Archive for the ‘war’ Tag

War Is the Health of the State   Leave a comment

From Randolph Bourne’s “The Law”

 

Image result for image of randolph bourneThe classes which are able to play an active and not merely a passive role in the organization for war get a tremendous liberation of activity and energy. Individuals are jolted out of their old routine, many of them are given new positions of responsibility, new techniques must be learnt. Wearing home times are broken and women who would have remained attached with infantile bonds are liberated for service overseas. A vast sense of rejuvenescence pervades the significant classes, a sense of new importance in the world. Old national ideals are taken out, re-adapted to the purpose and used as the universal touchstones, or molds into which all thought is poured. Every individual citizen who in peacetimes had no living fragment of the State becomes an active amateur agent of the Government in reporting spies and disloyalists, in raising Government funds, or in propagating such measures as are considered necessary by officialdom. Minority opinion, which in times of peace was only irritating and could not be dealt with by law unless it was conjoined with actual crime, becomes with the outbreak of war, a case for outlawry. Criticism of the State, objections to war, lukewarm opinions concerning the necessity or the beauty of conscription, are made subject to ferocious penalties, far exceeding [in] severity those affixed to actual pragmatic crimes. Public opinion, as expressed in the newspapers, and the pulpits and the schools, becomes one solid block. Loyalty, or rather war orthodoxy, becomes the sole test for all professions, techniques, occupations. Particularly is this true in the sphere of the intellectual life. There the smallest taint is held to spread over the whole soul, so that a professor of physics is ipso facto disqualified to teach physics or hold honorable place in a university—the republic of learning—if he is at all unsound on the war. Even mere association with persons thus tainted is considered to disqualify a teacher. Anything pertaining to the enemy becomes taboo. His books are suppressed wherever possible, his language is forbidden. His artistic products are considered to convey in the subtlest spiritual way taints of vast poison to the soul that permits itself to enjoy them. So enemy music is suppressed, and energetic measures of opprobrium taken against those whose artistic consciences are not ready to perform such an act of self-sacrifice. The rage for loyal conformity works impartially, and often in diametric opposition to other orthodoxies and traditional conformities or ideals. The triumphant orthodoxy of the State is shown at its apex perhaps when Christian preachers lose their pulpits for taking in more or less literal terms the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian zealots are sent to prison for twenty years for distributing tracts which argue that war is unscriptural.

War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties. The minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them. Of course, the ideal of perfect loyalty, perfect uniformity is never really attained. The classes upon whom the amateur work of coercion falls are unwearied in their zeal, but often their agitation, instead of converting merely serves to stiffen their resistance. Minorities are rendered sullen, and some intellectual opinion bitter and satirical. But in general, the nation in wartime attains a uniformity of feeling, a hierarchy of values culminating at the undisputed apex of the State ideal, which could not possibly be produced through any other agency than war. Other values such as artistic creation, knowledge, reason, beauty, the enhancement of life, are instantly and almost unanimously sacrificed, and the significant classes who have constituted themselves the amateur agents of the State, are engaged not only in sacrificing these values for themselves but in coercing all other persons into sacrificing them.

 


Bourne wrote in 1917, not during World War 2, Vietnam  or in our present age, but he nailed what we should probably know of those war-time eras in our society. During wartime, the nation walks in lockstep, empowered by a general feeling of unity and us-against-them. So, here we are at war for 17 years and why is there no sign that it will ever stop. Could it be because “war is the health of the state” and as long as the state can keep us concerned about war, the state doesn’t have to reform its spending or reduce its domestic spying capabilities? Lela

History of a Country As a State   Leave a comment

From The Law by Randolph Bourne

Randolph  BourneNow this feeling for country is essentially noncompetitive; we think of our own people merely as living on the earth’s surface along with other groups, pleasant or objectionable as they may be, but fundamentally as sharing the earth with them. In our simple conception of country there is no more feeling of rivalry with other peoples than there is in our feeling for our family. Our interest turns within rather than without, is intensive and not belligerent. We grow up and our imaginations gradually stake out the world we live in, they need no greater conscious satisfaction for their gregarious impulses than this sense of a great mass of people to whom we are more or less attuned, and in whose institutions we are functioning. The feeling for country would be an uninflatable maximum were it not for the ideas of State and Government which are associated with it. Country is a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live. But State is essentially a concept of power, of competition: it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion.

