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It has been more than five years since LondonYank last posted a diary on DailyKos.  I thought I would write one now as a retrospective on why I used to blog almost daily here.  I believed then that it might matter.  It didn't.

In 2004 I blogged almost daily about the fraudulent attempts of the Bush administration to fabricate justifications for the Iraq War.  It was transparent to me then that Judith Miller of the New York Times was a shill, hanging with the Bushistas at the Aspen Institute, holidaying at Cheney's ranch, and writing to order about anthrax and chemical weapons.  It was transparent to me that Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress was a CIA tool, convicted embezzler, fraudster and counterfeiter who had produced documents and witnesses to Saddam's tyranny for his paymasters in the Bush administration.  It was transparent to me that the Niger uranium forgeries came from the same SISMI-Michael Ledeen intelligence channel that had been used to fabricate terrorism to order in Europe and the Middle East for more than three decades.  

In the "you're either with us or with the terrorists" days following 9/11 it didn't matter that I was right.  I was a conspiracy theorist.  Our government wouldn't lie to us about something as important as war.  DailyKos gave me a place to write the truth, where people who read it could consider it, and we could discuss it together.  That was terribly important to me then, and I am grateful.

But almost exactly the same patterns of faked evidence and fraudulent blame are obvious over the past five Obama years in US war-mongering for Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Iran.  And I shrug.  I don't bother writing.  I don't bother documenting the frauds.  It won't matter any more now than it did under Bush.

When American presidents want a war, they get a war.  The American people define themselves by having enemies.  They need them.  They will always create them to order as needed.

I was invited to speak on a panel at an IT event last month about blogging because I once had a big following.  Some of my diaries on DailyKos had more than 500,000 hits - more than the circulation of the New York Times.  It made me think about why I had written so much, and why I had stopped.  I looked back on the diaries I had written here, and I was proud of the quality and the style for the most part, but it didn't evoke any desire to write again.

During the panel discussion I was asked why I would write about war given it had no connection to my own life.  I said that it bothered me that there were only 30,000 proveable Iraqi deaths attributed to Saddam Hussein before 2003, whereas there were more than 1 million proveable Iraqi deaths attributed to the Iraq War and more than 5 million refugees forced to flee the war in Iraq.  I said I was proud of having documented CIA rendition flights when the US media was still refusing to cover the story.  Someone in the audience squeaked, "Can we not discuss politics?  Can we please move on?"  I smiled and said, "Sure."   We moved on.  She proved my point.  

My being right is now irrelevant and was irrelevant when I was writing as LondonYank.  My knowing more than my audience only made them uncomfortable.  They didn't want the truth in 2003.  They don't want the truth now.

I am still writing about war, but the wars I am writing about now happened in 1066 AD and in 55 BC.  I am happier writing about William the Conqueror and Julius Caesar.  It doesn't matter any more than writing about current events.  It doesn't matter less either.

BLOGSWARM: Nixon Era Hank Paulson
Bandar Bush the Black Ops Bagman
Informants and Instigators
BBC News: 3 CIA Black Ops Assassins at RFK Assassination
Robert Gates Promoted and Financed Osama Bin Laden
Prince of Darkness: Iraq Canvas "Simply Too Small"
Bush/Blair Agreed Lebanon War BEFORE Kidnaps?
Aspens Hobbling the UN with Oil-For-Food Forgeries
Ahmad Chalabi Wins the Iraq War!  Iraqis Lose.
The Pentagon in One Pocket, the CIA in Another
Vegetarians Attack Sears Tower
Bush's Felon Job Placement Program
Guantanamo Baywatch - Satire On The Bush Blair Axis

I do want to acknowledge that I had Kossacks as friends I valued.  
Soonergrunt: "My watch shot off my wrist"

Originally posted to LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (127+ / 0-)

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

    by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:07:32 AM PST

  •  Well, you are wrong. Writing about Iraq (31+ / 0-)

    did matter. Without the truth being told, the U.S. would not have elected Barack Obama on the promise to withdraw U.S. troops from that benighted country. Because, you see, the original agenda was to establish permanent military bases from which the eastern hemisphere could be monitored and "stabilized." That was what the Pentagon planned for after the U.S. military was excluded from Saudi Arabia and Clinton high tailed it out of Somalia at the first sign of trouble.

    Somebody flew over Iraq, saw all that "empty" land in Al Anbar and decided that plain would be ideal for American bases with all the artificial amenities of home. That's why some of the first bombs in the invasion were dropped in that no-man's land, which was actually home to a million sheep and their migratory owners.
    There's probably also oil under them thar sands, but that's a secondary matter. People can't drink oil, but they do eat sheep and use the wool for their rugs and tents.

    Yes, over a million Iraqis were killed prematurely. But, in the end we are all dead. What counts more is that the invader was sent packing by people with minimal access to technology -- IEDs detonated by cell phones and drones brought down by hand-held arms.

    What still needs to happen is that the attrocities be exposed. We owe that to the families of the victims over there and to the troops who were forced to commit those attrocities because they had hired on to obey their superiors. Ordering others to commit attrocities is, IMHO, the worst crime and the people who did that need to be held to account, especially since we have all the pictorial evidence. All we need is for a Congress of conscientious people to investigate and expose. I think we owe that to the troops. The President cannot embargo the evidence for ever.

    What's to be the disposition of secret evidence? Shall it be disposed of, as were the CIA's interrogation tapes, or shall it be made public, once the chances of revenge are sufficiently lessened?

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:28:10 AM PST

    •  I wish you were right (34+ / 0-)

      I gave up on 21st January 2008 when the newly sworn in President Obama confirmed Robert Gates as Defense Secretary.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 06:24:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah... (24+ / 0-)

        ...things never seem to change, but they do--slowly. I've an example that you can certainly appreciate:

        I was laughed at near the beginning of the term in a graduate class I was taking on Middle English. I had asked when it appeared. The professor smiled and said, "1066, of course." The class cracked up.

        But Middle English was the product of centuries of a dual Norman French and Anglo-Saxon culture in England. It didn't "really" appear until the 14th century, hundreds of years after the Conqueror. There's no real change that happens quickly. Only surface change can. Obama may have looked like change, but he is not... at least, he is not fast change.

        You know all of this, quite clearly (I was among that crowd who read your posts, so I know just how extensive and accurate your knowledge is). But it does bear repeating.

        •  To people circa 1078 or so, (4+ / 0-)

          it probably seemed as if the world was changing at warp speed.

          We're all in the middle of it now, real time 24/7, and so we see only incremental change at best and say that nothing's happening. But a bit more time may give better perspective.

          OTOH, I'm not convinced that Obama, whatever his intentions, could have implemented drastic and immediate change. Not with the forces arrayed against him and the conditions established by the Cheney-Bush crowd. Look at the resistance to something as benign as a tiny bit of health insurance for most -- then imagine the shrieks and cries and rended garments had he tried to do sweeping shifts in international situations. I doubt he'd have lasted the week.

          Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

          by Mnemosyne on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 06:26:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Who better than Gates to help down-size (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, FishOutofWater, duhban, MKSinSA

        the Pentagon? Gates is an organization man. The kerfuffle over his recent book is designed to get readers.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:38:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  hannah is no administration apologist (9+ / 0-)

            Gates did scale back the Pentagon.

