• Freedom! 19,000 Iraqi Civilians Killed in Less Than Two Years

    January 26, 2016 // 9 Comments »

    Powell-anthrax-vial

    …that works out to about 28 dead every day.

    It is also an estimate, given that many areas of the country are not readily accessible, and because the death toll from the siege of Ramadi is not accounted for in the figures. More than 3.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced and/or homeless.

    Iraq is now an ungoverned, failed state, a killing field on the scale of genocide.

    At least 18,802 civilians were killed and 36,245 wounded in Iraq over the last 22 months, according to the UN’s Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Armed Conflict in Iraq. Another 3,206,736 Iraqis are internally displaced, including more than one million children. The study emphasizes that these are conservative estimates. The UN also is careful to note that the number of civilians killed by secondary effects of the violence, such as lack of access to food, water or medical care, is unknown. In many areas of Iraq schools are closed and basic infrastructure is not functioning.

    All that is in addition to the more than one million people already killed during the American occupation period.

    These horrors are directly caused by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation. In addition to unleashing near-total chaos in the nation, the U.S. invasion led directly to the rise of Islamic State, which found the consuming violence fertile soil for growth. ISIS went on to see a new role to emerge, protector of the Sunni population, which was being slaughtered and impoverished by the Shiite majority empowered by the Americans and Iran.

    “Armed violence continues to take an obscene toll on Iraqi civilians and their communities,” remarked the UN high commissioner for human rights. “The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.”

    ISIS is targeting non-Sunni ethnic and religious communities, “systematically persecuting” them, subjecting them to violent repression and crimes, the UN notes. Women and children are particularly affected by these atrocities. Women face extreme sexual violence and even sexual slavery. Children are being forcibly recruited as fighters.

    In addition to ISIS violence, the UN notes that civilians have been killed and kidnapped, and that civilian infrastructure has been destroyed by pro-government forces, militias and tribal fighters. Moreover, civilians are being killed by U.S. airstrikes.

    Adding to the depth of horror in Iraq, many Iraqi refugees have sought asylum in the West, but have been largely unwelcome. In a time of heightened Islamophobia, some European countries and many right-wing American politicians — including more than half of the U.S. governors — have made it clear they do not want to accept Muslim refugees.


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    UN Gives U.S. Flunking Grades on Privacy

    July 31, 2015 // 12 Comments »

    privacy-card-3x2


    For a nation that goes out of its way to tell everybody else what to do about freedomism, and which still has, on paper at least, Constitutional Fourth Amendment guarantees against unlawful search and seizure, America fails miserably in assuring its citizens their rights.


    In fact, according to a UN study, the self-proclaimed “Exceptional Nation” ranks with China, Bolivia and Djibouti. Yea us!

    A United Nations Human Rights Committee issued midterm report cards for several countries based on how well they adhered to and implemented its recommendations related to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, an international treaty outlining the rights of all individuals. The U.S. performance overall was “not satisfactory.”

    In particular, the committee noted that the U.S. government failed to establish an adequate oversight system to make sure privacy rights are being upheld, and failed to make sure that any breaches of privacy were regulated and authorized by law, such as requiring a warrant. The lowest grade reflected America’s failure to “ensure affected persons have access to effective remedies in cases of abuse.”

    The committee also expressed dismay at the U.S. failure to “establish the responsibility of those who provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behavior.”

    Last year, the Human Rights Committee submitted recommendations to the United States on areas where it could improve the privacy rights of its citizens, following revelations made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. But according to the midterm review, many of those suggestions were not addressed.

    So shut the hell up Americans. You’ll get your freedom when and if the authorities decide to give any to you.







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    Emma Watson Will Train Afghan Men to Be Feminists

    July 6, 2015 // 5 Comments »

    sexy-emma-watson-wallpaper


    So here we skip over to Afghanistan.

    As the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, important actress Emma Watson (pictured above in traditional Afghan garb) has spent the last year trying to convince men that women’s equality is more than just a women’s issue. In the U.S., her “He for She” campaign gained the support of celebs like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who tweeted about it, and Steve Carell, who wore the campaign logo on his cufflink at the Oscars. Because of that tweet, and those now-famous cufflinks, women’s equality has been forever fixed in the Homeland.

    Ambassador Watson now has set out to complete her journey by taking the “He for She” struggle to Afghanistan. Apparently the Taliban, whom the U.S. is almost done defeating after 14 years of war, are not nice to their female property, and Emma is so on that thing.

