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.


Vote the War Party! Vote Hillary!

I am largely resigned to all the things that I fear are to come. These start with an effective one-party takeover of the USG, the rewriting of all laws and rules (including those governing changes to the Constitution) to make them ideologically correct, and legislative and judicial branches marching in step with the Executive in foisting on us a State Political Philosophy. The processes already begun by the left will go at a faster pace — from the spread of mandatory unionism to vast State control over the media (including and especially the internet), from mandatory voting to suppression of religious expression. There will be no demurring from the State position, as both the legislature and the judiciary will be firmly under the control of the far left. Ruth Bader Ginsberg could give you a lecture on how “n’sync” the lefties on the Supreme Court are with the world’s progressives. These new justices don’t care if you know they have already decided cases not before them, just as the faux journalists don’t care if you call them propagandists. Biased, and proud of it!

The other worry that I fear will be realized is that a Clinton presidency would lead to heightened conflict and even war with Russia, in Syria certainly and perhaps in Ukraine, as well. The USG has already trained and armed Kiev’s special forces who only recently tried to infiltrate saboteurs into the military facilities in Crimea, in the course of which they lost their lives. The US and Kiev of course denied it all, calling it a provocation by Russia. The incident ratcheted up tensions in eastern Ukraine, with Russia’s proxies fighting the US proxies; and it also expedited Moscow’s delivery of state-of-the-art anti-air systems and other sophisticated military hardware to the peninsula. Like it or not, Russia owns Crimea and within a few short years, it will be a major military port bristling with all sorts of armament and technology. Anybody who plans to wage battle in the Black Sea should be prepared for total war.

Kiev’s provocations, just like those of Georgia, are oil poured on an already volatile situation. And it is this kind of reckless behavior that the US is encouraging and facilitating. (I still think the Georgian president was nudged to take action in S. Ossetia by the American military.) Our course is fraught with danger, but it does not deter the unholy alliance of the neocons and the corrupt Clinton camp in pushing for Ukraine membership in NATO. After all, it was her husband who made the fateful decision to enlarge NATO, why should she not be the one that takes it right to Moscow’s doorstep and over it into war? Expect Mrs. Clinton to deepen US-Ukraine military collaboration in ways that are directly threatening to Russian national security and, as a result, to our own.

In Syria, rumor has it that Madame’s first order of business will be to undertake regime change, Russia be damned. If this is true, we should all take to the streets to make our strenuous disagreement palpable. (But it won’t happen.) Russia is not going to back down even in the face of NATO aggression (and of course there will be no UNSC resolution legitimizing US aggression). Moscow will reinforce its military at Latakia and increase its air sorties. The Syrians have already given Russia use of a second base, and now the Chinese are getting more involved, as well. They will be working overtime to bring under the control of Damascus as great a swath of Syrian territory as possible, bombing anything that moves and that includes Americans. It would then be a shooting war.

Hillary Clinton wants a war. She wants to pull off a victory somewhere, this American cowgirl, that would dwarf anything Obama did. Alas for all of us, the places that are easy to bomb and take over with proxies have already been bombed and taken over. They are the rubble you see strewn across the Middle East. What remains are the nations that created nuclear arsenals precisely to prevent an aggressor from attempting, directly or indirectly, an assault on their sovereignty. Those nations include China and Russia and (probably) Iran, all regional powers that have resisted US dominion and demands. In the real world, one would think, “how can we reconcile our needs and interests so as to avoid war?” But I don’t think Hillary operates in the real world. She operates wherever it is that she communes with Eleanor Roosevelt.

And how could I not mention that weasel-faced jerk Mike Morrell, formerly of the CIA and now a Hillary adviser. (This is a good fit, as both the CIA and Hillary Clinton absolutely require that employees have the ability to lie glibly and sell any story as the truth.) Morell formerly condemned Hillary for such negligence in handling of classified information that he was absolutely certain the illegally-used server had been hacked by multiple sources. Now he thinks she’d be a steady hand at the helm. Of course, here’s what Morell thinks about icing our supposed foes and actual rivals:

“What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price,” Morell said. “When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.” Morell said the killing of Russians and Iranians should be undertaken “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

Judge for yourself. Who is a greater danger to continued life on the planet? Donald Trump who wants to collaborate with Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria; who wants to toss that disastrous Utopian fantasy, nation-building, overboard; who thinks that conflict is the last resort, not the first? Or a woman who has surrounded herself with the worst of the war hawks and the military-industrial complex, in which the lackey Morell is but a small cog? The latter group is drooling at the chance to go to war against Russia, and I predict they will try a two-prong approach in both Syria and Ukraine. I think they are incredibly thick and arrogant and I also think they are extremely dangerous. Thanks to the Dems and the GOP elite, both in bed with the war industrialists, we have a military so light and fast that it can destroy anything. What we don’t have is a competent diplomatic corps, a wise or truthful government, or any clue what the hell we are doing. How many countries do we have to destroy and leave destroyed for decades to come before we come to our senses?

