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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.

Journalism Under Fire

Journalism Under Fire

It was just the other day when I watched a YouTube Video of a police officer in Ferguson Missouri leveling his weapon at a livestream journalist while screaming “I’m going to fucking kill you”, followed immediately by him being drug away by a female colleague while he responded to the question about his name by identifying himself as “Go fuck yourself”. Similarly, on the same day I read a news article where an Al-Jazeera America reporter was told by a police officer that he was going to bash their head in.

Prior to these incidents, six different journalists were arrested while covering the protests in Ferguson, and prior to that an Al-Jazeera Media Van was hit by tear gas, and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post were arrested while sitting inside of a McDonalds working. This is just part of a disturbing new trend in America, and in the world at large, where journalism seems to be becoming aggressively targeted. Now, in America the freedom of the press is intended to protect journalists from this sort of shit that we as a government and we as a people normally condemn.

These are the same activities that we usually decry in the main stream media when they happen in foreign countries where we are often shocked and dismayed that those other countries could have such disdain for such a fundamental thing as journalism. I’m not going to lie, in Ferguson it starts to look alot like the police were deliberately targeting members of the press in order to suppress the coverage of what was going on out there — images of police officers hitting peaceful protests with tear gas on the front pages doesn’t exactly garner one sympathy, afterall.

The attack on Journalism in Ferguson hasn’t ended, either, just this Tuesday a Canadian Television Journalist was arrested in Ferguson for having the audacity to ask why Captain Johnson of the Highway Patrol was ordering Journalists to leave the area before the last demonstrators had left. As has been the case in most of these detentions, the journalist were released the next morning with no charge or explanation — all he did was ask a question, and the police detained him and took him away.

This is really just an overarching problem we face today when the local police think themselves above the constitution, when we see images of police officers decked out in better gear than our soldiers used in the streets of Baghdad. My step-dad is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and he doesn’t even wear as much tactical equipment as the police in Ferguson Missouri were — of course journalism is going to be targeted, it is the first move of every tyrant to suppress the voice of the people and to obfuscate the situation from the public eye.

Journalism has always been a dangerous profession, but it has usually never been so dangerous to be a journalist in the streets of America. Sure, when journalists were arrested in Eastern Ukraine and held hostage, it was the kind of situation we expected as a possibility — journalism in Ferguson, Missouri should not, however, carry the same risks as journalism in the war torn Eastern Ukraine. The local police, no matter what situation they are overreacting to, are not above the constitution.

The sad truth is that since the protests over the death of Michael Brown have begun, journalists in Ferguson have been arrested, shot at, threatened, and even assaulted by Law Enforcement officers in Ferguson. But, again, this is just a growing trend in the danger of journalism. James Foley, for instance, traveled abroad to expose Americans to the suffering of Syrians. What did he get for his trouble? He was captured by the extremists group, ISIS, and later beheaded in responses to American airstrikes and refusal to pay a $100 Million ransom.

While we cannot do anything to make journalism safer in foreign countries, no American in good conscious should stand by unaffected by what is happening in our own streets. Reporters covering the Gazan Conflict face the real possibility of death, is that going to be the future of journalism in America? Are our reporters going to have to worry about the police killing them, next? I’m not going to pretend like I fully understand what is happening in Ferguson, though I have been keeping up with the news reports, but I know that this is not how things are supposed to happen in America. We have rights guaranteed to us by the constitution, and it is becoming harder and harder to keep those rights from being trampled on when our local police look more like they are occupying a foreign country than keeping our streets safe.

I have friends who have moved abroad and one of the things they always tell me is that the police where they live are different from the police in America, for instance a friend of mine from Japan (he is African-American, for the record) told me that in Japan you actually have a sense that you can trust the police and that they are actually there to help you, as opposed to in America where he always felt afraid of the police. His stories generally match those that I have heard from other individuals who have experienced interactions with law enforcement abroad.

