Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Turkey Kills More Kurds With U.S. Weaponry

Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered his warplanes to bomb Kurdish "terrorists" in Iraq and Syria, including a communications center of the Kurdish PKK, a "terrorist" group whose leader is imprisoned by Turkey and with whom Erdoğan ended a truce agreement in order to wipe them out. As part of that process, he has unleashed brutal repression and devastating destruction on Kurdish villages in Turkey, just as Turkey has done in the past to its Kurdish minority (who were long forbidden to even use the Kurdish language).

In the process of using its U.S.-built and supplied warplanes to drop U.S.-supplied munitions on the PKK site, "good" Kurdish fighters the U.S. backs were killed.

It'll be interesting to see what the Trump regime does if and when Turkish pilots, flying their U.S.-supplied warplanes, drop some U.S.-supplied bombs that accidentally (or "accidentally") kill some U.S. Special Forces operating with the Kurds. Trump has business interests in Turkey, and has lavishly praised Turkish autocrat Erdogan. Trump congratulated the would-be dictator of Turkey on "winning" the referendum that gives Erdoğan essentially dictatorial powers. (he already has such powers de facto. He has fired about 120,000 from their jobs, using a failed military coup as an excuse, and imprisoned thousands, including about 150 journalists.

The referendum supposedly passed by 51%, but that included a million and a half invalid ballots that lacked an official stamp on their envelopes as required by Turkish law. Observers raised doubts about the outcome. Turks who have criticized the referendum are being denounced by Erdoğan as "traitors."

That makes sense. Disloyalty to dictators is treason, because the dictator is equated with the state.

I am the State is the invariable principle of tyrants.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trump Merely Carrying Out Obama's Bombing Policy in Mosul, Iraq

It should come as no surprise to deluded supporters of the Democratic Party, yet it would if they'd ever let the facts into their brains (which they won't), but Trump is just continuing Obama's bombing policy in Mosul, a policy that slaughters dozens or more civilians for each ISIS sniper "taken out" (as U.S. slang for kill has it).
Anand Gopal of The Nation Institute (a project of The Nation magazine) let this particular cat out of the bag in an interview on Democracy Now! Gopal had recently returned from iraq.
Here is a key quote from Gopal:
"What Trump has been doing in Iraq is essentially carrying out Obama's policy. It seems from here like it's an escalation but it's actually not an escalation....Obama actually relaxed the rules of engagement a number of times including most recently in late December, when he made it easier for forces on the ground to call in airstrikes, and I think this is actually the biggest cause for the spike in civilian casualties nothing that Trump has done." [My emphasis.] [1]
Yet Obama is still allowed to shelter his brutal butchery behind his mask of benignness, thoughtfulness, and sham progressivism.
This strategy is totally unnecessary militarily. Instead of employing countersnipers to kill ISIS snipers, or using a more appropriate ordnance to do the job, the U.S. drops heavy explosives from the air, demolishing buildings and slaughtering scores of civilians sheltering in basements. These airstrikes are often called in by U.S. “Special Forces” on the ground in Mosul. All the while, the U.S. military piously parrots its guff about how much they try to minimize civilian casualties.
Another way the U.S. shifts responsibility is using the Israeli line when the Israelis exterminate Palestinians civilians- their intended targets used the victims as “human shields.” Two points: if you know there are civilians in the way, and you kill them anyway, that's on YOUR head. Second: if you DON'T know civilians are there, then the “enemy” DIDN'T employ them as “shields.” To be “shields,” the enemy would have to announce it, make it obvious, conspicuously put the civilians in harm's way. Of course, in neither the case of the repeated Israeli assaults on Gaza (“mowing the lawn,” in the blood-chilling phrase the Israelis use among themselves to refer to these periodic “cleansings”) nor the U.S. case of bombing mosques and homes and whatever is it true that civilians were used in this way. The U.S. claims to be unaware of the presence of civilians in the targets it bombs.
And we know the U.S. has competent snipers it could use instead of aerial bombing- surely better-trained ones than those ISIS can deploy. The late racist killer Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL sniper, boasted of killing hundreds of Iraqis. During the Vietnam War, Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock slaughtered hundreds of Vietnamese. One of the most chilling things I ever read was in a celebratory book describing how he exterminated a company of badly-led teenage soldiers in Vietnam. Horrible. Alvin York was a self-taught sharpshooter who killed 25 German soldiers in a single attack in World War I. By now, the U.S. military has refined sniping to an advanced science, enabling their killers to eliminate enemies from distances of over a mile away. They are also highly trained in created hidden positions from which to observe and snipe.
Meanwhile, in Syria, according to Gopal, Obama assiduously avoided bombing assets of the Assad regime. This in utter contradiction to his announced policy that "Assad must go," and alleged U.S. support for Syrian rebels. Obama's bombing concentrated on bombing jihadist groups. Trump's one-off attack on an Assad airbase following the sarin attack that killed children and adults was the first U.S. airstrike against the Assad regime. (Unfortunately it was largely ineffective as the base was operational within a day and more air attacks on the Syrian population followed.)
Cynical and immoral, the U.S. avoids yet another opportunity to use its force wisely in ways to help those they pretend they want to help.

