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This book will crack you up.
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Between a Rock and a Laugh Track

      After the British parliament put the kibosh on following the American punishment brigade to Syria, and then NATO, and the UN wrinkled their noses at the project, well, that pretty much left President Obama to twist slowly, slowly in the wind — washed, rinsed, and hung out to dry. It looks like a watershed moment in the USA’s increasingly klutzy career as the world’s hall monitor. International power relations are suddenly in flux. A phase change has occurred causing all that was solid a few days ago to melt into liquid.

     The Iranians are having a good laugh, for now. Mr. Assad of Syria responded with a beaming smirk. However, any sentient observer can see this region of the world for what it is, a political demolition derby which, left to its own blundering devices, would blow up the whole arena when the last player sputters to a standstill.

     First of all, it seems to me that extremists in the Republican-dominated US House of Representatives have been quietly searching for a pretext to impeach President Obama. Committing an overt act of war without congressional approval would have been a good case, legally, despite the fact that executive branch war-making has been absolutely the rule for decades in Washington. The British parliamentary move against the avid David Cameron pretty much begged the question for American legislators. The foggy part is whether they would actually come back to Washington from the fried dough alleys of their state fairs and mount a “debate” about whether it would be a good or bad thing to whack Syria for gassing more than a thousand of its own citizens.

     Lately when America mounts a high moral horse about how other nations behave, we have gone into these places and smashed things up, bringing much more death and destruction than we anticipated. The hope is always that some surgical military operation can correct a political illness, but a cruise missile is not exactly a scalpel and once the patient is blown to pieces it is rather hard to patch up the body politic again. You’re just left, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a lot of bloody fragments fought over by political rats and cockroaches.

     Syria is a real crossroads both for America’s policy in the region and for its position on the world stage. The region is in a state of destructive turmoil that is likely to lead to the further fall of regimes and the breakup of states. Many of these states are figment nations anyway, with boundaries drawn in the 20th century by the winners of the two world wars. The discovery of oil from North Africa to Iran and beyond has been catastrophic for everybody in the world, but most vividly for the exploding populations of these mostly desert states, which could not have supported so many people without the artificial support of petro-money. Now, faced with the specter of peak oil production, the whole region is flying apart from the stress of population overshoot, including countries like Syria which never produced much oil itself.

    But the drama over the trade in the oil remaining only becomes more intense. For instance, the position of Saudi Arabia, pretending to sit quietly on the sidelines through all this, is curious. There are rumors, unverified, that the gas incident in Syria happened because Saudi Arabia sent canisters of Sarin to the Syrian rebels, who then mishandled them and gassed their own neighborhood. The world’s recent experience with so-called “intel reports” about weapons has made everybody skeptical of claims made by politicians that a particular country poses a danger to others.

     Otherwise, there is a whole other strategic realm of concerns around the petro trade and its financing that is totally off the radar screen of the mainstream media. For instance, the sometimes erratic but brilliant blogger Jim Willie describes the larger struggle of Russia, Iran, China, and other interested parties to displace the US dollar dominance in oil trade — in particular a dollar based on increasingly sketchy US Treasury bonds, which has deformed global banking, roiled currencies, and made the settling of international accounts problematical for everybody else in the world. The opposition to the US, and its client / partner Saudi Arabia, the story goes, would replace the dollar with gold-backed oil trade and a logistical work-around based on a growing pipeline system from Iran and beyond, in Asia, to desperate customers in Europe. The implications are a collapse of the dollar (and the US bond market), a wedge between European and American interests, and a dominant partnership of oil-and-gas rich Russia with China — that is, a major power shift from west-to-east.

    Who knows how much of this has informed President Obama’s decision process. The stall in the American whack-attack against Syria may itself be a symptom of the swirling new conditions in world finance and power relations. In any case, a great empire — which we have been — can’t afford to make idle threats. The outcome of the Syria melodrama may be that the US has been knocked down a big step in its ability to project power without terrible consequences to itself.

To posters in the comments section: Do not post YouTube videos. Do not engage in quarrels. Do not make stupid political puns.
We are making an effort to combat the trolldom that has reigned here for a while. If you misbehave, you will be kicked off.

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

228 Responses to “Between a Rock and a Laugh Track” Subscribe

  1. djc September 2, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    My brother lived in Syria for three years in the 80′s (while working for the government) and his experiences were overwhelmingly positive. The Christian community was well protected, women’s rights were advanced for an Arab country and the people didn’t live in abject terror from the Assad family-not at all. There was even a Jewish community in Aleppo and Damascus that at that time didn’t want to emigrate to Israel though I’m sure it wasn’t all milk and honey for them. Syria, though far from perfect, was a functional society.

    Beware of the mainstream media and the war hawks like Graham and McCain. They are very bad people.

    djc

  2. Arn Varnold September 2, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    To posters in the comments section: Do not post YouTube videos. Do not engage in quarrels. Do not make stupid political puns.
    We are making an effort to combat the trolldom that has reigned here for a while. If you misbehave, you will be kicked off.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Well, hallyah fuckin youlah!
    Good on yah, JHK!
    Finally…

  3. Being There September 2, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Oh, and don’t forget that Rumsfeld who was a pharma rep went to Saddam when he was attacking Iran with chemical weapons during the Iraq-Iran war. That was during the heady days of Reagan.

    He offered a fast track to American chemical companies for easy access to more chemicals.
    So when the right people do it, it’s A-OK.

    We are a mess and our economy is about to go south. Guess it’s time for the kleptocracy to drum up a nice big conflict that reaches east.

    • ozone September 2, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      BT,
      You had alluded to this at the end of this last week and I suspect the same ‘plan’.
      When the pickin’s get thin on the ground, go to war. The austerity imposed on the citizenry (and all their “excess” labor, materiel, and foodstuffs) gets funneled to the oligarchs by dint of government threat of imprisonment… or worse. Sweet, sweet, deadly deal.

      There’s a very good reason the native population of the Americas didn’t trust the paleface. They instinctively knew that the wages of his extractive rapine were the Death of All.

      • Being There September 2, 2013 at 11:18 am #

        Well, O

        As the saying goes, stealing wealth happens through the fog of war. I guess that’s why war and munitions is our greatest export. We don’t seem to care if we don’t win.

        I heard a retired general say, if we bomb Syria it’s not going to change the dynamic.

        There must be greater agendas afoot and given the predictions of a new big economic collapse coming soon to a town near you, I expect they’ll all go for broke….

        Stay tuned to the next soap opera….or you can watch reenactment of Weimar on the Miley Cyrus show.

        Money makes the world go ’round…..

      • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

        Read James Fenimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans” about the war of extermination against them by the Iroquois.

  4. ThomasPatrick September 2, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    McCain and his brother Lindsey are off to the whitehouse today to ask for some extra bombs, the show comtinues….

    • Being There September 2, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      McCain and Lindsey–I just call them the organic twins.

  5. Neon Vincent September 2, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    I was wondering when you’d get around to Syria and I’m glad you connected it to Peak Oil. I don’t think anyone really understands anything in the area if they don’t include that issue. Also, describing our situation as between “A rock and a laugh track” fits. While the serious people were about Syria’s business, more Americans were up in arms about first Ben Affleck as Batman, and then Miley Cyrus twerking. A laugh track, indeed. My experience has shown that the one thing that will get Americans to act is messing with their entertainment. Ben and Miley messed with their entertainment. So far, Syria hasn’t, even though it’s caused an oil price spike due to the fear premium.

    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-fear-premium-strikes-again-over.html

    As for my opinion of the Syrian Civil War, it has Hezbollah on one side and Al Qaeda on the other. I don’t want to take sides. I want to watch them both lose.

    That written, I wish you and all the rest of the CFN crew a Happy Labor Day!

    http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/09/labor-day-in-space.html

  6. ThomasPatrick September 2, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Newsflash
    McCain and Lindsey headquarters announce that the plan to promote a war on Canada next week will be delayed.

    The promotion of a war on Australia,( due to nasty remarks by their PM, after some of our folks murdered one of his folks ), and for the war on England ( due to the latest Syria vote) will have to be put first in line.

    The do hope to get back to the war on Canada as soon as possible, They do apologize for any inconvenience.

  7. jdcandon September 2, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Although I have been expecting impeachment proceedings since the

    GM fiasco in 2009 as a result of the destruction of “the rule of law”, I

    am hardly an extremist. America has been financially broke since

    JFK and LBJ. All the wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan,Libya, Egypt

    and now Syria) were unnecessary and immoral. If all that money

    had been spent at the local level on education, America would be

    fiscally sound and economically humming. IMHO.

    Dynan

  8. Smoky Joe September 2, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Why does 2013 look so much like 1913? Different powder-keg, many of the same players and ideological rifts.

    2014, like 1914? Kaboom.

  9. sprezzatura September 2, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Some sources are suggesting that it is the rebels who launched the sarin attacks, in order to provoke the U.S. into intervening.

    Why?

    [1] Syria & Iran have a mutual defence treaty. Attacking Syria will drag in Iran, giving the U.S. a pretext to whack Iran.

    [2] Iran wants to sell its oil for gold, thus making the petro-dollar obsolete.

    [3] If the World ceases to use U.S. dollars to buy & sell oil, this will cause all those greenbacks to come home to roost. The flood of dollars will create inflation, thus collapsing the U.S. economy.

    [4] The U.S. wants to teach Iran a lesson, like it did to another usurper – Muammar Ghadaffi – who wanted to sell his oil in a new currency.

    • ozone September 2, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      As always, this is the metric that must not be named: Motive.

      …Nah, this is just another struggle for “freedom and democracy” by an oppressed people that we must support and promote with weaponry, military ‘advisors’ and money. What’s that you say? You’re not buying that line this time? Okay then, we’ll redouble our efforts at imprinting that meme so that it’s the only one that comes to the forefront of your brain; no problemo. You let us do the thinking ’round here and everything will turn out fine and comfy; trust us…

      • mastman September 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

        Yes Halliburton is is need of more troop support payments like $75 per meal per soldier per day. Plus room and utilities laundry etc. War profiteering is our big business. Oh and that was Dick Cheney’s old company before he became the “BUSH” MASTER. Another Chicken hawk old deferment dick himself. He can shoot straight either ask his lawyer buddy he shot in the face. “Friendly fire”

      • grlap September 3, 2013 at 4:53 am #

        And unless “Ozone” lives in a mountain shack, heated by hand-split wood, without running water or electricity, sans automobile of any type, eating food only caught with bow and arrow and/or grown organically on his own land, then he/she is just another hypocrite.

        The fact is that the United States standard of living is based, in part, on its super-power military status and effective control of the world’s energy supply through the petro-dollar. Ozone, JHK, Me, You, and just about everyone else in the USA benefit from this set-up.

        The snide, holier-than-thou commentary regarding the US government’s actions to maintain this status quo are the height of hypocrisy. You remind me of Jack Nicolson’s speech on the witness stand about the marines standing on the wall and that “you can’t handle the truth!”

        Do you think a male bear gives a damn that he is hording all of the salmon for himself? No, he does not, because it is natural instinct.

  10. George September 2, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    “The outcome of the Syria melodrama may be that the US has been knocked down a big step in its ability to project power without terrible consequences to itself.”

    Finally, some Middle-East discussion! That’s where the action is and it’s about to ramp up which is to say that the underlying regional complexity is far beyond the capability of the news media to explain, is about to reveal itself in spades. Indeed, that complexity is probably beyond the capability of the Obama Administration and the even the most seasoned diplomats down at Foggy Bottom to fathom correctly as well.

    That inability to fathom complexity is further compounded by a misguided understanding as to the true nature of power. Power, as understood in Washington, comes in just two flavors, economic (in the form of sanctions) and military. The reality on the ground for the inhabitants of the Middle-East has for too much gravity presently for either form of power to do much more than raise an eyebrow or cause an occasional yawn. Some sort of smart power’s needed but it’s doubtful there’s a critical mass of requisite understanding in Washington to do anything remotely effective.

    Indeed, the US in these recent weeks seems to have transformed itself into the quintessential paper tiger.

    http://www.thesisa.org

  11. seatrades September 2, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Sarin and other related nerve agents” were developed as pesticides. They’re still used for that. Farmworkers still get dosed with that stuff when there are wind shifts during “crop dusting”.

    Weapons of mass destruction?

    I think Bush and Chaney borrowed the “weapons of mass destruction” shtick from an old Star Trek The Next Generation episode. A fuel air bomb (which we used in Iraq) would dwarf any application of artillery delivered organophosphate.

    I suppose we could air drop ampules of atropine, the antidote to organophosphate related nerve agents, but some people would take it as a preventive measure, and it would hurt them just as badly as the toxin. Still, it’d be better than conventional strikes with their collateral damage.

    “I have a dream” MLK, 1963
    “I have a drone” BHO 2013

    Seatrades

    • Paraquat September 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

      “Sarin and other related nerve agents” were developed as pesticides. They’re still used for that. Farmworkers still get dosed with that stuff when there are wind shifts during “crop dusting”.

      Sarin was discovered in 1938 by German pesticide researchers, but it proved too deadly for that use. It has never been used as a pesticide – not then, not now.

      The Nazis manufactured some as chemical weapons, but didn’t dare use it against allied troops since they knew they’d get it back – even they weren’t crazy enough to open that can of worms.

      After WWII, Sarin was deployed as a chemical weapon by a number of countries, but almost never used. The grand exception was Iraq – Saddam Hussein used it against the Kurds and Iranians. The Japanese religious cult Aum Shinrikyo made a number of terrorist attacks in 1994 and 1995 with sarin.

  12. Greg Knepp September 2, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    It seems likely that, by asking Congress for a resolution permitting military intervention in Syria, the President is looking for a way out of a potential disaster. If a coalition of Democratic doves and Republican hard liners [ two categories here: (1) Repubs who want a larger war, and (2) Repubs who want to discredit Obama at any cost ] are able to quash such a resolution, the President can claim a constitutional and moral high ground while avoiding the pitfalls of actual military action.

