Obama Says Iraq’s Government Needs Help!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Now there’s a headline. Let’s repeat it…

Obama says Iraq’s government needs help!

Long live hypocrisy!

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Time for a Sunday Sermon I think!

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Iraqi flag

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I say hypocrisy for one simple reason, Obama  –  remember him, the man who was getting all the troops OUT of Iraq  –  wants to send them back in again because of the almighty mess that America, Britain and other western nations made blundering about in a country they didn’t understand.

It’s worse than that, of course, because Obama wants to send the troops back into Iraq to help stave off attacks by radical Islamists who have been making inroads in various parts of Iraq and are now threatening to close in on Baghdad itself.

This what he said, “I don’t rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”

But hang on a minute.

There’s that stench of hypocrisy again.

Are these not the very same terrorists who Obama is supporting financially and with arms shipments in Syria?

They may have different names in different countries but these terrorists collectively want to establish an Islamic state in the region that surpasses national boundaries and governments. And from there, who knows?

It really is that simple. But it seems American foreign policy is in its usual state – completely confused, completely devoid of logic and good sense.

The mess that has been left behind in Iraq is catastrophic.

The country has more or less disintegrated politically and militarily, with Islamic militants capturing the country’s second-largest city this week after soldiers scattered, leaving their uniforms and weapons behind. So much for the $15 billion Washington (i.e., the American taxpayer) has already provided in training, weapons and equipment to the Iraqi government!

The result of this capitulation is that at least half a million ordinary citizens are understandably fleeing as the terrorists gain ground.

America’s ‘re-intervention’ will start with air strikes, possible using drones. But the chances of that doing anything more than temporarily halting the terrorists are slight. Next will come increased supplies of arms and equipment for the ‘official’ Iraqi forces. And then ‘advisors’ will be sent in  –  they’re probably already there, their presence will just be officially acknowledged.

There was a strong indication of what will come after that, when White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “We are not contemplating ground troops, I want to be clear about that.”

I have seldom seen a clearer admission that the White House is actively considering sending ground troops back into Iraq!

SoS Kerry has been wheeled out again to tell the world that the situation presently is not just a threat to Iraq, but to the United States and the rest of the world. We all know that John. What we also know  –  and what you don’t  –  is that more blundering about in a situation you do not understand, more young American live sacrificed for nothing, and more brave souls maimed for life to satisfy political whims won’t make things any better.

Will common sense ever prevail? Sadly I very much doubt it. The lack of understanding exhibited by the politicians seems to span all parties.

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

So there’s more stupidity on the way!

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Ethno-religious map of Iraq
Ethno-religious map of Iraq, courtesy of the Washington Post

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Black Hawk Seems To Be Up Again!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

black_hawk_down

You may remember, more because of the movie than anything else probably, an incident in 1993 called ‘Black Hawk Down’ which caused American troops to leave Somalia.

At that time they had been stationed there as part of a United Nations ‘stabilization’ operation – whatever that is.

President Clinton abandoned that effort after the ‘Battle of Mogadishu’ in which nearly 20 American soldiers were killed and horrific images of their bodies being dragged through the streets by Somalia militiamen had been seen all over the world on television.

Since then American military and intelligence efforts have been in the form of funding the Somalia military and using remotely controlled drones to keep an eye on what is happening on the ground and perhaps more.

Or so we thought. After all, the last thing we want to do is get bogged down again on the ground in such an inhospitable place.

Cue the Obama administration and guess what? Yep, the US Army has once again secretly stationed a group of regular troops in Somalia. Since October last year a “military coordination cell” has been established in Somalia that, to quote the officer in charge, “is now fully operational”.

I’m not sure even Obama knows what they are there to do. There isn’t an American embassy to protect and they would hardly be there to draw unwanted attention to the people from charlie india alpha, would they?

Official sources say the army unit has been tasked with “advising and coordinating” operations by African troops against al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group that controls large parts of Somalia.

Okay, so let’s say US forces have been deployed in Africa as part of the war against terror.

So perhaps that establishes what US Foreign Policy strategy is, i.e. to fight the war against terror.

Doesn’t it?

Well, no.

Let’s move a bit further north-east. To Syria in fact.

For the past while the US has been covertly backing the anti-Assad forces in the Syrian conflict. Seemed to make sense since Assad is friends with the likes of Iran and Russia. Except for the fact that the anti-Assad forces were in fact made up of the same type of al-Qaeda-linked groups that the US is against in Somalia.

Confused? You should be.

If there was any principle involved they would have been better not backing either side. But of course principle and politics rarely mix.

And just to add to the confusion it was confirmed last week that secret meetings have been held between ‘Western intelligence officials’ and senior members of the Syrian government, aimed at “combating radical Islamist groups” in Syria.

But wait!

Maybe it IS all beginning to make sense. At least we can detect a consistent pattern emerging, and it seems to be this:

  • ignore the long term dangers, and fund and supply terrorist groups just because they happen to be at odds with people you don’t like; and then when you realize what a mess you’ve made, send in American troops to correct the mistake, never mind that they are going to get killed and maimed by weapons paid for by America.

American foreign policy has been a shambles for decades. It doesn’t get better by repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

America has the strength and the military power to police the world, of that there is no doubt. But does that mean it really has to? Especially when the policy to direct such a strategy is made by incompetent politicians who clearly do not understand the world they are trying to police.

Confusion and failure has been and will be the result. That and the needless sacrifice of the brave souls whose job it is to clear up the mess.

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Cheers! It’s The End For Cliff Clavin!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I know Cliff Clavin, the Cheers character played by John Ratzenberger for many years, was only a pretend mailman but if Jeff Bezos gets his way – and he usually does – then mailmen will have a lot less to do.

