Monday, August 3, 2015

War Party

“It seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal, even a terrible deal, from the Islamic Republic of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.”
- Senator Ted Cruz

Oh no!

To the bunkers!

Hoist the colors!

Sound the bugle! To Arms! To Arms!

Obama is going to destroy the United States! He’s helping our enemies! Because he hates America!


I’ve lost track, how many times has Obama destroyed America now? Twenty? A hundred? Seems like he’s been destroying America at least once a week lately.

I mean honestly, Conservatives, when isn’t Obama destroying America?


Heh heh. Okay, you got me, it was a trick question.


So, what is it this time?

God’s wrath for gay marriage? Ebola? Electric cars? Gun control? Little flag pin on crooked?


Oh, right, of course. Iran and the Islamic State. Muslims.

Obama went all Neville Chamberlain on the Iran Deal. And now? Well, now, it’s death to America! Yep, we’re screwed. Again.

Dammit, why can’t Obama understand that if we don’t start bombing immediately why next thing you know Iranian tanks will be rolling into Poland … or Israel, or New York, or, well, somewhere and then it’s bye bye America hello ISIS. Thanks, Obama!

We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to kill some people, man!

War, it’s always the answer.

War, it’s what Jesus would do.  That’s what The Decider would do! That’s what Reagan would do! War! War! War!

There’s no downside to war. It’s the perfect American pastime. I mean, we got all this stuff, right? Tanks and ships and bombs and stealth fighters. We’ve got silos full of nuclear missiles. We’ve got SEALs and Green Berets and Rangers! We’ve got all these Soldiers and Marines.  Hell, we’ve even got killer CIA robots. Zap! Zap! Death from the sky!

What’s the point of having all this stuff if we’re not gonna use it?

We’ll be like that guy who buys a kayak and a fancy roof rack for his Subaru and the life-vest and the stylish kayaking clothes … and then never puts it in the water. Nobody wants to be that guy, right?

This year we’ll spend nearly 20% of the total federal budget on the military, about $800,000,000,000. I mean, if we’re not bombing somebody, we’re getting screwed, man. Screwed.

We need some war.

No, really, think about it.

War, it’s what defines modern America. We used to try and stay out of war, a hundred years ago, not anymore.

War, it’s the one thing that brings Americans, war supporters and war protesters, together.

War, it’s how the world sees us. I mean, it sure as shit isn’t as peacemakers, now is it? If they had a Nobel War Prize, we’d sweep every category every year. Nuke ‘em until they glow and shoot ‘em in the dark!

War, it gives us somebody to hate, somebody to compare to Hitler and the Nazis – boy, those were the good old days, right? That was a great war, great generation, they don’t make ‘em like that any more.

War, it lets us ship off the poor and the disaffected, the oddballs, the troublemakers. Better those folks be doing their killin’ overseas rather than at home, right? We get rid of them and we get to blow up brown people on the daily news and there’s really no downside to that, is there?

War, it’s what makes our economy go ‘round. War, that’s capitalism, everything from tanks to those little yellow “Support Our Troops” magnets, and the money just rolls in. The rich get richer and the poor get dead, think of it as evolution in action.

War. That’s America. Shoot ‘em all and let God sort it out – If you go, you’ll even get a T-shirt ($19.95 plus shipping and handling. Made in China).

And … wait, what’s this?

This Iran deal. This stinkin’ liberal peacenik Obama Iran deal. No war. No Nazis. No big juicy “defense” contracts? No cruise missile strikes at dawn? No parades and marching bands? No little yellow ribbon magnets?

Well, that’s just bullshit right there.

It’s downright un-American is what it is.

Real Americans are outraged! You damned right they are.

We haven’t had a war in almost a year, we’re going into withdrawal.

Last Wednesday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Confederate States of America, praise Jesus) demonstrated his superior Americanism to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter:

Graham: Does [Iran’s] Supreme Leader's religious views compel him over time to destroy Israel and attack America?

Carter: I don't know. I don't know the man. I only…

Graham: Well let me tell you, I do. I know the man. I know what he wants. And if you don't know that, this is not a good deal.

Graham: Could we win a war with Iran? Who wins the war between us and Iran? Who wins? Do you have any doubt who wins?

Carter: No. The United States.

Graham: We. Win.

Who wins a war?

Who wins?

We. Win. We win!

That’s what we’re talking about, right? A quick little war with Iran. Then we’ll have some peace. But first, war. That’s the American way. We can’t have peace with anybody we haven’t had a war with first. Beat ‘em down. Blow ‘em up. Kill ‘em all. Then peace.

(What? No, I’m not going to ask how Lindsey Graham knows Iran’s Supreme Leader well enough to know what he wants. You want to picture them taking long hot showers together, be my guest. This is a classy blog, Folks, I’m not going to go there)

War. Really, where’s the problem? It’s not like we’re gonna lose, right? We start a war with Iran and we win it. We do. And the world becomes a safer and better place, praise Jesus, just like it did after we won those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Somalia. And Vietnam. And Korea. And …


What’s that?

Oh, I’m being offensive, am I?

You don’t like my sarcastic tone? Is that it?

Americans don’t want war, you say? Conservatives don’t want war. Lindsey Graham isn’t really talking about war, he’s just making sure the Secretary of Defense knows who’d win. It’s like a sports analogy, fantasy football, see? And Mike Huckabee doesn’t really think President Obama is actually helping Iran herd Israelis “into the ovens.” The GOP isn’t really the party of war. No, no, of course not. That would be … crazy.


When the Iran deal was announced and a great cry went up from conservatives, I posted the following comment on my Facebook and Twitter feeds:

Now now, Conservatives, stop crying. Here, have a tissue. Blow your noses. Wipe the snot off your faces. Buck up. Look, I promise we'll find you a war. Sure, we'll find you a war, a nice big one that will kill lots of poor minorities and make gobs of money for defense contractors. Trust me, you'll be bombing brown people in no time! Okay, tell you what, how about we stop and hate some gays on the way home? Huh? That'll make you feel better.

Sorry about the deal, fellas. But don’t worry, I’m sure another war will come along shortly. It was a throwaway laugh. Yuk yuk. A little stereotypical political humor – same as when I rib gay-marryin’ tofu-eatin’ Prius-drivin’ peace-lovin’ liberals. A little sarcasm to spark conversation, that’s all.

The comment was liked and shared all over social media. Yuk yuk, funny.

Well, mostly.

As you might expect, I got some conservative feedback.

- ONly brain dead liberal obama cock suckers like you would trust Iran LOL!! only thing islamist cock suckers understand is force. fuck you dumb cock sucker move to iran since you think there so great so you can chant death to america with youre friends

- So if I don’t agree with the Opeaser In Chief I’m a racist warmonger who hates homosexuals and “brown people.” But whose the bigot now right?

- I must be just about to piss myself in anticipation of killing some "poor minorities" and "brown people." Because if I deign to disagree with this President's foreign policy, I MUST be not only racist, but bloodthirsty as well

There was more. A lot more, but those three comments will give you the idea.

