Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

IT’S MONDAY! NEWS, TRUMP, MEXICO, TERRORISM, CARTELS, AND UKRAINE

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As far as I can tell the mainstream news gets worse daily, it’s just the Democrat version of Fox News now. Granted I watch very little of it. Good thing too, the neighbours would complain about the screaming. Case in point, last night I overheard a snippet on one of the plethora of ‘news’ shows my housemate watches. There was a former Obama official talking about Ukraine. He said Ukraine is at war with Russia, and Russia is occupying Ukrainian territory. And at that point, I started screaming and my housemate asked me to leave his room.

I was screaming because the former is an outright lie, and the later completely ignores the context. Basically the Democrat propaganda line is that Russia is the aggressor against poor Ukraine. I even met a fellow who swore Russia is setting itself up to “retake” Ukraine. An incredibly complicated situated reduced to the status of a Risk game. When people’s knowledge of the world is based on utter falsehoods, it pretty much short circuits any possible debate. Note terrorism comments below.

Add to that the ever increasing number of things Russia is purported to have done to undermine our democracy. It was ridiculous long ago, but that doesn’t stop huge numbers of people from believing it. It’s all basically crazy. Ukraine is about as unimportant to the US as it’s possible to get, the US meddling there serves no purpose. (Is Ukraine slavic for Vietnam?) And selling Ukraine advanced weapons is just adding fuel to the fire, if Ukraine gets into a real war with Russia, they will lose. And the idea of the US fighting a nuclear war to defend Ukraine is bat shit crazy.

Speaking of bat shit crazy, Trump recently floated the idea of using the US military to destroy the drug cartels in Mexico. And a move is afoot to designate these criminal gangs as ‘terrorist organizations.’ Both are really bad ideas. The USA has not been able to halt the flow of drugs into the USA, nor the flow of money and guns into Mexico. All of which occur right here in the USA. And somehow marching into Mexico is going to make a difference? It’s not like the cartel members wear uniforms and have military bases, how the hell is the military going to be any better at finding them than the Mexican military?

And of course sending the US military into Mexico would cause anti-American resentment throughout Latin America, and make American civilians marked targets for cartel retaliation everywhere, including in the United States. Like sending advanced weapons to Ukraine, it would be the equivalent of using a flamethrower to put out a fire. People, like Trump apparently, who think the military is the solution to every problem have watched too many Hollywood movies and not paid any attention to the litany of failed interventions that has been the “War on Terror” the past few decades. Fortunately the government of Mexico has said “No!” to the idea. Hopefully Trump isn’t unstable enough to send troops into Mexico without their blessing, knock on wood.

And declaring criminal gangs to be “terrorist organizations’ just highlights the stupidity of declaring any organization a terrorist organization. It’s simply a propaganda label used to avoid any actual debate about America’s interventionist foreign policy. And if Trump gets the cartels so designated, refugees from that part of the world would then be able to claim they were fleeing terrorism. As people have pointed out, it would open a whole can of legal worms, likely driving more refugees to try and cross the border. Something Trump is against, so I suspect Trump didn’t really think this through. Granted thinking things through does not appear to be one of Trump’s strong points.

We’ll see what happens. The picture above is from Ukraine’s varied history, no implications meant. It’s a parade in Ukraine after Hitler’s legions rolled in in 1941. At first the Nazis were welcomed as liberators, Stalin’s rule of Ukraine being brutal. The Germans quickly showed they could out brutal Stalin any day, and Ukrainian collaboration with Hiter’s Nazis quickly waned. 4.5 million Ukrainians ultimately fought for Stalin, the devil you know I guess.

Have a great week everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Parade in Stanislav (Ivano-Frankivsk) in honor of the visit of the Governor-General of Poland Reichsleiter Hans Frank Credit: Unknown, Public Domain under Russian Copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

December 2, 2019 at 4:19 am

9/11 DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES

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nps

September 11 2019. The 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Possibly the most written about event in history. At least in America, I wonder how much attention it gets in the rest of the world. Years of cultivating foreign friends has taught me a bit about the world. Two things I have learned so far. Most of the world has little interest in America and Americans, aside from superficial stuff like our movies and such. And that I know basically jack about most other countries. The older I get, the more I am impressed with how breathtakingly ignorant I am about most things. So I spend a lot of time in the library.

