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A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell

Well, this is the last you will hear from me. It might be for good, it might just be temporary, I don’t know yet. It’s been a privilege to be able to express the things that rattled around in my head. I’m grateful to Ruthless for giving me an audience and a medium where I could express my thoughts. Unfortunately, with my schedule soon to be packed with writing I’ll be pretty busy.  So, without further ado, I present to you my final ramblings. This place will get on just fine without me,k so, farewell all you crazy readers.

Cuba

So, let’s talk about Cuba for a minute. The Cold War has been over for awhile now and it seems that the United States is finally willing to get around to normalizing relations with Cuba — good, it’s about time. I don’t understand why the Republican’s are up in a furor over the fact that we traded 3 Cuban “:spies” to get one American back, but these are the some geniuses that  if we didn’t get the American released would have cried that the President didn’t care about American’s. It’s a bit of a hilarious Catch 22 situation if you’re the President; you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Sure, Casto wasn’t the nicest of guys but we still have normalized relations with plenty of other autocratic despots, the only difference is that Cuba sided with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and for whatever reason America has this super aversion to communism — I’ve never quite fully understood why we as American’s hate communists just for being communists, it seemed pretty pointless to me, and the restrictions America has imposed on Cuba are just absurd at this point in time.

It is definitely time to let bygones be bygones and just let things get away from the toxicity that has been America’s foreign relations. We need more friends in the world, not less. We need to stop hanging onto grudges and stop acting like we’re so star spangled awesome that we’re above the rest of the international community. No, giving 3 Cubans up for 1 American is not a bad deal. English Law has been heavily weighed by Blackstone’s Foundation, which states:

It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer

The same concept generally applies in this situation. Sure, the 3 Cubans might have legitimately been spies, and Alan Gross had legitimately not been one, than there is no argument in my mind that we should have done whatever possible to let him go — even if that means letting 3 enemy spies go. It isn’t the first time we’ve swapped spies, anyways.

North Korea

So, North Korea dictates Hollywood now. It’s a little sad, because I was looking forward to seeing The Interview because it looked funny but I suppose I can say farewell to that as well. Is that the situation we have come to? That every anonymous threat of terror is capable of bringing our country to its knees? That we bend the knee to the lunacy of North Korea and its childishly deluded dictator?

Incase you missed it, in light of the cyber attack on Sony Pictures and threats received, Movie Theater chains have backed out on showing The Interview so Sony has cancelled the planned release of the movie. Likewise, a move called Pyongyang that was in production by FOX has essentially died on the vine in lieu of these situations. At what point in time do we consider a cyberattack like this an act of war? That is where policy is steadily heading, and I believe the United States of America has already reserved the right to respond to a cyberattack with real military force.

I don’t really have much more to say on this other than that it is utterly absurd that we are so paralyzed in fear that we now allow North Korea to dictate what we can and cannot see. Is anyone seriously expecting North Korea to make good on whatever threats these theaters have received? I doubt it would happen, but oh well.

Ukraine

I was thankfully wrong in the Ukraine — don’t get me wrong, the Republican’s made good on my prediction of trying to shoehorn military aid to the Ukrainian military but I was wrong in the sense that it doesn’t seem like we’ll actually be getting involved in a war there. Sending the Ukrainian Government  Military Weapons would only throw us into another Cold War esque proxy war with Russia — hey guys, do you remember how fun those were?

Thankfully, however, the Russian economy is steadily buckling beneath the weight of crippling economic sanctions, proving once and for all that you actually can accomplish something without bombs. Russia has few choices open to it at this moment — the only way for the sanctions to be lifted is for Russia to withdraw its support from the Eastern Ukraine, and that really seems to be the only way that Russia will survive due to the fact that oil prices are toppling down. Sure, Putin might have gotten a nice public opinion boost but I’m pretty sure he can say farewell to that once Russians start asking why they’re in breadlines again over the Eastern Ukraine.

