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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 14,849

Journal Archives

This Man Slept Through the Islamic State's Takeover of His Town

https://news.vice.com/article/this-man-slept-through-the-islamic-state-takeover-of-his-town

Did you think they would kill you?
No, why would they kill me? I am Muslim and Kurdish, I told them that and the sheikh said that this wasn't their business. He told me, "As long as you are Muslim and you can declare Allah as your god and Mohammed as your prophet, then why would we kill you? You aren't a fighter."

Let this be a lesson to Republicans:

Man killed attempting to sodomise donkey

www.sundayworld.com/top-stories/daily-world/man-killed-attempting-to-sodomise-donkey

"More than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources"

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/08/global-renewable-energy-status-uncovered?page=all

LONDON -- More than a fifth of the world's electrical power production now comes from renewable sources and in 2013 renewables accounted for more than 56 percent of all net additions to global power capacity. These remarkable conclusions come from this year’s Renewables Global Status Report (GSR) from REN21. This highly-regarded annual analysis — the 2014 edition was released this summer — concludes that renewable electricity capacity jumped by more than 8 percent overall in 2013, to produce some 22 percent of all global power production. Total global installed renewable electricity capacity reached a staggering 1,560 GW in 2013.



Patrick Cockburn ('Jihadis Return' author) on Iraq Debacle:

AMY GOODMAN: Patrick Cockburn, you have written a book on ISIS, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. I just want to point out, as it has come as such a shock to people in the United States, you had time to write a whole book about who they are and their rise. But can you respond to what Hagel says? What has added to their surge of power now, and do you think that will change?

PATRICK COCKBURN: Well, as you said, they’d been growing in strength over the last two or three years. They captured Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, at the beginning of the year, and the Iraqi government didn’t have the power to get rid of them. That showed that they were growing. I think that Hagel—in fact, the U.S. government as a whole—and foreign powers steer away from one very crucial aspect of the rise of ISIS, which is that in Syria, the West backed the uprising against President Assad, and still does, and this enabled ISIS to develop, gain military experience and then use it back in Iraq. Now Washington is saying, "We oppose ISIS in Iraq, but in Syria we want to get rid of the Syrian government," which is the only real opposition to ISIS. So there’s a different policy towards ISIS in these two different countries. And just as before, ISIS will benefit from that difference.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Patrick Cockburn, you’ve also said about ISIS that it’s made very few military mistakes. Could you explain what you think accounts for the extraordinary victories that it’s had in recent months in Iraq and Syria?

PATRICK COCKBURN: Yes, I mean, it’s this blend, a rather terrifying blend, of extreme religious fanaticism combined with military expertise, and at times caution. Where does that expertise come from? I think it comes primarily from having fought in Iraq in 2004 to 2009 against the Iraqi Shia government and against the Americans, and again gaining experience in Syria. There’s probably the involvement of some former Saddam Hussein officers or special forces, people who have been well trained. But I think a lot of it is just military experience. And when you have a long war, the survivors who are still around and still fighting are probably pretty good at it.

AMY GOODMAN: In an interview with The Atlantic magazine, Hillary Clinton criticized President Obama’s policy on Syria. She said, quote, "The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled." So this has become a big brouhaha. Hillary Clinton and President Obama will be meeting tonight at the house of Vernon Jordan. There’s a big party for Ann Jordan. Hillary Clinton’s people have put out that they’ll hug it out. David Axelrod has tweeted about the issue of stupid moves Hillary Clinton was talking about: Not making stupid moves is not a policy. President Obama, apparently, had talked about not making stupid moves. And David Axelrod said, "’Don’t do stupid stuff’ means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision," alluding to Hillary Clinton voting for the original attack on Iraq in 2003. But can you talk about this difference? It’s particularly significant, of course, because she is possibly running for president.

PATRICK COCKBURN: True. Yeah, I mean, I was—I’m pretty contemptuous of it, to be honest, because it’s opportunism by Hillary Clinton. And it’s nonsense. You know, the idea, which is very widespread, that there was a moment that, with a few more guns and ammunition, that a moderate Syrian opposition could have taken over in Syria in 2011 or '12 or ’13, is just unreal. There are 14 provincial capitals of Syria. Assad held all of them until last year, when he lost one of them, Raqqa, to ISIS, not to any of these moderates. These moderates are an endangered species on the battlefields of Syria. The opposition is now dominated—military opposition is dominated by ISIS. They hold a third of the country. But the other military opposition are people like Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the official representative of al-Qaeda, of bin Laden's al-Qaeda, and some other jihadi organizations. So this is sort of fantasy that there was a moderate Syrian military opposition which, with a bit more support from Obama, could have taken power in Damascus. It was never going to happen. It’s just sheer opportunism.


MORE: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/13/the_rise_of_isis_us_invasion

Look, in my view, we have done nothing but made the situation in Iraq worse. If we want to take out ISIS, then we need to support the "axis of evil" Iran, and the Syrian Assad "contempt for it's own people" regime. I suppose those two states could eradicate ISIS, maybe.

