Category: Oppression


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Error 451: New Bradbury-inspired HTTP code to show legal censorship

© Samantha Sais
A newly approved 451 error code will be used on pages which have been censored by the government for legal reasons. The code number was inspired by the famous dystopian Ray Bradbury novel ‘Fahrenheit 451.’

The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) approved on Monday a new Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) status – code 451 that will be seen by internet users when the page is blocked by government due to ‘legal obstacles.’

“This status code indicates that the server is denying access to the resource as a consequence of a legal demand,” the body, responsible for internet operating standards, said in a statement.

 

The IESG has approved the 451 (Unavailable for Legal Reasons) Status code; great job @timbray! https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-httpbis-legally-restricted-status/ 

IESG said that it advises the authorities to include the information on who and why blocked a certain website.

However, “it is possible that certain legal authorities might wish to avoid transparency, and not only demand the restriction of access to certain resources, but also avoid disclosing that the demand was made.”

Though it said that in many cases the sites could still be accessed using a VPN or the Tor network.

 

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liftarn   Wikimedia.org

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People Are Waking Up to the Dark Side of American Policing, and Cops Don’t Like It One Bit

Pushing back against a creeping police state.

If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

 

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‘It’s not even a close call’: Ted Cruz insists the Middle East was a safer place when dictators Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were alive

  • The presidential candidate, 44, said US should focus on its own security
  • Said Middle East was more secure when Iraq and Libya dictators were alive
  • Cruz said Libya was now a ‘chaotic war zone ruled by radical Islamic terrorists’

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow tyrants Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported.

The Texas senator, a Republican presidential candidate, said America should focus on its own security rather than toppling dictators abroad.

He said it was ‘not even a close call’ when asked whether the Middle East was more secure when Gaddafi and Hussein were dictators of their respective countries.

 

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

In an interview with MSNBC, Cruz told Joe Scarborough: ‘Now, what has been a mistake – and we’ve seen a consistent mistake in foreign policy – is far too often, we’ve seen Democrats and a lot of establishment Republicans in Washington get involved in toppling Middle Eastern governments.

‘And it ends up benefiting the bad guys. It ends up handing them over to radical Islamic terrorists,’

He described Syrian president Bashar Assad as a ‘monster’ but warned that ISIS extremists would sweep further across the country were he to be overthrown.

He said: ‘My view, instead of getting in the middle of a civil war in Syria, where we don’t have a dog in the fight, our focus should be on killing ISIS. Why? Because ISIS has declared war on America. They’re waging jihad.’

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In Memoriam of Aaron Swartz and his dream to make the world a better place

Swartz smiling

11/8/1986 – 01/11/2013

 

Aaron is dead.

Wanderers in this crazy world,

We have lost a mentor , a wise elder. 

Hackers for right, we are one down,

we  have lost one of our own.

Nurturers, carers, listeners,

feeders, parents all,

we have lost a child.

Let us all weep.

~Sir Tim Berners-Lee, January 11th 2013

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PressTV News Videos PRESS TV

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:29AM
The Obama administration relies heavily on Daesh (ISIL) to push ahead with its psychological warfare, Grossman says.

US President Barack Obama’s government has no intention of destroying the Daesh (ISIL) Takfiri group and is using the terror organization as an instrument to push ahead with its agenda through psychological warfare, an American analyst says.

It was announced on Monday that Obama was planning to visit Defense Secretary Ashton Carter later in the day to review the US-led military campaign against Daesh with his national security advisers.

This would be the American leader’s first visit to the Pentagon since the recent terrorist attacks in California and Paris.

The attacks that left scores of people dead are believed to have been carried out by people who share ideologies with the terrorist group.

“Few things in this mess are more clear than the fact that White House policy has been to contain and, many people argue, use ISIS (Daesh) to spread insecurity and perhaps to force regime change, rather than to destroy the phenomena,”  Barry Grossman, an international lawyer, told Press TV on Monday.

 

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Among the many scholars, diplomats, and political figures who warned of such consequences was a then-Illinois state senator named Barack Obama, who noted that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would “only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaeda” and other like-minded extremists.

