Posts Tagged ‘endless war’

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“What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion.”
-US General

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Full email from William Arkin, leaving NBC and MSNBC

There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.

… I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing.

 

This MUST be put into context:

William Arkin worked in direct competition with CIA mole Ken Dilanian for the spot of “National Security Correspondent” at MSNBC.

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MSNBC is a blatant propaganda organ for the CIA. It hired this guy Dilanian AFTER he was fired from LA Times and exposed as being a CIA stooge. These are the people MSNBC wants on TV talking to your lazy relatives.

 

 

 

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ACLU:
Senators Have a New Plan to Expand Indefinite Detention and Endless Global War

 

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The indifference of the liberal middle class is mind boggling. 

by David Pear

The liberal middle class is brain dead about the wars.  They do not want to hear about war, speak about war or see war protesters.

The liberal middle class has emotionally numbed out.  They have a complete lack of empathy for the millions of people that the USA has slaughtered, the nations that the USA has bombed to piles of rubble, and the suffering the USA has caused to tens of millions of people. 

Out of sight and out of mind, the USA has destroyed millions of minds, bodies, homes and lives forever.  The indifference of the liberal middle class is mind boggling.  Some sadistically see the war images as entertainment and even beautiful displays of power.

I am still reeling from Earth Day and the March for Science.  Where was the message that war is destroying the Earth?  The Pentagon is the number one consumer of fossil fuels and the number one polluter of the Earth.  Why was the Pentagon given a pass on Earth Day? 

Do scientists deny that war causes global warming?  The liberal middle class should not feel superior to Republicans and Donald J. Trump about climate change.  They have their heads stuck in the sand too.  At least the Republicans are honest in their stupidity of denial about climate change. 

The liberal middle class’s dishonest stupidity is to lie by omission and not confront war as the number one polluter.  The Pentagon and militarism are the greatest danger to the Earth and every living creature on it.  The world is racing headlong towards nuclear war and the liberal middle class is in deep denial.     

Earth Day and the March for Science were more hypocrisy and feel good faux solidarity of concern for the Earth.  Earth Day was carefully stage-managed to not offend or affect any change. 

Earth Day was just a fun day.  Those that attended appeared to be mostly liberal middle class families, couples, singles and students.  It was a sterile showing of solidarity, with the bonus activity of hugging science.  Science is worth hugging, but scientists were mum on Earth Day that the Pentagon, militarism and war are the number one threat to the Earth.

The liberal middle class’s dishonest stupidity is to lie by omission and not confront war as the number one polluter.  The Pentagon and militarism are the greatest danger to the Earth and every living creature on it.  The world is racing headlong towards nuclear war and the liberal middle class is in deep denial.

There were very few speeches, posters or demonstration againstwar.  None of the “Top Ten Posters” were antiwar.  Talking about war was a conversation stopper and spoiled the fun for others who just wanted to enjoy organic snacks, browse among sustainable gadgets and grandstand.

George Orwell wrote about the mind control effect of conformist demonstrations.  They let the public blow off a little steam without any risk, and they reinforce the status quo.  It also gives the Thought Police an opportunity to take names of anybody that does not conform. 

Earth Day was like Orwell’s two minutes of hate.  Climate Change is the liberal-middle class’s hated Emmanuel Goldstein.  Big Brother and the mainstream media know how to co-opt dissent and make it meaningless, while letting the people feel relevant and powerful.  Real protests and real power of the people are brutally crushed by the police state.           

Any act considered unpatriotic was discouraged during Earth Day.  There was no mourning for the millions of people the USA has slaughtered in the past couple of decades.  There was no mention of the USA poisoning South Asia with uranium and burn pits billowing out a smorgasbord of carcinogenic chemical pollution. 

There was no scientific discussion of the poisonous ingredients in the Mother of All Bombs and the pollution caused by war.  No discussion of nuclear winter, radiation sickness, and mass starvation from a nuclear war.  Nor were there any pledges by scientists not to work for the military-industrial complex.   

Like Mark Twain said about the weather:  everybody talks about climate change but nobody does anything about it.  And they won’t until there is a stop to war.  Until then there will be no budget for doing something about climate change.  Nor will there be any budget for healthcare, education, mass transportation and relieving suffering and ignorance.  Lacking is a massive anti-war movement.

