September 15, 2013
The solution is to destroy the weapons. The Syrian opposition groups should recognise the value that the international community taking an interest in a catalogue of atrocities committed in what appears to be a very destructive and beyond horrific experience for the entire civilian population. Assad seems unable to release his iron grip on power but ultimately step by step the Russians can be entirely influential it seems. The instant agreement given by the Assad regime means it fears military intervention as it should from a potentially formidable foe (for example, NATO) if it does not comply with the humanist objective of removing the offending weapons from the equation. They could fall into the hands of the opposition groups and it is a strategic disadvantage in the endgame of this war to have them.
Consider the unlikely scenario that Assad is correct in saying that the opposition groups launched the multiple coordinated chemical weapons attacks that genocidal day a couple of weeks ago. Instant compliance is explained in that scenario. Now consider that even if Assad was in control of the chemical weapon attack the danger of such weapons, scattered around the country poses an existential threat to both sides. Removal of them return him to certain dominance.
December 5, 2011
Iran warns of a crushing response if US drone aircraft were in Iran’s airspace and have shot one down. Recently, NATO made a terrible mistake and attacked Pakistan forces in the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It seems logical that the US may need to withdraw from its Afghan adventure, and this could leave Afghanistan to the Taleban and for Iran to engage as the local Shi’ite power. The US can probably repair the damage done in Pakistan with reparations of some sort which probably would be protecting Pakistan from its neighbours.
September 28, 2011
Guardian Article exposes some of the myths about Afghanistan, some of which have crept into Western media as facts.
September 11, 2011
Regardless if it was Al Qaeda, or a cover-up conspiracy that seems both rather plausible and extremely unlikely at the same time, the buildings came down and America went to war.
The idea that 9/11 was a self inflicted conspiracy may be attractive as a fiction. But in reality it serves to inflame the wrong side of patriotic feeling. Simply put, 99% or more of Americans felt a sense of great loss as the towers collapsed into the ground. It may have looked like controlled demolitions but that does not necessarily prove that they were controlled demolitions.
Great loss that translated into a terrible anger that been the main news story of the past 10 years. More distracting than the Japanese Tsunami. Not to mention the greatest disaster in history – the 2004 Tsunami and wars in Sudan each involved far greater loss of human life and dignity than either the events of 9/11 or the wars that followed them. And we stopped talking about those events. 9/11 is better “news”.
It is factual that the invasions, especially Iraq, were not what prevented other attacks being planned or being successful. It is also true that they may have made matters more dangerous for a time in terms of both threat and economically.
There is more than one way to conquer a disease. You can kill it with some kind of poison, or you can strengthen the body’s natural defences. The first course of action, typically with antibiotics – seems a valid course until disease evolves that penicillin can no longer touch. Making the immune system more able to cope with disease is a better long term solution.
It is quite true that some attacks were prevented by military intervention, it is true, but when people like Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) were stopped it was mainly due to public awareness as well as less effective planning and execution by Al Qaeda.
A misconception is that the Government protects its citizens, it is probably more true to say that citizens protect their government.
September 2, 2011
The ex head of MI5 opposes the term “War on Terror”, decries the invasion of Iraq and believes it is time to talk with Al Qaeda. Interesting. Pretty much what Disturbing Trends has been saying for years, that 9/11 was a terrible crime but it was not war, it was a terrible crime. The Bush led American response has nearly bankrupted the USA. Invading Iraq created a breeding ground and a cause for terrorist recruitment.
What would have been a better strategy than invasion after the devastating events of Sept 11, 2001? The arrest of Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network. And that is what GW Bush first asked for, and the Taliban leader said no, he would not hand over his Muslim brother. So the US declared war on Afghanistan. More correctly the acts of Al Qaeda broke the logic of coexistence driving the US government into a frenzy. Nothing felt safe and therefore the public welcomed the new improved and sometimes intrusive security measures that made terms like human rights seem like ironic luxuries from another era. GW Bush continued the madness by then inventing reasons to invade Iraq.
July 23, 2011
Although most of us have that part of being human that loves others, a few do not. It is hard to spot absences as we are tuned to see things that are odd or out of place. The real horrors are ones that appear to have no basis in the shared world, but the horrors that are expressed from the mind of a terrorist.
This is an aspect of murderous insanity that supports the death penalty, at least their malign influence is truncated. But the danger of putting innocents to death is far greater. Merely because for each guilty person, there are millions of innocents.
In the calculations of war this may make little difference. But a society that is based on fear is a weaker society. Real effort is expended due to purpose and intent. An atmosphere of threat can breed indifference. Neglect may breed resentment Abuse breeds inappropriate behaviours.
However, average children being adequately educated universally and who are not hungry or mutually disadvantaged by the greed of the majority such that their education is not a principled priority of the state.
Universal medical care is a given. If this is too expensive, then perhaps so should firemen, plumbers and maintenance technicians should also be paid more, as well as everyone else, so that universal medical care can be a given, it an be afforded and resourced. This must not preclude a private medical service available with private insurance, which may compete with the universal benefit by boosting its effect.
February 8, 2009
In a Newsweek article the question is raised, what should this “War on Terror” be called. Since “War on Terror” is meaningless (you can fight terror all you like, but you can’t kill it), perhaps a more accurate statement of the goal of this “war” if it is one, is defined.
December 28, 2008
After continued daily rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, and after a warning by the Israeli PM Israel bombs Gaza killing 235 people.