1] “Trump Carrying Out Obama's Bombing Policies in Iraq, Sacrificing CiviliansTo Kill ISIS Snipers”-Videoclip here. From Democracy Now! 4/20/17 program. Democracy Now! airs a one-hour program Monday through Friday, the audio of which is broadcast on radio stations. The television show, with additional segments, is available free on their well-constructed website, democracynow.org, along with transcripts. It is a good source for information that the corporate oligarchic media (aka “the media”) either barely mentions or blacks out entirely. Also people who rarely or never get to speak in establishment media have a platform here. Unfortunately the politics of democracy now! Is rather muddled and naive. For example, since they adamantly oppose any use of U.S. military power ever, (this being “pro-peace,” apparently) their response to such things as ISIS atrocites, the murderousness of the Assad regime, etc., is limited to handwringing, bleating ineffectual “demands,” and calls for “a diplomatic solution,” apparently not realizing no such thing is possible with the likes of ISIS, Assad, etc.
Perhaps worse, they are also in effect accessories in major crimes of the Deep State by refusing to air the facts about them, such as the three major U.S. Domestic assassinations (the Kennedys and King- they never mention who killed King for example, despite frequent references to his assassination) and the nanothermite demolition of the three buildings at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
Still, the website/program is valuable for what it offers.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trump's Double Bluff of North Korea

U.S. emperor Donald John Trump said on April 12th that he was sending a carrier battle group steaming towards North Korea. “We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: He [North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un] is doing the wrong thing,” Trump blustered on Murdoch’s propaganda cable TV channel Fox “News.” (Funny thing, though. While he was campaigning for president, Trump kept bellowing that the U.S. military was “hollowed out.” Maybe he filled the military void with his own personal Greatness.)

But an obvious bluff, as the U.S. simply can't attack that nation.

Well, it turns out he was bluffing about bluffing. The carrier group never headed towards North Korea.  It went to the Indian Ocean for joint exercises with the Australian navy.

What could be more lame than a fake bluff?

"Weak!" as a certain blowhard might say.

"Ya gotta be smart like ME if you wanna outfox dem Orientals!"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bully Boy Trump Meets His Match in Kim Jong-un