The State is the country acting as a political unit, it is the group acting as a repository of force, determiner of law, arbiter of justice. International politics is a power politics because it is a relation of States and that is what States infallibly and calamitously are, huge aggregations of human and industrial force that may be hurled against each other in war. When a country acts as a whole in relation to another country, or in imposing laws on its own inhabitants, or in coercing or punishing individuals or minorities, it is acting as a State. The history of America as a country is quite different from that of America as a State. In one case it is the drama of the pioneering conquest of the land, of the growth of wealth and the ways in which it was used, of the enterprise of education, and the carrying out of spiritual ideals, of the struggle of economic classes. But as a State, its history is that of playing a part in the world, making war, obstructing international trade, preventing itself from being split to pieces, punishing those citizens whom society agrees are offensive, and collecting money to pay for all.

Government on the other hand is synonymous with neither State nor Nation. It is the machinery by which the nation, organized as a State, carries out its State functions. Government is a framework of the administration of laws, and the carrying out of the public force. Government is the idea of the State put into practical operation in the hands of definite, concrete, fallible men. It is the visible sign of the invisible grace. It is the word made flesh. And it has necessarily the limitations inherent in all practicality. Government is the only form in which we can envisage the State, but it is by no means identical with it. That the State is a mystical conception is something that must never be forgotten. Its glamor and its significance linger behind the framework of Government and direct its activities.

Wartime brings the ideal of the State out into very clear relief, and reveals attitudes and tendencies that were hidden. In times of peace the sense of the State flags in a republic that is not militarized. For war is essentially the health of the State. The ideal of the State is that within its territory its power and influence should be universal. As the Church is the medium for the spiritual salvation of man, so the State is thought of as the medium for his political salvation. Its idealism is a rich blood flowing to all the members of the body politic. And it is precisely in war that the urgency for union seems greatest, and the necessity for universality seems most unquestioned. The State is the organization of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another herd similarly organized. The more terrifying the occasion for defense, the closer will become the organization and the more coercive the influence upon each member of the herd. War sends the current of purpose and activity flowing down to the lowest levels of the herd, and to its remote branches. All the activities of society are linked together as fast as possible to this central purpose of making a military offensive or military defense, and the State becomes what in peacetimes it has vainly struggled to become—the inexorable arbiter and determinant of men’s businesses and attitudes and opinions. The slack is taken up, the cross-currents fade out, and the nation moves lumberingly and slowly, but with ever accelerated speed and integration, towards the great end, towards that peacefulness of being at war, of which L. P. Jacks has spoken so unforgettably.


Nations form countries as they spread out across geographical regions, but countries are about getting along with those like us. Country is cooperation. The State,  however, is force. States compete with the states around them. They struggle to get the people (the nation) on board with this competition until war is declared. Lela

A Republic Works Until War is Declared   1 comment

Ongoing series on “The Law” by Randolph Bourne (1918)

Randolph  BourneIn a republic the Government is obeyed grumblingly, because it has no bedazzlements or sanctities to gild it. If you are a good old-fashioned democrat, you rejoice at this fact, you glory in the plainness of a system where every citizen has become a king. If you are more sophisticated you bemoan the passing of dignity and honor from affairs of State. But in practice, the democrat does not in the least treat his elected citizen with the respect due to a king, nor does the sophisticated citizen pay tribute to the dignity even when he finds it. The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man’s emotions. What it has are of military origin, and in an unmilitary era such as we have passed through since the Civil War, even military trappings have been scarcely seen. In such an era the sense of the State almost fades out of the consciousness of men.

With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves.

The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves. They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation. The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an august presence, through the imaginations of men. Patriotism becomes the dominant feeling, and produces immediately that intense and hopeless confusion between the relations which the individual bears and should bear toward the society of which he is a part.

