The simple, basic lesson that Americans willfully refuse to learn

As President Trump considers escalating our invasion of Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview with Chinese TV station Phoenix that the American media largely ignored.
Assad voiced two observations that Americans try very hard to pretend don't exist.

"Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one," he charged.

This is not just an interesting opinion. It's an obvious, undeniable statement of fact. Or as Dennis Kucinich put it: "The U.S. presence in Syria is an illegal act of war. It violates international law and it is unconstitutional. Syria did not invite the U.S. to come in. Congress has not approved it"

Assad's observation alone would be a show-stopper, if people actually cared about what is and is not illegal these days. We don't.
It's Assad's second observation that I find even more interesting, and the consequences to be even more far reaching.

"And we don't think this is going to help. What are they going to do? To fight ISIS? The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan," Assad continued. "They didn't succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions."

We don't win, and we make things worse.
These are measurable facts that even a cursory review will confirm.

Just a few centuries ago, results like this would cause kings and generals to have their heads chopped off. It would often cause revolutions, or at least popular revolts.
In a sane world, in a world with consequences, this would cause serious self-examination of military tactics, political strategy, and moral values.

We don't live in that sane world.

Instead we live in a world in which failure at every level means doubling-down on those very same strategies.
Consider how Sen. John McCain accused Sen. Rand Paul of treason for the crime of not wanting to further over-extend our military. The word "conservative" has been redefined.

Another example that you often wouldn't think about is the global cyberwar that we started.
So how do you think that is going?

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) raised concerns Sunday about U.S. cybersecurity, warning that the country is "not necessarily winning."
"We are in a cyber war in this country, and most Americans don't know it. And we are not necessarily winning," he said in an interview with John Catsimatidis that aired on AM 970 in New York.

Not winning means we are losing, just like all our other wars.
For further proof, Congress has decided that it needs a "cybersecurity policy that defines cyber war."

Just like our War on Terror, we start wars and only later decide that we need to define our enemies and what we hope to achieve. That's not a failure of our troops, that's a failure of politicians.
Is there any wonder why we keep losing?

Meanwhile, instead of fixing what is wrong, we are looking to double-down on failure again, except this time our failure will be too large for this planet.

Space is now a potential battle zone, Goldfein explains in an interview. The Air Force wants to ensure “space superiority,” which he says means “freedom from attack and freedom to maneuver.”
If you think cyberwar raises some tricky issues, get your mind around this next big threat worrying the Pentagon. Similar problems exist in both the cyber and space domains: U.S. commercial and military interests are interwoven but deeply suspicious of each other; the technologies are borderless but are being weaponized by hostile nation-states; and attacks on satellites and other systems may be invisible and difficult to attribute.

America needs to have its head examined.
How do we not demand more, or anything, from our leaders? How is this not a failure of the American public for criminal apathy, as well as of our politicians?
It's ironic that Republicans like to hate political correctness, yet give their own full-throated endorsement to their own version of political correctness - militarism. They are so committed to militarism that they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the repeated unmitigated failures of our military empire.
Meanwhile, America's corrupt psychosis rolls on.

As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus — elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders — accept war as a normal condition.

Once, the avoidance of war figured as a national priority. On those occasions when war proved unavoidable, the idea was to end the conflict as expeditiously as possible on favorable terms.

These precepts no longer apply. With war transformed into a perpetual endeavor, expectations have changed. In Washington, war has become tolerable, an enterprise to be managed rather than terminated as quickly as possible. Like other large-scale government projects, war now serves as a medium through which favors are bestowed, largess distributed and ambitions satisfied.

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Comments

k9disc's picture

I'll never forget when I got a realpolitik lesson on the First Gulf War. "Why didn't we take out Saddam then," a 21 year old me asked.

The captain of the vessel said,"If we took Baghdad, we'd own it and be responsible for those people. We'd have to rebuild it and prop up their country on the open oil markets. Can't have that now.

Nope, they eliminated the 2nd largest oil supply on the planet, took it off the market -- for their sponsors."

Winning wars creates responsibility and accountability. Responsibility and accountability are debt. Prosecuting wars creates freedom and opportunity. Freedom and Opportunity is wealth.