In the end, I believe we need to leave, as we have to many problems that we need to fix on focusing at home, and everything we do over there turns from bad to worse. We caused the current mess in Iraq. First by the invasion based on lies, and now by supporting ISIS in Syria. If we can't fix our own country, what makes us think that we can fix the 1400 year old issues of the middle east? Even the pentagon admits our bombing campaign will have little effect:

Pentagon official, Army Lieutenant General William Mayville: We assess that U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq have slowed ISIL’s operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Erbil. However, these strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria. ISIL remains focused on securing and gaining additional territory throughout Iraq and will sustain its attacks against Iraqi and Kurdish security forces and their positions, as well as target Yazidis, Christians and other minorities. ... In the immediate areas where we have focused our strikes, we’ve had a very temporary effect. And—but I, in no—and we may have blunted some tactical decisions to move in those directions and move further east to Erbil. What I expect the ISIL to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So, I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by ISIL.



I really quite dismayed at the escalation in Iraq, and I hope we get out soon.

REUTERS: White House loosens restrictions on lobbyists

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama is loosening restrictions on lobbyists who want to serve on federal advisory boards, a White House official said on Tuesday, a setback to the president's efforts to tamp down special interest influence in Washington.

Obama came to office pledging to curtail the sway of lobbyists and banned lobbyists from serving on such panels, which guide government policy on a range of topics ranging from cancer to towing safety.

The president said he was doing so because the voices of paid representatives of interest groups were drowning out the views of ordinary citizens.

But many lobbyists felt they were being unfairly tarred by Obama's campaign to keep them out of public service. A lawsuit challenging the ban was initially dismissed, but a District of Columbia Circuit Court in January reinstated it.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/us-usa-whitehouse-lobbyists-idUSKBN0GC1XE20140812

Can you imagine Jimmy Carter going back into Vietnam after we lost that debacle??? Just sayin'... NT

Scientific American: "War Is Our Most Urgent Problem. Let’s Solve It" By John Horgan

My answer to the above question: No, there is no more urgent problem than war. Not climate change, pollution, overpopulation, oppression, poverty, inequality, hunger, disease.

If you seek solutions to any of these problems, you should also devote at least some effort to ending war, for several reasons. First, war exacerbates or perpetuates our other problems, either directly or by draining precious resources away from their solution. War subverts democracy and promotes tyranny and fanaticism; kills and sickens and impoverishes people; ravages nature. War is a keystone problem, the eradication of which would make our other social problems much more tractable.

Second, war is more readily solvable than many other human afflictions. War is not like a hurricane, earthquake or Ebola plague, a natural disaster foisted on us by forces beyond our control. War is entirely our creation, the product of human choices. War could end tomorrow if a relatively small group of people around the world chose to end it.

Third, more than any of our other problems, war represents a horrific moral crime. Particularly when carried out by the U.S. and other nations, or by groups that aspire to or claim the legitimacy of states, war makes hypocrites of us and makes a mockery of human progress. We cannot claim to be civilized as long as war or even the threat of war persists.

.......


My answer is that nations and other groups should act in a manner consistent with the ultimate goal of eradicating war once and for all. This is what I call the “end-of-war rule,” which I spell out in more detail in The End of War. My own country, the U.S., is the world’s most egregious violator of the end-of-war rule, and not only because over the past dozen years Americans have waged two major wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. The U.S. also maintains by far the biggest military in the world, in terms of spending, and it is the biggest arms dealer.


http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2014/08/12/war-is-our-most-urgent-problem-lets-solve-it/

FURTHER READING:

The End of War, paperback, forward by Douglas Fry, McSweeney’s, 2014. http://www.amazon.com/End-War-John-Horgan/dp/1938073126/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407671952&sr=1-1&keywords=the+end+of+war

BREAKING: 100+ US Military Advisers Going to Iraq (New)

On CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/12/world/meast/iraq-crisis/index.html

ByeBye 2014.

Can we call it an escalation now?

If not, how many advisers and air strikes make it an escalation in Iraq?

I voted for this guy to get us out, now we're going in.

Not happy.

Where is the special tax on the wealthy to pay for this debacle????

Seriously, what happened to the Iraq army we spent trillions on?

I know a bunch of them abandoned their war toys to ISIS, ordered to do so by Sunni generals.... Are some of them ISIS now?

Also, why can't the Kurds defend themselves, didn't we spend ten years and trillions training and equipping them too?

Also, how & why will it turn out different this time?

The root cause of the Yazidi refugees, and what we can do about it:

In my view, the root cause of the situation in Iraq may well be GWB's illegal invasion of Iraq and his subsequent use of torture and other brutal methods to control the population.

I would submit that Obama, if he is indeed concerned about human rights and the plight of the Yazidis, should open an investigation into the war crimes of the Bush era cabal that appear to have caused this whole mess.


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