            Obama has slowly and cautiously backed us away from the disastrous overcommitments made by Bush & Cheney.  Of course, I understand many here think he has been too slow and cautious.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:17:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was responding primarily to the claim (8+ / 0-)

              about the content of his book.

              I never had any illusions about quick exits or Gitmo closings - I never believed that Obama would have the experience or prowess to pull radical or fast change off.

              However, I was hopeful before the start of his Presidency that he might select his military strategists from the Democratic rather than the Republican team.  

              Gates' book was basically a foregone conclusion the minute Obama asked him to remain.  The only reason that we haven't seen something along the same lines from Petraeus is that he left under a cloud of disgrace.  

              There were a number of high ranking military officials that resigned under the Bush Administration out of protest over the Iraq War.  That's the pool from which I would have drawn.

              There's a lot of rationalization that goes on around here wrt this Administration especially on the military front.  People have a right to their opinion, but I definitely think that claiming that Gates is just trying to sell books completely underestimates the very serious problem we have amongst the high ranks of our military.  Gates' comments in his book and the timing of his book make it pretty clear to me that he does not hold civilian leadership in anything near high regard.  He calls Snowden a traitor effortlessly and without even thinking about it while it is perfectly clear that the man has little regard for democratically elected officials.

              I am one of the few people around here who doesn't really feel all that protective of the President.  I am not personally wounded by Gates' remarks about Obama, Clinton or Biden.  I am outraged by his attitude towards democracy and scandalized by his decision to publish the book before the sitting President has left office.  But I am not surprised because he is a Republican and the Bushies picked their insiders carefully - also not surprised because he clearly does not believe in democracy - if he did, he would not have published his book at this juncture in history.  Whatever Obama's motives were in continuing to keep Bushies around his Administration, it wasn't super smart on his part.

              Befriending a bunch of snakes thinking that they would not attack was dumb.  Five years this has gone on and here we all sit acting like it is okay - like it is good enough.  Those are the lies we tell ourselves - at our peril.  It is not good enough.

        •  Talk accountability (5+ / 0-)

          but then shrug at an old Iran-Contra hand held over from Bush 43?

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:55:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I just want you to Know LondonYank (11+ / 0-)

        Your diaries helped keep me sane, informed and politically active during  an insane time. I know it's not much but THANK YOU!

        by ctkeith on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:40:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We saw the handwriting on the wall (6+ / 0-)

        right after the election when he chose Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff.  But an earlier indication was his position reversal on FISA.  A alarm bell went off.  Even though he kept saying the "right things," during the campaign, there was no way to turn off that little bell that kept ringing in the back of my mind.

      •  I agree with Hannah. Blogging mattered. It is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, NonnyO

        getting more difficult for the PTB to lie to us.   People know they lied, and now they don't believe their lies about Syria and Iran.  

        I blogged against the Syria hype, and I almost got kicked off this site for allegations of CT, but I proved that what I wrote was true, and I'm still here.  The people who unfairly attacked me have taken a blow, not me.  The truth is very powerful.

        As time goes on, more and more people get it.  Crying CT is no longer an effective means to silence people, but is now considered a sketchy thing to do.  The propagandists will have to come up with another campaign to shut us up.  Crying CT is going the way of crying "Commie Red" and "witch" now.

        This is a struggle.  Nothing is easy.  Ending slavery wasn't instantaneous, but now we have an AA President.  

        I'm glad that many people kept fighting the good fight.  I will fight against the war propaganda my entire life, just like many women fought for me to vote and never lived to vote themselves.  I am grateful to them.

        Please, don't let the idiots get you down.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:22:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think that is entirely accurate. While (6+ / 0-)

      Bush wanted to extend the the troop withdrawal deadline
      But Maliki would not extend the agreement guaranteeing U.S. Troops would MIT be prosecuted for performing their duties.

      "The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: "Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq") was a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.[1] The pact required criminal charges for holding prisoners over 24 hours, and required a warrant for searches of homes and buildings that were not related to combat.[1] U.S. contractors working for U.S. forces would have been subject to Iraqi criminal law, while contractors working for the State Department and other U.S. agencies would retain their immunity. If U.S. forces committed still undecided "major premeditated felonies" while off-duty and off-base, they would have been subjected to an undecided procedures laid out by a joint U.S.-Iraq committee if the U.S. certified the forces were off-duty."

      Bush signed the new SOFA with Maliki in December of 2008 that guaranteed that all U.S. Troops would be out of Iraq by December if 2011. If I recall correctly,President Obama sought an extension but was denied it by Maliki

      •  Bush signed the SOFA much in the same way (8+ / 0-)

        Congress passed Dodd-Franks, in the expectation that after the new Congress was seated, the commitments would be revised or rescinded. The election in 2008 went wrong. What Barack Obama requested, after already having committed to no permanent bases in Iraq, was to placate the war hawks (who continued to claim that the U.S. was in Iraq at the invitation of their leaders) and let Maliki get the credit for standing up to the invaders.
        Since setting up the bases had never been publicly proclaimed as an objective, they were easy to give up. The only thing permanent in Iraq is the monstrous embassy, which was obviously designed to serve as a satellite download and data analysis facility, with eight foot thick concrete walls to deter interception, and may still be a sort of NSA East, for all we know.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:34:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It didn't matter what our Congress did. The Iraqis (14+ / 0-)

          said 'no.' So we had to get out, end of story.

          Bush signed the agreement to get out, Obama had no choice. He did have a choice to not transfer troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, but he 'surged' anyway. Since, massive malnutrition has returned to Afghanistan, poppy dealing has risen by orders of magnitude, and in addition to the Afghanis, the Pakistanis hate us as well.

          Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

          by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:39:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most of the Middle East hates us... (9+ / 0-)

            Israel - They cannot build new settlements in Palestinian territory without getting chewed on (even if it slightly) by the US.
            Iraq - We murdered their citizens - enough said
            Afghanistan - We toppled their government, murdered citizens, bombed their daily activities by drone...
            Pakistan - Bombed by drone.  Invaded by US forces on a near daily basis.
            Iran - We setup the Shah, who was brutal.  Interfered with their daily lives with sanctions.
            Saudi Arabia - Support a brutal family in charge.
            Somalia - US Spying and support programs divided a country.

            Do I need to go on...  

            "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

            by doingbusinessas on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:06:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If tomorrow's headline were "Al Qaeda Moles Set US (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LondonYank, divineorder, on the cusp

              Foreign / Military Policy" I don't see how anyone could claim to be surprised.

              Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

              by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:01:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Agree with your list except for what (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sharon Wraight, LondonYank

              you say about Israel.  They deserve to be chewed on for building new settlements.  More than chewed on, IMHO.

              We've been meddling and interfering in the Middle East--including the establishment of Israel and the redrawing of other political boundaries--since WW I and are reaping the harvest of anger and resentment these policies and actions have caused.

              •  True, tho it was a 'snake-pit' before us & w/o us. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Heart of the Rockies, Garrett

                I'm certainly not defending many (most?) US policies in the Middle East -- they include some of the stupidest, most short-sighted, and self-defeating actions the US has engaged in, anywhere. :-)  And Israeli 'settlements' (aka expansion, irredentism) make things worse for pretty much everyone.

