Category: World Stuff
Imagine that you are witnessing a trial for public endangerment and a parole violation; the suspect is a prior convicted murderer and is a capable gunsmith, who killed his prior victims with a very specific and unique type of firearm. As part of his plea deal during the last set of murders he committed, the suspect agreed to give up his weapons not already seized or destroyed, all ammo and any facilities or utilities used in the production of weapons. Under this agreement, scheduled followups are made to check that he had indeed removed his arms and capability of creating more.
Through a grueling process over the course of a decade, the authorities have been witness to the suspects attempting to hide information and materials related to the violation his plea agreement. Recently, a family member has come forward and confirmed that not only is the suspect hiding ordnance he was supposed to have gotten rid of, but is reacquiring the items necessary to create more.
Under the premise that the man is a possible threat to the public safety, the authorities secure a search warrant and force entry into the house, leading to conflict with the suspect. Inside the house the authorities find weapons, ammunition and gunsmithing utilities the individual was supposed to have removed and actively hid from inspection; they find limited evidence to indicate that he has actively created or attempted to create additional ordnance in the meanwhile. Fearing the weapons might pose danger to their agents and the public, the authorities use controlled detonations to destroy the evidence. It sounds like a straight forward case, but the argument put forward by the defense has a very strange twist, they argue that the suspect is innocent. They base this on the fact that there were no new firearms or munitions, even though the evidence itself, outside of pictures, is destroyed. The logical disjunction from the charges and basis for the original warrant is staggering: welcome to Von Clausewitz post-2003 Iraq politics.
The popular argument, flying in the face of empirical evidence from over a decade of conflict, has been that no WMDs, general term, were found or used in Iraq, by either Iraqi forces or insurgents. The oft quoted pretext for war or the search warrant, in the earlier analogy, is put before the UN by President Bush on Sept 12, 2002. Let’s take a recent example of this type of defense citing the Bush speech, in a response to the New York Times article covering the massive amounts of chemical weapons, a WMD, found in Iraq over the last decade:
But on Septmeber 12, 2002, President Bush described a different threat while making the case for the 2003 Iraq invasion: “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” The Times’ investigation doesn’t mention any findings of biological weapons.
He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”
According to the investigation, the chemical weapons discovered by U.S. soldiers after the 2003 invasion were all manufactured before 1991.
Directly addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Bush continued, “We have been more than patient. We have tried sanctions. We have tried the carrot of ‘oil for food’ and the stick of coalition military strikes. But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction.”
-No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade, Jessica Schulberg, New Republic.
It doesn’t take a logician to recognize the obvious red herring: the expansion and improvement of a facility does not equate to the actual production of arms, any more than our fictitious suspect having ownership of an ammo press means that ammo had been and continued to be produced. Another common usage of red herring is purposeful contextual misrepresentation. Miss Schulberg is purposely leaving out the next reason for invasion, specifically stripping it of context to continue the ”production” red herring.
Miss Schulberg’s version in No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade :
“…He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”…”
Direct from the speech:
“United Nations inspections also reveal that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard, and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”
I’ve italicized the portion of the sentence that Miss Schulberg has misrepresented to make a point: this is feckless, purposely misleading politics posing as pseudo-journalism. Miss Schulberg is in no way unique, articles from Salon and other outlets have spoken in the affirmative that there were no WMDs, sometimes while actually including bits about WMD encounters, for virtually the entirety of the occupation and afterward. There has been regular media-Alzheimers, on all sides, for the past decade concerning the fact that there was plenty of documentation that Iraq had continued its development, while under sanction and inspections, into these weapons or that even before the New York Times piece, estimates on destroyed weapons caches put the numbers from five hundred weapons to well into the thousands.
The repeated assertion that the weapons were of pre-1991 manufacture is also entirely conjecture, especially given the documentation supporting the continued study of these weapons, due in large part that the evidence was purposely destroyed because of the threat it posed to allied troops. More importantly, it’s an inane case to forward due to the fact that the mere possession of these purposely hidden items vindicated the reasoning for invasion. It also raises the specter of what would have occurred as Saddam’s grip over the region continued to wane if we had not invaded.
