I have returned. Today I uploaded my first podcast episode since Donald Trump took office. However, this episode is all about Obama (and Hillary). In it, I try to break down the history of not only the conflict in Yemen, but the United States direct support for the Yemeni government and the Saudi Arabia bombing & blockade campaign.
For all the talk about how Russia is guilty for Assad’s crimes. The media is very quick to ignore America’s guilt in the crimes of Saleh, Hadi and Riyadh.
The podcast can be found here.
*EPISODE NOTE: I keep sourcing Patrick Cockburn as the author of an article I quote. The author is actually his brother, Andrew Cockburn. Both amazing journalists.
Links to some of my sources are below:
The Obama Doctrine
Next Stop: Yemen
The Saudis, Hillary, and the Destruction of Yemen
Wikileaks’ ‘Yemen Files’ Reveal Scope of US Involvement in Yemen War
Yemen: America’s Shame
As I sit here reading an article about Israeli airstrikes in the Golan Heights, a common thought enters my mind. All around me I find that perception out weighs rationality. Take this story for instance. On Friday, Israeli bombers entered sovereign Syrian airspace and bombed Syrian military positions. Israel responded by warning the Syrians that any more attempts to shoot down Israeli jets (over Syria) would be met with aggression. Israeli Defense Minster Avigdor Lieberman went as far as to say that the anti-aircraft weapons would be bombed “without the slightest hesitation“.
This post isn’t about Syria. And it’s surely not some anti-Israeli rant. I’m taking this example of a news story to demonstrate my earlier observation. See, when I read this story, I look at it without bias. Or at least I try not too. Do I have strong opinions? Sure. But those are set aside. All I see here is one gang with a white & blue flag deciding to attack the property of one of it’s neighboring gangs. I see an aggressor and a defender. That’s as far as a I take it. In a world that is so obviously gray, things like this are black and white.
When deciding what to feel about this piece of news I flesh out these simple truths. In this instance the government of Israeli violated the sovereign airspace of the government of Syria, dropping fire from the sky with no declaration of war. That’s it. Israeli is in the wrong. No matter what other information or past events lead up to this point.
Let’s back up. I say all this to make my point. This is a huge story in my little world. This story influences my day, my politics, my view on the world. I ignore any editorializing that may be done by the author (it is Antiwar.com after-all). This is how I’ve formed by opinions and viewpoints since before I can remember. “Think for yourself” has always been a freedom I’ve relished in exercising.
With the never-ending stream of stories and information coming at people on a daily basis, I see so many around me settling for others to do the deep thinking for them. They have viewpoints of their own. Their own emotions too. I’m not sitting here saying I’m special. Just that with the access to information, and a little critical thinking tools, I believe the world should be becoming more sober in its perceptive. More rational.
This story will be received differently by individuals all over the world. Are they Jewish? Are they Arab? Are they Zionist? Are they from the US? Do they watch CNN? Have they glanced over enough news headlines that they believe that “Syria = bad, Israel = good”? Why does this matter to them? These are questions I ask when I see the reactions of so many. Because I don’t understand where they are coming from.
In a world that is most definitely gray, when something can be stamped black or white..it should be. And we should feel relief in that.
Jason Ditz at Antiwar.com debunks the recent article by Michael Gordon at the NYT about the Russians violating a treaty with a 2008 cruise missile test:
“The missile tests took place in 2008, and at the time the Bush Administration did not make them an issue. It was only in 2014, when the Obama Administration was ratcheting up tensions with Russia, that the tests were raised as a “possible violation.” Media outlets took the reclassification of the missile by the Pentagon, removing their “experimental” label, to claim they must be deployed now, and that must be a violation too.”
So, the United States reclassifies a missile type, and now the Russians violate a treaty. Not only does Michael Gordon know this, he admits it in the bottom of the article. Of course, the article is posted, and is immediately shared and retweeted because it fits the Russia hysteria narrative.
This is the same Michael Gordon that somehow still has a job after helping to lie the US in war in Iraq in 2002-2003, by posting the same type of half-ass journalism.
When you have intelligence community members telling their friends that “he will die in jail” and Dennis Kucinich is warning that “something is going on with the intelligence community”, sober minds need to take control of the situation.
FYI Dennis Kucinich what I always considered a true progressive. The guy has been a beast since 08.
In his most recent article, Greenwald correctly points out that if whistle-blowers do what these intelligence leaker did, Obama puts them in jail. He also points out that columnists at the NYT and Washington Post make careers out of repeating CIA and FBI anonymous sources without doing any journalistic investigation.