                I've been reading some of the tribal histories of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula states, and I lived/traveled there for 4 years (working in a dozen or so countries). There was no shortage of anger and resentment among various Arab families, clans, 'houses', tribes, regions, states, etc., before the US got involved, and without our involvement. Their history is replete with intra-family violent factions (son vs father, competing brothers, nephews vs uncles, etc.), tribal factions (the least interesting form of political conflict, to me, based on personal loyalties), and shifting alliances.

                Just one notable example: the founding monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz, conquered various other tribal chieftains with the help of the ultra-religious Ikwhan bedouin militia. (The Ikhwan are ideological/religious forebears of what we tend to call Salafi/Wahhabi/MB. Ikhwan = إخوان = Brothers...) His clan/house had fled Riyadh when the Al Rashid clan invaded, and the Sauds then moved to present-day Kuwait for 10 years, supporting themselves by... raids on various traders in what we now call Saudi Arabia (but I suppose was then "Rashidi Arabia.") So Abdulaziz came from a family of caravan thieves. Really. This is merely one generation ago, from the current 'exalted' absolutist monarchy. After he'd consolidated power over various tribes, in what some now call the Third Saudi State, the Ikhwan revolted against him. But by that time he commanded enough other forces to crush the Ikhwan (but then reorganized them into the National Guard, one of 3 Saudi military branches). And so on...

                (Then there's the Shia-Sunni split, which [very roughly] makes the Catholic-Protestant 30 Years War pale in comparison. Another story...)

                In such a factional and violent political environment, even normal diplomacy tends to be viewed as 'taking sides' or 'intervening'.

                Again, the US has been really stupid about much of this -- we tend to listen to the most glib, facile speakers who know how to lie to us with conviction. Ahmed Chalabi comes immediately to mind, but there are many more. E.g. Mohammed Magariaf who allegedly took CIA money in the 1980s to kill Gaddafi, failed miserably, kept much of the money for himself, re-emerged well after Gaddafi was overthrown in 2012 (i.e. after the blood was shed, not risking his own), sweet-talked his way into becoming interim head-of-state for 9 months (despite his faction receiving only 3 of 59 seats), spent most of his effort trying to get his man appointed as Minister of Oil (no $urpri$e why), then fed the US GOP with lies after the Benghazi attack, by blaming Al Qaeda on US TV (when it turns out Susan Rice was telling the truth after all).  

                •  Thanks for the info. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sharon Wraight, LondonYank

                  I just started reading the relatively new book titled "Lawrence in Arabia."  It focuses on a handful of individuals who played  outsized roles in the Middle East post WW I.  T. E. Lawrence, as the title indicates, is a major focus of the book, but certainly not the only one.  Tribal/clan rivalries already a theme, even though I am barely into the book.

              •  I agree they need to be chewed on quite a bit (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LondonYank, Heart of the Rockies

                for building in the Palestinian areas.

                What I am attempting to say is that Israel is not "happy" that we condemn them for building there.  

                "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

                by doingbusinessas on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 01:18:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Bused signed the agreement. The current (7+ / 0-)

          administration was still negotiating for  a troop extension in 2011, which Maliki denied. I would flatly state that if Maliki said yes, we we would still have a substantial troop presence there.

    •  I wrote Today in Iraq . . . (27+ / 0-)

      for many years. We had tens of thousands of visits every day, including Riverbend and other Iraqis who often commented, along with U.S. troops and their families. But people in the U.S. lost interest in the Iraq war long before the U.S. withdrawal.

      When the last U.S. troops left, we continued the blog, but shifted focus to Afghanistan. We're still doing it, if people are interested, at Today in Afghanistan. That is truly the forgotten war, I wish people would pay attention.

      •  Your mistake was in looking at the numbers. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, divineorder, tikkun

        I have no idea how many people, other than my youngest son and the spouse, read hannah blog. Even the elder son, who administers it, admits to not ever reading. However, when it occasionally crashes for no apparent reason, he associates it with lots of visits from Koch industries and some signal corp down in Alabama. But then, the Koch brother are notoriously thin-skinned publicity addicts. :)

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:45:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Where is Riverbend today? (16+ / 0-)

        She fled with her brother to Syria when Baghdad became uninhabitable under the US occupation.  

        Then we put Syria into play and she had to flee again.

        You made me look to see where she is and how she is.  I just read her last post from 2013 and it makes what I have written above look optimistic.

        Baghdad Burning by Riverbend

        "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

        by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:51:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We put Syria into play? (5+ / 0-)

          So the conflict in Syria is manufactured by the US?

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:59:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Duh (21+ / 0-)

            Oh, gee, I guess I neglected to blog about that.  

            Look at the funding of the Syrian opposition, and the nationalities, and you'll see the same pattern of Saudi funding and Pakistani/Egyptian fighters that we've used so often elsewhere - for example Libya just before Syria. (And, of course, 9/11 hijackers in USA)  Many of the "insurgents" just shifted from Libya to Syria on orders of their paymasters once we decided Libya had been "won".

            One of the complaints of Christian Syrians forced to flee as refugees was that it was mostly foreigners who were attacking their neighbourhoods and killing them to create the sympathy needed in US and UK press accounts for intervention.

            "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

            by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:07:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Amazing, isn't it. (13+ / 0-)

              People don't see the obvious. Like us finding an excuse to have Patriots in Turkey and Jordan. Our media once again doing the bidding of the warmongerers and calling the uprising 'peaceful' while armed groups were killing.

              I couldn't stand to read Western media.

              And Hillary, who did everything in her power to keep things in motion, is now the leading contender for the Presidency.

            •  It's so easy and comforting really (17+ / 0-)

              to see these things in black and white.

              You note earlier that you had not been in the region, yet you were "right about everything". Well, I work in the region, and all I see are shades of grey. Some of my friends in Baghdad are sympathetic to the Assad regime, because they see the rebels as linked to the Sunni insurgency in Iraq which continues to set off bombs in their city. One dear friend is a doctor who fought Saddam as a teenager in the 91 rebellion. He is a devout (Shi'a) Muslim, who has a nuanced view of the US role in Iraq. He doesn't think the US is trying to control Iraq's oil wealth and thinks that the motivations for the war were complex - some good, some bad, but that the actual US policy in Iraq was incompetent. He's not so nuanced on Syria, and shared Glenn Beck on his FB page spouting conspiracy theories about how Obama is a secret Muslim supporting al Qaeda. His perspective on Iraq is different from yours, but on Syria, it's similar: Obama has taken sides and is actually an ally of al Qaeda.

              And then there's a former co-worker of mine in the US, who was born in Syria and strongly protested the US invasion of Iraq. He returned to Syria and joined the opposition. He has turned from an opponent of intervention to someone who is horrified and incredulous that the Obama Administration failed to respond militarily to chemical weapons attacks in the very neighborhood in which he was born. If you ask him whether the US is trying to destabilize Syria as part of a wider effort to maintain control over the Middle East, per your conspiracy theory, he will look at you like you are crazy. He just wishes that the US would give a flying f@ck about Syria. He is closer to the conflict, and he sees the Obama Administration motivated primarily by a desire to avoid another war, and if anything, way too accommodating of the Assad/Iran side of the conflict.

