Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged War

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NDAA Set To Become Law: The Terror Is Nearer Than Ever

It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish, historians will write someday. Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare.

Sure, some independent media web sites and Jon Stewart warned us about this. Ron Paul & Son warned us about this. Amnesty International and the ACLU have been screaming from the rooftops, crying bloody murder. But the American people let it happen, because the vast majority of us simply didn’t find out in time.

And now President Obama’s advisers are saying he is withdrawing his veto threat against NDAA, so it will become law.

True story. I commend Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., for voting against this. Her statement on the bill:

Although the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains important provisions for national defense, after careful review of the legislation, I believe that the language in the bill muddies the water concerning the due process rights granted to American citizens by the Constitution. Granting authority to indefinitely detain American citizens suspected of terrorism without charge and without sufficiently addressing what rights an American citizen has if they are suspected of terrorism and arrested on U.S. soil, sets a troubling precedent.

This bill is horrifying. For those who are saying, “Meh, big deal, we detain people already…” - yeah, we have, and that’s wrong. NDAA is much worse. It is authorizing detention of American citizens without due process if they’re suspected of terrorism, and that detention will occur on American soil. This is further encroaching our rights and turning the military against the American people.

NDAA is the PATRIOT Act on steroids. 

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under NDAA Obama politics war National defense terrorism terror civil rights Cynthia Lummis democracy government President Obama

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US ends nearly nine years of occupation in Iraq with official transfer of power

From the Guardian UK:

"And that’s it. 8 years & 9 months. $750 billion, 100k + civ deaths. 4,500 US KIA, 179 Brits. War over #Iraq”, tweets Martin Chulov in Baghdad.

Here are his updates on the rest of the ceremony:

#US Gen Austin cites ‘especially poignant moment’. He gave an order to invade in 03 & today the order to case the colours’ #Iraq

At US departure ceremony Panetta pledges enduring and robust US Mil presence across Middle East #Iraq

"You came to this land between the rivers, again, again & again," Panetta says of the 1.5 million US troops who served here in #Iraq.

US Defence Sec Leon Panetta speaks of ‘profound honour’ to close down #Iraq war. Cites Lincoln at Gettysburg.

US Commanding Gen Lloyd Austin now folding flag of USFI in #Iraq

And that’s it.

I have my doubts. Over two years ago, I wrote a feature entitled "Me and Mr. Cheney: A history" when the University of Wyoming dedicated the Cheney International Center. I got so close to Cheney I heard him laugh. I also noted his perspective on the Middle East in 1991. An excerpt:

PBS’ Frontline oral history website devoted a section to the former vice president called “Cheney In His Own Words.” In 1991, Cheney gave his perspective on U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf: “We’re always going to have to be involved [in the Middle East]. Maybe it’s part of our national character, you know we like to have these problems nice and neatly wrapped up, put a ribbon around it. You deploy a force, you win the war and the problem goes away and it doesn’t work that way in the Middle East – it never has and isn’t likely to in my lifetime.”

Even then, Cheney knew. He knew this would never end – only go quiet for a period.

I hope I’m wrong about the war never ending.

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." - José Narosky

So it goes.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Iraq occupation war politics unjust illegal war transfer of power news government so it goes

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Rush Limbaugh Endorses The Lord’s Resistance Army

Warning about the link above: There’s a graphic photo of a man attacked by Lord’s Resistance Army displayed within the article.

First, what Limbaugh said:

"Lord’s Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them. That’s what the lingo means, "to help regional forces remove from the battlefield," meaning capture or kill. […] Lord’s Resistance Army objectives. I have them here. "To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people." … The objectives of the Lord’s Resistance Army, what they’re trying to accomplish with their military action in these countries is the following: To remove dictatorship and stop the oppression of our people; to fight for the immediate restoration of the competitive multiparty democracy in Uganda; to see an end to gross violation of human rights and dignity of Ugandans; to ensure the restoration of peace and security in Uganda, to ensure unity, sovereignty, and economic prosperity beneficial to all Ugandans, and to bring to an end the repressive policy of deliberate marginalization of groups of people who may not agree with the LRA ideology."

