LRC Blog

Breaking: Armed Sheriff’s Deputy Watched/Listened to Parkland High School Massacre for 4 Minutes, Did Nothing


It turns out that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students were murdered on Valentine’s Day last week, did have an armed and uniformed school resource officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department. What was the Hero in Blue, a one Scot Peterson, doing during the shooting? Video shows that he heard gunfire inside the school, approached the school building, but never entered the building during the shooting.

“I am devastated,” [Broward Sheriff Scott] Israel said. “Sick to my stomach. He never went in.  [He should have] [w]ent in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.”

This is the same Sheriff Israel who appeared at last night’s CNN anti-gun rally, er, “Town Hall,” advocating new gun controls.  More revelations about what the Broward County Sheriff’s Office did not do to stop the Parkland massacre:

Broward Sheriff’s deputies had multiple warnings that the 19-year-old was a potential school shooter, according to records released Thursday [today].

In November, a tipster called BSO [Broward Sheriff’s Office] to say Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making” but deputies did not write up a report on it. That came just weeks after a relative called asking BSO to seize his weapons. Two years ago, according to a timeline of interactions with Cruz’s family, a deputy investigated a report that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school” – intelligence forwarded to the campus deputy, with no apparent result.

 

9:08 pm on February 22, 2018

Will ‘Extreme Security’ Solve The School Shooting Problem?

1:59 pm on February 22, 2018

All Cultures are Equal Update

Even the communistic French are beginning to question the cultural Marxist “religion” that “all cultures are equal” and “diversity”– any diversity — “is our strength” after three African “migrants” were arrested in a Paris suburb for cannibalism.

8:05 am on February 22, 2018

Florida’s New Potemkin Village

That would be Tallahassee today.  I had the misfortune of being stuck in a doctor’s office with CNN blaring for about a half hour.  Here’s what I learned:  The Democrat Party paid for a bunch of buses to take hundreds of school kids to Tallahassee to “protest” in favor of more gun-control laws — you know, like the ones that made their school a “gun-free zone.”  (Looks like your typical George Soros-funded “community organizing” left-wing mini-riot).  They then were given long-winded scripts written by Democrat Party operatives denouncing Trump, the NRA, and all the Republicans in Tallahassee while praising all of the Democrats in Tallahassee to the treetops.  While I was watching, not one of these little brain-numbed political pawns said anything other than banning the AR15 could “save” them from future mass shootings.  The state legislature voted against banning “assault rifles,” after which CNN put on the screen a hysterically crying little girl who threw a tantrum over this. Stalinist/East German Cold War brainwashing has nothing over the Democrat Party and its Florida sideshow.

4:23 pm on February 21, 2018

UN’s Syria Propaganda Stunt

12:45 pm on February 21, 2018

The Legacy of the Iraq War

It has now been almost 15 years since the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. How has it turned out? Not so well, according to this new report.

As much as I loathe Obama, I have never forgiven Bush for launching this horrible war and destroying the free market to save it. Obama did not make me nostalgic for his predecessor.

11:13 am on February 21, 2018

Should Teachers Be Armed?

Should teachers be armed? This question is premature. In today’s monopoly law enforcement systems funded by forced extractions of money from taxpayers, lawmakers will answer this question. There will be public debate, such as is now occurring. Lawmakers will hear the arguments and they will decide. Their decisions will, however, not be according to criteria that relate directly to the welfare of the children of their citizens. The incentives faced by lawmakers will not create such a connection in the clarity that the citizens demand. The system is bound to frustrate the citizens.

This question cannot be answered in an appropriate way as long as the law enforcement monopoly remains in place. Whether teachers should be armed or not, either answer made within the monopoly system simply maintains and possibly intensifies the problems inherent within that system. Whether or not teachers should be armed can only be answered properly if incentives are aligned properly, and that cannot happen until the system of law enforcement is opened to competition. It also cannot happen until tax-funded school districts are ended, because they too prevent the consumers of education from buying into schools that are safe for their children.

