Member since: Mon Nov 5, 2012, 03:15 AM
Number of posts: 351
Number of posts: 351
... courtesy of The Gipper.
Reagan, who initially authorized weapon sales to both the Iraqis and Iranians during Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), decided to side with Saddam Hussein after a couple of years. In 1982, Iraq was removed from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, and Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Baghdad not long after - the first of his many trips there - for reasons that remain unclear to this day.
Acting under the instruction of the Reagan administration*, the DoD and DoC approved the delivery of 70 shipments of biological/chemical agents to Iraq between 1985-1989, under 771 separate export licenses covering at least fourteen types of chemical and biological agents, including the deadly nerve agents sarin, anthrax, and somain.
* "In June, 1982, President Reagan decided that the United States could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran. President Reagan decided that the United States would do whatever was necessary and legal to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran. President Reagan formalized this policy by issuing a National Security Decision Directive ("NSDD") to this effect in June, 1982. I have personal knowledge of this NSDD because I co-authored the NSDD with another NSC Staff Member, Geoff Kemp. The NSDD, including even its indentifying number, is classified." - Howard Teicher
Saddam's use of these biological and chemical weapons, delivered chiefly via missiles, was well documented. Iranian soldiers became his first victims, before Saddam turned his attention to the Kurd separatists and Shia' rebels in Iraq. The United States subsequently vetoed (1986-89) all UN Security Council resolutions which condemned Saddam's use of these weapons.
This decision would come to haunt the country several years later when an estimated 100,000 American soldiers were exposed to these weapons, by varying degrees, during the Gulf War.
In 1991, UNSCOM director Rolf Ekeus, tasked with dismantling and eliminating Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear stockpile, told the U.N Security Council of the discovery of chemical warheads armed with nerve gas. Meanwhile, CIA Director William Webster estimated that Iraq possess 1,000 tons of poisonous chemical agents, fully capable of being loaded unto missiles.
By 1993, a succession of UN teams destroyed at least "13,000 155-mm artillery shells loaded with mustard gas; 6,200 rockets loaded with nerve agent; 800 nerve agent aerial bombs; 28 SCUD warheads loaded with Sarin; 75 tons of the nerve agent Sarin; 60-70 tons of the nerve agent Tabun; and, 250 tons of mustard gas and stocks of thiodiglycol, a precursor chemical for mustard gas," along with several plants used to manufacture these agents.
By 1994, for all intents and purposes, the Iraqi WMD program was effectively over, along with its legacy biological and chemical weapon programs. Within several years, the country's entire infrastructure was tethering on the brink of collapse; the economy was in shambles, the military in tatters, the population living in fear from regular coalition bombings (and Saddam's own reign of terror). Iraq was broken.
And then, PNAC and the neocons came along...
The Teicher Affidavit
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses
The Riegle Report
How Iraq built its weapons programs
Arming Iraq: A Chronology of U.S. Involvement
Iran Contra Affair
Arafat Eases Stand on Kuwait-Palestine Link
Trivia: In 1992, after the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of force to oust Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, a surprised Saddam offered to withdraw. There are reports that he was initially operating under the assumption that the U.S. would look away at a Kuwaiti invasion. As a face saving gesture, Saddam offered to withdraw from Kuwait subject to the UN Security Council agreeing "to address the plight of Palestinians as a condition for settling the Persian Gulf crisis." His offer was rejected, and there rest, as they say, is history.
Edit: The links are not appearing.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:58 AM (6 replies)
Even if you find the subject of war distasteful, as I do, this article is still a pretty illuminating read.
Abraham Lincoln served as commander in chief in the world's first truly modern war. Three key technologies were maturing simultaneously at the outset of the American Civil War in 1861: the breech-loading rifle, quick-firing and accurate at great range; the railroad, able to move massive numbers of troops and supplies swiftly over very long distances; and the telegraph, with which to manage the maneuvering of field armies. Weapons, transport, and information systems -- all were in very active play.
Barack Obama serves as commander in chief in the middle of what I would call the first truly "post-modern" war: a great struggle with nations on one side and terrorist and insurgent networks on the other. It is post-modern in terms of the ways in which al Qaeda and its affiliates have flouted accepted notions of warmaking and found new ways to engage great powers and sustain the fight against them for over a decade. They have done so largely by mastering the network form of organization and exploiting the potential of this era's Internet-driven information revolution. It is something far, far beyond just guerrilla warfare.
