“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Oh Yes, George W. Bush and the Neocons are Guilty as Hell

Donald Trumps Perfect Foil

If Jeb Bush hadn’t run for president, Donald Trump would have had to invent him. The former Florida governor was Trump’s perfect foil. First, because Jeb was prim, proper, and incapable of expressing the rage—especially towards Muslims and Mexicans—that many Republicans currently feel. Second, because Jeb’s candidacy represented the reductio ad absurdum of the campaign finance corruption that Trump, alone among GOP candidates, calls out.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, because Jeb’s candidacy gave Trump an excuse to attack George W. Bush. When Trump began disparaging the former president last October, and then resumed his derision last week, many politicos warned that he was making a mistake. “I can’t believe the Republican nominee is going to be [someone] who said George W. Bush lied to the American people about the Iraq war. That comes from kook-land, folks,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham. “I can’t believe that we’re going to nominate someone to represent our party who said George W. Bush was responsible for 9/11. That cannot happen.” Curt Anderson, who ran Bobby Jindal’s campaign, declared that, “Everything we know about political strategy suggests that Trump’s decision to attack George W. Bush will backfire.”

It didn’t backfire. Attacking Bush proved key to Trump’s appeal.

Think about the phrase Trump’s supporters use again and again when asked what they like about him. He isn’t “politically correct.” In the professional conservative world, “political correctness” is confined to the left. But for Trump’s supporters, who are less doctrinaire, it means something broader. It refers to the things that elites won’t admit but “ordinary people” (or at least the “ordinary people” who like Trump) know are true. Liberal elites may try to conceal some of these “truths”: Mexican immigrants are wrecking the country; Muslim immigrants are potential terrorists. But conservative elites conceal others: Trade deals destroy American jobs; big donations don’t affect government policy.

And perhaps the right’s biggest “politically correct” untruth of all is that “George W. Bush kept us safe.” The phrase is downright Orwellian. It’s Orwellian because Bush didn’t keep America safe from the greatest terrorist attack in history. He didn’t even try very hard. Bush’s own top counterterrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, and many others, have extensively detailed the former president’s indifference to the al-Qaeda threat during his first nine months in office. It’s also Orwellian because saying that Bush “kept us safe” after 9/11 ignores the more than half a million Americans who suffered either physical injury or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service in Afghanistan or Iraq when Bush was president. Jeb, and the donors who paid $100,000 per head to attend his fundraisers, may not know many of those folks. But Trump voters do.

In a searing column last week, the former Marine J.D. Vance, author of the forthcoming Hillbilly Elegy, recalls hearing Jeb saying his brother kept “us” safe:
I became Trump’s biggest fan. I wanted him to go for the jugular. I wanted him to inquire whom, precisely, George W. Bush had kept safe. Was it the veterans lingering in a bureaucratic quagmire at the Department of Veterans Affairs or the victims of 9/11? Was it the enlistees from my block back home, who signed their lives on the dotted line while Jeb’s brother told the country to “go shopping”—something kids like me couldn’t afford to do?
Trump’s campaign speaks to people who feel that they are losing. What better encapsulates that sense of defeat than a murderous attack on America’s largest city followed by a bungled, deceitful war in which thousands more Americans die for no good reason? And what better encapsulates “political correctness” than Jeb Bush, the ultimate fortunate son, praising the brother who allowed that attack and prosecuted that war, for “keeping us safe”?
In a bizarre twist, Donald Trump has become an instrument of class vengeance. I don’t know how many of his voters really believe he can stop the “losing” that has characterized white working-class life for decades. But he has now accomplished at least one thing for his supporters. He’s given them the satisfaction of watching Jeb Bush lose, too.



    It’s also Orwellian because saying that Bush “kept us safe” after 9/11 ignores the more than half a million Americans who suffered either physical injury or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service in Afghanistan or Iraq when Bush was president. Jeb, and the donors who paid $100,000 per head to attend his fundraisers, may not know many of those folks. But Trump voters do.


    Over 150,000 Viet Nam vets have committed suicide since the war ended.” According to this book, Chuck Dean is a Viet Nam Veteran who served in the 173rd Airborne, arriving in Viet Nam in 1965.


    1. 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.
      2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam.
      Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.
      240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
      The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
      58,148 were killed in Vietnam.
      75,000 were severely disabled.
      23,214 were 100% disabled.
      5,283 lost limbs.
      1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
      Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21.
      11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
      Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
      Average age of men killed: 23.1 years.
      Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
      The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
      As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
      97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged.
      91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.
      74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
      Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
      Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
      87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.
      There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study).
      Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
      85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

  3. Let the Neocons saddle up and fight their own wars.


    According to a study by Tim A. Bullman and Han K. Yang in the Federal Practitioner 12 (3) : 9-13 (March 1995), “…no more than 20,000 Vietnam Veterans died of suicide from the time of discharge through the end of 1993″. However there are others that claim that many more veterans have died of suicide since the Vietnam War. In Chuck Deans’ book, Nam Vet., printed in 1990 by Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon, 97226, the author states that “Fifty-eight thousand plus died in the Vietnam War. Over 150,000 have committed suicide since the war ended.” According to this book, Chuck Dean is a Vietnam Veteran who served in the 173rd Airborne, arriving in Vietnam in 1965. At the time the book was written, Mr. Dean was the executive director of Point Man International, a Seattle based, non-profit support organization dedicated to healing the war wounds of Vietnam Veterans.While doing research for his novel, Suicide Wall, Alexander Paul contacted Point Man International and was given the name of a retired VA doctor, and conducted a phone interview with him. In that interview, the doctor related that his estimate of the number of Vietnam Veteran suicides was 200,000 men, and that the reason the official suicide statistics were so much lower was that in many cases the suicides were documented as accidents, primarily single-car drunk driving accidents and self inflicted gunshot wounds that were not accompanied by a suicide note or statement. According to the doctor, the under reporting of suicides was primarily an act of kindness to the surviving relatives.

    If the estimate of over 150,000 veterans of the Vietnam War having committed suicide since returning home is true, the figure would be almost three times the number killed in the war. When these deaths are added to the 50,000 plus Vietnam War casualties, the number approaches the 292,000 American casualties of World War II.


    After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those soldiers, spending more than a trillion dollars on its military operations, lavishing a record hundred billion more on “nation-building” and “reconstruction,” helping raise, fund, equip, and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies, and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations? So dismal is the prospect for stability in Afghanistan in 2016 that the Obama White House has recently cancelled a planned further withdrawal of its forces and will leave an estimated 10,000 troops in the country indefinitely.

    Were you to cut through the Gordian knot of complexity that is the Afghan War, you would find that in the American failure there lies the greatest policy paradox of the century: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped dead in its steel tracks by a pink flower, the opium poppy.

    For more than three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into Central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium, and suffered when they failed to complement it. The first U.S. intervention there began in 1979. It succeeded in part because the surrogate war the CIA launched to expel the Soviets from that country coincided with the way its Afghan allies used the country’s swelling drug traffic to sustain their decade-long struggle.

