Jan 052020
 
 January 5, 2020  Posted by at 11:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Jack Delano Foggy night in New Bedford, Massachusetts 1941

 

Suleimani’s Death Huge Blow To Iran’s Plans For Regional Domination (Hassan)
Trump Could Start A War Via Twitter; The Social Network Is OK With That (Keys)
Sanders, Warren Want No War With Iran, Biden, Buttigieg Better-Run Wars (IC)
Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani (Murray)
Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran (VIPS)
To Stop Trump’s War with Iran, We Must Also Confront the Democrats (ITT)
PBOC Says Will Keep Monetary Policy Prudent, Flexible And Appropriate (R.)
Bernanke: Fed Has Ample Clout To Fight Downturn If Toolkit Used Properly (R.)
How the Two-Party System Broke the Constitution (Atlantic)
Bushfire Turns Aussie Sky Into A Re-Creation Of The Aboriginal Flag (DMA)

 

 

It’s very hard not to wonder what everyone would have been writing and talking about in these first few days of 2020 if Australia weren’t burning and the US hadn’t killed Soleimani. Because this is all people are on about. Nobody talks about impeachment, for one thing.

It’s a shame that virtually all use the two events to reaffirm their prior positions, that they see to tweak events to reinforce their prior positions. It’s nigh impossible not to read that Trump will start a grand war, or the US will. This first article by Hassan Hassan is a rare exception.

Something else that crossed my mind: Soleimani’s death has -perhaps greatly- increased the chance that US troops will have to leave Iraq. Who would want that to happen?

Suleimani’s Death Huge Blow To Iran’s Plans For Regional Domination (Hassan)

The killing of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani could prove to be the most consequential US slaying of an enemy operative in recent memory. It will eclipse in its significance the killing of Osama bin Laden almost a decade ago or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October. Not because it might spark another Middle East war, as many have warned, or merely because Suleimani was irreplaceable. Rather, his killing came at a time when the project he had led – to create an Iranian hegemony in the region – is facing unprecedented challenges in Iraq and Lebanon, through cross-sectarian and grassroots protests, while in Syria the project is still in its infancy. One can add to this picture a more aggressive policy adopted by the US.

Indeed, Suleimani was killed while he was trying to deal with these very challenges. His successor is unlikely to be able to complete that mission and contain the spiral of events in countries where, only a year ago, Iran declared major victories – in Syria against the rebels, in Lebanon through a Hezbollah-friendly government and in Iraq and Syria against Isis. In the short term, doomsday scenarios seem far-fetched. Neither side is interested in an outright war, even if developments over the past few years indicate that both have been caught in an unpredictable cycle of escalation and mounting tension. Crucially, nearly all the most influential public figures in Iraq, so far the main battle-space for the two powers, have called for a restrained and clear-headed response to prevent the situation in their country from spinning out of control.

These calls reduced significantly the chances for the worst-case scenario – of Iraq’s public figures mobilising impulsively and collectively against the United States in a way that might spark attacks and retaliations. Such scenarios would have made the US presence in Iraq unsustainable, at best. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most revered cleric, condemned Washington for its “flagrant aggression” but, in the same breath, he also called for restraint. What’s more, he cited the Iran-linked attack on the US embassy in Baghdad as part of a dangerous whirlwind of events that could steer Iraq into renewed chaos.

Beyond the extreme scenarios, Iran’s options for retaliation seem limited to familiar patterns of proxy and asymmetric warfare. Even Iranian officials have suggested any response to Suleimani’s killing would have to come later; foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that Tehran would launch “legal measures” at international level to hold the US to account. While a future response is possible, alarmism about a spiral into confrontation between Iran and the US is misplaced.

Read more …

Hmmm. Yes, Trump was the first to use Twitter, social media the way he does. because they didn’t exist the way they do. Presidents, CIS etc., would use the NYT and WaPo to start wars, sell them to voters. Does any of this mean Twitter should censure Trump? Or that not doing it makes them warmongers?

Trump Could Start A War Via Twitter; The Social Network Is OK With That (Keys)

Lost in the back-and-forth over the legality of the assassination and whatever future consequences it may hold is that Trump may be the first president to stoke, and perhaps even declare, war through the Internet. [..] Since taking office, Trump has used Twitter to antagonize North Korea, start false rumors about Russia, intimidate witnesses, harass journalists, slander political rivals and — perhaps we should have seen it coming — threaten Iran. For its part, Twitter seems okay — maybe even pleased — that Trump has selected their platform to connect directly with the public. To date, no other social media platform has been able to boast that two sitting presidents have actively used their platform with the level of tenacity seen on Twitter.

That was likely the thought in mind when Twitter responded to criticism over its selective enforcement of its own terms of service — the kind that prohibit direct harassment against a person, incitement of violence, certain slurs and other acts of malfeasance — by saying it would give greater leniency to world leaders because what they have to tweet is important for people to read. “Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation,” a blog post published in January 2018 said. “Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society. Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate.”