18 years ago. Time flies. People under 25 or so don’t even remember pre-9/11 America. There was still a facade of participatory democracy. There was still a reasonably robust antiwar movement. The USA hadn’t yet turned the Middle East into a morass of failed states and terrorist breeding grounds. Mandatory flag waving and anthem singing wasn’t required at every single public gathering and professional sporting event. The Internet was only 90% crap.

And facts mattered. At least a lot more than they do now. Conservatives and liberals still talked to each other, they hadn’t yet retreated into their respective parties’ fantasy worlds. Conspiracy theories were still fringe beliefs, not planks in major party platforms. Americans didn’t live in fear of immigrants, terrorists, Muslims, or school shooters. A college education didn’t require lifetime debt. And in many very measurable ways, the typical American was better off than they are now.

Finally 9/11 is fading into history, but the damage done by the Bush administrations cowardly and self-serving insane overreaction to 9/11 is with us still. Permanent endless wars, a national debt that’s almost incomprehensible. The erosion of our freedoms and the giant security state now monitoring us. Bush did claim Osama Bin Laden was attacking us because he was jealous of our freedoms. So I guess taking them away made sense. That’s what the image above alludes to.

In other words, 9/11 and America’s response to it are pretty depressing topics. I wish I had something positive to say. Wracking my brains here. A terrible crime, used to justify countless subsequent crimes. How does one find the silver lining in that? The 9/11 Truthers have been amusing I suppose. The conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories. Of course the amusement fades when one realizes just how divorced from logical thinking one has to be to imagine that thousands of Americans conspired to murder thousands of Americans for no reason whatsoever. And left exactly zero evidence of their crime.

God rest the souls of all who died that terrible day. I dreamt about it as it was happening, so was more than a little shocked when I turned on the TV. And God rest the souls of all who died as America lashed out in a quixotic crusade to rid the world of terror. And our 9/11 inspired wars are killing people to this day. The idea that war will end terror is about as dumb as people thinking World War One would end all war. As someone said back when America still had an antiwar movement, “Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity.” Nowadays Americans are so shell shocked that our “leaders” in Washington don’t even bother to promise peace anymore.

So in summation, 9/11 was a terrible crime by a tiny extremist organization. It wasn’t an act of war, clash of civilizations, or an attack on the United States. The perpetrators should have been hunted down and brought to trial. The dead buried with respect, and we should have stayed calm and carried on. Kinda the opposite of how we reacted. And here we are 18 years later, and Al Qaeda is as strong as ever. Again, God rest the souls of all the 9/11 victims.

And now here in Iowa a tornado watch. Well, now I’m both depressed and nervous. At least I live close to downtown, so I will hear the tornado alarm if it goes off. On the plus side, we’re finally getting some rain. The lake is down a foot or so, the lawn rolled over and died of thirst last week. And dry soil makes treasure hunting impossible. I know, I know, white peoples’ problems. A future blog post.

Hope everyone is having a good week.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The Twin Towers in NYC shortly after the planes struck. Credit: A federal National Park Service employee took this photo as part of their official duties, and thus it is Public Domain under US copyright law.)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2019 at 4:05 am

MONDAY MADNESS

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Waterhouse_Hylas_and_the_Nymphs_Manchester_Art_Gallery_1896.15

I think I set a record for writing abortive blog posts this weekend. Nothing like getting inspired, writing a few paragraphs, then realizing that not only wasn’t there much to say on the topic, what I had to say wasn’t very interesting. Kafka’s unpublished work was saved for posterity despite his deathbed wishes, and the world is better for it. My unpublished work, the world will  be better off without it. Maybe it’s the heat that sapped me of inspiration, if we get oppressive heat in Iowa, July is the month for it. Today’s forecast: 99 degrees in the shade, real feel 145 degrees. OK, I exaggerate, but not much. Even the squirrels look overheated. How everyone survived yesterday’s big bicycle race through town amazes me.

Speaking of surviving, I just gave in and turned on my AC. Yes, I live in a tiny attic garret, as befits a struggling writer. At least it has AC, otherwise I wouldn’t make it through the summer. I even set up a coffee maker. So basically I can stay up here 24/7, only periodically emerging to forage for food. And it has a nice view of the lake. And of the road out front that was closed for the race. I tried to blind a few riders with a laser pointer, but they were riding too fast. One has to search for entertainment wherever it can be found in rural Iowa.