    To kick off the UN campaign’s launch in Afghanistan last week, “local activists,” (i.e., a few women rounded up and paid taxi fare to attend) government officials (i.e., a few thugs who live off foreign graft rounded up and paid taxi fare to attend), and foreign dignitaries (i.e., a few UN interns rounded up and paid taxi fare to attend) met at a Kabul high school to demonstrate how men play an integral role in the fight for women’s rights. Using the slogan “A brave man stands for women,” activists took the stage and shared stories that attempted to reposition the fight for women’s rights as a courageous and valiant undertaking.

    The underlying message was that gender equality can’t be achieved unless men change the way they view women. It’s a major shift in tactics considering that up until recently, gender equality in Afghanistan has been framed largely as a cause taken up by women.

    Super quick reality check: So this has been the problem all along! The Taliban, and the thugs who preceded them, as well as the corrupt men who have been running Afghanistan for the last fourteen years of freedom under the direct supervision of the United States, just didn’t know that it was “a guy thing.” All those “honor killings” and rapes and child brides and murder of women, or that thing last month when a mob in downtown Kabul lynched a 27-year-old woman for allegedly burning a Quran, are just a perception issue.

    Easy fix. Ambassador Watson and the UN have set a lofty goal of acquiring signatures from 3,000 Afghan men and boys pledging to stand up for women’s rights on the “He for She” website (it is unclear 3,000 Afghans of any gender have access to the Internet.) It’s part of a broader aim to acquire pledges from one billion men and boys worldwide by the time the UN General Assembly convenes in September.

    This is all off to a great start — Emma’s website currently boasts 327,488 signatures! The bad news: the majority of them originated in the United States. Only 325 signatures came from Afghanistan, most likely from people rounded up and paid taxi fare to visit one of Kabul’s fine Internet cafes.

    But the program is not just sitting on its hands. It will fix all gender problems further in Afghanistan by gaining endorsements from “Afghan celebrities,” and screening a documentary film telling human-interest stories depicting the plight of Afghan women.

    And if all that fails, Ambassador Watson, who starred in the Harry Potter movies as empowered wizard Hermione Granger, will just wave her wand and shout “Reparo!” Come to think of it, that might have a better chance of helping than the rest of this silliness.

    Five points to Gryffindor!




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    ISIS has Enough Weapons for Up to Two Years

    November 20, 2014 // 5 Comments »

    Team-America


    And guess where the weapons came from?


    A new report prepared for the United Nations Security Council warns ISIS possesses sufficient reserves of small arms, ammunition and vehicles to wage its war in Syria and Iraq for up to two years. And that is assuming they do not capture more weapons, including heavy weapons, from the Iraqi Army, their accidental, primary supplier to date.

    The UN report has even more bad news to share: the size and breadth of the ISIS arsenal provides the group with durable mobility, range and even a limited defense against low-flying aircraft (ISIS has already shot down Iraqi helicopters.) Even if the U.S. bombing campaign continues to destroy the group’s vehicles and heavier weapons, the UN report states, it “cannot mitigate the effect of the significant volume of light weapons” ISIS possesses.


    Where to Begin

    So maybe someone should cut off the flow of weapons to ISIS? Here’s where to start: Almost 20 percent of the small arms ammunition used by ISIS could be traced to U.S. manufacturers. Additionally, the Islamic State appears to use “significant quantities” of ammunition manufactured in Russia under the Wolf brand and distributed by the U.S. to its own allied states in the Middle East. Hmmm.

    Meanwhile, ISIS seems to be getting weapons supplied by air, possibly from Russia, but who really can say.

    Anti-tank weapons that were likely once owned by moderate Syrian rebels have also landed in ISIS hands. In addition to U.S.-supplied arms, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funneling weaponry to various rebel factions in the conflict.


    Who’s Number 1?

    The ISIS arsenal, according to the UN, includes older T-55 and modern, front-line T-72 tanks, anti-aircraft artillery, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets captured from Iraqi and Syrian military stocks, and “extensive supplies of ammunition,” as well as some 250 light vehicles.

    The UN report does have a sense of humor embedded, noting that much of the ISIS weapons stock stolen from the U.S.-backed Iraqi military was “unused” before ISIS seized it.

    The weapons as a whole, the UN report finds, make ISIS not only the world’s best-funded terrorist group but among its best armed. ISIS is sufficiently armed to threaten the region “even without holding territory”, the report concludes.