              What we have here is a very complicated conflict resulting not just from US imperialism, but from pre-existing ethnosectarian differences exacerbated by arbitrary borders and a very rough transition from a highly developed but pre-modern Ottoman Empire. Add to that regional competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with the end of the Cold War and gradual decay of Arab Nationalist one-party states, and competition over who gets to control or protect oil, and you get a very messy situation instead. Its easier and more comforting to blame the war on neocolonialism, simplify it to proxy forces trained by the US to take control over oil resources, and feel anguish about discerning the pattern but having no power to influence the outcome. I would suggest that you actually spend time in Iraq, Lebanon or Syria, but there are already too many people there already who were "right on everything" and quite convinced that these conflicts are easily explained by one conspiracy theory or another, or easily resolved once the US gets out.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:25:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think that it is safe to say that it is a very (7+ / 0-)

                long list of competing screwed up factors that contributes to the continued instability in the Middle East and Central Asia.

                One or another aspect of the dynamics at play usually comes to the fore when one or another competing faction is dominating.  

                Bush's invasion of Iraq under false premises and with fantastical prognostications about being greeted with flowers is not a conspiracy theory.  It is history - real and factual history.  Bush-Cheney are not men of conscience who set out to free anyone.  They certainly do not hold any high regard for democracy.  They were motivated by power and greed as they and their band of political and military thieves always were.

                I think that it is safe to say that Cheney, et al had designs on Iraq's oil; that the US has contributed greatly to instability in these regions; but these regions have made themselves vulnerable, too in many, many ways.

                ivorybill, I know that you work hard in the region and I applaud you for that.  I am grateful, actually.  But the only thing I really know is this political and cultural environment and that's where my focus is.  I don't think that we are helping the world.  I think that the US is lost and needs to get itself back together before we have any real credibility to tell anyone else what they need to do.  I think that the overwhelming support of the Iraq War in this country was proof positive that our country lacks empathy.  I am not an isolationist, but I do believe that we should try a lot harder to think about the phrase, "first do no harm" before we go off all half cocked and bang up countries killing millions of people in the name of freedom - something we hardly understand anymore here much less in the context of a completely foreign country and culture.

                I would say that we could debate the relative impact of all of the competing issues, and think that that is a more productive conversation.

              •  Amen. (& rAmen ;-) ) nt (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Heart of the Rockies
            •  We agreed on Iraq; but u lost me on Syria, Libya & (5+ / 0-)

              and Iran.

              Yes, the main funders of Syrian rebels are Saudi Arabia and Qatar (their governments and private individuals -- much of the latter and some of the former going to extremist/Al Qaeda linked groups). US funding (of different rebel groups) came later, is relatively smaller, not highly lethal, and has been scaled back. Saudi and Qatar are ostensibly US allies, but we disagree on many issues, and they are not US puppets. They have their own agenda and their own reasons for funding extremists in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and this is not some n-dimensional US strategy. Saudi Arabia is livid about the US opening with Iran, even allying with Israel against Iran. Kerry is now urging rebel groups to attend peace talk meetings with the Assad regime (which is the only realistic alternative to an extremist takeover, with no guarantee of success). Rebel extremist attacks on Syrian Christians (and others) played against those who wanted a US military strike on the Assad regime (because such a strike favored rebels).

              In Libya, are you suggesting that the US deliberately funded extremist groups such as those who attacked our consulate and killed Amb. Chris Stevens? That would break credulity.

              The Obama Admin was poised to attack Syria after the chemical weapons attacks. Obama punted the decision to Congress in part because 80% of the US public opposed it -- which in turn was in partly a reaction to a (belated) learning from the dismal experience in Iraq, and the exposure of Bush's lies (WMD, yellowcake, aluminum tubes, mobile weapons trucks, etc. etc. etc.). That delay with Syria provided an opening for Putin, Rouhani, Kerry, Assad, etc. to cobble together a face-saving "out".

              Regarding Iran, despite the efforts to scuttle diplomacy by AIPAC and Senators Schumer, Menendez, Kirk, Booker (that b@$t@rd), Gillibrand, and others with a large (and Persiaphobic) Jewish constituency, Obama and Kerry are pushing ahead with negotiations, in the biggest breakthrough in US-Iran relations since the 1970s.

              Obama failed to make as much progress as I'd like on several issues, but things have changed in the past five years and it's been far better than a (*shudder*) McCain-Palin or Romney-Ryan presidency.

          •  Well, our Beneficent, Democracy-loving friends, (12+ / 0-)

            the Saudis helped. You know, the guys who fund terrorism around the world on a scale unmatched by anyone else; the guys who have 27 pages in the Congressional 9/11 report which the American people aren't allowed to see? But Congressmen who have done so, say the American people would be furious if we did?

            BTW, see the latest from the head of the UN Mission to Syria. About how the missiles used in the attack that we were about to use as a pretext for war have a two mile range, and the Assad didn't control territory that close, but rebels did.

            McClatchy reports:

            A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

            Separately, international weapons experts are puzzling over why the rocket in question – an improvised 330mm to 350mm rocket equipped with a large receptacle on its nose to hold chemicals – reportedly did not appear in the Syrian government’s declaration of its arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and apparently was not uncovered by OPCW inspectors who believe they’ve destroyed Syria’s ability to deliver a chemical attack.

            The carousel is the carousel. The ponies each look different, but the ride keeps going to the same place.

            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:49:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Safari Club, etc. (19+ / 0-)

              When black ops were outlawed during the Carter administration, Bush '41 (then CIA director), Kissenger, Goss, Gates, etc. allegedly struck a deal with the Saudis, Pakistanis, Egyptians and Iranians that they would procure terrorism and assassinations to order in exchange for military/foreign development funding.  The arrangements were based on the success of the earlier Safari Club.  That's why so many ties between Middle East "allies" and events in Central and South America in the 1980s.  Prince Turki actually confirmed this in a public speech after he was no longer Saudi ambassador to the USA.  Prince Bandar bragged to Bob Woodward about his role in Argentina and Chile.

              One reason the USA was so ticked off at the Shah's overthrow was his centrality to the deal as Iranian oil flows hid a lot of black money for black ops and the American Embassy in Iran held a lot of records.  Michael Ledeen was the overlord of these operations, and then redeployed to Italy (very dirty history - Strategy of Tension), before his rehabilitation to the National Security Council and Defense Department under Bush '43.

              There's nothing so permanent as a temporary arrangement.

              "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

              by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:33:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  'Safari Club' is new to me, and I thought I knew (5+ / 0-)

                a lot of 'Dark History.' Dude, come back to DKos. Even if you write essays on your current interests, people would still read.

                Just last night I found the words to describe to myself the case: the Saudis, the Gulf States, are not the US's friends, but the friends of that crowd you just mentioned.

                I'll never forget a photo of VP Cheney: he did a one-day run to Bahrain, I think it was. One of the Gulf States. Fly in, hang for 4 hours, fly home. There's Cheney, going home, with a HUGE suitcase. What, he planned to stay a week, and just brought that along before a change of plans?