Waste is profitable. Efficiency is a waste of profits. The Big Lie is trembling, breaking down all around us.

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41 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Wink's picture

@k9disc @k9disc @k9disc
care, can't be bothered. I gave up paying attention (or caring) to the M.E. Wars years ago, becuz it soon became clear, during G. Dubya's first term, that it was a circle jerk. I knew it would be yet another Vietnam clu$terfuck. Said so on a forum like this one back in 2002-'03 before the invasion. "will be there 4, 5 years, won't accomplish d!ck." "You Librul bastids don't know dick. G. Dubya got this!" But I really didn't expect an MIC circle jerk, the MIC only in it for the Big Gun Sale that it is.
Americans just don't care, can't be bothered. They're not fighting it, their kid isn't fighting it, and nobody they know is fighting it, so... who cares who we bomb on a daily basis? Ain't nobody bombing us! Bombs Away!
Meanwhile, over 20 GI Joe war vets blow themselves away every day. One of them thinking about it this very minute. A win-win for Trump's MIC. They're out of uniform, not shooting anybody, so essentially non-productive. Two, Trumpville ain't gotta pay for their med care. "You wounded vets, when you get back home, pour yourself a few cold ones, toast your buds back here, then do your country a favor and, well, you know what to do... Thank you for your service!!"
Is this a great country or what?!

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26 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

snoopydawg's picture

@Wink
Be able to purchase guns. I think there was a rule against this before and the republicans rolled it back.
So many organizations wrote to congress about this legislation but it's what the NRA wanted and we know what they want they get.
It moves on to the senate next.

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22 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

@snoopydawg
Obviously we don't have enough guns, because freedom is getting its ass kicked.

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21 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@gjohnsit I find it sad that I can buy a gun cheaper than I can buy a decent Leather and Wool Jacket or a Nice Wool Hat that goes along with that cowboy fantasy.

Just an observation.

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24 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@detroitmechworks That would cost North of $500, with $1000 being typical. You could buy a gun cheaper than a sweater, but it would be likely to blow up in your face/

You can also buy a car that's cheaper than a new tire.

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10 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness At that price, the weapons manufacturers and dealers are making a lot of $$. It is big business. The estimated overall annual economic impact of the firearms and ammo industry in the U.S. is $42.9 billion. The NRA sees some of that $$ too.

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10 users have voted.

@karl pearson As an exercise, look up what happened to Sturm-Ruger's stock once Obama was elected. Hint. It went through the roof. But look it up.

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1 user has voted.
Wink's picture

@gjohnsit
flourishing! Well, not the conventional definition, the Oligarch definition, where freedom means more freedom to do as they damn please, fuck the 99% if they don't like it. I love it when Vanitty, et. al., beller "Freedom" on their Talk Shows, knowing exactly what they mean by that word. Yeah, Vanitty, I got your "freedom... "

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9 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

Nations and make a speech about his country having been invaded? Seems like the proper forum to focus the world's attention on his country.

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23 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

edg's picture

@duckpin The US and Britain have pushed UN resolutions blaming Assad for chemical weapons attacks and crimes against humanity. He wouldn't last 10 seconds outside Syria.

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21 users have voted.

@edg

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8 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

divineorder's picture

@duckpin

Gah.

Some are maintaining that Assad is being set up, others that UN is letting him get away with murder and letting his government have input into peace process. Hard to keep up with all the sides to this.

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17 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

@divineorder Assad pretty much turned into a chemical weapons using despot in 2009, and was ripe for regime change... At least according to the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Clinton...

Then there is this little tidbit of history written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr...
(I encourage you to read all 4 pages)

In their view (Syrian's), our war against Bashar Assad did not begin with the peaceful civil protests of the Arab Spring in 2011. Instead it began in 2000, when Qatar proposed to construct a $10 billion, 1,500 kilometer pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. Qatar shares with Iran the South Pars/North Dome gas field, the world’s richest natural gas repository. The international trade embargo until recently prohibited Iran from selling gas abroad. Meanwhile, Qatar’s gas can reach European markets only if it is liquefied and shipped by sea, a route that restricts volume and dramatically raises costs. The proposed pipeline would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey, which would pocket rich transit fees. The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would give the Sunni kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. Qatar hosts two massive American military bases and the U.S. Central Command’s Mideast headquarters.

