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Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 06:48

Too Many Generals Spoil the Democracy 

Trump’s Push to “Win” with Warriors is a Loss for America

By William J. Astore

America has always had a love affair with its generals. It started at the founding of the republic with George Washington and continued with (among others) Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  These military men shared something in common: they were winning generals.  Washington in the Revolution; Jackson in the War of 1812; Taylor in the Mexican-American War; Grant in the Civil War; and Ike, of course, in World War II.  Americans have always loved a hero in uniform -- when he wins.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 23:33
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Dominating the Skies -- and Losing the Wars Air Supremacy Isn’t What It Used to Be PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 23 June 2016 10:02

By William J. Astore

June 21, 2016

In the era of the long war on terror, Thursday, June 2nd, 2016, was a tough day for the U.S. military. Two modern jet fighters, a Navy F-18 Hornet and an Air Force F-16  Fighting Falcon flown by two of America’s most capable pilots, went down, with one pilot killed. In a war that has featured total dominance of the skies by America’s intrepid aviators and robotic drones, the loss of two finely tuned fighter jets was a remarkable occurrence.

As it happened, though, those planes weren’t lost in combat.  Enemy ground fire or missiles never touched them nor were they taken out in a dogfight with enemy planes (of which, of course, the Islamic State, the Taliban, and similar U.S. enemies have none).  Each was part of an elite aerial demonstration team, the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds, respectively. Both were lost to the cause of morale-boosting air shows.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2016 14:02
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The Trillion Dollar Question the Media Have Neglected to Ask Presidential Candidates PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 12 May 2016 07:41

BY LAWRENCE WITTNER | MARCH 21, 2016

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-trillion-dollar-question-the-media-have-neglected-to-ask-presidential-candidates/

The American people will be footing the bill — but, by and large, they haven't heard much about our country's planned trillion-dollar nuclear weapons upgrade.

 

A deactivated Titan II nuclear ICMB is seen in a silo at the Titan Missile Museum on May 12, 2015 in Green Valley, Arizona. - Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

This post originally appeared at History News Network.

Isn’t it rather odd that America’s largest single public expenditure scheduled for the coming decades has received no attention in the 2015-2016 presidential debates?

The expenditure is for a 30-year program to “modernize” the US nuclear arsenal and production facilities. Although President Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died. It has been replaced by an administration plan to build a new generation of US nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities to last the nation well into the second half of the 21st century. This plan, which has received almost no attention by the mass media, includes redesigned nuclear warheads, as well as new nuclear bombers, submarines, land-based missiles, weapons labs and production plants. The estimated cost? $1,000,000,000,000.00 — or, for those readers unfamiliar with such lofty figures, $1 trillion.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 17:07
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Florida outraged by genetically engineered mosquitoes PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 22:15

Potential solution to outbreaks of dengue fever, other mosquito-borne diseases awaits FDA approval

Oxitec's dye-marked Oxi513A male mosquitoes ready for release in Brazil.

Oxitec’s dye-marked Oxi513A male mosquitoes ready for release in Brazil.Courtesy Oxitec Ltd.

KEY WEST, Fla. — In late October, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Agriculture tested insecticidal aerial spraying techniques over a warfare range in Jacksonville, Fla. The purpose: to evaluate how to lower populations of the blood-feeding Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue fever.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2015 09:29
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Gaza in Arizona How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the U.S.-Mexican Border PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 25 January 2015 15:47

By Todd Miller and Gabriel M. Schivone

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175947/tomgram%3A_miller_and_schivone%2C_bringing_the_battlefield_to_the_border/#moreI

t was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”

 

Elkabetz was speaking at a border technology conference and fair surrounded by a dazzling display of technology -- the components of his boundary-building lab. There were surveillance balloons with high-powered cameras floating over a desert-camouflaged armored vehicle made by Lockheed Martin. There were seismic sensor systems used to detect the movement of people and other wonders of the modern border-policing world. Around Elkabetz, you could see vivid examples of where the future of such policing was heading, as imagined not by a dystopian science fiction writer but by some of the top corporate techno-innovators on the planet.

