Ilargi: Memo to the US – The Winds Are Shifting

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By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor of Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

How do you define terror? Perhaps, because of the way the term has evolved in the English language, one wouldn’t call the west ‘terrorists’ per se, but ‘we’ are certainly spreading terror and terrorizing very large groups of people. Yeah, bring on the tanks and parade them around town. Add a marching band that plays some war tunes.

The ‘official’ storyline : at the request of the US, Gibraltar police and UK marines have seized an oil tanker in Gibraltar. The super-tanker, 1000 feet (330 meters) long, carrying 2 million barrels, had stopped there after sailing all around the Cape of Good Hope instead of taking the Suez canal on its way, ostensibly, from Iran to Syria.

And, according to the storyline as presented to and in the western press, because the EU still has sanctions on Iran, the British seized the ship. Another little detail I really appreciate is that Spain’s acting foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said Madrid was looking into the seizure and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty since Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.

That Borrell guy is the newly picked EU foreign policy czar, and according to some sources he’s supportive of Iran and critical of Israel. Them’s the webs we weave. He’s certainly in favor of Palestinian statehood. But we’re wandering…

Why did the tanker take that giant detour along the African coastline? Because potential problems were anticipated in the Suez canal. But also: why dock in Gibraltar? Because no problems were anticipated there. However, the US had been following the ship all along, and set this up.

A trap, a set-up, give it a name. I would think this is about Iran, not about sanctions on Syria; that’s just a convenient excuse. Moreover, as people have been pointing out, there have been countless arms deliveries to Syrian rebels in the past years (yes, that’s illegal) which were not seized.

 

The sanctions on Syria were always aimed at one goal: getting rid of Assad. That purpose failed either miserably or spectacularly, depending on your point of view. It did achieve one thing though, and if I were you I wouldn’t be too sure this was not the goal all along.

That is, out of a pre-war population of 22 million, the United Nations in 2016 identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance; over 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and around 5 million are refugees outside of Syria. About half a million are estimated to have died, the same number as in Iraq.

And Assad is still there and probably stronger than ever. But it doesn’t even matter whether the US/UK/EU regime change efforts are successful or not, and I have no doubt they’ve always known this. Their aim is to create chaos as a war tactic, and kill as many people as they can. How do you define terror, terrorism? However you define it, ‘we’ are spreading it.

That grossly failed attempt to depose Assad has left Europe with a refugee problem it may never be able to control. And the only reason there is such a problem is that Europe, in particular Britain and France, along with the US, tried to bomb these people’s homelands out of existence. Because their leaders didn’t want to conform to “our standards”, i.e. have our oil companies seize and control their supplies.

 

But while you weren’t looking some things changed, irreversibly so. The US and Europe are no longer the undisputed and overwhelming global military power they once were. Russia has become a target they cannot even consider attacking anymore, because their armies, assembled in NATO, wouldn’t stand a chance.

China is not yet at the ‘might’ level of Russia, but US and NATO are in no position to attack a country of 1.4 billion people either. Their military prominence ended around the turn of the century/millennium, and they’re not going to get it back. Better make peace fast.

So what we’ve seen for a few decades now is proxy wars. In which Russia in particular has been reluctant to engage but decisive when it does. Moscow didn’t want to let Assad go, and so they made sure he stayed. Syria is Russia’s one single stronghold in the Middle East, and deemed indispensable.

Meanwhile, as over half of Syrians, some 11 million people, have been forced to flee their homes, with millions of them traumatized by war, ‘we’ elect to seize a tanker allegedly headed for a refinery in the country, so we can make sure all those people have no oil or less oil for a while longer.

So the refugees that do have the courage and will to return will find it that much harder to rebuild their homes and towns, and will tell those still abroad not to join them. At the same time Assad is doing fine, he may be the target of the sanctions but he doesn’t suffer from them, his people do.

 

Yes, let’s parade some tanks around town. And let’s praise the heroic UK marines who seized an utterly defenseless oil tanker manned by a bunch of dirt-poor Philippinos. Yay! There is probably some profound irony that explains why Trump and Bolton and Pompeo want a military parade at the very moment the US military must concede defeat in all theaters but the propaganda one.

Still there it is. The only people the US, the west, can still credibly threaten, are defenseless civilians, women, children. The leaders of nations are out of reach. Maduro, Assad, let alone Putin or Xi.