There are “fixes” that monopolized school districts have chosen, all sorts of fixes such as searching lockers, lockdowns, drills, drug-free zones and a police presence, but none of these are the result of the kinds of direct consumer choices that would be prevalent if there were competition. Arming teachers is another one of these fixes. Instead of perpetuating the system and adding fixes that cannot replicate a free market in law enforcement, the monopolies of school districts and police forces funded by taxes should be opened up to competition. This means that citizens should have options to purchase the education and law enforcement services.

The arming of teachers is a measure that can be evaluated by companies that offer to protect the safety of students at schools. They have a profit incentive to decide whether such a measure is worth the costs, since they bear those costs and they experience the benefits of making decisions that produce student safety. Arming teachers involves costs such as training teachers, preventing weapons from being misplaced or misused by teachers, stolen, and even conceivably commandeered by malefactors. It imposes costs on teachers that they may be unwilling to accept. There are legal liability issues that crop up.

One does not expect that evaluating these and other costs and benefits flows in any sort of effective way from democratic processes of government. One expects the very opposite. Government is the last place one should look for deciding how to school children, how to run schools, how to run police and how to produce law enforcement for its citizens. It is only the tyranny of a long-established status quo in which government took on these tasks that holds us back from removing these government-enforced monopolies and realizing the freedom we profess to cherish.

10:29 am on February 21, 2018

Why the Shock about Trump?

Trump says he is now open to more federal gun regulations and strengthening background checks. Gun-rights advocates are shocked, shocked, since Trump in his campaign said some good things about gun control. But why the shock about Trump? He is a man of no principles whatsoever. He has no foundation, no ideology. Whatever sounds good to him at the time is what he believes.

8:07 am on February 21, 2018

From a Veteran

A veteran comments on my recent article about what young men learn in the military:

While I am a former military person I do not go out of my way to boast my service nor do I seek all the entitlements that are currently being bestowed upon them. I firmly believe that the United States military is overrated and that today’s youth would be best served if they stayed away from the military.

These veterans are the real military heroes.

Used by permission.

 

8:02 am on February 21, 2018

Law Without Enforcement vs. Enforcement under Competition

Florida has a law against death threats, making it a third-degree felony. Lesser such stalking and harassment is a first degree misdemeanor. In the Parkland case, these laws apparently were not enforced, because police received 20 calls prior to the shootings “in the past few years”.

Parkland experienced law without police enforcement because its police are paid for by taxes and supplied in a monopoly through the town. The alternative is law with enforcement through competition.

Suppose that the citizens of a locality could select police/security services by themselves at their option. Suppose that the town did not tax them for police and hire a police force, as most do. Then companies offering police and security services become feasible. Competition arises. Policing companies then attempt to profit by supplying the kinds of services that consumers want. They enforce laws that consumers are willing to pay to have enforced.

The existing systems force consumers into a citizen-taxed collective in which the town has its own police force, a monopoly situation. A bunch of bad incentives set in. With financing of the police forcibly extracted from citizens, they find it costly to influence town officials to produce good policing. The town fathers find that they can get elected without having to work hard to supply good policing. Voters vote for them on a range of issues; they can’t and usually don’t single out the town’s management of policing as a single issue. Each voter knows that his single vote doesn’t count and has nil effect, and voters know that it’s costly to organize a group of like-minded people with a single objective like law enforcement. Police contribute to political campaigns and otherwise influence the town officials. Police unions resist control by town managers. Police and law enforcement become part of the town government, not subject to the market incentives. Most voters will not know what they’re paying for or getting in return in the government-run system. They won’t know what’s possible with competition because they’ve never experienced it in the area of law enforcement. They’ll only know that the quality and quantity of police services are both unsatisfactory.

Only if drastic lapses in police behavior occur, such as police brutality and rampant crime, might there arise pressures on police. Even then, they’ll remain within the government-monopoly system, whereby citizens are forced into a collective in which town fathers largely relinquish control over law enforcement to a police force that has a great deal of latitude in supplying enforcement of laws and consumer pressures are so diluted that they mostly don’t count.

