Even as Israel becomes chronically unable to form a government, the ‘Gaza consensus’ — the endless pounding of the strip into oblivion — persists. It could tip the scales in Netanyahu’s favor.
First the FBI now the CIA any Independant arm of government is a danger to this President why? Because they alone threaten his image and spin. (ODT)
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.
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.
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.
video June 17, 2019 1:00 PM EDT
Can Trump cancet the 2020elections due to a National Emergency? (ODT)
Yemen means profit for a Military Industrial State (ODT)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
TeleSur | – – The official said the deal will be good for the U.S. economy. The United States is …
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.”
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
Donald Trump’s statement that the US should have taken Iraq’s oil after invading their country in 2003 is a worry on a number of fronts.
Malcolm Turnbull has shown, albeit reluctantly, that he will take on his predecessor publicly, if he must.
The Western media loves conflict – the bloodier the better – and will never let the truth get in the way of a good war. More searing truthtelling from John Pilger.
Source: The West’s bloodthirsty media
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
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.
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.
There is a quiet war occurring under our very noses. Some of us are aware, but many of us are not. When it comes to whistleblowers, the people in question are rarely thanked for their contribution to our society.
Source: The War on Whistleblowers
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
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):
- , wants to send more US troops to embed with the Iraqi army in Iraq.
So, two wars?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (10.2 percent),
- “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
- . 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):
- 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):
- with Iran is an option.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (4.8 percent):
- 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,
- “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.