Thursday, October 16, 2014

"We Have Protocol Juju” Assures Witch-Doctor Obama To Frightened USA

Barack Obama huddles with CDC chief, Tom Frieden recently. The two are trying to figure out how to make the protocols juju thing work. So far, all their witch-doctoring has demonstrated is that nobody knows what the fuck they're doing, and also: with Ebola Virus in America, white people live, black people die—just like always.
"Stopping Ebola is a priority for the United States.  I've said that this is as important a national security priority for my team as anything else that's out there."—Barack Obama, September 25, 2014
President Barack Obama, sounding more and more like some kind of clueless witch-doctor, has been making a lot of confident statements about many things, especially since the Ebola crisis began.

Initially, the President claimed that the vast technological superiority of America compared to poor West African nations like Sierra Leone and Liberia meant that the USA would likely never see a case of Ebola Virus here:
"First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low."
And why was that true?

Because, Obama said:
"We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States."
YAY! That worked, huh? Oh wait, no! Of course not, because those "screenings" involved asking people if they had been around Ebola-infected individuals, and did not take into consideration that most people, especially people trying to get the hell out of Ebolaland, would lie! when asked that question.

Obama followed that up by explaining that even if somebody with Ebola got to the USA, it would all be OK:
"In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home.  We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus.  We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely."
Again, none of that really happened.

When a Liberian person, Thomas Eric Duncan, who was infected with Ebola Virus, flew into the USA unscreened (because he lied when asked "that question"), and ended up being hospitalized in Dallas, Texas, Obama once again assured everyone that this one case would be contained and not result in an outbreak.

Why? Because of the protocols of course:
"Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Tom Frieden updated the President this afternoon on the recently-diagnosed Ebola case in Dallas, Texas. The President and Director Frieden discussed the stringent isolation protocols under which the patient is being treated as well as ongoing efforts to trace the patient’s contacts to mitigate the risk of additional cases. Dr. Frieden noted that the CDC had been prepared for an Ebola case in the United States, and that we have the infrastructure in place to respond safely and effectively."—White House summary of phone call on September 30, 2014, between Barack Obama and Dr. Tom Frieden, head of CDC.
But then it turned out that the first hospital tasked with using protocols to defeat Ebola, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, actually did not have any. Not only did Texas Health Presbyterian botch the initial diagnosis of Ebola victim Duncan, sending him home to mingle with other people, but when Duncan came back to the same hospital a couple of days later, and when Texas Health Presbyterian finally did figure it it was dealing with Ebola, the problem turned out to be that the hospital had no actual protocols for its nurses and for the disposal of dangerous items soiled with deadly infectious fluids from the patient.

This morning we began to learn a great deal more about this, as a nurse from Texas Health Presbyterian, Briana Aguirre, who appeared on The Today Show, explained that the hospital, contrary to what Obama and Frieden had been saying, never had any discussions with its staff about Ebola, prior to Duncan showing up, and worse—the protective suits worn by nurses who were looking after Duncan, were not actual hazmat clothing, and in fact were partially open at the neck, creating a critical vulnerability.

And that vulnerability has resulted in two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian, ones who had cared for Duncan, getting Ebola themselves.

Once again, Obama's people kept promising the protocols would save us.

Obama yesterday amended his previous statements. Now said Obama the protocols would insure than the unlikely outbreak, which had occurred anyway, was going to be kept small.
"So bottom line in terms of the public: I want people to understand that the dangers of you contracting Ebola, the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low."
But the facts are that well over 200 people at this point have been potentially exposed to Ebola in the United States, and that is just the people we know about.

And the information we have learned in the last 24 hours, regarding the CDC's treatment of the second Texas Health Presbyterian nurse to become infected, is extremely disturbing.

The CDC admits now that this nurse had Texas Health Presbyterian contact CDC to OK her flying from Dallas to Ohio and then back. The CDC, which was told the nurse had a fever before her flight back from Cleveland, made no effort to stop the nurse from boarding the jet from Ohio to Texas. Now CDC admits the nurse was infectious with Ebola when she got on that return flight.

It is evident that whatever Barack Obama and his fellow witch doctors mean by "protocols", they have to do more with making sure the Ebola Virus gets widely spread in the USA than stopping it.

Obama canceled political tours to convene his Cabinet to figure out how exactly things went from "almost no chance of Ebola in America" to "the outbreak won't get out of control".

The national witch-doctors have not yet begun shaking bones at people while they scream "umgawa" to exhort Americans to resist recalcitrant Ebola.

But nobody would be surprised if that is next in the protocols of Obama.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Will Kobani Be The Graveyard Of Obama's War Strategy?