Trump needs to push Clinton on her plans for Syria, and ask whether the rumor of a planned January 2017 war against Assad is correct. He needs to press her on her plans for further expansion of NATO. He needs to demand to know what weaponry has been shipped to Ukraine and what training we are providing. He needs to ask if the US military or NATO military are advising Ukraine on its military provocations against Russia. He needs to expose all the corrupt ties between certain Democrats and the Ukrainian US-imposed regime. These are all critical matters and the Psychopathic Liar should not be allowed to skate without warning us what she has up her sleeve.


Stop the World, I Really Would Like to Get Off

In my  last piece I said that ISIS was operating where the Russian jet came down in Syria. Actually it was a whole assortment of jihadists and revolutionary thugs, some affiliated with ISIS and some fielded by Turkey, and others perhaps financed by the USG. Who knows? All I know is that the Russian media showed a video clip of the motley crew of murderers looting the body and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” (Didn’t see that clip on any  US stations.) I suppose there might be some people who can draw a line between these creeps and ISIS, but I am not one of them and nobody at the receiving end of their brutality would be, either.

But now I’ve just heard Obama continue building his legacy as a world-class buffoon and jackass. In his speech on how climate change is going to part the seas and solve the Syrian conflict, he drew a picture of a poor isolated benighted Russia fighting to prop up a man, Assad, whom the whole world wants to see gone because he is a brutal man; and urging Putin to come around to common sense and give up his support of Assad (surrender or else!) and start trying to defeat ISIS beside the US and all its one million nation allies. I almost choked.

The US has been creating havoc in Syria for almost four years, after having decided that Assad was not amenable enough to US control and direction, being friends of the Arch Enemy Russia and the other (sort of) Arch Enemy Iran. We are responsible for many, many thousands of deaths and destruction beyond belief across the Middle East. Our presence fed ISIS and it grew and grew and grew, and we putzed around, with a gazillion weapons passing into ISIS hands straight from the US, or rather via Turkey, who is pals with a whole slew of mercenary groups with radical ideologies, the hand-maidens of ISIS, and who is trying chiefly to take down Assad and the Kurds who are fighting ISIS.

That is how the US was fighting ISIS for four years.

And it was only when ISIS had advanced so far that it was threatening to take the country, and in the obvious vacuum of intelligent mission direction from the US, that Russia jumped into the fray. An ISIS victory in Syria and then Iraq was an unacceptable scenario. Such a development would significantly heighten the threat to Russia with its Moslem populations, and to Europe. Further, Europe was under invasion with the efflux from Syria, no big surprise considering the scorched earth policy being pursued in that country. It went in a la Russe — wholeheartedly and without reserve. Russia supported the Syrian Army in its fight against opponents armed and trained and funded by the US, and against ISIS wherever it was. Russia was making a huge difference and the Europeans wanted the US to do likewise. The US looked like a sad, pitiful remnant of a once-great country.

The Russians have declared themselves open to an alliance, but that they will not support the overthrow of Assad and the imposition of a government on Syria. This in US eyes is a capital crime: not doing as told. So despite indications from France and Germany that they could live with Assad for a transitional period, the US won’t budge. And now begins the big propaganda push to turn things around. According to Obama in his latest pronouncements from on high, the US is powerful and decisive, has all the answers, and all the friends and all the money. Russia is strictly JV. Russia must stop being stubborn and just join everybody else in doing as told. No deviation from the US position is allowable. Until then, the US president suggested, we will fight in Syria separately.

This arrogant presentation by our Clown President has sealed the deal. Putin will never give on Assad now, and will commit Russian forces fully to defend the Assad government and Russia’s vital security interests. That means there will be no second Turkish shoot-down that goes without a military response. This means that any of those nations flying jet aircraft may cross paths with a Russian jet and there you are, Bob’s your uncle, I told you so. This will happen even if there is coordination at the strictly field level. There will be a military collision unless an alliance is agreed that satisfies the chief goal of defeating ISIS and permits a sane and focused approach to the task.

I urge you to listen to The Idiot’s speech and judge for yourself: knowing what  you know, is this man insane? Is our country too? We have to stop this madness. If we want to be in Syria where we  now act in violation of international law, no matter how we make it appear, we should accommodate Russia’s entirely reasonable position concerning Assad’s status. He will head an interim government and then there will be elections and if they want him, he will still be president. If they don’t, he will go. Syrians will decide, not the US or anybody else. Is that less than we would want for ourselves?

 

 

 


The Year Ends

Gads, it’s the end of the year. When did life start picking up such speed? I remember being a kid and thinking I would explode if I couldn’t grow up and SOON. All the Golden Oldies are playing on our multi-media devices, it’s almost like having Santa in the room these days. We just got a super-dooper and frighteningly large television (I guess that is what they call them still) for our bedroom and it’s as if I’m watching Playhouse 90 again, it is the “studio effect.” Look how fast technology is changing, I’m sure in a year there will be something totally retro in this tv set and every six months it will become more so. You used to be able to keep a television set forever.

