Signs, Portents…and Squirrels: Our Times: At Once, Dire and Inane

portentsAs I write the date is 27 February, 2015.

If one needed any proof that the United States, and a good deal of the rest of the world has simply abandoned any pretense of being serious, the top stories of today and a few days prior are convincing proof.

JohnLast night, the story broke that “Jihadi” John, the masked killer of at least five in Iraq and or Syria had been identified. Along with this came a presser by CAGE, a “human rights” organization in the UK, which attempted to blame the nation’s security services for “radicalizing” Mohammed Emwazi, who

Cage

Cage directer Asim Qureshi in a diptych with the “beautiful young man” who went on to practice halal butchery on humans. Qureshi’s zabiba(prayer bump) should be a dead giveaway that he’s just another of the lying Islamic shills to whom Westerners give so much credence. The Qureshi were the tribe of the “Prophet” Muhammad, and half the swinging dicks in Muhammad land claim to be descended from them.  Liars all.

turned out to be a degreed computer programmer raised in comfortable circumstances. A week before, the Obama administration had re-floated the idea that “violent extremists” are fueled by poverty and exclusion, a moronic, Marxist inspired, and easily debunked trope that has been around since Dubya.

 

Since I was a child, I've loved antiquity.  However, I remember many of my classmates hating those museum field trips.  This, though, is a bit much

Since I was a child, I’ve loved antiquity. However, I remember many of my classmates hating those museum field trips. This, though, is a bit much

ISIS took a break from releasing snuff films to putting out a video of the lads having a blast smashing statues from Ancient Assyria.

blogger

Nothing to do with Islam, of course. Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger Avijit Roy’s wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, who survived, but lost a finger.

In Dhaka, a Bangladeshi atheist blogger, who also held American citizenship, was hacked to death on the street, with his wife also attacked but surviving. While the White house had nothing to say, a reporter did manage to coax a statement out of Jen Psaki, who was careful to note that at this point the attackers’ motive is unknown.

U.S. State Department spokesbimbo, Jen Psaki.  While lacking empirical evidence, I'd say she's a genuine ginger, and I bet those hooters are real as well, unlike anything that comes out of her mouth.

U.S. State Department spokes-bimbo, Jen Psaki. While lacking empirical evidence, I’d say she’s a genuine ginger, and I bet those hooters are real as well, unlike anything that comes out of her mouth.

The United States government, with zombie FDR nodding approval, decided to regulate the internet under a statute written in 1933. All data packets are equal. Down the road, some will be more equal than others. On the BBC, of all places, a commenter shook his head and said the US government has decided it wants the internet or free. Someone on state owned British media gets economics better than Mr. Obama.

In the same category of unaccountable Federal agencies we have the BATF talking about banning ammunition for the AR-15, a big scary looking rifle that anti-gun legislators have been unable to touch. It’s basically a .22, well .223.

A gang of Uzbeks from Brooklyn are

indicted on terrorism charges. What would Adam Yauch say?

In the United States Congress, the Republican majority, in its strongest position since the 1920s decides that funding DHS, the security super agency that has yet to catch a terrorist, is more important than keeping its promise to the electorate to fight and defund the President’s unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The president and functionaries of the regime, I’m sorry, government, natter on about “Climate Change,” (Nee Global Warming; isn’t it nice to see her all grown up?) as a foot of snow falls in Alabama. Winter Storm

In other times, people looked to the heavens for signs and portents of evil days to come.

My necromancer didn’t return my texts.

 

We have the United Sates, guarantor of the peace for some seven decades, in a constitutional crisis, a centuries old civilization conflict bathing vast areas in blood, the ancient nations of Europe suborned by Islamic fifth columns, and much more than I need go into here.

What is to come?

I have no idea, the best minds of our time are trying to determine the color of THE DRESS.

What color is this dress? Beats me.  It's  an internet thing.

What color is this dress? Beats me. It’s an internet thing.

What color is it?

Ask the llamas.

A Mexican guy driving by uses a lariat to lasso a llama.  All these words are Spanish. What the hell, I like Mexicans, and I'll sure take them over Muslims.

A Mexican guy driving by uses a lariat to lasso a llama. All these words are Spanish. What the hell, I like Mexicans, and I’ll sure take them over Muslims.

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Between Iraq and a Hard Place: In Which I Bail the President Out From His Bad Middle East Optics

ISIS-truck-convoy-Anbar-Province

ISIS column in Anbar Province, Iraq.

