History is a funny thing, because we forget it so easily, and so quickly. That forgetting is usually based on the political needs of the moment, and politicians and the media count on us being that way so they can manipulate us. Works nearly every time, too.
One of the latest versions of this is the media meme that the Syrian quagmire is kinda new-ish, and that the most recent American spurt of 59 cruise missiles into that country represents something, maybe an escalation, maybe a change of policy, maybe some domestic political thingie. To help disprove all that, here’s an article I wrote about a year ago.
Let’s see how that holds up in hindsight.
Despite over 400,000 dead and ongoing ground and air campaigns inside the country by the U.S., Russia and several others, 51 US diplomats in 2016 publicly demanded the Obama administration launch strikes directly against Bashir Assad in Syria.
People speak of Afghanistan as “our generation’s” Vietnam, a quagmire, a war that goes on simply because it has been going on.
The Afghan war is dragging into being our generation’s, and soon the next generation’s Vietnam as well, over a decade and a half old. There are troops deploying now that were two years old when the conflict started. There are fathers and sons deploying together. Bin Laden’s been dead for years.
With a slight break, the current war in Iraq has been ongoing for some 14 years. If you want to think of it in a longer view, Trump is now the fifth consecutive president to make war on that country. Saddam’s been dead for years.
“Another east Mosul resident, Jasim Mohammed Ali, said his son and six grandsons were killed … Ali said that during the [coalition bomb] attack in the modest Aden neighborhood [in Mosul, Iraq], his grandsons were crushed by rubble in their bedroom as he cowered next door with his 17-year-old son, who was also killed. His pregnant daughter-in-law lost her baby, a girl who had yet to be named. His wife suffered scarring burns to her head and back. His daughter’s legs were crushed as she tried to hold her 6-year-old son, buried beneath the concrete. Although surgeons inserted metal pins in her legs, she still can’t walk. Unable to reach the cemetery… the family buried the bodies in a nearby schoolyard, marking the graves with cinder blocks.” –Civilian casualties from airstrikes grow in Iraq and Syria. But few are ever investigated – Los Angeles Times
I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea.
No, no, Trump is not going to start a war there. And, no, Kim Jong Un is not going to start a war there. It is not going to happen, despite a cottage industry of pundits who seem to really believe war is only moments away.
Let’s start with the obvious. A war on the Korean peninsula benefits no one and is really, really bad for everyone (we’ll get to the irrational madman theory in a moment.)
Any conflict means the end of North Korea, and the end of the Kim dynasty. The U.S. will win any fight, nuclear or not, and Kim and everyone with any power or money in the North knows that. North Korea has no reason to start a war that will end in its own destruction. The people there with power and money do not want to give those things up.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday accused Iran of sending troops to fight in Syria and of destabilizing the region. He did not mention that Iranian troops were invited into the country while US troops are in Syria illegally. Tillerson condemned Iran as a leading human rights abuser while praising Saudi Arabia — the kings of head-chopping — as a great US ally. The Secretary of State vowed that the US would solve the Iran problem once and for all instead of leaving it to the next US Administration. Is Trump gunning for yet another major war in the Middle East? Will US allies follow Washington in new sanctions on Iran even as Trump has reluctantly admitted that Iran is living up to its end of the nuclear deal? This and more in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
After Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss nearly six months ago, her most powerful Democratic allies feared losing control of the party. Efforts to lip-synch economic populism while remaining closely tied to Wall Street had led to a catastrophic defeat. In the aftermath, the party’s progressive base – personified by Bernie Sanders – was in position to start flipping over the corporate game board.
Aligned with Clinton, the elites of the Democratic Party needed to change the subject. Clear assessments of the national ticket’s failures were hazardous to the status quo within the party. So were the groundswells of opposition to unfair economic privilege. So were the grassroots pressures for the party to become a genuine force for challenging big banks, Wall Street and overall corporate power.
In short, the Democratic Party’s anti-Bernie establishment needed to reframe the discourse in a hurry. And – in tandem with mass media – it did.
The reframing could be summed up in two words: Blame Russia.