Islamic State fighter attacks Kurds with a heavy machine gun in Kobani. While the world watches the northern Syrian town get blasted by American bombs and Caliphate gunmen, Barack Obama's war policy is getting blasted by just about anybody and everybody, including Democrats like Leon Panetta and ex-President Jimmy Carter. The latter, in a much-ignored comment about Obama's general (and heinous) conduct in the world, accused Obama of being a murderer.
Two months ago, when Islamic State threatened to kill thousands of Kurds and Yazidi people in northern Iraq, Barack Obama argued the United States had a moral duty to defend these people from the brutal atrocities committed by the Caliphate fighters. And Barack Obama ordered the United States to go to war against Islamic State.

That was then.

Now, the United Nations predicts that thousands of people, most of them Syrian Kurds, will be slaughtered by Islamic State, should the Syrian town of Kobani fall to the Caliphate. The US response to this—yeah, well, can't win 'em all.

Not only are there no US ground troops going to the rescue, in addition US airstrikes in and around Kobani, while making impressively large explosions, have failed to stop Islamic State from sending in more troops and resupplying them in the fight. Also, the world daily sees US alleged ally Turkey just sitting and watching the building disaster on its border with Syria.

"Double standard" doesn't even begin to describe the difference in the situations. And it is an understatement to point out that this failure on Obama's part to be effectively supportive of the Kurds of Kobani is uninspiring to any US proxy fighters against Islamic State.

Barack Obama in recent weeks has hardly been a paragon of consistency or clarity when it comes to articulating or perpetrating his war policy. The one key issue the President has failed to address with anything like a coherent or convincing answer is why the United States should be expecting a bunch of lightly-armed amateur warriors to fight and die for America’s war against the supposed global threat of Islamic State.

Of course Obama has said that this isn't America's war, and indeed on a number of occasions Obama has made the ridiculous statement that the United States is not even fighting a war at all. Instead, Obama insists that the numerous American airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are intended as combat support missions to aid the real fighters, the people whose war this really is, to degrade and destroy Islamic State. So far that isn't working out so well.

Further, in making his case for the use of air power, Obama has told Americans and the world that Islamic State is a global threat, which seeks to come to the West, to the United States, to kill as many people as possible.

But if that is a serious assessment, and if the threat posed by Islamic State is actually as bad as Obama and other war-pushers have claimed, then why shouldn’t American ground troops be fighting and dying right along with the Kurds and the Iraqi Shia and the utterly invisible moderate Syrian rebels?

Is it because everybody knows how long support for ObamaWar would last once Americans started dying in it in any numbers? While one imagines, should the US commit a few thousand ground combat troops, that the actual fighting would start going against Islamic State, the US has never been able to impose peace by force of arms in the Middle East.

Obama claims this is because the resentment at US invasions and occupations outweighs the calming effect of the occupying troops. And eventually, the American people want their occupiers to come home. Certainly, that was a big issue in the American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the problem is that now we have seen what happens when American occupation troops are withdrawn from a region where the alleged establishment of a national military to replace the Americans was put to the test. After billions of dollars and years of training, the Iraqi military, equipped with large supplies of American weapons, quickly fell to pieces when it was attacked by Islamic State during the summer.

The Caliphate fighters currently attacking Kobani, have brought with them arms and supplies they captured from the Iraqi military. Much of the Islamic State equipment being blown up by American airstrikes was made in or supplied by the United States to Iraq.

Again, “irony” doesn’t seem quite strong enough to describe the absurdity.

The criticism of the US President, and his ad-hoc fashion of dealing with everything, but especially foreign policy, now comes from the highest places in Obama’s own Democratic Party.

Leon Panetta, Obama’s former CIA chief and Secretary of Defense, has criticized the President for being more suited to lecturing people as a law professor, than leading them as President. Effective leadership, Panetta argues in his new book “Worthy Fights”, comes from a willingness and ability to engage people passionately about important issues, so that a President must be seen to fight for something—anything—he believes in.

Panetta writes:
“[President Obama’s] most conspicuous weakness, [is] a frustrating reticence to engage his opponents and rally support for his cause…Too often, in my view, the president relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.”
Maybe that helps explain Obama’s low polling numbers, as everyone knows how much Americans love lawyers.

Then there’s Jimmy Carter, who recently assessed Obama this way:
“First of all, we [i.e., Obama] waited too long. We let the Islamic state build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria. Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.”
Now, that is the criticism most papers and pundits have focused on, with big headlines announcing how Jimmy is blasting Barack, and it prompted MSNBC blowhard Mike Barnicle to demand the USA have an election between Obama and Jimmy Carter to figure out which unpopular President America really wants. OK.