The patriot loses all sense of the distinction between State, nation, and government. In our quieter moments, the Nation or Country forms the basic idea of society. We think vaguely of a loose population spreading over a certain geographical portion of the earth’s surface, speaking a common language, and living in a homogeneous civilization. Our idea of Country concerns itself with the non-political aspects of a people, its ways of living, its personal traits, its literature and art, its characteristic attitudes toward life. We are Americans because we live in a certain bounded territory because our ancestors have carried on a great enterprise of pioneering and colonization, because we live in certain kinds of communities which have a certain look and express their aspirations in certain ways. We can see that our civilization is different from contiguous civilizations like the Indian and Mexican. The institutions of our country form a certain network which affects us vitally and intrigues our thoughts in a way that these other civilizations do not. We are a part of Country, for better or for worse. We have arrived in it through the operation of physiological laws, and not in any way through our own choice. By the time we have reached what are called years of discretion, its influences have molded our habits, our values, our ways of thinking, so that however aware we may become, we never really lose the stamp of our civilization, or could be mistaken for the child of any other country. Our feeling for our fellow countrymen is one of similarity or of mere acquaintance. We may be intensely proud of and congenial to our particular network of civilization, or we may detest most of its qualities and rage at its defects. This does not alter the fact that we are inextricably bound up in it. The Country, as an inescapable group into which we are born, and which makes us its particular kind of a citizen of the world, seems to be a fundamental fact of our consciousness, an irreducible minimum of social feeling.

In a republic the Government is obeyed grumblingly, because it has no bedazzlements or sanctities to gild it. If you are a good old-fashioned democrat, you rejoice at this fact, you glory in the plainness of a system where every citizen has become a king. If you are more sophisticated you bemoan the passing of dignity and honor from affairs of State. But in practice, the democrat does not in the least treat his elected citizen with the respect due to a king, nor does the sophisticated citizen pay tribute to the dignity even when he finds it. The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man’s emotions. What it has are of military origin, and in an unmilitary era such as we have passed through since the Civil War, even military trappings have been scarcely seen. In such an era the sense of the State almost fades out of the consciousness of men.

With the shock of war, however, the State comes into its own again. The Government, with no mandate from the people, without consultation of the people, conducts all the negotiations, the backing and filling, the menaces and explanations, which slowly bring it into collision with some other Government, and gently and irresistibly slides the country into war. For the benefit of proud and haughty citizens, it is fortified with a list of the intolerable insults which have been hurled toward us by the other nations; for the benefit of the liberal and beneficent, it has a convincing set of moral purposes which our going to war will achieve; for the ambitious and aggressive classes, it can gently whisper of a bigger role in the destiny of the world. The result is that, even in those countries where the business of declaring war is theoretically in the hands of representatives of the people, no legislature has ever been known to decline the request of an Executive, which has conducted all foreign affairs in utter privacy and irresponsibility, that it order the nation into battle. Good democrats are wont to feel the crucial difference between a State in which the popular Parliament or Congress declares war, and the State in which an absolute monarch or ruling class declares war. But, put to the stern pragmatic test, the difference is not striking. In the freest of republics as well as in the most tyrannical of empires, all foreign policy, the diplomatic negotiations which produce or forestall war, are equally the private property of the Executive part of the Government, and are equally exposed to no check whatever from popular bodies, or the people voting as a mass themselves.

The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves. They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation. The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an august presence, through the imaginations of men. Patriotism becomes the dominant feeling, and produces immediately that intense and hopeless confusion between the relations which the individual bears and should bear toward the society of which he is a part.

