Ooobie on Everything

McCain Wins. Trump Succumbs to Terminal Stupidity, Taunts Russia to Strike Back

This is the straw that broke this camel’s back. Trump will never get my vote again. I won’t be voting for his communist opposition, but that won’t help Trump.

I voted for him because he said he was sick of seeing the US fight phony wars for phony reasons. We needed to bring the troops home, secure our border. He has done none of any of it. He isn’t a pragmatist, a realist, a thinker, he is a deal-maker, and boy, is that ever what we are getting. Lots and lots of deals with Democrats, a supine GOP-controlled (hah!) Congress and a fool for a president. Frankly, he deserves what is coming for him, because he proved an utter loser as a leader.

We are on the brink of war. Putin has said that Russia will blow the missiles and the carriers that launch them out of the air and sea. Trump says, oh, yeah? We have lots of missiles and can blow you and Syria to smithereens! Go home, Russia! Or else! And behind him stand small the UK and France, co-conspirators in this farce, and all those other countries like Germany who wouldn’t mind heading by tank to Moscow, again. In the end, what they all want is the stupid Americans to settle their centuries-old quarrels. Forget that Russia has been invaded by Poland, Sweden, France, and Germany multiple times. Russia should shut up and enjoy it. A moan of pleasure would be appreciated.

So in the end, Trump actually swallowed the Russian conspiracy theory. Think about it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel truly sanguine about this. Here is an illegal military bloc (our guys, of course) banding together  on a cooked up cw incident (their favorite kind, always impossible to prove!) to wage war and risk nuclear war. The latest pronouncements from the US are so inflammatory and provocative (as they have been now for two years) that any nation would be forced to respond forcefully. As in the bogus Skripal cw poisoning in the UK, Russia is asked to confess, this time that the US is right about long-term ally Assad and accede to another US illegal war. Absent any form of evidence that there even was a cw attack, other than a spurious video of suffering children. Trump told Putin to get his guys out of the area or get destroyed by the US. And what do you think Putin is going to do?

I read that Theresa May is hesitant to go to war against Russia based on cw claims. Understandably, having been snookered by UK and US intelligence in the faux cw attack on England, she might want to see something more than a video made by a personal phone. Especially when the Russians have been to the site and assert there is no cw trace, no victims, no reported respiratory emergencies that were cw-related. Especially since the OPCW that is supposed to stop the use of cw, even by US proxies, has agreed to Russian and Syrian demands for an urgent investigation at the site allegedly hit with who knows what. Chlorine, or even maybe it could be chlorine and a nerve agent, also unknown. There’s the bottom line: unknown. We know squat other than that somebody brought a heart-rending video and spread it around among the Agit-Prop corps on CNN and MSNBC. This made Americans so sad, used as they are to Hollywood tripe, that they supposedly now are ready for war with Russia. The Russian Government alleges that the rush to military action is intended to strike the area at issue and leave nothing behind with which to conduct an OPCW investigation. It makes me sick to know that I think they’re right.

I have a big announcement for the war-makers of America: the era is over when the US can decide who is bad, what he can and cannot do, when he has to leave government and who can govern in other countries — when we ginned up false flag operations to pave the way for a long-anticipated war. As the Russian UN ambassador said, who named the US world policeman, jury, executioner? I’ll tell you who. The military-industrial complex and all the US officials in all branches whom they have put in place with their war booty. Why do you think Arlington and Fairfax Counties, snuggled up and sucking at the Federal teat in Virginia, are the richest places in America? Coincidence?

I’m getting this out before they shut down the internet for security reasons, which would be to stop the outpouring of anger at Trump’s stupidity in capitulating to the McCains of America. The internet it hopping with the outrage of people who were led down the garden path by the bungling Trump, led to believe his wishes for a better US-Russia relationship and an end to regime change. As Trump has demonstrated with China as well, he’s pretty contemptuous of the other guy unless the other guy goes along with Donald. This kind of relationship may hold for a moment, while the other guys recalculate and rearm massively, but eventually it ends in conflict.

If there were an anti-war movement in America, I would be part of it. Instead I hear only rabid jingoism from our media, barring OAN and Tucker Carlson. Americans are frothing at the mouth in a mindless hysteria, wanting to wreak havoc on Russia. Our Russophobia, so helpful to the arms industry and its many tentacles, is destroying international stability. But if that’s what it takes to open up some new arms sales, and to launch the bombs, so be it. The Agit-Prop agents won’t talk about the likelihood that the cw attack was false or the reality that we Americans go to war when the Generals tell us to. And the Generals’ armorers.

This is really the twilight of the American Empire, the glory of which once shone out to Americans as a reason for optimism. We squandered the greatest power any empire ever knew, gifted to us for our persistence in simple defensive military and political/diplomatic policy that allowed the natural demise of the grotesque Soviet system to occur. But we took it as some Iwo Jima moment, look, we won! we won! We were arrogant and pushy and greedy and totally oblivious to the damage we were leaving in our wake, as we decided who could rule and who could not and used our military to make it happen. Now we have decided it is time to cage Russia in and punish it “very bad,” as our ignorant president says. But our Congress has decided it is not a big enough issue to open to debate and a vote for war. Trump has limited war-making powers, and they say this with a straight face knowing the potential that it is not only limited, but full out war. Let us see what happens.


Who Cares?

I’m coming close to that state of blissful indifference to everything that I once experienced in a traffic accident that didn’t happen, but thanks only to Heavenly Intervention. Only this time I’m not anticipating that God will stop doing something important, like working on “Human Being, Type II,” to save our sorry behinds from what is heading our way.