I meant my comment as a joke. Because that’s what I do.

But, you see, the best political humor is based on truth.

Chris Christie:

“We have to be willing as Americans to say, if need be, we’ll also put soldiers into the fight. We have to be willing to say that.”

Scott Walker:

“If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe.”

Ben Carson:

“You gotta kill them before they kill you.”

Lindsey Graham, a man who has never met a war he didn’t like:

“If we don’t defend ourselves over there, they’re coming here. I will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes to defeat these guys.”

Bobby Jindal:

“We don’t need a war on international poverty. We need a war on the evil radical Islamic terrorism. They [American citizens, voters] need to tell the political left we want our military leaders to do whatever it takes, not to degrade, contain or expel, but to hunt down and kill these radical Islamic terrorists.”

Carly Fiorina:

“I would do very specific things. First, instead of having a Camp David conference to talk our Arab allies into a bad deal with Iran, I would have had a Camp David conference to talk with our Arab allies about how we can support them to fight ISIS. Let me give you very specific examples. The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years, we still have not. The Jordanians have been asking us to provide them with bombs and material. We know King Abdullah of Jordan – I’ve known him for many years – he took the appropriate leadership steps when a Jordanian pilot was burned alive. He was here in this country asking us for bombs and material. We haven’t provided him with any of them. He’s now looking to China for that. The Egyptian president, a very brave and pious Muslim, who has said there is a cancer in the heart of Islam, has asked us to share intelligence. We are not. The Turks have asked us to help them topple Bashar al-Assad. We are not. There are a whole set of things we’ve been asked to do by our allies who know this is their fight, and we’re not doing any of them. So I would hold a Summit and talk with them about that.”

John Kasich:

"Mark my words, at some point it will require boots on the ground from the world to be able to deal with this problem.”

George Pataki:

"I would provide the weapons, training and financial support to help those fighting on the ground — whether it is Kurds, Jordanians or Sunnis. We cannot allow them to have recruiting centers, training centers and plans to attack us here in America […] If necessary, we will send in American boots on the ground to destroy those training centers, destroy those planning centers and then get out.”

Rick Santorum:

“If these folks want to return to a 7th Century version of Islam, then let’s load up our bombers and bomb them back to the 7th Century.”

Marco Rubio:

“…if we wanted to defeat them [ISIS] militarily, we could do it. [Obama] doesn’t want to upset Iran. In [Obama’s] mind, this deal with Iran is going to be the Obamacare of the second term, and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region because they think the region belongs to them.”

Yeah, but those guys are fringe conservative candidates. Right? The mainstream guys, the ones getting the press, they aren’t demanding war, right?

Mike Huckabee:

“And here is what we have to do: America has to have the most formidable, fierce, military in the history of mankind So when we have a threat, whether it is ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranians, whatever it is, we make it very clear that we plan to push back and destroy that threat to us. And we won’t take 10 years doing it, we hopefully won’t even take 10 months, it will be like a 10 day exercise, because the fierceness of our forces would mean that we can absolutely guarantee the outcome of this film. That’s how America needs to operate in the world of foreign affairs, and foreign policy.”

When asked if he meant sending ground forces, Huckabee replied, “We have to leave that as an option. We can’t leave anything off the table.”

Well, okay, what about that guy from Texas? The one that today released a video of himself cooking bacon on the barrel of a tactical assault weapon? Surely that sane reasonable guy wouldn’t be calling for war?

Ted Cruz:

“What would real presidential leadership look like? A real president would stand up and say on the world stage: Under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran will either stop, or we will stop them […] The threats to Israel right now have never been greater, and now is a time when we do not need leaders who simply speak empty words of support for Israel. When you have religious zealots who glorify death and suicide, ordinary deterrence is not effective.”

The irony apparently escapes Ted Cruz who has repeatedly suggested that we bomb ISIS and Iran “back to the Stone Age” in rehash of General Curtis LeMay – who advocated bombing North Vietnam back to the Stone Age, with nuclear weapons.

You recall how bombing Vietnam turned out, right? Third time’s the charm!

Last week Cruz demanded from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, appearing before a Senate panel, that the U.S. “destroy ISIS—not degrade them.” Cruz also demanded that the destruction of ISIS be done “within 90 days.” When Dempsey said that wasn’t possible, Cruz issued a press release saying the General, the General in charge of our military forces, was wrong. Why Cruz didn’t call for the general’s resignation, given that the man obviously has no actual grasp of military strategy, force readiness, logistics, intelligence assessments, or capability, is beyond me. Cruz then went on to outline his own plan to arm the Kurds and send them against ISIS and Iran as proxy troops with embedded American Special Forces and/or American ground troops (no word on how the Muslim Kurds would feel about fighting Ted Cruz’s war in defense of Israel. Details. Details).

In that same panel, Cruz berated General Dempsey because America should be standing with Ukraine and arming its people against Russia.

Well, okay, so Cruz is nuts, but what about the “sane” one? The reasonable Republican? The smart one. What about that guy?

Jeb Bush:

“We’re living in times that are quite perilous. Now we see what happens when we pull back. These threats spread over the Internet all around the world including our own country. I, for one, we believe we need to reengage with the rest of the world, fight barbaric Islamic terrorism in the Middle East and also do what we need to do to protect the homeland, using all the tools available to make it so, protecting civil liberties along the way but make sure, make sure that we keep this country safe.”

Bush hired his brother, the guy who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan as his campaign’s foreign policy advisor. 

Yeah, he’s the “smart” one.

What about the Libertarian? They don’t believe in war, do they? Surely if anybody in the GOP would support peace and the P5+1 deal over war, who wouldn’t be itching to take on ISIS, it would be the Libertarian, right?

Rand Paul:

“If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”

And just to make sure he wasn’t misunderstood, Paul went on Fox’s Sean Hannity to clarify his statement. Paul said as President he would quickly end Congress’ current recess in order to seek military authorization – and he believes that would be easily granted given that both houses are dominated by Republican majorities.

Paul then declared that in addition to forming a powerful American response, he would lean on Turkey, Syria, and Iran to join the fight against the Islamic State. Now, unlike Bobby Jindal, Paul does seem to know Iran and ISIS are enemies and not friends, so, you know, that’s something anyway – though it does raise an interesting question about strange bedfellows.

“Right now, the two allies that have the same goal would be Iran and Syria, to wipe out ISIS. They also have the means and the ability and they also have the incentive to do so because Assad’s clinging for power and clinging for life there.”

Shades of Reagan. Can’t trust the Iranians to sign a peace treaty, but let’s give them weapons and trust them on the battlefield, right? Enemy of our enemies and all that. What’s Ollie North up to these days, maybe he can escort a planeload of Stinger missiles to Tehran.


How about that other guy? The one leading conservative polls? The non-establishment Republican? The one who’s not like the others?

