Watch the 3 vids and then think about ISIS again…
Judging from how our politicos “react” to intelligence, I fear that both the politicos and the “intelligence” community have a common fault.
It’s not stupidity, it’s not incompetence, it’s a mistaken world-view. If you have a Manichaean world view (such as the one a poster or two has hereabouts), or view things exclusively through the American POV, you’re bound to be wrong in this day and age.
The US has moved so far off the “center”, os so far removed from the realities of the rest of the world, that it no longer understands what the world outside Lubbock Texas is all about. It sees the world, doesn’t like it, wants to shape it like the usual 2 gas-station, 2 convenience store crossroads, the usual collection of condos and strip houses, cul-de-sacs and traffic jams, etc.. Hell, if a US citizen thinks outside the box, he’s likely to be surveilanced – what can a DC bureaucrat think about when he contemplates an angry Egyptian?
Seriously, I see lines of US tourists every day in the local McDonalds. One wonders why they take the effort of crossing the pond when all they want is a home-away-from-home, and complain when it’s not quite close enough to home (even though SOME like the fact that they can order a beer in McDonalds over here). Every now and then I see the typical Mormon on their prescribed “voyage-du-conversion”, speaking next-to-no Spanish, wearing the typical blue suit+tie+name tag, and wonder what the hell these people think that they’re going to accomplish.
I envision CIA men or US diplomats in a similar guise, and obviously achieving the same results.
For the US to be accepted once again in this great big world, I think that a required course in empathy and at LEAST 1 year of education abroad is necessary. The US is blessed/damned by having no discernible borders with a genuinely “foreign” country (Canada and Mexico are dismissed, one for being too similar to the US, the other as too “inferior”).
I’ve been online for at least 15 minutes and I haven’t been prompted to update Adobe (fill in the blank … flash, reader, etc.), yet.
I’ll try to keep you posted, but if I “go dark”, at least you’ll have advance warning.
Ex-regulator releases secret Goldman Sachs tapes in bid to win legal fight
Former New York Fed employee Carmen Segarra claimed she was fired because her bosses thought she was too tough on Goldman Sachs
“A former US bank examiner who alleges she was fired for being too tough on Goldman Sachs has released hours of secretly recorded tapes to add muscle to her argument as she tries to win a legal appeal.
Carmen Segarra is a former New York Federal Reserve bank examiner who butted heads with her bosses over her policing of Goldman Sachs. Segarra alleges that her attempts to discipline Goldman Sachs were blocked by her bosses at the New York Fed, who she suggests were intent on giving Goldman Sachs no trouble. The Fed disputes her allegations, as does Goldman.
Segarra’s case raises a host of questions about “regulatory capture”, the term for regulators who become too cozy with the industry they are meant to police.
The issue of capture is “very dismaying”, said Anat Admati, a finance and economics professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “But it’s good to open the discussion.””
May all the gods above, below, here and beyond bless this woman, and aid in her upright adventure.
Went to the Pediatrician yesterday. He has an idea that I think you would be interested in. He wants to see a diagnostic test that every kids’ Dr. can use at a near-moment’s notice, kind of like a glucometer reading, but not for blood sugar. And perhaps I have misunderstood just what you do for a living. If you created his idea independently, I wonder if it would make you are small fortune or two.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org within the next couple of days, while I will check it every day. I can pass on his contact information. I was once pretty close to him since we were once the few people with internet access, in the mid-90’s. We were always emailing each other with jokes and research, while I was in nursing school.
Delete this thread once you view this, if you please.
Following the money is almost always the smart bet. If the founders of Standard Oil are abandoning oil, there’s hope for change.
I have been reading a really great book and am finally in the last chapter now. I think it will go down as a member of modern classics. This book can change the world. Sting says that everyone should be reading it. His quote: “The world would be a better place if everyone read this book”
DISPELLING WETIKO: Breaking the Curse Of Evil, by Paul Levy.
I recusitate a post from the pre-Iraq II war, to highlight similitudes with Iraq III.
Polybius famously differentiated between the CAUSE, PRETEXT and BEGINNING of a war. Often times these three concepts are purposefully or accidentally confused, to the point that Iraq II was justified (caused) by such disparate concepts as 9/11, WMD’s, Axis of Evil, “he gassed his own people” and a plethora of other excuses. Reading between the lines and consulting historical experience, it was clear that Iraq II was a war of aggression, partly caused by a desire to control oil/economic interests and partly to maintain or increase the west’s “sphere of influence”.
For many of us, before Iraq II, these elements were pretty clear because we didn’t fall for the rather over-the-top propaganda sold to us. Some didn’t beleive that WMD’s existed, others (like myself) felt that they didn’t matter in a nuked world. In any case, the “case” put forward was unpotable.
Fast forward a number of years and suddenly we are confronted with a supposedly anti-war, Nobel Peace Prize winning potus, calling for a “sterile war” against a group that’s been around for years. A group, FTR, that largely arose from our invasion of Iraq in those halcyon years of the Duba presidency (when black and white seemed so clear to many).The justifications for Iraq III are, for me, almost as preposterous as those for Iraq II, and have been spewed by the usual suspects.
By the usual suspects I mean the WH, the subservient press, and a willing “opposition” that desires Iraq III even more so than the WH does.
My POV has been quite clear:
1. War is the LAST recourse, and only justifiable in self-defense.
2. Wars, even undertaken under the “purest” and most “honest” pretexts, rarely turn out as desired. More often than not, the results end up being far worse than the status quo ante bellum, for either or both sides.