Private law enforcement is a rapidly growing industry. It’s viable. It’s effective. It’s higher quality. Could a private company ignore multiple reports from its customers of death threats and still retain them as paying customers? Would it not have a profit incentive to respond quickly and effectively?

Such a company has incentives relating to citizen obedience of laws and gun control that town-controlled police do not. Private law enforcers lower their costs by inducing obedience to laws. They have an incentive to work with citizens to reduce crime. They will favor arming well-behaved citizens. They will favor disarming the bad actors. They will have the incentive to identify these two different groups, the law-abiders and the law-breakers; and they will have an incentive to promote the arming of the law-abiders and the disarming of the law-breakers.

There is an incentive problem with companies running prisons when their costs are paid by taxes. Their incentive is to extract more taxes. Their incentive is to stiffen laws so as to produce inmates. Their incentive is for costs of imprisonment to rise. These perverse incentives can be ended and reversed by companies that supply law enforcement competitively. If they supply imprisonment demanded by their customers, then they internalize the costs. They then have the incentive to control such costs. They have an incentive to supply rehabilitation and reduce time spent in prison.

5:57 am on February 21, 2018

Carving Up Syria: Anything Left For The Syrians?

12:50 pm on February 20, 2018

Progressives Don’t Govern Well on the Most Local Levels


24/7 Wall Street has a list of “states that are falling apart.” In the top 10:

10. Massachusetts:
Roads in poor condition: 31.5% (2nd highest)
Dams at high hazard risk: 22.9% (22nd highest)

8. New Jersey
Roads in poor condition: 31.0% (3rd highest)
Dams at high hazard risk: 27.3% (16th highest)

6. California
Roads in poor condition: 29.4% (4th highest)
Dams at high hazard risk: 52.6% (6th highest)

1. Hawaii
Roads in poor condition: 29.0% (5th highest)
Dams at high hazard risk: 93.2% (the highest)

On a much more decentralized level, there’s San Francisco. Its NBC affiliate surveyed a 153-city block area (that included schools and playgrounds) and found a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces that amounts to a disgusting and potentially deadly mix of contamination that experts now believe could exceed some of the dirtiest slums in the world.

If the people who love government and “love to govern,” aren’t able to create a safe and clean community on the municipal level in the heart of devout progressivism, how do they have a shred of credibility left?

UPDATE: Progressive mecca Baltimore is now the U.S.’s most dangerous city with the highest per capita murder rate in the nation, with nearly 56 murders per 100,000 people.

10:12 pm on February 19, 2018

The U.S. Government Would Never Interfere in RUSSIA’S Elections

Or would it?

5:30 pm on February 19, 2018

Mueller’s Russia Indictments: Covering Up For The Deep State?

12:30 pm on February 19, 2018

Cultural Equality Update

All cultures are equal, say the cultural Marxists who rule academia, because “diversity is our strength.”  So if you treat your sister respectfully and lovingly, as you should, you are a vile racist if you think there’s something wrong with a man who beats his sister in the head with a baseball bat for not wearing an Islamic veil.  This occurred in not-your-grandfather’s Sweden recently.

7:59 am on February 19, 2018

Breitbart Publishes Left-Wing Hysteria and Anti-Trump Hyperbole

Breitbart is often entertaining, on the order of the National Enquirer. It has its biases too. One thing it does well is gather hysterical statements from left-wingers. The anti-Trump hyperbole coming from these folks is astounding. It’s so far out that it’s laughable.

We can count on Rob Reiner for a laugh. After the Mueller indictment was released, he said: “It is now crystal clear that Russia had a profound impact on the 2016 election. They have attacked US, they are continuing to attack US. If Trump is unwilling to acknowledge this and unwilling to protect US, the word TREASON is now center stage.”