Twitter goes on to argue that removing a world leader like Trump from the platform would not silence them as some would wish, but rather “hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.” “We review Tweets by leaders within the political context that defines them, and enforce our rules accordingly,” Twitter said. So far, that enforcement has amounted to a blank check for Trump to say whatever he want with impunity, with the social network apparently figuring that whatever Trump has to say — on his personal account that he used for several years before he became president — has roots in political discourse. And, hey, it’s not like anyone has died from a president’s tweet before.

But the assassination of Gen. Soleimali at Trump’s direction changes everything. Nowhere has Trump’s trademark approach to public discourse — filterless, unhinged, often ignorant and without regard to consequence — played out more than on Twitter. Now, people are paying closer attention to what Trump has to say, particularly on Iran, and a lot of the focus is on what Trump will tweet next. Certainly among those waiting with baited breath are world leaders — allies who are trying hard to prepare for what’s ahead with virtually little advance notice and foes who are looking for any excuse to attack.

As the crisis between the United States and Iran over the killing of Gen. Soleimali intensifies, it’s not unreasonable to assume Trump will, at some point, tweet something that instigates an attack or declaration of war. When that happens, Americans will die. By choosing not to enforce its terms equitably across users and show privilege and favor to world leaders, Twitter — as a platform and as a company — will play a role in whatever comes next.

Read more …

Trump alos said he wants no war with Iran. Biden and Mayor Pete are twisting like pretzels, Warren has a hard time keeping up with events.

Sanders, Warren Want No War With Iran, Biden, Buttigieg Better-Run Wars (IC)

Warren, who faced criticism from the left for initially prefacing her alarm at the threat of “another costly war” with the statement that Suleimani was “a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans,” amplified Sanders’s anti-war message more clearly on Friday. “Donald Trump is dangerous and reckless,” she wrote. “He’s escalated crises and betrayed our partners. He’s undermined our diplomatic relationships for his own personal, political gain. We cannot allow him to drag us back into another war. We must speak out.”

Biden also criticized the killing of the general as needlessly provocative, but issued a statement that embraced the Trump administration’s argument that Suleimani, who orchestrated deadly attacks on U.S. soldiers during the post-war occupation of Iraq, “deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops.” The former vice president — who voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq when he was still in the Senate, and later authored a bizarre plan to partition the country along ethnic and sectarian lines — was critical mainly of what he called Trump’s failure to explain his “strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel” and Trump’s lack of a “long-term vision” for the U.S. military’s role in the region.

Warren, who faced criticism from the left for initially prefacing her alarm at the threat of “another costly war” with the statement that Suleimani was “a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans,” amplified Sanders’s anti-war message more clearly on Friday. “Donald Trump is dangerous and reckless,” she wrote. “He’s escalated crises and betrayed our partners. He’s undermined our diplomatic relationships for his own personal, political gain. We cannot allow him to drag us back into another war. We must speak out.”

Biden also criticized the killing of the general as needlessly provocative, but issued a statement that embraced the Trump administration’s argument that Suleimani, who orchestrated deadly attacks on U.S. soldiers during the post-war occupation of Iraq, “deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops.” The former vice president — who voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq when he was still in the Senate, and later authored a bizarre plan to partition the country along ethnic and sectarian lines — was critical mainly of what he called Trump’s failure to explain his “strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel” and Trump’s lack of a “long-term vision” for the U.S. military’s role in the region.

Read more …

Propaganda is what it is.

Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani (Murray)

In one of the series of blatant lies the USA has told to justify the assassination of Soleimani, Mike Pompeo said that Soleimani was killed because he was planning “Imminent attacks” on US citizens. It is a careful choice of word. Pompeo is specifically referring to the Bethlehem Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Self Defence. Developed by Daniel Bethlehem when Legal Adviser to first Netanyahu’s government and then Blair’s, the Bethlehem Doctrine is that states have a right of “pre-emptive self-defence” against “imminent” attack. That is something most people, and most international law experts and judges, would accept. Including me.

What very few people, and almost no international lawyers, accept is the key to the Bethlehem Doctrine – that here “Imminent” – the word used so carefully by Pompeo – does not need to have its normal meanings of either “soon” or “about to happen”. An attack may be deemed “imminent”, according to the Bethlehem Doctrine, even if you know no details of it or when it might occur. [..] The truth of the matter is that if you take every American killed including and since 9/11, in the resultant Middle East related wars, conflicts and terrorist acts, well over 90% of them have been killed by Sunni Muslims financed and supported out of Saudi Arabia and its gulf satellites, and less than 10% of those Americans have been killed by Shia Muslims tied to Iran.

This is a horribly inconvenient fact for US administrations which, regardless of party, are beholden to Saudi Arabia and its money. It is, the USA affirms, the Sunnis who are the allies and the Shias who are the enemy. Yet every journalist or aid worker hostage who has been horribly beheaded or otherwise executed has been murdered by a Sunni, every jihadist terrorist attack in the USA itself, including 9/11, has been exclusively Sunni, the Benghazi attack was by Sunnis, Isil are Sunni, Al Nusra are Sunni, the Taliban are Sunni and the vast majority of US troops killed in the region are killed by Sunnis.