But, what has generally been ignored in the Carter article is this comment by the 39th President:
“I really object to the killing of people, particularly Americans overseas who haven’t been brought to justice and put on trial. We’ve killed four Americans overseas with American drones. To me that violates our Constitution and human rights.”
Carter’s talking about Barack Obama violating “our Constitution and human rights”. And so let us understand what Jimmy Carter is really saying: Barack Obama is a murderer.

Yet, that bit hasn’t been covered much at all.

At this point in the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency, the American people had utterly given up on him. He was the fool who had invaded Iraq and played guitar while New Orleans drowned. People despised George W. Bush. They regretted ever voting for him—which America collectively only did once (maybe), in 2004.

We kind of figured Barack Obama would struggle in his second term, as most Presidents do. But the idea Obama would have ended up like Bush, hated as a Constitution-killer, a murderer of Americans, and a war-mongering fool—not so many people thought it would go this way, this badly, this quickly.

But polling shows Barack Obama currently in almost exactly the same place as George W. Bush in terms of disapproval by his bosses at this point in his presidency.

The Presidents aren’t getting any better, which is to say the American voters aren’t getting any better either. The American system is rotten and everyone knows it, yet nobody has a better idea anyone is seriously entertaining.

None of that is going to save anybody in Kobani of course. Politics, and the endless debate about it, is just another of many ways Americans ignore the awful consequences of the folly of their terrible leaders.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Newest Episode Of Islamic State Beheading Program Shorter, Grimmer, Staler

Always absurd (and insane) Little Sissy Psycho, the star of Islamic State's "The Beheading Program", used a more restrained delivery (for the non-beheading portion) in episode 4. This week's victim, Allen Henning, an allegedly good-hearted poor soul who just went to Syria to help people, made a terse, unconvincing read of his scripted last words. This was followed by the usual claim by LSP that the proceedings are justified—like that even matters—on account of some mean thing Islamic State's burgeoning list of world-class enemies has done to it. The execution was grimmer than usual, with Henning clearly looking terrified before the standard fadeout. LSP returned to remind everyone that, assuming he has not been blown up or otherwise executed by then, he would be back soon to behead yet another American, Peter Edward Kessig.
The incredibly insane (for normal people) jihadi called Little Sissy Psycho was back yesterday with a new episode of Islamic State's snuff series, "The Beheading Program". 

This week's unfortunate guest, Allen Henning, had gone from the UK to Syria to try to do some humanitarian work. A cabby, Henning was driving in a convoy last year, when he was grabbed by bad guys and eventually ended up being made part of the succession of American and British victims on Islamic State's public response to Obama's war against the Caliphate.

One thing we noticed in the new episode, was the program itself was shorter, terser, with less (amateurish) theatricality on the part of LSP. For example, whereas in earlier videos LSP habitually employs his knife as as extension of his accusing outstretched hand, used to emphasize the alleged culpability of Obama, Cameron, or in this case the British Parliament, only when speaking disgustedly of the latter enemy did LSP bother to point his knife at the camera.

Maybe this was a kind of Freudian admission of the futility of his acting like an effectual macho creepazoid in the earlier episodes. For all his knife-waving and neck-cutting, LSP has not managed to stop Obama from blowing up whomever he wants wherever he wants all over Iraq and Syria.

One got the definite feeling LSP did not feel comfortable stretching out the performances, perhaps because he feared getting targeted and vaporized, he blathered on too long about how beheading a few unimportant non-players is a useful and appropriate response to scores of Islamic State fighters being sent on the fast-missile to Hell.

Even LSP sounded a little unconvinced his newest murder was going to do anything other than make British pilots that much more enthusiastic about killing Caliphate loonies.

The one point in the program where there was a definite change from earlier episodes was in the usually rather demure presentation of the actual execution. Whereas the thinking (such as it is) has been in earlier killings to suggest rather than show any part of the actual beheading, this time LSP and his victim were shot head-on for the execution and one can definitely see in the last second or so before the camera fades out, a look of deep terror on the face of Allen Henning, as LSP's blade runs back and forth over his throat. Henning's eyes widen and his mouth opens and you can hear the beginning of a scream. Then fade to black.

After that, and the usual display of Henning's corpse, with its bloody head resting on the decapitated body, LSP returned to show us the prospective victim for the next episode: Peter Edward Kessig, an American vet of the Iraq War.

