Tag Archives: War

War On Terror Electric Boogaloo

Hey kids, let’s shoot a machine gun with the Navy Seal who killed Bin Laden! All it takes is a cool 50 grand:

Key contributors to a conservative group have received a special invitation: For $50,000, they can shoot guns and hang out this June with Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL credited with killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The offer was recently made by the ForAmerica organization. Those invited have until May 10 to RSVP for an event at the Amangani Resort Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The facility offers picturesque views of the Snake River, and is on the southern tip of Grand Teton National Park. A room there can cost more than $1,000 per night.

[…]

The ForAmerica group is run by America, Inc., of Reston, Va. It was founded in 2009 by Brent Bozell, a conservative commentator who also started the Media Research Center, which provides a conservative critique of the media. It received nearly $4.9 million in contributions in 2012, and $2.5 million in 2013, according to tax documents.

I am so sick of this jingoistic, pro-war, amygdala-tweaking, “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross” bullshit fascism-disguised-as-patriotism we’ve come to expect from conservatives.

But hey, maybe I’m just being melodramatic, right? Silly woman. But nothing speaks — no screams — a morally bankrupt culture louder than this. Nothing screams that institutional conservatism is made up of a bunch of sick fucks louder than this.

War is not entertainment. Assassinating Osama bin Laden may have been necessary (I say may — because we never did have a national conversation about that, did we?) but for God’s sake, don’t turn it into a fucking fundraiser! Don’t cheapen this entire chapter of American history by monetizing it, for fuck’s sake.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

5 Comments

Filed under advertising, Afghanistan War, gun violence, rants

Rotten Cotton

[UPDATE]:

Oh, apparently we just can’t take a joke:

Republican aides were taken aback by what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

“The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,” said a top GOP Senate aide.

Interfering with foreign policy negotiations, hilARious!

———————————————

Well you could have knocked me over with a feather:

In an open letter organized by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., 47 Senate Republicans today warned the leaders of Iran that any nuclear deal reached with President Barack Obama could expire as soon as he leaves office.

Tomorrow, 24 hours later, Cotton will appear at an “Off the Record and strictly Non-Attribution” event with the National Defense Industrial Association, a lobbying and professional group for defense contractors.

The NDIA is composed of executives from major military businesses such as Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications, ManTech International, Boeing, Oshkosh Defense and Booz Allen Hamilton, among other firms.

This is my shocked face:

shocked

Seriously, Republicans. Have you ever met a war you didn’t like? I guess as long as Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton are filling the campaign coffers, the answer to that would be no.

And major kudos to Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker, who refused to sign the letter. They’re probably getting slammed from the Neocon wing of the party, which means there will be red meat thrown on another issue, no doubt. But on this they are correct.

Look, elections have consequences. And every time Republicans hold the reins of power, the militarism and warmongering heat up. If you don’t want war, don’t vote Republican. Simple as that.

8 Comments

Filed under defense, Iran, Republican Party, Republicans, Sen. Bob Coker, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Senate, war economy

Memory Hole: Militarized Police Edition

I’m glad the Ferguson protests have sparked a debate about our militarized police. When I first heard the reports I immediately thought of this post I did back in March 2008. Though the post was ostensibly about CBS’ “60 Minutes” journalistic failure, the point relevant here is that the Pentagon had developed a crowd-control device called the “Active Denial System” which, thanks to blasted government bureaucracy, had yet to be deployed. Even though “60 Minutes” — and the Pentagon — were just certain we needed to use this new weapon in Iraq, of all places. Can you imagine!

But the Pentagon tipped its hand in its promotional video, which did not show this fancy new weapon used in a foreign land. Nope, it showed the Active Denial System deployed on anti-war protesters here at home.

From the post:

The “Active Denial System” is a non-lethal “ray gun” which zaps its target with super high-frequency radio waves. In other words, it’s a crowd control device. Gee, now I wonder how the government would use something like that?