Happy 4th of July. Not sure how independent you yourself are, but I can see a few people who did achieve independence from western terror. Just not the poor, the ones that count. But don’t look at the tanks, look at the wind instead. The winds are shifting.

 

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66 comments

  1. Clive

    The EU has been a sticking plaster and a shot of Novocain at the open wound that is Gibraltar. Without that stabilising influence, that plaster is about to be ripped off and a slash of neat peroxide is about to be poured onto it.

    Watch for more — unpleasant — developments coming soon on this one.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I wondered about that myself. There could be an unspoken message now out that the UK gets to say who gets to use the Straits of Gibraltar. I am sure that the Spanish would see no problem with that. One thing is sure. That is a few more countries that the UK has completely antagonized now which will come back to bite it post-Brexit.

      Reply
      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, Gentlemen, Clive, the Reverend and the author, and to Yves for sharing.

        The winds are indeed shifting, but as long as defeat is not obvious in the propaganda theatre, that’s all that matters.

        The NC community, especially Anonymous 2, David and Harry, have often written about the calibre of civil servants in the Treasury with regard to Brexit, it’s the same with the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

        Middle East experts, often termed “Arabists”, have left, often forced out for ideological reasons. They would have cautioned against such adventures. The newer and younger breed of Foreign Office officials, e.g. the co-author of the dodgy / sexed up (WMD) dossier Matthew Rycroft, and some veterans like John Scarlet, now retired and consulting with former Tory MP James Arbuthnott (whose wife “presided” over Assange’s recent hearing), are far more ideological (neo con) and willing to blur the boundaries between impartial advice and enabling what politicians want. There are few, if any regional, specialists at the Foreign Office any more.

        Sadly, it’s the same with the officer corps, more ideological, enablers and less, if at all, cognizant of the strategic implications of such actions.

        As the above happens, HMG becomes more and more dependent on advice from the likes of US neo con think tanks, especially the Henry Jackson Society. Unlike at the Treasury and Bank of England, so far, no such neo cons and neo liberals have been imported from the former colonies by the Foreign Office.

        As both Clive and the Reverend conclude, watch out for more unpleasant developments things that come back to bite the UK.

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          Maybe there is something else behind it, but it does seem to be a very clumsy operation – its annoyed a lot of important people (not least in Spain) at just the time when this isn’t needed for the UK. I wonder if the neocon element in Whitehall is using the interregnum in power to seek to bind the UK even more firmly to the US post Brexit.

          Reply
        2. Mattski

          The new “scandal” surrounding Prince Charles and his alleged sympathies for the Arabs, tinted with anti-Semitism though they may or may not be (I’d tend to the latter but am willing to be corrected) has more than a little bearing here.

          Meanwhile, the end of our missile treaty with Russia is being fashioned as a pretext for lots more creation of killing things.

          Reply
          1. Alex Cox

            “Russia has become a target they cannot even consider attacking anymore, because their armies, assembled in NATO, wouldn’t stand a chance.”

            I am not sure the current crop of politicians and bureaucrats in the UK (or the US) know this.

            As the Colonel observes, people with specialist knowledge are being replaced with ideologically-motivated enablers. And the Pentagon and its NATO assets stress their ability to wage a “limited” nuclear war…

            Reply
            1. animalogic

              “China is not yet at the ‘might’ level of Russia, but US and NATO are in no position to attack a country of 1.4 billion people either.”
              Indeed. And I would suggest China’s “might level” is very close to not only Russia’s but the US’s. Just as a for instance: the PLAN (Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy) has instituted probably the largest ship building program in history. All its newer vessels are equal to or (significantly?) better than comparable US types.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                All this war talk about just how fabulously strong, or not, this and that polity is annoyingly ignorant; let’s look at the reality that China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, would all be facing strong food shortages without any harvest failures. With even moderate shortfalls, add in the rest of the world as countries start scrambling for food to stockpile even those who are completely self sufficient. The United States has destroyed it industrial base so much that it cannot provide all the parts, tools, white goods, clothing, etc that it needs just to function daily. I have not checked Russia’s economy, but I suspect that like the UK, or any European country it needs other countries to survive.

                One of the reasons that the British almost lost World War One, that Germany did, and the nations that used to be the Austro-Hungarian Empire did so poorly after that war was the breaking up of all those trade connections. Everyone was gung-ho on war or independence, but no-one has made any plans whatsoever on to run their economy(ies) after the first few years of war or peace. And no, sticking it all on the Germans did not work either.