    Money Matters

    The report recommends the UN adopt new sanctions designed to disrupt the well-financed ISIS’ economic health. Significant among them is a call for states bordering ISIS-controlled territory (a diplomatic way of saying mostly Turkey) to “promptly seize all oil tanker trucks and their loads” coming in or going out. While the report warns ISIS has alternate revenue sources, primarily ransom payments, and does not predict that truck seizures can eliminate ISIS’ oil smuggling money, it holds out hope that raising the costs to smuggling networks and trucking companies will deter them from bringing ISIS oil to market.

    The report comes on the heels of an October report to the Security Council assessing that 15,000 fighters from 80 countries have flooded into Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIS.


    So yeah, things seem to be going well for ISIS now, four months into the U.S. bombing campaign.



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    Guilty! UN Report on Syria Does Not Say What John Kerry Says it Said

    September 24, 2013 // 3 Comments »


    (This post originally appeared on Fire Dog Lake)

    The UN released its report on chemical weapons use in Syria. You can read it here. It’s not that long, just some forty pages including legal appendices. John Kerry says it confirms that the Assad regime fired the gas rockets. Unfortunately, that is not what the actual report says. In a court, Kerry’s case might be seen as circumstantial at best, certainly not enough for a jury to return a guilty verdict in a murder trial.

    Kerry said this (emphasis added):

    And what did they [the UN inspectors] learn? They returned with several crucial details that confirmed that the Assad regime is guilty of carrying out that attack, even though that was not the mandate of the UN report. But anybody who reads the facts and puts the dots together, which is easy to do – and they made it easy to do – understands what those facts mean.

    The White House added: “Indeed, several crucial details confirm the regime’s guilt.”

    The problem is that the report does not confirm anything other than chemical weapons were used. I can’t give you a quote because the report simply does not say– anywhere– that the Syria Army, or the rebels, or anyone by name– used the weapons. But don’t believe me. Unlike Kerry, I provide links, so check the full text of the report. If you don’t care to read it all, skip to page five, “Conclusions.” It just isn’t there. No one is named as the culprit.

    Regardless, Kerry goes on to make his circumstantial argument:

    We, the United States, have associated one of the munitions identified in the UN report, the 122-millimeter improvised rocket, with previous Assad regime attacks. There’s no indication – none – that the opposition is in possession or has launched a CW variant of these rockets such as the kind that was used in the 21st of August attack. Equally significant, the environmental, chemical, and medical samples that the UN investigators collected provide clear and compelling evidence that the surface-to-surface rockets used in this attack contained the nerve agent sarin. We know the Assad regime possesses sarin and there’s not a shred of evidence, however, that the opposition does.

    Objection your Honor! The prosecutor is jumping to a conclusion not supported by the evidence. He has found a gun next to the body. That the victim is sadly dead was never in question. That that gun was used to kill him was never in question. However, what, if anything, ties that gun and thus the murder to my client? Where is that evidence your Honor? The prosecutor is jumping from A to C in a capital case without putting the gun in my client’s hand.

    Sustained. The prosecution must show evidence that the defendant actually used the gun to commit the crime.

    Who shot the gas rockets? Could they have been fired by rogue military elements not acting under Assad’s orders? Could the Syrian army have lost control of some rockets which were picked up by the rebels (Vladimir Putin has made that very claim, that the rebels themselves fired the gas rockets in an attempt to draw the United States into the conflict)? Could a third party have supplied such rockets to the rebels to create a pretext for war? As there is no evidence in the UN report that the trigger was pulled by the Syrian Army under Assad’s orders, there is no evidence that the rebels pulled it and no evidence that someone else did. That’s why the UN report does not draw a conclusion of guilt– there’s no evidence on which to base such a conclusion.

    A final point. Page 22 of the report says:

    As with other sites, the locations have been well-traveled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the [UN] Mission. Time spent on the sites was well-used but limited. During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.

    Evidence tampering? A contaminated crime scene? Your Honor, I move that charges be dismissed against my client.

    Sustained. Prosecutor Kerry, I hold you in contempt!

    The U.S. is wholly misrepresenting facts in favor of another Middle East war. Unlike a fictional murder trial where one man’s life is on the line, should the U.S. attack Syria many, many people will lose their lives.

    I feel no jury would convict on the evidence presented by John Kerry, but, hey, you be the judge.




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    Bosom buddies?