The patriot loses all sense of the distinction between State, nation, and government. In our quieter moments, the Nation or Country forms the basic idea of society. We think vaguely of a loose population spreading over a certain geographical portion of the earth’s surface, speaking a common language, and living in a homogeneous civilization. Our idea of Country concerns itself with the non-political aspects of a people, its ways of living, its personal traits, its literature and art, its characteristic attitudes toward life. We are Americans because we live in a certain bounded territory because our ancestors have carried on a great enterprise of pioneering and colonization, because we live in certain kinds of communities which have a certain look and express their aspirations in certain ways. We can see that our civilization is different from contiguous civilizations like the Indian and Mexican. The institutions of our country form a certain network which affects us vitally and intrigues our thoughts in a way that these other civilizations do not. We are a part of Country, for better or for worse. We have arrived in it through the operation of physiological laws, and not in any way through our own choice. By the time we have reached what are called years of discretion, its influences have molded our habits, our values, our ways of thinking, so that however aware we may become, we never really lose the stamp of our civilization, or could be mistaken for the child of any other country. Our feeling for our fellow countrymen is one of similarity or of mere acquaintance. We may be intensely proud of and congenial to our particular network of civilization, or we may detest most of its qualities and rage at its defects. This does not alter the fact that we are inextricably bound up in it. The Country, as an inescapable group into which we are born, and which makes us its particular kind of a citizen of the world, seems to be a fundamental fact of our consciousness, an irreducible minimum of social feeling.


Do  you understand the difference between a nation, a country and a state? By state, I mean not a state of the union (like Delaware or Alaska), but as Bourne used it, a system of administrative control, what we most often mean when we say “government”. We so often say “We raided this Muslim stronghold in this country” when, in reality, we were busy living our lives while the American military raided the stronghold. “We” didn’t decide to invade Iraq or Vietnam or anywhere else. Those decisions were made, at best, by our elective representatives as as the State. A nation is a group of people with similar culture – language, social practices. A country is geographical region often administered by a State. But many countries are made up of multiple nations. Think of Iraq, which has three main culture (national) groups bound together in unhappiness. Although Americans (nation) are not so unhappy as Iraq (country), if we look a little closer we don’t see much agreement between the cultural nations inhabiting the cities and the cultural nations inhabiting the rural areas. We speak the same language, but we don’t hold the same values and that is, long-term, a problem that will only get worse with time. Lela

Why I’m Not Afraid of North Korea   Leave a comment

Image result for map of north korea china south koreaI live in Alaska, which is the closest of the 50 states to North Korea, so I’m told North Korea is a threat to me that I should very concerned about.

North Korea is:

  • 8000 miles to Seattle
  • 7500 miles to Hawaii
  • 5700 miles to Alaska
  • 1050 miles to Japan
  • 121 miles to Seoul

This concern that I’m told to have has US aircraft carriers, carrying fighter jets, and accompanied by warships, currently steaming toward the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, the US military is bulking up deployment numbers in South Korea and Japan is considering deploying troops there in preparation for Kim to finally lose his mind.

I don’t actually believe that the United States, Japan and South Korea is needed to deal with Kim Jong-un, but that seems to be what we’re being told. Do look at a map before you argue. North Korea is smack between the territory of two global superpowers … South Korea is a US-occupied territory and China is … well, China.

Now, I do think Kim is probably not the most stable person on the planet. He kind of reminds me of a petulant adolescent. But let’s think for a moment. Is he completely delusional? If he has even a basic connection with reality, he has to know that attacking South Korea or Japan is not going to work out well for him. More importantly, his generals have no doubt applied some common sense to the situation and aren’t going to allow him to do anything stupid. North Korea is not a threat to the US. They can’t even hit Japan with one of their missiles. Yes, they have a capability to harm South Korea, but they’ve had that capability for decades and not used it.

Why ten the military buildup in South Korea? Why has China reportedly deployed 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea? They say they’re preparing, but for what?

War with North Korea doesn’t make sense. It’s a tiny strip of land that acts as a buffer between the United States and China. That’s a recipe for World War III ala Syria and kicking dirt in Russia’s face. Kim Jong-un isn’t responsible for that. We have to stop making boogeymen out of various tinpot dictators and start questioning if it might be our behavior that leads to these crises.

 

Modern Christian Persecution   Leave a comment

This last week, several Christian friends with Middle-Eastern connections asked me if I would write something about the persecution of Christians in the birthplace of Christianity.

Image result for image of coptic christian martyrsWhatever questionable benefit they were for democracy, the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and the Arab Spring have become pure hell for Arab Christians. In 2016, an estimated 90,000 Christians worldwide died for their faith.

Copts are among the earliest Christians, dating to the first century A.D., when John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas and writer of one of the four Gospels, became bishop in Alexandria and established the first church outside the Holy Land.

