During his term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has shown a decided inability to differentiate between truth and falsehood when talking to Americans and their congressional representatives, more often than not erring on the side of the latter. Those paying attention, for example, will recall General Dempsey repeatedly telling the media, the citizenry, and the Congress that the U.S. military’s training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) had gone splendidly and the ANA would be ready to operate on its own when President Obama’s withdrawal date arrived. Now, we see that Obama’s deadline has been extended and the stay-behind force increased. General Dempsey, unless he has learned nothing in a long taxpayer-funded military career or is plainly brain dead, knew that what he was saying about the ANA was an absurd lie, but he tugged his forelock and lied for the administration.
This month, however, General Dempsey let slip a snippet of truth and then had to scramble to re-establish the lie that — sooner or later — all parents of America’s military personnel will have to accept, cope with, and, perhaps, avenge. In reaction to the Islamic State’s (IS) advance toward the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar Province, General Dempsey said that he was not worried about IS taking the city because it was of little importance to the overall war that is occurring in Iraq. In reaction to Dempsey’s statement, Ms. Debbie Lee, the mother of U.S. Navy SEAL Marc Lee who was killed while fighting with his unit near Ramadi in August, 2006, spoke out in a letter of condemnation for Dempsey’s statement, saying that her son died at Ramadi as he was fighting for “freedom” and that Dempsey’s description of Ramadi as being of little importance denigrated her son’s sacrifice as well as that of many other troops. General Dempsey quickly retracted his statement, apologized, and said he honored Ms. Lee’s son and all of the fallen.
By now, you are probably worn out from all the speculation about the actual events in Pakistan that claim the death of the public enemy No 1. No photos of a dead Osama bin Laden, burial at sea, instant DNA results and changing versions with every new news report gets old quickly. The claim that a treasure chest of intelligence was secured during the raid, conflicts with killing the main man who knows where all the buried are buried. Capturing him alive for interrogation would maximize the intelligence quest, if that were the real goal.
For a month now, the Saudi air force has been bombing Yemen to reverse a takeover of that nation of 25 million by Houthi rebels, and reinstall a president who fled his country and is residing in Riyadh.
The Saudis have hit airfields, armor and arms depots, and caused a humanitarian catastrophe. Nearly 1,000 dead, 3,500 wounded and tens of thousands homeless. The poorest nation in the Arab world is near collapse. Dependent upon imported food, Yemen faces malnutrition and starvation.
And the United States has been an accomplice in the Saudi bombing of Yemen.
Why? Why is Yemen’s civil war America’s war?
Remember the stagflation years? Maybe the current world economic environment is just in an enduring lethargy awaiting the bottom to fall out. Seldom has flat performance lingered as long as it has. Meaningful expansion, under a zero interest rate strategy has failed. Even much lower oil prices have not jump-started the engine of growth. Prospects for an upturn and a return to producing constructive activity still seem to be years away. Or is this a permanent outlook that baffles business executives and frustrates creative entrepreneurs. For the rest of us, waiting and hoping for a viable economy has become wishful thinking at best.
Blaming the 1% for diminished prosperity avoids the real reasons for designed poverty. In round terms, the seven billion souls that populate this planet translate into seventy million to be part of the 1%. Well, that amount is still a very large number to blame for the systemic transfer of riches into the hands of the few. A far more relevant approach is to examine the .001% or around seven million that fall into the mover or shakers of asset and possessions. Before targeting this group of mega wealth, that figure includes a very significant number, who are non players when it comes to global politics or transnational finance.
The Patriot Act is pure treason. What don’t you understand about the meaning of treason? The entire purpose for the creation of America is based upon defeating despotism, limiting government on all levels and advancing liberty for individuals. The State is an unfortunate reality, it needs to be feared and controlled. Patriotic protection of oppressive government is a sickness. Love of country means that citizens must oppose tyrannical government. What is so difficult in understanding the difference between jingoism and traditional civil liberties? There is nothing conservative about waving the bloody flag for a political structure bent upon destroying individual right.
