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Comments on the cost of Iraq

2012 September 17
by Ian Welsh

Elevated from the comments, MarkFromIreland:

Greetings Ian,

Do you remember Mohammed Ibn Laith?

Gorilla’s Guides » 2007 » February » 15:

I am a Muslim I am Iraki maybe you believe that God told you that must turn aside when you have been struck.That is not what God tells me.

What God tells me is what he tells every other Muslim when you are attacked you defend yourself and you keep on figthing until your attacker is in such pain that they offer truce or surrender. You attack back and you continue attacking relentlessly, never ever giving any respite, until the invader flees worn out with grief and horror and pain. Any sacrifice is warranted to expel the American I feel no grief when I see an American soldier die. I feel only relief that this one less barbarian to kill innocent Iraki children.

And then there’s this from Colonel Iihsan:

Gorilla’s Guides » Blog Archive » It is not only Americans who can say “Mission Accomplished”:

The Resistance’s Tactics Were SuccessfulThis is the lesson of the Iraki Resistance’s war on the American invaders. The goal was not just to inflict death and physical wounds they goal was to drive American troops into mental and moral breakdown.

The tactic was to attack American troops relentlessly — to force the American invaders to live in a situation where they never ever had any respite.

The American invader was never to be able to relax they must be denied any respite, they were denied meaningful rest.

The resistance consciously set out to inflict constant tension,constant sleeplessness, constant mental pain, and constant uncertainty, and fear upon the American invaders. The idea was to do this until a large proportion of the invaders were worn out with fatigue, grief, horror and pain.

The Resistance’s intent was to not just inflict pain and horror on the invading troops for the sake of doing, the object was to shatter their minds so that while they were still in Irak they turned on their comrades. And then after they returned to America that they turned on the American civilian population at large.

This tactic was, one resistance commander told me, far more successful than they had dared hope.

The American high command, and American civilians are only now beginning to appreciate what the resitance did to them. They are only now starting to realise that they are not the only ones who can inflict “collateral damage” and that there is more than one form of it.

It is not just Americans who can say “Mission Accomplished”.

As you no doubt worked out a long time ago the murder of first his grandfather, followed by the murder of his parents, and the murder of his younger brother all by American forces decided Mohammed to join the resistance. He was a very successful commander who ensured that in his sector no Americans ever set foot outside their FOB’s other than in heavily armed convoys. He made sure that PRT leaders went home dead or wounded he made sure that civilian PRT members never ever got to leave their compounds. The Iraki resistance won their war – America ran away from Irak leaving its “enduring bases” and an awful lot of TOE behind them. All of which is a long-winded way of saying you’re right. Napoleon used to talk about “moral force” as a force multiplier which is what you’re discussing above.

Hope you’re well. I very very very rarely comment here (I think this is my third) but I read you regularly.

Keep well.

mfi

My reply:

Mark,

yes, thanks for the comment. I do remember Mohammed.

I haven’t written about it, but I have discussed with friends, the collateral damage. I’m especially noticing it in police departments. The vets come back, join police departments and the results are ugly. They have no fire discipline, act as if they’re in a war zone, blowing away civilians indiscriminantly if they feel in the least danger (the guy who killed his boss in NY comes to mind) and often when they clearly aren’t (a man running away from them). They also have a taste for brutality, and the only people they have fellow-feeling for are their mates, certainly not anyone who isn’t in their “unit”.

Then, of course, there are the homeless veterans, the suicides, the wife and child beaters, and the rapists.

A lot of these people are VERY badly damaged. Occupation is always brutalizing, for everyone involved, but this bunch has been particularly brutalized. One of my friends is an ex-US military officer, out before Iraq, and to say that he is livid is a vast understatement.

The same thing happened to the Israeli army, over time. And Americans went and copied failed Israeli tactics.

We saw it happening at the time. Not just immoral, and unethical, but a mistake.

But the resistance did not win much of a victory. Brutalizing your brutalizers is all very nice and I have no moral qualms against it. If Canada was invaded, I would fight, and I would join the resistance, and if the invaders were American (and who else could it be) I would rejoice at every dead American soldier.

But at the end of the day, Iraq is in shambles, appears to be essentially a protectorate of Iran, has a huge Kurdish problem (or the Kurds have an Iraqi problem, depending on where you sit), violence is ongoing, and so on.

Iraq was never a war anyone was going to “win”, that’s why people like me were against it from before the beginning. All anyone can claim, at best, is a Pyrrhic victory.

As for America, as I’ve said in the past, the first great man of the 21st century (great is not a synonym for good) was bin Laden. He wanted to draw America onto the ground, and bleed them like the USSR was bled, costing them so much treasure that their economy could no longer bear the costs of empire. He, essentially, succeeded, thanks to the sublime stupidity of his enemies. He must have gotten down on his knees every day and thanked God for George Bush and American high command and the NeoCons. And now the Muslim brotherhood is in charge in Egypt and that is a direct result of food inflation, which is a direct result of the costs and opportunity costs of Bush’s idiot eternal wars, and the mandate that 9/11 game him to be an evil moron.

The far enemy (US) is blowing up its goddamn satraps with its insane financial and economic policies. That strain is exactly what bin Laden wanted, he says so in his writing.

He’s dead, but he’s winning. And I think that’s a deal he would have happily taken if offered to him September 10th, 2001.

96 Responses
  1. Alcuin permalink
    September 17, 2012

    Ehhhh … how did you link the Empire State Building murderer to Iraq? According to what I turned up, he was 58 years old and served in the Coast Guard in the 1970s, after the end of the Vietnam War. Now, if you meant to indict the police officers who gunned Johnson down with 9 shots from 9mm pistols, that’s another matter ….

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 17, 2012

    I was talking about the cops, who, at that range, even with pistols, should not have been shooting up civilians near him. I don’t know for a fact that they served in Iraq or Afghanistan, but that shoot first, think second thinking has been vastly exacerbated by returning vets entering the police force.

  3. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 18, 2012

    The Resistance’s Tactics Were SuccessfulThis is the lesson of the Iraki Resistance’s war on the American invaders. The goal was not just to inflict death and physical wounds they goal was to drive American troops into mental and moral breakdown.

    The tactic was to attack American troops relentlessly — to force the American invaders to live in a situation where they never ever had any respite.

    The American invader was never to be able to relax they must be denied any respite, they were denied meaningful rest.

    The resistance consciously set out to inflict constant tension,constant sleeplessness, constant mental pain, and constant uncertainty, and fear upon the American invaders. The idea was to do this until a large proportion of the invaders were worn out with fatigue, grief, horror and pain.

    The Resistance’s intent was to not just inflict pain and horror on the invading troops for the sake of doing, the object was to shatter their minds so that while they were still in Irak they turned on their comrades. And then after they returned to America that they turned on the American civilian population at large.

    This tactic was, one resistance commander told me, far more successful than they had dared hope.

    The American high command, and American civilians are only now beginning to appreciate what the resitance did to them. They are only now starting to realise that they are not the only ones who can inflict “collateral damage” and that there is more than one form of it.

    It is not just Americans who can say “Mission Accomplished”.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    There! That is exactly what the stupid motherfuckers running the U.S. government and military will never understand, believe, or pay any attention to, what-so-ever; ever!
    If somebody would just understand that; then and only then, will there be a place to start.
    The rest is just so much theater and bullshit! EOM.

  4. Strangely Enough permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Late stage empires make for interesting times.

  5. StewartM permalink
    September 18, 2012

    If Canada was invaded, I would fight, and I would join the resistance, and if the invaders were American (and who else could it be) I would rejoice at every dead American soldier.

    My reaction on the converse? If America was invaded, my response to that would be “it depends”. If the invader threw our criminal elites in jail, provided health care to all citizens, and in other ways promoted policies that promoted the public good, I’d welcome them with open arms and work *for* them, not against them.

    For you see, a “people” (however you define that) don’t deserve some fiefdom of their own “just because”. They deserve good government, they deserve humane government that respects their rights, they deserve a voice in that government, but they don’t deserve their own state. (It’s why Israel isn’t justified, IMHO). We must get away from the notion that a homegrown despot is preferable to a foreign benefactor “just because” he’s/she’s homegrown.

    Down with mindless tribalism. I’d much prefer good government coming from those of a different skin color, or tongue, or religion, than bad government coming from someone who looked/spoke/worshipped just like me.

    And before anyone starts talking about the American Revolution, I should say right now that it was probably the least-justified revolution among the major ones; that given time the Thirteen Colonies would have evolved into an independent state just like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and others did. In fact, in regards to slavery and the genocide against Native Americans, one could make an argument that for *their* freedoms US independence did more harm than good.

    My only other comment is that while such scorched-earth tactics are often tactically successful (they kick the invader out), the problem is that their leadership nearly always gravitates towards those for whom ideology trumps humanity. Those that celebrate the death of a foreign solider “just because” he’s a foreign soldier, with few or no qualms about killing just because he’s a “them” and not an “us”, usually become new bosses just as bad as the old.

    That does not necessarily mean that armed resistance isn’t the course; just stating that when it gets to that point, “victory” becomes something less than appealing. Or, as you say, there’s no win in it.

    StewartM

  6. September 18, 2012

    Dear Ian,

    I’m honoured, thank you.

    There are a lot of very badly damaged people in Irak too. The damaged American troops (and the Israelis) Ian I’m a professional military officer and while I acknowledge that some of them are suffering their suffering is, as far as I’m concerned, deserved. I was there and I saw how those people behaved. In the case of the Americans they chose to join. They chose to do what they did. They chose, to put it kindly to act like a pack of vicious redneck thugs. They chose to obey blatantly flagrantly illegal orders. They chose as a tactic to deliberately cynically viciously with malice and with forethought to target unarmed and helpless civilians. They chose as a tactic to deliberately cynically viciously with malice and with forethought to target clinics, schools, water treatment plants, and even orphanages. I wish them a long long long life and that for every night of that life that they wake up screaming horrified and terrified the way some of the kids in the orphanages I help run do.

    I have no pity whatsoever none either for them or for the people who inculcated their “values” into them. While I feel a little sorry for their American civilian victims I cannot help but point out that the said civilians are experiencing a tiny part of what their country does daily to other peoples. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent so long living in the Middle East but I feel that a certain amount of retribution is not always a bad thing. Shortly before the Americans murdered him that good and brave man my friend Laith the Imam (Mohammed’s father), wrote this:

    Gorilla’s Guides » Blog Archive » None Of This Is News:

    The next time you hear an American talk of “freedom,” the next time you hear an American talk of “democracy,” the next time you hear an American talk of how terrible the death squads are remember something. The most violent and brutal death squads of all are the ones bought, and paid for, and trained, by the Americans and when they can’t do the job they get their American buddies to help them catch their victims.

    You should remember something else. A people and their army who behave like this abroad invariably bring this criminal and brutish behaviour home and turn it against their own people. It is not only revolutions that eat their own.

    I see your point about the resistance but those resistance fighters and commanders with whom I have had and sometimes continue to have dealings would not agree with you that the victory was Pyrrhic and neither do I.

    I was in Irak for most of the sanctions period, for the invasion, and most of the occupation. The Ba’ath were bad, no doubt about it, the Ba’ath were bad and Saddam himself was undoubtedly one of the most evil men I have ever encountered. He was so evil that the word ‘vile’ does not even begin to do justice to him. The Americans (and the British and the Australians) but particularly the Americans were worse than Saddam and the Ba’ath regime he led, they were an order of magnitude worse and they were an order of magnitude worse right from the start.

    The resistance including the unit commanded by Mohammed took the Americans on and won. They won because while American troops are very good at attacking civilians they’re not so good at you know … fighting. (The Israelis aren’t either they’ve had to run away from Lebanon every time they’ve invaded ). The resistance won and the Americans ran away paying very very large sums indeed to the tribes and resistance units in the region of the highways leading to Kuwait not to attack their convoys as they engaged in that well known military tactic engaged in exclusively by losers called “running away”.

    And there is at least a chance now that America and the death squads it set up were kicked to hell out of the country (or hunted down and killed in the case of an awful lot of death squad members) that Irak will someday climb back out of the pit. I wouldn’t call that Pyrrhic – from utterly hopeless to there being at least a sliver of hope is a big improvement in my opinion.