Short of killing LSP, and all the other nuts guarding hostages of Islamic State, Kessig's time is likely short. We hope that at least one of these victims would have the courage to sink his teeth into LSP's knife hand, or better to stand up and head-butt the little coward before making a likely hopeless dash to the background. Yeah, the escapee would probably get shot, but Islamic State probably won't be showing that way of dying on the Internet.

Just a thought to spice up the already quite drearily repetitive plots of this dumb dreadful show.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Far Worse Than Islamic State, So Why Did Obama Let Ebola Invade The USA?

Obama no doubt is figuring out this morning how to address his most important priority—avoiding stepping into the giant shit-pile left by that huge African elephant in the room (or on the links). While Obama promised to protect America, by among other things "making sure that someone with the [Ebola] virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States", he couldn't even command his own Secret Service to properly protect himself and his family. So, why should Americans think he would be any better at keeping Ebola from invading the USA? Impeachment? No, that's a waste of money. Barack Obama should resign.
Remarks by Barack Obama on September 16, 2014 at CDC:
“First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States.”
Also, Barack Obama wants you to know that Islamic State is the jayvee team and nothing to worry about. AND, that Obamacare website?—it’s going to work great from day one!

Feel better now?

Let’s not waste time avoiding the African elephant in the room: if the Ebola virus had not been mainly killing poor Africans all these years, it would already be cured.

If regular (not-gay!), white Americans had been getting and spreading the scary disease, a mammoth war on Ebola virus would have been declared by the American president. And the disease would be cured, or better yet expensively managed by pirate pharma companies and their hospital goons. Then “the treatment” would be doled out occasionally to poor nations where infected Americans had spread the disease, as a sign of USA’s extraordinary generosity.

Oh yeah, the other African elephant in the room. The fellow from Liberia. The fellow who brought Ebola virus to the USA. The fellow nobody bothered to ask: “Hey Liberian dude—know any Ebola-people back home in Ebolaland?”

In fact he did. In fact, the poor Ebola-spreading gentleman, Thomas Eric Duncan, had the extraordinary misfortune to know and to care for a sick neighbor in Monrovia, Liberia, a woman seven months pregnant. She had Ebola. She died. After that, Duncan rather naturally wanted to get the hell out of Liberia and come to visit his relatives in Dallas, Texas.

No problem with his motives. Very understandable.

But, on the other side of the elephant, where Americans are watching the world’s poor victims (of every imaginable horror) through the bars of fear and indifference that supposedly protect them from bad things like Ebola, which let’s face it, might as well be a terrorist organization, every asshole that could have stopped Duncan from traveling out of his hellhole to come to America, failed.

Nobody, including at the entry point in Washington DC where Duncan flew into on September 12, bothered to ask Duncan: dude, do you know any Ebola-people?

And when they finally did ask Duncan a related question*: where are you from?—at the Dallas ER where Duncan went to seek help when his fever first showed up and he wasn’t feeling well, the ER team botched saving America. They didn’t bother “passing along” to members of their team the information that Duncan was fresh-arrived from Ebolaland, so somebody might want to check and see if he was sick with Ebola virus.
*—Some reports are that they didn't ask, but Duncan volunteered the information anyway.

Nope, the dullards at the Dallas hospital just told Duncan—dude, you’ve got a cold, stop wasting our time. And they sent him home to infect Dallas, Texas.

Government officials—always so reliable—and understandably anxious to avoid starting a panic, initially insisted only a “handful”—maybe three or four people—had come into contact with Duncan since he became infectious.

Now that number has gone up to 12-18 people*—or who fucking knows how many really? They’re washing down the schools where the Duncan’s relatives’ children go to school. They’re monitoring, but not quarantining, potential new Ebola victims. They’re trying to control what has the real chance to explode into a national disaster far worse than Islamic State and its idiotic beheading reality show.
*—See here however for updated information on the contact list—as many as 100 people are being sought in Dallas area, on account of their having had "direct or indirect contact" with Duncan.

They’re doing those things.

But here’s the thing.

They’re still letting people travel into the United States from Ebolaland!

And now there’s news a new Ebola case has shown up in Hawaii. UPDATE on this report: Hawaii Department of Health says the patient does not have Ebola.

We are told Barack Obama is a bad manager. We believe that is true. He could not even figure out it might be good to fire the chief of the Secret Service (again), until the nation’s pols and punditry ordered him to.

And Barack Obama failed to order a travel ban to and from the Ebola-infected nations. Or at least to institute rigorous checkpoints for Ebolaland nationals coming into the USA—even though Obama promised he would do that.

Instead, Barack Obama let the USA become the newest part of Ebolaland.