I had the personal experience of being a spoiler on Earth Day.  I belong to St. Pete for Peace in Saint Petersburg, Florida.  It is an anti-war group that has been able to survive the peace drought after the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003.  We thought it would be a good idea to take an anti-war rally to Williams Park in downtown St. Petersburg where there was an Earth Day fair.  Our reception was anything but warm.  It was like a cold bucket of Agent Orange. 

We were warned not to take our anti-war posters into Williams Park.  It was not the police that warned us, it was the organizers of St. Pete Earth Day.  They told us to stay on the corner across the street and out of sight or they would have us arrested.

Thinking that I had a Constitutional right to do so, I walked through the park anyway with an upside down American flag as a freedom of speech statement.  I was immediately accosted and told that no demonstrations were allowed.  I thought Earth Day was supposed to be a demonstration, and a protest against the continued destruction of the Earth and all its living creatures.

Florida is one of those “Stand Your Ground” states.  So we stood our ground with open carry of anti-war signs.  We were not going to go quietly.  As we walked through the fair with our anti-war signs we said “Happy Earth Day” to the vendors and attendees.  Their responses were a few polite “thank you’s”.  Mostly we got cold stares or avoidance of eye contact.  My upside down flag of distress got a few hoots and confrontations.  But few people wanted any dialog about war. 

Normally I do not write about myself, but Earth Day has been eating away at me.  It left me angry and dumbfounded.  I keep asking myself, “is the liberal middle class braindead?”  Is it possible for people to want to do something about climate change and not see the connection to war, militarism and empire?  They just don’t get it:  war, climate change, war, climate change, war…

The liberal middle class is as stuck in the American mythology as conservative Republicans.  They still think that capitalism is the best of all possible worlds; that America is the best country in the world; that America cares about democracy and human rights; and that being anti-war is unpatriotic.   

Like Obama in the White House: all symbol and no substance. The liberal middle class are too comfortable in their isolated world of high rise condominiums and SUV’s.  What will it take to bring them down from their ivory tower in the mostly white Northside of St. Petersburg?  Do they ever think about the mostly black Southside of St. Petersburg and its lack of basic social services?

During the rainy season in Florida, the Southside is flooded with raw sewage because the city closed the Albert Whitted sewage treatment plant for lack of funds.  The city saved $32 million a year by letting raw sewage flood the black neighborhood and flowing into Tampa Bay where it pollutes the water.

What has happened in St. Petersburg has happened in cities all over America.  It is called austerity.  Funding that should be going to education, housing, mass transportation, healthcare, poverty programs and infrastructure are being sucked out of the economy.  The money is going for militarism, war making and war profiteering.  The money spent by the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and the Police State are making us less secure, less safe, and less free. 

Empire building, imperialism and war are perverting the domestic economy, sucking out its resources and denying citizens of the socialist programs that the Bernie Revolution talked about.  Even Bernie Sanders does not take on the military industrial complex. 

Either Bernie is just another politician or he suffers from cognitive dissonance.  His supporters made excuses for him that being anti-war during his 2016 presidential campaign would be “political suicide”, and that secretly Bernie was anti-war.

If being anti-war would be political suicide, then how did Bernie’s supporters think that the country could pay for popular social programs like healthcare for everyone and free college?  There is not enough money for Bernie’s boondoggle F-35 that doesn’t fly right, never ending wars that cannot be won and popular socialist domestic programs? 

In a recent CNN interview Bernie said:  “Assad has got to go. ISIS has got to be defeated, but I do not want to see the United States get sucked into perpetual warfare in the Middle East.”  Bernie is part of the problem, not the solution.

“Assad has to go and ISIS has to be defeated” is magical thinking without “getting bogged down in perpetual war”.  Thinking so is unconsciously letting the warmongers continue the status quo.  It is saying more war, more destruction, more death and more climate change.  Bernie’s revolution has melted like the Arctic ice.

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing of significance is going to improve in America until the dogs of war are leashed.  Education will not improve.  There will be no single payer healthcare, no mass transportation, no free college, no antipoverty programs, no reparations for the oppressed, and no progress made against climate change until we stop the wars.  Foreign wars and empire mean more austerity at home.

We can be relevant, powerful and do something about climate change and save millions of lives.  We can hit the streets with mass protests against war.  Support whistleblowers and those that refuse to obey illegal orders.  Refuse to cooperate.  Be disruptive.  Use non-violent civil disobedience to sabotage the war machine. 

