Wednesday, October 1, 2014

(The New Improved Perfectly Uneducated U.S. Employee) Who Hates the U.S. Enough To Pursue Victory Over Shadows? (The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria) How ISIS Actually Works (Boy (Holder) Gone)

Sorry, friends, that I got behind in my essay publishing due to trying to scratch a few pennies together to maintain my already meager lifestyle.

Here's one I've been putting together for a few days.
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What most of the educated have to look forward to in the USA! USA! USA!

(H/t to WhoWhatWhy!)

Or not re-hired.
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Terrific history here:

"What We’d Done in Iraq Had Been Fairly Useless" – Ex-Reuters Bureau Chief in Iraq

Remember this wise guy?

I can only assume that no one likes a guy who's always right.

Especially when he's left.

It's a good thing that all the right "lefties" have been left out of the current war decisions (adding another reason for why he was so seriously targeted for defeat in the House - by both parties).

The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria

By Dennis J. Kucinich, Reader Supported News

25 September 14

he administration's response to the conjunction of this weekend's People's Climate March and the International Day of Peace?
1) Bomb Syria the following day, to wrest control of the oil from ISIS which gained its foothold directly in the region through the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan funding and arming ISIS' predecessors in Syria.

2) Send the president to UN General Assembly, where he will inevitably give a rousing speech about climate and peace, while the destruction of the environment and the shattering of world peace is on full display 5,000 miles away.

Nothing better illustrates the bankruptcy of the Obama administration's foreign policy than funding groups that turn on the U.S. again and again, a neo-con fueled cycle of profits for war makers and destruction of ever-shifting "enemies."

The fact can't be refuted: ISIS was born of Western intervention in Iraq and covert action in Syria.

This Frankenstein-like experiment of arming the alleged freedom-seeking Syrian opposition created the monster that roams the region. ISIS and the U.S. have a curious relationship -- mortal enemies that, at the same time, benefit from some of the same events:

a) Ousting former Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki for his refusal to consent to the continued presence of U.S. troops in his country.

b) Regime change in Syria.

c) Arming the Kurds so they can separate from Iraq, a preliminary move to partitioning Iraq.

What a coincidence for war-profiteering neo-cons and the war industry, which has seen its stock rise since last week's congressional vote to fund the rapid expansion of war. We have met the enemy and he isn't only ISIS, he is us.

Phase two of the war against Syria is the introduction of 5,000 "moderate" mercenaries (as opposed to immoderate ones), who were trained in Saudi Arabia, the hotbed of Wahhabism, at an initial installment cost of $15 billion. These new "moderates" will replace the old "moderates," who became ISIS, just in time for Halloween.

The administration, in the belief that you can buy, rent, or lease friends where they otherwise do not exist, labor under the vain assumption that our newfound comrades-in-arms will remain in place during their three-year employment period, ignoring the inevitability that those "friends" you hire today could be firing at you tomorrow.

One wonders if Saudi training of these moderate mercenaries will include methods of beheading which were popularized by the Saudi government long before their ISIS progeny took up the grisly practice.

The U.S. is being played.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia can now overtly join with the U.S. in striking Syria, after they have been covertly attempting for years to take down the last secular state in the region. We are now advancing the agenda of the actual Islamic States -- Saudi Arabia and Qatar -- to fight the ersatz Islamic State of ISIS.

Now U.S. bombs and missiles might inadvertently "make the world safe" for theocracy rather than democracy. Today we read reports that Israel has shot down a Syrian warplane, indicating the terrible possibility of a wider regional conflict.

What does this have to do with the security of the 50 States United? Nothing!

Last week Congress acted prematurely in funding a war without following the proscriptions of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. (The day of the vote, I urged Congress to resist this dangerous and misguided legislation.) But even while the funding was given, the explicit authorization to go to war was not. To authorize a war, Congress must vote for war. It has not done that yet.

To sell its case, the administration is borrowing from the fear mongering tactics of the Bush administration. ISIS poses no direct, immediate threat to the United States -- The White House even said so yesterday, just hours before bombing commenced - yet we are being sold make-believe about ISIS sleeper cells.

