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Could Lindsey Graham's terrorism amendment target the real threat -- future senators who might want to start wars everywhere like Graham does?
18 minutes ago on Access denied | FP Passport
It's all a charade, or perhaps a waltz in 3/4 time. The U.S. (CIA) has been managing the shipment of arms into Syria for some time now, with the involvement of Saudi Arabia and Jordan with the arms coming from Croatia, as the NYTimes reported. The insurgents and terrorists are a disorganized contentious rabble currently on the losing end of battles, and the U.S. can't do anything about it., which is a good thing because the most effective government opposition is al-Qaeda (al-Nusrah).
2 hours, 14 minutes ago on Access denied | The Cable
Of course an American bank president can be counted upon to promote the U.S. and pan China in any report -- that's what he's paid to do. China knows that will occur despite the much richer growth of business enterprise in China and its poor showing in the U.S., where the top problem small business remains "Cost of Health Insurance," which has historically been the No. 1 problem for small employers -- and getting worse with Obamacare.
5 hours, 4 minutes ago on Access denied | Shadow Government
"So Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won't object if the United States gets more deeply engaged."
Actually Bibi has about as much control of events as the U.S. has, about zero. The U.S. has been predicting the fall of the Syria government for almost two years now. The U.S. has been unsuccessful in organizing an opposition government. It's latest feeble attempt, it's new "prime minister," it's hope for the future, is an IT executive recently from Murphy, Texas with zero allegiance from anyone in Syria. What's his name? Who knows; who cares. Also the "Friends of Syria" coalition of the willing is now down to about eleven nations. The insurgents and foreign terrorists in Syria are largely a disorganized rabble, currently encountering military defeats.
6 hours, 41 minutes ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
. . .which you did touch on in your #2, I just noticed. I fleshed it out for you. :-)
6 hours, 49 minutes ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
"The Syrian conflict has become a proxy fight between the opposition and its various allies (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Turkey, etc.) and Bashar al-Assad's regime and its various outsider supporters (Iran, Russia, Hezbollah)."
It's really a proxy fight between the US (and its petro-despot allies plus Turkey) and Iran, the country that is usually mentioned by U.S. pols as a reason for prolonging the war. Syria is the bridge between Iran and Hezbollah, a nasty entity that defeated Israel in 2006 and could do so again with Iran support via Syria. So the real target is Iran, which is impossible to attack directly so Syria will have to do.
6 hours, 50 minutes ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
Generalities don't work for me. Specifically, what should the US do with the Gulf petro-despots instead of using the concocted Iran threat to sell them tens of billions of dollars worth of arms? Who's going to build those democratic institutions in Saudi Arabia, Superman? Let's get real. Oh -- and why are democratic institutions even necessary, when they inevitably lead to uncontrollable civil strife?
This is simply more 'white man's burden' stuff. Classic nonsense.
8 hours, 41 minutes ago on Access denied | The Middle East Channel
One thing the US REALLY did was to get its ambassador to Libya killed after he was ordered to Benghazi to coordinate the shipment of men and arms to Turkey for use in Syria, which involved Stevens coordinating with his (he thought) dependable jihadist allies who had been so useful in overthrowing Gaddafi. The famous 'talking points' didn't cover that part. Obama, in a speech to the UNGA: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." Liar.
"If the United States is now orchestrating a lot of arms shipments, trying to pick winners among the opposition, sending intelligence information to various militias, and generally meddling in a very complicated and uncertain conflict, don't you think the president owes us a more complete account of what America's public servants are or are not doing, and why?"
Remove the "if," and "YES" to the rest.
8 hours, 50 minutes ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
Well, they had to detain these innocents. They didn't have the technology to assassinate them as they do now. That's been corrected.
8 hours, 59 minutes ago on Access denied | The Cable
The still-divided Korean peninsula with the US still technically at war with DPRK is the gift that keeps on giving to the US national security state, in various ways., with a restraint of media being only one of them.
9 hours, 1 minute ago on Access denied | FP Passport
More bogus reports-- (h/t ROK Drop)
--85,000 vets were treated last year for sexual assault
-- but that now includes "sexual harassment."
--and 34,000 of them were men.