After sacking six commanders of his main armies in the Eastern theater of operations, Abraham Lincoln finally found a general willing to undertake a cordon offensive: Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln soon put him in charge of all Union forces, and Grant worked hand-in-hand with his great collaborator William Tecumseh Sherman to bring about victory. To be sure, there were other very fine Union commanders by the end of the war -- a long, hard conflict can have a tremendous winnowing effect -- but Grant and Sherman were the principal players.
Barack Obama has followed a somewhat similar path, bringing to the fore senior commanders who have more than proved their understanding of the strategic demands of war in this post-modern era. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, in one of his first pronouncements as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, spoke of the importance of crafting a more highly networked military. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, presided over much of the turnaround in Iraq, when the shift to an outpost strategy and the rise of the Awakening Movement turned the tide of battle there. Just a week ago in this magazine, he wrote of a future American force that would be comprised of small, wide-ranging units girding the globe but still able to scale up into a larger concentrated force if necessary. And Adm. William McRaven, head of Special Operations Command, has demonstrated again and again that small numbers can regularly prevail when used in networked fashion to exploit the key information- and mobility-driven advantages that add up to his concept of "relative superiority." And these three are hardly alone. Many others have cracked the code of post-modern conflict as well.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:57 AM (0 replies)
Earlier this month, we discovered that former SecState Clinton and CIA Director Gen. Petraues were advocating a military approach in Syria that is reminiscent of the one employed by Reagan in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The idea was to vet the rebel groups and train fighters, who would be supplied with weapons.
Last week, during the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing (Oversight: Attack on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya), we found out that both SecDefense Panetta and CJCS Gen. Dempsey were also supportive of the idea of the United States supplying weapons to the rebels in Syria.
John McCain: I would ask again both of you, um, what I asked you last March when 7,500 Lib, um, citizens of Syria had been killed. It’s now up to 60,000.
How many more have to die, before you recommend military action? And did you support the recommendation by Secretary of State, uh, then Secretary of State Clinton, and then head of CIA, Gen. Petraeus, that we provide weapons to the resistance in Syria? Do you support that?
Leon Panetta: I do.
John McCain: You did support that?
Leon Panetta: We do.
John McCain: You did support that?
Leon Panetta: We did.
We know today that neither the U.S. military nor the CIA armed or trained any of the factions in Syria. This is in spite of
♦ Enormous pressure from GOP legislators throughout the second half of 2012 to intervene in Syria
♦ Cheap shots made by Romney and Ryan in the run up of the presidential election
♦ Strong support for such an action from four of President Obama's cabinet members (SecState Clinton, SecDefense Panetta, Gen. Petraues and Gen. Dempsey)
We could've had an Afghanistan redux here, a Reagan Doctrine 2.0 if you will. We could've been staring at, by now, demands for American forces to land in Damascus, along with numerous blowback scenarios.
Instead, all we have now is that of ol' man McCain doing his circus antics. All thanks to that one fella who stuck to his guns, and in the process, potentially saving thousands of American lives.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:37 PM (23 replies)
I think a significant number of people are basing their opinions entirely on news reports in all its hyperbolic glory.
Perhaps a look at the actual DoJ White Paper is in order?
Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa'ida or An Associated Force
This white paper sets forth a legal framework for considering the circumstances in which the U.S. government could use lethal force in a foreign country outside the area of active hostilities against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force of al-Qa'ida—that is, an al-Qa'ida leader actively engaged in planning operations to kill Americans.
Here the Department of Justice concludes only that where the following three conditions are met, a U.S. operation using lethal force in a foreign country against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or an associated force would be lawful: (1) an informed; high level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible, and the United States continues to monitor whether capture becomes feasible; and (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles. This conclusion is reached with recognition of the extraordinary seriousness of a lethal operation by the United States against a U.S. citizen, and also of the extraordinary seriousness of the threat posed by senior operational al-Qa'ida members and the loss of life that would result were their operations successful.
The President has authority to respond to the imminent threat posed by al-Qa'ida and its associated forces, arising from his constitutional responsibility to protect the country, the inherent right of the United States to national self defense under international law, Congress's authorization of the use of all necessary and appropriate military force against this enemy, and the existence of an armed conflict with al-Qa'ida under international law. Based on these authorities, the President may use force against al-Qa'ida and its associated forces. As detailed in this white paper, in defined circumstances, a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen who has joined al-Qa'ida or its associated forces would be lawful under U.S. and international law. Targeting a member of an enemy force who poses an imminent threat of violent attack to the United States is not unlawful. It is a lawful act of national self defense. Nor would it violate otherwise applicable federal laws barring unlawful killings in Title 18 or the assassination ban in Executive Order No 12333.