Russia is attacking the U.S.? A “profound impact”? Russia had nil impact on the election or its results. On the other hand, the DNC and its Steele dossier combined with the behind-the-scenes machinations of intel officials did have an impact, not on the election, but on anti-Trump sentiment, on mobilizing left-wingers into an anti-Trump movement, and on interfering with Trump and his agenda. Reiner’s “treason” accusation continues this impact, which hasn’t let up in vituperation since Trump won.

Trump’s Florida remarks were very sensible. He said “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

Let’s understand that this statement is both concrete and SYMBOLIC. Its symbolic to say that the FBI didn’t process the Florida tip because it was working on the empty box of Russian collusion. It’s not meant to be literal. The FBI failure in Florida is a symbol of misdirected efforts elsewhere in its organization. “Get back to the basics” is sound advice.

Nevertheless, CNN’s Brian Stelter, beside saying Trump sounded “troubled” and “unhinged”, thought that connecting the FBI general incompetence or the empty search for Russian collusion was “nonsensical”. He just could not grasp the use of symbolic language.

David Gergen takes the cake for his hyperbole. “David Gergen said the ‘chaos’ President Donald Trump was causing through his attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and the media could be ‘the beginning of an authoritarian rule.’

We can grant Gergen the idea that a dictator might close down a free press in order to consolidate rule, but is that what Trump is doing? Far from it. He could never get away with it if he tried. A recent case of authoritarian rule in this country that had profound implications occurred when George W. Bush steamrolled the nation into the War on Terror and the Iraq War. The major legacy media went right along with him and Congress, to their everlasting discredit and shame. We do not need literal authoritarian press control to reach the same dreadful end, not when the press gobbles up government-planted stories written by infiltrators in its ranks who are loyal to government agencies. Trump, if he is doing anything beyond defending himself by attacking the press, is perhaps helping to break down the hold that major legacy media have in influencing public opinion. That’s anti-authoritarian.

Gergen actually wants a more authoritarian society. He pines for “our sense of being a single people that we have some sense of unity about our country.” He lauds bipartisanship: “…we have long traditions and norms, but we have to protect those, in a bipartisan way. We must come together…”

7:20 pm on February 18, 2018

Progressive Hamiltonians: More ‘Fake’ History From National Review

In a last ditch effort to stave off its total obsolescence, National Review magazine has undergone a costly cosmetic renovation in an attempt to prove its relevance to a new younger readership before rigor mortis sets in. But this faux make-over belies the pallid and cadaverous entity which lays underneath; sickly, bloodless and emaciated. Fittingly the principal theme of this issue dwells on The Intellectual Emptiness of ‘White Supremacy.’

But the piece which really caught my attention is Progressive Hamiltonians, by Jay Cost.  In an ideological chronology attempting to trace the course of opinion of the American left from Jeffersonian and Jacksonian support for popular sovereignty and opposition to centralizing consolidation of the general government away from the decentralized federal republic purportedly established by the Framers, Cost focuses upon Alexander Hamilton as the spokesman on the other side, whose elitist and centralizing views quickly fell by the wayside during the 19th century. He carefully omits any discussion of the Hamiltonian direct descendants, of Henry Clay and the Whig Party, of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party, and of Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts to resurrect Hamiltonianism during the early years of the Progressive Era. It is as if the detailed scholarly and authoritative history outlined by Murray N. Rothbard in The Progressive Era (.pdf) never existed, like something out of ranks of Soviet fabricators and court historians of the Stalinist days discussing the epic contributions of Leon Trotsky to the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War.  No, Nyet, Nein, Nicht, Nada.

Cost quickly skims past FDR, the New Deal, and World War II. It is after WWII with Harry Truman when the ideological views of the establishment left began to change. Cost never mentions the National Security Act of 1947 which reorganized the command and control structure of the military under the Joint Chiefs of Staff and establishing the CIA, thus creating the National Security State (today more commonly referred to as the extra-constitutional deep state). One suspects that the reason for this omission is because of this article by the founder and editor of National Review: William F. Buckley, Jr., “A Young Republican View,” Commonweal, January 25, 1952, which would let the proverbial cat out of the bag. Once again, it was Murray N. Rothbard, as with the Progressive Era, who had Buckley’s number.