After an early enthusiasm for the Viet Nam war, other than Grenada, I have not supported any American intervention overseas in my lifetime. So for once, I find myself in agreement with the 44th president.

Mr. Obama has some bad optics with the ISIS assault in Iraq. Sure, it wasn’t his war, but his Vice President did say this in 2010:

(Iraq )”could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

The rout of the Baghdad government from large parts of the country looks bad, and calling it Bush’s war will resonate with the faithful, but others are a bit jaded with the” Bush did it” excuse six years in.. No matter who may be seen to “own” Iraq politically, the ISIS advances represent at the very least, a massive intelligence failure – or perhaps failure to act on intelligence. Coming so soon after the Crimea takeover, it just looks like crap.

As senator, Obama did not vote for Iraq, and rather than his frequent custom of listing himself “present,” voted against it. Others in his party cannot say the same. Mrs. Clinton was in, and both her husband and his VP, Al Gore, are on record long before the war, pointing to the danger posed by Saddam. Many other Democrats joined in the war vote, including the current Secretary of State, John Kerry.

nissan

Shiite militia parade, Baghdad, June 20, 2014. Despite the Nissan in the lead, from the headlights, it looks like Toyota has the conflict sewed up,truck-wise.

So how can Mr. Obama clear up his Iraq optics?

Embrace the Iraq war, and then kiss it goodbye.

Here, Barrack, let me show you how to do it.

“Good evening.

My fellow Americans, I am asking for your time this evening to speak on the recent and ongoing events in Iraq. This country has cast a long shadow on American politics and foreign policy, across administrations and parties, long before I became President.

Mehdi Army Women loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during a parade in Najaf

These Shia ladies are on our side, sort of.  In Syria and Lebanon, their veiled sisters are on the other side. Got it?  I don’t. Did American really think it could handle this place?  What were we thinking?

It is no secret that I voted against the Iraq War as Senator and ran against it when I first campaigned for the office of President. I promised an end to ur role in the conflict, and I kept that promise. As President I have learned much, and I have come to know this about America’s role in Iraq.

The men and women, in both parties, who voted for, and worked towards the ouster of Saddam, l believe, especially in view of Iraq’s present agony, were wrong.

But they were not, and are not, selfish or evil. There was no war for oil. Those who supported the war policy had two things in mind:

The national security of the United States, and, along with a hatred of Saddam’s tyranny, a sincere wish that Iraq be stable and free, and in time, lead the region out of its sad history of conflict and deprivation.

They should not be vilified for misplaced hope.

I, they, and all Americans honor the courage and sacrifice of the many thousands of our forces who served, died, and were maimed in Iraq. We also recognize the contributions of our civilians there, the diplomats, engineers and technicians, doctors and nurses, educators, and the whole range of specialists who worked to bring Iraq back from ruin.

In 2010, when we finally withdrew our forces it seemed we had succeeded.

That we have not is not the fault of any administration. America expended massive amounts of her treasure and expertise, and above all, the precious lives of our best and brightest young people, to give the Iraqi people a chance at a future of freedom and progress.

We are deeply saddened that ancient hatreds should make this unlikely for the foreseeable future.

But we have done enough, and can do no more. Nor would we if we could.

Self reliance is a core American value. While we cannot instill such a value where it is not, we understand that it must exist for any nation to succeed.

Therefore, while I will take such action as may be necessary to our immediate security needs, and may provide assistance where it can be used efficiently and honestly, the United States under my administration will not intervene in Iraq. Our time in Afghanistan is also coming to an end, and I hope profoundly hope that our friends there will look to Iraq and resolve to do better.

That so grand an undertaking has failed is a tragedy, but I urge you all tonight and in the days to come, to look back upon this chapter in our history as one of many times when America has given much, in return for little.

God Bless America

God bless our veterans

Thank you, and good night.”

 

C’mon, Mr. President. I guarantee you a 5% overnight bounce in the polls.

But for Barrack Obama to make such a statement would require both humility and magnanimity, two qualities in which he is signally lacking.

Not a chance.

 

 

Iraq: What Were You Thinking?

(I’m a bit late coming to the table commenting on Iraq.  Mass opposition to the war seemed to vanish with President Obama’ s inauguration. The war is officially over and while some fault the President for leaving the job uncompleted, it was a task that could never be finished, short of a war of annhilation.

