Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Does McCain Owe A Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?

Criminal Injustice, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Media, War

“Does McCain Owe Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?” is the current column, now on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. An excerpt:

“It’s the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.” “It disqualifies him as a presidential candidate.” “This is the end of his run.” So crowed the political operatives looking to take down Mr. Trump, and by so doing, protect the political status quo and ease themselves into positions of greater power. The egos in the anchor’s chair and the pundits opposite chimed in: “He’ll make the more serious candidates look more serious,” predicted the next Michael Oakeshott and favorite imbecile, S. E. Cupp.

The Donald is in the dock for desecrating one of the political establishment’s most sacred cows: Sen. John McCain. Speaking at a forum in Iowa, the popular presidential hopeful said these sagacious things about the Republican from Arizona:

“[McCain’s] not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay?” (On the same occasion, Trump ventured that he was not particularly for the Vietnam War, a position that should endear him to principled libertarians.)

Not only does Donald Trump not owe Sen. McCain an apology; McCain likely owes mea culpa to Trump—and to the very many Vietnam veterans and their families whom he is alleged to have betrayed.

Yes, the heroic prisoner-of-war pedigree upon which McCain has established his career and credibility is probably a myth.

For our purposes, the story begins with Sydney Schanberg, back in the days before American journalism became a circle jerk of power brokers.

Mr. Schanberg is one of “America’s most eminent journalists.” “For his accounts of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975,” Schanberg “was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting ‘at great risk.’ He is also the recipient of many other awards–including two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism.” Schanberg’s byline at The Nation magazine further reveals that:

The 1984 movie, The Killing Fields [watch it!], which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book ‘The Death and Life of Dith Pran’–a memoir of his experiences covering the war in Cambodia for the New York Times and of his relationship with his Cambodian colleague, Dith Pran.

Schanberg is also the author of a “remarkable 8,000-word exposé”: “McCain and the POW Cover-Up.” Here follow the opening paragraphs. They provide a précis of the forensic evidence collected by Schanberg against McCain as ally of Vietnam War POWs and men missing inaction …

Read on. “Does McCain Owe A Mea Culpa To POWS & MIAS?” is now on The Unz Review.


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Ask #Bush Why The #IraqiMilitary Won’t Fight

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history

“Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is the current column, now on Praag.org. An excerpt:

… The ineptness of the reconstituted Iraqi Army is nothing new. In 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task.” “I have heard over and over again, that the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that,” griped Clinton to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Indeed, the War Party is in the habit of thrashing about in an ahistorical void—or creating its own reality, as warbot Karl Rove, George Bush’s muse, is notorious for saying. The neoconservative creed as disgorged by Rove deserves repeating:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The lowly “you” Rove reserved for “the reality-based community” (guilty).

Curiously, a military that has done nothing but flee before the opposition ever since the Americans commandeered Iraq, had fought and won a protracted war against Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The thing we currently call the Iraqi military has been unable and unwilling to fight the wars America commands it to fight.

Why?

For one, Bush’s envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, made the decision to dissolve the Iraqi Army and civil service, early in 2003, with the blessing of Bush at whose pleasure Bremer served. Bush’s minions viewed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as part of the “De-Ba’thification” process. …

… Another dynamic is at play in the region besides the Sunni-Shia divide. It is that between the forces of centralization and the forces of decentralization. …

Read the rest. “Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is now on Praag.org


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#TulsiGabbard Is Not A Total Ass

Democrats, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military

Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran, who serves on Armed Services Committee. She is also a Democrat, which usually comes with the presumption of asininity. This woman, however, is not a complete ass. Here she touches on some of the themes of my current WND column as to why the Iraqi military would not fight, although she eventually stalls:

WOLF BLITZER: Because you make a good point. There’s – the Kurdish fighters, they have their own separate militia. The Sunni – Iraqi Sunni fighters, they have their own separate militia. There’s the Iraqi Shia. They’re largely backed by Iran. They have their own separate militia. They’re all pretty – pretty dedicated. The weakest link seems to be the central Iraqi army, which the defense secretary of the United States says simply has the – lacks the will to fight, yet the United States keeps supporting that weakest link, the central military of Iraq. That’s a problem from your perspective, isn’t it?