Otherwise, wars have doomed us to the ravages of climate change.  Nuclear war is a real possibility that the public is in denial about.  A group of scientists just advanced the Doomsday Clock to 2 ½ minutes until midnight at which time we are doomed permanently.  Is anybody listening to these scientists?    


David William Pear is an unpaid Senior Editor for OpEdNews (OEN). All of his articles and comments are his own, and are not the responsibility of, or reflect the editorial opinion of OEN. David is a progressive columnist writing on economic, political and social issues. He is a regular columnist and commenter on OEN.

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What Russia-gate Has Wrought

 

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Islamic State setting up terror training camps in Europe,
police agency warns

 

 

It emerged last year that remote villages in Bosnia were being turned in to terror training camps by Isil.

Isn’t that where the US was helping Jihadists in the 1990s?

Osamagate

Terror group Isil has set up secret training camps across Europe to prepare fighters to carry out “special forces style” attacks in the UK or other EU countries, Europol has warned.

The international police agency said apart from bases in Syria, the barbaric organisation had “smaller scale training camps in the EU and Balkan countries”.

Why ISIS Exists: The Double Game

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Hollywood does drones in “Good Kill,” but misses the larger point

“Win Without War” says…

Call Congress by using this special toll-free* number: 877-429-0678.
Alternatives to Endless War: An Effective Response to ISIS

It’s not too late to stop an endless war in Iraq and Syria. We’ve spent over $1.1 billion bombing Iraq and Syria since August 2014, yet Congress has not debated or authorized our latest war.

It will take grassroots pressure to move Congress. We can start by popularizing the possible steps towards a political solution. Instead of another endless war, Members of Congress should stand up in support of effective alternatives. Below are possible ways for the U.S. government to take action NOW! These are examples of the many alternatives available to move towards a political solution.

From November 11-16, over twenty national peace and justice groups will join together to press Congress in their offices, online, and in the streets to take action.

Please click here to view this factsheet as a pdf.

The United States Congress can:

  • Insist that President Obama seek congressional authorization for continued military intervention, and then vote to oppose our latest war in Iraq and Syria
  • Cosponsor measures like H. Con. Res. 114, offered by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to require Congress to debate, vote, and constrain U.S. military intervention
  • Support measures to prohibit U.S. ground troops, sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (the bills that authorized U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan), and bolster the alternatives listed below

The United States can take immediate unilateral action to:

  • Tighten loopholes in existing sanctions to help cut off ISIS’s funding streams:
    • ISIS profits from selling petroleum, archaeological artifacts, and wheat
  • Condition U.S. support for the Iraqi government on success in stopping sectarian violence and promoting inclusive governance. This can undermine the roots of ISIS’s hold in Iraq
  • Cut off U.S. government contracts with anyone doing business with ISIS
  • Increase humanitarian funds for acute needs. The UN’s Syria Regional Refugee Response Plan for 2014 is only half-way funded. As winter approaches, the key World Food Program has run out of funds: rations will be cut and some refugees will go without any WFP aid
  • Stop channeling weapons into the war. ISIS has captured and used U.S.-made weapons
  • Support civil society efforts to build peace and reconciliation at the community level

The United States can support multilateral efforts to:

  • Ensure that all parties to the armed conflict in Syria allow unfettered access to humanitarian organizations and agencies to provide assistance to civilians
  • Build regional stability and security through aid for refugee host nation communities to reinforce stressed health, education, and housing infrastructure and to encourage job creation
  • Keep the conflict from spreading to Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon etc. by encouraging a global effort to share responsibility for resettling refugees from Iraq and Syria
  • Restrict ISIS’s access to the international financial system
  • Support a political solution to Syria’s civil war:
    • With the UN and regional powers, press the regime and rebels to support truces to reduce non-combatant deaths and increase the focus on defending against ISIS
    • Re-energize diplomacy for negotiation on a political transition that would include all parties to the conflict as well as outside parties, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the U.S. A regional Contact Group could lay the groundwork for peace talks
    • If necessary, the UN General Assembly could assume responsibility under the Uniting for Peace procedure (to circumvent possible Security Council inaction)
    • Begin discussions and planning for a possible international peacekeeping or stabilization mission in Syria (and possibly parts of Iraq)

The United States can work with regional states and organizations to:

  • Engage in strategic outreach to Sunni communities in both Iraq and Syria to address political and economic grievances and thus undermine crucial political support for ISIS
  • Work to impose an arms embargo against all armed actors in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait have provided weapons to the opposition, including ISIS, in Syria
  • Work with the states near ISIS territory to close the borders leading into and out of ISIS areas, thus depriving the jihadists of supplies
  • Conduct a social media campaign that exposes the grotesque nature of ISIS ideology
    • “It is only when we contest ISIL’s presence online, deny the legitimacy of the message it sends to vulnerable young people and expose ISIL for the un-Islamic cult of violence it really is… that ISIL will truly be defeated,” said retired U.S. Gen. John Allen.