Copts make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population. They have been especially targeted for terrorist attacks since the 2013 overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, who had been elected president after the ouster of longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak. In the subsequent struggle between Egypt’s Islamists and the regime of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (who was welcomed to the Trump White House in March) the Copts are seen as soft-target allies of Gen. el-Sissi’s though they’ve long been hated for their faith.

On Palm Sunday, 44 Copts were martyred in Egypt while celebrating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Over 100 were injured in the blasts at St. George’s Church in Tanta and St. Mark’s in Alexandria.

The Islamic State group claims credit for the murders, which were given only cursory coverage by the media which was far more concerned with the dead children from the Syrian gas attacks. I’m not rating either one as more horrible than the other. I’m saying the persecution and murder of Christians by Islamists deserves as much coverage as the killing of Muslims by Islamists. I do not buy  that Assad, on the eve of a peace treaty, would have gassed his own people. It defies logic and if you watch Baraba Walters’ interview with Assad, he does not come off as insane.

In Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Christians were left alone if they did not interfere in politics. Iraqi Christians prospered as doctors, lawyers, journalists, academics, engineers, businessmen. A Christian, Tariq Aziz, was Saddam’s foreign minister who negotiated with Secretary of State James Baker to try to prevent what became the Gulf War.

Before 2003, there were still 800,000 Christians in Iraq. But after a decade of church bombings and murders of priests, their numbers have plummeted. When the Islamic State seized a third of Iraq, Christians under the group’s rule had to convert to Islam and pay a crushing tax or face beheading.

Under Syria’s dictator Hafez al-Assad and son Bashar, Christians have been 10 percent of the population and protected by the regime. They thus have sided with Assad against the terrorists of the Islamic State and al-Qaida, whose victory would mean their expulsion or death.

Of the 10 nations deemed by Christianity Today to be the most hateful and hostile toward Christianity, eight are majority-Muslim nations, with the Middle East being the site of the worst of today’s persecutions.

Afghanistan, which the US “liberated” in 2001, is listed as the third-most hostile nation toward Christians. Christian baptism there is punishable by death. A decade ago, a Christian convert had to flee his country to avoid beheading.

A decade and a half after we launched invasions and occupations of the Muslim world in Afghanistan and then Iraq to bring the “blessings” of “democracy”, the people there who profess the Christian faith are being persecuted as horribly as they were under the Romans in Nero’s time. I’m still waiting for the promised gains for religious freedom and human rights that will justify the bombings, invasions and wars we have conducted from Libya to Pakistan, the death and suffering the US military has inflicted, and the losses US citizens have endured.

Is Assad Crazy or Are We Missing Something?   1 comment

On Tuesday there was a chemical weapons attack in Syria‘s. Idlib providence in which dozens have reportedly died. Today, the Trump administration bombed an airfield in Syria in apparent retaliation.

Image result for image of syrian gas attackOnly last week the Trump administration was suggesting that it might leave the Assad regime alone, but now they’re attempting to frame the evidence to justify a strike on Assad without even considering other possibilities.

Chemical weapons attacks have occurred in Syria before. In 2013, there were two devastating attacks which prompted the Obama administration to try to justify a direct strike on the Assad government.

It turns out the Obama administration was wrong in its assessment. The U.N. thoroughly investigated the first 2013 attack and ultimately said the evidence indicated the attack was carried out by the Syrian rebels – not the Syrian government. Despite this report, the US and its allies increased support for the Syrian rebels, which makes me wonder why Obama condemned the chemical attacks.

Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh investigated the second major attack and discovered it was committed in a similar manner. Hersh found that the U.S. quite deliberately attempted to frame the evidence to justify a strike on Assad without even considering al-Nusra, a terror group with access to nerve agents.

Image result for image of assad

In 2016, the U.N. concluded that the Syrian government and ISIS had used chemical weapons during the years-long conflict, despite that the U.N. also declared in 2013 that the regime no longer possessed chemical weapons.