  13. Kim Shaklee September 2, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Thank you JHK for your incisive analysis. I enjoy you and several other of the Chickens Little(remember when the airlines were gonna fall from the sky lo these many years ago?). So I’m a junkie, so what? Keep up the good work!

    • James Howard Kunstler September 2, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      If you are implying I said that airplanes would fall from the sky, that is not something I ever said.
      –JHK

  14. Carl Grimes September 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    What I would have liked to see, going back to the Iraq war, is these war mongers twerps, like McCain, Grahamnesty, the radio blowhards, Fox Network, would all have to go fight in all the wars that are so necessary. I wonder if they would like war so much then.

  15. ozone September 2, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Jim sez:
    “…the drama over the trade in the oil remaining only becomes more intense. For instance, the position of Saudi Arabia, pretending to sit quietly on the sidelines through all this, is curious. There are rumors, unverified, that the gas incident in Syria happened because Saudi Arabia sent canisters of Sarin to the Syrian rebels, who then mishandled them and gassed their own neighborhood. The world’s recent experience with so-called “intel reports” about weapons has made everybody skeptical of claims made by politicians that a particular country poses a danger to others.”

    You betchum you, Red Rider!
    I happen to be one of those skeptics; perhaps to the point of perversity, but there it is. I y’am what I y’am, mixing of nature and nurture be damned.

    It’s looking to me like the ‘Murkin populace desperately NEEDS to believe in the pronouncements of the politicos, teevee ads and MSM’s infotainment to form a narrative about its’ inherent goodness and righteousness vis-a-vis the rest of the wrongheaded, misguided (and perhaps even ‘evil’) world.
    When TRUST dwindles or is outright non-existent, it’s damn dangerous to let others (of malign or amoral intent) define who and what to trust. The drowning man grasps at the anvil thrown to him.

    Write this across the sky above every major city, daily:
    “Got Trust?”

    I had a little trouble finding this, but it’s worth the over 2 hour watch.
    The House of Commons debate on the matter raises a lot of thoughtful vs. propagandistic points that are nowhere to be found in this country’s ‘news’ media:

    Hmmmm, either their server is overwhelmed at this time [by other nutcases like myself] or the video has been removed.
    Unsurprisingly, I’m suspicious… :D
    (Look for it on c-span.)

  16. Piper Michael September 2, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Good morning James.
    Thanks for your attempts at bringing civility to a thread, as a microcosmic shadow of a macrocosmic reality drama, here in the American Kabuki dance, in the theater of the damned…

    Mr. Willie is a favorite of mine, along with you, as you both ‘get it’, but, we are all still human and never 100% correct. How can we be when we are living in a world of Illusions, mysteries and lies? But, few seem to connect the dots that the world system is about oil and the ‘money’ used to buy it…

    I don’t ever remember you saying anything about airplanes falling from the sky, but, you are still a prophet in the sense that you understand the future is about a World made by hand…

    “… and they shall pound their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and neither shall they learn war, any more”. The other portions of that other sages prophesies, are downright dark and ugly, centering around Damascus… who’da thunk it?

    Hope you are feeling better…

  17. ozone September 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    A happy celebration of employed people day to all!
    Thanks for the missive, Jim!
    Yes, it’s raining like hell, but niceties must be attended to; have a beer or five for me along with a fresh tomato and cucumber melange.
    Good luck and godspeed to all and sundry (excepting the warmongers: may their plans be thwarted and their intentions revealed)!

  18. beantownbill. September 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I know this is off-thread, but I couldn’t help commenting on it: Today is Labor Day, when we are supposed to honor the American worker. I’m sure all 11 employed Americans are really whooping it up now. Who would’ve thought this holiday would become an oxymoron?

    • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Yes let us dream what might have been: an immensely prosperous, clean, safe, Nation of 200 million with a stable population of people educated to their level of competence. Instead we have a Country that intends to have 400 million by 2050 – dirty, dangerous, poor, and getting more so as the population rises.

  19. liquid lennny September 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I suppose if one were to look in the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary for the definition of the word ‘clusterfuck’ the first entries would no doubt be;
    1) 21st Century United States of America
    the second would be
    2) 20th Century United States of America
    and the third would be
    3) Middle East; see Syrian Conflict.

    It hard to imagine any more complicated, dysfunctional and convoluted situation unless of course, you were observing one’s own family reunion.

    In a feeble attempt to make some sense of the matter I’ve tried to read some articles on the matter and just before my head explodes I hear those wise words spoken a long time ago, “beware of foreign entanglements” resonating in my skull.

    The latest and I hope the final article I’ll read regarding this latest CF had one sentence that caught my attention;
    “In an interview with former Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov pledges that Russia will protect Iran, Syria, and the world from American fascism.”
    Fascism – Corporatism call it what you like, there’s no diff.
    Here’s the link to the article I referred to;
    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-09-02/surreal-sadistic-syrian-subterfuge

    Sad but probably true, we’ve created a monster as in “The Modern Prometheus” and similarly we’re incapable of controlling it. Unlike Mary Skelley’s townsfolk, our villages are burning down while at the same time our “leaders” look for distant fires to extinguish.
    I say let the monster destroy itself and when the dust / ashes settle we’ll decide whether or not to render assistance…

    Other than that to all the CF’d Nation, go BBQ some animal protein today and enjoy the presence of those that matter and the space you both currently inhabit.

    Later all,
    Liquid Lennny

  20. James Kuehl September 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you for this insightful essay–useful in the formidable task of looking beyond the fog machine.

    Happy Trigger Finger at 1600 Pennsylvania isn’t talking about firing a hellfire missile from a drone to atomize a poppy farmer with a Kalashnikov in Afghanistan. Damascus is far older than any western cultural benchmark. I, like most, have few reference points for this conflict, much less do I understand the implications for joining the fight.

    I’m going to my congressional representative’s public meeting tomorrow and pointing out that the goal should be more sappy videos of daddy, home from the war alive, popping up at his kid’s playground. That goes for Syrian soldiers and their children as well.

    I may well get a camouflaged combat boot thrown at me.

  21. Warren September 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    It will be worse to attack than not to, if the Arab League wants something done, then they should do it. We are crazy to get involved, the idea that we are going to help a group made up out of Al Qaeda inspired cannibals who hate us and if they could, would just as soon kill us all, is nuts. The Arab League wants something done, so let them do it, the US has got to stop trying to moderate the activities of world leaders, to use our national resources to start to police the world unilaterally will not end well, let’s use the money to fix our bridges and roads.

    The resolution proposed by Obama is about as broad, if not broader, as the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, congress needs to reject it.

  22. BackRowHeckler September 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Jim,

    There us still the matter of Sarin Gas filled rockets being launched into a suburban Damascus neighborhood, killing 1400 people. I think Sec. Kerry made a pretty good case it was the Government who dispatched those rockets. Should it just be ignored? Overlooked? Gas is a horrific weapon. Stalin didn’t even use it for the defense of Stalingrad, nor did Hitler use it around Berlin in April, 1945. That’s how bad it is. Gas was first deployed at the Battle of Loos on the Western Front in 1915 by the Germans as a means to break the stalemate that existed. As a tactical and strategic weapon Poison Gas was a failure. As a terror weapon, however, it is very effective, ‘specially against civilians. I think Hassad needs to be held to account. If the British don’t have the balls to do it is up to the US, also, the French, who gave a very good accounting of themselves in Mali earlier in the year.

    –BRH

    • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      And the Secret Brotherhoods started that War too by their assassination of the Arch Duke. Princip was a member of the Black Hand – a shadowy Serbian Masonic group dedicated to Independence.

      You never learn do you? The Syrian Rebels have been filmed decapitating Christians and in one case eating from the bodies. Why in Hell would we step into a thousand year old Muslim Civil War? Justify it in terms of the Constitution and the Founders. They said nothing about America being the policeman of the world. The world is far too big for that – even when we are at full strength and not in debt. It’s hubris. Pure hubris. And you like it because you bathe in the dimly reflected “glory”. Meanwhile Shorty Beltons are beaten to death by the barbarians in our midst. That’s our War – not something thousands of miles away.

      • liquid lennny September 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

        One word for your comment;

        Exactly!

        That said, I’d suggest if the “BackRow” is so concerned then he, she, it: needs to move up to the front row and acquire a one-way ticket to Damascus, humanitarily speaking and all…

        Syria needs local solutions, not engulfing more innocent sons and daughters from far away places.

        It’s interesting how Saudi Arabia and Qatar are so eager and willing to spill American blood, while at the same time deepening the wounds of Syria.

        With friends like these we don’t need enemys…

        The fabric of our culture is being shredded at an accelerated race. We need to get things on the mend here, if its not already too late.

        For what it’s worth I suggest to all to contact your U.S. Senators and Reps and tell them what you think.

        We may as well pretend there is still a Democracy here…

      • SteveO September 3, 2013 at 8:30 am #

        “You never learn do you? ”

        No we don’t. We didn’t learn from Reagan’s little move in the great game against the Soviets when he armed the mujahideen and brought us al qaeda 30 years later.

        The people who have co-opted the Syrian rebels are not our friends and we should not support them, regardless what the Saudis and Bibi Netanyahu want.

      • Trean September 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

        Assad trained, armed and equipped the north Sudanese militias who murdered some 250, 000 Sudanese christians and animists.He is no better than the so called rebels.
        The last thing the Israelis want is to have an almost sane dictator replaced with complete bat sh@t crazy religious loons. The jordanians no doubt have similar sentiments. I don’t think O is goingto get a lot of support off them on this one.

    • hineshammer September 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Okay, so how exactly did Kerry make a “pretty good case it was the Government (Assad, btw, not Hassad) who dispatched those rockets”? I’m no attorney, and this is not a courtroom, but making a case requires evidence and we, the public, have seen none. I think it is known that there was an attack and that it was sarin gas, but that does nothing whatsoever to show who committed it. This is playing out like 2003 Iraq Redux, where only the names have changed (except McCain) whereby you have the U.S. muckity mucks talking in their most serious voices about diabolical dictators (Kerry actually compared Assad to Hitler, so we have officially jumped the shark) killing their own people and how these weapons could get into the wrong hands (like the Al-Qaeda rebels that we are backing?) and be used here in America. Give me a break. If it that were to happen, which it won’t because it’s complete bullshit, then the hundreds of billions of greenbacks that we spend on all of our clandestine agencies to spy on us, err, I mean the terrorists is about as useful as tits on a bull.

      And why, exactly, would Assad use chemical weapons? His forces have been winning the war. He is well aware that doing so would draw the ire of the hypocrites (that would be us) and maybe even some of his allies. It doesn’t make sense, at least not as much as Amerika ginning up a story to use as an excuse to attack.

      • BackRowHeckler September 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

        Hineshammer,

        Actually the budget for the spy agencies is $53 billion, not ‘hundreds of billions’. And all Syrian Rebels are not Al-Quada.

        When you spell ‘America’, ‘Amerika’, its pretty clear what you’re all about.

        BRH

        • hineshammer September 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

          I never stated hundreds of billions/year. As for “When you spell ‘America’, ‘Amerika’, its pretty clear what you’re all about.” you do mean the truth, right?

        • SteveO September 3, 2013 at 8:36 am #

          “And all Syrian Rebels are not Al-Quada.”

          Not all the Afghan mujahideen became Al-Quada fighters or Taliban either, but that didn’t prevent Afghanistan from becoming a base of operations for Al-Quada.

          We should not be supporting either side in this fight, we should be making sure the refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey are fed and sheltered and let the Syrian army and the rebels fight it out.

      • mastman September 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

        Kerry spoke to the public as if we were a bunch of 1930s ignorant farm boys sitting around the radio listening to FDR make his case for war against Japan.

        They all have a serious problem if that is what they think. Many people today are informed and many more than when Bush stared his phony war based on the same assumptions of WMD they called Saddam HITLER and McCain was doing his war dance with full feathered head dress on!

        Nothing has changed except he names of the sales persons of the “War mongers”

    • mastman September 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      No it should not be ignored but this should be handled by the UN. This is not our business nor a National security threat to get involved. Why do we support and subsidize the UN if they cannot do what they are chartered to do?

      Something else is at stake here there was to much urgency in the voice of Kerry and others who are beating the war drums hard. I think we are coming up on a Financial disaster that only a war can save the dollar or the Nation.

      If this is the case this will be no police action like Iraq and “Afterthoughtistan” it will be a real fight for securing wealth from these countries as in Oil Gold and relief from paying the trillions in bad treasuries held by most of these countries.

  23. K-Dog September 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    “The foggy part is whether they would actually come back to Washington from the fried dough alleys of their state fairs and mount a “debate” about whether it would be a good or bad thing to whack Syria for gassing more than a thousand of its own citizens.”

    Any way congressmen can be kept at state fairs permanently?

    Seriously, there are extreme differences in reported death tolls. Something does not smell right.

    Syrian activists accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of launching a gas attack that killed nearly 500 people on Wednesday, in what would, if confirmed, be by far the worst reported use of chemical arms in the two-year-old civil war.

    An opposition monitoring group, citing figures compiled from medical clinics in the Damascus suburbs, put the death toll at 494 – 90 percent of them killed by gas, the rest by bombing and conventional arms.

    The rebel Syrian National Coalition said 650 people had been killed. Other rebel groups cited even higher figures.

    That was one example. But citing a higher number makes a better case for going to war and going to war truth matters little. In making a case for war usually any lie will do.

    I wish Mr Obama would find better things to do. Curing unemployment or at least attempting too do so could be a start. But I won’t be holding my breath, Obama likes to play soldier and far too many people at fine with him doing that and nothing else.

    Calling Obama quObama would be a bad political pun. Notice I did not do that.

    Good luck fighting the trolldom, they have super powers and despite the lowlife they are the trolls have friends in high places. They call them when they need to issues ‘punitive’ measures if their nonsense is threatened. Trolls will protect their pay checks at all costs.

  24. Smoky Joe September 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Before I have a combat boot lobbed at me, why don’t Mossad and the CIA make sure President Assad has a little close encounter with the business end of a bomb or bullet?