Trump has won the Republican candidacy. His big ugly persona carried the day. Right now, in a match-up with Hillary Clinton, Trump leads (Rasmussen poll) by a couple of points. But another poll has her up by 13 points. On the other hand, Guccifer the Mad Romanian has told the FBI that hacking Hillary Clinton’s server was a snap. (Despite the fact that her computer was under Secret Service observation at all times, per Mrs. C.) What are the chances that the Russians and the Chinese and probably a dozen other countries didn’t hack into it as well? I bet Mr. Putin has a special file cabinet full of her emails. We all await with bated breaths the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s indictment, sure to come at any moment, or maybe not.

Still, it is apparent that the great majority of American voters agree with me that this is the worst set of choices given to our country ever. Trump just hits the 41 percent mark and she is at 39. She is the walking personification of corruption and venality, she is rank with it, but still — 39 percent of voters want her to continue to use public service to enrich herself and her miserable little family.

As for Trump, he is Erratic with a capital E. He once boasted he can do business with Putin and get back on good terms with Russia, but he just told the world that if Russian jets buzzed US warships close to Russia’s border he would just have them shot down. Don’t you just love a strong man? Trump also thinks transgendered people should get to use the bathroom of their choice. He wouldn’t even demand a genital check. Do the people thumping Trump’s drum have any idea how totally uninformed and off the wall he is, how unpredictable and unfixed? I don’t want to ponder what would lie ahead under a Trump presidency — whom would he select for the Supreme Court, for example? A New York Republican? The guy is like a ticking time bomb.

Trump is for Trump, it’s that simple. Others may feel the outflow of his good will, but it’s all about him. Are there no politicians today except for these self-absorbed and sad examples of the decay of US society and politics?

But I have to vote for Trump. Because the other side offers no choices either. Can we really endure four years of Hillary in Mao suits with both hands in the cookie jar? Wouldn’t we need to do a sonogram to look for all the loot she would carry out of the White House this time? Can we afford the pick she would make to the Supreme Court?

So I’m trying to zone out and not think about what alternative futures await us, as NATO “ponders Russian risk-taking” instead of worrying about its own and the US goes so far down the drain that you can hear the sucking noise.

Instead let’s turn to Syria, which was supposedly in a truce-like situation. Russia withdrew most of its air forces, but stated it would continue to support the Syrian offensive against ISIS and any others threatening Syria, as needed. Russia was reporting ceasefire violations by the US-backed forces from the start of the agreement, which is no surprise. The US is trying to get their mercenaries deployed into new operational sites before they go to the next phase of fighting.

As I’ve said before, US Plan A and Plan B were always intended by the US to be one plan to overthrow Assad. Plan A was a mutually agreed path toward a negotiated political settlement that, at Russian and Syrian insistence, could not include the ouster of Assad except through a popular referendum, and at Turkey’s insistence, couldn’t include the Kurds who are fighting ISIS in Syria. Allowing a referendum on who should lead the government without first ousting Assad is something the US waffled on but secretly abhorred. Since the US always planned to use the ceasefire to put their troops into place, it knew Plan A would fail when Russia and Syria reacted with force to prevent that happening. Hence, Plan B, the overt armed overthrow of Assad that, the US and NATO will argue, was made unavoidable by Assad and Russia’s assault on civilian populations that just happen to be in areas into which either ISIS or US proxy forces are infiltrating or where they are actively fighting. US proxies are already opening a front inside Damascus, so there will of course be civilian casualties when Syrian forces attack them. Those casualties will provide the US the pretext it always uses for its wars — “humanitarian catastrophe.” Then what do we hav? A face-off between Russia’s air force and the US air force. With either Hillary Clinton at the helm and thirsting for her first real war, or Donald Trump there getting ready to play show-off, the US is in serious trouble.

And finally we have eastern Europe and the Baltic states, where the US seems to think it can put as many tanks and men on Russia’s borders as it wants, hold as many war exercises aimed against Russia as it likes, and still act affronted when Russia buzzes its aircraft or its soldiers. The US is the clear aggressor in this situation and if there ever was a peace movement in Europe, this is the time for it. But since Europe is being swamped with illegals from all those countries we’re wrecking, I guess that’s not in the cards. Now Russia is putting three new military divisions on its western, northern and southern borders. That should calm things down.


NATO member brings down Russian jet in Syria

Turkey has shot down a Russian jet providing air cover to Syrian Army ground forces fighting ISIS near the Turkish border and close to the Russian base at Latakia. According to Russia, the jet was operating in Syrian airspace and had not crossed into Turkey and the data will demonstrate this. The Turks say it was shot down over Turkish airspace (yet the fireball, as the Turks described it, came down in ISIS-controlled Syrian territory). The Turks have run to Washington (NATO) to make sure everybody is armed with the same disinformation. I’m sure when the satellite imagery comes out from Russia, NATO war parties will insist the imagery is somehow cooked. And I wonder if we’ll ever see the Turkish imagery, or learn about their own decision-making process — just as we never saw or heard a scrap of existing evidence about what the Kiev regime was up to when it sent that civilian Malaysian airline into a war zone in eastern Ukraine. Some evidence isn’t helpful, as Washington can tell you, and that evidence needs to be buried.

This was inevitable, with NATO members waging illegal war in Syria chiefly to unseat Assad and Russia supporting the Syrian government under the terms of a legal treaty. The US, Turkey and a bunch of other corrupt and brutal Middle East governments want Assad gone. They claim Assad, someone we could do business with for many years, is just too brutal to hold office. It doesn’t matter that Assad is the only man who can hold Syria together for the moment, or that the governments calling Assad a monster are themselves monstrous (think Saudi Arabia). For the moment ISIS is only a minor distraction to everybody including the US. They won’t get really worked up until, Paris-style, the blood starts running in their own streets under ISIS swords. For these fools, for now, the important part is to get Russia out of Syria so NATO can “do its thing.” That “thing” is unseating governments, so far legal governments in every case.