If Putin had half a brain, he would abandon his dreams of rebuilding the Russian Empire and leave Ukraine alone. This isn’t the 1800s, there is no way Russia is economically viable in a global economy. The only way the USSR survived as an economic entity was because of the intricate closed-market economy developed between Russia and all of its USSR satellites — without that network, the Russian Federation has no chance of surviving economic isolation as noted by the fact that their economy is already nose diving.

Iraq

I don’t have much to say about Iraq except “I told you so”. We’re already beginning to see the involvement of Untied States troops in ground combat. Just recently ISIS attempted to overrun a base in Iraq which played host to 100 US Military advisers. Those 100 US Military Advisers thoroughly wrecked the ISIS forces and forced them into a retreat.

Unfortunately, attacking a base with US Servicemen on it is like walking up to a bear and poking it with a stick. You can bet your shiny stars that American’s are already getting their shitkicking boots ready for Iraq War 3: ISIS Boogaloo. I doubt we’ll allow the fact that they actively tried to kill American’s go unpunished, because we do so love to be vengeful.

We might not see it in the coming weeks or months, but you have a story of how 100 US Servicemen broke the back of an ISIS Attack — it’ll be hard to argue those results and it’ll get even tougher to argue why aren’t we actively fighting ISIS on the ground as time drags on and more lives are lost.

 

So, that’s it for me. See you later, space cowboy. I bid thee adieu.

Sometimes being right sucks.

Sometimes being right sucks.

That isn’t something you’ll hear many people say, but it’s true. Sometimes you look at things and you know how it’s going to play out, so you make a prediction. Sometimes it’s good to be right, other times it sucks. This is one of the times when being right sucks. See, nobody wins over me being right on this issue and it has done nothing but proven just how utterly screwed we all must be. I know what you must be saying “But Revanchist, what were you right about?”.

Well, to be simple, everything I talked about last week. You see, not only is the war in the Ukraine revving up once more with reports that Russia is moving heavy weapons and troops into Eastern Ukraine again but a report from the Pentagon came out that says the U.S Mission to combat Iraq would most likely require boots on the ground in Iraq again.

Sure, Obama said he wouldn’t put troops on the ground but I’m sure we all knew that was going to fly out the window sooner or later. We pushed ISIS but no matter how hard we pushed them with the air campaign, it wasn’t enough to stem the rising tide. Can we ever stem this tide? I don’t think so, I think we made a mistake in 2003 when we first invaded Iraq. I was right in that regard, as well. Without the Tyranny of Saddam holding the country together the only thing our foray into Iraq has given us is a new breed of jihadists. How did it happen? Well, alot of the people that joined ISIS were just children when the United States invaded Iraq. Right or wrong, those Children grew up in the worst possible of environments and they had a clear name to point fingers at for why their world sucked so bad.

Was eliminating Saddam necessary? Probably,  but I do not think it was the right course of action to take. We eliminated the lesser of two evils, it seems. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t, I’m not sure how we thought this would somehow be different, that after we toppled Saddam the entire country would forget about centuries old grudges and ethnic ties. You cannot impose a western mentality on a country like Iraq, where loyalty lies more to ones tribe than it does to a unified concept of a country. How could we expect them to see that we were the right ones when all those young children saw was the devastation brought by American bombs and American soldiers?

So, while I was right, I take no joy in it. American citizens are once again going to spill their blood in a foreign country. In retrospect, it is kind of absurd. Today, people who were just children when the Iraq war began are getting ready to pick up the fight. Over ten years have passed since we invaded Iraq in what was a conflict that was supposed to end in just a month — a fact that seems almost like a joke eleven years down the line, when an entirely new generation of Americans are going to be dying for a war that was started by their fathers.

