How about some context here?
Before "we" start turning over our inventory of Tomahawk cruise missiles, blowing shit up with the apparent hope that it will "do some good," creating a bunch of what the Drone Brigade laughs at as "bug splat" ("collateral damage" deaths among helpless civilians) and cutting a check for a couple of billion to Raytheon for Tomahawk stock replenishment.
It's pretty obvious that the Great Lumbering Monstrosity now labeled the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace is on-line with targeting information (that will prove to be Stupid, once again) and a time to launch. Kerry has said "We don' need no steeenkeen' UN inspectors" to go in and sample and analyze the soil, clothing, tissues, birds and rodents and roaches, and sift the rubble for the inevitable telltale bits of expended munitions and molecules that no matter how much "massive bombardment" followed any actual shooting off of chemical weapons, would be there to collect and prove the provenance of any weapon stuff that was actually used. Kind of like Blix in Iraq, who was told "Our mind is made up. Don't confuse us with the facts."
Our Great Nation claims the moral high ground, defending a supposed 90-year "norm" of no-chemical-warfare and ready to lambaste The Hated Pirate Assad for breaking that hallowed tradition. So many of us appear to be buying into the idiot Narrative, it makes me want to scream.
And I have not read widely in recent diaries before unloading here, but I bet I'm not the only one pointing out that the "moral underpinnings" for an attack on the Syrian rulership are a fiction and fraud. In among various go-getters and apologists who think More War is a GREAT idea.
Look below, folks: In addition to the apparent failure to seriously consider "none of the above" in analysis of What Obama Just Has To Do NOW, let's recall that our Sainted Country has dirty, dirty hands, and a totally shitty track record when it comes to Doing The Right Thing, and more important, a pretty complete failure to even Do The Wrong Thing Well. Any of you got family still in Iraq and Afghanistan? You, and they, have my prayers and my sympathies, from one who volunteered to Go Fight Godless Communists in Southeast Asia in 1966. What was The Mission again?
Have a little SARIN with your Bloodlust?
Surprising how many "progressives" have a little limbic-system blood lust in among the noble gentle thoughts and kindnesses. In August 1914, as Barbara Tuchman pointed out, all the Continental headlines read "IT"S WAR!" and filled their pages with jingoistic imperial militarized nonsense suited to whichever little group the paper was read by. As she pointed out, "the people" WANTED war, were primed and ready. Kind of like just before the Gulf of Tonkin lies that led to my own participation in Imperial expensive idiocy, Vietnam-style, 1967-68. And then there was Iraq and WMDs, and then what I have to call Notagain?istan, and now this, which if you follow the money at all has to be called "this business in Syria." E.g., Tomahawks go for $1.5 million each to acquire and more to maintain, and you got any idea what the operational costs of Navy fleets and aircraft are, day by day?
"We" are the good guys, right? Or at least the ones with the Power to Project, the great Force Structure, and all that crap. And the Moral High Ground: Kerry and Our President tell us so. They say this action is needed to Protect The International Order against a breach of the Grand Rule Against Chemical Weapons Use that has Protected Us All Since 90 years ago... Hmmm:
New Docs Detail U.S. Involvement in Saddam’s Nerve Gas Attackshttp://www.theatlanticwire.com/...
The U.S. knew about, and in one case helped, Iraq’s chemical weapons attacks against Iran in the 1980′s, according to recently declassified CIA documents obtained by Foreign Policy. Their detailed timeline, also constructed with the aid of interviews with former foreign intelligence officials, indicates that the U.S. secretly had evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks in 1983. The evidence, FP writes, is “tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.”
Ever since last week’s devastating evidence of chemical attacks in Syria, analysts have looked for benchmarks to predict the U.S.’s response. On Sunday, a U.S. official suggested that the U.S. is moving closer to possible military action in the country as the U.S. has “little doubt” that an “indiscriminate” chemical attack took place. Officials are reportedly looking to the 1998 air war on Kosovo for a precedent — a similar humanitarian crisis in the face of virtually no chance of a U.N. Security Council resolution to authorize use of force, thanks to dissent from Russia. And while Foreign Policy’s additional reporting places the Iraq situation in contrast to today’s debate over Syria, the details reveal just how sharply, in the past, the razor of U.S. interests in the Middle East has cut: “it was the express policy of Reagan to ensure an Iraqi victory in the war, whatever the cost,” the report explains. And apparently, that went up to and including helping Saddam Hussein gas Iran.
And “the US” was not altogether unhappy that Saddam gassed Kurds, in the bloody flux of Geo-ploy-itics:
It was 25 years ago on March 16, 1988 that Kurds in Halabja, northern Iraq, glanced above their heads to find chemical bombs being dropped by Iraqi aircraft. The scene was characterized by witnesses as rising stacks of colored smoke that initially had the vague scent of apples. The misleading fragrance was in fact the product of nerve gas, mustard gas, and other chemical agents. It was the first instance of a government using these specific chemical weapons on the population it governed. Chemical weapons had never been used on such a huge scale directly against civilians in recent history. Halabja continues to hold that horrifying distinction.http://www.policymic.com/...