The US and the Rise of ISIS   byStephen Zunes

 

Interesting that Obama be  credited with  such  foresight and yet be as responsible for said invasions and fanning of  flames  as his predecessor.  I do not see that he himself took his words to heart.  The  leanings towards Interventionist  Foreign Policy has  continued  under the  Obama administration.  It is obvious  that those who have  always believed in this  interventionist viewpoint would continue to do so.  Expecting them to change  is naive.  Unless of  course it is a  change  on the campaign trail, where  politicians will promise all kinds of   things that they  never  intend to  honor.  So I  fail to see how using Obama as an example  of the  voice of  reason could be  considered unbiased , let alone  honest.   When his  every move in the  middle east  has been quite the opposite.  All one need do is look to Yemen and the work that has been allowed, one could dare say  encouraged  by the  Obama administration.  The  Yemeni people are  being  killed with  cluster  bombs  used  by the  Saudi’s with the  US’ blessings.    The  poisoned gas  that was  used by the pro Assad  forces  which then turned out to be a fabrication  meant  to cover up the  fact that US  and  coalition backed anti-Assad  forces were  indeed the  ones  responsible  for the  poisoned gases that  had  been  unleashed  on the  civilian population of  Syria. 

It is ironic, then, that most of those who went ahead and supported the invasion of Iraq anyway are now trying to blame him for the rise of ISIS. These include Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, who was among the minority of Congressional Democrats to vote for war authorization. In an August 2014 interview in The Atlantic, she claimed that Obama’s refusal to get the United States more heavily involved in the Syrian civil war “left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”

The US and the Rise of ISIS   byStephen Zunes

 

The  long  drawn out conflict in Syria  surgical strikes, bombings, supplies of  weaponry , ammunition and  death  peddling are at the  heart  of  US strategies there.  A sovereign people who’s legitimately  elected  President  has been  deemed  unworthy by forces that  have  neither  been asked  for their  opinion , nor have they the  authority to intervene, morally  or  otherwise.  How  can one  write  about the  criminal  Interventionist  Foreign Policy that  has  been a  staple of  the  US for the  last two decades blaming the  neo-cons , scholars, legislators and  politicians that have beat  the  drum  for the last  20 years  or so and  not refer to Obama in the  same light as  Bush? 

The Russians were invited  by  the  legitimate   government  of  Syria.  Their campaign has  brought to  light  the  kind  of  cruel  cat  and  mouse  game  the  Obama  administration  has  been  playing  with the Syrian  peoples  lives.  Dealing  death and  destruction while  doing  next  to  nothing  to  correct the problem  the US caused.  Yet  the  Russians  are viewed as evil and double dealing.  I suppose that  would  be  a  direct  correlation to the  first  article  listed  here.  The  US dealing  out  terror, perpetrating  terrorist acts dealing  horrific  pain and  loss to a civilian  population and calling it  democracy.  While  Russia has  made  great  strides is  winning  back all the  lost  territory from the  Islamic  State.  Only those  who choose to  lie to themselves can legitimately  look at the  events  that have  taken place in  Syria  during the  last   3 months  or  so and  believe   the  propaganda.  The US  now  deals in Terror  not  democracy abroad and anyone  who follows  suit calling it  an  honorable pursuit is  guilty  of Terror as well.

Still early in Obama’s first term, more than one commentator remarked that Obama hadn’t “changed much of substance from the late Bush practices.” And it gets worse for the Democrats who guard their reputation as liberals so well. Follow this condemnation: “Republicans are right about the fact that while it was Bush officials who led the way in implementing these radical and lawless policies, most of the country’s institutions — particularly the Democratic Party leadership and the media — acquiesced to it, endorsed it, and enabled it. And they still do.” (My emphasis) Further, “ ‘much of the other half of the country, the one that once opposed those policies – Democrats, Obama supporters — are now reciting the same lines, adopting the same mentality, because doing so is necessary to justify what Obama is doing,” namely spreading terror.

The US’ Language of Terror and a History of Preemptive Aggression

Democrat or Republican a War  Criminal is  still a War  Criminal and there is  no amount of  white washing (no racial pun intended, for all you race-baiters out there) that can extricate  Obama’s guilt and  responsibility from the  crimes  perpetrated  against  humanity  in the name  of  greed and power.