So where did our police go so wrong? When did being an Officer of he Peace mean you needed to carry an assault rifle and threaten the press? I’m not sure where this country is going, but it doesn’t really seem like it is a good path to be taking. I tip my hat to anyone who goes into a field like journalism, because there doesn’t seem to be any real safety in it anymore — even in America, where you are supposed to be protected, you are putting yourself in harms way, and that is really just unacceptable.

Boston attack a fake?

First and foremost happy Labor day everyone, i hope you enjoy some quality off time with family, friends, and food. Now I know i missed last week, was feeling kind of out of it, but i’m better now and ready to tackle some pretty good topics i think. It’s been a busy two weeks let me tell you. I mean we’ve had that horrible display of…lust and ludicrous from Miley Cirus, Syria is heating up and of course there was the rather blunt and straight forward post from my friend Ruthless, which given the name should not be so unexpected.
Now maybe some of you are wondering where i stand on that post, others probably don’t care, but let me set the record straight by saying that there was nothing in that post that i don’t agree with. Was it harsh, yes. Did it need to be said? Hell yes. If you’re ever thought of yourself as a revolutionary yet you found yourself offended at that post i suggest you evaluate just how firm your belief system is and change that title if you find yourself lacking. We are all sheep in a way, some more than others, but the least you can do is be aware that you are one. Now to move on.
Recently one of my brothers (whose name shall remain anonymous) linked me to a couple of videos from one rather popular user by the name of LivingonplanetZ. Of course if you’ve never heard of him/her that’s OK, and before i post the links i want to again say that my views and opinions are not necessarily the views and opinions of the other authors of WDDIJ.

Ok, have you watched it? Good, now we can talk about what i make of this video. Now i’ll admit, those pictures seem legit and from the angels shown it all looks plausible, but for me there are a couple of reservations that keep me from buying into it fully. First, civilians. Now we all know, or if you don’t I suggest you look it up, that during 9-11 the reason the planes were able to hit those towers was because our own airplanes were off doing ‘training exercises’ where the events taking place were supposed to be mock. So while i’m not really agreeing that no one died or that no one was hurt, i can say it isn’t really a stretch that the police and the ambulances were just doing drills.
My father is a firefighter, he works for the city and every so often, maybe once every two years depending on where he is stationed there is a drill. They’ll  go into an abandoned house, get it filled with smoke to simulate the real lack of vision and have to clear out all the rooms rescuing dummies and the such. At the airport, there is a plane wreck that is also simulated like a real wreck, the front of the plane is set ablaze (though no gasoline is in it) and they have to put it out and again sweep the plane for survivors. I’m lead to believe, and i see no reason to doubt this, that there are drills for all sorts of emergency response teams, be they fireman or policeman, that take plausible scenarios and act them out. So why, again after the events of 9-11, would it be unimaginable that the police and ambulances to practice responding to a bomb going off in a densely populated part of the city while an annual event is happening?
But that’s obviously not my reservation about the claim. No my reservation comes from the fact that this was a public event, attended by people of the city. It’s hard to imagine that all of the runners and observers were simply acting hurt or shocked, that everyone present was in on it. How many people attend this race? I don’t know, but i’d ballpark at the least 750 people. And i’m not sure that there are that many people who just acted like they were scared, or acted like they were hurt. But just to play devils advocate, i do have something to rebuke this.Mass Hysteria.

Mass hysteria: a condition affecting a group of persons, characterized by excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior or beliefs, or inexplicable symptoms of illness.  

