Keeping with the lower levels of my mind there is always something sexual to write about…….many things are done during war and afterwards that cannot be condoned….many atrocities are done in the name of nationalism and some such abstract concept…….During WW2 the Japanese invade and occupied most of Asia…China, Malaysia, Korea most of the region was under their control…and let us say they were not the nicest of occupiers…..but the one thing that stands out of their many atrocities was the taking of local women from whatever country they occupied and pimping them out for the amusement of the soldiers………the world condemned them for this practice….but now were have a different slant on the issue….
(Newser) – Controversial Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has defended Japan’s World War II policy of forcing women to have sex with troops as a necessity of war, the BBC reports. “In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives,” said Hashimoto, who is also the leader of the Japan Restoration Party. “If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that.”
Around 200,000 women in Japanese occupied territories—including China, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan— are believed to have been forced into acting as “comfort women” during the conflict. Hashimoto did at least acknowledge they had acted “against their will.” He says people should “politely offer kind words to (former) comfort women,” the Asahi Shimbun reports.
Sorry dude…you are cannot justify this atrocity…….you cannot put a positive coat of whitewash on it……I guess next they will try to justify the massacre in Nan King as cleaning up the city……
Any thoughts on this?
Are you weary if the news coming out of Syria? You might want to pay attention because if people ( I use the term loosely) like McCain has his way we will be in a shooting war that American soldiers will pay the price of his hubris……..and all this concern for the Syrian people is nothing…it is as disingenuous as they were with Iraq.
The news is not good. We have info that someone somewhere used chemical weapons (WMDs) in Syria…..of course the neocons are taking every opportunity to push for some sort of American intervention…….especially McCain, the one person that knows first hand what war can do to an individual…..but he and his wing man Graham just keep scratching at the scab……and now the neocon talking heads are making the rounds on the news talk shows spouting the pro-invention BS………and the MSM is abetting the neocons in their push for action by continuing to use the alleged use of chemical weapons in any report they do on Syria……..
Even the president in a recent speech admits that it is not common knowledge that these weapons were used…….his words were do not who, where or how these weapons were used only that there is evidence of varying degrees of confidence……so but to me that is Washington speak for…..we have no idea.
NO one has any idea if these weapons were actually used……regardless that there is no concrete evidence that it was the Assad regime…..The UN is NOT echoing the neocons accusations…….
(Newser) – Another game-changer? One of the United Nations’ chief investigators says evidence is building that sarin gas was used in the Syrian conflict—but by rebels, not Bashar al-Assad’s regime. “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors, and field hospitals” and “there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas,” said Carla Del Ponte, a member of a panel probing alleged Syrian war crimes, Reuters reports. “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she adds.
The war crimes inquiry commission Del Ponte is involved with is separate from the main UN probe into chemical weapons use in Syria. Each side accused the other of using chemical weapons during fighting in Aleppo in March, while Britain and France say they have evidence that regime forces used nerve agents in attacks on rebels. In other developments:
- Israeli airstrikes on targets inside Syria in recent days have killed at least 42 government soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tells the AP. Israel today emphasized that the strikes were not meant to aid rebels, Reuters adds, but rather to block weapons from Hezbollah.
- The Israeli move renewed debate on whether the US should use airstrikes against the Assad regime, the New York Times reports. John McCain, who yesterday blasted President Obama’s “red line” as being “written in disappearing ink,” said the strikes show that Syria’s air defense system may not be much of an obstacle.
- Opposition activists say rebel forces shot down a military helicopter last night, killing eight government troops, the AP reports. The regime’s air power has long been a chief target of rebels and activists say rebels also attacked and occupied parts of an air base in the north of the country yesterday, killing the base’s commander and capturing a tank unit.
Israel is doing its part to draw the US into this conflict…….but beyond that….if you have been in the ME you would notice that everyone uses a cel phone and to think the chem weapons were used and no one put photos of the web is plain stupid……if the weapons had been used there would be evidence by now…….will this shut up people like McCain? Doubtful! He is Hell bent on involving the US in another war it cannot win.
To me this is just a PR job to get the American people to be on board with military intervention in Syria……it has been used successfully in the past and there is no indication that they will not use it in the future or even today.
Americans have all the information they need to make an opinion about Syria and what is to be done…..they know that a bunch of rebels are fighting Assad’s troops for control of the country…..they know that there may be al-Qaeda fighting in the countryside……and they know that there are chemical weapons and that they have been used….and now that you have all the facts I can move on……..
