Archive for the Syria Category

The Percolating Middle East (February 22, 2016)

Posted in China, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Russia, Syria on February 22, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

8          “On one side you have Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the soldiers from the Sunni region of Iraq with some of its members d.b.a. (doing business as) ISIS or ISIL or IS.  They are the ‘Sunni Squad’.”

7          “Yet Saudi Arabia and Turkey really do not like each other.”  

8          “They just hate each other slightly less.  On the other side, you have Syria, Iran, Russia and the Kurds in the region who hate Turkey.  They are loosely the ‘Shiite Squad’.”

. . .

7          “Turkey has cited Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and demanded that an attack on one member is an attack on all members.  Thus, Turkey contends that NATO nations must come to its assistance.  Right.”

8          “And thus join the ‘Sunni Squad’ and assist ISIS or ISIL or IS.”

7          “Challenge Saudi Arabia and lose its support for the PetroDollar.  Without the PetroDollar, the United States slides into second world status.”

8          “Or join the Russian gang and ally with the ‘Shiite Squad’ which is likely to be the winner if there is a winner.”

. . .

8          “Now which squad is China supporting?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Seriously Sizing Up Syria Seizing Up (October 12, 2015).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy?

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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?

Iraq: Right On Track (June 16, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Journalism, Newspapers, Peace Prize Nobel, Press/Media, Song Reference, Syria, Terrorism on June 16, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Iraq is the slow-moving car crash that has been careening into the ditch for over two dozen years.”

2          “The nightmare does not go away even when the sun returns.  The nightmare has not been on the horizon for years because it was no longer novel or sexy.”

1          “Now it is returning to our screens and the Neo-Con propaganda machine is flooding the conventional media with misinformation.  The Truth is a casualty again.”

2          “The Press was at its zenith in 1973 during Watergate and at its nadir in 2003 during the cheerleading up to the unwarranted war.”

. . .

2          “The Bush Administration undertook an unprovoked and illegal attack on Iraq in March of 2003 at the urging of the Neo-Cons.”

1          “And ‘Another three trillion down the drain’ turned out to be painfully prescient.  And then Stiglitz provided the footnotes.”

2          “Three trillion dollars was a conservative estimate.”

. . .

1          “The ‘Surge’ in Iraq was nothing more than short-term bribes to local war lords that was doomed to fail when the funds ran out.  The funds ran out and the scheme ceased.  The few additional troops were nothing more than paymasters and traffic cops.”

2          “Every five years, the Nobel and Pulitzer people should give a special award for Truth.  That fact is lost in the fog.  A second surge is just as futile.”

. . .

1          “The Neo-Cons are back on the warpath and urging a second surge.  Someone with one of the conventional media outlets should investigate how many of the Neo-Cons’ sons or daughters have enlisted in the last dozen years.”

2          “The Neo-Cons themselves are cowards, draft dodgers and chicken hawks.  And they are too busy investing in war stocks.”

1          “The Neo-Cons or some conventional media mouth pieces?”

. . .

[Some citizens are interested in presenting eco-nomics as a counterpoise to e-con-omics.  http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-29/rewriting-economics-what-is-taught-matters.%5D

Bumper stickers of the week:

Gods don’t kill people.  People with Gods kill people.

“Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants . . . .”  Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week.”  “Oh, the Sunnis hate the . . . .”

“Iraq” is Arabic for “Vietnam.”

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 e-commentary.org

. . .

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