Monday, March 17, 2008

The Gang that Could Not Shoot Straight

Bush Diplomacy: Predator Planes Are Conducting Assassinations by Air
By Tom Engelhardt

Imagine, for a moment, that you live in a small town somewhere near the Southern California coast. You're going about your daily life, trying to scrape by in hard times, when the missile hits. It might have come from the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) -- its pilot at a base on the outskirts of Tehran -- that has had the village in its sights for the last six hours or from the Russian sub stationed just off the coast. In either case, it's devastating.

In Moscow and Tehran, officials announce that, in a joint action, they have launched the missile as part of a carefully coordinated "surgical" operation to take out a "known terrorist," a long-term danger to their national security. A Kremlin spokesman offers the following statement:

"As we have repeatedly said, we will continue to pursue terrorist activities and their operations wherever we may find them. We share common goals with respect to fighting terrorism. We will continue to seek out, identify, capture and, if necessary, kill terrorists where they plan their activities, carry out their operations or seek safe harbor."

A family in a ramshackle house just down the street from you -- he's a carpenter; she works at the local Dairy Queen -- are killed along with their pets. Their son is seriously wounded, their home blown to smithereens. Neighbors passing by as the missile hits are also wounded.

As it happens, there are no terrorists in the vicinity. Outraged, you organize your neighbors and march angrily in protest through the town, shouting anti-Russian, anti-Iranian slogans. But, of course, there is nothing you can really do. Iran and Russia are far away, their weaponry powerful, your arms nonexistent. The state of California is incapable of protecting you. This is, in fact, at least the fourth time in recent months that a "terrorist" has been declared "taken out" from the air or by a ship-based cruise missile, when only innocent Californians have died.





Hajji said...

The phrase "Actionable Intelligence" is the key here. How many times has it been used to justify an action that failed or cover for an "intelligence" disaster.

"Acting" on ANY intelligence makes the phrase retroactively true.

In just about ALL strikes of this kind, innocent humans are slaughtered, whether in the presence of the "intended" target or not.

This means that somebody, somewhere, with their figurative finger on the metaphorical trigger has made the decision that the destruction of innocents undoubtably in the area is somehow justified by the odds that the target will be destroyed as well.

Why, then, not just shoot a nuke at the intended target, if innocent life is no longer a concern?

Hawkeye: "War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse."
Father Mulcahy: "Why do you say that, Hawkeye?"
Hawkeye: "Simple, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?"
Father Mulcahy: "Sinners, I believe."
Hawkeye: "Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is full of them."


noseing around said...

Gerald is plugging along, engaged in other activities. Went straight to the source.

Slí na Sláinte to all on this day and in the future!

thoroughly disgusted with all of 'em said...

According to WaPo this morning.....Vice President Cheney, making an unannounced visit to Baghdad this morning, hailed the progress made by U.S. forces in stabilizing Iraq in recent months and declared that five years of war and nation-building have produced a "successful endeavor" that has "been well worth the effort."

In his first trip to Iraq since the deployment of additional U.S. forces last summer, Cheney praised what he called a "remarkable turnaround in the security situation" since President Bush sent an additional 30,000 troops last year. Noting this week's five-year anniversary of the start of the war, he offered an upbeat assessment of the venture.


Admiral Fallon's "resignation" doesn't guarantee a bush/cheney military strike against Iran -- but it certainly makes it easier for them to reach that "goal." The danger is also heightened by Cheney's current trip to the ME, he being the primary supporter of 'military options' against Iran.

His trip, IMO, is really a cover for mobilizing regional opposition to Iran. The proof will be in the pudding.

disgusted said...

cheney praising the remarkable turnaround

º¿carol said...

Thanks, Micki. I did see a Socha in the obits last week and I sucked in my breath. I was happy to see it wasn't Gerald Socha.

St. Patrick's Day is also Bob's birthday and he wore a green shirt to work. Color me shocked, but he said it was pure luck, the one he pulled out in the dark this morning. Figures.

David B. Benson said...

Here is a link to the entire article:

Tomgram: Philip K. Dick Meet George W. Bush

Town Crier said...

Breaking News
The Florida Democratic Party says it will not stage another presidential primary...