    On the other hand, in the almost 15 years of continuous combat since the U.S. invasion of 2001, pacification efforts have failed to curtail the Taliban insurgency largely because the U.S. could not control the swelling surplus from the county’s heroin trade. As opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation, Afghanistan’s soil seemed to have been sown with the dragon’s teeth of ancient Greek myth. Every poppy harvest yielded a new crop of teenaged fighters for the Taliban’s growing guerrilla army.


  5. Covert Warfare (1979-1992)

    The CIA’s secret war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s helped transform the lawless Afghan-Pakistani borderlands into the seedbed for a sustained expansion of the global heroin trade. “In the tribal area,” the State Department would report in 1986, “there is no police force. There are no courts. There is no taxation. No weapon is illegal… Hashish and opium are often on display.” By then, the process had long been underway. Instead of forming its own coalition of resistance leaders, the Agency relied on Pakistan’s crucial Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) and its Afghan clients who soon became principals in the burgeoning cross-border opium traffic.

    Not surprisingly, the Agency looked the other way while Afghanistan’s opium production grew unchecked from about 100 tons annually in the 1970s to 2,000 tons by 1991. In 1979 and 1980, just as the CIA effort was beginning to ramp up, a network of heroin laboratories opened along the Afghan-Pakistan frontier. That region soon became the world’s largest heroin producer. By 1984, it supplied a staggering 60% of the U.S. market and 80% of the European one. Inside Pakistan, the number of heroin addicts went from near zero (yes, zero) in 1979 to 5,000 in 1980 and 1,300,000 by 1985—a rate of addiction so high the U.N. called it “particularly shocking.”

    According to the 1986 State Department report, opium “is an ideal crop in a war-torn country since it requires little capital investment, is fast growing, and is easily transported and traded.” Moreover, Afghanistan’s climate was well suited to this temperate crop, with average yields two to three times higher than in Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle region, the previous capital of the opium trade. As relentless warfare between CIA and Soviet surrogates generated at least three million refugees and disrupted food production, Afghan farmers began to turn to opium “in desperation” since it produced such easy “high profits” which could cover rising food prices. At the same time, resistance elements, according to the State Department, engaged in opium production and trafficking “to provide staples for [the] population under their control and to fund weapons purchases.”

    As the mujahedeen resistance gained strength and began to create liberated zones inside Afghanistan in the early 1980s, it helped fund its operations by collecting taxes from peasants producing lucrative opium poppies, particularly in the fertile Helmand Valley, once the breadbasket of southern Afghanistan. Caravans carrying CIA arms into that region for the resistance often returned to Pakistan loaded down with opium—sometimes, the New York Times reported, “with the assent of Pakistani or American intelligence officers who supported the resistance.”

  6. Afghanistan has cost $685.6 billion. $13.7 billion per state. We need a wall all right, one to have the Neocons stand in front of blindfolded.

  7. I'd like to know what your position is, Deuce.

    I recall you said at one time we must 'deal with' or some such phrase, ISIS, get rid of ISIS.

    Do you still feel that way ?

    If so, in what manner, what do we do exactly ?

    If not what do you suggest we do, stop the bombing and come totally home?

    If you were President you would:


    1. Same question for you, Quirk.

    2. .

      How stupid are you?

      I've given my response a half a dozen times. In depth.

      Go piss up a rope.


    3. .

      So I'm reading Q as saying the west should not have pushed Saddam out of Kuwait, or responded to 9/11.

      Of course, you read it that way. You are an English major from Idaho.


    4. I spelled out in detail what I would do over a month ago in a thread to Rufus.

    5. Deuce ☂Sun Nov 15, 11:31:00 AM EST

      We are in a war with a monster that is partly of our creation. We have to win and with capable and motivated allies, we will destroy ISIS.

      Hezbollah is one useful ally. Israel is not. Iran is. Russia is. Saudi is not. The Kurds are the Turks are not.

    6. When Hezbollah blew up the Marine Barracks were they "useful" then?

      Oh right you excuse that as resistance to occupation...

    7. What would you hold to piss up a rope?

      a. Your Dick
      b. Your Dick
      c. Your Dick
      d. Your Dick

    8. "When Hezbollah blew up the Marine Barracks were they "useful" then?"

      REAGAN !

  8. Trump Message (short version): You'll Like Me; I'm Just As Racist as You.

  9. 40 army vehicles cross Makhmour in preparation for Mosul liberation

    ( Kirkuk – A security source in Kirkuk announced on Sunday, that 40 vehicles belonging to the Iraqi army crossed Kirkuk toward Makhmour area southeast of Mosul (405 km north of Baghdad) in preparation to liberate the city.

    The source said in a press statement received by, “40 military vehicles belonging to the army’s 71st brigade coming from Baghdad, crossed Kirkuk on Thursday evening toward Makhmour (120 km south-east of Mosul).”

    The source added, on condition of anonymity, “The forty vehicles are loaded with soldiers and military equipment, and headed to the leadership of Nineveh in preparation to liberate Mosul.”

    The Ministry of Defense announced earlier on Sunday, that the Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi met the 71st brigade in Taji camp north of Baghdad, before leaving to participate in the liberation operations of Nineveh.


  10. Most people who scream "RACIST!" are the biggest racists in the room.

    1. What about people who scream DICK ?

    2. MOMEMon Feb 22, 01:26:00 PM EST

      Most people who scream "RACIST!" are the biggest racists in the room.

      Sounds like RUFUS !!


    3. DougMon Feb 22, 04:59:00 PM EST

      What about people who scream DICK ?

      LOL Bravo!

  11. Racism Index: Subtract the amount of your outrage at Laura Bush's vacations from your outrage at Michelle Obama's vacations.

    Result = Your Racism Index.

    1. Mome moaned about Obama golf


      don't mention Trump passion for golf

  12. As I've shown many times over the last couple of months, Real Incomes have risen faster in the last 3 years than almost any time in history. It's not stagnating incomes that the Trumpists are so mad about.

    We're not spending Hundreds of Billions of Dollar$, annually, in stupid foreign wars, and getting thousands of troops maimed and killed in adventuristic stupidity. That's not what's gotten the Nativists so fired up.

    It's not an Unemployment Rate that's fallen from Bush's 10.4% to 4.9% that has them screaming in pain.

    No, it's not any of those things. We know what it is.

  13. How about an outrage index? subtract the number of times you heard Laura Bush say something disparaging about the U.S. from Michael's (oops, I mean, Michelle's) disparaging comments about the U.S.

  14. Hitler Had Micropenis

  15. Replies
    1. .

      But you are saying that he did have a dick but only that it was a microdick?


    2. I'm saying we shouldn't exaggerate.

  16. Hitler has only got one ball

    The other is in the Albert Hall

    His mother, the dirty bitch,

    Cut it off when he was small

    Hitler has only got one ball,

    Göring has two but very small,

    Himmler has something sim'lar,

    But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.

    1. And his urethra came out the bottom of his dick, so he had to stand on his head to piss up a rope.

    2. Whistle while you work!
      Hilter is a jerk!
      Mussolini bit his weenie
      now it doesn’t work

    3. Eisenhower
      Had no power
      Hitler was a jerk.

  17. It would take President George W. Bush's 2003 invasion to end Saddam's reign, coming amid the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan. In its aftermath, al-Qaida in Iraq would arise and be put down by a U.S. military surge, coupled with the support of Sunni tribesmen.


