Monday 25th of June 2018

US war, at perpetuity... forever... non stop... continually... uninterrupted...

orwell

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on May 16th regarding the authorization of a new Authority for the Use of Military Force 2018 (AUMF). Despite a current lack of unanimity on the committee, the draft authorization (SJ Res 59) has been brought forward as a working document despite the lack of successful back-room negotiations in recent weeks. The hearing was conducted with no quorum present, the lack of which denied the sponsors an easy vote of approval. 

The AUMF 2018 would replace AUMF’s 2001 and 2002 which proponents suggest would remove the onerous Constitutional responsibility from a self-proclaimed over-burdened Congress from voting to approve every single separate act of war. While final approval of the AUMF 2018 represents a “Forever Vote,” product of a low vibration consciousness, the ACLU, which should be leading a vigorous national campaign against the proposal, appears absent from the debate. 

Approval of a one-size-fits-all AUMF will greatly facilitate the Pentagon’s long held desire to ‘take out’ seven countries in five years – although somewhat behind the original timeline, military conflict is ongoing throughout the Middle East and will allow dramatic escalation in each of those countries without meaningful accountability or Constitutional Congressional oversight. 

Since the Congress has already exhibited a penchant for an inability to govern, why have a Foreign Relations Committee at all if their single, most essential Constitutional reason for existence of whether to take the country to war is eliminated? 

When the draft AUMF 2018 was introduced by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn) retiring Chair of the Committee in mid-April, he suggested that a strong vote in the Committee would translate into strong support on the Senate floor. After all, even members of the Senate are sensitive to not publicly dismembering their own Constitutional prerogative on a close vote.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-SC) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Or) had both previously announced their opposition to AUMF and both spoke at the hearing against the proposal. Sen. Paul opened with a spirited assault on the AUMF as “flipping the Constitution on its head” eliminating the majority vote in favor of a two-thirds vote required to override Presidential action while allowing the unfettered expansion of war throughout the Middle East. 

Since the 2001 AUMF, the status quo has reigned with every President initiating war with the assumption that they had the authority to ‘stretch’ the AUMF to fit current circumstances. Paul argued that by codifying Presidential authority as the 2018 version would do, an opportunity for legal challenges to Presidential authority would be removed. Unrestrained war without the pesky need for Congressional participation is, of course, exactly what the pro-war Republicrats who control the Senate and their MIC benefactors are hoping for. As an example of how a new AUMF might function, Paul said he had not yet figured out ‘why we are chasing a herdsman in Mali?”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va) avid co sponsor of the proposal and HRC’s running mate in 2016, declared that “Congress needs to send a message to our troops, one of them is one of my kids, that the missions they are fighting and dying for, against non-state terrorist groups, has the support of Congress.” Kaine did not explain how codifying the legality of all future undeclared wars will somehow improve the morale of American troops. 

One of the two hearing witnesses was Rita Siemion, Adjunct Professor of Law, Human Rights First, George Washington University who provided effective testimony which attracted Kaine to focus his laser on her.

Kaine: Do you support the need for continuing US military action against Taliban, Isis and al Qaeda? 

Siemion: I think the use of military force is something that the president should be coming to Congress…

Kaine [interrupts]: Well, can I just say…we are currently engaged in military action against al Qaeda, Isis and the Taliban, do you support need for that action or don’t you?

Siemion: I think that hard questions need to be asked of the administration about what are we achieving by use of military force over the long term….” 

Kaine [interrupts again]: So you are not prepared to say today whether you do or do not support the action that our troops are currently engaged in against ISIA, al Qaeda and the Taliban? 

Siemion: I think that there are currently real questions that need to be answered about the efficacy of using military force…

Kaine: Let me ask a second question then. I think from your testimony that you would agree, separating this resolution, that the 2001 authorization should be rewritten/or replaced? Do I understand that to be your testimony?

Siemion: I agree that the status quo is incredibly problematic.

Kaine: So then let me be more specific….do you think it should it be repealed with no replacement or rewritten and then replaced?

Siemion: I think if Congress agrees that use of military force is required and appropriate and it is demonstrated it can be effective for addressing particular terrorist threats, then Congress should authorize military force against those particular groups.

Kaine: I understand that. Obviously if somebody does not think we should be using military force against alQaeda, Isis or the Taliban, then they should vote no on this…they should not vote for an authorization. That’s a good reason to vote no if you do not support the military action that our troops are currently engaged in against al Qaeda, Isis and the Taliban.

In addition to his attempt to make Siemion look unpatriotic, if Kaine’s goal was to intimidate Sen. Merkley who was next to address the panel, he failed. 

