Elvis Has Left The Building

September 15, 2012 at 11:24 am | Posted in Foreign Affairs, Obama!, politics straight up, Reality Bites, State Department, terrorism | Leave a comment
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When I saw the story teaser — “Why Can’t Muslims Remain Calm?” — I was expecting more “they’re subhuman” bullshit that’s popular again after the killings of Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, and three members of his staff. The teaser misled me. This is the gist of the author’s argument:

Tombs of the Mamluk Sultanate (photo c1867-1899, courtesy of Library of Congress)

“This week’s events have certainly reminded us that there are Americans who hate Muslims, and there are Muslims who hate Americans. And if friendship between Egypt and the United States is contingent upon no American ever saying anything that will offend the religious sensibilities of Egyptians, then it is time to declare that friendship dead. President Obama can no more control anti-Muslim bigotry in America than President Mohammed Morsi can put a lid on anti-Americanism in his country. But the haters don’t have to win the day. In this, Egyptians (and, more importantly, their political leaders) could take a lesson from the United States.”

While I believe the author is correct that the American government led by President Obama has reacted in a measured way to recent events, he gives Americans too much credit. America only appears to be better behaved.

Just as politicians and political actors in Egypt and Libya are playing on emotions to control power, the Bush/Cheney administration used the emotions of the American people after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to justify what turned out to be an enormously expensive (both in money and lives) yet ultimately failed attempt to move Iraq’s assets into the hands of a small group of people. Americans aren’t marching in the streets, throwing rocks at foreign embassies, but we don’t have to. We outsource the violence. We can — and do — sit comfortably in our Barca loungers while drones drop bombs on the people we hate. Americans are, in the end, no more adult than Egyptians or Libyans. We are just as easily manipulated by those who foment hate as a means to their particular end.

Wankers Whipping Up Fear

August 23, 2012 at 12:15 am | Posted in civil rights, elections, health, terrorism | Leave a comment
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Why is the Obama Administration negotiating with terrorists?

November 17, 2010 at 10:15 am | Posted in Bush, Foreign Affairs, Obama!, politics straight up, Reality Bites, terrorism | Leave a comment
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"Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Gas demonstration. Reconditioning gas masks at the gas mask factory." 1942 June. Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

The Obama administration and Congressional Democrats still don’t understand that Republicans don’t care if they destroy the country, whether it be by foreign or domestic means.

Because a police state is so much better than a nanny state.

Well, better for the terrorists anyway.

Relationship FAIL

November 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Bush, terrorism | Leave a comment
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"Mother listening to son read. Sarasota trailer park, Sarasota, Florida." January 1941. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer. Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

(NYPost) George W. Bush’s pro-life stance solidified when he was a teenager in Texas — after his mother suffered a devastating miscarriage and showed him the fetus in a jar, the former president said in an extraordinary interview that airs tonight.

“She said to her teenage kid, ‘Here’s the fetus,’ ” the shockingly candid Bush told NBC’s Matt Lauer, gesturing as if he were holding the jar during the TV chat, a DVD of which The Post exclusively obtained.

“There’s no question that affected me, a philosophy that we should respect life,” said the former president, who had to drive his distraught mother to the hospital at the time.

[snip]

But “the purpose of the story wasn’t to try show the evolution of a pro-life point of view,” Bush insisted to Lauer.

“It was really to show how my mom and I developed a relationship.”

“I ain’t marching any more”

November 6, 2010 at 7:00 am | Posted in Department of Defense, Reality Bites, terrorism, torture | Leave a comment
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Hey, Mr. President, you were wondering why there’s an “enthusiasm gap”?

June 16, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Posted in civil rights, Foreign Affairs, Obama!, politics straight up, Reality Bites, terrorism | Leave a comment
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This is not what I voted for.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Following Rules of War American style: Shoot first, lie about it later.

April 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Department of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Reality Bites, terrorism, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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On July 12, 2007 Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh and nine others, including two children, were killed by a U.S. helicopter strike in Baghdad. The American military authorities claimed they were armed insurgents.

“There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,” said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad.

WikiLeaks, their Freedom of Information Act request stonewalled by the Defense Department, has obtained video from unnamed military sources that clearly shows that the people targeted and killed in cold blood were not carrying, and certainly not firing, AK-47s or RPGs.

I can only hope that the people who committed this atrocity are haunted by their crime because they will certainly never be held accountable.

UPDATE: If you don’t believe your lying eyes and think that this film was edited in some way to make the US military look bad, go here to see the full, unedited video.

UPDATE: Josh Stieber, a former US Army solider, deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008 as a member ofBravo Company 2-16 — the same Company as the infantry ground soldiers involved in the Apache helicopter attack — spoke with Glenn Greenwald about the video and “compellingly explains how the incident depicted there — from the initial killing of the Reuters journalist to the shooting of unarmed rescuers to the language used by the pilots — was anything but rare; it was extremely common.”

Kill The Pigs!

March 28, 2010 at 1:58 am | Posted in health, terrorism | 1 Comment
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Apparently Ted Nugent is under the mis-impression that the Affordable Care Act creates universal, single-payer health care.

And yeah, I can’t imagine how anyone would be upset by a discussion of killing pigs with a bullet through the head and declaring that the president, members of the House and Senate and his fellow Americans are pigs and should be taken out and shot. Oh, yeah, no, that was definitely satire.

Personally, I think Nugent’s speech and that of his fellow travelers (I’m looking at you, Sarah Palin — wink, wink) is terrorism:

Terrorism (noun)

  1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
  2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
  3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Back in June 2009 Canada was considering a law allowing victims of terrorism to sue perpetrators of the attacks and their supporters. I can’t imagine there would be a prohibition against suing terrorists here in the United States. I hope Roger Ailes, Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, John McCain and a large number of leading Republicans are putting money aside to pay judgments against them when the time comes.

Thanks to Crooks & Liars for the video.

How’s that airport security working out?

February 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Posted in Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, public safety, terrorism | Leave a comment
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A Delta Airlines jet is inspected on the tarmac at Narita international Airport outside Tokyo Sunday after a dead body was discovered in the landing gear bay. Jiji/Getty

(NYDailyNews) Japanese authorities were seeking American help Monday to identify a body found in the landing gear compartment of a plane that arrived in Tokyo from New York.

A mechanic made the grim discovery after Delta Flight 59 landed at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport about 6:05 p.m. local time Sunday, a Chiba prefecture police spokesman said.

(BusinessWeek) Tarmacs are supposed to be protected against intruders, so a man climbing onto the plane would have breached security wherever the incident began. The case highlights a possible weak spot in the safety crackdown ordered after a Nigerian man tried to blow up a Detroit-bound Delta flight on Dec. 25

Ya think?

Chilcot Hearings on Iraq War

January 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Bush, Foreign Affairs, Historical, terrorism, torture | Leave a comment
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Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Arsacids and of the Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia, now Iraq. c1932 (Library of Congress)

Wufnik at Scholars and Rogues has been doing regular posts on the goings on at the Chilcot hearings on the Iraq war that are well worth a read.

The first post in which Wufnik talks about the inquiry is Christmas music (9)–Best English folk/indie/whatever Christmas album, then Stout Denial, More Chilcot, Blogging Blair and Blogging Blair (2).

The British Government has a website for the Iraq Inquiry that has video, transcripts and background documents.

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