These reports are accessible, available to anyone who wants to study the issue, but the media and politicians want us to rush to blame Assad without any actual investigation. The Guardian is all over it (see here and here). The New Zealand Herald is insisting that only Donald Trump can stop the Syrian atrocities. These articles ignore the reports from 2013, claiming that “Obama did nothing” in response.  That claim makes no sense since in 2016, Obama more than 10,000 bombs on Syria. As president, Obama also oversaw the CIA’s expenditures of about $1 billion a year training Syrian rebels.

If you care about fake news, you might want to pay attention to this entire situation because this constitutes “fake news”. These are biased reports designed to invoke a particular response from the United States, preferrably quickly, so that we don’t know all the facts until later … or ever. Did we learn nothing from the “Saddam is seeking to purchase yellow-cake uranium” debacle?

Apparently not.

Maybe Assad has completely lost his mind and decided to use chemical weapons just days after the U.S. openly acknowledged they would consider leaving Assad alone. Maybe he wants to be bombed out of existence by the international community. He doesn’t come off as insane as Kim Jung Il, but maybe he’s hiding his lunacy better. But we should have taken a deep breath and considered the possibilities for a moment.

What if the rebels committed this attack because they don’t want their funding cut off? The US government could actually have stopped the atrocities in Syria simply by withdrawing support for groups that resort to these tactics.

But, of course, the government isn’t going to do that because the Deep State has wanted US involvement in the War in Syria since 2013 and having expended so much effort in empowering the rebels, it couldn’t let the Trump administration squander the opportunity.

Never let a chemical weapons attack go to waste when you can use false information about it to oust a foreign government that doesn’t want to play ball with the US State Department.

And, hey, a twofer would be even better. Let’s antagonize Russia so we can really force things to a higher level of insanity.

I objected to Obama’s red line in the sand and then backing off because the red line was never necessary. The Assad regime isn’t warm and fuzzy, but it turned out they weren’t the worst of the evil in Syria … something we didn’t know for months after those j2013 attacks. If we’re going to send young Americans into harm’s way, we should be certain of who is responsible. Obama backing off was not something he did … he had no choice when Congress refused to do what he demanded.

Now it’s Trump’s turn and he’s done the same stupid thing … jumped to a conclusion for which there is very little supporting evidence. We learned nothing from the “Saddam is wanting to buy yellow-cake uranium” debacle and our government has potentially started World War 3 on onion-skin slim evidence.

Obama’s Real Legacy   Leave a comment

My brother is a liberal who loves Obama and is thrilled with his legacy (shutting down Alaska drilling notwithstanding, which Jeff realizes will kill Alaska’s economy). I got to listen to him extol Obama’s legacy over Christmas dessert. Fortunately, Jeff allows people to counter his arguments (he was raised by our mother, after all).

Image result for image of the syrian civil warObama is feverishly trying to set his legacy in concrete. It’s the usual Democrat “lame duck” stupidity. While I agree with pardoning convicted felons, locking up Alaska’s offshore oil depositions is just plain national suicide, and stashing billions of taxpayer dollars in federal agencies that will then act as governments unto themselves, taking away freedoms one regulation as a time is equally stupid.

Hoo-haw! He’s running roughshod over the actual rights of some people in order to give the ill-informed what they think they need. Isn’t democracy great? The problem with this scenario is that no Obama lover seems to recognize that Obama’s primary legacy is not so warm and fuzzy and the damage it causes may go on for decades after Obama has passed from the public mindset.

The forgotten Obama legacy is ISIS, the Syrian civil war, and the resulting mass migration/invasion of Europe. Bluntly stated, the whole idea to bring “democracy” to Syria was hatched by the Obama Administration and probably mostly by the Emperor himself, which some enthusiastic encouragement from Hillary. The conversation probably went something like this:

Mr. President, if you topple this dictator and install an American-friendly puppet government in his place, people will remember you as a great foreign policy president and forget all about you literally bowing to dictators early in your presidency. Assad is ripe for the picking. His people hate him and you can make up any story you want … you know the Americans who love you will believe whatever you say. And those others … they’re pro-war anyway, so their protests will sound silly and racist.