Precisely which are these hundreds of deaths for which the Shia forces of Soleimani were responsible? Is there a list? It is of course a simple lie. Its tenuous connection with truth relates to the Pentagon’s estimate – suspiciously upped repeatedly since Iran became the designated enemy – that back during the invasion of Iraq itself, 83% of US troop deaths were at the hands of Sunni resistance and 17% of of US troop deaths were at the hands of Shia resistance, that is 603 troops. All the latter are now lain at the door of Soleimani, remarkably.

Read more …

“One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.”

Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran (VIPS)

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters. What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region.

Cui Bono? It is time to call a spade a spade. The country expecting to benefit most from hostilities between Iran and the U.S. is Israel (with Saudi Arabia in second place). As you no doubt are aware, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. He continues to await from you the kind of gift that keeps giving. Likewise, it appears that you, your son-in-law, and other myopic pro-Israel advisers are as susceptible to the influence of Israeli prime ministers as was former President George W. Bush. Some commentators are citing your taking personal responsibility for providing Iran with a casus belli as unfathomable. Looking back just a decade or so, we see a readily distinguishable pattern.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon payed a huge role in getting George W. Bush to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Usually taciturn, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, warned in August 2002 that “U.S. action against Iraq … could turn the whole region into a cauldron.” Bush paid no heed, prompting Scowcroft to explain in Oct. 2004 to The Financial Times that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had George W. Bush “mesmerized”; that Sharon has him “wrapped around his little finger.” (Scowcroft was promptly relieved of his duties as chair of the prestigious President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.)

In Sept. 2002, well before the attack on Iraq, Philip Zelikow, who was Executive Secretary of the 9/11 Commission, stated publicly in a moment of unusual candor, “The ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The unstated threat was the threat against Israel.” Zelikow did not explain how Iraq (or Iran), with zero nuclear weapons, would not be deterred from attacking Israel, which had a couple of hundred such weapons.

Read more …

Guess who the main Democratic donors are. Except for Bernie and Warren, but she’s already in funding trouble.

To Stop Trump’s War with Iran, We Must Also Confront the Democrats (ITT)

Since President Trump took office in 2017, the leadership of the Democratic Party has overwhelmingly supported the precursors to today’s dangerous U.S. escalation towards Iran: sanctions, proxy battles and a bloated military budget. Yet, now that we stand on the brink of a possible U.S. war of aggression, Democratic leaders are feigning concern that Trump is leading a march to war without congressional approval, and using a faulty strategy to do so. These objections, however, are grounded in process critiques, rather than moral opposition—and belie Democrats’ role in helping lay the groundwork for the growing confrontation.

The U.S. drone assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force and a ranking official of the Iranian government, takes confrontation with Iran to new heights, inching the U.S. closer to the war the Trump administration has been pushing for. While Trump deserves blame for driving this dangerous escalation, he did not do it on his own.

As recently as December 2019, the House overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 with a vote of 377-48. Two amendments were stripped from that bill before it went to a vote: Rep. Ro Khanna’s (D-Calif.) amendment to block funding for a war with Iran barring congressional approval and Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) amendment to repeal 2001’s “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” (AUMF). That AUMF effectively allows the government to use “necessary and appropriate force” against anyone suspected of being connected to the 9/11 attacks, and has been interpreted broadly to justify U.S. aggression around the world. Officials from the Trump administration have suggested that the 2001 AUMF may give them authority to go to war with Iran.

Of the 377 Representatives who voted for the $738 billion defense bill, 188 were Democrats. Just 41 Democrats opposed the legislation. The bill cleared the Senate with a tally of 86-8, with just four Democrats voting against it. None of the Senators running for the 2020 Democratic nomination were present for the vote. Before the vote, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor to brag about the fact that “partisan demands” had effectively been removed from the bill and declared that “sanity and progress” had won out. “Reassuringly, the past few days have finally brought an end to bipartisan talks and produced a compromise NDAA,” said McConnell.

Read more …

Talk about propaganda. Hollow words.

PBOC Says Will Keep Monetary Policy Prudent, Flexible And Appropriate (R.)

China will keep monetary policy prudent, flexible and appropriate, and continue to deepen financial reforms, the central bank said on Sunday, reiterating previous policy statements. After a work meeting chaired by People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang, the central bank also vowed to prevent any financial crisis, and said it would continue to help small companies seeking financing, according to a statement posted on PBOC’s website. It also said it will continue to let market play a decisive role in the currency exchange rate, but would keep the yuan exchange rate stable within a reasonable range. China’s economic growth cooled to a near 30-year low of 6% in the third quarter, but is expected to meet the government’s full-year 2019 target of 6%-6.5%. The PBOC on Wednesday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the eighth time in nearly two years…

Read more …

And there’s more where that came from. The rate cuts Bernanke once labeled “uncharted territory”, he now calls “conventional”.