    Today, the U.S. finds itself mired in a long war feared by Schwarzkopf and others who oversaw Operation Desert Storm. Oil prices, which sparked Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, have dropped to under $30 a barrel from more than $100 in just a year and a half.

    The cause, in part, is the same OPEC overproduction the late dictator Saddam railed against across the splintered Middle East.

    1. He's spinning with his virgins.
      ...looks a lot like a Hollywood aerobics class.

    2. When they've bored through their 72, they have zero, do they get a whole new batch at that time?

  18. This is almost as bad as a Mass Murdering Uber Driver:

    The Day My Megabus Caught Fire

    "Many people, I learned, lost a considerable amount of personal property. Some, like Ms. Wurdinger, felt lucky that they’d lost only clothes. “I have my laptop here with me, thank God,” she said. Others, like Darnell McKinney, lost considerably more. “I was moving from St. Louis to Milwaukee,” Mr. McKinney said. “I had my whole life under that bus: iPad, iPhone, clothes, leather jacket, Social Security card, birth certificates. I ain’t got a pair of socks now, man; I ain’t got a pair of drawers.”

    "Darnell McKinney says he was moving STL to MIL and lost most of his possessions, SS & credit cards, birth certif"

    1. Another hotly discussed topic among the passengers was that of reimbursement. Several people called up Megabus’s terms and conditions on their phones. It unfortunately states:

      “Our maximum liability to you for any loss or damage to your luggage is US $250 per passenger for any such loss or damage to luggage, and will only be responsible to reimburse passengers up to the maximum liability limit in the event of negligence on the part of”

    2. .

      The Uber driver would have been my BoobNit of the day except that I was waiting for him to say why he did it.

      As of right now, he is not talking.


  19. One of history's most brutal tyrants was a diagnosed schizophrenic on a mission to avenge his childhood years of repressed rage, according to American psychologist and Harvard professor Henry Murray.


    Hitler suffered from intolerable feelings of inferiority, largely stemming from his small, frail, and sickly physical appearance during his childhood.
    He refused to go to school because he was ashamed that he was a poor student compared with his classmates.


    As a child, Hitler experienced the Oedipus complex (love of mother and hate of father), which he developed after accidentally seeing parents having sex, Murray's report says.
    Hitler was subservient and respectful to his father but viewed him as an enemy who ruled the family "with tyrannical severity and injustice."

    1. I think Hitler was a devil, regardless of the size of his pecker or his relationship with his father.

      That's what I think.

      Theology trumps psychology.

  20. .

    When Hezbollah blew up the Marine Barracks were they "useful" then?

    Not at all. Just as Israel wasn't 'useful' when they blew up the Liberty.

    A group can go from a terrorist organization to a resistance group (or vice versa) with the swipe of a pen. The historical US/Taliban relationship is instructive in this regard.

    It's hard to argue against the proposition that the term 'terrorist' is nothing but a temporary political designation used to define current friend from current foe.


    1. I think Hitler was a devil, regardless of the size of his pecker or his relationship with his father.

      That's what I think.

    2. That's non sense, Quirk.

      You are totally leaving out of the discussion the methods used and against whom they are used.

      You've become something of a simpleton lately, dear fellow.

    3. Not to mention the ultimate goal in mind.

    4. .

      Don't be obtuse, dear fellow. Read the history of the US relationship with the Taliban. Check out the terrorist list and who is on it. Do something useful instead sitting around reading the latest from Rick Moron.

      [I assume you are not questioning the comparison between Lebanon and the Liberty.]


  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. In addition to how Assad fares, the condition of ISIS when the war ends could have repercussions in Israel. The collapse of the peace process with Palestinians combined with the lack of support by Palestinians for their leaders could make the Palestinian areas fertile recruiting ground for ISIS and make the chances for an Israeli-Palestinian deal even more remote, presaging even more unrest.

    And then there is the Iran nuclear deal, parts of which expire in 10 years, others in 15 years. Depending on what happens in and with the Islamic Republic by then, a nuclear Iran, viscerally anti-Israel, could become a reality.

    The turmoil in the Arab Middle East gives Israel some security breathing space. Let’s hope Israeli leaders use it wisely, because it is only short term.

    Breathing Room

    1. Some here see an Israeli mastermind behind all of this, pulling the strings, the puppets responding.

      Some here have lost their minds.

  23. QuirkMon Feb 22, 08:25:00 PM EST

    When Hezbollah blew up the Marine Barracks were they "useful" then?

    Not at all. Just as Israel wasn't 'useful' when they blew up the Liberty.

    If Israel had blew up the Liberty? They would have killed all on board and there would be no witnesses.

    Hezbollah targeted sleeping Marines.

    Israel attacked a spy ship 10 miles off the coast of Gaza during a war.

    Some say it was a hostile ship. Some say it was an accident.

    Maybe if the USA wasn't in another part of the world doing who knows what to whom both the Marines in Lebanon and the Sailors on the Liberty would still be alive.

    The same could be said for every misadventure the USA has done from Iraq, to Afghanistan....

    The aftermath tells us more, than the evident.

    Hezbollah went on to murder and kidnap more Americans, torturing them for Iran...

    Israel paid restitution and apologized and has been the tip of the sword agains the radical moslems of the world

    If you can't see any difference?

    you are blind

    1. .

      If Israel had blew up the Liberty? They would have killed all on board and there would be no witnesses.


      You can't excuse Israeli incompetence by arguing they didn't really want to blow up the Liberty. Good lord, man, Israel spent hours raking the ship with machine guns and cannons. They attacked from the air and the sea. They blew out half the hull with a torpedo. They missed with the other torpedoes they fired. Or were those just warning shots?
      Of course, they wanted to sink the Liberty. They were just piss poor at it.

      Hezbollah targeted sleeping Marines.

      Half the liberty crew was asleep, lazing around sunbathing on deck. Well, the ones who weren't waving to the Israeli planes n their first fly by.

      Israel attacked a spy ship 10 miles off the coast of Gaza during a war.

      Don't be silly. The Liberty was in international waters. Well, unless you credit WiO's History of the World, the Universe, and Everything Else.

      Blind. Naw, I think it s you who are blind. Or worse.


  24. Republican hawks are aflutter today over China’s installation of anti-aircraft missiles on Woody Island in the South China Sea.

    But do these Republicans, good free-traders all, realize their own indispensable role in converting an indigent China into the mighty and menacing power that seeks to push us out of Asia?

    Last year, China ran up the largest trade surplus in history, at our expense, $365 billion. We exported $116 billion in goods to China. China exported $482 billion worth of goods to us.

    Using Census Bureau statistics, Terry Jeffrey of documents how Beijing has, over decades, looted and carted off the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen.

    In 1985, China’s trade surplus with us was a paltry $6 million. By 1992, when some of us were being denounced as “protectionists” for raising the issue, the U.S. trade deficit with China had crossed the $10 billion mark.

    In 2002, it crossed the $100 billion mark. In 2005, the $200 billion mark. In each of the last four years, Communist China has run an annual trade surplus at the expense of the United States in excess of $300 billion.