The U.S. habitually forces other nations to bend to its will by using diplomatic arm-twisting, economic warfare or brute military force. The U.S. has been using all three against North Korea since the Korean War, and since the regime of Clinton and running through Bush the Younger, Obama, and now Trump The Narcissist, the U.S. has been trying to reverse North Korea's nuclear weapons development, presumably with the addition of cyberwarfare in the arsenal of U.S. weaponry. [1]
But North Korea is proving a tough nut for the U.S. to crack.
The country has great internal cohesion, unlike easy targets of U.S. coups like Chile in 1973, Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, or Ukraine in 2014, among other examples. Nor can the U.S. simply invade, as it did the Dominican Republic in 1965, Grenada in 19 83, Panama in 1989, Haiti and Nicaragua in the early 20th century, Cuba and the Philippines circa 1898 and so on.
The internal cohesion of NK is based on the extreme totalitarianism of the regime, and the effective brainwashing of the populace, backed by coercion. (Actually most nations rely on brainwashing through propaganda and indoctrination in the school system backed by coercion. That description certainly fits the U.S.) The impracticality of invasion stems from the fact that NK has nuclear weapons, and a conventional military that in any event would inflict significant casualties on a U.S. invasion force- something U.S. ruling elites are deathly afraid of, for good reasons.
Donald Trump, a lifelong bully, apparently thinks he can intimidate the North Koreans. That is amazingly obtuse. It is perfectly obvious that the North Koreans are extremely tough and very hard. Trump has been issuing verbal threats for several weeks, vowing to "take care of the problem" of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs. His Secretary of State, Rex "Mr. ExxonMobil" Tillerson, has echoed the threats, saying that "all options are on the table," U.S.-gangsterspeak for You Better Be Afraid We Will Attack You With Our Military.
Currently Trump is rushing a carrier battle group at North Korea. NK's response has been a threat to launch a preemptive nuclear attack. In other words, if they think the U.S. is going to attack them, they will launch.
Whether or not that's a bluff, it is highly reckless of the Trump regime to test it.
A better tact would be to accept the reality that war with North Korea is simply insane, and negotiate. For one thing, there is no practical way to stop the North from destroying South Korea's capital and economic heart, Seoul, in a matter of hours with the 10,000 artillery pieces embedded in a mountain just over the border. Except maybe by hydrogen bombing the mountain, which would release vast quantites of radioactive fallout over South Korea and Japan and China and ineed the whole region (as well as float over the entire globe, including the U.S.). And of course the U.S. would simultaneously have to "take out" the North's nuclear arsenal- except that the U.S. does not know where all of it is hidden.
China has been advocating negotiations. True, previous negotiations "failed." That is, they produced temporary (or no) results. The first deal, cut by Clinton, might have worked if the U.S. hadn't double-crossed the North on a promise to build civilian nuclear power plants. (The U.S. said, Oh, Japan is supposed to build those. Japan never did, so the North surreptitiously began nuclear weapons work again.) But it did halt the North's development of nuclear weaponry for a few years. And yes, NK basically has practiced a policy of diplomatic extortion, using its nuclear arsenal as threat. Realistically one shouldn't expect the North to ever give up that arsenal, as without it it has no leverage. At best, perhaps a halt to its further development could be negotiated.
To be sure, the dynastic Kim regime is fanatical and unreasonable, but not wholly irrational. One good starting point for negotiations would be to propose a formal end to the Korean War by treaty. (There is actually just a truce in place.) However, the U.S. hates compromising with an adversary, especially one perceived as weak. This is why the U.S. prolonged the Vietnam War for so long, seeking "victory" (by pummelling the Vietnamese into submission). (Lyndon Johnson contemptuously likened North Vietnam to "a dwarf with a penknife" threatening the U.S.! There's the mentality you're dealing with.)
North Korea feels genuinely threatened by the U.S. Increasing that threat only increases the North's belligerence and determination to create a nuclear deterrent that can destroy not only U.S. bases in the Far East, but attack the continental U.S. The only strategy that has a chance to stop the development of North Korean ICBMs is negotiation and compromise, as distasteful as that is.
Nor should Trump count on China to bail out the U.S. China has expressed its strong objection to the THAAD anti-missile system the U.S. is preparing to deploy in South Korea, seeing it as neutralizing China's own missiles. Nor do they want to undermine the North Korea regime or bring it to its knees. It fears in that event that the South would take over the North, bring a U.S. client up to China's doorstep, and/or creating a flood of North Korean refugees into China (on top of the flow that already exists). (China has cancelled North Korean coal exports to China for this year, to express displeasure with North Korean missile tests. Oddly, it has been reported that bilateral trade has increased despite this. A real blow would be if China cut off oil shipments to the North. That would surely cripple the North's military. There is no indication China intends to go that far.)
But between a U.S. president who is ignorant, bombastic, blustering, narcissistic, and accustomed to getting his way through intimidation and bullying, and a U.S. military that is ascendant in the foreign policy arena (Trump has put generals in charge of the Pentagon and National Security Council, and diminished the role of the State Department, even proposing to cut its budget by 28%), it is hard to be optimistic about an intelligent strategy being adopted as U.S. policy. Not that the military necessarily wants war, but that after all is all they know how to do.