This attack on Syria, under the guise of striking ISIS, is by definition, a war of aggression. It is a violation of international law. It could lead to crimes against humanity and the deaths of untold numbers of innocent civilians. No amount of public relations or smooth talking can change that.

And yes, members of this Democratic administration, including the president who executed this policy, must be held accountable by the International Criminal Court and by the American people, who he serves.

But as we know, war is a powerful and cynical PR tactic. I expect the bombing of Syria will momentarily boost the White House's popularity with self-serving heroic accounts of damage inflicted upon ISIS (and the U.S. equipment they use). Stuffing the November ballot box with bombs and missiles may even help the Democratic Party retain the Senate.

But after the election the voters will discover that the president played into the hands of extremists, hurt civilians, and embroiled our country deep into another conflict in the Middle East.

There were alternatives. The U.S. and the international community could have contained and shrunk ISIS by cutting off its funds and its revenue from sale of oil on the black market. We could have looked to strike a deal with Syria and Iran.

In foreign policy, the administration has failed. Congress has failed. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties have passed the national checkbook to their patrons in the war contracting business. And passed the bill to future generations.

The American people, who in 2008 searched for something redemptive after years of George W. Bush's war, realize in 2014 that hope and change was but a clever slogan. It was used to gain power and to keep it through promoting fear, war, the growth of the National Security state, and an autumnal bonfire of countless billions of tax dollars which fall like leaves from money trees on the banks of the Potomac.


+14 # OTOHIMHO 2014-09-25 15:39

The definition of a failed state appears to be one from which we have thus far failed to extract the natural resources. For me, the scales were lifted by Marine Gen. Smedley Butler, who described being hauled from one "failed" banana republic to another in his epic work War if a Racket (free on line). It passed almost unnoticed when just three days ago Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai bitterly described U.S. involvement as advancing corporate rather than democratic goals,( he was immediately denounced as an ingrate by Ambassador Cunningham )but this resource map of the country would seem to shed a new light on the subject:

+22 # MidwesTom 2014-09-25 18:42

As far as I know, Dennis has always told the truth. That may be why the Ohio Democrats would not help him. He deserves all of our support.

+2 # EmilyCragg 2014-09-25 19:45

I think the real reason we're bombing Syria is ETs have a domicile there. Assad hasn't in any way given permission for this outrage.

ISIS/ISIL is >STAGED< CHAOS. . . . ISIS is an American Defense contractor with projects in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Indeed, their goals are threefold:  1) profiteering for war industries and 2) installation of martial law and 3) population reduction as per Globalism.

AlQaeda is an NSA database; so the whole scenario is phony as $3 bills.

Something else has to be doing on.


+2 # corals33 2014-09-25 20:11

If you can get used to the multi multi-billionai res in your society and not realise that eventually they will have the power to do exactly what they want,then you can easily get used to the abuse awaiting you.Destruction of the poor is IN their poverty.Let's see who can come up with an ACRONYM for wholesale slaughter and genocide.

It's always good to know that many people are aware of how the U.S. is led (over and over again) into war.

Some 120 Muslim religious scholars this week published an open letter refuting the Islamic State’s claim to be a religious political movement, joining a series of high-profile condemnations of the extremist group by Islamic religious and political leaders.

The letter, signed by current and former grand muftis of Egypt, the former grand mufti of Bosnia, and the Nigerian Sultan of Sokoto, along with many other prominent Muslim leaders from around the world, offered a thorough, 24-point condemnation of the Islamic State’s behavior. But it still left the question of how a group that calls itself the “Islamic State” and uses religious scripture to justify its actions can possibly be described as not Islamic.

The answer is complex, but boils down to the fact that while the Islamic State is superficially and opportunistically Islamic, it owes at least as much to secular revolutionary ideologies as to its claimed religion, and borrows heavily from Western systems of organization and pop culture as well.

How ISIS Actually Works

In their “Open Letter to Baghdadi” the scholars – who hail from the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Africa as well as North America – provide their own critical examination of the group’s practices from a purely theological standpoint.