Everyone should put their critical thinking hats on and understand there is a large percentage of Washington DC that does not want renewed relations with Russia. It flies in the face of the cold war they never stopped fighting and American hegemony abroad.
Greenwald already did his investigation on the evidence of Russian involvement still being peddled by the media back in January, when the sad excuse for an intelligence report came out.
Similarly reading actual journalism gives you the keen eye to smell bullshit.
This new series of articles at The Intercept based off a cache of FBI documents is really an interesting and terrifying read. The most recent article by Trevor Aaronson (author of The Terror Factory) breaks down the FBI’s authority to research anyone, citizen or not, on public and private servers, for 72 hours.
This might seem like a “duh” statement. But for all those out there that routinely brush off NSA/FBI spying powers by saying “I’m not hiding anything”, consider what this authority is used for. Aaronson shows that these 72 hours are used to find “dirt” that can be used to blackmail a person into working as an informant.
It’s one of the most important tools when building a terror plot that will eventually be stop by the heroes at the FBI. Viewers of the most recent season of the Showtime show “Homeland” will know what I’m talking that. That plot is based off a large percentage of the terror plots that have been foiled by the FBI since 9/11. In fact, Trevor Aaronson’s book, The Terror Factory, lays out this common practice. The article is worth your time. As is the full series over at The Intercept and Aaronson’s book.
Just another example of how the right-wing Israeli government continues to run an illegal occupation, colonization and slow-burn ethnic cleansing. From Mondoweiss.net:
“The legislation, referred to as the “Regularization Bill,” legalizes more than 4,000 settler outpost units under Israeli law, and has been dubbed the first step toward de facto annexation.”
Bayit Yehudi party MK Bezalel Smotrich, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the law was “a historic step toward the completion of a process that we plan to lead; the application of full Israeli sovereignty on all the cities and communities in Judea and Samaria,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
The law is in direct contravention with international law, which deems all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal.
Yesterday the government of Yemen has decided to not allow any US “boots on the ground” moving forward. This takes place after a Navy Seal raid on Jan 29th that killed 14 “enemy combatants” along with dozens of cilivians and children. The raid was carried out with minor intelligence, continuing to provide extremist groups with more recruiting opportunities.
The ban is not suprising for anyone who has followed the slaughter in Yemen bein carried out Saudi Arabia. The US has been carrying out its own black ops operation in the country for most of Obama’s years in office. The drone campaign in the rural part of the country helped Al Qaeda grow a foothold in the country.
US officials have said this ban does not include the drone strikes, which is par the course for a Yemeni government that has no real power over not only it’s country, but the foreign powers fighting a proxy war within it.
The Trump Administration is pondering the appointment of Elliot Abrams to the powerful position of Deputy Secretary of State.
If you do not know who Elliot Abrams is, consider this. Dr. Ron Paul & his son Senator Rand Paul, along with the editors of Antiwar have blitzed social media warning against letting this guy quietly be confirmed.
From the Antiwar.com artitle on Abrams:
Abrams stands for everything the President said he opposes: regime change, globalism, hostility to Russia, endless wars on behalf of ungrateful “allies.”…..In addition, Abrams was indicted and convicted in the infamous “Contra-gate” scandal of the 1980s, when he collaborated in a plot to cover up paying ransom to Iran for the hostages they had taken.
Although he was pardoned by George HW Bush, this hardly alters his criminal status – and that’s the least of his crimes. During that same period he was instrumental in supporting not only the Nicaraguan contras, but also the terrorist “death squads” that wreaked devastation on El Salvador – a horrific phenomenon that led directly to the chaos that has turned that country into a killing field ruled by criminals.
Along with the summary above, the website also links to the White House and Congressional website to contact your Senators.
Pretty sure it’s the government’s role to try to fuck with the Bill of Rights. Not college students. If you hate the “alt-right”, the best way to deal with it is let it expose itself. Shutting down its events with violent riots (which are streamed on the Internet for all to see) make them look like the grownups.
And the media’s attempt to ignore the fact that the violent authoritarianism and calls for disruption of peaceful society is coming from the left only discredits them even more.
Trump will eventually crack down on the violent temper tantrums and he’ll be blamed for running a police state.
If you want to practice civil disobedience, do it peacefully (Women’s March, Science March, “Muslim” Ban March). Or if you want to get violent, go try throwing rocks at the White House. Keep sucker punching peaceful bystanders and destroying property and get ready for a long 8 years.
There is a reason Milo’s book got a 12,000% raise in presales. And it’s not because the amount of “Nazis” grew overnight.