The Blind Leading the Blind: Everyone’s Middle Eastern Madness.

“There is a holy mistaken zeal in politics as well as in religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves,” or so said the forgotten English writer Junius in the mid-18th Century. When I read his words the other day I was reminded of other situations where ideology and ignorance of history replaced reason.

Operation Unthinkable is one of many such examples, a loonie scheme hatched in early 1945 by Winston Churchill. Exhausted by six years of war, drinking heavily, with a loathing for his Soviet nemesis — though he once told Field Marshal Montgomery he and Stalin could resolve all their problems if only they met weekly over dinner fortified with an ample supply of scotch and vodka.

Churchill wanted to forgive the Nazis and instead have 100,000 of their Wehrmacht troops link up with the British and Americans to attack the victorious Red Army as it sped toward Berlin and therefore “impose the will of the Western Allies on the Soviets.” The plan was clearly insane and unenforceable yet Churchill ordered the British Armed Forces Joint Planning Staff to develop his idea until rational members of his inner circle said No. Continue reading “The Blind Leading the Blind: Everyone’s Middle Eastern Madness.”

The Symbiosis of Savagery


War, Terror, and the Ethics of Extinction


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“Violence begets violence” is a phrase famously used by Martin Luther King, Jr. And the “cycle of violence” is a well-known concept in the study of domestic abuse. In the days following 9/11, Harry Browne applied both to war and terrorism.

In those fevered days, Browne was one of the heroic few who bravely stood up to the “tripartisan” consensus among conservatives, liberals, and libertarians then baying for indiscriminate vengeance and displaying a rabid intolerance for dissent. On September 12, he wrote an editorial on Antiwar.com titled “When Will We Learn?” in which he cited the primary role of American state violence abroad in engendering retaliatory violence against the American people, which is what the 9/11 attacks were.

“Did we think the people who lost their families and friends and property in all that destruction would love America for what happened?

When will we learn that violence always begets violence?”

This drew a predictable flood of vituperation (much of it coming from libertarians), to which he responded with a follow-up editorial titled “The Cycle of Violence.” In that piece, he extended the “violence begets violence” principle to the terrorist attacks themselves.

Continue reading “The Symbiosis of Savagery”

NSA Surveillance and Our “Almost Orwellian” State

Directly lifted from the Electronic Frontier Foundation blog:

January 23, 2014 – 7:30pm
Berkeley, CA
Join us for “NSA Surveillance and Our ‘Almost Orwellian’ State,” hosted by St. John’s Presbyterian Church on Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Address:
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA

The event is open to the public. A donation will be requested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds will benefit the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Continue reading “NSA Surveillance and Our “Almost Orwellian” State”

Sneak-Preview?

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ” –National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, Published October 28th, 1976 by Penguin Books

 

Although Zero Dark Thirty didn’t get the Oscar – – –

Governments survive on myth. Truth is dangerous. As Chief Nazi “Information Officer” Goebbels put it, “…the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.”

While the main stream media averts its eyes, the Emperor shivers.

Why would you shoot your highest-value-in-history information-laden target in the head immediately, before he can talk, especially since he isn’t armed and doesn’t resist? And then deep-six the body at sea out of respect for his religious preferences. But you get that wrong. And you don’t want to release photos because, well – – – – ah – – –

We need better scripts!  It’s even been suggested Uncle should hire better fiction writers. Maybe they should tap Philip Kraske – – –

“But I think, in this case” — a long pause — “the best we can do is the impression of photos, the news of photos, rather than the photos themselves. Photo-shopping some old photos is but the work of an hour, and then we release them on a limited, official basis. We send –“

“Forget it,” said the CIA man flatly. “The Truthers will go through ten thousand photos of bin Laden till they find the one we used.”

… “Well now, I don’t know here,” said the Marine general. You don’t release any photos, sir, and you’re not going to convince your grandmother. With all respect.”

Others nodded vigorously. The Rainmaker wondered if any of them had greater intellect than the chairs they sat on.

…”Let’s remember, dear ones, that our job is not to convince, but merely to give people one or two good reasons not to believe any other version. This is a distinction that I’m always having to explain to various agencies. Sometimes, as in an espionage op, you do indeed need to convince. But this is a public psy op. Here we play with a natural advantage” — a tiny chuckle — “and I would imagine it drives the 9-11 Truthers nuts: Americans naturally believe their government.  — Philip Kraske, Zero Light Twenty (or Forty — Whatever)

So, why would you shoot your highest-value-in-history information-laden target in the head immediately, before he can talk?

Judge, jury & executioner?

Could he [Mr. Obama] order the targeted killing of an American citizen [cleric Anwar al-Awlaki], in a country with which the United States was not at war [Yemen], in secret and without the benefit of a trial?

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.

Mr. Obama gave his approvalSecret Kill List’ Tests Obama’s Principles – NYTimes.com

Yep, judge, jury and executioner.

That used to un-American, not to mention illegal — AND a really bad idea. What happened?