Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
That’s what I’d say to the Western governments currently planning an invasion of Syria under the pretense that Bashar al-Assad is readying the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War.
NBC News quoted an unnamed US official as saying there was evidence that the bombs, loaded with the chemical weapon, could be dropped on the Syrian people from fighter planes once president Basah al-Assad gives the order.
If it proves to be true, the move would be a dramatic escalation in the conflict in Syria, which could lead to US involvement.
Earlier this week, US officials said the regime had begun mixing the chemicals to make the deadly sarin gas.
Sarin, used in two terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990s, is a man-made nerve agent which can cause convulsions, respiratory failure and death.
The Syrian regime has never overtly admitted having chemical weapons, though it is believed by western analysts to have the biggest stocks in the Middle East. It has also denied it would ever use chemical weapons against its own people.
Western intelligence agencies never had to publicly display their evidence for the invasion or Iraq — their wrong claims that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed against Western countries at 45 minutes notice.
And now they expect us to take it at face value that they have evidence that Syria is ready to use chemical weapons? Talk about the boy that cried wolf.
Want to commit blood and treasure to fight another middle eastern war? (Even though the most recent interventions have all ended in Islamists and even groups affiliated with al-Qaeda coming to power)
To be taken seriously, Western intelligence agencies need to prove these claims with hard evidence open to public scrutiny. If the claims are based on second-hand reports, circumstantial evidence and bad guesswork (as was the case in Iraq) then Western taxpayers deserve to know the truth.
But they won’t. Governments are already massing armies to intervene. The politicians and bureaucrats making these decisions won’t have to pay for it. They will leave that up to taxpayers.
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Agreed. And once Syria is ‘taken care of’, Iran will be next. Imperialism at its best.
The question “Want to commit blood and treasure to fight another ME war?” (absent proof of imminent chemical warfare), should be expanded to include two unlikely cases: (1) proof (“hard evidence open to public scrutiny”) is presented, and (2) actual attack with chemical weapons.
The only precedent was Saddam’s Iraq, and he got away with it. It’s hard for “us” to accept the reality of the brutality of ME-Arab-Muslim culture.
I share the view of Afghanistan veterans: let “them” kill each other. Superpowers can (and should in my opinion) oppose (prevent, terminate) world wars, but QUIT trying to police the world.
Actual attack with chemical weapons would definitely constitute hard evidence.
My concern is that what you are asking for will be delivered in the form of a false flag…as indisputable proof that we needed to intervene.
I wouldn’t rule that out.
“brutality of ME-Arab-Muslim culture”
You are elderly so I will give you some slack, you are also quite knowledgeble and wise in many respects. But the quote above is ‘out there’ in its ignorance. America has had numerous wars throughout its life, it killed off the Indians (both through genocide and unintended diseases). Central and South America are training grounds for US troops or paid Terrorists…..Manifest Destiny and all that.
We give too much credence to the people in power. We think they operate on the basis of wanting what is best for the world. This is extremely naive. They will invent and create an enemy or exagerrate the threat just so they can make war. The West as a whole except Switzerland needs wars, invasions, threats etc. This serves many purposes:
1) Distraction for the ruled
2) More Power for the rulers
3) Re-configuration of the global order
4) Development, testing and use of war technologies and money for bankers and defense contractors.
As you know Silicon Valley and the whole Information Technology sector benefitted from the Cold War, as did Boeing. Please see http://understandingpower.com/chap3.htm
Public funding of the development of computers and other advanced industries — and the role of the Pentagon system in the U.S. economy more generally — is an extremely important topic, which also is discussed at length in chapters 7 and 10 of U.P.
For sources on the Defense Department’s role in fostering high-technology industries, see for example, Kenneth Flamm, Targeting the Computer: Government Support and International Competition, Washington: Brookings Institution, 1987, especially ch. 3 (on the crucial role of the Pentagon in the computer industry); Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Who’s Bashing Whom?: Trade Conflict in High-Technology Industries, Washington: Institute for International Economics, 1992. An excerpt (pp. 88-90):
In its early years, up to 100 percent of the [semiconductor] industry’s output was purchased by the military, and even as late as 1968 the military claimed nearly 40 percent. In addition, there was a derived defense demand for semiconductor output from the military’s large procurement of computer output throughout the 1960s. Direct and indirect defense purchases reduced the risk of investment in both R&D and equipment for semiconductor producers, who were assured that a significant part of their output would be sold to the military. The willingness and ability of the U.S. government to purchase chips in quantity at premium prices allowed a growing number of companies to refine their production skills and develop elaborate manufacturing facilities. . . .
The government continued to pay for a large share of R&D through the early 1970s, providing roughly one-half of the total between 1958 and 1970. As late as 1958, federal funding covered an estimated 85 percent of overall American R&D in electronics. . . . [T]he military, which remained the largest single consumer of leading-edge components throughout the 1960s, was willing to buy very expensive products from brand-new firms that offered the ultimate in performance in lieu of an established track record.