    October 9, 2012 // 13 Comments »

    This photo was taken at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., where Christina Aguilera, a UN World Food Program Ambassador, was being honored for her philanthropic work.

    At a ceremony hosted by the former first lady, Aguilera, along with business tycoon David Novak, were awarded this year’s George McGovern Leadership Award in recognition of their help in fighting global hunger. Together, Aguilera and Novak, are said to “have raised $115 million for the WFP and others, providing 460 million meals to hungry children around the globe.”

    Bosom buddies? Getting ready for breast cancer awareness week? Or is Hillary still thinking about laughing off war with Iran? We kinda expect these sorts of things from Bill, but I guess it runs in the family.



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    Things are Messed Up When Putin Makes More Sense than Obama

    September 27, 2012 // 1 Comment »

    While Barack “Blood on My Hands Ya’ll” Obama bullied his way through the United Nations, basically saying he was too busy ordering drone strikes with his new NSA-supplied iPhone app to meet with any world leaders, and making a speech demanding regime change Armageddon style in Syria, Russia’s bare chested leader… made… sense.

    Putin said things like: “Violence only begets violence,” and that the international community should operate as a united front to soothe the tensions in the Mideast. Looking at how well things have worked out in Iraq, Libya and in Syria, Putin claimed that bloody regime change only fuels further unrest.

    Putin also said that attempts to circumvent U.N.-led diplomatic efforts would prove destructive. “Such action is fraught with potential for destabilization and chaos. Life has recently given us proof that this is correct. It is time for us to draw lessons from what is happening.”

    FYI: Estimate are that at least 30,000 people have been killed since the Syrian revolt began and hundreds of thousands have been displaced, many fleeing to neighboring countries such as Turkey and Jordan. Iraq took some 100,000 lives in its US-sponsored regime-change-a-poolza, and they still aren’t done counting heads (when they can be located) in Libya.

    It is way whack ya’ll when Bond-villain in waiting Putin makes more sense than our Nobel Peace Prize winning president.



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    Here’s a Threat toward Syria from Your Next SecState Susan Rice

    August 31, 2012 // 3 Comments »



    Remember when the State Department, and the United Nations, had something to do with diplomacy and treaties and peaceful resolution of conflicts?

    Susan Rice doesn’t.

    On Der Twitter:




    Rice has a Facebook page, so feel free to leave a bloody hand print or a comment there. She is a bubbly sort. Perky. Why here, on August 8, she Facebooked:

    Tonight, less than a year after the end of Qadhafi’s brutal reign, Libya seats its newly elected Congress. Another step forward.


    Luckily I was able to link her social media ejaculation to her own State Department’s travel advice on Libya:

    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Libya.

    Libya’s General National Congress replaced the Transitional National Council in August 2012 and will lead the country until elections are held on the basis of a new constitution. Despite this progress, violent crime continues to be a problem in Tripoli, Benghazi, and other parts of the country. In particular, armed carjacking and robbery are on the rise. In addition, political violence, including car bombings in Tripoli and assassinations of military officers and alleged former regime officials in Benghazi, has increased.


    And God help us, Susan Rice wants to replace Hillary as SecState in the maybe next Obama administration. Where’s Brett McGurk when his country needs him?



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    Colin Powell has the Manhood of a Kardashian

    May 4, 2012 // 22 Comments »

    Colin Powell, as Secretary of State, lent his considerable credibility and gravitas to the case for war with Iraq.

    Powell spoke publicly before the UN General Assembly, and privately in depth with America’s allies, about mobile biowar labs, weapons of mass destruction and the imminent danger Saddam Hussein posed. While many people considered Bush an idiot puppet, and Cheney and Rumsfeld psychopathic fibbers, as they beat the drums for war, Powell convincingly represented the United States’ case for war.

    Of course, everything Powell said was a lie.

    Now, pimping a new book, of course, Colin tells all:

    A blot, a failure will always be attached to me and my UN presentation. I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me. There is nothing worse than a leader believing he has accurate information when folks who know he doesn’t don’t tell him that he doesn’t.

    So why did no one stand up and speak out during the intense hours we worked on the speech? Some of these same analysts later wrote books claiming they were shocked that I have relied on such deeply flawed evidence.

    Try to get over failure quickly. Learn from it. Study how you contributed to it. If you are responsible, own up to it.