Buckley, National Review and the phony “conservative movement” they helped create and foster were the real centralizers and destroyers of the American republic. Never forget the Reagan administration efforts concerning extra-constitutional Continuity of Government and that it was under the “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush that the totalitarian theory of the unitary executive was propounded.

 

1:30 pm on February 18, 2018

The libertarian Solution to the Problem of Pollution

—–Original Message—–
From: C
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:14 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Great Smog

Dr. Block, From an anarchist point of view, in which way does society fight by preventing or eliminating an air pollution effect as the great smog?

Dear C: The best thing ever written, well, published, on air pollution is this. Happy reading:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1982. “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution,” Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; reprinted in Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Walter E. Block , ed., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990, pp. 233-279; also reprinted here by the Mises Institute: http://mises.org/story/2120; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdf

Every morning, as soon as I get to my computer, the first thing I do is call up Lew.Rockwell.com. It would be a bad day for me should I ever do this, and fail to find this source of information, inspiration, and much much more. Why is this on the airwaves? What keeps it going? Many things, foremost among them the work of my friend Lew Rockwell and the entire Mises Institute staff (see above for one small, no, tiny, example of that). But, another necessary condition is financial support. There is nothing we readers can do about Lew, except to wish him good health and a long life. But, there is indeed something we can do to oil the wheels that are required for this entire enterprise: donate some money to it. Please consider doing just that. You may do so by going right here: https://mises.org/giving/campaigns/help-us-pack-more-powerful-punch-5

12:06 pm on February 18, 2018

A Society of Morons?

There’s a big pro-gun-control in a nearby town where sheeple are “protesting” over the recent incident where another mass shooting occurred at a gun-controlled, “gun-free zone” at a Florida school.  Here’s their “logic”:

  1. Every one of these mass shootings at a public school has been at a school that is a “gun-free zone,” usually by law.
  2. Everyone knows this.
  3. Therefore, to deter such tragedies in the future we need more gun-free-zones at schools, just like the one in Florida where the most recent mass shooting occurred.

UPDATE:  At a pro gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, organized by the Democratic Party and its media whores, the television news showed a number of thirteen-year-old girls used as props reading from prepared scripts denouncing Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, as though Trump and the president of the NRA were the ones who pulled the trigger of that AR15 and killed all those people.  The theme of the “rally’ was the same as all such rallies, whether the issue is gun control, immigration, whatever:  “We hate Trump!  We hate Trump!  Make Hillary (or someone just like her) president!”

Meanwhile, the already-brainwashed little girls were obviously not aware of the fact that the shooting took place in a “gun-free zone” where everyone was unarmed and defenseless, having adopted the standard public school guns-are-scary ideology of the gun-grabbing Left.  And although congressional offices, the White House, and other government buildings are guarded by heavily-armed security guards, snipers, and missile launchers, there are members of Congress from Florida who support forcing everyone to remain unarmed and defenseless in the government schools.

6:06 pm on February 17, 2018

Pity the Poor Woman “Who Actually Has to Spend the Rest of Her Life Rearing this Child”

Said one Lisa Page, the married FBI “f _ _ k buddy” (“mistress” is so 19th century) of married FBI bureaucrat Peter Strzok, complaining to him about all those “pro-life” people who snarl traffic once in a while in D.C.  She then calls them “Assholes.”  The military is not the only part of the federal Leviathan that has a culture of death.

11:54 am on February 17, 2018

Conservative Christian Lies about Iran

An overly pro-Israel conservative Christian magazine I receive is spreading lies about Iran. “Iran is growing into a nuclear power, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing nuclear weapons and spreading terrorism around the world.” All lies, as has been documented on LRC and other places many times over the years. But here is something that is true: The United States is the world’s only nuclear power that has actually used nuclear weapons, pours hundreds of millions of dollars into maintaining its nuclear weapons, and engages in wars around the world that create terrorists.