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Long DemocracyNow interview with one of the top real journalists working today.

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[Would these pilots say the same things if their unmanned planes were circling over the United States itself?]

Drone Pilots Expose Politicians’ Lies

By David Swanson

Our elected and unelected officials tell us that drone strikes target top level enemies of the United States who are imminent threats to us, and that killing innocent people is avoided altogether or minimized.

Congressional hearings, with a couple of excellent exceptions, question outside academics about the legality of this purported strategy. The Obama administration declines to send any witnesses.

But drone pilots have begun talking to the media. And they describe policies that bear a lot closer resemblance to reporting from the areas where the missiles strike. These pilots should be brought before Congress.

Here is a stunning new interview with one of them:

“So the pilot is not only flying the airplane, he or she is using all those sensors to watch a potential target, circling over it for hours or days at a time. What can you really see?

“Okay, so in a village in, say, country X, where the houses are built together, there are adults who live in this house, and these children belong to those adults because we see them out in the fields together or we see them eating dinner. So you can start figuring out who is associated with who. Who is a stranger, who is it that’s visiting this house? There’s a dog and it barks at strangers, so if we needed to go in and free a hostage or conduct a raid, you’d want to tell the land forces there’s a dog there and either it’s an attack dog or it alerts the village that somebody’s coming.

“You must develop an emotional tie with the people on the ground that makes it hard if there is going to be a strike or a raid, people are going to be killed.

“I would couch it not in terms of an emotional connection, but a ” seriousness. I have watched this individual, and regardless of how many children he has, no matter how close his wife is, no matter what they do, that individual fired at Americans or coalition forces, or planted an IED — did something that met the rules of engagement and the laws of armed conflict, and I am tasked to strike that individual. The seriousness of it is that I am going to do this and it will affect his family. But that individual is the one that brought it on himself. He became a combatant the minute he took up arms.”

This pilot, in fact this director of the Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Capabilities Division, has not said that a high level operation leader of terrorists who is imminently threatening the United States is targeted. He has said that some ordinary guy who has chosen to violently resist the hostile foreign occupation of his country by shooting at the occupiers is targeted.

He has also not said anything to satisfy those who support the notion of just wars but want them conducted in compliance with the Geneva Conventions and other such legally binding limitations. This director of a U.S. drone kill program openly says that our public employees target a family for death if needed in order to blow up a foreign soldier from thousands of miles away. Every effort is made to avoid killing innocent family members, he says in the interview, but if it can’t be avoided, well, the target “brought it on himself.”

Here another pilot describes specific such incidents. Here the New York Times reports on the resulting PTSD suffered by drone pilots.

War is murder, and this type of war ought to look to most people like the murder that it is. But even if you accept war, this is not how ANYBODY claims it is to be legally done. This is beyond what Congressional witnesses or even Congress members would say is acceptable or legal. Yet this pilot blurts it out to the media with apparently no concern that his life will be inconvenienced by further questioning.

Enough is enough is enough. End this madness now [petition to ban armed drones].

http://davidswanson.org
David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org

Endless war, endless war crime, the US bipartisan death machine has no intention of ending this fiasco for the foreseeable future. Romney and Obama will both continue sacrificing the lives of US troops and Afghan civilians in pursuit of dominance in Asia. David Swanson sums up the war so far.

As immoral as it is useless and ineffectual, a full 70-75% of the American people want the Afghan debacle to end immediately. It will not end, however, because this is not a true democracy and the will of the people is incidental. The ruling class decides which monsters will be permitted to succeed in power, not the people.

P.S.

Many Americans are very, very ignorant and misinformed about terrorism. They use the T word as a blanket excuse for all crimes waged by the US on the world stage. See this article for a minor epiphany:

“Two Cheers” for Terrorism: US Mainstream Media Applauds Syria’s Al Qaeda Rebels
by Tony Cartalucci