    Right Colin you gutless turd, it was all someone else’s fault. And of course as soon as you found out the intel was not just flawed, but completely made up, you resigned from the Bush Administration in protest, right? You went to the media and told everyone that the Iraq War was started on false pretenses, that you knew there were no WMDs as soon as you found out the truth in 2003? 2004? 2005?

    Right Colin, you did all those things before 4484 Americans died in Iraq?

    Of course you did not Colin, because you have the manhood of a Kardashian.

    Enjoy your time in Hell, Colin, roommates with Robert McNamara, and please spend every day you have left on this planet meditating on the souls of the people who died in Iraq because of your lie, and your utter lack of responsibility to speak up.



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    Great Moments in Public Diplomacy

    April 6, 2012 // Comments Off on Great Moments in Public Diplomacy

    So SecState Clinton was at the Virginia Military Academy to defame the reputation of a great Secretary of State, George C. Marshall. Unlike Clinton and her running dog predecessor Condi, Marshall actually did stuff instead of saying he did stuff often enough that most people just give up and nod OK to get some peace and quiet. For example, Marshall reconstructed Germany and Japan out of the ruins of war at a fraction of the cost spent in the Wars of Terror, while Clinton and Rice slept through their own agency’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and accomplished pretty much squat.

    But we’re not here to chew over old mistakes, we are here to focus on current mistakes. To wit, here is a tremendous example of public diplomacy that dribbled down the Twitter:



    Deconstructing that, we begin with the oddly arrogant statement by the Secretary, the meaning of which is a bit unclear. Does she mean the US is part of every problem? Or that fuck yens’ don’t be trying no shit without the US having a piece of the action, or is it something like the US alone will determine what world problems will be solved? George Marshall would definitely have been clearer. He said things like this:

    We have walked blindly, ignoring the lessons of the past, with, in our century, the tragic consequences of two world wars and the Korean struggle as a result. In my country my military associates frequently tell me that we Americans have learned our lesson. I completely disagree with this contention and point to the rapid disintegration between 1945 and 1950 of our once vast power for maintaining the peace.


    But no matter, because Marshall is dead and we’re back at wars and public diplomacy is the kewl thing now because you see it is interactive. The Secretary can Telepromter off a speech in Virginia and almost instantly people can react to it. Have a look at the interactivity on the Twitter:

    -the first guy nails it, asking in Spanish for some kind of form to fill out;

    -the second guy, well he’s just happy to be part of the conversation;

    -the next comments do not seem to have fully embraced the Secretary’s vision, but hey, dissent is kewl too.


    Be sure to join our Ambassador at the UN, where between demanding blood to run in the streets of America’s enemies abroad, she is going to go all out a’ Twittering:






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    State Department Fibs About Camp Liberty and MEK

    February 24, 2012 // 1 Comment »

    The problem of the MEK people in Iraq has a long and complex history. You can read a bit about it here if you are unfamiliar with the mess the US has gotten themselves into vis-vis the MEK in Iraq.

    Short version is that the US and the UN brokered a deal to move the MEK people from their unsafe and politically volatile Camp Ashraf location to the old US Camp Liberty, where the UN would supposedly process them as refugees. As part of the deal, the US would monitor conditions at Camp Liberty to ensure the MEK were treated well.

    In fact, back in December, Ambassador Daniel Fried, Special Advisor for Camp Ashraf for the State Department, made this exact promise:

    Embassy Baghdad will visit former Camp Liberty on a frequent basis to provide robust observation. The US seeks a safe, secure, humane resolution. Our interest is humanitarian.

    It seemed reasonable for diplomats to make the 45 minutes trip out to Camp Liberty once in awhile, in that the World’s Largest Embassy (c) comes with the World’s Largest price tag, some $3.8 billion (about $2.5 billion of that is for security) a year in operating costs, about a fourth of all State’s yearly costs. The idea of US diplomats visiting MEK completes the circle: the US Dips will be surrounded by massive security to protect them from the Iraqis the US liberated while at the same time using their own presence to protect the MEKs from the liberated Iraqis. It all added up to freedom somehow.

    It seems however that the State Department fibbed about those visits. Here instead are the conditions out there at Camp Liberty as described by Allan Gerson, former Counsel to the US Delegation to the United Nations:

    Camp Liberty has no serviceable water supply let alone drinking water.

    The trailers in which new arrivals are to be housed are worn-out and extremely dirty to the point of being un-inhabitable. There are only 80 trailers and most of them lack electrical wiring and thus there is no light and no heating.