Desert Rose

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The US’ Language of Terror and a History of Preemptive Aggression

US President Barack Obama speaks about counter-terrorism and the United States fight against Isis during an address to the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Sunday, December 7, 2015. (Reuters)

Following the recent horrific and brutal San Bernardino slaying, President Obama took to the Oval Office and reminded Americans, “our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.” He also reminded us “we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.” Nevertheless, his thesis held, we have no choice but to increase war efforts, even though the United States “cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology.” We cannot do anything to totally prevent the problem of terror, therefore, we “will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary,” whether a country agrees to it or not, according to recent and historic US foreign policy.

But what motivates the United States to take such seemingly irrational and “uncivilized” courses of violence? Profits it seems. Stoking the flames of war abroad will not only benefit terrorist efforts universally, that is, for all sides using terror, but it will also benefit the wealthy-corporate class. Executive Vice President of Boeing, for instance, Bruce Tanner, raves that “ ‘conflicts would lead to increased sales for their company.’ “ Indeed, “with the ISIS threat growing, there are more countries interested in buying Oshkosh-made M-ATV armored vehicles.” Accordingly, business is booming for Western-war profiteers. Which was further illustrated when the war “contractors also celebrated the fact that the defense sector was recently granted a $607 billion budget by the government.” Thus, there remains a distinct correlation between “terrorism” and Western profits; “Glenn Greenwald pointed out stock prices for weapons manufacturers sharply increased just after the terrorist attacks in Paris last month.”

The propaganda campaign that’s been wrought through political rhetoric and mass-corporatized media, which is the US’ political machine for the most wealthy amongst us, has done great work to keep the public in a constant state of fear and paranoia. Indeed, “more voters than ever think terrorists have the advantage over the United States and its allies.” Indeed, a striking “forty-six percent of 1,000 likely voters…thought terrorists were winning, while only 26% believed the United States and its allies” have “the upper hand.” Thus, whatever Washington’s doing, it’s clearly working, the public’ absolutely terrorized by the prospects of terror. Yet for some of the greatest hand wringers, those most “civilized people,” for them, Americas centuries old “terrorist” question remains a pesky and “sour subject.” How to deal with the “confident savages,” continues to perplex even the most hawkish of our leaders. Moreover, the threat of global anti-imperialism seems to be growing within as well as without the US. For example, “a disturbing number of young Americans” are “joining ISIS.” It seems, that Americans cannot escape even our own “savagery.” Whether it’s violence from a white-supremacist terrorist, like Dylan Roof or Timothy McVeigh, or one of the “confident savages” the world over, it’s clear, that the West, without question, is in the business of producing terror and terrorism, evidently.

Lets look at a portion of the record.

Still early in Obama’s first term, more than one commentator remarked that Obama hadn’t “changed much of substance from the late Bush practices.” And it gets worse for the Democrats who guard their reputation as liberals so well. Follow this condemnation: “Republicans are right about the fact that while it was Bush officials who led the way in implementing these radical and lawless policies, most of the country’s institutions — particularly the Democratic Party leadership and the media — acquiesced to it, endorsed it, and enabled it. And they still do.” (My emphasis) Further, “ ‘much of the other half of the country, the one that once opposed those policies – Democrats, Obama supporters — are now reciting the same lines, adopting the same mentality, because doing so is necessary to justify what Obama is doing,” namely spreading terror.

But how do our US maintainers of civilization ensure that “the masses of people” do not become inquisitive, or perhaps, dangerously, informed? Well one way is to continue the policies of secrecy and “public security,” which Bush II’s “thugs” did so well, as has been well documented by many intellectuals and scholars, Glenn Greenwald not an exception. Thus, he relay’s, that Obama’s programs were “inherited from Mr. Bush” II, “ they were “literally just Bush [II] redux.” In fact, “Mr. Obama’s Justice Department…’told an appeals court that the Bush administration was right to invoke “state secrets’ to shut down a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees who say a Boeing subsidiary helped fly them to places where they were tortured.’ ” It seems that secrecy would serve Obama’s Washington no less than it did his predecessors.