--and they can "simply walk through the door" and get VA medical care
WASHINGTON - New government figures underscore the staggering long-term consequences of military sexual assaults: More than 85,000 veterans were treated last year for injuries or illness linked to the abuse, and 4,000 sought disability benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' accounting, released in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, shows a heavy financial and emotional cost that affects several generations of veterans and lasts long after a victim leaves the service. Sexual assault or repeated sexual harassment can trigger a variety of health problems, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. While women are more likely to be victims, men made up nearly 40 per cent of the patients the VA treated for conditions connected to what it calls "military sexual trauma."
VA officials stress that any veteran who claims to have suffered military sexual trauma has access to free health care. "It really is the case that a veteran can simply walk through the door, say they've had this experience, and we will get them hooked up with care. There's no documentation required. They don't need to have reported it at the time," said Dr. Margret Bell, a member of the VA's military sexual trauma team.
10 hours, 15 minutes ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
The report is bogus.
"The 2012 WGRA was fielded September to November 2012. Completed surveys were received from 22,792 eligible respondents. The overall weighted response rate was 24%." (of 108,000 surveyed)
--24% response rate, probably overwhelmingly by complainers
--22,792 "eligible respondents" -- what does that mean?
--26,000 active-duty servicemembers were sexually assaulted last year -- with only 22, 792 respondents? How does that work?
--the survey was for ‘unwanted sexual contact’ which doesn't (shouldn't) translate to ‘sexual assaults.' Is a pat on the butt a sexual assault? A hug?
10 hours, 39 minutes ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
The 'talking points' issue on Benghazi is a red herring designed to inflict some political damage while avoiding the principal issue.
Obama is currently being charged with lying for changing the 'talking points' on Benghazi. He might have ordered it, or not, we don't have any evidence. But we do know, from circumstantial evidence, that Obama lied about another, more important, essential Benghazi matter: What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi on Sep 11, 2012?
Obama: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." -- That's what he said, in an <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/25/transcript-obama-address-to-un-general-assembly/">address</a> to the U.N. General Assembly on Sep 25, 2012.
This was at a critical time for the new Libya government. The first General National Congress election was held on Jul 7 2012 and Prime Minister Ali Zaydan wasn't appointed until Oct 14 2012. Libya was struggling with transition but Ambassador Stevens would be no help. Syria was a higher priority. US government officials had been boasting since 2011 that the Syria government was a "dead man walking" and President Assad couldn't last. But it wasn't happening. More was needed.
Previously, to overthrow Gaddafi, Stevens had arrived in Benghazi in April 2011 as "U.S. special representative to the Libyan opposition." Stevens was America’s version of James Bond — a bold, fearless figure known in Libya as a “legend.” A lifelong diplomat, Christopher Stevens was the natural choice to act as US ground controller of the revolt against Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.
In 2011 he held contacts with the Libyan opposition to discuss their logistic and financial needs, while CIA operatives make contact with rebels. Stevens showed interest in the type of the political system they plan to install in the country, in a hypothetical stage of victory over the government´s Army. So Stevens was directly involved in Gaddafis's overthrow, which exceeded UN authority. Obama lied about it, of course: "Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake" -- President Barack Obama, March 28, 2011.
Stevens had previous experience in Libya as the #2 in the US Tripoli embassy. During this period, while US Ambassador Cretz as late as 2010 was praising Gaddafi -- "The U.S.-Libya relationship has rapidly expanded to include much more than cooperation in nonproliferation and science and technology. Today, Libya remains a strong ally in countering terrorism in a volatile region." -- Stevens was establishing ties with future Libyan rebels, including Ahmed Hamouda bin Qumu. Chris Stevens helped him get settled in. Stevens was DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) from 2007 to 2009.
There are two wikileaks wires mentioning Stevens' help for bin Qumu,-- the same man who has been charged with leading the Sep 11, 2012 attack, with his group Ansar al-Shariah, that resulted in Stevens' death -- the first US ambassador to be killed in thirty years. Stevens built an extensive network of contacts with Libya’s eastern tribes that would serve him well later.
Stevens arrived in Tripoli in May 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. He quickly set about helping Libya achieve a proper post-Gaddafi government. More than anyone else, Stevens convinced Washington that the National Transitional Council (NTC) had the political bona fides to pick up the pieces after Colonel Gaddafi's 42-year rule.