Were the target of a lethal operation a U.S. citizen who may have rights under the Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment, that individual's citizenship would not immunize him from a lethal operation. Under the traditional due process balancing analysis of Mathews v. Eldridge, we recognize that there is no private interest more weighty than a person's interest in his life. But that interest must be balanced against the United States' interest in forestalling the threat of violence and death to other Americans that arises from an individual who is a senior operational leader of al-Q'aida or an associated force of al-Q'aida and who is,engaged in plotting against the United States.
The paper begins with a brief summary of the authority for the use of force in the situation described here, including the authority to target a U.S. citizen having the characteristics described above with lethal force outside the area of active hostilities. It continues with the constitutional questions, considering first whether a lethal operation against such a U.S. citizen would be consistent with the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, U.S. Const, amend. V. As part of the due process analysis, the paper explains the concepts of "imminence," feasibility of capture, and compliance with applicable law of war principles. The paper then discusses whether such an operation would be consistent with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable seizures, U.S. Const, amend. IV; It concludes that where certain conditions are met, a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or its associated forces—a terrorist organization engaged in constant plotting against the United States, as well as an enemy force with which the United States is in a congressionally authorized armed conflict—and who himself poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, would not violate the Constitution. The paper also includes an analysis concluding that such an operation would not violate certain criminal provisions prohibiting the killing of U.S. nationals outside the United States; nor would it constitute either the commission of a war crime or an assassination prohibited by Executive Order 12333.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:58 AM (2 replies)
This list is obviously nowhere near comprehensive, and is merely compiled to illustrate a point.
♦ Shay’s Rebellion (1786-1787)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 5
♦ German Coast Uprising (1811)
Number of American Rebels('Slaves') Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 95
♦ Nat Turner's Rebellion (1831)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 56
♦ The raid on Harpers Ferry (1858)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 2
♦ American Civil War (1861-1865)
Number of Armed American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: Approximately 300,000
♦ Green Corn Rebellion (1917)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 3
♦ Jayuya Uprising (1950)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 2
♦ Utuado Uprising (1950)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 9
♦ Kent State Shooting (1970)
Number of American Student Protesters Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 4
♦ Jackson State Killings (1970)
Number of American Student Protesters Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 2
♦ Wounded Knee incident (1973)
Number of American Rebels Killed Without ‘Due Process’: 2
♦ Drone Attacks on American Citizens (2011)
Number of American Rebels (unlawful combatants*) With Dual Citizenship and Openly Engaging In Terrorist Activities Against The United States Killed Without ‘Due Process^’: 2 (Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan)
Collateral Damage: 1 (16-year Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki, the son of al-Awlaki Sr.)
*11. Citizens of the United States who associate themselves with the military arm of an enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war. P. 37.
^Admiral (Rtd.) Dennis Blair's (Director of National Intelligence): The reason I went this far in open session is, I just don’t want other Americans who are watching to think that we are careless about endangering—in fact, we are not careless about endangering lives at all, but we especially are not careless about endangering American lives as we carry out the policies to protect most of the country, and I think we ought to go into details in closed session.
Murder is an abhorrent act, and while I doubt I could ever take the life of another person, I understand that the world we live in is not all unicorns and rainbows, and in the words of Kant, morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. A measure of justice, as well as the proportionality of our actions, is an inherent facet of jus ad bellum. And in my humble estimations, Mr. Obama acted as he saw fit, within the bounds of the Constitution.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:30 PM (8 replies)
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past...
After 23 years, it is finally over, and aside from a few details, A Memory of Light was an incredible end to an incredible series.
I accept that the Wheel of Time series will never be considered a literary classic. Neither was it an original, groundbreaking concept. But it is arguably, alongside the Lord of the Rings, Dune and Foundation, the most stupendous, expansive and awe-inspiring fictional world ever created.
I can't even remember when and where I bought the The Eye of the World, the first of the series. But I do remember the enormous sense of wonder that grew with each passing book.
The journey of Rand al'Thor, the stereotype-breaking sensitive sheepherder turned Aiel/Caracarn/Coramoor/Dragon Reborn/channeler/Lews Therin Telamon/Prince of the Morning, was a marvel from start to finish. His struggle with accepting his fate, his descent into madness, his elevation into Kinghood, his embracing of death, his numerous tribulations, his battles against the Forsakens, his his his...