11:15 am on February 17, 2018

A New U.S. Base on Foreign Soil

In Israel. The base is located inside the headquarters of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) Air Defense School in southern Israel. I guess that makes 1,001 U.S. bases on foreign soil. But oh, we are not an empire.

11:03 am on February 17, 2018

Privatization of Government Property

From: N
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2018 9:23 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Homestead Principle
Hello Dr. Block, I was interested in knowing your opinion on how state property would be allocated if we achieved a libertarian society. Would you be in favor of having state property be re homesteaded by individuals or would you prefer another method? In addition, would you favor any reparations by state employees to the taxpayers after we achieved a libertarian society? Thank you for your great work.

Dear N: There is a gigantic libertarian literature on privatization. Here is some of it (hint: it doesn’t include auctioning it off, because then the government gets the proceeds, and it already has far too much money):

(more…)

12:12 am on February 17, 2018

The Truth About Inflation…It’s The Fed’s Fault

7:14 pm on February 16, 2018

U.S. Using Jihadist Forces

Here are two interesting items. The first is from an Armenian news source named PanARMENIAN Net, dated yesterday. This reports that Kurdish forces (allied to the U.S. side) are leaving Deir ez-Zor for Afrin. They are “handing over control to another coalition partner militia known as the Deir ez-Zor Military Council (DMC)”. Who are they? They are a U.S. backed outfit: “…a US-backed Arab off-shoot militia within the Syrian Democratic Forces mostly comprising Free Syrian Army fighters as well as jihadists who once fought in the ranks of Al-Qaeda and IS.” They’ve been attacking Syrian positions: “Over the last week, and even on at least one occasion before then, the DMC has directly attacked positions of the Syrian Army at the towns of Khasham and At-Tabiyyah on the east the Euphrates shore.”

The second article is from AMN out of Beirut, Lebanon, dated Feb. 13, 2018. This headlines “Confirmed: US retrains ISIS and ISIS-like jihadists in east Syria and re-brands them ‘democratic forces’”. It presents a video in support of its proposition: “Clear-cut evidence has emerged that the United States is retraining jihadist militants – most of them surrendered ISIS members as well as fighters of other militant groups with an ideology similar to that of ISIS – in east Syria and re-branding them as ‘democratic forces.’”. They say the DMC is a CIA group.

These two news sources may not be independent of one another. Yet, two articles from two different sources tend to confirm one another. There have been earlier reports of CIA recruitment of jihadist forces, both from ISIS and al-Qaeda. There have been reports of deals made in which jihadist forces were allowed to flee with their families in convoys.

Now that Kurdish forces are withdrawing, with what forces are U.S. advisors embedded?

6:46 pm on February 16, 2018

U.S. Meddled 80 Times in Foreign Elections: 1946-2000

Mueller’s indictment of Russians for meddling in the 2016 election is only of importance insofar as it forwards the attempt to dislodge Trump from office and/or prevent him from executing his agenda. There has been no discernible influence that has been proven to affect the outcome of the 2016 election. The difficulties in ever proving such an influence from a given source are enormous, because elections are very noisy processes with so many influences. Noise means “irrelevant or meaningless data or output occurring along with desired information”.

The Mueller indictments are abnormal. Usually, meddling is ignored. In this case politics are at work, namely, a concerted attempt to overthrow Trump, diminish his power, and come to the aid of the Democratic Party.

For perspective, note that one bona fide researcher finds that the U.S. has meddled 80 times in foreign elections between 1946 and 2000. He estimates that Russia meddled in various elections worldwide 36 times in the same period. Estimates exclude those cases in which the U.S. instigated coups. If a burglar who has 80 burglaries to his name accuses another burglar of burglarizing his home, how seriously are we supposed to take it? To me, it’s a joke.

Not to be outdone, Russia says it has proof that the U.S. is meddling in its upcoming election.

For further perspective, consider all the lobbying of Congress that goes on in order to influence votes on specific legislation and shape that legislation. There is a lot less noise in ascertaining the scope of this activity and its scope in Congress than there is in a general election.

