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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sucking America into Syria’s civil war is only a near-term goal for the War Party, which is after larger game — greasing the skids for a U.S. war on Iran. Review what we did to Iraq and the US cannon fodder in our military.





Posted on 03/23/2013 by Juan Cole
Banen Al-Sheemary ( @balsheem), a young Iraqi-American woman and activist, writes in a guest column for Informed Comment
Ten years today, I remember sitting in front of the television and watching the sky turn bright yellow because of the massive blasts. Silent, I turned away from the screen to see my parents’ reaction. Absolute silence. That was the first time my parents were without an opinion on something the news was covering. There was a sullen quietness as they watched their beloved country explode into flames. My twelve-year-old self had already been indoctrinated with the simple good guy, bad guy mentality, to which many Americans unfortunately adhere. I struggled to understand the logic behind the invasion of Iraq. Was Iraq a bad country? What had they done wrong? Why is it America’s right to invade and change it? I looked over at my parents again and I could tell their hearts were reeling. “Believe it. Liberation is coming,” said a confident George W. Bush as he spread more war propaganda in his visit to Dearborn. All I knew was that the ruthless Saddam Hussein would soon to be gone. What would become of Iraq? Under the guise of Operation Iraqi “Freedom,” the complete destruction began of what had been known as Iraq.
My family had fled Iraq as refugees in the early 1990s. March 20, 2003, is a bittersweet date for me, since it marked the day I could return to the country. But it is also the day “Shock and Awe” began CNN’s Wolf Blitzer stated that in his thirty years as a journalist, he had never witnessed anything like the attack on Baghdad. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “shock and awe” warfare was a quick and easy solution, with no concern for civilian life.
The Cradle of Civilization was overtaken by incessant chaos, destruction, and death. In an instant, Iraq was forever changed. It is now home to 4.5 million orphans, two million widows, over four million refugees, while over half the population lives in slums. This was Iraq. As the Bush Administration boasted about its questionable accomplishments, all I could see was the Iraqi body count rise. The post-2003 Iraq is not the country my parents longed for. Barred from returning to Iraq until 2003, I will never know the country in which I was born as it was before sanctions and occupation warped it. I was too young to remember my family fleeing during the first invasion of Iraq. Before we fled, we got rid of all our belongings. My baby pictures were burned to ensure that when Saddam’s thugs checked, there would be no proof of my existence. It was as if my identity was erased, and until March 20th, 2003, I was locked away from this part of my life.
From Desert Storm, through the Clinton Administration, and into the 2003 occupation of Iraq, I still couldn’t trace the U.S. government’s plans for Iraq. But what I was sure of was every administration’s jingoistic attitude that shaped foreign policy and consistently disregarded human life. Iraq saw treacherous times in the nineties because of the imposition of history’s most comprehensive sanctions. Iraq was broken and denied any ability to thrive, even in the most basic of ways.
These brutal sanctions led to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. My older sister recalls Clinton’s secretary of state Madeleine K Albright’s infamous interview in which she was asked if the price of half a million Iraqi children was worth it. She simply said we think the price is worth it.” It was an easy decision for the Clinton Administration to make on behalf of all Iraqis, because Iraq was forced to pay. As young as I was, I understood that people of different religions and backgrounds weren’t treated as equals. This dangerous underlying notion, that certain people are more worthy of life than others, heavily shapes our foreign policy and is upheld from one administration to the next.
In retrospect, the amount of propaganda that fueled and attempted to legitimize the war was and is staggering. I recall watching the news and being angry at the distorted images of Iraq and its people. I now understand how the media engineered public opinion to justify the invasion. Maintaining the “us” versus “them” binary was crucial in validating the administration’s agenda and furthering the so called war on terror. Soon enough, I heard my classmates echo falsity and absurd CNN headlines. I’ll hold back on the silly names I’ve been called as a result of this. Hearing my parents’ stories about Iraq helped me put the pieces together. The story starts back in their young adult years.
My parents never experienced Iraq under sanctions. During the seventies and eighties, Iraq was a powerhouse of academia, with a thriving economy. In 1979, an Iraqi dinar was equal to $3.20. Nowadays, an Iraqi dinar is practically worthless. Saddam’s effort to lead in the Arab world led to many positive reforms, especially for women. My mother enjoyed free transportation to work as required by the state and a six month fully paid maternity leave. Despite his cruel methods of subjugation and obsession with monopolizing and maintaining power, his push to make Iraq the leader of the Arab world, meant economic and social reform. The build-up of the case against Saddam Hussein’s actions can be attributed to sanctions and paranoia as international pressure mounted on the regime. My family resides in southern Iraq and we are a people, amongst others, that have been brutally persecuted by Saddam’s party for decades.
Many of the conversations I have regarding Iraq revolve around “Well, Iraq is better now because Saddam is gone and America is there.” Sanctions, Saddam’s regime, and the American invasion and occupation left millions of Iraqis with broken homes, empty fridges and bleak prospects for the future. Whether under totalitarian rule or a foreign occupation, millions of Iraqis are still suffering. The choice and trite discussion of who Iraq is better under is irrelevant and ought to be put to rest.Ten years passed and in my privileged University of Michigan classes, discussions around this foolish debate and refuting the claim that oil was a decisive factor for invading, are still major topics. It was time for me to return and experience the Iraq of today.
