Archive for the Iran Category

Seriously Sizing Up Syria Seizing Up (October 12, 2015)

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Climate, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Foreign Policy, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Newspapers, Russia, Sports, Syria, Vietnam, War on October 12, 2015 by

. . .

7          “They could make it easier if they wore jerseys with numbers.”

8          “The good folks could sport odd numbers and the bad folks could sport even numbers on their uniforms.”

7          “Or the good folks could use even numbers and the bad folks could use odd numbers.  Or use different defining colors.  Or stitch the sponsor of the team on the back of the jersey.”

8          “During the Southeast Asian War Games conducted in ‘nam, a ‘Stars and Stripes’ newspaper cartoon depicted two identical individuals in pajamas and flip flops – one described as ‘Friend’ and one described as ‘Enemy’.”

7          “Nothing changes.  Discerning one’s friends and one’s enemies among those wearing towels and sandals is vexing.”

8          “The great feud between the Shia and the Sunni seems akin to the great feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.  No one was right and no one really knew what they were fighting for and no one really knew why they were fighting.”

7          “The reality is that the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.”

. . .

7          “Most folks are more comfortable with what the nerdy folks describe as a ‘Manichean’ division into good and bad, or right and wrong, or us and them.  International relations are described as a balance of power and depicted with a scale.  A pint of water on one side can be balanced with a pound of whatever on the other side.  Yet international relations are more akin to multiple Calder mobiles strung and hung together.  Tug on one string and everything tips out of balance.  The unprovoked invasion of Iraq by then President Cheney and Vice President Bush in 2003 was the great tug that triggered the imbalance accelerating today.”

8          “Toss a rock in the pond and watch the concentric circles and the eccentric responses.  The lack of water in Syria and other places is fueling the fury.  A drought of water leads to a drought of hope.  The world is transitioning from wars over oil to wars over water.”

7          “And wars over currency.  Everything is out of balance.”

8          “Seems that global climate change is bringing about global change.”

. . .

8          “For the U.S., ‘Iraq’ is Arabic for ‘Vietnam’.  For Russia, ‘Syria’ may be Arabic for ‘Afghanistan’.”

7          “‘Waterloo’ is French for ‘Waterloo’.”

8          “Or Esperanto for ‘quagmire’.”

. . .

7          “We make decisions with limited information.  Look at who is for and who is against going to war.  Former General Wesley Clark suggests that the United States seeks to take out Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.  The Neo-conservatives in America want the United States to be mired in constant war everywhere on the planet all the time.  They keep getting us in trouble.”

8          “The bad folks.  Do they have even or odd numbers?  What color are their uniforms?”

. . .

7          “Much of the fighting is a prolonged currency war between the United States and many other countries.  The United States is slowly losing the franchise on the world’s reserve currency.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at World’s Reserve Currency War I = Cold War 2.0 = WW III (?) (September 8, 2014) and Le Dollar – World’s Reserve Currency? (November 28, 2011).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Are they doing the watusi when they should be doing the hokey pokey?

Distrust But Verify (July 21, 2014)

Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Journalism, Middle East, Military, Newspapers, Press/Media, Russia on July 21, 2014 by

. . .

1          “Somewhat ironic that it is a rhyme from a Russian proverb made famous by Reagan.”

2          “Is it irenic?  I phrase it ‘distrust and verify’ because we have a civic duty to do our own research.”

1          “America is demonizing Putin, ostracizing Russia, antagonizing unknown forces, and militarizing the world.  Triggering World War III on the hundredth anniversary of World War I is not a righteous aspiration.”

2          “The phrase does not apply just to the misrepresentations of Putin and Russia foisted on the public today by those in power in the West.  When it comes to the Middle East and most matters of international affairs, it is also ‘reader beware’ in a world of pap, pablum and propaganda.”

1          “Who knows what is really going on in the Middle East or Gaza.  The ‘One Hundred Plus Years War’ is going strong and may go on until one people is wiped out.  And the apologists and propagandists pass themselves off as analysts and pundits.  Too many newspaper columnists and television personalities are just ideological blowhards.”

2          “So many graduates of the Edward L. Bernays School of Disinformation.  The truth is so elusive, because advancing the untruth is so often in the economic interests of the wealthy and the well connected.”

. . .

1          “Those who want America to go to war today are the ones who started the failed and failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday.”

2          “The only thing you can say with a high degree of confidence is that those who want America to go to war are clearly not seeking to advance America’s best interests.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Distrust But Verify

Distrust And Verify

“All Governments Lie” I. F. Stone

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb [pick a place, any place], bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb [insert the place].

Time To Talk: Hear The Guitar (December 9, 2013)

Posted in China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Military, O'Bama, Romney, Syria on December 9, 2013 by

. . .

