Killing Them Softly

June 15th, 2011

This is a syndicated post, originally from Free Association.

The White House says the Libya intervention is not subject to the War Powers Resolution because what the U.S. government is doing there -- sending killer drones and providing intelligence for other NATO air assaults on Qaddafi's forces and residence -- doesn't constitute "hostilities."

Really. The spokesman said that. With a straight face. Read about it here.

As I've long said, if you want to make sense of government statements, keep one thing in mind: They think we are morons.
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[Read the original at Free Association (2011-06-15)...]

Killing Them Softly

June 15th, 2011

This is a syndicated post, originally from Free Association.

The White House says the Libya intervention is not subject to the War Powers Resolution because what the U.S. government is doing there -- sending killer drones and providing intelligence for other NATO air assaults on Qaddafi's forces and residence -- doesn't constitute "hostilities."

Really. The spokesman said that. With a straight face. Read about it here.

As I've long said, if you want to make sense of government statements, keep one thing in mind: They think we are morons.
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[Read the original at Free Association ()...]

Nancy Lugosi

August 24th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Who Is IOZ?.

Digby issues one of the tackiest (and dumbest) hit jobs in her blurgh's sordid and incoherent history. Digby is a dick.

History: Ron Paul issues an unequivocal statement of support for the rights of Muslims in America. Not only that, but he uses the opportunity to roundly condemn Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam. Naturally this offends La Digs, because Paul catches liberals in the sweep of his condemnation. Liberals, you may recall, currently control the legislative and executive branches of our government, and they are directing Barack Obama's America's War Against Islam.

She is outraged, outraged that Paul's J'accuse contained some general economic prescriptions with which she disagrees. Oh. Um. Wait. IT DIDN'T. Dear Digby: do not imply things that can be disproven by following the links that you yourself provide. She says in effect that because Paul has elsewhere and otherwise said things about economic matters that she finds objectionable, ergo his strong statement in support of religious liberty and the rights of private citizens to conduct their own private business on their own private property as they see fit are to be discarded, are of suspect origin and motive. She tars him with the views of his adult son--"his boy"--which is more than mildly amusing since she was just bitching about some or other preacherman claiming that Obama was Muslim by bloodline. How dare they!? Lady, you are a fucking hack.

Paul says that the angry sentiments surrounding the Islamic center are being stirred up by all sides in order to distract from the ongoing theft of wealth and property for the purpose of making a few very rich people even richer. He's right. Digby, a tribalist, wishes to cast this issue once again as nobel Progressives defending religious liberty against the evil, yokel xenophobes of the right:
And anyway, as Greenwald points out today, this is a real issue whether we want it to be or not and it speaks to some very dangerous and important cross currents in American political life. It's not a distraction.
Oh, bullshit. Total and utter. Can I just emphasize for the ten millionth time that it is not a conservative government that is currently waging war against Islam. It is not a tea-party protest that is bombing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and who knows where else. It is not a conservative government that is trying a child soldier for war crimes in a secret trial. Ad infinitum. The popular sentiments shouted at "Ground Zero" are uncomfortable, but they aren't killing Muslims; they are, however, distracting everyone from the bankrupt American military project of killing Muslims. Their superficial anger at Islam is insignificant compared to Barack Obama's real and actual policies toward Islam, which is to bomb the living shit out of it every day.

On a more minor note, Digby doesn't seem to have any idea what a neoconservative is. She seems to believe that neoconservatives are advocates of laissez-faire classical liberalism when the exact opposite is the case. Neoconservatives are social moderates and social democrats on matters cultural and economic. Most of them started out as "liberals". That they became influential in the conservative government of George W. Bush, and that the policies of that supposedly conservative government were then adopted and expanded by the subsequent liberal administration, ought to tell you something about the nature of party divisions within the decision-making echelons of the American State. If, that is, you're not an idiot.

[Read the original at Who Is IOZ? (2010-08-24)...]

Imperial Doublespeak About Iraq

August 19th, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from The Libertarian Standard.

In a series of Orwellian twists, the United States is pulling out (prematurely some say) “all” “combat” troops from Iraq but doubling down (for starters) on mercenaries.

The Obama Administration gets away with “fulfilling” Obama’s promise to end US combat operations in Iraq by removing the last (officially-labeled) combat brigade from the country, yet 50,000 troops will remain until (supposedly) 2011. These 50,000 troops make up 7 “Advise and Assist” Brigades, which are brigade combat teams like the one that just left but with special training, and 2 combat aviation brigades. “The troops are officially there to assist and advise the Iraqi government, but will carry weapons to defend themselves and will join Iraqi troops on missions if requested.”

After 2011, the “military” presence in Iraq is supposed to be “limited to several dozen to several hundred officers in an embassy office who would help the Iraqis purchase and field new American military equipment,” but military officers are saying that “5,000 to 10,000 troops might [still] be needed.”

Meanwhile, “the State Department is planning to more than double its private security guards, up to as many as 7,000.” Can we really still call security personnel ‘civilians’ or ‘private security’ anymore when they’re working for the state in foreign lands, particularly in a combat zone? They’re mercenaries, troops that are conveniently not part of the official US military. The NYT reporter couldn’t help calling them “a small army of contractors.”

The US is building military bases, fortified compounds, outposts, and the largest “embassy” in the world in Iraq. Iraqi politicians still haven’t been able to come to an agreement and form a government after the last elections, making Iraq vulnerable to a coup if the Iraqi military leadership get too frustrated by the ineffectual, in-fighting politicians. The US empire will not be completely out of there anytime soon.

But hey, “we” won…right?

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[Read the original at The Libertarian Standard (2010-08-19)...]

Afghanistan in Light of the Coming Presidential Campaign

July 2nd, 2010

This is a syndicated post, originally from Free Association.

In thinking about Afghanistan, let's step back a moment: Barack Obama is up for reelection in November 2012. He won't want to go into that campaign being called "the man who lost Afghanistan -- the central front in the war on terror." So between now and then, expect a lot of PR about how things are beginning to improve now that Gen. David Petraeus is in charge of NATO forces.

It will all be lies. Innocent Afghans will be killed, along with U.S. troops. Any Afghan who objects to the U.S. occupation will be branded "Taliban." Millions of dollars -- from drugs and the U.S. taxpayers -- will find their way into foreign bank accounts. Everyone will be cutting their own deals. Pakistan will be disrupted by drone attacks. And new "terrorists" will be recruited and determined to kill Americans.

Why? So Barack Obama can "serve us" for another four years.
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[Read the original at Free Association (2010-07-02)...]