President Bush’s rational for invasion was typically simple: Hussein had agreed to disarm and prove that he had disarmed, while removing his capability to rearm in the future. Hussein had proven with the invasion of Kuwait that he was willing to make unprovoked attacks in blitzkrieg fashion on his neighbors when the opportunity was presented. Hussein had made multiple agreements concerning human rights inside Iraq, then broke them. Iraq agreed not to sponsor terror, yet continued to hunt down and assassinate it’s dissenters and attempted to assassinate President Bush Sr, to which President Clinton made Tomahawk strikes against Iraq in response. After the defection of General Kamel al-Majid to Jordon, the Iraqi government admitted that they had retained a large bioweapons package from anthrax to botulin in violation of the agreed terms; these weapons were never accounted for. Iraq retained a large stockpile of chemical weapons, beyond their declared and then destroyed stockpile, which the New York Times account continues to show recent evidence of and examples of insurgents now using the weapons. President Bush pointed out that it had been four years since UN inspectors had been ejected from the country, “The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.”
The questions these journalists should be asking is why the administrations involved ignored almost three thousand years of military maxim to create a quagmire, with further bungling down the line, after a successful surge strategy mopped up the majority of the original strategic error. They should be asking why the Bush administration failed to defend themselves, outside the 2006 Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, that WMDs had indeed been found along with materials and research for making any number of CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) weapons in the future. Of course, given articles like Miss Schulberg there is more empirical evidence that the media simply wouldn’t allow that message to go forward leading to the populace believing largely that there was no vindication for the invasion.
To conclude, the vast majority pretense presented in the case for invasion has been vindicated. However, the populace has been spun to believe that these are not the things we went to find after years of “journalism” by those like Miss Schulberg, regardless of political stripe. The press, instead of asking pertinent questions on policy and execution thereof, attempted to force creation of non-legislated mob based policy: to the dishonor of this nation, they succeeded. I’ll leave you with a little more of President Bush’s speech.
“If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi’a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans and others — again as required by Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues as required by the Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis — a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections.”
The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has died.
The two health care workers who were brought back from Africa and survived were brought back under extraordinary circumstances, with the best medical care and an experimental vaccine ~ one we are currently out of of. What you haven’t heard much about is the two Spanish priests who received that vaccine and still perished.
…It is unclear why the rare drug is being given to the Norwegian woman rather than critically ill Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man diagnosed in the US, and the decision could prove controversial.
Two Spanish missionaries treated with ZMapp died and it is impossible to tell whether it helped cure the other patients or their recovery was down to other factors.
This Ebola patient and the NBC cameraman were/are receiving another experimental vaccine, whose development had nothing to DO with Ebola, but WHAT THE HELL. Give it a shot when it’s ALL YOU’VE GOT, right?
UN: OK to use untested Ebola drugs in outbreak
You know what I hate? I hate the thought that’s whapping ’round in my head right now.
We have FOUR thousand American troops headed over there ~ NOT medical professionals, but TROOPS. Do you know what they are? Guinea pigs. Lab rats. Because WHAT can a soldier, sailor or Marine NOT do? Refuse experimental treatment, nor can they sue for malpractice damages, regardless of DOD language saying a member “must give informed consent.” I vividly remember the explosion about the experimental anthrax vaccines (Section G) they started pumping into our guys when the first Gulf War started ~ both me and major dad, who WAS on his way to Saudi Arabia, were active duty United States Marines. (I believe there was a Supreme Court decision as well ~ or a refusal to hear ~ basically reasserting the govt’s rights to do as they saw fit.)
Just yesterday, General Rodriguez of AfriCom had to walk back statements he made (I heard them live and about pooped ma drawers) that (Get this):
General: U.S. military could be in Liberia for one year to help contain Ebola outbreak
Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, said nearly 4,000 U.S. service members will have direct contact with victims. Military personnel will provide logistical support to Liberia.
He scuttled backwards faster than a crab from boiling water about 40 minutes later.
But WHO you gonna believe?
ths update: Re: checking sniffly noses and puke bags at a couple airports. Let me add one more cheerful thought for your day, from someone whom I respect immensely:
SOUTHCOM Commander: Ebola Outbreak in Central America Could Cause Mass Migration to U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) warned an Ebola outbreak in Central America or the Caribbean could trigger a mass migration to the U.S. of people fleeing the disease and implied established Central American illegal trafficking networks could introduce the infected into the U.S., during remarks at a Tuesday panel on security issues in the Western Hemisphere at the National Defense University.