Oh, yes, politics. Well, as I have been saying since November, I’m waiting. There seems to be civil war brewing in the Congress and maybe it is about “pragmatism” versus “ideology.” This is true of both parties, although the Dems are splitting over the issue of being “left” and the Republicans over who is “true conservative.” That is good. I like the idea of keeping at least the GOP on its toes and considering this simple fact: we are watching you. Otherwise, the genial barkeep Mr. John Boehner is likely to reach some compromise over something fundamental (Obamacare? Immigration? IRS? EPA?) that is going to pull the rug out from under GOP cohesion. It will be war and the outcome foreordained. The GOP only wins if it pulls together all the discontented toward a re-consideration of the state of the union. To do that, it has to show it CAN do it. I’m waiting. I’m watching. I don’t need a list, I just count the whole bunch of them as guilty if the party doesn’t act appropriately.

On to that never-ending circus, the foreign affairs arena. North Korea hacks a damned film studio and we act as if they bombed Pearl Harbor. Of course it’s a cyber-crime, and Sony should sue or otherwise retaliate. It has the means to pay for a little assistance. Instead top US sages practically call for bombing North Korea and claim it is war against America. Furthermore, somebody surfaces the absurd claim that China, Russia, and Iran are also behind it. That is just so neat, tying up a handful of your deadly foes (per Washington) in one more global rumor intended to blacken their names. Psy-ops. Then somebody disrupted the internet system in North Korea and people have been quick to speculate that it was the US, just to show we can. But as my wise husband said, “they’re  doing the North Korean government a favor by doing that — the government would love to knock out the internet in North Korea!” And everywhere else if possible.

The US is not only saber-rattling in Russia’s face, it has two swords out and is making a terrible racket. Russia is now good and roused and the Bear is getting its own swords honed. The US Congress has authorized the US President to provide lethal military assistance to the government of west Ukraine and to impose still more economic sanctions, but it is up to Obama if he chooses to use the authority or not. Over in Russia, the Duma revoked the authority it gave Putin to act militarily and immediately in defense of Russian interests in event of a crisis, but it did so at Putin’s request as a “confidence-building measure.” I’m sure it was tongue-in-cheek for Mr. Putin, as “confidence building measures” (or CBMs in the industry) is a concept from west European leftists who promoted the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to build bridges to the East that are now being burned down by the EU. Now the Duma is about to give the authorization to Putin again. I don’t doubt he will use it if necessary, but I think Russia prefers that this be settled through federation of Ukraine rather than continuation of an unsuccessful unitary state. On the other hand, it all depends on how the US proceeds. A course of militarizing Ukraine in NATO’s favor is going to lose Ukraine all its eastern sector and the south, too.

Russia isn’t ceding an inch, no matter what pressure the West exerts. Their money plummeted under what I am quite sure was a deliberately-provoked hysteria, but now the Central Bank is intervening and there is some stabilization. Russia is demanding its giant enterprises (LUKoil, Rosneft, etc.) sell part of their foreign currency domestically to ease the pressure and all of them are stepping to the plate (or else, no doubt), having sold a reported one billion dollars worth in the past days.  The US and EU have tried to injure Russia through the financial system the West controls, and Russia has responded by creating its own alternative systems, a growing trend among the world’s regional powers.  Russia is not denominating future contracts in US dollars and that, too, is a trend. Russia-China trade is one billion dollars — and it is being denominated in yuan or rubles henceforward. Everybody is learning from Russia’s trials, learning that the US is not trustworthy, that NATO is aggressive, and that the West will use any measure, regardless of how hurtful to ordinary populations, to impose its will. The only answer is to become independent of such channels of pressure. It is happening.

When Sweden complained that a Russian jet-fighter came too close to a Swedish plane and wasn’t using its transponders, the Russian military responded that NATO flights close to Russian borders had increased to 3,000 in the past year, and that NATO jet fighters fly without transponders along Russian borders and have had numerous documented near misses with Russian aircraft. He added that Russian maneuvers close to EU airspace are as dangerous to the EU as NATO flights close to Russian airspace are to Russia. In response to US military activity in eastern Europe, Russia is certainly going to be redeploying its own forces. In fact this was hinted at during the press conference when a woman from Kaliningrad (a Russian enclave surrounded by NATO) complained of the hateful propaganda coming at Kaliningrad from the west and the increased military activity at the territory’s borders. She asked if Russia would be deploying military assets to Kaliningrad to protect them. Putin carefully did not answer the question in his response.

And finally — how can I not mention Cuba? The resumption of diplomatic relations with this seedy little island, emigrants from which are among my relatives and friends, is being done “for the people of Cuba” and because we  now see that economic sanctions don’t work. I have never known the USG to do anything for anybody else; it is always a matter of US interests, as it should be. And second, on the sanctions thing — does this mean the US will be lifting sanctions elsewhere, like against Russia? Or Iraq? I mean — if a seedy little island can resist the full force and will of the US for all these years, do they really think Russia is going to cave?

Well, I sure hope the New Year brings us some people with clear vision, common sense and the right experience to guide our foreign policy, which is sinking into a bog of mistakes. And John Boehner — I’m watching you.

 

 

 


American Rollercoaster

I have not written on foreign policy for a while. Things are happening so fast that I hardly put pen to paper when some new development makes past judgements just slightly off. Iraq is now a patchwork quilt of alliances on both the jihadist (ISIS) side and the government’s. And our enemy next door in Iraq and the other one in Syria, the two forming a mini Axis of Evil, are our allies, of a sort, in fighting the same guys in Iraq that we are helping stupidly or otherwise in Syria. I know, it is too confusing to follow, and frankly this regime would rather nobody follow it.

