Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Madness not entertaining for beleaguered Mosul residents

March Madness may be fervently followed by tens of millions in the US, but the Mosul, Iraq, version is a real killer the residents wish would go away. Unlike the 64 teams in the US edition, March Madness in Mosul involves an average of 500 bombs raining down on civilians there weekly, killing 300 in one just one bomb run. Bombing is way up in the last two months since new US military commander Trump has gruesomely fulfilled his pledge to unleash the full firepower of the world's most prolific military in criminal wars. Even the Iraqi government, approving US mass murder of the civilians it's trying to win back from ISIS, has scaled back their offensive over the bloodbath both are perpetuating there. We know who the Final Four teams are in the US March Madness. But we many never know who are the Final Four civilians still standing after Trump is done leveling the place in defense of the indefensible.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Only a war crime when others slaughter civilians

At his Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State recently, Rex Tillerson was asked by Sen. Marco Rubio “Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?”. Rubio was referring to Russia's bombing of Allepo in support of the Syrian government in their civil war against ISIS, which killed many civilians trapped in that beleaguered city. Of course, Rubio didn't give a damn about those dead, merely seeking to embarrass Tillerson and his boss Trump over their tilt toward Russia which doesn't play well with the US political establishment bent on re-igniting the Cold War against Putin and his Russian Bear. How so? Neither Rubio, nor any pretend humanitarian in government will ask whether the US is guilty of war crimes over their recent bombing of Iraq's Mosul that killed 300 civilians, many buried under the rubble our bombs caused. The similarities don't end with the dead. Like Russia, we've injected ourselves in a civil war on behalf of duly elected government, against rebels with no legitimacy, just a desire to take over to implement their own version of authoritarianism. 

The Mosul bombing is not an outlier. We've been killing untold thousands of civilians all over the Middle East and Africa for the past 16 years since the 911 attacks. We haven't reeked enough vengeance against the Muslim world and likely never will. Maybe to remind everyone burying their heads in the Kardashians or Dancing With The Stars of our true calling, we should alter one line in the Star Spangled Banner thusly: "And the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through  the night, that we're still the most violent country on the face of the earth."    

Monday, March 27, 2017

We need translator for Roskam's gobbledygook on failed GOP health bill

Questioned on conservative talk radio about the failed GOP American Health Care Act, which he's lusted 9 years to vote for, my congressman Peter Roskam said this:
“I don’t think the health care discussion is over by a long shot. One of the reasons we're in this complicated, difficult place is if you reflect back the GOP has never put together what it’s for in a healthcare bill. It’s never passed out of the aspirational. We’ve never wrestled with what the actual bill would look like. The repeals have been easy to vote for. I think we have to pass an aspirational bill -- one that puts the marker out there for what we want and all that we stand for on health care.”
Vintage Roskamspeak, sounding thoughtful but utterly devoid of substance or good governance. Let me translate for those not versed in Roskamspeak:
"Our sixty NO votes on the Affordable Care Act were meaningless gestures to placate our heartless base. We have no clue how to deliver health care to all since that starts with a non-starter: Medicare for All. Our bill wasn't aspirational enough. It didn't toss more off the insurance rolls than the 14 million in the first year. It didn't funnel enough wealth from the truly needy to the truly greedy.It may be a long, hard slog...but we're gonna keep tryin'.