Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 9th, 2014

Endless War is Official U.S. Doctrine: And for creating jobs in military industrial complexes

The US administration is boasting that unemployment is at its lowest level since 2010 and the economy is improving drastically.

What the US is not divulging is that whatever is improving is its manufacture and export of weapons to this miserable world where almost every State is witnessing a civil war or expecting one anytime soon.

Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan Islamic faction, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America’s “war on terror,” already 12 years old, would last at least another decade.

At first, they injected these decrees only anonymously.

In late 2012, The Washington Post – disclosing the administration’s secret creation of a “disposition matrix” to decide who should be killed, imprisoned without charges, or otherwise “disposed” of – reported these remarkable facts:

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.

In May, 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether it should revise the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF).

A committee member asked a senior Pentagon official, Assistant Secretary Michael Sheehan, how long the war on terror would last.

His reply: “At least 10 to 20 years.” At least. 

A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed afterward “that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today — atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted.”

As Spencer Ackerman put it: “Welcome to America’s Thirty Years War,” (Referring to the long war in 18th century Europe among its nations)

A war which – by the Obama administration’s own reasoning – has “no geographic limit.”

Listening to all this, Maine’s independent Sen. Angus King said:

“This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today.”

Former Bush DOJ lawyer Jack Goldsmith – himself an ardent advocate of broad presidential powers – was at the hearing and noted that nobody even knows against whom this endless war is being waged:

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.”

All of that received remarkably little attention given its obvious significance. But any doubts about whether Endless Warliterally – is official American doctrine should be permanently erased by this week’s comments from two leading Democrats, both former top national security officials in the Obama administration, one of whom is likely to be the next American president.

Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama’s new bombing campaign:

“I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.” Only in America are new 30-year wars spoken of so casually, the way other countries speak of weather changes.

He added that the war “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.”

And elsewhere: not just a new decades-long war with no temporal limits, but no geographic ones either.

He criticized Obama – who has bombed 7 predominantly Muslim countries plus the Muslim minority in the Phillipines (almost double the number of countries Bush bombed) – for being insufficiently militaristic, despite the fact that Obama officials themselves have already instructed the public to think of The New War “in terms of years.”

Then we have Hillary Clinton (whom Panetta gushed would make a “great” president).

At an event in Ottawa yesterday, Hillary proclaimed that the fight against these “militants” will “be a long-term struggle” that should entail an “information war” as “well as an air war.”

The new war, she said, is “essential” and the U.S. shies away from fighting it “at our peril.”

Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear in her book that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama’s foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational.

At this point, it is literally inconceivable to imagine the U.S. not at war.

It would be shocking if that happened in our lifetime. U.S. officials are now all but openly saying this. “Endless War” is not dramatic rhetorical license but a precise description of America’s foreign policy.

It’s not hard to see why.

A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights.

It also entails a massive transfer of public wealth to the “homeland security” and weapons industry (which the US media deceptively calls the “defense sector”).

Just yesterday, Bloomberg reported:

Led by Lockheed Martin Group (LTM), the biggest U.S. defense companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world.”

Particularly exciting is that “investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq”; moreover, “the U.S. also is the biggest foreign military supplier to Israel, which waged a 50-day offensive against the Hamas Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip.”

ISIS is using U.S.-made ammunition and weapons, which means U.S. weapons companies get to supply all sides of The New Endless War; can you blame investors for being so giddy?

I vividly recall how, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing, Obama partisans triumphantly declared that this would finally usher in the winding down of the War on Terror.

On one superficial level, that view was understandable: it made sense if one assumes that the U.S. has been waging this war for its stated reasons and that it hopes to vanquish The Enemy and end the war.

But that is not, and never was, the purpose of the War on Terror.

It was designed from the start to be endless.

Both Bush and Obama officials have explicitly said that the war will last at least a generation. The nature of the “war,” and the theories that have accompanied it, is that it has no discernible enemy and no identifiable limits.

More significantly, this “war” fuels itself, provides its own inexhaustible purpose, as it is precisely the policies justified in the name of Stopping Terrorism that actually ensure its spread (note how Panetta said the new U.S. war would have to include Libya, presumably to fight against those empowered by the last U.S. war there just 3 years ago).

This war – in all its ever-changing permutations – thus enables an endless supply of power and profit to flow to those political and economic factions that control the government regardless of election outcomes.

And that’s all independent of the vicarious sense of joy, purpose and fulfillment which the sociopathic Washington class derives from waging risk-free wars, as Adam Smith so perfectly described in Wealth of Nations 235 years ago:

In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies.

To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace.

They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war. 

The last thing the Washington political class and the economic elites who control it want is for this war to end.

Anyone who doubts that should just look at the express statements from these leading Democrats, who wasted no time at all seizing on the latest Bad Guys to justify literally decades more of this profiteering and war-making.

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

 Paper on Gaza Tunnels taken down on FB

 

Yesterday I did something stupid.

I tweeted an in-depth academic research on the history and purpose of the Gaza tunnels to Netanyahu’s official twitter account (probably managed by someone else).

Today the paper has been taken down.

You can check the link below which shows the results page, but the first paper on that page takes you nowhere.

The research clearly linked the expansion of the tunnel system to the continued siege on Gaza. It reframes the tunnel system as a very well managed ticketed ‘transport system’ for the people in Gaza to move from A to B, to get access to food, medicine, cigarettes, phones, water, fuel, materials to rebuild their cities, cars and weapons of course.