According to their view, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is flagrantly un-Islamic in its behavior. ISIS’s treatment of women, religious minorities, non-combatants, as well as its employment of gratuitous violence and aggression, is found by the scholars to be fundamentally out of step with traditional Islamic belief and practice.

In providing a thorough critique of the group’s behavior, the signatories note: “everything said here … reflects the opinions of the overwhelming majority of Sunni scholars over the course of Islamic history.”

This letter is only the latest in a string of ISIS condemnations by Islamic leaders and ordinary Muslims. But to casual observers, it raises the question of what the Islamic State actually is, if not a religiously grounded group earnestly trying to create a new Caliphate.

The answer starts with the fact that ISIS is at least superficially Islamic. Similar to any other belief system, Islam is not a monolith, but rather a discourse subject to interpretation. ISIS was created during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and revived by the brutality of the Assad regime. Unsurprisingly, its religious worldview is a merciless, fanatic and supremacist one.

But while their religious convictions are no doubt sincerely held, like extremists everywhere ISIS inevitably has a utilitarian view of religion which seeks to manipulate the norms of the prevailing society in order to win legitimacy for its actions. In Muslim-majority countries this means employing religious rhetoric and symbolism to help appeal to the local population. Making use of cherished political symbols like the Flag of the Prophet Muhammad and the historic Muslim Caliphate is simply one aspect of this strategy.

The group doesn’t just draw on Islam to win support. Just as ISIS makes use of concepts drawn from Islamic history, it also seeks to employ aspects of Western civilization and pop culture to attract adherents. Video game trailers, sophisticated filmography and glossy financial statements are only the most superficial part of this effort.

The very idea which ISIS embodies – a ruthless revolutionary vanguard using extreme violence to bring about a utopian society – is one drawn directly from 20th century European radical movements like Marxism-Leninism. People like Sayyid Qutb and Abul Ala Maududi who were the ideological founders of modern-day “radical Islam” were themselves hugely influenced by contemporary Western ideologies. Neither were religious scholars, but both ended up inspiring modern revolutionary movements which drew upon Islamic concepts.

ISIS’s Unlikely Antecedents

The behavior of radical groups such as ISIS therefore tends to have more in common with Mao’s Red Guards or the Khmer Rouge than it does with the Muslim empires of antiquity which they claim to be heirs to. In synthesizing aspects of both Western and Islamic civilization, the group has crafted a radical ideology which is distinctly modern despite its glorification of a pre-modern past. Recognizing this is the first step to negating the clash of civilizations narrative upon which they thrive.

In the eyes of most Muslims the Islamic State is as “Islamic” as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is “Democratic”. The Open Letter to Baghdadi is simply another example of the degree to which this violent, utopian project has been rejected by a broad consensus of Muslims around the world. From a Western perspective, it’s important to not play into ISIS’s hands by giving them the type of religious or political legitimacy they crave but otherwise do not possess.

At the end of the day Islam is what its adherents say it is, and if by and large they deem the “Islamic State” to be outside of the Islamic tradition it would be foolish and counterproductive to argue otherwise. In order to effectively fight this group, it’s important to amplify the voices of the vast majority of Muslims who are condemning them, instead of listening to those on both sides who insist that this is at heart a conflict between Islam and the West.

Lies the Media Repeats About Iraq:  Phony Patriotism, Fake Syrian “Moderates” and the Very Real End of Empire

We have made a shocking mess in the Middle East. This new adventure sets America up for incredible decline.

Lies the media repeats about Iraq:  Phony patriotism, fake Syrian "moderates" and the very real end of empire

Barack Obama applauds George W. Bush at the dedication ceremony for the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, April 25, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

In history there are the Punic Wars and the Opium Wars, each a turning point, and now we must talk of our Iraq Wars. As of this week they count three since George Bush the Elder cynically drew Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait 23 years ago.

Some of us may struggle with speechlessness, but there are many things to say about President Obama’s decision to widen his Iraq War with his new bombing campaign in Syria. The most important extends far beyond the shocking mess Washington has done so much to make in the Middle East, and it is this:  Our wars deliver us to our turning point. In the blindness of our leaders, we Americans are being set up for an era of tragic, unnecessary decline.