    Total trade deficits with China in the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama era? $4 trillion. Total U.S. trade deficit in 2015 — $736 billion, 4 percent of our GDP.

    To understand why Detroit look as it does, while the desolate Shanghai Richard Nixon visited in ’72 is the great and gleaming metropolis of 2016, look to our trade deficits.

    They also help explain America’s 2 percent growth, her deindustrialization, her shrinking share of the world economy, and the stagnation of U.S. wages as manufacturing jobs are replaced by service jobs.

    Those trade deficits also explain the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.


    1. {...}

      Yet, with the exception of Trump, none of the GOP candidates seems willing to debate, defend or denounce the policies that eviscerated America — and empowered the People’s Republic.

      Workers, however, know what our politicians refuse to discuss.

      They are being sold out for the benefit of corporate elites who pay off those politicians with the big cash contributions that keep the parties flush.

      Politicians who play ball with Wall Street and K Street know they will be taken care of, if they are defeated or when they retire from public office, so long as they have performed.

      Free trade is not a zero-sum game. The losers are the workers whose jobs, factories and futures are shipped abroad, and the dead and dying towns left behind when the manufacturing plants shut down.

      America is on a path of national decline because, while we have been looking out for what is best for the “global economy,” our rivals have been looking out for what is best for their own nations.

      Consider OPEC, which is reeling from the oil price collapse. Russia is colluding with Saudi Arabia and Iraq to cut production to firm up the market and prevent prices from falling further.

      This is pure price fixing, but we all understand self-interest.

      What might a U.S. national-interest-based trade policy look like?

      Controlling the largest market on earth, we might impose on foreign producers a cover charge, an admissions fee, a tariff, to get into our market.

      Example: Impose a 20 percent tariff on foreign cars entering the USA. This might raise the cost of a Lexus or Mercedes produced and assembled abroad from $50,000 to $60,000.

      However, if Lexus or Mercedes buys or makes all their parts in the USA and assembles all their cars here, no tariff. Their cars could still sell for $50,000. This would be a powerful incentive to shift production here. As an added incentive, all tariff revenue could be used to reduce or eliminate corporate taxes in the USA.


    2. {...}

      Between the Civil War and World War I, under Republicans, the U.S. became the world’s greatest industrial power and a wholly self-sufficient nation. How? We taxed foreign goods entering the United States, but did not tax the profits of U.S. companies or the incomes of U.S. workers.

      The difference between economic patriots and globalists who inhabit corporate-funded think tanks and public policy institutes is that the latter think of what is best for their corporate benefactors and the global economy. The former put America and Americans first.

      Academics revere Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Richard Cobden.

      But none of them ever built a great nation. Patriots look to Alexander Hamilton and those post-Civil War Republicans who built the greatest national industrial powerhouse the world had ever seen.

      Indeed, what great nation did free trade ever build?

      As father of a united Germany, Chancellor Bismarck said, when he decided to build Germany on the American and not the British model, “I see that those countries which possess protection are prospering, and that those countries which possess free trade are decaying.”

      So it is true today. Unfortunately, it is America, now wedded to the fatal dogma of free trade, that is decaying.


    4. .

      But do these Republicans, good free-traders all, realize their own indispensable role in converting an indigent China into the mighty and menacing power that seeks to push us out of Asia?

      I agree with a lot of what Buchanan says but to blame trade policies and the MIC solely on the GOP is absurd. It was Clinton that brought us NAFTA. It is Obama that is bringing us TPP. Take a look at the votes supporting US intervention. We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan under Obama. Libya is a failed state. The MIC has an advocate in both parties. The Dems will fight any actions that close bases in their states or cut military contracts. From Wall Street to maids and bell hops in Nevada, the Dems have their favorites. The GOP got big increases in military spending in the latest budget IN EXCHANGE FOR big increases for the Dems favorites.

      They are all dicks.


  25. 102 ISIS fighters escaped from Mosul for not receiving their salaries for 3 months

    ( Nineveh – The Kurdistan Democratic Party announced on Monday, that more than 100 members of the so-called ISIS escaped from Mosul for not receiving their salaries for more than three months.

    The Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman in Mosul, Saeed Mamousini, said in a statement obtained by, “102 members belonging to ISIS fled from the city of Mosul, right before the beginning of the liberation operations of the city.”

    Mamousini added, “ISIS elements escaped for not receiving their salaries for more than three months.”

    Noteworthy, ISIS imposed its control over the city of Mosul in Nineveh Province in June 2014, and extended its activities to several provinces and regions.


  26. Quirk: It's hard to argue against the proposition that the term 'terrorist' is nothing but a temporary political designation used to define current friend from current foe.

    Hezbollah is not a current friend.

    It has sleeper cells in America to kill American when needed

    Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite group viewed by its critics as an Iranian proxy, has reiterated that it will not disarm – as demanded by U.N. resolutions – and that it regards the United States as “the enemy.”

    The declarations from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah came five months after Lebanese elections that were hailed as a victory for U.S.-backed moderates led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. But just two weeks ago, after months of deal-making, a new government was formed in which Hezbollah and its allies control one-third of the cabinet seats.

    Releasing Hezbollah’s first party manifesto in 24 years, Nasrallah on Monday listed what he views as America’s offenses, including support for Israel, “domination of international institutions,” and “meddling in various’ states affairs.”

    Its backing for Israel, he said, “places the American administration in the position of the enemy of our nation and our peoples.”

    Nasrallah also indicated that Hezbollah, which calls itself “the Resistance,” would not comply with U.N. Security Council demands that it give up its weapons.

    “The success of the Resistance experience in fighting the enemy and the failure of all plots and schemes to delete resistance movements or besieging them or even disarming them, annexed to the continuation of the Israeli threat in Lebanon, obliges the Resistance to do its best to strengthen its abilities and consolidate its strengths to assume its national responsibilities,” he said.

    Now yes that is 5 whole years ago when this was said...

    But the Liberty was June 8th 1967

    Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks October 23, 1983.

    And in 2009 still considered America to be an enemy...

    William Francis Buckley (May 30, 1928 – June 3, 1985) was a United States Army officer and CIA station chief in Beirut from 1984[1] until 1985. His cover was as a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.[2][3][4] He died on or around June 3, 1985—five months before the date claimed by his captors[5][6]—while in the custody of Hezbollah
    Was Hezbollah an ally then?

    1. July 19, 1982: The president of the American University in Beirut, Davis S. Dodge, is kidnapped. Hezbollah is believed to be behind this and most of the other 30 Westerners kidnapped over the next ten years.

      April 18, 1983: Hezbollah attacks the U.S. embassy in Beirut with a car bomb, killing 63 people, 17 of whom were American citizens.

      Oct. 23, 1983: The group attacks U.S. Marine barracks with a truck bomb, killing 241 American military personnel stationed in Beirut as part of a peace-keeping force. A separate attack against the French military compound in Beirut kills 58.

      Sept. 20, 1984: The group attacks the U.S. embassy annex in Beirut with a car bomb, killing 2 Americans and 22 others.

      March 16, 1984: William F. Buckley, a CIA operative working at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, is kidnapped and later murdered.