The U.S. would later emphasize the chemical attacks as a fundamental reason to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam, but there was no such concern with Kurdish strife at the time of the bombings. At the time allied with Saddam, the U.S. was generally silent on the subject except to suggest Iranian complicity. The uncontroversial record, combining released U.S. documents and other sources, now proves what was already suspected at the time: the U.S. knew Saddam was responsible but actively ordered its government officials to point the finger at Iran.
Remember when Iraq was about WMD that did not exist, and Afghanistan was about "the women and girls," that Imperial counterinsurgency apparently has no remedy or protection for, no weapons, doctrines, deployments, procurements, logistics, strategies or tactics to do any damn thing about the sorry state of, and by "invading" has just made it all worse, at a cost of what, $4 or $5 trillion, and how much damage to the International Order and to our own stupid General Welfare, as distinguished from the Welfare of the Generals?
In the end, it's all about money
Here's a nice little snippet, for those of you who still believe in the purity of "U-S US and our NATO Partners:"
Experts say the development of Iraq's arms industry has its roots in the desire to lead the Arab world, as well as in Israel's humiliation of the Arab states in the 1967 Six-Day War. Saddam, whose Baath Socialist Party took power in Iraq the following year, saw the Israeli experience as a lesson in how a small but resourceful nation could become a regional superpower.http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
He began to put his program into practice in the mid-1970s, secretly launching projects to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, intelligence sources say.
Some of those weapons are already available and likely to be used by Iraq in any military showdown with U.S. forces. The bleak irony is that much of the technology and expertise that created those weapons was bought by Iraq in the West, sometimes by deception but often with the silent acquiescence of Western governments. Those sales continued even after Saddam's regime was accused of using chemical weapons against Iran and Iraq's own Kurdish citizens.
W. Seth Carus, defense analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the combination of petrodollars and technological help from the West made Iraq a new phenomenon in the Third World. "Iraq is a unique case. No one's really done this before," he said.
Everyone, it seems, took a slice of the Iraqi arms pie. The Soviet Union, France, China and Chile sold Baghdad much of its off-the-shelf weaponry. West Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Brazil all sold the components, machines and tools -- much of it material with civilian as well as military application -- that are the building blocks of the modern Iraqi war machine.
The apologist says, "Hey, that Iraq-Iran thing was an exigency of the moment, them Persians had dissed and shamed us Big Time! This time, for us who have for the moment donned the ill-fitting White Hat, it’s different! We have to Maintain The International Order (which of course is very different from and a whole lot uglier that what we pretend)! We have a multi-opoly amongst us Players on Megadeath Weapons, and no Pipsqueak Arab Dictator is going to get away with using chemical weapons on his own chattels, I mean, people!" I'll just let the rest of you go to the trouble of looking up all the evidence on how the US used chemical and biological weapons and testing on GIs and civilians, still probably does, or how many GIs have died and are dying from exposure to nuclear weapon "shots" and the effects of depleted uranium from more recent wars. And ask the Vietnamese about the effects of Agents Orange, Red, White and Blue, and myself even, and so many of my band of brothers...
One more wild card in the Game of Idiocy deck:
I doubt very seriously that there’s a significantly more unified command structure on the “government” side than there is among what we so charitably personify as “the rebels,” that disgusting bunch of GUNMEN who on the clear evidence, that they post gleefully and proudly for all to see, http://syriavideo.net/ ,have no qualms about random bombardment of “neighborhoods,” Old Brain savagery and heart-eating, stuff like that. It’s called “anomie,” normlessness, and it’s there in spades.
Some local Baath commander, with multiple loyalties to ruler, clan and family, and with artillery of various calibers to play with, could have commandeered some gas shells, manufactured and stockpiled as part of the Great Gamery that this episode is just one sub-scene of, and there you go! Or the other thing, some idiot band of”rebels.” And we have become so jaded and cynical that it is easy to believe this is a full False Flag operation, maybe traceable to who? The CIA with its loong history of horrors? The Israeli actors? The Saudis?
What's the deal with Kerry saying "No inspectors?" And who is an honest crime scene investigator, with the access and tools to gather and honestly and completely report the facts?
Now our rulers and apologists can pretend that this is a situation when (almost) all the world’s warring mad dogs and murderers need to join up and take down the currently, apparently, supposedly maddest and most murderous among them. The thing about “policies” justified on High Moral Ground is, there’s an old legal dictum that applies to anyone seeking redress in the Court of Conscience: One must approach the bench with clean hands. Even other potentates need to be concerned that this game will be run on them, next… “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…”
Anyone out there think even the most "intelligent" blasting with "smart weapons" is going to have the tiniest effect on the daily horror that's going on there, a horror that the Wonks in Washington are debating not whether to arm another set of "freedom fighters," just what weapons to give them, a horror that is a result of "policies" of the Great Nations who created Syria out of other bits of older empires and set the economic and social trains in motion toward the wreck that's happening right now? And it appears that the people who now play the Great Game, with our bodies and our wealth as pieces and markers, have not got a clue about how to do anything else that might lead to a peaceful planet that's not got us all in the position of the frog in the water in he soup pot, with the flame being turned up ever so slowly, as we drowse and float...