Who needs terrorists, when you have such idiotic national leadership?

Note that this morning, the liberal pushback on the travel ban question has begun. The Washington Post published this article, where it is explained that a travel ban would be bad for Ebolaland (for example, it would be bad for its economy). No doubt, but at least Americans wouldn’t be rushing to join hands in the region’s Totentanz.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Obama Reveals Shocking Ignorance Concerning Shia-Sunni-Kurd Makeup Of Iraq

Obama, as is his habit, spent a lot of time in the "60 Minutes" interview looking down and away. Whether he was trying to think of what to say, or he was trying to think of how to lie while saying it, most people find a person who cannot look them in the eye when he's answering a direct question about important matters to be shady. Add this to the fact that Obama's knowledge of what seems Iraq 101 was appallingly deficient—like who is the majority, Shia or Sunnis—and this interview may have been some kind of new nadir of Obama's presidency. The good news for Barry is that most Americans are even more ignorant about Iraq (and Syria) than he is, and so will never question all the dubious and contradictory things he claimed about his new war and its strategy.
In one of the more disturbing interviews in his presidency, Barack Obama attempted to make his case last night on “60 Minutes” for his strategy in the new American war in the Middle East.

Obama repeatedly made assertions that he later contradicted. For example, at one point Obama argued, as he has done a number of times that America is not fighting in a war against Islamic State, but is instead engaged in an extended (apparently open-ended) counterterrorism operation against any number of bad actors.

Then later, when asked by CBS interviewer Steve Kroft about the 1600 American boots already on the ground in Iraq (Obama repeatedly says there will be no American boots on the ground in this new war), Obama said that he was aware some of these troops, embedded in Iraqi operational combat units, were “in harm’s way” in “a war environment”.

Kroft of course did not catch this contradiction, and nor did he catch the most glaring and troubling Obama blunder of all, when the President answered a question about how Iraq’s national army performed so poorly after the US spent a fortune and many years training and equipping it to be able to fight against just the kind of threat Islamic State poses.

Obama was quick to deny that the United States had any responsibility for this outcome, claiming instead that Islamic State was able to roll over the Iraqi national army because the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had failed to build an inclusive government and make Sunnis and Kurds feel they were part of one unified Iraq:
“Well, here’s what happened in Iraq. When we left, we had left them a democracy that was intact, a military that was well-equipped, and the ability then to chart their own course. And that opportunity was squandered over the course of five years or so, because the Prime Minister, Maliki, was much more interested in consolidating his Shia base, and very suspicious of the Sunnis and the Kurds, who make up the other ⅔ of the country. So, what you did not see was a government that had built a sense of national unity.”
Certainly, if that version of the facts is correct, and the minority Shia were abusing their position to deny representative government to the Sunnis and the Kurds, this suggests the Shia-led Iraqi government might be to blame.

But there is a fundamental problem in that analysis—the Shia religious sect are not, as Obama claimed in the interview, a minority of the population in Iraq. And the Sunnis and the Kurds do not “make up the other ⅔” of Iraq.

Rather, the demographics and the history of Iraq suggest a very different situation in Iraq—one the United States has ignored during most of its involvement in its bloody wars in the Middle East nation.

Here is the actual breakdown:

Arab Shia—65-70%
Arab Sunni—20%
Kurdish Sunni—10%

Some Kurds are actually Shia, and there are other groups that make up small parts of the population as well. But as you can see, the Shia in Iraq are the sizable majority of the country, representing about ⅔ of the entire population of the country.

And you must appreciate this in understanding the Shia position versus the Sunnis and the Kurds—both of which groups are essentially separatist movements in Iraq. During decades of Sunni rule under Saddam Hussein, the Sunni minority brutally repressed the Shia majority and the Kurdish minority in the north. When the United States removed Saddam from power and enabled a democratic process in Iraq, which naturally produced a large Shia majority in the government, the Americans pushed for a reconciliation between all the former enemies.

A semblance of this arrangement was easier to enforce when the US maintained a large combat troop presence in Iraq. Even though the Iraqi Sunnis had fought a vicious civil war against the Shia and against the US occupation, the Americans had resorted to large-scale bribery of Sunni tribal leaders to convince them to stop killing “good guys” and to instead turn on al-Qaeda insurgents (their former allies).

As I have noted before, the failure of the Iraqi Shia government to continue paying bribes to these Sunni leaders, a decision that followed from the reasonable belief by the Shia that these Sunnis should not have to be bribed to be peaceful citizens, led to the Iraqi government instead cracking down on the former Sunni insurgents. That pushed the Sunni tribes back into an alliance with new, very improved, al-Qaeda-affiliated ISIL. Eventually ISIL would break its affiliation with al-Qaeda, and would rename itself Islamic State.