July 15 in history wasn’t all that interesting either, so no blog help there. I know there’s a new Trump distraction, but I am so done with Trump. Someday he will be gone, they will count the silverware in the White House, generating one last Trump scandal, and he’ll fade into history. Not sure what he’ll do for an encore, but no doubt the media will keep us all informed. (Though that’s a sad use of the word ‘informed.’) Moving right along, my blog fallback plan, dig out some of the interesting links I’ve come across lately and share those. Enjoy!

First, a fascinating article on “dirtbag leftists.” It starts off with:

“The left is in crisis across the West. It is out of power in most countries and out of touch with its historical working-class base. Class politics has given way to identity politics. And noble causes like anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-discrimination have congealed into a stifling morass of political correctness and competitive victimhood.”

Pretty much. Many on the left have retreated into a smarmy know-it-allism that alienates most working class people. “Flyover state” is a pejorative folks. In any event, for those interested in why the Dems keep losing elections, the article is an interesting read.  I also try to keep an eye on the right, and it’s even more dismaying. Pure hatred for anyone not in agreement with them. I’d post some memes from GOP sites, but they’re too depressing.

Then there was this article in the Atlantic. Turns out that concentrating entirely on teaching kids how to read and do math, while pretty much ignoring imparting knowledge to them, has worked out terribly. Gee, who would have thought that failing to impart knowledge to children might not be the best way to educate them? I’ve certainly been one to criticise the “teach the test” route that American schools have gone down the past few decades. God, schools in America must be dreadfully boring places now.

In our third thought provoking link, here’s an article about why the low unemployment numbers trumpeted as such good news aren’t very impressive at all. Turns out there’s been a huge increase in part time workers. Basically huge numbers of “employed” people are scraping by on part time jobs, because they can’t find full time jobs. And then there’s the fact that wages and benefits have been stagnant or worse for a big chunk of the workforce for decades. And no, it’s not because lazy stupid people made bad choices, it’s because the jobs aren’t there. When I was a kid, hard working people could get decent jobs and improve their lot in life. Rising tides did raise all ships. Stopped being true decades ago.

And in this weeks “Unintended consequences” file, healing crystals fund terrorism. On the one hand, that’s depressing. Yeah, the idea that crystals have magic healing powers is, shall we say, unsupported by science. And many will use this information to heap disdain on crystal aficionados. Me, meh, everyone believes in some silly stuff. And pretty sure this is a miniscule part of how fighters in Africa (and presumably elsewhere) fund their operations. More on point, pretty safe to say that all of us use products we don’t strictly need, that have dark roots. Almost impossible to avoid in our massively interwoven world.

Or as an old acquaintance said: “We’re all whores in Babylon.” Have a safe week everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Hylas and the Nymphs.  Credit: John William Waterhouse, oil painting, 1896.)

Written by unitedcats

July 15, 2019 at 4:11 am

THROUGH THICK AND THIN

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66447493_10157413177964722_6022236441885540352_nAnother week gone, give or take. I guess technically Sunday is the first day of the week Saturday the last. So the week starts with a day of rest? That makes no sense, another one of those things that shorts out the human to alien translators. Still, maybe it’s good that our freaking race is nuts, protects us the way walking in the road talking to yourself is a good way to get through a bad neighborhood. “We’re not going to invade Earth, those creatures are nuts.” Fermi Paradox solved, isn’t logic grand?

It would be if more people used it. Came across an interesting article: Did Black People Own Slaves? The answer is pretty obvious, of course they did. Slavery was practised in the Americas from the beginning, and there have been free blacks since the beginning. In the Confederacy though, the focus of the article, the number of black slave owners was miniscule. And at least a good proportion of them owned a slave or two to protect a relative or friend. It wasn’t unusual for blacks to buy women slaves to marry them. I thought that was interesting because that was a common way for female slaves to achieve their freedom in Roman times.

Alas, because humans are humans, some blacks owned slaves for purely selfish reasons. It’s always easy to find humans exploiting other fellow humans. Especially if it’s legal and encouraged and everyone else is doing it. Like Japan before WW2, they saw European countries benefiting from colonizing and exploiting nations, why shouldn’t Japan have a colonial empire of their own? It was a valid point, then and now generally ignored or quietly mumbled away by western apologists. Yes, what Japan did in China was horrible. Of course what the Dutch, French and others were doing in East Asia was equally horrible, but that tends to get overlooked.

