U.S. drone operators are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents, four former operators said at a press briefing today in New York. “We have seen the abuse firsthand... and we are horrified.”
The world is changing in so many ways which is ignored by markets and commentators. The Paris event is yet another wake up call for the markets on geopolitical risk, for the under-investment in education and basic research, but most importantly for how we continue to ignore facts. First it will get worse... we are simply not prepared for geopolitical risk to matter for markets neither are we yet willing.
Following yesterday's dramatic geopolitical shock, U.S. equity index futures rise as Russia has not escalated the confrontation with Turkey as some had feared, while Asian shares fall, reversing earlier gains. European stocks are rallying and the euro is falling on the back of a Reuters report that the ECB is mulling new measures to prop up lending, although it’s not clear at this point what the real impact from these measures would be.
Brooks, who wanted to turn Syria into Iran's Vietnam, has changed to turning it into America's Second Vietnam! Brooks wants American troops in there fighting both ISIS and Assad. He's come to the conclusion that it is America that should "waste money and effort"! But wait! There's more: The grand strategy of American policy in the Middle East, therefore, should be to do what we can to revive and reform Arab nations, to help them become functioning governing units. The "grand strategy"?
If it doesn’t start a war in the short run, it’s going to guarantee a U.S. bankruptcy in the slightly longer run. All the “hawks” running for president this year (which is to say, almost every candidate) seem oblivious to the fact that, in anything but the briefest conflict, economic power completely trumps military hardware. Simply put, whenever you see a mention of the U.S. Navy and the Spratlys in the same paragraph, you’re seeing a reminder of an open vein helping to bleed America dry. And that’s the best case.
Painful as it is to admit, the West, especially the United States, bears significant responsibility for creating the conditions in which ISIS has flourished. The recent attacks should be understood as “blowback terrorism”: a dreadful unintended result of repeated US and European covert and overt military actions throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Central Asia that aimed to overthrow governments and install regimes compliant with Western interests. These operations have not only destabilized the targeted regions, causing great suffering; they have also put populations in the US, the European Union, Russia, and the Middle East at significant risk of terror.
History takes no prisoners. It shows, with absolute lucidity, that the Islamic extremism ravaging the world today was borne out of the Western foreign policy of yesteryear.
At the core of global power stands the conflict between the Sauds (and their Sunni clergy) and the Iranians (and their Shiite clergy). One can’t understand U.S.-Russian relations, nor much else of what is happening in the world, without knowing the relevant historical background; and the origins and nature of the Sunni war against Shiia are arguably the most essential part of that to comprehend just how the United States came to back the Sunnis, and how Russia came to back the Shiites, in this war.
It seems it is high time for a strategic rethink in the Global War On Terror, but powerful forces are arrayed against it. Apart from the fact that a truly huge racket is at stake, the situation is also reminiscent of the proverbial guy with the hammer – everything looks like a nail to him. So we should reasonably expect more of the same, only in even grander style (as the so-called “surge” has shown, any successes tend not only to be temporary, but have a habit to soon give way to even greater disasters).
From both a political and economic perspective, the terrorists could hardly have chosen a more vulnerable moment to strike, with Europe wearied by years of crisis, paralysed by political indecision and shipwrecked by incompetent policy.
"Paris prosecutor says Abaaoud was been identified dead at the scene by his fingerprints. His body was found "riddled with impacts."
The 9 Ways to Stop Terrorism
Here are some of the lessons we in the United States learned too late about allowing our freedoms to be eviscerated in exchange for the phantom promise of security. The over-arching principle is simply this: once you start down the road towards a police state, it will be very difficult to turn back.
Bombing wont stop them; it will just make more of them. Ironically, what can stop them is the Assad government and the ground forces of its Hezbollah and the Iranian Republican Guard allies. Its time to let them settle an ancient quarrel that has never been any of America’s business anyway. But Imperial Washington is so caught up in its myths, lies and hegemonic stupidity that it can not see the obvious. And that is why a quarter century after the cold war ended peace still hasn’t been given a chance and the reason that horrific events like last week’s barbarism in Paris still keep happening.