Archive for the ‘War’ Category.
Liberals Make Friends With Their Greatest Enemy: The CIA
In his article, “The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect, as Democrats Cheer,” Glenn Greenwald warns the Democrats may come to regret their alliance with the CIA.
But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.
Greenwald points out that the Democrats are joining the very same organization that suggested a meeting between Iraqi intelligence officials and the 9-11 hijackers occurred prior to 9-11, the very same organization that claimed irrefutable proof that the Iraqi regime held weapons of mass destruction. No proof has ever been found for either of these claims.
During the 2016 election the CIA backed Clinton over Trump. In August 2016 former CIA Director Michael Morell announced his support of Hillary Clinton in a New York Times Op-Ed piece. Gen Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA Director under George W. Bush, posted an Op-Ed in the Washington Post just days before the election in which he criticized Trump for being critical of US intelligence, writing “Rejecting a fact-based intelligence assessment — not because of compelling contrarian data, but because it is inconsistent with a preexisting worldview — that’s the stuff of ideological authoritarianism, not pragmatic democracy. And it is frightening.” This comes from the same guy who in a February 2016 interview with NPR blamed the Intelligence Community for the existence of WMD in Iraq. “It was our intelligence estimates” that were incorrect, “We were wrong. It was a clean swing and a miss. It was our fault.”
Wow talk about tactless. Is it too late to nominate Hayden for Worst Quote of 2016? “It was a clean swing and a miss,” as if invading and occupying Iraq was a baseball game that the CIA blew. Tell that to the 4,497 killed and 32,000 wounded US servicemen and women in Iraq and their families, not to mention the countless civilians killed in the war.
Dems Welcome Their Deep State Overlords
Greenwald believes the CIA supported Hillary Clinton’s nomination because she had plans to intensify the CIA-backed war in Syria that the Obama administration had opposed. “It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war, while Trump denounced it. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow, while Trump wanted improved relations and greater cooperation. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump — through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction — posed a threat to it.”
Greenwald makes the case that whatever his faults, Trump won a free election. “Whatever one’s views are on those debates, it is the democratic framework — the presidential election, the confirmation process, congressional leaders, judicial proceedings, citizen activism and protest, civil disobedience — that should determine how they are resolved. All of those policy disputes were debated out in the open; the public heard them; and Trump won. Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.”
But that’s exactly what liberals are doing now by avidly courting the CIA. In a Jan 3 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Senator Charles Schumer warned Trump there would be consequences for his daring to take on the intelligence establishment. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Greenwald adds, “And last night, many Democrats openly embraced and celebrated what was, so plainly, an attempt by the Deep State to sabotage an elected official who had defied it: ironically, its own form of blackmail.”
Greenwald counsels, “The threat of being ruled by unaccountable and unelected entities is self-evident and grave. That’s especially true when the entity behind which so many are rallying is one with a long and deliberate history of lying, propaganda, war crimes, torture, and the worst atrocities imaginable.”
We’ve come a long way from the sit-ins and protests against CIA recruitment on college campuses, and it’s rather amazing watching liberals celebrate today the very same institution they vilified for war crimes and atrocities just yesterday. But the Right must heed Greenwald’s warnings too. 13 years ago we were ready to believe anything and everything our spooks cooked up about Iraq, all of which turned out to be false. The organization then leaked like a sieve to undermine the Bush administration to deflect blame for its failure in order to protect itself.
The CIA is attempting to overthrow a free election all because it didn’t get what it wanted: support for a proxy war in Syria. Evidently the Agency has a very short memory. 30 years ago it had funding and complete support for a proxy war in another Islamic country: Afghanistan. There it showered money and weapons on “our guys” the Mujahadin, one of whom would in less than a decade become infamous: Osama Bin Laden.
Trump should withdraw his nominee to head it and instead set about dismantling the agency.
Long ago in an ancient empire a subjugated people enjoys privileged status. This people had once belonged to another kingdom, but dissension caused them to successfully rebel, setting up their own on a large island in a broad and deep river. Fearing those whom they once considered they brothers, they allied with an even more powerful but distant empire exchanging the military service of their sons for protection. The greater empire so valued this exchange that it exempted the people from taxes. The subjugated people were known as the Batavians living in what would one day be known as the Netherlands. The greater empire, Rome.
