• nippersdad commented on the blog post Iraq: How Many Turning Points and Milestones Until We Win?

    2014-09-16 10:33:26View | Delete

    Excellent list of Friedman Unit talking points; one just couldn’t turn on the television for years without hearing about shiny, brand spanking new turning points that always sounded exactly like the ones that had failed to actually materialize.

    I wonder, if had they actually given us coordinates for all of those “turning points” what they would eventually have spelled out. I suspect it would have just been the long form of the acronym for Friedman Unit.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post Kerry Says U.S. Troops Could Deploy to Iraq

    2014-09-10 16:48:34View | Delete

    The potential for pretty much anything to become a slippery slope is endless these days; the lesser evils are all pretty much evil. I supported intervention to protect the Yezidis, and it is something I would support again tomorrow….and the next day and the next.

    We helped to put them in danger and it was only the right and moral thing to do to help protect them. To argue that they should be slaughtered because there is the potential for something to go wrong is more of a reflection on yourself than it is on me. I’m not enjoying anything about this, but then I never thought that there was anything there to enjoy however it worked out.

    Eighty percent of the American populace supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. I was not one of them. I hope you were making these points then, as well as now.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post #SaveOurYazidi (in Iraq)

    2014-08-09 09:26:04View | Delete

    That is an excellent way of parsing the situation. If our corporatist leaders could manage to stop tripping over themselves whenever there is a buck to be made for their masters, I think some good could, properly handled, eventually arise from this situation.

    There are no good options there, I think the best we can hope for is the least bad option at this point.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post #SaveOurYazidi (in Iraq)

    2014-08-09 09:19:56View | Delete

    That is a really good question, and I think that it is the reason that Biden’s idea never got much traction. Frankly, at this point, I feel that the Sunni have overstepped (understatement?) and that if they must live with a state that has nothing in the way of natural resources then it just sucks to be them. Let them look to Syria for aid as the Shia have been doing from Iran since the invasion.

    The Shia and the Sunni have always been the problem with Iraq. I think that the best way out may just be to set them up with their own natural states and then, eventually, just let them do what they have always wanted to do: merge with their brethren populations in Syria and Iran.

    Iraq is and has always been an artificial entity, perhaps allowing them the space for self determination will finally quell the problems that have been endemic there.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post #SaveOurYazidi (in Iraq)

    2014-08-09 09:10:59View | Delete

    Please note that that was not my rationale. I never claimed that I thought bombing would bring peace to the region. What I said was that we fucked the place up, and defending the two different groups who have always wanted their own state would go a long way toward repairing our relations with them.

    Bombing would not have been my first option, but it is the option on the table at the moment. Sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post #SaveOurYazidi (in Iraq)

    2014-08-08 20:18:50View | Delete

    I agree, Sid. Lumping all muslim populations in the M.E. as some incomprehensible wholistic entity has not served us well to date. It would be nice to see some nuance brought to the debate this time.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post Why Airstrikes in Iraq Are a Mistake

    2014-08-08 20:09:26View | Delete

    The silence is deafening because we lost both the war. The war today, as described by Peter here, seems like much more of the same.

    The only real answer to fixing the problem is one of self determination. It would be difficult to inflame Sunnis’, for example, were we to be seen as aiding them in getting their state of western Iraq; prolly allied with Syria in much the same way that eastern Iraq is naturally allied with Iran. The same is true of Iraqi Kurdistan, presently under siege by the Sunni forces of ISIS.

    A more complex solution, surely, but one with some hope of ultimate success. It could be seen as the mending of errors made as early as the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WWI, and to be seen as the force of self determination as opposed to empire on the part of the U.S. just might make for a pleasant change in Middle Easter policy.

    Our voices may be subdued, but that may just be a function of not yet seeing anything in that horrific mess to root for. Yet.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post #SaveOurYazidi (in Iraq)

    2014-08-08 19:52:33View | Delete

    I have to disagree.

    I was against the invasion of Afghanistan, much less that of Iraq. I thought them both to be the height of stupidity and feel vindicated. That said, we did invade and destroy both countries; that is just a fact. There is no getting away from it.

    Iraq was composed of three different regions of the Ottoman Empire that never really went together, therefore there is some sense to a three state solution to rebuilding it. Even if it is only a confederation it would have to work better than what has heretofore been tried.

    While the Yezidi and the Kurds don’t really get along, they are traditional neighbors with much in common. A Yezidi enclave within Iraqi Kurdistan is what has always been the case, and the results have not been a genocide of the sort envisioned by either the Sunni factions ascendant in ISIS. The Yezidi are also a comparatively pacifist population, which makes them a perfect target for extremists.