Obama’s far more tentative moves to influence events in the Arab world are equally misguided and based on similar utopian fantasy, but have the saving grace of costing far less in treasure, and nothing in our blood.  We will again reap humiliation and disappointment, but at a cost of mere billions, rather than trillions.  The Iraq War above all other trends and events, is the source of the Obama presidency.)

 

Toward the end of  “Band of Brothers” there is a scene in which GIs riding comfortably in a deuce and half taunt German POWs who are walking to the rear, with their wounded riding in horse drawn wagons:

Hey, you! That’s right, you stupid Kraut bastards! That’s right! Say hello to Ford, and General fuckin’ Motors! You stupid fascist pigs! Look at you! You have horses! What were you thinking? Dragging our asses half way around the world, interrupting our lives… For what, you ignorant, servile scum! What the fuck are we doing here?

Even Hollywood is right sometimes.

Truly a great moment, but one long gone.   Tonight, I caught snatches of  “The Green Zone” as I was making dinner.  It was by extension the standard, “Bush lied, people died” narrative, and ends with  Matt Damon as a whistle blower emailing all the media the “truth” about  WMD, a twenty first century remake  of the scene where Robert Redford pauses before walking into the New York Times in “Three Days of the Condor.”

Yet the film is worthwhile, for the Iraq War needs no propagandist’s frame to demonstrate its utter futility.

What were you thinking?   Did you sleep through college American History when they covered Woodrow Wilson’s Mexican intervention?  Did you think that rather than making the world safe for Democracy, that attempting that only in the MIddle East would be more manageable?

U.S.occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, April 1914

Did you ever speak to anyone, anyone at all, who had some knowledge of Islam and had perhaps spent some time in the Middle East, so as to know, that the Arabs would never put aside their arms  and join Israel in making the deserts bloom?

But Saddam is  gone, you say,  the Iraqis free.  A murderer and a sadist, and his sons worse yet, might still be there. Yes, they are gone; but the North Koreans  live on in privation that any Iraqi, even today cannot conceive.  Did yo pick Iraq because it was “doable?”

But we thought he had WMD; the intel was bad.  Today we have Iran on the brink and Pakistan transporting warheads around utility  vans, and of course, North Korea. If the intel was bad, it was your job to spot the flaws.

What were you thinking?

US AC47 Gunship raining fie on the outskirts of Saigon, 1965. Saigon, like Baghdad was never entirely secure. But there was plenty of beer.

Were you certain  our technology and wealth would prevail?  You had then, never landed at Ton Son Nhut in the 60ss, seen the aircraft parked wing to wing as far as the eye could see, and then in the evening watched firefights between the ARVIN and The Viet Cong at the end of the runway, while having a few beers on the rooftop of the Caravelle.  And tipping the barman,  as a joke said, “Vive Ho Chi MInh,” to find him in delighted agreement.

Toward the end of The Green Zone, on of the characters says to Damon, it is not for you to say what happens here.  No it wasn’t ,nor was it in Saigon, or Veracruz.  Like any many Americans across the political spectrum, I opposed this war from the very first, as I had opposed the Gulf War before it, and for the same reason.  These places simply are not fighting worth fighting for, and were they we would not fight on our own.

Yet, in the first days, I could not but help feel proud as our boys the young Americans and Brits rolled toward victory in armored columns.  Remember this picture well, for you shall not see it again.  This folly has robbed us of  the ability to wage righteous war for at least a generation, if not forever.

What were you thinking?

Were you nostalgic for the unequivocal victory of World War Two and the prosperous and just peace that followed, and having failed  in Viet Nam, did you want to give it one more try just to show that we still have it in us?  Could you not see that in liberating Western Europe we were helping nations that had authentic traditions of sovereignty and cultural institutions much like our own? And that our people were largely willing to join in a struggle to not only defend their own shores, but save peoples not dissimilar from them?  Did it not occur to you that the best we’ve done since, in wars where these conditions did not obtain  is pull a draw in Korea?

What were you thinking?

Did you think that you could remake a country with pallets of dollars despite the absence of any scale of historical, cultural and linguistic understanding of the place? “The Green Zone”  – accurately I’m sure -shows the bustling self important functionaries, with their phones, laptops, and ear buds, taking the situation in hand,  as well a s the sophisticated weaponry and command/control that would surely subdue insurgents with their AKs and RPGs.

Defense Chief McNamara arrives at Ton Son Nhut, April 1964

How do I know this is an accurate portrayal?  Because we have seen it all before, the crew cut guys with white shirts and ties, showing Macnamara around.  Did you think that money and and hubristic engineering could solve all problems?.  McNamara wanted to build  a fence around Vietnam,  and someone in DOD had the idea of ln6yofting a huge inflatable artificial moon into orbit to disrupt Viet Cong sleep patterns.  He couldn’t get the funding. This time, there were no limits.