January 2012 marked my first return to Iraq. Before my flight, I sat in the airport reading as the time passed. Hundreds of American soldiers returning from Iraq were received by family and friends, applause, and even a news crew. I shook my head because of what the soldiers represented to me. For many, they symbolize freedom, nobility, and honor. To Iraqis, they are the physical manifestation of terror, supremacism and occupation. I thought back to the times I was called un-American because of my critiques of America’s policies in Iraq and my nonexistent support for the military. I was “crazy” for not supporting the push to remove Saddam from power. People equated the administration’s bombing campaign with patriotism and justice, completely disregarding the consequences of war and foreign occupation. Iraq has become fragmented and pieced. I think of how long it will take to assemble the pieces back together; to try to bring together those shards of glass that once made a beautiful piece of work.
Nowadays, the occupation dictates every aspect of Iraqi life. The remnants of a brutal and careless invasion show on the faces of the people that live everyday as a struggle. Suicide and car bombings, fighting between armed militias, kidnappings, and snipers result in a feeling of despair and no sense of security. Simple everyday tasks like walking to a local market or sending children off to school become impossible. On my first day back in Iraq, massive explosions rocked Baghdad. I was awakened to the realities of this so called newly democratic country. Both the Iraqi and American governments promised many things for the people, like building a sewage system. The could not even fulfill this basic necessity. Inadequate water resources have caused massive death and disease in several cities. The two-hour electricity limit halts any work that needs to be done for the day. Birth defects will continue for decades because of the depleted uranium weaponry used by American soldiers. This was Iraq.
“The war in Iraq will soon belong to history” stated Barack Obama in an address marking the supposed end of the occupation of Iraq. America will remember it as history, but Iraqis live through it. I shy away from reading articles on the commemoration of the invasion of Iraq, written by journalists who don’t understand. I become frustrated and always stop after reading just the headline. I laugh at every mention of the lessons to be learned and how America can move forward. Iraq is stuck in a phase of despair, but we as Americans must learn from the occupation? I watch as oil companies, “defense contractors,” and corrupt government leaders profiteer off of an occupation that cut Iraq from any lifeline it had. The fortress called the U.S. embassy, staffed by thousands of foreign soldiers stands as a permanent reminder of the occupation.”
America is able to move forward, rebuilding its economy, but Iraq and its people, must endure the harsh and unwelcoming decades to come. A lesson to learn from Iraqis is one of human dignity and perseverance through trying times. Have we learned? In a new documentary covering Dick Cheney’s legacy, he mentions, “If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute.” And today, mainstream media outlets and the government aggressively continue to build a case against Iran, eerily reminiscent of what we saw ten years ago. We will never learn until we stop seeing people and countries as strategic plans, a means to an end, as valueless and unknown.
My first visit to Iraq was in 2012, because the occupation made it too dangerous to travel there. One afternoon, my uncle and I drove through Hilla. I forced him to speak about the occupation. After an hour of hearing horrendous stories of crimes committed by American soldiers, he tiredly says “We are nothing to them. To America, we are simply strategic. Through their eyes, our lives aren’t worth anything.” That was the end of the conversation. I noticed that Iraqis never speak of the occupation. It was as if it was a past memory. I sense that Iraqis have perseverance built within them because of the decades of unrest that they have lived through; they keep on living every day as they can. These are the Iraqis that are reconstructing what is rightfully theirs.
Everyday Iraqis have been partaking in reconstructing Iraq after a destructive occupation in which they were robbed of their agency, future and country. Iraqis create and expand projects as the current government continues to neglect the citizen’s needs. Upper class citizens and Iraqi expatriates living in the US or Britain play a role in funding these projects. Many social service facilities are being rebuilt, with a focus on widows, orphans, the elderly, and disabled. Whether it is building bridges or starting up a water filter company, these projects are opening doorways for job opportunities and steadily decreasing unemployment rates. Despite the lack of security and political and economic turmoil, the hardships that Iraqis face are slowly easing and will be solved by the resilient Iraqis who continue to resist and struggle for a better life. Iraqis are forging a path of their own to recreate their Iraq, one away from the government’s corrupted plans and free of the American occupation’s stifling grasp.
Ten long and painful years have passed.The orphan Mustafa from Baghdad says “I feel like a bird in a cage here. I wish there was someone to listen to us.” Indeed Iraqis are listening. I see the same resilience and perseverance in Iraqis, that I see in my parents. Years will pass before Iraq will prosper, but I see a future for Iraq because of the millions that are working for it. When I visit Iraq I smile and blink the tears away. The anger from my heart dissipates when I see shops open for business, human rights organizations assisting widows and orphans, and college students organizing for an event they’re sponsoring. It will come together. Justice and progress will flourish because the people demand it and they will succeed. This is Iraq.
—-
Banen Al-Sheemary has been active at the University of Michigan with Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, Iraqi Student Association, and Muslim Student Association’s Social Justice and Activism Committee

87 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I would consider Juan Cole a more reliable source for information than let’s say… Bibi Netanyahu or AIPAC or pick your favorite Neocon.