But priorities changed. The overthrow of the Libyan government being completed, a similar change in Syria took a higher priority than building a new government in Tripoli. Men and arms from Libya would be needed in Syria.
Stevens was the liaison for the Obama administration to the Libyan rebels and played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Fighting groups from Libya in Syria included Liwaa Al-Umma -"Community brigade"- from Libya. Commanded by Mahdi al-Harati in Syria, an Irish-Libyan member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Arms were also required. The CIA had about 25 mercenaries in Benghazi, which was totally a CIA operation (in a "diplomatic post"), rounding up weapons for shipment to go to Syria via Turkey. But they needed help from the fearless Chris Stevens. That would take priority over government-building in Tripoli.
In early September 2012, Stevens traveled to Europe "to attend a friend's wedding in Sweden," also stopping in at Stuttgart and Vienna. (I'd sure like to see Stevens in some photos from Sweden in Sep 2012.) AFRICOM headquarters is in Stuttgart, Stevens probably met there with US and Turk officers on Syria. Vienna has many UN agencies and is "spook central" in Europe, so Stevens probably met with Turkish and Syrian emissaries here. Stevens' brother received a letter: “He got back to Libya not too long ago. He wrote this email home, saying he had a ton of work waiting for him and he’d write a more detailed email later. That email never came.” -- Tom Stevens
Make a long story shorter: A ship, the Al Entisar (also written as Intisaar or The Victory in English), sailing under a Libyan flag with a 400 ton cargo, which included SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and some humanitarian supplies, is said to have arrived September 6 at the Turkish Port of Iskenderun. More shipments were needed, so Ambassador Stevens' last meeting before his death was with the a Turkish ambassador to Libya.
"A ton of work" for Stevens in Libya, not in Tripoli building a new government, but rather a week in Benghazi working on men and arms for regime change in Syria. Was Stevens State or CIA? The line is blurred in his case (as in others). In any case, there would be no relief for him or the CIA mercs. It's called 'plausible deniability.'
Obama: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." Liar.
11 hours, 10 minutes ago on Where is the decision on Afghanistan? Amid comeback, Petraeus at center of Benghazi; Sexual assault prevention workers to get furlough reprieve; Whose fault is sexual assault? No pics of bin Laden; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
Two top senators recommend an illegal act.
The United Nations Charter--
To maintain international peace and security,
# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
1 week, 5 days ago on Access denied | The E-Ring
"smart Army people don't want to forget the COIN lessons drawn from the last decade" -- Right, they want to learn from the COIN successes. Let's see, . . .where are those successes? I know they're around here somewhere. Must be. Might be. Oh well, forget it.
1 week, 5 days ago on A “sense of urgency” on sexual assault; Turkish PM on CW; Rising stars: the Pentagon trims the brass; Does the Army need a therapist?; Army’s new leaders have to be the “top 10 percenters;” Did dude look like a lady?; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
"The Pentagon expects to eliminate. . ." -- and I expect the Pentagon to do nothing.
"Top senators" -- don't mean diddly. This is still a democracy, and there are 100 senators, last I knew.
In Turkey, "Tests showed excessive results" -- WOW -- excessive results! That's a lot of results!
The US's reckless use of drones to kill people seems to assume that others won't be able to do this, that only the US has the technology required to perform these illegal acts. How wrong they are.
Looking at the bigger picture, drones are widely used for peaceful purposes like agriculture. And how about looking in the next-door neighbor's bedroom window? Verizon sells a four-rotor with TV, controllable with a smart phone, for $299.99.
1 week, 6 days ago on Access denied | FP Passport
WSJ: "The Pentagon is planning for the worst in Syria"
Sure they are, because the new SecState Kerry apparently isn't the warmonger the previous SecState Clinton was, and so he has acceded to the Russian and UN policy to seek a negotiated end to the Syria conflict according to the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012.
The "U.S. officials familiar with the discussion" quoted in the WSJ piece hate that! So they want the Pentagon to take over the CIA role in Syria, promoting the war. Why? Because War Is A Racket -- General Smedley Butler, USMC, recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor.
2 weeks ago on ISAF launches investigation into misconduct; Sexual assaults skyrocket across the military; Hagel may not be a change of command kind of guy; The cost of a no-fly zone; Will budget cuts cut the Pentagon library?; a little bit more. | Foreign Policy