DEN said...

Doc, seems to me these people do not care about anything other than themselves, they think they can win wars on their TV's, remote warfare.

Have a war and never leave the yacht.

'Lead by example' went right out the window when the chimp checked in, now it is 'lead by BAD example'.

carey said...

Late arrival for St. Patty's Day. Better late than never.

You know, I've been so busy I did not put two and two together about Cheney's visit and Fallon. Then, of course, McCain is over there getting a ridiculous photo op in a battle vest. He looks so stupid. It's great. He fairly sinks into a dwarf inside the vest.

The timing is suspicious with the Fallon resignation as well. There's always rumblings in March.

Good to hear about Gerald. I had quietly gotten worried.

carey said...

I just heard about Obama's speech tomorrow on race and Rev. Wright. I think that is going to be one heck of an interesting talk. I gotta be there.

realist said...

Obama is going to have to come up with a doozy of a speech and a rationale for it to have legs. Too much archival footage for him to claim he didn't know about the type of rhetoric from his pastoral mentor.

DEN said...


DEN said...

No one cares about his archival footage except hill-bill-y's or repugs.


Hajji said...

Good interview with Obama on "the Newshour" tonight.

He's getting much better at speaking off the cuff, and in complete sentences.

Three hours with Chicago reporters the other day...answering every question asked. I should read the whole thing.

Talk about putting it all on the line!

Facinating to watch the polishing of a natural-born politician, realities grinding off rough edges and sharp corners, tumbling among the other rocks in the drum.

"They're" betting he'll crack before becoming the shiny bauble within.

I'll bet my boots (literally...Philly here I come!)
he won't.


Saladin said...

Hajji, I'll bet my boots he'll do exactly as he's told by you know who. I just can't believe anyone has put their faith in yet another war monger. No wonder America is going down, it will be faster now. I know, I was a doomsayer 3 years ago, no one wants to hear bad news predictions, $1000 gold, $100+ oil, sinking dollar, destruction of life as we know it, but never fear, it's here and it's going to get SO much worse, and Obama isn't going to do shit to stop it, he doesn't even know what's causing it, and if he did he wouldn't stand against it, they never do. But what the hell, if we're going to go down, lets do it with some style! Better a dem at the helm of destruction than a repug, right? Hip Hip HOORAY! Quick, raise the taxes, we'll sink all the faster.

Hajji said...


I've never called you a "doomsayer". far as the rest, well, we'll have to see.

$1000 gold and $100 oil are pretty easy to come by when the dollar is worth half what it was.

It is gonna get a whole lot worse before it can get any better.

Canned food, a good garden and shotgun shells are the best investment one can make right now.
(a good stash of gold isn't a bad idea either, if it isn't too late.)

Put your eggs in one basket...and WATCH that basket!-Samuel Clemons

My "faith" is in me...AND you!



Carey said...

Brave trooper Hajji. Off to Philly? Wow, what a rough campaign that promises.

Hajji said...


From what I hear, Philly's a lock for Obama...

Pittsburgh, too.

It is the stuff in the MIDDLE that's the tough job!

I just go where I'm told I'm needed (so far, except for HERE that's been inner city to close in 'burbs) and make sure people know where to go vote and arrange rides if needed (you wouldn't believe how easy it is to vote in the 'burbs and how hard it is, sometimes to vote in the city).

Then I go back for my pat on the back, a bottle of water and a pack of crackers.

Maybe I'll be better able to explain "why" some day. But for now it suffices to say that there's not much I can do to change the big picture, but I CAN do this, so I will.

It may or may not (probably not) be enough, but I won't let that discourage me. The experience will undoubtably come in hand for future organization if (when) needed.

Sal's probably right about the fate of "change". She's been right about many things. But I can't DO anything with that, so I do what I can.

"Brave trooper" I'm not! Just doing something somewhat constuctive instead of succumbing to despair.

Oh, and the blooming of the Bradford Pears, the sprouting of the day-lillies and popcorn bursts of the wild dogwoods are my encouragement today!

The comedy of the fuzzy-blue tennis ball indigo buntings bouncing through on their way north is my entertainment!