Posts Tagged ‘blowback’

  • Via Andrew Sullivan, Radley Balko: Tupelo, Miss. judge Talmadge Littlejohn sends an attorney to jail for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in court. Oh my God. This is our country. Leaving alone the fact that the Pledge of Allegiance is a sickening little exercise in nationalist-slave conditioning, this judge should be locked up for contempt of his own court. Contact him here.
  • Via Lew Rockwell, Atlanta tv: TSA thugs launch a counterterrorism raid against an Atlanta bus station. The reason? “Officials told Channel 2’s Eric Philips there is no particular threat sparking the surge in activity, just their desire to ward off any potential attacks.” Translated, that says “preemptive fear-mongering.” The only criminals  in that bus station were these sick freaks with the badges and the guns. Leave our country alone!
  • Glenn Greenwald: highlighting the sad case of Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko, a Syrian man we tortured and knowingly detained as innocent for over seven years. He is suing the U.S. government, but Glenn’s right–we know this will end with another invocation of state secrets. If you are one of the bureaucrats who helped keep this man in jail, you weren’t just doing your job. You don’t get that excuse. You were complicit in ruining a man’s life. If there is a hell, you will rot in it.
  • Maclean’s: Canadian municipalities start banning longboards. Border town White Rock, B.C. sounds to be the most repugnant. An art student was killed riding such a board in July, and now senior citizens have been complaining to the mayor about how frightened they are of the boards. Oh, we wouldn’t want you to be scared! Oh, we wouldn’t want you to risk your life as you see fit! Instead we will take away your rights. It’s for your own good, children! Now kneel down and thank your master!
  • The Globe & Mail: covering the Burmese “election” process. It’s a fixed “election” that will just make the awful junta feel more legitimate. But unlike Venezuela, the Burmese opposition is being smart and boycotting it. Never, ever let the devils ruining your lives think they do it with your consent or any shred of moral legitimacy. Some day they will pay for what they have done.
  • NYT: profiling an English village that has become a mecca for swingers and public sex fans. This is just such an English story. There’s the woman who found a sex toy in the bushes and asked the police to book it into the lost and found. And then, from a 71-year-old woman: “I think we should just let them get on with it.” Wait, you mean you don’t want to stop consenting adults from doing something that poses no harm to you? Crazy! I don’t like the creepy Big Brother stuff the UK has done lately, but you have to admire this old-school British spirit of tolerance.
  • Daniel Larison in The Week: calling for the end of NATO. Awesome. It can’t stop expanding. The Warsaw Pact is long gone. It gives irresponsible American foreign policy and military hacks an automatic team of allies to help back up our disastrous policies abroad. Get rid of this beast before they go and do something really stupid like invite Georgia to join.
  • Pat Buchanan: outlining the poisonous effects of welfare on families. According to Buchanan, one in five New Yorkers receives food stamps. And we wonder why people are so irresponsible.
  • Katherine Mangu-Ward at Reason: celebrating the Nobel Lit Prize victory of the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, who actually has quite a libertarian pedigree. He even wrote two essays for Reason: #1, #2. I’m a bit wary because most South American neoliberals tend to end up being quite statist, but it’s automatically better than the late, nasty Portuguese commie Jose Saramago having won.
  • Katerine Mangu-Ward at Reason: highlighting a piece on Canada’s exercise in fiscal discipline under the Liberal governments of the late 1990s. Worth clicking through just for the graph that shows real cuts of nearly 20% across the board in just a two year span. Again, cutting government inefficiency is nice, but it’s not even close to the total elimination of the state that we need.
  • Moscow Times:  Moscow gossip columnist Bozhena Rynska might face up to seven years in jail for hooliganism charges after she tased a vile abuser who put his hand down her pants in a nightclub. If she had taken revenge with a chair on the scene instead of walking to her car for her taser, she would have been justified, says a lawyer. So because a woman tried to equalize her level of force against a man stronger than her, she becomes the bad guy? Violence is not the outcome I would support, but there’s no doubt in my mind she was justified.
  • National Post: more info on the Canadian parliamentary bill that would make salaries and expenses for top First Nations (Native American) authorities public. Take a look at the Enoch Cree Nation, where councilmembers earn $175,000 compared to an average resident’s income of $15,000. Of course you don’t want your salaries made public, you fatcats. You should be ashamed to live like that as the people you “represent” exist in squalor.
  • Glenn Greenwald: reminding us all of the very real nature of blowback in analyzing the Faisal Shahzad ruling. The longer we occupy Muslim lands, the more innocent Muslims we put to the sword, the more the violent minority will come here and attack us. The war on terror is a self-perpetuating exercise, but then that’s the best sort of exercise if you are a defense contractor or security state hack.