    There’s also the demonstration effect – Muslims now know that fellow Muslims have taken on and defeated two Western empires. The Soviets and the Americans, (and one American satrapy the Israelis), ultimately that’ll be a good thing.

    I agree with you about Bin Laden – a great man in many respects.

    I don’t view having an Ikhwani government in Egypt as being necessarily a bad thing it could wind up being a very good thing, too early to tell.

    I’ll end if I may with some news – actually rather old news of Mohammed Ibn Laith. On Sunday the 19th of September 2010 Mohammed was engaged in his usual Sunday activity of collecting Iraki christians from their homes, organising them into a convoy, and protecting them as they travelled to and from their church. The convoy came under concentrated and sustained attack and Mohammed and some of the JAM members who he commanded first fought there way through the enemy screen and then fought a rear-guard action to give the Christians time to get away to a place of safety. Mohammed took three direct hits two to his lower right lung. Two more of his fighters were wounded two were killed. He’s now married to a sharifa of an allied tribe who is (his description) “as beautiful as the moon in a field of stars and as gentle and as graceful as a gazelle”, he’s still a commander of a Sadrist unit and is heavily involved in both tribal and Sadrist politics, he’s also a doting father, and is studying law. I rather suspect that he’ll be an Ayatollah even younger than his father was.

    Keep well,

    mfi

  7. Radical Livre permalink
    September 18, 2012

    Sometimes I wonder, do people living in the US know what peace feels like? Everyone can feel free to answer, it’s not a rhetorical question. I imagine the effects of all this aren’t immediately visible to the average citizen, but the US has been in cold or hot war for more than a century now.

    I cannot imagine how it must feel like, to live one’s whole life in a country that is always at war or preparing for war. I suppose it must leave deep emotional scars.

  8. September 18, 2012

    @ StewartM

    Those that celebrate the death of a foreign solider “just because” he’s a foreign soldier, with few or no qualms about killing just because he’s a “them” and not an “us”, usually become new bosses just as bad as the old.

    How very nice and easy for you as a civilian in a country that does the invading and occupying to say. Where’s your evidence to back up your assertion? Speaking from experience of :

    1. Knowing my grandfather who commanded an IRA unit during our war of independence.
    2. Meeting men who had been partisan fighters and commanders in Russia during World War II.
    3. Having had dealings with people who were in Hezbollah and successfully kicked the Israeli invaders out of Lebanon.
    4. Having had dealings which are ongoing with quite a few Iraki resistance commanders and fighters.

    I feel obliged to inform you that your unsupported assertion is (in my experience) completely at variance with the facts. Evidence please, I’ve showed you mine now please show me yours :-) .

    mfi

  9. September 18, 2012

    PS: WRT to 1, 3, and 4 above (I never asked the men who come under point 2) I’ll point out that unlike the British, the Israelis, the Americans, at no point did any of those people to the best of my knowledge and belief engage in acts of collective punishment of civilians, deliberate targeting of civilians, or (take a big big bow) US Army take and use children as hostages.

    mfi

  10. amspirnational permalink
    September 18, 2012

    I would hardly call the Soviet Union a “Western” Empire.

  11. September 18, 2012

    @ amspirational

    Really? Russian culture, customs, religion, and norms, aren’t Eastern European with an Eastern European cultural and Eastern European religious historical background? Have you told the Russians that? How did they react?

    From the point of view of a Persian, Afghan, or Arab yes they are Western. They were western under the Czars, (ask the Persians), they were western under the Soviets (ask the Afghans and the Arabs), they’re western now under Putin ask the Arabs (and the Chechens).

    mfi
    mfi

  12. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 18, 2012

    Mark,

    the point my friend would make, and has made is this: they were trained, given doctrine, given orders. You know how US enlisted are trained: they do not question orders, and they are stripped of inhibitions in a fashion that I, who have studied brainwashing, do not like.

    Every man must take responsibility for the orders he follows, and so I cannot say they are not responsible, especially as they were not drafted, and yet the greatest responsibility lies with the officer corps, the political class and all those who pushed for the Iraq war. Many people hate me because I have constantly pointing out that they are complicit in mass murder, torture and war crimes.

    As for the civilian population, they voted George Bush back in AFTER knowing he was torturing people.

    Nor can I disagree that Iraq is better off without Americans. If it appeared I was claiming otherwise I certainly did not communicate well. Merely that the brutality has brutalized far more than just Americans. I do not forget the sanctions, or Albright’s monstrous comment. There can be no moral order or justice when one innocent life is worth more than another.

    America is going down. And a large part of it is the Iraq war. That’s not all there is to it, not even close, but it is a big contributing factor. As for the Iraqis, I wish them nothing but good.

    The Iraq war vets are going to be a factor for a long time. Fools keep telling me that insurrection can’t happen in the US, I keep telling them they don’t understand the lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan… and Mexico. The area denial techniques developed or perfect by the insurgencies are astonishingly powerful.

    Finally, I am happy with the govt. in Egypt, overall. I believe in Democracy. But I’m quite sure that DC, including Obama and Clinton, are not. From their point of view, this is blowback. From the POV of OBL, were he still alive, its existence is in large part a result of the Iraq and Afghan wars, neither of which would have happened without him.

    The price has been huge. I hope, on balance, that good arises. The fall of the American empire is, I think, going to have a bloody chapter of two yet.

  13. StewartM permalink
    September 19, 2012

    MarkfromIreland:

    Taking it from the top:

    1. Knowing my grandfather who commanded an IRA unit during our war of independence.

    Ireland is a shining example of the great results to come from a no-holds barred resistance movement? Please. (And Ireland’s one of the better examples on your list).

    2. Meeting men who had been partisan fighters and commanders in Russia during World War II.

    1) Russia’s immediate or long-term aftermath from WWII wasn’t pretty or anything desirable. True, of most examples I can think of the Russians had the least choice in the matter, they had to fight back no-holds-barred against an ideology determined to exterminate them like so many cockroaches. But there was little “win” to their sacrifices for a better outcome, as Solzhenitsyn and others have documented.

    2) Russia’s resistance movement made a contribution to the war. But what is forgotten in these discussions is that militarily, an insurgency virtually always fails against a determined occupation. Russia ultimately did not “win” because of its partisans, victory was won by the Red Army. Despite the Russian partisans having–compared to other guerrilla and resistance movements—a comparative wealth of military equipment (they even operated airfields) and a cadre of officers and soldiers participating who had military experience and training, and favorable terrain in northern Russia and Belorussia, a partisan “center” during all the war never successfully withstood an attack by even second-rate German military formations. The German problem in dealing with the partisans corresponded to their problem on the Eastern Front as a whole: i.e., not enough Germans to go ’round.

    3. Having had dealings with people who were in Hezbollah and successfully kicked the Israeli invaders out of Lebanon.

    Again: the Middle East–Lebanon–how’s that doing again now?

    Yeah, sometimes kicking out people with the wrong clothing has to be done. But some of us are then interested in the question of “Ok, what comes next?”

    4. Having had dealings which are ongoing with quite a few Iraki resistance commanders and fighters.

    I agree with Ian’s comment. The US maybe lost, but Iraq did not win. There was no “win” to this. That was my point, is that when you resort to such tactics and mindset you may kick the invader occupier out but the aftermath often isn’t pretty. None of the examples you offer show me much in of a positive result save that those “different” people wearing the offending garments and speaking the odd accent or tongue left.

    And even then, there’s the caveat that resistance movements win by the “uncle” theory–you keep the fight up not because you can win militarily, you just make the cost higher than the occupier wants to pay. That’s why Russia in WWII turned out the way it did–Hitler *was* willing to pay any cost (or, rather, make the slobs in his armed forces pay it). That’s why the partisan movement would have failed by themselves, and why it took the Red Army to win.

    And lastly:

    How very nice and easy for you as a civilian in a country that does the invading and occupying to say. Where’s your evidence to back up your assertion?

    An odd riposte to my comment that:

    If America was invaded, my response to that would be “it depends”.

    You see, I’m against those very invasions precisely *because* I don’t regard the people in those countries as my enemies. I regard my own country’s leadership and our homegrown elites as far more a danger to my economic future and my personal freedom than anyone over “there”.

    StewartM

  14. StewartM permalink
    September 19, 2012

    MarkfromIreland:

    I’ll point out that unlike the British, the Israelis, the Americans, at no point did any of those people to the best of my knowledge and belief engage in acts of collective punishment of civilians, deliberate targeting of civilians, or (take a big big bow) US Army take and use children as hostages.

    1) The IRA has targeted and killed civilians.

    2) The Russian partisans targeted civilians (and, given the multiplicity of resistance movements in the East, each other).

    3) Hezbollah has been accused of targeting civilians (the

    4) The Iraqi good behavior was probably more just a lack of opportunity.

    I say this as someone who has defended groups who have fought back against American or Western or Israeli occupation. Simple fact is that war, especially guerrilla war, gets ugly fast. Heck, the occupiers don’t even have to be “foreign” for this to happen, just look at the guerrilla “resistance” of the US Civil War.

    StewartM

  15. Deckard permalink
    September 19, 2012

    @ StewartM – I think on the IRA MarkfromIreland was referencing the IRA after the Easter Rebellion (1919 – 1922), not the Provos of the Troubles, since he mentioned his grandfather who fought during the war of independence. But I could be wrong. In the instance of the original IRA and their war for independence, the British were rather happy to murder loads of civilians using the Black & Tans. From anything I’ve read at that time the IRA were targeting police informants, police, judges, attacking barracks and making it impossible to govern Ireland. The British were lucky Michael Collins didn’t take the war to London from what I can tell.

  16. amspirnational permalink
    September 19, 2012

    I suppose markfromireland also believes at the Battle of Stalingrad two Western powers were fighting.

  17. StewartM permalink
    September 19, 2012

    Deckhand

    I think on the IRA MarkfromIreland was referencing the IRA after the Easter Rebellion (1919 – 1922)

    That occurred to me too, after I wrote my reply. However, even conceding that point, 1) the British had already conceded the point of Irish Home Rule in return for nationalist support during WWI, much in the same way that the US did with the Philippines in and the British with India in WWII; and 2) after the IRA victory there transpired a civil war among the winners that was bloodier and than the effort to kick the British out and which did kill civilians.

    So…was all the mayhem and killing a great success? Was it even necessary?

    StewartM

  18. September 20, 2012

    “I’ll point out that unlike the British, the Israelis, the Americans, at no point did any of those people to the best of my knowledge and belief engage in acts of collective punishment of civilians, deliberate targeting of civilians,”

    This is a terribly unclear statement. Are you saying that the British did these things but the Israelis and Americans did not, or that the British and Israelis did and the Americans did not? Are you saying that none of the three did these things? Or are you saying that all three did these things and that “those people” did not, in which case who are “those people?”

  19. September 20, 2012

    in which case who are “those people?”

    @Bill H: According to points to 1, 3, and 4 – the IRA, Hezbollah, and the Iraqi resistance.

    (Neither endorsing nor otherwise markfromireland’s points, just clarifying.)

  20. David Kowalski permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Osama Bin Laden was just applying the lesson of Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. The demise of great powers is linked to overspending on the military and the consequent weakening of the civilian economy on at least a relative basis. Certainly some of the “falls” documented by Kennedy were due to uprisings against occupation. The fall of Spain and the Dutch uprising comes to mind.

    In the case of the Romans, an unpaid and/or uncontrolled military frequently intervened in civilian rule and upset the apple cart, seriously weakening the Empire. This speaks directly to Ian’s points about the U.S. military. Rome lasted a good long time after military intervention but I’m not so sanguine about the U.S. prospects.

    A weak empire, like the Hapsburgs in Austria-Hungary can drag down larger and healthier powers by starting conflicts and involving others in its own problems. A client state can take over the foreign policy of a great power. The case that comes to mind is England’s Hanoverian kings involving their country in continental wars to protect a small German country linked by blood ties to the sovereign. I often see the U.S. and Israel as similar to this relationship.

    Yes, the lessons of history are pretty clear and we in the U.S. have pretty clearly failed to learn them.

  21. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 20, 2012

    It’s a clear statement. None of the people he cites, unlike the British and Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the Israelis in Palestine and Lebanon, engaged in collective targeting of civilians or targeted children.