1] Overtly and covertly, the U.S. has used military and terroristic violence thousands of times in its history. Examples of economic warfare include against Cuba starting in 1959; against Chile from 1970 to 1973, when Nixon gave CIA secret police chief Richard Helms orders to "make the economy scream" to destabilize that country and overthrow elected socialist president Salvador Allende; against Iran since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979; 

Why the hell is this man laughing?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trump Gets Credit/Blame For Military Actions Obama Set In Train

The Big Bomb dropped on ISIS caves in Afghanistan has made a big splash in the media. Peaceniks are horrified, for some reason.

The GPU-43 is a 22,000 pound bomb, the largest conventional explosive in the U.S. arsenal. The U.S. military nicknamed it MOAB, for Mother Of All Bombs. (Ooh, such a puckish sense of humor Our Brave Warriors have!) The idea of dropping it on the cave complex was to kill the people inside by shock wave and oxygen deprivation, thus avoiding having to take casualties. 

Various claims on the results. The U.S. military had no enemy KIA (Killed In Action) figure to report.

Somehow, the Afghan Defense Ministry immediately knew how many dead enemy were in the caves and tunnels: 36. The Washington Post played naive, stating "It was unclear why the Afghan government released casualty figures but U.S. forces did not." Actually it's VERY clear. The Afghans just MADE IT UP. [1]

ISIS, through their "news" agency, gave a casualty figure of zero. Sure thing, ISIS. 

Establishment media in the U.S. (and the British government propaganda network BBC) reported zero casualties. Democracy Now! cited a local Afghan politician who claimed a teacher and his son were killed.

The Big Bomb was in fact sent to Afghanistan by Obama in the waning days of his regime.

Similarly, the recent Navy SEAL raid in Yemen in January which one whole SEAL was killed and several dozen women and children were slain was planned under Obama, who hadn't yet given the final go-ahead. Yet another member of Anwar al-Awlaki's family was disposed of in that attack, an 8-year-old girl. ("U.S.A.! U.S.A.!")

Democrats are shy about taking a share of the credit.

1] "Some in Afghanistan question U.S. choice to use 22,000-pound bomb against ISIS," Washington Post, April 14, 2017.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Now That Trump Has Angered Russia By Attacking a Syrian Airbase, Will The U.S. Establishment Stop Painting Him as Putin's Puppet?

Maybe. They'll have to at least tone it down for awhile. Of course, they can always come up with some conspiracy theory. Perhaps it's a big trick that Putin and Trump secretly arranged. The notorious CIA psychopath James Jesus Angleton was able to explain away the Sino-Soviet split, which included gun battles on their border, as a ruse designed to trick the West. The capacities of the mind to deny even obvious realities is seemingly endless.

One thing that won't be changed is the attempt to connect Trump and those who aided his campaign or who work in his regime to Russia's "interference in our election" "attack on our democracy" "hacking our election" "undermining our freedom" -all that guff.

But maybe the Democrats and the media and the military and the secret police will allow themselves to breathe easier about Trump interfering with their new Cold War against Russia. Looks like relations aren't going to get better anytime soon.

Donald Trump, showing a decisiveness that Barack Hussein Obama often lacked, (except when targeting protesters, whistleblowers, and journalists for repression, and wedding parties and funerals for obliteration by drone), ordered a military response to the latest Assad regime atrocity, a sarin gas attack on defenseless Syrians. 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two U.S. Navy ships (destroyers) in the Mediterranean Sea against an Assad regime airbase in Syria which the U.S. believes was the base from which the aerial sarin gas attack was launched on civilians living in rebel areas. At least 87 people, including children, died in the Assad sarin gas attack, and hundreds were injured. The Pentagon claimed to have destroyed 20 military aircraft, fuel and arms depots, and radar. They avoided what they believed was a poison gas depot. [1] 

The U.S. gave the Russians advance notice so as to avoid Russian casualties, willingly compromising the effectiveness of the attack by giving the Assad regime time to move planes and clear out. The regime claimed a mere 7 deaths in the attack. And given what liars they are, even that might be an exaggeration.