The EU, which gets 30 percent of its gas from Russia, was equally hungry for the pipeline, which would have given its members cheap energy and relief from Vladimir Putin’s stifling economic and political leverage. Turkey, Russia’s second largest gas customer, was particularly anxious to end its reliance on its ancient rival and to position itself as the lucrative transect hub for Asian fuels to EU markets. The Qatari pipeline would have benefited Saudi Arabia’s conservative Sunni monarchy by giving it a foothold in Shia-dominated Syria. The Saudis’ geopolitical goal is to contain the economic and political power of the kingdom’s principal rival, Iran, a Shiite state, and close ally of Bashar Assad. The Saudi monarchy viewed the U.S.-sponsored Shiite takeover in Iraq (and, more recently, the termination of the Iran trade embargo) as a demotion to its regional power status and was already engaged in a proxy war against Tehran in Yemen, highlighted by the Saudi genocide against the Iranian backed Houthi tribe.

Of course, the Russians, who sell 70 percent of their gas exports to Europe, viewed the Qatar/Turkey pipeline as an existential threat. In Putin’s view, the Qatar pipeline is a NATO plot to change the status quo, deprive Russia of its only foothold in the Middle East, strangle the Russian economy and end Russian leverage in the European energy market. In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally.”

There are claims that this is a "Conspiracy Theory" and the Qatar Gas Pipeline wasn't yet planned and only had a working group formed in 2009. However, when you look at the Arab Pipeline and planned extensions it becomes obvious that plans for expansion were made years earlier, with a planned tie in to Iraq's natural gas grid in September 2004.

Additional Links: (Some better than others)

WikiLeaks Search "cia syria regime assad "qatar gas pipeline"2003 - 2011"

BEHAVIOR REFORM: NEXT STEPS FOR A HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG738.pdf

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

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10 users have voted.
"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
divineorder's picture

@Oldest Son Of A Sailor

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

CB's picture

@duckpin

UK, US and French ambassadors walk out of UN meeting on Syria – video

Britain’s ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, US ambassador Samantha Power and French ambassador Francois Delattre walk out of an emergency security council session on the conflict in Syria on Sunday when the Syrian ambassador begins speaking.

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19 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

We made damn sure we protected our young'uns who couldn't make the grades to get into an American med school from the impending threat of seeing a modestly leftwing government work on even the smallest scale outside our borders. If any more islands dare to contemplate a system other than our preferred one of oligarchy-take-all, watch out, we're itching for another win someplace!

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27 users have voted.

@dance you monster who was a Vietnam vet, had done 3 tours there and yes, they made him do psych analysis before he got over there the 3rd time. Very laid back guy actually. He was still active duty and was a First Sergeant of a grunt company. He'd been to Grenada. He said the only shooting they saw was when one of their own weapons went off and all hell broke loose. We laughed about that since I'd always thought that was a PR stunt and said so while in the Army. He could tell the difference between an AK and an M-16 and just stood there, exasperated, until he could get his guys to stop firing. They'd never seen shooting then and I imagine were scared shitless.

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

How do we not demand more, or anything, from our leaders? How is this not a failure of the American public for criminal apathy, as well as of our politicians?

Is because too many people have bought the government's propaganda about the wars.
How many times do you read comments that say that the troops are fighting for our freedoms and to defend the country?

I worked with people who had family members in the military and everyone of them had drunk the kool aid for why their families were in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mention anything that is derogatory about the military and you will be told that millions of men and women fought for your freedom to say that.

I reply to comments like that by asking how Isis or any other terrorists group would be able to take away our freedoms.
And besides
IMG_0719_2.JPG

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29 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Wink's picture

@snoopydawg
nobody hears about the War(s) unless they hear it on Fox. The war is not talked about in the MSM. Out of earshot, out of mind. "War? What war? I thought G. Dubya won the war... "

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20 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

divineorder's picture

@snoopydawg what is really going on. Trying to explain it to the average joe and josephine is a huge undertaking. I have not been very good at it.

