• The U.S. cannot lose this opportunity to make peace (or, at least, achieve detente) with some of the players in the region. Iran, for sure. Both sides need to let go of the butthurts especially now that Israel has decided flip Obama the bird. I think some agreement is even possible with al Qaeda considering the fact that they despise this ISIS crowd so much. Maybe broker something permanent between the Kurds and Turks.

    Concur with all points. The mission of the current bombing as I see it is to take away ISIS’s new military toys they picked up from the Iraqis. Contrary to what some here say, I don’t see mission creep as likely. ISIS has enough enemies to face if they lose most of their new hardware and also the Kurds and others have proved competent at fighting them.

    The big issue in the ME is that the Israeli dog always wages the US tail. Rapprochement with Iran should have happened long ago, we shouldn’t let what the right-wing in Israeli demonizes become our demon too.

    -stewartm

  • We have a much better track record of actually helping people by welcoming them as political refugees.

    In the ‘new’ America, we find lame excuses not to offer refuge to even children fleeing likely murder, even though these share more commonalities with those already here (like religion) compared to those fleeing the Middle East.

    What have we fallen to?

    -stewartm

  • What’s even stranger is Hillary savaging Obama for not doing this when he clearly did–apparently with open eyes to the consequences if this observation is his long-term position.

    I saw that bit about Hillary v. Obama on Morning Joe when getting ready for work (of course, with assorted RW punditry applauding the ‘farsightness’ of Hillary regarding Syria). Give me a friggin’ break!

    -stewartm

  • but the real driver is not so much the loss of advertising revenue as the demand for higher profits from Wall Street.

    That does not only affect newspapers, but in the long run any company that manufactures a real good or delivers a real service. The low-tax/unregulated Wall Street economy forces businesses that make real things to compete for capital with fraud and Wall Street ponzi schemes. No real business in a competitive market can deliver consistent 30 % profit margins each and every year–not even 10 %–which is what Wall Street wants.

    Back when we taxed the rich and regulated Wall Street and essentially prohibited wild speculative bubbles, then making a return of 5 % or even less each year was fine. No more.

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the blog post U.S. Bombing Own Weapons in Iraq

    2014-08-11 08:15:20View | Delete

    Ian Welsh’s take:

    It seems the Kurds had to retreat because they ran out of ammo.

    No, really.

    Maybe instead of giving weapons and ammo and money to the Iraqi army so they can abandon it on the field to ISIS (now calling themselves the Islamic State), the US should be supplying the Kurds, who will actually fight.

    Just a thought.

    I suspect part of the problem here is that others who could help, like Iran, Syria, and Turkey are not doing so, since they all have Kurdish minorities and rather like the idea of Kurdistan being defeated and Kurds being slaughtered.

    That’s a big mistake. The Islamic State is far more dangerous to them than the Kurds ever were.

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 14:19:10View | Delete

    I’m not keen on privatizing war. I already told you that. You certainly are keen on building straw men though.

    When you say that anyone who favors military action should have to sign up for it when they would not be accepted, to me that’s akin to privatizing war–you’re making it an individual rather than a [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Stop the Smart Wars by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 13:46:58View | Delete

    I couldn’t disagree more, and have done so at great length in books and on the worldbeyondwar website

    I’ve read your website, David; and while I agree with much on it, however, I remain unconvinced by the historical example cited of why there are no justified wars. I think that to abolish war, you must understand [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 13:23:19View | Delete

    I’m not saying anything you want me to be saying.

    Maybe, as you’re being coy about what you actually are for or against. You don’t actually reply to arguments, you just hurl personal insults.

    See you at the recruitment center. If you qualify, hopefully you’ll get to do all the killing you think is necessary, you antiwar [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 11:58:29View | Delete

    What I will say is that if chicken hawks are antiwar activists, the phrase has no meaning.

    You continue to insist that people who aren’t against *all* military involvements can’t be genuinely antiwar. If you are old enough to remember the Vietnam antiwar movement, most of those resisting didn’t claim to be against *all wars*, just [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 11:47:20View | Delete

    Answers below:

    a) How dropping bombs from the sky is going to help

    By destroying much of the military equipment that ISIS has seized by the Iraqis, and by inflicting casualties on their forces. ISIS is not that large by military standards; they have lots of enemies, if you can cut them down a notch, they [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 11:19:33View | Delete

    Holding up Vietnam as an example of how a draft can be a positive thing is about as ludicrous an argument as I’ve seen.

    It’s the truth which has been borne out over the last 40 years. A truth you do not apparently want to accept. There was no blowback over Iraq like Vietnam because there [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Stop the Smart Wars by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 11:02:42View | Delete

    The trouble lies in how many people believe an unspecified good war might come along someday,

    But the simple historical fact that there have been wars that produced better outcomes than what would have occurred if there had been no military involvement. You say wars make no friends, but what else created the friendship between the [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 10:20:57View | Delete

    The volunteer military is not the reason we destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The volunteer military has *everything* to do with our involvement with Iraq and Afghanistan, plus all the other places. Are you ignorant of history? What do you think emasculated the Vietnam antiwar movement but Nixon ending the draft and going to an all-volunteer force? [...]

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 07:48:26View | Delete

    The onus is on those advocating for murder to provide justification, not the other way around.

    I think ISIS provides plenty of justification for some level of intervention. Need I give you a description what a friend I have who’s over there gave me of what they do?

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 07:46:42View | Delete

    I’m not dodging anything. I don’t think bombing and killing people will be a net good for the region

    Why not, in this case? Should we allow people to be massacred to keep our antiwar principles pure?

    If I ever felt like killing was necessary, I wouldn’t say so without volunteering to do it.

    Even if they’re [...]

  • stewartm commented on the blog post CIA Intervention in Ukraine Has Been Taking Place for Decades

    2014-08-10 07:25:39View | Delete

    USSR is quite a different situation than Russia today.

    I agree; what’s happening in the Ukraine today is simply the banksters using their fairly-purchased US/EU governments to privatize and loot another country. The Ukraine is the most alarming international situation in the world because the West in their folly and arrogance seems determined to poke the Russian bear in an area of the world where the bear cannot give in.

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the blog post CIA Intervention in Ukraine Has Been Taking Place for Decades

    2014-08-10 07:21:23View | Delete

    When the Soviets offered an amnesty to members of the Ukrainian Insurgents Army (UPA) in January 1950, 8,000 anti-Soviet guerrillas still fighting within Ukraine turned in their arms.

    To Stalin. Just curious, was the amnesty honored? (Stalin didn’t even trust his own POWs who were captured; they went to the camps).

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Saturday Art and Archaeology: Burial Deposits by Ruth Calvo.

    2014-08-10 07:15:58View | Delete

    I lean towards the hypothesis that the Mayan collapse was the result of ecosystem depletion, exacerbated by droughts (sound familiar?). The increase in warfare, etc., was just the result of this.

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-10 06:04:55View | Delete

    I sincerely hope that everyone here supporting this unconscionable war-making is about to head out the door to the nearest military recruiter.

    You’re dodging the issue. Is going to war and violence NEVER justified? Answer my questions, please.

    -stewartm

  • stewartm commented on the diary post Back in Iraq, Jack by David Swanson.

    2014-08-09 17:37:26View | Delete

    Making it worse by murdering people and generating more enemies than you kill requires a certain blindness.

    Does that logic also apply to WWII? Were things worse in 1945 than in 1941? Did WWII only create more problems and solve none? Heck, was the US Civil war justified? Should Lincoln have just let the Confederacy go, [...]

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