A          “In the past, proclaiming ‘National Defense’ supported any project or excused any invasion.  Today, merely alluding to ‘National Security’ rationalizes anything however short-sighted or foolhardy or counterproductive or illegal or unconstitutional.”

B          “Chanting ‘State Secrets’ is allowed to terminate the inquiry.  We need to repeat the need for diplomacy over and over to advance our real National Security’ interests.  We cannot bomb our way to peace.”

. . .

A          “Making sense of Syria is problematic.  And a problem.  We support one group this year that becomes our reviled enemy next year.  The enemy we despise this year is our tenuous ally next year.”

B          “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy, now or later.”

A          “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy, just you wait.”

B          “I don’t know if a person with a clear head and a thousand hours of spare time and a generous budget could discern what has gone on and is going on over there.”

. . .

A          “Today, we are blessed because we don’t need to know the issues or the factions or the politics, we just need to know the players in America.  The same folks who brought us the Iraq nightmare now propose to bring us the Iran nightmare.”

B          “Elections have consequences.  Romney would have us at war.  O’Bama is avoiding the bait.”

A          “He should have been prescient or at least astute enough not to proclaim a line, because the line often is just one side of the box that imprisons you.”

B          “Mark my words, more is going on than we can even generally intuit.”

. . .

A          “Everyone is concerned about the financial mess we are bequeathing to the proverbial grandchildren who are trotted out during spending debates.  If America could transition from an unsustainable Empire to a sustainable Republic, we could reduce offensive military spending and bestow less debt to the proverbial grandchildren.  We also could bequeath a world with proverbial grandchildren in other lands who have not learned from their grandparents to hate America.”

B          “Hate is contagious.”

A          “And inherited.”  

. . .

A          “China and Japan are playing mouse and cat over some islands.”

B          “Who is the mouse?”

. . .

A          “And the Falklands are returning to the international radar.”

B          “Some pronounce it the Malvinas.”

A          “Oil, baby, it’s always pronounced oil.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” at The Drums of War (February 20, 2012) and Syria: Gas and Fog (August 26, 2013).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Diplomacy is what happens when the body count gets high enough

Syria: Gas and Fog (August 26, 2013)

Posted in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Military, Vietnam on August 26, 2013 by

. . .

C1        “There are times when a line in the sand is one side of a box you build around yourself.”

C2        “When you have someone trapped in a corner, you are also in a corner.  For centuries, nations have outlawed going to war and then regularly gone to war.  For one hundred years, all civilized nations have banned the use of poison gas and very few nations have used poison gas.”

C1        “But what if all the nations decide not to go to war against a nation that or individual who uses poison gas?”

. . .

C1        “I was against attacking Iraq and against attacking Afghanistan and am still against attacking Iran.”

C2        “And you were also against attacking Vietnam at a very young age.”

C1        “I don’t see this proposed attack as in our national interest.  Once again, the draft dodgers and neo-cons want to get America involved in another ill-conceived war to serve their individual interests.  Let them commit their sons and daughters first.”

C2        “They are beating the drums of war and drowning out the guitars of peace.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled The Drums of War (February 20, 2012)”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Bombs away

We will get fooled again

It is time to draw the line on drawing lines

Centrist-Conservative Beats Corporatist-Culture Warrior (November 12, 2012)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, China, Elections, Iran, Journalism, Newspapers, O'Bama, Political Parties, Presidency, Press/Media, Romney, Russia, Southern Strategy, Spending on November 12, 2012 by

. . .

C1        “Or should the headline read ‘Black And Browns Outwit Whites And Green (Paper).’”

C2       “Or ‘Ascetic Triumphs Over Bully.’  The election was a ‘campaign’ conducted in ‘battleground’ states by ‘operatives’ operating in a ‘war room’ who unwittingly are continuing to prosecute the ‘Great American Civil War.’”

C1        “The ‘Republican Southern Strategy’ is the ‘Republican National Strategy’, yet the Republicans were not able to conquer more than the ‘Contemporary Confederacy.’”

C2       “For two score or perhaps two score and four years since Nixon patented the policy, the ‘Southern Strategy’ was the go to play in the Republican playbook but may now need to be revisited.”

C1        “America is divided between the ‘Educated States’ that vote Blue and the ‘Uneducated States’ that vote Red.  States such as Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York and Minnesota are the ‘Educated States’ that vote Blue.  States such as West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, Indiana, Tennessee and Oklahoma are the ‘Uneducated States’ that vote Red.  Those who are less educated are motivated by and respond to fear.”

C2       “Nevada is the only exception in that group.  The citizens may not sport as much formal education, but Nevadans are a spunky group of transplants.”

C1        “And O’Bama and Reid also ran a great ground game in Nevada and in all the other battleground states.”

C2       “The residents of the upper Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois and the pivotal Ohio do not sport as many sheep skins, but they exercise horse sense in abundance.”