    Seems we don’t want that regime to vanish, despite our talk. I don’t see either US party really ready to go do that road, perhaps because Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate will end up running the show in whatever is left of Damascus.

    • K-Dog September 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      You mean a ‘punitive’ action that targeted the people (if any) in the Syrian government who actually gave the orders instead of any unlucky stiffs who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the drones drop and Syria gets taught a lesson?

      Not going to happen, targeting heads of state is against the rules just like using chemical weapons is supposed to be. President O. won’t be droning President A. any time soon. That would require extreme moral certitude and this mess is certainly not about that.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      And if they do that, they can do the same to the political enemies here in the US.

      • K-Dog September 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

        Something I definitely would not like but as you have said I’m not important enough to worry about. If they did the American apathy thermometer would shoot up from its red zone and pop its top. ‘They’ would have a freer hand to harass as the country realizes that opposition is futile.

        But if I’m so unimportant then why…………………………………………

        • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

          Oh I said? You think everyone who disagrees with you is a Government Agent. Now how is that a recipe for a workable civil society? You need to review your basics and rectify yourself. You have gone off the tracks.

          • K-Dog September 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

            “You think everyone who disagrees with you is a Government Agent”

            No I don’t. But timestamps that seem to oscillate between the Keyport Naval base and JBLM suggests a connection to the Fort Lewis or more properly now the JBLM fusion center.

            Of course that could just be a coincidence. That profile match anyone you know?

            The U.S. government’s black $52.6 billion intelligence budget employs a few government agents.

            Follow the money but its a black budget so we can’t and $52.6 billion. Where would you start, if you could?

      • mastman September 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

        Like they are doing now? Snowed under threat, Hastings dead, among several other notable Journalists like Brietbart? Sorry if the name is wrong but I am sure you get the point.

    • ozone September 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      I’d have to propose that keeping factions of a populace constantly at each others’ throats and precariously off-balance would make them easier to conquer once the ‘need’ arises to place an iron-fisted satrap in power who will concede to providing the Empire’s due tribute. Lessons in this tactic abound in resource-rich areas.
      (Not to mention, it’s immensely profitable.)

  25. Florida Power September 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Talk about paradigm/phase change, the real deal occurred on March 1 when Israel contracted to sell gas to Gazprom.

    It is not clear to me whether we can call what has transpired a “decision process.” How about “delusion process?” But if Obama follows through on this theater of the absurd (as in “I’ll ask Congress for their opinion but it will not affect my decision to attack Syria”) then the Nobel Peace Prize Winner will have metamorphosed into an international War Criminal. No impeachment required.

    The real story may be developing, as more pictures of “I didn’t join” service members go viral. If the majors and colonels sign on (generals being untrustworthy, already sold-out damaged goods) then Jim – you may get your military coup yet.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Yes, but he’s hardly the first as Jim said. America never really recovered from FDR’s emergency measures. The coup proceeded from the Top.

  26. budizwiser September 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Color me confused. There isn’t any way for me to discover what the “facts” are surrounding the latest news.

    I do sort of wonder why no one wants to discuss where, how and when these poisonous weapons originated.

    Every time there are “big news” stories – i get the feeling that all my information is already “managed.”

    Last night I began to feel a little creepy when I realized how the Toyota car commercials were synchronized so perfectly so as to play concurrently on all three major networks……

    I never figured i knew what was going on In Iraq. No reason to think otherwise now….

  27. Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Kdog: I’m not a techie and I don’t know about time stamps beyond what you’ve explained to us. Nor do I know where those places you mention are. But from another angle: all of the Enity’s identities have towed the Establishment line of massive immigration. I’m a radical “isolationist” though that term also misrepresents our position. My point: the Establishment has a point of view and they aren’t going to compete against themselves even as they endeavor to confuse and sow chaos. They want a One World State and towards that end wish to degrade Nations by massive immigration. We are against that and they hate us for it – far more than they hate you people who also want a One World State typically. They can “work” on or with you all. With us there is no common ground.

    Thank you for finally admitting that you haven’t proven anything. Not that you’ve let that get in the way of slandering me though. As I have said before, Liberals have a hard time being gentlemen.

    Note: Ozone seems to have given up all idealism about Globalism. I’m not sure if you have or not. If you tell me you have, I’ll believe you. This is after all a doomer site. And that has a lot of implications. And Liberals can disagree – especially once the Fall has been accepted.

    • ozone September 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      “Note: Ozone seems to have given up all idealism about Globalism.”

      I never had/espoused any to begin with. Your misrepresentations are counterproductive to the discussions at hand. Whether that’s purposeful or not is anybody’s guess, and I’m not going to engage in plowing that muddy bog over and over again; it wastes time, focus and energy for all of us.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

        Kdog has admitted he wasn’t sure about thinking the worst of me and now it’s your turn. You never believed in Globalism in any form? I was wrong then. See how it easy it is? And good for your soul!

  28. sevenmmm September 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    If the “other” major trading nations switch to a Gold-backed currency, that would be it for the buck.

    I think it was Sprott who once published a report where the price of Gold, equalized to all the funny fiat unbacked money, would be $80,000 an ounce.

  29. beantownbill. September 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    The issue of America vs. Syria shouldn’t be dependent on who used poison gas, nor who backs the rebels, nor who is a cannibal, or about oil and gas. It is about morality. Do we have the right to attack any country because we don’t agree with that country’s politics, or because of !!!! N.

    • beantownbill. September 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      Sorry. I gotta stop using my iPad to post comments.

  30. rube-i-con September 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    I’m sure all 11 employed Americans are really whooping it up now.

    what do you expect of a society that churns out functionally illiterate ‘graduates’ by the millions from high school, then churns out
    graduates in women’s studies (what the fuck is there to study?), literature and ‘business’ (lol, and virtually none have ever started a business).

    you reap what you sew (just to rile up Q).

    all while dice dot com has 83,000 tech openings unfilled.

    like, what the fuck do people expect? you just throw your hands up in despair, the level of disconnect between what is employable and what is shit-stupid to study is so cataclysmic/chasmic.

    peace peaceniks

  31. Malthus September 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Its all about population and the created need for goods and services.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 2, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      IT workers from India are scabs. American IT needs to Unionize. You heard it here first. Unite! You have nothing to lose except your chains.

  32. ozone September 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Say Folks,
    If you’re [like myself] disconsolate at the serious damn-foolishness that the world’s movers-n-shakers have gotten us into, please have yourself a bit of your favorite choice of mood-altering substance and have a listen to this podcast from the Washington County Fair with your strolling narrator James Howard Kunstler and his expedition side-kick, Richie.
    Fried Kool-Aid may be “vile”, but what a concept! …And who could possibly entertain the notion that shooting rats at the dump [flashlight taped to barrel of .22] was no longer a federally-licensed sport?

    http://kunstler.com/podcast/3850/

    Who knew that JHK was such a fine extemporaneous humorist?!?
    (I had my usual “suspicions”, but this is incontrovertible proof.)
    Enjoy with gusto aplenty; a perfect dessert for a day of appropriately-sanctioned excess! (I snark you not; hie thee hence in bonhomie.)

  33. bilbo room 101 September 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Wow Great so Senor KF has banned Utube, great if I wanted to watch TV, I would be there, …

    Banned personal insults and attacks … wow … :)

    Seems to be working, for the first time in months virtually every post today is topical, … and Syria.

    ***

    Ok, in response the REAL issue with SYRIA is the oil pipe line from KIRKUK (Iraq) to Israel, through Syria, built in the 1950′s, but sabotaged 24/7/365 for 50+ years by Syrian people.

    The only way to protect the Iraq oil that GWBUSH stole, the only way to get that OIL to the Europe market is through Syria by that pipeline, the ISRAEL economy is SHIT, and a SHEKEL which is worse than the US dollar is shit, and it will not buy oil, so the ISRAEL economy is going to die and quick if it doesn’t get some export oil CASH.

    AIPAC control’s all in the USA bought and paid for in the 1920′s via JDL, AIPAC, today SPJC ( southern poverty justice center ), and 1,000′s of good lawyers that control the debate and fill amerikkka’s court room with judges and lawyers.

    Obama or Bush, Pelosi, or McCain it don’t matter, nobody but Ron Paul has the ball’s to Diss AIPAC in the USA.

    So courtesy of BUSH the oil was stolen, but now there is this pesky problem of SYRIAN people … so they have to go, they must all be killed, so the CIA supply’s unlimited SARIN to both sides, and they did it in IRAN/IRAQ war in the 1980′s. Old story, but de-population is the goal.

    Fits in with Jim’s premise of peak oil and what do you do with the masses of mouth’s to feed when the oil dollars quit to flow.

    The only problem with Jim’s narrative is that it is of the opinion of the conqueror, and not the victim ( arab,or persian child ).

    • bilbo room 101 September 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Israelis share a nostalgic longing for the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline. It represents the memory of peace economics, economics that is stubbornly forestalled by politics and wars. Sometimes, reality sends us a reminder of those days. During the Gulf War of 1991, Saddam [Hussein] rained Scud rockets on Israel from areas in his territory that were labeled H2 and H3. These are two of the eight pumping stations that run the length of the pipeline, named after their destination — Haifa. When Saddam was toppled in 2003, hopes rose in Israel that oil could again be shipped [to Israel from Iraq] with the assistance of the de facto ruler of Iraq, the United States government. This was a false hope because Baghdad, even when occupied by foreigners, still remained Arab. And with regards to the Arabs, so long as no other decision is reached — joint initiatives with the State of Israel are still beyond the pale.
      ***
      Today AIPAC controls the USA, so all dreams now can become reality.

    • progress4what September 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

      “There are rumors, unverified, that the gas incident in Syria happened because Saudi Arabia sent canisters of Sarin to the Syrian rebels, who then mishandled them and gassed their own neighborhood. The world’s recent experience with so-called “intel reports” about weapons has made everybody skeptical of claims made by politicians that a particular country poses a danger to others.” …jhk…

      Yeah, no doubt there’s something wrong with this gas-attack-as-pretext to war. Not saying that any of the other pretexts to all the other wars have been all that great either.

      It’s actually embarrassing to think that all of the billions of dollars lavished on the Saudis, or the CIA, or Mossad, or whomever – and THIS is the best they can do.

      It makes one wonder is Obama is using this situation to turn on his handlers, for the first time in five long years – in a substantive manner.

      Probably not. Probably just politics. But Romney wouldn’t be acting like this. Maybe a dim hope glimmers.

      Thanks for the week’s work, JHK.
      And thanks for cleaning up the Troll(s).

  34. esperanto41 September 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Seen this one? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard ascribes high oil prices to big declines in Libya, et al.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10274958/Worldwide-loss-of-oil-supply-heightens-Syria-attack-risk.html

    Quote:
    Worldwide loss of oil supply heightens Syria attack risk

    Libya’s oil output has crashed to a near standstill over the past year as warlords and strikes paralyse the country, tightening the screws on global crude supply as the crisis in Syria comes to a head.

    • BackRowHeckler September 3, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Hey Esperanato, we have been told, ad nauseum, over and over, in the NYT, WSJ, IBD, FT of London, for the past 3 years at least, that (1) America’s problems with oil are over because of Bakken Shale, (2) We are on the verge of becoming a net oil exporter, (3) Oil isn’t even that important anymore because we have technology and all kinds of replacement that work better and burn cleaner than oil. (4) OPEC production doesn’t matter and soon we will be telling them to go to hell.

      Odd tho, when I check ‘Oil Gauge’ feature in the WSJ on Thursdays, it indicates we’re still importing a steady 12 m/bpd, Bakken or no Bakken.

      BRH

  35. Arn Varnold September 3, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Iraq re dux pure and simple!.
    Starting with non-MSM media; Democracy Now, Counterspin, Scholars & Rogues, and finally Fair; here’s something well worth a read;
    http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/09/01/which-syrian-chemical-attack-account-is-more-credible/

    This ^ is from reporters in Syria who have actually talked to the rebels.
    Our political class are all lying sycophants…

  36. jloughrey September 3, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Jim, thanks for cleaning up the playground. I used to look forward to reading the comments on here almost as much as your blog, but the children had clearly gotten out of control. Thanks for setting succinct and reasonable boundaries. Your post today was excellent, as are the comments. I’m guessing there will be plenty for all of us to chew on in the coming weeks. Cheers! I hope your recovery is going well.

  37. James Kuehl September 3, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Adding my thanks to all for an improved thread.

  38. SteveO September 3, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    “First of all, it seems to me that extremists in the Republican-dominated US House of Representatives have been quietly searching for a pretext to impeach President Obama.”

    Oh joy, another impeachment. That would make for a great distraction this fall, right about the time the debt ceiling needs be extended, the price of oil is going up and the stock market is taking a header. It may even give the austerity crowd in congress the diversion they need to finish off Medicare and Social Security.

  39. BackRowHeckler September 3, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Pretty good back and forth here in the comments section so far. Lots of intelligent insights.

    Its come alive again!

    –BRH

    • Arn Varnold September 3, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Yeah, it’s like we can breath fresh air instead of the fetid stench of the before; hell, it’s the only reason I came back…

  40. mow September 3, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Now i know why the North Vietnamese gave McCain back.

  41. sotolvision September 3, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Thanx for having cleaned-up your “Response” column, Jim! Neighborhood toughs had chased me away. I’ll come back more often now.

    I hope your action to clean-up the comments’ section (long overdue in my opinion) is not a metaphor for action you’d like our government to take in Syria. Is our pending “bombs-away” caper over Damascus not about keeping both Arabs and Iran off-balance & continually destabilized? Do we have any other strategic considerations beyond preserving our access to oil as well as making sure Israel keeps its nuclear monopoly in the mideast? Or are we a one-trick pony?

  42. ozone September 3, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Sorry for the 4th-hand information here.
    Per Glenn Greenwald:

    “According to the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, Secretary of State John Kerry, this morning on CNN, said this when asked whether the Congressional vote would be binding: “[Obama] has the right to do this no matter what Congress does.”

    Oh well, legal is as legal does.