Perhaps we have a little clue in the Pentagon’s demonstration video, which they aired as part of last night’s segment. The clip shows a group of people carrying signs that read “Love For All,” “End The War” and “World Peace.”

Coming soon to a police department near you? I can only imagine.

From gun loonz carting military assault rifles at Walmart and Kroger to armored vehicles manned by local police departments, the lesson is clear: Be careful what weapons of war you choose, taxpayers. They will soon appear in your own backyards.

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Filed under Pentagon

War On Christmas

I’ll admit it, when my local news gleefully reported that fighter jets would accompany Santa’s sleigh this year in the traditional “NORAD tracker,” I was pretty outraged. Silly thing, I know: it’s Santa Claus, who gives a shit. But I do, because it’s for kids, and glorifying war to kids is revolting.

Honestly, I’m so offended by the constant rah-rah pro-military BS which has infiltrated every aspect of American life. This was the last straw. Why does Santa Claus need fighter jets, anyway? Mr. Beale joked it was to make it through Syrian airspace so he could bring presents to kids in Israel. Apparently everyone else decided it was Russia.

So I was relieved to learn that I wasn’t the only person ticked off by this glorification of weapons of war to children. In fact, quite a few children’s advocates were offended.

And now NORAD says what people thought were missiles were actually “fuel tanks.” Er, okie dokie.

I know y’all wouldn’t believe it but it does take a lot for me to go over the edge. I do stand and politely clap during the military salute at hockey games, despite the wretched Lee Greenwood track. But I put my foot down when they played an Army video of, I shit you not, bombs dropping on buildings. This was displayed on the JumboTron before a game one year, accompanied by a loud rock and roll track. Seeing small children with no clue what that represented cheering along turned my stomach. I called the operations office of the hockey team the next day and we never saw anything like that again.

“Support the troops” does not mean glorifying war. And by all means, this “back door recruiting” to kids is alarming. It’s no different than using Joe Camel to sell tobacco to children.

Knock it off, America.

11 Comments

Filed under Holidays, war economy, War On Christmas

A Bush Administration Legacy

If you’re like me you’ll remember all the many hundreds if not thousands of times someone in the waning days of the failed Bush Administration told us “history will prove Bush was right” or, “history will remember Bush well.”

We heard this a lot from Republicans who couldn’t bear the idea of anything else. Remember: conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed! And, barring that, we just need a 50-year perspective!

Well, four years isn’t a lot of history but we’re already seeing a bit of the Bush legacy: a near-allergic reaction to war. I mean, who would ever have predicted that the real Bush legacy was to forge an alliance among the liberal doves, the Libertarian isolationists, and the rank-and-file Obama-hating Republicans? That leaves Senators Cranky “Bomb-Bomb-Iran” McCrankypants and Lindsay Graham off in the weeds by themselves trying to get their former hawks interested in a little war action in Syria.

I know we on the internet love to become instant experts on everything, and I’m sorry but I just haven’t had a chance to do that in regards to Syria. I’ve heard some claims that this chemical weapons attack is based on bogus intelligence, and I’m waiting for the UN inspectors’ report later this week. I don’t know shit about Syria or the civil war there, who’s allied with whom, etc. etc. Sounds like both sides are equally bad, and there are no good guys. But what do I know — nothing. I’m hearing a lot of chatter and I’m not educated enough about this to separate the wheat from the chaff here, so I’ve largely shut up about it.

I do think America needs to stop bombing Middle Eastern countries, especially unilateral actions. I don’t want to hear about another American military action in this part of the world, I just don’t.

What I do find a little interesting is all of the chortling about President Obama “dithering,” as if bombing Syria would have been okay a year ago but now, fuhgeddaboutit! Snooze you lose, no launch codes for you!

You know, Republicans always spoke of the Iraq War as a moral, justified action. Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator and tyrant who “gassed his own people,” he’d do it again, heck, he’ll do it to us! That was the argument, yes?