What were you thinking?

Did you think the greatly lessened lethality of modern war, purchased at extraordinary financial cost, would make this more palatable?  That a war fought by a professional military would not raise substantial objection as it dragged on inconclusively if the public at large was not involved? If the relatively small number of dead and maimed were distributed across the vast country, and came often from communities of little influence, small town and rural, black and Hispanic?

You too, are ” ignorant, servile scum,” slaves to your utopian illusions.

Biden Heralds “Obama the Conqueror”

"In Hoc Signo Vincit"

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World” – Sir Halford Mackinder, 1919

Vice President Biden :”The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China.”, speaking to Rachel Maddow (That explains a lot.) on Tuesday .

Poor Alexander: He just nudged India, never mind China.

So Obama has done what so  many others have attempted and and failed to achieve.  In three short years he’s trumped  Alexander of Macedon, and even aced out the heaviest hitter of them all in the global domination  hall of fame, Genghis Khan.

Like a colossus, he bestrides Europe and Asia from the Baltic to the south China Sea, from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Black Sea.

I sure wouldn’t want to play “Risk” (TM) with this guy.

World domination: c'mon, you know you want it!

Genghis didn't reach the Baltic

Of course, I’m taking this out of context so as to have a little fun.  Biden was speaking of the stunning success of the Obama administration its dealings with Iran.  His claims are only slightly less grandiloquent than the ones that open this piece.

Here’s a more extensive quote in which the Veep expands on the administration’s overwhelming victory in diminishing Iranian strength, or at least the perception of such power.

“The biggest thing that’s happened, the president has been able to unite the world including Russia and China. In continuing to ostracize and to isolate Iran. So the truth is, and I really mean this, Rachel, the talk about the projection, the capacity of [Iran] to project power in the Gulf is actually diminished. They are less feared. They are less — they have less influence than they have had any time, I would argue, in the last 20 years. And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”

EU may study oil embargo on Iran; China urges calm(Reuters)Decmber 1, 2011

China says it opposes Western sanctions on Iran BEIJING | Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:34am EST(Reuters)

China, Russia Resist Sanctions Against Iran(WSJ)NOVEMBER 17, 2011

Nothing like the possibility of an EU study to bring the world to the brink of war. China is

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast, Wednesday,Dec 15 "(But) when the U.S. and the Zionist regime make various threats, they are effectively creating an atmosphere of war in the region. And of course such an atmosphere causes some reactions".

clearly totally panicked.

Now, the President is widely praised for being tech savvy, but one has to ask if Joe has a Blackberry, or an iPhone so he can check this stuff out before he goes on? Does he understand the term “key word search”?

And sadly, it may also be appropriate to question the state of his short term memory, as in this Tuesday Interview, he appears to have forgotten the President’s risible plea on Monday for the return of the U.S. drone lost in Iran.

Biden refers to Iran’s ongoing rumblings about closing the Strait of Hormuz as of little concern, but Tehran was not listening, as it reiterated the threat on Wednesday. No one for a moment, not even the Iranians think the Islamic Republic is any match for the U.S. Navy, but they are confident enough to make the threat, and not surprised by predictable hand wringing in the West, and the unconcern on the part of their trade partners, Russia and China.

Vice President Biden’s long term memory is also in question:

And there will be a relationship between Iraq and Iran because they have a very long border. They will trade. They should have a normal relationship. But they are not allies,”

Moqtada Sadr: If he's not up for a rumble, someone else will be.

No kidding.   Remember a fellow named  Moqtada Sadr, his Mehdi Militia, and the Shia – Sunni civil War of 2007 in Iraq?

Iran and Iraq: Not allies, true.  The correct term for Iraq in the  not so distant future would be “vassal state.”  Think Iran and Assad’s Syria, of Hezbollah and what’s left of Lebanon.

This is in no way to advocate further involvement in Iraq.  The war was an act of colossal hubris, or manic optimism, at best.  This administrations weak grasp of the realities in the Middle East and its unfounded confidence in positive outcomes there are the same sorts of sentiments that brought on the neocon disaster in Iraq, and are equally as dangerous . They may yet prove even more costly.

(If you are wondering what qualifies me to be Middle East analyst I would parry by asking what qualifies Joe Biden?)

(Reuters)