We tell ourselves the stories we need to hear. This is excerpt details American involvement in Afghanistan, but from a non-embedded reporters point of view and analysis.
“The central thesis of the American failure in Afghanistan — the one you’ll hear from politicians and pundits and even scholars — was succinctly propounded by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: “The war in Iraq drained resources from Afghanistan before things were under control.” In this view, the American invasion of Iraq became a crucial distraction from stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, and in the resulting security vacuum the (Read more…)
A historical digest of where Venezuela has been and perhaps where it is going.
Filed under: International Affairs Tagged: Background Information, Turmoil, Venezuela
Murder, by the numbers.
“Matters were moving toward a climax. Reliant on bulletins from the Predator crew, the captain commanding the raiding party on the ground had interpreted the news that the convoy was now heading away from the Americans on the ground as confirmation not only that the enemy was “maneuvering” but that it contained an HVI (high-value individual), always a priority target for U.S. forces in this war. He gave the order to strike. The helicopters would take the first shot. The helicopter crews, who had come on the scene late, were simply informed that there (Read more…)
The BBC gives a little more background –
” Islamic State has become synonymous with viciousness – beheadings, crucifixions, stonings, massacres, burying victims alive and religious and ethnic cleansing.
While such savagery might seem senseless to the vast majority of civilised human beings, for IS it is a rational choice. It is a conscious decision to terrorise enemies and impress and co-opt new recruits.”
How does one deal with the grotesquery and horror that is going on in Syria/Iraq? The ISIL show executions are delivered to social media with frightful regularity. Mass executions, beheadings, and now people (Read more…)
Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. – Sam Harris.
This is a dangerous quote from Mr.Harris because it muddles the line between action and intent. How can there be any sort of dialogue when one faction can be singled out for death for nothing that they have done, but their beliefs.
Consider how easy it would be for opponents of US policy to follow this same doctrine – would they too be taking ethical action?
Harris, in this context, is not adding clarity to the complex (Read more…)
*Update – The election results are in.
There might be hope for the people of Greece in their upcoming elections. Excerpts of an interview of Tariq Ali hosted by Kostas Vlahopoulos and Thomas Giourgas.
“3. What is your view of the current sociopolitical situation in Greece?
Tariq Ali: The situation is polarised. The fascists of Golden Dawn and the Conservative descendants of the wrong side in the Greek Civil war have the support of a sizeable section of the Greek population. This cannot be ignored and we do so at our peril. The emergence and growing support for (Read more…)
A brief note. I think that this essay should be required reading for all those who consider joining the armed forces and participating in the cycle of terrorism and destruction that currently dominates our foreign policy and geo-political goals here in the West. Many thanks to Tom’s Dispatch for hosting the essay.
“Why The War on Terror Shouldn’t Be Your Battle.”
Let’s start that unpacking process with racism: That was the first and one of the last times I heard the word “enemy” in battalion. The usual word in my unit was “Hajji.” Now, Hajji (Read more…)
Ah, the joy of the free press down in the US. Let’s catch up with Noam as takes us through some possible solutions to the Palestine/Israel conflict.
Filed under: Education, International Affairs, Media Tagged: Israel, Noam Chomsky, Palestine, UN
Canada has sent CF-18’s to participate in the bombing of ISIS. I think this is a very bad idea and I need to tell you a story from my childhood to illustrate why.
This whole sending planes overseas to bomb people reminds me of one Christmas I had the pleasure of spending in Hawaii. Oh let me assure you gentle readers, it was a very merry Mele Kalikimaka for my Mom and I. We saw many wonderful sights, swam on many beaches, drove around for the first couple of days in a standard car that my dear (Read more…)
Who could ask for anything more. A great beach, a good discotheque and an opportunity for martyrdom for the win!
Over a million tourists from around the world visit Sousse, Tunisia every year. And, while the coastal city boasts pristine beaches and world class hotels, recently, hordes of local young men have been leaving fun and sun behind them in favor of joining ISIS in Syria.
Filed under: International Affairs Tagged: Fun in the Sun, ISIS, Syria, Tunisa
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Sousse Tunisia – Fun in the Sun and ISIS Recruitment Hotbed
In the crazy fun house world of imperial politics nationalist regimes are less preferable than radical religious ones. Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek discuss the motivations of empire in the Middle East in this selection from the book: On Western Terrorism – From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare.
“Anyhow, going back to the Middle East after World War II. The British role in Iran was reduced and the US began to take over. IN Iraq in 1958, there was a so-called independent government, but it was basically British-run, and it was overthrown in a military coup. (Read more…)
Fascinating reading about some of the circular nature of events that are playing out in the Middle East as of late. This excerpt from the Counterpunch article titled Once More, Into the Quagmire.