  43. bilbo room 101 September 3, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Russian Super Sunburn SS-N-26 ONYX Missiles make the US Navy Obsolete & a US Attack on Syria Suicidal, Therefore Our USA Ships sitting offshore Syria are Pawn’s, and the servicemen will all die in a cruel attempt to ignite WWIII and get Europe into AmeriKKKa’s “LAST WAR”.

    Ever wonder why the US and Israel go on and on threatening to bomb Iran, Syria, or Russia??

    but never do? I have. The answer is simple enough. In accordance with a directive from Super Secret Russian Technology “Star Fleet” now defuses all nuclear weapons which makes the threat of a joint US Israeli nuclear annihilation of Syria and Iran just so much hot air. The second reason is even more embarrassing for the US because it evidences that the huge US Navy is now as militarily obsolete as Hannibal’s elephants, and much more dangerous to man. The entire US Naval fleet are just sitting ducks waiting to die.

    Flying at Mach-7 these Russian Sunburn missiles can vaporize any ship at sea by kinetic energy alone.

    Thus given the fire-power of Syria, then it can only be assumed that Obama has placed the US Navy and Marines in a suicide situation, a pretext for WWIII. As the ONLY way the USA can survive the coming collapse of the US Petro-Dollar is to kick the can down the road by starting a New World War.

    We know that the USA knew the Japanese were going to bomb pearl harbor, but we left the ships in place to justify interning Japanese american’s and stealing their wealth. Sound familiar?

    US Military Intelligence knows that they’re ship’s can be annihilated, so why are servicemen being placed in harms way? There can be no other reason that to justify a huge naval loss, same that the USA played last time their economy collapsed Post Depression 1942. Had there not been WWII and justification to attack and rob Japan, then the USA would have reverted to a Plantation Colony. Today the US government is bankrupt, and thus it is imperative to create WWIII and NULL&VOID all the debt incurred during 60 years of insane spending.

    The Obama Administration preparing to sacrifice four US Navy guided-missile destroyers and their crews to begin a War on Syria

    The United States is clearly preparing a cruise missile strike on Syria using Tomahawk long-range missiles. It is doing this with the full knowledge that any such attack is apt to be suicidal for any surface ship that launches such an attack or is in the range of Russian Onyx and Iskander missiles. That is why it has moved all super-carriers and assault carriers out of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. In the past post-WWII Mideast wars the US Navy always gathered several super-carriers and other smaller flat-tops in the war theater just before hostilities but not this time. The Navy knows that they are not survivable against the latest Russian firepower.

    The four USN guided-missile destroyers, that the Obama Administration is planning to sacrifice are: The USS Mahan, the USS Gravely, the USS Barry, and the USS Ramage. There are several thousand American men and women who serve on these ships who may be lost at sea in a new Middle East war that Americans overwhelming do NOT want.

    The Onyx SS-N-25 (P-800 Oniks) is sometimes called the Super-Sunburn (SS-22). It is arguably the fastest (hypersonic) anti-shipping missile on Earth. It is so fast that it could sink a destroyer sized warship just from its terminal impact speed, even if it did not have a massive warhead (which it does). The Iskander SS-26 (9K720) missile is in a class by itself, having been designed to kill American anti-missile batteries. Its speed is at least Mach 6 to Mach 7 but some credible reports list it as Mach 8! Additionally, the Syrians have access to the Russian advanced VA-111 Shkval class of underwater missile/supercavitating torpedo and its Iranian copy the Hoot (Whale). These travel underwater at 220 MPH or so and are almost unstoppable, and can be launched from ship, sub, aircraft, or shore.”

    • ozone September 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      I had read about these sophisticated missiles when the Bush administration was making noises about invading/no-fly-zoning Iran for “meddling” in Iraq, back in the jumped-up jingo days. Shut-down of the Straits of Hormuz was “off the table” once they put a little thought to it.
      (Very smart investment by the Russians; the costs of missile tech are miniscule compared to a white elephant like a fleet of fighter jets that don’t meet their contrived specs.)

      To segue from that reference, there’s this:

      “A former legal official from the Bush administration has warned that the text of President Barack Obama’s resolution authorizing the use of military force on Syria is so broad that it could justify attacks on Iran and Lebanon. Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law professor who resigned from the Bush administration over its executive overreach, wrote today in Lawfare that “the proposed AUMF focuses on Syrian WMD but is otherwise very broad” and that it “does not contain specific limits on targets.”
      -Alex Kane, editor for Alter Net

      So, are we really in for WW3? Is it “on the table” and are the consequences being seriously considered? A further expansion of unilateral presidential powers is in the offing here, where that leads is a smooth and easy road to hell.
      ‘Balance of powers’ was a good idea, now it’s all for show, and most all the players are paid [in one coin or another] for their performances.

      (BTW, I’ve always hated that cavalier, throwaway expression of “on/off the table”. It’s always used to blunt the true seriousness of the issues it’s attached to. Where is Frank Luntz, and what’s he up to?)

      • BackRowHeckler September 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

        I don’t know Oz … the worst case scenario hardly ever happens. This whole thing might blow over and be forgotten about inside a month. Then there will be some other bullshit rolling down our way. Ever since 1789 there have been war scares, with England, with France, with Chile, with Colombia, with Mexico, with Germany (in 1903 the Kaiser had plans to land 3 armies on the East Coast), with Russia, with Japan, with Spain … and war never materialized. Of course we went to war with some of these countries at other times.

        How about Dennis Rodman traveling to NKorea? Here is what I heard on BBC the other night. Young Kim, NKorean leader was dating a singer. He invited her, a group of her entertainer friends, and their families to his home. He separated the young people out and had them machine gunned in front of their families. The same day he had his top General executed. And this is a guy who went to a private boarding school in Switzerland.

        I wonder if Rodman will bring this up?

        –BRH

        • Karah September 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

          Read about the Korean death penalty on AOL news. It was reported that the ex-girlfriend made a sex tape with her band mates and it got into general circulation. Young Kim has a new girlfriend, a singer, who may or may not have known the ex girlfriend. We can only speculate about the sexual proclivities of Young Kim.

    • third_martini_banter September 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      According to the FAS, the Onyx is indeed a fearsome supersonic anti-shipping missile with a 162-mile range and speed of 2.5 Mach (see: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/row/ss-n-26.htm).

      And, the Russians did indeed do a deal with Syria in 2010 to sell them over 70 of these: http://www.defencetalk.com/russia-in-300-million-dollar-missile-deal-with-syria-report-28823/

      And, Israel apparently destroyed many — but not all of them — in an airstrike in July: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/world/middleeast/syrian-missiles-were-moved-before-israeli-strike-officials-say.html?_r=0

    • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Yes they are quite capable of taking out at least one of our ships or planes. And there goes the limited military action and WW3 is ON. The cost/benefit analysis is so skewed towards cost that it boggles the mind that we are even considering this. It’s like we are the Soviets and we aren’t backing down on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

      We’ve been lied into one war after another and this is no different. Take WW1: the Allies were using passenger ships to transport munitions. German Intelligence got wind that the Lusitania was going to do the same. They took out ads in major US newspapers warning people not to travel on the Lusitania. The newspapers, already owned by Alien billionaires allied to the Warmongers, refused to carry the ads. Thus the tragedy came to its inevitable conclusion.

      Divers found evidence that the Lusitania had been loaded to the gills with explosives a few years ago.

    • Arn Varnold September 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      Erm, according to Wiki the SS-26 has an operational speed of Mach 2.6.
      To my knowledge there are no operational (note “operational”) weapon systems operating at Mach 7.
      As to the torpedo @220 mph; that is indeed a frightful weapon; Russia being the first to develop such and it is operational.

    • Arn Varnold September 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      I also note that you cut and paste from sources to which you give no attribution. That’s not very honest and negates your credibility.

  44. Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    We have to start WW3 in deference to Obama’s red line. So what if the World goes to Hell! Barack’s reputation as a World Leader is on the line.

    And it goes even beyond Obama to America itself. We must be seen as the Main Player on the World Stage and not just a weak, bankrupt, vicious, tottering Empire on its last legs. We must crush anyone who thinks that we are not the Good Guys. This in a nutshell, is Back Row’s philosophy.

    • BackRowHeckler September 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Hey Vlad pick up a copy of Mark Steyn’s ‘After America’. It describes a world you’re not going to like.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

        So we take out Assad, killing countless people – including children – in the process. We will accidently hit the sarin gas reserves or they will do it and claim we did it. In any case, both the Shia and the Sunnia will unite in hating us just as they do in Iraq. So America loses again – and the War Profiteers and Secret Brotherhoods win again. They want to destroy ALL nations after all. Steyn fails to mention that the Globalists include both the “Left” and the “Right”. The big boys don’t take these terms seriously. They are to confuse us only.

        I’ve been arguing with Christian Zionists (don’t know if you’re one) over at Clash, Freedom, and Zionica news. Big time crazies. Nations that serve Israel are supposed to be blessed – so where is our blessing? Ever since the end of WW2 and the founding of Israel, America has been going down like a plane shot out of the sky. And Britain! They directly founded it by giving them the land. Many British soldiers died putting down the Arab revolt. Where is Britain’s blessing? They are in even worse shape. They didn’t even garner any gratitude from the Israelis who immediately turned their bombs on them once the Arabs were crushed. And the British soldiers who died for Israel? Not even mentioned in Israeli popular history.

        Look Guy, we are finished unless we get smarter. Let’s go back to the really smart guys, the Founders. That’s our mandate. They were the best we ever produced. Their ideas are eternal and not just bound by the times or circumstances. You consign them to the dustbin of history when you talk that way – and you join the Enemy at that moment.

        • beantownbill. September 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

          We aren’t doomed. You have some interest in science, so you know about logic. We may have rough times ahead, but civilization won’t be wiped out, just changed. Many may well die, but humanity will abide.

          My only concern is the Fermi paradox and its implications, though it’s not a great concern because there are many explanations for it.

          You have the mental capacity to see the world for what it is, but you are not there yet, for your heart has been misplaced.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

            Oh I was talking about America. The Banksters are sucking us dry and are now scheming about how to inject themselves into China and do the same thing they did to the West. But unless they are stopped, they will take down the whole World. And it may take a World War to stop them.

      • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        Look the picture. If you laugh, you are evil. If you weep, you are very good. If you have little or no reaction, you are a typical shell shocked American Sheep who has very little capacity for indignation or any other kind of deep emotion.

        http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/unidentified-cpo-sums-it-up/

  45. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Hey, Ozone!

    Long time no see… hope all is well. This link is off this weeks topic, but I figgerred I’d forward it to you at least since you read everything you can git yer hands on.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36072.htm

    And on another unrelated note, have you come across any more info on the TAFTA and TTIP? Negotiations were supposed to continue beginning on Aug. 23 for one and sometime in Oct (if memory serves) for the other, but since the thought crossed my mind today I began to take a peek at emerging headlines, if there were any to be found. Here it goes:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/08/talks-over-a-huge-u-s-europe-trade-deal-start-this-week-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

    http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/09/03-turkey-transatlantic-trade-investment-partnership

    Does anyone have any insights as to how these factors might or might not impact any of the war mongering agenda currently in full effect? Thanks in advance.

    -UFIA

    • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      Oops, pardon the outdated article. I thought it was more recent. Please disregard.

      • UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

        The second link of the three I submitted is old news -maybe interesting in terms of basic parameters but very superficial. I had multiple tabs up and misread the date of the article. Anyhow, I’m curious about these negotiations and new policy initiatives with supposed allies, as I suspect they’ll have impact on which countries ultimately end up supporting or forming new alliances for the next great war.

        Doesn’t the postponement of festivities in Syria seemed to be a shakedown of sorts? Funny that the TAFTA and TTIP talks are coinciding with the US’s humanitarian mandate in Syria, no?

        • K-Dog September 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

          How did you put not one but two comments immediately under mine faster than I could blink. That’s some serious trolling.

          • K-Dog September 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

            The date and time say those comments should be on top of mine not under it. That’s crazy man.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

            Remember time has been defined as the “moving face of eternity.” It is not just something that “passes” at an even rate. If you are very active it seems to pass more quickly. And if you are moving very fast (at light speed), it actually does pass more slowly for you than for other people. Thus an astronaut may age a year while centuries have gone by back on Earth.

          • BleatToTheBeat September 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

            I’ll be sure to remember that when I’m bustin’ open cannisters of Sarin.

            Thanks Vlad!

          • nsa September 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

            Janos,
            Your grasp of special relativity needs a tuneup….especially the famous Einsteinian contradiction of the aging space traveler compared to his earthbound twin. The differential aging all depends on the observer’s frame of reference. Were your space travelling astronaut to turn around and return to earth, he would be the same age as his earthbound twin when they got together again! Any aging differential would be given back in the return journey! Buy a copy of “The Evolution of Physics” by Infeld and Einstein (yes, the great man himself explains his novel conception of reality and is easily the best treatise on the subject). Hope this note is of interest.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

            What about Black Holes? How can I become young again like astronaut Dave Bowman?

          • nsa September 4, 2013 at 1:02 am #

            Janos,
            Black holes are cosmic toilets, flushing away the universe’s excrement…..to who knows where? Even in the imaginative Einsteinian conception of reality, TIME IS IRREVERSIBLE……….no exceptions.

          • progress4what September 3, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

            This is some strange network behavior, K9.

            BTW, I visited your blog about mid-day, today.
            Your tracker had me in Blairsville, GA – which is about 40 miles from where my network connection is located. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that. Strange, hey?

            And I don’t feel any *threat?* from all the surveillance. The only thing they can pin on me is being a middle aged white dude guilty of a thought crime of bemusement – at the all of the stupidity and waste that I see occurring.

            First they came for the bemused
            And I didn’t speak up because the whole situation was stupid…

  46. Karah September 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    There’s a general tone among everyone that the laws currently on the books should be enforced along with updating the laws to deal with the scope of terrorism.

    The USA has decided that terrorism anywhere in the world is a crime against humanity, a religious-based war (Jihad) declared by non-sovereign entities that have infected and tainted the various weaker national governmental institutions. Thus defined, it is just for the U.S., the leader of the free world and all its legislative bodies, first and foremost being the United Nations, to use reasonable force to stop the criminal entity from proliferating and spreading.

