Many of the quatrains of Nostradamus come to mind as the petty tyrant of Syria is now proven by the French to have used weapons of mass destruction and the Russians have made good on their pledge to help their proxy with state-of-the-art anti-aircraft weapons to make sure the war does not turn on an air blockade by NATO and other allies (of Syrian air domination) of the rebels.
The avowed terrorist organization Hezbollah of Lebanon is now fighting on behalf of Syria and drawing Israel into the war. Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have been destabilized with massive refugee camps. Turkey so much so that civil war is emerging from many factors.
It should be pointed out the destabilization spreads even further -- from Iran & Iraq to Egypt. In the middle of this Bermuda Triangle of misery is the Armageddon Valley.
It is hard to say why Iran, Iraq, Russia, China and a few radical elements within Lebanon would stand in the way of a very aggressive response by NATO, an unmistakeable response that would swiftly turn the tide in this battle and forcefully strengthen the democratic forces fighting the Assad regime.
I am disappointed in Obama's timid foreign policy in this matter and, frankly, Kerry's statements on the matter are scaring the hell out of me!
Diplomats speak of mistakes in Bosnia and Rwanda and what they would now do differently when millions of people are in danger of being slaughtered. This situation is far worse, orders of magnitude worse.
They are collecting masses of data through all types of communication. The Utah Data Center was the original prototype platform for collection which I wrote about here about a year ago.
The concept, as they outline it, seems innocent enough -- they match possible suspects of interest to IP addresses and phone numbers and then see what addresses and names that leads them to.
But does anybody really believe that is the extent to which they will limit themselves? The system is rife for political abuse... just look at the current scandal at the IRS.
Is the protection of the state and it's citizenry that of a higher magnitude than the freedom and privacy of those citizens? It is the price we pay for our bloated economic hegemony that allows us our vastly inflated lifestyle.
This end justifies this means?
If you forgot Sgt. Bales, he is the vet who lost it and snuck over the wire twice in one night in a forward operating base in Afghanistan and slaughtered 16 Afghans -- mostly women and children.
At the time I thought sure this was a black op. hatched out of Ft. Lewis-McChord to end the war. It happened mere weeks before Obama met with Karzai in Afghanistan to agree on the draw-down of US troops by the end of 2014. I figured Bales might do 3 years and then quietly be let out on a psych. charge.
Today it was announced that the evidence was so overwhelmingly against him he would probably cop a plea for life if one is offered.
War is hell. Imagine if we had concentrated on Afghanistan at first and got OBL at Tora-Borra? No massive casualties, no ticking PTSD time bombs, no extra billions spent?
I think Jeb's mother is right, we've had enough Bushs in the White House already!
I did notice that now that you mention it, Anna rXia. An odd coincidence for sure, but also a sign of a growing economy. You know what they say: you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs (though I'm not sure how directly that applies here)!
There have been a lot of train derailments lately? It's not that they seem weird or anything, just the law of averages.
Oh, and living near a major rail junction as I do, I can say there is lot of train traffic out there, the economy is picking up...
Not sure how many of you out there caught the news yesterday, but a CSX train derailed and caught fire yesterday after apparently colliding with a trash truck. A huge column of smoke followed by an explosion shut down an entire zip code north of Baltimore and actually caused a hazmat team to evacuate the area for a while. Fortunately, thanks to early warnings, regular updates due to the continued news coverage, and the general public actually paying attention, major and massive traffic delays were avoided, and (as far as I know) no one lost their life.
And to top it all off, this took place only a few miles north of my house. Sometimes it's cool that the area around where you live makes the national news, but not for something like this. I'm just glad nothing catastrophic happened.
Freedom isn't free... Be sure to thank all those who serve, from the potato-peelers to the drone controllers. The blunt sword of the armed forces swings where it is aimed. If you don't like the result, blame the one who is aiming, not the one taking orders.
On the planet, it also has laws to ban the sale of nudity depicted in magazines as it may be offensive to the clerks selling them.
Whats next? Chocolate milk? Integration with the plain, non-fat and vanilla is a must! Political correctness at all costs!
In his first major speech on counterterrorism of his second term, President Obama on Thursday opened a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism by announcing that he is restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes, which have been at the heart of his national security strategy.
1) Tracing the Rise and Decline of Drone Strikes
President Obama inherited the drone program, the number of strikes drastically increased in his first term.
2) Polls Show Strong Public Support for Drone Strikes
There is strong public support for drone strikes against suspected terrorists outside the United States
3) More Militants Killed Than Captured
In his speech, President Obama spoke of a “strong preference” for capturing militants rather than killing them.
4) Concern Over Drone Strikes and Response in Arab World
Parts of President Obama’s speech suggest an evolution not only in how the administration views the drone program but also in how the United States views events in the Arab world.
5) The Role of the C.I.A. in Targeted Killings
President Obama spoke of using “remotely piloted aircraft referred to as drones.” He made no mention of the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency is running the bulk of the drone program.
6) Obama Addresses Kill-Versus-Capture Policy
The president said that the United States does not order drone strikes when it has the ability to capture terrorists.
7) Obama Keeps the Door Open to a Drone Court
The United States government has been debating the idea of setting up a court to oversee targeted killings, something akin to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees eavesdropping on American soil.
8) The Debate Over the Use of Force Authorization
There is fierce debate about whether Congress should renew the Authorization for Use of Military Force law that was passed in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks.
9) Obama to Lift Moratorium on Detainee Transfers
The most significant part of President Obama’s remarks about Guantánamo Bay was his announcement that he is lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen.
10) What Next for Drone Program?
Now that the speech is over, one of the big outstanding questions is just how transparent the Obama administration will be about drone strikes in the future.
President Obama will give a defining speech today at the National Defense Academy in which he will outline his policy on prosecution of terrorism as well as plans for Guantanamo Bay. Both of these topics are very interesting and may well set policy for the US for the next ten years.
Of the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo, most on hunger strike and being force-fed, 59 of them are Yemenis that could be repatriated to Yemen. The policy on drone strikes may very well determine if the US involves itself in future ground wars when UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) may do just as well.
Hopefully this will be a defining moment for a sea-course change in American policy or at least a long-term normalizing of the rules of engagement for the many agencies tasked with command and control of drones. One thing is for sure, America needs to sort this out, especially the policy on drones overflying American airspace...