The Middle East Needs Our Military Might
One can hear, in the reverberating noise of mainstream justifications, a series of claims. Among them is the idea that the Middle East is united in opposition to ISIS. Indeed it is, if you confine your poll to the rotten monarchies of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Adding Jordan to (Read more…)
Harper wants Canada to go on airstrikes on Iraq. That’s right. Canada. The nice ones, the peace keepers, the polite people, the bastion of warm-gooey-joy-joy feelings, the “we’re awesome because we can solve problems without bombing people” great white north. He wants us conducting air strikes. We have to tell him ‘No.’
Elizabeth May of the Green Party spoke against the airstrikes (video below) and I think she did a good job. There’s a big part of me that wishes she didn’t tread so softly, that she went for the jugular and tore them a new one. That said, I (Read more…)
Gaza and the Threat of World War
“There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”
For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can’t look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the (Read more…)
The chickens of western colonialism are coming home to roost.
Excerpt from “The Guns of August” – by Matthew Stevenson via Counterpunch
“Doubts about the sincerity of Americans in Iraq probably began when President Ronald Reagan dispatched his former national security advisor Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane to Tehran in 1986 with a cake and a Bible and proposed swapping arms for American hostages in Lebanon.
Until that moment, in the long war between Iran and Iraq, Saddam was our man, a bulwark against Shiite expansion in the Gulf, a non-fundamental (i.e., someone not adverse to girls (Read more…)
The following article reproduced in its entirety from Altnet.org.
Noam Chomsky explores the history of repression and violence that stand as precursors to the current conflict. August 7, 2014 |
Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel’s goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.
For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence.
For Gaza, (Read more…)
Some results of the latest Israeli raid :
* Destroyed tunnels, most often used to smuggle into Gaza household items that Israel, in violation of international law, prevents from being imported.
* Massacred nearly 2,000 people, including hundreds of children as young as newborns; injured thousands more.
* Destroyed hundreds of homes, leaving thousands of men, women and children homeless.
* Destroyed power plants, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without electricity or running water.
* Destroyed factories that produce such dangerous items as pretzels, cheese and biscuits.
* Targeted and murdered journalists.
Israeli officials have stated that, (Read more…)
The US is doing it again.
“In February, the US mounted one of its “colour” coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama’s national security adviser Victoria Nuland personally selected the leader of an “interim government”. She nicknamed him “Yats”. Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.
For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of (Read more…)
Have you ever wondered about some of the shared traits of humanity? One could prosaically think of Love, Compassion and Happiness and one would be correct. If the similarities ended there, I wouldn’t be writing, nor would you be reading about the prevalence of torture across the globe.
“The report titled Torture in 2014 – 30 Years of Broken Promises read: “Although governments have prohibited this dehumanising practice in law and have recognised global disgust at its existence, many of them are carrying out torture or facilitating it in practice.”
“Three decades from the convention and (Read more…)
No one should have to live in fear. Death by airstrike, death by rocket. Same result. I cannot even imagine having to deal with every day life in Gaza, especially if I had children.
“I am used to the bombings, but my children are worried. So I have to keep reassuring them.” Explaining what is happening in the skies to children sometimes proves difficult for some Palestinian parents. “When my child becomes scared I try to pacify her,” said Yasir Fatih. “I tell her the noise is far away and it’s not dangerous. Or sometimes (Read more…)
The general capitalist framework sets up people and resources for exploitation. Without a strong social democratic counterweight to capitalist exploitation we necessarily get the tragic results as exemplified by the mine disaster in Soma, Turkey.
“Turkish police are investigating 18 people, including mining company executives and personnel, as part of the probe into the Soma mining disaster, local media had reported.
The arrests on Sunday came after the government promised a thorough investigation into the deaths of 301 miners last week. According to the private Dogan news agency, prosecutors are questioning five of those being held.”
Three hundred (Read more…)
I’m frightened for the wrong reasons.
If I listened and believed what I was supposed to believe I would be afraid that the Russians are provoking the West into military conflict in Ukraine. The problem is that I’m more of afraid of what We are doing to destabilize the situation. John Pilger is with me on this one.
“Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans (Read more…)
The news: If you’re a 7-year-old in the U.S., you are by law too young to buy a cigarette at the counter — but you are old enough to work in the tobacco fields as a day laborer.
Human Rights Watched released a disturbing report Wednesday on child labor in America’s tobacco farms. The four states that grow 90% of U.S. tobacco — North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia — allow children as young as 7 to work in these farms for minimum wage. And it’s completely legal.
That’s right: Elementary school-age children are harvesting tobacco (Read more…)
We are not hearing much about Venezuela at the moment, here is a brief snippet of what life is currently like in parts of that country. Many thanks to Minute Physics for posting this news.
Filed under: International Affairs Tagged: Minute Physics, News, Update, Venezuela