Dennis is still courageously out there trying...

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30 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder
to what our country is doing to the rest of the world, but many people think he's a nut cake.

He and Tulsi Gabbard went to Syria to see what was actually happening there and she got raked over the coals and attacked from so many fronts. She met with Assad and of course that went over well with the neocons.
There was a heinous diary written about her visit on DK and they basically called her a traitor.
Wink is right that no one is talking about the wars unless it's a story about the terrorists using suicide bombers or be heading journalists, but how many heard about what this essay is about?
We hear every time the Russians kill civilians, yet we don't hear when our military does the same things unless we can find an article about it on alternative news websites.
Our dead soldiers are snuck into our country under the cover of darkness so that people aren't reminded that there are wars going on.
Thank Dawg for this website where the people here know what the truth is and we can talk about it.
dkmitch posted a video yesterday and I so wanted to post it on DK.
Maybe I'll make a sock puppet account and post a few things over there.
Nah, I'd get banned the minute I posted it.
The truth isn't allowed there anymore. A few people try but are always shot down.

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28 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

@snoopydawg Drama Prince Kucinich either. Apologies to his fans, but I think he is just using the present moment to get back in the limelight.

Gabbard, OTOH, I hope to vote for in a national election someday.

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0 users have voted.

Nastarana

eyo's picture

@Nastarana , just to be consistent. She hasn't been around long enough to prove anything if you ask me, especially compared to the decisions Kucinich made in his time serving the public.

Perhaps you think Bernie is also "just using the present moment to get back in the limelight", well that's what every politician has done since the beginning of time.

"Gabbard, OTOH" has done what now? Go on and vote for it then, more power to ya.

and thanks Dennis Kucinich for speaking his truth to power since forever. Thanks man.

Peace

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8 users have voted.

On a blog.

Alex Ocana's picture

@divineorder @divineorder There are some serious problems with Dennis' article. While Obama, especially with Clinton as SOS, was in full support of regime change and directly or indirectly funding Al Qaeda and their affiliates, the focus has changed to wiping out Daesh and Al Qaedah.

The situation is that the Syrian Government and its Russian allies are in a cooperative situation with the Northern Syrian Confederation (Rojava), who are also an integral part of Syria, supported by USA heavy armament and air power to mop up the last of Daesh around the Euphrates. On the other hand we have Turkey, the main instigator and supporter of Daesh invading Syria with their Al Qaedah proxies in what amounts to attempted ethnocide against Kurds and other ethnic minorities.

The Syrian government, Russia, the Northern Syrian Confederation and the USA are cooperating in stopping the Turks/Al Qaedah invasion around Manjib and eradicating ISIS mercenaries throughout the north. The problem might come (I say might advisably) when ISIS is vaporized, so lets hope the USA has an exit strategy and that Russia can continue mediating between Assad and Rojava to form a pluri-national state.

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2 users have voted.

From the Light House.

@snoopydawg and no, I haven't drunk that Kool-Aid. I can honestly say I look at her service differently now and wish she'd get the hell out. She went in there partly due to financial concerns, didn't really know what she wanted out of college and my sister nor I had the money to give her a free ride. I was active Army for the college money, and I'm so damned glad I never had to see war. It was close for me, got out right before Gulf One and had some guilt over not going, but I didn't have to participate in it, and for that I'm very grateful. She will and IS participating in it, I'm very proud of her but not of what she's doing. She keeps the planes in the air that are dropping the bombs.... I am careful not to say too much to her about it, yet. I know for me it's only a matter of time though.