In Ukraine things are equally interesting. I can’t tell if this is the Russian short game or long game. Russia is saying all the right things (unlike Nouri al Maliki) and seems to have all but abandoned its co-patriots in eastern Ukraine. On the other hand, the sneaky part of my brain whispers, the rebels seem to be drawing the Ukrainian troops ever closer to the Russian border. What’s that about? No sooner had the thought entered my brain than the news flashes began about shells landing on Russian territory inside a populated area and killing a woman and child. The rebel actions are becoming more violent and the Ukrainians are reacting in kind. Will this go any farther? Will Putin at the last moment, when his name is anathema to everybody in eastern Ukraine, swoop down and occupy an area to prevent any more bloodshed? Or will he allow the resistance to the Kievites to be crushed. And if he does, what does it mean? I suspect as I have for a while that Merkel and Putin have a deal, a secret one. The deal is, she will oppose any further expansion of NATO eastward, thus blocking such moves. Putin will let Poroshenko try to govern Ukraine. This would buy Putin time for further plotting and preparations for something still to come. It will give Merkel time to try to strengthen Ukraine vis a vis Russia through increased trade and aid. Whatever the case, despite daily calls for wider sanctions against Russia, the hawks have for the moment been stifled. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO SecGen, and Philip Breedlove, US General seconded to NATO have not been heard from in months. Perhaps they, too, are as mystified as I am what is really going on between Russia and Germany. Let’s hope that Germany doesn’t get the best of the deal yet again as they did with Ribbentropp.

How about Israel and the Palestinians? What a kick in the pants. Three Israeli boys are kidnapped and brutally murdered and old Obama is Silent Cal. Only when the Israelis defend their country and population vigorously, having long ago realized whose side the US is taking in the Middle East,  do we hear from the Great Peacemaker (hah!) Barack Obama.

If there were ever a moment in time when everything that can go wrong is going wrong, this is it. This is a historical period of US decline domestically and internationally and everything and anything is possible. Hold on to your hats.

I hear more and more talk about the rise of the new Caliphate, where all us women get to wear veils and take care of the little man’s needs. These jihadists are very bizarre, if you ask me. I thought they were Moslems, but they’re destroying mosques and holy sites. Huh. Could it be that they are secretly jihadists trying to restore some ancient pagan religion such as that of Egypt’s pharaohs? Maybe that is why they are called ISIS? Bet you never thought of that one.

These terrorists are supposedly the top number one all-time worst ever threat to US national security, and we know how sneaky and devious they are. As their power builds throughout the Middle East and Africa, in the US our regime decides a border is irrelevant and pretty much offers open invitations to everybody to come on in. Our US enforcement is being turned not against this illegal wave that is a direct violation of US sovereignty, no indeed. The tough guys are gunning for the US citizen tired of being  ignored and used. The people out there blocking the arrival of uninvited and unwanted illegals are under threat of “counter-violence” from the USG.

At the same time that Mexico has dumped thousands of problems onto the US (and good riddance, I’m sure they said) our prez has nothing to say about a US Marine who is being held in some hell-hole of a jail in Mexico out of pure spite. On this fact alone I would impeach him. (And while I’m at it, I’m so sick of hearing Republican pols whining that impeachment is the wrong way to go. I mean, I’ll be glad if Obama is brought down through a Court ruling, but there’s nothing wrong with impeachment, either.)

And all the while the Commander-in-Chief (and boy, does he love giving commands) is golfing or giving high-fives to a homosexual and asking a personal question about the guy’s sexuality in front of little kids, or partying with the One Percent and the Hollywood trash set. The First Moochers are already getting ready for their next super-expensive vacation on the taxpayer’s dime or maybe mooching off friends for a swank place to stay. Obama ain’t gonna do a lick of work, Massah, and ain’t nuthin you can do ’bout it. I suspect from his recent performances that he is once again smoking his beloved choom and perhaps dabbling in other substances as well. It would be right in line with his open contempt for this country. He looks for every opportunity to play the arrogant buffoon who will be beloved around the world for bringing America to its knees.

 

 


The Deed is Done, the Die is Rolled

crimea russiaIf Russia needed a boost to its national spirit, the Crimea has provided it. No matter what the reality turns out to be, and for sure there are going to be problems — as many as Kiev and the West can throw at them — the Russian majority in Crimea is ecstatic to have the direct protection of Holy Mother Russia.  A reported 96.77 percent of those who voted in Crimea voted to rejoin Russia and 88 percent of the eligible population voted. Many people reported that it was like a holiday, they felt they were returning to their mother’s bosom. Amy Kellogg of Fox News is skeptical of the percentage win reported by the electoral commission, although she has no doubt that the pro-Russian vote did carry the day handily. And she admitted that turnout was very high. But she said the concern is that the ethnic Russians are hounding the ethnic Ukrainians and that there was a lot of pressure on people to turn out, including by armed men. On the other hand, the armed men were not in the voting booths to determine which box was checked. If you were angry or opposed, that was your moment: vote for Ukraine. I watched ballot-counting and the vote counters held up each ballot to show how it was marked before recording it. One western observer tweeted that he was watching the voting, with ballots cast in transparent boxes, and all those he could read were checked in favor of annexation. And voters were happy and laughing. It’s pretty clear that those opposed were by and large not bothering to vote both because the outcome was obvious and to protest. An actual protest vote would have been better, as their abstention gives Russia real crowing rights. As for Russian hounding of Ukrainians, Kellogg should have added that this was a mirror-image of western Ukraine, where the Ukrainians are hounding the ethnic Russians.

