Our alliance with the U.S. helps keep its war machine rolling, but the cost to Australia must be more carefully considered, writes Stephen Darley.Repeatedly going to war: The cost of our U.S. alliance
The market doesn’t care about politics. It’s a creature that acts in accordance with the goals of its largest participants. The real economy, on the other hand, requires far more effort — planning, prioritizing, and executing programs and projects that can produce tangible profits. We’re a long way from a world that puts investment in the real economy ahead of those soaring financial markets. That gap, in fact, might as well be like the distance between Earth and Mars. In the midst of a pandemic, as billionaires only grow richer and the markets soar, can there be any question that we’re experiencing a Martian invasion?Letting the Markets go Wild while the People Go Down: A War of the Worlds
I have reported a number of wars. I have seen the remains of children and women and the elderly bombed and burned to death — their villages laid to waste, their petrified trees festooned with human parts. And much else. Perhaps that is why I reserve a specific contempt for those who promote the crime of rapacious war, who beckon it with bad faith and profanities, having never experienced it themselves. Their monopoly must be broken.JOHN PILGER: The most lethal virus is not COVID-19 — it’s war
Trump Appears to Have Outsourced His Iran Policy to IsraelTrump’s Support for Israel’s Killing of Iranian Scientist Could Lead to War | The Smirking Chimp
Donald Trump’s decision to launch of a full-throated declaration of war on the US electoral process this morning paves the way for what may well be a chaotic three months of legal and extra-legal efforts to thwart the result.Donald Trump declares war on the electoral process
Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Why are Havana’s food markets so empty? For the Cuban people, the U.S. War on Venezuela stands out as a clear culprit contributing to these daily frustrations and hardships.The War on Cuba and Venezuela – CounterPunch.org
“When the government equips police departments like they’re equipping the military, we undermine healthy relationships between the police and the community,” explains Equal Justice Initiative director Bryan Stevenson. “We have created a culture where police officers think of themselves as warriors, not guardians.”
China can finish what the LNP alpha apes started and they can do it without bullying.(ODT)
Even after two decades of nearly unmitigated strategic failure in the Middle East coupled with the disastrous self-harm of unchecked defense spending, it seems that significant portions of the U.S. elite have still not awoken from their intoxication with foreign wars of choice. Amid a global pandemic that could kill millions and cripple the American economy for years to come, there are strong signs that the U.S. military might be ordered to embark on yet another war in Iraq
If this war does take place, we can place it into a larger context: a once-powerful country depleting its strength through costly military adventures in distant lands, but institutionally incapable of providing the basics of life for its people at home.
When you look back through the ignominious history of the Republican movement and the LNP, there isn’t a single right-wing MP worth a dime. Every commitment made to a vile, nasty off-shore war (such as Korea, Vietnam and the horrendous genocidal Iraqi war) has been under a Republican/LNP government who consistently use war, terror, hatred and fear to divide nations. When things look bleak in the polls, the war-mongering right-wing are always prepared to stoop to using war as the last resort to cling onto power with bloodstained fingers – ready and willing to sacrifice millions of lives and spend billions to distract focus from their horrendous policies and/or use hatred and division for their own political agenda. It is always a hate-filled, xenophobic right wing government that drags us into war and it always takes a left-wing, socialist government to get us out of it!
But the more clearly the American public understands the falsehood and the moral, legal and political bankruptcy of the justifications for our country’s disastrous wars, the more clearly we can challenge the absurd claims of warmongering politicians whose policies offer the world only more death, destruction and chaos. Trump’s blundering, murderous Iran policy is only the latest example, and, despite its catastrophic results, U.S. militarism remains tragically bipartisan, with a few honorable exceptions.
When the U.S. stops killing people and bombing their homes, and the world starts helping people to support and protect themselves and their families without joining U.S.-backed armed forces or the armed groups they are fighting, then and only then will the raging conflicts that U.S. militarism has ignited across the world begin to subside.
America’s Economy is WAR (ODT)
Global losers of the Century have perfected the art of loss all around. (ODT)
Trump launched a reckless criminal act of state terror designed to provoke a war. Iran de-escalated the situation as of Wednesday — refusing to engage in a retaliatory cycle of violent escalation while demonstrating their military capability. Trump responded with a rambling, lifeless, incoherent slurred speech that promised to ratchet up economic sanctions without threatening further violence.
Australia, a juniour partner in the Coalition of the Killing, wants senior status it seems. While Trump has declared he’s putting the fight against ISIS on hold in order to deal with IRAN Theresa Payne wants to take over that war on Daesh. Remember when Trump declared that war was won. He relocated troops in Syria to grab the oil and betrayed the Kurds in the process. Now the USA are mercenary force for Exxon It’s always been questioned why we are in Iraq? Why John Howard joined the illegal invasion of a Sovereign State that doesn’t want us there? Now we are ready to partake in yet another escallated war with Iran who signed a peace treaty before Trump came on the scene. A treaty we are now supporting the total shredding of. Payne is proof we are Puppets lapdogs to American politics for profit and its grab for Middle Eastern oil which when said and done we will buy from the US at their price.
More to the point the LNP ready to see the escalation of violence and another unwinnable war offering up Australian lives as we have done time again since WW2. What we are doing is boosting Trump’s desperate efforts in domestic American politics. (ODT)
Foreign Minister Marise Payne will on Tuesday publicly plead for the Iraqi government to let Australian and international partners remain in the country.
“We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the coalition is able to continue its vital work with Iraq’s security forces in countering the shared threat of Daesh,” she said.
“We understand the resolution passed by Iraq’s parliament is non-binding, absent formal approval by the government in Baghdad.”
Why is it Republicans to win elections start wars? The USA has been losers in all their encounters since WW2 and Trump is no different. A loser he’s yet the biggest war machine on the planet he’s taking the US into yet another war they can’t possibly win. This time it’s illegal yet again. (ODT)
“This strike went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress,” committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday. “Even if this strike was in self-defense, no current congressional authorization covered it and the President needs to notify Congress within 48 hours pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The law requires notification so the President can’t plunge the United States into ill-considered wars.”
One thing strikes me as a no-brainer. If Brexit goes ahead, France will follow. Their inability to fund their social programs within the Eurozone will ultimately lead them to realize their only option is to leave the Eurozone and ultimately, the EU and restore their true sovereignty. If France goes, Italy will follow and gradually, over a period of many years, the EU and the Eurozone will collapse in much the same way the Soviet Union collapsed.
This then exposes Europe to the dangers of war. It’s a chilling scenario. I don’t expect to be around if and when it happens, but my grandchildren will be.
And that really frightens me. My concern is not for my future, but theirs.
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.”