    Independence often leads to bloodshed. The secular saint of the NoViolenceLeftHitUsPlease, Gandhi, has as his legacy the million odd Muslims and Hindus killed in the partition rioting. Was it worth it?

    Also, anyone who questions whether Ireland should have gone for independence really hasn’t read Irish history much. To say the British had been brutal in Ireland is a vast, vast understatement. There is a reason why there was such a huge outflow of Irish to America, Canada and elsehwhere, and it wasn’t that British rule in Ireland was great. In fact, a very good case can be made that the British treated the Indians better than the Irish. For that matter, American complaints are trivial compared to Irish ones.

    One wonders if violence is every justified to Stewart.

  22. September 20, 2012

    @ amspirnational

    September 19, 2012

    I suppose markfromireland also believes at the Battle of Stalingrad two Western powers were fighting.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? At the Battle of Stalingrad two European powers were fighting. European, Germany was and remains a western European power, Russia was and remains an Eastern European power. Moreover as I have already pointed out from the viewpoint of the overwhelming majority of Muslims both Russia and Germany are Western powers.

    mfi

  23. September 20, 2012

    @ Bill H

    As Pedro pointed out in the comment immediately below yours it is very clear that what I was saying was that unlike the British, the Israelis, and the Americans neither the IRA, nor Hezbollah, nor the Iraki resistance engaged in the collective punishment of civilians. Unlike the British, the Israelis, and the Americans neither the IRA, nor Hezbollah, nor the Iraki resistance engaged in the deliberate targeting of civilians. Yes in Irak during the American occupation there were targeted sectarian attacks on civilians however you cannot say that a fighter who came to Irak with the sole intention of attacking Shi’i Muslims was engaged in the resistance. Nor can you say that a fighter who came to Irak with the sole intention of attacking Sunni Muslims was engaged in the resistance. In fact there was very close cooperation between resistance factions irrespective of sect against the deservedly hated American invaders.

    There was no targeting of civilians other than police, intelligence and security officials, judiciary and tax investigators by the IRA during the Irish war of independence.

    The same applies to Hezbollah in Lebanon who, contrary to what the Israelis and the Americans would have you believe have significant levels of Christians, and Sunni Muslims both amongst their political cadres and their fighters including at commander level.

    mfi

  24. September 20, 2012

    @ Bill H continued.

    Moreover and most importantly from my point of view. Neither the IRA, nor Hezbollah, nor the Iraki resistance deliberately targeted children as a tactic. In this they differ from both the Israelis and the armed forces of the United States of America.

    Israeli armed forces forces routinely, cynically, viciously, with malice and with forethought deliberately target children. They did it in Lebanon on every single occasion they’ve invaded. They continue to do it Palestinian children.

    American armed forces routinely, cynically, viciously, with malice and with forethought deliberately target children. They did it in Irak they continue to do it in Afghanistan.

    Don’t even think of trying to pretend to me that American and Israeli forces do not target children – I’ve seen them do it far too often to be even remotely interested in reading wholly mendacious denials.

  25. September 20, 2012

    @ Ian Welsh September 18, 2012

    The point my friend would make, and has made is this: they were trained, given doctrine, given orders. You know how US enlisted are trained: they do not question orders, and they are stripped of inhibitions in a fashion that I, who have studied brainwashing, do not like.

    I don’t like how they’re trained either but I don’t accept what your friend says as an excuse. It’s not even a good excuse.

    They volunteered. They obeyed blatantly barbaric and illegal orders, they engaged in blatantly illegal and barbaric behaviour against civilians, against uninjured captured resistance fighters, against wounded resistance fighters, against civilian prisoners. Sometimes they did in response to orders to do so, very often they did it because they wanted to and believed with good reason they could get away with it.

    Yes their officer corps and their government must shoulder a lot of the blame. But Ian when they signed up the submitted themselves to the UCMJ and one the UCMJ’s provisions is that any member of the US Armed forces who obeys an illegal order is a criminal and subject to criminal sanction.

    There’s a point that needs to be made here about American soldiers and the ease with which they commit attrocities. They are overwhelmingly American, American born, and bred. Reared in American homes by American parents who inculcate American values into them. They go to American schools where American teachers continue the process of socialisation and of inculcating American norms into them. Their military trainng, much of which as you rightly say resembles brainwashing, isn’t even pushing at an easily opened door. The door is already wide open and has a very large “Welcome in, make yourself right at home” on it. Americans are brought up to believe that they are intrinsically better morally and in every other way than everyone else. From this it’s a very easy step to believe and act upon the belief that:

    1. Americans can do what they want because they’re manifestly the “good guys”.
    2. Anybody who opposes what an American wants is manifestly a “bad guy” and deserves whatever happens to him, his wife, his parents, his kids, and neighbours.

    The Israelis have the same sort of ugly ideology as did the Afrikaners.

    Every man must take responsibility for the orders he follows, and so I cannot say they are not responsible, especially as they were not drafted, and yet the greatest responsibility lies with the officer corps, the political class and all those who pushed for the Iraq war. Many people hate me because I have constantly pointing out that they are complicit in mass murder, torture and war crimes.

    See above. I can well believe they hate you – if the venom directed at me is anything to go by.

    As for the civilian population, they voted George Bush back in AFTER knowing he was torturing people.

    Indeed.

    Nor can I disagree that Iraq is better off without Americans. If it appeared I was claiming otherwise I certainly did not communicate well. Merely that the brutality has brutalized far more than just Americans. I do not forget the sanctions, or Albright’s monstrous comment. There can be no moral order or justice when one innocent life is worth more than another.

    Irak is far better off. There’s actually some rebuilding going on. Corrupt officials and contractors are winding up behind bars where they belong. Most importantly violence levels and civilian casualties are way way down from when the American invaders were present. All of this could and should be far far better but as both of us agree this is a very brutalised society. The Americans went out of their way to destroy every single social and legal institution and every thing that keeps us from barbarism. The Americans did this cynically and viciously with malice and with forethought knowing full well what they were doing and what the results would be.

    It’s to the eternal credit of the Iraki people that so few of them behaved with the savagery that the Americans were trying to foster. It’s a source of amazement that now that the Americans are gone that there’s been so much progress. These people are trying to re-build a completely shattered society.

    America is going down.

    I cannot find anything to grieve about in that, they’ve become just too damned vicious and too damned dangerous. The weaker they wind up the better for the rest of us. Including or perhaps particularly you Canadians. What I hope will ultimately happen is that they’ll break up into a set of (divided weak and fractious) regional confederations.

    And a large part of it is the Iraq war. That’s not all there is to it, not even close, but it is a big contributing factor. As for the Iraqis, I wish them nothing but good.

    Indeed.

    The Iraq war vets are going to be a factor for a long time. Fools keep telling me that insurrection can’t happen in the US, I keep telling them they don’t understand the lessons of Iraq, Afghanistan… and Mexico. The area denial techniques developed or perfect by the insurgencies are astonishingly powerful.

    The insurrection will I think come from the extreme right wing. It’s not as if their not ploughing very fertile ground.

    Finally, I am happy with the govt. in Egypt, overall. I believe in Democracy. But I’m quite sure that DC, including Obama and Clinton, are not. From their point of view, this is blowback. From the POV of OBL, were he still alive, its existence is in large part a result of the Iraq and Afghan wars, neither of which would have happened without him.

    I’m sure that Tel Aviv and Washington are horrified. Not least because the new governments are going to have to be at least somewht responsive to the desires of their populace.

    The price has been huge. I hope, on balance, that good arises. The fall of the American empire is, I think, going to have a bloody chapter of two yet.

    Agreed.

    mfi

  26. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 20, 2012

    American exceptionalism is, indeed, toxic. Every time someone brings up the number of Americans dead in Iraq, I am enraged, because it makes so clear they don’t care about the much larger number of dead Iraqis, leaving aside all the people who became refugees.

    I am not sure how America’s fall will play out. But I think another great war is very likely. America has only a few things still going for it, and at some point, again, some bright politician is going to think “well, we’ve got 12 carrier groups, etc… let’s use them to solve our problems.”

    If the fracking play fails, and there is reason to believe it will, though only after doing a lot of damage, then the US is going to look for a way to reduce the price of hydrocarbons. Americans, so far, show no sign of doing the one thing they MUST do, which is give up unproductitve surburbs (let alone exurbs). This is a “moral” issue for them, they think that suburbs are the best places to live and will do anything to maintain that lifestyle. Suburbs require oil, and lots of it, they are not viable without it. Continued suburban expansion, which the Fed is trying to restart (that’s why QE3 is buying 40B of mortgages a month), requires more and more oil.

    And Americans have an astonishingly strong belief in the military. It is the most trusted institution in America, despite having lost two wars against forces operating on budgets that aren’t even a rounding error for US defense appropriations. Forget morality, Americans are unwilling to admit blatant and massive incompetence.

    It’s hard to say exactly how this plays out. A strike against Saudi Arabia, despite what folks think, is not out of the question in the next 10 to 15 years. Neither is a war against the rising power, China, as it uses more and more of the resources America also needs and as it declines to allow Americans to buy it up and get the gains and control. The Chinese leadership is not adverse to jingoism, and if their economy goes off the rails, and they are running up against the Mercantile meltdown, they need someone to blame. The Chinese population does immense riots all the time, fights the army straight on often, and so on. They are like Europeans and Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: brutalized and disciplined by early industrialization, they are very willing to resort to violence. Their leadership knows that hte population can and will kill them if they lose control, and that control is predicated on economic expansion.

    Add that to the rise of the “princelings”, who are bound to be mostly incompetent, and you’ve got a powderkeg.

    As for Canada, we are currently doing EVERYTHING wrong. However, the conservative majority is slim, and exists only due to blatant cheating. There will be a real chance to turn things around. If it fails, Canada will go down with the US. I have often told my fellow Canadians that we need a credible deterrent (it need not be nuclear, though it could be). After seeing the Iraq war sold on complete and utter lies, I am under no illusion that the US could not, under the right circumstances, invade us.

    We do, after all, have a LOT of water and oil.

  27. September 20, 2012

    @ StewartM

    1. Ireland first the Free State and then the Republic is indeed a shining example of what can go right after a people win their independence by force of Arms. Unlike in the part of Ireland which the British continued to occupy there were no pogroms against minority communities.

    Unlike in the part of Ireland which the British continued to occupy there was no discrimination against minority communities.

    Unlike in the part of Ireland which the British continued to occupy the police force that was set up by the new state was unarmed and remains so to this day.

    Unlike in the part of Ireland which the British continued to occupy the police force does not routinely engage in massive human rights violations and flagrant breeches of the law. The one occasion when an entire unit went down that road – the so-called “heavy gang” they were exposed by the other members of out police force, driven out of the force, and successfully prosecuted.

    Ireland is exacty what you said it is – a shining example of the great results that can come from a no-holds barred resistance movement that wins its freedom from a brutal occupying power.

    2. Answer my point without all the irrelevant flim flam. Provide me with evidence from a reputable source that Soviet partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians. Not the Red Army, not the GRU, not the KGB. Provide evidence that from a reputable source that Soviet partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians.

    3.

    never successfully withstood an attack by even second-rate German military formations

    Evidence please, and no your unsupported assertions aren’t evidence. Did you read this in some textbook written by a civilian? The whole point of successful partisan war is not to engage with the enemy on their terms but to enage in hit and run tactics, sabotage, and disruption both of communications and logistics all of them activities at which the Soviet partisans excelled.

    The same point incidentally can be made of the IRA during the war of independence, Hizbollah, and the Iraki resistance. All of whom won their wars of resistance using precisely those tactics and drove their very determined occupiers out.

    “Ok, what comes next?”

    In the case of Hizbollah massive economic regeneration in the parts of Lebanon where they hold political sway. Coupled with intensive preparation for the next war that the USA and its Israeli satrapy are planning on launching against Lebanon.

    I agree with Ian’s comment.

    I doubt it. See this from Ian:

    Iraq is better off without Americans. If it appeared I was claiming otherwise I certainly did not communicate well.

    There was no “win” to this.

    Yes there was. The Irakis won, the Americans lost, proof of the fact that the Irakis won and your country and your armed forces lost is that your armed forces ran away. Running away as I have already pointed out is a tactic engaged in exclusively by losers.