      April 12, 1984: Hezbollah attacks a restaurant near the U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain. The bombing kills eighteen U.S. servicemen and injures 83 people.

      Dec. 4, 1984: Hezbollah terrorists hijack a Kuwait Airlines plane. Four passengers are murdered, including two Americans.

      Feb. 16, 1985: Hezbollah publicizes its manifesto. It notes that the group's struggle will continue until Israel is destroyed and rejects any cease-fire or peace treaty with Israel. The document also attacks the U.S. and France.

      June 14, 1985: Hezbollah terrorists hijack TWA flight 847. The hijackers severely beat Passenger Robert Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, before killing him and dumping his body onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport. Other passengers are held as hostages before being released on June 30.

      Dec. 31, 1986: Under the alias Organization of the Oppressed on Earth, Hezbollah announces it had kidnapped and murdered three Lebanese Jews. The organization previously had taken responsibility for killing four other Jews since 1984.

      Feb. 17, 1988: The group kidnaps Col. William Higgins, a U.S. Marine serving with a United Nations truce monitoring group in Lebanon, and later murders him.

      Oct. 22, 1989: Members of the dissolved Lebanese parliament ratify the Taif Agreement. Although the agreement calls for the "disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias," Hezbollah remains active.

      Feb. 16, 1992: Sayyad Hassan Nasrallah takes over Hezbollah after Israel kills the group's leader, Abbas Musawi.

      March 17, 1992: With the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah bombs the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring over 200.

      July 18, 1994: Hezbollah bombs the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires–again with Iranian help–killing 86 and injuring over 200.

      Nov. 28, 1995: Hezbollah bombards towns in northern Israel with volleys of Katyusha rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.

      March 30, 1996: Hezbollah fires 28 Katyusha rockets into northern Israeli towns. A week later, the group fires 16 rockets, injuring 36 Israelis. Israel responds with a major offensive, known as the "Grapes of Wrath" operation, to stop Hezbollah rocket fire.

      Aug. 19, 1997: Hezbollah opens fire on northern Israel with dozens of rockets in one of the group's numerous attacks on Israeli civilians.

      October 1997: The United States lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

    2. Yeah Quirk, hezbollah is your friend

    3. .

      Hezbollah is not my friend. Neither is the IDF or Likud.

      As for Hezbollah, best to remember that there would have been no Hezbollah except for Israel's continued occupation of Lebanon.

      And it's probably not I good idea when defending Israel to bring up UN Resolutions ignored.


    4. Sure it is...

      Israel has the honor of being singled out by the UN more than all nations combined...

      Hmmm maybe we can examine the unbiased nature of the UN?

  27. ISIS executes 36 militants for refusing to join confrontations lines in southern Mosul

    ( Nineveh – A source in Nineveh Province announced on Monday, that the so-called ISIS executed 36 of its fighters by firing squad for refusing to join the confrontations axes against the security forces in southern Mosul (405 north of Baghdad).

    The source said in a statement received by, “Today, ISIS executed 36 of its members after refusing to join the combat axes in southern Mosul.”

    The source, who asked anonymity, added, “ISIS executed its fighters by firing squad in Ghazlani camp in southern Mosul.”


  28. Strikes in Syria

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Hasakah, seven strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, four ISIL buildings and four ISIL vehicles and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

    -- Near Hawl, two strikes destroyed two ISIL-used bridges.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes destroyed three ISIL buildings and two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes struck three ISIL-used logistics routes.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter aircraft conducted five strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. .

      Kerry phones Serbian PM over diplomats killed in Libya strike

      <a href="”>Death by Algorithm: The NSA SKYNET program in Libya</a>

      <i>US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday offered his condolences to Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic over the two kidnapped Serbian diplomats believed to have been killed in a US airstrike in Libya, Belgrade said.

      Last week the US targeted a jihadist training camp near the Libyan coastal city of Sabratha, killing dozens of people including an Islamic State group operative the US said was behind the mass murder of tourists on a Tunisian beach.

      However, Belgrade said the strike’s victims also included two officials from Serbia’s embassy in Libya, Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic, who had been taken hostage in the area in November.
      <b>The Pentagon said Saturday it had “no information” indicating that the attack had led to the deaths of two Serbians and that the circumstances of their deaths “remained unclear.”</b>

      [Read: Don’t come back until you have proof there is no way in hell we can deny.]

      In a telephone conversation on Monday Kerry “expressed condolences to Vucic and the families over the death of Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic,” the Serbian government said in a statement.

      Kerry “told the prime minister that he would inform the Serbian government… about all the details of an investigation conducted by the US and its services, <b>about the murder of Serbian diplomats,” it said.</b>

      [;o) ;o)]

      <b>Vucic on the weekend said that the pair “would have been released, had they not been killed”.</b>

      US officials said the raid likely killed Noureddine Chouchane, also known as “Sabir,” who along with other jihadists had been planning attacks against American and other Western interests.</i>

      [The algorithm doesn’t lie.]


  30. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told Reuters the cessation accord could allow a resumption of negotiations. "We can now relaunch very soon the political process which is needed to end this conflict," he said.

    Under the terms of the cessation, parties would indicate their agreement to the US and Russia by noon on Friday Damascus time (2100 AEDT), and the truce would go into effect at midnight, the two countries said.
    Syrian government and allied forces will cease attacks against armed opposition forces, and vice versa, with any weapons including rockets, mortars, anti-tank guided missiles.

    1. .

      From what I read earlier, it doesn't restrict any strikes by either side against ISIS forces. Which leaves plenty of room for plausible deniability a hole you could drive an 'ISIS front-loader through'.



  31. A three-day gun battle in the disputed region of Kashmir has ended with Indian security forces killing another two militants who stormed a government building, a senior police official says.


    More than 100 people were inside at the time.
    Three Indian army commandos, two policemen and a civilian died in the fighting.

  32. Generals Rufus and rat needed immediately in Libya -

    The growing threat of ISIS in Libya

    posted at 9:41 pm on February 22, 2016 by John Sexton

    ISIS is growing in Libya and beginning to attract recruits from other African nations. The New York Times reports the number of ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq has declined slightly as a result of the U.S. bombing campaign but that decline is nearly being balanced out by the growth in numbers ISIS is seeing in Libya:

    Even as American intelligence agencies say the number of Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria has dropped to about 25,000 from a high of about 31,500, partly because of the United States-led air campaign there, the group’s ranks in Libya have roughly doubled in the same period, to about 6,500 fighters. More than a dozen American and allied officials spoke of their growing concern about the militant organization’s expanding reach from Libya and across Africa on rules of anonymity because the discussions involved intelligence and military planning.

    Islamic State leaders in Syria are telling recruits traveling north from West African nations like Senegal and Chad, as well as others streaming up through Sudan in eastern Africa, not to press on to the Middle East. Instead, they are being told to stay put in Libya. American intelligence officials, who described the recent orders from Islamic State leaders, say the organization’s immediate goal is to carve out a new caliphate in Libya, and there are signs the affiliate is trying to establish statelike institutions there.

    “Libya has become a magnet for individuals not only inside of Libya, but from the African continent as well as from outside,” John O. Brennan, the director of the C.I.A., told a Senate panel this month.

