06.28.17

Reviewed: American Anarchist & Control Room

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 3:26 pm by George Smith

Control Room, now streaming on Hulu, takes viewers back to 2004 and the rise of al Jazeera as the Arab world’s first top rank Western-style news organization covering Iraqi Freedom. Relevant 13 years later, the original is from 2004 because Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and a couple other American toady nations have demanded Qatar suppress the news channel. In Control Room, it’s Central Command in Doha, the President and the US military against it for having the temerity to transmit both sides of the conflict, not just a sanitized US-approved version.

Control Room climaxes with a news event that has passed into obscure history: the US military’s attack on al Jazeera’s Baghdad operation as the city was being occupied, the result of which killed one of the agencies camera men. Two other journalists were also killed when the US military struck a Reuters/international news facility separately.

It’s menacing footage. Al Jazeera’s control room witnessing from afar as a US A-10 begins a missile attack run.

The bombing closed al Jazeera’s office in Baghdad and effectively ends the documentary. Al Jazeera is a small tv station arrayed against the most powerful military on the planet and it made that military angry. Message sent.

The reporters from al Jazeera are pros. They do their job, cynically noting behind the scenes the mishandling of the war as the US attempts to shape coverage. There is video American POWs (protested by the US military). But it was OK to show Iraqi POWs and dead men. There is more of American and British troops kicking down the doors of residences while Iraqis cower inside. Compared to today, when the latest news is a puff piece on America’s Otto Skorzenys and their commando operations are said to confer considerable advantages to the US side, al Jazeera was just doing its job.

Are there wars? Yes, certainly. Does the big American press cover them anymore? Not really. It takes too much effort to fight the war machine and the domestic audience doesn’t care.

At one point, one of al Jazeera’s editorial decision makers, a man who chain smokes like the character Nathan Thurm in old Saturday Night Live sketches, cynically notes that the pulling down of the statue of Saddam Hussein is (obviously to an Arab audience) an engineered stunt with an American-tanked in crowd of young men. Where are the women and neighbors another producer drily notes.

“David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said in a statement that the demand ‘represents a serious threat to media freedom if states, under the pretext of a diplomatic crisis, take measures to force the dismantling of Al Jazeera,’ reads a news short today. At al Jazeera.

Paradoxically, David Kaye began his career at the US State Department.

Other affairs that have now faded into a distant fog: the folly of the production of a deck of playing cards with the faces of wanted Hussein regime leaders. (There are none made available to the press.) The Jessica Lynch rescue that wasn’t. (“Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for – and doctors had already tried to free her.” — the Guardian). A military spokesman’s absurd insistence that as Baghdad was being looted and the US military stood by that Iraqis should rise themselves and protect stuff. And, at the end, Mission Accomplished.

By the end of Control Room, remember this was in 2004, there is the dawning recognition that we’d triggered an epic human catastrophe still to unfold.


A poignant documentary of William Powell, the author of The Anarchist Cookbook, is currently streaming on Netflix. American Anarchist traces Powell’s life in simple interview from the age of 19, when angered by the Vietnam War he set about to write it, to a long segment in which he expresses “remorse” over the bloody path of mayhem, plots and murder to which its pages may have contributed.

Anyone who has become familiar with American far-right anarchist listerature is also aware that Powell’s cookbook is the volume with the biggest footprint — 2 million copies sold world wide; uncountable copies now distributed by the web.

Indeed, The Anarchist Cookbook has had many offspring, some of which like the Mujahideen’s Poisons Handbook (contructed from the American volume, The Poisoner’s Handbook) have been dealt with quite closely on this blog.

And as everyone who walked the territory of the web in the mid-Nineties, the electronic versions were everywhere, to such an extent that they became things investigators looked for when prosecuting domestic as well as international cases of terrorism and murder.