Yes, I’m on a roll here. People are messed up. And it shouldn’t have to be said, but it does after reading comments left on the article where posted on Facebook, a few blacks owning blacks is not in any way, shape, or form a defense of slavery. Granted apologists for slavery have done so, but that doesn’t make discussion of the topic in and of itself a defense of slavery.  In fact the whole idea that blacks owning blacks somehow justifies slavery is both racist and logically fallacious. Just cause Timmy jumped in the lake doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Or the falls I suppose.

No, they don’t hate us for our freedoms. I mean, if they did, wouldn’t they be hating us a lot less now? I am referring to Muslims, terrorism, and US foreign policy. They hate us because of our endless wars in the Middle East. This article is a nice review of the sad situation, to semi-quote the article, an America where since 9/11 Muslims have been so demonized and the military so fetishised that endless war in the Middle East is now completely normalized. Bears reviewing once and awhile to keep one’s head clear. I wonder what young people think of it all, growing up in the post 9/11 world. OK, that was kind of rhetorical, since I actually know some young people and what they think.

In Trump news, brace yourself, Trump remains not giving a damn about UFOs. That’s the title of the article. Best for one’s sanity not to read it though. Basically the UFO populists thought Trump would be the one to reveal all, instead he’s been rather dismissive of the subject. He didn’t even joke about UFOs like his predecessors, though the article helpfully points out that Trump’s humor is never intentional. Basically the UFO people think some relatively recent release of military “UFO” films is some sort of slam dunk proof of their existence. Um no, it isn’t. If anyone really wants to know why, I’ll blog on it, but I’m kind of reaching my limit explaining why nonsense is nonsense. At least when it comes to things like UFOs. So, I guess it’s a good thing that Trump doesn’t believe in little green men.

The American people are done with denials though, thousands of them are planning on storming Area 51 to get to the truth about aliens. OK then. Basically America jumped the shark a generation or two ago, and it’s just going to get crazier from here on. I’ll blog about it as long as I’m able. This blog is written both for contemporaries and future people.

And speaking of getting crazier and being able to blog, soon ads will be appearing. Or reappearing. But, one sec. Anyone catch that? A double segue? Not sure I’ve ever done that before. Or a 2 into 1 segue? Has anyone ever classified segues? Some institutionalized grammarist? Is my obsession with segues healthy? <takes breath> OK, yes, in an effort to earn some little monies to support my writing, I will be running some ads soon. Discrete, inoffensive, not-causing-problems, ads. I find intrusive ads very annoying when I cruise the interwebs, so want to spare my gentle readers that.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Meme found on Facebook for Star Trek fans.  Credit: Unknown. Used without permission. Happy to properly attribute if information so provided.)

Written by unitedcats

July 12, 2019 at 3:54 am

Posted in History, Terrorism, Trump, UFO

Crisis in Iraq, Monday Evening Update

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iq

As anyone knows who hasn’t been in a coma the past week, Iraq has exploded into war as the jihadist group ISIS has roared through northern and central Iraq, the Iraqi army basically cutting and running. As a person who was adamantly opposed to the US invasion of Iraq, this is all very disturbing to me. This is the legacy of the senseless toppling of the Saddam regime. It’s easy to turn a country into a failed state, putting it back together again is a whole other kettle of fish. In any event events on the ground are moving too fast for me to write dedicated posts on it, so I am going to just start posting updates once or twice a day. I have been following this situation intensely since it exploded on the scene last week. and at least have some grip on what’s going on. Things are changing quickly though, sources tend to be very unreliable in situations like this, especially since all involved are lying as they try to manoeuvre for their advantage. My opinions may very well change as new information arises, or gentle readers argue otherwise. As ever, I am on the side of all the innocents caught up in this unholy mess. Here then is my latest update. I also have a group on Facebook, Doug’s Darkworld, readers so inclined are welcome to join the debate there.

Monday Evening, 16 June, 2014.

