maxomai: dog (dog)
Haaretz reports that Russia, the US and Saudi Arabia have apparently been discussing how to sideline Assad in an attempt to get things under control in Syria, which has, of course, gotten way out of anyone's control. If nothing else, the existence of ISIL --- which has become an existential threat to the Syrian regime --- is all the proof one needs of that. In this context, Russia's land grabs in Syria could be seen as compensation for losing a long-time ally, or assurance that losing Assad --- which has been the US and Turkey's goal in this war all along --- won't mean losing their military bases.

Of course, Justin Raimondo has his own analysis here, although it predates the Haaretz report.
maxomai: dog (dog)
maxomai: (typewriter guy wtf)
Iran Icebreaker Set at UN.

Am I to understand that peace is breaking out between Iran and the United States in the wake of the Syria crisis?

Meanwhile the White House says that the Syrian government's disclosure of their WMDs is "surprisingly complete."

What the fuck?!?
maxomai: dog (dog)
maxomai: dog (dog)
You're not gonna fucking believe what Donald Rumsfeld actually said.

“One thing that is very interesting, it seems to me, is that there really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation,” Rumsfeld said in an interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.


Got that? Rumsfeld says that President Obama hasn't made the case for war with Syria.

Rumsfeld.

You know, the Rumsfeld that helped the previous administration lie, lie, lie, lie, lie their way into an unnecessary and expensive boondoggle of a war.

Take a minute to reel from the shock.

Done? Good. Now then...the thing is, he's right. The Obama administration hasn't argued for why a war with Syria is in our national interest. The case for war so far has been humanitarian, and frankly, the war-weary American public just isn't inclined to give a shit right now. Nor should they be. The role of world police is overblown, and in any case, it only really served as a fig leaf for when the United States waged wars (or staged coups) that were strictly in their national interest.
maxomai: dog (dog)
The Independent has the story:

The prospects of British involvement in military action in Syria receded dramatically tonight when David Cameron suffered a humiliating Commons defeat on the issue.

Even though the Prime Minister conceded a second final vote before British forces took part in military strikes, a rebellion by Conservatives and strong opposition by Labour saw a government motion defeated by 285 votes to 272. The defeat was a huge surprise and leaves Mr Cameron's strategy in disarray. He now looks unable to deliver British support to American-led strikes he wants to give.


Cameron lost the vote for many reasons; one of the biggest, no doubt, is that war with Syria doesn't poll well in Britain (2).

Such a war doesn't poll much better with Americans:

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken August 19-23, found that 25 percent of Americans would support U.S. intervention if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemicals to attack civilians, while 46 percent would oppose it. That represented a decline in backing for U.S. action since August 13, when Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls found that 30.2 percent of Americans supported intervention in Syria if chemicals had been used, while 41.6 percent did not.


So, to sum it up:


  • War with Syria is unpopular in the United States

  • War with Syria is unpopular in our biggest ally, the United Kingdom

  • The government of the United Kingdom lost two votes on going to war, which makes it unlikely that they'll be able to do anything to help us even if Cameron wanted to ignore his own people.

  • Russia sent warships to support the Syrian government. (Oh, did I forget to mention that? Well, they did. Which means that war with Syria is likely to become, at best, a proxy war with Russia pretty quickly.)



Despite all this, President Obama is set to go it alone in Syria.

His hubris is quickly catching up to that of his predecessor.
maxomai: dog (dog)

  • Turks are rioting in Istanbul after the government tried to violently quash omnibus protests. So much for that! And yes, this does affect America's ability to form a coalition in their Syrian proxy war, which might be a possible motivation for renewed claims of WMD use.

  • Have you noticed that, since Sandy Hook, more television shows (like Burn Notice and Psych) have referred to fully automatic weapons as "semi-automatic?" I have, and I wonder how much the White House is paying those shows to push their messaging. It wouldn't be the first time the government has done this.

  • SCOTUS rules that Arizona must accept Federal voter ID standards and can't impose their own, more strict and odious standards. The Federal standard requires that one swears out an affidavit that one is a US citizen. That's it. No trying to find birth certificates and marriage licenses from the days before they kept archival grade copies of records, no de-facto poll taxes, no fooling around. It'll be interesting to see how hard other states (Georgia, Wisconsin) fight this.

  • Chicago just had its deadliest weekend so far this year - at least six dead, 40 shot overall. Second Amendment advocates will point out that this happened in the city with the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and that it demonstrates the futility of banning guns. Fair enough, but it also points to the necessity of a framework to address the flow of guns into the hands of gangbangers. Universal background checks were supposed to be a part of that, if only because it gave the police another hammer with which to beat gun traffickers.

  • A woman is suing the McDonald's she worked at because they would only pay her with a pre-paid debit card. It's not just that the debit card is heavy on fees, by the way; it's that it's her only option. Even direct deposit to an other account, or being paid by check, were not open to her. This needs to be nipped in the bud now before owing your soul to the company bank becomes the future for low-wage workers.

maxomai: dog (dog)
maxomai: dog (dog)

  • Jury selection has begun on the George Zimmerman Trial. As you may recall, he's the guy who shot Treyvon Martin to death last year, and is claiming self defense. I remember when this case was first reported that many of my progressive friends and colleagues who declared Zimmerman guilty until proven innocent. Normally I would reject that kind of knee-jerk reaction, but since he's using an affirmative defense, this is exactly right. Now it's on him to prove that he had to act in self-defense. If I were the prosecutor, I would use the fact that Zimmerman lied to the court about his finances to nuke his credibility, and then infer from there that he's lying about how the shooting went down, too. I still think that there's a fair chance that he'll get off by stacking the jury.