It was clear the Russians had a plan ready to go when what Russia feared would happen, happened: NATO decided to draw Ukraine into what Russia considers in many respects an enemy organization. Russia knew the lay of the land and knew how to deploy propaganda to complement the anti-Russian actions in western Ukraine and the threats from the West. The pro-Russian population was good and riled as well as frightened by the mob violence in Kiev and the emerging evidence that NATO member nations trained the snipers who shot into the Maidan crowd. The EU/US rush to embrace the coup leaders, a good number of whom are far right figures who hate Russia, left the pro-Russians feeling they needed their own protector, and that protector was obviously Russia.

russia conundrumUkraine and Georgia are the only buffer Russia has left between itself and the NATO military pact today. Buffer zones give a nation a trip-wire that allows for the mobilization for war. Think of it this way: the entire eastward expansion of NATO is an effort to get a buffer zone between western Europe and Russia thus giving greater protection to the big NATO powers of Germany and France and allowing NATO HQ in Brussels time to mobilize. No great power dares to leave itself no time to react to military aggression and Russia has been given ever greater reason to fear an aggressive NATO since 1991. The moment NATO started casting lustful glances toward Georgia and Ukraine, Russia’s hackles went up. We had the brief Russian set-to with Georgia when the Georgian army tried to retake the pro-Russian secessionist region of South Ossetia. And now we have Crimea and eastern Ukraine. This could be a point where an arrangement is made with Russia or we move into an inevitable trajectory of war.

I see that the western protectors of western Ukrainians are setting up an “observer mission” in Ukraine. I served in such a mission. This is what they are for: military reconnaissance, target acquisition, channeling support to the opponents’ enemies, gathering propaganda material to be used by Brussels and national capitals, and arranging military liaison with those who will form a puppet government following NATO’s military action. The big media are always co-propagandists, no surprise. Observer missions, with their noble stated goals, are always an intended direct threat to whomever NATO is opposing, and if you don’t believe it — ask Serbia. If NATO is planning on wandering around in eastern Ukraine under the guise of observer missions, it is deliberately looking for a direct NATO-Russia confrontation. The outcome will be the occupation of eastern Ukraine by Russia. All hell is going to break loose. NATO, so keen on the Ukrainian prize, has put its big boot in the door and thus is driving up the stakes dramatically. We won’t need to wait for the western Ukrainians to respond with military action against Russia to set off the next global war. And it will be global, because every bad actor in the world is going to use our distraction over Ukraine to go for whatever it is it wants that the US doesn’t want it to have. Look for early reactions in Syria and Venezuela and Iran and North Korea.

solzhNATO doesn’t give a damn what damage its expansionism is doing to international stability. Contrary to their smug assumptions, threatening a massive nuclear state with an arms industry to rival that of the US will not bring peace and happiness to the planet. Once NATO decided to jettison the earlier NATO promise to Russia not to expand eastward in recognition of Russia’s genuine security concerns, it covered its treachery with fine words. Every country can decide which alliance it wants to belong to, NATO said (and says). My response was always this: that may be true, but NATO also has a right and an obligation to make a choice between being provocative and threatening, and thus destabilizing international security, or encouraging some other way to give greater security to the petitioning countries — things like regional defense organizations rather than NATO membership. NATO made its choice, preferring its own aggrandizement to stability. Now the US is responsible for all those countries who have entered in an endless procession and at NATO prodding and encouragement. At this moment, we are in peril of being taken into a war we are not going to “win” — just like we haven’t won a war since WWII. Only this time, the homeland is going to be the field of war, as will be the homelands of everybody else involved.

naziI read that one of the leading right-wing figures who loomed large in the putsch in Kiev has now publicly said he thinks the Ukrainians should blow up all the pipelines in Ukraine to punish the Russians. It’s true that the Russians depend on those pipelines to send oil to Germany and other European nations, including those from the former Soviet Union, but it was just breathtaking that this man doesn’t realize he would also be blowing up Ukraine’s only reliable source of energy, from Russia, part of which has been regularly siphoned off by the Ukrainians ever since the pipelines were built. That’s in addition to not paying a market price for the fuel they get legally and not paying a lot of the bill at all. This right-wing thug is the kind of idiot the US supports, as long as he is useful. I’m not sure anybody will view his suggestion as helpful, least of all Kiev’s supporters in Europe. But this is what we have let loose. And one thing is leading to another and that to another, until we have a snowball rolling downhill. Angela Merkel’s indignant hysterics are not helping either. As the head of a country that took so many millions of Russian lives, she might want to let someone else take the lead. Fat chance.