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  2. As for "cannon fodder"?

    Cannon fodder is an informal, derogatory term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The term is generally used in situations where soldiers are forced to deliberately fight against hopeless odds (with the foreknowledge that they will suffer extremely high casualties) in an effort to achieve a strategic goal. An example is the trench warfare in World War I. The term may also be used (somewhat pejoratively) to differentiate infantry from other forces (such as artillery, air force or the navy), or to distinguish expendable low-grade or inexperienced soldiers from supposedly more-valuable veterans.


    Please explain how America troops in Iraq ir Afpak are used as "cannon fodder"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gee, this is a hard one. Send men out patrolling roads mined with IEDs with vehicles known to be inadequately defended.

      “IEDs are still responsible for the greatest number of our casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we are making progress against the enemy’s effective use of them,” Lt. Gen. Michael Oates told USA Today.

      In 2010, IEDs wounded or killed 7,800 troops in the U.S.-led coalition, according to data released to USA Today. That accounts for nearly half of all casualties.
      Army Times

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  3. Who, What is the War Party?

    Are they in the White House now?

    The Iraq Resolution passed with support of Democrats too. Though not as much as Republicans.

    The vote on Afghanistan was nearly unanimous.

    Anyone recall those videos of Hillary and Kerry and so many others? Back in the day?

    Kerry even voted against it before he voted for it, or for it before he voted against it, or something.

    Who invaded Kuwait?

    Our War Party? The Republican War Party?

    Starting the whole thing.

    Pushed out of Kuwait, Saddam continued being a big pain in the ass, and finally a coalition, not so numerous as before, went back in.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_of_the_willing

    Critics say it was a 'coalition of the billing'.

    Specific uses of the phrase in the context of disarming Iraq began appearing in mid-2001[citation needed].

    Iraq War critics such as John Pilger have pointed out that the vast majority of troops provided came from the U.S. and Britain and is therefore accurately described as a predominantly Anglo-American force rather than as a coalition[citation needed].

    Salon.com columnist Laura McClure, noting the large amounts of foreign aid being offered in exchange for supporting the Iraq War, referred to Bush's coalition as the "Coalition of the billing".[8]

    In the second debate in 2004 U.S. presidential election, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry questioned the size of the coalition participating in the initial invasion, saying, "...when we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. We can do better". Bush responded by saying, "Well, actually, he forgot Poland. And now there're 30 nations involved, standing side by side with our American troops". The phrase "You forgot Poland" subsequently became a sarcastic shorthand for the perception that most members of the coalition were not contributing much to the war effort compared to the main three allies. The majority of the population in most countries involved did not, according to surveys, support the endeavour or their nation's participation.[9]

    Late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, then ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, referred to the coalition by the acronym COW, expressing his concern that the United States was being "milked" as a "cash cow". A Canadian Member of Parliament, Carolyn Parrish, referred to the "Coalition of the Willing" as the "Coalition of the Idiots". She was reprimanded for these comments, and was eventually removed from the Liberal Party of Canada caucus following a long-standing dispute with Prime Minister Paul Martin over policy.



    I want to know, who exactly is the War Party?


    In the second debate in 2004 U.S. presidential election, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry questioned the size of the coalition participating in the initial invasion, saying, "...when we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. We can do better".

    John Kerry is now Sec of State, working for Obama. Is he War Party?

    Who is the War Party?

    bob



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must be War Party. I have been accused of having 'wet dreams' about trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, according to our rationalist thinker Quirk, who is not given to slander as a form of argument. And of supporting Lt. Calley, by Deuce. Getting off on that. I find it curious that I was accused by Deuce of supporting Lt. Calley when I have expressed a number of times that my view is the same as Quirk, and Teresita. We had not read our history.

      I suppose if one is to have a wet dream, it might be over someone not getting nuclear weapons who has called you Satan.

      I am far to old for wet dreams, though.

      If I am going to have a wet dream now, it will not be over sex, or war, but rather of a dam bursting, into the Depends. Haven't had that either, thankfully. Nor do I wear Depends.

      :)

      I really had not much of an opinion on Iraq, thinking if we went in, we ought to win fast and just rule, and divide it up maybe, and end the sectarian violence. But I said that before.

      bob

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    2. Iraq Resolution

      United States House of Representatives
      Party Yes Nays PRES No Vote
      Republican 215 6 0 2
      Democratic 82 126 0 1
      Independent 0 1 0 0
      TOTALS 297 133 0 3

      82 (40%) of 209 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution.
      6 (<3%) of 223 Republican Representatives voted against the resolution: Reps. Duncan (R-TN), Hostettler (R-IN), Houghton (R-NY), Leach (R-IA), Morella (R-MD), Paul (R-TX).
      The only Independent Representative voted against the resolution: Rep. Sanders (I-VT)
      Reps. Ortiz (D-TX), Roukema (R-NJ), and Stump (R-AZ) did not vote on the resolution.