Bernanke: Fed Has Ample Clout To Fight Downturn If Toolkit Used Properly (R.)

The U.S. Federal Reserve still has enough clout to fight a future downturn, but policymakers should state in advance the mix of policies and policy promises they plan to use to get the most bang for their buck, former Fed chief Ben Bernanke said on Saturday. In an address to the American Economics Association, Bernanke pushed back on the notion that central banks have lost influence over the economy, and laid out his thoughts about how the Fed in particular could change its monetary policy “framework” to be sure that is not the case. Citing new research of his own and others at the Fed and elsewhere, Bernanke said the bondbuying programs known as “quantitative easing” were effective in lowering long-term interest rates even after the Fed’s target policy rate had been cut to zero.


Several rounds of QE were rolled out in response to the deep 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession, and Bernanke said bondbuying should be made a permanent part of the U.S. central bank’s toolkit. Similarly, “forward guidance,” or promises about future policy, proved effective particularly as those pledges became more specific and tied to particular goals like reaching a certain level of unemployment. “Forward guidance in the next downturn will be more effective – better understood, better anticipated, and more credible – if it is part of a policy framework clearly articulated in advance,” Bernanke said. “Both QE and forward guidance should be part of the standard toolkit going forward.” “The room available for conventional rate cuts is much smaller than in the past,” Bernanke said, but “the new policy tools are effective.”

Read more …

You can talk about the Framers all you want, but the country has changed a lot since them.

How the Two-Party System Broke the Constitution (Atlantic)

From the mid-1960s through the mid-’90s, American politics had something more like a four-party system, with liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans alongside liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. Conservative Mississippi Democrats and liberal New York Democrats might have disagreed more than they agreed in Congress, but they could still get elected on local brands. You could have once said the same thing about liberal Vermont Republicans and conservative Kansas Republicans. Depending on the issue, different coalitions were possible, which allowed for the kind of fluid bargaining the constitutional system requires.

But that was before American politics became fully nationalized, a phenomenon that happened over several decades, powered in large part by a slow-moving post-civil-rights realignment of the two parties. National politics transformed from a compromise-oriented squabble over government spending into a zero-sum moral conflict over national culture and identity. As the conflict sharpened, the parties changed what they stood for. And as the parties changed, the conflict sharpened further. Liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats went extinct. The four-party system collapsed into just two parties.

The Democrats, the party of diversity and cosmopolitan values, came to dominate in cities but disappeared from the exurbs. And the Republicans, the party of traditional values and white, Christian identity, fled the cities and flourished in the exurbs. Partisan social bubbles began to grow, and congressional districts became more distinctly one party or the other. As a result, primaries, not general elections, determine the victor in many districts.

Read more …

Nice find, dark humor.

Bushfire Turns Aussie Sky Into A Re-Creation Of The Aboriginal Flag (DMA)

An amazing photo taken by a woman as fires raged nearby seemed to mimic the Aboriginal flag. South Australian woman Rose Fletcher took the photo at Victor Harbour as the sun rose on New Year’s Day when fires near her home were at their worst. ‘It was taken on New Year’s Day, just after sunrise, when the fires were arguably at their worst, and hearts were heavy and people were frightened – me included,’ Mrs Fletcher told Daily Mail Australia. ‘The rising sun was just a pale disc behind the layers of smoke over the Southern Ocean – and then, for just a few magic seconds, as it moved up through successively dense layers, it formed the Aboriginal flag.’


Towns on Australia’s east coast have been plunged into darkness in the middle of the day recently, while others have witnessed the sky turn apocolyptic red as the fire front approached. At least 24 people have died so far and dozens more are still missing so far this fire season. Authorities predict that number will rise. In addition to the death toll, more than 1,500 homes and four million hectares of land have been wiped out. More than 500 million animals are feared to have perished. Ms Fletcher said she recognised right away the power of the image and immediately went home to share it. ‘So I went home and put it up on Facebook, hoping that those moments would speak to other people as they spoke to me, and the rest is history,’ she said.

Read more …

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle January 5 2020

This topic contains 15 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  John Day 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #52518

    Jack Delano Foggy night in New Bedford, Massachusetts 1941   • Suleimani’s Death Huge Blow To Iran’s Plans For Regional Domination (Hassan) • Tru
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle January 5 2020]

    #52519

    thomasjkenney
    Participant

    “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don’t have a space program, it’ll serve us right!”

    ― Larry Niven

    EDIT: …btw…It’s not just rocks we need to worry about.

    #52520

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Jack Delano Foggy night in New Bedford, Massachusetts 1941

    Another nice Delano. I was pleasently surprised not to get any PC crap, re. my “Negro” woman comment.
    Ilargi; you’re a PC free zone; yee ha! 😉

    #52521

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Warning: unbearably long.