                Reply
      2. skippy

        I’m starting to get that last election feeling where previous sorts went a bit curious when confronted with the choices and the past went poof …. strangest thing[s] …

        Reply
  2. cnchal

    Peace though procurement malpractice. The current batch of military hardware is so much garbage that when the President wants to use the “superb” pieces of crap (F35 and the new boats are prime examples) a general will have to become the sacrificial lamb and give the president the news that this stuff is for show only.

    Reply
    1. Bill Smith

      The Israelis claim to like the F-35 and to have used it in Syria to attack Syrian Air Defense installations after the Syrian Air Defense installations fired at their other manned aircraft.

      That’s something of an endorsement of it’s capabilities. How much I don’t know.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        It has been claimed that an F-35 was damaged beyond repair on one attack. I don’t know if anyone has got to bottom of these claims. It does seem a bit hard to accept that a bird strike could have led to the scrapping of an entire airframe.

        I think the issue of Israeli use of US aircraft is complex – the US seems to have pressurised Israel to drop its own aircraft, the Lavi, and it may well have been that giving Israel priority with the F-35 was part of the quid quo pro over that. For many countries, choosing the F-35 seems to owe more to politics than defence considerations.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          That is certainly true with Australia. Because of the vast distances involved, we needed a fighter with twin engines but the F-35, which our political masters chose on our behalf, have only one. Strategically, it is a disaster in the making.

          Reply
          1. Bill Smith

            The one engine to two engine argument has been going on for decades. What is the reliability of the F-16 versus F-18 in regard to engine mishaps?

            As to the bird strike… the aircraft is so stealthy that the bird couldn’t see it?

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              If one engine goes down in a twin engine fighter, they get to limp home on the other engine. In a single engine fighter that is not an option. Australia was not really purchasing a new fighter but was purchasing political protection instead. And now we have a 21st century Brewster Buffalo for our front line defense.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                At least the Buffalo was never claimed to be unflyable or even unusable, but just obsolete and at awesome price tag.

                Reply
            1. animalogic

              Two engines–agreed. And, yes, bloody politics.
              Here’s a fun idea; let Australia buy a fleet of Su 57’s ! Less than half the price & arguably double the quality. So, I’m delusional….

              Reply
              1. jrkrideau

                I have, for some time, been of the opinion that one of the (relatively minor) reasons that Turkey went with the S-400’s is that it gets them out of the F-35 contract without legal financial penalties. I bet the reports of the Turkish crews training in the US have been scathing.

                I have wondered if the Saab JAS 39 Gripen or the Su-57 might be good contenders.

                I think it was RT that reported the other day that Russia is planning on starting full production of the Su-57 in 2020. Given that it was speculated that production of the Su-57 was too expensive with the Russian Federation as the only customer, I wonder who might be interested. China? Renewed Indian interest? Turkey?

                Personally, I think we in Canada should ask Sukho to submit a bid for our fighter replacement program.

                Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Israelis may have been instructed to say that as a favor in return for all the aid.

        Reply
    2. Susan the other`

      You can set your clock by it. Once again, at 10:00 am on July 4th four F35s blasted through the air hardly 50 feet over my house, and once again I jumped up and ran out on the deck to see if I could see them. But they were long gone. Probably by the time I heard them. I could hear people cheering down on the parade route. It was a very expensive cheap thrill. So was Trump’s parade of tanks and other accessories. But this time I thought how awful it would be to hear those monsters and know they were loaded with missiles and there was no safe place to hide. I’ve never questioned my excitement on the 4th – this was the first time I felt something more universal. Maybe there is something more in the air these days than war. Just this morning there was a blurb in ZH about Syria and Iran (no doubt Russia and China too) building a railroad from Teheran out to the Mediterranean. Not a pipeline. A railroad.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        Having read “7 Pillars of Wisdom” in my youth, I have doubts about strategic railroads in the Middle East.

        Of course, pipelines are if anything more vulnerable.

        What was the actual route? through Iraq?

        Reply
      2. cnchal

        > But this time I thought how awful it would be to hear those monsters and know they were loaded with missiles and there was no safe place to hide.

        Around here there is a boat race where the military flies jets for show and quite a few years ago, on a Saturday,while I was tinkering in the garage, this one pilot, and he or she must have been having a grand old time, really put on a show. For half an hour to an hour the neighborhood was subjected to the most thunderous roar, it made my skin crawl and hair stand up, and I started thinking about and getting a tiny taste of the terror people that are actual targets of this machine get.

