking how the disease outbreak has swallowed the news cycle whole, totally blotted out the sun of reportage on America’s ongoing militarist wars. While almost certainly not the cause or initial motive, 24/7 Corona-coverage has been convenient for the establishment media and political elites: a beyond-reproach justification for total blackout for U.S. wars and violent interventions that continue to kill our soldiers and – in far greater numbers – foreigners unlucky enough to live in the vast, contested expense from West Africa to Central Asia.
Generally, I’m a decidedly Occam’s Razor sort of guy: which is to say, one who never rules out the preeminence of contingency and rank incompetence as an explanatory tool for world events. Conspiracy peddling is hardly my go-to position. Still, however this Corona emergency turns out – passing (let’s hope) panic or zombie apocalypse – it must be said that the wall-to-wall disease reporting serves as an opportune disciplining tool. To wit, while it’s totally acceptable to utilize Corona as a cudgel – by the establishment “Left,” and it’s peculiar neoconservative allies – to batter (perhaps somewhat appropriately) Donald Trump, any critical analysis of the media response and it’s failure to report other war-related news is beyond the pale. Count me skeptical of the polite, prevailing band of admissible discourse.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Barack Obama, Iran, Iraq, President Trump, US bases
One of the drawbacks of empire is you often have to look the other way regarding the depredations of your allies and satraps. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” Everyone who enters the gate at West Point Military Academy must memorize and recite these words on their first day. Failure to follow that protocol, including the “nontoleration clause,” can mean expulsion. Even insufficient adherence to the spirit of said value system can earn one pariah status at the academy. Those who graduate after four years of academics, military training and “character-building” are expected to live by and imbue in their fellow soldiers the seven Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. In most official documents, these terms are literally capitalized.
It’s an old system, one that both senior leaders and most junior officers have eagerly preserved. Yet in recent decades, the purportedly unstoppable force of military ethics has met a seemingly immovable object in the form of an entrenched Afghan child-rape culture. Because in that morally trying case, in which senior “leaders of character” regularly told their troopers to ignore the local practice (and occasionally punished those who refused), the U.S. military chose tactical expedience (or desperation) over virtue. And while what unfolded may not technically qualify as a violation of the honor code, tolerance of rape has nonetheless brought disgrace upon the entire US military.
The American-Afghan child sex scandal was briefly a major story in 2015, and it popped up periodically in the mainstream media through 2018. But if this story is slightly dated, it’s still worth remembering that the practice in rural Afghanistan has been an open secret among US soldiers for decades. Heck, I myself was shamelessly invited by local village elders to such a hashish-smoke-filled bacha bazi party just weeks into my deployment back in 2011 (I politely passed). So well-known was this not-so-secret rape culture that soldiers regularly joked about their own (usually tangential) introduction to its existence.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Law, Military, Morality, Politics, War
Tagged Aghanistan, Barack Obama, Child rape, George W. Bush, President Trump
How many people commit suicide by shooting themselves in the chest? Granted, suicidal people often aren’t thinking very clearly, but why would you do it in a way that doesn’t usually kill you instantly and inflicts a lot of pain before death? From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:
A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.
~ Cornelius Tacitus (1964). “The histories”
It seems due to the brainwashing of the American commoner, and the almost total indoctrination machine of the state that is used to dumb down the populace at large, that apathy has become so rampant as to allow the general acceptance of fallacious state narratives. These narratives that concern the very suspicious deaths of any that challenge the ruling class or their political puppets, and almost without question, seem to be never-ending these days. There are an unbelievable number of victims of so-called “apparent suicides,” assassinations, outright murder, disappearance, strange car crashes, poisonings, and any other number of unlikely death scenarios of those that have damning information about the state, its wars, and its secrets, and have the guts to tell the truth. Coincidence is no longer a reasonable argument concerning these deaths, and actually never has been legitimate.
