Tag: War

Australia is likely to be drawn into U.S. hostilities with Iran

Conservatives take us to Wars the ALP takes us out of them. SOS Save OUR SONS (ODT)

Australia must think through its interests and principles with the U.S. before taking part in an attack in Iran, writes former executive chairman of UNSCOM, the UN Special Commission to disarm Iraq, Richard Butler.

Australia is likely to be drawn into U.S. hostilities with Iran

Donald Trump, Iran, and the Gulf of Tonkin Redux

Trump administration appear intent on war against Iran. This week on Intercepted: As the U.S. accuses Iran of attacking civilian ships while offering scant evidence, grave historical parallels are emerging with the Gulf of Tonkin incidents in 1964 that were manipulated to justify Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic escalation of the war in Vietnam. California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna is preparing legislation aimed at stopping an attack on Iran, and he says he would not put it past national security adviser John Bolton to manipulate evidence. Journalist Negar Mortazavi of The Independent analyzes what war with Iran would look like and exposes the State Department’s funding of propaganda operations against Iran. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talks about the parallels with the build up to the Iraq invasion of 2003 and shares stories from her early life as a journalist.

via Donald Trump, Iran, and the Gulf of Tonkin Redux

Trump and Fox are currently a world threat

 

  • The Trump-Fox feedback loop could cause a war with Iran

    blog June 17, 2019 4:57 PM EDT

  • Fox both serves as Trump’s personal propaganda outlet and shapes his worldview. The president regularly watches hours of Fox coverage and often tweets about segments that catch his eye. He has stocked his administration with former Fox personalities, the network’s most prominent figures serve as his outside advisers, and guests openly appeal to him during their on-air appearances. Fox segments have an immense influence over this White House, with the president acting based on what he sees on the network on everything from political strategy to pardons.
  • It remains unclear how the conflict between the U.S. and Iran will play out. But with the stakes this high, it’s unnerving that the president is wallowing in Fox’s spin.
  • Trump tweeted about this Fox News segment that encouraged a US military strike on Iran

    video June 17, 2019 1:00 PM EDT

 

Trump appointee Bolton inventing a new “Axis of Evil,” including Iran, to put US on War Footing

https://www.juancole.com/images/2019/04/trump-appointee-bolton-inventing-750x422.jpg

Can Trump cancet the 2020elections due to a National Emergency? (ODT)

via Trump appointee Bolton inventing a new “Axis of Evil,” including Iran, to put US on War Footing

No More Wars for Oil? Wind & Solar will reduce Energy-Related Conflicts

The global energy transition and the shift to renewables from fossil fuels is likely to reduce energy-related conflicts, says a report published by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. The transition will “help redraw the geopolitical map of the 21st century,” as the supply of energy will no longer be the domain of a small number of states, says the report.

via No More Wars for Oil? Wind & Solar will reduce Energy-Related Conflicts

Peter Dutton’s backers refused to leave Liberal Party members’ offices, demanded they reveal votes during spill – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Tight shot of Bishop looking stern. She's standing in front of an Australian flag.

When can bullies be seen flipping the argument and blaming the other side when they are ultra conservatives. Soon we’ll see them declaring that they are the victims. It’s not a strange practice and is a common ploy when backs are to the wall Corman is doing it here. He was a vote collector for Dutton and it wasn’t a last minute decision on his part as he tried to make out.  (ODT)

Cabinet Minister Mathias Cormann, who supported Mr Dutton, said Malcolm Turnbull’s unusual tactics ahead of the Liberal leadership spill added pressure to his colleagues.

“There’s nothing wrong with seeking to convince each other of the merits of our arguments, but it always ought to be done with courtesy and respect,” he told Sky News.

Some of Mr Dutton’s other backers, including young conservatives Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar, James Paterson, Zed Seselja, Tony Pasin and Jonathon Duniam, have denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, the alleged bullying.

via Peter Dutton’s backers refused to leave Liberal Party members’ offices, demanded they reveal votes during spill – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Blackwater founder seeks to privatize Afghan war despite mercs getting butt kicked in Yemen — RT Op-ed

Blackwater founder seeks to privatize Afghan war despite mercs getting butt kicked in Yemen

It raises the question of what the PMCs can do in Afghanistan if they are getting their butts kicked now in Yemen?

Unstated is the fact that despite the US military presence in Afghanistan, there also are PMCs working with them. One intelligence official told me that the ratio of PMCs to US soldiers in Afghanistan is better than five to one.