Those are the objectives of the group that we are fighting, or who are being fought and we are joining in the effort to remove them from the battlefield.

As ThinkProgress writer Matthew Yglesias says (and I agree):

"I think reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not chasing a relatively small band of depraved mass murderers around central africa is a reasonable thing for American military personnel to be doing. But let’s make no mistake—these are depraved mass murderers. And yet Rush Limbaugh is pleased to welcome them as fellow Christian allies."

The LRA is on the terrorist exclusion list drawn up by the United States. The TEL means known associates of the group are banned from the U.S., plus U.S. citizens and aliens within the U.S. alike are banned from providing any kind of support to that group. The LRA has committed several terrorist acts, including kidnapping children to be sex slaves and child soldiers (after murdering their parents); using clubs to attack a bus full of people, causing 22 fatalities; engaging in systematic rape as a weapon of war; bombing nightclubs; and murdering World Food Group volunteers. 

At this point, I have to wonder: Is Limbaugh just testing his audience to see if they’re actually paying attention? I can picture someone taking up a collection plate at church for this “Christian” group, Googling to found out where to send the funds, and being absolutely horrified. Better yet, someone calls into Limbaugh’s show to ask where to send the cash. Either way, sending them cash could be a crime.

I think what the LRA is doing is horrible and I can’t picture the person who would endorse them. Oh, wait:

 

Filed under Rush Limbaugh terrorism politics LRA Lord's Resistance Army Uganda Religion Islam Muslim Christian war military US Conservative conservatives seriously? no just no terrorist

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One of the most heartbreaking 99 percent photos I’ve seen yet.
His sign reads:

"I was deployed to Iraq 4x5 of my friends are dead.1 of my friends is missing his arm.1 of my friends killed himself.I’ve been blown up 2x by roadside bombs.Hearing fireworks makes me nervous.I can’t sleep at night.
All so bankers and war profiteers could get richer.
I am the 99%www.occupywallst.org" 

Nearly every active duty military member is in the 99 percent. End the war profiteering and bring them home.

One of the most heartbreaking 99 percent photos I’ve seen yet.

His sign reads:

"I was deployed to Iraq 4x
5 of my friends are dead.
1 of my friends is missing his arm.
1 of my friends killed himself.
I’ve been blown up 2x by roadside bombs.
Hearing fireworks makes me nervous.
I can’t sleep at night.

All so bankers and war profiteers could get richer.

I am the 99%
www.occupywallst.org

Nearly every active duty military member is in the 99 percent. End the war profiteering and bring them home.

Filed under We are the 99 percent Occupy Wall Street War Iraq combat 99 percent war profiteering politics protest inequality

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Poll: 1 in 3 vets sees Iraq, Afghan wars as wastes

One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday.

The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they struggle to shrink the government’s huge budget deficits and reconsider defense priorities while trying to keep public support for remaining involved in Iraq and Afghanistan for the longer term.

Somehow, I don’t think the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the morale issue… 

Filed under Iraq Afghanistan war politics veterans post 9/11 opinion U.S. government military morale

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Cost of one Tomahawk cruise missile: Approximately $756,000-$2,000,000 per missile
Congress appropriated $6,734,000,000 for WIC in fiscal year 2011.
Let’s compare these numbers for perspective:
When Operation Iraqi Freedom began, more than 725 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been fired into Iraq by early 2003. That’s an approximate cost of $548,100,000 to $1,450,000,000 - nearly 20% of WIC’s 2011 budget in a matter of weeks.
War is expensive, but for some reason, it’s easier to to write those costs off than the costs of helping families in need. War is also profitable, whereas assisting the impoverished, well, not so much.

Cost of one Tomahawk cruise missile: Approximately $756,000-$2,000,000 per missile

Congress appropriated $6,734,000,000 for WIC in fiscal year 2011.

Let’s compare these numbers for perspective:

When Operation Iraqi Freedom began, more than 725 Tomahawk cruise missiles had been fired into Iraq by early 2003. That’s an approximate cost of $548,100,000 to $1,450,000,000 - nearly 20% of WIC’s 2011 budget in a matter of weeks.