And what of his fellow taverens? The rouge, the gambler, the one and only Mat Cauthon? Or the humble and unassuming blacksmith, Lord Perrin GoldenEyes Aybara?
Not forgetting the three women who loved him - the Aiel Aviendha, Queen of Andor Elayne Trakand and the Doomseer (!) Min?
And what of Egwene Al Vere, Nynave Al Meara, Moiraine Damodred, Siuan Sanche, the Malkier King Lan Mandragoran, to name a few?
The Wheel of Time was escapism at its finest, taking you to another place and time, drawing you into a masterful, complex, interwoven thread.
When Robert Jordan passed away in 2007, I feared that we will never see the end of one of the greatest fantasy series ever written. But Brandon Sanderson did not disappoint, even if he did stretched the final book into three (all the better, if you asked me), and left several plot lines unresolved or ending abruptly.
My only worry is, the open ending. As we've all seen before, there CAN be too much of a good thing. I do hope the Jordan Estate and the publishers will let the story rest.
So long, Rand Al'Thor.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:44 AM (7 replies)
Source: The Telegraph
In a preview of their CBS 60 Minutes interview to be aired on Sunday, US President Barack Obama publicly thanks the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she prepares to step down from the role. Bitter rivals in the 2008 presidential campaign, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kept smiling at each other in a joint interview to CBS that Mrs Clinton said would have seemed "improbable" years ago.
"It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her," Mr Obama said in a televised excerpt from the CBS 60 Minutes programme that will air on Sunday...
... "I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had," Mr Obama said in an excerpt shown on CBS ahead of Sunday's 60 Minutes.
"It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her," he added.
Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9828487/Barack-Obama-thanks-Hillary-Clinton-for-work-as-Secretary-of-State.html
I too think Hillary will go down as one of the finest SecState the country ever had
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:33 AM (30 replies)
In light of the failed/diminished (depending on whom you asked) filibuster reform this week, many are wondering over the reason behind Reid's apparent capitulation from a position of power.
Did Harry Reid do a Benedict Arnold? Was Reid doing the NRA/banksters/corporations' bidding?
Did GOP asked for a favor in return for future new gun control measures, considering successive defeats in Congress would've placed many of the GOP legislators in precarious primary battles?
Or, did Reid, and other senior Democratic members, based the decision on the six year curse? Less it be forgotten, every two-term American president over the last 100 years (with the exception of Clinton) shed seats during the midterms, and in the process, lost control of either the Senate and the House, or both.
Was this a calculate, defensive Democratic move?
♦ Wilson (1913-1921), Democrat
1918 : On the fifth year, the Democrats lost six seats in the Senate and 25 seats in the House
♦ Coolidge (1923-1929)
1926: On the third year (fifth, if we include the two years of Warding), the Republicans lost six Senate seats and nine House seats
♦ FDR (1933-1945), Democrat
1938: On the fifth year, the Democrats lost five seats in the Senate and 72 seats in the House
♦ Truman (1945-1953)
1950: On the fifth year, the Democratic party lost three Senate seats and 28 House seats
♦ Eisenhower (1953-1961)
1958: On the fifth year, the Republicans lost ten seats in the Senate and 48 seats in the House
♦ Johnson (1963-1969)
1966: On the third year (fifth, if we including the two years of Kennedy), the Democrats lost three Senate seats and 47 House seats
♦ Nixon/Ford (1968-1976):
1974: On the sixth year, 1974, the GOP lost 48 House and 3 Senate seats.
♦ Reagan (1980-1988)
1986: On the sixth year, the GOP lost 5 House and 8 Senate seats
♦ Clinton (1992-2000)
1998: On the sixth year, the Democrats gained 5 House seats and retained all their seats in the Senate
♦ Bush Junior (2000-2008)
2006: On the sixth year, the GOP lost 30 House and 6 Senate seats
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:17 AM (31 replies)
I know these are just words, but parts of the platform represent the concept of progressivism that I believe in.
We've come a long way since then, for better or worst, but I like the idea that a hundred years ago, people like me and you actually existed.
• We hold with Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln that the people are the masters of their Constitution, to fulfill its purposes and to safeguard it from those who, by perversion of its intent, would convert it into an instrument of injustice. In accordance with the needs of each generation the people must use their sovereign powers to establish and maintain equal opportunity and industrial justice, to secure which this Government was founded and without which no republic can endure.
This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. Its resources, its business, its institutions and its laws should be utilized, maintained or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.