This reborn Sunni insurgency crushed the Iraqi government troops sent out to stop their invasion, and has dominated the landscape in northern Syria in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops. In Syria, unlike in Iraq, the Sunnis do actually represent a majority of the population.

But Syria was not the country Obama was discussing when he made his blunder.

Obviously, if the USA has a Commander-in-Chief who isn’t even informed on the most important and fundamental demographics of the nation he is depending upon to bounce back from its defeat against Islamic State to be the main proxy boots on the ground for the USA, the American people are being led by an ill-prepared President.

But, as the interview proceeded another possibility was suggested. While Obama’s mistake was truly disturbing, it was reinforced a little later in the interview when Kroft made the following statement:
“OK. [Iraqis] have a new Prime Minister. They have a new administration. What it’s not produced is any sort of an enthusiasm, or much enthusiasm on the part of the disaffected Sunni majority.”
Again, the Sunnis in Iraq, disaffected or otherwise, are not the majority, but represent about 1 in 5 Iraqis.

Was Kroft making a thoughtless error, or was this reinforcement of misinformation meant to give Obama cover on his “it’s all Maliki’s fault” talking point?

Even that story did not hold up as Obama went along. Right after claiming everything was just great in Iraq when the USA left, and it was the Shia dissing the Sunnis that messed everything up, Obama lectured (basically the whole region) about its failure to follow Obama’s view of “political accommodation” and “tolerance” towards enemies.

Kroft then asked Obama a most pertinent question:
“And you think we can teach them that?”
And all of a sudden, realizing that only the most brazenly chauvinistic jerk of a US President—say like George W. Bush—would say that yes he thinks we can teach them that, Obama backtracked, pointing out that getting over bad feelings towards different ethnic groups might take a very long time:
“Well, I think this is going to be a generational challenge. I don’t think that this is something that is going to happen overnight.”
Yet, when Obama wanted to blame Maliki for the failure of the Iraqi army and the entire American Iraqi enterprise, he completely ignored this very reasonable point, that maybe it was utterly unrealistic to expect the ⅔-majority Shia to just get over, basically overnight, their intense anger at the Sunnis. That was especially the case when the Shia had good reason to think a large portion of Sunnis were plotting to recapture their dominant position in Iraq. Trust between these groups was very unlikely to come about in any short term.

Meanwhile, the role of the Kurds was, if anything, even more discordant in Obama’s scheme, since the Kurdish northern region of Iraq has essentially all but declared itself independent and sought in the early days of the Islamic State invasion of Iraq to take advantage of the Iraqi government’s losses, capturing territory—from Iraq! Again, there is no trust between Kurds and the Shia majority either.

Failing to come to grips with these basic facts—on the ground—especially after so many years of American involvement in the nation and the region is simply an inexcusable deficiency in an American President, especially one who has just taken the nation to war (or whatever Obama calls it) on the basis of his misunderstanding of the political and military dynamics at play.

Obama needs a cultural geography lesson—or at least a CIA briefing on Iraqi demographics. And the American people need to contact their Congressional representatives and demand that they debate and vote on the authorization for this most dubious ObamaWar.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bombs Versus Beheadings—US Barbarism Worse Than That Of Islamic State

A good European, or American, imperialist, circa 1900, with his collection of bloody heads. Yes, that's right, beheading is not only a Western tradition, it's a Judeo-Christian tradition, so long as it is practiced against infidels and heathens and collateral casualties. Here, Saint Peter satirically points out that Heaven is not for heathens, and the mass-killer Christian will have to leave his war decorations (in this case Chinese heads removed during the recent Boxer Rebellion) outside. This cartoon is from a 1901 edition of the German satire magazine, Simplicissimus. It is by the artist Thomas Theodor Heine.
A question: how much support do you think there would be for ObamaWar in the US, or anywhere else, if the facts on the ground were that for every 30 Islamic State fighters killed by US bombing, 8 civilians, including 3 children, would die? (see below for relevance of this statistic)

Yet, the remains of the collaterals are the very last thing the Pentagon wants Americans, and the world, to see, or to even think about.

Instead, we get phantom-cam, the ghostly pictures of US bombs raining down—always we are told it is only on “bad guys”—which is claimed to be the civilized response to the brutality of the enemy (fill in the blank for its name this week). In this war, meaning the endless war Americans now fight and pay for in so many ways, the American response to the threat and moral deficiency perpetrated by Islamic State is to blow up lots of anonymous victims.