Donald Trump:

"I would attack the oil. I would take away their source of power. I would take away their source of wealth. You will defeat ISIS. They are very wealthy. They're building a hotel in Syria. A hotel. They're competing with me.  They're building a hotel in Syria. … They're wealthy. You know why they're wealthy? From the oil. I would absolutely cut off their source of wealth, which is the oil. I would bomb the hell out of them!"

And here we are.

You want to know why I said what I said?

Look, I promise we'll find you a war. Sure, we'll find you a war, a nice big one that will kill lots of poor minorities and make gobs of money for defense contractors. Trust me, you'll be bombing brown people in no time! Okay, tell you what, how about we stop and hate some gays on the way home? Huh? That'll make you feel better.

Because every single prominent Republican is calling for war. Every. Single. One. That’s why. 

If you’re voting for these people, you’re voting for war. They’ve made that absolutely clear.

Sure, fine whatever. But where did that “bombing some brown people” come from?

Well, hell, we’re not exactly talking about declaring war on Canada now, are we? So, unless Jesus was the only Caucasian in the Middle East, what we are in fact talking about is bombing us some more brown people.

Fine! But what about that “hate some gay people” remark, Jim, what about that?

You got me there. That was uncalled for. I apologize.

Tell you what, in fairness, let’s take a look at what conservative candidates have to say about gay people.

I’ll start with Mike Huckabee…


  1. The chances of Islamic tanks getting through New York City rush hour traffic are slim to none.

    1. That's why Christe decided that tunnel was a bad idea - ISSL would use it to invade NY.

    2. Remember when ISIS tweeted, "We are coming, O Rome"? Italians were much alarmed. Or something.

      "Don't come in train, it is every time late"
      "Don't take a taxi, they are always ripping tourists off"
      "Be careful on the highway-Ring Road: there's too much traffic, you would remain trapped!"
      "oh so it's you lot that's got the contract to empty the trash bins?"

  2. Isn't it telling that the people who are screaming for war are those who have never been in combat? (If I recall correctly, ol' Lindsay is the only one with military service--but as a lawyer.)

    1. Cotton seems to have had 3 combat tours as an infantry company grade officer.

    2. I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. He's still an idiot.

    3. Yep Cotton has just enough military experience to be dangerous to himself and others. Just shy of four years Military service, Jan 2005 to Sept 2009 and none of it as a General Officer. Your point is?

  3. *Drop the mic*! That was awesome!!!

  4. This is one of the best assessments of what Republicans want that I've seen posted. The humor is appreciated, only because if one were to present this purely as a grave and sober assessment of what it is we (Americans and the world) are facing:

    The potential in the 2016 election of handing U.S. foreign policy and Pentagon armaments over to the ideology of a party behaving like a coward who just got beat up; a guy who thinks his father's gun will help him keep him from ever getting beat up at school again because he can simply shoot anyone that even hints of ever bullying him, before they ever get near him enough to ever be an actual threat.

    It sounds like such a great idea. "pre-emptive" war; "pro-active" foreign policy. And as always, those who propose the 'strategy' (laughable to call it that) are never anywhere near or ever actually anyone who has to hold the weapons and do the deed.

    I don't know what to do, Jim, because we live in a country that is increasingly scared, paranoid, delusional, and far too many of those are imbued with the eschatological fantasies of the End Times (TM), who think that if we don't fire everything we have now; we might not get a chance.

    I wish you - or someone else with a wide audience and some public appeal - would address the blunt reality that these people who are so apoplectic about all of the military conflicts that they are horny for (that Democrats largely want to avoid, or have avoided) may in fact be trying to bring the worst parts of the book of Revelation to pass.

    1.) they profess they believe in "G"od, constantly and emphatically.
    2.) they believe the Bible is inerrant and is/will unfold inevitably as described in its books.
    3.) many of them also believe that right before all the shite hits the fan, they will be yanked out in a "rapture" so they won't have to suffer through the misery
    4.) and as an added benefit to those who made 'reality TV' the only channel left on television, they believe they will be sitting with Jesus and his Dad in the skybox to watch the battle below them, as if the now-demolished observation tower at Gettysburg was their ultimate reward for their messianic devotion.

    Jim, what do we do if these bastards really don't want to avoid war, they think that voice in their head belongs to "G"od and they are supposed to bring about a war - the biggest war - the ultimate war - the war to end the Earth as we know it so Jesus will give them a pat on the back and smoke a cigar with them in congratulations?

    What do the sober and reasonable people do if our government is filled with - and may become filled with more - people who graduate from places like Liberty University who believe that only "G"odly people are fit to lead?

    What do we do when people lead the rest of us into the worst parts of their own delusions and we wind up paying for it in some horrible misuse of "freedom" of religion?

    At what point does freedom of religion cross over into "I"m going to screw things up for everybody because I believe I will be rewarded for it, and no one is allowed to confront me because that would be a violation of my religious freedom"?


    1. *This* is what keeps me awake at night. You and Jim have hit it spot on....

    2. My sentiments exactly Anonymous. Thanks to Jim and you for voicing the concerns of thousands of others.

    3. wow, I have been thinking along those same lines...It was taught to me as a kid in Bible School...Revelations is a scary book...but, there is some fine print, or at least this is what I was taught, that NOTHING in Revelations will happen if there is but ONE PIUS person, left in this world..HIS promise of Fire and Brimstone was more for the likes of these folks, my Granddaddy Preached IT and lived It until his death...and I saw the light...

    4. These are our own home grown radical extremists. You believe what they do or you are going to hell don't ya know and those gays and abortionists are gonna bring down the wrath of God on our country.
      I gotta tell ya, the word Homeland makes me cringe every time I hear it. I think of Nazis every time. I guess that was motherland or something, but there is something that I find very unsetteling about it.

    5. Oh by the way, thanks for the laugh and a great read,Jim. Very well done.

    6. Im one of those people who believes the Big Sky Daddy is going to yank me up in the rapture. Yep I believe that. I do not believe we should be doing a dang thing in the Middle east because everything we touch over there just makes it all worse. We need to back off and let them sort it out, What most folks don't understand is Revelations is all About Israel, Not Christians. There isnt much we Christians can do to speed things up or slow it down. All that falls on Israel, Iran and Russians shoulders. Its what they do and how they interact that moves things forward or back as far as prophecy is concerned, Hell, America isnt even mentioned in anyway shape or form in the Bible. The three I mentioned earlier are. We need to mind our business, Stay the hell out of it. I say lets just chill and watch what happens. :)

      Howard P.

    7. Listen, Nostradamus, you gotta do a whole lot of massaging to get your bible prophecy to line up with modern geopolitical demographics. Which is just another reason why I am strongly opposed to allowing a bunch of nuts who spend all day praying for their God to blow up the world so they can fly naked into space and make happy boom boom with Jesus among the clouds, yeah, you people, I don't think you people should be in charge of a salad fight let alone foreign policy.

      So, thanks for dropping by, but it's time to take your medication and get in the bag.

    8. Jim, I was curious if this clip had come across your radar. I think it's the perfect explanation for Right Wing support of Israel.


