Thursday, January 03, 2019

Trump already backpeddling on Syria pullout

After promoting a 30 day timetable for pulling the paltry 2,000 US troops from Syria, Trump now says there's no definite timetable. The Pentagon is saying 'Oh, my goodness gracious, it'll take at least 120 days to prevent a slaughter of US troops from such a hasty retreat'. That is nonsense. The US has built small airfields within the illegal US zone and can ferry the troops to nearby, friendly US protectorate Iraq, with ease. As I predicted at the time of Trump's announcement, it's quite possible the US war party will delay, even quash the long overdue US withdrawal there. They view every country we invade as a 'roach motel': the troops go in...but never come out. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Troop withdrawal strips away secrecy of war party

After 17 years of murder, mayhem, $6 trillion and utter failure in the Middle East, one would surmise a groundswell of relief and support for the president's decision to withdraw all troops from Syria and half of the 14,000 in Afghanistan. Yet throughout Congress, the military, mainstream media there has been an avalanche of hysterical opposition from the entire left-right political spectrum. The most impassioned supporters of perpetual war on the right like Senator Lindsay Graham have been joined by otherwise progressive Democrats like Senator Chris Coons to argue for continued, that means endless, occupation. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC all trotted out their military and political commentators to trash the move as rash, un-vetted by our allies and the US establishment alike. Anti war critics, as usual, were largely ignored. What we're witnessing is the full frontal nudity of the US war party desperately trying to hang on to perpetual war which has made them rich and powerful. The president violated their cardinal rule to never withdraw from a perpetual war zone. His predecessor ended ground operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but left a contingent force of 'advisers', giving the lie to ending US military footprints there. Perpetual war is good for war party business. Consider US bomb makers who have supplied nearly 300,000 bombs dropped on the Middle East and Africa since 2001, helping kill about a hundred times more people than bad guys largely from and supported by our best weapons customer Saudi Arabia did on 911.
Getting out of one and possibly two of the many countries we defile with our bombs and our troops is the most important goal of the current initiative. Exposing the extent and ferocity of the war party which thrives on secrecy is a worthy side benefit.

'Mad Dog' no adult to venerate, support

The US war party has pounced on the president's forced resignation of Defense Secretary James 'Mad Dog' Mattis for opposing Trump's announced withdrawal of all troops in Syria and half the 14,000 in Afghanistan. They've cited Mattis' scathing letter of resignation hinting at virtual Trump treason over his alleged precipitous withdrawal not vetted by the foreign policy establishment, a.k.a. 'war party' as well as our 'allies'. Mattis is lauded as 'the last adult' in the Trump administration's foreign policy team. Former general Mattis is the last person in government I'd give credence to in his criticism of the long overdue withdrawal from 2 of the 7 Middle East and African countries we defile with our troops and our bombs. Mad Dog Mattis didn't get his moniker for its alliteration. He got it for being a ferocious lover of criminal war, helping kill hundreds of thousands and loving every minute of it. I'm not making that up. Listen to Mad Dog himself on his 22 years of fighting in and venerating senseless war.
“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”
“Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
“There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim. It’s really a hell of a lot of fun. You’re gonna have a blast out here!”
“I feel sorry for every son of a bitch that doesn’t get to serve with you.”
"I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you."
"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
"There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don't think you's just business."
Mad Dog pretty much summed up the war party's entire pushback to the troop withdrawal. It's just business.

Trump built his wall long ago

Trump started his wall in 2015 with a foundation of racism and Xenophobia, scurrilously hinting Obama was an African citizen and smearing the undocumented as murderers and rapists. He used bricks of lies, personal insults and chants of 'Lock her up' in an transparent pivot from his own illegalities and disgusting personality disorder. He decorated his wall with soon to be documented massive collusion with Eastern European oligarchs and political leaders, burying his wall subcontractors in subpoenas and jail cells. Now his back is stuck to his self destructive wall as he flails wildly to build a border wall no one except he and his dead-ender supporters want, whatever the cost to a functioning government. All Trump has succeeded in with his personal wall is walling himself off from reality, and quite possibly soon walling himself off from the presidency, if not his freedom.

Out of Africa

Does even one in a hundred Americans know about massive US military presence in Africa? Not likely, for two related reasons: Citizen apathy and concerted effort by mainstream media to keep America's Africa footprint hush, hush. Twelve years ago America set up the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) which is essentially a re-colonization of Africa such as the European heavyweights waged between 1880 and start of WWI. The US footprint is massive; $237 million this year, with another quarter billion earmarked just for a drone base in Niger, where 4 US soldiers needlessly died chasing imaginary bad guys. Presidential National Security Adviser John 'Bonkers' Bolton laughably claims humanitarian motives for US militarism, saving Africans from the China and Russia's predatory designs which Bolton claims stifles US investment and threatens US national security interests. What nonsense. The US is determined to rule Africa just as it determined to rule the Middle East. a 17 year policy of utter failure. AFRICOM's major engagement since its founding was its 2011 venture turning Libya into a failed state by helping rebels depose Libyan strongman Qaddafi. While US relies on militarism, China and Russia are investing in infrastructure and forgiving debt, something not in the US 'military only' playbook. AFRICOM loves perpetual war, bragging this month how four precision air strikes blew 62 imagined bad guys to smithereens. Trump and Bolton call their Africa policy 'Prosper Africa'. They cannot square that with troops on the ground in 30 African countries and drones endlessly dropping death from the skies. If the US cannot deal as legitimate business and cultural partners with African countries in need of development, they should simply, as the title of the 1985 Redford-Streep movie suggests, get 'Out of Africa'.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Syrian troop withdrawal right thing to do

I, along with every other member of the antiwar movement, applaud President Trump's decision to withdraw the remaining 2,000 US soldiers from Syria. We're not holding our breath, however, that he will actually complete this small step of ending one immoral, illegal and criminal US military intervention round the globe. Trump has reneged on doing what he announces, whether good or bad, more times than can be counted. The pushback from the war party, of which he heads up as president, has been ferocious. Military, media and congressional hawks are trumpeting doom and gloom as if the sky is falling from this proposed paltry pullout. But many of the half million killed, seven million displaced within Syria, and five million refugees are tied to US intervention in the 2011 Syrian civil war. Back in 2013 the US ratcheted up its involvement to prevent Syrian President Assad from defeating the rebels. We cared not a whit for the Syrian people. We cared about deposing Assad in our proxy war against Syria's neighboring allies Iran and Russia. Instead of being peacemakers, America extended with war for years. Even with the US now acknowledging Assad's victory with Russian help, the war party is loathe to remove a single soldier from any country we are practicing murder and mayhem. Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Niger are just the ones we know of. The resignation of hawkish Defense Secretary James Mattis within hours of the troop withdrawal decision, citing policy differences, does not bode well for completion of the announced troop withdrawal. But we peaceniks will, like Camus' figure in the Myth of Sisyphus, keep pushing that boulder of peace up the mountain from which it always rolls back down. Maybe with US troops in Syria, this time we'll get them over the mountain.