    Nuclear meltdowns reported in Russia at the height of the cold war and more recently in Japan at the height of the financial crisis have lead to the disarmament of some nuclear warheads. However, we all know that the major world powers still have some available albeit in a less mass destructive form. How do we know for sure those weaknesses in those nation’s infrastructure were not exploited by some form of covert operation? Kunstler proposed that a secret deal is going on between the Syrian rebellion and Saudi Arabia leading to the current melt down in international relations. If Syria is willing to continue to use weapons of MASS destruction then the superior powers must also be allowed to use weapons of mass destruction. The decision is left to make: how large of and what kind of mass to destroy.

  47. nsa September 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    As i look out my corner window here in Langley, am contemplating the joke. We first discovered Barry selling cars to warlords in Nairobi…. our district office recognized the possibilities right away. A quick Hawaii makeover and the human palmetto bug was launched onto the American lumpen proletariat, obsessed with porn and drugs and perversion and of course celebrity. One week…no one had heard of our lawn jockey boy….next week with a little help from our assets in the spectacular medias…..Barry had been there virtually forever…..the toothy grin….the bony wagging scolding finger…..the love of golf…..it was all so easy, even correcting his pathetic african T-off swing. Having achieved full spectrum dominance so easily leaves us with no challenge at all. Our humanoid version of the swine fever retro virus…the one we used to wipe out all the porcine critters in cuba circa 1971……is ready to go. We are waiting for just the exquisitely opportune moment……..

  48. Eldorado September 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi Jim,

    No EOTM? A good candidate would be that new building in London that is setting stuff on fire:

    http://www.grindtv.com/lifestyle/culture/post/towering-new-skyscraper-in-london-blamed-for-melting-cars-setting-fires/

  49. K-Dog September 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Between a Rock and a Laugh Track.

    The hope is always that some surgical military operation can correct a political illness.

    That such insanity exist brings a rock to my throat.

    Today that rock sits is in my throat like a big hairball and I’m not laughing. See K-Dog and you’ll know why. I made a new blog post sort of.

    Come one come all. Come government agents and all. Actually agents have were there today (two) already and the ones here aren’t supposed to visit and reveal their I.P.’s. That or there must be another reason why trolls here won’t visit me. Don’t know and won’t be spending time thinking about it either.

    • Trean September 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Political illness, the illness in the middle east is not political it’s religious, it has been since a brigand called mohammed came charging out of the wasteland! Until we put that back in the box nothing will change.

      I don’t know how accurate your IP addresses are supposed to be but your map on your column lists me as being in Leeds ans I am about 200 miles away! If the NSA are reading this I hope their software is more accurate………….

      • Trean September 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        And now somewhere in Cumbria!

  50. UnstoppableFarceImmovableAbject September 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    So I guess your calling me a troll, K-dogg? I have no idea why. I have never had any disagreement with you nor have I ever trolled this site; I don’t visit often anymore and have not posted for a long while.

    My account is clearly signified by the photo of my favorite Moto GP rider, Valentino Rossi, while he was still with Yamaha. And I’m too damn lazy and no where near creative enough to invent multiple handles and shit like that just to fuk with, excuse my rudeness, little old you.

    It is true though that the time stamp for my posts are ridiculously off, but there may be a simple explanation. My very first post today was I think around noon or so. It contained three links and was withheld for moderation. I made a mistake with one link and followed with a couple comments explaining the error. I forgot that this software doesn’t do well with mulitple links. I was also shouting out to Ozone, as I wondered if he had encountered any new stories on the TAFTA and TTIP negotiations. I wondered aloud to him what impact the trade agreements might have on the latest war mongering shenanigans and how they’ll serve to shape alliances in a potential WWIII scenario? I rarely post because dialogue on blogs is only participatory and never deliberative and essentially useless, but I always appreciate ‘Zone’s statements and figgered I’d run the thought past him.

    Anyhow, whomever is moderating this blog will probably get to the bungled initial post later and clear it, but it will unfortunately muddle the blog with my stupidity. For that I do apologize to CFN. For Ozone, here are the two links I wished to share with you and anyone else who might like to comment. The first one is an update piece from Chris Hedges on NDAA. The second is a bit of a propaganda piece regarding new policy initiatives in the works between the US and Turkey. The first piece is just the latest remark from hedges on what I consider to be a landmark signaler as to the state of American Democracy. The second is just the latest thing I can find regarding last ditch attempts to salvage Western economies:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36072.htm

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/09/turkey-transatlantic-trade-and-investment-partnership-kirisci

    There will be more news to find as negotiations regarding the treaties were set to continue starting Aug. 23 last month and also October 13 upcoming, if my recollection serves.

    Lastly, K-dogg, I have visited your site. Frankly, although you are much brighter than me and probably a better contributor to CFN than me as well, you do not have enough experiential clout or intellectual heft to carry an entire site of your own. This is why despite all your best efforts you just can’t drum up the traffic you desperately desire. Don’t flatter yourself with the thought that I’m some sort of agent here to thwart your best efforts to save the country.

    It is now 3:47 pm in Colorado, from where I’ve submitted this post.

    -UFIA

  51. BleatToTheBeat September 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Einstein said that he would have become a shoemaker if he had known what was going to become of nuclear technology. Really, Albert? Someone as smart as you just didn’t have a clue?

    Well, that’s what “they” say.

    And what are “they” telling us now?

    Amidst all the moments of incredible human cruelty, we have moments that we recognize that we have gone too far.

    Chemical warfare is one of these moments of wretched clarity. The treaties have been in place for a while now. We seem to be in a time when, once again, all these agreements do not seem to be worth the paper they are written on.

    I wonder if anyone has noticed that continental conquests have stopped since the development of nuclear weapons?

    Mutually Assured Destruction.

    Contracts were meant to be broken by those with the means to do so.

    Suckers….

    You crossed my Line Of Death!

    When I was a kid we played Kick The Can. It didn’t take long before we became bored with that.

    So we tried Kick The Dog.

    Look, the USA will make something up and come to your country and blow shit up for the worst possible reasons.

    Give ‘em a treaty-backed, valid reason to do so?

    Not too bright.

    • keratomileusis September 4, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      add the u.s. constitution and the dollar to your list of worthless paper.

  52. progress4what September 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    “There are rumors, unverified, that the gas incident in Syria happened because Saudi Arabia sent canisters of Sarin to the Syrian rebels, who then mishandled them and gassed their own neighborhood. The world’s recent experience with so-called “intel reports” about weapons has made everybody skeptical of claims made by politicians that a particular country poses a danger to others.” …jhk…

    Yeah, no doubt there’s something wrong with this gas-attack-as-pretext to war. Not saying that any of the other pretexts to all the other wars have been all that great either.

    It’s actually embarrassing to think that all of the billions of dollars lavished on the Saudis, or the CIA, or Mossad, or whomever – and THIS is the best they can do.

    It makes one wonder if Obama is using this situation to turn on his handlers, for the first time in five long years – in a substantive manner.

    Probably not. Probably just politics. But Romney wouldn’t be acting like this. Maybe a dim hope glimmers.

    Thanks for the week’s work, JHK.
    And thanks for cleaning up the Troll(s).

    ====================

    Beantown, karah, neon – I left a few words for you at the end of last week’s comment thread.

    • beantownbill. September 4, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Procon, thanks for the reply re last week’s comment. I think I better not mention any of the posters involved because I don’t want to piss JHK off. Freedom of speech notwithstanding, it is his blog, after all. Anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish. I won’t mention anything else concerning this subject. Generally speaking, I’ve enjoyed posting here and now more so since the comment section has been cleared up.

  53. progress4what September 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    So, why can’t I get this to post at the bottom of this thread?
    There’s something whack about this software package, James.

  54. Looongerbeard September 4, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Good riddance to the Trolls!
    (Thanks for the effort JHK)

    I’ve been an avid follower of CFN for years, formerly called myself “MoneyMouth” (andhave mostly been a silent reader).

    The disgusting troll response to Sandy Hook actually caused me to quit reading this blog for a few months. Hopefully we can move forward now with a more civilized discourse.

  55. James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    With everything turbocharged, the powerlessness of positive thinking is exposed. Seminal economists like Adam Smith and J.M Keynes assumed we would eventually be satisfied with reasonable levels of personal wealth. Similarly, optimists once assumed that mass-producing machine guns would eventually reduce gun deaths.

    We’ve built the latest iteration of our culture on assumptions, secrets, hyperbole, and big dreams, and the wake up call is making us most uncomfortable.

    • ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      Nicely encapsulated, JK.
      …And thus the desperate denial and grasping at straws by those who wish a return to the abnormal state of living far beyond what their resource base will allow.

      • James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 11:04 am #

        Thank you, ozone. I’m in some financial distress myself, but prefer to adjust than wish for another bubble. Using local produce stands as a gauge, we’re fine. Bank vaults? Not so much.

  56. ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    UFIA,
    I think you’re correct in assuming that the hegemons are racing toward bringing as many countries into the fold (to be later subsumed and exploited by their ‘friends’ after being thoroughly corrupted by same for economic ‘winnings’.) The ultimate reason would be for military lily-pads from which to send stubbornly independent states on the fast-track back to the stone age. (“All the better to steal your resources, my dear.”)

    Even with my paranoia meter pegging into the red most of the time these days, I don’t think the trade agreements and the Syria dismantling are ‘planned’ concurrences. I think that taking advantage of any and every crisis is simply the Machiavellian M.O. of the movers and shakers. As crisis are occurring with more frequency with each passing week, so too then are ‘opportunities’ while everyone is looking in another direction.

    • ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      “crises” (in last sentence)
      Sorry Q.

  57. ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    The last 10 comments on the page seem to be getting pushed along by the flow (always appearing in that position), in case you’re just tuning in. That’s okay as long as you’re aware of it…

  58. ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Stand up and cheer.
    According to the Telegraph:
    “The first cell of Syrian rebels trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators.” (As of Sept. 3rd.)

    Well, hoo-fuckin’-rah. 50 cold-blooded assholes, trained by cold-blooded assholes are about to create some civilian massacres and other timely pretexts and justifications for dropping bombs on some more helpless civilians.

    C’mon, don’t we agree that this is a fine idea that makes us all safer?
    (Tweet your president with your support.)

  59. ozone September 4, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    This from the Guardian:

    “The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime’s deployment of chemical weapons – which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action – has been provided by Israeli military intelligence, the German magazine Focus has reported.”

    Well, howdy-hey, there’s an unimpeachable and neutral source of intel if ever we did see one, eh? (The Israelis wouldn’t have any reason to get the US military to rain hell-fire down on their neighbors. Perish the thought.)

    • beantownbill. September 4, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Given Israel’s perilous position in the local neighborhood, I understand why it might be providing the US with “intelligence”.

  60. The problem with Sarin is not like a problem with conventional weapons. For one, a cruise missile slightly off target creating an aerosol cloud of the stuff will create an airborne chemical weapon with a (random) weather vector. Then it will be all our fault.

    Sending in the Seals is more likely, but the danger factor will be much higher due to the nature of the ordnance. Plus, it is doubtful we know all the places Sarin is being hidden.

    Besides which, who cares about muslims? Its their civil war, and its Israel’s back yard. Syria doesn’t have any oil.

  61. James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    I read an account by a civil engineer who ended up an officer in Iraq. His outfit captured a bunker of C-4 explosive and found it empty. Desert sands took care of the escape route, and tons of that stuff probably went straight into the I.E.D. production chain. It’s doubtful the navy is any more correct about their targets in Syria. I listened to the Syrian ambassador yesterday and he’s already digging graves. It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? We lead with the navy, guns blazing, and wonder why they don’t adore us.

    • BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Probably…..doubtful…..

      A whole lotta speculation.

      If this were the first instance of chemical weapons being used in Syria, that would be one thing. But it’s not the first instance.

      Embarrassing?

      • James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

        No one actually saw where the explosives went, nor do we know what the navy’s targets are in Syria. Here’s a fact I know from the richly illustrated ballistics reports I used to review while employed in the defense industry. The human skull is no match for what’s in those launch tubes.

        Yes, I’m embarrassed by my country’s belligerence.

        • BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

          You forgot to add the the the human nervous system is no match for what’s in those Sarin cannisters.

          • BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

            So what’s up with the editing?

          • James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

            Let’s consider what high explosives will do to containers of gas. Better to leave the stuff where it is, in my estimation.

            I do not understand the question about editing.

          • BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

            Before I respond, I would like to mention that while I have been posting, I have also been watching the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the BBC website. Good Stuff.

            That’s what you can do with an undamaged human nervous system.

            I considered the demolition of Sarin in an earlier post. So, I will ask you the same question that I asked “Lil’ Debbie”:

            What makes you think that demolition of the Sarin canisters is the military objective?

            As for the question of editing, you may have noticed the triple “the” in my previous post.

            Because I have a human nervous system, I can understand a double “the”, but, because it is an undamaged nervous system, I’m pretty sure that I would have caught the third one.

  62. Janos Skorenzy September 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Glenn shows video of Syrian Rebel cutting out and eating human organs from a Syrian Soldier. Back Row, it couldn’t be more clear: all the decent people in America are now against this war. Put aside your Party Politics and Look into your Heart – before somebody cuts it out and eats it. Another good point: the Administration trusts these people with arms but not the average American….

    http://clashdaily.com/2013/09/shocking-video-arming-supporting-fine-young-cannibals-syria/

    • Trean September 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Assad trained, armed and equipped the north Sudanese militias who murdered some 250, 000 Sudanese christians and animists.He is no better than the so called rebels. The problem is religion, well one particular religion. If the brigand pedophile mohammed had never made out if the Arabian wastelands the world would be a far better place.
      Much comment is made about Israel. The last thing the Israelis want is to have an almost sane dictator replaced with complete bat sh@t crazy religious loons. The jordanians no doubt have similar sentiments. I don’t think O is goingto get a lot of support off them on this one.