The attack on Hamas targets are, according to reports from Israel, destroying rocket launching silos. That civilians are killed in this non surgical intervention is absolutely guaranteed. Gaza is the most populated place on the planet. People have to live somewhere.
April 23, 2007
Character assasination has taken on a whole new meaning as the “war on terror” progresses. The Dept of Homeland Security has a massive budget for spying upon the activities of potential terrorist threats. That is a reaction to the events of 9/11 and many have conjectured or argued a stance that the Governemnt used or even created 9/11 as a justification for control of the population with monosyallbic concepts and easily digested sound bites.
More civilians have died in the crossfire in this “war on terror” (if you include the events in Iraq since the US invasion) than the war sought to protect from the acts of terrorists. It is hard to accept that the War in Iraq is the same as the war launched to prevent Al Qaeda from establishing, it can be argued that the US invading Iraq was the best thing that could have happened for Al Qaeda.
The war on terror has flipped the tables on the US economy and in conjuction with cynical tax cuts made the poor of America (90%) utterly dependent upon the whim of a cartel of billionaires that rely upon growth in public consumption to continue being powerful. The US has blundered into a new form of slavery. The US now have a war effort in play, so a percentage of your grandchildrens’ income is going to be paying the bill. This is a reduction in the freedom of Americans since Bush came to power.
The first signs of a totalitarian state was the questionable election results that saw the Republicans only begin to enact their agenda after the public were well hypnotised by 9/11. Before 9/11 it was evident that new thinking had pushed aside pursuit of Al Qaeda started under Clinton.
The imprisonment of journalists and academics is the next stage of a new McCarthism. It seems that it now happening and I wonder if the voices of all those Homeland Security agents who are not finding terrorists around every street corner are in fact writing propaganda to “flush out” terrorists? Or, indeed, if it is the activity of “the enemy” – whomever it may be.
It relies upon uncalled for judgement of individuals when looking at Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that almost invites slander but is regulated by its own active editing “community”. But they can not keep up with concerted efforts to commit acts of libel by “concerned citizens” who remain anonymous to the public eye.
Free speech is one thing. Being able to endanger the lives of others is something else.
February 28, 2007
Behind the Sunni-Shi’ite Divide — Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007 — Page 1 — TIME – to understand the division between Shiite and Sunni – this article in TIME illustrates that it is not a conventional religious struggle but a historical one? Brothers in faith, yes, but is the spirit of humanity as alive in their spiritual leadership as it was in the soul of the young man who dived into the river and saved several Shiite pilgrims from drowning before, he, himself lost his own life (as did about 1000 pilgrims).
Othman al-Obeidi, 25, Sunni – should therefore be remembered and given recognition as an example of brother helping brother. The rift that suicide bombers tear open can not be closed with more bloodshed. It can only be closed by acts of extreme bravery and sacrifice like this one. But one saintly act can be easily undone, as appears the case for Sunni who have since been affected by Shiite militia death squads. In other words one good deed may repair the violence of the past, but it is quickly undone by violence in the future.
To bring peace between Sunni and Shiite may become the way in which this war on terrorism is won, finally. Lobbing morters across suburbs is no way to bring peace.
The Iraq war was mishandled by the US military strategy. For this, George Bush will be remembered as more than just a poor strategist. His priority was blind revenge against Saddam. Finishing the job his father started.
Another way of looking at this is that Sunni extremists were behind 9/11. By returning Iraq political power to the hands of the majority, Shiites – a wound was struck and reignited the ancient fued between Sunni and Shiite. It was not just an illegal war – or a stupid one – it was bound to foment ancient hatreds. You see, the real problem is too much death of young fathers leads to endemic dysfunctionality as their children grow up with weapons and bent on blind revenge.
February 16, 2007
Pressing Allies, President Warns of Afghan Battle – New York Times – even Bush himself acknowledges that the efforts in Afghanistan may come to nothing if the military success of the American presence there is insufficient.
Compare the American contribution to Afghanistan of 13,000 troops with the 170,000 Bush wants in Iraq and the scale appears out of whack. The Taliban established they were prepared to protect Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, giving America adequate reason to attack militarily and establish a more moderate Government in Afghanistan. But instead of acting forcefully to promote democratic ideals, the US Government has underfunded completion of the military goals, and now with the once avoidable expense of Iraq to contend with, the problem is larger than it was before.
Strategy can not be shot from the hip. This man exposes the singular logic of an all powerful Commander in Chief being in control of these wars. Bush is convinced that he is right. Perhaps he needs to be. But one must wonder if Bush is best man for the job, since it must be done by one man, perhaps Bush should retire. So far his record is a testament of exactly how not to win a war.
Bush will continue to lead America by the nose into conflict. Not that he wants to, but that he has blundered his way into a quagmire and is unlikely to have the smarts to conclude the mess gracefully as the months count down to zero, the same realization will dawn on the American electorate.
The republicans best nominate an anti war candidate. How the winds of politics are turning.
February 15, 2007
It is possible to win the war on terrorism. In this example local Phillippine troops are now having some succss against Abu Sayyaf.
“Perhaps most acute is the need to channel funds into poor communities like Panamao, where schoolteachers say they haven’t been paid for over a year.” this kind of community development is necessary to create a future society of thinking individuals who do not resort to evil to make their political point. Individuals who do not believe in the death cult of Al Qaeda or any other perversion of their faith or culture.