Turkey I am sure has been getting more and more nervous as Russian air support has allowed Assad’s forces to regain ground and begin to take the fight to ISIS. Operating along the Turkish border in Syria, Russian efforts also provide cover for the Kurds, anathema to Turkey. Turkey wants Russia to just go away and let Turkey continue with its double-dealing and treachery.

I predicted that this conflict between NATO and Russia would develop. How could it not, with a variety of air forces flying over Syria dropping bombs on assorted enemies? And here we have it. I saw one comment on a blog site that said only, “can we have one last Christmas?” The Turks reported that the ejected pilots were last seen running, no doubt from ISIS beheaders, so I guess that cheers up the Turks no end. Remember that the only guys the Turks want to stop in Syria are the Kurds. If ISIS wants to kill them and the pro-Assad Syrians and the Russians, Turkey will be glad to help however it can.

There will be a great deal of propaganda unleashed in the next weeks. I’m dead certain that many in the US will use this incident to prove that NATO has to go whole hog, boots on the ground. The UN wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of a global fight against the Islamic Caliphate wherever it is and the US could use that as some kind of a fig-leaf for a “coalition invasion” — even though that wasn’t the meaning of the resolution at all. How many clashes between the US and Russia do you think there will be then? Do you think, as apparently the idiots in Washington do, that the Russians will turn tail and leave their legal mission the minute they see NATO coming? Not likely. And as for a US (so-called NATO) no-fly zone, the dream of the McCain crowd, it will be damned hard to establish when the Russians have already established their own no-fly zone.

There isn’t much more to say at this point. The developments will all unfold in the next days and we will find out some of the facts, while others are obscured or misstated. And I will write more then. But for the moment, remember one thing: neither the US nor its military arm NATO is an undisputed power anymore. Our efforts to bring down legal governments is being resisted with  military force, and if it is war the US and NATO want, it is war they will get. The US is caught in a situation of its own making where the solution can never peace but only more war. We are well and truly stuck in the tar baby and all that remains is for us to stick our whole head in the contraption and expire from our own stupidity.

 


Up to our Eyeballs

The moment has come: faced with a choice of collaborating with Russia and her allies to oust the mad jihadists from Syria, or opting for another US ground war, known waggishly as “boots on ground,” the US came down firmly on the side of ground war. Right now all we have is a contingent of 50 warriors, but that will grow as sure as God made little green apples. I don’t buy for a moment the idea that these guys are going to really shake up this collection of terrorists and mercenaries and fanatics and thus bring the Syrian disaster to an end. But here’s what I think those 50 men can accomplish and are intended to accomplish: they can embed themselves as “human shields” among “their” terrorists, hoping that Russia won’t bomb the areas anymore, which then keeps alive the dream of toppling Assad by force; and they can claim territory for the US. Nothing like “boots on ground” for claiming territory, although it is made more difficult by “planes in air”that think they already claimed the same territory.

Fifty men, even the best of men, are not going to substantively and directly change the course of events in Syria. They are going to be top-line targets for the savages currently taking over Syria and I dread that one or more of them will be captured. The only thing 50 military men can do is try to hold together the remnants of the US-backed terrorist team while feeding intel into plans for a much larger incursion. The US wants its own territory in Syria, where it can establish a no-fly zone, conduct operations, and give sanctuary to its fighters. The problem, as already noted, is that Russia is able to operate in the air anywhere where Mr. Assad allows them to operate, while the US has no such authority from anybody, not to bomb, not to invade, and not to train and supply terrorists for anti-state action. So what we are being set up for is the big confrontation that anybody sane worries about. I do not believe the presence of an infiltrated American soldier in an anti-Assad formation will keep Russia from bombing. Assad asked Russia in to help him fight the anti-government forces, so of course that is what Russia is doing and will continue to do. I think the Russians will have already made this clear to the Americans, privately and through whatever atrophied diplomatic channels still exist. Russia will not sit idly by and allow the US to carve off a chunk of Syria for its own, I don’t think, and it certainly won’t be cowed by US human shields from continuing to strike against Assad’s foes. This makes it all too possible that we are going to see a direct US-Russian face-off and perhaps the opening of some sort of conflict.  Turkey’s own dubious activities in Syria are another NATO/Russia flash-point. You should add to that the increasing likelihood that there will be a purely accidental and literal collision at some point somewhere in Syria between the two sides if you want to savor the dangerous territories we are in.

Russia’s entry into the Syrian fight has for the first time begun to impact on ISIS and other terror groups trying to bring down the government. Hence the downing of the Russian passenger plane in retaliation. Russia is having an effect, where the US achieved nothing for many months. The Russians are simultaneously pursuing a strong political/diplomatic track under the aegis of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. If not for Russia, the US would never be sitting at a negotiating table with all the key players in Syria. The US should have every reason to enter into collaboration with whomever is fighting ISIS, but it is adamantly against doing so with the Russian team. They have offered various lame excuses for failing to do so. They can’t work with Iran (hah). Hamas is involved. The real reason is that Russia has established a strong position in Syria that the US dare not threaten without risk of direct conflict. The US cannot deal with the concept of Russia as an equal partner, rather than a subordinate. The US no longer has the luxury of pondering which of its various hapless schemes it would make operational — the no fly zone? boots on ground? installation of US-backed government? It is now constrained in what it can do, and hence the low-key opening bid of 50 soldiers. From here on out it is pure risk. There will be more to come.