What will stun the viewer is that Powell was largely unaware of it all. He took up a career in teaching in the far reaches of the world and with his wife, leading training couses on how to teach and reach children who aren’t motivated by traditional pedagogy. In so doing he spent much time in Africa, noting at one point that his family didn’t even have a television and so news from America was virtually non-existent.

This does not deter the interviewer who doggedy walks Powell through the laundry list of very bad people who were fond to be in possession of his book. As the documentary proceeds its clear that the black history of it in bombings and shootings have weighed heavily upon him and his wife.

In 2000 Powell disowned the book on Amazon. Thirteen years later, for the Guardian, he asked that those publishing it cease doing so. Did he, however, do enough? I think so but the answer is left to every viewer.

In the mid-Eighties Powell could not possibly have known what would happen with The Anarchist Cookbook. He believed it be a poorly written fad book on bomb-making, violence and sabotage that was fading in popularity. Powell, along with everyone else, didn’t see what cyberspace and the nascent web would do for the book: Make it easily available to everyone, not just to visitors of odd bookshops, survivalists and gun show anti-government fanatics. Digital existence bundled the book into its growing family of recipes-for-death literature and made the whole mix easily searchable on the web.

For example, one of its lesser offspring mentioned above, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, no longer in the dark but mainstream (virtually), for everyone, like it or not.

The majority of Powell’s life was spent in loving education of the world’s impoverished, very very far from the path taken by The Anarchist Cookbook in America. And American Anarchist leaves no room for doubt that this vocation was very dear to his heart.

As a good man and sadly, The Anarchist Cookbook trailed Powell into death, of which the world did not become aware until movie reviewers saw it as a note at the end of America’s Anarchist in March of this year, that its subject had died a short time after the interviews took place.


1. From the New York Times:

The book, a precursor to more recent publications like “The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook” and “Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla,” was at times angry, but it also came with cautionary notes (“This book is not for children or morons”)…

2. The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook — here, here and here.

05.16.17

Infamous old words: The Nebulous Menace vs the NSA’s Ugly Conduct

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:20 pm by George Smith

In 2013:

While some recent estimates have more than 90 percent of cyberespionage in the United States originating in China, the accusations relayed in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities were remarkable in their directness. Until now the administration avoided directly accusing both the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army of using cyberweapons against the United States in a deliberate, government-developed strategy…

This from, The Nebulous Menace: Shoeshine at its Best, a piece onthe meme of the year, that US coporate intellectual property was being carted away en masse by Chinese cyberwarriors.

The passage of time always affords for the changing of boogeymen pointed out by the American national threat industry. Today it’s Russia and even fresher, maybe North Korea, as responsible for the now famous global ransomware attacks.

You might take North Korea as a convenient distraction for the root of the problem, the NSA’s malware industrial complex, ultimately responsible for the ETERNALBLUE vulnerability, a NOT NEBULOUS menace, at the heart of the problem.

Paradoxically, from the South China Post:

More than 4,300 Chinese educational institutions were infected by the WannaCry ransomware that spread across the globe last Friday, according to Chinese cybersecurity giant Qihoo 360’s Threat Intelligence Centre. Almost 30,000 organisations across the country were affected in all.

But the Ministry of Education’s China Education and Research Network (Cernet) said just 66 out of 1,600 Chinese universities were affected, rejecting reports of widespread damage in higher-education computer systems as “malicious” hype.

Cernet said the 66 universities were affected mainly because their operating systems were not regularly upgraded rather than any major security shortcomings …

Students in campuses affected by the ransomware, however, told of their horror finding their experiment data encrypted and half-completed theses files lost, which could affect their graduation, according to Chinese media reports.


Also from The Nebulous Menace, another wote illustrating why this blog was read:

American business ceded its property to the Chinese industrial base for immediate profit in pursuit of the very cheapest unprotected manpower. This was long before Chinese espionage became an issue the national security megaplex decided to exploit for the purpose of parasitic rent-seeking.