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America Is Open for Business in Iraq (Psst... Wanna Buy an M1 Tank?) PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 23 January 2015 07:11


By Peter Van Buren

 http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175943/tomgram%3A_peter_van_buren%2C_the_military-industrial_complex_in_iraq/

 

The current American war in Iraq is a struggle in search of a goal. It began in August as a humanitarian intervention, morphed into a campaign to protect Americans in-country, became a plan to defend the Kurds, followed by a full-on crusade to defeat the new Islamic State (IS, aka ISIS, aka ISIL), and then... well, something in Syria to be determined at a later date.

 

At the moment, Iraq War 3.0 simply drones on, part bombing campaign, part mission to train the collapsed army the U.S. military created for Iraq War 2.0, all amid a miasma of incoherent mainstream media coverage. American troops are tiptoeing closer to combat (assuming you don't count defensive operations, getting mortared, and flying ground attack helicopters as “combat”), even as they act like archaeologists of America’s warring past, exploring the ruins of abandoned U.S. bases. Meanwhile, Shia militias are using the conflict for the ethnic cleansing of Sunnis and Iran has become an ever-more significant player in Iraq's affairs. Key issues of the previous American occupation of the country -- corruption, representative government, oil revenue-sharing -- remain largely unresolved. The Kurds still keep “winning” against the militants of IS in the city of Kobani on the Turkish border without having “won.”

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 11:12
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Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition Fighting in Iraq Until Hell Freezes Over PDF Print E-mail
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Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 18:32


By Peter Van Buren

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175898/tomgram%3A_peter_van_buren%2C_back_to_the_future_in_iraq/

 

I wanted to offer a wry chuckle before we headed into the heavy stuff about Iraq, so I tried to start this article with a suitably ironic formulation. You know, a déjà-vu-all-over-again kinda thing. I even thought about telling you how, in 2011, I contacted a noted author to blurb my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and he presciently declined, saying sardonically, “So you're gonna be the one to write the last book on failure in Iraq?”

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Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition : Fighting in Iraq Until Hell Freezes Over PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 14:24

By Peter Van Buren

I wanted to offer a wry chuckle before we headed into the heavy stuff about Iraq, so I tried to start this article with a suitably ironic formulation. You know, a déjà-vu-all-over-again kinda thing. I even thought about telling you how, in 2011, I contacted a noted author to blurb my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and he presciently declined, saying sardonically, “So you're gonna be the one to write the last book on failure in Iraq?”

 

I couldn't do any of that. As someone who cares deeply about this country, I find it beyond belief that Washington has again plunged into the swamp of the Sunni-Shia mess in Iraq. A young soldier now deployed as one of the 1,600 non-boots-on-the-ground there might have been eight years old when the 2003 invasion took place. He probably had to ask his dad about it.  After all, less than three years ago, when dad finally came home with his head “held high,” President Obama assured Americans that “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” So what happened in the blink of an eye?

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2014 14:59
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Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed The Underrated Saudi Connection PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 04:50

By Patrick Cockburn - REF: Source

[This essay is excerpted from the first chapter of Patrick Cockburn’s new book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprisingwith special thanks to his publisher, OR Books.  The first section is a new introduction written for TomDispatch.]

 

There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

But U.S., Western European, Saudi, and Arab Gulf policy is to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, which happens to be the policy of ISIS and other jihadis in Syria. If Assad goes, then ISIS will be the beneficiary, since it is either defeating or absorbing the rest of the Syrian armed opposition. There is a pretense in Washington and elsewhere that there exists a “moderate” Syrian opposition being helped by the U.S., Qatar, Turkey, and the Saudis.  It is, however, weak and getting more so by the day. Soon the new caliphate may stretch from the Iranian border to the Mediterranean and the only force that can possibly stop this from happening is the Syrian army.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 September 2014 10:16
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The American Cult of Bombing Why You Should Expect More Bombs to be Dropped Everywhere PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 06:18

By William J. Astore

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175883/

 

When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult.  Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

Poor Iraq. From Operation Desert Shield/Storm under George H.W. Bush to enforcing no-fly zones under Bill Clinton to Operation Iraqi Freedom under George W. Bush to the latest “humanitarian” bombing under Barack Obama, the one constant is American bombs bursting in Iraqi desert air.  Yet despite this bombing -- or rather in part because of it -- Iraq is a devastated and destabilized country, slowly falling apart at seams that have been unraveling under almost a quarter-century of steady, at times relentless, pounding.  “Shock and awe,” anyone?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 06:23
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