War is expensive, but for some reason, it’s easier to to write those costs off than the costs of helping families in need. War is also profitable, whereas assisting the impoverished, well, not so much.

Filed under poverty budget war dwight d. eisenhower politics run the numbers WIC welfare

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House Deals Obama Symbolic Blow With Libya Votes

The House of Representatives dealt a symbolic blow to President Obama on Friday by resoundingly failing to approve a bill authorizing the contentious military operations in Libya. But the House stopped short of a total desertion of a war-time president by also rejecting a measure to limit financing to support the military operations there.

The resolution to support the mission, which was based on a Senate measure introduced Tuesday by Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, failed 295 to 123, with 70 Democrats joining Republicans on an issue that has divided Democrats and became a major Constitutional flash point between Congress and The White House.

A second measure, which would have prohibited money for military operations outside of support activities like search and rescue, aerial refueling, operational planning, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — essentially ending direct American combat activity like missile strikes — failed 180 to 238. The message – a bipartisan muddle – reflected both a nation weary of wars across party and geographic lines, and a Congress that dislikes having its powers usurped by the executive branch.

Over the last few months, there has been increasing hostility toward the Obama administration in the House among both Democrats who oppose the war and many Republicans who cite Constitutional issues over the president’s refusal to seek authorization from Congress for the operations in Libya. They say such authorization is required by the 1973 War Powers Resolution.

So, the Republicans are oddly half-dovish here. Where the fuck was this instinct back in the day with Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. hmmm? Is it because it’s Obama or because they are truly against another war? Fun fact: The House hasn’t voted against a military operation since 1999, or overruled a president’s authority since Bill Clinton during the Bosnian war.

Filed under war libya Protest politics us house GOP democrats

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The topline number is this: we have spent $7.6 trillion on the military and homeland security since 9/11. The Pentagon’s base budget – which doesn’t include the costs of fighting our wars – has increased by 81 percent during that time. The costs of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have now reached $1.26 trillion. But that only scratches the surface; it doesn’t include the long-term costs of caring for badly wounded soldiers, for example…The Pentagon itself acknowledges these dollars haven’t all been spent effectively – there is certainly plenty of waste. According to the Washington Post, the DoD has blown $32 billion (enough to offer free, universal college tuition for a year) on canceled weapons programs since 1997.

Toward that end, let’s put these numbers in perspective by looking at some of the other things we might be doing with those dollars. Because a buck spent on guns is one less for butter.
Joshua Holland, Five Eye-Opening Facts About Our Bloated Post-9/11 ‘Defense’ Spending

Filed under politics war Budget Afghanistan iraq

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Here’s a formula for both the collapse of our economy and our democracy…

There’s so many wars going on, you could rename this town WAR-shington. Money for bombs, no money for books. Money for missiles, no money for new moms. Money for jet fighters, no money for crime fighters. Money for an empire that is as broad as our fears, no money for an America that’s as large as our hopes. Just money for unnecessary wars.

We don’t want Apocalypse Now, we want peace, now. We want jobs, now. We want prosperity, now. And we want the leadership to provide it. Now.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, speaking on the US House floor April 6th, 2011 and dropping some serious truth bombs regarding what’s killing our budget.

(Source: youtube.com)

Filed under dennis kucinich love economy war quote America GOP Democrats

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The Big (Military) Taboo

We face wrenching budget cutting in the years ahead, but there’s one huge area of government spending that Democrats and Republicans alike have so far treated as sacrosanct.

It’s the military/security world, and it’s time to bust that taboo. A few facts:

• The United States spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It says that we spend more than six times as much as the country with the next highest budget, China.

• The United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites abroad, many of them a legacy of a world war that ended 65 years ago. Do we fear that if we pull our bases from Germany, Russia might invade?

• The intelligence community is so vast that more people have “top secret” clearance than live in Washington, D.C.

• The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.

The sacred cow doesn’t seem so sacred anymore, eh? Read the editorial for a very persuasive argument on why we should scale back.

Filed under Military Military-Industrial Complex spending economy United States Sacred Cow War Iraq Afghanistan Democrats Republicans Budget budget cuts deficit