    The sewage system is not functioning and thus the lack of hygienic facilities is likely to cause serious health problems, with raw sewage in open areas of the residential quarters.

    The police headquarters is situated northwest of the camp, next to section where the residents are located. In addition there are four other police stations and checkpoints with one situated on the pathway to the dining facility so that every resident going to the dining facility must pass the police checkpoint. More ominously, the police commander in charge of the camp appears to be the same commander responsible for incursions into Camp Ashraf which on two occasions left a total of more than 40 unarmed civilians dead and hundreds wounded.


    Apparently 16,000 State Department staffers at the cost of $3.8 billion at the World’s Largest Embassy in Baghdad does not buy too many “robust” inspections, as was promised to assure the safety of the MEK. That money also does not buy much credibility.



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    US Cuts UNESCO Funding over Palestinian Vote

    November 1, 2011 // Comments Off on US Cuts UNESCO Funding over Palestinian Vote

    Yesterday the US cut off funding for the UN cultural agency UNESCO after its member countries defied an American warning and approved a Palestinian bid for full membership in the body.

    The lopsided vote to admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO, which only the United States and 13 other countries opposed, triggered a long-standing congressional ban on US funding to UN bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. The State Department said a $60 million payment to UNESCO scheduled for November would not be made as a result, and US officials warned of a “cascade” effect at other U.N. bodies that might follow UNESCO’s lead.

    OK…

    UNESCO has as its goal “Building peace in the minds of men and women,” through stuff like designating old, famous places as international World Heritage sites, hosting celeb goodwill ambassadors, enhancing worldwide education, all sorts of nice hearts and minds things. It is really hard not to like UNESCO.

    I won’t even pretend to know what is right and wrong in the Palestinian issue, what the right path forward is, what the US should do with its Israel policy and all the rest. But, really, can anyone sober say with a straight face that not paying our share of the UNESCO budget because they admitted Palestine as a member is really going to help the US further its broader “soft power” goals in the Middle East, never mind the rest of the world?

    Last night was Halloween. Because I oppose our small city’s new parking regulations, should I have withheld candy from the costumed kiddies at my door?

    I just can’t believe America keeps being this dumb. No wonder starting wars is our only growth industry, when our foreign policy focuses only on punishment.



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    What Will Iran Do Next?

    October 19, 2011 // Comments Off on What Will Iran Do Next?

    Wired’ s “Danger Room” had a contest to name Iran’s next plot against America, such as “Build a giant horse, fill it with Quds operatives and leave it on the Tijuana side of the border.”

    Also: “Threaten UN Security Council to issue resolution requiring all members to wear Members Only Jackets.”

    The results are a hoot. See the whole list on Wired, or send in your own ideas.



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    I Doubt Iran Tried to Blow Up Washington DC

    October 13, 2011 // Comments Off on I Doubt Iran Tried to Blow Up Washington DC




    Are we doing this again? Exaggerating a minor threat to justify a major war-like response by the US?

    I doubt the Iranians planned to blow up stuff in Washington DC.

    Now, if you generously include every person employed by or remotely connected to the power structure in Iran, including some rogue nutter, then maybe this a “government plot.”

    But if you try to sell this as a state-sponsored action by the Iranian Government, as Eric Holder conveniently is trying to do coincidentally at the same time he is under fast and furious fire, maybe not.


    If Iran wishes to (continue) attacking the US and Israel, they need only (continue) to do so through proxy forces in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

    Iran striking so transparently in Washington DC *DEMANDS* a war-like response from the US and Israel. The Iranians have not shown a desire to pick that kind of fight.

    Wiring money from Tehran, through New York to Mexico? Making direct voice calls to Iran? This is not cloak and dagger tradecraft. The Iranians might as well have bought commercial time during the MLB playoffs.

    And who to fight the fight? Trained Qods commandos? Experienced operatives from the Lebanese battlefields? Nah, how about some used car salesman. Even if Iran was persuaded this American could operate quietly, they would have used him to assist serious bad guys, not do the job.

    And for the cartels, $1.5 million bucks is what, a pickup truck full of dope they run across the border six times a day? Why risk the full fury of the US military for pocket change?


    Sure, governments can do dumb things. But this just does not add up. Too much theatre, not enough sense.



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    NATO: Over 2400 Airstrikes Made Against Libya

    May 12, 2011 // Comments Off on NATO: Over 2400 Airstrikes Made Against Libya

    Dancing with the Stars Good news in today as NATO announced they had conducted over 2400 airstrikes for freedom against Libya since the party began on March 31.