      United States Senate
      Party Ayes Nays No Vote
      Republican 48 1 0
      Democratic 29 21 0
      Independent 0 1 0
      TOTALS 77 23 0

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    3. Resolution on Afghanistan

      Congressional votes

      House of Representatives

      On September 14, 2001 bill House Joint Resolution 64 passed in the House. The totals in the House of Representatives were: 420 Ayes, 1 Nay and 10 Not Voting.

      The Nay was Barbara Lee, D-CA. [2] Lee is notable as the only member of either house of Congress to vote against this bill.[3]


      Senate

      On September 14, 2001 Senate Joint Resolution 23 passed in the Senate by roll call vote. The totals in the Senate were: 98 Ayes, 0 Nays, 2 Present/Not Voting (Senators Larry Craig - R and Jesse Helms - R).


      Senator Craig would have voted aye, but he must have been in a restroom in the airport in Minneapolis, tapping his toes.

      Jesse was probably on life support somewhere.

      bob

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    4. According to Quirk, Deuce, Ash, we have not declared war, and are a rogue nation expanding an empire.

      bob

      Delete

    5. Senator Craig would have voted aye, but he must have been in a restroom in the airport in Minneapolis, tapping his toes.

      Jesse was probably on life support somewhere.


      If they had voted, it would have made it 100%, in the 'world's greatest deliberative body'.

      Our War Party at vote.

      bob

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    6. .

      Then, of course, the question becomes who are the bigger fools, the ones who made the original mistake or the ones who want to repeat it?

      .

      Delete
    7. .

      According to Quirk, Deuce, Ash, we have not declared war, and are a rogue nation expanding an empire.

      Naw, would never say that. If in fact we were actually trying to expand an empire, it would be even more of an indictment, merely showing to an even greater extent that through poor planning and incompetence we had failed even at that.

      .

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    8. Banen Al-Sheemary has been active at the University of Michigan with Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, Iraqi Student Association, and Muslim Student Association’s Social Justice and Activism Committee

      I wonder if this guy is sunni or shia, and why he is not back in his home country, Iraq, helping out?

      heh she is a gal.

      About Banen Al-Sheemary
      Banen Al-Sheemary is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan. She majored in History and Arabic. Banen and her family fled Iraq during the first U.S. invasion of Iraq. They settled in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia for years. Her goal is to raise awareness about the numerous challenges Iraqis face as a result of the occupation. You can follow her on Twitter at @balsheem.


      She must be sunni, fleeing to Saudi.

      How did she get to Michigan? Where is the money?

      I think she and her family must have been a minor part of the ruling class, before the turnover.

      What do you think?

      Citizens United For Freedom and Justice, Interstate Mountain Division, Activism Group

      b

      Delete

    9. According to Quirk, Deuce, Ash, we have not declared war, and are a rogue nation expanding an empire.

      Naw, would never say that.
      ....

      But you did. Go back and look. It was Unconstitutional blah blah blah. Then when I made argument about constitutionality, and votes in Congress, you said well anyway it is illegal. Probably bringing in some 'foreign authority'.

      b

      Delete
    10. There is no 'foreign authority'. Congress acts, and that is that, so far.

      I hope it remains so.


      Citizens United For Freedom and Justice, Interstate Mountain Division, Activism Group

      Delete
    11. She must be sunni, fleeing to Saudi.

      How did she get to Michigan? Where is the money?

      I think she and her family must have been a minor part of the ruling class, before the turnover.

      What do you think?

      Citizens United For Freedom and Justice, Interstate Mountain Division, Activism Group


      You don’t want to know.

      Delete
    12. The U.S. military engaging in any significant form of combat, given the people's current mood and attitude, is improbable. This would be especially true if the blood spilled would be on behalf of another nation (Israel).

      Americans are sick of these endless and pointless wars, particularly in that region of the world. Also, Israel doesn't have the public support she once enjoyed, except from a relative handful of misguided Evangelicals. Don’t believe the push-polls.

      The US government would have to offer concrete, incontrovertible, and compelling evidence that Iran poses a direct and imminent threat to our national security and to the American people. Saying, or even proving, that Iran poses such a threat to the Jewish State is not enough.

      Delete
    13. And what would you say IF ("or even proving") 6 Million MORE Israelis/Jews were sacrificed at the hands of Satanic, Anti-Semitic, hatefilled racists?

      Kinda tough to justify that, in my book.

      Delete
    14. .

      IMO, it's 50/50 whether we get involved militarily with Iran. Either way we go, it is a no win situation.

      Jenny makes the point that the American public is against US intervention. True enough, but over the past 10 years, we have seen what the public wants has little to do with the public policy they get. Likewise, the conversation on going to war is often dominated by the euphemisms and dysphemisms conjured up by the jingoistic pols that still lurk in the halls of Congess. The American people did nothing the last time when our incursion was defined as 'humanitarian'.

      I say it is a no-win situation because were we to go to war with Iran, the resulting tradjedy could be predicted by anyone who has witnessed recent history and has the ability to inderstand it.

      However, were Iran to get the bomb, the consequences would also be bad in and of itself, not only because of Iran getting the bomb (something that is inevitible if they actually want it, IMO) but because of the red-line Obama has drawn, Biden's claim that we will have Israel's back, and Obama's promise that Iran having the bomb is unacceptable to the US.