    The tyranny instituted by the government and people of the United States of America in Irak from the moment they occupied the place was worse far far far worse than that of the Ba’ath under Saddam Hussein. The Iraki resistance threw the brutal and savage American occupation out of their country. That’s a very big win.

    Now for some of the rest of your unsupported assertions:

    1) The IRA has targeted and killed civilians.

    Wholly and completely false. At no point during the war of independence did the IRA target civilians other than civilians who were part of the British occupation – police, inteligence operatives, judiciary, tax investigators.

    2) The Russian partisans targeted civilians (and, given the multiplicity of resistance movements in the East, each other).

    You are still trying to evade answering. Provide me with evidence other than your own unsubstantiated word to support your allegation that Russian partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment of civilians.

    3) Hezbollah has been accused of targeting civilians (the

    You are still trying to evade answering. Provide me with evidence other than your own unsubstantiated word to support your allegation that Hizbollah has engaged in acts of collective punishment of civilians.

    4) The Iraqi good behavior was probably more just a lack of opportunity.

    False. They had plenty of opportunity.

    I say this as someone who has defended groups who have fought back against American or Western or Israeli occupation.

    Appeals to authority including self-referential appeals to authority are a fallacy not a rebuttal.

    Simple fact is that war, especially guerrilla war, gets ugly fast.

    Oh indeed as a professional military officer who has spent most of his adult life in the Middle East trying to mitigate some of the evil done their by your country and its allies I have rather more experience of that than you do. Tell me when are you personally going to do something effective to end the ones your country is engaged in?

    mfi

  28. September 20, 2012

    @ Ian Welsh

    The more I see and the older I get the more I come to believe that all forms of chauvinism are wrong and tend to depravity. The Holy Qur’an expresses the ideal very well when it says:

    49:13 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

    (Yusuf Ali translation which in my opinion is the translation that comes closest to the Arabic).

    I don’t know how America’s fall will play out either. I agree there’s at least one more big war to go before they fall.

    I agree with you too about American suburbs and exurbs. The sad thing is that in those European cities where there’s been a conscious effort to keep population in the cities that urban life is very good indeed. Doesn’t have to be small cities like Copenhagen either.

    The fracking ploy is a nightmare and one which will I think have very bad consequences for Canada – as you rightly point out you’ve got lots of water. What will the Americans do once they’ve wrecked large chunks of their water resources? I believe they’ll look north and then grab. The militarisation of American society is horrifying.

    Agree with you about the Chinese. I’m very friendly with some of our diplomats who their and their tales of what they see of unrest and repression are hair-raising.

    You know it’s a damned shame about what’s going on in Canada at present. Granted my time there as a scholarship boy was a long time ago but it was a very happy time for me. I was well treated and remain grateful. There was a core of decency that I liked and yes admired I hope really strongly that that will reassert itself. Otherwise as you say you’ll go down with the Americans which will be a loss for everyone. Yup a credible deterrent. Not necessarily nuclear but one that will cause massive agonising and permanent pain if used.

    We do, after all, have a LOT of water and oil.

    Especially water.

    mfi

    PS: You have mail

  29. StewartM permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Ian Welsh:

    Also, anyone who questions whether Ireland should have gone for independence really hasn’t read Irish history much. To say the British had been brutal in Ireland is a vast, vast understatement.

    More brutal and callous than the British government was to the plight of their own people? I mean, yes: the Irish suffered depossession, religious persecution, famine, discrimination, and want. So did most of the English. The only thing that the Irish suffered during the modern era suffered that the English poor did not was legal slavery (in the 17th century) put the distinction between that and the English workhouse was marginal.

    There is a reason why there was such a huge outflow of Irish to America, Canada and elsehwhere, and it wasn’t that British rule in Ireland was great.

    There was also a huge outflow of Germans to the US (“Pennsylvania Dutch”) during the 19th century. Religious and political persecution does such things, as well as economic misery. You can say that the Irish had plenty of company. And yes, they endured discrimination in the US once they arrived, but they have plenty of company there too.

    In fact, a very good case can be made that the British treated the Indians better than the Irish. For that matter, American complaints are trivial compared to Irish ones.

    I don’t deny the latter about the American Revolution. I had just said so myself.

    But the idea that the remedy for every historical wrong is that the wronged should get a country all to themselves is simply–to put it bluntly–stupid. People don’t deserve a country, people deserve good government. When you try to give the wronged their own country you get Israels and Pakistans.

    One wonders if violence is every justified to Stewart.

    You seem to not notice that I specifically said that the Russian and Eastern European resistance to the Nazis was unavoidable.

    StewartM

  30. StewartM permalink
    September 20, 2012

    MarkfromIreland:

    (Other points to be addressed when I have time)

    Answer my point without all the irrelevant flim flam. Provide me with evidence from a reputable source that Soviet partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians. Not the Red Army, not the GRU, not the KGB. Provide evidence that from a reputable source that Soviet partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians.

    Ok, I’m supposed to provide “reputable evidence” and not use, by your standard of evidence, the GRU, the KBG, or Red Army sources (you probably would also exclude Nazi/German sources too?)

    Who do you think was in the position of doing the documenting on the Eastern Front? The AP? Besides, why would you distrust Soviet sources–why exactly would the Soviets have wanted to disparage their own “heroic” partisan movement by saying things about them that weren’t true?

    I suggest you read Earl Ziemke’s From Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East, which has a rather detailed analysis of the partisan movement. If you don’t believe that the partisans committed actrocities against civilians, then read this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_partisans

    “Among the targets of Soviet partisans were not only Axis military and their voluntary collaboration units, but also civilians accused of being collaborators or sometimes even those who were considered not to support the partisans strongly enough.”

    The partisans also “requisitioned” food from the civilian population, whether they volunteered or not.

    This source

    http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/406/262choda.html

    says:

    “The Soviet-allied guerrillas routinely engaged in plundering peasants. Documents show that partisan activity often amounted to banditry, rape, pillage, and murder (52-53, 88, 111-112, 144, 158, 166). ”

    I think you have some heckuva pair of rose-colored glasses on when it comes to guerrilla warfare, because this kind of stuff is routine. No matter who the “freedom fighters” are, or what their cause, be they the Viet Cong or Jessie James, it’s the civilian population that usually takes it on the chin.

    StewartM

  31. September 20, 2012

    StewartM

    Provide me with evidence from a reputable source that Soviet partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians.

    Stop trying to duck the issue. It’s very specific and very clear. You have asserted that the partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians. Come up with evidence from a reputable source for your unsupported assertion.

    Provide evidence other than your unsupported word that:

    • War of independence IRA.
    • WWII Partisan fighters and commanders in Russia.
    • Hizbollah.
    • The Iraki resistance.

    Support your contention:

    Those that celebrate the death of a foreign solider “just because” he’s a foreign soldier, with few or no qualms about killing just because he’s a “them” and not an “us”, usually become new bosses just as bad as the old.

    Provide evidence from reputable sources how each of those movements were as bad as the vicious and brutal tyrannies they fought and won against.

    Provide evidence from reputable sources how each of those movements subsequently became parts of regimes that were as bad as the vicious and brutal tyrannies they fought and won against.

    mfi

  32. jcapan permalink
    September 20, 2012

    “Yes there was. The Irakis won, the Americans lost, proof of the fact that the Irakis won and your country and your armed forces lost is that your armed forces ran away. Running away as I have already pointed out is a tactic engaged in exclusively by losers.”

    Americans have undoubtedly lost. But not all of them …

    Paul Craig Roberts discussing a new book by Timothy Parsons:

    He [Parsons] wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Washington has nothing to show for it except possibly some part of the drug trade that can be used to fund covert CIA operations. America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about?

    The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America … The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. …

    In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security. The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty.This is why the wars cannot end, or if one does end another starts … This truth doesn’t mean that the objects of American military aggression have escaped without cost. Large numbers of Muslims have been bombed and murdered and their economies and infrastructure ruined, but not in order to extract resources from them.

    It is ironic that under the New Empire the citizens of the empire are extracted of their wealth and liberty in order to extract lives from the targeted foreign populations.

    http://www.infowars.com/empires-then-and-now/

  33. September 21, 2012

    StewartM, yes, your comparisons are silly, and you obviously haven’t read much about the subject.

  34. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    September 21, 2012

    For the lack of a better term, culture-cide is again amok in the world, a strain virulent in the 20th century beginning with the Armenian extermination (following example inflicted upon the Boors to subjugate that population by the British in late 19th century South Africa) through the jewish concentration and liquidation camps, the Palestinian terrorization by the survivors of those camps and the torture and deprivation of economic/political sanctions upon the Iraqi following the first Gulf War. These spilled into the new century with the assault, invasion, occupation, terrorization and culture-cide of a civilization having roots ten millennium in the making by a transitory pretension to culture still wet behind the ears. The attempt was to uproot a culture and destroy its ability to resist usurpation of its wealth of natural resources and leave it defenseless to halt the theft. Few if any who witness this wanton destruction will ever know its ultimate sacrifice and loss in human terms, such loss is beyond calculation, for victor or vanquished alike. One cost that must be paid is the cost stemming from exceptionalism, the cost of myths is high and will be paid by those so opiated.

  35. StewartM permalink
    September 21, 2012

    MarkfromIreland:

    Stop trying to duck the issue. It’s very specific and very clear. You have asserted that the partisans engaged in acts of collective punishment against civilians. Come up with evidence from a reputable source for your unsupported assertion.

    I just did. You just either skipped it, or refuse to believe it.

    (Other points to be addressed later).

    StewartM

  36. StewartM permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Guest:

    StewartM, yes, your comparisons are silly, and you obviously haven’t read much about the subject.

    Comparisons? Which ones?

    And about some of these subjects, particularly the Russo-German war, I’ve read quite a bit.

    Or are you talking about the way, say, my comparison of the English government treated Irish peasants versus the way that they treated English peasants? Why is a distinction based upon ethnicity valid while one based upon class not?

    StewartM

  37. September 21, 2012

    From @markfromireland’s devastating indictment:

    There’s a point that needs to be made here about American soldiers and the ease with which they commit attrocities. They are overwhelmingly American, American born, and bred. Reared in American homes by American parents who inculcate American values into them. They go to American schools where American teachers continue the process of socialisation and of inculcating American norms into them. Their military trainng, much of which as you rightly say resembles brainwashing, isn’t even pushing at an easily opened door…

    A great sadness is risen in me as I read this.

    I have spoken before in these threads of my alienation in my own country, and allow me add one more dispatch from within the belly of the beast.

    I fell in love at a very early age with the idealized America that was taught to the young children of the ’50′s & early ’60′s – full of lies, this education yet retained a metaphysical loyalty to an historically whispered promise of a forward march of history, informed by missteps, misdeeds and malice of the previous social arrangements of Man.

    This narrative was full of lies, as I say, and noisome as they were, the whisper spoke more loudly to me, as did the brutality of the historical truths that they were designed to obscure. I do not understand why this is so – I had no more access to the truth than the children around me, and I certainly was no precocious scholar of history! I only know that I was willing to suffer the isolation that came with this intuition.

    I don’t understand why the vast majority of American incubi fell so easily into the spell of American Exceptionalism, with its patriotic incantations of allegiance pledges and spangled banners of vulgar fabulousness. Growing up, I stayed mostly silent on these matters except when my complicity was aggressively sought, and I still remember the cognitive dissonance brought about as I simultaneously understood why the “group” despised me when I refused to salute to or recite the pledges that so clearly contradicted the ideals of my imaginary America and, at the same time, was unable to understand why others could not see what I saw.

    Hunter S. Thompson spent his life writing with self-immolation of the dark and ugly vein of venality that is America incarnate. Having grown up amongst it, I have no trouble understanding the dark suspicion with which this country is beheld by those abroad. I also still retain the sense of guilt that any traitor must feel when he can’t bring himself to behold the heart of his homeland without revulsion.

    At long last, after a lifetime of sensing that the whisper of my idealized America could still yet rise beyond merely a promise, I grow sadly ever-convinced that what I once thought was an excisable cancer is truly the skeleton, the backbone of this country and its only cure is death.

    The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America … The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. …

    @jcapan: A point outstanding and true. However, as testified above, it’s doesn’t rise to an absolution from the darkness of America herself, which is how that narrative is employed by the apologists of the American left (not that I’m implying that was your purpose in raising it here.)