The Assad regime and Putin and his minions responded angrily to the bombardment of the base. Putin himself denounced the U.S. destruction of one of Assad's terror bases as a violation of international law and of Syria's sovereignty. (I guess murdering large numbers of the population of the country one misrules and laying waste to its cities and towns is perfectly legal under "international law.") Note the equation of the Assad regime with "Syria." What is "Syria," anyway? Is it just a geographical entity? Is it equivalent to a regime? Or is it the people who live there?

If no one lived in that area of the earth, would it be "Syria"?

The Assad regime hasn't been a legitimate government for 6 years, ever since the overwhelming majority of the people tried to shrug off its malign rule. The Assad gang of criminals responded with a slogan they painted on walls: "Assad, or Syria Burns." They've been making good on that threat for 6 years now.

A Russian jackass on the BBC said the sarin attack was "a provocation," that is, Assad didn't do it. Rather, "terrorists" had a sarin factory which they somehow tricked Assad or the Russians into bombing, releasing gas. Oh, right. Sergei Markov of the United Russia Party and a pas member of the Duma (Russian legislature) came on the BBC to spew this offal. (Manufacturing sarin is a complex process. The people in the victimized area rely on generators for electricity- hardly conditions to support a modern factory. Furthermore, sarin is a binary weapon. Two chemicals are combined upon deployment to produce the poison. Bombing a sarin factory would cause the chemicals to burn, not properly combine.)

"It's just your propaganda," Markov retorted when confronted with the facts.  The BBC host pointed out that if you bomb the chemicals that combine to make sarin, it burns. "You try to protect clear propaganda slogan!" Markov indignantly snorted, sounding like a cartoon caricature of a Russian apparatchik. Then he presented a conspiracy theory that al-Nusra set the whole thing up to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Russia in "the fight against terrorism." Of course, the Russian definition of "terrorism" in the Syrian context is quite a bit more expansive than the U.S. one. The U.S. brands certain Islamo-jihadi groups as terrorist. Russia and the Assad regime brand all resistance to Assad's evil rule as terrorism. The U.S. wants to recruit Russia under its "fighting terrorism" banner to destroy designated groups in Syria (like ISIS and al-Nusra), while Russia and Assad want to recruit the U.S. under its banner to support Assad and crush the rebellion against him, also in the name of "fighting terrorism."

What's especially cynical on the part of Assad and his patrons is that Assad deliberately treated ISIS and its ilk with benign neglect to allow it build up its strength. He did this to "prove" his narrative that he was "fighting terrorism," all the while directing his firepower at the non-jihadi rebel grouplets. That of course allowed ISIS to grow in strength and range in Syria.

Trump arguably inadvertently "caused" Assad to use sarin by previously making it clear that he had no interest in overthrowing Assad, only in obliterating ISIS. If so, Assad must have forgotten that Trump is mercurial and unpredictable. Which in this case turned out to be a good thing.

Unless, that is,  you're okay with people being mutilated and slaughtered by an evil regime. Here's the odd contradiction about leftists who are strongly allergic to any use of U.S. power. They decry the human suffering, wring their hands, demand "peace," which apparently is to be obtained by magic, since it is obvious that there is no way to negotiate a satisfactory resolution with a sadistic regime like Assad's, no more than World War II could have been settled by negotiation- but when the U.S., after 6 years of diffidence and fecklessness and half-assed measures, finally does something that will save some lives -one airbase and its armada of planes out of action [2]- they're all bent out of shape that the U.S. "bombed Syria," as they put it, misleadingly. Yes, the military target was indeed inside Syria. "Bombing Syria" is grossly hyperbolic and deliberately inflammatory, as if the entire country is under U.S. bombardment. I'll tell you who is "bombing Syria;" Assad and Russia are. [3]

I suppose people like Seymour Hersh will now swing into action to "prove" that yes indeed, it was rebel sarin. Same as he did after the infamous chemical attack that crossed Obama's "red line." Back then Hersh wrote an unconvincing article whose content was about 80% derived from a single "intelligence source." (That was the extent of the identification.) My Lai massacre story fame or not, No Sale, Buddy. [4]

But there is valid criticism of Trump that is mostly from leftists. He should stop trying to blacklist Syrian refugees, and fund humanitarian aid. 