Who are you going to find on the street who cares if Chinese cyberwarriors from a building in Shanghai are into American businesses? They’ve already lost their jobs or much of their earning power. And their access to the Internet is a smartphone made in China.

Take a day off from the memes. Corporate America isn’t hiring, haven’t you heard? It’s not because of mass Chinese cyber-spying.

04.24.17

One year ago…

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 11:34 am by George Smith

First, we were bombing their cash money (videos made available on YouTube). You could see the money flying through the air. (BTW, if you want to make money fly through the air, how ’bout making it fly through Pasadena?!)

Then we sent in the B-52s to bomb ISIS in Syria. Just like in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Then we sent in the the special cyberforce. Over there, over there!

“We are dropping cyberbombs,” a man named Mr. Work, a deputy secretary of defense at the Pentagon, said. “We have never done that before.”

Actually, we have. We dropped cyberbombs on Iran.

But, anyway, A year or so ago: Cyberbombs! B-52 bombs! Bombs for cash money!

They’d surely need to quit amidst the rubble of Syria! V-ISIS Day was just around the corner.

The stuff really works, don’t it? What tactics and strategy, or lack of any, more likely. And recall the next time Trump orders a publicity stunt bombing, these were all the property of the Obama administration.

Apropos or not, here’s The Cyberwar Boogie which doesn’t sound much like cyberwar. The laughter is just right, though. Hee-hee-hee-h-h-hee-hee-hee-hee, oh yeah!


Would you help finance a custom run CD with this included?

04.14.17

If you have gold and your ass don’t smell…

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 11:42 am by George Smith

If you have gold and your ass don’t smell…we won’t bomb you straight to Hell.

Still perfect for most situations. C’mon, peeps, please push it to 3,000!

The Empire and its Vengeance Weapon

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 11:17 am by George Smith

Today Fox News is getting shelled on social media for playing Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue” over footage of the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) in Afghanistan. [1]. This seems unfair to me.

The “we’ll put a boot in your ass” theme of the Keith song is right in line with the glee that made the news of the MOAB go viral yesterday. As in 2003, the mainstream media has not been able to get enough of the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB).

It’s a bit late in the game to try shaming someone else over it now when there was no problem initially. We even liked all the news we could get of sticking it to anybody and everybody in the Middle East.

We wet the bed but good. No second thoughts and finger-pointing allowed now.

Keep in mind that fifteen years in Afghanistan is a solid indication this is a war that’s lost. The US military has no strategy except brute force and terror. Use of the monster bomb, then, is use of a vengeance weapon, something a military that’s desperate for a success, any success, does.

The choice of the term vengeance weapon is deliberate. Vengeance weapons, or the V weapons like the V-1 and V-2, were developed and used when there was no hope of the Third Reich winning the war in Europe.

The vengeance weapons were military insignificant. In the end they accomplished nothing, only further hardening the wills of the civilians in London they were used against.

The Pentagon claimed 36 ISIS fighters were killed. At about 16 million dollars per bomb, that’s about over haf a million dollars a head. It’s in line with the pointlessness outside of symbolic terror of the Third Reich’s vengeance weapons.


[1]. “Given this culture, maybe the U.S. isn’t the best country to bring humanitarianism and freedom to the world by dropping love bombs on them” tweet from the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald.

Keep in mind that news anchor Brian Williams waxed rhapsodic over Tomahawk missile salvos being launched into Syria just last week. They were said to be “beautiful” by Williams.


While the news over the MOAB has been enthusiastically over-the-top domestically (“It’s the first time this bomb has been used in combat!”), in the end the President and the Department of Defense will find that use of the MOAB has just been seen as a morally bankrupt stunt everywhere else. The world now sees the wealthiest country in the world dropping a ridiculously cruel bomb on one of the poorest places in the world, a country it’s been punishing without much effect except to make more enemies for a decade and a half. And that the originating country thinks this is such a good thing it arranges a publicity party for the coming out.