If that is the case, and PMCs already are fighting at some five times the strength of the US forces already in Afghanistan, what convincing information can Prince convey to Trump to get him to substitute his PMCs for the US military?

via Blackwater founder seeks to privatize Afghan war despite mercs getting butt kicked in Yemen — RT Op-ed

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Here He Comes Again: Erik Prince Pushes To Privatize Afghanistan War | Crooks and Liars

Prince’s idea, which first surfaced last year during the president’s Afghanistan strategy review, envisions replacing troops with private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.

via Here He Comes Again: Erik Prince Pushes To Privatize Afghanistan War | Crooks and Liars

‘US Is Now Allied With al-Qaeda in Yemen’: AP Reveals American-Backed Saudi Coalition Forged Deals With AQAP Fighters

A man walks on rubble of a building destroyed in airstrikes carried out by warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition hours after the UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths departed Sana’a on June 06, 2018 in Sana’a, Yemen.

As the United States continues to fuel Yemen’s worsening humanitarian crisis, and boast that it’s targeting al Qaeda in the impoverished nation (AQAP) with airstrikes, new reporting reveals that the U.S.- and U.K-backed Saudi coalition waging a bombing campaign there is recruiting al Qaeda fighters to join its ranks, and paying off the extremists to leave areas.

The militants were guaranteed a safe route out and allowed to keep weapons and cash looted from the city—up to $100 million by some estimates—according to five sources, including military, security, and government officials. […]

Coalition-backed forces moved in two days later, announcing that hundreds of militants were killed and hailing the capture as “part of joint international efforts to defeat the terrorist organizations in Yemen.”

via ‘US Is Now Allied With al-Qaeda in Yemen’: AP Reveals American-Backed Saudi Coalition Forged Deals With AQAP Fighters

US wasted $15.5bn of taxpayer money in Afghanistan – govt watchdog — RT US News

US wasted $15.5bn of taxpayer money in Afghanistan – govt watchdog

Yet Trump’s Presidency has boosted America’s defence budget to $780 bill (ODT)

Back in December 2017, US President Donald Trump complained that Washington “foolishly spent” $7 trillion in the Middle East, arguing that all that money could have been spent to rebuild the US instead. According to the USAID, Washington spent some $164.3 billion worth of aid on both Afghanistan and another country the US invaded – Iraq. This figure fades in comparison to what the US has spent on its military adventures in the Middle East.

via US wasted $15.5bn of taxpayer money in Afghanistan – govt watchdog — RT US News

139 House Democrats Join GOP to Approve $717 Billion in Military Spending

With the help of 139 Democrats, the House of Representatives on Thursday easily rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which—if it passes the Senate—will hand President Donald Trump $717 billion in military spending.

What Trump didn’t mention is that Iran’s so-called “threat” against the United States came after a Reuters report revealed that the White House—led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton—has launched a secret effort to “foment unrest” inside Iran, which critics described as an obvious push for regime change.

via 139 House Democrats Join GOP to Approve $717 Billion in Military Spending

China vows retaliation for latest $200bn US tariff threat | News | Al Jazeera

The United States trade deficit in goods with China hit a record $375.2bn in 2017 [File: AP]

China and the United States face a wider trade war after Beijing vowed on Wednesday to retaliate over Washington’s threat to impose $200bn in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

via China vows retaliation for latest $200bn US tariff threat | News | Al Jazeera

Donald Trump’s war on everyone, including Australia

The shudder in global financial markets overnight was a preview of what might come if the Trump administration follows through with its plan to declare China’s investments in US technology companies a threat to the US economy and its national security.

via Donald Trump’s war on everyone, including Australia

America’s ‘War on Terror’ Has Cost Taxpayers $5.6 Trillion | The Nation

afghanistan_chopper_rtr_img

War on Terror from September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6 trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets). On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.

Keep in mind that such figures, however eye-popping, are only the dollar costs of our wars. They don’t, for instance, include the psychic costs to the Americans mangled in one way or another in those never-ending conflicts. They don’t include the costs to this country’s infrastructure, which has been crumbling while taxpayer dollars flow copiously and in a remarkably—in these years, almost uniquely—bipartisan fashion into what’s still laughably called “national security.”

via America’s ‘War on Terror’ Has Cost Taxpayers $5.6 Trillion | The Nation

America’s Forever Wars as Spectator Sport

Any war failing to yield peace is purposeless and, if purposeless, both wrong and stupid.