    • Ungaro September 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      János, I could have done without seeing that video just before dinner!

      The readers of CFN and JHK’s fine books know that things are rarely what they seem. I suspect that the Syrian clusterfuck is more about displacing Gazprom’s monopoly of natgas pipeline through Syria to Europe with that of Qatar’s than any other kind of gas. After all, how exactly is a bunch of nefarious characters killing each other in Middle East constitutes a threat to the national security of the US?

      In case you want to look into my hypothesis further, please see my blog: blog@jkorondy.com and leave a comment.

  63. rube-i-con September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    IT workers from India are scabs. American IT needs to Unionize. You heard it here first. Unite! You have nothing to lose except your chains.

    janos, the more i hear from you, the more i like you. ‘racism’ and all. anyone who stands up to the rabble and detritus of humanity is my brother. SHIT is shit, forget the skin color.

    you get tired of being a multiculturist once you see the dark side of the rainbow.

    peace peaceniks

    • Janos Skorenzy September 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      Yes the Rainbow doesn’t end with a pot of gold but a charnel house and overflowing latrines.

      In a recent post, Fred Reed showed pictures of wealthy, high tech areas of Latin America. And he said See? They can do it too. But he lumps everyone together. The Mestizos and Blacks didn’t plan or finance those building and highways. At best, they worked on the construction. The wealthy and clean areas of Latin America and Brazil are the White areas.

      South America may end up being the last stronghold of the White Race in the Western Hemisphere.

      • BackRowHeckler September 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

        Hey Vlad that WesternRifleShooters is a pretty good site. Thanks for that!

        –BRH

        • Janos Skorenzy September 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

          Glad you like it. Hopefully men of your own kind (ex-military, non-intellectuals but not unintelligent) can convince you where I have failed. White Nationalists like myself preach on these Patriot sites and have found some receptivity as well as the usual nonsense. The explosion of Black on White violence is helping our Cause immensely.

  64. rube-i-con September 4, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    The Mestizos and Blacks didn’t plan or finance those building and highways. At best, they worked on the construction.

    for a host of factors, those cultures will never progress, although rarely you will find an individual therefrom who has bettered himself or herself, e.g. the president of brazil’s supreme court, a black whose mother was a maid.

    janos, you are right on about the overflowing latrines, what a cogent summing up of what i (literally) see down here, it is pathetic & is not for anyone with a brain or gumption to better himself in life.

    peace peaceniks

  65. BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    The U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee hearing has now ended. According to the clock on the U.S. Congress website, they adjourned at 4:19 EST.

    Obviously, they were aware that 4:20 was upon them.

    Hey! Tradition!

    That was a long day for the Secretary of State.

    ….and his hair remained FABULOUS!

  66. Trean September 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    The funniest comment so far has been made by Putin. He says no country should take action without UN approval. Apparently that did not apply to Georgia or Chechenya LOL.
    Putin cannot lose his only base in the Med. Politically he would be finished and the Russian navy severly compromised. He is busily supplying arms to both sides whilst frantically trying to delay any action.
    If it wasn’t for all the corpses created by both sides it would be funny!
    !

  67. James Kuehl September 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I don’t see a reply button for bleat to the beat, so thanks for clearing up the editing comment. This stuff is dashed off–let the typos slide.

    I agree that releasing gas will not be the objective, but a likely outcome. If we blow the rails, the tankers derail and leak. Missiles are scary precise, but they can’t blow up the front office of a gas factory without causing trouble in the stockroom.

  68. progress4what September 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Is it possible that our “leadership” is getting intellectually incapacitated, as time goes by?

    “….he hoped the Obama administration reached a decision soon on whether to continue $1.23 billion in U.S. military assistance to Egypt”
    (snip)
    “When the Obama administration decided last year to continue military aid to Egypt despite its failure to meet pro-democracy goals, U.S. officials cited as one of their reasons the fact that the termination costs could have exceeded $2 billion.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/04/us-egypt-protests-usa-aid-idUSBRE98315620130904

    Jeeze! Just let the US govt. take title instead of the Egyptians!
    Morons.

    =====================

    “Karah,” thanks for the shout-back at the end of last week.
    But I disagree, because I am certain that comments to authors can be quite valuable.

    For example, the FIRST commenter to the Reuters article nails the logical problem with the story.

    ” Butch_from_PA wrote:
    This is insane.

    The Feds can still take that equipment and use in stateside or sell it on the open market. Why should we as taxpayers be locked in to arms manufacturers as a must buy for foreign giveaways and pay penalties if not doing foreign aid?

    Total blackmail logic…. and taken for granted that there is a large pipeline of expected foreign aid to sell arms. They oughta be dropped in to their own warzones by parachute.

    What kind of arms welfare country to we live in?”

    • ozone September 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      Wow. (Nothing more to add.)

    • Karah September 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      You’re welcome. I think what we disagree on is what comments are valuable.

      I never proposed people shouldn’t comment at all. They will regardless of the mode; blog, e-mail, twitter, youtube…

      Let everyone choose how to do it. I don’t want to get into quarrels or debates and that includes avoiding the READING about them.

  69. progress4what September 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Speaking of logic and the absence thereof:

    “Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.”
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/09/new-study-politics-makes-you-innumerate
    Fascinating. Even Mother Jones shows that knee-jerk “Liberals?” can easily delude themselves over gun control statistics.

  70. bob September 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    A red line has been crossed ,even though red flags have been raised that suggest that a false flag is being waved to incite the sensibilities of the American people. Maybe it’s time that we drew a few red lines on our own soil pertaining to such things as poverty and gun violence. The red line was crossed as Bashar Al Assad was gaining the upper hand against the good guys. On this stage of high entropy good and evil are murky at best .is it true that al Qaeda are fighting with the good guys?. Bashar did make it through medical school and specialized in ophthalmology , making it harder to make the case that he is an idiot and would cross the red line especially as the tide was going in his favour.
    Maybe I am not quite as opposed to conspiracy theory as James ,as some sort of conspiracy might bring a focus to a situation that boggles the mind. Usually with such theories there are forces that are out for power and control or to maintain their power and control. Maybe it has nothing to do with the situation ,but it is interesting that Kerry and McCain ‘s family wealth put them in the club ,that is well over the hundred million threshold.
    Maybe we are about to cross the big red line of high entropy of self destruction.

    • ozone September 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      “Maybe we are about to cross the big red line of high entropy of self destruction.” -Bob

      Starting with a willy-nilly, who-gives-a-rat’s-patoot, complete destruction of confidence in our political leaders… by those very political leaders! (See John McCain photo of him playing poker on his i-phone during the Syria hearing; talk about the banality of evil.) Now wouldn’t that make for an interesting spectacle in the arena of suicidal hubris?
      (Just one possibility of many nasty outcomes waiting around the next corner.)

      • BackRowHeckler September 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

        Hey Oz you made that crack about Israel Intelligence awhile back … Israel seems to be the only stable country left in that part of the world. If you look on the atlas Israel is surrounded by countries in collapse. The house is burning down all around them, Egypt to the west, Syria to the east. Libya and Iraq are basket cases. Its got to make the Israelis nervous. Let’s hope they don’t get too nervous, with their 120 nuclear warheads …

        One question I haven’t seen asked ‘How long can Saudi Arabia avoid the spreading chaos’? What’s going to happen when Saudi Arabia goes down? Then I think US forces really would be involved, as in ‘boots on the ground’, if for nothing else to protect the 10m/bpd of crude that comes out of there.

        BRH

        • ozone September 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

          BRH,
          Excellent question! And another might be: Is Saudi Arabia actually quite deliberately FOMENTING the spread of said chaos, and WHY?
          I’m hearing whispers of an Israeli economic nose-dive as well, and using the pipeline thru Syria to Haifa could be a solvency-saver. (Keeps getting sabotaged, doncha know; can’t figger why.)
          Let me know what you find out! Thanks in advance.
          Keep your head down and your powder dry.

    • Ungaro September 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Bob, what a clever oxymoron: “sensibilities of American people”. I consider myself a loyal American, having sworn allegiance to the flag and for what it stands before my military service but I have been shocked by the many nonsensical wars, skirmishes, incidents and conflicts we’ve gotten ourselves into without any rational forethought of what might victory look like, or even who exactly is the enemy.

      War is business, big business. The war-mongering mongrels will not quit until they get their hands on all the resources of the world.

  71. Pucker September 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Sign says: “Do not make stupid political puns.”

    Whadduya mean?

    At the Tol Slang torture center in Phnom Phen Cambodia (which is now a popular tourist destination) the Khmer Rouge must have had at least 30 different types of torture, many of which involve water.

    One torture involved suspending the victim by a rope tied around his/her ankle and then the victim was lowered head first into a wash basin filled with water.

    Now that’s a real “Knee-Slapper”!

  72. ozone September 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Hold on thar!
    Who here really thinks that the “punative action” will be to target Tomahawks on caches of sarin (or other weaponized) gas?
    I’ve never seen this argument anywhere (maybe I’m not looking in the right places).
    I thought it was all about the usual ‘degrading’ of command and control, so as to give our good friends, the rabid Islamist lunatics, an edge in taking over the soon-to-be-no-longer Syria.
    Have I made a completely wrong assumption here?
    (Please point me in the right direction of news items having to do with destruction of gas stockpiles. More than usual, I’m confused.)

    • ozone September 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      “Punitive”. Sorry. I can’t spell anymore… gonna git. Read youses on the flip.

  73. progress4what September 4, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Here you go, Ozone:
    “Speaking at the end of last month, he (Obama) set out clearly the goal of any US military action against Syria.

    Its purpose, he explained, would be “to hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, [to] deter this kind of behaviour, and to degrade their capacity to carry it out””
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23946071
    From the BBC – is that because US media considers us stuu-pit?

    And from the same article:
    “For years the United States has been seeking to develop warheads that could be used to destroy chemical weapons stocks without the dangers described above.

    So-called “Agent Defeat Weapons” are probably* available to US commanders. They operate in various ways but the essential feature is intense heat – it is like a super-incendiary bomb – that destroys the chemical or biological agent in situ.

    The temperatures needed are dramatically high, within the range of 1,200C to over 1,500C.”

    *”probably?”
    You know good and well that the upper end brass of the US chain of command is “probably!” itching to try out these new gadgets.

    I can’t help but think that if Romney was prez that we’d already be engaged in Syria.

    • BackRowHeckler September 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Probably you’re right on that, P2C. McCain would most likely be Sec. of Defense, and Lindsay Graham Sec. of State.

      Do you remember Curtis ‘Bombs Away’ LeMay? Now that was an American!

      –BRH

    • ozone September 5, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Thanks for the link, Prog.
      I had no idea they had such wonder weapons at hand.
      (Finding the targets might prove problematic, but that’s why they invented pallets of Benjamins. ;) )

      • ozone September 5, 2013 at 8:46 am #

        …And it was Bleat to the Beat who first asked if it was the gas stockpiles that were to be targeted. (Thanks BttB; knew the idea didn’t just appear from the ether… this time.)

    • ozone September 5, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      From that same BBC article by Johnathan Marcus:

      “But here there is another problem for President Obama. Many of these [chemical delivery] potential targets – artillery and aircraft for example – are a key element of President Assad’s superiority over the rebels.

      If you damage these assets badly enough you risk significantly altering the military balance on the ground in favour of the rebels. And this is something that Mr Obama has apparently ruled out. Maybe he is changing his mind as he seeks to win over a sceptical Congress.”

      What, what, Johnathan?? “Apparently ruled out”??
      Sounds to me like a bunch of supposition and opinion on Mr. Marcus’ part. Ascribing motives to Obama that may be the exact opposite of the ones he really holds is simply terrible journalism.

      If you were to ask me my OPINION, I would say any attack would specifically be to give the rebels more ‘opportunities’, while using the chemical weapons thing as cover. I can’t see any other way to use the military to punish. (The military doesn’t do warnings; it breaks things and kills people. Trying to convince us that it’s a tool of diplomacy is bullshit PR on steroids.)

  74. BleatToTheBeat September 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    I just knew that it wouldn’t take much to get me off of the Red, White, and Blue (vive La France!) jag.

    Ancient Hippie that I am, I still cling to whatever martial progress our slightly-modified reptile brains have devised.

    Martial Progress? Did I really say that?

    And what about the Wall Street Al-Quaeda?

    I still got some rope left over from my LAST real construction job.

    Where’s my mule!?

    Just as well. I haven’t had decent cod for a long time.

    (insert appropriate Isley Brothers link here)

    Sigh….

    I miss the good ol’ days.

  75. Pucker September 5, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Why is it that the US college selection process does not include sense-of-humor as one of its selection criteria as part of the college admission process?

    • BleatToTheBeat September 5, 2013 at 12:33 am #

      Because it’s not an indication of credit-worthiness.

  76. BleatToTheBeat September 5, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    If you love Tol Slang, I have another “popular tourist destination” much closer to home that you will just go ga-ga over….

    Alcatraz!

    No water torture, but PLENTY of sharks!

    Hey! Didja happen to see that FUCK Rep. Duncan from South Carolina that said even their eighth-graders understood why we shouldn’t…couldn’t…wouldn’t…

    EIGHTH GRADERS!!!

    The New Norm.

  77. michigan_native September 5, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Let’s face it. If the pentagon wants to take “military action” against Syria, they will strong arm the politicians who are opposed and they will capitulate. The corporate media will bombard the American public with sob stories about refugees, humanitarian disasters, and images of dead babies or children.

    Speaking of the corporate media, I am wondering why youtube links are off limits? I get a lot of good alternative information there from sources like Russian Television. I last posted some youtube links to the 1969 Woodstock musicians to try and cheer people up, as there is not much going on at present to be cheerful about. What is wrong with youtube links? Just curious

    • BleatToTheBeat September 5, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      What do you mean by “strong arm”? Last time I checked, civillians, BY LAW, run the U.S. military.

      Maybe at the point of a gun?

      That will be an exciting day.