      Given the rhetoric, if Iran gets the bomb and the US does nothing, we will once again look like a 'paper tiger', one that is unwilling to back up the assurances we give to our allies.

      IMO, the second option is still preferable given the loss of lifes and treasure that could certainly result from the first. (Especially since our reputation has been so marred over the past decade a little more would likley hardly be noticed.)

      Still, it wouldn't surprise me top see it go either way.

      .

      .

      Delete
    15. .

      But you did. Go back and look. It was Unconstitutional blah blah blah. Then when I made argument about constitutionality, and votes in Congress, you said well anyway it is illegal. Probably bringing in some 'foreign authority'.

      b



      Lordy, don't you get tired of making a fool of yourself? You got the argument exactly opposite of what was said.

      They that are fated to be fools, have one consolation, that they are fated also to be ignorant of it.

      Quit embarrassing yourself.

      .

      Delete
  4. A reference was made on the previous thread to North Dakota's fairly low electricity rates ($0.08/kwhr vs. California's $0.15/kwhr.)

    It might be interesting to note that N. Dakota gets a higher percentage of its electricity from Renewables than does California (over 20% for ND vs about 15% for Ca.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After all this with Quirk, I am ready to go back to arguing with you about windmills, and tax deductions.


      Citizens United For Freedom and Justice, Interstate Mountain Division, Activism Group

      Delete
    2. Rufus, Interesting:

      Is it from Canadian Hydros, or what?

      ...one thing for sure in CA, completely run by liberals, most everything costs more, even if delivered to the "Leaders" of CA by God, for free.

      Delete
  5. PUTIN ENEMY FOUND DEAD 'IN BATH'...

    MYSTERY...

    The Exiled Russian Tycoon...

    Rise and fall of an oligarch...drudge


    Politics, Russian style


    Citizens United For Freedom and Justice, Interstate Mountain Division, Activism Group, Retired, Never Hired, Sleeping With Cat

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Syria chemical weapons: finger pointed at jihadists
    A Syrian Army source gives the first account of what is believed to have been a chemical attack - and it could mean that one of the West's biggest fears is about to come true. Channel 4's Alex Thomson reports.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9950036/Syria-chemical-weapons-finger-pointed-at-jihadists.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. SNOW

    The only thing that settles in the UK that doesn't claim benefits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You get the benefit of the doubt on that.

      Delete
    2. Doubt Benefit - 75 pounds sterling per fortnight, no church attendance allowed, Christmas and Easter excepted

      Delete
  8. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/index.html

    The Warmongers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The operable word in your link, Hannity. Can I add him to the list where I would rather hear what Juan Cole had to think?

    ReplyDelete
  10. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against foreign interference in the affairs of other nations during a speech in Moscow on Saturday, sending a signal to the West and echoing a message often repeated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Permanent U.N. Security Council members with veto power, Russia and China have frequently teamed up diplomatically to blunt the influence of the United States and its NATO allies and have blocked three draft resolutions on Syria.

    “We must respect the right of each country in the world to independently choose its path of development and oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries," Xi told students at an international relations school.

    He spoke a day after meeting Putin on his first foreign trip since becoming president, a choice both said underscored a “strategic partnership" between Russia and China.

    In the Kremlin, he told Putin: “you and I are good friends."

    Xi told Russian students on Saturday: “Strong Chinese-Russian relations ... not only answer to our interests but also serve as an important, reliable guarantee of an international strategic balance and peace."

    Putin, who began a six-year term last May, has often criticized foreign interference in sovereign states.
    Russia and China have resisted Western calls to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the two-year-old civil conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people in Syria.

    They have both criticized the NATO bombing that helped rebels overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and stood together in the Security Council in votes on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.

    In a symbolic show of trust, Xi became the first foreign leader to visit the Russian military command center in Moscow on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported.

    Xi and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the countries share concerns about U.S. global missile-defense deployments, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said.

    Both China and Russia have also bristled at U.S. and European criticism of their human rights records.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Free the Bhagavad Gita

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita_trial_in_Russia

      For that matter, might as well

      Free Siberia too

      http://www.answers.com/topic/russia-imperial-expansion

      What's wrong with a little shamanism?

      Russian expansion has ceased now, no where else to go Zhirinovsky wanted Alaska back. But he lost politically, and got old, and even more foolish.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Zhirinovsky

      Besides Alaska is known for its Momma Grizzlies now who defend their turf too.

      Life is strange, isn't it?

      b



      Delete
    2. .

      Life is not the only thing strange around here.

      .

      Delete
  11. If we were really Imperialists of the First Class Sort, we would invade Canada, and take the central plains, with all that good wheat land, and the tar sands too. Along with compliant women. And some timber, from the mountains. I don't see any move to do that. We could say, they have called us Satan, the descendents of apes and pigs, and we are stopping their nuclear developments, with which to exterminate us. I have not even heard anyone really suggest it, though. Because they are not crazy, have not threatened us, and are good guys. We respect their borders, set long ago, look up whatever treaty, and they respect ours, and we don't threaten them, and they are peaceful members of international organizations, like ourselves. If only everyone were. Like Iran should become.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we were really Imperialists of the First Class Sort, we would invade Canada, and take the central plains, with all that good wheat land, and the tar sands too. Along with compliant women of choice. And some timber, from the mountains.