War is evil. Large-scale, state-sanctioned violence is justified only when all other means of achieving genuinely essential objectives have been exhausted or are otherwise unavailable. A nation should go to war only when it has to — and even then, ending the conflict as expeditiously as possible should be an imperative.

via America’s Forever Wars as Spectator Sport

When industries come first, people die – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As we watch the ridiculous debate about coal unfold again, driven by the resources and manufacturing industries with nary a mention of the economic and social cost of climate change and pollution, governments around the world collude with another industry to cause even greater immediate harm and the death and displacement of millions of people.

In 2016, total world military spending was $1.69 trillion. Sales of arms and military services across the world totalled $374.8 billion.

via When industries come first, people die – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Iraq War destabilized the world and why the neocons aren’t finished yet — RT Op-ed

How Iraq War destabilized the world and why the neocons aren't finished yet

“The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a ‘blunder,’ or even a ‘colossal mistake.’ It was a crime. Those who perpetrated it are still at large. Some of them have even been rehabilitated thanks to the horrors of Trumpism and a mostly amnesiac citizenry.”

via How Iraq War destabilized the world and why the neocons aren’t finished yet — RT Op-ed

A wall and a war: Two things every fascist regime needs | +972 Magazine

President Donald Trump stands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017, for his first official visit to Israel as president. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Both Trump and Netanyahu want to secure their rule by attacking liberal, democratic forces. But in order to do so, they need two things: a wall and the promise of eternal war.

via A wall and a war: Two things every fascist regime needs | +972 Magazine

Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

dower_violent

Whether the rationale is the need to wage a war on terror involving 76 countries or renewed preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China (as Defense Secretary James Mattis suggested recently while introducing America’s new National Defense Strategy), the U.S. military is engaged globally. A network of 800 military bases spread across 172 countries helps enable its wars and interventions. By the count of the Pentagon, at the end of the last fiscal year about 291,000 personnel (including reserves and Department of Defense civilians) were deployed in 183 countries worldwide, which is the functional definition of a military uncontained. Lady Liberty may temporarily close when the U.S. government grinds to a halt, but the country’s foreign military commitments, especially its wars, just keep humming along.

via Can American Democracy survive six Standing Wars? | Informed Comment

Civilians in western Mosul are being shot at by Isis and Iraqi forces alike | The Independent

mosul-iraq-isis.jpg

Civilians trying to flee the besieged Isis-held enclave in west Mosul are being shot dead by Isis and Iraqi army snipers as they try to cross the Tigris River, says an eyewitness trapped inside the city with his family. In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Jasim, a 33-year old Iraqi Sunni living in west Mosul near the 5th Bridge, said: “I want to rescue my mother and take her to the eastern part, but it is dangerous. Three people were killed in our neighbourhood trying to cross the river to the eastern side. They were shot dead by the snipers.”

Source: Civilians in western Mosul are being shot at by Isis and Iraqi forces alike | The Independent

Public Media Executives: Trump’s “Foolish” Public Broadcasting Cuts Will Hurt “Small-Town America”

President Donald Trump’s proposal to gut funding for public broadcasting in his new budget released Thursday would mostly harm residents of small rural towns, many of who are Republican voters, according to public TV and radio executives.The 2018 budget plan from the White House would eliminate all federal subsidies for the

Source: Public Media Executives: Trump’s “Foolish” Public Broadcasting Cuts Will Hurt “Small-Town America”

Chris Hedges Discusses Israeli Occupation With Israeli Journalist Amira Hass (Video) (from @Truthdig)

The Haaretz correspondent for the occupied territories and author of “Drinking the Sea at Gaza” has angered Israeli and Palestinian leadership with her uncompromising honesty. – 2016/06/27

Source: Chris Hedges Discusses Israeli Occupation With Israeli Journalist Amira Hass (Video) (from @Truthdig)

The U.S. Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming

This was supposed to be the supreme model of Humanitarian Intervention. One of its few benefits is it now provides a pretext for another new war.

Source: The U.S. Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming

Why defeating ISIS with military might is starry eyed idealism

There were more airstrikes against ISIS this July 4 weekend. Most politicians agree that ‘war is the answer.’ But here’s an argument that peacebuilding is the only realistic way to defeat ISIS.

Source: Why defeating ISIS with military might is starry eyed idealism

US Soldier: “The Real Terrorist Was Me And The Real Terrorism Is This Occupation”

A powerful confession by US soldier Mike Prysner on his experience fighting in Iraq. “Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us.” – Mike Prysner

VIDEO: How Likely Are the Top 10 GOP Presidential Candidates to Drag Us Into War?

Fox Cable News announced its pick for the 10 Republican presidential candidates it will allow in its Thursday debate.  These are candidates who are getting at least 3% support in a basket of opinion polls, including one commissioned by Fox itself.  CNN will follow a similar procedure for the debate it will televise in September.