James Poulos imagines that there is a “New Isolationism” on the left and that Clinton will be promoting it in her campaign:
Love it or hate it, the New Isolationism that Team Clinton is prepared to promote carries a broad, inherent appeal.
Needless to say, referring to anything related to Clinton’s foreign policy as isolationism, new or otherwise, is completely wrong and wildly misleading. There is no such thing as “New Isolationism,” and using this term just creates needless misunderstanding and confusion. To the extent that Poulos has identified something real when he says that Americans “want experts we can trust to keep our anxious, harried minds away from the endless stress case of global management,” it would be far more useful to describe this as the rational ignorance of voters for whom foreign policy is normally a low priority when deciding how to vote. This relative lack of interest in the “gory details” of foreign policy is not a phenomenon unique to voters on the left, but it is widely shared by almost all Americans. The fact that Clinton’s banal, forgettable announcement video earlier this week made no mention of international affairs doesn’t tell us very much about anything concerning policy, domestic or foreign, and so shouldn’t be taken as anything more than the empty political ritual that it was.
Water and air are the most important resources on the planet. Breathing clean air seems to be accepted as a noble goal and the cost attributed to its improvement is usually universally accepted. However, the same cannot be said about access to fresh water as big business interests often argues. Many corporate interests contend that private ownership of public water out- weighs the rights of actual property owners. Corporate agriculture is quite different from traditional family farming. Yet, the factory farms that have taken over agribusiness demonstrate little regard for preserving a viable water supply.
“Could a U.S. response to Russia’s action in Ukraine provoke a confrontation that leads to a U.S.-Russia War?”
This jolting question is raised by Graham Allison and Dimitri Simes in the cover article of The National Interest.
The answer the authors give, in “Countdown to War: The Coming U.S. Russia Conflict,” is that the odds are shortening on a military collision between the world’s largest nuclear powers.
The cockpit of the conflict, should it come, will be Ukraine.
What makes the article timely is the report that Canada will be sending 200 soldiers to western Ukraine to join 800 Americans and 75 Brits on a yearlong assignment to train the Ukrainian army.
That notorious time of the year is upon us again; the income tax deadline. It is an affected date because the tax system tells it is so. The torment and extortion of organized theft goes on all year long, but April 15 has a special place in the gut of every victim of larceny by government. Oh sure, paying taxes is supposed to be the price of maintaining civilization, but when was the last time that government protected , much less promoted, the mythical “Good Society”. The notion that paying tribute to a federal self ordained authority as a duty is only accepted by delusional proponents of a fantasy existence of welfare recipient beneficiaries.
At the Summit of the Americas where he met with Raul Castro, the 83-year-old younger brother of Fidel, President Obama provided an insight into where he is taking us, and why:
“The United States will not be imprisoned by the past — we’re looking to the future. I’m not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born.”
Obama was not yet born when Fidel rolled into Havana, Jan. 1, 1959. He was 1 year old during the missile crisis. His mother belonged to a 1960s generation that welcomed the Cuban Revolution. His father came from an African generation that won independence from the European empires.
Americans and Westerners generally have been bombarded with good news, bad news, worried news, optimistic news, and no news about the negotiations of the United States and its partners with Iran aimed at denying Tehran the ability to complete its pretty much built nuclear weapon. The multiple rounds of talks have provided much fodder for the media in their endless search for two things that do not exist: (a) the diplomatic brilliance of President Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton and (b) a gang of powerful fools in Tehran who are willing to allow their nation to be defenseless against three nuclear powers — the U.S., the UK, and Israel — that have threatened Iran’s destruction daily for thirty years. It is funny how we always hear about the Ayatollah’s threat to destroy Israel, but very seldom about Hillary Clinton’s promise to incinerate Iran if it touched a hair on Israel’s pretty little head.
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