    Bedford Falls again. Here’s what America looks like today:

    OH

    “Shit-Life Syndrome,” Trump Voters, and Clueless Dems

    Ugh. To some extent, it’s voluntary. You can be poor but everything doesn’t have to fall apart: Look at reams of Shorpy photos. They’re poorer than any of these guys but there’s a residual morality, rules, #Logos.

    Soleimani’s death has -perhaps greatly- increased the chance that US troops will have to leave Iraq. Who would want that to happen?”

    Trump would apparently (and Tulsi): it was a campaign promise. (Just like the last 4 guys but who’s counting).

    He claims it’s to STOP a war. So we had to have the war to stop the war? I’m not going to say he’s wrong on that, but since the public is allowed no information despite paying for it all, it’s still hollow. Since 1953, always some new excuse. In any case remember we have to flee saying “Well I made my point” and the invaded, to get them out, let’s us. Only Nixon could go to China. Only Clinton could destroy welfare. It’s just the weird way things go here. (see Political Ironies)

    Yes, Trump was the first to use Twitter

    And also the last because there are no rules. They won’t ban the President or other followers of a million, probably. However, the next unknown fellow using the same keywords will be banned in 60 seconds and they’ll funnel you to Fox News and Tweets from Will Smith’s cat. And have. Still every day there’s some new ban they don’t announce, last week it was anyone talking on crypto. “It’s the algo!” (that they wrote) “We’re helpless!” (though we created it from nothing, adjust it and enforce it). As they say in Britain: “Computer says no.”

    its selective enforcement of its own terms of service — the kind that prohibit direct harassment against a person, incitement of violence, certain slurs and other acts of malfeasance…”

    Gosh, all of which are used by Antifa, ISIS, and people like Tom Arnold and Kathy Griffin too, among ten-thousand. Yet they too are allowed, not banned even when in obvious breach and substantial pressure is applied. Why? Well pretty obviously, they are allowed only if they promote war, mostly civil. …So from their own actions, that’s why they exist, what they’ve been funded for, since they don’t make a profit. Anyone who want peace or order is banned. That’s their weird religion.

    Back to Trump: no he cannot declare a war on Twitter. Only Congress can do that. And they can rein him in any minute they like because Congress has the control, of the purse if nothing else. But THEY DON’T. 10 seconds before whining and mouthing off, a day before saying he’s the most immediate danger to life on earth, Congress, the House, passed another massive authorization, after another extra tens-billions in war and spying. On them. And us. Don’t give me all this crap, I wasn’t born yesterday, more’s the pity. They LIKE it. They WANT it. And their suffering exists only because THEY aren’t in charge, but they’ll EBD before they stop expanding dictatorial power into the Executive branch, in the hope that – like Virginia – they’ll get to use it against the people someday. Then they’ll kill all the people they can find, drink from the skulls of their enemies, and their religion will be fulfilled.

    Always, ever in history, there are only two sides: the government vs the people. The people who leave alone, and the People who tell others what to do. OR ELSE!!! Half the country are the latter petty Hitlers now, institutionalized, aching to order anyone around for any behavior, they can think of, however slight.

    And now the writer’s claim is that if you don’t ban everyone I don’t like, Twitter will be the cause of war? ‘Cause, like, it’s impossible to communicate without Twitter which we never had and was created yesterday? So, is the Toledo Blade the cause of war? They print stuff too. The phone company? They let people talk. I can tell this guy is on the side of the government because he’s for everyone obeying him as a slave, and the side of the #AntiLogos, because in #Oppositeland they put blame everywhere but where it belongs: Congress. ESPECIALLY, perhaps exclusively the House, since they keep doubling our war budget and hold the purse strings over the Executive. He needs a mirror to see who causes this, not a house of mirrors such as he’s built.

    So once you have a world where no one can speak without your express, personal opinion, Mr. Keys, what do you think of that? Perfect world? Utopia? It will be for one man: YOU. For the rest of us it will be a totalitarian hell on earth. Don’t think we’ll just sit around for your majesty to speak. Sic semper tyrannus.

    He’s undermined our diplomatic relationships for his own personal, political gain.

    Here we go again with #AntiLogos. So if — and I think you’ll see this instantly in the polls — support for Trump goes down from war, AND he was already beating every candidate handily, then it’s the #Oppositeland that Trump would start a war for the election. That’s the same as the other #Oppositeland, and I kid you not, because a single Russian flew to America last week, Putin just gave his orders to Trump…to attack Putin and Russia??? No, literally, literally, this is being said widely. No folks, it’s the #Opposite. Just as a handy guide, take whatever you think and do the opposite. What do you do with nations this insane? And largely at the top, the “(non)thinking class” as Kunstler often says? What to do? Why do anything? They’re destroying themselves more completely than anything Iran or China could devise. Look at Main Street Ohio, above.

    the Sunnis who are the allies and the Shias who are the enemy.