When Herbert Hoover said “Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.” I don’t think he ever predicted that it would come to a situation like this. On one side, we have the disillusioned youth of Iraq and Syria who watched their country torn to shreds by foreign interests who picked up the flag of rebellion and religious extremism versus the children of the conquerors. Much as the conflict in Palestine continues to breed new generations of religious zealots, I have no doubt that the continued conflict in Iraq will continue to create new generations of Jihadists.

As of this moment, the war against ISIS costs $300,000 an hour to fight and that is before we actually deploy any sort of real manpower. We all knew from the beginning that this war was going to be one we could not win with air power alone, and anyone else who thought otherwise I would call hopelessly optimistic. There is still hope, though. Write your congressmen, tell them you are opposed to another ground war in Iraq. It might work, but I doubt it — America has already made their vote when they elected warhawks, I only hope that they made the right one.

Speaking of voting, it isn’t even like a majority of American’s voted the Republicans in on principal. The truth of the matter is that the country only had a 36% voter turnout, the worst this country has had in nearly 72 years. That is the problem with our country, it isn’t that we cannot make the right decisions just that we no longer care enough to try. To those of you who believe your political apathy does not hurt the country, I can only shake my head at you and sigh. You do yourself and your country a great disservice when you do not vote — it is by majority that these people are supposed to be elected, not by 36%. So, maybe we won’t actually end up with another war in Iraq, because at this point I’m hoping that I’m wrong.

– The Revanchist

War

War

Si vis pacem, para bellum. An ancient saying which, for those of you unaware, translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war” and unfortunately, it seems that war is once again starting to rear its ugly head. To be frank, we’ve never really gotten a break from war. With the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq finally drawing to a close after so many years and so many deaths it seems that American’s are willing to once more send our troops unto the breach.

How so? Well, conflict in Iraq is revving up with the addition of a Syrian problem that President Obama had desired to end before it began (only to be shut down by popular opinion, Russia, and the Republicans) and now it is his fault that ISIS spawned out of it. To be fair, there wasn’t alot he could do though he did seem like he was ready and willing to pull the trigger at one point. Of course, Russia has proven to be a most hilarious and belligerent member of the world community with their recent foray into Ukrainian politics in a most uninvited manner.

So what changed? Well, you can probably start preparing for the inevitability of boots on the ground because the War Hawks are in power and their mouths are salivating with glee. I find it most humorous that when the POTUS was willing to act on Syria, the American public was almost entirely against it but now that ISIS has appeared as a direct result of the Syrian conflict and American’s have died because of it the public finds themselves upset that the POTUS did not do more to stop it. What did you want him to do? He wanted to intervene in Syria and you all sent him a clear message that you didn’t want it — he acted upon the will of the people at the time and because of that we now have the fustercluck of the century brewing on our hands. So, what is he to do now? Send troops in? Probably.

While I remain a firm moderate, something more happened this election day than just the republicans winning. No, American Exceptionalists saw a greater victory this election than anyone else. What are American Exceptionalists? Well, they are known by many names but primarily they are the War Hawk Neocons of the Republican Party such as good old John McCain. These are the same people with so much campaign money tied up in defense industry lobbyists that they can want nothing more than war. They will achieve their goals, hell, it’s almost inevitable at this point. John McCain who is expected to become the next chairman of the senate armed forces committee has already expressed his desire to send weapons to the embattled Ukrainian government as well as to look into broadening the war against ISIS.

In the short time I have been actively studying the politics in America I find an almost amusing trend in how people vote, assuming they even vote. They often yell and scream about how they want change before ultimately reverting to the same style of government they had before they fought so hard to change it, but beyond that, when America wants to go to war it seems that we always elect Republican. For instance, October saw a rise in the willingness of American’s to send troops on the ground in Iraq in Syria, up to 45% vs the 38% of September. Likewise, 71% of American’s polled believe that we should send ground troops in if ISIS attacks any America facilities in Baghdad.