      • michigan_native September 5, 2013 at 1:21 am #

        We are supposed to have a government by the people and for the people, not just for corporations only. The point of a gun day you speak of is close at hand. The dollar collapse is imminent and skyrocketing energy prices as a prelude to the US getting locked out of the international oil trade which is relies on to import 70% of its energy needs will bring on the wholesale collapse of the US. The government knows this and plans are underway to impose martial law. The national defense authorization act. The department of homeland security.

        That is what shit like this is going down. The desperate acts of a dying empire. 60% of the remaining ultimately recoverable oil lays in the middle east, and what is going on in Syria is just another escalation of the resource wars, the desperate acts of a dying empire

        The pentagon type of people will talk to the few who resist interventionism and tell them some bullshit about “national security”. They always get their way. Would be great if they didn’t, but for the time being, city hall always wins.

  78. BleatToTheBeat September 5, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    I’m not a big fan of Barrack Obama, what with charging journalists with the Espionage Act and all. But he said something recently that kinda struck me. If I may paraphrase; The easy decision is to decide not to act. When to act is the difficult decision.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 5, 2013 at 2:59 am #

      William Burroughs: When you don’t know what to do, do nothing.

  79. Janos Skorenzy September 5, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    The famous War Prayer of Mark Twain.

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/warPrayer.html

  80. James Kuehl September 5, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    This blog is increasingly interesting and readable–no videos, short, well-thought comments, and respectful disagreements.

    They have to teach pilots to disagree. Most pilots have military backgrounds where making a useful but contrary suggestions gets you thrown in the brig. Few leaders in the business world allow any disruptive thinkers into their circle. It’s why behemoths like Kodak collapse under their own weight. Same goes for governments. Tumbler full of Kool Aid, anyone?

    • ozone September 5, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Entrenched hierarchies benefit those in the upper echelons of them by a vast ratio. They should only be formed and used to solve pressing problems, with the experts in that particular field in charge. Afterwards, back to the ol’ creative anarchy of equal footing and natural cooperation.

      But that ain’t gonna happen. As always, it’s going to be the hard way that gets the lesson learned. (Collapse BECAUSE of [and in the desperate preservation of] entrenched hierarchies, not despite them.)

    • Janos Skorenzy September 5, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Don’t get sanguine. The Elves thought they had destroyed Sauron but he was merely disembodied for a time. The evil grew strong again and became the Necromancer who rebuilt the Tower of Dol Guldur, turning Mirkwood Forest into a festering jungle of evil.

      • James Kuehl September 6, 2013 at 8:16 am #

        This comment made my day. The Tea Party is the John Birch Society back like a whack-a-mole. I must admit I helped these shape-shifters game the system, covering up who they really are with clever PR. There is more truth embedded in our fictional narrative than in the blizzard of BS we have to plow through every day.

  81. ozone September 5, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Gareth Porter strongly suspects the declassified intel summary on Syria has been juked, language-wise, to indicate what is not actually indicated.

    Let me be clear about something I feel very strongly. The dumbing down of the american public in language usage, meaning and skills is quite deliberate. They’re not JUST lazy, meanings and contexts have been skewed so as to mask intentions. Newspeak is here, now, and has been creeping like a dark shadow over this land since about the time of Reagan and his gaggle of anti-constitutional criminals (that have been with us ever since).

    Call me a crank if you must, I don’t mind, but do me a favor and listen to those around you and see if you hear any language coming out of folks that’s any more refined than about the 5th grade level… if that. Even those who write the teleprompter material for news anchors mess up well-established idioms, metaphors and colloquialisms. (And please don’t give me that crap about ‘the evolution of language’. I’m down widdat when meaning is preserved; in these cases, it most certainly is NOT.)

    Okay, sorry for that raving tangent; now on to the article that speculates on slippery language, contexts and meanings coming out of the vaunted intelligence services. Well worth the read and some rumination.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36096.htm

    • K-Dog September 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      A most excellent read thank you.

      I comment on the closing lines.

      Regardless of what evidence emerges in coming weeks, we would do well to note the inconsistencies and misleading language contained in the assessment, bearing in mind the consequences of utilizing ambiguous intelligence to justify an act of war.

      Remember the Main. Remember the Gulf Of Tonkin. If one follows recent history then remember Grenada the Panama Invasion or weapons of mass destruction. Ambiguous intelligence starts many a war and it sort of makes sense.

      War isn’t rational. Why would rational reasons be used to start them?

      • Janos Skorenzy September 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

        War is never rational? Isn’t that kind of sweeping? We would even be here if the American Colonists hadn’t defeated the Indians and the English – with the Indian wars being the more important.

        Perhaps the Just War doctrine will clear it up for you. Of course it is defensive and reactive, not taking into account lebensraum but it’s a good beginning.

        http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/martino-a-just-war-analysis-of-the-proposed-syria-attack/

          • K-Dog September 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

            Ok I read ‘A Just War analysis of a proposed attack on Syria’.

            I’m not seeing that a ‘police action’ even qualifies but that the “less than war” alternatives have been not been exhausted is rather obvious.

            It is interesting to watch our political bozos spew their opinions on Syria. When I find one that’s not self serving and even approaches a modicum of moral rational reflection I’ll let you know.

            And I can’t post the vids but there are a couple on Syria here. Nothing special about them but knowledge about Syria isn’t so deep in America either.

            http://www.afp.com/en/videographic_selection

            Best enjoyed with freedom fries.

          • Janos Skorenzy September 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

            Just to be clear for my devoted readers, I was responding to your rejection of War as a policy. You seemed to take it as an endorsement of the Syrian strike. I mean if I’m not a Government Op I must at least be a Republican, right?

            I am utterly against the Strike and any further involvement in the Middle East. Not one of the Wars we fought in the last hundred years has been necessary. The Patriot para-military site I linked too is completely against war as well.

  82. K-Dog September 5, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    The stall in the American whack-attack against Syria may itself be a symptom of the swirling new conditions in world finance and power relations. In any case, a great empire — which we have been — can’t afford to make idle threats. The outcome of the Syria melodrama may be that the US has been knocked down a big step in its ability to project power without terrible consequences to itself.

    Swirling new conditions in world finance will not help my friends down south. Sadly it will lead to more of this:

    ” On one morning, workers unloaded the carcasses of a puppy, a small white furry lapdog wearing a collar, a huge Saint Bernard, a Rottweiler and tossed them all into the hole. The methane from their decomposing bodies is siphoned through a network of pipes along with the other organic waste and cycled through an intricate network of motors and coolants and transformed into energy. The dead become energy to power the city’s street lamps. ”

    The source is here.

    The great empire has not made an idle threat. As the United States was not actually a victim of the chemical atrocity it is not incumbent on Mr. Obama to make any military response at all and he is free to pursue other options.

    Again concerning the number of casualties.

    Syrian Rights Group: 502 Killed in Ghouta Chemical Attack:

    A leading Syrian human rights group has given a lower death toll than that claimed by the United States in last month’s apparent chemical attack in Ghouta. The Obama administration says more than 1,400 people were killed, but the widely cited Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it has confirmed a toll of 502, including 80 children and 137 women. The group’s director, Rami Abdul Rahman, said the United States appears to have based its higher figure on unreliable members of the Syrian opposition.

    Someone wags the dog.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      Didn’t the Prophet say that he who slays a person destroys a world? And didn’t Comrade Stalin say that one death is a tragedy but ten thousand just a statistic? One death is a million too many. The infinitely small is just as infinite as the infinitely big. Can you not perceive a world in a grain of sand? Yes? Attack!

    • Janos Skorenzy September 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

      The above post of mine is a joke. Yes! Fascists have a sense of humor.

  83. BackRowHeckler September 6, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    We are well into Sept. and I don’t see any sign of the collapse Jim talked about at the beginning of last month. Yes, there is gunfire in the streets, sure enough, but its in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, where there is always gunfire in the streets. Its an interesting situation we see here in CT, a state with the ‘most strict gun control in the US’, yet within yards of the Capitol, young blacks and hispanics gunned down daily. In fact another body was found just this morning, beaten and shot in Hartford and unceremoniously dumped on the side of the road in Portland.

    As far as Syria goes, this might be a good time to test out Obama’s New Model American Army, featuring Open Homosexuality in the Ranks, as well as women in Combat Infantry Units. This is something that has never been tried in Recorded Human History and I cannot stress how truly revolutionary it is. Maybe it’ll work out, I don’t know. However, I think some time soon these Precious, 21st Century Western Obsessions with Gender Identity and all things queer, cooked up in faculty lounges at Yale and Harvard, will come up against hard reality on the field of battle against an implacable, brutal enemy.

    Hey Oz, you stocking up on ‘Berkshares’? I’d keep a few reams of them tucked under the mattress just in case.

    –BRH

    • ozone September 6, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      BRH,
      Not much extry wherewithal stock a pallet of Berkshares, but I do like the fact that they’re backed by ‘labor hours’ rather than ‘future returns on investment’ [empty] promises.

      Send in the women Marines to fight alongside the Islamist rebels; that should go really well…
      How degraded is your target acquisition when wearing a burka?

    • beantownbill. September 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      Marlin, did you read about the mad gun purchasing rush in Maryland? On October 1 a new law goes into effect limiting magazines to no more than 10 cartridges, and the outright ban of many models of handguns. The state police had to hire additional staff to process background check applications. By the way, federal background checks are taking up to 4 or 5 months, including state processing. The 2nd Amendment never put in a time limit, did it? Gee, all the criminals now have to wait a long time before they can perpetrate an armed crime. What’s this world coming to?

      • BackRowHeckler September 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

        I did see that, Bill. You know I kind of support some of these new laws; only problem is enforcement seems to so arbitrary, and they don’t seem to do any good. I don’t know how it is in Boston (the killing), but in these cities here it is appalling.

        BRH

  84. ozone September 6, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    MOTIVE: What’s the plan, Stan?

    Here’s one I’m very much inclined to see as [at the least] one of the major motives for ‘taking out’ Syria. Surprise, surprise, the name Larry Summers is invoked, and President Obama is the hired and willing tool of the international bankers. I got yer giant motive right here, Palley, and it’s one you’re NEVER going to hear in the accepted narratives of our MSM propaganda organs:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36123.htm

    Snippet:
    ” In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

    The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.”

    Financial Services Agreement of the WTO, eh?
    As you can see, JHK has been on the right track of following the financial schemes and scams the whole time! (As BT is wont to say, “money makes the world go around”, or bend its’ knee at the altar of Mammon on threat of death.)
    Bypass your own internal unwillingness to peek into the nature of these kleptocrats and FOLLOW THE MONEY.
    It’s all in black and white… and red all over.

    • Karah September 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Ya, lending with interest is considered “haram”.
      When I read that, it all kinda fell into place for me.

      Then there’s the whole USA oxymoron:
      We need JOBS; however,
      we don’t want most of the corporations active today to provide them.

  85. nsa September 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Seven countries in five years……enjoy…….

  86. nsa September 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Septimus Severus about 200 AD forcibly injected his african prescence into Roman governance…..a necessary compromise to stroke the “identity politics” crowd of the day……government flunkies, fifth column minorities, orgiastic perverts, same sex fornicators, dusky complected feeeloaders, disgruntled captive tribes on the perimeter of the empire (limies, froggies, krauts, Oz blowies, Limbaugh listeners)……history may not repeat, but it certainly……………….

  87. Karah September 6, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/witnesses-of-gas-attack-say-saudis-supplied-rebels-with-chemical-weapons/168135/

    Apparently it’s way too dangerous for foreign correspondents like Dale Gavlak to go into Syria to get the story.

    According to Wikipedia, French reporters have witnessed Syria’s use of chemical weapons on civilians.

    “Currently 189 states are party to the CWC.[1] Of the seven UN Member States that are not, two have signed but not yet ratified the treaty (Burma and Israel) and five states have not signed the treaty (Angola, North Korea, Egypt, South Sudan and Syria).” – Wikipedia.org

  88. Karah September 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    “Even at very low concentrations, sarin can be fatal within one minute after direct ingestion of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine or Biperiden and pralidoxime, are quickly administered to a person.[4] People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.” – Wikipedia.org

    Sarin was developed by German scientists working on pesticides. All their stuff was taken by Russia after the war. Most of this stuff has a very short shelf life and must be mixed upon impact to do the most damage. Russia would be the only country in a perfect position to perfect these kinds of weapons and provide them to the Middle East.

    It’s nice to know one can survive a gas attack if prepared. According to the linked article, combatants weren’t aware of what they were dealing with.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 7, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      Gas is difficult to deploy effectively and during WW1, was often just as dangerous to the side that deployed it if the wind changed.

      Conventional weapons are far more dangerous – which is why gas wasn’t used during WW2. To make a bugaboo about it is just pure sophistry on the part of the U.N etc. But it sure has provided a great cover for the nefarious designs of the Franco-American Elite.

  89. JB September 7, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Well it is not surprising enough for me that Obama stayed back on this matter. I think that he is aware of the possibility of large-scale violence. Americans should stay back, because there is nothing they can do about Syria right now. Military expenses are not what makes us.
    My theory is that they just want us to pay our attention somewhere else, while many domestic issues that remain unsolved. What I find more scary is that we are becoming more and more indebted. This was recently proven by a Royal Bank Canada’s study. How long we will be able to handle this?

  90. Being There September 7, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Indeed Ozone,

    Neo conserves want to run the ME and hit Russia and China at the same time.

    The Neo Libs, want to establish the Chicago boys financial lock-down of transnational monopolies imposed on all around the world. Governments will be subservient to the international banking system and the corporations.

    This Syrian case is the two hegemons meeting. It means nothing, except it’s another “disaster” in the model that uses these disasters to steal from the public domain.

    If everyone here would take the time to read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, you will understand what happened in the last 50 years of our history and leadership, from the think tanks to our educational system.
    From Pinocet to all the little depressions in the east (the little dragons). You will learn to recognize the system at work and realize how each incident gets the inverted global communist model incrementally closer to their goal. And of course she covers Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

    If you read Alvin Toffler you’ll get the idea that we are all being reduced to colonies of the transnationals and banks. Because we off-shored our business to low-wage countries, we no longer have the money to finance our military adventures, so now the Saudi’s will kick in the money for this brave new war–no economic determinism here. Now our military is for sale—mercenaries for the wealthy globalists with agendas in mind.