The Batavian soldiers came with a fearsome reputation and the Romans deployed them widely. They sent them against the Britains after they showed incredible discipline and ferocity against the barbarian Germans. Unusually for vassal troops the Romans allowed Batavians to command their own troops, but the best Roman generals from the foundation of the Republic all the way through Caesar always valued results more than precedence, and one of these Batavian commanders shone above all others. His name was Julius Civilis and it was claimed he was of royal blood.
One of the Roman generals who commanded him saw Civilis as a threat. He had him arrested on made up charges of treason and sent to Rome in chains to Emperor Nero where he was to be strangled, burned alive or otherwise meet a gruesome end for the emperor’s entertainment. It was 69AD and Rome was a hotbed of intrigue. By the time the year was out Rome would have 4 emperors. When Civilis arrived in chains Nero had committed suicide and his successor showed no interest in this noble from a tiny vassal at the edge of the empire and had him freed.
Civilis wasn’t safe though. Supporting the right guy at the wrong time just as easily get you killed as backing the wrong guy at the right time in Rome, and the succession of emperors pretty much guaranteed that everyone was going to be on the wrong side of the guy in power at one time or another. During this time Civilis learned to truly hate Rome and began planning his rebellion. But he had to survive and did so by professing his support for Vespasian, a general who ended the chaos that year and took firm control of Rome.
But not the Empire. Civilis made his way back to his homeland and under the guise of his outward support of Vespasian convinced his people to rearm and rebel against Rome. It was an easy task. Roman commanders had taken to conscripting old men and young boys, becoming wealthy from the bribes given from their families for their release. The handsomest young men were targeted for what the historian Tacitus calls “immoral purposes.” Civilis summoned the chiefs and nobles to a sacred grove and laid the foundation of the rebellion. Tacitus writes that Civilis spoke, “We are no longer treated … like allies, but as menials and slaves… Now conscription is upon us: children are to be torn from their parents, brother from brother, never probably to be seen again. And yet the fortunes of Rome were never more depressed… There is nothing to fear from legions that exist only on paper… We have infantry and cavalry: the Germans are our kinsmen: the Gauls share our ambition. Even the Romans will be grateful if we go to war. If we fail, we can claim credit for supporting Vespasian: if we succeed, there will be no one to call us to account.”
Civilis struck the Roman legions on the Rhine, forcing them out of Germany and capturing their ships. Using their own advanced military tactics against them, Civilis defeated two legions. Seeing one of their own leading a rebellion against their masters, Batavian members abandoned their posts and switched sides in the middle of the battle.
His success spread throughout Gaul and Germany, and both peoples proclaimed him their champion for liberty, flooding his army with recruits. Nevertheless Civilis made his growing army swear allegiance to Vespasian. He even sent envoys to the Roman legions he defeated asking them to join him and do the same. They refused, saying “they never followed the advice either of a traitor or of an enemy.” Nonetheless inspired by his success the province of Gaul revolted. Vespasian sent several cohorts of Batavians to capture Civilis, but instead they joined him. Two commanders of the Gallic auxiliaries convinced Roman forces occupying Gaul to revolt and join Civilis. Gaul, which had enjoyed independence until the late 2nd century and which was only crushed by Julius Caesar 100 years before, was on the verge of throwing off the Roman yoke and becoming free again.
But as so often happens with disparate groups who are only united by opposition to an occupying force, initial success breeds squabbling which ultimately leads to failure. Vespasian appointed Quintis Petillius Cerialis, a distant relative and like Vespasian an able general. Cerialis had helped crush the rebellion in Britain by the Iceni queen Boudica, and was experienced at handling rebelling natives. He immediately began to follow Cerialis and attacked him when victory was assured, avoiding conflict when it wasn’t. He also sent messages to the various tribes and rebel military leaders, promising them no consequences for their rebellion if they swear allegiance to Rome, offering financial incentives where they were appreciated, or attacking their forces instead. One by one the tribal chieftains and rebellious generals fell into line and swore allegiance to Rome.