As we see the public consciousness drift more toward accepting of a future war, we also saw them vote in surprising numbers for Republican candidates who had war hawk tendencies. I am no psychic, so I cannot predict what the future holds but the incoming Hawks have already pledged to ramp up that good ol’ Nationalism we all used to know and love from the days of yore. Indeed, McCain has not only spoken about sending American weapons to the Ukrainian Government and broadening the efforts to combat ISIS but there has also been talk about China and its incursions into the South China Sea. While I am a moderate, I am deeply worried that the effort we expended over the past six years to repair the image of our country is going to be flushed down the drain. The sending of weapons to Ukraine will escalate tension between the United States and Russia, and sending ground forces into Iraq and Syria once more will only reignite a war we had finally closed the books on. Infact, I can go so far as to wager that sending American troops into Iraq and Syria would only bolster the ranks of ISIS because Iraqi tribal leaders have, for the most part, made it clear that they do not want American’s to be fighting in Iraq again.

I am not sure what it is with the American fascination of returning to the same things we fought so hard to change, like a battered spouse that returns to their abuser we seem willing to repeat the same mistakes in the hope that the outcome will somehow be different. Call me a sensationalist, but the ramp-up of propaganda lately has been quite noticeable. No longer do the United States Marines encourage you to ‘run to the sounds of chaos’, but rather to essentially run to help those who cannot help themselves, a clear change in tone given the ongoing conflict against ISIS as well a justification that any combat we do is precipitated by the need to defend innocent lives. I wasn’t kidding when I said you could expect American soldiers to be deployed back into Iraq in the next 10 years. I have already heard reports from individuals within the military that I am friends with who have stated essentially that their units are being prepared to possibly deploy to Iraq.

So, that is my rambling for the day. I cannot predict the future, but I know the signs of a country revving up to go to war and with the public’s opinion gradually shifting more toward accepting it you can pretty much bet your bright stars that the war hawks we’ve recently elected to power will be more than happy to capitalize on it.

So yeah, I am the Revanchist. Same bat place, different bat time. Sorry if you’ve missed me, I had a bunch of bullshit going on in life that we’re just not even going to talk about. Until next week.

Sic luceat lux.

The World Today

A Return

It feels like it’s been forever, doesn’t it? Some of you might be wondering where I had been, but that’s a complicated answer. Life got pretty busy for awhile and with everything I had going on there just wasn’t any way I could meet all of my deadlines on time and working toward my degree simply takes priority. But, that was then and this is now — I’m back, as you might have been able to guess and today we are going to be talking about a subject near and dear to the heart of all of us; the world we live in today. I warn you now, this  post is likely to jump tracks alot but it is an analysis of the sum of all that we have become in the year 2014, and you’ll probably stop and wonder how it even got this far.

Homeland Security

If I had told you in 1999 that by 2014 we would be living in a world where the police looked more like an invading army and going through the airport meant having a machine pervasively blast you with radiation to see beneath your clothing, would you believe me? Probably not, because the idea would have seemed absurd. That is the reality of the world we have come to live in today. People say that everything changed because of 9/11, and that is only true because we allowed it to change everything. We played those images over and over again and allowed them to become ingrained in our memory.

Two wars later, and the terrorists have won. I know, shocking, right? But look at it realistically, the entire point of a terrorist is to create fear. That is literally its one and only job, and that is why terrorists target civilians or perform heinous crimes like the ISIL have been committing in Iraq, because fear is their weapon. If I had told you in 1999 that there was going to be a super computer hub in Utah where the government stored tons of information on our citizens and that people were mostly fine with it, would you have believed me? That is the power of fear, it is like a weed that chokes at the roots of the tree of liberty. We signed out rights away and gave it to the government on a silver platter and because why? Because we were afraid, but who wouldn’t have been…It was a perfectly natural reaction to what had happened.