Well, the ISIS have been broadcasting their war crimes. They are trying to demoralize the Iraqi army and the Shiite militias still opposing them. They may also be trying to goad the US into doing something stupid. War is insanity, what can I say. And sadly the ISIS has no monopoly on senseless violence. In other developments a Shiite militia column on the way to Samarra was ambushed by the ISIS with heavy loss of life. However enthusiastic, untrained militias mostly consisting of teenagers are unlikely to prevail against the ISIS. As the map shows the ISIS now controls more territory that many countries. The UN is pulling personnel out of Baghdad, the US has sent more troops to defend the embassy. I can only assume that even if nothing else, the US forces sailing into the Persian gulf are preparing to evacuate the embassy in a hurry if need be. The Kurds and the ISIS appear to have a defacto truce, not good for Iraq, but makes sense for the Kurds. Lastly, the Syrian Air Force has launched airstrikes in Iraq against the ISIS. Might seem odd, but the Assad regime, Iran, and the Maliki regime have been cooperating for a long time. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to destabilize the Assad regime, but good thing we didn’t go further when the pressure was on because of their (alleged) gas attacks. The ISIS would be all the stronger. Again, no clue how this is going to turn out, but the longer this goes on the more impossible it will be to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit. Credit and Copyright: Wall Street Journal. lastly I note that Paul Bremer, architect of the utterly botched and disastrous US occupation of Iraq is now sharing his “wisdom” on NBC. No wonder Americans are clueless about the world.)

Written by unitedcats

June 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Iraq, Terrorism, War, World

And the Winner of this Year’s Most Tasteless 9/11 Commemorative Message is: ALIPAC

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sad

“The illegals are trying to hijack the cockpit of America’s government! Let’s roll! —William Gheen and The ALIPAC Team”

Isn’t that just lovely? Let’s use the most terrible crime in American history to compare immigrants to mass murderers.  Yes that’s the message of the anti-immigrant group ALIPAC. Lovely, just lovely. It’s bad enough that 9/11 has been used to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment, strip us of our rights, support overseas wars, and the creation of a vast mind-numbingly wasteful and counterproductive police and security state … now it’s being used to foment racism in the USA! Merika!

Sigh. This is an example of why I’m having trouble blogging lately. The Religious Right in the USA is going further off the rails every day. If you aren’t a white, Evangelical Christian, heterosexual, male American … you aren’t really an American. That’s the platform of the Religious Right now, it scares me, it should scare any decent person. I’d write more posts about it, but it would just upset me more. People who want to keep up on the brain-dead antics of this formerly fringe movement should follow Right Wing Watch. A lot of it is the usual crap, trying to get religious teachings back into school, etc. Some of it is a lot worse. Tell gay couples to die on their wedding day, gays wear special rings to infect non-gays with HIV, Obamacare is designed to kill conservatives. The sort of stuff that used to be limited to flyers stuck under windshields is now mainstream fare. Jesus wept.

What does this have to do with 9/11? A lot, 9/11 really seems to have pushed a lot of right wingers over the edge. A friend of mine was calling for the USA to blanket Afghanistan with neutron bombs after 9/11. He came back and later admitted it’s a good thing he wasn’t in charge of the country that day. Many kept right on going as evidenced by the Religious Right’s every widening gap between themselves and reality. The rest of the country is trying to move forward to an America with justice and fairness for all Americans, the Right wants to return to a day (that never existed) when American was synonymous with white Evangelical Christian. And I am most definitely talking about Republicans and the Tea Party, though there are plenty of conservatives who think it’s gone too far. They are being purged from the Republican party from what I can tell. This is the legacy of 9/11, Republicans have turned into a party of hatred and divisiveness.

Then there’s the whole war monger thing. Sigh. 9/11 was indeed blow-back from our murderous foreign policy, but few if Americans know that. The propaganda that 9/11 was purely caused by America hating religious nuts who only understand violence and can’t be negotiated with is pretty much stock-in-trade for most Americans. With the full and enthusiastic cooperation of most of America’s atheists too. Sigh. Again. Yes, 9/11 was a terrible thing. And we’ve used it to justify endless 9/11s against Muslim lands. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as we set our military loose to “protect” America by murdering foreigners. And we wonder why foreigners hate our foreign policy, if “kill as you please” can even be described as a foreign policy.