With the rebellion collapsing and Civilis tired of fighting, he requested a meeting with Cerialis. They met on a broken down bridge over the river Nabalia, an ancient river in the Netherlands that no longer exists. For the Roman writers such as Tacitus rhetoric was a means of achieving drama, so it’s no surprise that the historian has Civilis confronting his nemesis with a speech. Civilis notes his hatred of Emperor Vespasian’s predecessor Vitellius stating “He began the quarrel, I fostered it. Towards Vespasian I have from the beginning shown respect.” He continues, claiming that his initial actions helped Vespasian by preventing the Roman legions in Germany from marching on Rome in the early days of his rule just as other generals in other regions of the empire maintained the peace. “I raised the standard in Germania, as did Mucianus [Vespasian’s ally] in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus [Vespasian’s brother] in Pannonia…”
Tacitus’s histories cut off mid-sentence and at that moment Civilis disappears from history. It’s a disappointment not just for the abrupt end of Tacitus’s work. His writing style is quite modern in many respects, especially when communicated through a modern translator. But more importantly what happened to Civilis? Did Cerialis take him prisoner or did he let him go back to his homeland? Without the discovery of more Tacitus we will likely never know.
See why I believe so at Wow! Magazine. Here’s a snippet:
Ask yourself this: Which is more likely? Russia hacking the election or Democrats hacking the recount? Is it difficult to imagine a live hack that targets all precincts, or the tens of thousands of voting machines in thousands of precincts in swing states, shaving just enough votes for Trump to win, doing so in real-time, and without triggering suspicion? Or is it more difficult to imagine a post-election hack of a few hundred machines or dozen vote tabulators in just three key states two and a half weeks after the election? Timestamps can be faked as can paper ballots. It is simply much easier to hack a close election after its over rather than while it is occurring.
The media will disparage such thinking as right-wing paranoia, that they are “just trying to make sure every vote counts.” But recounts only happen when candidates are separated by a few hundred votes. Trump won by 70,000 in Pennsylvania. Why not recount votes in other states if the point is to make sure “every vote counts,” perhaps states where Hillary won by 50,000?
The point of the recount is to overturn the election.
Fidel Castro is dead. All I can add is the word “finally.”
Babalu writing at Babalublog says it much better. As he says in this piece, “Fidel Castro’s dark presence has haunted my entire life.” He continues:
I’m also glad his demise as common as it was, having become feeble and decrepit, immobile, near the end, more than likely with a stomach tube feeding him and an artificial anus pumping his waste into a plastic bag. No heroics. No myth-making. No going out in a blaze of glory, like he so desperately dreamed of during the crisis days in October of 1962 when he urged Nikita Kruschev to press the nuclear button. Like so many other old men, he died in his bed, soiling himself, probably terrified about what was to come next. At the end of the game, as the old Spanish proverb goes, the king and the pawn go in the same box.
I’m a white man so to some it doesn’t matter what I say or do by my very nature I’m racist. I find it ironic that the people who believe that consider themselves “open minded” or “progressive,” but honestly it doesn’t matter to me because they could be on fire and I wouldn’t waste my spit on them.
And speaking of fires, a very large city in my neck of the woods is burning at night. Charlotte North Carolina, a purple city in a sea of red, is now under siege after a black cop supposedly gunned down for no apparent reason an avid bibliophile who happened to be a black man. To protest this shooting rioters looted the Charlotte Hornet’s team store, because evidently nothing advances the cause of social change faster than free basketball jerseys. They’ve also dropped bricks from highway overpasses onto cars passing below because, well let’s be honest.
America needs to face some hard truths if it is to survive. Ignoring them as it has done over the past few years just makes it more likely that our country as we know it is in its death throes.
Black culture has failed black Americans. Look at the “values” portrayed by hip hop. Would Martin Luther King jr be proud knowing he had given his life for the misogyny, racism, separatism, homophobia and materialism held up for emulation by young blacks? These values even infect college students as shown by the demand by black students at Claremont college for race-based student housing. Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.
Liberals have failed black Americans. Chicago has had what, 80 years, of Democratic rule, which is why it is a progressive utopia. Ditto most eastern cities including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Boston.
Then there’s 8 years of President Obama. President Obama may have the same skin color as black Americans, but he’s not a black American. He was born to a white intellectual and raised by his white grandmother in Hawaii as well as by his Indonesian stepfather. Obama did not grow up in black American culture and has less connection to black culture than many white Americans who grew up with hip hop and rap do. Stop for a moment and consider: Are race relations better today than they were 8 years ago when President Bush sat in the Oval Office? How many race riots happened on his watch?
Liberals have been quick to demonize marriage for everyone except the LGBTQ+ community, yet poverty and single-parenting go together. There is no faster way to improving your economic lot than through marriage, yet the Left mocks this institution except for gays. The liberal obsession with victimization encourages blacks to blame others for their plight instead of taking action to alleviate it.