Another War on Terror

Twenty years before Bush II declared a “War on Terror,” says Chomsky, “the Reagan administration came into office announcing that a primary concern of US foreign policy would be a ‘war on terror.’ ” Apparently, back then, the threat to Washington policy was little different. Reagan administration moderate, George Shultz, said that the “terrorists” are “ ‘depraved opponents of civilization itself,’ “ who wish for “ ‘a return to barbarism in the modern age.’ ” But, as currently, the domestic problem had to be addressed as well, we had to exercise “the ‘cancer,’ “ which was “ ‘right here in our land mass.’ ” Obama thus echoes Reagan era ideology in his most recent address to the world when he said, we’re “confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.”

Others reacting to US war with terror, however, is not a new phenomenon. In fact, Woodrow Wilson was echoed by Reaganites when they proclaimed a war against the “barbarians” of the day in the Philippines saying that, in ‘our interest,” the USA “must march forward’ ” and n provocations are to be tolerated. Decades later, “the Reagan–Shultz doctrine held that the UN Charter entitles the US to resort to force in ‘self-defense against future attack.’ ” Bush I followed similar doctrine. His Washington argued its right to pre-emptive violence and terror as it “justified the invasion of Panama,” for instance, because the US must, through its own powers, must have the right to “defend our interests and our people.” (my emphasis) However, this approach to terror is nothing new for the USA, “the doctrine of preemptive strike has much earlier origins.” Looking back to another example, president Bill Clinton’s administration followed its duty to the imperialist hegemon. His “Strategic Command also advocated ‘preemptive response,’ with nuclear weapons if deemed appropriate.” Moreover, looking back forty years prior, “President Eisenhower and his staff discussed what he called the ‘campaign of hatred against us’ in the Arab world, ‘not by the governments but by the people.’ ” Chomsky reminds us, however soberly, that “they do not ‘hate us,’ but rather policies of the US government, something quite different,” indeed. By the time we reach BUSH II era policy on barbarism, Colin Powell’s State Department had declared Cuba a “terrorist state.”

Looking back again to the “terror” policies into the 60’s, President John F. Kennedy, “ordered his staff to subject Cubans to the ‘terrors of the earth.’ ” Obviously, he was addressing the “barbarians” of the day, the “terrorists” off the coast of Florida, who were, by virtue of existing in “successful defiance of the US,” being “a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half,” who must therefor be subjected to the “terrors of the earth.” Thus, it was John F. Kennedy who, quite astutely, however unwittingly, named the real terrorists, us. We were ordered to deliver the terrors, not “them.”

Like much of the world today, evidently, the “uncivilized,” had refused to adhere to the “principle of subordination to US will.” Under JFK’s Washington, Cuba refused to affirm a subordinate place, and when “a US-backed South African invasion was coming close to conquering newly independent Angola, Cuba sent troops on its own initiative, scarcely even notifying Russia, and beat back the invaders” who’re being funded by US tax payers. Thus, what would follow for years was, as Chomsky notes, “some of the worst terrorist attacks against Cuba, with no slight US role.”

Reagan’s Terror

Another staggering example of US’ monopoly on terrorizing the world over was illustrated in a 1987 UN resolution, which condemned “terrorism in the strongest terms,” and which called “on all nations to combat the plague,” which “passed 153–2,” the US and Israel, accordingly, the loan wolves, or hawks rather, voted against it. For how could the US, which funded and “recruited radical Islamists from many countries and organized them into a military and terrorist force that Reagan anointed ‘the moral equivalent of the founding fathers,’ ” vote against our own policy? We don’t and we didn’t. In fact, we’ve “ ‘supported every possible anti-democratic government in the Arab–Islamic world.’ ” However, long after Reagan’s rule, the war came home, and thus, Americans “were subjected, on home soil, to atrocities of the kind that are all too familiar elsewhere.”

What was it, then, that the US-Israel partnership took issue with? They simply couldn’t allow their subject states, or any “other” state, for that matter, “the right to self-determination, freedom, and independence, as derived from the Charter of the United Nations…particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes and foreign occupation,” which for US-Israel, cannot be true, not for those who’s interests “must march forward,” for “the self-anointed ‘enlightened states’ will serve as global enforcers.”