The there’s the other 9/11, one that I didn’t even realize was a 9/11 event until recently. Yes, 40 years ago today with the full backing and aid of the CIA and USA government the democratically elected government of Chile was overthrown by a military coup, ushering in nearly two decades of repressive military dictatorship. I guess it’s only fitting that we used our own 9/11 to strip Americans of their rights and energize our efforts to overthrow governments overseas. It’s an American tradition now, like football, mom, and apple pie. And now due to Obama’s beneficent influence, even the Democrats are the party of foreign wars!

To me this is the greatest sadness and shame of 9/11. A terrible event that could have triggered a national debate and reflection on the role America plays in the world was hijacked by war mongers, war profiteers, and haters from the beginning; and we now have a country that wages war constantly abroad and spies on and restricts its citizens at home. We could have followed the Prince of Peace, instead we pledged our souls to Satan. To commemorate the loss of loved ones by killing foreigners and stripping Americans of their rights isn’t commemoration, it’s sick. America lost its way in 2001and went enthusiastically down the dark path Bin Laden wanted us to follow. Maybe someday we will wake up from the dystopian police state nightmare that has been evolving in the USA since then, but I’m not seeing many bright spots on the horizon.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, its use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image, and it is the best image I could find to illustrate my feelings about 9/11. I have no idea who to attribute it too. “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” —John Lennon)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

Muslim Brotherhood Takeover Aborted by Egyptian Military, Egypt’s Democratic Revolution Continues

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flypast

“The Muslim Brotherhood stole the revolution, then we took it back. It’s as simple as that.”

Well, big goings on in Egypt. Millions of people recently took to the streets to protest President Morsi’s  attempts to seize absolute power, and his continued refusal to make good on his promises to the opposition. He seemed determined to establish the Muslim Brotherhood as the sole ruler in Egypt, and usher in, in the words of an eleven year old Egyptian boy, religious fascism. When people took to the streets recently they turned out in record numbers, some of the largest crowds in history demanding that Morsi fulfill his promises or step down. He did neither, and when the army tried to arrange a meeting with the opposition, Morsi refused. The army then told him he had to call early elections, or they would intervene. In democratic terms, both the Army and the people of Egypt gave Morsi a vote of no confidence. Sadly, the Muslim Brotherhood has responded with violence, unspeakable violence in some cases. This video is not for the faint of heart. Morsi and much of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership have been detained, but their followers seem determined to start a civil war.

The American government is none too happy about this. They’ve as much as called Morsi’s unseating a coup, and there is much stuff and nonsense in the media. The ugly truth is that the USA has very little influence in Egypt any more. Thirty years of support for Mubarek’s corrupt dictatorship didn’t save him when the people had finally had enough, nor did it endear the USA government to the people of Egypt. Obama’s attempts to influence matters in Egypt are laughable or contemptible, but most of all, they are irrelevant. As an Egyptian contact said:

“The USA has made so many “investments” in/with the Muslim brotherhood, so they don’t like it that he was overthrown after 1 year only but its not up to them, its our country and we get to decide what we want to do with it. People here are outraged that the US Media is calling it a coup.”

Yes, technically Morsi’s removal was “illegal.” The point? What George Washington did was illegal, because he knew that government had to come from below, not from above. If it’s a not a government of the people for the people, it’s just a criminal gang. Egypt is the oldest civilization on Earth, the Egyptian people know what they’re doing. The Egyptian air force flyover above was cheered and welcomed by the people of Egypt, they stood together with their military and took back their country from religious ideologues. We are witnessing a nation’s greatest generation.

That’s my current understanding of the situation in Egypt. And I sure as hell didn’t get if from the farce that is our western media. Even Al Jazeera is towing the western line, much to the ire of Egyptians. I’m getting my view of this from local sources in Egypt, few of which are in English. The translations in the interview with the 11 year old boy are indeed accurate. I will post more as this situation develops. I am filled with hope and fear, it’s 1848 all over again. With modern social media let’s hope the outcome will be different.

Note: This post is subject to revision as my understanding of this situation evolves.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. I think it’s a frame grab from a video, I couldn’t even find it again using TinEye, so I don’t know who to attribute it too. Interesting times indeed, for once I don’t feel like ending a post with levity.)