Black Americans have failed Black Americans. For decades black Americans have watched one ethnic group after another arrive here, start with nothing often living among them, then in a generation accumulating wealth and moving out of poverty. Even immigrants from Africa have done this, as have a number of black Americans making up the black middle class. But instead of trying to lift themselves out of poverty they look for scapegoats, encouraged by the race-baiters of the Left who literally profit from their misery. Black children who do well in school are bullied for “being too white“. Blacks who rise up from poverty into the middle and upper classes feel little responsibility to help those who share the same skin color but different values, and who can blame them? I come from the white underclass and care little about those who tormented me as a child for studying and now remain there as adults.
Rioting Encourages Racism. White Supremacists have been warning of race wars for decades, and the voices for tolerance and moderation become drowned out by those calling for the imposition of Order, often dispensed at the tip of a rubber bullet. Liberal whites will have a harder time justifying their support for Black Lives Matter when videos of innocent white people being beaten up by gangs of blacks make the rounds of Twitter, and the vast moderate non-racist majority will see this and pay more attention to extremist voices.
Rioting Makes Ghettos Worse. The rioters care nothing about the future, but their actions will make life harder for everyone, especially black Americans who they live among. Watts, East LA and other areas scarred by riots decades ago are economic deserts. Looted stores won’t reopen, forcing locals to travel further for groceries and essentials. Whatever burns won’t be rebuilt.
Black Americans Pay the Price for the War On Drugs. It’s estimated that one out of three black men will spend time behind bars during his lifetime. Many of these crimes are non-violent drug offenses, but a conviction is a conviction making it all but impossible for black men to get a job once they’ve done time. There is no doubt that drug addiction blights lives, but turning it from a criminal problem into a medical one would make it easier for black men to become contributing members to society.
Will black Americans recognize these truths and rise to the challenge to create the color-blind society they were promised by Civil Rights leaders generations ago? Will they ignore the siren call of the wealthy white liberal elite which stokes their grievances without offering a brighter future? Will black Americans take back their streets from the thugs who claim them? I’m just a white guy so I don’t have a clue, but the tiny bit of hope I have left wishes it so.
I have a lot to say about Sept 11, 2001. But today is not the day for it. Instead I’ll say it with an image from Sept 11, 2003.
A group of 50 national security officials who served on Republican presidents from Nixon on to Bush 2 have signed a letter saying Trump “would be the most wreckless president in American history.”
I’m not delving into the names here, but I’d like to know the answers to the following questions.
- How many of these officials supported leaving the South Vietnamese to their own devices in the last two years of the Vietnam conflict?
- How many of these officials thought it was a great idea to put hundreds of marines into a indefensible location in Beirut where they could easily be wiped out by a single truck bomb as happened in 1983?
- How many of these officials actually thought it was a great idea to get involved with the evacuation of the PLO in the first place?
- How many of them supported the arms for hostages swap with the Iranians under Reagan?
- How many of them convinced George Bush to support Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war?
- How many of them turned on Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait?
- How many of them thought it was a great idea to not remove him from power the first time and stop the advance into Iraq outside of Baghdad?
- How many of them supported the sanctions regimes and no-fly zones which Saddam used to great propaganda effect during the 1990s?
- How many were absolutely certain that Saddam was pursuing a viable nuclear program and had bomb-making material?
- How many of them supported the North Korea agreement brokered by Jimmy Carter in 1994 that froze the NK nuclear program?
- How many were surprised when North Korea detonated a nuclear device in 2006?
- How many supported the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001?
- How many supported thought taking out Saddam once and for all was a great idea in 2003?
- How many of them consider the Saudis our allies – and aren’t on their payroll?
You see, I’m no expert, but when I look at American Foreign Policy over the past 40 years, years during which I’ve been alive and sentient of such things, I don’t see much that any “national security official” should be proud of.
In fact it’s quite the opposite. It is clear that we are today in the worst possible worlds, one where rogue states like North Korea and Iran have or soon will have the Bomb, where indigenous strong men we took out (Khaddafi, Saddam) once kept a lid on religious zealots that are now slashing women to death in the streets of London and gunning down gays in Miami. In fact, if I was an American national security official, I might be so embarrassed to call myself such, especially since I likely contributed to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq for what turns out was no purpose at all.
I supported the war and I feel duped. I feel like a patsy, but more importantly, I feel angry towards the very people who now have the audacity to crawl from their little hide-holes and spout their so-called “wisdom” once again.