Thus, for any thing, it’s clear, whether a state or non-state faction, if it contests US power and hegemony, which includes capitalist wont’s of “free trade,” neo-liberal policies and unimpeded access, surveillance, and control — whether, it be an individual, a group, or state — it shall, invariably, present an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” and therefor, constitutes terrorism, and thus, it follows, however illogically, that we must, “eradicate the plague” of anti-imperialist terror stemming from the “uncivilized” corners of the planet. Accordingly, we must “eradicate” “ ‘the evil scourge of terrorism.’ ”

But what has the propaganda and the non-transparency wrought for contemporary Washington? Well, for one, it’s brought the politically left and right of our country together forcing many to face our country’s internal contradictions. In other words, if relatively little’s changed in terms of war policy over the centuries, then many democrats, and republicans alike, have been forced to admit that while they stand fundamentally opposed on certain issues, the end result of global hegemony and effective internal population control remains intact, however deadly and oppressive the means may be. Indeed, “now that it’s not just an unpopular Republican President but also a highly charismatic and popular Democratic President advocating and defending these core Bush/Cheney policies, they do become the political consensus of the United States.”

Nevertheless, Obama reassured us this week that the US is “cooperating with Muslim-majority countries — and with our Muslim communities here at home.” Thus, to ensure the safety and “security” of Muslims everywhere, he’s “ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa (waiver) program,” which is certain to follow with more stringent controls on Muslims and many others who don’t fit the label “ordinary American.” Furthermore, Obama “will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology,” what that means I shutter to think. He goes on, “we should put in place stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa.” And Congress “should go ahead and vote to authorize the continued use of military force” against the “thugs and killers,” who’re “part of a cult of death.” Nevertheless, he maintains, that “we are on the right side of history,” and may we “never forget what makes us exceptional.”

Thus, accordingly, if it’s US’ policy to fund and depend upon known terror-sponsoring states, such as, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, then it follows that the US policy would also be, to counter any movement or policy designed to limit Washington’s “enemies.” The inferences, should one be willing to follow them are, that the US, empirically, and through its own admissions, is perhaps, the greatest “threat to world peace,” as the world believes; however, and perhaps even more sobering, the United States of America is also the largest supporter of terrorism in the world. There’s little argument against that fact if one applies universal determinations to what constitutes “Terrorism.”

Thus, said Chomsky, rather soberly in 2003, “we basically have two choices. Either history is bunk, including current history, and we can march forward with confidence that the global enforcer will drive evil from the world much as the President’s speech writers declare, plagiarizing ancient epics and children’s tales. Or we can subject the doctrines of the proclaimed grand new era to scrutiny, drawing rational conclusions, perhaps gaining some sense of the emerging reality.”

What is it, then, that we must ask ourselves if we’re to honestly address the moral consequences of our actions? Why is it invariably the case that what others do is “terror,” but what we do is not? I’ll leave you with these final thoughts from Chomsky. “If an action is right for us, it is right for others; and if wrong for others, it is wrong for us. Those who reject that standard can be ignored in any discussion of appropriateness of action, of right or wrong.” Thus, just as he’d advised in 2003, “we can approach these questions with the rational standards we apply to others, or we can dismiss the historical and contemporary record on some grounds or other.”

It seems Washington’s choosing to continue the recreation of ancient myths and children’s tails. In response to the San Bernardino tragedy, Obama said that, “we will succeed in this mission…we are on the right side of history. We were founded upon a belief in human dignity…equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law…let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional…freedom is more powerful than fear…God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.” Lastly, as the United States draws on every aspect of American power,” and as “we march forward,” especially in repayment for our investors and profiteers, and to wittingly beholden the “barbarians” of the world, a sour subject indeed, although terrifying to say the least, we continue to sew the ancient tails, and they continue thusly, evidently.

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Russell Webster

Russell Webster is a student of philosophy, a freelance journalist, social critique, and activist who supports #BlackLivesMatter movement. Twitter: @russellwebster

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The US and the Rise of ISIS

Isis fighters parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armoured vehicle in Mosul. (Photograph: AP)

The rise of ISIS (also known as Daesh, ISIL, or the “Islamic State”) is a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. While there are a number of other contributing factors as well, that fateful decision is paramount.