                Couldn't help but recall Adnan Koshogi and the special, and stuffed, suitcase he gave to Nixon.

                Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:08:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting book, recently recommended (4+ / 0-)

                on The Family Bush, Family of Secrets. Lots of it on Poppy and the Company. It was worse than most imagined.

                Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

                by Mnemosyne on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 06:02:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  News item recently: "Barbara Bush Doesn't want Jeb (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LondonYank, Mnemosyne, NonnyO

                  to run for President."

                  Now, is there any among us who know what a "Kremlin Watcher" was, and why people would read the Soviet News to find hints on just what was going on in the Soviet elite?

                  Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                  by Jim P on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:03:51 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  your comment makes me imagine (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NonnyO, LondonYank, Jim P

                    Babs in full chest-full-of-medals regalia, standing at attention on the Kremlin wall -- next to, oh, someone like Bukarin or Malenkov -- surveying the troops passing in review.

                    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

                    by Mnemosyne on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:17:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But is Malenkov now two places to the LEFT of (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      the leader, instead of one to the right? People used to write whole papers on the implications of that.

                      In regards to how power operates in the US today we're sort of in the same position. And I'd bet that Jeb Bush will be the Republican candidate. Wouldn't that be perfect: Jeb or Hill, them's your choices?

                      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                      by Jim P on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:18:03 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  She is so eloquent (12+ / 0-)

          I hope she is still writing somehow, about something. It was just heartbreaking to read her dispatches from Baghdad at the height of the violence.

        •  I think about her a lot (4+ / 0-)

          Thank you for finding her again.

          And I'm glad to see you, although it would be nice if under happier circumstances. But it seems that we live in interesting times.

          Hope things are well with you and yours.

          Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

          by Mnemosyne on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 05:59:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Riverbend posted sometime in the last (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharon Wraight, LondonYank, NonnyO

          year.  As I recall, she had left Syria for an unknown location, perhaps even out of the Middle East.

        •  Oops. I replied before I read your link, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          which I wrongly assumed was to her original string of posts.

      •  Thank you for the link. I saved it as a bookmark. (11+ / 0-)

        You are underestimating your influence.

  •  I enjoyed reading your work (26+ / 0-)

    at the time, and it's because you and people like you no longer write that I no longer consider Daily Kos my online 'home'.

    But you're right, it doesn't really matter.  Propaganda doesn't have to reach 100% of a population to accomplish it's desired effect. It just has to sway a majority.  And the psychology of the national identity, the American religion of "We're #1!", does indeed require an enemy to rail against.  If none exist, they are manufactured, and life goes on.  Well, not for Iraqis, obviously, but the Defense industry keeps making billions and kicking it back to the DC crowd, so everybody is happy.

    Remember: we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 06:39:49 AM PST

  •  Thanks for writing again (18+ / 0-)

    I enjoyed just seeing the byline.

    75534 4-ever or until dk5

    by NearlyNormal on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:06:36 AM PST

  •  Sorry for the terrible editing on my earlier post. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, Don midwest
  •  Your writing was always excellent work. (8+ / 0-)
  •  Not that it's made much difference, (21+ / 0-)

    but your work, and work of people like you, influenced our actions considerably, and perhaps others' as well. When I was applying for a National Insurance (social security) card in Bristol, the bureaucrat told me I was the third American to apply that afternoon.
    I can understand your eventual disgust though. Neoliberals are in the ascendancy everywhere at this point, so the struggle against them is fairly universal, at least in the Anglophone countries.

    "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

    by northsylvania on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:24:11 AM PST

  •  Made a difference to me. (23+ / 0-)

    Glad to see your byline here, Yank.

    Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

    by occams hatchet on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:53:38 AM PST

  •  I hope this means you are back (9+ / 0-)

    I enjoyed your diaries and comments--you added an important voice here.

    As for your thought about whether what you wrote matters--have you ever read Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone?   If you see something evil, then does one not have some obligation to do something about it, even if that doing is a small thing?

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:04:27 AM PST

  •  does DK realize it faces loss of people like this (13+ / 0-)

    or does it want to continue for large segment to be a cheer leader for the Democratic party?

    and to run people off the site like Ted Rall - is it a badge of honor or of shame?

  •  It's easy to get discouraged (10+ / 0-)

    Times are very tough.

    But change does happen, albeit slowly: slavery was ended eventually, the trusts were busted, Yosemite and Yellowstone were saved from exploitation, working people were unionized, fascism was defeated, civil rights extended to minorities, a black man was appointed to the Supreme Court and another was elected President, women were finally allowed to own property, and gay people to marry.

    The victories are never as complete or as sweet as they ought to be -- and then are continually undermined. It is especially painful when our ostensible allies succumb to the propaganda or sell out for money and power. Still, we are able to slowly create a better society. It is frustrating that it takes so long and for every two steps forward, we are pushed back 1 and 9/10 steps. But we are creeping along. And every once in a while, there is a big step forward (like the New Deal and the 60s).

    Take a long break, heal your wounds, take care of personal business, then when you feel you can, get up and fight again. You're appreciated and needed.

  •  Your post about the JFK assassination (6+ / 0-)

    shows interesting patterns. Consider the "ohwilleke" comments there and other work from that account over the years here at DKOS.

    UID: 1415.

    Set up right after the site got rolling.

    But it's one picky comment after another, dully complaining that it's been a long time since the assassination.


    So similar to other 8-center comments here. Anything to take threads off topic. This one claims to be a Denver attorney, active in Democratic politics. Whatever.

  •  Good to hear from you again. (13+ / 0-)

    I fully understand the discouraging nature of our times. The hardest thing is to see things for what they are. The second hardest is sharing that with persons who don't see things for what they are.

    Can we not discuss politics?
    At essence you were writing about our individual complicity in murder, mayhem, an incredible tax burden and a super push in the price of oil whose inflationary effect still is staggering...and that is a heavy load for each of us.

    No, we didn't do the actions but we were drowned out in the general acceptance by this nation. That's not just a burden but an incredible sadness, with underlying anger and frustration at our inability to translate the truth in some palatable manner to our fellow citizens.

    I appreciated your writing, LondonYank, for whatever it is worth.

    The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

    by walkshills on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:47:54 AM PST

  •  Sure it matters (12+ / 0-)

    It doesn't matter that one person attacks a given subject indefinitely (so your coming and going is normal/expected)  but it does matter that enough people do often enough to get truth out.

    Because that is bigger than us.

    Aspire to being a useful cog.

  •  LondonYank... (8+ / 0-)

    First, good to see your still will take the chance on blogging.

    Second, I loved to read your posts.  YOU had the best insights on what was going on.  I know in the long term, it wound up not to matter (see my comment above).  Instead of being the savior of the world, we have made more enemies than before.  As the young woman from Pakistan said "Every bomb creates 40 more terrorists who want revenge".  We are doing it to ourselves.

    Third, we (well I) miss your writing even now.  Can you start back up again?