        On Sunday, there was no “air” show. So many people bitched and complained about Saturday the military or show organizers called it off. Phone calls to stop the jets does not work in the middle east, however.

        Reply
  3. Sharkleberry Fin

    Am I supposed to feel sorry for the sanction-busting war profiteers losing their illicit cargo? Or am I supposed to feel sorry for Assad not being able to top off the gas tank on his human rights violating war wagon?

    Nobody’s cool with the jingoism coming from the White House. But if the tanks come out for only just this one very special episode of the Apprentice, the people of earth have dodged a very obnoxious golden BB.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      “…war profiteers.” “…human rights violating war wagon…” Hmm. Those phrases call certain images and actors to mind. Iran? Syria? No, that’s not it…

      Reply
    2. timbers

      You’re supposed to feel sorry for millions America killed in Syria and many other nations, and the tens of millions she displaced from their homes.

      According to the U.N., Nobel Peace prize winning Obama caused the greatest refugee crisis since WW2 with all the browned skinned nations he bombed until America ran out of bombs and then he made more and bombed again – Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Ukraine…who have I missed there so many….

      Said another way, The War on Terror IS terrorism.

      About 10 years I started to realize the U.S. is an Evil Empire, a force for evil in the world.

      Happy 4th.

      And may the bombing continue until there is peace. There are so many countries this great nation has not yet bombed. Maybe we’re just getting warmed up.

      Reply
      1. Mattski

        Did a single one of those 20-plus thousand drone missiles that he dropped annually fall on someone who was NOT a person of color? Inquiring minds would like to know.

        This US report (?) you mention–would love a link or citation. Could employ in my daily skirmishes liberal friends.

        Reply
        1. timbers

          Google “UN says greatest refugee crisis since world war” and you’ll annual reports starting about 2014 till about 2017 – the Apex of the Obama wars – each year replacing the previous year as all time records as humanitarian disasters.

          Reply
    3. Carolinian

      Interesting word “illicit” meaning “outside the law.” So exactly what law gives the Americans and their faithful poodles the authority to do this?

      Gibraltar was once the playground of the Barbary Pirates so it is an appropriate venue for the hegemon to engage in a little piracy of its own. But Ilargi may be right that the winds are shifting and bullies will get their comeuppance.

      Reply
      1. divadab

        Yes. It’s piracy. USA a Pirate Nation. UK a useful part of the gang.

        I mean, empires have always been expansionist, violently expansionist. I mean, this is bad, but the empire is the empire. What bothers me is the lying. The filthy unbelievable lies emanating from the likes of Hillaria Terroristica and Pompeus Maximus and even from Obama the Salesman emperor, Emperor Tex Bush the second, and our current Carnival Barker Emperor Trumpius the Rube Caller. Let alone the generals lying thru their teeth.

        It makes the whole enterprise ridiculous – no one but the stupidest and most brainwashed believes the filthy liars. Terrible that our ruling class are traitors to the country – because why lie unless you have no respect for those ruled? Lie to the stupid cattle – let them repeat the lies and laugh at their stupidity.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          The Iranians are calling it piracy and now claim the right to seize any British oil tanker in their waters. Perhaps they have passed “sanctions” against the Brits or the EU.

          I’m thinking of passing some sanctions myself under my sovereign powers and seizing some stuff. Hey why not? EU says it’s ok.

          Reply
    4. Oh

      Sanctions are for OUR profiteers, not their. We impose them so that our corporations and profiteers can benefit from higher blackmark prices. When others cut into the profit it will not be tolerated.

      Reply
  4. skippy

    I think the glass jaw is appropriate, long time PR machinations are finding it harder to peddle, considering the outcomes, hence the need for rather vulgar public displays of military Sergeant Major marching up and down the field too imbue greatness on the unwashed by proxy whilst swirling down the gurgler.

    This is made even more surreal by grandiose gestures of minuscule proportions magnified way beyond their scope in the big scheme of things sans a modern news cycle.

    For some ridiculous reason I keep envisioning all the new data on shipwrecks during the east indies company era and the findings ….. silly me …

    Reply
  5. Stephen Haust

    I still don’t understand why so many “commentators” have to try discussing
    important topics without considering basic facts.

    There are classes of ships called, for instance, Panamax or now specifically Suezmax.
    These are the largest vessels that can transit said canals. The Panama Canal has locks
    of a specific size and therefore there is a hard limit. Suezmax is a bit harder to define
    because, without locks, it can vary some.

    But there is a maximum and at just a first glance this vessel is at least near it.