    President Obama is said to be “mulling over” how much of a military response is necessary in Africa. The plan at present appears to involve spending several hundred million dollars training Libyan troops as well as troops in several other African nations in order to fend off ISIS without putting American boots on the ground.

    If the plan to train local troops to fight the spread of ISIS sounds familiar that’s because it’s similar to the strategy the administration pursued in Syria last year. The plan in Syria was to pull fighters off the front line, train them in advanced military techniques and send them back to the fight. The program was supposed to train as many as 15,000 fighters over three years but it did not work out that way as ABC News reported last September:

    Christine Wormuth, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that there are currently between 100 and 120 fighters in a program that was slated to have trained 5,400 fighters in its first 12 months.

    [General Lloyd] Austin told the panel that goal was not going to be met and that options are being explored about how to retool the program which was intended to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. So far, $42 million has been spent to develop the $500 million program which began training in April.

    According to Gen. Austin, the actual result of all this money spent was “four or five” fighters on the front lines against ISIS. The current plan to train locals to fight ISIS may or may not work out better than last year, but the President is surely aware that by the time the current plan is evaluated he will no longer be in office.

  33. February 22, 2016
    The End of the Two-State Solution
    By Jeremy Saltan

    The three parties necessary to complete a deal - the Israelis, the Palestinians and the international community - have all moved on.

  34. VIDEO: Hillary tries preacher routine at gospel awards show

    February 22, 2016
    By Olaf Ekberg

    “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,” she said to shouts and cheers. “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he’s watching me.

    “And all of a sudden those clouds lift and you know you can go on again. So I know this is not just about music. It truly is about the message. It’s about the Gospel and all that it means to so many of us.

    “So I want to thank you. I wish all of you well — not just in these awards but in every day, in every way,”

    Watch NAUSEATING VIDEO here:

    1. (Voter galonpin2, rising, waving arms in air, feints in the aisle with the coming of the Spirit)


    Short Answer: A creation and a reaction to Israeli aggression and the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon.

    Hezbollah (or “Party of God”) emerged during Lebanon’s fifteen-year-long civil war (1975–1990) in the aftermath of Israel’s invasion in 1982 and subsequent occupation. Israel aimed to expel Palestinian militants operating in southern Lebanon, but the move galvanized a faction of disenfranchised Shiites to take up arms in support of an Iranian-style clerical regime.

    In its infancy, the movement obtained critical financial support and training from Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

    Suicide attacks on the U.S. embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in October 1983 (258 Americans killed) furthered the group's image as leaders of the Shiite resistance. Just months later, President Ronald Reagan withdrew U.S. Marines who had been deployed to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force.

    Hezbollah issued its founding manifesto in 1985, around the time that analysts believe the group coalesced into a unified organization. The platform vowed Hezbollah's loyalty to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; urged the establishment of an Islamic regime; and called for the expulsion of the United States, France, and Israel from Lebanese territory, as well as for the destruction of the Israeli state. The manifesto states:

    "Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease-fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.”


    1. In 1982, Prime Minister Begin launched “Operation Peace for Galilee”, which was an invasion of Lebanon, taking the Israelis right up to and into Beirut.

      Yasser Arafat and his fighters were forced to depart for Tunisia. But the operation went wrong for Israel. It was condemned by world - and much of its own - opinion when Christian fighters massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians as the Israeli army stood by, and it failed to make a political agreement with the Christians stick. It pulled back to an enclave north of their border.

  36. “Limited War” in Lebanon

    Noam Chomsky

    Z Magazine, September, 1993

    On July 25, Israel launched what the press described as its “biggest military assault on Lebanon” since the 1982 invasion. The assault was provoked by guerrilla attacks on Israeli troops in southern Lebanon, killing seven Israeli soldiers. By the time a US-arranged cease fire took hold on July 31, about 125 Lebanese were reported killed, along with three Syrians and three Israelis, one a soldier in southern Lebanon, while about 500,000 people were driven from their homes according to reports from Lebanon.

    Journalists in Lebanon reported that 90 percent of the 80,000 inhabitants of Tyre joined the flood of refugees northwards. Villages were deserted, with many casualties and destruction of civilian dwellings by intensive bombardment. Nabatiye, with a population of 60,000, was described as “a ghost town” by a Lebanese reporter a day after the attack was launched. Inhabitants described the bombings as even more intense and destructive than during the Israeli invasions of 1978 and 1982. Those who had not fled were running out of food and water but were trapped in their villages, Mark Nicolson reported from Nabatiye in the Financial Times, because “any visible movement inside or outside their houses is likely to attract the attention of Israeli artillery spotters, who…were pounding shells repeatedly and devastatingly into selected houses.” Artillery shells were hitting some villages at a rate of more than 10 rounds a minute at times, he reported, while Israeli jets roared overhead, and in nearby Sidon, “the main Hammoud hospital was admitting new casualties every 15 minutes by late afternoon” of July 27. An Israeli Army spokesperson said that “70 percent of the village of Jibshit is totally destroyed, its inhabitants will not recognize it.” The goal is “to wipe the villages from the face of the earth,” a senior officer added. In Tripoli, 40 miles north of Beirut, a Palestinian refugee camp was attacked by Israeli planes firing missiles. Israeli naval forces bombarded coastal areas near Beirut and intercepted vessels approaching Lebanese ports, though whether they also resumed their long-term practice of kidnapping and killing passengers on the high seas is not reported.

    Israel and the UN observer force (UNIFIL) estimate that there were 300-400 active guerrillas in south Lebanon, from the Iranian-backed Hizbollah (Party of God). Eight were reported killed by Lebanese sources. The reasons for the attack were stated at once by Israel’s chief of staff, General Ehud Barak. As reported by Boston Globe correspondent Ethan Bronner, “Barak said a pattern had emerged that Israel considered intolerable: Every time Hizbollah attacked an Israeli or pro-Israeli position inside the security zone, Israel would fire back at the attackers north of the zone. Then, the attackers would lob rockets at civilians in northern Israel rather than at military targets inside the zone as in the past.”


    1. {...}

      The “security zone” is a region of southern Lebanon that Israel has occupied in one or another form since its 1978 invasion. In recent years, it has been held by a terrorist mercenary army (the South Lebanon Army of General Lahd) backed by Israeli military forces.

      Any indigenous resistance to the rule of israel and its proxies is considered “terrorism,” which Israel has a right to counter by attacking Lebanon as it chooses (retaliation, preemption, or whatever) — what General Barak chooses to call “firing back at the attackers.” But the resistance has no right to retaliate by shelling northern Israel. These are the rules; one goal of Israel’s July attack was to enforce them.

      The US government agrees that these are to be the operative rules, while occasionally expressing qualms about the tactics used to enforce them — meanwhile providing a huge flow of arms and any required diplomatic support. Given Washington’s stand, it follows that the rules are unchallengeable background assumptions, merely presupposed in reporting and commentary. It is unnecessary to ask what the reaction would be if any state not enjoying Washington’s favor were to carry out comparable atrocities, in gross violation of international law and the UN Charter, were such trivialities considered relevant.