Written by unitedcats

July 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

The Boston Bombing: The Terrorists Won

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TARD

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  —William Shakespeare

It’s been two weeks since the Boston bombing. I’ve never heard so much bullshit in my life. Or more accurately, I’ve never heard so much pontificating crap regarding such a minor event. My God, one would think another Pearl Harbor or 9/11 happened from all the calls from on high for vengeance and change. Perspective people, two disaffected losers set off some bombs. Something that has happened multiple times in US history. Then, sanity prevailed, and life went on while the authorities did their job and hunted down the perpetrators. Except this time, it’s the crime of the century, and both the immediate response and the aftermath have been wildly out of proportion. The Mayor of New York has even suggested changing the Constitution, or at least our interpretation of it, in response to this. Good job freakazoids, now our real enemies know how to spook us; a few backpack bombs and we will run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

In other words, we’ve so obsessed on preventing another 9/11 that our response to this bombing was wildly out of proportion. 9,000 troops deployed to hunt down a teenager? A whole city placed under unconstitutional martial law? American citizens treated like an occupied country? Because of one wounded teenager? This was insane. You’d have thought Chuck Norris was loose with a neutron bomb for God’s sake. And the thing that really shows how absurd this all was,  the bomber wasn’t caught until after people were let out of their homes and a citizen spotted him. The whole goddamn shutdown of the city, and the massive cost that entailed, was completely utterly unnecessary. And yet people cheer, so caught up in the Hollywood style dark comedy that the War on Terror has become.

I have bad news people. We can’t prevent all terrorist attacks, assuming this is even terrorism, which is a stretch at this point. Welcome to reality. I mean, after 9/11 we spent trillions of dollars on foreign wars and creating the greatest expansion of federal government ever, so called Homeland Security. And we passed vast and sweeping laws allowing government unprecedented powers to snoop in the name of security. And with all this staggering expense, an expense that rivals our spending in World War Two, we still got “attacked.” And the knee-jerk response from government and pundits is “We need more security!” No, we need more sanity. We should analyze the risks facing America like adults, and not be panicked into doubling down on a strategy that not only has failed, a strategy that is making terrorism more likely, not less.

It’s already clear that it aint going to happen, self-reflection and debate is no longer part of the American character. Americans are living in a Dickian Hollywood movie now, a scary world where imaginary Hitlers infest every corner of the globe and must be fought with ever more blood and sacrifice. The Republic has failed.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. Tomorrow, ten specific ways our response to Boston was exactly what our enemies wanted.)

Written by unitedcats

May 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

9/11, eleven years on, can we stop picking at the scab now?

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It’s the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 crime, when a tiny band of extremists flew airplanes into buildings in NY and Washington. Here we are eleven years later, still picking at the national scab. There is zero chance anyone alive that day is going to forget, so I for one am really really tired of the endless memorializing that still surrounds this event more than a decade later. Or look at it this way, if a family you knew was brutally murdered by criminals, would you and your friends relive the event every year on the anniversary of their deaths? Is that what they would have wanted? Of course not, they would have wanted their friends and family to mourn their deaths … and move on with their lives. We live our lives for the living, not for the dead.  Making 9/11 a part of our national identity is a victory for Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams with the enthusiastic cooperation of our sensation obsessed media … encouraged by a interventionist war-profiteering cabal in Washington.

That’s the real crime of 9/11, a crime that dwarfs that of Bin Laden. Within hours the militarists and neocon interventionists in Washington were creaming in their pants, because 9/11 was the biggest blank check warmongers had ever been handed in the USA. If we had had real leadership in Washington, our leaders would have urged us to mourn and move on, and our only response to 9/11 would have been to harden cockpit doors and hunt down Bin Laden like the cockroach he was. And, God willing, maybe even look at ourselves and how our policies in the Middle East inspired Bin Laden to take up arms against America in the first place. Nope, just endless flag waving, endless demonizing of Muslims (99.999% of whom aren’t terrorists,) and  endless fear-mongering. To this day just as many Americans are afraid of terrorists as they were the day after 9/11, even though the intervening decade has shown that lightning and shark attack are far more likely to kill Americans in the USA than terrorist attacks. In fact most of the terror victims in the USA since 9/11 have been American Muslims and Sikhs killed by their vengeful American neighbours.