Cliff_Clavin_in_Cheers

Cliff used to drone on in Cheers and bore everyone in the bar, but in the future jobs like his are to be taken over by drones.

The military applications are well known, but instead of delivering a few pounds of high explosives to an unsuspecting terrorist, drone technology, which was legalized for commercial use last year (2012), is being developed by Bezos and his team to deliver Amazon products by air right to your front door in about 30 minutes.

We’re entering the realms of science fiction here. And if it were anyone else but Bezos you might be forgiven for dismissing the idea. But he thinks big, and thanks to the success of Amazon he has the big bucks to make it happen.

Amazon Prime Air drone

If it is real and it does happen, personally I think its great! An application for this technology other than the usual powers-that-be crap of using it to kill and spy on us.

Amazon says that, “From a technology point of view, we’ll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles. They’ll take their time as always, but eventually it will happen.

So in a few years time seeing Amazon drones in the air may well be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today.

Here’s a taste of the future for you.                                           

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Gas Bags And Gas Prices

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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Back at the end of July in a previous Sunday Sermon I wrote that:

“Troops are being sent to Syria and soon we’ll get bogged down in another mess that’s none of our business and will probably take many years and many lives to get us disentangled from – leaving behind chaos and confusion and a worse situation than the one we tried to fix.”

Obama-Peace-Prize

Of course it’s still being denied by Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama and his administration, but there is little doubt now that Syria is next on their war hit list and we are indeed about to be bogged down in another bloody mess.

Already naval and ground forces are being positioned, for example, the cruise missile laden USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan are all in the eastern Mediterranean.

The only remaining part is to con-vince the American public, who do not want another Middle Eastern debacle, that they are wrong and that a strike on Syria is essential for their future well being.

chemical weapons

The pretext that is going to be used this time is ‘evidence’ of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime against the rebels. And the people that are being relied on to provide that ‘evidence’ are the very same people who provided false ‘evidence’ that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Everyone now knows and accepts that the WMD excuse for getting embroiled in Iraq was a deliberate deceit – otherwise known as a ‘lie’ – so the track record of the ‘evidence’ providers is neither good nor credible.

Already government apologists are making statements about how Syria had “used them [chemical weapons] before”, which is untrue. UN investigators charged the rebels, not Assad’s government’s forces, with use of chemical weapons in Syria earlier this year. Strangely (or perhaps not) Obama did not feel such a moral necessity to send a missile or two towards the rebels, instead he gave them more support. 

Now add to that another good pinch of hypocrisy.

In fact make that two good pinches.

The first, because the rebellion now taking place within Syria would not have happened without the financial and military assistance of the US, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The hypocritical part of it all is that these three nations are in fact supporting people who, if successful, will become even more bitter enemies than the Assad regime.

And the second, because in an alleged effort to encourage ‘democracy’ in Syria, ‘democracy’ in America and Europe is being ignored.

For example, 64 percent of the French people have said they don’t want to get involved, but as in America the ‘people’ don’t have a say on the final outcome.

In Britain the Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron got a very embarrassing slap in the face in Parliament when he tried to emulate the lies of previous Prime Minister Tony Blair but lost a vote on military intervention in Syria. His spin doctors will be working overtime to cook up a good story for the next debate.

British Prime Minister David Cameron

And it is plain that the majority of ordinary Americans do not want the President they elected on the promise of getting their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, plunging them into another conflict which could prove to be as bloody if not bloodier. So plain in fact that until late Friday Obama had planned bypassing Congress obviously trying to avoid a similar embarrassment to that which was suffered by British PM Cameron.

Think this time it will only be a few missiles and drones and that troops won’t be involved? After all Obama has said “We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach”.

Then you need to think again.

Sure, at the outset Obama will try to fool the public by limiting attacks to missile strikes, but these alone won’t be enough. Even in today’s high-tech world you can’t wage wars without those boots on the ground. And in those boots are brave, but misled men and women, some of whom will lose their lives or be maimed as a result.

Boots On The Ground Fallen Soldier

The doomsday pundits are saying that all this posturing and war mongering by Obama could spiral into something worse. Possibly even be the start of WW3. Unfortunately grandiose claims like these only serve to lessen the credibility of those who are arguing against another foreign intervention.

Putin seems to have more sense than Obama. The Russians have already made their mistake in Afghanistan and are unlikely to do it again. Even less do they want to start or become involved in, a major conflict – not at the moment anyway.

China has little interest in getting involved in a conflict in the middle east either. They will take the long view, and, as they did with Iraq, they will let the US waste billions more dollars blowing things down and building them up again and then they will step in and secure more oil supplies for themselves.  

If it does get down to the nitty gritty one possibility that is more realistic is that the conflict could spread to other nations within the Middle East.

Iran for example has a mutual assistance pact with Syria. It also knows it is next on the US hit list so the longer the US is focused on Syria the longer it will postpone an attack on itself. It is not beyond imagination therefore that Iran could send arms and even troops to assist Assad.

Neither is it unreasonable to imagine that, if missile strikes on Syria result in retaliatory Syrian missile attacks on Israel, Israeli troops will also be sent into Syrian territory, with US forces backing them up shortly thereafter.

That is boots on the ground, no matter what denials you currently hear.

However it pans out, two things are certain. ‘Evidence’ or no ‘evidence’ Uncle Sam will stick his nose in once again. And if it all goes pear shaped, as it most likely will, then UP is the only way your gasoline and heating oil prices will be heading.   

Happy winter!

gas and oil prices

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