“If it comes to the Western Hemisphere, the countries that we’re talking about have almost no ability to deal with it — particularly in Haiti and Central America,” SOUTHCOM Commander, Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, said in response to a question of his near term concerns in the region.
“It will make the 68,000 unaccompanied minors look like a small problem.”
“Almost NO ability to deal with it” and that’s saying we DO…
Mr. Smart Power Peace Prize goes off to war
(CNN) — The United States and several Arab nations rained bombs on ISIS targets in Syria on Tuesday — the first U.S. military offensive in the war-torn country and a forceful message to the militant group that the U.S. would not stand by idly while it carried out its rampage of terror.
The airstrikes focused on the city of Raqqa, the declared capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed Islamic State. But other areas were hit as well.
The operation began with a flurry of Tomahawk missiles launched from the sea, followed by attacks from bomber and fighter aircraft, a senior U.S. military official told CNN.
‘There are five Arab nations involved’
The goal: Taking out ISIS’ ability to command, train and resupply its militants.
Evul Schtupid Illegal Bush: Congress Approval? Check. UN Approval? Check.
Unicorn Whisperer Obama: I won.
That way you get to be dismissive of all SORTS of normally worthy folks who might otherwise be regarded in a different light.
“…You know what that is? That is not a scandal. Because we have this notable and important thing in this country in which the guys in uniforms, no matter how many medals and stars and fancy hats and all those things that they have, they do not get to decide whether or how the United States conducts a war…”
Rachel Maddow is one such “superior person” apparently.
“Is there a douchebag in the house? Raise your hand!“
— US Mission to NATO (@USNATO) September 4, 2014
Like, not running out of toilet paper or accounting for ELEVEN missing Libyan jetliners or IRS hard drives.
As long as we’re cool and don’t lose our heads, we can unicorns and rainbows them into submission…or vapor.
…HAD read it in the morning papers. Or COULD have, if he could get his nose out of the comics.
— Lilly McKim (@lillymckim) September 2, 2014
Why, an Ebola that has mutated, obviously
The Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa has mutated repeatedly during the current outbreak, a fact that could hinder diagnosis and treatment of the devastating disease, according to scientists who have genetically sequenced the virus in scores of victims.
The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, also offer new insights into the origins of the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak in history, which has killed more than 1,500 people in four countries and shows few signs of slowing. It also provided another reminder of the deep toll the outbreak has taken on health workers and others in the affected areas, as five of the paper’s more than 50 co-authors died from Ebola before publication.
Just not a whole lot of good news for those poor folks.
It’s HOT UNDER HERE!!!”
If it’s just white-bread “Christian”, you’re Shiite out of luck.
Kirsten Powers: Obama’s inattention to Iraqi Christians
White House not addressing their persecution equally.
…Finally, later that night — and two full months after the crisis began — President Obama announced airstrikes in Iraq and for the first time acknowledged that Christians are being driven from the homeland of their faith. But the Christians garnered a passing mention, while the religious minority of Yazidis seems to be what moved the president to act.
An Iraqi Christian leader lamented to me that his people would have to convert to get the administration’s attention.
The Yazidis deserve protection and humanitarian aid, but so do the Christians who number in the hundreds of thousands in Iraq. While the Yazidis received air drops of food and water, nothing has been dropped to the Christians who are homeless and in dire need of food and water. Each day that passes is a matter of life and death.
I watched his initial announcement about the airstrikes and supply drops and damn near fell out my chair when “Christian” passed his lips for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER. It WAS only ONCE in the speech and I haven’t heard it since.
To her credit, Kirsten Powers angrily noted the same the next day on Fox’s Outnumbered:
— tree hugging sister (@treehuggingsis) August 8, 2014
…but nary a PEEP from the big guys until now…
Iraq's President has appointed Haider al-Abadi as new Prime Minister. http://t.co/lISiKa97er
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 11, 2014
…Iraqi forces and tanks surged into some Baghdad neighborhoods Sunday as a wave of troops swarmed Baghdad’s green zone, the secure area where many government buildings and the U.S. Embassy are located, two Iraqi police officials said.