    9. Ah, the questions that have given me indigestion since the reign of St. Ronnie(tm) and night terrors since the ShrubKing(tm).

  5. It is nice to have military supremacy when you need it. It is nicer to seduce the enemy to become your friend by helping them live better. Conservatives and the current Republican party need to keep that in mind.

    I frequently say that the Cold War was won by Pepsi, Levis and MTV. Military technology was necessary to keep the military stalemate though. Think of it as the carrot and the stick.

  6. Beautiful. *sniff* Just beautiful.

  7. I couldn't agree with you more. War is the first and ONLY option of the neocon's, it drives the agenda. First it gives the rubes someone to hate/blame, then it pays the MIC and the 1% the ever increasing portion of our nations wealth. They try to turn each of us against each other. We all need to wake up and see what their doing.
    I am glad you highlighted the lie that Iran and ISIS are working together.
    Thanks for your cutting wit!

  8. With these types of comments by the (R) contenders, it just reinforces the idea that the Nobel Peace Prize whicht was given to Obama was justified. When another (D) gets into the White House, I'm gonna guess they'll be issued one too, just to prove the point.

    1. Personally, I hope it goes to SoS Kerry and FM Zarif jointly. First because they deserve it, I simply cannot imagine the intensity of these negotiations. And second because it would send a powerful message to the world and the GOP.

    2. Unfortunately, the world and the GOP have vastly differing versions of what constitutes reality. The world understands reality. The GOP denies it.

  9. Nicely done, Jim. It would be really, really funny if it weren't really, really sad. Have you seen Deal of the Century? Love Wally Shawn's big scene.

  10. Priceless Jim! After a horrible day I am laughing out loud:-) Thank you!

    Of course, we forget the irony of the GOP. Anyone remember that AUMF that President Obama sent to Congress many months ago seeking a new resolution to combat ISIL? The one the Republicans refuse to take up? Awwww right. Let's not REALLY have to put our name on something like a vote! Instead, let's just bitch about the President while we let his request for Congressional authorization sit. Too chickenshit to take a vote but not too chickenshit to bash this deal.

    I watched the hearings last week. And I was utterly embarrassed for our country knowing this was being broadcast LIVE on Iranian state tv for the first time in its history. Hell, our representatives make the hardliners in Iran look positively sane in comparison.

    Hopefully, the Dems will maintain the firewall needed to sustain the promised veto of the resolution of disapproval which will pass. It is my understanding that once vetoed it will go to the House first for the vote to override. For anyone who supports, please, please contact your representatives in both House and Senate, even if they are hopeless. Having lived through both Vietnam and the current wars, I have had enough war for my lifetime. But we need those squishy Dem votes to help sustain the veto. And this time, we need to be as loud as the crazies!

    1. Unfortunately, one of my Congress Critters is co-sponsoring the resolution. He sent an email asking for the opinions of his constituents on the Iran deal, and for a brief moment, I thought about sending a response. But, given his Republican orientation, I decided it was not worth it. He clearly has already made up his mind.

    2. LOL Squishy Dems. I'm burnin for Bernie already.

    3. Terri, your Rep asked you what you thought, and you said NOTHING. You disagree strongly with his position, and you said NOTHING. He asked his constituents what they thought he should do, and you said NOTHING.

      You, my squishy little friend, are a damned good example of why we are in the shit situation we currently inhabit. Okay, one person saying, "Excuse me, that's a damned stupid idea and here are reasons #1 - 15 it's dumb" may not have a huge effect, but it will alert him to the fact that his position is not supported 100% by his voters. If 50 people answered him with some variation of that message, he'd be a hell of a lot more likely to pay attention to it.

      As it is, you did -- NOTHING. You said -- NOTHING.

      A democracy is only as good as its citizens.

      Thanks for nothing.

    4. Terry, I'm going to agree with Anonymous here. And I'm going to ask you to reconsider. I call or email my congresscritters fairly frequently over issues or urgent votes coming up. I fill out those surveys. If I have a suggestion or an idea, I include it. I even explain the reasons behind my thinking on occassion.

      I do it for me. I do it for my neighbors sake. I do it because so very little is actually asked of us as citizens that I can afford to spend 30 minutes or an hour writing advocating for decency, for protection of our public lands and wildlife, for clean air, water and food, for healthcare, for fair application of our laws as regards all our citizens and for more.

      We have a Republican here in my state who I loath as a congressman and I call every time he votes on something that harms us in the state or nation. I don't have fiscal or social power, but by damn, telling him what I think is a shot at standing up to him and giving him what for over the things he wants to put in motion that are destructive in the short and long terms.

    5. "when they came for them, I said nothing, and when they came for me, no one was left to say anything"

      It may fall on dead ears - but then again, it may not. Our fundamental rights as Americans are based on our willingness and ability to freely speak when it's important to us. If you have feedback for the people we put in office (even if they're not our particular strain of political persuasion) - you need to tell them. Your voice could be the tipping point.

      (And yes, I am the first person to ask a person who's fussing about the current political situation if they voted, because if you don't vote, you can't complain).

  11. There are a lot of things this clown car-full could be called on. I love that you write about what you know., The fact you pull no punches and often have my beverage spewing out my nose in laughter is a great bonus.
    Thanks once again for gathering information, analyzing, and making it so, so palatable for those without.

  12. I'm always amazed that the "adults" in the GOP just can't seem to get around their shrieking panic on Iran. I mean, the damn place is the natural regional power in SW Asia - largest population, biggest economy, geopolitically central - and would already be if they were Arab rather than Persian. It's like reading about the various attempts to prevent Germany from becoming the preeminent power in Europe after 1815... Of course, the ability of Republicans to not see something that their worldview depends on them not seeing is really amazing. The degree to which U.S. foreign policy has been torqued out of all sensibility by our political elites' desperate need to hate on Iran and love on Israel is pretty large.

    One note. This deal is widely castigated by the GOP as "Munich", but there's a fairly impressive body of work that suggests that Chamberlin was completely justified by his Munich deal. See here: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2013/09/neville_chamberlain_was_right_to_cede_czechoslovakia_to_adolf_hitler_seventy.html

    1. At the risk of a double post (I was not signed in when I typed this the first time). The context of the Munich agreement is generally not known. It's easy for Americans (who didn't suffer the scale of loss in the trench warfare of WW1) to forget the horror of that war a hundred years ago, but in 1938, it would be the sons of the generation that died by the millions who would be called on. There was the distinct possibility that if they had a war in 1938, the French would not show up. Both England and France were threatened with general strikes if there was war. Further, England was threatened with the loss of its overseas interests to Japan and Italy if it went to war with Germany.

    2. Oh yeah, one more dirty little secret: Neville Chamberlain was a conservative.

    3. Britain had started preparing for war in 1936. The Ruhr dams were identified as a target, and attempts to work out how to destroy them had already started. Plans for civil defence were being made ready. What people don't consider is the effect Guernica had on thinking.