    Ah, Murray is listing our #Oppositeland #AntiLogos too. Hey, given a choice, would you side with a) the guys without oil, who are in a war, who widely attack our people and are an embarrassment to all liberal democracy (naturally I mean Israel here, but if the Saudi shoe fits…) or b) the side that HAS all the remaining oil, haven’t had an aggressive war in 200 years, and even whose allies are pretty mild? Well, a) of course. They are the most diametrically #Oppositeland to all American values, so in #Oppositeland, of course they are your allies and the profitable, non-warlike guys are your enemy. He’s painting up Soulemani, who being a general, of course kills people, of course killed thousands or he couldn’t be promoted but the point’s the same.

    The ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States.

    The only ‘real threat’ to them is NOT having a war. Everyone knows that, from the bottom to the top. That’s why everyone apparently plays along. When they nuke Berkeley and Toledo for us, the cry will be, “Whut?”

    inching the U.S. closer to the war the Trump administration has been pushing for

    Huh? These guys were only happy when he bombed Syria, and only apoplectic when he was pulling out of anywhere. The Trump admin set two peaces in 3 years, in NoKo and Syria, and are seriously staged to leave F-stan. The TRUMP administration has been pushing for war? If that’s the case, who in the whole earth has been holding him back? Comey and Brennan? Obama? Pelosi with wildly-rising, unasked-for war budgets? Seriously, sir, however mild, Trump has been the ONLY guy – even in his own administration – NOT pushing for war.

    Bernanke: Fed Has Ample Clout To Fight Downturn If Toolkit Used Properly (R.)

    Hahahahahaha. You’re so funny. In a time of universal corruption, where no one bats an eye at zero accounting and infinite money-printing, what can’t be done? A: any problem that isn’t fixed by MORE lies and MORE money-printing. That is to say: rising rates, as REPO exposed, and inflation, which will happen when money flees fraudulent, unaccounted paper promises, and into real things like wheat. Oh, P.S., just like every other fiat system ever, after the 40 years we’ve already had. Bye-bye.

    How the Two-Party System Broke the Constitution (Atlantic)

    What a dip: Newsflash: the U.S. has even had only ONE party, in 1830. It’s had MANY parties. It’s had one de-facto party, under Lincoln and FDR. It’s had every combination of parties. But mostly it’s had two parties going way, way back, back to the 1730s, and none of it made any difference. The Constitution isn’t broken. We just won’t use it anymore. Why? Because it’s a contract that is the PURVIEW OF THE PEOPLE TO ENFORCE. The government isn’t going to enforce it on themselves, duh. Their job in history is to attack, railroad, imprision, rob, and destroy the people: read the Declaration for G-d’s sake. It’s US who restrains them, we just establish what WE consider is over the line USING the Constitution.

    And against every. word. he’s saying his own party IS like four parties. AND the GOP is at least two. Listing, all formidable and real: Democratic Socialists. Blue-dog unions. NeoLib billionaire warmongers, standard DNC values, let’s say University professors and white-collar holdovers. GOP core, with or without the RINOs. GOP-new, including the Tea Party, fake and real, and the actual Libertarians. But according to the Atlantic, reporters-at-large, who follow this every day and are experts: None of those parties exist, although at least two of them have had enormous effects and overthrew their party within and continually every day for 1,000 days in a row, a fight that is in every 3rd news story.

    I’m a reporter: Nothing to see here! When there are 6 or 8 parties rabidly chewing on each other everywhere you look, I report the problem is we have 1! Because I thought it in my head a second ago, and thanks to political correctness and a Twitter-chamber, no one can knock in my door, give me a black eye, and say: get straight, and stop being a moron or I’ll thrash you again just for being. Well you are sir. I haven’t read anything that dumb in a while, and considering your co-workers at The Atlantic, that’s really saying something. May Emerson rise from his grave and throw you from the Pequod for embarrassing his paper so.

    Back to the point: nothing’s broken but that YOU, and The Atlantic, won’t support the Constitution, and are against every word in it and all Ten Bill of Rights, every day of my natural life. Then it’s somebody else’s fault? You’re the ones who don’t WANT a Constitution, free speech, state law, bankruptcy protection, gun rights, or an electoral college. Maybe Hamilton should wrap you in the rigging for when Emerson pushes.

    #52522

    zerosum
    Participant

    Everywhere Armchair generals

    Why is the USA involved is a regional religious war?
    Why do the USA accept the lies? Would Money be the reason that the people accept the lies?
    Why won’t the USA go home? Again, would it be because someone is making a lot of money.

    The truth of the matter is that if you take every American killed including and since 9/11, in the resultant Middle East related wars, conflicts and terrorist acts, well over 90% of them have been killed by Sunni Muslims financed and supported out of Saudi Arabia and its gulf satellites, and less than 10% of those Americans have been killed by Shia Muslims tied to Iran.
    Yet every journalist or aid worker hostage who has been horribly beheaded or otherwise executed has been murdered by a Sunni, every jihadist terrorist attack in the USA itself, including 9/11, has been exclusively Sunni, the Benghazi attack was by Sunnis, Isil are Sunni, Al Nusra are Sunni, the Taliban are Sunni and the vast majority of US troops killed in the region are killed by Sunnis.
    Precisely which are these hundreds of deaths for which the Shia forces of Soleimani were responsible? Is there a list? It is of course a simple lie.

