Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Operation Medusa

Recently, hysterical Liberal Party hack Montreal Simon had been swooning about attacks against Liberal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Apparently Sajjan wilfully overstated his role in the planning of one of the Canadian Forces' biggest operations; "Operation Medusa." Now, some political columnists who I tend to respect (and you can check this blog and find out that I do respect several of them) said that this was a pretty serious faux-pas on Sajjan's part. Obviously, the Opposition parties, being who they are, were out for blood. Was that fair? I don't know. Sometimes when you lie on your resume and it's found out, that can get you fired, even if you had been doing good in the actual job. To lie about your contribution to a major initiative as Sajjan did would be similar I suppose. To tell you the honest truth, I'm not sure where I stand on that issue. Perhaps that makes me a racist? But I don't care too much about this incident wherein the Defence Minister is a fabulist.

Because when I read the words "Operation Medusa" this is what I think of:

Razik’s clandestine smuggling operations have spilled over into the allied fight against the Taliban, thereby bolstering the widely held perception that the ISAF and the central government are favoring certain tribes and marginalizing others. Soon after he assumed power at the border, Razik began to feud with elements of the Noorzai tribe, particularly the Sultanzai, a rival smuggling clan spread between Spin Boldak and Chaman. One notorious incident took place during the summer of 2006 in Panjwaii District, a volatile area just west of Kandahar city. A predominantly Noorzai district, Panjwaii is a lush river valley crisscrossed by thick orchards and mud-walled compounds, and it provides an excellent springboard for attacks on Kandahar city. During the course of the summer, Taliban fighters had infiltrated the valley, and eventually the district governor, an Achakzai, called in Abdul Razik’s border force.
What followed was a debacle. The Noorzais, fearing their tribal enemies, rose up and joined forces with the Taliban. Razik and his men responded to the unexpected resistance with brutality. “They were killing women and children,” said Ustaz Abdul Halim, a Noorzai and former mujahideen commander who lives in Kandahar city. “After that, everyone was with the Taliban.”
Capitalizing on the tribal dynamics, the Taliban installed a Noorzai, Mullah Rauf Lang, as their commander in Panjwaii District. Later that fall, newly arrived Canadian troops in the area would launch Operation Medusa, a large-scale assault that killed hundreds of fighters and scores of civilians in weeks of close combat and withering bombardments. Today, the area remains one ofthe most violent in Kandahar Province—the Canadians suffer many of their casualties there and have recently abandoned two untenable forward operating bases in the area—and anti-government sentiments still run high.
Warmaking trumps "reconstruction" In early September, the 2,300 Canadian troops in Kandahar launched a massive ground assault in Panjwaii district, code-named "Operation Medusa" and backed by U.S. troops and airpower. Residents were warned in advance of the offensive to leave their homes and villages.
The assault was declared a huge success several weeks later. "More than one thousand" enemy fighters were said to be killed. But reporters saw few bodies of resistance fighters.
Canadian and NATO authorities admitted that fighters had staged an orderly retreat and appealed for more troops into the area. Canada quickly dispatched several hundred more soldiers, and for the first time it will be deploying tanks. Deadly attacks on Canadian and other NATO forces resumed within days of the "victory."
Meanwhile, some 20,000 residents were made homeless after their homes, villages and crops were destroyed in the fighting. Winter is approaching and they face an uncertain future.

[Please note: The above quotes are not my own. They're pasted from my original blog posts wherein the original sources are linked. In case anyone thinks I'm overstating my contributions here.]

Also, given Sajjan's relatively high rank in the field, what did he know about our detainee policy wherein Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin stated every single one of the prisoners we handed over to the Afghan authorities was tortured? We were all pretty riled-up about that issue when harper was the enemy. Perhaps Sajjan could now shed some light on the subject?

Or not.