    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:17:33 AM PST

  •  tell iran that it doesn't matter (9+ / 0-)

    the public pushback almost certainly is stopping the sanctions. stopping the sanctions almost certainly is preventing a war. because diplomacy between iran and the six powers is working.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:22:23 AM PST

  •  Besides Grenada, US hasn't won a war since 1945 (7+ / 0-)

    And I don't think that is by accident.  WWII trained American Industry that there is no better money maker than war.  I, sincerely, don't believe the United States even intends to win wars.  We have dumped trillions of dollars into the Pentagon, and for what?  Nothing.  Don't tell me they kept America safe when we have spent the post WWII years invading weak nations on any trumped up claim of belligerence that came up.  American Wars are not defensive, they are offensive, and the goal of American wars is to pirate the resources of target nations and justify lucrative contracts for the Pentagon pork barrel.  The Cold War existed to justify war contracting after WWII ended.  The Soviet Union falls and, of course, we need an open ended, Global War on Terror, against a shadowy group of villains justifying invasions, occupations, and huge contracts into the Pentagon Pork Barrel to replace the USSR Cash Cow. It makes perfect sense from the point of view of those making money off the wars.

    So, yes, it is a disappointment that all the anti-war passion and activism resolved to naught, but that was to be expected.  Stop a War? We would have better luck trying to shutdown Coca Cola or Pepsi over obesity ... but thank you for your efforts.

  •  FWIW... (13+ / 0-)

    Back in the 80's I sat around blocking the entrance to a college with a whole bunch of other protesters and while during that time I felt that it was the right thing to do, I also thought that nobody cared and that it was probably a waste of time.

    Ultimately, the college divested of their holdings in Apartheid and Nelson Mandela was freed.  

    Seeing the outpouring of respect and love for him when he died kind of did make me think that I had made a difference at least in my own small way.  What has it been?  30 years?  Political and sociological evolution takes decades and centuries.  It can't happen without people pushing for it - even when it feels like none of it is really making a difference.

    Around 2006 I had a remarkable experience where a lady in a shop in Alabama decided that I was someone with whom she could share her honest thoughts about the Iraq War.  She no longer believed in it.  I know that her shift would never have come without dkos and other blogs - because I know as you do that there was no one else out there talking about the war in Iraq and why and how wrong it was at the time.  I doubt that she was reading dailykos, but I believe her to be proof positive that the blogs broke through the media's iron curtain.  You know you've made an impact when someone in rural alabama starts to say basically the same things that were being written on a blog that that person has probably never even read.


    •  '...the media's iron curtain.' (5+ / 0-)

      I really like that phrasing.

      I wrote earlier this month that 'the liberal media' is one of the foundational lies...this isn't surprising to no one both covers the propaganda disbursement and yet acts as a disclaimer for anything 'damaging' to the conservative right wing interests.

      The corollary is that large scale structures are brought down by simply pulling down a piece or pieces of the foundation, especially where a frontal attack is never going to be adequate.  

      The new Iron Curtain is an interesting way of phrasing. (And, I'm sure, only one of several such entities that beset us at this time.)

      The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

      by walkshills on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:33:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great to read (11+ / 0-)

    you again here. Your writing was one of the reasons I signed up and became a kossack. People who think politics are irrelevant to peoples lives are deluded or have their complacent heads stuck in the sand. The Irag war is not over you can read about it daily at The Guardian along with the misery, mayhem and death the US is globally inflicting on humans and the planet. All for profit, dominance and power.

    Americans are addicted to fear and violence. It's misplaced fear. I was thinking of you yesterday when Obama gave his NSA double speak speech. Axelrod calls this 'the world as we find it' Clinton called it 'inevitable' and Obama proclaims it's the way forward in a dangerous world. None of these pols regardless pf party should be defining reality as they mean humans and the planet harm.

    To define politics as disconnected from our lives gives power to the sociopath's who as the trader from GS said 'rule the world'. They are the danger in this 'world as we find it'. Hope you come back again as bloggers like you are needed. A pleasure to read you. Thanks.      

  •  It's better for your health (6+ / 0-)

    and piece of mind, not to get too wrapped up about situations you can't change.  I remember getting into terrible arguments with people about the war with Iraq (I was still in the military during 9/11); it was so obvious that it was a mistake.  But that popular wave and "fear of terrorism" was so overwhelming at the time.  And patriotism. Around 75% of the country was pro-war at the time.  

    Now saying "I told you so" doesn't make me feel any better.  Some of those same people are now Climate Change deniers and people who hate the EPA and their regulations.   I can see some environmental disasters on the horizon - but I doubt I'll feel happy saying "I told you so" to those either.

    Welcome back.

  •  First of all, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, on the cusp, 3rock

    and with all sincerity, thank you for your service. Things could have been much worse without the efforts of people such as yourself. Much worse.

    Second, why carp about human nature? It's like the Wright Brothers bitching about the unforgiving mechanics of surface area, weight, velocity and lift.

    Six percent of the human population is estimated to have a personality disorder and 1.5 % are in the notorious Cluster B.

    There is strong evidence to suggest that the antisocial brain is wired differently.

    We don't expect bears to decide by themselves to forgo ripping up our garbage in the backyard. We forgo offering them the opportunity.

    Maybe we should stop expecting the sociopathic human primate to forgo opportunities to run large ruthless institutions built in their self-image and start asking how we can deny them that opportunity with about the same amount of moral judgement that we hold for the bear and even more of the necessary curiosity that spurred the Wright Brothers.

    I hope this day finds you well.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by respectisthehub on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:17:05 PM PST

  •  WOW (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

        I didn't join until Dec. 2011. I looked at all of your followers, MOST do not have an avatar photo. I recognized a few.
        Could there be a campaign to bring them back?
        One of the visions that flows through my mind, I.e. it is always there, is the protests against the wars were in the millions. I think what happened? Mass mind manipulation that continues in a blur. What is the key to breaking that chain?
        The reality I hold onto is a worldwide vision that long after the dust of this quagmire mess has settled, paintings of Edward Snowden sold at bazaars worldwide will still be a very cool thing to own :)
        I still want one of those Chinese fans of when he was first in Hong Kong :)
        P.S. The big O gave his NSA speech, speech, speech, on Friday. I don't feel guilty pointing that out.
        Postscript, Postscript, Postscript. For someone who wrote a diary "The dollar has lost 1/3 it's value" Nov. 07, 2007, I hope your now posting isn't some kind of a heads up. Please let it not be a heads up :)

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:55:52 PM PST

  •  Worse criminal: Chris Christie or Henry Kissinger? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pablo Bocanegra, 3rock

    Look within, go to that place in our souls where all that is best dwells, and ask: which of the two should we perhaps be more concerned about bringing to justice?

    Which of the two would more deserve to be humbled by fate: Chris Christie? Or Henry Kissinger?

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:39:22 PM PST

    •  No contest: Kisssinger (5+ / 0-)

      Christie has screwed up a state for a couple years.  Kissinger has screwed up the world for decades.

      Kissinger said in 71: "Control the oil and you control the economy.  Control the food and you control the people."  