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17 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lizzyh7
So many people join the military because there are no jobs here or like your niece they don't know what else to do or other reasons.
I'm sure it's difficult for you to be supportive of her and keeping your thoughts to yourself.
There is an Air Force base close to where I worked and that's why so many of my coworkers had family members in the military.
But after 15 years fighting this damned war, there are more terrorists groups then when it started.
And that is because our government and our allies are funding and arming them to help overthrow every government they can't control.
Now after destroying so many countries, we have people here in ours that don't want the responsibility of helping the people who were able to get out. And the conditions of the refugee camps are beyond horrible.
I don't understand why people don't question what gives our military the right to invade other countries just because there might be a terrorist organization that wants to harm us. It never crosses their minds why they want to do that.
During the attacks in France the terrorists told them it was pay back for killing their families and friends.
Funny that an act of terror looks a lot like defense.

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23 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Wink's picture

@snoopydawg
influ... fuck it, just bomb the $h!t out of them!!

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12 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

snoopydawg's picture

@Wink
but kill their family members too and his supporters agree with him on doing that. I see no difference between what they did in the two attacks on France and what our country and allies are doing to the terrorists organizations
We were upset when 3,000 'innocent' American citizens were killed by the attacks on the towers, but how many 9/11s has this country caused before then?

Has anyone read the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind? If so, then this country is the Old World where people live in poverty because they spend all their money on their money army that goes into the New World because they are told that the people in the New World are bad people who they have not even met.

The people in the countries where we are bombing or have troops in haven't done anything to us
yet many people think it's okay for our military to destroy other people's countries and kill anyone who fights back against us after invading their countries. I'm pretty sure that we'd do the same thing if our country was invaded and wouldn't consider themselves insurgents or terrorists, so why do they believe that it's okay for our military to do that?

I'm sorry that you too have family members who joined the military after 9/11. I wonder if they are aware of our military history or the many illegal wars that our country has been involved in or heard about how our government treats the wounded troops or seen the homeless veterans? I wish that I knew of a way to educate people about why our troops are even fighting in other people's countries?

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16 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

CB's picture

@snoopydawg
are in control of the security state. They have known this threat has been increasing for several decades and are now well prepared for it.

Has The Department of Homeland Security Become America’s Standing Army?

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

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25 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@CB
And all three candidates called our country The Homeland
I can't think of a better propaganda trick than to create the department of homeland security.
Jefferson and the other founders were smart men and they knew that a standing army would be a dangerous thing, because it's like when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
And they gave congress the power of being the ones who declares wars and they have abdicated their duties and now they cowardly declare AUMFs, which sets a dangerous precedent because there is no objective end point.
Obama said that the AUMF from 2003 gave him the right to use drones in Somalia on a group of terrorists who hadn't even been in existence when it was signed.

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17 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Wink's picture

@snoopydawg
I have a handful of neices and nephews, born since 9/11, that know only this sad "post- 9/11" version of America. They just take it in stride that Homeland Security is their friend.

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10 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

dervish's picture

@snoopydawg abdicated their duties as well, which led to the empire. It looks like we're following the same track.

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1 user has voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

coloradoblue's picture

"How many times do you read comments that say that the troops are fighting for our freedoms and to defend the country?"

I served in the Navy, joined in 1967, and the first time I got the "Thank you for your service" I had no idea how to respond. Since then I've gone from talking about the clusterfuck of Nam to a quiet "Thanks" to a nod and a wan smile.

I'm sick and ashamed of this country.

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28 users have voted.

Dear Dems: You lost the WH, Senate, House, dozens of governors, state level SOS and AG and about 1,000 state legislative seats. Maybe...you're doing something wrong.

CB's picture

"win" wars. By destroying infrastructure and destabilizing the civilian population, the US can effectively prevent these countries from projecting power outside their borders for generations. It's the ages old method of weakening and containing nations: divide and conquer, scorched earth and keep the natives fighting among themselves. It costs the empire considerably less in blood and treasure than full blown wars of conquest and serves the same purpose.

The only "wars" the US really lost were wars of conquest such as the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

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25 users have voted.

@CB And the Bush/Saud family won. Saddam was executed. Mission Accomplished. You just didn't understand that the mission was to punish upstart Saddam Hussein who wouldn't abide by OPEC production limits.

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18 users have voted.
CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
All the gorilla wanted was a Clean Break. Do you remember who authored it in 1996?

THE ARCHITECTS OF WAR: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

There's always more than one casus belli to ensure plausible deniability.