      On July 30, Hizbollah announced that rocket attacks on northern Israel could only end “with the complete and permanent halt of aggression against villages and civilians and the stopping of Israeli attacks from air, land and sea on all Lebanese territory.” The statement “received a testy response in Jerusalem,” the New York Times reported. Reviewing the Lebanese operation, the Cabinet did not even consider the Hizbollah proposal, the spokesperson for the Rabin government said. That is understandable. The rules are that Israel is allowed to strike “villages and civilians” at will, anywhere, if its occupying forces are attacked in southern Lebanon. Since these rules are also accepted by Washington, the Hizbollah statement was dismissed here as well.


    2. ...The occupation is in violation of UN Security Council resolution 425 of March 1978, calling on Israel to withdraw immediately and unconditionally from Lebanon. The government of Lebanon has reiterated this demand, notably in February 1991 during the Gulf conflict; apart from odd corners like this journal, the request was drowned out by the self-congratulatory oratory about the wondrous new order of law and justice. Israel is free to ignore such minor annoyances as the Security Council and international law thanks to the stance of its superpower patron, which is powerful enough to reduce the UN to an instrument of its foreign policy and to shape international law as it chooses, as was seen once again in the ludicrous legal arguments put forth to justify Clinton’s bombing of Iraq in June....


    ...The Logic of Terror At the outset of the operation, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin informed the Israeli parliament “that he planned to flood Beirut with refugees to press the Lebanese government to end the attacks,” the Times reported: “He said Israel would continue to blast villages as long as Katyusha rockets slammed into Israeli settlement towns in Galilee” — in retaliation against Israeli attacks on civilian targets in Lebanon to counter guerilla attacks in the “security zone.” Israel’s plan, Army spokesperson Michael Vromen stated, was to “create pressure on the Lebanese government [to rein in the Hizbollah guerrillas] by having as many refugees as possible gathered around Beirut.” The “limited war” is “a noisy, frightening `message’ in the words of officials [in Tel Aviv] that the south will be uninhabitable unless Hizbollah is stopped” (Ethan Bronner). “We believe that the Lebanese government of Rafik Hariri, which has been promising order and stability in Lebanon, will not allow this kind of chaos to continue for very long,” a senior Israeli official explained: “Between the population of the south, the Lebanese government and the Syrians, we are hoping Hizbollah will be stopped.” As the cease-fire was announced, Rabin stated that one of the goals of the operation, now achieved, had been “the use of firepower to create conditions to allow understandings with the power brokers who influence the terrorist organizations in Lebanon.”

    A broader goal was outlined by Uri Lubrani, Israel’s coordinator of Lebanese policy. The purpose of the attack, he said, is to induce the Lebanese government to demand Syrian permission to negotiate directly with Israel. “This is an attempt to drive home a point,” Lubrani said. “Lebanese government, you claim you want to exercise authority over all of Lebanese territory. You want us to take you seriously in your negotiations. Go to your masters [in Damascus] and tell them: ‘Let me decide on my own fate’.” According to this conception, Israel is advancing the “peace process” by attacking Lebanon. That is entirely reasonable, if we understand the “peace process” to be a program for imposing US-Israeli dominance over the region by a mixture of violence and diplomacy with a gun visibly cocked — as we should.


    What would they do in Texas?


    Shadows of the Past

    To appreciate more fully what is happening, some historical background is useful. Israel’s 1978 invasion killed several thousand Lebanese and Palestinians, drove hundreds of thousands to the north, and left a region of the south under the control of a murderous proxy force, Major Haddad’s militia. Haddad’s forces were responsible for many atrocities, reported in Israel but not here, one of the most notorious being the massacre of all remaining inhabitants of the Lebanese town of Khiam during Israel’s 1978 invasion; the population had been reduced from 30,000 to 32 by Israeli bombing in earlier years.

    During its 1982 invasion, Israel selected Khiam as the site of its notorious Ansar I prison camp, used since to punish people suspected of anti-Israel activity in Lebanon, or their relatives, thus to undermine any resistance to the South Lebanon Army. There is ample evidence of hideous conditions and savage torture, reported by the press in Israel and England, but not authenticated by the Red Cross or any humanitarian organization because Israel refuses to allow any access to the horror chamber run by its proxies under its supervision.

    The 1978 invasion was presented as retaliation for a Palestinian terrorist attack, which originated far north of the zone Israel invaded. In earlier years there had been a pattern of cross-border attacks by the PLO from Lebanon into Israel (called “terrorism”) and by Israel into Lebanon (called “retaliation”). The scale was radically different, reflecting the force available to the attackers and their susceptibility to international reaction. Diplomats and UN officials in Beirut estimated about 3,500 killed in Israeli raids in the early 1970s, along with unknown numbers of Palestinian civilians, with hundreds of thousands fleeing what was, in effect, a scorched earth policy carried out with US support and equipment. PLO actions, some of them atrocious acts of terror, took a vastly lesser toll...


    Often Israel’s terrorist operations lacked any pretense of retaliation. Thus in February 1973, Israeli airborne and amphibious forces attacked Tripoli in northern Lebanon, killing 31 people (mainly civilians) and destroying classrooms, clinics, and other buildings in a raid justified as preemptive. In December 1975, Israeli warplanes bombed and strafed Palestinian refugee camps and nearby villages, killing over 50 people, while “Israeli officials stressed that the purpose of the action had been preventive, not punitive,” the New York Times reported.

    That particular attack, arguably, was indeed retaliation: against the United Nations, which, two days earlier, had arranged for the PLO to participate in a session to consider a proposal for a two-state settlement advanced by the PLO and the Arab states, supported by the world generally, angrily denounced by Israel, and vetoed by the US — hence out of history, like other unacceptable facts. One of the targets was Nabatiye, again emptied today. Nabatiye was a frequent target, including an attack in early November 1977, when the town was heavily shelled, with no provocation, by Israeli batteries on both sides of the border and Israeli-supported Lebanese Maronite forces; in the ensuing exchange, over 70 people were killed, almost all Lebanese. Egyptian President Sadat cited this Israeli-initiated exchange, which threatened to lead to a major war, as a reason for his offer to visit Jerusalem a few days later. By the time Israel invaded in 1978, Nabatiye’s population of 60,000 had been reduced to 5,000, the remainder having fled “mostly from fear of the [Israeli] shelling,” the Jerusalem Post reported. Others fared similarly...


    ...As PLO cross-border terror declined in the mid- 1970s, Israel intensified its own terror in Lebanon, with US compliance and media silence, for the most part. Hundreds more civilians were killed in Israeli attacks after the 1978 invasion, almost 1,000 by August 1979, the Lebanese government reported. ln July 1981, Israel once again violated a cease-fire, attacking civilian targets in Lebanon. Palestinian retaliation elicited heavy Israeli bombing. Some 450 Arabs — nearly all Lebanese civilians — were reported killed, along with six Jews. From these events, all that remains in historical memory in the US is the scene of Jewish civilians huddling in bomb shelters under attack from PLO terrorists and their Katyushas.

