Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Feel Like Making Love



Artist: Bad Company
Scenes from the movie: 9 & 1/2 Weeks

Preventing Civilian Casualties Doesn't Cover Iraq & Syria


Above image: U.S. Apache helicopters killing Iraqi civilians after the U.S. had occupied that nation.

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.
A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.
At a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after a cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.
“They were carrying bodies out the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff.


Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof)

Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September …
Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties does not cover the current U.S. air strikes in Syria and Iraq.


The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.” 
The laws of armed conflict prohibit the deliberate targeting of civilian areas and require armed forces to take precautions to prevent inadvertent civilian deaths as much as possible.
But one former Obama administration official said the new White House statement raises questions about how the U.S. intends to proceed in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, and under what legal authorities.



View gallery
.
A man inspects a damaged site in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof)

A man inspects a damaged site in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, …
















“They seem to be creating this grey zone” for the conflict, said Harold Koh, who served as the State Department’s top lawyer during President Obama’s first term. “If we’re not applying the strict rules [to prevent civilian casualties] to Syria and Iraq, then they are of relatively limited value."
The issue arose during last week’s briefing for two House Foreign Affairs Committee members and two staffers when rebel leaders associated with factions of the Free Syria Army complained about the civilian deaths — and the fact that the targets were in territory controlled by the Nusra Front, a sometimes ally of the U.S.-backed rebels in its war with the Islamic State and the Syrian regime.
But at least one of the House members present, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who supports stronger U.S. action in Syria, said he was not overly concerned
“I did hear them say there were civilian casualties, but I didn’t get details,” Kinzinger said in an interview with Yahoo News. “But nothing is perfect,” and whatever civilian deaths resulted from the U.S. strikes are “much less than the brutality of the Assad regime.”
Source: Yahoo News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time 2



Artist: Ewan Dobson

The Art Of War



Chapter Summary:

  1. Detail Assessment and Planning (Chinese: 始計,始计) explores the five fundamental factors (the Way, seasons, terrain, leadership and management) and seven elements that determine the outcomes of military engagements. By thinking, assessing and comparing these points, a commander can calculate his chances of victory. Habitual deviation from these calculations will ensure failure via improper action. The text stresses that war is a very grave matter for the state and must not be commenced without due consideration.
  2. Waging War (Chinese: 作戰,作战) explains how to understand the economy of warfare and how success requires winning decisive engagements quickly. This section advises that successful military campaigns require limiting the cost of competition and conflict.
  3. Strategic Attack (Chinese: 謀攻,谋攻) defines the source of strength as unity, not size, and discusses the five factors that are needed to succeed in any war. In order of importance, these critical factors are: Attack, Strategy, Alliances, Army and Cities.
  4. Disposition of the Army (Chinese: 軍形,军形) explains the importance of defending existing positions until a commander is capable of advancing from those positions in safety. It teaches commanders the importance of recognizing strategic opportunities, and teaches not to create opportunities for the enemy.
  5. Forces (Chinese: 兵勢,兵势) explains the use of creativity and timing in building an army's momentum.
  6. Weaknesses and Strengths (Chinese: 虛實,虚实) explains how an army's opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of the enemy and how to respond to changes in the fluid battlefield over a given area.
  7. Military Maneuvers (Chinese: 軍爭,军争) explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon the commander.
  8. Variations and Adaptability (Chinese: 九變,九变) focuses on the need for flexibility in an army's responses. It explains how to respond to shifting circumstances successfully.
  9. Movement and Development of Troops (Chinese: 行軍,行军) describes the different situations in which an army finds itself as it moves through new enemy territories, and how to respond to these situations. Much of this section focuses on evaluating the intentions of others.
  10. Terrain (Chinese: 地形) looks at the three general areas of resistance (distance, dangers and barriers) and the six types of ground positions that arise from them. Each of these six field positions offer certain advantages and disadvantages.
  11. The Nine Battlegrounds (Chinese: 九地) describes the nine common situations (or stages) in a campaign, from scattering to deadly, and the specific focus that a commander will need in order to successfully navigate them.
  12. Attacking with Fire (Chinese: 火攻) explains the general use of weapons and the specific use of the environment as a weapon. This section examines the five targets for attack, the five types of environmental attack and the appropriate responses to such attacks.
  13. Intelligence and Espionage (Chinese: 用間,用间) focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, and specifies the five types of intelligence sources and how to best manage each of them