  13. Excellent "rant"...and to think that you never even looked at what actual military strategists predict a war with Iran would cost in blood and treasure. More advanced air defenses than the US has ever faced...check. Enrichment sites so heavily fortified that nothing short of nuclear bunker buster will penetrate... Check. The necessity of hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground to persecute the war....check. This list goes on and on...

    1. -- plus, look at Iran's location. It is right next to a major choke point at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Some 40% of the world's oil goes through the Straits of Hormuz every day -- Saudi, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran send tankers out every day. Billions of barrels of crude oil go through that 21-mile-wide pinch of water every - single - day.

      How hard would it be to close that off? A swarm of small boats, half an hour, a few dozen mines in the shipping lanes, and crude tankers would be terrified to get anywhere near it. No one wants to be on top of 2,000,000 barrels of burning oil.

      Sure, sure, we've got some shale oil here in the US -- but we're shutting a lot of the wells down because they're unprofitable, and it takes a while to get them open again. And we have trouble shipping it. (Remember all those train derailments?) And while it's nice for us, a little US shale oil won't stop a global economic crash when the price of crude skyrockets and transportation freezes up.

      Yeah, let's attack Iran! After all, what could go wrong?

  14. And this is why I, as a moderate Republican (who, according to the Texas GOP means that I'm some commie liberal RINO) can't understand what is going on in the minds of the GOP politicians. I mean, really, come on, you folks want a war? Didn't we actually *lose* the war in Afghanistan and Iraq? Didn't we end up walking away, leaving both countries as basket cases, a perfect environment for fostering radicals like ISIS and the Taliban?

    Oh, what's that from the peanut gallery? If only *who* had stayed in Iraq? It's Obama's fault that Iraq is a mess? Who started that war? Who was told that their continued presence wasn't welcomed? Who said "Mission Accomplished" when the mission wasn't even started? And you're saying you want to do that again??

    Rational thought out of the GOP politicians is almost impossible at this point. There's just no way anyone with more than three operational brain cells will be able to penetrate the wall of ignorance that the GOP has thrown up. All they want is a war, all they can dream of is a war, all they can talk about is a war. Forget John Lennon's old song, the GOP's altered the lyrics.

    "All we are saying/is give war a chance."

    1. TalGreywolf, you are missing an important note, these candidates who are running for nomination are not talking to you or anyone who is a traditional republican. They are talking to the king makers, the big donors, to Fox News. That is the attention they want right now. Once a nominee is anointed, they will be talking to you, the middle class, small businessman, women, youth, minorities and anyone with the remote possibility of believing their BS.

  15. Tell me how in the hell we are to get Iran to assist with ISIS knowing we are going to bomb them as soon as they take care of ISIS. Ok now for Jordan dont we pay them to leave Israel alone but yet we are going to buddy up with an Israeli enemy,?I'm sure given our record we will keep close tabs on all those weapons and make sure every single on is accounted for afterwards.Surely they would not use all the new bang bang machines on Israel,but then again that would give us someone else to bomb later on

    1. Yep, the USA is the gossipy neighbor whose nose is never far away from the fence. Always listening and just waiting for the time they can start something.

  16. Seeker After KnowledgeAugust 3, 2015 at 6:20 PM

    Dear, Jim Wright.

    I am writing to ask that you stop calling Gov. Jindal of Louisiana by the name Bobby. In my point of view, doing so constitutes enablement of his chronic blasphemy. This person was named Piyush by his parents, and his turning his back on the good name they gave him is a violation of the Fifth Commandment:

    Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
    --Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV

    Thank you for your consideration of this request.

    Seeker After Knowledge on a Journey of Spiritual Growth

    1. I believe very strongly in the inalienable right to define yourself. Be that sex, sexual orientation, political outlook, religion, and etc. If Governor Jindal chooses to call himself Bobby, Caitlyn, or Rocket the Wonder Dog, then I will respect his self-identity and address him as such.

      Violation of religious commandments does not apply to me. I don't believe in any religion and as such I'm under no geas expressed or implied to comply with any deity's rules. And on that note, I think "blasphemy" is one of the single most idiotic concepts humanity has ever managed to come up with, and that's saying something when weighed against religion itself.

      So no, can't help you.

    2. “This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves”

      R. Ingersoll

    3. Best mini-thread ever -- wish I could share on FB with everyone! and extra kudos for the quote from Ingersoll.

  17. Thank you, Jim. One for one, you've put these wannabe cowboys on display for who they are. It's good to have it all in one place.

  18. War. There are no winners, only survivors.

    1. Or, as I have said since Vietnam ended; there is no glory in war except surviving. And ALL of the Nam vets I've ever met are broken in one way or another. Jim is too, and that's why we read him.

  19. I teach in a high poverty school district where the military seems like a way out of poverty and hopelessness. Every one of these war mongering a-holes should have to spend time with the young teenage children they are sending off to die. They are children who just want a better life. They deserve more than to be sacrificed on the altar of a bunch of egotistical political buffoons ambitions. Every time I hear "boots on the ground" i wonder if they actually understand that those boots are covering the feet of some wonderful young people.

    1. Yes, As a former teacher, I understand fully what you mean. I also see my students who thought the military was a way out.

  20. The war mongers we will always have around. What disturbs me is that there is no peace party. Antiwar dot com has done a good job documenting this. Recall that most of the democratic senators voted for Iraq War 2.

    1. I'm still a Republican (whoop-de-dam-doo), and I thought Operation Iraqi Freedom was one of the biggest foreign policy blunders since Barbarossa, BUT if I were a Senator at the time, even I would have voted to authorize the use of force. It's sort of like splitting hairs the way Clinton does, but I would have depended on the executive to use that authorization the right way, just like the people in the armed forces have to hope the people sending them into harms way respect their power. If the Senate had refused to authorize the use of force, it would have devastated the ability of the US to completely conduct its foreign policy in the worst place at the worst possible time.
      Where we went wrong was "electing" George W. Bush in the first place, and I told everybody I knew in 2000 that it would be a disaster.

  21. While I agree with much of what you say, I've never felt the need to comment here just to tell you what your minions say so much better. This essay is no different.

    In this essay, however, you used the phrase "Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark" which brought me up short and made me laugh. I haven't heard that in over 25 years. Thank you for the memories that brought to mind.

  22. I spent the last 30 years in Government and Military satellite acquisition. I learned a few things.

    Nothing is as straight forward or simple it seems to an outsider.

    Contractors always lie.

    Government officials are often stupid or self-centered and exist somewhere on the sociopathic continuum (see e.g., http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html).

    A large and complex satellite system acquisition starts with a schedule of activities including measurable milestones (“insert Tab A into Slot B. Done!”), a cost profile, and operational capabilities. The only way to evaluate a proposed new design acquisition plan is by comparison with previous acquisitions of similar complexity.

    War. Do we have some idea of the complexity if we jump back into the Middle East with both boots? Think we do. Are there other complex wars to compare with? Yep. JW has already named them. And how did those schedules and costs work out? Yeah. Figured. Not good. Difference with war is that cost is dollars and human lives.