  • Obama is thisclose to escalating the proxy war with Russia arming the Syrian rebels.

  • The NSA whistleblower is Edward Snowden, and he's one brave SOB - although why he chose to hang out in Hong Kong, which has an extradition treaty with the United States, is beyond me. Needless to say, professional blowhard Donald Trump has weighed in.

  • Fox News (yeah yeah) has this bit on how states are looking to tax hybrids and electric cars, because they consume less gas and therefore pay less in road upkeep taxes. As a hybrid owner myself, I say fair is fair. What would also be fair is taxing the motherfuck out of asphalt-decimating snow tires, each of which does more to wear down the road in snow months than my entire hybrid does all year long.

  • The Oregonian gives Badass Theater Company's "Invasion!" an outstanding review. I'll post my own review later. Meanwhile, just take my word for it and see it. "Invasion!" plays until the end of June at the Teatro Milagro in SE Portland.

maxomai: dog (dog)




maxomai: dog (dog)
Why look! It's the 10th anniversary of Mission Accomplished!

Aren't you glad that war ended so quickly, and that the subsequent occupation was so painless? That the Iraq we left behind is now a stable democracy free from violence and corruption? That the total effort won't cost anywhere near the one trilion dollars that naysayers like me thought it would?

(And aren't you glad that we aren't thinking about a similar venture in, say, Iran or Syria?)
maxomai: (typewriter guy wtf)
Sen. Lindsey Graham wants boots on the ground in Syria.

You know, because the good guys in the Syrian Civil War are so easy to spot.

And because invading a Middle Eastern nation has gone so well for us recently.

In fact, this idea is so stupid that it makes me think that it makes a perfect example of Dunning-Kruger-Madoff effect, where the incompetent are so incompetent that they don't realize how incompetent they are, and so are able to exude enough confidence to be taken seriously. It would certainly explain a lot that's happened since the 21st Century began.
maxomai: dog (Default)
A year ago - December 27, 2011 - I gave my predictions for what would happen in 2012. Unlike most other political pundits, however, I score myself on my predictions a year later.

My predictions for last year were:


  1. Barack Obama will be re-elected to a second term as President.

  2. John Boehner will be ousted as Speaker of the House.

  3. Democrats will just barely hold on to the US Senate

  4. The US unemployment rate will dip below 8%.

  5. The European Union will hold on .. barely.

  6. Inflation will remain below 10%.

  7. Protest movements in the US, Russia, Europe and MENA will accelerate.

  8. The US will substantially reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan.

  9. Oregon will win the Rose Bowl.



Let's see how I did!

Read more... )
maxomai: dog (Default)
Whoa

Al-Assad wounded, wife in Russia: Report

Syria's embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, was wounded in yesterday's bomb attack which killed the country's top security chiefs, The Guardian reported today.

The report also claimed al-Assad's wife, Asma, had fled to Russia.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that al-Assad had suffered injuries in yesterday's attack which killed his brother-in-law and the deputy chief of the Armed Forces, Assef Shawkat, as well as Defense Minister Dawoud Rahja and Hassan Turkmani, the crisis management chief.


This is a huge development in Syria's civil war. Of course DailyKos has a discussion.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Whoa

Al-Assad wounded, wife in Russia: Report

Syria's embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, was wounded in yesterday's bomb attack which killed the country's top security chiefs, The Guardian reported today.

The report also claimed al-Assad's wife, Asma, had fled to Russia.

Unconfirmed reports claimed that al-Assad had suffered injuries in yesterday's attack which killed his brother-in-law and the deputy chief of the Armed Forces, Assef Shawkat, as well as Defense Minister Dawoud Rahja and Hassan Turkmani, the crisis management chief.


This is a huge development in Syria's civil war. Of course DailyKos has a discussion.
maxomai: dog (Default)
EnduringAmerica makes the case for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace:

With each passing day, the reasons for avoiding intervention in Syria are falling by the wayside. The conflict is escalating, the humanitarian crisis is deepening, the opposition is organising, and the geopolitical situation is becoming more favourable.

A no-fly zone is finally --- and clearly --- advantageous to the Syrian people.


Regardless of what you might think of the prospect of President Obama involving the United States in Yet Another Middle East Conflict, it is worth your while to study this essay. It lays out the humanitarian case for war, and the President will almost certainly lay out the same argument in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned....
maxomai: dog (Default)
EnduringAmerica makes the case for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace:

With each passing day, the reasons for avoiding intervention in Syria are falling by the wayside. The conflict is escalating, the humanitarian crisis is deepening, the opposition is organising, and the geopolitical situation is becoming more favourable.

A no-fly zone is finally --- and clearly --- advantageous to the Syrian people.


Regardless of what you might think of the prospect of President Obama involving the United States in Yet Another Middle East Conflict, it is worth your while to study this essay. It lays out the humanitarian case for war, and the President will almost certainly lay out the same argument in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned....
maxomai: dog (Default)
maxomai: dog (Default)
maxomai: dog (Default)
The US attacked Syria last night, killing eight and wounding fourteen, before apparently returning to bases in Iraq.

The Iranian media now claims that Syria has threatened action against US and Iraqi puppet government forces if this happens again.

Meanwhile, our own media are busy chasing whatever chew toy Drudge throws at them. Idiots.

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