Here, another excerpt from Weapon of the Week in March of 2003, a column that was totally unique and way ahead of its time.

Entitled “The War Wanker:”

“Operation Iraqi Freedom” would not be complete without the combined power of war wankers. The wanker army, consisting of retired generals, TV reporters, administration fuglemen, and national pundits, stroke and soothe the polity with kriegfreude—war glee.

It conducts this operation by either suppressing pictures of naked horror—war blood and guts—or delivering only the most fleeting images of it. Into this void it jams a wealth of interesting and true stories, the tales that are interesting being not true and the ones that are true being not interesting.


War wankers agonize over American casualties but leave enemy dead invisible. They yak about violations of the Geneva Convention without considering that the dropping of thousands of tons of explosives from on high requires a good deal of cold blood and inevitably inspires awful retaliations.

The war wanker dwells lovingly on wonder weapons from the land of the brave, prattling on from a green television stage or a blacked-out flight deck.

But the best thing about the war wanker is that he or she comes cheap. Statements like “they’ll be feeling pain tonight in Baghdad” are pennies on the word, with salaries almost always less than the cost of machinery of destruction. And some in this army even labor for free—the joy of the work being its own reward.

04.13.17

Mother of All Bombs joy: A pure Culture of Lickpittle moment

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 11:47 am by George Smith

It’s been fourteen years since I wrote about the MOAB (the Mother of All Bombs) for my Weapon of the Week column in the Village Voice. And today the MOAB is back in hot, trending viral news as the US employed it in one of our forever wars in Afghanistan. Wars we never win but for which there is a never-ending supply of really big bombs from our weapon shops.

Weapon of the Week was a satirical run on the implements of war and killing then common in US newspapers. As part of the joy over war the US mainstream media loved weapon stories. Much of the time leading up to the invasion of the Iraq was spent devoting column inches to Gobble-Wallah coverage of what the Department of Defense was readying for the citizens of the Middle East.

And no matter how badly the wars have gone this has never changed. In fact, the cheerleading has become worse. Criticisms and derision, no matter how well-reasoned and deserved, have been utterly dismissed from the national conversation. And the web and old media now overflow with cheerleading pieces on the technologies and ways of American war (see The National Interest, Business Insider, War is Boring et al).

So there’s really no point to doing something new on the MOAB. My original was perfect and it’s all you have to know.


Exultation over the new MOAB—perhaps the ugliest and most stupid of new weapons in the U.S. armory—reveals a poverty of intellect and heart in the country. A clumsy multi-ton monster bomb tested in Florida last week has no practical war purpose other than terror, in a military whose signal achievement in the last decade has been to make smaller weapons unerringly accurate.

The MOAB is the natural result of allowing munitions engineers to run amok, a design by the aggressively mediocre who in a better time and place would be sent into early retirement for the good of the taxpayer.

The Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or Mother of All Bombs (quite the rib-tickler), is so big it must be shoved out the tail of a lumbering transport plane on a sled attached to a drag parachute. This means MOAB can only be used against the helpless—an enemy who cannot shoot back because its air force has already been utterly smashed, its anti-aircraft missile network erased from the target area. A very large, undefended mosque would be a good hit for MOAB—meeting the bomb’s criterion of use for “psychological” effect.

An idiot stationed in the Pentagon TV newsroom jabbered about the MOAB’s “guidance” by Global Positioning System—great precision being unnecessary on the 21,000-pound bomb, another clue to its construction by government-sanctioned ninnies.

A small part of the blame for the MOAB must go to Dynetics, one more in a dismaying number of corporations that exist to provide applications in mayhem. The company’s logo on the MOAB’s tail was probably thought of as a coup in corporate advertising, although a bracing “Fuck You!” might have better created the impression that the thing was made by real people rather than a labful of killer androids on Eglin Air Force Base.