Exactly what led to the surge remains unclear. But some believe the beefed-up military presence is part of a power struggle between al-Maliki and newly elected President Fuad Masum…
…when there are no voices left to be raised?
Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening?
Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay jizya taxes levied on non-Muslims, or die. The extremist Sunni group is also persecuting and murdering Turkmen and Shabaks, both Muslim religious minorities.
Human rights lawyer Nina Shea described the horror in Mosul to me: “(ISIS) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money. One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have 100 dollars?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.”
…For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians.
“This is ancient Nineveh we are talking about,” Shea explained. “They took down all the crosses. They blew up the tomb of the prophet Jonah. An orthodox Cathedral has been turned into a mosque. They are uprooting every vestige of Christianity.” University of Mosul professor Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a Muslim, bravely spoke out against ISIS’ purging of Christians and was executed.
But it’s Christians, so…meh.
…it just confirms what we already knew about the President. But it still makes me squirm in embarrassment and disgust, like I just overheard a snot-nosed punk talking down to a vet on the street.
Come to think of it, that’s exactly what happened…
In Leaked Tape, Hostile Obama Tries to Force PM to Accept Truce
US president markedly unfriendly, interrupted prime minister as he attempted to push unfavorable truce on Israel.
Damning evidence has emerged of US President Barack Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s position in favor of supporting the position of Hamas and its allies during ceasefire talks.
A “senior US official” leaked an audio recording of a telephone conversation between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Channel One. In it the 35-minute conversation, which took place on Sunday, the US President appears downright hostile at points, and even cuts off Netanyahu in the middle of his protestations over a one-sided truce proposal which would have seen Hamas receive all its key demands, but that Israel ultimately rejected.
Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities – particularly airstrikes.
Netanyahu: What will Israel receive in return for a ceasefire?
Obama: I believe that Hamas will stop firing rockets – silence will be met with silence.
Netanyahu: Hamas violated all five previous ceasefires, it is a terrorist organization which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Obama: I repeat and expect Israel to unilaterally stop all its military activity. The pictures of destruction from Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.
Netanyahu: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas the military and diplomatic advantage.
Obama: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas on the basis of the 2012 understanding [following the end of Operation Pillar of Defense - ed.], including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza,
Netanyahu: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It is impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
Obama: I trust Qatar and Turkey, and Israel is in no position to choose its mediators.
Netanyahu: I object, because Hamas is able to continue and to fire rockets and to use tunnels for terror attacks…
Obama – interrupts Netanyahu mid-sentence: The ball is in Israel’s court – it is obligated to end all military activities.
ths update: Whole lotta “It’s a fake! It’s a fake!” going around, with a healthy shake of “But…” on top. Could well be, as Allah speculates, SOMETHING got said, translated, re-translated and then again. I like that theory.
With some pretty interesting points to make.
Hillary Clinton: Hamas Uses Human Shields Because ‘Gaza is Pretty Small’
…In an interview with Fusion TV, Clinton said
“Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets in civilian areas; part of it is because Gaza is pretty small and it’s densely populated.”
I know what’s “pretty small” and it AIN’T Gaza…
— Steve Ganyard (@SteveGanyard) July 21, 2014
…before the morning edition of the WaPo hit Barack’s desk.
ABC: White House Appeared ‘Blindsided’ by Israeli Invasion of Gaza
…bleu it up? French police busted the plot and forced them to Louvre the iconic landmarks alone.
Terror plot targeting Eiffel Tower, Louvre foiled, French police say
French authorities say they foiled an Islamic terrorist plot reportedly targeting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and a nuclear power plant last year.
The revelation comes as the country unveiled new anti-terror rules which included a proposal to ban terror suspects from leaving the country if it is thought they intend to fight abroad, The Telegraph reported.
French authorities revealed they arrested a 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in southern France June 2013, after they found coded messages between him and a high-ranking Al Qaeda member discussing how “to conduct jihad in the place you are currently,” according to Le Parisien.
The suspect, identified in the newspaper report as Ali M, reportedly said he would target French landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and
“cultural events that take place in the south of France in which thousands of Christians gather for a month.”