C1        “Wherever you find oil and gas, you find racism and corruption.  Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and Alaska.  With the discovery of oil, Alaska transitioned from Minnesota to Mississippi.  Astute pollsters note that these states tend to vote Red.  And then along comes North Dakota that elects to elect Heidi Heitkamp as a Senator.  Dead dinosaurs are destiny.”

C2       “Demographics are destiny.  Demo-graphics versus Republica-graphics.  And the outcome is graphic.  The Last Great White Hope is hopeless.  The rich White boys who want power are facing a reality that even the Red States are becoming Browner and Blacker.”

C1        “A strategic planner who seeks to locate a business that exploits the workers and despoils the land migrates to a Red State.  An enterprise that requires an educated populace searching for a sustainable quality of life migrates to a Blue State.  There are exceptions in pockets like Austin and a thousand other havens and oases, yet the general rule is true.”

C2       “Virginia’s senatorial contest between the Klan and Confederate Party candidate George Allen and the Centrist Party candidate Tim Kaine reveals the schism in many states that are described as Purple.  North Virginia went with Kaine and South Virginia went with Allen in a state where there are now more North Virginians than South Virginians.”

C1        “The educated electorate in North Carolina did not do it this year because it is so desperately small.  Curious that Bank of America’s decision to locate in Charlotte years before the 2008 election may have provided enough additional voters to provide the margin for O’Bama in the state in 2008 but not in 2012.”

C2       “South Florida is populated by transplanted Northerners who voted for O’Bama and North Florida is an appendage of Georgia and voted for Romney, but there are more Northern voters in South Florida than South voters in North Florida.”

C1        “And a few Browns.”

C2       “And a few Browns.  In an election that looked like it would be bought by a few faceless billionaires showering money from above and using Anger Mongering radio, billions of ordinary citizens on the ground really did made the difference for O’Bama.”

C1        “And two candidates shot themselves in the foot and then put the foot in their mouths and proclaimed that rape is akin to a sprained ankle or a trick knee.  New Hampshire was in play until Tuesday night and after the smoke and mirrors cleared on Wednesday morning, the smarter gender is in control in the first all-women delegation.  And the neighboring Bay Staters are banking on Elizabeth Warren.”

C2       “Brown did not do well in Massachusetts.  Tammy Baldwin, an openly gay female Senator-elect from Wisconsin, and Krysten Sinema, an openly bisexual Representative-elect from Arizona of all places, were not the pick of the billionaires.”

C1        “Tammy Duckworth, a wounded veteran from Illinois, finally made it.  Unfortunate that Pete Stark, the lone atheist, lost his seat.” 

C2       “The first Hindu member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, and a combat veteran.”

C1        “With Pete Stark gone, someone else must take up the Carbon Tax effort.  God voted under the name ‘Sandy’ as a single issue voter this year.”

C2       “Without showing any photo id.  The place is going to look like America.  Blue States such as Washington and Colorado have declared peace in the war on drugs and legalized the recreational use of marijuana.  Chalk up another win for freedom and liberty.”

C1        “And Washington, Maine and Maryland now allow an individual to decide if he or she wants to get married.”

C2       “Another win for freedom and liberty.  And Minnesota voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.”

C1        “Washington state is awfully pushy.  All the talented folks will migrate there.”

C2       “When the Nobel Committee signals that it will reward the conclusion, someone will connect the dots between freedom and liberty in a state and clean and green growth and development.  The Blue States vote for freedom and liberty.”

C1        “In 2004, O’Bama came to national attention aspiring for one United States of America, but only a little more than half of America will ever give him a chance.”

C2       “And now that petty pernicious pol Mitch McConnell is committed to making O’Bama a two-term President.”

C1        “We are the Red States of America and the Blue States of America.  There is no shame in candid self-awareness.” 

C2       “And yet the two countries confront many common concerns.  Iran is still Iran, China is still China, Russia is still Russia, and the fiscal fiasco is straight out of Wile E. Coyote.”

C1        “Europe may implode; the Middle East may explode.  Someone may want to take a look at the numbers that underpin entitlements and unnecessary defense/offense spending.  They still don’t add up.”

C2       “For decades, the Blue States have subsidized the Red States, yet we may see Illinois, California and/or New York, three small Blue countries in America, in need of major subsidies.”

C1        “Someone will say something about immigration.”  

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled America Recycles Day, November 15 (November 15, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Women are people too.

The odds for the election of the first gay Buddhist Brown woman to the White House should be available soon.

George Will:             Romney:         331;    Obama:        217

Michael Barone:      Romney:          315;    Obama:        223

Glenn Beck:               Romney:          321;    Obama:        217

Dick Morris:              Romney:          325

Carl Rove:                   Romney:          279

“I have been assured that everything is in place for a Romney sweep of the Electoral College and the popular vote.  Talk is cheap.  Are you man enough to put your money where your mouth is.  $100 that Romney takes it.”  “I don’t have any assurances.  There is $1000 where my mouth is.  If you are man enough.” 

