Posts Tagged iraq

Insulting War and the Military Can Cost You

See, this is what happens when you insult the military industrial complex and their tools and means to an end: soldiers and veterans and the very war machine that keeps getting romanticized by the war mongers running this country.

More than three-quarters of voters have heard about Donald Trump’s spat with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim Americans whose son died serving as an Army captain in the 2003 Iraq war that Hillary Clinton voted for.

And that’s not good news for Trump.

According to a new Fox News poll, 77 percent of voters knew of the harsh words exchanged between Trump and the Khans in the wake of Khizr Khan’s fiery anti-Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention. Nearly 7 in 10 of those who have heard about the controversy think Trump stepped over the line.

“I’m undecided now. I was leaning for him, but the last few days, what he’s been saying about that soldier and his parents, he’s made several comments I don’t like,” said Larry Fountain, a 67-year-old Navy veteran and retired pipe fitter from Starks, Louisiana, who listened to both Trump and Clinton speak at the VFW’s national convention in North Carolina last week. “I just don’t know.”

Trump said that Khan “viciously attacked” him in the DNC speech, and suggested Ghazala Khan, his wife,  hadn’t spoken because she wasn’t allowed (–> LOL at that. I’m afraid that Trump is, sadly, right on this one. When a friend and I were discussing Khan’s speech at the DNC and why Mr. Khan would sell his son’s memory  out to a candidate who voted for the very war that got him killed, his wife and her silence came into play. We agreed that the poor woman was probably just dragged there by her husband and that even if she had been against supporting a candidate whose vote is responsible for the senseless war that got their son killed, she was likely not allowed to say anything).

The Khans, and with that I mean Mr. Khan, continue to speak out, and Trump has continued to criticize them in response in the days since Thursday’s speech.

Not that I have any use for this sleazebag, charlatan, white supremacist piece of garbage Donald Trump, but I do think that he was right when he pointed out the hypocrisy here about Clinton being the one who voted for the Iraq war that got their son killed.

But in this climate and in this country, people do not want to know or face the truth when it comes to the military. They all want to romanticize war and military duty as this wonderfully amazing and heroic thing and revere soldiers as heroes who are fighting honorable, moral wars to save our country from evil.

No one wants to hear the inconvenient truth about the military industrial complex and the nature of war in general. No one wants to hear about the reasons why the War Department’s budget is so bloated and why and how there are strong monetary incentives for keeping us in a perpetual state of war. No one wants to talk about the human cost of war, in addition to the economic one. No one wants to talk about the the role defense contractors who pay off law makers and profit from war  play in this or even acknowledge the fact that the last legitimate war the US fought was World War 2.

Oh no. That would be unpatriotic and a betrayal to our soldiers. Instead, everyone wants to pretend veterans are heroes, instead of victims used by those in power to fight for dubious causes, such as for the benefit of the powerful and wealthy.  In this particular case, no one wants to acknowledge that Mr. Khan’s support for Hillary Clinton was hypocritical and that his son, Captain Khan, died in a senseless, fraudulent war perpetuated by corrupt politicians, including Clinton, and the military industrial complex.

Captain Khan’s parents, in addition to glorifying and romanticizing war as some heroic thing, sold out his memory to a politician who voted for the very fraudulent war that got their son killed; a politician who will continue military action and meddling in the Middle East to cause even more senseless deaths and harm to the very Muslim community Clinton pretends to care about when hiring a token Muslim, such as Mr Khan, to do her bidding.

These are the conversations leaders and the media do not want to have when they manufacture the consent of the public through propaganda and lies about the nature of war fare, the War Department and our foreign policy objectives. It is all hunky dory and anyone who says otherwise just hates veterans and America.

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ISIS IS Islam

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Religious people and their apologizers do that all the time: It is all good and holy when things go well. Until someone gets hurt, of course, or a follower starts doing something they don’t like. Then, suddenly, they say their faith is misunderstood, misinterpreted and that in fact it is not what their faith is at all about

It is disgusting how out of fear of being called “Islamophobic” people, our President included, keep pandering to this sinister religion and its followers. There is nothing good about Islam and those Muslims who do not act like ISIS or what others call “extremists” are the ones just not taking their religion seriously, and not – as everyone would have us believe – because they are the true Muslims. True Muslims are ISIS, the Taliban and the vice ministry of Saudi Arabia and their credo and agenda is very clear. Sharia is not confined to a lunatic fringe, it is a core of Islam and its teachings. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.

In the Hadith book, which is a report of the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, there is AN ENTIRE CHAPTER of Prescribed Punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud) – that deals with all the ways one should punish those who disobey god or cross him or dont worship him right, including calling for the execution of gays.

Let me repeat this for you: ISLAM CALLS FOR THE EXECUTION OF GAYS (Qur’an (7:80-84) , Qur’an (7:81) , Qur’an (4:16) , Abu Dawud (4462) , Abu Dawud (4448) – “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” (Note the implicit approval of sodomizing one’s wife)., Bukhari (72:774)…)

So I am not really interested in hearing crap like “respecting other peoples’ beliefs” when other peoples’ beliefs are not only harmful but right out fucked up sinister and call for the execution of people based on their sexual orientation and a host of attributes their god doesn’t approve of.

Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli of Iran said, in April of 2012, that homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, since these animals (presumably) do not engage in such acts. In November of that year, a cleric on British television stated, “What should be done to those who practice homosexuality? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture.”

Why am I anti-Islam? Well, for the simple reason that Islam is anti-me, and it’s anti every fundamental value I hold.

This is not just people saying gays shouldn’t get married, which is bad enough, this is people saying they should be killed. There is a difference. And not just gays but infidels and women who show skin and have sex before marriage and atheists and anyone who violates what Muhammed preached.

No one is obliged to pander to these people and be polite and give them a platform and forum to spread their hatred and such worldviews that are barbaric, dangerous and beyond harmful. We have an obligation to speak up and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

I really want to see people who keep saying Islam is the religion of peace and understood to actually open up aKoran and read it cover to cover. Because the reality is that it is not. It is a wretched book all about how one should take revenge on and punish people who do not obey the words of god as dictated to Muahmmed. There is nothing heart-warming and peaceful about Islam. And people who say it are painfully delusional and tragically misguided.

People who defend Islam need to educate themselves about Islam and what it teaches. If you practice and abide by a worldview that calls for the annihilation of those who disagree with them, then you have no right to speak your mind.

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Aaand Here We Go Again

US-ATTACKS-9/11-MEMORIAL-OBAMAIt is a proud, proud moment for war mongers – Republican and Democrat alike  – because President Obama – you know, this amazing shining beacon of Progressivism and the man who was going to do things differently and bring about change we can truly believe and who was supposed to finally be the person to break us out of bad habits such as engaging in fabricated, pointless, illegitimate and not well-thought-out wars that do nothing but suck up our resources and create a milieu ripe for extremists and other such scum that keep targeting us and our people – finally became yet another President to announce military engagement in Iraq, this time without trying to pretend we do it for nation building.

Not wanting to be the first President in a long line of Presidents to not announce military airstrike in Iraq, President Obama proudly announced a bombing campaign in Iraq stating equally proudly that the United States has taken the first step in its planned expanded fight against Islamic State militants (ISIS)  going to the “aid” (uh-huh) of Iraqi security forces near Baghdad who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

The U.S. Central Command said it conducted two airstrikes Sunday and Monday in support of the Iraqi forces near Sinjar and southwest of Baghdad.

A vote on the broader use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) isn’t expected to happen until after Election Day because, of course not. First you lie to the public with lofty speeches and then once you got their votes, you turn around and do what you wanted to do all along by saying something about national security and changing priorities.

The White House feels good about the chances for getting authorization for the package through Congress, a senior administration official said. Obama spoke with lawmakers from both parties on Monday and, according to the official, is personally gratified that he has received support from Republican and Democratic leaders for the proposal.

warAccording to the White House, officials weren’t sure the idea would receive bipartisan support with the public still wary of military action following the Bush years. But, the official said, congressional leaders expressed bipartisan agreement for that path forward during an Oval Office meeting last week with Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Boehner and Obama spoke last Wednesday on the telephone and have cooperated in trying to move the package forward — a sharp shift from the chilliness over much of the last year.

It is interesting that there is bipartisan support for the President’s plan (always a sign that something is amiss because if Republicans are for it, it cannot be good) because nothing brings politicians together more than war and, of course, one is not bound to find a Republican who never met a war he didn’t like.

The only extent to which Republicans and Democrats differ from one another in this is that Republicans worry the military actions  will not go far enough (66%) whereas by contrast, 54% of Democrats say their bigger concern is that it will go too far.

This is amazing: we now have gone straight from nation building to military building and we are not even trying to pretend otherwise anymore.

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Of course, the bigger question to ask – and which everyone on Capitol Hill and the White House refuses to ask –  is whether we really think that bombing Iraq once again, thus undoubtedly causing the deaths of countless innocent people and creating the kind of havoc only war can create, to maybe get a few ISIS operatives is going to put an end to ISIS.

The thing is  that ISIS is the symptom of a larger problem. You bomb and kill them, two new groups will grow in their place in no time and the cycle continues.

That is why military action in such a short-sighted, knee-jerk manner is not the answer. We need to step back and rethink our strategy toward the Middle East altogether, not engage in those very acts that created the milieu that gave rise to entities like ISIS in the first place.

I am afraid that all this will do is perpetuate the violence, create an even bigger disdain for the US and, worse of all, cost the lives of countless innocent people as collateral damage before we are back at square one.

Not to mention that we cannot afford this. Our last engagement in Iraq nearly bankrupted us, we cannot afford another war, however short-lived it allegedly may be. And it will not be short-lived. Once you are in, once you start arming rebels and becoming part of the deal, there is no easy way out. You are bound to stay around to continue and finish what you started. It took us nearly a decade to get out of Iraq (and we are still not really fully out) and we are still in Afghanistan.

I am absolutely terrified and appalled that going to war has become such an easy thing to do with our lawmakers.