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII:: Yes, Wolf, it is a problem for a few different reasons. One is, this is a strategy that’s proven to have failed, not only recently, but really even through the Bush administration when we had Maliki in charge, we were providing weapons and money and resources to this Shiite-led government that persecuted the Sunnis, completely left them out, and really created the situation that we see today where you have ISIS taking advantage of the oxygen that this policy has created where the Sunni tribes essentially have been driven into the arms of ISIS for protection. This is the problem that I see with the current offensive that’s happening right now heading into Ramadi. This is being led by the Shia militia who named this offensive attack a name that is extremely incendiary and offensive specifically to the Sunni tribes. So this is only going to make the sectarian divides deepen. This will make matters worse. And ultimately, again, this will push the Sunni tribes closer and closer into ISIS’ arms, at the end of the day strengthening ISIS rather than defeating them.

For the rest, she’s an energetic interventionist, so a bit of an ass after all. But then so are most Republicans.

(Source: CNN.)


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#Langley Has The Last Word:#ForeignPolicy On The#CIA

Foreign Policy, Military, The State

A Foreign Policy essay makes the case that the CIA is, effectively, running American foreign policy. It concedes what seems obvious: Despite a budget of billions ($14.7 billion in 2013, “up from the $4.8 billion in 1994″), the agency “was notoriously wrong about Saddam Hussein’s alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, a cataclysmic mistake that eased the path to the Iraq War,” and it failed “to help detect or prevent the 9/11 plot.”

Some salient points:

* The agency has “a direct line to the White House for open-ended covert programs.”
* It has “explicit permission to use [drones] in larger areas of Pakistan than before.” “‘The CIA gets what it wants,’ Obama has told his aides.”
* “Through … machinations, the spy agency has managed to weaken or eliminate crucial counterweights to its own power.”
* “Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.”
* “… from drone strikes in the Middle East to the network of secret prisons around the world and the torture that occurred within their walls—[all] originated at Langley.”
* “… the agency had waded even more deeply into the dark world of assassinations by hiring outside contractors associated with Blackwater, a firm synonymous with abuses in Iraq, to kill individual militants on the ground.”
* “In Pakistan alone, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates, CIA drones killed as many as 960 civilians between June 2004 and April 2015, including up to 207 children.”
* The CIA’s has just about direct access to the White House. It “answers to no one except the president.”
* “… much of its workforce has been plugged into ‘the Ivy League, Eastern power structure of American politics.’ … its alumni are in key positions throughout the U.S. government.”
* Obama has embraced “the Bush-era CIA abuses,” this, presumably, includes torture, rendition, etc.

Since its creation in 1947, the CIA has steadily evolved from an agency devoted to its mission of spying on foreign governments to one whose current priority is tracking and killing individual militants in an increasing number of countries.

READ “Mission Unstoppable.”


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#JonStewart Shames The Shameless #JudithMiller

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Journalism, War, WMD

Jon Stewart makes short work of Judith Miller, who is on a “rehab tour,” concerning her role in the ramp-up to war on Iraq. He dismantles her mindless lies, methodically. The fact that others were on board is not exculpatory, he tells her. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong, he tutors her (your truly and like-minded libertarians never count to these two).

Now if only Stewart applied the same rigor to gratuitous wars waged by the Obama-Hillary posse.

Miller is one of those disgusting specters American journalism spits out ever so often, as are her Fox News cheerleaders.


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#ChrisChristie’s ‘Compromise': Will #Spy On YOU, But Will Think Twice About #War

Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Politics, Republicans

One rotter is catching on to the foreign policy most favored by sensible Americans. “I don’t think nation-building is a good sentiment,” Gov. Chris Christie told Megyn Kelly, during a grueling interview. About “exporting our values,” also touted by Jeb Bush big time, Christie said it depends on how you do it. Leading by example, making the nations of the world want to emulate the US: that’s a worthwhile impetus (@4:51 minutes). And then, being a Republican, Chris Christie went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like, “I’ll spy on YOU!”


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