Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

International headlines…

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

[When I can’t wait to comment…]

Empty threats from the Saudis. Obama and the Saudis aren’t happy with the congressional override of the President’s veto.  The U.S. Congress did their job for once; Obama put another nail in the coffin of his legacy.  And, of course, the duplicitous Saudis are making threats.  Let’s do a search-and-destroy mission of two major ones:

(1) The Saudis threaten to sell off all their U.S. holdings.  Ho-hum.  It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner in economics to understand that such an action would hurt them more than us.  First, in the short term, let’s be generous and say they get 70 cents on the dollar.  That’s still a huge loss!  Second, in the long term, why do they have these assets?  They’re hedging a downturn in the oil market!  That’s already occurring.  The U.S. doesn’t need Saudi oil.  We’re even exporting to Venezuela!  The Saudis’s U.S. investments and elsewhere represent a life insurance policy for their 6th century kingdom.

(2) The Saudis threaten to taper off on their counterterrorism efforts.  Huh?  That’s laughable.  The duplicitous Saudis foment terrorism and spawn terrorists.  Their religious schools, where they teach the murderous form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism, are the prime tool for their pro-terrorism efforts.  15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists, and my interpretation of Saudi royals fleeing the U.S. after 9/11, and the many hints in those infamous 28 pages Obama tried to keep out of the news, are enough to tell me the kingdom is guilty of aiding and abetting the murder of almost 3000 people.  The Saudis could contribute to the world’s counterterrorism efforts by getting rid of these schools, for a start.  And we have no business beefing up their military so they can kill Yemenis and whoever else they consider threats to Wahhabism.  We’d be more effective beefing up Jordan because King Abdullah actually is carrying the fight to ISIS while the Saudi royals sit on their fat you-know-whats.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saudis were supporting them.  But maybe not—they already have their 6th century caliphate!

And what about Obama’s claim that Americans will suffer around the world. (1) Maybe they should, if they create mischief, mayhem, and murder. (Read Stephen Kinzer’s 2007 book Overthrow for background.) (2) The 9/11 is very specific.  No reasonable person can deny that.  The unreasonable ones, here or around the world, can go to hell!  Will they sue us when a Predator does the job the Saudis should be doing and takes out a known tourist.  Let them try!

Putin the Terrible. Tsar Ivan’s going to lose his nickname before long.  Tsar Putin is far more terrible, because he has a mighty police state and military machine behind him.  The SVR kills his regime’s enemies with impunity (watch for those umbrellas, folks!), the FSB makes the KGB and Stasi look like amateurs, and the Russia’s military-industrial complex feeds off unrest narcissist Voldya creates in the rest of the world.  Were you surprised when the Danes announced on Wednesday that Putin was responsible for the murder of 298 innocent souls on that Malaysian plane that dared to fly over Ukraine?  The case is iron-clad: the Russian-sponsored separatists asked for and got the deadly SA-11 antiaircraft system.  It was ferried in overnight and left the next day, and ever since Putin and Russia Inc. have been denying their complicity.  This, folks, is Putin the Terrible’s Lockerbie, and we can only hope that his fate will be the same as Qaddafi’s.

And so it goes…

A double standard for data collection…

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

I can’t believe it! A news item in one of my favorite progressive newsletters, Common Dreams, aligns it with the movement to pardon Snowden.  “’Pardon Snowden’ Campaign Takes Off as Sanders, Ellsberg, and Others Join” is an absurd article and this movement is ridiculous when you consider that Snoweden is as guilty of treason as Aldrich Ames, Jonathan Pollard, and Bradley Manning. Ames, a CIA analyst, spied for the Soviet Union. Pollard, a Naval intelligence analyst, spied for Israel. Manning, an Army analyst, and Snowden, an NSA analyst, were just spies who got their kicks from releasing classified information.  They’re all traitors who should be in jail for life (in such cases, I think that’s a more just punishment than a firing squad, but I’d go along with the latter). They’re all people who are indirectly responsible for many Americans’ deaths as well as the deaths of America’s supporters against our enemies.