Yet eleven years later the spending goes on, the expansion of government and the military goes on, the erosion of our freedoms in the name of security goes on, and the endless wars inspired by 9/11 go on. The only war that didn’t go on was Iraq, because the Iraqis kicked us out. And every year we have annual tear jerking ceremonies to celebrate the day when we turned into a nation of cowards and let a madman from Saudi Arabia dictate our foreign policy and insinuate himself into our national  identity. To endlessly eulogize the dead of 9/11 is to make Bin Laden immortal and give comfort to our enemies, is this really what Americans want? How many Americans can remember the name of a single American killed that day? How many Americans will remember Bin  Laden’s name until the day they die?

I rest my case.

(The above image is from a  friend in Egypt, where, like most people in the Middle East, their view is a bit different than the typical American’s. They don’t hate us for our freedoms, the Arab Springs bears that out; they hate our wars and meddling in the Middle East. Note I didn’t say they hate us for our wars, they mourn our dead too as the above graphic shows. God rest the souls of all who died that day, but it’s time to move on.)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

Posted in History, Propaganda, Terrorism

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Israel blames Iran for bus bomb, could this be war?

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A bomb has gone off in a  bus and killed some Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The government of Israel wasted no time in blaming the attack on Iran. They claim “all signs” point to Iran, though they don’t mention what those signs are. It’s possible Iran is behind it, Israel has been waging a terrorist campaign inside Iran for years, so a revenge attack is not out of the question. It seems unlikely though in that it would give Israel a  casus beli to attack Iran, and there’s no indication Iran wants a war with Israel. A more likely group is the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a terrorist group fighting the government of Iran. The attack came on the eighteenth anniversary of the attack on the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. Who launched that attack has never been proved either, both Iran and the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) are suspects there too. There’s really no way for us worms to know for sure, these are intensely politicized bombings with all sides playing for very high stakes, so some or all parties involved have every incentive to lie and mislead. Even if someone claims responsibility, that doesn’t mean they actually did it. Shadow war.

Fortunately, even if I can never know for sure what happened here, I can still speculate on what will happen next. Israel’s instantaneous condemnation of Iran certainly raises the possibility that they will use this as an excuse to attack Iran. Some have even suggested that the reason for Israel’s campaign inside Iran is to goad Iran into doing something that would give Israel cause for war. If so, an attack could come within days. I’m certainly going to be following the news closely for awhile.

There’s certainly been rumours of an impending Israeli attack on Iran, some suggesting it will happen just before the election so Obama will have no choice but to support it. That strikes me as a somewhat facile analysis, I suspect Israel is just using this as another chance to tighten the screws on Iran. The whole Israel obsession with Iran is sometimes hard to parse, Iran is no threat to Israel, far from it. I assume it’s both to distract the world from Israel’s slow ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, and maybe goading Iran into starting a big war which will give Israel to excuse to expel the Palestinians from the occupied territories. In any case they are playing a risky game, as is everyone else in this unstable mess.

Then there’s the whole Syria situation. The west is clearly pushing hard to bring down the Assad regime, though to what end is again hard to fathom. Partly to stick it to the Russians, partly an attempt to replace an independent government with a western lapdog government I’m assuming. And Israel would love to have an excuse to annex the Golan Heights, or more accurately, get some compliant Syrian government to cede them to Israel, all nice and “legal.”

What none of this is about of course is democracy or human rights, despite the endless western condescending propaganda to the contrary. Even our leftists and liberals in the USA have become cheerleaders for blood and empire, all in the name of “saving” the women of the world. Nothing good will come of this bus bombing, but nothing good ever comes of terrorism. No matter who is doing the killing.

(I sat on this post overnight to see if there would be any new developments. Nothing really, they are claiming it was a suicide bomber with fake American travel documents. And Israel has reiterated its claim that Hezbollah/Iran are behind the attack. Hezbollah has even less reason to get into it with Israel, and has been explicit that they won’t carry our attacks on Israel, so it’s a charge I take with a grain of salt. I’m still of the opinion that an Israeli attack on Iran would be so stupid and pointless and counterproductive that Israel really isn’t seriously considering it. I hope I’m right.)

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. I got it from Wikipedia, and frankly I couldn’t figure out how to attribute it from their arcane instructions. It’s a Dolphin Class submarine, built for Israel by Germany. They have four of them, with two more on order. They can launch nuclear cruise missiles. Just one of many reasons while Israel has little to fear from anyone.)

Written by unitedcats

July 19, 2012 at 5:18 am