Anyway, Niki Ashton for PM!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bob Cesca: Stupid Fucking Liberal

Bob Cesca thought he was going to make a clever point about the "extremes" of the right and the left in the US of A. He talks about how both serial sexual predator Bill O'Reilly, and generally decent liberal sap John Oliver, both paint a harsh picture of Barack Obama:

On one hand, there was Bill O'Reilly who continued to push for a stronger response to Islamic jihad. Not only should the president seek to hire a mercenary army of 25,000 privateers, but we should also somehow recruit Zombie Patton to roll into Syria with the Third Army from 1944 and annihilate everyone in sight. The takeaway is the usual one: the president is a weak-willed, lead-from-behind appeaser with obvious terrorist sympathies. Indeed, some factions of O'Reilly's side of the debate even believe Obama is offering up a swath of land in New Mexico as an ISIS safe-haven. I'm not making that up.
On the other hand, there's the former correspondent for The Daily Show, John Oliver, who hosted a 13-minute segment Sunday night in which he deliberately scared the shit out of his audience regarding Obama's unprecedented use of predator drones against terror targets overseas. Not only did Oliver point out that Obama has ordered exponentially more drone strikes than George W. Bush (Oliver failed to note Bush's use of other weapons to achieve the same results), but he also repeatedly emphasized that Obama has literally ruined clear, blue skies -- terrorizing grandmothers and children in the process, and making them look forward to cloudy days when drones are grounded. I'm not making that up, either.
Zubair said that fear over the drone attacks on his community have stopped children playing outside, and stopped them attending the few schools that exist. An expensive operation, needed to take the shrapnel out of his leg, was delayed and he was sent back to the village until his father could raise the money, he said.
“Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”
Now, Bob Cesca makes a pretty decent living from his stupid, ignorant scribblings. If I made the money he did, i would AT LEAST do the amount of research that I put into an unpaid blog post. For fuck's sake! John Oliver includes the testimony of the 13-year old from Pakistan saying he no longer prefers blue skies, but now he prefers cloudy skies, in his segment!

Read again how Cesca describes serial killer Obama's killing spree:

"Sunday night in which he deliberately scared the shit out of his audience regarding Obama's unprecedented use of predator drones against terror targets overseas."

"Terror targets"! The stupid fuck! Slightly more research (like, say LISTENING to what John Oliver says in the presentation you're critiquing) would tell you that they kill people based on their being the same fucking height as an actual "terror suspect." It goes as murderously wrong as killing three men in a junkyard foraging for scrap metal because one of them was tall and thin like Osama bin Laden. (We all know of bin Laden's passion for scrap metal dealing before he was allegedly gunned-down and had his hands chopped off and his body dumped in the sea out of respect for Muslim customs.)

Cesca goes on to provide a more nuanced description of Obama's bloodlust than those provided by the imbecile rapist O'Reilly and John Oliver. But by this point, Cesca has revealed himself to be a shit-head with a shaky grasp of reality so who cares?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Civilization is Doomed: Part III

Last time I talked about the weakness of Trump's opponents among the Republicans. Today I'll talk about the weakness of his rival from the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton. Yes, yes. Hillary won the popular vote. But that doesn't decide US presidential elections. Hillary knew that. By the rules of the game she agreed to play, she lost. She lost to a widely unpopular, appalling, narcissistic ignoramus. Why did she lose? Because people were either disgusted with her, or with the whole rigged game she represented. Blacks voted for Barack Obama but with less enthusiasm the second time around. Because Barack Obama did very little for them. They saw even less reason to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Now, a lot of liberals and fraudulent progressives keep nattering on about how we have to choose the "lesser of two evils" and that Hillary Clinton was the lesser evil to Donald Trump. Personally I've never denied that Donald Trump is obnoxious and vile. Also, he is, as I've said before, a con-man. He's clearly extremely sexist and racist. Hillary is not sexist. She is not obnoxious.  But she is an insane war-monger. Far worse than Trump. And that ought to count for something. Death by nuclear missile is death, even if it's a composed, slightly stilted, female career politician who has brought it to you, rather than a ranting, ignoramus real-estate developer. Okay? Death is death. And all those liberal hypocrites trashing people who voted for Trump thinking he'd bring factories back and who forgave him his racism because of that, .... well those liberals are obviously okay with the death and trauma inflicted on Libyans and Syrians and Iraqis and Hondurans and etc., by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

But working-class Trump voters, voting against their own self-interest? Yes they were. But in thinking he would bring the jobs back they were making a positive decision as opposed to voting for the job-destroying status-quo that Clinton represented. It's become depressing for me to go on the internet and read supposedly left-wing/progressive Canadians, so infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome that they're standing-up for goddamned NAFTA. It's even worse with the US-Americans who now believe that Obama's insane claims to have the right to assassinate people without trial and his drone strikes and his support for autocrats, and his protecting of Wall Street criminals, and his adherence to anti-worker trade deals, and etc., etc., were all the progressive policies of a progressive friend to working people.