So, okay, apparently Assad ain’t exactly humanitarian of the year either, he “gassed his own people” on August 21. So now it’s three weeks later and there’s dithering going on? How many months did it take the Bush Administration to get their authorization? Maybe I’m missing something here. Anyway, I’m glad we have a president who isn’t such a trigger-happy cowboy his first knee-jerk reaction to every incident is to launch missiles. I like having a president who wants to check the intel and the facts on the ground first. I think the rest of the country is, too. That’s why there’s so little support for U.S. military action in Syria.

Also, I’m surprised to hear Republicans say Obama should have just launched a Tomahawk missile or two into Syria the way he did with Libya. Wasn’t that an international action, though? And didn’t Republicans use this attack as justification to draft articles of impeachment? Yes, they did. So, get y’all’s stories straight, here, folks. You don’t have any more credibility on the war talk than anyone else.

Anyway, if Assad did use chemical weapons on a civilian population, and if we are looking at a human rights atrocity, I think it’s really sad that the world doesn’t seem inclined to do anything at all. There are always options other than war. [UPDATE: Here’s a good one. Fingers crossed.]

That’s a pretty sad state of affairs. And I have to wonder if that isn’t yet another Bush legacy: that the world is so soured on war that they’ll just stand by and let someone attack civilians.

From my observers’ perspective, I see President Obama making a moral case to the world to do something about a human rights violation. Folks may want to mock him and his Nobel Peace Prize but I do see a consistency here. And I have to wonder if, when it comes to legacies, Obama won’t fare better than his predecessor. Trying and failing to act against genocide is a lot better than launching a protracted invasion and occupation of a country for completely bogus reasons.

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Filed under Bush Administration, peace

Pigs At The Trough, Etc.

A whistleblower lawsuit has been filed against private defense contractor Jorge Scientific, described in the link as a “billion dollar government contractor.” According to the lawsuit, Jorge’s Kabul, Afghanistan operation indulged in such flagrant and gross misconduct, it placed the U.S. mission in Afghanistan at risk.

What kind of misconduct? Take it away:

For example, they indiscriminately fired weapons and possessed grenades (legally prohibited for government contractors), and drunken Jorge supervisors tossed live ammunition into house party bonfires causing the bullets to explode and destroy property. In one case, an errant bullet struck a Jorge employee near his eye and exploding bullets regularly found their way into the nearby civilian community causing Afghani civilian and military neighbors to complain – Jorge ignored those complaints.

Oooh that’s bad. But you know, not that bad, right? Wrong:

According to court documents alcohol abuse at the Villa was so prevalent, that in an inebriated and oxycodone induced state, Sullivan once placed a loaded gun in the mouth of an Islamic Jorge employee and called him “my nigga.” Another documented incident shows a Jorge executive drunk with a firearm snagged in his waist belt and disparaging “f…ing Arabs.” In another incident, two Jorge employees driving home drunk from a bar ended up in a ditch, clearly violating local customs and Islamic codes which prohibit alcohol consumption and driving under the influence.

Naturally, these alcohol-and-oxy parties were paid for by the U.S. taxpayer. And then we have this alleged incident, which is so bad you almost want to laugh:

In yet another incident captured on video, Jorge’s security manager for the entire country of Afghanistan was so intoxicated he was choking on his own vomit. When one of the relators tried to retrieve the medic from his bedroom to provide treatment, the relator found the medic himself intoxicated and drugged on ketamine to the point of incoherence, unresponsive with a syringe and a bag of horse tranquilizer on the floor and blood trickling from the medic’s arm.

Man I hope some of that video ends up on YouTube.

If these were military personnel there would be courts-martial and the like. But they’re not. They’re private contractors, and they’re going to keep feeding at the trough. Any repercussions will be swept under the rug. The company will change its name and land itself another cushy security contract, while Republicans continue to sell the idea that cutting our defense budget puts the country at risk.

Your tax dollars at work.

7 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan War, defense, privatization, war economy