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13 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@CB
Enjoying the fruits of their labor. Well done, gentlemen. Well done. And, now that Obama is finally out of the way Bibi is free to be Bibi. What possibly could go wrong?

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8 users have voted.

the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

@CB
the Think Tanks so many of them work for?

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10 users have voted.
CB's picture

@Linda Wood
the fronts NED, USAID and hundreds of others. It's a gigantic, secret hundred billion dollar slush fund that greases the gears and cogs of the deep state.

How the US Funds Dissent against Latin American Governments

"A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." NED founding father, Allen Weinstein

The U.S. government and military have a long history of interfering in the affairs of numerous countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
...
For 2013, the combined NED and USAID allocations for Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia alone totaled over US$60 million, with the bulk of these funds destined to Cuba and Ecuador. For the government and progressive social movements of these countries, there is a growing concern that these funds could be used to undertake what Chossudovsky qualified as a “consistent process of destabilizing government as part of non-conventional warfare, meaning you don’t send in the troops but you destabilize the government through so called colored revolutions or infiltrations.”
...


How many Americans could identify the National Endowment for Democracy? An organization which often does exactly the opposite of what its name implies. The NED was set up in the early 1980s under President Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA in the second half of the 1970s. The latter was a remarkable period. Spurred by Watergate-the Church Committee of the Senate, the Pike Committee of the House and the Rockefeller Commission, created by the president, were all busy investigating the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years. The Agency was getting an exceedingly bad name, and it was causing the powers-that-be much embarrassment.
Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Of course not. What was done was to shift many of these awful things to a new organization, with a nice sounding name-the National Endowment for Democracy. The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities.

How USAID’s Secret Think Tank Funding Hurts the Poor
...
Whatever their angle of attack, these critics warn that the policy prescriptions provided by many think tanks are neither based on quality research nor guided by independent analysis, and that such organizations may be undermining democratic processes and socio-economic development by further strengthening the power of the rich and powerful interests that fund them.

Such critics point out that more often than not, it is impossible to discover who funds a given think tank, giving rise to speculations about conspirational networks with “hidden agendas”, which undermines the credibility of the sector as a whole.
...
Let me give one example. Two decades ago, the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies think tank was formed with a 10 million dollar endowment by USAID. According to the Washington Post, the think tank, which “gathered captains of industry in a small circle”, then advocated for a privatization program that eventually led to the sell-off of state assets worth 104 billion dollars. Apparently, less than ten percent of that value went into state coffers - the rest was lost to high-level corruption involving senior officials closely tied to the think tank.

In total, the losses to the Egyptian taxpayer of a single privatization program promoted by a USAID-funded think tank exceeded the total amount of aid provided by the US to Egypt over the course of six decades!
...

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Big Al's picture

had attacked the bloated government with his new budget. It lauded the increase in military funding and the elimination of domestic programs.
I was going to make a comment (to tell them how fucking stupid they are) but I would have had to log into something so I passed, but it amazes me these dupes can believe that Trump is addressing a bloated government while feeding the MIC and the rich.
They believe what they want to believe. I think their hatred of "liberals" and democrats, and now muslims, is so intense that Trump could do anything and they would justify it.

As for most Americans, they still think it's a civil war in Syria and that the U.S. is fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda. That's what they're told and even though they might have distrust of the govt, it's like that old Nazi quote, tell a lie enough and people will just absorb it into their tiny little scared heads.

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@Big Al @Big Al
what you say about Trump's supporters, that,

their hatred of "liberals" and democrats, and now muslims, is so intense that Trump could do anything and they would justify it

is so much like what Hillary voters seem to believe, which is, to paraphrase you,

their hatred of Trump voters and peace advocates, and now Russians, is so intense that Trump could do anything and they would justify it if it expands on Obama's warmongering!

In other words, if it expands upon Obama's hatred of Putin and Assad, they're supportive of Trump! My hope that Trump would wake these people up to the insanity of war has gone sideways, as Hillary's voters now support Obama's foreign policy and war crimes, whereas they had little interest in them before, just because they were Democratic party policies! Yikes.