Merkley focused on legal contradictions and broad interpretations within the AUMF providing the President with a new legal foundation to decide or interpret particular sections that otherwise would be the purview of Congress. Merkley further cited that “the bottom line, what we have before us, codifies the existing situation, gives fresh authority for what has been done since 2001 and I fundamentally believe that delegation was not intended in 2001 and is not appropriate now.” He referred to the Federalist Papers on “how they decided to give that war making power to Congress, that it should not be in the hands of one single person; it is too big an issue, the lives of our soldiers, our sons and daughters, is too big an issue to open that door and I believe they were exactly right. There is a fundamental reason behind that and it is still relevant today.”

At conclusion of the hearing, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) the committee’s ranking member directly addressed Kaine in that he:

…reject as a false choice that voting against this, when it comes time for that if this is what the final product is, that voting against this proposal is a vote against our troops in the field. No. I reject the proposition that it’s either this or you are not with our troops. That’s ridiculous.”

Kaine replied to:

…clarify and the transcript would show this, I think, that I certainly did not suggest that if you vote against the AUMF, you are against the troops who are currently fighting. I did not suggest that. I did suggest if you are against military action, that is good reason to oppose our proposal. I was engaging in questions of the witness to see if she agreed we should be engaged in military action against these groups. She would not offer an opinion upon that.”

With Secretary of State Pompeo scheduled to testify before Foreign Relations on Thursday, May 24th to clarify the Trump administration’s position on AUMF proposal, a Committee mark up can be expected soon thereafter. 

If qui bono is applied here and since the new AUMF would presumably focus on ‘terrorists’ and sovereign nations throughout the Middle East, Israel would appear to be the beneficiary of the dismantling of Congress’ Constitutional obligations. Therefore, it is instructive that fourteen out of twenty one Foreign Relations members were identified by the Center for Responsive Politics on their Top Twenty list of recipients of Pro-Israel PACs or individuals who donated over $200.

  • Menendez (D-NJ)  2012/2016: $623,508
  • Rubio (R-Fl) 2016: $468,307
  • Booker (D-NJ)  2014: $434,126
  • Cardin (D-Md)  2012/2018: $415,993
  • Portman (R-Oh)  2016: $235,280
  • Johnson (R-Wis) 2016: $231,814
  • Shaheen (D-NH)  2014: $203,149
  • Kaine (D-Va)  2018: $167,878
  • Coons (D-De) 2014: $133,300
  • Udall (D-NM)  2016: $110,379
  • Barasso (R-Wy)  2018: $105,400
  • Corker (R-Tenn)  2012: $102,950
  • Markey (D-Mass)  2014: $100,450
  • Murphy (D-Ct)  2018: $65,221
  • Either the remaining seven Committee members did not receive sufficient Pro-Israel PAC money to qualify for the Top Twenty list or they received no Pro-Israel PAC money.

    Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and a staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

    war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous...

    war forever

    Since posting this picture in 2005, a lot has changed — nothing in the intent of war forever has changed, but in the technologies to "maintain superiority". Most images of war are presently those of SMALL conflicts and pissy combats involving troops, all equipped to the max, up to the level of "plane warfare" (traditional soldiering). Now robotics have made a giant leap into the foray. The next step is to make robotic (automated) war without destroying the planet which is unavoidable, once the "superiority" of one side over another becomes over-bearing. The nuke option becomes the only way out. This nuke option of course has been auto-updated into a final response

    We know that at this stage, the USA is pushing an anti-peace agenda under false pretences. This is for profit and control. We cannot support the agenda of the USA. 

     

    The New (SJ Res 59) amendment would help the USA minimise the rigmarole of the US secret services having to painstakingly construct a fake "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" disinformation campaign. Now, there will be no need for elaborate misinformation and propaganda: "we choose to take these out because they're baddies" will be good enough for the adventure. Er... this is the way it's done anyway already. Libya, Syria, and wait for it: Iran... and of course NK.

    And our media is enjoyably being suckered... What's better than loving biffo and blaming the Russians?... Or the Chinese?

    preparing the nauseating next war of the 20th century...

    One of the worst symptoms of the paralysis in Washington and at the Pentagon has been the inability to correctly match weapon systems with current enemy threat capabilities. Hence the United States Marine Corps is set to announce the final winner between defense contractors BAE Systems and SAIC to build and field their new Amphibious Combat Vehicle, or ACV.

    Or should we say the old Amphibious Combat Vehicle? Because after 46 years and tens of billions of dollars, the Marines are right back where they started with this technology, which leaves no one—except maybe the contractors feeding off this farcical routine—feeling very satisfied.

    So how did we get here? 