They were not. Obama was lying to the US-American electorate from the start. And progressives need to learn this and feel this and absorb this and incorporate it into their analysis if they don't want to continue to marginalize themselves.
Remember that not even a year after the taxpayer took the brunt of the damage from the banks’ idiotic gamble on subprime loans, he was out there inspiring rallies of people with his talk of hope and change, but at the exact same time as he was promising the American people that he would take Wall Street to task, in private he was allowing Citigroup to handpick his cabinet.
Just let that sink in for a minute. He was out there galvanizing and re-energizing the whole progressive movement, commanding giant rallies of people with his inspiring words and heartfelt promises, but at the very same time, he was emailing Wall Street to get their list for his cabinet appointments. Remember, this email wasn’t after he’d won. He’d engaged in this transaction while he was still campaigning, still sucking up every bit of hope America had for reversing the ravages of neoliberalism. He. Was. Lying.
You see, there are a lot of stupid people out there. Stupid people tend to be racist. They believe in stupid things. When things go bad for them, they lash out in stupid ways, attacking the wrong people. They attack the people who elites dupe them into hating; socialists, feminists, minorities, LGBT, environmentalists. You don't want to get these people enraged. Unfortunately, if you lie to yourself and others that Obama and the Clintons were their friends and that they were progressives, you commit yourself to perpetuating the economic system that has gotten all the stupid people riled up. And so, society becomes increasingly polarized and fascistic.

The same goes, to a lesser degree to ignorant people. Ignorant people don't pay attention. They don't go out of their way to find out stuff. They pick up information from the general environment, which in our case, is the corporate-dominated news and celebrity drivel. As such, they'll sympathize with white male privilege, capitalist propaganda and other traditionally dominant bullshit. And it doesn't help that progressive frauds and liberal hacks are themselves peddling obvious bullshit. Telling them that a job-destroying, mass murdering Wall Street imperialist shill is their progressive friend, if such nonsense does penetrate their bubble, reality itself will discredit the message and you've lost a potential supporter for real change.

The most depressing thing for me though is the liberals' hysterical ranting about Russia. Until the end of time it will be true that Trump calling for better relations with Russia was one of the only sane things he ever said. And yet, shit-head liberals have bought-in completely to the idea that Trump is Putin's puppet, and that there's clear evidence that they colluded to steal the 2016 election. Yes, yes. It was awful of Wikileaks to expose Hillary Clinton's corruption and how she stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders so that she, the super-unpopular, uninspiring career hack politician could run a shitty campaign and lose to the dangerous imbecile Trump. It doesn't matter that there's no evidence of collusion. It doesn't matter that the deranged ranting of US-American liberals about this collusion is rancid hypocrisy given the USA's blatant meddling in elections and politics worldwide, including Russia's. It doesn't matter that without a clear electronic trail there is only conjecture and conspiracy theories. In fact, the absence of a clear electronic trail pretty much means that there was no collusion or at least that there is no real evidence of it. It's like accusing someone of shooting someone else to death only there's no gun and no bullet.

Fuck-you. All of you stupid liberals. You literally make me nauseous.

Civilization is doomed because you can't escape from the empty binary of Democrat-vs-Republican. You will cheer on nuclear war if your partisan blinders tell you to do that. You will resign yourselves that decades of anti-worker/anti-environment/anti-human economic policies are "progressive" just because someone from your team is implementing them. I'll leave it at that. This is depressing to write about.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Civilization is Doomed: Part II

Yesterday I wrote about some of the reasons why Donald Trump was popular among a certain segment of the US-American population. (And having met Canadian Trump supporters personally, I can attest to this not being a specifically US-American phenomenon.) These people are ignorant. Ignorant of Trump's sleazy con-man past. Ignorant of the true nature of their country's (and the world') political-economic structure. Many of them are racist. Many of them are stupid. Many of them are gullible: "Hey! The famous rich white guy from the TV is saying he'll bring our jobs back!" They are impressed with the gaudy trappings of Trump's wealth and fame.

(I also started that post with a reference to our planet's place in the galaxy. The point of that was to eventually demonstrate that this single case of sentient life in the vastness of space-time might possibly be extinguished. We are too stupid a species to survive. We were able to build the capability to win the struggle for survival for several centuries, but in the end, we weren't wise enough to control our creations. Trump's election is a symptom of that fatal flaw.)