    “Why did the tanker take that giant detour along the African coastline? Because
    potential problems were anticipated in the Suez canal.” Well, yes. But which problems.
    There seem to be many, starting with the fact that the Grace 1 is under the Iranian
    flag. But besides that, it is not at all unusual for a vessel of that size to sail around the
    Cape. There are many reasons. I, myself, have made a longer passage in a smaller
    vessel – 13100 nautical miles from Kharg Island in Iran to New Brunswick
    (Irving refinery). Around the Cape. Nobody was particularly surprised.

    Reminiscent of all those US “journalists” piling on to an Aeroflot flight to Havana in
    search of Edward Snowden. They, and the world, were certain he was aboard, until
    the craft flew over downtown Miami.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      Cargos are sold and resold in transit, and thus destinatipns change.

      I once was on a Tanker destined for Houston. The voyage then became a trip to the Persian Gulf.

      Reply
      1. Stephen Haust

        Yes, that would be unusual but according to the articles of engagement
        it could happen.

        More relevant though is that there are lots of reasons for
        a loaded tanker to take an indirect route not necessarily having
        much to do with the ownership of the cargo. The “tanker trackers”
        don’t seem to be unduly surprised by the itinerary. Happens every
        day.

        Incidentally, I was once on a tanker sailing from Providence, RI
        with orders to “steam due south until you hear from us”. That could
        have led to some interesting results. In the event, however, we
        ended up in India after a change in engagements. The return leg
        of that voyage was the 13100 mile passage I mentioned earlier.
        Another time I thought I was going somewhere in the Caribbean and
        ended up on a circumnavigation. Hey, it’s normal. Let’s not get too
        excited about somebody who wants to go around the Cape instead
        of risking Suez.

        By the way, my experiences all occurred under the US flag so why
        try to find some strange dirt on the Iranians when they are only
        doing what everybody else does.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that you get it. The US seized a North Korean ship a few weeks back and now the US had the UK seize an Iranian ship on ‘suspicions’. Do you really want to see an international situation for trade where ships can be seized as political pawns and sold? Or maybe airplanes as well? The big insurance companies certainly want to know. The Iranians are saying that they now have the right to seize a British ship in retaliation. Will the Brits sell that captured ship? Will they sell the oil aboard or take it back to the UK for their own use? Do we really want to see a widespread return to Prize Laws again?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prize_(law)

      Reply
  6. a different chris

    Can we give you some sort of award for admitting you made a mistake with your first post, and then admonishing us to “engage brain before operating mouth” ?

    I mean that is a classic.

    Reply
  7. Pau Hirshman

    The new multipolar world: USA (declining power, self-destructive); China (totalitarian, with a dash of organ harvesting thrown in); Russia (mafia kleptocracy); Europe (wild card); India (too big to ignore, too backward to be forward).

    Ergo, small countries must lead the way.

    Reply
    1. sierra7

      “Game of Thrones” LOL!! The more time changes the more it stays the same!
      It’s “piracy” if “they” do it to us (or our co-conspirators); it’s “legal sanctions” if we do “it” to “them”.
      What a farcical, lying, two-faced world we live in!

      Reply
  8. Mike

    There should have a new slogan for this international cabal — “Strength through Chaos”. To be precise, OUR strength through THEIR chaos. Has this been the “plan” for this period since the end of World War Two? Even if it is not a “conspiracy”, but rather a “concatenation of interests”, what difference does this terminology make to those suffering the boot heel?

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      No, the empire use to provide material benefits to subject nations. Vietnam and Korea had unique circumstances, but for the most part, the U.S. was fairly benevolent and a preferred replacement for colonial powers and the less than credible Soviets (the USSR had political issues preventing them from being too reliable).

      Reagan was bad, but I think the big change was Bill Clinton who largely functioned as an old time Southern Democrat brought attitudes of turning government back into rent collection for wealthy interests, not only for domestic issues but foreign policy as well. With Bill we went from an era where there was more rationale for why the US was a preferred empire to turning the US into a Southern style government for the whole world. Unlike the post Hoover GOP which though awful occasionally recognizes the need for government to appease the population (medicare part d, not perfect but it had positive policy outcomes without the drawbacks of say a cash for clunker program), Southern Democrats are just the worst people. The hallowing put was ignored because Bill like most Southerners kept up the pageantry and pomp which they love. They are a flamboyant lot, Southerners.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        “Vietnam and Korea had unique circumstances, but for the most part, the U.S. was fairly benevolent and a preferred replacement for colonial powers and the less than credible Soviets (the USSR had political issues preventing them from being too reliable).”
        R u kidding me? When exactly was “the US fairly benevolent?” Was it before or right after it tried to bomb N.Korea and Vietnam out of existence? And how exactly do you measure “credibility?” There are many parts of the world, where folks would laugh you out of the room if you mentioned credibility and US in one sentence.