      Which was exactly the Nazi idea for eastern Europe. Our country helped fight against them, right before I was born. I'm happy for that at least. Their plan was, take the land by force, all the resources, the women if desirable, the captives to be slaves, uneducated, and worked to death. And finally gotten rid of.

      I read about it in books.

      I am glad I did not experience it.

      I don't think we have a War Party here.

      b

      Delete
    2. Of course we have a War Party, also known as the Federal Socialists, they have two wings to that party, the Democrats and the Republicans.

      These two wings of the Federal Socialist Party have dominated politics in the US for the past 100 years. That our resident idiot does not recognize the dominate political power in the US, par for his course.

      The US model of Empire is much more developed than the NAZI's ever were, dimwit. While there is a military component to the modern empire, with over 700 US bases spread around the globe, empire today is more based upon economic exploitation than military domination.

      Canada being the perfect example of a country that is more economically more militarily dominated by the US. Just look at how muchof Canada's economy is US centric. There was never need to invade Canada with troops, we did it with dollars.

      Delete
    3. Total nonsense.

      We TRADE with Canada.

      Through mutually agreed to agreements.

      Our President is even now considering the pipeline.

      Our Congress mostly supports it

      The Canadians seem to support it.

      The people on both sides support it, mostly.

      It will get done.

      And you call it military/economic exploitation, when it is a good deal for everyone.



      bob

      Delete
  12. Half of all the babies were born with birth defects?

    O come ON! Deuce.

    Where do you get this stuff?

    bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 0:46 in your video

      It is nonsense.

      Real birth defects are almost always a genetic error, the chance of the dice.

      Unless the mother was an alcoholic, or drug user of the worst sort, the child will do ok.

      Up around Kellogg and Wallace, there were metals in the air, that you could smell, for decades, from the mining. The actual birth defects were minimal, though there were some statistical developmental problems. Ask my wife.

      She knows.

      Give me a break.

      bob

      Delete
    2. Ever heard of thalidomide?

      Delete
    3. Prenatal Environment

      It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of prenatal environment to a developing fetus. Indeed, a pregnant mother's health, diet, and level of exposure to toxins and environmental pollutants all have a direct effect on fetal development. For example, one of the most highly publicized cases of widespread toxin exposure associated with a pronounced increase in birth defects involves the use of Agent Orange, an herbicide that contains the poison dioxin, by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Since the end of that conflict, the frequency of birth defects in those areas exposed to dioxin has risen to almost three times the norm. Dioxin, a product of industrial processes, disrupts the function of nuclear receptors and interferes with cell signaling. Moreover, dioxin is fat soluble and takes a long time to degrade, which means it can build up over time in soil, in water, and in the fatty tissue of animals that humans consume.

      http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/birth-defects-causes-and-statistics-863

      Delete
    4. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a myth.

      Not.

      Delete
    5. We were dropping thalidomide?

      Give me a break.

      I agree with you on the agent orange. Totally different topic.

      I am beginning to wonder about the effects of early industrialism on the developing child in the areas of Detroit, Philly, and Phoenix from what I have been reading, though.

      More study may be required.

      bob

      Delete
  13. 9-11

    I will simply repeat:

    I'm thankful our son did not ultimately follow my wishes for him to join the Marines after 9-11 when he became old enough to be eligible.

    And, I'm thankful Rat's son made it back alive from his (and my, and Rat's) desire to exact justice by lethal force, if called for.
    (and still concerned that Lab Rat's son may not have so fortunate)
    ...and the 5,000 sons and daughters sacrificed in this effort which ultimately turned into (another) tragic farce.

    ...not to mention Iraqis, the most tragic-farcical being Iraqi Christians.

    In fact, it has all turned out to be a Lethal Farce.

    As it always has been since WWII,

    ...with the exception of a less than optimal effort/outcome in Korea.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just Leslie.Com

    Memphis, Tennessee was home until Leslie’s dad took a job in Los Angeles at Stevie Wonder’s radio station, KJLH, as a electronic engineer.

    “I went to high school in Lynwood. I played basketball to please my dad. I also got free shoes and could miss class. When they told me I could get a scholarship to college I said cool. Where am I going.”

    College first took Leslie to Chapman in the OC on a basketball scholarship. Leslie’s coach left Chapman and asked her to join him at Colorado State University. Leslie didn’t care what college she was going to. Anything to get out of the house. Leslie wanted to be able to go to the refrigerator and eat whenever and whatever she wanted.

    “I’ve always been crazy. I never knew I was funny. I just thought I was insane.”

    Leslie’s first time on stage was at Colorado State. The school paper was at her performance. She won the “Funniest Person on Campus” and thought she was going to become a star. Leslie returned to Los Angeles and got up at the World Famous Comedy Store and bombed like a 747. Next stop: Outside where she threw up.

    “You’re throwing up those bad ass jokes,” the host told her.