Trump justified his decision in terms of U.S. "national security" and to discourage use of chemical weapons. Syria is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Treaty. I don't know whether that treaty bars use of chemical weaponry against one's own populace, but it should. And Trump was practically obligated to invoke "national security" rationales. He beats the America First (American selfishness) drum loudly. And the dominant ideology of U.S. power is "national security." And the type of people he most appeals to don't think the U.S. should "be the world's policeman." If he'd just used humanitarian justification, a thousand voices would have demanded to know why he doesn't use U.S. power in every place on earth there is human suffering.

There's been plenty of asinine speculation in the media as to his motives. He's "trying to create a distraction" is number one on this list of psycho-political speculations. The most obvious motive is ignored- the one that's plainly visible. He said he watched news of the victims' suffering, and was upset that children were painfully killed. He has children, he experienced them as defenseless youngsters. Could it be his feelings are genuine? Maybe he's human. Being a narcissist and egomaniac and a braggart doesn't rule out having human emotions. And Trump strikes me as very emotional, and obviously he reacts to what he sees on television. Maybe he really wanted to hit Assad for what he did. I know I would.

And sure, if the U.S. retaliates for killing civilians with sarin, why not for killing them with barrel bombs, or chlorine, or artillery shells, etc.? Personally, I wish the U.S. had knocked out Assad's air power the first year of the rebellion. Then the people of Syria would have had a fighting chance. As it is, one of Obama's excuses for standing down was that jihadists would take over. Which, in a lovely self-fulfilling prophecy, they have to some degree, at least becoming prominent among those fighting Assad.

If there were an "international community" worthy of the name, a mighty multinational army would have invaded Syria long ago and dragged Assad and his hench to The Hague in chains for trial. (Unfortunately the International Criminal Court has no death penalty. It surely needs one. This might annoy progressives, but people who murder vast numbers of people surely should forfeit their own lives. Not because "we're killing people to prove killing people is wrong." Because they have no respect for the lives of others and thus don't deserve to live. And in the case of politicians and despots, a death penalty would definitely have some deterrent effect.

The bottom line- Donald Trump is not all bad. Mostly bad, but not entirely. Too bad knee-jerk anti-Trump partisans and brain-dead "peace activist" ideologues can't see that.

1] Sarin "gas" and nerve "gas" are actually misnomers. These nerve agents are liquids. Sarin is a binary weapon- that is, it consists of two chemicals which when combined creates the nerve poison. It gets dispersed as liquid droplets, which when they land on exposed skin or are inhaled, cause neurons to fire uncontrollably. A tiny amount is usually fatal. There are antidotes but they must be administered quickly. U.S. soldiers typically are given injectors with the antidote.

Sarin and the other nerve poisons were invented by German scientists working for the Third Reich in World War II. They were never used in combat. Speculation is that Hitler decided against their use because he had been gassed with mustard gas and was temporarily blinded on the Western front during World War I, in which he fought as a corporal. (A highly decorated one, having received Germany's highest medal, the Iron Cross, which was usually reserved for officer.)

2]  However Mara Liasson on NPR the morning of April 8 says planes are still flying out of the bombed airfield. Sounds improbable so soon after hits from 59 missiles aimed at fuel and munitions depots. By April 9th other media reported the same. Liasson also opined of Trump: "Is he an isolationist? Is he an interventionist? That just isn't clear right now."

Allow me to clarify, Mara: he's an improvisationalist.

3]  See, for example, this hysterical and just plain false headline from Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! program:

Now, there are two basic ways to define "World" in this context: governments of nation-states, or the people of the world. A number of governments- U.S. allies like Britain, Germany, France, and Israel- have come out in support of Trump's action. Russia and Syria naturally condemn it. As for the world's people, I suspect most would be more shocked by the murder of children by chemical attack than by the wholly justified retaliation for that crime, assuming they have the information.

Also note the parroting of the Russian propaganda line about "violating international law." Could be, in some technical sense. But is that the most important aspect of things? As a way to frame the issue, it buries the atrocious behavior of Assad and his foreign backers.