    Will Canada need to hide the Americans, once again, during a siege?
    ken-taylor-canadian-envoy-who-hid-americans-during-iran-hostage-crisis

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis

    Fifty-two American diplomats and citizens were held hostage, (siege), for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981,
    ——
    Worth emphasizing. Worth reading the original. Don’t forget to read the comments/opinions from the armchair generals following the original article.

    VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran


    January 3, 2020
    MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
    FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
    SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

    It is time to call a spade a spade. The country expecting to benefit most from hostilities between Iran and the U.S. is Israel (with Saudi Arabia in second place).
    And when bodybags arrive from abroad, there may be for families and for thinking Americans, a limit to how much longer the pro-Israel mainstream media will be able to pull the wool over their eyes.
    We are all in a liminal moment. We write with a sense of urgency suggesting you avoid doubling down on catastrophe.
    For the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: (see long list of distinguished people)

    ——-

    Iran Warns U.S. Its Middle East Dominance Is Over After Naval Drills With Russia, China
    By David Brennan On 12/30/19 at 8:47 AM EST
    “Regional countries themselves can ensure security together,” he said. “The presence of Americans only creates insecurity in the region,” he added, according to the state-backed Fars news agency.
    ( https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13981009000390 )
    He said that Iran has proved that it always tries to maintain peace in the international waterways, especially this important area.
    On Thursday, Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian announced that Beijing’s Xining guided-missile destroyer would take part in the drills. Three Russian vessels are also taking part in the drills, according to reports.
    Also on Thursday, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi underlined that high deterrence power of the country’s Armed Forces has discouraged enemies at military aggression.
    The enemy never dares to attack Iran thanks to combat readiness of the Iranian forces at sea and on the ground, Rear Admiral Khanzadi said, addressing a meeting in the Northeastern city of Mashhad.
    The Americans are well-known as aggressors with records of aggression on several states and they have killed 800,000 native people in their civil war, he added.
    Rear Admiral Khanzadi said that the United States is the only country in the world which has used nuclear weapon, encouraged the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, created ISIL terrorist group to cause bloodbath and never hesitates to ignite conflict across the world.
    During eight years of sacred defense with Iraq, many countries backed Saddam Hussein, but, in the end it was Iran that won the battle and that the role of the Iranian Navy was very significant, the commander said.
    He said that the enemy is now exerting economic pressure to break the people’s unity, but to no avail.

    #52523

    zerosum
    Participant

    Your move
    Its Cold season

    https://www.rt.com/news/477515-iraq-parliament-foreign-troops/
    Iraqi parliament passes resolution asking government to cancel request for assistance from US-led coalition
    5 Jan, 2020 13:54 /

    Iraq’s parliament has voted to have foreign troops removed from the country, heeding a call from its caretaker prime minister. The move comes after the US assassination of a top Iranian general and a commander of Iraqi militia.
    The resolution, which was passed anonymously, instructs the government to cancel a request for military assistance from the US-led coalition, which was issued in response to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). With IS supposedly defeated, Iraq will not need foreign troops to fight the jihadists and can close its airspace to coalition aircraft.
    The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.
    According to Press TV, some Western military presence may remain for training purposes. The resolution says Iraqi military leadership has to report the number of foreign instructors that are necessary for Iraqi national security.
    At the same time, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that Baghdad had turned to the UN Security Council with complaints about US violations of its sovereignty.
    The interim prime minister said after the incident it was clear that it was in the interest of both the US and Iraq to end the presence of foreign forces on Iraqi soil.

    Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated in a letter that Iraq should go further and shut down the US embassy.

    In the wake of the attack the US advised all American civilians to leave Iraq. US-led coalition troops in Iraq have also suspended all training operations and hunkered down at fortified bases, bracing for retaliatory strikes.

    phlegm
    [flem]

    NOUN
    the thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, especially when produced in excessive or abnormal quantities, e.g., when someone is suffering from a cold.

    #52524

    Dr D Rich
    Participant

    Well you finally nailed it Dr. D.
    “So from their own actions, that’s why they exist, what they’ve been funded for, since they don’t make a profit. Anyone who wants peace or order is banned. That’s their weird religion.”