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?

 

 

 


Obama Chalks Up Victory after Victory (Not)

afghanistanAnd thus ends Obama’s War, the one in Afghanistan. He rode into office declaring that country to be in dire jeopardy and swearing to make victory against the terrorists there a focus of his foreign policy He was going to get us out of The War Bush Made and into one that was Obama-made. He was going to settle everything militarily and politically. With the Moon in the Seventh House, Peace would rule the universe.

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the thousands of Afghans grabbing up whatever they can carry and heading into safe-haven camps for internally-displaced persons where they are seeking asylum in other countries. Many others are trying to get out of the country on visas. Australia is a big destination and the outliers are putting down roots and throwing out life-lines to relatives still trapped in the escalating violence unleashed by the resurgent Taliban. The UN Commissioner for Refugees thinks this is a response to the US pull-out of forces and the growing reach of the Taliban. The population is already experiencing what is to come when the Taliban return to power everywhere — women are particularly eager to get out of the country. Some have objected to being forced into servitude to the Taliban as cooks. Hah. Wait until they’re being marched onto the soccer field to be executed for objecting to cooking.

Yes indeed, Afghanistan has been another resounding Obama success story, one his right-hand man Hillary Clinton can take a lot of credit for, too. Afghanistan ranks right up there next to Benghazi and Egypt as shining examples of the great things one can accomplish if one is only a utopianist intellectual nincompoop. Afghanistan’s collapse into violence and anarchy (again) will not end with the deaths of a handful of people, as in Benghazi, or persecution of Christians or installation of a military junta, as in Egypt. This time a whole population is going to be terrorized (again) and when the bloodshed starts it will spoil not only individual reputations, but the image and influence of the United States of America. Because if, like Obamacare, this war was a center-piece of Obama’s brilliant strategies, what does is say about America’s ability to come through in a clinch or even make good on promises? If Afghanistan is a big part of Obama’s legacy, along with the Arab Spring, then we know that Obama’s legacy is pure trash. And what else did we expect from a man who, when all is said and done, is under-educated, poorly-informed,  lazy, incompetent, and filling a job way above his IQ?

iraniraqBut let me give credit where credit is due. The Big Bopper said he was going to end US military involvement in Iraq and he did. Of course now Iraq is a full-fledged satellite of Iran and violence there is also going up and up and up. Lot of scores to be settled in the wake of the US retreat. It seems Mr. Obama and his minions have the reverse Midas touch: everything they touch turns to doo-doo.

It’s a good thing our president has decided to turn his attention to domestic affairs and let all that bothersome international stuff simmer away untended, as any further Obama initiatives for peace could plunge us into another world war. With the UN season come and gone, no more big empty speeches to make on the international stage, either. Egypt has taken note of Obama’s aloofness, deemed regal by his acolytes and disinterested by the rest of the world. The military officers who rule the roost for the moment are turning their eyes to Russia and its powerhouse president, Vladimir Putin, who demonstrated with Syria that Russia can be counted on to keep its word and stand by friends. There could be some hefty arms sales coming Russia’s way, and that would be bad news for America’s war industries. But what’s a little more unemployment — there are lots of 15-hour a week jobs going begging.

Syria continues waging war against its now largely-Jihadi opposition, and the warrior-peaceniks of the world and Assad’s regional foes continue to decry the lack of adequate punishment for Assad’s crimes. The Saudis, in particular, are fuming because we didn’t grab the chemical weapons bait they no doubt connived in planting. They were sure we would use the opportunity to unleash a small war to depose or kill Assad and oust from power his particular religious sect. But the chemical weapon pretext for war was deftly removed from the table by the Russians, who carried out a beautiful checkmate of the US. This means any attempt to divert attention from Obama’s misfortunes at home by starting a little something over there in the Middle East have now been vastly complicated. Given the level of international and domestic opposition to another war, Obama would have to plant some really devastating evidence of some really devastating crime to even be allowed to finish saying “I am launching an air campaign.” Of course, given the quantity of US weapons floating around the region, it might not be too hard to cook something up.

chinaThe world’s political configuration is once again in motion, with new players taking prominence and old players getting caught up in the consequences of their own policies and watching their stars set. America’s will to defend the really important things was drained in all the frivolous and secondary wars we waged when once the world’s only superpower. There are scores to be settled in the international arena, too, not only in countries we have abandoned to their fates. Too bad our military is in the process of being purged of its best officers and demoralized by social engineering. Our ability to do much more than bluster has been badly eroded. God preserve  us from the need to wage a serious war anytime soon. And God preserve us from our own domestic Taliban.

 


Dying for Peace

madhouseI swore I wasn’t going to write another word on Syria for the time being. I was just going to keep an eagle eye on how the Republicans in Congress were behaving vis a vis Obama’s mad proposal to wage war on Syria. I was just going to make a list and check it twice. But the news surrounding this Great American Blunder is so bizarre and the ironies so intense that I have to comment.