Mueller’s indictments will have no significant affect on any future election. They are a purification ritual. Their effect is to keep the unrelenting attack going on Donald Trump. He’s blamed for everything in sight! If some White House staffer is accused of beating up on his wife, this becomes his fault and the ridiculous legacy media find a “scandal” in it. If Trump had some affairs in the past, this becomes grist for their mills.

3:21 pm on February 16, 2018

PC All-Cultures-Are-Created-Equal Update

Some Italians seem to disagree with the cultural Marxist religion that all cultures are equal in light of the fact that “migrants” in their country have been barbecuing dogs at their taxpayer-funded “migrant welcome centers.”

12:33 pm on February 16, 2018

The Stupid Party on Steroids

In response to Trump’s trouncing of 17 “traditional Republicans” (a.k.a. neocons) during the 2016 primaries, with their utter rejection by Republican voters, the GOP is doing what demonstrates once again why they are called “The Stupid Party” (their counterparts are “The Evil Party”). Namely, they are replacing the epitome of corrupt, treasonous, Strangelovian madness, John McCain, with a  near clone, the proven loser Mitt Romney.

12:24 pm on February 16, 2018

Trump and the Congress Want to Break Syria into Pieces

In the U.S. vs. Syria war, round 1 or plan A has ended. The rebels didn’t dislodge the government. Round 2, the fallback position or plan B, is for the U.S. to engineer Syria’s breakup into pieces. Trump and the Congress are both behind plan B: balkanization of Syria

The fight against ISIS is over. That clouded the real U.S. objective, which is shown by Congressional appropriations:

“…the gargantuan US military budget for 2019 is to include $300 million for the training and equipping of the SDF, Washington’s proxy ground force in Syria, in addition to $250 million to fund the ‘border security force’ in the country that’s been mooted.”

The U.S. objective is proven also by the U.S. forces in Syria that are embedded with anti-Syrian forces. It’s shown too by the reportedly large scale destruction of Russian mercenary forces in the past week by U.S. air power.

“All this, it’s worth recalling, is being undertaken in clear violation of Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the very epitome of might is right, redolent of that which sustained the Roman Empire.”

The war is being joined near Deir-ez-Zor, adjacent to oil fields held by rebel forces. It’s not over. Pro-Assad forces are massing, we are told. There is huge uncertainty concerning the details of the first battle, but it is certain that the U.S. massively bombarded the pro-Assad side for some 3 hours.

Any renewed battle raises any number of questions. Will Russia employ its air power to protect such an attack or even to bombard opponent positions? Otherwise, any attack will again be exposed to U.S. air power. Will the deconfliction apparatus be used or ignored? Will attacking forces adopt a different strategy? Will Russia and the U.S. come face to face in ground and aerial combat? How close to war can these two sides come in such a situation? How far are Trump and Putin willing to go?

Washington intends to separate a large part of Syria and create an autonomy there with the support of the Kurds, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.” The strategy is similar to that used to break Yugoslavia apart, and to use ethnic divisions to accomplish it.

Russia recognizes clearly the U.S. intent and the flouting of any semblance of international law by the U.S., based upon its use of military power. Russia has made no public counter-threat. She has downplayed the recent slaughter of its mercenaries. How far will Russia go to restore Assad’s lost territory to his control? What’s the minimum that Putin will do for Assad while still achieving Russia’s own objectives in Syria? How far will Iran go to bolster its Syrian ally and confront the U.S.? What means short of direct military confrontations with the U.S. might the pro-Assad forces devise in order to circumvent U.S. power and achieve their objectives?

More than ever, the U.S. is at war with Syria. Round 2 has begun. Trump now “owns” this war. He has signed on to its prosecution, which is aimed at subverting Iran. With its bombing, Israel is playing its part in this endeavor on the anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah front. Trump is all in for Saudi Arabia. The U.S. is pointing war’s arrows at both Russia and Iran.

9:11 am on February 16, 2018

Another School Shooting Tragedy…Where Was The FBI?

7:52 pm on February 15, 2018