BTW Have you had a look at the book Treasure Islands http://treasureislands.org/
Whilst there is a sophisticated sode to ME Culture, there is plenty of video evidence of the brutality. Just search for it on the internet. Don and I already have.
That is why we feel that the Neo Caliphate is akin to Nazism, and the henchmen fight as dirty.
Agreed that Militarism and the Space Program, whilst massive black holes for the public, actually gave momentum to the Tech sector. It is difficult to measure indirect benefits to society from War. Since most things in the Universe are balanced, is our actual recorded spending on military and destruction equal to the productivity gains from its research? Possibly.
Personally is Assad used these weapons, we’ll knock out the wildest genes from the ME. WE knocked out ours in WW1 and 2. The Arabs have not had major culling of their wild men since time immorial. The Crusades did not count, I don’t believe Bedouin and Pashtun tribes fought in those wars. Remember Pashtuns came from Alexanders the Greats men bloodlines. Wild warriors.
I am starting to become very hardened. I am sick of this constant war. Get it over with.
“It is difficult to measure indirect benefits to society from War.”
BR, that’s like saying that if she came, raping her was well worth it.
War is literally Hell on Earth. Indirect benefits??
Everything has indirect “benefits”. I guess war is antifragile. Personally, I hate it under all circumstances, and want to avoid it at all cost.
The only possible “benefits” from war are of a spiritual nature, the kind that only great suffering can engender.
John, do you possibly believe that even one death in war is worth any kind of gain in technology? If it was your wife? Your son or daughter?
History is long.
People say that there are no advantages to financial liquidation, but as Taleb has shown quite clearly, societies and systems that breakdown have the advantage of rebuilding, weak parts break, strong parts survive; antifragility.
Bottom line: I am an evolutionist. If war, didn’t have any evolutional function, we would have left it far behind. I am also a pacifist, and am working hard to get humanity to leave war far behind. Yet we have not yet.
John, war is the most effective way to get something for nothing [or at least attempt to].
This murdering and plundering has been justified from the beginning of social-man’s existence and will most likely be justified near the end of man’s stay on this planet.
WW2 resulted in my selfish existence (Immmigration by my Grandparents). If there was no WW2 you and I would not be speaking. Events shape the future. No WW2? Would we have the Internet?
If we had no war in history, what would the world look like today? It would be a Utopian world based on natural laws. The eating of the apple by Eve, set the ball in motion, to take a stick in one’s hand and beat the other guy… Just look at Apes and use of weapons.
That is my point.
Personally I would have preferred if Eve did not eat the apple.
BR, who cares if there is a you [no offense] or an Internet? This is not of great concern. What is of concern is the quality of each person’s life. Technology is neutral and can only affect someones life, relatively speaking. Life takes place in the present moment and therefore can not be subjected to future considerations.
robc: Re US brutality and conquest vs. Indians — that was then, this is the 20th-21st century. Have you recent examples of “official” brutality or conquest against anybody?
Another example of modern myopia is forgetting the centuries-ago reversals of both Islam and Christianity — the former from tolerance to brutality, and the latter the reverse.
Re military expenditures: Buddy covered it, and I would add that the internet, surely ranking with printing as a boon to mankind, began with the DoD.
I neglected one of robc’s points: even IF the US/civilized powers were guilty of brutality, it would NOT excuse ME-Arabs-Muslims. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” in Christian culture, but Islam perpetuates it by inculcating revenge, hate, tribalism, etc.
Look at the you tube video for ‘recent’ US brutality. The US is a welfare warfare culture war has been a part of its history throughout its existence.
” wrongs do not make a right” is true….what can I say there are crazy people everywhere who want to have their destructive revolutions and who want to impose their views on others how can we be rid of them? The reason I objected to your views was because you seem to have a very distorted view (me good they are bad), which is not accurate in my view. I am not saying that no we are good and you are bad….I am just saying the world is not that clear cut and easy to work out.
“Have you recent examples of “official” brutality or conquest against anybody?”
DG, the vast majority of the brutality and conquest is defined by the take-over of ever damn thing, everywhere, distorting all global economies with massive financial fraud and theft, interfering with natural economic development, destroying/stealing natural resources, etc., etc., etc.
You don’t have to necessarily enslave people anymore to get what you want [their labor-value earned].
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After another thought, the USA should just ignore Assad, send him the weapons, let him use it, it will take out our enemies, and it won’t be at the hand of us. Just a brutal ME dictator. Business as usual. The Honey Trap is set.
Except Hillary Clinton (etc) defines Assad as the enemy and al-Qaeda’s brigades in Syria as the friend.
Probably because of the wider geostrategic implications. America’s rivals were always Russia and China, not some wildmen with guns and Qu’rans in the desert.
Attaboy, John! You connect the Muslim Spring (and Muslim Brotherhood?) with al-Qaeda!
I don’t think the majority of the protestors have been in favour of al-Qaeda or the Muslim brotherhood, but they created a void and the reality is that the only opposition groups with the strength and depth to rise to power have been al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.