The ugly truth is that the average American knows nothing about Syria…….they know what the media wants them to know and nothing more……
To begin with I will explain why I say these things…..first, in my younger days I lived and worked in the Middle East….Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon Syria and the Occupied Territory….I had a job as a researcher for a Spanish newspaper……plus I did my grad work in Middle East Studies among other things…….and even today I read regional newspapers and sites to get a more clear picture of the situations that we are told little of by our crackerjack media……
Now for the grits and the gravy!
First, the most recent accusations…..use of chemical weapons…..
Meanwhile, not all U.S. officials agree with the worrisome intelligence assessments recently relayed by the three officials. “Any effort to secure Syria’s chemical-weapons would be complex, but we have good visibility on Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpiles and are constantly monitoring for any sign of movement,” a White House official told The Daily Beast late Wednesday. “We believe that the stockpiles are secure.” (A spokesman for the director of national intelligence declined to comment for this story Wednesday.
But other U.S. officials said one of the problems in tracking the chemical stocks in Syria once they were loaded onto trucks was finding out where those trucks were headed. One official said U.S. spy satellites in November picked up clear photographic evidence of trucks being loaded at known chemical-weapons storage sites outside Damascus. But this official also said the satellite did not track the movement of the trucks in the country. “You have to remember that satellites are not unmanned aerial vehicles,” this official said. “We saw the trucks being loaded, but we did not see where they went.”
Basically, what that quote is saying is that they have NO idea where the stores are with any certainty……and as reported earlier….the US is not sure they were used or who used them or even where…….it is a political game being played to warrant an armed response….but by whom?
Offering arms to the opposition, the rebels……but who are the rebels? And what good would arming these fighters do for the future of Syria?
We have heard all the lip service that McCain and his cronies have given to the necessity of arming the rebels…..and the Obama boyz are listening……
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Pentagon press conference Thursday that the US is “rethinking” policy on directly arming the so-called rebels in Syria.
Appearing with British Defense Minister Philip Hammond, Hagel became the first Obama administration official to acknowledge that Washington is considering a qualitative escalation of its proxy war in Syria.
“Arming the rebels; that’s an option,” Hagel said. Asked directly whether the administration was considering such a step, he replied: “Yes.”
Hammond echoed Hagel’s position, stating that Britain has “not thus far provided any arms to the rebels, but we have never said it’s something we will not do.” He added that London was concerned with “legality,” and was presently subject to a European Union ban on supplying arms to any side in Syria.
There’s no surprise that providing arms to the weaker side in the conflict was always going to prolong it. This is what opponents of the idea have been saying for years. Prolonging the conflict until the opposition could prevail has been the goal of interventionist proposals from the start, since their object has always been escalation and eventual regime change rather than mitigating and limiting the effects of the conflict. What advocates for arming the Syrian opposition never explain is how prolonging the conflict would not create even more instability and displace even more people, and they don’t do this because they cannot. Arming the opposition has always been just the first step in dragging the U.S. into the conflict, since it was never very likely to be sufficient on its own to topple the regime. Direct intervention would be the next step that hawks would demand when arming the rebels isn’t “working” quickly enough. In the the event that an air campaign also fails to “work,” there would inevitably be calls for an invasion in order to preserve our “credibility.” If the administration doesn’t want to take these later steps, it should refuse to take the first one.
Ask the question again…..the most important question….which rebel group gets our support?
Now the problem is if the US and its allies send all the weapons and such to the rebels what could be the eventual outcome? A free Syria? Before that is answered something else to consider…..
Rebel groups battling a common enemy – the regime of President Bashar al-Assad – are frequently confronting each other, with ideological rifts emerging in the highly fragmented opposition as Syria’s civil war grinds on in its third year.
Growing incidents like these of intra-rebel skirmishes – some of them fatal – highlight an intense contest for power in rebel-controlled areas, with many like Ahmed bracing for what they fear will be another war in post-Assad Syria.
Last month, Abdullah, another Liwa al-Tawhid rebel, was killed while driving to the brigade headquarters. He was shot in the neck. His brother Diaa accuses FSA’s Sawt al-Haq Brigade of having orchestrated the killing over a petty personal dispute.
Clashes erupted last month between the moderate-leaning Faruq Brigade and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Tal Abiyad, on the border with Turkey, in a sign of festering tensions over ideology, with up to four people reportedly killed.
It was one of the bloodiest skirmishes highlighting the ideological divide.