  38. amspirnational permalink
    September 21, 2012

    MarkFromIreland

    http://openrevolt.info/2012/09/19/existential-geopolitics-of-carlo-terracciano-by-alexander-dugin/

    The West was lost at the Battle of Stalingrad. Now, there is only Europe/Eurasia. Fight for Eurasia against the Amer-Israeli Empire!

  39. September 21, 2012

    @ amspirnational

    Really you need to get a grip.

    mfi

  40. September 21, 2012

    The Iraq part of this discussion is amazing.

    Let’s see, we openly support a dictator until he got too big for his britches. We went to war against him to protect another set of despots. Afterwards, we effectively partitioned the country and imposed punitive sanctions on it which caused great suffering.

    Fast forward years later, we invaded the country based on transparently false claims killing hundreds of thousands of its citizens and destroying its infrastructure. This time around we removed the dictator, expecting them to be grateful we removed the dictator we previously supported, and ushered in a dubious “democracy”.

    Now we’re lecturing them against the emptiness of “tribal violence”, or more accurately, tribal violence directed at us. That’s a joke, right?

  41. September 21, 2012

    StewartM

    No you haven’t and it is disingenuous of you to put it mildly to pretend that you have. The sources you cite DO NOT claim that the partisans engaged in collective punishment of civilians.

    I’ve given you plenty of rope with which to hang yourself and you’ve done so. You falsely tried to pretend that:

    • War of independence IRA.
    • WWII Partisan fighters and commanders in Russia.
    • Hizbollah.
    • The Iraki resistance.

    Are evidence for your assertion that such people “usually become new bosses just as bad as the old”

    You have not provided one shred of evidence that any of those groups of people I have mentioned who rose up against a foreign occupying power, a foreign occupying power that consistently behaved with genocidal savagery against the people of the lands they had invaded became “new bosses just as bad as the old” you haven’t done it because you can’t. You can’t back up your assertion with evidence because your assertion is a blatant flagrant lie. You know that you can’t back up your assertion with evidence because it is a blatant flagrant lie and you know it is a blatant flagrant lie.

    War of independence IRA:

    It is a blatant flagrant lie to try to pretend that the War of independence IRA became “new bosses just as bad as the old”. Far from emulating the behaviour of the British the governments of all stripes both in the Free State and in the Republic treated all citizens equally and engaged in programs to lift the population from extreme poverty.

    It is a blatant flagrant lie to try to pretend as you have done that:

    after the IRA victory there transpired a civil war among the winners that was bloodier and than the effort to kick the British out and which did kill civilians.

    It is completely false to say the civil war was bloodier than the British attempt to hold onto the country in the years followed the 1916 uprising. The casualties among combatants and noncombatants combined are a fraction of the civilian casualties caused by British forces engaged in acts of collective punishment and reprisal against civilians in the years between the 1916 uprising and their withdrawal from the 26 counties. Moreover at no point during the civil war did either side resort to the British tactic of collective punishment against civilians.

    WWII Partisan fighters and commanders in Russia

    I note your attempt to pretend that you misunderstood what I wrote, I note further that it is not the first such attempt you have made:

    Ok, I’m supposed to provide “reputable evidence” and not use, by your standard of evidence, the GRU, the KBG, or Red Army sources (you probably would also exclude Nazi/German sources too?)

    Your consistent display of intellectual dishonesty does not serve your case. It was very clear that I was asking you to provide evidence from a reputable source that the partisans as opposed to other Soviet forces such as The Red Army, GRU, or KGB engaged in acts of collective punishment and that the partisans as opposed to other Soviet forces such as The Red Army, GRU, or KGB became “new bosses just as bad as the old”.

    It is a blatant and flagrant lie to try to pretend as you have done that the WWII Partisan fighters and commanders in Russia became worse than the genocidal Nazi scum they were fighting. It is a breathtakingly flagrant and blatant lie which is made all the more disgusting by your statement that you have read about that war.

    Hizbollah

    It is a blatant and flagrant lie to try to pretend as you have done that Hizbollah are evidence for your unsupported assertion that fighters who rise up in arms against a brutal foreign occupier become “new bosses just as bad as the old”. Even their worst enemies in Lebanon admit that unlike the Israelis and their allies the Americans the Hizb have NEVER committed collective punishment against civilians. Never, not even once. It is not only a blatant and flagrant lie, it’s a stupid blatant and flagrant lie easily refuted by anyone with who has ever lived for any amount of time in the parts of Lebanon controlled by the Hizb.

    Hizbollah’s national appeal in Lebanon, the reason why they have considerable support across the political and religious spectrum in Lebanon, the reason why they have a both a military structure and a political structure in which Lebanese from the entire spectrum of religious and ethnic identities found in Lebanon participate is precisely because the are very different indeed from “the old boss”.

    Unlike your country’s forces and unlike the Israeli forces Hizbollah make a point of not inflaming sectarian tensions. They make a point of not engaging in collective punishment of civilians. Furthermore unlike your systemically corrupt American politicians and unlike the systemically corrupt Israeli political class the Hizb make a point of being demonstrably scrupulously honest.

    The Iraki resistance

    It is a blatant and flagrant lie to try to pretend as you have done that “The Iraqi good behavior was probably more just a lack of opportunity”. The difference between me and you is that unlike you I do not need to engage in blatant flagrant lies. I was present in Irak for the years of sanctions which your viciously corrupt country used to try to effect regime change and in the process murdered more than ½ a million Iraki children and infants. I was in Irak when Albright said those children’s deaths were “worth it”. I was in Irak during your redneck Republic’s invasion and occupation of the country. I’ll be going back there in a few weeks to continue my efforts to mitigate some of the evil done there by the people of the USA and their government. It was your soldiers all-American racism, brutality, and viciousness that caused spurred the resistance on. Bad though Saddam was your country’s behaviour in Irak was far far far worse than anything Saddam and the Ba’ath did and was so right from the start. Your claim “The Iraqi good behavior was probably more just a lack of opportunity” is not only a lie but it’s a stupid lie. It’s the sort of stupid lie which Americans in thrall to some sort of half-assed Fukuyamaist belief that everyone is the same tell each other. The reason why the resistance won, the reason why they never lost the support of the population was precisely because they did not engage in targeting Iraki civilians. They left that sort of despicable and cowardly behaviour to the Americans and to the death squad members who flooded into country on the heels of your American soldiers. They targeted the hated and hateful American armed forces who were attempting to put your country’s boot on their necks.

    In all of this I don’t know what I find more contemptible and pitiable your mendacity, your intellectual dishonesty, or your feeble attempts to drag everyone down to your level. Either way I’m through with you, I see no reason to waste my time on somebody who consistently engages in bad faith and mendacity as you have done. Your consistently dishonest behaviour throughout this exchange is a small but very cogent example of why you Americans and your government are loathed not only in the Middle East but throughout the Muslim world, and a small but very cogent example of why so many people both throughout the Muslim and elsewhere increasingly despise America and Americans in general.

    mfi

  42. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    September 22, 2012

    @ markfromireland 21 Sept 2012

    StewartM
    No you haven’t and it is disingenuous of you to put it mildly to pretend that you have. The sources you cite DO NOT claim that the partisans engaged in collective punishment of civilians.

    A pleasure to see you here, wishing it were under less trying circumstances. Be aware there is a cohort of commentators here who have their opinions and express them abundantly. Some of that cohort go beyond expression and will not allow others to express even an opinion (or even fact) or position that is contrary to theirs. The display of pseudo-intelligence based hubris can get overwhelming at times, but as most of what these commentators have to say is nothing but opinion and seldom is worth the effort, such as you have taken here, to disembowel their offerings, leaving them to stand on their merits, or lack thereof. There are readers here quite capable of critical analysis, those not so blessed have example presented, without distraction, of what hubris conjures. Don’t let the cute hoors get to you, although it is splendid artifact when they do. All the best………

  43. September 22, 2012

    @ Formerly T-Bear September 22, 2012

    Thanks for the welcome. I’d noticed! In StewartM’s case I gave some examples refuting his garbage knowing as I did so that a mendacious self-satisfied fool like him would be unable to resist walking into the trap. I’ll admit that the added bonus of a ludicrous lying little lard assed civilian trying to claim that somebody in my particular speciality of my profession who has spent his entire professional life in the Middle East has and I quote:

    a heckuva pair of rose-colored glasses on when it comes to guerrilla warfare

    came as a bonus. That sort of buffoonery is simply too hilariously funny to be offensive. I have, I admit it, a banana skin sense of humour, and watching somebody publicly make a complete and total fool of himself in the way StewartM does is really rather entertaining – in a slightly shameful sort of way.

    mfi

  44. September 22, 2012

    With the full awareness that I am leaning on the business-end of my own sword by saying it: Some words are more powerful when left unspoken.

    (And I was about to post this even before @markfromireland came in for that last placing of the boot.

    He was already in the right. It is ironic, given the subject of this thread, that he would endeavor to turn a win into a loss.)

    Is this really so delightful for you?

  45. StewartM permalink
    September 22, 2012

    MarkFromIreland:

    No you haven’t and it is disingenuous of you to put it mildly to pretend that you have. The sources you cite DO NOT claim that the partisans engaged in collective punishment of civilians.

    Yes, I have. You just won’t admit it. Moreover, it’s a nice spin on your part to try to shift the discussion from the statement I originally made that the Russian resistance “targeted civilians” to a more narrow one of collective punishment.

    But even on that, from my quoted sources:

    “The drama of Naliboki reflected not only the extreme character of Nazi policies toward the civilian gentile population, but also the brutality of the erstwhile Soviet occupiers-turned-partisans. It appears that for the majority of small farmers in Belarus, the situation resembled one in Darfur in 2005. On 8 May 1943, two months before the Nazis obliterated the town, the Soviet partisans massacred 128 gentile men of Naliboki in a surprise night attack”

    (….)

    “In another case in January 1944, the Soviet guerrillas torched the village of Koniuchy, killing at least thirty-four gentile civilians.”"

    I mean, destroying entire villages, or lining up a village’s male population and executing them for suspicion of either being collaborationists, or pro-Polish, or pro-independence movement, or even not sufficient pro-Soviet doesn’t sound like some sort of collective punishment, I don’t know what does.

    StewartM

  46. StewartM permalink
    September 22, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear

    Some of that cohort go beyond expression and will not allow others to express even an opinion (or even fact) or position that is contrary to theirs.

    How is it that anyone prevents anyone else from expressing an opinion (or even fact) here? At last count, Mark has posted more articles on this thread than I. If I’m preventing him from posting, I’m not doing a good job of it. I’ve been limited in the amount I can post by my job the past few days, among other things.

    But hey, if I’m dominating this thread, Ian is perfectly capable of blocking me. Tell him to do it.

    There are readers here quite capable of critical analysis, those not so blessed have example presented, without distraction, of what hubris conjures.

    Since I am just about the only one in this thread bucking Mark’s groupthink, your remark about lacking “critical analysis” is ironic.

    StewartM

  47. amspirnational permalink
    September 22, 2012

    MarkFromIreland

    If you want to believe that, for example, members of the Syrian Baathist/USSR kinship….presently continuing in the Great Russian
    refusal to sell out Syrian comrades, some of whom were educated in
    Moscow and environs….if you wish to believe these Syrians refer to Russians as Westerners, you have my welcome to do so.

  48. September 22, 2012

    @ amspirnational

    Could you please rephrase what you’ve written so that the point or points you’re trying to make is clear.

    TIA

    mfi

  49. September 22, 2012

    Petro

    I truly don’t care Petro – the man is a liar who has consistently engaged in blatant flagrant and stupid lies in support of a blatantly flagrantly false proposition. I gave him lots and lots of rope and he duly hung himself. As to my response to Tbear – I know Tbear from another forum and am delighted to make his reacquaintance he made a comment and I responded. If you or anybody else choose to see that as some sort of loss or victory or whatever go right ahead. Sometimes one has to point out the glaringly blatantly obvious.

    mfi

  50. September 22, 2012

    markfromireland

    Well, I certainly understand your position – and also why the subject would evoke such passion, especially from your point of view. FWIW – I largely agree with you.

  51. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 22, 2012

    The point of dealing with someone who is wrong is rarely for the person who is wrong, who will usually not change their mind, but for the people reading the exchange.