Had Congress not authorized President George W. Bush the authority to illegally invade a country on the far side of the world that was no threat to us, and to fund the occupation and bloody counter-insurgency war that followed, the reign of terror ISIS has imposed upon large swathes of Syria and Iraq and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, the Sinai, and elsewhere would never have happened.

Among the many scholars, diplomats, and political figures who warned of such consequences was a then-Illinois state senator named Barack Obama, who noted that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would “only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda” and other like-minded extremists.

It is ironic, then, that most of those who went ahead and supported the invasion of Iraq anyway are now trying to blame him for the rise of ISIS. These include Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, who was among the minority of Congressional Democrats to vote for war authorization. In an August 2014 interview in The Atlantic, she claimed that Obama’s refusal to get the United States more heavily involved in the Syrian civil war “left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”

There are serious questions as to whether providing additional military support to some of the motley and disorganized local Syrian militias labeled “moderates” by Washington could have done much to prevent the takeover of parts of Syria by ISIS. It is a powerful organized force led by experienced veterans of the former Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein and flush with advanced American weaponry captured from the new U.S.-organized army.

 

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Why the Gulf States, the Kurds, the Turks, the Sunnis, and the Shia Won’t Fight America’s War

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Sunday night, Dec. 6, 2016. In a rare Oval Office address, Obama vowed the United States would overcome a terror threat that has entered a “new phase” as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California. (Photo: Saul Loeb, AP)

In the many strategies proposed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) by presidential candidates, policymakers, and media pundits alike across the American political spectrum, one common element stands out: someone else should really do it. The United States will send in planes, advisers, and special ops guys, but it would be best — and this varies depending on which pseudo-strategist you cite — if the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunnis, and/or Shias would please step in soon and get America off the hook.

The idea of seeing other-than-American boots on the ground, like Washington’s recently deep-sixed scheme to create some “moderate” Syrian rebels out of whole cloth, is attractive on paper. Let someone else fight America’s wars for American goals. Put an Arab face on the conflict, or if not that at least a Kurdish one (since, though they may not be Arabs, they’re close enough in an American calculus). Let the U.S. focus on its “bloodless” use of air power and covert ops. Somebody else, Washington’s top brains repeatedly suggest, should put their feet on the embattled, contested ground of Syria and Iraq. Why, the U.S. might even gift them with nice, new boots as a thank-you.

Is this, however, a realistic strategy for winning America’s war(s) in the Middle East?

The Great Champions of the Grand Strategy

Recently, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton openly called for the U.S. to round up some Arab allies, Kurds, and Iraqi Sunnis to drive the Islamic State’s fighters out of Iraq and Syria. On the same day that Clinton made her proposal, Bernie Sanders called for “destroying” the Islamic State, but suggested that it “must be done primarily by Muslim nations.” It’s doubtful he meant Indonesia or Malaysia.

Among the Republican contenders, Marco Rubio proposed that the U.S. “provide arms directly to Sunni tribal and Kurdish forces.” Ted Cruz threw his support behind arming the Kurds, while Donald Trump appeared to favor more violence in the region by whoever might be willing to jump in.

The Pentagon has long been in favor of arming both the Kurds and whatever Sunni tribal groups it could round up in Iraq or Syria. Variouspundits across the political spectrum say much the same.

They may all mean well, but their plans are guaranteed to fail. Here’s why, group by group.

The Gulf Arabs

 

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The Thinking Moms’ Revolution

Vaccination Tyranny Hits Down Under

 

In April of this year, the Australian federal government officially joined the state Queensland and Victoria governments and declared war on our children and our community.

How and why would they do this?

The how is the easy part: Despite the fact that vaccination is not compulsory in Australia, they passed a law that financially penalises low-income families who do not vaccinate their children according to the recommended government schedule and removes the right of parents to object based on conscientious, philosophical and religious reasons. As of January 1, 2016, these families, some of which already have vaccine-injured children, will lose up to $15,000 a year per child if they do not do as they are told by the Australian government, and yet they have the gall to say that these families still have a choice.

A choice of whether to become homeless . . . or vaccinate?

A choice of being able to feed and clothe their families . . . or vaccinate?