Fox News website has a great picture of Obama and Putin. Obama is heading out of the picture frame with that characteristic pursed lips expression signaling that His Eminence has had his feathers ruffled. The pout is usually provoked by a question he doesn’t want to answer, or one that implies he is a liar or ignorant, or a suggestion he is not all he’s cracked up to be, or anything else that is irksome. Following behind him is a cheerful looking Vladimir Putin, chuckling to himself, who actually has a lot to be chipper about these days when it comes to the USA. My guess is he shook Obama’s hand, grinned and whispered to him: “Please, make my day — bomb Syria and put those boots on the ground!”

Remember when Jimmy Carter was in office and the Soviet Union was sending its highly limited quantity of sons to die in Afghanistan? We were so smug back then, boycotting the Olympics to show our moral dander was up and denying the Soviet Union the gas turbines for their oil industry. We watched with some degree of satisfaction as the Soviets were sucked deeper and deeper into that morass. But back then we had morals and a little smugness was in order when battling the Evil Empire. Of course, what good did our morality do us? We took Osama bin Laden under our wing to screw the USSR, hand-fed and nurtured him. Wow, was that ever a good decision.

chuck hagelI then read that Chuck Hagel, who has obviously been into the magic mushrooms, accused Russia of giving the chemical weapons used on August 21 in Syria to the Assad regime. There are two problems with Hagel’s charge. The first is that it assumes Putin is as stupid as Obama; what on earth would Russia get out of encouraging and enabling long-time ally Assad to provoke the Moral Conscience of the World into bombing? Unlike the US or Germany, Russia has not provoked a single war since the last Tsar shuffled off his mortal coils and it is unlikely they would choose to do so over Syria.

The other problem is that it blithely assumes that Assad’s people used the weapons. You will probably have noticed that, unlike the BBC, neither the USG nor the US media refer to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons as alleged, but instead follow Vladimir Lenin’s maxim that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Hence you will hear from every side that “Assad’s brutal use of chemical weapons against small children and old ladies” demands a military response. Well of course, if your objective is to get an excuse for bombing the hell out of Syria, you’re not going to admit that your claim is only an unproven allegation and not even a very convincing allegation at that. I’m going to give Meat-Head Hagel a break here and make an assumption of my own: he’s being fed the same disinformation from the same agencies as John Kerry (my face! my face! I can’t feel my face!). Neither of them has the native intelligence to sniff out cooked intel.

Then there is the insidious Senate draft resolution that was passed out of Committee with the help of John McCain, who had only the same day sworn he wouldn’t vote for it because it didn’t allow us to lay waste to Syria. But I think I know what changed his mind. In addition to giving the president three months to spend billions and billions of dollars we don’t have bombing Syria, the resolution has a clause that prohibits the use of military personnel for combat purposes — but leaves gaping loopholes that would allow us to invade Syria to “secure chemical weapons” or for other unnamed purposes that we don’t consider war-making. Anybody with at least several active brain cells will ask himself: you mean there won’t be any fighting if we send in troops to secure the chemical weapons? Old McCain knows better; it’s blood he wants, and he plans to keep pushing for it.

Another bit of news that ought to make us sit up and pay attention is Putin’s threat to give Syria S-300 missile shield defense systems (for which it has already delivered certain components) should the US attack. But that’s not an end to it. Russia also suggested these systems might be transferred to Iran, which had signed contracts for the weapons that Russia suspended in 2010 in response to Security Council resolutions. So now this confrontation that the US has been champing at the bit to start has gone from being the Big Bully against the much weaker Twerp, to being Big Bully against Twerp and Big Brother. That doesn’t even take into account the other bruiser in the neighborhood, Iran. Or China, which also sells Syria weapons.

I see that the Congressional Research Office has put on it’s green eyeshade and come up with a figure of 75000 US troops needed to “secure chemical weapons” in Syria. I think they need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how many soldiers we are going to have to march into the mouth of hell if they have to secure the chemical weapons, defeat Assad’s army, fend off Russian missiles and fight Hezbollah. I hope somebody has stepped up production of body bags in the US.

john kerryOne last observation: John Kerry has sworn to the American public and to certain heroically skeptical members of Congress that Assad will definitely use chemical weapons against civilians again if they don’t let the Pentagon create mayhem in Syria. Hoo-hah. I would normally say, “how can you be so sure of that?” Except I am pretty sure how he can make such a hard-and-fast prediction. Because the same people who carried out the August attack no doubt have plenty of supplies to do it all over again. As I said before, if dozens of Syrians dead from chemical weapons doesn’t earn support for an American attack, then it will have to be a thousand. And if a thousand dead Syrians isn’t enough, I guess they will have to use the cw somewhere more heavily populated. Eventually, so the thinking might go, there is bound to be the desired reaction.

jackboots_editedYou know, when a government becomes so contemptuous of the people it supposedly serves that it can lie, spy and oppress them routinely, what hindrance is there to that same government using the same tactics against the world? Especially when they have big, bad military technology to hold over the world’s head as a threat.

I think we all know the answer to that one.

 

 

 

 


Lies, Lies and More Lies

propaganda 3Just in case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a major propaganda campaign. The fawning press and the hawkish press do not call it propaganda, of course. They call it a “major push” to convince our Congress to back the bombing of Syria, just a few bombing sorties that will let everybody in the world know they dare not thwart US demands on anything. We are told that not waging war on Syria will make us all look like fools and weaken American leadership. But we all know the truth, it’s staring us in the face. America’s leadership has already been fatally eroded by our predilection for the use of force against others and by our arrogance. And if we don’t bomb, the only people who will look like fools are the president and his stooges in the US government.