3. The timing of the “declaration” of “sterile war” seems to follow public opinion rather than actual policy. If the journalists hadn’t been so egregiously murdered, how many Americans would have even HEARD of ISIS/ISIL?
4. The “enemy” is also the “enemy of an enemy”, and our purported “friends” cannot be greatly differentiated from our purported enemies. Assad is an enemy, Iran is an enemy, Saudi Arabia probably should be an enemy, many Gulf States are hardly friendly allies, and Israel is a friend that isn’t friendly at all.
5. In the middle we have millions of people who, rightfully or not, feel injured by the West in general and the US in particular.
6. ISIS/ISIL is a Sunni organization, the enemy of Assad, of the pro-Shiite Iraquí regime, of the House of Saud, of Iran, and of the false borders negotiated a century ago. They have learned, from OBL and Dubya, how to play the PR game, and, like OBL (and unlike Dubya), are gaining a respect from regional and international Sunnis. Much of their support and perhaps 10% of their fighters, come from internation Sunni communities, including Western ones.
7. ISIS/ISIL is HUGELY outnumbered and outarmed by its enemies. By hugely, I mean 1.000-1 odds or worse, probably worse. They only survive because of cross-border Suni support, and because even such NATO allies such as Turkey buy oil from them and thus help to finance their cause.
8. ISIS/ISIL has been rightfully accused of perpetrating a number of atrocities. Most of these have been “pr stunts”, and thus the videos. Yet their enemies (especially Syria and the pro-Shiite Iraqui government) have perpetrated similar ones, with nary a mention in the mainstream press. There seems to be a double standard with regards to atrocities in the region, and one telling factor with regards to their effects is that ISIS/ISIL has widespread support amongst the Sunnies, to the point of the Iraqui army and Iraqui “militia” retreating without landing a blow in response.
9. All this, to me, screams loudly of another case of framing, propaganda, or whatever you want to call it.
10. The US “reaction” to ISIS/ISIL is to create another coalition of the willing and to drop bombs. The coalition is small, reluctant, and luke-warm (at best).
11. Air power (something which ISIS/ISIL has none of) has never won a war on its own. EVER.
12. Fighting against an enemy with local support (guerrilla warfare) has never won.
13. Going against popular support never wins (and it’s abundantly clear, unless one is limited to following mainstream press), and ISIS/ISIL has popular support in the region (outside non-Sunnis, of course).
13+1 (an aside) Yes, these people are animals, yet most of our “allies” are animals as well.
13 + 2 (another one) If anyone followed my posts on Tunisia, fear of fundamentalists should be tempered. Both in Tunisia and in Egypt, once the fundamentalists were in power, they lost almost all support through their combined incompetence and corrpution.
14. There’s a tremendous lack of consitency in fighting an enemy of our enemies (Assad, Iran) who is an enemy of our allies (Iraq) and a friend of the majority of the world’s largest religion (Sunni Islam). Is there ANY conceivable scenario where we can win this battle?
So – to the Polybian analysis.
What’s the CAUSE of the war? The PRETEXT? The BEGINNING?
Of the three points, the 2 latter ones are clear:
– ISIS/ISIL killed some Americans who should have known better than to have gone there.
– ISIS/ISIL are horrible people, albeit as horrible as their enemies and our friends. They want to erase the borders imposed by Sykes-Picot, they want a fundamentalist state, they want to impose Sharia law, and other such things which are prevailing ideas in the region. IOW, a pretty weak pretext.
-ISIS/ISIL, far weaker than their opponents, want to impose Islam on the world (which is akin to Pat Robertson wanting to become Pope of the world).
– In all, a pretty weak pretext, even weaker than WMD’s if one thinks about it.
When Obama, probably under presure from the MIC and the effects of triangulation, decided to react to beheadings by leading us to yet another war (Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and a few others).
And the CAUSE?
This is where I think there’s a real debate. The rest, IMO, is just Soars Board garbage, supporting preconceived ideas or following the colours. And for the like of me, only a few ideas come about, which, unsurprisingly, coincide with the causes of Iraq II:
Oil, Israel and the MIC.
So let the debate begin. Or not.
I can predict what Uzi will say, but I have some hope that Timbuk will open his mind somewhat and think outside the box.
We were sold on that sort of stuff not too long ago. A “group” that had to borrow people from the Taliban to perpetrate 9/11 ‘cos they had no real fighters became a threat to our very existence. A man with no WMD’s was sold as one who could target London in a matter of minutes. Before that it was the “domino theory”, and before that it was the “red menace”. More recently we’ve supported a fascist group in the Ukraine because we wanted to encroach on Russia’s sphere of influece, and we were sold the story that it was big bad Russia crossing the line. Tomorrow it will probably be the Chinese, unless a fanatical tribe from the deepest Amazon becomes a threat to some US mining or lumber interests in the Amazons
And now there’s ISIS/ISIL, a group with a fraction of the men, weapons, financing and support of their -two- current enemies, Assad’s Syria and Iraq. If you listen to the GOPers and hawks, they’re our biggest threat today. And they’re EEEVIL, though this time without an Axis to go with it. EVERYBODY supposedly fears them, which makes one wonder how the hell they keep getting more volunteers and local Sunni support.
C’mon, folks, can we grow a pair and stop kneejerk reactions for once?
Johns Hopkins study finds significant gap in demographics, experience and partisanship between Washingtonians and the Americans they govern
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 15, 2014
Johns Hopkins University political scientists wanted to know if America’s unelected officials have enough in common with the people they govern to understand them.
The answer: Not really.