4]  There's plenty of evidence this time around. Turkish strongman Erdogan sent Turkish TV crews to the site of the sarin attack to provide footage of the victims. Doctors confirmed the symptoms of sarin poisoning. Journalist Kareem Shaheem visited the abandoned warehouse and grain silo that Russia claims stores rebel sarin. He reports there was nothing there. Within minutes of the  sarin attack the regime immediately bombed the medical clinics treating the survivors. This clearly was a pre-planned chemical attack by the Assad regime. (NPR Weekend Edition the morning of April 9.) All this coverage has made it harder for the Russo-Assad lie to fly.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Trump Regime Bumping Up Against The Limits of Bluster In Latest North Korean Missile Test

North Korea just launched its second missile test of recent days, on the eve of the visit of Chinese autocrat Xi Jinping to tough-talking narcissist Donald J. Trump, president of the U.S. on account of the defective U.S. electoral system in which a guy who LOST by 2.9 million votes to his Democratic rival, "won." Trump lured Xi to his lair in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, a tacky palace of ostentatious bad taste.

Trump said just before that if China didn't rein in North Korea, the U.S. would take care of it. How, as with every Trump claim of action, he didn't say.

After the previous North Korean missile test, Trump's Secretary of State, the former boss of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, threatened that "all options are on the table," which in U.S.-Imperialist-speak, is a threat of military attack.

Well, the pathological cult regime of NK just launched a second missile test on the even of Xi's visit (timing not accidental), and this time the riposte of the U.S. State Department, representing The Most Powerful Nation On Earth, was quite a bit more subdued, to wit:

"The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment."

Somehow that's not as scary as the last comment.

Ironically, the Trumpoids condemn the Obama regime for weakness in letting the murderous Bashir Assad, destroyer of Syria, call his bluff on the use of chemical weapons. Here is North Korea calling the bluff of tough-talking Trump and Tillerson.

Good luck, guys.

Julian Assange Dodges a Bullet in Ecuadorean Presidential Election

They just concluded a presidential election in Ecuador. Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the outgoing president, but the British, being loyal stooges of the U.S., refused to allow him safe passage to Ecuador, so he's been trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for years, surrounded by British police and secret police outside, like a treed animal.

The British want to extradict him to Sweden, not to face charges- contrary to false media reporting, no charges have ever been filed against him- but to be interrogated a second time concerning sexual (mis)behavior. (Failure to use a condom during intercourse.) The Swedes have adamantly refused to question him in Britain. In Sweden he will be automatically locked up in jail during this process. (And you thought Sweden was liberal! Sweden helped the CIA kidnap two Egyptians from Sweden to send them to Egypt for torturing.)

The current vice president, Lenin Moreno, won the election, luckily for Assange, because the rightwing candidate, a rich reactionary banker dog named Guillermo Lasso, vowed to throw Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London into the eager clutches of the British police, from when he would be shipped straight to a Swedish jail cell. 9As I said, NOT because he'd been convicted of a crime, NOT EVEN because he was so much as CHARGED with a crime, but for "investigation." Investigation of not using a condom.)

Banker Lasso, having lost 51-49%, is crying fraud. The BBC says he "is disputing the results and alleging fraud." Unlike what they kept saying about Trump's accusation that Obama wiretapped him, the  BBC DIDN'T say "without evidence," about Lasso's baseless sour grapes/sore loser charge.

Typically, the reactionary attacks the legitimacy of the result. As far as reactionaries are concerned, ONLY THEY have a right to rule. Guillermo accused his predecessor of trying to install an illegitimate government. "Illegitimate" means following policies that reactionaries don't like.

Lasso has called his mobs into the streets to protest the "fraud." Needless to say, if they get violent and have to be suppressed, the U.S. will denounce the "brutal repression" of the government. It will cloak rightwing violence inthe fine verbal garb of free speech, freedom of assembly, human rights, blah blah blah. Same shit it pulled in Ukraine, where fascist mobs were setting policemen on fire and trying to storm government buildings, and Obama demanded that the security forces be ordered to retreat!

Meanwhile, the U.S. blinds and maims Dakota Access pipeline protesters in North Dakota.

The cynicism of U.S. elites is truly vile.