“The al-Nusra group and its allies have an agenda that other opposition groups don’t share – creating an Islamic emirate and fighting the global jihad, which makes conflict all but inevitable,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Personally, I do not believe that there is any good way for the US to intervene in Syria…..why? Because there is NO good options open to the US and it would not change a thing…….doubts?
(Newser) – To hear White House critics like John McCain tell it, the US can’t intervene in Syria fast enough. The atrocities, he says, “are on a scale that we have not seen in a long, long time.” Has he forgotten about Iraq so quickly? wonders Fareed Zakaria at Time. Even worse atrocities occurred there during the US occupation. Recall that in Iraq, a minority regime held power. The same holds true in Syria: It’s mostly Sunni, but Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Shiite subsect Alawites. It’s foolish to underestimate how much this complicates things—you can see it in Lebanon’s modern history, too.
A minority group in power will cling to it desperately, fearful of what will happen if the majority takes control. US intervention will “intensify” the war and make Assad even more desperate, writes Zakaria. “If the objective is actually to reduce the atrocities and minimize potential instability, the key will be a political settlement that gives each side an assurance that it has a place in the new Syria,” he writes. That never happened in Iraq, and the result is today’s chaos. A political pact is Syria’s only hope. Otherwise, “US assistance to the rebels or even direct military intervention won’t change much.” We’ll be in the middle of another long civil war. Click for his full column.
We can pretend that we know the “rest of the story” but we have NO clue…….the government and media are working in concert with each other to keep as little info available through the cable news outlets….this is in an attempt to control the flow of info as needed…..Americans will NOT get all the information they need to decide whether intervention is necessary until it is too late……
Does that sound at all familiar?
Addendum: Over the weekend Israel has taken it upon themselves to launch an airstrike within Syria…..now how could this effect the US and the debate that is going on?
For those of you that are new to my blog…..I lived and worked for a time in the Middle East and I can tell you that the news we get here in the US is not always the most accurate….so I spend time reading papers from the area so that I may have a better grasp on the situations that arise……and I pass them on so that you too can be better informed…..
We have just celebrated the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War…..a war started on lies, cost 4400+ troops their lives and an almost incalculably amount of wounded soldiers……..and then there is the loses on the Iraqi people……mind numbing numbers…..but with that all said just what will be the price tag for this war?
Newser) – How much do you think the war in Iraq was worth, in dollars? Was your figure more or less than $7.7 trillion? Because that’s how much the war might end up costing, according to a new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. So far, the government has spent $1.7 trillion on the war, but that’s not counting $490 billion in veterans’ benefits, which could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next 40 years once interest is added in, Reuters reports.
And that’s just the cost in treasure. As for the blood cost, the study estimates that the war killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians, and contributed to the deaths of four times that many people. Add in security forces, journalists, and humanitarian workers, and the number is somewhere between 176,000 and 189,000. The US got precious little in return for its money, the study concluded, adding that the $212 billion reconstruction effort mostly failed, with fraud and waste accounting for most of the spending.
The saddest part is not about the war is that were lied to to go to war…….it will be the cost to returning vets…….but the biggest thing is that charities are helping these people when the government owes them more than they can ever pay……the government sent them…..the government is responsible for the care afterwards……please I am not bad mouthing the charities…just there should be NO need for them.
At what point does the country accept the damage they have done to its people and accept the burden of caring for vets…..but instead all vets are good for is a few electioneering slogans and campaign props…..I have NO respect for a country that treats its people as such……and a government that turns a blind eye to the suffering of the vets does not deserve my support……
Meanwhile the pigs that started the war are appearing everywhere trying to rewrite history and save their legacy….and people are letting them get away with it….
For two years now the two sides have been battling each other for control of the country……each side has accused the other of one atrocity after another……and we here in the West must believe what we choose to believe…..but now there is a real push to have the world believe that one side or the other is using chemicals weapons (WMDs)…..sound familiar?
A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that it is “apparently clear” that chemical weapons were recently used in Syria, and that the alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation with visiting President Barack Obama.
The statement by Yuval Steinitz, the newly appointed minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, conflicts with U.S. assessments that there is no evidence behind accusations traded the day before between Syrian rebels and the Bashar Assad regime of a chemical weapons attack in a village in the north of the country.
Even thought there is little evidence of such an act……we have the usual neo-cons rattling the sabres……
Two top foreign policy lawmakers, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), separately called for the White House to step up military action in Syria, with Graham arguing that Obama should consider having American troops “get on the ground” to help secure chemical weapons sites.
Later in the evening, the heads of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), joined forces on CNN to say that they believed chemical weapons had likely been used, without offering evidence. They said the White House should consider military action.