“I have been assured that everything is in place for a Romney sweep of the Electoral College and the popular vote.  Talk is cheap.  Are you man enough to put your money where your mouth is.  $100 that Romney takes it.”  “I don’t have any assurances.  There is $1000 where my mouth is.  If you are man enough.” 

Flip Flop and Flim Flam v. NObama and Smokin’ Jo? (September 10, 2012)

Posted in China, Elections, Iran, Iraq, O'Bama, Political Parties, Politics, Presidency, Romney on September 10, 2012 by

. . .

I1          “I wish that I had been the first one to coin it.  Flip Flop and Flim Flam fits on a sticker.”

I2          “Fading NObama stickers still adorn many bumpers.”

I1          “Lyin’ Ryan is resonating.”

I2         “Smokin’ Joe puts on a smokin’ show.”

I1          “What do we do now?”

I2         “Choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.”

. . .

I1          “Yet there is a difference between the two candidates.  I hold O’Bama to the high standards he has set, although he has not met them.  Romney does not have any standards other than the acquisition of money and the pursuit of power at any cost.  He already acquired one and is now pursuing the other.”

I2         “If he runs the country the way he ran the company Bain Capital, then he will run the country into the ground.  He will fire 40 percent of the American workers, leave the country burdened with unmanageable debt, claim that he increased employment by the 60 percent of the population that remains employed, and walk away with all the money.”

I1          “What if China refuses to fund Romney’s desire to invade China.”  

I2         “Dredging up the ‘neo-cons’ who instigated the Iraq travesty is a disturbing development.  Those treasonous chickenhawks are itching to start a war with Iran, even though America may have already committed acts of war against Iran that justify Iran attacking America.”

I1         “Are they ‘old-cons’?  They should be cons, but as always the ruling class escapes indictment and incarceration in public housing.”

I2         “So they are not cons.  With a subtext of racism, this election revives the debate whether America should start World War III or not.”

I1          “World War III still strikes me as a bad idea.”

. . .

[I1 = Independent Voter; I2 = . . . ]

Bumper stickers of the week:

10 percent of those who are allowed to vote in 10 states will dictate the next President

Snipers for O’Bama

LGBTs For Romney

My vote cancels your vote

The Drums of War (February 20, 2012)

Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Journalism, Middle East, Newspapers, O'Bama, Press/Media on February 20, 2012 by

. . .

+          “Can you hear the drums?”

–           “Loud and clear.  Five by Five.  I can smell them; I can feel them; I can taste them; I can see them.  Those who decide have decided to go to war with Iran.”

+          “I sense it too.  O’Bama’s comments before the Super Bowl were not reassuring.  Some of the militaristic rhetoric may be designed to force the players to reconsider diplomatic alternatives.  Von Clausewitz and all.  Most efforts appear to be directed at concocting a ruse or pretext or charade to go to war.”

–           “The only thing left to do is to fool the public.  That doesn’t even require creativity.  The American Empire is now committed to prosecuting two wars at all times.  We lost in Iraq, proclaimed victory and claimed to withdraw.  Now America has a free, but very expensive, pass to invade another country.”

+          “There really is no overriding strategy.  Imposing sanctions is the tactic to date.  The problem with sanctions is that a people may learn how to hunker down and live with them.  That which does not kill me and all.  And God bless the American public.  However, forty-five percent of the public will not even notice the different consonant.”

–           “The ‘Iraq, Iran, who cares, they are all towels’ mindset.  When the war starts, the most likely public reaction will be a quizzical look and a question asking whether we didn’t just leave there.”

+          “The group known as the Press does not seem as united in support of an attack as the gang was in early 2003.  Yet those calling for war are muting the few voices of dissent.  The drums are drowning out the guitars.”

–           “We just refuse to learn from our mistakes.  What if we decided to do something right and learn from our success?”

. . .

+          “Some say Falklands; some say Malvinas.”

–           “If you look at the map, you say Argentina.”

+          “If you wander around the Isla and talk to the folks, you say Britain.”

–           “Geographic location versus self-determination.  History seems to emerge historically and not logically.”

+          “History is like that.  So the only way to settle the matter is to embrace the time-honored tradition of killing batches of eighteen year olds.”

–           “Certainly trendy through the ages.  It is about sovereignty, yes, yet it is always about oil.”

+          “Perhaps they need to respect each country’s sovereignty and work on an arrangement to share the offshore resources in shared waters.”

–           “Deploying Billy was entirely ill-advised, provocative and unnecessary.  We just refuse to learn.”

+          “What if Billy had refused to deploy.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations against Iran

I’m already against the next war

Jeremy Lin

Peaceful Presidents’ Day

The guitars of peace


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