Ever since the computer-game-like images of war that the Pentagon now issues as America’s style of killing became popular in the MSM (which began back in 1991’s First Gulf War), the rhetoric attached to these images by America’s war propagandists (i.e., America's mainstream journalists) has been of a wholly different tone than that which accompanies images and descriptions of the ritual beheadings of prisoners by black-costumed jihadis.

Whereas the beheadings are always denounced as barbaric and the act of murderers and psychopaths (and other terms denoting the killers are beyond the Christian pale), the ritual bombings of alleged enemy positions, fed to the MSM by the Pentagon, are supposedly the rational and necessary response to the barbaric acts of militant Islam.

After all, in the Pentagon videos, war is clean. All you usually see is a black-and-white image of a building or sometimes an object (identified as an enemy tank or truck), followed in a couple of seconds by the target disappearing in a bright flash and cloud of dust. The assumption is that the enemy has been “neutralized” or eliminated. Even when you can see what appear to be human figures milling about before they are executed, they don’t seem real, but more like crudely-drawn cartoons.

What has actually happened of course is that the shock wave of the explosion has ruptured the internal organs of the victims. Fragmentation has torn their bodies, while the “blast wind” has ripped off arms and legs—and heads. As we saw in truly barbaric images, enthusiastically supplied by the Israelis this summer, in their Gaza slaughter of Palestinians, if a building was targeted, most likely any victims who survived the direct effects of the bomb (or missile or artillery) blast, will be buried in massive piles of rubble. Many came to believe that this was not a collateral effect of Israel’s war, but the key purpose—genocide against Palestinians.

So, again unlike the Islamic State’s very methodical executions, which reveal the name and scripted last statement of a particular person, there is a chance—more than a minimal one—that in that rubble, or in the blast zone of the explosion of American weapons—there will be victims who are allegedly unintended.

These “collateral” casualties are dismissed by the Pentagon, almost as if they are default-obvious plots by America’s enemies to make the mass destruction of whole buildings (or whole city blocks of them) look like something other than good, clean American-valued war.

For example, this a comment made last Friday, by Chairman of the JCS, General Martin Dempsey, commenting on the possibility that some of the Pentagon images of explosions were events that had caused the deaths of collateral casualties:
“Of course, you know you can't reduce [collateral casualties] to zero.* And I suspect that over time ISIL will probably publish a few propaganda videos alleging civilian casualties. But we've got a pretty good suite of ISR there now that should enable us to actually determine not only how to strike, but the results of it after the fact—what we call patty battle damage assessment.”
*—Note, another way to put this, yes America kills lots of innocent people in its wars, just like everyone does, but America tries really hard not to. So, even though America blows up lots of children—really, LOTS of them—it's all for a good, civilized cause.
This is the same kind of rhetoric the Bush regime’s military used to dismiss claims by Afghans and Iraqis that innocent citizens, including many women and children, were being indiscriminately slaughtered by America’s bombs and missiles. The default position of the US military is that claims about US-caused collateral casualties are enemy propaganda.

In the same way, unless there was Abu-Ghraib-like documentation to show otherwise, any reports by Afghans and Iraqis of US ground forces engaging in illegal killings or other war crimes, were generally dismissed by US military investigators as exaggerations on worse. The implication was that the enemy was seeking a way, as General Dempsey said, to expose US military operations to unfair and unjustified criticism.

See, in the end what President Obama wants you to do, and what the military knows you're going to do, because after all your life isn't endless war (or is it?), is realize one stupid battle-damage-assessment photograph looks like another. For all you know they just recycle the phantom-cam photos from some other American war and some other American air campaign of mass destruction and mass murder. The piles and piles of nameless victims of America's ghastly-giant lust for blood makes even Islamic State, and its pathetically stupid one-beheading-at-a-time horror show, look like what they are—hopeless amateurs.
And so, referencing again our statistic above, when you find out that only recently, less than a week ago, a Reuters article made this claim:
"Air strikes by U.S.­led coalition forces in Syria killed 30 fighters from al-Qaeda­-linked Nusra Front and eight civilians including children, a group monitoring the war said on Tuesday."
This report had credibility because:
"The strikes targeted a residential building in Aleppo province."
Also, the monitoring group, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was referenced in this article from 2013 as "the most authoritative tracker of violence [in Syria]".


While it was known that al-Nusra used the building that was hit, it should be understood that "residential" implies there are also going to be civilians in the building.

And if the United States is going to conduct operations in this manner, basically using the same tactics as the Israelis in Gaza, the number of collateral casualties in the US operations against Islamic State and the other targeted groups are going to be considerable.