And now Morsi is becoming Dictator with emergency powers. Reminds me of Hitler. Lets hope he does not want the Caliphate with Eqypt at the centre.
Hillary is insane, so I don’t listen to her. She said Adelaide was the Manufacturing capital of the world. I love my country but get real.
Re Hillary: The first, of her hundreds (thousands?) of public lies, was in Australia or NZ. She claimed that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary of Mt. Everest fame. Problem: she was born two years before Sir Edmund’s feat and fame.
John, I was actually attempting to respond to your earlier point re Hillary, so I will attempt to combine both. Hillary has been an eager pointperson for Obama, whose own foreign policy has often been nebulous to the extreme (when he was not genuflecting to Arab potentates, post-Nobel).. Hillary was blindsided, quite obviously, by the Arab Spring, just as she was by what happened in Benghazi, and just as importantly, by what happened on 9/11 in hotspots around the Islamic world (no, it wasn’t just the Near East).
This is a woman who commands an enormous staff, many of whom are subject matter experts. She gets feeds from them daily, both from those at post and from those whose job it is to give her the Secretary’s Daily Report–her version of what the President gets. This includes reports from the various intelligence agencies. If she is uninformed, well, quite frankly, it’s her damned fault.
There has never been a Secretary in the history of this country who has jetted around as much as Hillary, and she has done it mainly to cause trouble, not solve it. Secretaries normally do not negotiate anything–they have trained professionals for that. So why does she behave this way?
It goes back to the Clinton era, I’m afraid, a time and place where nobody trusted anybody, and bodies of even formerly close friends became a fairly common roadside curiosity (hint: it wan’t just Vince Foster, but you can start from there, as well as the FBI files the Clintons kept, oh, and Mena, AK [CIA]). She/they still trust nobody aside from themselves, and look where it’s gotten them here…She had no background whatsoever in foreign relations before taking office. She did, however, do her senior thesis at Wellesley on the original community organizer (and Obama’s idol), Saul Alinsky.
As regards Egypt (or, for that matter, the rest of Northern Africa and areas under the influence of Islam for a thousand years or more)–well, what can one expect when we permit the forcible ejection of our own protected dictator, however nasty he might be, under the guise of a local uprising, and have nothing prepared to take his place? I’d be very surprised if they weren’t as surprised as I am. This has been a cumulatively clueless response from an administration dedicated to indecision internationally.
Seneca: Presuming to speak for Aziz and all of us commentators, Seneca, “where have you been all my life?” Whether your nom de net recalls the Roman philosopher and/or the Indian tribe, you observe, think and speak the truth*!
* I presume that you omitted mention of two “elephants in the (Hillary’s diplomatic career) room” because of space and focus. (1) Hillary’s ethics of ambition and exploitation, including but not limited to Whitewatergate, immaculate reappearance (of subpoenaed evidence and of Foster’s [altered] suicide note), FBIgate, blue dress expose, etc., etc. (2) Obama’s anti-USA and pro-Muslim/Russian/Venezuelan foreign policy.
We have an intriguing enigma — whereas Hillary, the stronger of the two Clinton “Partners in Power” (see book of same name), craves power and wealth for their own sake, equally megalomaniacal Obama appears dedicated to using power to replace democracy, liberty, and Judeo-Christian morality with Marxism, Sharia, racism and corruption. Is he?
The Politics of Law
“Business conflicts also encourage partners to go out on their own. Firms get so big that conflicts become unmanageable and partners turn down business because it might offend a high-revenue-generating client. “There’s a secret chamber of partners that make these decisions that have no basis in logic,” said Ifrah. While working on a large securities fraud case in California, he needed to subpoena banks, but the firm considered it adverse to potential future banking clients”
Plus, Gold Begins To Shine Again
Why gold is on the brink of an upsurge in one graph:
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In an interview with the BBC, Managing Director of RIM’s South Asia operations Hastings Singh said that the company will be launching BBM Money in Indonesia first beginning “shortly,” allowing anyone with a BlackBerry to transfer money directly to other BlackBerry owners.
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The most immediate need for a human is food and water and if Welfare States do erode then markets will highlight these 2 key points more and more. So what if people started to think about awakening to a day of work on the land to produce food? Is that horrible? Necessarily a backwards step from which we can never recover? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe understanding, or reminding ourselves of our relationship to nature, so that we are disabused of the foolish idea that we, the human beings of this Universe, can somehow surpass nature…will yield a healthier and more balanced society, one that seeks to co-operate with nature rather than rolling against the grain of things? If private private rules were assured, large farms would employ people, probably many people to help create food. That would not require slavery, or other horrible images of some farm owner whipping his employees, but could in fact entail quite the opposite.
“”The golden mean was the possesion of virtue AND the way to health. The general counsel of moderation could be taken as a given, but every individual was understood to be different, not just by possesing one of the four temperaments, but also by way of a unique personal history of transactions with the environment”
While the US and other countries warned Assad’s regime against the use of chemical weapons, the Atlantic reported Israel was ready to take a preemptive strike at the storage facilities before the nonconventional warheads fell into the wrong hands.
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