All of which they can’t get through the Egyptian or Israeli borders (bare essentials rationed by the calorie).

People bought shares in tunnel projects and received a revenue from usage.

The tunnel system generated $30 million a month in revenue for Gazans on average.

Managing and running the tunnels employed a third of the population and created a middle class in a poverty ridden ghetto.

This was a business, a trade and a transport system for Gazans.

One researcher called it Gaza’s lungs.

The article demonstrated that there is no evidence that the tunnels were ever used for acts of terror against civilians.

They were used once to kidnap an Israeli soldier and Hamas negotiated the release of 1,000 palestinian prisoners in return.

But this is not terror, this is a combat strategy for negotiation. So, I can see why Israel sees the tunnels as a threat to its military invasion and economy, but there is no justification for it to refer to the tunnels as ‘terror tunnels’ that ‘could’ ‘potentially’ target Israeli women and children, or instill further fear in an already petrified/paranoid Israeli population, and murder hundreds of  civilians in Gaza (More than 2,100 died in the latest “removing the top soil” preemptive war and 11,000 were injured, mostly children).

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Erik Spiekermann: “Being Obsessive About Detail Is Being Normal”

Erik Spiekermann

I have some very strong opinions about the very strong opinions of Erik Spiekermann.

To me he comes off as a cranky old man most of the time but he certainly deserves credit for his long-standing work as a typographer and designer.

Recently, he wrote on his blog about the importance of details and how he refuses to be “classified as weird and unusual” because of his obsession.

Every craft requires atten­tion to detail. Whether you’re build­ing a bicy­cle, an engine, a table, a song, a type­face or a page: the details are not the details, they make the design.

Con­cepts don’t have to be pixel-perfect, and even the fussi­est project starts with a rough sketch.

But build­ing some­thing that will be used by other peo­ple, be they dri­vers, rid­ers, read­ers, lis­ten­ers – users every­where, it needs to be built as well as can be.

Unless you are obsessed by what you’re doing, you will not be doing it well enough.

I think Mr. Spiekermann really nails it with this statement.

My design-focused brain can’t help but obsess over the details. The nuances of the object you’re designing is what gives it character.

The importance of details holds true for things like objects, old or new.

When you pick up an iPhone you see the subtle detailing that makes it feel special. Or with older objects you can experience the wabi-sabi of it, the wear and patina that gives it an exceptional quality.

Be sure to read Erik’s full post by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

August 26, 2014 / By

Note: Designing for people means considering the health and safety of the product and in the product, its various usage, what can go wrong and harm the user… These are also most important concept details before the nitty gritty of every piece in the object or the design.

Noam Chomsky: The Real Reason Israel “Mows the Lawn” in Gaza

Like other states, Israel pleads “security” as justification for its aggressive preemptive wars and violent actions on Gaza, and on Lebanon.
But knowledgeable Israelis know better.

On August 26th, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) both accepted a ceasefire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead, 11, 000 injured, destroyed hospitals and schools, and vast landscapes of destruction behind.

The agreement calls for an end to military action by both Israel and Hamas, as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.

This is, however, just the most recent of a series of ceasefire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.

Throughout this period, the terms of these agreements remain essentially the same.

The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it — as Israel has officially recognized — until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality.

These escalations, which amount to shooting fish in a pond, are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance.

The most recent was more accurately described as “removing the topsoil” by a senior U.S. military officer, appalled by the practices of the self-described “most moral army in the world.”

The first of this series was the Agreement on Movement and Access Between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in November 2005.

It called for “a crossing between Gaza and Egypt at Rafah for the export of goods and the transit of people, continuous operation of crossings between Israel and Gaza for the import/export of goods, and the transit of people, reduction of obstacles to movement within the West Bank, bus and truck convoys between the West Bank and Gaza, the building of a seaport in Gaza, [and the] re-opening of the airport in Gaza” that Israeli bombing had demolished.

That agreement was reached shortly after Israel withdrew its settlers and military forces from Gaza.  The motive for the disengagement was explained by Dov Weissglass, a confidant of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was in charge of negotiating and implementing it.

The significance of the disengagement plan in Gaza is the freezing of the peace process,” Weissglass informed the Israeli press. “And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders, and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a [U.S.] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.” True enough. (While Bush Jr. was committing genocide in Iraq and using all the weapons banned by the UN))

“The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” Weissglass added. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.

Israeli hawks also recognized that instead of investing substantial resources in maintaining a few thousand settlers in illegal communities in devastated Gaza, it made more sense to transfer them to illegal subsidized communities in areas of the West Bank that Israel intended to keep.

The disengagement was depicted as a noble effort to pursue peace, but the reality was quite different.

Israel never relinquished control of Gaza and is, accordingly, recognized as the occupying power by the United Nations, the U.S., and other states (Israel apart, of course).

In their comprehensive history of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, Israeli scholars Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar describe what actually happened when that country disengaged: the ruined territory was not released “for even a single day from Israel’s military grip or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day.”

After the disengagement, “Israel left behind scorched earth, devastated services, and people with neither a present nor a future.  The settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and kill and harass its inhabitants by means of its formidable military might.”

Note: (So what is this reason? Prevent any unity government among Palestinian factions? Keep the world community busy with “how to reconstruct Gaza” instead of deciding on a Palestinian State?)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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