    Unfazed by this experience, Leslie opened up for Jamie Foxx and the DJ scratched a song through her whole set. As she watched Jamie, she realized, she didn’t have anything to talk about except going to Church and her uncle who stuttered. The audience booed her. Her friends were ready to fight the audience.

    Leslie vowed she would never step on stage again until she was ready, but it hurt her more not to go up than to go up. While attending college, she’d been a cook, waitress, cashier, justice of the peace (Sworn in as the assistant to the judge, she married people who got Annulments) sold perfume, conducted surveys and answered phones as a receptionist and was even an interpreter who could not speak another language. None of it worked. Comedy was calling out to her!

    By day Leslie worked at UPS, by night she performed at the comedy spots around Los Angeles

    “You’d better not call my line with an attitude. I’d send your package to Cairo!”

    ReplyDelete
  16. DougSat Mar 23, 06:44:00 PM EDT

    Rufus:

    Why do they report "Small Hydro" but fail to mention large hydro?

    (your California link)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something about large hydro the greenies don't like. Something about deep water, and the fish getting cold, or something. I skimmed over some article about it, and thought it was silly, so I didn't pay any attention after that. Whatever floats their boat, I guess.

      Delete
  17. Here’s a look at the top 10:

    1. Iowa, 24.5 percent
    2. South Dakota, 23.9 percent
    3. North Dakota, 14.7 percent
    4. Minnesota, 14.3 percent
    5. Kansas, 11.4 percent
    6. Colorado, 11.3 percent
    7. Idaho, 11.3 percent
    8. Oklahoma, 10.5 percent
    9. Oregon, 10.0 percent
    10. Wyoming, 8.8 percent


    I think I was mistaken on North Dakota. I was thinking of wind, and they're not at 20% on wind. South Dakota is 23%; maybe that's where I was confused.

    Still, they have a very strong wind resource, and they're steadily adding turbines; so they'll probably get to the twenty percent mark in a couple of years, if not sooner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Idaho is really high on hydro.

      bob

      Delete
  18. Huh, it looks like I mighta been right in spite of myself. N. Dakota was getting 6% of its electricity from Hydro in 2010; if they still are that would put them over 20% from Renewables.

    N. Dakota Electric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even with all the kicking and screaming in protest, the US is moving towards saner energy production platforms and away from the dependence upon Wahhabi energy

      The nuclear project that boobie hung his hopes upon, crashed and burned.
      Typical of the "New" ideas he has presented over the years.

      Nuclear is dead without Federal Socialist exemptions from legal liability.
      Would never have been born without those Socialist legal protections from the liability stemming from their operations.

      Like the Corvair nuclear energy is "Unsafe at any Speed".

      Delete
    2. Yeah, we've dodged a couple of real bullets. I wouldn't want to live near a number of our nuclear plants (San Onofre, and El Diablo, for example.) And, somehow, they've managed to convince people that it's a lot cheaper than it really is.

      There's a plant down in Georgia that they've been trying to get built for fifteen, or twenty years, but everytime it comes down to somebody actually putting up the money the wheels fall off. And, that's with the Feds taking the "liability," and giving the "production tax credit" (the same PTC that wind gets that the right-wingers get their panties all in a wad over.)

      Delete
    3. Good morning, crapper.

      The nuclear energy I have advocated is advocated by out host, too.

      And you get your energy where?

      Palo Verde

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Verde_Nuclear_Generating_Station

      bob

      Delete
    4. El Paso signed a contract the other day for 100 MWatts of Solar for, I think it was, 20 years, for a little less than $0.06 KWhr. Chew on that one a little bit.

      Delete
    5. If Palo Verde 'crashed and burned' I wouldn't be reading your non sense any longer, crapper.

      bob

      Delete
    6. The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located in Tonopah, Arizona,[1] about 45 miles (80 km) west of central Phoenix. It is the largest nuclear generation facility in the United States, averaging over 3.3 gigawatts (GW) of electrical power production in 2008[1] to serve approximately 4 million people. Arizona Public Service (APS) owns 29.1% of the station and operates the facility. Other owners include Salt River Project (17.5%), El Paso Electric Co. (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power (5.7%).[2]

      Located in the Arizona desert, Palo Verde is the only nuclear generating facility in the world that is not situated adjacent to a large body of above-ground water. (((The facility evaporates water from the treated sewage of several nearby municipalities to meet its cooling needs)))


      Cooled with Rat shit, non the less.

      :)

      bob

      Delete
    7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Verde_Nuclear_Generating_Station

      Delete
    8. A few miles Southwest of Phoenix is the World's Largest Solar Project.

      Agua Caliente

      Developed by the world's largest Solar Developer, and Second Largest Module Manufacturer - Phoenix-based First Solar.

      Delete
    9. Life without an air conditioner is hell, but not a Moslem one, where cold prevails.

      bob

      Delete
    10. "Do it all"

      Sarah Palin

      You go girl.

      bob

      Delete
    11. You know, speaking of "kicking and screaming:"

      If you stand back, and take a dispassionate look at it, the Democracy is working just about like it's supposed to. The Dems are getting a little revenue, and the Pubs are getting some spending cuts, and oil wells are getting drilled, and the RFS is hanging in there, and . . . . . . well, most everybody is getting a little of something.