The US and Russian positions on Syria are actually very close, except that Russia rejects the right of another nation to tell the Syrians who their government can be. They favor settling political differences through direct negotiations and referendum. The US and its allies insist that the terrible Mr. Assad has to go and the US assumes it will be the nation to tell the Syrians who their government can be. The only reason they give for using force to unseat him is that he has been brutal in repressing opposition. Whoop-dee-do. We do business everyday with men as bad as or worse than Assad, men like the Castro zombies, and it’s water off a duck’s back. We only care about human rights when it serves our purposes. But honestly — I can’t see the logic in anything the US  is doing. They have failed at nation-building in each instance beginning with Bosnia and yet they keep trying the same losing strategy. They need to try something new in Syria, like international consultation. Perhaps between the two sides a solution can be found. All those refugees can go home. The US and the EU can pay to rebuild Syria.

I think that if we end up collaborating it will be a miracle. I think the US has decided on a basic course that has as its goals the limitation of Russian gains, the continued fight to unseat Assad, and the strengthening of US influence on what happens in Syria. I  think those 50 boots will end up being 50,000 boots and not nearly so many boots on ground will leave as entered. I think the 50 men gambit is a big neon sign saying, “we’re going in up to our eyeballs.”

 


The Tangled Web We Weave

I’ve been trying to concentrate on the upcoming mid-terms, but it’s like love lost: once gone, never re-captured. I just can’t get into it. That is because I have no credible reason to believe that anything hugely bad done under Obama will be destroyed by the GOP, and that means more of same. You see where that got us. No, what will be will be, as Doris Day used to say. Maybe when things go so far beyond the acceptable in this country it will ignite something else, and then we’ll see.

It’s the foreign policy screen that has me rapt. I just read an article saying that Kobani, that tiny Nowheresville on the outskirts of both Turkey and Syria, is being swarmed by the ISIS death beetles. Then it says that the US military sees a rich array of targets of opportunity in this situation.

I can’t help it, I  keep thinking that the foreign policy inanity and incompetence and ignorance I’m seeing and the fall-out it is provoking have inured me to any further shocks, but I’m always wrong. Kobani is a strategic town in the ISIS-led Neo-Caliphate’s effort to take over the world. It is an important battle site because the turbaned fanatics are attacking ethnic Kurds, who are running to Turkey. In Turkey there are age-old tensions between the Turks and Kurds aggravated by Kurdish separatist sentiment. There are armed Kurdish rebels who have fought the Turkish government. At present, the Kobani Kurds are fighting off ISIS valiantly but they are losing. On the Turkish side, enraged ethnic Kurds are flocking to the border to help their brethren in Kobani, but they are being beaten back by the Turkish military and that could spark more problems inside Turkey. The US sits doing nothing because it insists (and rightly so) that Turkey take out ISIS at Kobani with ground troops. Then the US could give air support. But Turkey won’t attack ISIS. Why? For the same reason that it won’t let the Kurds go to Kobani’s defense — because Turkey hates Syria’s Assad worse than it hates ISIS, at least for the moment. Turkey insists that if the US wants Turkey’s action in Kobani, the US has to agree to go after and unseat Assad. Turkey wouldn’t profit if its own ethnic Kurds went and did the job for the US, depriving Ankara of its leverage. Turkey also doesn’t want to give the Kurds, some of them ex-guerrillas, the chance to hone their military skills or develop a special relationship with the USG.

croc_editedIt seems there hasn’t been a deal, because everybody is just watching this disaster unfold. I’m sure behind the scenes there are many screaming matches at the moment. Some want Obama to okay commitment to regime change in Damascus in exchange for Turkey’s action on the ground at Kobani. The pressure is high. The McCains of both left and right are yammering about the need to remove Assad. Others sense what a quagmire this all is promising to become and worry about Obama’s Peace Prize and how Obama can’t afford to ruin his image. Where are we currently? Nowhere good. ISIS is all over Kobani. The civilized world’s common enemy is winning against America and its power. Even a loss after such a glorious battle doesn’t diminish their success. To the ordinary person, it seems the US comes out looking weaker than ever, despite our endless bombing runs. It looks like this is just driving more and more high-hormone teenagers into the fight. It’s like blood in the water.

Okay, but granting that this is so, think about this: the USG has looked at the situation and finds that it is not a disaster! This is because now US bombers can swoop practically from outer space and drop ordnance killing all kinds of targets (we always call them targets instead of verminous bastards or in the case of the innocent victims, human beings) and they are concentrated. It is likely that quite a few ISIS victims are going to die under our bombs along with their tormenters. I guess it’s a more merciful death than what was waiting for them. But from our perspective, what difference does it make if we kill a bunch of ISIS guerrillas? In fact, what difference does it make if ISIS loses control of Kobani? They will be promptly replaced and pop up elsewhere, maybe in Europe. And they will simply wait until the defenders abandon Kobani, as we will, and then re-swarm and take even uglier vengeance there. On the other hand, if we lose Kobani because the Kurds can’t do the job, I don’t see a good bombing environment as a big counterbalance to that central fact. And if we arm the Kurds and send them in, we are probably setting up Turkey for major destabilizing domestic developments somewhere down the road. You can see why it’s so difficult to make sound policy — every step we take or don’t take has a counter-effect on another one of our alliances or goals. This is another example of how America’s proliferating commitments are entangling us hopelessly and greatly complicating decision-making.

