This was in the New York Times last night:
Administration officials said the influential pro-Israel lobby group Aipac was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Mr. Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel. In the House, the majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has long worked to challenge Democrats’ traditional base among Jews.
One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called Aipac “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, “If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line” against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, “we’re in trouble.”
It was originally in this story. Now it’s gone. Its only remnant is in the Times search engine. If you put in “gorilla,” it points you to this story. But the gorilla ain’t there.
Obviously the White House and/or AIPAC did not want to be caught saying that the reason we are attacking Syria is to show AIPAC, the “800 pound gorilla,” that we are serious about the war the lobby really craves: Iran.
But there it is. Or was.
AIPAC censorship even applies to the Times.
Is this an example of history repeating itself? Israeli intelligence finding evidence to support another American war against their enemies?
WHY ARE WE DRONING, EXACTLY?
Honest question here. The policy is so magnificently, impossible, devastatingly reprehensible, it’s hard to imagine the dynamics within the military bureaucracy which support it.
Here are my guesses escalating up the conspiracy spectrum:
1. Some soldiers and officers are looking for job security in their specialty. They enjoy blowing things up, and can’t hear anything else above the sound of their awesomeness.
2. As I’ve written before, when the military has two ways of solving a problem, it’ll choose the way that involves paying large sums of money to a military industry.
3. There are psychopathic people in this world (including a world leader or two) who openly preach death to all Arabs. Droning is part of that campaign.
4. Someone is promoting an inter-civilizational conflict, either because “war is the health of the state,” or because they want the Middle East in turmoil.
Other guesses welcome.
Here is a brief summary of the general understanding of what neocons believe:
1 They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
2 They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
3 They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
4 They accept the notion that the ends justify the means – that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.
5 They express no opposition to the welfare state.
6 They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
7 They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
8 They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
9 They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
10 They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
11 They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
12 They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
13 Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
14 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
15 They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists).
16 They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
17 They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.
the Russians are sending their fleet to Syria; the US has sent F-16s to Jordan; who knows what role Mossad is playing on behalf of the rebels; and now the Iranians are sending their best troops to Syria.
DOUBLESPEAK is the standard, the new normal. Few people are surprised by it. Nevertheless, I thought this was funny and timely:
Brought to you by Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, the neo-conservative movement, hill democrats, and the American taxpayer:
Patrick Barron: Notice the so-called logic: Refugees from Syria “threaten” Jordan, so the US sends warplanes. What are the F-16s going to do, strafe the “threatening” refugees? Then the US “must” create a no-fly zone that extends up to twenty-five miles into Syria in order to protect our F-16s. Plus we’ll keep Patriot Missiles there, just in case the Syrians object to a foreign power controlling its airspace and decide to remove the threat. We are manufacturing another US war, probably not with the Syrians but with their Russian patrons. Are you ready for this?
Of course, there is no Congressional declaration of war, because that would force the government to confront the difficult issue of explaining how we are threatened and by whom. All Middle Eastern governments are threatened by their own people, and there is nothing that we can or should do about it.
Minutes after killing a plain clothed British serviceman on the streets on Woolwich, south London, Michael Adebolajo made this speech to a bystander filming on a cameraphone. In the recording he justifies his actions on British foreign policy and the British involvement in wars in Islamic countries. Here is his speech in full:
“The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers, and this British soldier is one, it’s an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. By Allah, we swear by the Ummah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. So what if we want to live by the sharia in Muslim lands. Why does that mean you must follow us and chase us and call us extremists and kill us? Rather, you lot are extreme. You are the ones – When you drop a bomb, do you think it hits one person? Or rather your bomb wipes out a whole family [true]. This is the reality. By Allah, if I saw your mother today with a buggy, I would help her up the stairs. This is my nature. But we are forced by the Quran -unintelligible – Arabic I think] throughout the Koran that we must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologise that women had to see this today but in our lands our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you. Do you think David Cameron is gonna get caught in the street when we start busting our guns? Do you think the politicians are gonna die? No, it’s gonna be the average guy — like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so we can-so you can all live in peace. Leave our lands and you will live in peace. That’s all I have to say. Allah’s peace and blessings be upon Mohammed, selam alaikum.”
His statement seemed to be edited/censored by most media outlets, so I decided to upload an uncensored version
Last week the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University released a new set of estimates. The numbers are summarized on the web site of the institute’s Cost of War project and detailed in a paper by Professor Neta C. Crawford. The institute’s estimate of the total cost of the two wars now comes to just under $4 trillion.
It wasn’t supposed to cost so much
The wars were not supposed to cost so much. As the administration of President George W. Bush was building a case for the Iraq war in 2002, with some 5,000 American troops already deployed in Afghanistan, the question of cost naturally came up. In September of that year, Lawrence B. Lindsey, then Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, estimated that a new Iraq war would cost $100 billion, maybe $200 billion at a maximum (Read more)
William Kristol knows what is wrong with the United States. As he wrote recently in the flagship magazine of the neo-conservatives, the Weekly Standard, the problem with the US is that we seem to have lost our appetite for war. According to Kristol, the troubles that have befallen us in the 20th century have all been the result of these periodic bouts of war-weariness, a kind of virus that we catch from time to time.
He claims because of the US “drawdown” in Europe after World War II, Stalin subjugated Eastern Europe. Because of war weariness the United States stopped bombing Southeast Asia in the 1970s, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. War weariness through the 1990s led to Rwanda, Milosevic, and the rise of the Taliban. It was our fault for not fighting on! According to Kristol, our failure to act as the policeman of the world is why we were attacked on September 11, 2001. Of the 1990s, he wrote, “[t]hat decade of not policing the world ended with 9/11.”
That revisionism is too much even for fellow neo-conservatives like Paul Wolfowitz to swallow. In a 2003 interview, Wolfowitz admitted that it was the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia that led to the growth of al-Qaeda:
“(W)e can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina.”
But for Kristol and his allies there is never enough war. According to a new study by Brown University, the US invasion of Iraq cost some 190,000 lives, most of them non-combatants. It has cost more than $1.7 trillion, and when all is said and done including interest the cost may well be $6 trillion. Some $212 billion was spent on Iraqi reconstruction with nothing to show for it. Total deaths from US war on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have been at least 329, 000. None of this is enough for Kristol.
The neo-con ideology promotes endless war, but neo-cons fight their battles with the blood of others. From the comfortable, subsidized offices of magazines like the Weekly Standard, the neo-conservatives urge the United States to engage in endless war – to be fought by the victims of the “poverty draft” from states where there are few jobs. Ironically, these young people cannot find more productive work because the Federal Reserve’s endless money printing to keep the war machine turning has destroyed our economy. The six trillion dollars that will be spent on the Iraq war are merely pieces of printed paper that further erode the dollar’s purchasing power now and well into the future. It is the inflation tax, which is the most regressive and cruel of all.
THE Pentagon says it has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade.
The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, California, of an Air Force version of the F-35. Other versions of the F-35 are flown by the Navy and the Marine Corps.
All versions were grounded on Friday. (Read more)