        Reply
        1. GramSci

          I think NTG was referring to US benevolence to Latin America and Africa–for example, Chile and Zaire. Vietnam and Korea had the unique circumstance of being in Asia.

          Reply
          1. JCC

            You could safely leave out anywhere in the Americas, I think, after reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Less bombs, same benevolent results. The US/Mexican Border comes to mind, filled with refugees from Guatemala and Honduras.

            Neither the Reagan Years (and those years before) nor the Obama Years have been a picnic for many that live anywhere in CA (other than possibly CR and Panama). Not that most of those running those countries are in any way innocent, particularly those that we funneled arms and money to.

            Reply
      2. Synoia

        The south is summed up in their epression “Bless his heart,” the delivery of which is not in concert with the words.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, I recall seeing in Oz when I was there (2002-2004) an ITV documentary where the narrator interviewed every former head of the CIA who was still alive aside from Bush the Senior and a fair number of division chiefs. They had no trouble admitting on camera that the US had fomented (I can’t recall the exact # as of then but it was significant double digits) X undeclared wars.

          This was in English. Shown in a country that was then part of the Coalition of the Willing. The fact that Former Big Deal CIA Dudes were willing to discuss the general topic and many of the particular undeclared wars in some detail meant they saw the notion as uncontroversial.

          Reply
  9. Synoia

    Cargos are sold and resold in transit, and thus destinatipns change.

    I once was on a Tanker destined for Houston. The voyage then became a trip to the Persian Gulf.

    Reply
  10. Ignacio

    I very much agree with Illargi on this. Nothing good can come from the “heroic” seizure of the tanker. Mission accomplished: we are more idiotic every passing day.

    Reply
  11. rjs

    re: Why did the tanker take that giant detour along the African coastline?

    in case anyone else has not yet noted it, super tankers, VLCCs that can carry as much as 2 million barrels, cannot get through the Suez canal, which is limited to oil tankers in the aptly named “Suezmax” class, less than half that size…

    Reply
    1. Tim

      Yeah this is not a well educated writer. Contradicts his own story at one point, and no the US can’t afford to get into a major war,but that does mean they lose either, the other side would still lose more.

      Reply
  12. Tyronius

    The winds change are blowing, indeed. Is that the fog of war on the horizon, or the smokestacks of progress? Neither is good for the environment but as they say, fight one battle at a time.

    America’s War On Terror has long since become the War OF Terrorism and it’s good to see the rest of the world has not only caught on but is doing something about it. Great Britain went quietly and prospered. Will America do the same or will it struggle against the inevitable? I suspect a bit of both. We do love to kill poor innocent brown people, after all. It’s what we’re best at.

    Time to find another line of work. Surely we can find something more productive to do?

    Reply
  13. RBHoughton

    The war on terror is a war on non-combatants. Its western terrorists, spooks and soldiers, against Asian terrorists, Muslims.The other form of terrorism against non-combatants is nuclear war – that’s when the military attacks civilian targets like we did in WWII in Hamburg and Dresden and Tokyo but using more destructive ordinance.

    Can we say, in light of the regular failures of our initiatives overseas, that we the people are expecting something that is not intended. We imagine war is fought to achieve unconditional surrender and bring the humiliated enemy to our feet begging for life but perhaps these attacks in the Middle East and North Africa are not for a military victory at all but to take away the natural resources of those countries, using the fog of war to conceal our purpose?

    Reply
      1. Eclair

        Putting that on my approved list of bumper stickers. Or, maybe sticking it on the bathroom mirror as a daily reminder.

        Reply
  14. JBird4049

    Since the average American worker makes less than $50,000 a year, has less than $500 cash to pay for an emergency and the average Californian renter pays half or more of their income on rent, any pettifoggering or pettifactering concerns about unjust actions concern just me about as much as Hell freezing over; intellectually, I understand the very real problems of poorly thought and done reforms as the cliche “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is an apt warning. It’s just that things are getting so bad that any moderation will be impossible if we do not start doing things right now. President Trump is only warning.

    Reply

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