    And currently current events support you. Soleimani was lured to his death for….wait…being a peacemaker.
    “Wow….lured to peace talks in order to be murdered.
    “Has anyone noticed this? Apparently Soleimani was to meet the Iraqi PM the day after he was murdered.. as an envoy with a letter responding a certain Saudi peace offer!?!
    The Iraqi PM stated this himself today

    #52525

    zerosum
    Participant

    SOLEIMAMI PEACE OFFER
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/iraqi-parliament-votes-for-plan-to-end-us-troop-presence-1.960145

    Parliament voted on a five-point action plan that would require the Iraqi government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country, and withdraw its request for assistance from the anti-ISIS global coalition. This would require new legislation to cancel the existing agreement.
    Parliament also called on the government to ban the use of Iraqi airspace by any foreign power.
    The Iraqi foreign minister has been directed to head to the UN to lodge an official complaint against the US strike.
    The bill is subject to approval by the Iraqi government and cancelling the US-Iraq agreement requires a one-year notice for withdrawal.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/iraqi-parliament-expels-foreign-militaries-from-iraq.html

    Before the vote Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi told the parliament that he was scheduled to meet with Soleimani a day after his arrival to receive a letter from Iran to Iraq in response to a de-escalation offer Saudi Arabia had made. The U.S. assassinated Soleimani before the letter could be delivered by him.
    Abdul-Mahdi also said that Trump had asked him to mediate between the U.S. and Iran.
    Did he do that to trap Soleimani? It is no wonder then that Abdul-Mahdi is fuming.
    The Prime Minister’s letter to the General Secretary of the UN and the Secretary of the UNSC is here.

    It is somehow ironic that the U.S. has spent lots of lives and money to “spread democracy” in Iraq only to be kicked out through an Iraqi parliament vote.

    Question:
    Who lose money with peace? Israel?

    #52526

    zerosum
    Participant

    In other blowbacks from the murder of Soleimani the Qatar leaders are fuming over the use of a Qatar based reaper drone to launch the missiles and were controlled remotely by operators at the US Air Force base in Creech, Nevada. https://www.arabnews.com/node/1608386/middle-east

    #52527

    zerosum
    Participant

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13981015000545
    Iraqi Hezbollah Warns Security Forces to Avoid Approching US Bases
    The Kataib Hezbollah on Saturday warned the Iraqi security forces to keep a distance of one Kilometer from the US bases from Sunday evening, after the Pentagon’s recent assault hit five targets of the popular forces in Iraq and Syria which resulted in the death of dozens of fighters.
    “The leaders of the security services must abide by the safety rules of their fighters and not allow them to be a human shield,” al-Askari warned.

    #52528

    Maxwell Quest
    Participant

    @Herr Doktor

    If reason were music your commentary today would be a symphony!

    “Trump Could Start A War Via Twitter; The Social Network Is OK With That (Keys)”

    Numerous times over the last three years have I had to defend Trump’s use of Twitter. This automatically gets me labelled as a Trump lover or MAGA fanatic, instead of a defender of the first amendment. When hatred is in charge of the house, reason and nuance get shot in the head, don’t you see.

    It was also apparent that this idea, the audacity and ignominy of a tweeting president, was implanted by their latest ingestion of CNN propaganda. How dare the president circumvent his gatekeepers and talk directly to the world via his twitter account. Doesn’t he know that this ties the hands of corporate media, making their job of misquoting, taking out of context, and twisting his words that much more difficult? Apparently, being a media expert himself, he does.

    #52529

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    “Soleimani was lured to his death for….wait…being a peacemaker.
    “Wow….lured to peace talks in order to be murdered.
    “Has anyone noticed this? Apparently Soleimani was to meet the Iraqi PM the day after he was murdered.. as an envoy with a letter responding a certain Saudi peace offer!?!”

    Reminds me of when this guy — Ahmad Shah Massoud — was taken out two days before 911.

    #52530

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Trump is a pig!
    The U.S. has been run by pigs since Carter…

    #52532

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I should add: A disgusting pig! With a 4th grade vocabulary…
    How bloody scary is that?
    And then add, he’s the titular head of the militarily, most powerful country on this planet…

    #52540

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Thanks. I don’t like getting so worked up.

    Today’s headline should be “Trump slipped on a banana peel and accidentally withdrew from the Middle East.” If so, Soleimani would all be worth it. However, as advertised, the U.S. has to leave by shooting up the town and saying, “Welp Pilgrim, I guess I’ve made my point.” Then retreat like a little girl, but somehow it’s okay then.

    So can you tell me with every possible force, inside and out against withdrawal, can you figure out how to be irrevocably forced to bring the troops home? How about doing exactly everything a small Mediterranean nation wants you to, only a leeeeetle too much? Then he says, “Well, sorry, did all I could! You see how strong I was, how many bombs, I did everything you asked, aw shucks didn’t work out.”

    We’ll see though. Ugh.

    #52544

    John Day
    Participant

    Dr D said:
    “So can you tell me with every possible force, inside and out against withdrawal, can you figure out how to be irrevocably forced to bring the troops home? How about doing exactly everything a small Mediterranean nation wants you to, only a leeeeetle too much? Then he says, “Well, sorry, did all I could! You see how strong I was, how many bombs, I did everything you asked, aw shucks didn’t work out.”’
    This kind of paradoxical thought has often entered my mind, and any inference of intent at any time is quickly turned upon it’s pointy-little-head in the next moment, so inference of intent is not useful.
    The best I can come up with is that Trump’s role in history is to degrade the degraded and degrading western globalist near-hegemony a little bit faster.

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