We are such a disgraceful country and seem to seriously have no other priorities besides stealing from the masses to get a few people rich and go to wars.

We keep insisting that we do not have the funds to feed our hungry and, therefore, slash food-stamps and welfare programmes; that we cannot extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed; that we cannot increase the minimum wage (as we speak, Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act once again); over the past six or seven years, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to make sure we do not get the Affordable Care Act which makes affordable health care accessible to everyone; we claim we do not have the money to build on, strengthen and expand our social safety net programs and enact a host of middle-class strengthening policies citing lack of resources and a deficit (which, ironically, was created, among other things,  by being in a perpetual state of war); we say we cannot regulate polluters and strengthen regulatory agencies to safeguard the environment and with it our health, slashing their funding, but somehow we seem to be able to always find copious amounts of money to engage in yet another expensive military strike under questionable rationales.

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Quote of the Day

When I was secretary, we had basically a two-war strategy. We had to maintain sufficient forces to be able to fight two wars at once. He switched that. Now we’re going to have a one-war strategy. And that’s all being done as a rationale to justify further deep cuts in the defense budget so he can allocate that money to food stamps or whatever else he wants to spend it on.

Dick-Cheney-1-300x214Dick Cheney criticizing President Obama for prioritizing feeding people over waging wars.

If there ever was any doubt that Republicans do not believe people are entitled to food, what Dick Cheney, former Vice President and eternal war mongering war criminal at large, had to say at an energy industry trade show in Billings, Montana should put all those doubts – and denials – to rest.

If I had not read it, I would not believe that someone is and can be so openly callous so as to state, as a matter-of-factly and with a straight face, that spending money to feed human beings is a waste as that money could be better used engaging in wars.

The thing that is truly disturbing is that he is so cavalier and smug about this. There is not even any pretense to caring about peoples’ lives and the human cost of war. I can almost picture him saying this with the demeanor of a bad cop with a wicked grin who just wants anyone to give him a reason.

Another thing to note, of course, is that President Obama does not and has not prioritized the poor and hungry over anything. He was the architect behind the Draconian sequester (thinking that if he makes it cut-throat enough, it would turn away even Republicans. Little did he know), he failed to close down Gitmo, he continues to support and sign off on the use of drones and, if I recall, he personally signed an $8.7 billion food stamp cut into law!!

So, on the one hand you got this sorry excuse for a human being named Dick Cheney declare, without shame and compunction, that spending money on feeding people as opposed to going to war was a waste and on the other hand you got him accusing the President for having done precisely that when the President has clearly not ever put the poor and hungry before any other cause, including war, the defense budget, Wall Street and private industry in general.

Thirty years ago Obama would have been a proud candidate for the Republican party, palling around side-by-side Ronald Reagan. He is not a liberal, no matter how many times people repeat that. It is just that the Republican party of yesteryear is gone and what has remained has moved substantially more to the Right, getting greedier and more Orwellian than ever, in turn making someone like Obama look like a Liberal.

Conservative hypocrisy and callousness truly have no bounds.

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Pearls of the Profound: Michelle Obama Urges Vets Struggling With Suicide To Not Do It

Michelle-Obama-Jill-BidenWhile her husband, President Barack Obama, has been obsessed with nothing else but attacking Syria and flying all over the world trying to sell a war like it was a bill of goods, Michelle Obama decided to ignore the proverbial giant pink elephant in the room that is her husband’s war mongering and urged military servicemembers, veterans and their families to make use of mental-health resources when they need help as a result of a war that’s fucked them emotionally.

In an an exclusive video for The Huffington Post‘s “Invisible Casualties” series, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Dr. Jill Biden to wholeheartedly and with compassion talk about the “unseen wounds of war” urging –  without compunction and a shred of irony – that those vets who do suffer from the terrible consequences of war and have suicidal thoughts as a result – make use of the various mental health services available to them – completely ignoring the fact that as we speak, her husband is planning yet another unjust war we, as a nation, can neither afford, nor have any business to engage in, and most importantly, do not want.

Shame has no boundaries. Even in the case of otherwise very smart, educated people like Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Dear Michelle, if you really care about those veterans, then maybe tonight,  when you take off your $600 a pair of Jimmy Choos and call it a day, you care to brief your hubby on not starting any more wars. Maybe you should advise him that sending young men and women off to fight in a couple of hellholes in the Middle East for oil, Israel and the military industrial complex, results in the kind of severe emotional and psychological trauma that makes them want to kill themselves; maybe you care to tell him that even though being caught up in that whole “patriotism” thing and putting ribbons on the backs of our SUVs was fun, maybe the best way to prevent emotional damage to people who  are sent to war and then want to go kill themselves as a result is to not send them in the first place.

Those brave men and women that have been used by this government, in the name of god and patriotism, to fight wars for power and money and other dubious reasons don’t need you to tell them to go seek help after they have been knowingly put in a situation that we all know causes those things. ifyou really want to help, then create a climate where they are not sent to those wars in the first place.

What Michelle Obama is doing is the equivalent of a company urging people that have become sick with cancer from its contamination of the water supply to please go seek medical help for the very contamination that they are continuing to cause.

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