It starts to look angelic, to put this point another way, to suggest that America still has a chance to correct some of its costliest and most destructive errors in the 20th century as it proceeds into the 21st. One guards optimism as a precious gift, but I confess mine now flags.

There is so much wrong with Iraq War III it is hard to know where to begin. The purported strategy, the what of it, will get us going.

There is next to no chance that Washington will “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, to take Obama’s noted words for the mission. There is next to every chance that, as in Afghanistan and during Iraq Wars I and II, the military presence will win ISIS support because they speak for the perfectly well-grounded anti-Western resentment that spreads wide and deep across the Middle East.

The thought that the American presence in the Islamic world produces diametrically the opposite of the announced intent — the greater the military success, the greater the long-term failure — is not new. Neither is the observation that the “moderate rebels” the White House and Congress will now fund in Syria simply do not exist.

Neither am I alone in noting that the “coalition” Obama claims to draw near is no different from the scanty cover Bush the Younger cited during Iraq War II except in one respect: It is more heavily dependent for its head count on the repressive monarchies that make brutality a Middle Eastern commonplace.

These things cannot be lost on Washington. It therefore becomes more difficult to accept the mission as stated and easier to understand why many Iranians, not all of them far-right Islamists, think the U.S. may have invented ISIS: Is the mission, after all, to reestablish a long-term presence in the region now that Iraq War II is over and the Afghanistan campaign is all but?

I cannot buy the implication of so sophisticated a design. But without question Washington sees an opportunity in ISIS, a sort of daisy-chain effect: Having provoked ISIS militias into existence during Iraq War II, their barbarism is a perfect casus belli for getting III going. Preserving the long-term presence, it seems to me, is the what of this new adventure.
After the what, consider the how, the way this is getting done.

“We will not allow geography or borders to prevent us from taking action,” Secretary of State Kerry remarked a few hours after the bombing in Syria began late Monday. It is hard to find anything sensible in this position.

It is exceptionalist to the core, this approach. Open and shut, it announces yet again the American preference for anarchy and violence over international law, the latter being the very thing most nations view as urgently needed in world affairs. There is in it a complete disregard for what anyone else may think and indifference to leadership by example as against force and coercion.

Behind Iraq War III lies a century during which American policy has grown ever more militarized, to the point now that alternatives — “The solution must be political” — get lip service at best. I have read or heard no thought given to a comprehensive response to the Middle East’s unending crises that would address underlying social, economic and political deprivations as the Marshall Plan did in postwar Europe. (I advanced this view in this space some weeks ago.)

At home, the presidential candidate who ran in part on his past as a constitutional scholar now aggrandizes the imperial presidency beyond its worst during the Cold War decades. White House attorneys and the odious Samantha Power can advance flimsy legal arguments for Iraq War III, but taking Americans into war without declaring one, without calling it one, without congressional approval and without public consent is illegal by any constitutional interpretation not intended to obfuscate. For Americans, this is as significant as the violence that is now to be inflicted in their names on innocent civilians in the Middle East.

A lot of commentators have weighed in well on these questions. I see in all of them something of greater historical significance. What we do now, Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, “will be remembered for a very long time.” I could not agree more heartily. Eventually, what we do now will be remembered with enormous bitterness.

A year ago, in the book noted in the italic biography at the foot of these columns, I made the argument that America has a choice in the post-2001, post-“American century” era: It could face forward with grace and imagination and renovate its idea of itself and its place in the world to great benefit, or it could resist the passing of its brief interim of primacy and turn opportunity into loss, decline and a series of calamities. In effect, I argued for the optimism within the apparent pessimism.

At the time I gave this country 25 years to make its choice, counting from the Sept. 11 attacks. Americans still have this choice, but the optimism starts to look more theoretical than practical. Halfway through the period I postulated, it seems to me we are now consolidating the wrong choice. We do not seem able to break the mold. We are probably going to prove unable to self-correct.