However, was it worth it? Probably not. Sure, we killed Osama, but at what price? We sacrificed the very freedoms that made America so unique in order to protect those same freedoms without even realizing or acknowledging the fact that we had already signed them over without so much as a whoopsadaisy. It seems to me counter intuitive that the argument most used for these egregious violations of our personal liberty is that it is necessary in order to protect our freedom. Is living in a state of perpetual fear really freedom? Are we truly free when we tacitly surrender our fundamental, constitutional rights in order for a specter of protection? By the way, those full body scanners at the airport? They don’t even work, they basically just exist to inconvenience travelers and give people the illusion of safety. Don’t get me wrong, the terrorists suck and we’ve kicked al-Qaeda’s ass, but did we have to give up so much in order to do it? Probably not.

So how is my local sheriff owning a vehicle designed to withstand mine attacks in Iraq protecting my freedom, exactly? I understand the Pentagon has a surplus of stuff lying around after the pullback from Iraq, but at one point in time did a school district need grenade launchers? I’m not going to question the semi-automatic M16 variants, because school shootings happen and some of the perpetrators have been fairly well armed, but I cannot recall in my mind an instance in the world where a school district police officer would require a grenade launcher. What contingency were they planning for with that one? An Iraqi invasion of California? Perhaps China? Russia? Hipsters, maybe? There is a lot to be said about the state of our world when we feel that school district police officers need grenade launchers. If the goal of terrorism is to instill fear, I have to say that the terrorists won that one.

 

ISIL

…Which sort of brings me into my next point. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — what a fucking bunch of guys these are. Just when it seems like the war against al-Qaeda is going well and that we could even possibly be rid of them for good, these group of schmucks step right on up. The funniest part to me about all of this is how in the past few months there has been an outcry that the POTUS hasn’t done enough to stop ISIL and that it’s his fault and that he left us unprepared for this…..and to that I must say, slow your roll folks. Did you forget in 2013 when Obama wanted to bomb Syria, and the same people complaining now were the same people screaming no? Because I remember that. ISIL would have never gained the ground it did if the people would have just allowed Obama to go through with his original plan of launching strikes on Syria.

The Assad regime would have been toppled and the mostly moderate rebels would have been able to sweep in and probably stabilize the country instead of leaving it wide open as a breeding ground for religious fanatics. Of course radicalization starts to look appealing when your own government is using nerve gas on you and all the international community does is shake their finger at them and call them a bad boy for doing it. It isn’t hard to see why they would turn toward an extremist movement that not only hates the Assad Regime but also the Western nations that did literally fuck all to help them. The fact that al-Qaeda has been on a steady decline resulted in a power vacuum that needed to be filled and ho boy did ISIL ever step up to that plate.

So, 13 years later and what do we have to show for our trouble? A brand new war on terror, except this time a War on ISIL, whereupon the POTUS used the same legislation he condemned  Bush for using to sanction his own little wartime excursion….But what does that tell us overall about the War on Terror? After 13 years of bloody fighting we managed to break al-Qaeda down to the point that it was so irrelevant….that a more fanatical and extreme group had to rise up in its place. Great. Now we have a brand new enemy that was birthed out of the United States invasion of Iraq. So now you have people ramping up the propaganda machines and telling us all about how ISIL is essentially al-Qaeda on steroids and we need to take them down,.

And then what? What comes next? It is starting to look to me like declaring War on Terror was a fundamentally flawed decision, because it’s like fighting a Hydra — you can cut its head off, but it just grows back more of them and becomes an even stronger beast. I’m not trying to say we don’t need to fight ISIL, or that we shouldn’t actively try and stop terrorism but is a war of eradication going to work? Not at all. We aren’t fighting an enemy country or something concrete, we are fighting an ideal, an entire belief system which they have corrupted to their purpose, but a belief system none the less. It is not a war we are used to fighting, it is a war which we cannot win because with every stray bomb and every stray bullet that takes the life of an innocent civilian in collateral damage, we simply create more enemies for ourselves.