Assad might well have been ready to send in his Army to fight ISIS with US collaboration, but we couldn’t ask Assad because the USG wants to have another go at regime change in Syria. Like Turkey, we seem to see Assad as a scarier foe than ISIS, and this is why the US is manning up and arming its own military force in Syria to act as our proxy in an overthrow. Isn’t it crazy — wouldn’t you think, given the convergence of interests, that the US would have agreed with Turkey’s proposal and then both goals would be met — overthrow and blows against ISIS. But no. And yet there are rumors that the US is going to declare a no-fly zone in the airspace over Syria, including northern Syria where Assad and the government are. ISIS, supposedly the chief focus of our actions, has no air force. They have captured three Syrian Air Force antique aircraft that are visually known to the US which they hope to send on a suicide mission to some not too-distant spot loaded with chemical weapons taken from ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq quite recently. (I won’t get into that can of worms here.) Unlikely the suicide missions would ever get off the ground loaded before being vaporized, so why this no-fly zone? That sounds and smells really stinky to me and to many others, including Syria’s ally Russia, which supplies Damascus all its defense equipment.

It appears to me the US strategy goes like this: illegally arm and train proxies to fight against Assad domestically (check); get legislation authorizing a virtual US military take-over of the rag-tag army under the guise of fighting ISIS (check); as soon as there is a lull in the ISIS fighting, turn the rebels against Damascus by unleashing them throughout the country (soon come); begin bombing Damascus in support of our proxy army on grounds that Damascus is responding brutally to popular discontent (time to be determined). After that, insure that the Russian military is replaced by the US military, thus opening a huge new military hardware and technology market.

There are, of course, many things that can intervene to change a situation. Perhaps the ISIS fight will become so serious in Europe that nobody will support the insane overthrow of the last secular Arab leadership outside of the Egyption Army. Perhaps the US will have so many problems elsewhere and at home that it cannot afford a feckless fight against Assad. Or perhaps a change in the USG will bring in a hawkish president who decides that the US military really can control the world. I hardly know which scenario is scariest.

 

 


When War and Tragedy Become Theater

Members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry carry a body at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of GrabovoI was playing cards with my husbands a few days ago and reading the internet at the same time when I saw the news of the Malaysian Airlines disaster in Ukraine. “Uh-oh,” I said. “A passenger jet down over Ukraine.” “Who did it?” he asked. “We don’t know, do we?” I replied.

Oops, I spoke too fast. It appears the US knows who did it, they’re dead certain who did it — although lacking any evidence other than an unsourced tape provided through a Ukrainian newspaper and jumped on by Russia’s foes as evidence of criminal behavior. It was Russia, America screams. And it was Russia even if Russia did not operate the battery that launched the deadly missile. That is because Russia apparently isn’t allowed to back its allies militarily in a civil war in some other country, unlike the US and France and the UK and NATO all on its own. Russia shouldn’t send military advisors or provide logistics. The mere fact of defying the US and EU on this is a criminal offense, it would seem. I have to confess that the US logic makes me worried that the we have lost our  national senses. If we are to take countries to the International Court (which the US, by the way, doesn’t even recognize) because they deliberately provide weapons to insurgents fighting legal governments,and those weapons kill people, then the US is in very deep kimshee. We are many, many thousands ahead of Russia in the collateral damage division.

The number of rumors running around about Russian chicanery and the hysteria that hovers over the war-mongers like a miasma tell me we are under a major propaganda barrage. The US and EU would like Russia to go away, or at least change its national character, and cede its historic territory in Ukraine to NATO. The downing of this airliner gives them a lot of grist for the rumor mill. I can almost see Vladimir Putin stirring a pot of evil potion, he is drawn in such exaggerated colors by the west’s champions of liberty. The mob of Russophobes will get a lot of points in yet another campaign to depict another national leader as an enemy of the world. It’s one of those things where you make the accusations and by the time they are proven false you’ve moved on to something else. That’s how it was in Kosovo, where the NATO bombers justified their actions by claiming president of the former Yugoslavia Milosevic was preparing to murder every Albanian in the province, and that many, many had already been murdered. All lies. But who cared ten years later when that information was finally provided to the public, very quietly?

Needless to say, all the usual suspects are clamoring for an investigation, but not hesitating to point the finger of blame in advance. Even a mass murderer gets more consideration and any official speaking out of school would be disciplined. Some are apparently clamoring for war, as they propose the US become the official armorers of the Ukrainian Army and their Air Force, too. But the same indignant crowd are not nearly as  keen in following up information damaging to NATO. When the Estonian Prime Minister told the EU Foreign Minister that it was widely accepted that the Poles and Lithuanians trained the Maidan snipers, one assumed there would be an investigation of that damning allegation. But no. It was totally buried and not a word further was heard on the subject. Instead it was swept under the wave of “Yanukovych did it” screams from the EU and US. It was buried because it was the wrong information from NATO’s perspective. Now however they are thirsting for an investigation, and of course there will be. There was a large loss of life. It’s just the duplicitous way the West operates that gets under the skin.

And that’s the way hard-ball international relations works. Tarring the other side before any facts are on the table is a very good way to steal a march on the whole process of smearing your opponent. I heard today that the separatists are spiriting away bodies to different locales, as if they were some sort of ghouls using the bodies for sport or stealing body parts, or merely hiding the bodies of persons unknown to them for absolutely no reason. I knew they were removing the bodies in their role as the only authorities in that area. And it turns out that they have done this to prevent any tampering with the evidence by the OSCE team that is having a look at the site or anybody from the Ukrainian government. The Russians will probably participate in the UN Civil Aviation investigation or at a minimum be informed of all the evidence. In this way they guarantee a fairer defense against the claims of “guilty” from the US and EU.