Iraq War III occasions this tentative conclusion because the decisions Obama faces are so plainly drawn. The event has magnitude, to put it another way, as Vietnam eventually did. There are constructive and destructive strategies available to this administration, and the former go entirely unmentioned. The president who promised change is making every one of the mistakes that led Americans into this predicament.

The biggest of these is to insist on primacy instead of world order, to borrow the mid-1970s frame Stanley Hoffmann, the Harvard professor of political history, proposed. There is an unwillingness to recognize that the world turns and does not stop. There is no acknowledgment that America’s claim to eternal world leadership rests on a mythology the rest of the planet finds ever less acceptable, ever more intrusive.

On the reverse side of this, there is no resort to history — a dangerous, fated-to-fail approach to more or less anything. In the Middle East case, we find in the vacuum of all that is unsaid a complete rejection of responsibility for the unfolding crises enveloping the region. There is no desire to cultivate a sophisticated understanding of cause and effect as a guide to what to do: There is, indeed, a fear of any such “contextualization.”

I do not put this critical moment down to Obama’s weaknesses. I have nearly lost interest in this president’s betrayals and inadequacies — his or any previous administration’s, for that matter. This is a question concerning American society, as in all of us. Too few of us are able to look intelligently and with any kind of fulsome humanity — squarely, in a word — at what we are doing. Heavily invested in false narratives and flinching, too many throw what good money we have left after all the bad.

I see two possible explanations. One, we are simply frightened of a world in which we are any other than peerless by way of power and limitless by way of prerogative. Or a world in which the great Other in the Western consciousness — the whole of the non-Western world — must finally be given recognition.

Two, we have to go deeper. Certain paranoias as to the world’s dangers date to America’s very founding. We also find in our past an unconscious faith, well documented, in the regenerative powers of violence. It must seem as if I am suggesting a form of destructive pathology collectively shared, and perhaps I am. I am sure only that we have to look beyond the rational to explain the primitive aspect of this country’s behavior as it grows ever more pronounced.

Some readers will know Freud’s remark to Ernest Jones, the British psychoanalyst, Freud confidant, and Freud biographer: “America is a mistake, admittedly a gigantic mistake, but a mistake nevertheless.” I have never taken this to be more than a curiosity piece, the remark of an unknowing European. But if we cannot do better than we are doing now, do we lie on the couch and reconsider just how outlandish the thought is?

I will add this with some certainty. A social pathology is very plain among us now. The president withholds the word “war” from the national conversation, coalition allies doing nothing are engaged in “kinetic activities” — it is hard to match Kerry at his best — and so on. We find honor and patriotism where there is neither: Training deprived people to do our fighting is nothing more than cowardice dressed up as commitment. In all of this the media, more supine than ever in my lifetime, create a parallel reality the elaboration of which I have never seen.

Since we can no longer speak plainly of what we are doing, we export it from the language to the land — vast now — of the unsayable. To me this is an unmistakable expression of the burden of silent shame and a vaguely focused depression many, many Americans feel in the face of what is done in their names, even as they cannot articulate it.

This comes over as a sour rendition of our predicament, surely. It is the sound of wilting optimism. It comes, too, of being one of many millions of people with no political means of expressing preferences. At this point, constructive thinking on the Middle East crisis, more or less absent in our media, bears a subversive taint.

My answer to this is appropriately plain. Those able to see through the spectacle our public exchanges on Syria and other foreign policy questions bear a large responsibility now. They have to speak the language that cannot be spoken. The obligation is to recognize that with it they no longer speak as an “alternative” to anything. In it the truth of our national conduct can be preserved from corruption — for the sake of good history if nothing else.

A certain faith is required — a faith that something will follow this time, something one can assist in bringing forth. Ray McGovern, the honorable veteran of the CIA now an active opponent of our corrupted political culture, put it this way in a speech Alternative Radio recorded last autumn: We shift attention from the flooding rains to the building of arks. As this column may make clear, I think such a time is upon us.