    In short, they are not the same problem as the Sunni Shia divide that the Bush Administration had such difficulty wrapping their tiny minds around and should not be subject to the same criticisms. They are worthy of whatever intervention we can give them, as are the Kurds at this point. Anything that will help patch up the mess we have made there should be worthwhile, and a patchwork approach is all we are left with at this point anyway.

    I don’t believe that this would be the thin edge of the wedge that you describe, and I have been about as rabid a critic of these wars as it is possible to find. Don’t let your (well deserved) cynicism blind you to a potentially workable solution to the problem at hand.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post Late Night: Counting Their Chickens

    2014-04-18 07:00:51View | Delete

    I don’t recall the outrage of these citizen militias when it was OWS or WTO protesters being tazed, beaten, infiltrated and jailed. Why is it that their outrage seems to be limited solely to the interests of paranoid squatters with so many women and children laying around that they find them expendable? This sort of thing happens all the time with bank foreclosures, yet they do not make the news in so spectacular a fashion?

    The Liberty and “Posterity” (sic) routinely cited by Second Amendment afficionados shouldn’t require the wholesale abandonment of every other moral value, yet that is precisely what we see in these people. I guess, though, that fear and hate of the loathsome and undesirable lies largely in the eyes of the beholder. Judging by whom they are always ready and willing to shoot (from behind a bunch of women, no less) we must have different ideas of who is qualified to enjoy the blessings of liberty and prosperity. I feel sure that the Founders would have agreed that there are certain blessings to be had in the promotion of a good insane asylum as well, though it is a pity that they didn’t think to put that into the same sentence as they did a WELL REGULATED militia…

  • I totally suck at doing things like links (I usually have to get my Wife to do it for me), but I looked it up: Huffpost Green Kate Sheppard 3/28/2014 U.S. tries to stop India’s solar policy while pushing fight against climate change It is yet another trade thing; trying to stop India from doing [...]

  • Jane Harman has a classic on the genre up at Huffpo right now: “Snowden’s ill deserved fifteen minutes of fame” (or some such).

    It is absolutely jaw dropping. Why do these people think that they have any credibility anymore?

  • I had read about that, and wondered what a rear guard proposal like that says to them about their own policies. The cognitive dissonance in their heads must be simply incredible. If they want to give the impression that they give a damn, they might start by not implementing an “all of the above energy [...]

  • Well done!

    It never ceases to amaze me how this Administration wants to have its’ cake and eat it too…and then gets fussy if anyone points it out. I’m not sure I have ever seen a less honest group of people, and as that includes the Bush Administration that should mean something.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post BP Admits To Spilling Even More Oil In Lake Michigan

    2014-03-28 08:50:58View | Delete

    This just days after the one in Galveston…and wasn’t there one on the Mississippi last month?

    We are poisoning our way to prosperity.

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post Dancin’ over the ratings graveyard

    2014-03-28 08:44:51View | Delete

    Re what could go wrong: My favorite scenario thus far is a convicted felon taking a silenced UZI into a Hartsfield bar(if you have a licence!) and then using the “stand your ground” law to get off scot free.

    Is it any wonder that the guards at checkpoints there are now agitating for actual troops?

  • nippersdad commented on the blog post Dancin’ over the ratings graveyard

    2014-03-28 08:36:50View | Delete

    The one that I hope does NOT win the nod would be Gingrey. For the life of me, I do not know how he got the rep for being the sane one in the race. Broun would be my choice; he cannot seem to keep his mouth shut.

    Of more interest to me, though, is the Democratic field. I would almost rather have Broun embarrassing us than yet another candidate from BoA (Michele Nunn). At least there is plausible deniability when someone like Broun wins. “He must not have taken his pills today” was a logic that became very useful when we had Zell.

  • I am only wondering why it took them so long.

  • One could almost pity the poor war criminal…or not. Meh! THIS will be his legacy. I hope all of the money he makes on the lecture circuit chokes him.

  • I don’t see how the changes announced would actually change anything. Keeping records for a year and a half vs. five years only gives them the opportunity to slim down their storage bills. Does anyone believe that a year and a half is not enough time to identify those people whose info it wants to cache using a complicit secret court as a patsy? A shell game sounds like a pretty good word for it.

  • nippersdad commented on the diary post There Is A Deeper Wave Than This by David Swanson.

    2014-03-26 12:10:55View | Delete

    And, I have to say, that a lot of the awareness of what is going on is directly attributable to your tireless efforts over the last decade…or more…it just seems like yesterday that you were raising awareness of the horrors going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. You did a great job on the wars during [...]

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