"These men, largely private, were functioning on a level different from the foreign policy of the United States, and years later when New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan read through the entire documentary history of the war, that history known as the Pentagon Papers, he would come away with one impression above all, which was that the government of the United States was not what he had thought it was; it was as if there were an inner U.S. government, what he called 'a centralized state, far more powerful than anything else, for whom the enemy is not simply the Communists but everything else, its own press, its own judiciary, its own Congress, foreign and friendly governments - all these are potentially antagonistic. It had survived and perpetuated itself,' Sheehan continued, 'often using the issue of anti-Communism as a weapon against the other branches of government and the press, and finally, it does not function necessarily for the benefit of the Republic but rather for its own ends, its own perpetuation; it has its own codes which are quite different from public codes. Secrecy was a way of protecting itself, not so much from threats by foreign governments but from detection from its own population on charges of its own competence and wisdom.' Each succeeding Administration, Sheehan noted, was careful, once in office, not to expose the weaknesses of its predecessor. After all, essentially the same people were running the governments, they had continuity to each other, and each succeeding Administration found itself faced with virtually the same enemies. Thus the national security apparatus kept its continuity, and every outgoing President tended to rally to the side of the incumbent President."Out of this of course came a willingness to use covert operations; it was a necessity of the times, to match the Communists, and what your own population and your own Congress did not know was not particularly important; it was almost better if they did not know..."David Halberstam
Sunday, November 6, 2016
A lot of noise has been heard about how crazy Trump is and how Hillary Clinton is the civilized person's only choice.
There is nothing civilized about Hillary Clinton, any more than there is about Barack Obama. They make all the right noises and probably somewhere their hearts are in the right place. But like Lyndon Johnson before them - a guy who wanted to be a genuinely healing American president on domestic reform - they crashed and burned on foreign policy.
There is a lot of evidence about this.
The fact is that as far as most of the rest of the world is concerned - particularly that world that was called the Third World and now euphemistically the Developing World - Trump is the accurate face of American foreign policy.
Clinton represents, as did Obama, Business As Usual. The forces they represent are not reasonable, not civilized, and not interested in the Nuremberg Principles. It is entirely possible that neither Clinton nor Obama has read the Nuremberg Principles. These forces are in fact unprincipled, lawless, selfish, and vicious.
Trump's face is the honest one. Clinton's is a lie.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Burying the Afghanistan Inquiry
|Entire report is here.|
- Preface, Dishonoured Legacy,
“We can only hope that Somalia represents the nadir of the fortunes of the Canadian Forces. There seems to be little room to slide lower. One thing is certain, however: left uncorrected, the problems that surfaced in the desert in Somalia and in the boardrooms at National Defence Headquarters will continue to spawn military ignominy. The victim will be Canada and its international reputation.”
The Report of The Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian forces in Afghanistan
"So I said, you know, the NDS tortures people, that is what they do, and if we don’t want to have detainees tortured, we shouldn’t give them to the NDS."
– Richard Colvin, testimony before the Canadian Military Police Complaints Commission, April 13, 2010
"Canada is proud of the honourable work of the men and women in uniform and civilian officials who served in Afghanistan. Canada remains the leading donor supporting the work of the AIHRC to strengthen its capacity to fulfill its constitutional mandate to monitor human rights in Afghanistan. Throughout Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan, the Government of Canada ensured individuals detained by the CAF were treated humanely and handled, transferred or released in accordance with our obligations under international law. Therefore the Government of Canada does not believe an independent judicial commission of inquiry is necessary."- Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, response to petition 421-00217 (for an inquiry) June 16, 2016
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016
A film playing 24/7 everywhere.
In the spirit of The Emperor Has No Clothes it's worth pointing out the obvious: NATO doesn't have any either.
In the current hand wringing over gun violence in the world, it's worth pointing out that after all this hand wringing, NATO tries to solve all political problems with guns. And there's bombing of course (including cluster bombs already forbidden by The Ottawa Treaty, except for the USA who didn't sign it), rocketing of hospitals clearly marked and identified (war crimes as identified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Geneva IV, Article 14) even if some were done by proxy.
And it's worth pointing out that NATO sees no obvious connection between violence it has perpetrated (I'm not saying started) in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, and the "refugee crisis" now imposing its fully clothed (if occasionally dead) reality on...NATO that is earnestly guarding against it.
The fact that Russia does bad things is irrelevant.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is stupidity at its most elemental level: the denial of a reality verifiable by a child, and a crime verifiable by anyone who can read.
And Canada is part of it.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Edgar Mitchell of Apollo 14 & 6th man to walk on the moon has died today. R.I.P Ed. 👊😕👍 pic.twitter.com/XxQbOdDeJi— tim cornwell (@247razz) February 6, 2016