    The naval campaigns in the Pacific theater of World War II were successful due to the capability of the Marine Corps to conduct amphibious assaults against Japanese-held islands. Following the war this capability was written into law via the National Security Act of 1947, which stipulated that the Marine Corps was responsible for the seizure of advanced naval bases.

    In order to move from Navy ships to enemy-held territory, the Marines must be transported across a distance of water and rely on what is generally called a connector. Both the Navy and Marine Corps operate various connectors from ship to shore, while the job of the Marines is to fight their way into enemy territory. Marine connectors only carry one weapon: Marines. Step one is to take the beach.

    During World War II, the Navy ships could move to within a few miles of the Japanese-held islands before loading Marines into connectors. But with the advent of ballistic missile technology during the Cold War, a new weapon made its debut: the anti-ship missile.

    The idea is simple. If Navy ships are within range of an anti-ship missile, they risk being severely damaged or even sunk. The solution is standoff. The Navy ships must stay outside the effective range of the missiles or use defensive measures to shoot the missiles down. This forces the ships further out to sea and increases the distance the connectors must travel over the open ocean to transport the Marines.

    The connector vehicle the Marines adopted in 1972 was the Amphibious Assault Vehicle or AAV. AAVs are stored in hollow lower sections of naval ships known as well decks, which can be flooded so the AAV can exit the aft end of the ship into the ocean. The vehicle moves through the water using two traditional water propellers and also has tracks similar to a tank in order to drive on land. The AAV can carry around 20 Marines, swim through the water at seven knots (nautical miles per hour; seven knots is eight mph for comparison), and has an advertised water range of approximately 20 nautical miles, which in reality is closer to five nautical miles.

    But anti-ship missile technology advanced in the 1980s, and proved deadly in the 1982 Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina as the British lost two ships* to French-built Exocet missiles. So the Marine Corps and Navy rewrote their doctrine to move their ships over the horizon to approximately 12 nautical miles.

    This strategy necessitated a new connector vehicle. Marine amphibious doctrine requires a “swift introduction of sufficient combat power ashore.” If the AAV can only swim at seven knots and the ships are 12 nautical miles away, you are looking at close to a two-hour ride to the beach. Time equals distance divided by speed. For the Marines stacked like sardines in full combat gear in the sweltering troop compartment of the AAV, this bumpy two hours becomes a rather nauseating and incapacitating experience.

     

    Read more:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/amphibious-vehicles-are-...

    the truth is a small candle in a hurricane of lies...

     

    From Greg Maybury:

    FAKE NEWS GOOD, REAL NEWS BAD

    As the mainstream (or corporate) media—as deservedly much-maligned as it is malignant—descends further and further into deceptive arrogance and dangerous incoherence, it increasingly seeks, in indirect proportion it seems and with an equal mix of hubris, dishonesty, chutzpah, and hypocrisy, to double down in its attempts to preserve and maintain its façade of credibility and integrity. Western political, intellectual and media elites are veritably hyperventilating at the prospect that their own “fake news” is being viewed for what it is: a desperate attempt to paper over the cracks in the wall of a crumbling Anglo-American-Zionist empire.

    It’s instructive here to consider a few of the recent, most preposterous narratives that have been—or are being—breathlessly promulgated. These stories are ones amongst many that no serious media outlet claiming a modicum of integrity or credibility should be touching with the proverbial forty-foot barge pole. 

    That is of course unless it’s to refute the generally always evidence-free claims that frequently attend them and ridicule then discredit the person(s) making them. Here are just three of the ‘greatest hits’ as it were, currently topping the MSM charts:

  • a) the farcical, transparently duplicitous anti-Russian propaganda onslaught emanating from Britain and America that seeks amongst countless other high crimes and dastardly deeds to blame that country and its leader for constant interference in the affairs of other countries, whilst ignoring their own respective, and destructive track records in this regard;
  • b) the illegal seven-year old, seemingly endless war currently being waged by Britain, America, and Israel against Syria and president Bashar al-Assad, one which he’s successfully fought with all the resources at his disposal despite the combined forces of the empire pulling out all stops to malign him and then terminate him with extreme prejudice; and, last but not least
  • c) the increasingly deranged Israeli despot Benjamin Netanyahu reprising once again his tried and true dog and pony show to sell-out audiences advocating war on Iran because he claims they’ve not adhered to the 2016 agreement not to build any nukes, whilst refusing point-blank to answer questions about his own country’s nuclear program.
  • Whether in the U.S., Britain, Australia or anywhere else in the West for that matter, few of us should be under any illusions that the monolithic Fourth Estate remains steadfastly devoted to the ongoing betrayal of its purported brief by supporting the hidden—and not so hidden—agendas of those to whom it is, and indeed has always been, beholden.

