News from 23 Sept 2014: (And if you are an optimist you better stop right now!)
The Obama administration is increasing the U.S. nuclear arsenal despite President Obamaâ€™s public championing of disarmament. When Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008, the Nobel committee cited his steps toward reducing nuclear stocks around the world. But The New York Times reports Obama is overseeing extensive rebuilding of nuclear weapons at home, including at a new plant in Kansas City, dedicated last month, which is larger than the Pentagon and employs thousands of people. According to a recent federal study, the United is poised to spend up to $1.1 trillion over the next three decades on modernizing nuclear weapons.
Obama continues to prove the Nobel Peace people dead wrong...
Meantime, back at the ranch, We have formed another coalition possibly more shaky and fake than that of GW Bush in the Iraq fiasco. All five supposed Arab countries are outright despotic regimes that should not be our buds nor part of our war machine. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain especially have a long history of suppression of their people. Saudi Arabia should be best known for funding much of the very people we like to think are our mortal enemies. They also â€œhelpâ€ us by providing much of the intelligence on Yemen and other countries of Africa. Unfortunately, because of their extreme repression (Beheading their own people with one tally being around 138 killed that way) the intelligence they provide frequently is based upon their need to make the â€œArab Springâ€ go away or turn into â€œArab Winterâ€ in terms of freedom from suppressive governments (Like theirs). Since self determination is so dangerous to their view of who should rule, they can provide targets that are not our enemy as much as the Royal Family's enemy. This can be exceedingly damaging to our interests.
Then we have the spectacle of a brand new enemy with claims that they are an â€œeminent danger to the United Statesâ€. Course the idea here is to provide some cover to the requirement that such threat be present to justify the actions taken. The new enemy is a separate militant organization known as the Khorasan group, They have managed to go from â€œunheard ofâ€ to the â€œMost Dangerousâ€ in less time than it takes a Porsche to get to 60mph...
Now let's look at the actual attacks. These bring up in my mind the senseless pounding of Baghdad by repeated fancy pants missiles even though most of those buildings were empty and certainly did not remain military targets after the first few hits. But we love a show and Obama has learned from experts. The supposed HQ building was undoubtedly empty as one of Amy Goodman's reports claimed. It is one of our near fatal myths, developed with media expert advice, that these types of wars have HQ buildings similar to what we might have. They make great targets if you want to believe that the â€œenemyâ€ mirrors our own tendency to have huge stores of weapons, fancy control mechanisms, and generally great targets for attack. Unfortunately, unconventional war is frankly, UNCONVENTIONAL. From Vietnam to today, the supposed enemy does not need the supply structure nor command facilities we think are necessary. We can â€œbomb Cambodia or the Ho Chi Minh trailâ€ with tons and tons of High explosives but most of this effort is wasted.
In the immediate case, we supposedly used 47 Tomahawk missiles. Hmm. Sources put the cost at about 1.4 million each or about 64 million for just this one component of the attacks. Many other weapons were also used. The point might be made is the mantra of the Republican party dead? Is this â€œcost effectiveâ€?
One source said at least 20 ISIS fighters were killed. We will never know. I'd point out that this missile was designed as a nuclear weapon to be used upon big strategic targets such as cities. It's use with conventional explosives on questionable targets is certainly not cost effective. It also is not terribly accurate especially with its history of targeting based upon our lousy intelligence.
For instance, on â€œ17 December 2009, two Tomahawk missiles were fired at targets in Yemen. One of the targets was hit by a TLAM-D missile. The target was described as an 'alleged al-Qaâ€™ida training camp' in al-Maâ€™jalah in al-Mahfad a region of the Abyan governorate of Yemen. Amnesty International reported that 55 people were killed in the attack, including 41 civilians (21 children, 14 women, and six men). The US and Yemen governments refused to confirm or deny involvement, but diplomatic cables released as part of Cablegate later confirmed the missile was fired by a US Navy ship." (Wikipedia) This is just one attack which certainly did not help our winning of the â€œWar on Terrorâ€. (See the documentary â€œDirty Warsâ€.)
Meantime, the Global Climate march on Washington, which most media puts at 300,000 and Amy put at 400,000, was knocked off the lead news stories across the country. Instead we see more War and actions that lead to more destruction, enemies made, and mothers motherless. I'll have to puke if I hear one more parent talking of their son/daughter who died for our â€œ:Freedomâ€ or hear Kerry (who sure should know better from personal experience) declare our intentions to get all of ISIL etc etc etc Hell, we cannot even agree on what to call the latest iteration.
What's wrong with the picture of these groups multiplying and spreading as we bomb and arm and screw the entire Middle East and Africa? Surely, it ought to be abundantly clear these tactics have not worked and WILL Not.