This is what propaganda looks like and feels like. It is pervasive; it is false; it is goal-oriented. No dissension is allowed. If our government needs popular support to do something that constitutes a flat-out violation of international law, the solution is to fill empty minds with images and lies and watch the people fall into line. Frankly, it is similar to the care and feeding of mushrooms (keep ’em in the dark and feed ’em shit). The sad thing is, it works to a frightening degree. Before the government unleashed its propaganda campaign, only 9 percent of Americans favored bombing Syria for any reason at all short of an attack on America. The latest polls show that the figure is now over forty percent.

We are not getting the truth about any of what happened in Syria other than that a lot of people died. Instead Washington is rolling out the doctored evidence for our viewing pleasure. But instead of real proof we get such hogwash as “we know for a fact” or “we have all the evidence we need” or “we did our own tests.” We hear that the mass of evidence, the damning details, must be withheld or risk endangering our sources. All we can have are the bits and pieces those holding the information deem sufficient to calm our doubts. And our government tries to befuddle the public by exclaiming that nobody could possibly fake the results of the sarin attack that has been so thoroughly documented in video and photos. But then, who claimed the attack was a mock-up? Exactly nobody. It is a red herring. Our overlords want us to focus on the left hand, which is empty rather than the right hand, which is performing the trickery. Our government doesn’t want us to focus on the only question of importance, who perpetrated the attack. Or maybe for our Government, that is not an important question at all.

propaganda 5Personally, I don’t question the fact that chemical weapons were used in Syria. That seems to be a fact, and it isn’t the first time cw was used. But I’d be willing to bet that our info on who used the cw comes from that the men leading the opposition to Assad, the men McCain ludicrously calls freedom fighters and our own CIA is training and arming. That makes such claims highly suspect. We cannot afford to forget that the basic question in all crimes is, who benefits? Is it Bashar al-Assad, who knew that the US wanted him to use cw so they would have the excuse they were looking for to bomb Syria? Or is it the “freedom fighters” who know their chances of defeating Assad on their own are about zero. They need the US air force and its explosive ordnance.

Our government tells us over and over that the opposition has no access to chemical weapons, but that is another lie and misdirection. There is public and published information that Turkish police in May 2013 arrested a group of Syrian militants (anti-Assad) who had a five-pound canister of sarin gas and were planning to use it (supposedly in Turkey, but that doesn’t make any sense since Turkey is also an enemy of Assad). Here is what one report said:

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

If that’s not enough to convince you that our government is lying about opposition access to cw, you might want to consider that Carla del Ponte, a former war crimes prosecutor, publicly stated in May 2013 that the UN commission of inquiry looking into cw use in Syria had very strong (but not incontrovertible) evidence that at least one sarin gas attack was carried out by Assad’s opponents.

In Iraq, we didn’t wait for Saddam Hussein to use a weapon of mass destruction before going in and laying waste to Iraq in the search for those weapons. That turned out to be a big mistake, as it led to the inescapable and increasingly loud question of “where are the weapons of mass destruction?” The people who rule our lives have learned from their mistakes and improved their propaganda and the visuals. This time somebody got the bright idea of using the cw in a big and public way against civilians prior to bombing Syria, thus providing the pretext for war and silencing skeptics. The only trick was to make it appear that it was Assad who ordered the attack. This was done in part, according to one informed source, by twisting intercepted communications to point to the desired culprit.

propaganda 4Listening to the two asses braying on tv last night (that would be McCain and Graham) I see that merely dropping bombs as a lesson for the hated Assad isn’t enough to slake their thirst for aggression. In blunt terms, the two men told us we need to beef up one of the two parties bringing death and destruction to Syria, give them powerful weapons, be their air force, be their logisticians, and really go all out to destroy the country. Only then can we install “our guys” so America can re-shape Syria into a shining example of democracy. If we aren’t ready to go all-out against Assad, they say, don’t bother bombing at all. Well, I don’t know about you, but not bombing at all sounds to me like the best suggestion McCain and Graham ever had.

If you think the fall-out from the US invasion of Iraq was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. We took on Hussein when his country was remarkably stable and we were still overwhelmed. In the end we left in defeat, handing over the country to Iran’s influence. In Libya, we removed Qaddafi from power and installed our pals, and then we had Benghazi. That country is in a shambles. Now we want to take on another much larger and much better armed country already embroiled in civil war, one with powerful backers and with foreign groups up to their necks in the dirty fighting. Our elected leaders want us to believe against all previous evidence that America will come out of this in fine shape, with no adverse effects to our country’s true interests. It seems the war-mongers have been convinced by their own propaganda.

I’d laugh if it wasn’t so tragic. I don’t know how our Senate will vote on this effort to start a war. I hope they have enough sense of self-preservation that they vote against it. But if they do give Obama what he wants, this is one voter who will sit out the 2014 elections and let the chips fall where they may. If your representatives don’t represent you — why bother voting?