    It is also worth remembering, that on any blog, most people don’t read the comments. What most people will take away from the post is the post, and given the way people read, they will remember the early parts of the post, which in this case, is from MFI.

    I have “known” (in internet terms), MFI for a long time. I know what he does and did for a living, and I consider him extremely reputable. I covered the Iraq war and occupation for quite a while, and Hizbollah fascinates me for a number of reasons, so I’ve tried to keep as well abreast of them as one can while not speaking Arabic, including taking the time to seek out and read a book on them, rather than relying on the western media. I’ve also written on them at times.

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-hidden-army-hezbollah-teaches-the-world-how-to-fight/

    Hizbollah is remarkably effective. The same friend of mine I mentioned above, during the last war between them and Israel, likened them to a small army of special forces. Light infantry, trained in guerilla warfare. They cleaned Israel’s clock last time. It wasn’t even close. It was embarassing for the Israelis.

    They also are the government of a large part of Lebanon and they run their parts of Lebanon very well, and as MFI says, with scrupulous honesty. Certainly they are less corrupt than the American government. It’s not even close.

  52. stonecutter permalink
    September 23, 2012

    Muzzies are moving to the western democracies in droves. How many lefties, Obummer voters, and OWS’rs have moved to Iraq, Egypt, Syria or Libyia?

  53. stonecutter permalink
    September 23, 2012

    Libya ? Yeah, none of you guys!

  54. David Kowalski permalink
    September 23, 2012

    Ian:

    Your comments about suburbs are at least partly off the mark. The U.S. Census Bureau issued a report on commuting as part of the 2010 Census (“Commuting in the United States:2009″ by Brian McKenzie and Melanie Rapino, issued September,2011). Most workers, in the city or the suburbs, work within their own county. This is true for every state in the union (in New Jersey, 45.7% work outside their home county but many of these work in other suburban counties).

    Cities, especially very big cities, are not nearly as convenient or user friendly as you might imagine. The longest mean time for commuting is by Americans commuting by public transit within a big city like New York or Chicago. I can attest to that as I used to spend 50 minutes each way going 8 miles within Chicago by public transit. Even within American cities, most people commute by car.

    Americans can’t afford to re-populate the country to a more urban based society. What we can do, however, is drastically increase the portion of people working from home (currently 4.3% of workers). My girl friend has run a multi-surgeon practice for years and they have been doing that for years. One of the transcriptionists moved from NY City to Ohio. No problem. Then he moved to Colorado. They have other trancriptionists in Long Island and a biller in North Carolina. As long as the workers are trained in-house and able to function mostly on their own, it works. The short term play will be to increase at home work towards 20% of the work force. This will allow suburbanites to have their cake and eat it, too.

    The reason people move from the city to the inner suburbs or from the inner suburbs to the outer suburbs is cost. Housing in the big cities is very expensive. Housing in lower Manhattan is incredibly expensive and commuting within the city is no picnic. Besides offering more space and cheaper costs, the suburbs also offer generally better schools, yards and room for children and/or pets. People are willing to exchange the commute or find work locally if it means exchanging a one bedroom apartment for a three bedroom house on half an acre. For less money.

    In the short term, the play should be work at home and improved gas mileage. At least that is my take.

  55. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 23, 2012

    Suburbs are more spread out, so even if your job is in a suburb, it takes longer to get there if you live in the same suburb. The issue is not commute time, but oil used. If it takes you 50 minutes and you go by mass transit, the oil is less than if you use a car. And proportionally, more jobs are in cities than in any specific suburb of a city. Also the most important jobs, the ones that anchor the other jobs because they pay the best, are in the cities.

    the reason mass transit sucks in most cities is because of a lack of investment, due to the fact that money is sucked out of metropolitan areas and sent to suburbs and exurbs.

    I agree on working from home, and have said so in the past. “unproductive” suburbs means “suburbs which don’t allow people to work from home or have businesses at home or set up light industry and commerce and retail where they want.

    Now, when you move to people working at home, you need less offices in cities, and you can reurbanize those cities and increase density significantly.

    The reason suburbs offer “better schools” is because they spend more money on the schools, which again, is related to the fact that money flows out of cities to pay for unproductive suburbs and exurbs. This is a deliberate racist strategy to make sure that white middle class kids have an advantage over black kids and white lower class kids.

    Yards are not that big a deal, as anyone who actually grew up in a city knows. Cities with kids on the streets are safer than suburbs. And yards, full of poisonous grass which uses huge amounts of water are the very definition of unproductive and should be done away with in any region where they require regular watering, and should be discouraged everywhere else. Gardens are what should be there.

    Suburbs are a value choice – Americans want to fuck over black people and have their yards and have their kids miles from anywhere so they are completely depenedent on adults for movement and activities.

    You simply cannot discuss why suburbs exist in an American context without discussing white flight. Suburbs are in large part about escaping from black people.

    Suburban “values” are what are destroying America. Screw your yard, make all schools good by funding them properly and raise your kids where they aren’t forced to be helicopter kids, and thus become profoundly uncreative and unable to properly care for themselves.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201209/children-s-freedom-has-declined-so-has-their-creativity

    (As for suburbs being cheaper, that is a value choice as well. American suburban homes are massively subsidized in a plethora of ways. Modify the subsidies, and urban can be cheaper. It’s a choice.)

  56. Bernard permalink
    September 23, 2012

    and mass transit will never happen in America until they find a way to keep blacks from using mass transit. Keep the blacks out of the suburbs. white flight, white schools, and all the rest. just the way it is.

    Fear is a very effective motivator

  57. September 23, 2012

    Don’t a majority of Americans now live in cities, even with all the subsidies for suburbs? That’s a good sign.

  58. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 24, 2012

    Keep the blacks out of the suburbs. white flight, white schools, and all the rest. just the way it is.

    That’s interesting. I live in a suburb of Atlanta and in my subdivision, White people are not the majority. There are plenty of Blacks and a significant International contingent. So tell me, Bernard, you racist, what are the Blacks and International contingent in my neighborhood fleeing? According to your logic, if they’re occupying the suburbs, which they are in Atlanta in great numbers, then they’re fleeing from themselves.

  59. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 24, 2012

    .

    Hey, maybe the U.S. can do what France does and put all the undesirables in the ghettoized suburbs.

    My wife and I would have loved to live in the city of Atlanta, but as David mentioned, it is ridiculously overpriced, unless, of course, we situated ourselves in the ghettos, but I’ll let you do-gooders go first with that one. I was subjected to that when I lived with my mother in Dallas, Texas, and sorry, but a lot of the people in the apartments where we resided were low-life scum. Our windows would get broken once a month, and the drug dealer threatened to kill my mother if she ever parked in his spot again…..and there were no designated parking spots in this complex….but that was his spot, and he was willing to brutalize anyone who took it. This place had its share of White trash, but there was also Mexican trash and Black trash. I’ll never forget my brothers and I playing basketball at the school across the street at night and this Mexican guy, maybe 17 years old, comes up to us waving a 357 Magnum in our faces, asking us if we saw a certain person. Of course, all three of us nearly pissed ourselves, hoping he wouldn’t pull the trigger and kill us all right there. He was high on something and he was ready to kill. Thankfully, he moved on, and a year later, we were out of there.

    .

  60. amspirnational permalink
    September 24, 2012

    If you want socialism in significant and successful amounts, the worst thing in the world you should do is police state politics to eradicate ethnonationalism.

  61. amspirnational permalink
    September 24, 2012

    MarkFromIrleand

    Evidently advocating pro-Islamic Eurasianism gets you put on moderation here.

    I am not averse to the Traditional West; it simply doesn’t exist as anything but a curio anymore; that is why I am sympathetic to pro-Islamic Eurasianism as juxtaposed with the American-Israeli imperial entity. As such I don’t take the side of your antagonists here
    on any of the other points you’ve made.

    Stalinism was not Western politics, it was Great Russian imperial politics, thus certainly European.

    You said above Arabs and Muslims regarded the USSR and Russian culture generally as part of the West.

    I don’t believe Russian-educated Syrians for example regard Russians as Westerners,
    but they certainly regard them as Europeans.

    Of course a truly Western European political-cultural outlook at present would certainly
    regard the United States as un-Western, as it is controlled by Zionism, is pervaded with
    enforced multiculturalism, and thus a truly Western European outlook at this time would certainly find more in common with Putin and Russia generally, than with the United States, and would act accordingly.

    This would of course allow what you call the (still occupied) “West” to function as more than a curio and to potentially fluorish–as a component of Europe, which in fact has a better
    future than the collapsing American Empire.

  62. September 25, 2012

    MB,

    In your attempt to be offended, you missed the point. Bernard’s extension of Ian’s valid points about mass transit and suburbanization is mostly accurate. They are talking about the reasons why we got to where we are now and, in Ian’s case, why it’s unsustainable and inefficient. Your exception is akin to a few gains of pepper scattered in a sea of salt.

    Also I think you might be presenting a bit of a false choice between “ridiculously overpriced” and “ghetto” sections of a city. Admittedly my experience might be skewed by being in NYC, but when I’ve heard people say places to live here are “ridiculously overpriced”, they were usually talking about certain very desirable sections of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

    When I’ve mentioned places like Midwood, Forest Hills, Woodside, Sunnyside, Bay Ridge, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Greenpoint, etc. I’ve normally gotten quizzical looks like the only choice is between the well heeled Upper East Side and da hood in East New York.

  63. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 25, 2012

    No one is in moderation, the anti-spam software sometimes holds a comment for moderation, but that is entirely automatic, and is not account wide.

  64. September 26, 2012

    @ Amspirational

    Russian-educated Syrians (in other words Russian-educated Syrian Ba’athists) are a miniscule proportion of the Syrian population and very far from being representative of the Syrian populace let alone of the population outside of Syria. Once you get outside of the westernised elites (or Russian trained elites in the case of the Ba’ath both in Syria and Irak) then my point holds good. As far as the “Arab street” or “the Persian street” is concerned European, Russian, Israeli, and American all come under the heading of “Western”. From what I have been able to gather this applies also in Indonesia and Malaysia and the Asian republics of the former USSR with Muslim populations.

    mfi

  65. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 26, 2012

    .

    I am a Muslim I am Iraki maybe you believe that God told you that must turn aside when you have been struck.That is not what God tells me.

    What God tells me is what he tells every other Muslim when you are attacked you defend yourself and you keep on figthing until your attacker is in such pain that they offer truce or surrender. You attack back and you continue attacking relentlessly, never ever giving any respite, until the invader flees worn out with grief and horror and pain. Any sacrifice is warranted to expel the American I feel no grief when I see an American soldier die. I feel only relief that this one less barbarian to kill innocent Iraki children.

    This is farcical in the extreme. Satire is now reality. It’s a billboard that says “you better nuke us now, because if you don’t, we will destroy every last one of you Westerners.” And you will get nuked. We all will. Then you can be with your God, and us Infidels who don’t believe in a God will be reduced to the ashes from whence we came.

    This, and this alone, is why I don’t join in with the Muslim world in criticizing the actions of the West. I’ll own my own criticism of the West as opposed to your ridiculous and misdirected rendition. I have to laugh when I see Progressives, or former Progressives turned a bit more radical, joining hands with Muslim idiots who conjure their God as a rationale for defending and annihilating their enemy. That’s like being Gay during the rise of Nazi Germany and having a beef with Jews and siding with Hitler to settle your score. We’ve reached a point where religion can no longer be tolerated. It’s no longer live and let live. It never was, really, and it’s not now. I’ll be damned if I’m going to be critical of Christianity and Judaism and yet let Islam off the hook. You Muslim bastards are as crazy as the Christians and the Jews, so you can take your religion and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, just like the Christians and the Jews can do.

    There, now you can put a Fatwa on my head for being blasphemous….as if it matters. All of Humankind has a self-imposed Fatwa on its collective head, and it has nothing to do with any God. It’s called a self-destruct button, and it’s been pushed. Bye, Bye. Now it’s time to move over and allow other less destructive life forms to rise from the primordial soup and give it a try. Humans never really left the starting gate before we up and shot ourselves first in the foot, and now in the head.

    .

  66. September 26, 2012

    @ Morocco Bama

    Heigh ho, I was wondering when MB would show up. Time for me to do what I do to all the rest of his, her, or possibly it’s screeds.