What i’m hinting at, and this is kind of a long shot, is the people who were nearest the bomb might have been actors, put in place by whomever orchestrated this ‘false bombing’ so to cast mass hysteria onto the people. Is it possible, yes. Do i think that’s what happened? Still on the fence with that. Moving on, the user points to red bottles on the ground and tells us that those are bottles filled with ‘fake blood’. Again, we can’t really see the labels, just a red bottle with writing on it, but it is also possible that those are just water bottles given to the participants left behind in the chaos. If that’s the case then we have to assume those injuries are real, but that doesn’t really mean it’s from the blast. People, when scared, are known to push, shove, and trample and it is possible that in the extreme excitement that there were injuries sustained. Now that was just the immediate aftermath of the ‘explosion’. What came after was a city wide manhunt which supposedly claimed the lives of two people. One was a security guard for a college campus, and the other was the older of the two ‘terrorist.’ After that, a city wide shutdown in which people were forced to stay in their houses for most of the day while swat and policemen went in and searched their homes, sometimes against their will.  That is odd to me. Shutting down a city to find one boy is in my opinion, extreme. Let’s not forget we’re not talking about a small town of 2,000 people or something along those lines. This is Boston we’re talking about, a city well populated with houses, businesses, and schools. It cost 333 million dollars to shut this place down. Now think about that. Public safety is always an issue in Chicago, but they were willing to sacrifice 333 million dollars to catch one boy with a gun? Chicago has countless people with guns and warrants for arrest, should we shut down the entire city and go find them? Should we violate peoples privacy with armed men yelling orders and sweeping through the comfort of their home? Is nothing sacred?

There are other things to dispute, the names of the deceased having no record, why the priests were turned away, the area of the bombing being sealed off before explosion, and the unreasonable amount of ambulances that were pretty much idle for the most part, but honestly I wouldn’t really be able to give anything to say his research is wrong. I have no way of accurately proving him wrong unless i knew the deceased personally, which of course, i don’t. Why were there all those ambulances jammed into the streets? I don’t know, but you have to admit, that if they were all responding to a training exercise that it would kind of make sense, even if some of them didn’t know it at the time.
Beyond the what, the when and the where, there is one important question you have to ask whenever dealing with these conspiracy theory’s. The why. Why stage something this big? Why report false deaths and injuries as real? Why, if this is true, did we hunt down two boys and (perhaps) pretend to kill them and blow up their house? Why did they cause a state of panic and shock, anger and hate? Pure speculation leads me to this conclusion. The one reason that i can gather from all this is to push one or two agenda’s that would never be considered before the event. The ability for a city official to put the entire place on lock down and for the most part Marshal law, along with stricter regulations to invade peoples privacy. People major city was shut down for over twelve hours to search for one man, while peoples homes were invaded against their will by our own police force. As far as i know, that has never been done in the history of the United States of America. Did they even have warrants for each house searched, or did they simply allow them to look where ever they wanted? People i understand that finding the ‘bad guy’ is important, but at what cost are we willing to pay in order to do so? ‘But Rufus, if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t mind them looking.’ Wrong. First and foremost let me clear the air about how i feel about how i feel about law enforcement. They are unnecessary, yes, but they are human and therefore fallible . When you grow up in a school system where 9 of the 10 teachers were civil rights activist, you learn to look at the government a different way. See i’ve seen videos of cops doing horrible things to people, be it sending hounds onto peaceful protectors, or nine cops beating one man to the ground then stomping him on video, and if there is anything i’ve learned from these occurrences it is this. Police can be crocked, aggressive, racist, prejudice, dicks. They can inflict harm on you with little fear of rebuke, they can pull some strings to make your life a living hell, and they are some of the most heavily armed people walking your streets. Infact, in terms of gangs they would be the biggest baddest gang in your state, why? Because if you mess with one you mess with them all, and the fucked up part is that nine times of ten the media, the public, and the judge (who by the way is supposed to remain impartial) is against you. You have a snowballs chance in hell of winning without concrete proof, and even that will be scrutinized.
You are right, at least in my opinion, to fear them just for existing. No, not all of them are like this, I’ve friends who are correctional officers and policemen, but even they have experienced their fair share of crookedness. But you know maybe that’s just me. I have a fear/loathing of anyone who can force me to bite my tongue because one wrong word could cost me my freedom or job. So i leave you with that. Stew on it, think it over, and for the love of god make up your own mind, because you might find that the side you went with so ignorantly is the one you hate the most.