Now I'm going to write about another factor contributing to Trump's tepid victory. The low quality of his opposition. This began with his rivals in the Republican Party. It was a clown car, but I'll only deal with the few that I remember.

Marco Rubio - the boy senator from Florida.

Now listen; the Republican Party of the United States is a vast apparatus of creeps, crooks, closet-cases and cadavers. Racist too. They blatantly service the rich and base their appeals to the chumps in the grassroots by appealing to their bigotry and their religious and patriotic delusions. Such an institution is inherently incapable of producing anyone of talent or ability. "Rising stars" within the party (such as Rubio was) are inevitably going to be sleazy imbeciles. Which is what Rubio was. Lazy, entitled, stupid. Rubio wanted to talk about his memorized talking points about free trade and tax-cuts, but Trump managed to turn the conversation about how much Rubio sweated on stage and made allusions to Rubio having a small penis. When Rubio saw that Trump's buffoonery was helping Trump in the polls, he tried to respond in kind, but only embarrassed himself further.

(It should be noted that Trump was assailed on all sides for having relatively small hands. Some did this to imply that his penis was also relatively stunted, while others piled on only because the insult was known to infuriate him. Unlike most top-tier politicians, Trump was unashamed to stand on a national stage and confront the issue head-on ... so to speak ... by telling America and the world that he had, in fact, a big penis. And his supporters, hearing this, and perhaps recalling the string of beautiful trophy wives he has had, replacing them with younger versions as the years pass, probably thought to themselves: "I bet he's tellin' the truth 'bout having a big dick." ....... Such was and is the level of political debate in that wretched land.)

Ben Carson - At one time a talented neurosurgeon, Carson was either an idiot-savant or, more likely, some sort of affliction caused him to lose his fucking mind.

Carson is Black. So his candidacy gave the less-racist portion of the Repuglican base the opportunity to say: "See?!? We're not racist! If a Black fellah becomes a famous doctor and tells other Black people to smarten-up and work hard and praise Jesus, he's okay with us!"

For about a week, Carson was one of the front-runners. But a series of truly bizarre, idiotic statements about the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, crime, and other topics subjected him to increased scrutiny. Carson was clearly not used to explaining the strangely shaped turds that dropped out of his mouth and he soon grew tired of it all and retreated back into irrelevance.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is, apparently a naturally unlikable guy. I mean, I don't like oily, capitalist shills with a hypocritical devotion to Christian delusions, so I don't like Ted Cruz. But apparently his own fellow travellers hate him. They can't stand him. A former college roommate described him as one of the most nasty people he'd ever met. Watching him during the primaries, you got a sense of this. Somehow, every word, every action, magically appeared to turn out the worse for him. His young daughter scowling and trying to avoid a kiss from him. Punching his wife in the face as he tried to raise their arms in a gesture of triumph. Knocking his chosen running-mate (former failed CEO and then failed primary candidate Carly Fiorina) off the stage in yet another attempt to portray campaign exuberance. Things just don't seem to go right for the guy. His physical actions back-fire. His spoken words grate. I'm surprised he's come as far in life as he has.

But Cruz, like Carson, Rubio, Rick (butt-splooge) Santorum, Chris Christie, Fiorina, ... the whole stable of Trump's repug opponents, had the problem of campaigning on an extremist version of the neo-liberal snake-oil that both they and the Democrats had imposed on the US electorate and which had become toxic. Semi-veiled appeals to racist bigotry, hatred of the poor and unemployed, homophobia and "Christian" values were having less and less effect as more and more voters were abandoning racism, homophobia and religion, and more and more of them were struggling in the face of job losses, wage stagnation and the systemic criminality of the US economy.

In the face of Trump's decades of celebrity, his flaunting of opulence and sex (of his trophy wives and his public appearances with beautiful women), and, most importantly, his populist calls for forcing capitalists to bring the jobs back to America, get tough with the pharmaceutical industry, ... they had no chance. But they couldn't even keep the racist vote because, unlike Trump, they often tried to veil their racism. Trump embraced it full on, allowing him to get both the votes of ordinary right-wing US-Americans and the racists (including actual self-described fascists). This came easy for Trump because he is a bona-fide racist. He was one of the biggest brain-farts of the whole "birther" conspiracy, saying that Barack Obama could not be President because he was Black born outside the USA in Kenya.

Well, that's all the time I've got now. Part III to come. Eventually.