I am not going to say who shot that plane down. It probably was the separatists. On the other hand, as far as I can tell it could as easily have been rookie Ukrainian soldiers who shot down a plane bearing a red-white-and-blue logo much like the Russian flag. The Russian military said that on the day in question they recorded activity all day from a Ukrainian BUK emplacement and that it was believed to be relaying information to a missile battery. Remember that Kiev was accusing Russia of violating Ukrainian air space and actually bringing down Ukrainian aircraft. That is why they had moved the BUK missiles into the area of the disaster just before the Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down. It is possible that the soldiers overreacted when they saw the colors on the plane in Ukrainian air space and went for the proof by firing a missile at it. If so, you can be sure that the Americans will not reveal any information to suggest such a scenario. I am pretty sure neither side thought anybody would be stupid enough to take a passenger jet into an area where missiles were regularly flying. And I’m sure that missile was not intentionally aimed at a civilian airplane, whoever did it. Both sides are shooting to kill and aircraft are raining from the skies. The US wasn’t allowing its planes to fly there, but somehow nobody else got the word. If they knew the rebels had missiles, where was the aviation warning?

I don’t blame either side in Ukraine for defending their rights, but I’m kind of pissed with the UN civil aviation authorities who said the war zone was safe for civilian flights and the incompetent Ukrainian government, which only days earlier had lost a military aircraft shot down at 20000 ft by a BUK missile. Ukraine is still wavering on whether it was the rebels or Russsia that fired the rocket (they would have to admit the rebels actually have the system themselves). The US military, which isn’t on our southern border securing US sovereignty, but hanging out in Kiev directing their military operations against Russia, have gone one better. They are clinging to the “Russia’s guilty” rant, but now a US military officer claims they almost have proof that it was an actual Russian military person who commanded the take-down. That is such an egregious charge — and we are to believe it because US intel claims it has a (secret of course) “voice analysis” of the mysteriously convenient tape provided by a Kiev newspaper that proves the men gloating over bringing down the plane included one specific Russian military commander.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t believed anything my government says for so long now, I can hardly remember the last time I fell for the party line like a sap. More to the point, I don’t care what our party line is anymore. We don’t belong in Ukraine. We shouldn’t be rattling our sabers under Russia’s nose, unless we want a saber up our own butt. We should be taking care of our own quarrels. Hah.

The US knows it cannot win against Russia in Ukraine militarily; long before the conflict ended the eastern half of the country would be under Russian control and the US wants all of Ukraine for NATO. It needs to tie Russia up in all that international one government red tape, fighting charges never proven and a massive character assassination campaign. Who would ever have thought that the US and those wimps in the EU would be as good at propaganda as the USSR?

This is the long game we are entering in Ukraine. If the West thinks it will succeed in browbeating Russia into retreat from its support for the eastern Ukrainians, it should think again. If it is confrontation that the West is seeking, I’m pretty sure we’ll get it. As in Syria, where many of our leaders would like to unleash Armageddon, the unknown risks in a face-off with Russia far outweigh the ones we can see, and the ones we can see are bad enough.

 

 

 


The Inane Policies of John Kerry on (for example) Syria

kerryearI’m flabbergasted as I watch the ineptitude with which John Kerry is conducting the foreign affairs of the United States. I could start with his flippant dismissal of the possibility that Syria would give up its chemical weapons short of NATO bombing, his preferred solution, but I won’t. I could mention how he insisted the Syrian opposition had no access to chemical weapons only to have the UN report that the opposition had almost certainly used such weapons on multiple occasions, but I won’t. I’ll refer only to the latest absurdities surrounding the Geneva negotiations for a transitional government in Syria. First the US dropped the ball on Iranian participation, allowing our clueless UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to invite the regional power-broker officially into the talks. The South Korean is right, of course — how can you get any kind of realistic or enforceable agreement without Iranian participation? In any case, I guess the Obama administration forgot to give Ban Ki Moon his marching orders, because after the invite went out and became public, Kerry demanded that the invitation be withdrawn.

 

Kerry decreed that Assad had to agree that he was a goner and no longer could serve as president of Syria if there were to be an agreement. That’s quite an incentive to offer Mr. Assad in return for his cooperation. It reminds me of how we treated Moammar Qaddafi after he swore off weapons of mass destruction under US pressure. (We killed him, for those who forgot.) The cowardly Ban Ki Moon withdrew his invitation, no doubt with much annoyance and embarrassment and resentment, and now, suddenly, Kerry is thinking maybe having Iran in the negotiations is not such a bad idea. This is a case of Kerry being against the invitation to Iran before he was in favor of it.  But he still tells Assad he’s finished (not adding, “and a prisoner in the Hague”). He presumably thinks this tempting offer will attract the full good will of Assad and his allies.

syriaOf course the Syrians have said, get outta here. Transitional government doesn’t mean removal of the head of government. To follow Kerry’s logic, a Cabinet shuffle in DC would require the president’s removal, as well. While our figurehead Syrians sit at the negotiating table with their preconditions (give us power), the real power, the jihadists, are out there warring with the “moderates” and slitting throats right and left, anticipating the removal of Assad and their own ascent to power. The US charges of regime brutality may be true, but the opposition is guilty of the same crimes. That pretext won’t fly. These negotiations look unlikely to end up successfully.