If they want to sign a letter and print it in the Washington Post, they should print an apology to the families of those who died putting their ideas and strategies into place.
A long time ago I was once called a Nazi by a roomful of Jews.
My crime? I dared stand up against a Chabad Lubavitch rabbi at a town hall meeting who wanted to build a parking lot on land owned by the power company.
A proud gentile Zionist who supported the state of Israel more than some of the Jews in the room, and I was spat at by a Holocaust survivor and called a “Nazi thug.” Afterwards I spoke to an ex-roommate of mine, a Jewish biker who assured me that there was enough anti-Semitism in the world that his tribe didn’t need to go making more up.
We are 70 years removed from Hitler putting a bullet through his own brain yet Hitler and Nazis are still trotted out by people to demonize their opponents. It’s gotten to the point where Jews are regularly called Nazis by the very people who WERE Nazis, the German Left and their Palestinian terrorist pals who were fervent Nazi sympathizers, and every death of a handful of people or more becomes a Holocaust.
I’ve studied the Holocaust in detail and the Nazi regime from its pre-WWI roots to its end in a shell crater in Berlin, covered in gasoline and set aflame. I read the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials and watched movies and documentaries (personal fave the Wannsee Conference) . Although I was born an entire generation after the end of the Nazi period I studied as much as I could stomach of that regime (there are things I read and pictures I saw twenty-five years ago that I can’t read or look at today).
While certain events have come close enough to being a Holocaust to warrant the term genocide such as the Killing Fields under the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s and the systematic slaughter of Tutsis in 1994 Rwanda, there has only been one Holocaust in our written history. Nothing else can touch it. Nothing can match its bureaucratic and systematic barbarism. The entire European continent, its economy, society and even its culture were all reconfigured for one purpose: the annihilation of the Jews. The war that Hitler fought on two fronts wasn’t about German military conquest: It was about creating the space needed for the true task of the Nazi regime: the destruction of Jewry. By exterminating the Jews Hitler saw himself as creating the Master Race and 1000 Year Reich. In the Nazi mind Killing Jews led to these goals, not the other way around which is why trains with cattle cars filled with doomed Jews were granted priority over troop transports and military supply trains.
Nothing in our history compares to the Holocaust. The genocide of native Americans? Ad hoc policies over a period of centuries with no systematic plan. Manifest Destiny was an idea, not a systematic program implemented at every level of the government. Even Stalin’s purges and Mao’s Great Leap Forward that killed tens of millions weren’t as methodically planned and executed by a powerful bureaucracy as the Nazi regime used against European Jewry.
Are we clear on that?
So when I see The Daily Beast article, “Trump Versus Hitler: What We Can Learn From Weimar Germany written by Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University and the author of Hitler’s Compromises: Coercion and Consensus in Nazi Germany, I pretty much know the answer before I read the first sentence.
Elites are so terrified by an outside politician that they instinctively rush to portray him (or her in the case of Sarah Palin) in the worst possible light. Trump is Hitler, although the article approaches the subject through rhetoric that equates Weimar Republic with current conditions in the United States.
What can we learn from the Weimar Republic?
Plenty of things but none of them are the author’s point. And few economies compare to the absolute disaster that Germany’s was between 1919 and 1933.
The Weimar Republic’s economy was a nightmare thanks in large part to the onerous war reparations the Allies levied on Germany. This led to inflation to a degree that people regularly ran out of money, and the printing presses were running so furiously they often ran out of paper. At coin shows I’ve seen Weimar currency printed on bits of leather, even wood. It was a lesson that was learned and applied after the Second World War whereby both Germany and Japan were given extended time frames to pay war reparations and the US even gave the former Axis powers money to help rebuild their economies and societies as exemplified by the Marshall Plan.
Trump says our economy is bad, but he doesn’t say it’s that bad. The only place on the planet with a comparable economy to Weimar Germany right now is likely the Leftist poster-child Venezuela where even toilet paper is being rationed. Equating the US economy to that of Weimar proves ignorance of European history or a tendency towards excess by the writer. How is Trump’s calling for background checks on Muslims from warzones like Libya, Iraq and Syria different from the Left’s demand for background checks on ammo buyers? It’s not as if he’s slapping on yellow crescents on every Muslim that enters the country.