    Government no longer recognizes us and has restructured to making banks their client instead of We the People. William K. Black described this in his discussion of the Clinton administration.

    Each president since Johnson has brought us closer to this. And what are we missing this summer in all this haze of war? The fast-tracking of the Trans Pacific Pact (TPP)—Hey everybody, look over there…in the meantime, Obama will bury us in a devastating trade deal.

    I mentioned earlier that Rumsfeld went to Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war and offered easy access to chemical companies to hit Iran with chemical weapons. We use spent uranium white phosphorus and napalm, but that’s real lawful, you see. It’s ok when we or our allies do it.

    The only morality this country knows is greed for a few. For the rest of us? I think we’re heading for some miserable times.

  91. Arn Varnold September 8, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    As an “outsider” (recent participant and thereby still relatively objective) here, I’d like to say, what I’ve read here lately is a vast improvement over the past couple of years.
    Kudos to JHK for finally taking control and turning his website into a serious look at the future and solutions for the coming travails.

    With the Syrian catastrophe looming large; it just may be more important than ever.
    Obama is a psychopath (like most politicians) and cannot be counted on to act rationally in the looming conflagration. Putin on the other hand is acting like a rational player; but his veiled threats must be considered seriously.
    The situation is so tenuous as to beg very careful consideration; if Syria has Russian anti-ship missiles (or Iranian missiles), then there is a real chance things could quickly wind up to utter chaos in the blink of an eye.
    What if one, two, or even three U.S. ships were hit/sunk (a legitimate response) then what?
    Think about that!
    The M.E. has long been viewed as prophetic for the end times. I’m not Christian, so I don’t “believe” that for a second! However, history has a way of embodying self fulfilling destinies such as this…
    I do not think a nuclear war is not possible; au contraire, it’s all too possible…

    • Being There September 8, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Arn,

      There are many people who view the drive for US hegemony as a lead in to the next world war. YUP, that’s the promise of Pax Americana(not).

      But when you consider that we keep fighting wars, force small nations who are in debt to buy our munitions, then what else could be going on? War and munitions are our greatest export.

      Our economy is such a disaster that we need Saudi money to run our wars, since we can’t collect taxes from the richest transnational corps, take GE, please…..And they are also a war contractor.

      Just as in finance the aim is not to actually win wars, but to transfer US tax-payer dollars to the cronies. It’s so lucrative we just can’t stop! Just like the global neoliberal model is such a disaster for national economies—but they just can’t stop the alchemy of turning public holdings into privatized rentier ownership.

      So what’s it gonna take, you ask? Prob. something huge to shake rattle and roll the whole world.

      The people running Obama want to start something big, or this would not be happening. I don’t believe that anyone who gets into the WH is anything but a figurehead.

      Your point about Putin is a good one. Looks like there is a roll-reversal here.

      Obama could have chosen to fight for his healthcare which is about to fall off a cliff instead of trying to start yet a new war. That’s what a real statesman would be doing.

      It isn’t just that Americans are war-weary, it’s that it’s obvious that we have become nothing more than Myer Lansky’s Murder Inc.

      As far as nukes are concerned? As someone once said you never pour money into something that you don’t use….AND we’ve used them before….

  92. ozone September 8, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    “But when you consider that we keep fighting wars, force small nations who are in debt to buy our munitions, then what else could be going on? War and munitions are our greatest export.

    Our economy is such a disaster that we need Saudi money to run our wars, since we can’t collect taxes from the richest transnational corps, take GE, please…..And they are also a war contractor.” -Being There

    BT,
    From there it’s pretty easy to see why ‘defense’ industries have inserted their extractive funnels into nearly every state in the union.
    ‘Defense’ is an indispensable part of the economy [and the jobs that go with] that congress-persons must bow to if they want to keep their positions and election funds. ‘Round and ’round she goes. Where she stops… is the end of empire. Its clear that this is going to continue until energy becomes too expensive to allow. This could be the reason for the pretending about the fracking fraud. If the public can be convinced that there’s plenty of cheap energy, then reasonable calls for conservation and contraction can be laughed down and hugely extractive industries can finish vacuuming up the rest of the available wealth (and seal under contract future sources) before the beans are finally spilled and “What the hell happened?” becomes the question of the era.

  93. ozone September 8, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Germane conflicting reports on the chemical attack:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36155.htm

    Part of the wind-up:
    “At operations coordinating meetings at Antakya, attended by senior Turkish, Qatari and U.S. intelligence officials as well as senior commanders of the Syrian opposition, the Syrians were told that the bombing would start in a few days. Opposition leaders were ordered to prepare their forces quickly to exploit the U.S. bombing, march into Damascus, and remove the Bashar al-Assad government.”

    More than a limited ‘punishment’ is being planned. These are the hallmarks of “command and control” elimination/degradation. Regime change probably wouldn’t sell well anymore; if you’ll notice, it’s not being mouthed.

  94. ozone September 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Lots of stuff on the front page. Choose your poison. (No pun intended.)

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

  95. beantownbill. September 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    BT and O3 are absolutely correct. America’s only goal seems to be to play the Game of Thrones, to gather as much power and loot as possible. We’ve chosen acquisition as our goal, not something more noble. We’ve misplaced our rationality (or never had it in the first place).

    Instead of carefully husbanding our remaining resources, adequately maintaining our infrastructure, extending our knowledge of the sciences and creating meaningful expressions in the arts, we’ve chosen to abdicate our responsibility, and handed over the reins to a group of conscienceless, power-hungry and maniacally greedy individuals. What could have been and never was is the real tragedy.

    • Janos Skorenzy September 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      There is a Plan, just not one you will care for or have a part in. Remember the Georgia Guide Stones: the Population of the World is to be reduced to 500 million by hook or by crook. The remaining population will be crammed into cities and the Countryside turned into a Park. What kind of Park? One for the Elite. Yes, they are going Medevial on us. See Agenda 21 for more info.

      You (and I) want an exploration of Space. Although the Elite aren’t against high tech per se, I’m not sure they have any interest in that. They do want Med Tech that will prolong their lives though.

  96. progress4what September 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I can’t get a post to post.
    This is a test.

  97. progress4what September 8, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Nice post, Bill – you’ll get no argument from me about any of it.
    Of course, my single solution is to cut through the Gordion Knot by reducing US population growth due to immigration. But, I begin to believe this goal is unobtainable – and it’s probably too late, anyway.

    The CFN thread is quiet, isn’t it. Probably due to a combination of the new software and the banning of the Troll. And since JHK has – more or less – enjoined us against discussion about that, we can’t even try to deduce what motivated it all. Oh well, as you said, “It’s his blog.”
    Hopefully it will come back over the next few weeks.

    • progress4what September 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Hopefully it* will come back over the next few weeks.

      *”it” refers to the comment thread, NOT to the CFN blog or JHK’s writings, which are most always excellent and much appreciated.

  98. progress4what September 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I found this guy over at the Arch Druid’s blog. He has some relevant thoughts to your post, Bill.

    “…But the twenty-first century is unfortunately going to be the morning-after. We didn’t use our technological prowess at its peak to figure out how to move to the next exploitable resource base, whatever that might have been, and every possible path to our next cocaine high is rapidly fading. Indeed, it’s been fading since about the middle of the twentieth century, say 1950 for a round number. Capitalism started to run out of things to suck dry, and has turned back on itself.”
    http://www.themonthebard.org/capitalism-and-corruption/

    • beantownbill. September 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you so much for this blog site. I happen to think this is one of the very best comments on capitalism I’ve ever seen. I agree 1000% with Themon. Part of the reason is I’ve said the exact same thing for over 40 years: it’s all about the money!

      Yeah, people want to accumulate power, too, but it’s very difficult to do so without money, so money is the primary evil.

      This is what I’ve been saying in my last post, and in many,many other ones. The tragedy is that we’ve misallocated so much of our energy

      • beantownbill. September 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

        To continue; … In pursuit of money that we don’t have the energy to do what we have to in order to secure a future for ourselves. It is particularly galling to me that people just can’t seem to see what we, as a civilization, need to do. I guess the pursuit of money IS the root of all evil because it blinds us to reality. So now, I have to expend a lot of my own mental and spiritual energy on sitting back with bemusement watching us go down the tubes, instead of frothing at the mouth and pulling my hair out.

        I’m sorry for the split post, but this iPad sometimes drives me crazy. I hate to admit it in public, but I think I’m suffering from premature postulation.

  99. progress4what September 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    He also makes sense on Syria, to tie directly into JHK’s topic for the week.

    “I don’t know why Obama really wants to bomb Syria. I will never know. I’m certain that the critical information is all “classified,” and I’m reasonably sure that the real reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with the public marketing campaign. If I trusted these people, that wouldn’t bother me a whole lot.

    But I no longer trust that the real reasons are good reasons, or — for that matter — even sane reasons. It would not surprise me at all to find that the real reason for bombing Syria is that one of the US military defense contractors has developed a new missile technology that they are itching to test in a live theater of action. Oooh, oooh, let’s go bomb Syria!

    Okay, that would surprise me a little. I’m not quite that cynical. Not yet.” http://www.themonthebard.org/syria-2/

  100. progress4what September 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    There is some sort of software limit on the length of posts, but instead of giving an error message it returns you to a strange looking “search” page. Interesting.

  101. Being There September 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Here’s a real good one that answers some questions we have.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-08/guest-post-qe-us-foreign-policy-and-who-really-wins-upcoming-war-syria

    • K-Dog September 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      “Bernanke and the Fed doves would like nothing better than another ‘controlled’ war in the Mideast, because with war comes massive debt issuance, and with massive debt issuance comes the transmission mechanism (QE) for monetizing that debt and mainlining it onto the Wall Street banks’ broken balance sheets.”

      It would be nice to see a solidly put together explanation on how this is done exactly, who specifically benefits and by how much.

      I’d also like a pony.

  102. ozone September 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    As Paul Craig Roberts destroys the facade of fraud that he helped president Reagan build back in the glory days of twilight in america, his boulders appear to be getting heavier and his accuracy improving, month over month: Gird your loins before reading, as PCR has loaded up his trebuchet with a huge bladder filled with piss and vinegar.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/09/07/the-west-dethroned-paul-craig-roberts/

    An outline of where we currently stand in power projection [that our host addresses at the top of the page] regarding the planned destruction of Syria and proxy participation in same.

    Snippet:
    “…the support behind the liar obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.” -PCR

    Ouch. A consensus by officially-maligned Cassandra’s is being reached.
    …Now I’m off to read BT’s zerohedge link.
    Thanks for the Themon blog link, Prog.
    Lots of good on-topic stuff this week. (Apologies for over-posting. If I get irritatingly blog-hoggy, please just holler! I can consciously contract, conserve and condense, I know I can. ;))

  103. Karah September 9, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    How informed our national leaders are about the ongoing TRAGIC DRAMA in the M.E. and our economy…

    A dead guy with money and power is the same as a dead guy without money and power. Death has a way of leveling the playing field, whoever can stay alive the longest reaps the rewards. Mortal threats have often been the turning point in human history.
    Enter stage right:

    “Throughout the first years of the 1980s the Muslim Brotherhood and various other Islamist factions staged hit-and-run and bomb attacks against the government and its officials, including a nearly successful attempt to assassinate president Hafez al-Assad on 26 June 1980, during an official state reception for the president of Mali. When a machine-gun salvo missed him, al-Assad allegedly ran to kick a hand grenade aside, and his bodyguard (who survived and was later promoted to a much higher position) smothered the explosion of another one. Surviving with only light injuries, al-Assad’s revenge was swift and merciless: only hours later a large number of imprisoned Islamists (reports more than 1200) were executed in their cells in Tadmor Prison (near Palmyra), by units loyal to the president’s brother Rifaat al-Assad…

    Eid al-Ghadeer is a festive day observed by Shia Muslims on the 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar …
    It marks the anniversary of Muhammad’s sermon, described in Hadith of the pond of Khumm, in which he stated, Whomsoever’s master (maula) I am, Ali is also his (maula) master. O’ God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.
    – Wikipedia.org

    The U.S.A. is constantly having crises of conscience where there should be none. Sen. Kerry is the foremost case when it comes to religion and politics – the two can not mix. Does Barak Obama follow the path of blood for blood by directly issuing military strikes in the M.E. or can he somehow extricate himself and his people from the whole blood feud via the U.N. process. It’s too bad Assad is not completely secular, then he might accept the fact the world rulers have the means and will to wipe out him and all his religious allies.

  104. ozone September 9, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    In the Grand Chessboard, religion is just another lever, not an end in itself.

    Lihn Dihn weighs in with a incisive analysis/opinion, and another eminently plausible explanation of what the Syrian issue is really about: The empire is hoping to bring down a lot of birds with the military, proxy and covert stone here.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36160.htm

    Gazprom doesn’t ring any bells? It should, because it’s all about energy and money, BIGTME. This is about Russian ‘national interests’, and as we’ve seen in this country (by the frequency of its’ invocation) that meme is made for the rattling of sabers and forwarding of ordnance.

    • ozone September 9, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      “Linh Dinh”!
      Geeze, dyslexic much?

  105. CyberPass September 18, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    It was none other than Gen.Wesley Clark who said he was told, before Iraq was attacked, that Libya, Syria and Iran were next. The military considers that there is none who would dare stop us- what would they do, besides stop buying Tbonds? Wild Bill Hickock, with over 100 notches in his gun, was an inveterate gambler, and who was about to try to collect a gambling debt from him?
    K-Dog was right that the bankers are big winners when it comes to endless war- although the Fed has denied it, it is clear they are already monetizing the debt- exchanging newly printed dollars for TBonds- that is all that is needed to create whatever new spending is required hand in hand with a corrupt press which pretends not to notice that this is inflationary., but for once the American people, who know damn well what a pound of meat costs, have stood on their hind legs and let it be known they are sick of it.

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