Mr. Obama could put another nail in his legacy coffin (#1, a veto of that anti-Saudi bill, was considered last week): he could pardon Snowden. I doubt he will. In spite of his successes or failures in combatting terrorism (there are many in both categories), he probably likes the idea of electronic surveillance—actionable intelligence is the ubiquitous point of failure in our battle against terrorism, both foreign and domestic. But he might give a nod to all those faux-liberals in the land who support him and have put Snowden on a pedestal as the great American patriot and folk hero. You’d think the ex-NSA analyst could walk on water.  Maybe he can, using his inflated narcissism as a life raft?


Obama has a few days left to pass test #1…

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Obama will add a new nail in the coffin of his legacy if he fails the following test: He only has to wait until September 23 to pass up vetoing the bill that would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia. For once, Congress threw partisan bickering aside and passed this bill in the Senate and the House by a margin wide enough to override his veto…if they stick by their guns. Of course, it might just be a ploy by GOP members to make Obama look bad, so Congress will have their own test to pass if Obama keeps his promise to veto the bill—Congress should override in that case.

Obama’s legacy isn’t something candidate Clinton wants to hitch her wagon to by any means. His efforts to give affordable healthcare to more Americans were doomed from day one due to his Faustian bargain with the insurance companies and Big Pharma. Obamacare’s woes continues as a consequence (hence the Bernie Sanders quote in yesterday’s “Words of Wisdom”). I’d always argued for a single-payer system (not even Medicare is single-payer, by the way, despite Sanders’s pushing it for everyone), so all I can say is, “I told you so!” On the international front, his push for TPP is a slap in the face at all American workers. And he was in charge of cleaning up Bush’s mess in Iraq and blew it, not Clinton, because he left a vacuum there for ISIS to fill.  So, maybe his legacy is intact after all, one similar to Pete Rose’s—no Hall of Fame for Obama either: Lâche, infame, je te blame!


Deserving damnation…

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

The use of children as suicide bombers is on the rise. Children are sold by human traffickers, or even their parents, to satisfy the appetites of sexual predators and porn movie makers. Girls are blown to kingdom come because they dare to go to school. They are also murdered because their parents want only sons. The persons who perform these and other atrocities against children deserve to be damned by society and every religion on the planet worth its salt. Most of all, governments should not condone these practices; they should lock away such people for a long, long time. Or, practice some good Old Testament-style revenge!

Many prehistoric tribes and cultures sacrificed children to their gods. We tend to excuse that hideous practice as ignorance, but today the atrocities enumerated aren’t ignorance—they’re unconscionable and monstrous perversions. Is an ISIS father who sends his two sons off to be suicide bombers simply ignorant? This happened recently. No, that father is evil incarnate. Whether you’re religious or not, that’s what it is, and that father deserves to be damned for eternity. There should be some street justice applied too.

Human trafficking for the exploitation of innocent children is a theme in The Collector. The reality, of course, is much worse than what’s depicted in my novel. Again, the traffickers, their clients, and their buyers in turn who sexually abuse these kids deserve damnation, no question about it. Greed has many ugly faces, but this is one of the ugliest.

For some strange reason, even conservative Muslims who aren’t terrorists think girls should not be in school. I say strange because cultures who practice this discrimination are doomed—they can never compete with the West if their women aren’t allowed to contribute. These same cultures treat women as property, of course, so they have no rights. The ones that kill female children because they only want male offspring are even more stupid—the limiting case of that suicidal nonsense is a culture without children, a dying culture.

The exploitation, torturing, maiming, and murder of children must stop. Those who practice it must pay, the ultimate price if necessary, because it is a disease that must be eradicated. Such people don’t deserve to be called human, and they deserve eternal damnation if we can believe that Satan even wants them. They are really lower than pond scum, so the world should have no regrets about sending them across Styx.