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cryin' Like A Bitch



I’m tougher than nails
I can promise you that
Step out of line
And you get bitch-slapped back
And you can run
Your little mouth all day
But the hand of god
Just smacked you back into yesterday
Artist: Godsmack

Help Obama Kickstart World War 3



Our president can’t launch into another war without you. And remember: when we voted for him in 2008 and 2012, we promised to support him no matter what.
And America is dead-ass broke, so our goal is to raise $1.6 trillion on behalf of the U.S. government.
That’s where you come in.
Even a small donation will make all the difference.
World War III is a very important, very progressive war that Obama tells me is very important. So it must be.
World War III is not going to be like those other Republican wars fought on just 1 percent of the world; this war is going to be fought on 99 percent of the world.
It will be everywhere: Russia, China, Africa, Cincinnati, your favorite brunch spot — the one with those kickass ranchero breakfast burritos.
As an incentive, those pledging $25 a piece of rubble from a war-torn Middle Eastern country, kissed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, while $100 donations gets donors a day pass to leave their local refugee camp.
It’ll be all over Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Pinterest, and whatever eventually replaces Pinterest, and I mean, just think of all the hilarious skits we can make of cats reacting to their owners’ homes being obliterated,” the video says. Lots of shock, but tons of awww.
Ten dollars gets one a “shout out” on social media. In fact, the video promises that World War III will be the most social media-focused war in history.
So please, help us reach our goal of $1.6 trillion so we can make World War III a reality. Why? Because Obama.
Let’s make World War 3 a reality!
By The Second City Network

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Clear As Mud

Null

Are you confused by what's going on in the Middle East? 

Let me explain:

We support the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State. We don't like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like.

We don't like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him. 

We don't like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against IS. 

So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don't want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. 

If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. 

And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren't actually there until we went to drive them out. 

Do you understand now?

By Aubrey Bailey,
Fleet, Hants.

Transcribed by: CZ

This Night



There are things,
I have done.
There's a place,
I have gone.
There's a beast,
And I let it run.
Now it's runnin' my way.


Artist: Black Lab

The Irrationality Of Islamophobia



Muslims have been long been constructed as “terrorists” upon whom righteous terror can be rained.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Isis's Letter To The West



Greetings to the West, we want to talk to you about a couple of things:
1. Clearly it is in bout our interests that you in the West keep this terrorism factory chugging along.
2.  You get to further restrict your citizens rights, especially the few journalists not adhering to the government line. I think we can all agree the truth is unhelpful  at this point.
3.  You can strut around and also massively increase military and intelligence spending. Eventually we get our hands on those weapons, so that’s a win/win.
4. You whip up fear and get a bounce in the polls and your pliant media gives us free publicity! Seriously, you make us sound like a military super tough-guy powerhouse rather than an accidentally well armed horde of thugs and butchers. Win/win again.
Oh and thanks for the whole “death cult” thing. The PR guys were stoked.
5. Honestly, your media are awesome, Saudi Arabia beheads someone for sorcery, I mean that’s cold, but no one bats an eyelid. We do it and everyone loses their shit!
6. And seriously, do what you like with Metadata, it’s not our problem. We use VPNs and TOR – You may have heard of them. They have them on the internet now.
7. Finally, if you could terrify, vilify, bully and isolate the Muslims in your various communities, that will go a long way to help get some potential recruits over the line.
Yours sincerely,
Daesh.
I mean,
IS
Transcribed by: CZ
Via: The Guardian