    Risk. The biggest lie that contractors tell Government has to do with risk. They always posture risk as threats to cost and schedule. But what about operational or technical risk? Nope, never addressed. From the contractor perspective all technical risk occurs on the ground, before operations, and can simply be addressed by an ECP, Engineering Change Proposal, a rider attached to the contract that provides schedule relief and more money. And what if something breaks after launch? Too bad. Act of God. Unforseen circumstances. We’ll take some more money and look into what we can do.

    War. Are there risks? Sure, just ask the contractors providing goods and services. To them, it’s all upfront cost and schedule risk, which they assess as very low. And when shit go down in theater? Well, a little dab (of funding) will do ya. Works every time.
    If you really want to piss off the Government proponents of war, start asking them to address all the risks inherent, both before theater engagement as well as after.

    I once sat in on a meeting with a bunch of middle managers at a large satellite provider. It was led by a vice president. He didn’t know I was in the back of the room. Here’s what he told his managers. It didn’t matter if that particular satellite system ever flew (= was launched). The most important aspect of the contract was to KEEP IT SOLD. String out the Government as long as possible and collect the quarterly fee. This contractor, like all the others, had extensive lobbying forces in D.C.

    War. Keep it sold. Wait for “Oh, shit!” and offer up an ECP. Works every time. Never talk about the end game.

  23. some kind of serious stupid running around out here it seems. once again Jim, you've painted the darkness and shown the truth. we thank you

  24. You know, the GOP's policy of arming the middle East finally makes sense to me! Job security! They arm the in-favor flavor of middle Easterner today, guaranteeing that in fifteen to twenty years there will be a well-armed group in power that we can disagree with enough to fund a war with and arm a new group of "rebel allies" with more weapons for future use against us. We created Saddam, and we armed Iran. Hell, we armed the Taliban. And still the Republican solution is "give 'em more weapons!". So all I can conclude, is either they meet the textbook definition of insanity, or they have an agenda that is being met by the current actions, and since war tends to put Republicans in power, well, there you go.

  25. The GOP Traveling Circus Sideshow have been watching way too much Game of Thrones in their trailers after their performances. And Huckabee and Cruz are trying to sell a war using some kind of bizarre "Name That Tune" methodology. I can rule the world on 90 days! I can do it in 10! We are fierce! Raaaarrrr

    It's despicable and laughable and horrible and silly and terrifying all at once. We, as a nation, are all going to end up like Sybil, rocking back and forth going on about purple crayons by the time they're done with us. Then they can cut off our mental heath benefits for good measure.

    1. We get mental health benefits?

    2. They have already done that in my state. Thanks gov brown nose. It is shoved so far up the Koches behind. Lets raise taxes on stuff to pay for the fact he won't tax the wealthy and cut, cut, cut, cut, cut till every poor and middle class person is on the streets.

  26. Lindsey Graham will save us from from the Mideast peril if he can only find and fit into his Air Force Reserve JAG uniform. What a putz.

    Chris in S. Jersey

  27. Thank you so much Jim for this sadly hilarious summation of the GOP response. What angers me even more is none of these GOP candidates have any skin in the game. What is needed is a responsible (yeah I know) journalist who will listen to these statements, say how wonderful and clear-cut but you didn't mention who in your immediate family will be joining to fight on the front lines? You haven't mentioned reinstating the draft so this burden will be shared "more" fairly by every family.

    What also ticks me off is so far there have been no ads from the pro-treaty side and from experience (ACA for one) we know people who have a brain will support this figuring common sense will win out...unfortunately the "other" side specializes in drowning common sense in hyperbole until that's all that's heard. The President or even Biden (who does connect even better at times - Kerry just isn't warm and fuzzy and they need to make it connect with the low information voter) should get out on the news shows and lay it out or address the nation. What gets lost is the fact this is not a 1 on 1 treaty, if Congress says no the other signers have said yes, the UN has said yes, we can't "go back and get a better deal" - that's impossible and these idiots ignore that. We say no, everyone else involved says yes and what happens? Funds are released by other signers, they begin to trade and instead of curbing actions against us and Israel we are giving the hard-line Iranians a great reason to focus on us.

    That said, do I trust Iran? Not really but then I don't trust a lot of the jerks that run our country but if there is a chance to avoid war and keep others on our side if it goes wrong then the chance must be taken because the downside is death and not just for them but for us and the world. Marlene S

    1. You bring up an excellent point! How many journalists in the video media are actually making the point that should Americans vote for a Republican candidate, voting that candidate into the office of President, that it is most assuredly a vote to go to war? Furthermore, why are those within media not painting the vivid picture Jim paints here? Simple: it is revenue for all!

      I have often remarked, especially during the former president's term, how it appeared the very people who were so adamant about the "gospel" appeared to be marching our nation directly toward the Armageddon.

  28. Walker said that he would support War on Iran and bomb them on Day One.

    Since then, I have heard the other GOP candidates essentially saying the same thing.

    This entire situation is scary.

  29. Each of these GOP candidates is talking to their own party and to the big political donors, not to America. Right now, they are running for the nomination, not for the office of President. This is not to say that if elected, that would change their point of view. Maybe or maybe not. What is relevant is the point you make that voting for the GOP is voting for a foreign policy that will promote war over diplomacy. For someone like myself who will vote democratic given our present choices, the republican circus is comical, scary, and sad at the same time. Comical because of the posturing; scary because some these candidates believe this shit; and sad because there was a time when being a conservative could mean someone who was cautious, not quick to judge, needed compelling evidence to change their point of view. None of these candidates have these qualities and that in itself is scary.

  30. Many countries have nuclear weapons. Only one country has ever actually used them on another country...and it wasn't N. Korea or Russia or any of the other 'terrorist' countries. Quite frankly, considering the aggression and genocide being committed by Israel, it's no wonder Iran wants one.

    1. That wasn't really all that coherent. The fact that the USA used them during wartime doesn't have much to do with the "terrorist" countries. And the "aggression and genocide" being committed by Israel is not really a threat to Iran.

  31. When are the great minds going to realize that Iran is our best ally against ISIS? Will they ever trust us? Probably never.

  32. o jim, you always make me laugh. even when shit's not funny.

  33. Since I have been alive (1969), I don't think America has ever been at peace, that we haven't had troops doing something somewhere in the world. I really wish someone would correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Phoenix, since I have been born, in 1943 , we have not been at peace. So there is no correction to your comment necessary. Think about it, 72 years .....and counting.

  34. When did the disconnect set in. War means people suffer and die, You know, real people.
    When I got out in the fall of 71, I would never have guessed I'd be living in a world with this attitude.
    The loudest Saber rattlers I know never served. These are people I thought I knew, they buy into the bullshit flowing from the clown car.
    What the hell has happened to critical thinking in my country?
    The fact that a moron like Ted Nuggent hasn't been laughed into oblivion, says a ton about where we are at. It's really embarrassing!