“If in fact we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they have used these chemical weapons … I think we are morally obligated to do something about their ability to deliver these weapons,” said Rogers. “And if that was a very limited military strike to do that — again, I think we’re morally obligated to do that.”
Interesting that all this bravado comes on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war……….what could be the outcome?
My guess would be aimed at Iran who is an ally of Assad…..if the West were to go into Syria militarily then Iran would have the justification they may need for an all out attack…….Syria would just the beginning of another war that no one wants to pay for and no one wants responsibility for once the decision is made……
Subject: Women’s History
It is Women’s History Month and as my regular readers know that I try to post little known people of note in history….I especially enjoy pointing out courageous women of history…..this lady caught my fancy when I was reading a book entitled, The Sahara–A cultural History written by Eamonn Gearon….an excellent book if you are a history nerd, very informative and entertaining reading…..
In the 7th century, Arab armies were sweeping across North Africa and bringing with them the Islamic beliefs…….the Arabs met their match when they invaded the land of the Berbers, a native people of the Sahara……….
By Eamonn Gearon
Far from being natives of North Africa, Arab armies only entered Egypt in 639. Just 71 years later they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to begin their invasion of Europe. These remarkable conquests were greater and swifter than any achieved by Greece or Rome. Even so, it was not a story of unbroken victories.
Some uprisings persisted for decades, prompting one Arab governor to declare, “The conquest of Ifriqiya is impossible; scarcely has one Berber tribe been exterminated than another takes its place.” The Roman term of opprobrium for any non-Roman – barbarian – became a proper name, creating a Berber identity uniting a people. Unfortunately for the Berbers, this common identity did not equal united resistance.
The most serious Berber resistance was the campaign led by the Berber tribal elder al-Kahina, or “the prophetess.” Variously claimed as a Jewess and a Christian by co-religionists, and described as a witch or a sorceress by her detractors, al-Kahina’s bravery and desire to remain free of foreign domination inspired others to mount numerous, ultimately doomed, revolts.
Described as a beauty with the gift of prophecy, she put this last skill to good use, sending her sons to her Arab enemies. The Arabs, recognising the skills inherent in the boys’ mother, raised them to become successful commanders of Arab armies. In this way, the Berbers were able to claim some glory from a story that is otherwise characterised by defeat and subjugation.
Al-Kahina herself died fighting the Arabs in around 702. Since then, al-Kahina has inspired Berber nationalists, Maghrebi feminists and, in the 19th and 20th centuries, French colonialists! Even today, while virtually unknown in the West, al-Kahina’s name is legendary across North Africa, but perhaps she foresaw that too.
A noble warrior that would have NO place in Arabic society……..she should and is an inspiration to women everywhere…. a woman that met a trial and fought to protect her and her people’s way of life……she did what must be done……..not much more can be asked of anyone……..
It is inevitable that I have this conversation when people learn that I fought in Vietnam……..someone always says we could have won that war if we were allowed to, right Chuk? My first question to them is, “were you there”…..and almost everytime it is no…….and then I reply….then your opinion means NOTHING!
I bet you are wondering why I bring this up now?
To answer your question….I was reading Raw Story and came upon this piece of crap……
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday asserted that the U.S. war in “Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”
“One of the things that we’ve heard over and over again since Vietnam is, you know, we don’t want to get in another un-winnable war like Vietnam,” Gohmert told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “I’m not going to debate the merits of whether we should or should not have gone to Vietnam, but what I will tell you is, Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it!”
“Folks, when you hear people talk about the lesson of Vietnam, it ought to be this: You don’t send American men or women to to harm’s way unless you’re going to give them the authority and what they need to win and then bring them home!”
This person is a MORON! The American soldier did everything he was ordered to do in Vietnam…….we were fighting troops that would take a French 75 apart put it on bikes and walk them across mountains, reassemble and use……..we are talking about troops that would tie tree tops together on the Ho Chi Minh trail to form a tunnel to keep aircraft from spotting them……we were fighting troops that had 75 miles of tunnels that included R&r centers, hospitals, mess halls and ammo storage………we were fighting troops that would repair the Trail after b-52 runs in less than 24 hours…..we were fighting a committed enemy….and any moron that says different is lying!
And anyone especially someone that is suppose to be a statesman that makes comments like Gohmert is a worthless lump of crap! And anyone who believes his crap is a stupid lump of crap who NEVER served but has all the answers….and that makes him less than worthless!
You may pass on to Mr. Gohmert what I think of him…..I WILL!