The MOAB is said to be a long-awaited improvement on the 15,000-pound Commando Vault (“Daisy Cutter”) bomb, a canister of aluminum powder mixed in a slurry originally made to clear landing spaces of underbrush and demolish minefields. Daisy Cutters were used in Gulf War I and again in Afghanistan, to no obvious effect other than the creation of media and Pentagon erections. These cost $27,000 and change per bang, so even allowing for a three-ton increase in weight, MOAB should be cheap by Defense Department standards.

If the MOAB makes an appearance over Iraq, count on it to be enthusiastically superfluous due to the military axiom: A handful of really big bombs dropped in the open can’t compare to thousands of much smaller ones smashing through windows, doorways, and hidey-holes.

the Village Voice, March 18, 2003


The MOAB was made for Iraq. It has been more of a symbolic, in a real murderous asshole way, thing. It serves no military purpose other than pure spite. Deploying it over Afghanistan after fifteen years of relentless bombing and black-bagging of the populace is nothing more than use of it as a vengeance weapon.

So what are the Gobble-wallahs actually saying about the MOAB today?

U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped a 22,000-pound bomb on Islamic State forces in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, the Pentagon announced in a statement.

Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said the bomb was “the right munition” to use against the Islamic State because of the group’s use of roadside bombs, bunkers and tunnels. — The WaPost

The right munition.


Donald Trump described the dropping of the GBU-43 bomb as “another successful job” by the military.

Just minutes after news broke that the U.S. military had dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the biggest non-nuclear weapon — on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan Thursday, the president dismissed the idea that it was meant to influence North Korea.

“Really another successful job,” Trump said from the White House. “We’re very, very proud of our military. We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.” — Daily Caller

Another successful job after 15 years of bombing and assassinations.


“Everybody knows exactly what happened,” Trump said. “We have the greatest military in the world…We have given them total authorization…If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really with what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference. Tremendous difference.” — NBC News

Use of bigger vengeance weapons over a country with no air defense, yes, that’s a difference.


Spicer said all proper precautions were taken before the drop. — the New York Daily News


U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the use of this bomb was a sign that the United States was committed to Afghanistan.

But Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat who was the only “no” vote for authorization for use of military force in Afghanistan in 2001, said the move was unprecedented and asked for an explanation. — Reuters

A sign that the United States was committed to Afghanistan? Yes, how lucky they are to get such big bombs. It’s a particularly hilarious and Orwellian twisting of language.

04.06.17

Time flies on the down escalator

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 9:40 am by George Smith

Another musical measuring stick in the Culture of Lickspittle. Half a decade in and things are, astonishingly, much worse than when The National Anthem was written. Even the fictitious movie poster can’t quite do the national apathy and horror justice. Bombing paupers is our most famous character trait.

03.11.17

Growth job: War fanzine writing

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 10:26 am by George Smith

From one of the on-line outlets that delivers daily pieces advocating war, describing future war with China or Russia, describing past war with Germany or Japan (not Vietnam) and doing baseball card-like profiles of weapons, both imagined and real.

Title from the National Interest:

How China’s Mad Scientists Plan to Shock America’s Military: Super Lasers, Railguns and Microwave Weapons

No.

Excerpt:

The researchers propose building a 5-ton chemical laser that will be stationed in low-earth orbit as a combat platform capable of destroying satellites in orbit. Given funding by the Chinese military, which is in charge of China’s space program, the satellite-killing laser could be deployed by 2023.

Giant orbiting exotic one use untested chemical bomb.

Journalist advocates a space arms race so the space dominoes don’t begin to fall in China’s favor.

Railguns. No.

Also see EMP crazy, a well known contagion.

09.07.16

America’s Wehrmacht (the series)

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 1:43 pm by George Smith

Today was “Who loves America’s Wehrmacht more?” Day.

Is it Donald Trump? Or Hillary Clinton? Hard to say, it’s almost dead even.