History is filled with lessons, but determining which one is more of art than a science. For example, as a student of Ancient Roman History I’m wondering whether the Edict of Caracalla which extended the right to vote to all non-slave residents of the empire including women contributed to the decline of the Empire. Left-wing historian Mary Beard views the edict in a positive light, like a 19th amendment of the Roman Empire. But I see it as anti-democratic, diluting the power of the Senate even further and boosting the power of the Emperor.
There should be a rule on the internet banning the designation of anyone as Hitler. It proves the ignorance of the writer and does an injustice to the millions who suffered because of him, minimizing their horrific experience for the sake of scoring cheap political points. Nathan Stoltzfus, the Dorothy and Jonathan Rintels Professor of Holocaust Studies at Florida State University should know better.
Although nothing that I say about it, or you say about it is going to stop people gunning down cops. Dead cops doesn’t fix dead innocents killed at the hands of cops. But Black Lives Matter has now made Blue Lives Matter. It’s 1969 all over again, just with crappy music and no moon shots.
Update: 7/19/16 - Another day another dead cop: “Kansas City, Kansas, police Captain Robert David Melton was killed in a shooting Tuesday afternoon.”
This is not the country I want.
A truck plowed into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers, running over hundreds before coming to a halt. The driver and an accomplice emerged, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire. 77 are reported dead and hundreds injured. Police shot the driver dead but the accomplice escaped. The truck was filled with grenades and automatic weapons – all of which are illegal to possess in France (and by civilians in the USA too).
This is the second large-scale terror attack in France in less than a year. France has some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet, yet terrorists seem to have no difficulty in finding guns and grenades to use in their attacks.
Should we be surprised?
Right now there’s a heroin epidemic in my community, replacing the painkiller epidemic when pill-mills and shady prescribers and pharmacies were raided and closed. People in rural America are still dying using a completely illegal drug from a plant that is grown, whose resin is then processed, packaged, shipped and distributed from central and south Asia to rural North Carolina on the other side of the planet.
Prohibition never works. It didn’t work with alcohol in the US, it doesn’t work for drugs and it doesn’t work for guns in Europe. Yet that doesn’t stop otherwise intelligent people from wanting to ban guns in the US.
No one is complaining about the gun laws in France tonight. There are no terror euphemisms like “gun violence” being using to describe tonight’s events in Nice. But it’s important to keep this in mind for the next terror attack in the US, when the “T” word is avoided and the “gun violence” term is bandied about, along with the assumption that San Bernardino and the Pulse Nightclub attacks would have been prevented with European style gun controls.
Gun control in Europe hasn’t worked to stop terror attacks, and it won’t work here either.
1. Too many black people are being gunned down by the police without justification. Black Lives Matter didn’t start for no reason. We have seen too many grainy videos of black men being shot in circumstances that don’t justify the death penalty. Broken taillight. Selling single cigarettes. In these cases unarmed civilians are shot by law enforcement. Under these circumstances the standard police tactic of overwhelming force – aggressive demands, guns drawn – failed. Such shock and awe tactics may work on the battlefield but they should be the last resort in a civil society. There is a place for SWAT tactics, but that place is not in America’s streets during traffic stops.The best tool a cop has is his or her brain, and they must be trained to use it. Currently cops rush in and their goal is to gain the upper hand and control a situation. This tactic minimizes the danger to law enforcement but strips civilians of all power and dignity, leaving them vulnerable to police misconduct. Such vulnerability can often boomerang and lead to more physical aggression by those detained. Instead cops must be trained in deescalation tactics and learn how to operate in an uncontrolled environment. American gun owners are often told how we could learn from gun-free societies such as the UK and Australia. Perhaps American cops can learn new tactics from law enforcement that don’t escalate into a fight/flight situation for everyone involved.
2. It is possible to be pro-cop AND pro-black. Trevor Noah is a liberal asshat in my view, but he’s right on this one topic: It’s possible to be pro-cop and pro-black. This is America in the 21st century. We shouldn’t have to choose between living in total anarchy or a police state. If we cannot come up with a solution that navigates between these two extremes than we do not deserve to live as a free people and our society is doomed.
3. Dead cops won’t fix dead black people. 5 dead cops in Dallas do not increase the sympathy for dead black men like Philando Castile. Neither does this fix the problem unless you believe the problem can only be solved by a full-on race war, and if that’s the case then pick up your shit and leave my country.