So, why didn’t we attack Syria before? Well, there were the obvious complaints from the American people and the usual talking heads, but there was one more reason — Russia. Russia is one of the Assad Regime’s biggest supporters and we did not want to risk a confrontation with Russia by getting involved in the Syrian civil war, so why did that change? We have the situation in the Ukraine to thank for our sudden bravado in how to deal with Syria without concern about what Russia thinks. Misstep after misstep in the handling of Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine have shot Russia’s credibility so far down that it is nothing short of a joke when the Russian ambassador to the U.N demanded that the United States must respect Syria’s sovereignty. Sure, they can block us at the Security Council and stop America from getting the United Nations involved by that doesn’t matter.

Why doesn’t it matter? Because we got the dream team back together, baby. That’s right, the coalition of the willing has decided to come back together for a reunion tour, except this time they’re kicking the ass of ISIL instead of Iraq, though that still essentially boils down to more bombs being dropped on Iraq….Though this time in a surprising turn of events, we have Iran basically supporting us which is funny considering as Iran is one of those countries big on the ‘death to America’ agenda.

ISIL are pretty bad guys, don’t get me wrong…They need to be stopped. What bothers me, however, is the thought of what foul beast will arise out of the darkness to take its place once we wear ISIL down the same way we have worn al-Qaeda down. The only real way to stop the extremism is to stop leaving so many people feeling disenfranchised and marginalized. Stopping the oppression of the Palestinians would be a big step forward on that goal, but perhaps I’m just being a dreamer again.
Anyways, that’s my rant for the day — take it or leave it. I have had bronchitis for the past week, which has made my life a living hell and I didn’t even actually feel like writing much of anything, but I did promise the bossman that I would deliver something for him while he was on vacation.

Ruthless Grab Bag: Too much, too soon, too often

One of the things that often comes up with my writing here on WDDIJ is a request to cover a particular topic. And usually I just don’t do it. In some cases what someone wants to cover I want to cover and so it for a moment interests are aligned and it works out. Oddly enough my silence on some particular matters has been due to an over abundance of work on outside projects. And my appearance on a Friday instead of my usual Monday is because we have two writers who are just straight up swamped. So everyone send positive thoughts towards Ref and Revanchist, They’re deep in dealing with various things that take way more focus than writing here. They’ll be back when they can. And now let’s get to it. GRAB BAG!

Too Much

I’ve found that despite a general, “I wonder what they look like” feeling, I just don’t care about the leaked nudes fo celebrities or the coverage that commanded. I have never seen Margot Robbie naked and I’m certain such a picture would launch ten thousand ships in her honor. I’ve never seen Ruth Negga in anything revealing, and I’m certain I would swear a blood oath for me and all my descendants to fight demons in her name. My point is Despite how interesting in theory Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nudes are. I don’t care. But…

I don’t think that this is sexual assault as some have stated in media and online.

Look I agree this is an invasion of privacy. I agree that this probably included some extortion of the women whose photos were released. But “Holy Hyperbole Batman!” are we really about to say this is the same as a woman being raped, a child being molested, a man being violated in prison by other men? Did that sentence feel gruesome? Good. That means you’re still capable of human empathy. See hard as I try, I can’t equate the conversation with a friend in college who told me about when she was raped with these photos leaking. I can equate it with a lot of other issues. Like being spied on by the public. Like getting doxxed. Like having things stolen from you. That these are of these women in various states of undress is bad. And the exposure to the rest of the public is also horrid, but this is a bridge too far, and a pound too much. Let’s deal with the guys that leaked the photos, and the ones that hacked the accounts, but climb down off that ledge and stop minimizing rape and sexual assault by turning it into a buzzword.

Too Soon

Somethings you are never ready for. And some things you have way too much time to do and never do them. Now don’t worry I’m not about to say the site is closing. I want to talk about how Ray Rice has been handled. When we all first learned about the situation we were all worried about what this meant. Would the NFL do the right thing? Would the legal system get justice for Jenay? What did she think? What had happened in the elevator itself?