      Since then control oil has concentrated into 3 global companies, control of food shipments has concentrated into control by 3 major corporations.  Oil and food inflation now determine the difference between peace and revolution for countries integrated into the globalised economy.  Oil and food prices can be fine tuned by manipulation of commodity prices in markets where 90 percent of trading is controlled by 3 banks.  Kissinger designed a system so evil, and so invisible, that it goes unchallenged even though it controls most of every family budget through what we pay in interest, energy and food.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:34:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  quote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        so evil, and so invisible, that it goes unchallenged
          Under the radar of MIC wars that aren't wars, war powers that are constitutionally illegal because they are not carried out within the framework of guaranteed civil liberties, let alone the Geneva Convention.
           The reality is I saw a picture of kissinger of recent and the demon that is his fate has just about completely absorbed his physical state. We will celebrate as we have nixon, reagone, chainy & kissinger.
           The celestial worlds shall celebrate.
           The ? is their big bang, when the one generation worldwide seed supply, fails... Can that be stopped before it's inevitable evolutionary collapse?

        March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

        by 3rock on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:59:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  LY, I remember looking specifically.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...for your diaries and comments... FWIW, my personal life over the last decade mirrors what appear to be your trials and tribulations online. To family, friends and colleagues I became the one about whom everybody whispered, "don't talk about Bush... Politics... Iraq..."

    Ten years on, the same people now approach me with with 'My goodness, did you hear about __? Is this for real?!?' I got a pretty good memory, and I can usually cite to them, very politely and engagingly, the the times and occasions that I attempted to broach these things years in the past... The statistical spread(shooting from the hip here!) of responses are... about 5%= 'Oh,yeah. Wow, you were right.' 25%= 'No, you didn't. I don't remember that at all.' 60%= variations of 'Hmmm, OK.' With an abrupt change of subject and walk away with a puzzled look.

    Like you, I suspect, I keep watching, reading, observing and learning, but I've severely toned down my proselytizing... I don't even do it when specifically asked...

    People do anything to preserve their perceptions of past, present and future, and governments are merely reflections of the people that control them.

    I'll leave you with a related song from the Lads from Liverpool... keep writing, I'm reading!


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:33:58 AM PST

    •  Glad to see you, Dood . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dood Abides

      My son wanted to know a few weeks ago if it were possible to be a noble stoner.  I immediately responded with The Big Lebowski!  And thought of your tag.

      The thing that really irked over the last decade was being proven right again and again until what I had said all along was common knowledge, but still being branded a conspiracy theorist.  I have found the CT tag indelible, no matter how fact-ridden and well-evidenced the theory.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:39:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Offer your son the noble Dolphin instead...;) (0+ / 0-)

        Dolphins getting high on fish toxin?... and again notice the behavior of NBC News pushing back against being scooped on a popular story from ABC News who , in turn looked to... wait for it... BBC-1 to do actual intellectual work/reporting.... (a pattern repeated on so many topics in American Journalism during it's death throes over the last 20 years)

        And now sit back and watch as:

        People do anything to preserve their perceptions of past, present and future, and governments are merely reflections of the people that control them.
        ...and really smart people get suckered into projecting their own beliefs and opinions regarding "getting high" onto a very interesting and curious observation of Dolphin behavior....

        How's that for CT?  ;)


        "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

        by Dood Abides on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:20:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wasn't around when your earlier writing was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    current but I have a feeling you will get a second wind.

    Your subconscious is leading you. Why do you think you're reading history? Someone has to tell the story when it seems that everything we knew has been mightily swept away. If you don't, someone else will.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 06:40:29 AM PST

  •  How many think about it when you include (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, LondonYank, NonnyO

    Syria and Libya.  Those are good examples.  It's not just that they don't want to know, or maybe it is.  What it boils down to is accepting the same time worn lies because the man saying them is the first African American President and he's cool.  At least for the democratic partisans.  It's watching CNN and MSNBC and accepting the propaganda they are given, gladly with a spoon full of sugar.
    Either way, ya, it's a tough row to hoe.  Always has been.  
    Check out "Preachers Present Arms".

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:36:07 AM PST

    •  btw, going on two years now since I last posted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo, LondonYank, NonnyO

      a diary. Mine were mostly antiwar, anti-imperialism also.  To this day, issues about war and imperialism rarely make it into the top ten.   And not just here, same with Occupy.  People don't understand what is going on is way worse than the Vietnam war.  
      Maybe they don't have any draft cards to burn.

      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:39:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harold Pinter called it "hypnotism" (7+ / 0-)

    in his widely ignored Nobel Prize acceptance lecture.  Today, very few in America even think about the violence being perpetrated around the world except in terms of what it means for domestic politics, for whether Obama is good or bad.  A family in Pakistan can be blown up in their beds and receive no coverage in America.  We don't want to sully our pretty minds thinking about it.

    I find this diary to be poignant, a sign of the times.  I used to think it mattered a lot here, too, used to put a lot of energy into the place.  Now I just check in every now and then, comment occasionally.  Things changed substantially for me when I saw three days of propaganda create a blood lust on this site for bombing Syria.  I was surprised by many of the people I had thought were allies against war waving the flag.  That's when I knew that 100 well-received and widely read diaries on dkos don't stand a chance against a 3-day blitz in the mainstream media by the US propaganda machine.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:14:24 AM PST

    •  In 2004 CIA renditions to our GWOT ally Syria (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, geomoo, NonnyO

      but in 2012 when we need another enemy to feed to the war machine then Assad  is the bad guy.

      Notice how all the countries we've targeted since Afghanistan (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran) have universal education and universal healthcare for children?  Sometimes I think what we are really at war with is heathy, highly educated Arabs - the kind that become doctors, engineers and lawyers.  They are the real threat to our self-image as racially, religiously and culturally superior.  

      In Iraq 60 per cent of university students were women and they dominated medicine and engineering.  Now that isn't allowed anymore.  Yeah, we brought them our values.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 01:02:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go back further and we find the same pattern (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, LondonYank

        of who the US has been opposing and the tyrants they install in their place.  Latin America, southeast Asia--it really is all over the globe.  And there's the drug connection that always goes hand in hand with US invasion and occupation.  I wonder how many former women doctors in Iraq are now selling their bodies in Lebanon in a desperate attempt to feed their children.  Statistics would tell us there are likely a few.  It is beyond depressing.

        I recommend that Pinter lecture.  It's a great read--he pulls no punches.  It is a measure of how well controlled the media is that that speech received virtually no coverage, did not even spawn a debate featuring the demonization of one of the great playwrights of the English speaking world.  They didn't even have to bother.

        Good luck.

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:53:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That Pinter speech . . . Amazing (0+ / 0-)

      He makes the same point I made above.  That the US targets countries that provide universal education and healthcare for children.  Our enemies are educated and healthy citizens who can think for themselves about the best form of government for their own nations.

      Read the whole thing or just this bit:

      The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America's view of its role in the world, both then and now.

      I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

      The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: 'Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.'

      Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. 'Father,' he said, 'let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.' There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

      Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

      Finally somebody said: 'But in this case "innocent people" were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?'

      Seitz was imperturbable. 'I don't agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,' he said.

      As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

      I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: 'The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.'

      . . .