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shaharazade's picture

@Big Al RW nutjobs that think Syria, Russia, Yemen and all our dirty rotten wars are 'humanitarian' or that we're funding and arming the 'terrist's that are gonna kill yer family'. Lot's of Hillary and Bernie style Dems. This is one of the reasons I did not go gung ho for Bernie was his rotten, foreign policy that is in total agreement with the geopolitical neocon/neoliberal agenda that's currently reeking havoc and killing humans and the planet.

Where do these people think all these refugees come from and why are they fleeing the carnage we in the 'west' inflict on them. Get a grip assholes. I do not support the troops sorry, especially as there is no draft. What kind of a psycho killer joins up to go bomb kill or drone people who happen to live in these hot spots? There seems to me to be no way to say well the economy sucks and these people are patriotic and ignorant. Well hell aren't these the reasons that the Germans ran amok?

I also freaking hate cops. Hard to tell where the line is between the armed services (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) and der Homeland Security, all the Spooks, The Special Forces and the regular army, navy, air force. The giant killing machine with it's latest killing ground. This is the heart of darkness. Why whould anyone support or respect these people who kill and enforce for Amierica' interest's.

I'm kind of freaked out by cc99%'s attitude about this bloody endless war on terra. I reject all this war propaganda and the endless litany of why and how we're now the biggest killers on the planet. Oh yeah, my poor uninformed relative, friend or neighbor joined because they could not find a job or is pig ignorant about what the USA!is up to and are persistent in thinking 'terrists' are a threat to our 'security'. Do you people here not understand what a freaking war crime is and what a danger to the world this insanity is?

Blaming this on 9/11 which was 16 years ago is just too easy. Not holding the violent American culture reponsible be they Demorat's or Republican's is also a cop out. Red or Blue, we are all acquiescing to the false story lines that they use to rationalize this horror. Enough with Assad is a bad dude and Putin is the Devil.

Your all living in der Homeland that is the main perpetrator of the 'world as we find it. Enough with making this all be about political personas, court intrigues instead of taking a good look in the mirror of what this fucking country is about. Well I always did like and agree with Reverend Wright's assessment 'God Damn America'. Think maybe I don't belong here anymore as all of this is not political and top treat it as understandable or let the perps off the hook so lightly as they are misinformed or whatever just doesn't cut it.

Hillary or Trump, Demorat's or Repug's who cares when your dealing with a whole nation of blood thirsty, torture loving armed and dangerous assholes. And by the way I have always liked Dennis Kucinich. I also think 9/11 was a great great inexpensive plan to set the world as we know it on fire and it worked.

Maybe you all ought to quit thinking about what the pols are doing or about and start looking at the reality this fucking evil empire is inflicting along with it's 'allies' on human beings and the planet. There is no excuse for anyone to join the armed services or the goon squad cops.

The time has long passed when excuses or rationalizations, be they political or cultural, for participating in this horror show should be accepted. War is not good for anything it's a pox. When people start looking at genocide and endless war as a Game of Thrones scenario and become so creepy as to think this is somehow just the way humans are, we're in for a dark, dark global future.

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Mark from Queens's picture

@shaharazade

You pretty much hit it all.

Always dig and appreciate your passion and frankness. You speak my mind often.

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7 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

lotlizard's picture

@shaharazade You said it all. Dem ist nichts hinzuzufügen.

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3 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

and he'll be a spitfire until he dies.

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10 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Lenzabi's picture

Had we really wanted to win, we would have done so by now. The MIC needs to make new sales, and demonstrate new weapons, so ever lasting war with no end seems their new sales strategy, and we keep spending billions where it is actually not needed. No one seems to wake up to this fact that can slam the brakes on these yahoos.

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11 users have voted.

So long, and thanks for all the fish

@Lenzabi Truth.
We can eradicate anybody any time anywhere.
Excellent observation.
I was raised by a WWII soldier ( bad ass warrior) father.
He saw the change with Korea, despised it by Nam. He became a peace monger.

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Creosote.'s picture

@Lenzabi
It used to be about appliances and cameras, now it's turning on life itself.