And those were fair questions. They were exactly what needed to be asked. In the aftermath though some people got into trouble for coming to a conclusion too soon. Now let’s talk about Stephen A Smith. He got suspended for his comments, and even fellow ESPN folks like Michelle Beadle were chastising him for what he said. Fair or unfair that was too soon for both of them. As analysts the smart thing would have been for Smith to not address the larger issue of domestic violence and whatever perceptions he has. However, the language being used to describe him by Beadle was just as disheartening. While she stopped short of calling for his job, she might as well have.

And while I’m on the too soon topic, OBAMA!

Okay now that the racists have gone, let’s talk the real deal here. I am not an isolationist. But I do have isolationist tendencies from time to time. And this situation with ISIS/ISIL(I prefer calling it ISIL since that is what they actually want to do.) is one of the times I like to say nope, nope, you do your own thing we’re done. Here’s the thing about humanity. We’ve gotten to the point that now we have to cover for each other’s screw ups. ISIL is worthy of direct US intervention, but Boko Haram isn’t. Why? Well I’d say because the issue in Nigeria with Boko Haram is far more complex and isn’t sitting on top of oil production but that would be overly cynical.

No the reality is that this is just not a smart time to appear and help out. It is in fact too soon. Why? Because if you thought Iraq in and of itself and on its own would stay together you are clearly not a student of history. The country was an artificial creation and combined groups that were meant to balance each other’s presence in the region precisely because they did not get along. And you can thank T.E. Lawrence for that(If you don’t know go look it up). In the modern day expecting them to get along post Saddam is akin to expecting China, Tibet, and Taiwan to get along without outside help.

And that is why I don’t want US military members,which happen to contain lots of friends and family in them, to be sent on a devil’s errand of stabilizing a country that does not wish to be. At best we can expect Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Slovenia. At worst well, World War 3 with Nukes flying seems to be my particular brand of nightmare fuel. My point is sometimes you need to let a state fail and see what rises out of it. Helping groups escape from persecution, defending trapped Americans, ensuring safety for UN troops and other groups is fine. But full scale US intervention is far too soon.

Too Often

I cut off the last topic on purpose, because I know you feel some type of way about it. The reality is people see an armed group attempting to set up a new government and of course taking land through bloody conflict and say they should be stopped. But back up a minute. Isn’t that how re shinning city on a hill was founded? Now I don’t necessarily like the idea of the Umayyad Caliphate as run by ISIL is not necessarily my favorite of ideas, but why are we getting involved? Seriously take a moment and think why you care other than people dying. Far too often America and other heavily developed nations feel called to save every situation unless people say otherwise. But this isn’t Darfur, this isn’t the Rwandan genocide. This isn’t even Russia retaking the old Soviet Union countries one incursion at a time. The thing that should frighten you about the situation and any situation from this day until the end of the very idea of countries and super powers is that Iran wants to work with the US.

Too often in these days we see people out of position from getting involved in things they didn’t need to. In a country where student debt is over 1 trillion, Darren Wilson still hasn’t been charged, and Greg Hardy is somehow still not being subjected to the NFL’s domestic violence policy, we are ready to commit small ground troops and more drones and planes to bombing ISIL. We’re going to have to get some priorities eventually people. Too often the US is committed to showing up like the police, your father, or the boss and dictate terms. We’re doing it in Israel, We’re doing it in Iraq, and we’ve done it in far too many places far too many times.

Well this is far less problematic for America itself than CNN, FOX, and MSNBC would have you believe(No amount of teasing Michelle Bernard appearances even with Tamron Hall will get you back in my good graces people). The reality is hard to hear, and too often we ignore it. The hard truth is much of the middle east would stop having such issue with us if we would stop getting involved. Egypt and Libya are in constant conflicts, but we aren’t on the ground there. So why Iraq? Let’s go. I’d rather we deal with the fracking effects in the Dakotas, the achievement gaps in education between places in the south and places on the coasts. The police militarization. The student debt.