    It’s notable that one of the U.S. establishment media’s flagship marques the ‘venerable’ Washington Post—whose high-minded, yet pedestrian positioning statement, “Democracy Dies in Darkness” is so positively Orwellian one suspects its authors were wearing ‘Freudian slips’ at its moment of conception—was given a deliciously outsized serve of ridicule recently by the media watch organisation Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).

    And rightly so we might opine. The article, by Adam Johnson, chronicles the Wash-Post’s ‘top ten’ columns that he’s characterised as “sociopathic” in tone and temper. 

    For ‘casually threatening economic ruin, inciting violence against entire populations, pushing for bombing faceless Muslims, or downplaying racism and child rape, there’s no better outlet’ Johnson says of the Post, ‘than [this] long-time echo chamber of power-serving conventional wisdom…’

    In the pages of the Post’s opinion section, you can say the most sociopathic things and get away with it, because you are, by definition, Serious People offering Serious Solutions in a Serious Paper. The human cost of these extreme, reactionary opinions is of little matter; what matters is packaging calls for violence, sexism and racism in a nice, official-sounding tone.’

    Along with ‘pointing the bone’ at the paper’s editorial board itself for its own track record of sociopathic sensibilities when opining about the Big Issues, Johnson name checks several of their high profile ‘by-liners’ past and present for special attention. These include Joshua Muravchik, John Bolton (now the White House’s Chief Chicken-hawk-in-Residence), and Richard Cohen amongst others. For Johnson, if there’s “one thing” the Post opinion editors love—and which is highly pertinent to the here and now along with being instructive in respect of our narrative—‘it’s columns threatening, plotting and advocating war against Iran. It’s the little black dress of foreign policy punditry—[it] never goes out of style’.

    To bolster his assertion, Johnson showcases a piece written in 2015 by Muravchik, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Muravchik’s op-ed piece was titled “War With Iran Is Probably Our Best Option”. Johnson responded with the following:

    [Muravchik]…argued nonchalantly that launching a war of aggression against Iran was “probably” “our” best “option.” He doesn’t explain who “our” refers to, or why a military attack was even an “option” to begin with….He [Muravchik] then asserts that Iran is uniquely irrational and cannot be compelled with material needs, asserting that “ideology is the raison d’etre of Iran’s regime” and concluding, as if he were settling on a Thai food order, that a bombing campaign that would kill tens of thousands is the “best option.”’

    From this above ‘catalogue’ of dodgy Post reportage we might draw the following conclusion: It is in matters of war and peace that perhaps the MSM is most at conflict with the now decidedly old school journalistic canons, these being of course: accuracy, fairness, public accountability, objectivity, truthfulness, and impartiality. The current state of geopolitical affairs and international relations—as existentially precarious as it is—should be ample testament to this reality. The mainstream mastheads are not—and have never been known for being—bastions for the promotion of peace, love and understanding amongst nations, anymore than they have been known for their adherence to truthfulness, accuracy or any of the other “canons” cited earlier.

     

    Read more:

    http://poxamerikana.com/2018/05/25/of-fake-news-and-history-suborned-in-...

    and: 

    https://off-guardian.org/of-fake-news-and-history-suborned-in-war-and-pe...

     

    Read from top. I was having similar argument recently about global warming. My point was that "The Australian" and "The Daily Telegraph" were promoting fake news (anti-sciences) on this important subject. Both being "Murdoch papers". I was told that the readership of such papers is quite small, including the listening audience of "Alan Jones". Point taken, except that Murdoch papers are:

    a) the influencers of news in Canberra political decision making and

    b) ninety per cent of other papers and news outlet rely on the feed from the Murdoch stable of rubbish for their new. As well, I had to explain that many "local" papers, including "The Courier Mail" are "Murdoch" owned papers.

    On the subject of global warming, the only outlets that will "support the concept" are the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian. The ABC has to go through hoops of "balance" to report on the subject. 

    On all other subjects, especially Trump and Russia bashing, the whole Western media is a symphonic harmony.

    So far I have not seen a single media reporting like I have done consistently on the influence of Murdoch on Trump's victory over Hillary. It has to be said that the Americans were presented with a diabolical choice on this score. Murdoch made his choice known quite early in the campaign. Soros was more devious about his support for the Clintons who were the friends of the billionaires, not of the people of whom many were described as "deplorables". Not a good look.

    Note: THE PRESENT GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL AND ANTHROPOGENICALLY INDUCED. 

    Read from top. Read also:

    driving off a cliff at 120 miles an hour is "not as bad as we thought"...even on a bicycle...