    Y
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    mfi

  67. jawbone permalink
    September 26, 2012

    As for the civilian population, they voted George Bush back in AFTER knowing he was torturing people. ~~Ian Welsh

    Or, as is quite possible, Ohio voting in 2004 was “manipulated” by a Republican owned and backed computer company which had some kind of role in “counting” the votes…. So, just maybe, the American electorate did NOT vote Bush II back into office.

    However, American politicians would not allow real investigations in voting irregularities, even when the outcomes were orders of magnitude different from exit polls and thus at least suspicious.

    Nor did the American people react as strongly as necessary against the Supreme Court theft of the 2000 election.

    Passisivity. Belief that the US “system” is the best possible way of determining elections. Fear of protesting (now made even greater by police militarization and probably unconstitutional actions by those in power and the police, FBI, NSA).

    Something has made the American people unable to react to clear and present danger within this nation, from our elected leaders.

    Now the powerful and wealthy and even more powerful and wealthy; we the 99 Percenters are increasingly unable to take back any of that wealth and power.

  68. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 26, 2012

    .

    I have to laugh at this East & West talk. That’s all in the past. There’s no longer any East and West. We’re all too globally interconnected into the Consumerist System. It’s Opulence and Destitution for here on out until we go extinct….which will be in about 40 years, or so, barring a Nuclear Holocaust.

    Anyway, here’s some thread music. It’s takes you back to a carefree time when all was right with the world….when anything, and everything, was possible.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_jgIezosVA

    Brings a tear to yer eye, doesn’t it?

    .

  69. September 26, 2012

    @ Jawbone

    You the 99 per centers are getting the government you deserve. The American people gave their tacit consent to what you have detailed above. It is long long past time that Americans learnt that actions and failure to take actions have consequences and that they suffer some of those consequences themselves.

    It’s an American proverb that Americans used to ram down the throats of everyone else whenever they felt like it that people get the government they deserve. Americans deserve a far worse government than the one they have but its early days yet.

    I take no joy in that but having spent my entire adult life trying to mitigate some of the appalling evil done by America and Americans in the Middle East I make no bones about my belief that it’s long past time that Americans experienced some of what they’ve consistently done to others.

    mfi

    mfi

  70. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 26, 2012

    .

    I take no joy in that but having spent my entire adult life trying to mitigate some of the appalling evil done by America and Americans in the Middle East I make no bones about my belief that it’s long past time that Americans experienced some of what they’ve consistently done to others.

    Maybe you should have spent more time on the environmental front. With the melting of the Arctic, in short order, Ireland will be under hundreds of feet of ice and snow……getting what it, and we all deserve.

    The retribution that’s about to unfold doesn’t see itself as retribution. Forces are being unleashed that will bring this planet’s biosphere into a new range of balance, and the casualties of that process will be anyone and everyone….not just “Americans.” And, in case you haven’t noticed, “Americans” are no longer the proverbial Norman Rockwell painting. Whites are no longer the majority….that Dream caught on Big Time, and now everyone wants a piece of that Apple Pie. If Atlanta’s any example, and I believe it is, it’s heavily represented, internationally. People come here and are making gobs of money hand over fist…..that’s the REAL AMERICA, so go ahead and deprive these former 2nd and 3rd Worlders of their chance to finally have a piece of the Pie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L09qnRfZY-k

    Oh, and that includes the Muslim guy in my neighborhood who has a new car every month, or so it seems. This Guy and his kids have all the toys and the wife wears the veil. Yep, he’s gonna get what he deserves. You heard from mfi mfi.

    .

  71. September 26, 2012

    Y
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    mfi

  72. jcapan permalink
    September 26, 2012

    Come on MB, those poor brown fuckers stupid enough to embrace big satan are equally complicit. As are the millions lucky enough to be incarcerated or otherwise oppressed by the state. Black meet white, there can be no in between. And you’re a little bitch unless you strap a bomb to your back and blow up your congressman–clearly, that’s where this is going. Ignore the fact that the entire developed world is benefitting from the system–as if Great Britain hasn’t engorged itself on the same pie. Our leading the hegemonic beast doesn’t take away from their own share of guilt. Point me to the fine Canadian or Brit who’s been willing to die or go to jail dismantling the WTO or NATO.

    “Your consistently dishonest behaviour throughout this exchange is a small but very cogent example of why you Americans and your government are loathed not only in the Middle East but throughout the Muslim world, and a small but very cogent example of why so many people both throughout the Muslim and elsewhere increasingly despise America and Americans in general.”

    Dude, you came to this dance already hating all of us, like your host. That’s fair enough, but acting like Stewart’s mild engagement here is some great crime or that he inspired your bile-festival is laughable. Say he is wrong on the facts, so what. Is every single Irishman or Australian in perfect possession of history at any given time. Arguing in good faith–jesus christ, if you come to an argument hating on 300 million people regardless of their belief system, you’re hardly one to talk.

    And, oh by the way, take your talk of flabby civilians and get fucked (naturally, while yawning and scrolling). Most of us have no respect for the uniform you sport.

  73. September 26, 2012

    @jcapan, that was an outstanding retort, well done. Some balance has been restored to the thread.

  74. September 26, 2012

    jcapan,

    I hear you but, the “equally complicit” thing is a nice abstract intellectual argument but it’s mostly a dodge. Of course not all Americans are equally complicit in the red herring sense it’s being used by some here and of course, for example, not all the people we are dropping drones on are equally complict either and it matters not a whit to most of us.

    It’s mostly of an expression of our privilege and power. We can parcel out complicity to an exacting degree right down to individual actors and actions but “they” or whomever the designated enemy of the moment is, gets no such luxury.

    Until we Americans dispense with such rationalizations, we are not going to be able to face the future squarely and honestly. Also, we need to stop making excuses for the “Average American” nor should we demonize them either though the seeming “eternal befuddled innocence” mythology of the average American is kind of ridiculous at this point. Is he/she as complicit as the typical corporate or political overlord? No. Does he/she benefit from, as Ian is wont to point out, the spoils of being part of the 5% of the population that uses 30?% of the world’s resources and what that entails? Yes.

    I mean you think a kid who survived the dust of Fallujah (sp?) gives a damn enough to care whether a guy sitting in a cell or a suburb in Atlanta or in the Pentagon is more or less complicit for his/her situation? If so, full credit because he/she will prove to be better than the society the people who the dropped rockets on and shot up his town represent.

    There are times when the royal “we” is appropriate and this is one of them.

  75. amspirnational permalink
    September 26, 2012

    The USSR treated its Muslims and those of the Mideast well, as contrasted with Amer-Israel’s
    theft and havoc waged.

    If MarkfromIreland won’t make this distinction, he’s got an agenda and so be it. If he lays it bare, I’ll comment then.

    If the non-Baathist, in retrospect anti-Nasserite religious extremists of the Muslim world can help liberate Palestine, fine, but as far as their capabilities of building stable societies afterwards, not much of a chance there.

  76. September 27, 2012

    jcapan

    Make your mind up who you’re addressing please.

    Dude, you came to this dance already hating all of us, like your host.

    Actually hatred and contempt are two entirely separate emotions.

    That’s fair enough, but acting like Stewart’s mild engagement here is some great crime or that he inspired your bile-festival is laughable.

    Stewart is a liar, he’s a blatant and flagrant liar. If you’re comfortable with a blatant and flagrant liar that is your problem. I reserve the right to despise blatant flagrant liars like Stewart. I also reserve the right to call him what he is a despicable little liar who tells blatant and flagrant lies. Stupid lies too but my objection is to the fact that Stewart is a blatant and flagrant liar who tells blatant and flagrant lies. Get used to it.

    Say he is wrong on the facts, so what.

    There is a difference between making an honest mistake and consistently telling one deliberate and blatant lie after another. Stewart has not made “mistakes” and he has not “got his facts wrong” Stewart set out to lie consistently blatantly and flagrantly as a tactic.

    mfi

  77. September 27, 2012

    amspirnational

    Why exactly are you changing the topic?

    mfi

  78. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 27, 2012

    That every American is complicit is an arguable point.
    It mostly depends on ones sense of personal responsibility, IMO.
    It would seem obvious that America’s democracy is in deep trouble along with its militaristic hubris in dealing with the rest of the world; especially the ME and south Asia.
    A cursory look at history over the last century would certainly validate that.
    Americans have become lazy and lack any meaningful diligence in proffering their own governments behavior towards its own citizens and the world at large.
    There can be no solutions for people blinded by whatever prejudice is extant at the moment.
    I for one will never understand how any reasonable person could defend the actions of the U.S. government over the last 8o years (as a place to start) (surely it goes back 200+yrs).

  79. September 27, 2012

    ks

    Precisely – thank you.

    Your comment about what somebody who has experienced the American empire in murder mode is entirely apt (and yes you can transliterate it as “Fallujah”). If you read what I wrote above about Mohammed’s experience of what Americans get up to when they’re busy raping somebody else’s country:

    1. His grandfather shot to death in front of his eyes. The soldier who shot his grandfather and his platoon then savagely beat Mohammed as he tried unsuccessfully to revive his grandfather.
    2. His parents murdered during the Arbaeen massacre.
    3. His younger brother targeted and murdered by an American sniper. Ali was 9 years old and small for his age the day he was murdered.

    Or you can read some of Mohammed’s writings:

    Gorilla’s Guides » Blog Archive » What will we talk about today you and I?:

    When I heard the bomb explode last Saturday the first thing I did was telephone my father. But there was no reply. Again and again and again I tried to phone him. My fingers hurt I stabbed them onto the buttons on my phone so hard. I fell onto the floor and prayed please let him not be dead. Please let it be that he died quick if he is dead.

    And my heart was sick inside me.

    … … …

    Everywhere inside there are pieces of flesh and blood and rubble. Pulling the living flesh from the rubble. Separating the living from the dead. Climbing over rubble to reach bloodied living flesh. She is so small she cannot be older than 5. The cars and the trucks and the vans begin to arrive. A man takes my bloodied burden from me and others run in to help. I run to the next shop.

    Where is my brother?

    It’s worth your while reading the full thing.

    mfi

  80. Deckard permalink
    September 27, 2012

    @mfi – it’s been great to read your comments. Unlike some others, I think it’s rather helpful that you have a military background. We can’t all have the same background if we want to get to the truth/heart of the matter in this world.

    And thanks to Ian for posting mfi. I always get great perspectives here (even if MB is an annoying windbag).

  81. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    Hey Deckard, you scummy intelligence piece of garbage, screw off. You boys aren’t fooling anyone with this latest garbage you’re doling out. You’re a bunch of vermin, and if ire’s to be directed, it should be directed at you scum who sow discord for a living. You’re a bunch of cowards, to boot. And in case any of you are wondering why I’m saying that, it’s because some of these intelligence scum have followed me around the internet. Don’t fool yourselves. They’re here….they’re everywhere such things are discussed outside of, and inside of, mainstream blogs. Their aim is to direct and misdirect the conversation, and if someone doesn’t follow the blueprint, they try to chase them off, and make it appear as though their misdirection is a group consensus. I despise that, and I despise those who do it. They deserve to be covered in spit. Their faces deserve to be stepped on. They are not deserving of one shred of respect. They are the worst of cowards. They are scum.

    jcapan, you hit the nail on the head, especially when you said this:

    And you’re a little bitch unless you strap a bomb to your back and blow up your congressman–clearly, that’s where this is going.

    That’s exactly what’s going on, and anyone with half a brain can see right through that transparent little ruse. If they can’t, and there are a couple of them here that can’t, then one of three things can be concluded.

    1.) They’re complete idiots
    2.) They’re in on the ruse
    3.) They’re caught up in their ego and will side with creeps to score points against those with whom they find disfavor.

    And, I have to laugh at the Expats who continue to check in here. If suburbia was once upon a time White Flight, then Expatriation is the next phase of it, so these sanctimonious Expats and their self-righteous attitude is likened to Whitey fleeing the Darkies to suburbia and then chastising the Darkies for destroying the urban areas. You gotta love it.

    .

  82. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    I for one will never understand how any reasonable person could defend the actions of the U.S. government over the last 8o years (as a place to start) (surely it goes back 200+yrs).

