Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Does Obama want a war in Korea?

If not, why are the South Koreans given a free rein to provoke the North?

Possible answers:
  • He doesn't care.
  •  He's afraid of being publicly slapped around again by Lee Myung Bak.
  •  No one bothered to tell him, DNI Clapper didn't know either.
It sure looks like if nothing is done, South Korea is going to keep escalating the provocations until the North reacts. Not good.

Exactly wrong

Glenn Greenwald:
What determines whether something is a crime is the actions of the person -- not their nationality or how large of a corporation employs them.
He also says, speaking about Michael Lind in Salon:
Ironically, Lind is guilty of exactly that which he is condemning: namely, deciding what is and is not a crime based on his likes and dislikes ("information vandalism!") rather than what the law actually says.
Lind is also wrong, though less so.

Rather, what determines what is a crime is who you are, you being the perp.

High government officials are not guilty of leaking because of who they are, PFC Manning is guilty because, well, he is a PFC. Mazzetti and Filkins are not guilty because they are reporters for the NYT, while Assange is 'a random Australian guy'. Muslims are terrorists when they fight US troops, US troops are heroes when they destroy a village in order to save it.

There is nothing new about this, its how the law, the government and the press have been working for a long time. Daniel Ellsberg was fortunate to be a rather important fellow before he went rogue, or else he'd likely still be in the slammer.

Assange had better hope his celebrity status continues to grow, while as for PFC Manning, the lack of coverage makes him just more road kill.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You cannot do it

You cannot make this shit up, unless, of course, you are a columnist for the NYT unless, in fact, you are Thomas Friedman.
The failed attempt by the U.S. to bribe Israel with a $3 billion security assistance package, diplomatic cover and advanced F-35 fighter aircraft — if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. would simply agree to a 90-day settlements freeze to resume talks with the Palestinians — has been enormously clarifying. It demonstrates just how disconnected from reality both the Israeli and the Palestinian leaderships have become.
The column is titled "Reality Check".


In that simple bewildering paragraph, you Tom, talk about the attempted US bribe of $3bn for a freeze of Israeli settlements for 90 days, spit on by the Israelis, and it shows how disconnected from reality the Palestinian leadership has become? How should they connect to reality? How should you, Tom?

That paragraph sums up the Tom Friedman, and the NYT, forever. Reality check, indeed.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Silly Assange

Didn't you know that sex is a crime in Sweden?

(Though masturbation is still just a misdemeanor.)

UPDATE: Added link above to Justin Raimondo's summary of the 'case' against Assange.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Clever Obama

Finally we know that Obama is smarter than G. W. Bush.

Bush, like Obama, wanted to get his hands on the Social Security trust fund and give it to the billionaires. But because he went after it nakedly, he failed.

Obama will bleed it by cutting the money put into the fund, pleasing the idiot proles who will each have some hundreds of dollars more to buy electronic devices. Then the alarm bells will sound loudly enough to deafen the people when they realize they're getting screwed, but the money will be gone and so will Social Security.

The net effect will be the same.

It's especially humorous, in a sick way, that the deal was made between Obama and the Republicans, pointing out (again) that congressional Democrats are less than useless.

I had thought Obama was just Bush again with a tan, but no, he's worse.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Those goldurned Afghanis

They're so corrupt, you know.

German anger over America's '15 per cent cut of Afghan aid'
That's for administrative costs, you know. But even the remaining 85% hasn't arrived:
Germany's €50m was transferred to Nato's headquarters in Brussels in October 2009 and €7m was intended specifically for three military schools. However, by February this year the Germans were complaining that the money had gone to the US Treasury and "as of today no project financing has occurred".
 Look here, Germans, we have to worry about our deficit.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


One can only stand in wide-eyed disbelief when the Washington Post says that "Media in China, Middle East suppress WikiLeaks coverage".

Perhaps some 'news organizations' in China and the ME are reporting none of  the WikiLeaks revelations, but certainly some are being covered, by Al Jazeera, for example.

But what is being suppressed in the US MSM? Neither the NYT nor the WAPO has an article on the diplomatic pressure on Spanish judges to quash investigations into US kidnappings and torture. Sure, there is lots of stuff on the Arabs neediness for the US to bomb Iran, and how Cubans are promoting terrorism. The really damaging stuff, reported in the countries of interest such as Spain, is ignored.

When the WAPO singles out others while it continues its own selective 'journalism', it's really just pointing out what a joke it and the rest of the US press (with a few notable exceptions)  is.

Seeing the strings

It will come as no shock to anyone who follows world events and patterns that a great many of the nations of the world have been puppets of the US power structure since WWII. Communism was the first excuse, when that fell by the wayside, the war on terror has stepped up to fill the ideological vacuum.

What the WikiLeaks documents have revealed is some of the strings themselves, the methods used by US diplomacy to direct, not only politicians, but justice officials. Naturally, when this is revealed, a moment of truth is inescapable for the puppets.

As Scott Horton writes in Harper's, US diplomats directly intervened with Spanish justice officials:
These cables show that the U.S. embassy in Madrid had far exceeded this mandate, however, and was actually successfully steering the course of criminal investigations, the selection of judges, and the conduct of prosecutors. Their disclosure has created deep concern about the independence of judges in Spain and the manipulation of the entire criminal justice system by a foreign power.
Being part of the string mechanism themselves, the US news media is outraged that these mechanisms are being revealed, while concentrating their attention on insults to foreign leaders, and other such folderol.

The charges of rape now being pursued by Sweden against Assange certainly seem to be part of the same mechanism. The corruption that the US spreads to hide and dismiss its very real crimes of murder, torture, and corruption lead to the hearts of European 'democracies', and makes a mockery of that term.

Diplomacy, news reporting, banking, as well as the more traditional forms of subversion such as spying, blackmail and bribery are being used ever more ruthlessly to make the puppets dance, even as the puppeteers themselves seem unable to manage their own future beyond rearranging the deck chairs.