A closing note. Chelsea Manning recently wrote an exceptional analysis of America’s alternatives in Iraq and Syria. The "Guardian" published it a week back and it has had deserved attention. Manning was a good intelligence analyst, it is easy to assume. Her argument is for the U.S. and the rest of the West to stay clear of ISIS; it will self-destruct if only we let it.

I urge the piece on readers for two reasons. One, it is a smart take. Two, think about this person. She wrote from prison at Fort Leavenworth. There is something to learn here, useful to the rest of us: In a condition of confinement she speaks truth to power. What about this as another idea of honor and, if you have to have it, patriotism?

Patrick Smith is the author of Time No Longer:  Americans After the American Century. He was the "International Herald Tribune"’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the "New Yorker." He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the "New York Times," the "Nation," the "Washington Quarterly," and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

Optimism? The only optimism I have today is that the portions of the world we ignore at the moment will be able to survive our insanity. The Mid-East is a mess - and has been since we ceded our Foreign Policy and morality to the Israelis when Arial Sharon was beating up the Lebanese - when he wasn't massacring them wholesale.

Too bad we have become such a Grandiose Nation. What appears to be neglect only means the CIA and their clones have a free hand to instigate the next Coup; Change of Government; Make the World Safe for Democracy; or whatever crass phrase they are using today for fomenting chaos. Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and most of Asia are like half broken horses.The carrot and whip wielded by the NGO handlers seems to be as effective as ever.

The Media is as complicit as the lackeys running our Government. As long as the PR, Propaganda, and Money continue to flow, the sheep will remain acquiescent. The lack of any idea how to bring about some common sense among the public, is the usual excuse for inaction..

Watch this space for the joys promised by Presidential-Wannabe Hilary. Perhaps she can figure out how to sodomize yet another 3rd World Leader on Nation-Wide TV. That is much more titillating that be-heading some poor Journalist!

Nicko Thime
It was never about liberty. It was never about democracy.
It has always been about oil and the profits to be made concerning it.

 Every tax dollar spent was wasted. Every single American life lost a murder by the servants of big oil.
Every civil liberty we watched infringed upon or just plain suspended, in the name of "freedom" no less, was stolen for that agenda.
There is plenty of fault to go around.
Ike, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, GHW,Clinton, GW, and Obama have all f**ked this up in one way or another.

But at the bottom of it all you will find the CIA, with much of it coming while Daddy Bush was either part of or in charge of that monstrosity.

Stupid Git
You mean Iraq War IV right? Clinton dropped bombs on them and his sanctions were reported to have been responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children to which Madeline Albright infamously responded the cost of lives was "worth the price".

The Big Switch:  Obama Preparing to Bomb His Way to Regime Change in Syria

by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

“The strategic ‘rebel’ breakthrough is being prepared in the vulnerable southern underbelly of the country.”

The U.S. offensive against ISIS in Syria will very soon revert to its original mission: regime change in Damascus, the strategic objective that unites America’s Euro-Arab-Turkish-Israeli coalition.

Although U.S. military planners insist it will take eight months to a year to fully assemble and train a “moderate” Syrian rebel spearhead to confront government forces, political and military realities dictate that the Americans must move much more quickly to upset the balance of forces on the ground. Otherwise, the whole structure of western dominance in the region could unravel – catastrophically.

The contradiction at the heart of the western crisis in Syria, is the refusal of tens of thousands of jihadists to act as mere foot soldiers for the West and Arab monarchs. The jihadist genie is out of the bottle, and its conjurers and paymasters cannot put it back. The problem is not just Isis. The Islamic State has swelled through absorption of other Islamic fighters pursuing a similar theo-political logic, one that seeks its own version of “liberation” from western shackles and, increasingly, the overthrow of royal regimes allied with the United States.