When Assad refused to concede to Obama’s “superiority” and refused to step down as Obama demanded, Obama’s ego wouldn’t let it rest. It became an ego contest between Obama, Assad and Putin not because Assad and Putin were seeking to get into a pissing context with the Commander and Chief of the largest military in the world, but because Obama’s ego is so big that his pride couldn’t take it that Assad didn’t just do what he demanded.

Image result for image of the syrian civil warLiberals say “words matter” and that’s why they don’t call terrorism “terrorism”, but when all you do is tell lies, words actually don’t matter when they originate from your mouths. Liberals say calling terrorism “terrorism” gives the terrorist power. That’s ridiculous! Words do not give terrorists power. The weapons Obama gave them gives them power.

Bear with me a moment. The US has a long history of covertly arming “rebels” around the world. The Reagan administration sold weapons to Iran less than a decade after Iranians captured the US embassy and held US diplomatic staff as prisoners. They then used the proceeds of that sale to arm “rebels” in El Salvador. We know this because the US press reported on it throughout the end of the Reagan administration.

We did the same thing in Afghanistan in the 1980s and created al-Qaida in the process.

The media doesn’t mention all the blood Obama has on his hands. ISIS started as a small off-shoot of Al-Qaida that wanted to use more brutal tactics than its parent organization. ISIS could not have won the battlefield victories they have without major military weaponry from somewhere. Neither could the so-called “moderate” rebels, who are out-and-out terrorists the Obama administration  relabeled as “moderates” to justify funneling weapons to them. Terrorists blow crap up to inflict terror on a population. The “moderate” rebels blow crap up, thus inflicting terror on the Syrian people, causing them to flee their country.

When the war-weary American people demanded the US government opt out of involvement in the Syrian civil war, Obama found an al-Qaida-affiliated group to add to the chaos. Given the Kalashnikovs and other Russian-made arms found in ISIS hands, it’s likely the US is using our brand new NATO allies in Eastern Europe to arm them. Yes, Eastern Europe would rather have Putin distracted in the Middle East than breathing down their necks in Europe the way he is in Ukraine. We certainly know that American-made pickup trucks sold in the United States as used vehicles showed up in ISIS hands. This is how ISIS got the anti-tank missiles to take out Assad’s armor and anti-aircraft missiles capable of downing Assad’s aircraft. There’s obviously been continual re-supply of replacement small arms, ammunition, light artillery, food, clothing, medical supplies, and vehicles. These items weren’t picked up at garage sale. They were bought in Eastern Europe with American money, just as we armed the Iraqi puppet army after 2003. The United States thought these groups would topple Assad and then invite the US government to install an American-friendly regime through a rigged election where both candidates were groomed by US convert agencies years ago. Remember the Orlando shooter’s father?

Image result for image of the syrian civil warThe problem with this plan was that the Syrian voters fled Syria, taking their votes with them. These people are now all homeless. Europe, who ought to be really pissed off at the result of Obama’s pride, absorbed tens of thousands of refugees and more keep coming. The Obama administration has yet to admit they failed and give up this tragic course of action. They continued arming and training “rebels” over there and that kept the war going. Rather than cooperate with the nations fighting ISIS, they were training “rebels” to fight Assad, Iran, Russia, and ISIS.

You’d think Europe would wake up and smell the coffee and recognize that Obama administration is the responsible body for all of the bloodshed and refugees. I keep hearing hints of this realization on PBS, but they don’t want to come out directly and say Obama is directly responsible for the Syrian civil war dragging on for years and that only U.S.-supplied weapons made that possible.

Judging from al-Qaida (which ISIS is an off-shoot of), we can look forward to at least another two decades of attacks from ISIS. Al-Qaida began during the Afghan-Soviet War (another terrorist group we created to fight a government, too) and started operations against the West in 1993. They hit the World Trade Center with a truck bomb during Clinton administration. Europe better get used to terrorism attacks because they will continue for decades to come. The United States ought to realize we’ll soon see major attacks that will dwarf the last two mass shooting. We just haven’t seen ISIS’s version of 9-11 yet. When that comes, some of us will recognize that as President Obama’s true legacy, but I suspect that Obama lovers like my brother will blame the last or current Republican administration rather than their “hero”.

Posted December 29, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Non-partisan

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