Now that we know the roster of the big ten, I thought we should review them on one key issue, of how likely they are to drag us into another war. And what is amazing is that sending US troops back into the Middle East and going to war there is virtually a plank in the GOP platform.  After the disaster in Iraq, they are actually running on war and against diplomacy for the most part!

I think this saber rattling in part has to do with the advent of truly big money in US politics and the end of campaign finance limitations.  Since the Republican Party is in general the representative of the 50% of the economy dominated by big corporations, and since arms manufacturers are among those big companies, the GOP has become increasingly the party of war and belligerence.  If you actually drop those bombs, you have to order more, which is good for some businesses.  In fact, one candidate who did not make the cut and is a notorious warmonger, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), is apparently mainly backed by military-industrial complex money.  It is no surprise that he is perhaps the most aggressive candidate in his statements on foreign policy, though he has a lot of competition.

Here is how they stand on this key issue of war and peace, life and death:

Donald Trump (with a polling average of 23.4 percent):

“America’s primary goal with Iran must be to destroy its nuclear ambitions. Let me put them as plainly as I know how: Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped–by any and all means necessary. Period. We cannot allow this radical regime to acquire a nuclear weapon that they will either use or hand off to terrorists. Better now than later!”

I take “by any means necessary” to be enthusiasm for war on Iran, since their civilian nuclear enrichment program cannot be shut down by any other means.

Trump has also urged a US bombing campaign against Iraqi oil refineries as a way of defeating Daesh (ISIL, ISIS).  Since Iraq will need those refineries to rebuild after Daesh is defeated, bombing them wouldn’t be optimal.  But there you have it.

former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (12.0 percent):

Rejects diplomacy with Iran

      , wants to send more US troops to embed with the Iraqi army in Iraq.

So, two wars?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10.2 percent),

Walker said

      “that not only would he undo any deal with Iran on his first day as president; he would do so even if our European allies wanted the deal to continue.”

So, brinkmanship and unilateral action.

Mr. Walker also said in February that that if he could take on union protesters of Wisconsin, he can take on ISIL.  He seems to confuse exercizing first amendment rights with being a target.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (6.6 percent):

      Huckabee characterized the Iran deal as marching the Jews to the Nazi ovens.  I presume that means he would risk war with Iran.

In an interview on Fox, “Huckabee was quick to return to those comparisons, saying, “I don’t want to standby and watch it happen again. I do not want to stand by and see Jews get targeted, because if they come after them they will eventually come after all of us. We’ve seen this before.”

Mediaite also notes, “Huckabee proposed a “third option” that involves taking the Russians, Iranians and Saudi Arabians “out of the energy business” but making the U.S. energy independent.”  Short of going to war on them, it is hard for me to imagine how he would do that.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (5.8 percent):

      Rejects the

idea of war crimes

      . He said: “If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war,” he said. “Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.”

He also says that the Iran deal endangers all Americans and that he would reduce personnel cutbacks in the US military.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (5.4 percent):

      Says

nuclear deal

    will “lead to war” and cause the death of “millions of Americans” by undoing the sanctions regime on Iran.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (5.4 percent):

Says “war

    with Iran is an option.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (4.8 percent):

      Has

renounced containment as a policy

      toward Iran and now says the country is too dangerous for that policy to succeed.

But the bigger and more powerful Soviet Union was contained.  And is the alternative war?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (3.4 percent):

      Says President Obama, having drawn a red line on Syria,

should have

      “finished the job.”

War in Syria, then.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (3.2 percent).

      Would not immediate rip up Obama’s Iran deal.

But would send US troops to fight ISIL.

So, war on ISIL, then.

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Syrian migrant crisis: Christians to get priority as Abbott faces pressure to take in more refugees – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Abbott Government wants to restrict any intake of Syrian refugees to minorities which are largely Christian.

Source: Syrian migrant crisis: Christians to get priority as Abbott faces pressure to take in more refugees – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Nations that sent the most arms to Syria have accepted the fewest refugees. Cost Benefit analysis of arms suppliers to Syria

the 8 countries that sent the most weapons to Syria since 2011 only accepted 2 percent of the refugees Germany has taken in.

Source: Nations that sent the most arms to Syria have accepted the fewest refugees

Leaders whip up foreigner fear to win Canning – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Tony Abbott has more to lose from the Canning by-election outcome than Bill Shorten, but both men have stooped to either whipping up foreigner-anxiety or appeasing xenophobia in order to maximise their party’s vote.

Source: Leaders whip up foreigner fear to win Canning – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)