      What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days - conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? Look at Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of people detained without charge for over three years, with no legal representation or due process, technically detained forever. This totally illegitimate structure is maintained in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is not only tolerated but hardly thought about by what's called the 'international community'. This criminal outrage is being committed by a country, which declares itself to be 'the leader of the free world'. Do we think about the inhabitants of Guantanamo Bay? What does the media say about them? They pop up occasionally - a small item on page six. They have been consigned to a no man's land from which indeed they may never return. At present many are on hunger strike, being force-fed, including British residents. No niceties in these force-feeding procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic. Just a tube stuck up your nose and into your throat. You vomit blood. This is torture. What has the British Foreign Secretary said about this? Nothing. What has the British Prime Minister said about this? Nothing. Why not? Because the United States has said: to criticise our conduct in Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly act. You're either with us or against us. So Blair shuts up.

      The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading - as a last resort - all other justifications having failed to justify themselves - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

      We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'.

      How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:47:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please write a diary on SISMI/Ledeen: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, NonnyO
    SISMI-Michael Ledeen intelligence channel that had been used to fabricate terrorism to order in Europe and the Middle East for more than three decades.
    I wish we could create a group devoted to uncovering conspiracy tanks.  Think tank is way too benign a term to describe the evil machinations they plot and scheme.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 01:43:57 PM PST

    •  Operation Gladio (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella, NonnyO

      Originally aired on BBC2 in 1992, 'Operation Gladio' reveals 'Gladio', the secret state-sponsored terror network operating in Europe.

      This BBC series is about a far-right secret army, operated by the CIA and MI6 through NATO, which killed hundreds of innocent Europeans and attempted to blame the deaths on Baader Meinhof, Red Brigades and other left wing groups. Known as 'stay-behinds' these armies were given access to military equipment which was supposed to be used for sabotage after a Soviet invasion. Instead it was used in massacres across mainland Europe as part of a CIA Strategy of Tension. Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:20:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the same names on the membership lists of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, NonnyO

        these "think tanks." Most people are unaware who these people are, and there is no accountability, so this small group of schemers are free to continue with their nefarious plots to control public opinion, start wars, and make money.

        The MSM are their stenographers, and the public realizes this now and doesn't believe them.

        This is why it's well worth it to blog.  

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:51:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Aka... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight, LondonYank

        ... "state-sponsored terrorism," I think.

        Gladio killing sprees in Belgium and Italy were carried out for the purpose of frightening the national political classes into adopting U.S. policies.
        "The Church" was very good at this, starting some 1200-1500 years ago, and got stronger and stronger as the centuries marched on, and more and more tyrants were popes who controlled the whole of the known world at that time (and the victors wrote the histories, so, of course, peasants and women and those they considered unimportant were not even mentioned; Bede dismissed the biggest British Celtic uprising against Rome with one sentence and he didn't even mention it was led by a Queen).

        "Adopt local gods and goddesses and country religious practices so it makes it easier to obtain converts to the new religion."  "Build your churches where the common people are wont to go to worship."  "Keep the masses illiterate because ignorant people are easier to control." [There is a reason it's called "The Dark Ages."]

        I'm paraphrasing, but close to exactly quoting early popes.  The popes' names and exact quotations are in The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker and the book is online and available for download on Internet Archives.  My very thick paperback copy is in a box somewhere.  The only thing I personally know Walker got wrong is her info on Queen Elizabeth I; I studied QEI for over a quarter of a century, and most of what Walker has is just plain wrong.  Other quotations by misogynistic, myopic popes can be found in When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone.  The latter book was instrumental in my spiritual quest..., and I eventually became an atheist because I studied history in an interdisciplinary way, from the earliest known info and artifacts to more recent developments.

        Keeping the masses illiterate, BTW, included royalty.  An illiterate king or queen (if the male-dominated civil and religious world just had to put up with a queen now and then!) would do the pope's bidding because s/he couldn't read or write or do any research to find out if a pope was a wrong or a power-mad despot, and if the only person in a court who could read or write was a priest who reported directly to the pope, then he would obey the pope as an "infallible" person.  It was - still is - the greatest system of blind faith power and obedience ever invented.  Brainwash everyone into a religious tenet..., and watch them all do whatever the brainwashing authority wants.  It's the greatest organization for power-mad control freaks in the history of the world.  [Can't you just imagine the hard-ons underneath those vestments?]

        Getting control of the governments was the first step.  It's what is planned for the illegal and unconstitutional "office of faith-based and community initiatives" which is run out of the White House.  They have a toe in the door to instituting a national religion at some point (altho whose religion will prove dominant will still have to be fought over).  Under no argument by the patriarchs and their brainwashed, ignorant women: Control women's bodies, glorify giving birth to male children who can fight in future armies is a side ambition which is why they don't want abortion or birth control: they need (mostly) male warriors in future armies.  Beyond that, they are only in the early stages of dictating what legislators "must" include in certain laws from a "morally religious" point of view.  They're starting with women's bodies and birth control, but they'll interfere with other legal and social issues, too.

        When a nation controls both the spiritual or religious lives of people as well as instituting secular laws to control their daily life, both religions and civil authorities have a superb weapon at their disposal because everyone wants to be seen as "doing the right thing," so many "go along to get along" so they "don't make waves" or "stand out from the crowd to become a target of ridicule" (wrongly become a target, but target they will be if their view is opposite of the polled opinions found in newspapers.  Who better to dictate "what is right" than an alleged religious figure standing next to a political "leader?"  Who's taking orders from whom?  Ayatollahs don't have a monopoly on religious leaders dictating what secular leaders "must or must not do", according to their interpretation of religious literature.  The Catholic church, in fact, was doing it first.

        The name "Operation Gladio" hearkens back to the heyday of Rome when the rich gave the poor bread and circuses to keep them happy, and to "the Crusades" - a misguided adventure if ever there was one - and the era of the Inquisition.  Also led (dictated by) the popes.  When Henry VIII broke away, that was the beginning of the end.  In modern times the PR machines with favorable Catholic &/or religious propaganda have worked overtime.  With Pope Frankie, they've found their stride, at least for the moment.  He has good speech writers..., and Frankie looks like a kindly old doddering doofus uncle from anyone's family gatherings who sits in the corner and smiles a lot but isn't all there. I don't see Pope Frankie as a harmless benign old fart.

        Names change, dates change, but the control-freak power structure that embraces civil and religious views remains, willingly staffed with people who heartily endorse world-wide power and domination of people too eager to follow "leaders" and "hero-worship" these "leaders" they elevate to demi-god status.  Really, it's pretty revolting when one thinks about it.  History is denigrated as a discipline of intense study because virtually everyone is concentrating on the here and now (Reality/Idol winners, Shiny Objects in the news, Celebrity doings!)..., but if they studied history, they might be more circumspect.

        There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

        Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
         ~  George Santayana
        Excellent post, LondonYank.  You are a wonderful writer.  I've now added you to the list of people I'm following so I'll be able to keep up with anything you write in the future.  [I've recently been ill and not online as often,  so missed this earlier and haven't been able to Rec as many comments as I'd like because the circles have disappeared, but have Rec'd, Tipped, and Hotlisted this diary for future reference.  I look forward to reading you in the future if you change your mind and write more.  At a quick glance, I can see I've agreed with what you've written in the past and for many of the same reasons.  Best wishes to you and yours.]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 08:04:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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