Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wonder weapons

"The Gathering to Abolish War" (Swanson).  Much as I admire Swanson, I think we can all immediately see that the problem with these lists of worthies is that there will be people on the lists whose job it will be to undermine the process.

"The Pentagon’s New Wonder Weapons for World Dominion" (McCoy):
"Within a decade, the Pentagon apparently hopes to patrol the entire planet ceaselessly via a triple-canopy aerospace shield that would reach from sky to space and be secured by an armada of drones with lethal missiles and Argus-eyed sensors, monitored through an electronic matrix and controlled by robotic systems. It’s even possible to take you on a tour of the super-secret realm where future space wars will be fought, if the Pentagon’s dreams become reality, by exploring both DARPA websites and those of its various defense contractors."
We're in luck as extreme American imperial decline - and we've seen this over and over again in the latest American high-tech weapons - means that none of these things will actually work (little comfort to the people whose lives are ruined or ended by these toys).  I know this is crazy but could there be good people in the system who are sabotaging the technology (of course, that doesn't explain the deep conceptual problems in much of the weapons which largely lie in the overwhelming need to enrich military contractors).

"Syria’s Survival Is Blow to Jihadists" (Crooke).  I linked to this the other day, but 'woke' pieces are still rare enough to merit rereading (I borrow 'woke' semi-ironically):
"In the aftermath of the Syria war and the aftermath of ISIS murderous brutality in Mosul, many Sunnis have had more than enough of this Wahabbi orientation of Islam. There is likely to be a revival of the notion of secular, non-sectarian nationalism in consequence. But also, the traditional Levantine model of a tolerant, more inwardly orientated, quasi-secular, Islam will enjoy a revival.

Whereas fired-up Sunnism used as a political tool may be “down,” radical reformist Sunni Islam, as a sub-culture, is certainly not “out.” Indeed, as the pendulum now swings against Sunni movements globally, the hostility already being generated is very likely to feed the sense of Islam being besieged and attacked; of usurpation of its lands and authority; and of dispossession (of the state, which Sunnis have tradition thought as being “of them”). The puritan, intolerant strain in Islam has been present since the earliest times (Hanbali, Ibn Taymiyya and, in the Eighteenth Century, Abd-el Wahhab), and this orientation always seems to arise at times of crisis within the Islamic world. ISIS may be defeated, but this orientation is never fully defeated, nor disappears completely.

The “victor” in this sub-sphere is Al Qaeda. The latter predicted the failure of ISIS (a physically-situated Caliphate being premature, it argued). Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been proved to have been correct in his judgment. Al Qaeda will sweep up the remnants from both ISIS, on one hand, and the angry and disillusioned members of the Muslim Brotherhood, on the other. In a sense, we may see a greater convergence amongst Islamist movements (especially when the Gulf paymasters step back).

We are likely to witness a reversion to Zawahiri’s virtual, global jihad intended to provoke the West, rather than to defeat it militarily – as opposed to any new attempt to seize and control a territorial Emirate."

"Lost, Not Found: Raft of CIA Files on Lee Harvey Oswald Has 'Gone Missing'".  Sputnik is under attack, in this frankly bizarre obsession that media outlets actually doing their job is some kind of anti-American conspiracy.  You have to be amused that the big Putin wrecking of the American empire consists in informing Americans what their government and politicians are doing.

Another dastardly trick, for Rex:  "Russian PM Orders Amicable Settlement With ExxonMobil in Dispute Over Sakhalin-1".  "Tillerson is working with China and Russia — very, very quietly" (CIA).

"Exterminate Hate: A Modest Proposal for Mossad".  Toxic anti-Semitic stereotypes!

"Israel wants the United States to attack Russia" (Alexis).  "Is this what is driving US Kurdish policy?" (Lang).

"On the anniversary of 9/11" (Robin).  Part of The Clarification.

"The Murder of John Kennedy’s Mistress, Part 1" (Janney).  The patsy only got off because he was lucky enough to have tremendous legal representation.

"Big Pharma marketing scheme banned by Ontario". This is fine but if Ontario were being properly run Telus would be wound up and the executives responsible for this outrage jailed for a long time. This kind of hilariously outrageous grasping only happens because the corporate leaders fear no repercussions.
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