kosovoThe problem is that the US has grown far too complacent in our massive power. In the past we successfully used negotiations to rubber-stamp foregone conclusions. A good example of how this works were the Rambouillet negotiations in France. These talks were used by the US/NATO to provide themselves with the pretext for war against Serbia over alleged “massive violations” of the ethnic Albanian and largely Moslem community’s human rights. But the negotiations were a sham designed to earn the Serbian president’s rejection, including among NATO’s key demands that Milosevic accept a NATO occupation of Serbia. When the talks collapsed, as hoped, the NATO bombing of Serbia began. In the end, NATO partitioned Serbia, giving away its historical region to the Moslem-dominated Albanian population, which is now making trouble in southern Serbia in an attempt to wrest more territory from the Serbs.

putinchinaIt appears our government wants the same results with these Syrian talks. We want what we couldn’t get through bombing and we want it cost-free — regime change. Unfortunately for the US neo-interventionists, things are different. Russia is no longer the 90-pound weakling it was in 1999, less than a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union. Today Russia’s influence is growing well beyond its borders and it is finding its voice. The US, by contrast, is in dismal decline. Our president’s international prestige is definitely on the wane and the idea of the US as the world’s only superpower is long out of date. China is a threatening presence, too, and the Chinese seem to scoff at US pretensions to dominance, just as does Iran. Even our one-time allies are turning their backs to us in disgust at our incompetence. The US looks weak, uninformed, wavering and lacking convictions or even fundamental interests. The remains of our forays into the military occupation of the Moslem world in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and where we have abetted the overthrow of secular regimes (Egypt), are testimony to our broken dreams and ultimate impotence in democracy-building. Sectarian warfare rages. People are dying by the thousands and Christians and many others are sacrificial lambs. To what end our military adventures?

Instead of telling Mr. Assad to leave power (or what?), the US Secretary of State should give a good think to what the US fundamental interests are and then try hewing to a consistent line. Listening to Assad’s side of the story might be one way to start. We don’t want Al Qaeda to win there, or do we?

 

 

 


From Patriot Update, Another Look at the Benghazi Lies

Benghazi: Putting the Lie to The Lie
Written on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, by Norma Brown
hillpinoFor a great many of us, the bipartisan report on Benghazi bears out our judgments about what happened there and why. The only new note is that the CinC and his subordinates did not order anybody to stand down; it’s just that nobody told them to do anything beyond the ordinary on that brutal night. In fact, they heard hardly a peep out of Washington. I’m going to add what wasn’t spoken or put in the report: the military doesn’t freelance. It does as told and doesn’t violate other countries’ territory without a green light at the appropriate level. So when they weren’t doing anything to save our men over there, the military were no doubt assuming that somebody wasn’t very interested in saving them.pinocchio

 


Some thoughts on the news of the day

mideastandafricaHere we are in a new year and January is flying by. I’m up to my ears in real estate red-tape and my parrot is a little bit crazy, which is perfectly okay but tiring at times. I’ve been watching the news closely, even if my pen has been stilled by a paint brush, and there isn’t anything there that shocks. A few tidbits though. The war in the Middle East and North Africa is spreading. A lot of people seem to think the solution must be a multi-national force under international authority picking a winning side, maybe killing a few thousand in collateral damage. What that means in practice is a US event, if air protection is needed, and a deeper involvement in a wildfire that is also a morass. We need to stay out of it. We need to stop worrying whether the Russians or the Iranians are benefitting at our expense. We had our day there, now let someone else deal with it. Bring the troops home. I know that flies in the face of what many believe. If not for the US, the world will go to hell in a hand-basket. News flash: the world is going to hell in a hand-basket and the US along with it. We are heading into deep waters and nobody sensible seems to be stopping it.

gatesobamaMeantime Robert Gates has come out and said basically that the President was right about his decisions to get out of Iraq, the bad war, and into Afghanistan, the good war, but that his administration micro-managed everything to death and screwed things up. I don’t get it. Bill Gates is a smart man. Surely he considered the fact that what is being established is a political commissariat that are the true heads of government agencies and the military and who enforce ideological correctness. Department of Propaganda graduates from the left-wing of the Democrat or even Marxist parties. That’s what is going on. They have poor judgment of anything beyond getting out the vote, alive or dead, and class warfare. Those are the values they bring with them. And it is their job to keep you in line or get you fired. Ask Petraeus. Gates’ complaints also suggest, though not explicitly, that the president is a dunderhead and on that I will certainly agree, although not that the president is a man of honorable intentions. Not any intentions I would honor, anyway. Furthermore, I don’t agree that the president’s basic judgments were sound. He felt Iraq should be left behind and Afghanistan be secured. Or he said he did, but it  might have been what he was advised to say. In any case, he got us out of Iraq, which is now being engulfed once more in civil war. And he got us far more deeply and directly into that death valley of imperial ambition, Afghanistan. In that country, the Taliban are resurgent and we are itching to get out. We’re going to leave a few soldiers behind to get gobbled up by the reinvigorated Islamist extremists aka terrorists in that country. Now Afghanistan is a place I’d say, it’s all yours. Have at it.

hcHillary Clinton is building up steam behind her push to become Lord of the Universe, which has ever been her dream. Her fans are lurking out there on the internet, alert to any slur against her intelligence, wisdom, judgment and general saintliness. The pack is slavering for any dissident to dare show his face. This is going to be interesting. I was really annoyed by the whole Sandy theater and vowed never to support Chris Christie. But. He is one of the very few Republicans I can see who is tough enough to face her down and make her show her true face. Rand Paul, who will never win it, would do it more knowledgeably and more conservatively. I’d love a Rand Paul presidential candidacy. Alas, the GOP is in full warfare. The Boehner wing is determined to shut up the conservatives who alone can bring them victory at the polls and our leaders think this is the best way to win over those Hispanics and blacks who haven’t voted for the GOP ever. Part of me wants to say, good going. Try this out. Every conservative stays home and withholds his vote. The GOP can then judge whether the conservatives are necessary to GOP survival. But then I say, no way. Leaving it all to the Marxists means heading straight into civil strife of the first order. I’d much rather stop it in its tracks with the B team than lose it all with the A team. And if those icons of the right, like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, are honest in their efforts to stop the anti-Constitutionalists, they should endorse whoever is leading in the polls and primaries. Okay.  Just saying it makes me want to scream in frustration. But it’s right. We all hang together or we shall certainly all hang separately.