ISIS has become engorged with defectors from other Islamist organizations more dependent on and obedient to proxy war planners in Riyadh, Doha, Ankara and Washington. Therefore, ISIS must be punished, to reduce its appeal to the jihadist rank and file, who make up the bulk of effective fighters arrayed against the Syrian state. For the same reasons, those jihadists not yet in ISIS’s orbit, who are the West’s only actually existing resources on ground, must be provided a redemptive victory, and quickly, before the whole edifice of proxy war disintegrates.
“The jihadist genie is out of the bottle, and its conjurers and paymasters cannot put it back.”
That’s why President Obama’s response has been to double-down on the military intervention begun more than three years ago, through direct U.S. firepower. Although U.S. bombing has concentrated in the north and west of Syria, where ISIS dominates, the strategic “rebel” breakthrough is being prepared in the vulnerable southern underbelly of the country, in the corridor along the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Syrian capital of Damascus is just 40 miles away, guarded by two divisions that the Assad government would be hard pressed to reinforce.

The Israeli downing of a Syrian fighter on the Syrian side of the “border,” this week, was no doubt designed to prevent Assad’s air force from disrupting jihadist troop concentrations in the corridor, poised to make a thrust towards Damascus from the south. The Israelis provided the rebels with every accommodation, including medical care for their wounded, when the Islamists routed Syrian soldiers and captured or drove off United Nations peacekeepers, earlier this month The rebels now claim to have seized “80 percent of Quneitra province,” which runs to the outskirts of Damascus.

With the UN peacekeepers no longer watching, and Israel guarding the skies over the three-mile-wide, 40 mile-long corridor, the al-Qaida affiliated and Qatar-funded al-Nusra Front, the Saudi Arabia-financed Islamic Front and the U.S.-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front are to storm the capital, confident that the U.S. will find a pretext to act as close air support, as it did for the jihadists in Libya.

The jihadists will not just sit there for six or eight months, while Washington trains 5,000 “moderates” with money not yet authorized by Congress. Indeed, if the Americans do not use their airpower to quickly clear the way for the “friendly” jihadists’ entrance to Damascus, the fighters will rapidly turn unfriendly and align even more openly with ISIS, with whom most rebels concluded a non-belligerency agreement, this month.

“The U.S. will find a pretext to act as close air support, as it did for the jihadists in Libya.”
The U.S. claims it struck at least one al-Nusrah unit in the north of the country on Tuesday, but we live in a Misinformation Nation, and no corporate reporter is going to get within snatching distance of “rebels” to verify who is actually being hit.

Washington is betting that, if it inflicts enough damage on ISIS, fighters will defect back to the more malleable jihadists, who will be handed victories over the Syrian government by U.S. airpower, reversing the momentum of battle and, maybe, causing the collapse of the regime – thus salvaging imperial policy in the Middle East.

Washington certainly does have plans to train thousands of Arab troops that it will pass off as Syrian “moderates” in the next eight to twelve months. But first, the U.S. knows that it must give the jihadists still under its control a reason not to join their soul mates in ISIS. American air power is inflicting punishment on the wayward Islamic State, and will soon deliver rewards to those who remain loyal to their handlers in the coalition-of-the-willing.

Craps is a quick game, and Obama has rolled the dice.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Good words for those of us in North Carolina bewailing our fate at the hands of the Koch-funded General Assembly confederates from my buddy, Tom Harper at Who Hijacked Our Country.

Monday, September 29, 2014

“Why Does the State of North Carolina Not Want People To Vote?”

That's the question asked by Judge James Wynn, who might be deciding whether or not to postpone North Carolina's voter suppression law until after the 2014 election.

A federal judge has already given the green light for North Carolina's voter suppression law (aka Jim Crow 2.0) to go into effect before the election.  But now the case is being heard by a panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Hopefully they'll rule that North Carolina has to stay in the 21st century (or 20th anyway) until after the 2014 election.

And now back to the question posed by Judge James Wynn, one of the three judges on the panel:  “Why does the state of North Carolina not want people to vote?”

Oh come on now, North Carolina does too want people to vote.  Just, you know, [ahem] certain people; the right people.  [wink]

From the pen of the superbly talented Dave Lindorff (of This Can't Be Happening!, the only news organization (so far) in the US to be labeled a threat by the Department of Homeland Security):

More Secret Service Bungling By the Day

“President Obama has faced more than three times as many threats as his predecessors, according to people briefed on the Secret Service’s threat assessment.”

Click on the link above for the entire essay.

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