We cannot know whether an afterlife exists or not, of course, no matter what our religions say. We only have evidence for manmade heavens and hells here on Earth, not in the afterlife. All we can do in  this mortal existence is prosecute these people. And, by prosecute, I mean by any means possible, without remorse or compassion. Innocent children cannot protect themselves from these monsters, only we can.

But I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I see this going on and curse the people who do it. I can rant about these practices here, but that doesn’t bring them to justice. That latter is an indictment of how ineffective and uncaring our institutions have become. I’m pointing the finger. The cries of suffering and dying children are their judges and juries. Maybe the people in those same institutions deserve damnation too. ‘Nough said.


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And so it goes…


Should Turkey be in NATO?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Recent events justify this question. First, the coup attempt was evidence for a country in turmoil. Second, the crackdown after that attempt—let’s call it for what it was, a Stalin-like purge of most anyone who has spoken out against the current government, including university personnel—represent several kilometers more down that bloody brick road that leads to fascism. Third, pointing the finger at the U.S. as the cause of the coup because their scapegoat is self-exiled in the U.S. has no logic. Fourth, the current government’s rapprochement with Vladimir Putin means that Turkey isn’t to be trusted with any NATO secrets whatsoever.

Those are just the recent events. Let’s go back in time…way back. The Turks have long been in denial about the Armenian holocaust. Unlike the German’s angst about the Nazis’ final solution, Turks have never owned up to their version. Germany renounced fascism—we hope forever—the Turks never have and have practiced a concealed version since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turks’ fight against ISIS is lackluster because Kurds are also fighting ISIS. The Kurds are personas non grata in Turkey and represent today’s Armenians. Turks attack the Kurds more than they do ISIS and will probably soon be helping Russia put down all of the Assad government’s enemies. Their duplicity in the Middle East is only second to Saudi Arabia’s. Some people might say that the military coup was fascism at work. I say Turkey is already a fascist state pretending to be friendly to the West, just like Saudi Arabia.  Both countries want to see a return to sixth century values.


Irish Stew #55…

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


Saudi duplicity. The Kingdom has an agenda. They try to pretend they’re friends, but they push a 6th century version of Islam just as much as ISIS. Most of the al Qaeda murderers who plotted 9/11 were Saudi, and the Saudi government helped them, not to mention the training in the Saudi’s religious schools that teaches young men to hate the West. They are also trying to radicalize Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo and those in the old Islamic USSR countries. Their agenda is clear: time travel back to that 6th century caliphate. And you thought ISIS was the problem?

This last weekend, the government finally released the full 28 pages of the 9/11 report originally deemed TOP SECRET because they embarrassed our “Saudi friends” (with friends like that, who needs enemies?). I downloaded a copy and will peruse it in detail. At first glance, it seems nebulous and full of doublespeak, par for the course when it comes to national security. Here’s a quote from the Times article describing it: “Subsequent investigations…pursued the leads described…and found that many had no basis in fact.” Pox on the Times for bad reporting. What investigations? Do we have access? Many, but some did. Which ones? Really bad reporting. And people wonder why we have conspiracy theories! It’s only paranoia if it’s…you finish the phrase.

BREXIT and the new PM. Looks like the Brits have to live with their choices. I found it amusing the story about a town that had voted Labour for many decades voting to leave the EU in spite of that party’s pleas. Both Sanders and Trump here in the U.S. tapped into similar sentiments, but Hillary is still supporting TPP because Wall Street does.

I don’t expect the new PM to last long, although both Labour and Conservative parties should be walking the halls of Parliament like Lady Macbeth—they have blood on their hands, but Macbeth has already died. “Double, double, toil and trouble, pot boil and cauldron bubble….” British politics is more like a pressure cooker now.