knockoutfistFinally, I see that Denver is experiencing a resurgence of its own sort of Taliban, the black Knock-out Gangs. The latest victim is a white man who has severe injuries to his face and jaws. Apparently even the heretofore politically correct and color-blind (or at any rate, blind) police who refused to speak about racial elements in earlier spasms of societal violence now admit it is black-on-white violence. It turns out that a lot of people have been victimized by this vicious Black KKK and are now coming forward. Safety in numbers.

 

 

 


America Helping the World: Training North Africans in Asymmetric Warfare and Heavy Weapons

libyaHip-hip-hooray! Our military has let it be known that we are currently negotiating with the Libyan government, such as it is, to grant us the great honor of training Libyan commandos and the Libyan Army. America can do this because it is rolling in money and has repeatedly demonstrated sterling judgment about those to whom we hand over our fine and highly destructive weaponry. Even Admiral William McRaven, head of US Special Operations Command, has conceded straight off that there are some unsavory types among those we are going to train. I guess that is a sort of caveat emptor to Americans,  letting them know that another Bin Laden could result from our efforts, and if so, it isn’t his fault. Of course that’s his job, training other men in killing and sabotage, and I don’t doubt he’s doing it all for the glory of his country. And if he has to provide his services in a place that even he, apparently, views with a jaundiced eye, there is nothing to be done about it. America is running out of other countries whose armies we can equip and train, and for sure we have run out of reliable countries to equip and train, so Libya, Egypt, Tunisia — six of one, half a dozen of the other. They are all equally unstable and explosive, so if we are going to make future  trouble for ourselves, Libya is as good a place to start as anywhere else.

The fun just doesn’t stop under this New America with its New Military, and neither does the madness. The brutal murder of our people under the noses of the Libyan authorities as top US military leaders slapped down anybody who wanted to save them must have given  somebody the brilliant idea that we ought to train Libyans to kill more efficiently. Let’s face it — the Benghazi op was pretty sloppy. And I’m not talking about the blunders and excruciatingly poor judgment shown by Hillary Clinton and the self-indulgent mental midget she worked for, either. I’m talking about those Libyan fighting men who showed great spirit and joie de vivre on the rampage but who were rather disorganized and undisciplined in their assault. Had they been trained up militarily, properly, they could have killed even more of our people. There were a lot of things those marauders could have done much better and America is going to teach them how.

military trainingWe want to train 5-7000 commandos for Libya, I suppose on the assumption that these men will then stem the rise of Al Qaeda and its many affiliates in North Africa. Either that or they will join up with Al Qaeda, taking their weapons with them. Apparently the policy-makers (the same ones who brought you Obamacare, Fast and Furious, and Acorn as voter registrants) feel it is time for the US to spread out from the Middle East, where we have already bungled things royally, into all those violent countries large and small in Africa that are thirsting for US defense dollars. For some reason our brilliant strategists seem to believe that raising the American flag in those places and inserting a number of US military just sufficient to be totally vulnerable will frighten the jihadists away, rather than attracting them like ants to a picnic. I’d love to get a peek at our military plans for the region, just to see if we’re planning on doing similar good deeds in Sudan, Somalia or Chad, maybe in the president’s homeland in Kenya or even the Congo. The world is screaming for more American military involvement in their countries, I’m sure. I know Americans are pleading with our government to get us sucked down into some more Treasury-draining misadventures in the Moslem civil wars. Right? Aren’t you?

Tell me something. How come the Commander-in-Chief, the one intent on fundamentally transforming our armed forces, doesn’t dispatch all these restless military types to our very own southern border? I personally feel they could make a far greater contribution to America’s security if they would teach ranchers in the Southwest how to protect themselves, their families, and their property from the drug cartels and people-smugglers who have made our country’s borderlands their home away from home. How about sending the Army Corps of Engineers to Arizona to build sniper outposts and man them with snipers?  How about a giant ditch filled with water and alligators and a drawbridge? But no. The Commander-in- Chief, if he uses our military on the southern border at all, will use them to facilitate the crossing of millions of tiny broad-backed aliens who will need care and refreshment after their grueling journeys. Perhaps he could set up military training for these newcomers so they can support the president when he finally moves to shut down his political opposition and open up the borders completely. But using the military to keep our borders secure? Hah. Fat chance. The only purpose our military serves anymore is to make sure a certain quota of patriotic young men and women are mutilated and killed in feckless military adventures that have anything but victory as their goal in places of marginal or no importance to the United States.

Using one’s military forces in other people’s countries has traditionally been a favored means of keeping high-testosterone males busy elsewhere, particularly in times of high unemployment. The last thing a Commander-in-Chief wants is a lot of angry well-trained military men sitting around thinking about what a mess their country is and what they can do to address the situation. Obama certainly doesn’t want that; he already has enough problems with retired or ousted military brass who are speaking openly about the president’s assault on America’s armed forces right here at home. Here’s my guess: we are pulling out of Afghanistan and we’re well out of Iraq, but our men aren’t going to come home for a well-earned rest. I’d bet they are going to be kept busy fighting other people’s wars so they don’t try to start one at home.