    The US mediated a cease-fire, “and after mid-1981 the Lebanese-Israeli border was quiet,” William Quandt — a well-known Middle East expert and NSC staffer during the Nixon and Carter administrations — writes in his history of the “peace process.” Quandt’s version is the standard one. The “border was quiet” in the sense that the PLO adhered to the cease-fire rigorously while Israel continued its violations: bombing and killing civilians, sinking fishing boats, violating Lebanese air space thousands of times, and carrying out other provocations designed to elicit some PLO reaction that could be used as a pretext for the planned invasion. The border was “quiet” because the crossborder terror was all Israeli, and only Arabs were being killed.

    The occasional reports here reflected the common understanding. Thus in April 1982, Israel bombed alleged PLO centers south of Beirut, killing two dozen people, in retaliation for what it called a PLO “terrorist act”: an Israeli soldier had been killed when his jeep struck a land-mine in illegally-occupied southern Lebanon. The Washington Post sagely observed that “this is not the moment for sermons to Israel. It is a moment for respect for Israel’s anguish — and for mourning the latest victims of Israeli-Palestinian hostility.” Typically, it is Israel’s anguish that we must respect when still more Arabs are murdered by Israeli terror, and are thus to be seen as victims of mutual hostility, no agent indicated.

    The same attitudes prevail today. H.D.S. Greenway of the Boston Globe, who reported the 1978 invasion graphically, now writes that “If shelling Lebanese villages, even at the cost of lives, and driving civilian refugees north would secure Israel’s border, weaken Hizbollah, and promote peace, I would say go to it, as would many Arabs and Israelis. But history has not been kind to Israeli adventures in Lebanon. They have solved very little and have almost always caused more problems,” so the murder of civilians, expulsion of hundreds of thousand of refugees, and devastation of the south is a dubious proposition. Can one imagine an article recommending a murderous and destructive attack on Israel, if only it could secure Lebanon’s border and promote peace?



  42. Israel has been a disaster for the US and its citizens. We all could have been spared this had Lyndon Johnson done his duty after the Israeli attack on the US Liberty and gave Israel a lesson it would never forget.


    In April 1981, the Israeli Air Force attacked Syrian forces in Lebanon to prevent them from seizing the strategic Sannin ridge. Syria responded by deploying surface-to-air missiles into the Biqa‘ Valley, threatening Israel’s ability to monitor PLO forces in Lebanon. To avert war, Reagan sent emissary Philip Habib to the Middle East, but he failed to persuade the Syrians to withdraw the missiles. When fighting escalated between Israel and the PLO that July, the Reagan administration feared that Israel would invade Lebanon. Ultimately, Habib managed to negotiate a de facto ceasefire between Israel and the PLO.

    The ceasefire, however, merely postponed a larger crisis. The Lebanese remained at odds, Syria refused to withdraw its missiles, and Israel chafed under the restrictions of the ceasefire, which allowed the PLO to strengthen itself and did not prevent terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Gaza Strip or against Israeli and Jewish targets in Europe. In London on June 3, 1982, Palestinian assailants shot Shlomo Argov, Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) invaded Lebanon on June 6.

    The Reagan administration was divided over how to respond to Israel’s invasion. Secretary of State Alexander Haig argued that the United States should not pressure Israel to withdraw without demanding that the PLO and Syria do likewise. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Vice President George Bush, and National Security Advisor William Clark wanted the IDF to withdraw immediately and to sanction Israel if they did not. The debate sharpened when the IDF destroyed Syria’s missiles in the Biqa‘ on June 9, raising the specter of a wider war. President Reagan sent Habib to Israel to demand a ceasefire. The IDF halted its advance into the Biqa’ but continued to the outskirts of PLO-controlled West Beirut...

    ...On September 14, Lebanese President-elect Bashir Gemayel, whose election had been backed by the Israelis, was assassinated. Citing a need to prevent civil disorder, the IDF entered West Beirut. By September 18, it became clear that the Israelis had allowed Maronite militiamen to enter the Sabra and Shatilla camps and massacre Palestinian civilians. An international outcry ensued, and Reagan decided to commit Marines to a new MNF. On October 28, Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 64, calling for the United States to work toward the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, help rebuild the Lebanese army, and contribute to an expanded MNF if necessary. In April–May 1983, Secretary of State George Shultz helped Israel and Lebanon negotiate an agreement that ended the hostilities between the two countries and provided a basis for normal relations once Israel withdrew. For Israel to withdraw, however, Syrian and Palestinian forces would also need to leave Lebanon.

    The Israeli-Lebanese agreement was opposed by Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad, who claimed that it would enable Israel to dominate Lebanon. Asad refused to remove his troops and encouraged Lebanese opposition to President Amin Gemayel. Meanwhile, the Israelis, facing guerilla attacks in the Shuf, decided that they would unilaterally withdraw from the area.

    The Reagan administration feared that an Israeli pullback could lead to the partition of Lebanon and expose the MNF to shelling from the Shuf. New emissary Robert McFarlane attempted to soften Syria’s position, delay Israeli withdrawal, and help Gemayel and his opponents reconcile, but without success. The IDF pulled back on September 3, and fighting erupted between Maronite Lebanese Forces and pro-Syrian militias led by Walid Jumblatt’s Popular Socialist Party. To prevent Lebanese troops from intervening, Jumblatt and his allies attacked them as well, leading McFarlane to warn that they might reach Beirut and topple Gemayel’s government.


    1. ...Reagan responded by authorizing the Marines to engage in “aggressive self-defense,” dispatching the battleship New Jerseyto Lebanon, and authorizing naval gunfire and airstrikes to prevent hostile forces from seizing Suq al-Gharb, which overlooked the Marine barracks. But by the time a ceasefire took hold on September 25, the fighting had provoked significant opposition to Reagan’s Lebanon policy. On September 29, Congress passed legislation invoking the War Powers Act and authorizing the Marines to remain in Lebanon for 18 months, the first time constraint placed on their presence. Weinberger now proposed withdrawing U.S. forces offshore.

      On October 23, suicide bombers attacked the barracks of the U.S. and French contingents of the MNF, killing 241 American servicemen. The administration believed that the bombings, like the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that April, were perpetrated by Shi‘i militants linked to Syria’s ally Iran. Reagan responded by adopting a tough policy championed by Shultz and McFarlane, now National Security Advisor. On October 28, he signed NSDD 111, which called for broadening strategic cooperation with Israel and Arab opponents of Syria, reducing Syrian influence over Lebanon’s Druze and Shi’a, and expanded rules of engagement regarding naval and air support for the Lebanese army...

  44. You certainly work hard at it, I'll say that.

    Wasn't southern Lebanon to be demilitarized ?

    Wasn't there supposed to be some Blue Helmets in there ?

    What happened to that ?

    I've read there's ten of thousands of missiles there now, pointed at Israel.

    Trump is on with Hannity....later

    1. Of course there are missiles there, mostly rudimentary, inaccurate and cheap . They are a poor countries defense technology.

  45. It was never our fight. US intervention made things worse for the US, a disaster for the Middle East and there is a direct link to ISIS and the refugee calamity in Europe. Why do they hate us?

    What human being wouldn’t?

  46. At least 300 million Americans would be safer and richer today, if we minded our own business and let Israel fight its own self-inflicted battles. They never did anything for the US and never will.