4. We have a problem and we have to fix it. As the parent of a teenager and one who is considering becoming a LEO I don’t want my kid to be gunned down for no reason, either for a broken taillight as a civilian or in revenge as a cop. Our leaders continue to fail us, so it us up to we Americans to step up and begin to fix this problem ourselves. The first thing that we can do is to recognize we have a problem. The second thing we can do is accept that we can be pro-cop and pro-black. We shouldn’t have to pick sides. The next thing we can do is reach out to others and search for solutions that don’t involve promises that lead to anarchy or a police state.
There will be more videos. There will be more dead civilians and likely dead cops. This is not the America we want and it is our responsibility to change it.
PS: Yes, white kids and Hispanics are being gunned down by cops too, but the fact remains that most of the incidents are white cops shooting black men. The solution, whatever it is, will be color blind.
Just a reminder that both full-auto and semi-auto weapons such as this AKM (AK-47 variant) dropped by ISIS attackers at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul are illegal to possess or own in Turkey, as are the two 30 round mags. Full story here.
FWIW, the full-auto version of this weapon is also illegal to own in the USA. I showed this pic to the in-house weapons expert (the Kid). He confirmed it was an AKM with a sawed-off flash-hider and noticed it was set to full-auto. “Idiot,” he smirked. “Everyone knows semi-auto kills more.”
I find it interesting that the only difference between whether an attack is called a “terrorist attack” or “gun violence” is where it occurs. Anything happening abroad is a terrorist attack. Anything occurring within the United States: Gun violence.
Mr Prime Minister, distinguished guests. It is an honor to speak to you here today. This history of our two nations is long and at times painful, and I believe the time has come for me, the president of the United States to apologize to you the Japanese people for the actions of my predecessor over 70 years ago.
On August 6, 1945 he made what he believed at the time was the best decision for my nation and yours. History has proven him wrong, and for that I stand before you as his direct successor to offer you my deepest personal condolences as well as those of my office and my nation. So, to the people of Japan, please accept this apology as I bow deeply in complete humility to you.
I do so knowing that my actions are controversial. There are many Americans who believe that the President’s action that day do not warrant an apology from our nation to yours. But the horror that the world witnessed starting that day cannot be dismissed by any human being. And as the last survivors of those terrible events are silenced one by one, Time becomes pressing for an adequate accounting by my office and my people. Here it is.
As every Japanese and American school child knows, on August 6, 1945 President Truman rescinded the order to use the atomic bomb against Hiroshima. During his impeachment proceedings in 1948 he stated that he could not in good conscience authorize the destruction of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese men, women and children even if it meant millions would die during the invasion that followed. President Truman followed his conscience and in doing so changed History forever, levying a high price on you, the Japanese people as well as on the countless Americans who husbands, sons, and brothers left the shores of our nation never to return.
His biographers have argued that he could have achieved complete victory without loss of any more lives had the first atomic bomb exploded on Bikini Atoll in front of the Japanese contingent invited by the Swiss ambassador as planned, but the failure of the bomb to detonate properly only hardened the resolve of the Japanese junta running your country. After the incident the second bomb was sent back to New Mexico for further testing even though it was of a completely different design and would never be used. The controversial shelving of the Manhattan Project rages to this day.
Instead the final stages of Operation Downfall to attack the island of Kyushu were put in place, even though the US lost one third of its invading forces in Okinawa, an island that wasn’t even viewed by most Japanese as a part of Japan. The civilian death toll there was even worse, with between 100,000 and 150,000 civilians killed during the 82 days of fighting. Extrapolating from that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had predicted upwards of 300,000 American casualties and at least a million civilian deaths from the invasion. It’s hard to believe that these were on the high end of the estimates given what we now know, but we must not dishonor the additional million American dead and the five million Japanese lost in the years that followed, for their sacrifices were not in vain. Victory was purchased with a terribly high price and Japan now is free and prosperous, at least the half below the 38th parallel. For those of you whose relatives still reside above that line, rest assured that America has not forgotten them.
It is my dream, as I know it is your dream, for Japan to emerge from decades of occupation as a united, independent and peaceful nation, ready to take its place on the world stage. In the remaining months of my presidency I will do whatever I can to make this dream a reality. The destinies of our peoples have been intertwined, forged in the fire of a long and debilitating war, and it our duty to make this bond endure for decades to come.
Thank you, and may God bless the peoples of Japan and the United States of America.
Thanks to The Glittering Eye for inspiring this post.