Category Archives: News Articles

War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men – Georges Clemenceau

The Generals Won’t Save Us From the Next War

I can’t agree more with this article’s assessment. Although the author misses some big examples, like Colin Powell’s embarrassing exhibition claiming Saddam’s WMDs. In his defense, there has been so much ineptitude that it would take a Tolstoy-sized book to capture the scope.
For me Matt Ridgway (Korea) was the last exceptional and trustable (by the people) top command American general. His heroic leadership upon assuming command of the 8th Army largely saved South Korea and changed the 20th century. With our troops greatly outnumbered and on the run from the Chinese Army, after MacArthur’s debacle at Yalu River, he parachuted in to the retreating army and ordered them to stop, turnaround, and fight. Which they did, and so did he right along with them.
Then when the French were surrounded by the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, about to lose the French-Indochina war, most of Eisenhower’s generals and Richard Nixon were urging him to send in American troops, or drop nuclear weapons, to save them. It was the general he trusted most, Matt Ridgway, along with Churchill, that convinced Ike not to do it. Tragically another general, Maxwell Taylor, and the Joint Chiefs, helped convince JFK and then LBJ to go in anyway a decade later. By that time there was big money in it for their respective branches.
Interestingly Ridgway, who also fought at Normandy, was the last great American command general before the onset of the military corporate complex. It’s been downhill all the way from there. And now it’s Iran…

U.S. Commander Says Expanded Middle East Force May Be Needed to Counter Iran

Why bother with competency when you know you’ll get $700 billion either way? Rather than study the lessons of history it’s so much easier to work on a good John Wayne imitation. And what about these unquestioning reporters that seem to think their job is to amplify the cowboy rhetoric. Embarrassing. Goodnight Morley Safer wherever you are!

 

The Trick Play: Deceptive Tactic Designed to Fool Opposing Team and Viewers

Administration Escalates Threat Against Iran While Making it Seem Just the Opposite.

Today arrives the next step in the escalation against Iran. Headline: Pompeo offers to talk to Iran with no preconditions.

This is the age-old playbook for escalating tensions. The subterfuge is designed to make it appear that we are easing our stance, to make it seem like Donald Trump is the restraining force on his overzealous war mongers, but in reality this puts more pressure on Iran. And as usual the media is either complicit or just plain oblivious, either way they aren’t serving us. Note the first line in the Politico piece below:

“His (Pompeo’s) remarks suggest increased flexibility by the Trump administration. President Donald Trump’s desire to avoid a war with Iran appears to be prevailing in his own administration — for now…”

He then went on to demand a precondition:

Reuters: “The United States is prepared to engage with Iran without pre-conditions about its nuclear program but needs to see the country behaving like “a normal nation”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.”

Other:

Guardian: “But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would not negotiate with Washington, even after Rouhani had previously signaled talks might be possible if sanctions were lifted.”

Al Jazeera: “Ruohani says Iran will not be bullied into negotiations with tightened sanctions and threats by Washington”

AP: “But the United States will not relent in trying to pressure the Islamic Republic to change its behavior in the Middle East, America’s top diplomat said.”

This is why they pulled out of the nuclear deal in the first place- to isolate the moderates. Knowing full well that the moderates can’t talk and the hard liners won’t, they will now pose themselves as the good guys– we tried everything, including offers of no conditions, but it’s Iran that won’t negotiate because they want Nukes, so we have no other choice. If you look back at what was happening right before we invaded Iraq you’ll find much of the same – Saddam: if you’ll just negotiate on the WMDs, tell us where they are, we can make a deal. Like the Iranian nukes, the WMDs didn’t exist.

Politico: Pompeo offers to talk to Iran with ‘no pre-conditions’

Reuters: US Prepared to Talk To Iran Without Preconditions. Iran Sees Wordplay

Guardian: Pompeo: US Will Talk to Iran If It Acts Like a Normal Nation

Al Jazeera: US Would Talk To Iran With No Preconditions

AP: Pompeo Says US Ready To Talk To Iran With No Preconditions

 

From the Grave – JFK to DT: Beware of the Bay of Boltons

President Trump may be coming around. Yesterday he said to Iran–“call me…let’s talk…we can make a deal…”
Was the Venezuela debacle effectively his Bay of Pigs moment (my analogy not his)? Orchestrated largely by Bolton and hawks, aided and abetted by false narratives presented by the mainstream media,* failed embarrassingly.

Let’s look at the timeline leading up to the Iran overture statement:
1) Some, if not all, of the so-called Iran intelligence was provided by Mossad – Israeli intelligence. It was not specific. Clearly Israel is not an objective observer.
2) Pompeo cancels Germany trip to go to Iraq – to reaffirm U.S. support for “a sovereign, independent” Iraq, free from the interference of neighboring Tehran. Pompeo meets with Iraq’s president and prime minister.
3) Pompeo cancels Greenland trip to speed back to US “amid rising tensions.”
4) Trump, already stung by the Venezuela swindle, says to Iran– “Call me, we’ll make a deal”- off the cuff? – a signal to Bolton that the gig is up?
Question: what did the Iraqi’s tell Pompeo— maybe something like “we have no sovereignty independent from Iran- our forces failed against ISIS, it was the Iranian backed forces – Badr, Quds, Mahdi – that succeeded. If you try this who will have our back, and what about your back? The country may quickly descend into violent chaos…”

It was probably not a great night at the Bolton dinner table.


Watch: Trump Press Conference – Iran, “Call Me”

* FAIR.Org critique of Venezuela Coup coverage

FAIR.Org Distorting “Democracy” in Venezuela Coverage

Be seeing you….

Tony Judt – Past Imperfect, Present Impotent, Future ?

Tony Judt wrote this about the state of the Left in America in his book Ill Fares The Land …

“We no longer have political movement. While thousands of us may come together for a rally or march, we are bound together on such occasions by a single shared interest. Any effort to convert such interests into collective goals is usually undermined by the fragmented individualism of our concerns. Laudable goals – fighting climate change, opposing war, advocating public healthcare or penalizing bankers – are united by nothing more than the expression of emotion. In our political as in our economic lives, we have become consumers: choosing from a broad gamut of competing objectives, we find it hard to imagine ways or reasons to combine these into a coherent whole. We must do better than this.”

Taking the recent election as evidence Judt, who passed away in 2010, was right on target (no pun intended). Here are some valuable web resources for further investigation of this important thinker:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?189437-1/postwar-history-europe-since-1945

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2010/04/29/ill-fares-the-land/

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/tony-judt-interview

The Strange Death of Liberal America

Tony Judt’s Obituary in the Guardian

In today’s America, neoconservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig leaf. There really is no other difference between them.”
Tony Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century