    Nobody posting to this thread is doing that, so that’s a canard and a Strawman. The better question is, most of what this mfi character is saying is redundant and old news to most everyone who reads and posts to this forum….but with a twist, and the twist is what needs to be scrutinized. Why here? Why this audience? I’ll tell you why, because the PTB know that any formidable resistance will come from a radicalizing Left, and mfi and his buddies are tasked with snuffing any of those quail out before something more uncontrollable coalesces. I’m not saying Ian’s part of that, because he’s not, but he’s being used, unwittingly.

    ks, you’re on notice, and your responses to this, already very telling, will show your true colors, once and for all. Either you have a huge sack on ya, meaning you don’t care about being set up, or you’re a complete idiot, or you are in on this shit. I can’t be sure yet, but now that I have my eye on you, you’ll show me in due course.

    .

  83. September 27, 2012

    MB,

    I’m on “notice”? Um…okay. Too funny. Anyway, are you going off the deep end again? Your amusing paranoia and self flattering persecution complex is getting the better of you…again. Relax.

  84. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 27, 2012

    Morocco Bama
    September 27, 2012

    ks, you’re on notice, and your responses to this, already very telling, will show your true colors, once and for all. Either you have a huge sack on ya, meaning you don’t care about being set up, or you’re a complete idiot, or you are in on this shit. I can’t be sure yet, but now that I have my eye on you, you’ll show me in due course.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Wow; a genuine meltdown. Right before our eyes no less. How special…
    MB; you need a rest; breath, calm down and smell the roses…really…

  85. September 27, 2012

    @ Deckard

    Thank you. One of the things I’ve noticed about America and Americans in recent years is that the more their country declines and the closer they get to a modern form of serfdom the less capable of debate they become.

    mfi

  86. September 27, 2012

    @ Celsius 233

    He does it with monotonous regularity. The first few times it’s mildly entertaining – in a gruesome sort of way. His re-write of the “Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion” during which he “exposed” Pat Lang as one of the elders was a classic of the genre. Other than that however I just find his vapid dilettante blather to be boring. Which is why I now just

    Y
    a
    w
    n

    a
    n
    d

    S
    c
    r
    o
    l
    l

    whenever I see the name.

    mfi

  87. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    His re-write of the “Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion” during which he “exposed” Pat Lang as one of the elders was a classic of the genre.

    That’s proof enough for me. You scummy intelligence piece of garbage……and you know it, too.

    ks, are you finished with your training to hijack an airliner and fly it into the Capital Building? Nothing would make mfi happier. Maybe you and some of the boys can hit the titty bar the night before and then forget your Koran in the rental car before you depart. mfi will make sure to plant the passport in the debris. It will be like old times, or better yet, déjà vu all over again.

    And for those who want the real scoop on what went down between Pat Lang and myself, I have the e-mail correspondence between us since he censored my posts that would have clarified my comments at his site. Of course, mfi knows this, so if you want elaboration, I’ll provide it….not for mfi’s benefit, but for others with integrity.

    .

  88. amspirnational permalink
    September 27, 2012

    markfromireland

    The topic is the cost of Iraq. you changed it to the comparative war crimes issue.

    For that matter, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are war crimes equal to those of the Axis Powers, especially if one accepts Prof Arno Mayer’s arguments in his “Why Did The Heavens
    Not Darken?”

    Do you expect American left-liberals are going to, as a group, admit to this?
    If they had that kind of temperament, Obama would have been primaried from the Left.

    His drone bombing in Af-Pakistan-Yemen is beginning to approximate Bush-Cheney’s
    war crimes, and they turn a blind eye because what is a Paki life compared to
    the rights for gays to marry?

  89. September 27, 2012

    amspirnational

    Actually I haven’t changed the topic. I did refute the stupid and blatant lies of a stupid and blatant liar. You have changed the topic of my interaction with you – other than citing a miniscule and utterly unrepresentative group of people you’ve not managed to provide any evidence whatsoever against my contention that for the majority of Muslims that Russia is a part of the west. Now you’re shifting the topic to how the former Soviet Union behaved toward its Muslim populace and insisting that I have or have not some obscure agenda which I must acknowledge or something.

    As to your comment on American “left” “liberal” “progressives” that goes without saying. There’s an Iraki saying “Away goes the white dog and comes the black dog” – living and working as I do in the Middle East I agree completely. When it comes to the consistently despicable way in which America and Americans behave abroad particularly in their war against Muslims there is no difference between American “left” “liberal” “progressives” and the various shades of American right-wing and extreme right-wing politics.

    Ian has made the point on occasion that the Obama administration is a more effective evil than was that of George W. Bush I agree completely.

    mfi

  90. September 27, 2012

    MB,

    You’re a silly goose. Your latest comment towards me is not worth a serious response but, as before, your frothy mix of paranoia, persecution complex and deluded self-importance remains amusing.

    “They” are out to get you and are following you and some of us right here!!! might be in on it! Clearly you are a threat to “The Man” that needs to be stopped! OMG!!!

  91. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    You’re the idiot, ks. I suppose all that money that’s going to the Dept of Homeland Security, The CIA, the NSA, Darpa, The FBI, the ATF, the DEA…..the list goes on and on….is for what exactly? Oh, I see, ks really does believe there are Muslim terrorists around every corner and under every bed, and those myriad agencies are using that money efficaciously to pursue and thwart terrorist attacks. No, it could never be to control a possible unruly populace when the shit hits the fan….NEVER. That’s paranoia talking. Those agencies are busy frying all those Big Fish, aren’t they, ks?

    And what the hell are you talking about when you say “persecution complex?” Shove your armchair pop psychology up your ass. It makes no sense. It’s not about me….it’s about everyone here. You’re the one trying to make it about me by making up bullshit descriptions like “persecution complex.” Next you’ll be telling me I wanted to kill my father and fuck my mother. Go get a PhD and hang out your shingle. Maybe you can offer pro bono to the PTSD GIs. Psychiatrists make much better money than the zero you make to support intelligence creeps on the internets…..and, you can still support them with your tax money when you start making the Big Dough. It’s a win win since psychology seems to be your passion.

    .

  92. September 27, 2012

    MB,

    You are one strange person.

  93. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    For that matter, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are war crimes equal to those of the Axis Powers, especially if one accepts Prof Arno Mayer’s arguments in his “Why Did The Heavens
    Not Darken?”

    Do you expect American left-liberals are going to, as a group, admit to this?
    If they had that kind of temperament, Obama would have been primaried from the Left.

    His drone bombing in Af-Pakistan-Yemen is beginning to approximate Bush-Cheney’s
    war crimes, and they turn a blind eye because what is a Paki life compared to
    the rights for gays to marry?

    I agree with all of that, but I don’t need Arno Mayer’s book to validate it.

    .

  94. Morocco Bama permalink
    September 27, 2012

    .

    Here’s an excellent review of Arno Mayer’s book, The Furies, where he presents his treatise about Revolutions and violence. His conclusions on the matter are very much at odds with his historian colleagues. I have to say, his analysis does resonate with me. I bring this up, because Revolution has been discussed more than once here, and it appears to be implied in this discussion, even if unconsciously.

    http://bostonreview.net/BR26.2/robin.html

    Few historians, according to Mayer, understand just how unreconstructed Europe was before the “second thirty years war” of 1914-1945, when two worldwide military conflicts and an ascendant socialism finally destroyed the “nobilitarian” world. With the exception of Great Britain, every European economy prior to this time was dominated by landed wealth, much of it in the hands of dynastic aristocracies. Most European countries did not grant universal male suffrage until the eve of World War I, and even then representative assemblies remained in thrall to the old order. Upper legislative houses, composed almost exclusively of the nobility and the church, routinely vetoed lower houses. In Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, monarchs appointed and dismissed cabinet ministers, summoned and dissolved parliaments, controlled foreign policy, and declared states of emergency. In Britain, more than half of the cabinet appointments before 1905 (when the Liberals were elected to power) came from families of the titular nobility; from 1906 to 1916, that number dropped only to 49 percent. Without the socialist assault on the “forces of order” and two cataclysmic wars, Europe would have remained in thrall to these feudal remnants. Revolution did not catapult Europe into modernity in one fell swoop—the old regime was too powerful. Instead, erratic revolutionary waves rushed in, crashed on the old regime, and then receded, leaving the terrain slightly altered. Mayer’s work thus combined the spirits of Karl Marx and Jacob Burckhardt, capturing “the high drama of progressive change but also the relentless tragedy of historical perseverance.”

    But The Furies implicitly calls into question even this muted profession of radical faith. For Mayer’s emphasis on vengeance suggests that revolutions not only fail to break fully with history, they initiate a full-scale descent into the past. Far from inaugurating a new style of popular politics, they repeat ancient cycles of violence and retribution. (The title of his book recalls “the time of Aeschylus’s Greece,” when “intense foreign and civil war, fear and disorder, were entwined with an endless cycle of spiraling violence.”) Mayer’s newfound pessimism reflects, I suspect, more than his awareness that Lenin unleashed more violence than the tsar or that Stalin promoted as much mysticism as Rasputin. One can read between the lines of The Furies the faint newsprint of daily dispatches from the former Soviet Union reporting the revival of the Orthodox church, rampant tuberculosis epidemics, and the virtual collapse of a modern state. Given this return of premodernity, it no longer may be possible to believe in revolutions as agents of long-term, irreversible progress.

    Mayer unwittingly opens these revolutions to the corrosive accusation that they were doomed from the outset—that, for all the blood they shed, they never moved history even one inch forward. His argument thus brings to mind what Albert Hirschman once called the “futility thesis”—the notion that any “attempt at change is abortive, that in one way or another any alleged change is, was, or will be largely surface, facade, cosmetic, hence illusory, as the ‘deep’ structures of society remain wholly untouched.” Mayer’s elegiac reflections on the inability of the Bolsheviks to defeat fully the old regime—his account of the French Revolution is more ambivalent—unintentionally raise the question of whether, in the end, revolutions are worth the trouble.

    And yet, setting The Furies against the narratives of Pipes and Furet, it is clear that Mayer’s brand of Marxism still has a historiographical task to perform. For in their focus on the ideological and psychological villainy of revolutionary leaders, Furet and Pipes evince a quasi-religious, pre-modern worldview. They depict revolutions as willful acts of rebellion that inevitably produce terrible results because of the evil inherent in the very idea of revolution. Revolutionaries are Promethean criminals, pursuing an almost sinful desire to exercise their untrammeled will. Once men and women set about to create the world anew, they invariably find themselves marching toward the gulag, for the utopian idea does not allow for compromise and unleashes a destructive desire to rip society apart. No external events, no political opposition, no challenging armies are needed to turn revolutions into bloodbaths; the logic of rebellion leads straight to the executioner. Such a position is hardly new; in fact, it was advanced circa 1570 in a homily condemning rebellion as “the first and greatest, and the very root of all other sins, and the first and principal cause both of all worldly and bodily miseries.”

    .

  95. amspirnational permalink
    September 27, 2012

    MarkfromIreland

    You went out of your way above to call the Soviet a Western Empire. It was not, but Afghanis did drive it out with Amer-Zionist help.

    Frankly, I don’t expect the man or woman on the Muslim street to be able to distinguish between the West and Russia. Equally, I don’t expect it of them. But you have no way of establishing the Muslim on the street regards Russia as part of the West; there are no polls extant on the question. Gamel Abdel Nasser certainly did not regard the USSR as a Western political entity, distinguishing between the two often.

    The work the Soviet did with the Rejectionist Bloc contrasts with the Amer-Zionist
    wroight havoc appreciably. I can’t tell from your remarks whether Russia drawing the
    line at Syria/Iran against Amer-Zionist aims would interest you in the least as a positive.

    What you call the West and I call West as historical curio only, I call largely the supine and/or occupied part of Europe as related to Amer-Zionism.

    That is why, for example, Germans who care about their nation currently, will adopt a friendlier attitude to Putin than to Obama or any American likely to be president.

  96. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 27, 2012

    Shutting down the comments on this post. It’s been useful, I think, but it’s run it’s course and devolved to little more than insults.

    The point of the original post, which MFI was kind enough to reinforce, was about the brutality of the US invasion and its cost, in “human terms” and otherwise. One of the costs in the hatred for America. That hatred is going to have real, significant costs.

Comments are closed.