I don’t know about you, but if that is a “choice” then so is blackmail.

Add this to the Victorian government’s law that all unvaccinated children must be banned from early childhood education and you will see that. for some governments in Australia, the idea of segregating children is a good thing. So much for the government’s commitment to Universal Access to Early Childhood Education?

 

 

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Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:26

Popular Forces’ Commanders: Ramadi Liberation Operation Blocked by US

Popular Forces' Commanders: Ramadi Liberation Operation Blocked by US

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commanders of Iraq’s popular forces complain that the US is hindering the start of final phase of the operation to free Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, from ISIL control.

“The US bargains and pressures on the Baghdad government have prevented accomplishment of Ramadi liberation operation,” Abu Yousef al-Khazali, a commander of Seyed al-Shohada battalion, told FNA on Thursday.

“The US has long been seeking to force the government to stop using the popular forces in military operations against ISIL, specially in the liberation operations conducted in different Iraqi regions,” he added.

Also, Karim al-Nouri, the spokesman of Iraq’s popular forces, told FNA that the “the Americans’ interference has distorted plans to free Ramadi”.

He added that “the Americans are not serious about bringing the battles to an end”.

A commander of Iraq’s volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) complained in similar remarks that the US meddling in the fight against the ISIL has impeded their victory over the Takfiri terrorist group and prevented them from winning back the strategic cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.

“The US meddling prevents the Iraqi army and popular forces from concluding their battles against the ISIL in Ramadi and Fallujah cities,” Commander of Imam Khamenei Battalion Haidar al-Hosseini al-Ardavi told FNA on Sunday.

He noted that the US is doing its best to prevent mop-up operations by the popular forces in Anbar province.

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A woman walking past the outer wall of the former US embassy in Tehran, which was seized by Islamists in 1980

Washington’s Double Life? Iraqis Accuse US of Being in Cahoots With Daesh

© Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sysoev

World

15:06 03.12.2015(updated 15:07 03.12.2015) 

Suspicion that the US is collaborating with Daesh (also known as ISIL/The Islamic State), instead of fighting the military group, is spreading among Iraqis, primarily due to the country’s minimalist approach toward the crisis.

To Americans, accusations that the US government is helping Daesh may seem ludicrous. However, many Iraqi fighters and civilians claim they have seen evidence of collusion between the US and the notorious terrorist group citing, for instance, videos allegedly showing US helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, The Washington Post reported.

The idea that the US is supporting Daesh is being persistently promoted via social media and voiced in parliament by Shiite politicians in Iraq, US military officials claim. In one popular video, recently released on a Shiite militia group’s Facebook page, a lawmaker with the country’s biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves seemingly new US military MREs (meals ready to eat), allegedly found at a recently seized Daesh base in Baiji, saying it is proof that the US supports terrorists.The US military’s Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the charges are “beyond ridiculous.”

“The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,” he said. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

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Exclusive:

Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces’ Advances

Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces' Advances

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia’s warplanes are targeting the Southern parts of the kingdom with cluster bombs in a bid to stop the Yemeni army and popular forces’ continued and rapid advance deep into their territories.

Saudi Arabia has used cluster bombs many times before, but this is the first time that it is using it against its own population in a desperate move to stop the huge advances made by the Yemeni forces inside the kingdom in recent days.

The Yemeni army and popular forces have frequently crossed the border captured the Saudi military bases and outpost, ruined the military sites and returned home in the last few months and after the Riyadh-led coalition refrained from stopping its air raids on residential areas in Yemen’s cities.

But, after months of coalition intensified air raids on civilian areas, the Yemeni forces changed strategy and warned that they would start ground assaults on Saudi territories to force Riyadh stop the massacre.

The new strategy was put into effect on Sunday, when Yemen’s army and popular forces crossed the border and captured several key military bases in three provinces in Southern Saudi Arabia near the border.

The Yemeni forces seized Malhama, al-Radif and al-Mamoud military bases in Jizan, al-Rabou’a military base in Asir and Nahouqa military base in Najran provinces.

Then on Monday, the Yemeni forces took control of three more Saudi military bases in al-Shurfa region in Najran.

They also captured a military camp in Najran, and destroyed the military vehicles in there.

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