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Tired of failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, embarrassed neocons have accelerated their push to have Iran be the next invasion-point in the war on terror. But hey, war-making fun isn’t just for neocons! Glenn Greenwald hits the Obama administration hard on how the supposedly “serious,” pragmatic guys at the top of Obama’s security team are already treating Yemen as the next theater of operations in the war that never ends.

The lede is delicious:

Could Barack Obama become the first person in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize two consecutive years?  It is hard to dispute the premise that awarding him the Prize this year would be every bit as justifiable as last year’s award.  Fresh off his Nobel-winning escalation of the war in Afghanistan, we now have this monument to world peace: (various press clippings about drone strikes in Yemen)

I was seething over Obama’s Nobel win last year coming right on the heels of his Afghan escalation, and then he had the audacity to lecture the rest of the world about the necessity of fighting wars in his acceptance speech. This is why you can’t award speculative prizes based on what you hope to get out of someone. We hoped to get an anti-war president who would close Guantanamo Bay out of Obama, and instead we got a wimpy loser who is pushed around by the military and probably will never close Guantanamo Bay. It’s Bush III, but with more college basketball tournament brackets and The View appearances.

One more devastating quote:

The illogic and propaganda driving this is so familiar because it’s what has been driving the American National Security State for the last decade.  There is anti-Americanism and radicalism in Yemen; therefore, to solve that problem, we’re going to bomb them more with flying killer robots, because nothing helps reduce anti-American sentiments like slaughtering civilians and dropping cluster bombs from the sky.

Yes, blowback is real. The terrorists don’t hate us for our freedoms. The terrorists hate us because we are occupying their countries, flushing Korans down toilets at due process-free prison camps and dropping bombs on wedding parties. But that answer is too complicated and inconvenient for an American public that loves to be scared and a bunch of death-worshiping politicians who love to scare them.

Read the article. We need more Greenwalds in this country. It’s pretty clear that most Democrats only opposed war some of the time under Bush because Bush was in charge; now that Obama is in charge, it’s perfectly ok to go back to being stooges in the service of the military-industrial complex. And the Republicans don’t appear to be interested in changing horses mid-stream since that could easily give Democrats the first real chance they’ve had at reversing the Republicans’ huge advantage on military and defense issues that probably goes back George McGovern. The war is going to have to be ended by little, insignificant people like us.

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Andy McCarthy will forever be locked in a struggle with Michael Rubin to see who can be The Corner’s most noxious commentator. For every war-worshipping Rubin post, there seems to be a due process-hating/torture-loving McCarthy spew. Lucky us. But this past Tuesday, McCarthy really outdid himself.

First there was his insane online column, politely and moderately titled “Holder: Aiding al-Qaeda.” The headline is so absurd as to be humorous, sounding like it was torn from National Enquirer: CIA giftshop edition. How about a look at the lede?

Eric Holder is chief among the many Obama Justice Department lawyers who, during the Bush years, donated their services as private attorneys for the benefit of al-Qaeda terrorists. His motive was to frustrate efforts to treat our wartime enemies as just that: wartime enemies. He preferred the failed law-enforcement model that regards our enemies as garden-variety criminals — the counterterrorism approach he had overseen as deputy attorney general while America was serially attacked during the Clinton years.

Every sentence in that paragraph deserves to be corrected. (more…)

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Faisal Shahzad, the idiot who tried to blow up a car in Times Square with some firecrackers, has plead guilty. In the same Corner post that tipped me to that story, Daniel Foster focuses on Shahzad’s statement that attacks will continue until the U.S. abandons Muslim lands. I think Ron Paul had a particularly good grasp of that in the 2008 GOP primary debates when he advocated for the blowback theory against the shameless scaremongering of Rudy Giuliani. This “the terrorists hate us for our freedoms” stuff is just silly; the terrorists hate us because we are throwing drones at them, blowing up wedding parties and operating bases in Saudi Arabia.

Glenn Greenwald takes up the same claim. Money quote:

This proves only what it proves.  The issue here is causation, not justification.   The great contradiction of American foreign policy is that the very actions endlessly rationalized as necessary for combating Terrorism — invading, occupying and bombing other countries, limitless interference in the Muslim world, unconditional support for Israeli aggression, vast civil liberties abridgments such as torture, renditions, due-process-free imprisonments — are the very actions that fuel the anti-American hatred which, as the U.S. Government itself has long recognized, is what causes, fuels and exacerbates the Terrorism we’re ostensibly attempting to address.

It’s really quite simple:  if we continue to bring violence to that part of the world, then that part of the world — and those who sympathize with it — will continue to want to bring violence to the U.S. […]

[Bonus: Andrew Sullivan quotes Spencer Ackerman noticing that Shahzad’s bomb and training only cost $12,000. I’d bet the NYPD has probably spent more money than that for photocopies related to the case alone.]

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