Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Syria is the new whatever

So your man Berkshire Hathaway, sorry, Bashir Assad (but what's the diff in the long run)is in the crosshairs of..... I think it was State and some other countries. Or so I think I heard when only paying superficial attention to the Ministry of Info......NPR. Monsieur Assad is a horrible meany who may even split infinitives. Yeah, he's killed a lot of civilians which is quite a feat without drones.

So what happens when he goes? Who cares? I doubt La Hilary has a clue. That is not addressed in all the news coverage.

In fact the coverage, such as I've heard, is laughably superficial. The Middle East is a tough neighborhood with fault lines Americans can hardly imagine.

Now, let me be a bit superficial myself. Not an expert on Syria, but here goes. You got your Sunnis including Sufis. They are not in power, but demonstrating and want it.

Next are Alawites. The pres is one and they are the power. They have reason to fight to the bitter end, because if they lose, the end will be bitter. Then come the Christians. They are somewhat with the Alawites as their fat would be in the fire if the Alawites are done in.

Then you have your Druze, Yazidis, Shias and some others. Get ya scorecard! Ya can't tell the players without a scorecard.

Of course the press is painting the opposition as the spawn of Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Maybe not:

Christian communities almost 2,000 years old have been destroyed in Iraq, and that will be their fate in Syria, too. As the opposition openly says, Christians are to be expelled and their property confiscated, and Alawites are to be massacred (the tiny Muslim sect that the Syrian rulers belong to). The empire is about to have even more blood on its hands, if there is room.

Why hasn't that been reported by the journalistic tribunes of the truth? For more of the story behind the story, go here.

So what do we get out of this? Dunno. Are there hydrocarbons? Are the Israelis and Iranians in play on this? Given our national predilection for quagmires, not much good can be expected from this quick sand.

The late Social Democrat John Roche said there was an Irish saying that one should never get involved in the religious wars of churches to which one did not belong. Don't know much about Paddy Proverbs but this one sounds reasonable.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Somebody please give Donald Rumsfeld his courage and his honor

Mish Shedlock had a post on his Global Economic Trend Analysis blog that should bother everyone. I was vaguely aware of the case, but reading about it on his page brought it into focus, disturbingly so.

The title of the post is U.S. Circuit Judge Upholds Right of Two US Citizens, Tortured in Iraq, to Sue Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for Torture (link here). So did the former Secdef actually waterboard the men personally. Of course not. I would have more respect, well, less disrespect for him if he did. No, the accusation is that the functionary approved the actions. Mish quotes an article below.

Among the methods of torture used against them during several weeks in military camps was sleep deprivation and a practice known as 'walling', in which subjects are blindfolded and walked into walls, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges Mr Rumsfeld personally participated in approving the methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible, it argues, for what happened to Mr Vance and Mr Ertel.

If the two men in question go forward and prove their case, The Attorney General in a decent country would then criminally charge Rumsfeld. It should not come to that.

In a movie about the Dreyfus affair, the railroaded Captain is handed a pistol and a bottle. He is told, "Here is your courage and your honor."

Maybe I'm just a simple fellow who just does not get it. Can someone tell me the National Security purpose of torturing these guys?

Monday, August 01, 2011

The can has been kicked

Some defense spending cuts supposedly, but our guess is cosmetic. The faux conservatives say we need to control spending other than being able to drone-bomb and invade everywhere. That, of course means they are not truly serious.

Another episode of debt theater coming soon enough.