BREXIT, isolationism, and tribalism…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

BREXIT passed and Trump extolled it; SCOTUS’s 4-4 decision (i.e. no decision) left a lower court’s rollback of Obama’s exec orders about immigration in place; radical Islam’s homophobia in Orlando is echoed by America’s religious leaders; and Islamophobia and xenophobia are part of America’s 2016 electoral debate—all this is evidence of old bigotry and new isolationism in America and the world. BREXIT supporters, who maybe had a dream of being the next Switzerland (not going to happen!), or were yearning for Trump’s wall, or wanted to return to the days of the mighty British Empire (many of the world’s modern problems stem from policies of that Empire)—one woman said that Churchill must be smiling in heaven—are swept up by these riptides of right-wing bigotry and isolationism, a tide so powerful that a member of Parliament was gunned down in London. Trump supporters are going down that same yellow brick road, lemmings heading toward the cliffs of political insanity.

The economy is global, stupid people! Globalization is here to stay. Either you get on board that express train, or you’ll be left behind. Others, including the multinational corporations, will wave the finger at you as they that train continue into the future. You can’t really isolate yourselves. Corporations know this, so isolationists are just playing into their hands. Where political unions and governments fail, corporations will step in. The Swiss success story is only about their government in the sense that Switzerland has always catered to corporate interests, including the banking industry. Britain and the U.S. can only duplicate that success story by giving their corporate interests, including the banking industry, more power and the same privileged treatment. Voters should think more than twice about what they wish for. Those maws of industrial greed and Chinese-style capitalism don’t care where the next meal comes from. And those same frustrated voters, mostly poor and middle class, will continue to suffer, the middle class will continue to disappear, and the human condition will continue to deteriorate.


The poor and middle class take it on the nose…

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

No matter the results of the general election, the following is true: the 99% are the losers once again. Bernie Sanders offered the best chance for us I’ve seen in my lifetime, but the anti-democratic Democratic Party establishment has won. Bagpipe dirges should be sounding for the poor and middle class.

In many ways, they are victims of their own ignorance. The Clinton dynasty, the official representative of the establishment this time around, has sold itself as champions for opportunity but hasn’t delivered. Indeed, if historical evidence can be extrapolated to future promise, they NEVER will. Blacks who swallowed their load of cow manure and denigrate Mr. Obama by calling Billy Boy, the first black president; Hispanics who don’t realize the Clintons have another agenda, and it really doesn’t help them; and women lost in the “first woman president” craziness—these groups deserve their fate.

Younger voters might be more resilient to this slap in the face by the Dem establishment. Traditional no-shows at election time, they’ll have good reason to continue that practice—the anti-democratic Democratic Party remains controlled by the 1% just like the GOP. The oligarchy won yet again in America and can crawl into bed with the one controlling Russia.  We’ll also soon join Europe in its turn to the right because of terrorism and their immigration problem (building a wall is NOT the soluiton!), and there’s a good chance that the right-wing nut with anger management issues will soon control the nuclear codes because insanity seems to be the norm this election season.

Not that the Clintons show much more restraint than Trump.  When it came to restraint, Hillary voted for invading Iraq. When it came to inaction, we have husband Bill showing too much restraint by refusing to go after bin Laden et al after the FIRST WTC attack, and Hillary letting people die in Benghazi. After sixteen years of the Clinton dynasty, and twenty-four+ years of Clintonesque ineptitude in foreign policy, that email fiasco, while grating (any worker-bee public servant dealing with classified material would be in jail for what she did—her main defense being that Powell did it too!), seems insignificant relative to their laissez-faire attitude about American deaths overseas. Trump doesn’t have any solutions, but he’s right: Hillary should learn to say “radical Muslims”!


Irish Stew #54…

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016


Applaud those Kurds!  They have become an effective fighting force against ISIS.  They’re knocking on the door of Mosul.  OK, ISIS leaked through their forward lines, a Navy SEAL consultant died, but that’s no cause for hand wringing.  They’re showing Sunni and Shi’ite Iraqis what it means to soldier on.  Joe Biden’s solution—divide it into three states, Kurdish, Shi’ite, and Sunni—is still the best one for Iraq, and the Kurds deserve to be rewarded well.  To hell with Turkey and their plans to exterminate the Kurds.