Yet, not surprisingly, the US military response to these reports was:
"We don’t have any credible operational reporting through operational channels that would sustain those allegations."
In other words, nobody in the US military is confirming it happened, so it didn't happen. While the United States said it would take the reports seriously, it did not say how it intended to investigate the claims.

Let us be quite blunt about this: the number of innocent people that the United States has murdered in its endless wars on “terror” far exceeds those killed by al-Qaeda and Islamic State and all the other “terrorist” organizations.

This is not to say that Islamic State are fine fellows with sterling reputations and great ideas about how to conduct themselves.

When it comes to the horrors of war-making, Americans are not morally superior to the IS thugs. Indeed, Americans are much more practiced than any little jihadist club at committing heinous crimes against humanity.

Therefore, when you see the MSM peddling these Pentagon warmonger photos, showing how the enemy is being cleanly degraded and destroyed, consider the reality behind these obviously misleading images. And do the same regarding the similarly misleading war rhetoric of US leaders and their allies.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Little Sissy Psycho Beheads Third Victim—Sends "Message" To Turkey

Episode three of Islamic State's "Little Sissy Psycho" program, included the usual forced denunciation speech by the beheading victim, David Haines, followed by Little Sissy Psycho blathering about British Prime Minister Cameron's responsibility for the murder about to occur. Next up the killing, once again thankfully short in duration, as most of it occurs after the fadeout. And then of course LSP's obligatory threats and a preview of the next victim, Alan Henning, another Brit. All this is delivered with gangster-rap (or pro-wrestler) swagger, and the best guess of British Intelligence at this point is that LSP is in fact a British rapper,  Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.
The latest episode of Little Sissy Psycho*, i.e. the Islamic State beheading program, showing the killing of British citizen, David Haines, aired yesterday to generally outraged reaction in the West.
*—Note, this nickname for the black-clad executioner host of these beheading videos is explained here.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who figures prominently in this third episode, denounced the Islamic State video in harsh terms:
"David [Haines] has been murdered in the most callous and brutal way imaginable by an organisation which is the embodiment of evil...[Islamic State] boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims. They are monsters."
In the video, the execution of Haines is prefaced by a clip of Cameron, talking about giving arms to the Kurds, and sticking to the “very clear foreign policy and very clear strategy…and [British] military prowess…to do everything we can to put the pressure on Islamic State, this appalling organization”.

The IS video is entitled, “A Message To The Allies Of America”, and, according to NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel, the key American ally targeted for messaging in this third beheading video is not the UK, but Turkey.

Engel explained on Meet the Press today:
"It’s a message to the world...But it is also a very specific message it seems, to Turkey. ISIS is holding more than 40 Turkish diplomats hostage...Turkey has been very reluctant to join this coalition, at least publicly, with the United States. Turkey would be essential. It’s right on the border. If the US wants to build an effective campaign, to build a free Syrian army, it probably has to be done through Turkey. And this is one way for ISIS to say, if Turkey joins, its diplomats are at risk."
Whomever is the intended political audience, the grimness of these videos, the stylized way in which they are performed—not like a documentary of an execution but more like a music video—suggests another target of Islamic State is the huge market of disaffected youth, who may be drawn to these outlandish, extremely anti-authoritarian visual messages.

After all, Little Sissy Psycho (or Jihadi John or Mr. Bary), is working on his fourth episode now, with yet another British victim, Alan Henning, next up for execution, and neither America and its famed SEALs, nor American drones, nor any other force, has been able to successfully rescue the hostages held by Islamic State, nor have they stopped these beheading videos from being produced and distributed. And of course, nobody has been able to stop Little Sissy Psycho from killing.

So long as that is the case, Islamic State's beheading program must also be working as a big recruiting instrument for the Caliphate.

This may explain why the videos habitually cut away just as the victim's throat is being cut by the executioner. It avoids the most gruesome aspect of the beheading, and yet always displays the bloody corpse of the victim, with the murdered person's head resting on top. The effect, while grisly, is almost like a Halloween haunted-house corpse—neatly posed (except for the blood) and rather artificial seeming. And, as always, the victim is clothed in an orange jumpsuit, just as were the prisoners taken by the United States to Gitmo, the infamous prison for alleged Qaeda terrorists in Cuba.

Along with Obama's inability so far to provide a convincing narrative for how his strategy to defeat Islamic State could possible work as he has claimed, he should give a high priority to canceling the Little Sissy Psycho program. The longer it is on, the more inept and ineffectual Obama appears.