    1. Critical thinking? Just like common sense, not so common. What has happened to this country? Evangelicals and extreme right wingers have grown in number and influence, may be because they are against birth control, but definitely are capitalizing the growing distrust for big government. The religious right has always had contempt for intellectuals because intellectuals expect people to be critical thinkers and that threatens religion in general. The quietest sector of our society are the wealthy as they see events benefitting them both in the form of wealth and power. The oligarchs as we call them pay others, lobbyists, to do their bidding. Working out pretty well I think.

  35. Republicans like to talk about welfare dependency.

    People on welfare have no incentive to work. They're not developing the skills necessary to get ahead in life. "They become lazy leeches on the rest of society." The rest of us need to pay a load of tax money for them to sit around on their asses. So long as welfare exists they'll never "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and become capable of taking care of themselves.

    Then ISIS springs up, or any other organization, and WE need to do something about it. WE need to go over there and blow another few trillion dollars bombing them to defend ourselves.

    The ridiculous notion of "defend ourselves over there" aside, we're not solving the problem.

    We go over there, we kill a bunch of people, we wave a "Mission Accomplished" banner, we leave. The friends and family of those killed, displaced, or impoverished by our war stand up as a new batch of extremists. Then the wheel turns round again.

    What we're doing is warfare-welfare.

    People on warfare-welfare have no incentive to fight. They're not developing the skills necessary to defend themselves. "They become lazy leeches on the western world." Us Americans need to pay a load of taxes so they can sit on their asses while we kill their extremists. So long as warfare-welfare exists, they'll never "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and become capable of taking care of themselves.

  36. "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
    --George McGovern

  37. GW didnt do it, Obama wont do it and neither will the next President. Why, Why attack Iran. We dont care if they have the Bomb. We really dont. N.Korea has it and guess what we are still here. Now this little horse and pony show makes it look like we care and it might get some folks a medal, But we do not care. We have plenty of oil we don't need a thing Iran has and so we are not going to spend a trillion dollars trying to defeat them. If iran Attacks anyone with a Nuke we will vaporize them. They will glow for a thousand years, They know it we know it. Thats pretty much it.

  38. We will not attack Iran. Because we do not give a rats ass about anything they do or have. We have plenty of Oil, So we dont care about that and we sure as hell are not going to spend 1 trillion dollars to go to war over what Israel, Saudi or Jordan things. Mutual assured destruction is our friend. SO there will not be a war with Iran.

  39. You wrote: "Cruz then went on to outline his own plan to arm the Kurds and send them against ISIS and Iran as proxy troops with embedded American Special Forces and/or American ground troops (no word on how the Muslim Kurds would feel about fighting Ted Cruz’s war in defense of Israel. Details. Details)"

    We both know that there are US Army Special Forces troops supplying instruction and assistance, to include ground fighting against ISIS already. A friend of mine was there a few years ago and his son is there right now, as you are reading this. Right Jim?

    So what does that make Cruz except an ill-informed idiot or a media hound? These fucking people should get a taste of sand in their mouths instead of the VIP treatment.

  40. Trying to sort out allies from enemies in that region is impossible. Turkey is a NATO member, has been at best ambivalent about ISIS, and now claims to be bombing ISIS when it is in fact bombing the Kurds, who most candidates think are our allies. Our allies bombing our allies. Lovely.

    Tell you what. Give Iran the bomb. Give them a bomb and an ICBM. Who are they going to use it against? Israel? It would never get past Iron Dome, and Israel has 300 warheads of its own. Yeah, they could drag it in on a donkey cart maybe.

    How about hitting the US? Can't get past the missile defenses and we would turn Iran into a crater you could see from Pluto. Ditto if they attacked one of our Sunni allies like Saudi, Qatar, or Jordan.

    Mullahs talk smack. "Death to America" and all that. It's campaign rhetoric. They scare the citizens into thinking the US is about to invade, and they are the only ones who can stop us, because it keeps them from being overthrown. It works wonderfully, especially since GWB's boneheaded axis of evil speech where he grouped Iraq, Iran, and PRNK together, then invaded Iraq. What else were Iranians and Koreans to think?

    Iran wants to get a nuke and then pretend they are crazy enough to use it in order to thwart a US invasion. A deterrent: isn't that what nukes are for? Iran will get a nuke with our without this deal or any deal because we refuse to take the use of force off the table. They have to get one.

    You are spot on about the next war. The global economy is slowing and will take a toll on the bankers' fortunes and power. Someone's gonna get invaded. My guess is Syria. Heaven forbid China tries some war Keynesianism and sucks us in to defend Japan or the Philippines over some rock in the South China Sea.

  41. Beautiful. I have nothing to add. I don't have cable TV, so I'll follow the "debates" via the live blog at Wonkette.

  42. Dear Jim,

    You are a coward and traitor to all the proud heroes who have served in the military without being poisoned by the leftist Muslim hate overwhelming our constitution, founding fathers, freedom and way of life endangered by your spewing vomit of lies about our best and brightest leaders who are valiantly fighting the good fight against foreign and domestic brown people, god damned peaceniks, hippies, takers, losers and women who actually want to boom boom without the forced birthing of god's miraculous gift of life. You make me sick but I hope you eventually see the truth before we are all killed by heathen Muslim Iranians let loose upon our wilted nation to seize our guns from our cold dead fingers. And remember, Thanksgiving is at your house this year.

    Love, Mom

  43. Go look at a map sometime. Iran is around 2 and a half times as big as Iraq and Afghanistan combined and its full of mountains. Attacking it would be a freaking nightmare and holding it would be impossible. Anyone with a hardon for attacking Iran is a complete idiot.

  44. Awesome stuff Jim Wright as always.

    "..with the Opeaser In Chief.." Geez, talk about a stretch there!

    George Pataki: "I would provide the weapons, training and financial support to help those fighting on the ground — whether it is Kurds, Jordanians or Sunnis ..

    First off, how staggering ignorant is that - Sunni isn't a country but a sectarian denomination. The Kurds & Jordanians (& Da'esh-IS-IL/S) *are* Sunni Muslims which includes the majority the Muslims in the region and world - except Iran, large parts of Iraq and the Alawaite Shia's of Syria incl,. president of what's left of it Assad the Sadass.

    Secondly, isn't Pataki supposed to be one of the more moderate and sane ones here?

    Thirdly and finally, didn't we try that already with the Iraqis in the past year or so and didn't that end with them running away and abandoning those arms to the Da'esh Jihadists - even though the Iraqi army outnumbered the Da'esh terrorists very heavily. Because most of the Iraqi troops didn't support or have the support of the Sunni people in the areas they were fighting.

    A lot of past wars that ended badly and brought torment, death and ruin to all they touched with no god coming out of them have already been mentioned here - Somalia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Hamas vs IDF, Iraq, etc .., but there's one more that the whole Middle-East SW Asian region is really reminding me of - The Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants in Europe (1618-1648.) : "..one of the longest, most destructive conflicts in European history." (Wikipedia page.) Seems like a good comparison and similar mistakes being repeated by the Shias & Sunnis now as we saw way back then.