Corrupt Iraqi politicians.  That’s what the invasion of the Green Zone was about.  The Iraqi politicos, mostly Shi’ite, are also inept.  But given that Shi’ites are in power, why were the protestors Sadr’s people?  Sects within sects within sects, I guess.  We really stepped in it when we invaded Iraq.  The birth of ISIS, an Iraqi government that can’t govern, and an army that can’t fight (except for the Kurds) is George Bush’s legacy for modern Iraq and the world.  And whomever we elect for president in the U.S. is only going to make it worse!  We reap what we sow.

Words, words.  The boy despot in North Korea continues to starve his people and brandish his toy weapons, accompanying that with fanfare and rants against South Korea and the West.  What’s new?  A missile launch from a submarine, that’s what!  OK, it’s a pathetic retrofit with zero capability right now, but did you know that spoiled brat had submarines?  A launch toward the West Coast of the U.S. from an offshore sub in territorial waters would be from a much shorter distance than a launch from NK.  We can’t laugh at this pathetic narcissist for too much longer.  He might be a stupid and spoiled megalomaniac, but he herds scientists who are smart and aim to please this psychotic leader.


Irish Stew #53…

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

[Regular readers of this blog know the stew is a collection of mini-op-eds expressing my opinions about current news items.  Don’t like the opinions?  Say so in a comment…or write your own blog!  The more the merrier.]

International.  So Barack Obama’s all sentimental about his relationship with Angela Merkel?  You’d think she’d have enough of sentimental U.S. presidents.  Germany, the juggernaut of the E.U., is having problems.  Merkel’s good intentions in receiving refugees from the Middle East has generated a lot of blowback and encouraged the fascist right-wingers (why do Germans have this tendency?).  She just fired her head security man.  So, maybe Obama is just doing a gentleman’s good deed by helping the old lady safely get across the protest parades on Ku’Damm.

I’ve always had a problem with Germany in particular and Europe in general.  Whatever economic success they’ve enjoyed, it got a head start with the Marshall Plan (lose a war to the U.S. to build an economic powerhouse is the plot of The Mouse That Roared, and it’s so a propos—both Germany and Japan benefitted greatly by losing World War Two).  That’s fine—we all feel good performing charitable acts, especially if they help friends get on their feet.

But much of Europe’s economic growth was also helped along by not having to pay much for its own defense during the Soviet years.  The U.S. provide that defense for the most part.  It’s time they started carrying more of the load.  That’s what Obama should have been saying to Merkel.  Of course, that would just add to her problems, poor thing.  And why aren’t these issues in the U.S. presidential election campaigns?


Apple losses.  After 13 years of reporting gains, Apple is finally reporting some losses.  I have no problem with that, except that the stock market reacts to Apple whatever like they do with oil whatever.  The fruity company deserves to go under—it’s arrogant, its products never play well with other products, and its support of worldwide terrorism is unconscionable.  Supposedly the losses are due to consumers’ reactions to the “new” iPhone that should have been called deja vu, not new.  They just did a tweak and called it new because Samsung was coming out with a truly new smart phone.  I’m hoping that at least part of the losses are due to the three points I mentioned.

Apple suffered another loss of a different sort.  Remember their refusal to break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone?  The FBI found hackers who did just that.  Apple wanted to know how.  The FBI opted not to tell the company.  Payback is sweet sometimes—call it the wave of the middle finger at a company that puts profits above keeping innocents safe from terrorist attacks.  Apple execs should all be in jail—I’m sure Gitmo has some room now.

Uber is stupid.  Yeah, there was a niche to fill, and present taxi service, at least in NYC, is a scam controlled by politicos and the buyers of the medallions who turn around and exploit the drivers.  But is Uber any better?  Not the way things are going.  Free pizzas aside, they’ve decided to charge more for passengers who make their drivers wait.  Before there was a five-minute grace period; they cut it to two, and will start charging about $10 if the passenger goes beyond that.