This tragedy of mass acceptance of lies is based on a monstrous propaganda machine that has attained a level of false credibility that belies the imagination of any with the ability to think. In order to gain this advantage over the bulk of society, the state has spared no amount of money, power, or manipulation in order to be able to commit heinous crimes without fear of exposure. This requires not only the complicity of the state apparatus, but also the almost total control of all mainstream media as well. This could never have been achieved without the mind control efforts of the compulsory government schooling system, its monopoly over the children of this country, and its use of false curriculum meant to corrupt the population from an early age, breeding state worship, nationalism, and a belief in herd mentality.
MARTHA’S VINEYARD, MA—While lounging about in his seaside mansion Tuesday, former President Barack Obama was asked whether he supported Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
“Sorry, who?” Obama responded, sipping a strawberry daiquiri brought to him by his servants. “Hmmm… Biden, Biden… not ringing any bells.”
He was informed Joe Biden served as vice president under him for eight years, but he just stared blank-faced. “Nope, it’s not coming to me. Oh, wait — is he the guy that was in Home Alone and Goodfellas? Fine actor, very fine. Sure, I’d support him.”
Reporters let him know that was actually Joe Pesci, confusing Obama further.
“Yeah, no idea who this Biden guy is.”
Biden, for his part, said he has no idea who Barack Obama is, what the White House is, or what year it is.
It is inevitable, given the trend towards decentralized violence, that any attempt at centralized violence such as the US’s many invasions would result only in chaos. From Danny Sjursen at tomdispatch.com:
U.S. Foreign Policy Goes Off the Rails
In March 1906, on the heels of the U.S. Army’s massacre of some 1,000 men, women, and children in the crater of a volcano in the American-occupied Philippines, humorist Mark Twain took his criticism public. A long-time anti-imperialist, he flippantly suggested that Old Glory should be redesigned “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.”
I got to thinking about that recently, five years after I became an antiwar dissenter (while still a major in the U.S. Army), and in the wake of another near-war, this time with Iran. I was struck yet again by the way every single U.S. military intervention in the Greater Middle East since 9/11 has backfiredin wildly counterproductive ways, destabilizing a vast expanse of the planet stretching from West Africa to South Asia.
Chaos, it seems, is now Washington’s stock-in-trade. Perhaps, then, it’s time to resurrect Twain’s comment — only today maybe those stars on our flag should be replaced with the universal symbol for chaos.After all, our present administration, however unhinged, hardly launched this madness. President Trump’s rash, risky, and repugnant decision to assassinate Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani on the sovereign soil of Iraq was only the latest version of what has proven to be a pervasive state of affairs. Still, that and Trump’s other recent escalations in the region do illustrate an American chaos machine that’s gone off the rails. And the very manner — I’m loathe to call it a “process” — by which it’s happened just demonstrates the way this president has taken American chaos to its dark but logical conclusion.
Qassem Soleimani’s assassination is graphic illustration of the US escalation of drone murder. From Allegra Harpootlian at antiwar.com:
We’re only a few days into the new decade and it’s somehow already a bigger dumpster fire than the last. On January 2nd, President Trump decided to order what one expert called “the most important decapitation strike America has ever launched.” This one took out not some nameless terrorist in a distant land or a group of civilians who happened to get in the way, but Major General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force and the mastermind of its military operations across the Middle East.
Among the thousands of ignored American drone strikes since the 9/11 attacks, this was not one of them. In the wake of the assassination, we’ve seen: the Iraqi parliament vote to expel American forces from their country; all the Democratic presidential candidates make statements condemning the strike; thousands of protesters around the world take to the streets; and both chambers of Congress introduce resolutions aimed at curbing the president’s expanding war powers. Even though there is still so much we don’t know, one thing is for sure. Everything we thought we knew about drone warfare – and America’s wars more broadly – is about to be thrown out the window.
It’s probably too much to hope for, but the phony Russiagate affair my turn around to bite those who instigated it. From Eric Zuesse at strategic-culture.org:
Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs.
The biggest crime that a US President can commit is to try to defeat American democracy (the Constitutional functioning of the US Government) itself, either by working with foreign powers to take it over, or else by working internally within America to sabotage democracy for his or her own personal reasons. Either way, it’s treason (crime that is intended to, and does, endanger the continued functioning of the Constitution itself*), and Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this. The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.