    So, if that's the direction this is trending in, one huge messy, bloody, horrific decades long regional sectarian religious war then we need to ask do we really want to involve ourselves in that and for what, why and how long with with goals? All huge open questions that you can bet the Republicans and their chickenhawk fans won't be able to properly answer.

    Final, very pedantic nit I can't resist picking here - the Iranians I believe aren't actually "brown" but are literally "Aryan", white, (Caucasian - see etymology there too!) for whatever very little value that adds. Arguably the Arabs are really classed as white too - just like the Jewish Israelis who they are closely genetically related to. Of course, there's really no scientific basis for "race" at all - we are all just human albeit too many too inhumane.


    “The Earth should not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own “national security” to be paramount above all other considerations. There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.”
    - Isaac Asimov, Pages 419-421, ,‘ I Asimov : A memoir’, Bantam Books, 1995.

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
    - Isaac Asimov via Salvor Hardin, Mayor of Terminus in the 'Foundation' saga.

    1. I applaud your comments. Your questions regarding involvement are exactly what our leaders should have been doing in the past, present, and future. If they can not find those answers, then we have no business being involved in the Middle East.

  45. Have we even won a war since Stalin helped us win WWII by sending 13 million Soviet soldiers into the meat grinder against Hitler?

    Let's see:

    Korean War -- Well, no, we didn't win that one.
    Vietnam War -- No, didn't win that either.
    First Gulf War -- No, because we had to go back ten years later.
    Afghanistan and Iraq War -- Mission accomplished! No, actually, both are chaotic, festering hellholes.

    As far as I can see, we just go over, fight, get tired of getting our asses kicked, declare victory, and go home. So I guess that's what these Repubs want to do in Iran now? Why are we even considering that plan?

    1. First and second, you forgot Grenada and Panama. I think you can count the First Gulf War as a win, because we didn't really have to go back ten years later.
      You know, thinking about Korea, if you ask South Koreans, I think you would find they think it's a win. Remember, we intervened because the North invaded the South, not to unify the two.

  46. Great post, but there is still the icing for the WWIII cake. This time we won't be hamstrung by any mamby-pamby rules or whatnot, or that most liberal of vices, judgement. No, this time we're going to be strong.

    "And then I realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, 'My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that.' Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they could stand that--these were not monsters, these were men, trained cadres, these men who fought with their hearts, who have families, who have children, who are filled with love--that they had this strength, the strength to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral and at the same time were able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling, without passion, without judgment--without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us." Kurtz: Apocalypse Now

  47. Jim,
    Thank you for your service and welcome home. I understand your frustration and your anger. Not all of it, because I was not there. But as someone with intelligence, a heart, and a soul that gives a broader view, I can understand.

    I think I have an answer to your question In the short term, the chicken hawks cost us lives not only of those who died, but also the walking dead and those who got lost on their way home. They cost us our reputation as a mediator for other nations, our economic stability, and our countries pride. That is the price this country and the world paid for their egotistical greed and childishness.

    However, they also set up the world for a consequence that they over looked, which is what is happening now. They showed themselves for who they are in their hearts, souls, and their goals. They showed how they see themselves as the puppet masters, who feel entitled to manipulate and control others for their own gain and amusement. Their egos brought them out of the shadows and into the light. They thought it was safe, because no one could do anything about it.

    They were wrong.

    You just have too look what is happening on our streets to know the tide has turned. Police are no longer being able to brutalize and terrorize others without consequences, because people are standing together and protecting each other They are videoing the cops, sometimes risking their own lives to get the proof needed to expose their lies. Ceil the lion was murdered by a self-important person, who felt entitled because he paid money to kill. He has gone into hiding like the coward he is, because of the international scorn. Shell has been trying to drill in the arctic. People have been blockading their ships in kayaks, small boats, and by hanging from bridges. Although it started on the Rez with the Native Americans, others have joined the fight against the tar sands pipelines. They are gaining ground because they aren't giving up.

    Although it might look like we are loosing, we are in fact on the verge of bringing down the oligarchy, because they have been exposed for who and what they are. You and the others like you, who served with courage and compassion, are the ones who knocked down the first domino. The chicken hawks might have thought you were fighting for their greed and need for power, but in reality you fought and won our freedom from them.

    To put it in tactical terms, what do you do when you are losing ground and your back is against a wall? It has been my experience that your garner your forces in a very tightly focused attack to break through the weakest point in the line. Breaking through the line is the only option so you make yourself look more powerful with illusion and misdirection. Instilling fear is your greatest and only weapon. The goal is to get out of the corner to find a place to regroup and rebuild. That is what they are doing and why so many horrible things are happening now. They are trying to terrify people and are pointing at others as way to direct the anger onto others and away from the puppet masters. We as a people of this country and around the world will win as long as we hold the line by standing together and keep moving forward.

    You fought for and won our freedom. We aren't losing ground; we are gaining it, because of your courage.

  48. What about North Korea?
    Those Chinese are spying on us, how about them?
    What about Russia? Putin needs to get tossed out of Ukraine...

    How about Hillary's e-mails on her own sever?

    Oh wait we were talking about war...

    What about North Korea?

  49. I'm terrified of the possible outcomes of the war between Fear and Reason. But that's the whole point, isn't it? To make us stop thinking and react emotionally to everything as if it is an immediate threat to our very existence? We have been manipulated by pros for the past 50 years and the current state of chaos in our political system reflects that deliberate strategy to rob us of initiative and drive us into the arms of the plutocrats who wait to rule us.

  50. And it's 1, 2, 3, what are we fightin' for? Don't ask me, I don't give a damn. Next stop it's downtown Tehran!

  51. Thanks for another great piece to put the light on what the GOP really is. I'm from France and I would like to remind everybody that this is not an agreement between the USA and Iran. This is an agreement between 5 countries + EU and Iran. And this agreement is only vehemently discussed in the US because here, we all understand that it is a good agreement. Many years ago, we used to say in France that we had the dumbest right wing in the world but obviously, this is not true any more!

  52. This is wonderful and I want everyone to read it.

  53. It's been almost 2 weeks since you've kicked somebody's ass.

  54. All I can say is thank you.

  55. I tell you what...I'm an Australian. How about you sign me up as a Presidential Candidate. Sure you need to be a Us born citizen living in the usa for x number of years, but I read the laws governing this and its specifically states I can only take the oath of office if i was born in the usa and resided there for x number of years. Running for president is open to any one. I figure I run and with a majority of American support, get a mandate for a rules change.

  56. Hopefully, some day soon, we can all join the human race. Thank you Jim for all your excellent posts.You give me hope.

  57. Hucklebee let slip the telling word: "film." He thinks this is a movie, wherein "the fierceness of our forces" could possibly "absolutely guarantee the outcome." Too many people these days can't tell the difference between an action movie and reality.


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