Politico notes the Clinton campaign is running a television ad in which Trump says “I love war:”

The 30-second ad, out Tuesday, is titled “I Love War.” It features Trump uttering the phrase, “I love war, in a certain way,” at a rally last November, and features snippets of him remarking that he “knows more about ISIS than the generals do” and calling “nuclear, the power, the devastation … very important to me.”

“‘I love war,’ putting nuclear weapons on the table. The Clinton camp says that’s irresponsible,” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos remarked to Kellyanne Conway at the start of their interview on “Good Morning America.”

It’s worth adding Stephanopoulos was part of the first Clinton administration, famously portrays in the documentary “The War Room.” I reviewed it this year here. [1]

In any case, someone trying to use the statement “I love war” against anyone else in 2016 America is so unintentionally hilarious as to reduce one to tetany. HRC, Libya, Iraq, Sec’y of State during years of our forever war.

From the Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are engaged in a contest within a contest right now. The bigger contest, of course, is to win the White House; the smaller contest is to accumulate the longer list of military supporters and thereby suggest to voters that the people who really know what to look for in a commander in chief have a clear preference.

The Trump campaign on Tuesday released the names of 88 retired generals and admirals who have endorsed the Republican presidential candidate, to which the Clinton camp responded Wednesday by announcing its own roster of 95 such backers.

Among the retired generals backing Trump is Jerry Boykin. Like Trump, he’s a bigot.

A long time ago Boykin was commander of the Delta Force. But for the last 16 years or so he’s travelled the country warning about Muslim infiltration, the alleged creeping onslaught of sharia law in the heartland and the badness of gay people. Boykin is nuts and he’s been mentioned frequently here.

On the other hand, I’m fairly positive that if you comb through HRC’s cast of military men you’ll find someone equally insane, only in a different way.

My pick, just on video evidence alone, is Marine General John Allen. At the Democratic Convention, allen delivered a rant that was epic. And not in any good way.

Watch the video at the link. The good parts are when Allen goes berserk, yelling that “our military” will have the finest weapons (don’t they already?) and that our enemies — “You will fear us!” The crowd chants “USA! USA! USA!” and the camera pans to blonde-haired boy waving a Clinton sign. Tomorrow belongs to us!

John Allen, like Gerry Boykin, is scary. He came off as disturbed, not as someone showing great zeal in public speaking

Who loves war more? Who can sing the loudest praises for America’s Wehrmacht?

An excerpt from Andrew Bacevich’s book, “America’s War for the Greater Middle East” would seem apt:

“It’s not that Americans today actively support the war in the same sense that their grandparents supported World War II. It’s that they see no particular reason to attend one way or another to the war’s progress or likely outcome. In a fundamental sense the war is not their concern….

“At the end of the day, whether the United States is able to reshape the Greater Middle East will matter less than whether it can reshape itself, restoring effectiveness to self-government, providing for sustainable and equitable prosperity, and extracting from a vastly diverse culture something to hold in common of greater moment than shallow digital enthusiasms and the worship of celebrity.

“Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect. One day the American people may awaken to this reality. Then and only then will the war end.”


In interesting news, Textron will no longer be making cluster bombs. The pool of blood worldwide, and because of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has dropped them willy-nilly in Yemen, has apparently grown to big to ignore, even for the arms manufacturer:

Textron, the last U.S. company to build cluster bombs, announced in a securities filing this week that one of its subsidiaries would no longer produce the controversial and internationally derided munition, citing dwindling demand.

The Rhode Island-based company’s decision comes after the Obama administration halted a shipment of approximately 400 of their cluster weapons – called CBU-105s – to Saudi Arabia in May, following reports that the Saudis were using the weapons indiscriminately during their air campaign over Yemen …

Though the United States hasn’t allotted funds for cluster munition production since 2007, the CBU-105 has been readily exported to several countries since. Saudi Arabia purchased more than 1,500 of the weapons between 2010 and 2011, according to a report by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.