      That's actually kinda the way it's supposed to work, right?

      Delete
    12. I tend to agree with you there, Rufus.

      Things are not as bad as we like to proclaim sometimes.

      But it is always fun to bitch!

      bob

      Delete
    13. Bitch at Rat, then. His nerves appear to be a bit better than mine, right now.

      Delete
    14. That is kind of neat though, the world's largest nuclear plant "cooled by ratshit." :)

      Delete
  19. boobie continues to live in the past, not looking forward to a future he will not be a part of.
    Palo Verde is so yesterday, it does not represent tomorrow.

    It could not be built there today.
    It should not have been built, there, when it was.

    Then again, neither should have the Diablo Canyon facility, in California.

    Safety was not a concern, back in the day of nuclear irresponsibility.
    The nuclear industry having a Federal shield from the liabilities of their incompetence.

    Nuclear reactors built upon geologic fault lines par for that industry.




    ReplyDelete
  20. That Japanese reactor, the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, another example of "State of the Art" nuclear engineering proving to be flawed.

    54 nuclear reactors now stand idle in Japan...

    "Unsafe at Any Speed"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one scares me more than Diablo Canyon.

      San Onofre

      If this thing "went Fuku" . . . . Lord have mercy.

      Delete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Japan’s Nuclear Woes Still a Key Factor in Uranium Market

      Thursday March 21, 2013, 4:30am PDT

      By Melissa Pistilli - Exclusive to Uranium Investing News


      http://uraniuminvestingnews.com/13981/japan-nuclear-power-uranium-market-fukushima-price-alpha-minerals-canada-rio-tinto-paladin-areva.html

      Ongoing problems at the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant aren’t helping Japanese citizens’ perception of the safety of nuclear power. A recent power outage Monday left four fuel storage pools without fresh cooling water; however, power was restored about 24 hours later, reported The New York Times.

      Tokyo Electric Power (TSE:9501), the plant operator, blamed the issue on a faulty switchboard — Wednesday, a spokesman said a rat may have been to blame — and assuaged fears of catastrophe by explaining that the temperatures in the fuel pools can remain at safe levels for at least four days.

      Delete
    2. The rat giveth, and the rat taketh away. :)

      Delete
  22. Need a nap, got company coming over after while.

    Later.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine,"...
    Obama said.

    "Given the frustration in the international community, Israel must reverse an undertow of isolation. And given the march of technology, the only way to truly protect the Israeli people is through the absence of war -- because no wall is high enough, and no Iron Dome is strong enough, to stop every enemy from inflicting harm. "

    On Israel trip, differences come into focus

    At the same time, he urged Israelis to empathize with the plight of Palestinians, using direct and harsh imagery to make his point.

    "Put yourself in their shoes -- look at the world through their eyes," ... "It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day. It is not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student's ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home."


    He added that...

    "neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer," ...
    ... "just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land."

    ReplyDelete
  24. friggin' boobie dropping everywhere. Makes the place not worth reading much less commenting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I drive you away, I have done a service to humanity.

      bob

      Delete
    2. I will delete drivel and comments meant to harass or worse yet, bore.

      Delete
  25. .

    The madness continues.

    Cyprus:

    The original plan, agreed to in marathon negotiations earlier last week, called for a one-time levy on all bank depositors in Cypriot banks. But the proposal ignited fierce anger among Cypriots and failed to garner a single vote in the Cypriot Parliament.

    The idea of some sort of deposit grab has returned to the fore after Cyprus' attempt to gain Russian financial aid failed this week, with deposits above €100,000 at the country's troubled largest lender, Bank of Cyprus, possibly facing a levy of up to 25 per cent...


    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The whole idea - 'the original plan' - makes the notion of having gold under the bed sound reasonable, eh?

      With a Second Amendment to back you up. and restrictions on unlawful searches and seizures.

      eh?

      bob

      Delete
  26. I am optimistic about the future of American energy.

    Rufus is on the right track about a lot of it. And, these new nuclear designs are better than in the past. If we ever get around to building some. Even right now, we are not 'dependent' on Saudi oil. No more than anyone else. All these markets are world wide. We have lots of reserves. And other sources.

    We should do it all.

    Can anyone explain to me why Barky is so slow on approving that pipeline from Canada?

    bob

    ReplyDelete
  27. So there you have it, Deuce.

    boobie's goal IS to drive posters away.
    Providing a service to humanity, he is.

    You should take him at his word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heh, that is funny

      No, it is not my goal.

      Just snarking to my friend Ash. In return.

      If Deuce wants to provide a service to humanity perhaps he should ban juvenile name calling.

      bob

      Delete
    2. Can you explain to me why Barky is so slow on approving the Canadian pipeline, Rat? I have my own idea, what is yours.

      Because slow he surely is.

      bob

      Delete
    3. Revisionism within the thread.
      That is a new low, even for you, boobie.

      Delete

    4. If Deuce wants to provide a service to humanity perhaps he should ban juvenile name calling.

      bob

      Delete
    5. Go on to next thread, Rat, and see if you agree with me that we are getting into serious trouble allowing GPS to be planted on your car.

      bob

      Delete