 

The fact minimum wage for servers is such a corrupt system that most employers don’t even attempt to prove the staff is making up the difference between the 2.13 per hour they get and the minimum wage of 7.25 per hour they are required to get in tips. We have a rising epidemic of mentally ill homeless. We have a VA system of reporting for claims that is older than my mother. Hell we have a makeshift fix to the healthcare crisis that will assure that we limp forward until someone is willing to sacrifice a second term for fixing the true problem. Hell we have so much monetary influence on the political process that candidates spend more time giving donors lapdances and blowjobs than talking to the people who are supposed to vote for them.

Folks too often we spend our time talking about, dealing with, and involving ourselves in things that don’t need us. Not just as a nation, but as a single human being. I thought about a friend of mine who was just telling me about something he’s dealing with right now. And normally I’d go into super friend mode and try and help him solve the issue. But instead I just sat there. listening like always, but not offering a solution. The only difference was that I didn’t offer an idea. Fun how his situation worked itself out. Too often we get too deep into things we don’t need to. And too often it has dire consequences. Think on that next time you see a story about someone doing something they really didn’t need to. I’d talk about more in this grab bag but…Words Don’t Do It Justice!

 

– THE Ruthless Wonder

The Letter Series: Dear Propagandists

To those of you who create the narrative that encourages and promotes war and crimes against humanity; the likes of which we should never condone in so-called civilized society, I implore you to quiet your rantings. Usurpers

The propaganda machine is running hot; every day there’s a new report or seeminglyWar is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. ~ The Ministry of Propaganda ~ random newly discovered factoid that just has to be discussed right away. There are terrorist cells hiding in every Mosque and no Westernized nation is safe. All of the freedoms and liberties that we have sacrificed in favor of a false sense of security is precariously hanging off the proverbial shoulders of our war-weary nation… a waste? The evil doers are laying in wait to kidnap and behead our citizens, and apparently, even after they have gone to hell, we’re supposed to follow them there… I guess to make sure they stay dead this time… which (news flash) they never do.

Tonight, on the eve of what has become one of the most important days in American, if not international history, our President addressed the nation, and basically said that we will be going to war with ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq also known as ISIL), that we won’t be committing our men and women in uniform to ground-based combat, and that we’ll be helping to save the lives of thousands of people and potential people. Do you feel safer Propaganda-pushers? How about you Citizens of the World; do you feel safer? Do you feel like freedom and democracy for all is being protected?

Here’s the thing, we can seek out and destroy every terrorist, foreign and domestic, and there will always only be more terrorists to seek out and destroy. Claiming that we can somehow use war to quell the voices of extremists, again, foreign and domestic, is a dangerous lie to tell. The whole reason there is an ISIS to worry about is because of the war we just walked away from not even 3 years ago. The reason we ended up fighting that and the war in Afghanistan is because of the time before that that we engaged Saddam Hussein. War doesn’t solve anything.

Now, I’m no fool. I’m not all kittens and cuddles with rose-colored glasses expecting us to hug it out with the crazies singing kumbaya. They don’t make a peace pipe big enough to quell that many centuries of cultural rage. All I’m saying is that suggesting that somehow rallying the troops and getting the populace all angry and scared isn’t going to solve the problem either. This is one of this situations where we really are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t; if for no other reason than because of the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns. So…

Dear propagandists,
Shut up. You aren’t helping. Things are hard enough to figure out without you trying to push your agenda on us every minute of every day. Get yourselves a different life. Require yourselves to be better, because let’s face it, right now you suck hairy, sweaty, sandy, terrorist balls, and they’re supposedly not into that sort of thing.

Say less. Do more. Require better.

Ministry of Propaganda plaque