Although Russia signaled that it would veto the US/UK/France UN Security Council Resolution adding sanctions on the Syrian government over allegations that it used chemical weapons on its own people, the Resolution was brought to a vote anyway today. In the end, it was vetoed by Russia, China, and Bolivia, with three additional countries abstaining.
The Resolution and accompanying sanctions were a classic case of guilty until proven innocent, as the investigations into the alleged use of chlorine gas are ongoing and have established no definitive proof of Syrian government culpability.
That did not stop President Trump’s “Disaster Ambassador,” Nikki Haley, from once again displaying her astonishing ignorance in a blistering (but groundless) attack on Russia and China for not falling in line behind the US-led sanctions effort.
Eye in the Sky (2015) is the first feature-length film about drone warfare to have received a decent amount of mainstream attention. This no doubt has something to do with the high-caliber cast, including lead roles by Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, and Alan Rickman as Lieutenant General Frank Benson. Big names imply big budgets. But there’s another reason why this movie, directed by Gavin Hood, has been discussed more than National Bird (2016), Good Kill (2015), Drone (2014), Drones (2013), Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars (2013), or Dirty Wars (2013).
None of these films is entertaining. Eye in the Sky, like some of the others in this growing genre, presents itself as a work of historical fiction, grounded in what is supposed to be a realistic portrayal of the contemporary practice of drone warfare against persons suspected of association with radical jihadist groups. But rather than condemning the remote-control killers, as the other films unequivocally do, Eye in the Sky portrays the protagonists wrestling with the complexities of morality before launching missiles and then congratulating one another on their success.
The “evil enemy” here, in Nairobi, Kenya, is Al Shabaab, and the fate of one of their cells is the subject of lengthy and sophistic “just war” debate among the drone warriors. A contingent of US and British military and civilian officials communicate with one another from different parts of the world over Skype-like video feed, and after arguing over the course of the workday, they ultimately decide to execute the suspects, who appear to be preparing to carry out a suicide attack in the proximate future or, as the drone warriors would say, “imminently”.
The sole permanent US military base in Africa is getting a new neighbor. It’s the Chinese, who are building their first military base outside of Chinese territory. The Chinese are the largest investors in Africa and have been heavily involved in anti-piracy efforts near Djibouti, where the two bases will be a few miles from each other. The neocons will point to this development as an example of how the US must be even more forwardly deployed to block Chinese expansion, but a more likely explanation is that the Chinese move is in response to repeated US destabilization moves in the region, including the war in Yemen, the war on Libya, and elsewhere. But will the new neighbors get along? We discuss in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
For espousing the same beliefs about the First Amendment I did on November 8 (everyone speaks always, unfettered), I am no longer a patriot.
Many of the groups and people who supported me then, and once supported the First Amendment absolutely, now call me a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist and normalizer.
Because we live in odd times, and because too many people only read a sentence or two before losing their sh*t, I feel the need for a disclaimer. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist or a normalizer. I do not like people who are those things. I didn’t vote for Trump and I think he’s a lousy human. ‘Kay?
Recently, we had a look at the ways President Trump’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is making her predecessor, “humanitarian bomber” Samantha Power, look like a model diplomat by comparison. It turns out Haley’s ghastly performance at the UN thus far is no fluke. Each time she opens her mouth she spews not the kind of foreign policy that President Trump campaigned on, but rather the boot-in-the-face know-nothingness that we have grown accustomed to in recent years.
In the latest “Haley Alert,” the Ambassador is furious over a Russia-threatened veto of a UN Security Council resolution offered by the US, UK, and France to impose new sanctions on the Syrian government over unproven allegations that Syria used chemical weapons against its own population.
This April 4th will be 100 years since the U.S. Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech’s first anniversary). Events are being planned to help us try to finally learn some lessons, to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but war.
That declaration of war on Germany was not for the war that makes up the single most common theme of US entertainment and history. It was for the war that came before that one. This was the Great War, the war to end all wars, the war without which the conditions for the next war would not have existed.
As well recounted in Michael Kazin’s War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918, a major peace movement had the support of a great deal of the United States. When the war finally ended (after the US had actually been in it for about 5% the length of the war on Afghanistan thus far) just about everybody regretted it. The losses in life, limb, sanity, property, civil liberties, democracy, and health were incredible. Death, devastation, a flu epidemic, prohibition, a permanent military and the taxes to go with it, plus predictions of World War II: these were the results, and a lot of people remembered that they had been warned, as well as that the ending of all war had been promised.