    So far the strikes have killed at least one Gaddafi kid, which furthers the humanitarian mission of the bombings. In addition, according to the Libyan state news agency one of latest sites hit by NATO was the North Korean Embassy in Tripoli which we bombed just because we’re freaking NATO and we could. Suck on That, People We Don’t Like.

    Meanwhile, the Libyan rebels, whose names and backgrounds are still harder to find than an atheist in a foxhole, keep having victories in towns somewhere, until they all die or the West gets bored with this war and switches back to air strikes against the cast of Dancing with the Stars (which I would support on humanitarian grounds).

    Also, UN pussy peace-monger Ban Ki-Moon called for “an immediate, verifiable ceasefire” in Libya and demanded unimpeded access for humanitarian workers there. This might matter because the “intervention” in Libya was originally sponsored by the UN, but, naw, we’ll just ignore them.

    Go watch Dancing with the Stars Ban Ki-Moon and leave our fun war alone!



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    Viagra-Rape Bullshit

    April 30, 2011 // Comments Off on Viagra-Rape Bullshit

    ViagraThe US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice claimed that Gaddafi is supplying his troops with Viagra to encourage mass rape.

    Rice made the claim while accusing Gaddafi of numerous human rights abuses. The Viagra claim surfaced in an al-Jazeera report last month from Libya-based doctors who said they had found Viagra in the pockets of pro-Gaddafi soldiers.

    The Guardian reported that a UN diplomat at the closed session on Thursday said: “I was in the room when she mentioned Viagra. The remark did not cause a stir at the time. It was during a discussion about whether there is moral equivalence between the Gaddafi forces and the rebels. She listed human rights abuses by Gaddafi’s forces, including snipers shooting children in the street and the Viagra story.”

    Susan, Susan, I know it must be lonely as hell at the top, but darling, Viagra is only a helper. The will and the desire still needs to be there first– don’t you watch those TV commercials with the happy older couples in the bath tubs? I know you must get a lot of spam emails, but really, Viagra is not for everyone.

    Plus, rape is a crime of violence and aggression, of hatred toward women. It is not a crime of desire and for the record, women don’t ask for it by their dress or actions. Rape is violence and you don’t need Viagra for that you freaking idiot.

    I hope somehow this report is wrong. If not, we have clearly lost our minds.



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    Child Soldier Hypocrisy

    April 19, 2011 // Comments Off on Child Soldier Hypocrisy

    Susan Rice @AmbassadorRice on Twitter:

    “There is no justifying the recruitment of child soldiers. There is no tolerable number of child soldiers.”

    “I am deeply dismayed by reports that children are being recruited to kill in #Libya.”

     

    Well then Ambassador, how about speaking out for clemency for the Canadian citizen child soldier held by the US at Guantanamo for the last nine freaking years? He was just 15 years old when sold to the US by one of our tribal allies.

    Or do we only oppose these things when bad guys like (now) Libya do it?

    (Pause)

    I received some interesting feedback on this post. Here are some samples:

    If he is the same guy I met, he killed a green beret medic with a hand grenade. He was not sold to us, he was captured by our commandos. He was and is an unlawful combatant and now, very much an adult. He was radicalized by his parents. I “met” him 2002. He was then a very hard case, recuperating from injuries. If he committed a similar crime here, he would have been tried as an adult.

    Another commenter said:

    I admire your conviction, but on this one I’ll have to disagree with you for several reasons: First, in no way can an al Qaeda fighter (as he was characterized in the article linked to your comment) be considered a “soldier.” Second, capturing and detaining a teenager who acted as a hostile combatant in an armed conflict is hardly an endorsement of “child soldiers” on the part of the U.S. And finally, the age of criminal responsibility in Canada (his country of citizenship) is 12.

    My response:

    You both raise excellent points, points that illustrate the complexity of the issues surrounding child soldiers. What I am seeking to point out is that Amb Rice saw no such complexities in talking about Libya (I assume she would agree with you and raise similar points connected to the Guantanamo prisoner). For America to have credibility in the world, we need to speak consistently. The days where similar actions can be good when we do it and bad when our enemies do it are over. This leaves aside the stickier questions of imprisoning this person without trial for nine years before ultimately convicting him before a military tribunal.

    The “war” is one of hearts and minds as much if not more than one of territory captured, and our actions do not seem to help us.




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