It is time to set the public welfare in the first place.
• Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.
• The Progressive party, believing that a free people should have the power from time to time to amend their fundamental law so as to adapt it progressively to the changing needs of the people, pledges itself to provide a more easy and expeditious method of amending the Federal Constitution.
• Up to the limit of the Constitution, and later by amendment of the Constitution, it found necessary, we advocate bringing under effective national jurisdiction those problems which have expanded beyond reach of the individual States.
It is as grotesque as it is intolerable that the several States should by unequal laws in matter of common concern become competing commercial agencies, barter the lives of their children, the health of their women and the safety and well being of their working people for the benefit of their financial interests.
• We pledge our party to legislation that will compel strict limitation of all campaign contributions and expenditures, and detailed publicity of both before as well as after primaries and elections.
The Progressive party demands such restriction of the power of the courts as shall leave to the people the ultimate authority to determine fundamental questions of social welfare and public policy. To secure this end, it pledges itself to provide:
• That when an Act, passed under the police power of the State is held unconstitutional under the State Constitution, by the courts, the people, after an ample interval for deliberation, shall have an opportunity to vote on the question whether they desire the Act to become law, notwithstanding such decision.
• That every decision of the highest appellate court of a State declaring an Act of the Legislature unconstitutional on the ground of its violation of the Federal Constitution shall be subject to the same review by the Supreme Court of the United States as is now accorded to decisions sustaining such legislation.
The supreme duty of the Nation is the conservation of human resources through an enlightened measure of social and industrial justice. We pledge ourselves to work unceasingly in State and Nation for:
Effective legislation looking to the prevention of industrial accidents, occupational diseases, overwork, involuntary unemployment, and other injurous effects incident to modern industry;
• The fixing of minimum safety and health standards for the various occupations, and the exercise of the public authority of State and Nation, including the Federal Control over interstate commerce, and the taxing power, to maintain such standards;
• The prohibition of child labor;
• Minimum wage standards for working women, to provide a "living wage" in all industrial occupations;
• The general prohibition of night work for women and the establishment of an eight hour day for women and young persons;
• One day’s rest in seven for all wage workers;
• The eight hour day in continuous twenty-four hour industries;
We favor the union of all the existing agencies of the Federal Government dealing with the public health into a single national health service without discrimination against or for any one set of therapeutic methods, school of medicine, or school of healing with such additional powers as may be necessary to enable it to perform efficiently such duties in the protection of the public from preventable diseases as may be properly undertaken by the Federal authorities, including the executing of existing laws regarding pure food, quarantine and cognate subjects, the promotion of vital statistics and the extension of the registration area of such statistics, and co-operation with the health activities of the various States and cities of the Nation.
We believe that true popular government, justice and prosperity go hand in hand, and, so believing, it is our purpose to secure that large measure of general prosperity which is the fruit of legitimate and honest business, fostered by equal justice and by sound progressive laws.
We demand that the test of true prosperity shall be the benefits conferred thereby on all the citizens, not confined to individuals or classes, and that the test of corporate efficiency shall be the ability better to serve the public; that those who profit by control of business affairs shall justify that profit and that control by sharing with the public the fruits thereof.
We believe there exists imperative need for prompt legislation for the improvement of our National currency system. We believe the present method of issuing notes through private agencies is harmful and unscientific.
The issue of currency is fundamentally a Government function and the system should have as basic principles soundness and elasticity. The control should be lodged with the Government and should be protected from domination or manipulation by Wall Street or any special interests.
Through the establishment of industrial standards we propose to secure to the able-bodied immigrant and to his native fellow workers a larger share of American opportunity.
We denounce the fatal policy of indifference and neglect which has left our enormous immigrant population to become the prey of chance and cupidity.
GOVERNMENT SUPERVISION OVER INVESTMENTS
The people of the United States are swindled out of many millions of dollars every year, through worthless investments. The plain people, the wage earner and the men and women with small savings, have no way of knowing the merit of concerns sending out highly colored prospectuses offering stock for sale, prospectuses that make big returns seem certain and fortunes easily within grasp.
We hold it to be the duty of the Government to protect its people from this kind of piracy. We, therefore, demand wise, carefully thought out legislation that will give us such Governmental supervision over this matter as will furnish to the people of the United States this much-needed protection, and we pledge ourselves thereto.
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Thu Jan 24, 2013, 04:49 AM (5 replies)
I'm not sure how I feel about this...
Posted by FleetwoodMac | Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:01 PM (0 replies)