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2 users have voted.

If you want to know where President Donald Trump came from, if you want to trace the long winding road (or escalator) that brought him to the Oval Office, don’t look to reality TV or Twitter or even the rise of the alt-right. Look someplace far more improbable: Iraq.

Tom Englehardt, editor of Tom Dispatch, the blog that provides 3 articles per week and most are about international policy ...

President Blowback: How the Invasion of Iraq Came Home

Tom's early career was as an editor and he probably still works as an editor. One of his efforts was editor of the Blow back Trilogy by Chalmbers Johnson. He pointed out years ago that the American bases around the world (700, 1000, not sure of the number) were the presence of an EMPIRE. Chlmbers may have invented the term "blowback" Here is some of his words from wiki page on him

"In Blowback, I set out to explain why we are hated around the world. The concept "blowback" does not just mean retaliation for things our government has done to and in foreign countries. It refers to retaliation for the numerous illegal operations we have carried out abroad that were kept totally secret from the American public. This means that when the retaliation comes – as it did so spectacularly on September 11, 2001 – the American public is unable to put the events in context. So they tend to support acts intended to lash out against the perpetrators, thereby most commonly preparing the ground for yet another cycle of blowback. In the first book in this trilogy, I tried to provide some of the historical background for understanding the dilemmas we as a nation confront today, although I focused more on Asia – the area of my academic training – than on the Middle East."[10]

Leaping to the present, do we have special ops in 135 countries or more, or less. Our empire is everywhere and it is protecting the corporations.

The most important issue of the earth is The New Climate Regime and we waste time and resources with military action.

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11 users have voted.
CB's picture

@DonMidwest
It keeps the game going for the MIC.

I've noticed that Putin restricts blow-back as much as possible. When attacked he absorbs the blow and counters when the opponent is off guard just like a jodoko master.

Judo is the opposite of boxing. In boxing you hit hard then attempt to deflect your opponent's blows and come back and hit hard again. In judo, you absorb the blow by going with it then use your opponent's momentum in a way they don't expect so they come off balance. Once the opponent is off balance, you can take advantage and influence the future of the situation.

BTW, the word judo means ju- the gentle, do- way. Putin is also master of Sambo, the lethal form of martial arts the Spetsnaz is trained in.

Putin will not do anything that will hurt or damage his country out of anger or spite nor will he burn bridges. We saw this in effect when the Turks shot down the Russian Su-24 and how Putin responded. He used the event to increase and solidify Russia's military forces in and around Syria. If he would have done this without the shoot-down, Putin would have been labeled aggressor, invader and war monger. All the sanctions he placed against Turkey were ones that ONLY hurt Turkey and actually served to improve the Russian economy and employment.

Taking the REAL Ukrainian prize, Crimea, right from under the American's nose was another masterful and elegant judo move. The US and Ukrainian putsch government were left sprawled on the mat, completely dazed and wondering what the fuck happened.

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its duty and prevent the President from starting illegal wars. Illegal war in the US meaning a war begun with compliance with the Constitution, which requires a vote of Congress to start a war.

However, it turned out, they just wanted the POTUS to have to consult the Speaker of the House behind the scenes before starting a war. I guess they don't want to go on record as either voting for or voting against a war.

http://caucus99percent.com/content/did-obama-draw-red-line-syrian-sand-d...

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10 users have voted.

MUST be first and foremost a peace party.

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7 users have voted.

Nastarana

Is our military Generals. There is too much corruption at the Pentagon. First, they should not allow redundancies in equipment. Or unneeded equipment. The military budget is preposterous. Second, they should not ok ridiculous military excursions like Iraq. They have a lot of power and I believe they could have thwarted it against a wavering W using above- or below-board methods. Where is their honor? [I know, when you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.] Third, they aren't stupid. They know that their actions wrt drones and military excursions are producing terrorism. I believe that. They should act on that knowledge. They could. Where is their patriotism? I'm not impressed...

...and another thing...They know about global warming and are preparing. They should take a leadership role in our response as a society.

Thank for this diary. It's the kind that's hard to read because it so true and raises the bp!

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7 users have voted.