“Historically, sensor-fuzed weapon sales have relied on foreign military and direct commercial international customers for which both executive branch and congressional approval is required,” reads a Textron statement. “The current political environment has made it difficult to obtain these approvals.”


[1]. “The War Room” is a movie worth watching in 2016, for how much things have changed for the world’s only superpower in obvious decline.

You’ll recognize the young and middle-aged stars of the last 15 years: George Stephanopoulos, Paul Begala, and — front ‘n’ center, James Carville, now an old man. Bill Clinton is the Big Dog, not as he is now, the frail old man trying to recall better days while pumping up his wife as the next president.

The doc is shot as the legacy. Bill Clinton, a people’s candidate.

There’s a moment from a speech by Al Gore in a campaign rally that could be exactly like something Bernie Sanders roarded at crowds. America was down, jobs and the economy, not fair. “The country’s gone el busto,” says Carville. “If you can’t fix it, get out of the way!”

George H. W. Bush: “America is still great!

08.23.16

America’s Wehrmacht (continuing)

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 1:50 pm by George Smith

Quotes:

To reflect on this longest of American wars is to confront two questions. First, why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little even while itself absorbing very considerable losses and inflicting even greater damage on the subjects of America’s supposed beneficence? Second, why in the face of such unsatisfactory outcomes has the United States refused to chart a different course? In short, why can’t we win? And since we haven’t won, why can’t we get out?

With regard to the first question, one explanation stands out above all others. In stark contrast to the Cold War, American purposes and U.S. military policy in the Islamic world have never aligned. Rather than keeping threats to U.S. interests at bay, a penchant for military activism, initially circumspect but becoming increasingly uninhibited over time, has helped to foster new threats. Time and again, from the 1980s to the present, U.S. military power, unleashed rather than held in abeyance, has met outright failure, produced results other than those intended, or proved to be largely irrelevant. The Greater Middle East remains defiantly resistant to shaping.

Not for want of American effort, of course … — Andrew Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East


A disenfranchised white working class vents its lust for fascism at Trump campaign rallies. Naive liberals, who think they can mount effective resistance within the embrace of the Democratic Party, rally around the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who knows that the military-industrial complex is sacrosanct. Both the working class and the liberals will be sold out. Our rights and opinions do not matter. We have surrendered to our own form of Wehrwirtschaft. We do not count within the political process. — Chris Hedges, The Illusion of Freedom

Wehrwirtschaft: “The principle or policy of directing a nation’s economic activity towards preparation for or support of a war effort, esp. (Hist.) as applied in Germany in the 1930s.”


The United States has the best military in the world today, by far. U.S. forces have few, if any, weaknesses, and in many areas—from naval warfare to precision-strike capabilities, to airpower, to intelligence and reconnaissance, to special operations—they play in a totally different league from the militaries of other countries. Nor is this situation likely to change anytime soon, as U.S. defense spending is almost three times as large as that of the United States’ closest competitor, China, and accounts for about one-third of all global military expenditures—with another third coming from U.S. allies and partners…

Precision-guided bombs accounted for about ten percent of the ordnance used in the Gulf War. In recent conflicts, they have accounted for about 90 percent, with a dramatic impact on the course of battle. As a result, Pentagon officials now talk of a “third offset”—the hope, championed by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, among others, that it will be possible to rely on modern-day ISR and precision assets to counter, say, larger Chinese missile, aircraft, ship, and submarine forces in the waters of the western Pacific.

For all this progress, however, there are limits to what standoff warfare and advanced technology can achieve by themselves. To make precision bombing effective, for example, targets need to be located accurately—something that can be difficult if those targets are in cities, forests, or jungles, or are concealed or underground … — David Petraeus & Michael O’HanlonAmerica’s Awesome Military


Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed. No modern nation has ever equaled the crushing offensive power attained by the German war machine in 1939. No modern nation was broken and smashed as was Germany six years later. — Dwight Eisenhower, 1949, in St. Louis

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