And by the way, for a little more on “our side’s” moral and strategic situation, lookie here:
“U.S. Chemical Weapons Disposal Slippage “No Surprise,” Expert Says”
And here's the "Military" you and I are paying for:
Then-defense secretary Robert M. Gates stopped bagging his leaves when he moved into a small Washington military enclave in 2007. His next-door neighbor was Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, who had a chef, a personal valet and — not lost on Gates — troops to tend his property.http://blogdredd.blogspot.com/...
Gates may have been the civilian leader of the world’s largest military, but his position did not come with household staff. So, he often joked, he disposed of his leaves by blowing them onto the chairman’s lawn.
“I was often jealous because he had four enlisted people helping him all the time,” Gates said in response to a question after a speech Thursday. He wryly complained to his wife that “Mullen’s got guys over there who are fixing meals for him, and I’m shoving something into the microwave. And I’m his boss.”
Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.
The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.
The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737 ...
(Washington Post, Petraeus Scandal, emphasis added). It is doubtful that the public would approve of the 1% being composed of generals, especially the one commanding the military NSA which is spying on them, including their sex lives.
One more fly in the ointment:Murphy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, FUBAR and other imponderables are fully charged up and in operation. So let's take a look at the last big time Our Wonderful Military did what it is supposed to be so good at in the Persian Gulf, and got most of Our Very Expensive Ships sent to the bottom by a retired Marine general running the "Red Team," the fake Arabs who were supposed to be defeated. Read all about it here:
Why the Army shouldn't be so surprised by Saddam's moves.
By Fred Kaplan|Posted Friday, March 28, 2003, at 4:55 PM
Much has been made of Thursday's remark by Lt. Gen. William Wallace, commander of U.S. Army forces in the Persian Gulf. Talking about the fierce and guerrilla-style resistance of Iraqi militia groups, Wallace said, "The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against."
In fact, however, militia fighters did play a crucial role in a major war game designed to simulate combat in Iraq—but the Pentagon officials who managed the game simply disregarded or overruled the militias' most devastating moves.
The war game, which was called Millennium Challenge 02, took place over three weeks last July and August. Planned over a two-year period, at a cost of $250 million, the game involved 13,500 personnel from all four services—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines—who waged mock war in 17 simulation locations and nine live-force training sites. The scenario envisioned a war in a fictitiously named Persian Gulf country that resembled Iraq.
The objective was to test (and, if all went well, to validate) a set of new combat theories based less on massive force and more on speed, agility, highly accurate weapons, and supremely coordinated command and control. These theories—known as "military transformation" and "effects-based operations"—would serve as the underlying strategy of the real war against the real Iraq that's happening now. (Read this.)
Officially, the war game was a great success; the theories were proven sound. However, on Aug. 12, as the game was winding to a close, a retired three-star U.S. Marine Corps general named Paul Van Riper wrote an e-mail to some of his friends, casting grave doubt on this conclusion.
Pentagon war games pit "Red Force" (simulating the enemy) against "Blue Force" (the United States). In this war game, as in many war games over the years, Van Riper played the Red Force commander. In his e-mail (which was promptly leaked to the ArmyTimes then picked up, though in much less detail, by the Guardian and the Washington Post), Van Riper complained about Millennium Challenge 02, writing that, "Instead of a free-play, two-sided game … it simply became a scripted exercise." The conduct of the game did not allow "for the concepts of rapid decisive operations, effects-based operations, or operational net assessment to be properly assessed. … It was in actuality an exercise that was almost entirely scripted to ensure a Blue 'win.' "...
Finally, the paper quoted a retired Army officer who has played in several war games with Van Riper. "What he's done is, he's made himself an expert in playing Red, and he's real obnoxious about it," the officer said. "He will insist on being able to play Red as freely as possible and as imaginatively and creatively, within the bounds of the framework of the game and the technology horizons and all that, as possible. He can be a real pain in the ass, but that's good. … He's a great patriot and he's doing all those things for the right reasons."
Clearly, the Pentagon needs to encourage obnoxious Red commanders, not suppress them. Scripted war-game enemies may roll over, but, as we're seeing, real enemies sometimes think of tricky ways to fight back.
All those Really Smart Warfighters operating their Battlespace toys have to cheat in their own games in order to "win."
Now our rulers and apologists can pretend that this is a situation when (almost) all the world’s ruling, warring mad dogs and murderers need to join up and take down the currently, apparently, supposedly maddest and most murderous among them. The thing about “policies” justified on High Moral Ground is, there’s an old legal dictum that applies to anyone seeking redress in the Court of Conscience: One must approach the bench with clean hands. Even other potentates need to be concerned that this game will be run on them, next… “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…”
1914 headlines: “IT’S WAR!” Over stories touting the glories of the State and the Military and the People, whichever set of whichever set of those you personally prefer, and of course the moral depravity of The Enemy…
Here we go, another NotAgain?istan... or maybe "we" could try to "get real," cast off the myths and blinders, set aside the bullshit and actually do something honorable and right and true for once?