Saturday, November 14, 2015


More hundreds of innocent people were again caught in the crosshairs of Permawar last night, in what is being described in the Western media as a terrorist attack rather than as a counterattack against Western imperialism. 

Pope Francis is right in calling the night of carnage one more battle in a "piecemeal World War III."

From the Elysee Palace (Elysium, or abode of the gods), French President Francois Hollande proclaimed the attacks to be an act of war perpetrated and planned by the Islamic State, which is now seemingly getting its wish and being officially recognized as a nation unto itself:
“France, because it was foully, disgracefully and violently attacked, will be unforgiving with the barbarians from Daesh,” Mr. Hollande said on Saturday, adding that France would act within the law but with “all the necessary means, and on all terrains, inside and outside, in coordination with our allies, who are, themselves, targeted by this terrorist threat.”
France has already gotten a head start. Way back in 2012, Hollande armed the "good" Syrian rebels in a direct breach of a European embargo that then forbade weapons sales to that war-torn region. Maybe that is what President Obama meant last night when he bragged that France has always stood with the United States Empire in its own lawless, never-ending, obsessive compulsive quest to bring peace to the world through tanks, drones, guns, and various CIA coups and proxy wars. Except, of course, for the time post-9/11, when Francophobia became so intense within the elite American political class that Congress changed French fries into "freedom" fries on its menu in an inane act of solidarity to go along with its embrace of the paranoid Patriot Act and Bush's fraudulent invasion of Iraq.

They got over their food fetish quickly enough, but their war fetish lives on, and on, and on.

So does the jingoistic rhetoric. "They hate us for our freedoms" is enjoying a patriotic comeback from across the A to B political spectrum, clanging away throughout the land like a hollow cracked Liberty bell. The word "blowback" is nowhere to be seen or heard from within the parochial halls of the US media-political complex.

But the anodyne "values" are being belched out like projectile missiles. Obama himself managed to emit them a total of five times within a larger blast of boilerplate lasting less than two minutes:

"....this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share."

  "Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress."

  "We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share."

 "And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening."

Meanwhile, Obama supplemented his mawkish Values with the hackneyed "thoughts and prayers" for the wounded and the dead, words that he recently professed to be so weary of while performing his official duty of mourning domestic gun violence victims. He did not offer monetary aid, help with funeral expenses, medical care, psychological counseling, or promises to end the bombings and give peace and refuge to some of the displaced, expelled people now barely surviving in makeshift refugee camps in Calais and elsewhere in Europe. 

He did promise more of the same "revenge is mine" Old Testament chest-thumping that we thought we'd seen the last of with the exit of the unindicted and richly rewarded George W. Bush. Obama offered more death.

 "We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people," Obama vowed to his TV audience.

Oh good. That must signify that he will also prosecute the American military terrorists who only last month obliterated the hospital run by the France-based Médecins Sans Frontières.

Or not. When the United States performs terroristic acts, they are done with therapeutic surgical strikes and bombs of democracy. They don't call them Patriot missiles for nothing. America's acts of aggression are hidden behind such grotesque monikers as Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Total deaths in Paris attacks: between 100 and 150.

Total deaths in Iraq War(s): 224,000. And counting.


Erik Roth said...

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Do we still have any officials or public figures of the stature of Martin who are standing up today to recite his lines or their own with the same courage and at the same volume? Let me know, because the silence on that front is large, even among Christians who will reflexively invoke the prayer thing for the 100-150, but habitually forget about the 224,000.

Will said...

Here's a sane approach to combating terror I saw on twitter last night. This, of course, will not be employed by Hollande or anyone else for that matter:

Jay–Ottawa said...


Good find.

Box #6: "Do not replicate provocation."

Hmm…. That might do nicely as another amendment to the War Powers Resolution (1973).

Meredith NYC said...

I sent this to Bruni--

Easy outrage, Bruni. Newt, Judith Miller and Coulter--yuck. But the rw extremists always exploited tragedies for their destructive aims, to keep and wield power. And to misdirect blame for whatever the consequences. Now with the world in sorrow, their statements show their callousness, so deserve naming and criticism.

But it's the same old. They've caused and then exploited the slowly unfolding, decades long tragedy of American citizens' increased insecurity, poverty, and weakening of democracy.

But never saw much pushback against the powerful in this column What about the body counts over decades of our citizens dead due to poverty, no health care, no jobs, and gun fire, or in the throes of illness, depression, drug addiction to the point of suicide? Takes time for these tragedies to unfold, finally reported in the press with shock--- instead of happening in terrorist machine gun fire.

Krugman briefly cited the Dem debate in today's blog re fear in Paris. Called it rational and well informed. I commented-

I'm sure you found the Democrats debate rational and well informed, since our likely next president cited you on national TV. Congratulations on Hillary using your name to buttress her point. So good luck in your new job in her cabinet.

Please try to influence Hillary to reverse her husband's repeal of financial regulations--laws that protected the country from crashes from 1930s to 1999. If she performs this courageous act, and it offends Bill and and it negatively affects the Clinton marriage--so be it! Think of the entertainment for the gossips, and material for certain NYT columnists.

Hope you do decide that Glass Steagall is worth reinstating. Might be a good column topic, pro/con, with readers weighing in. Let's get it into the discussion and force it on the candidates in the next debate.

Will bring out more re the true causes of the 08 Crash into the 2016 campaign and force the Gop to answer to that. The whole purpose of a democracy.

annenigma said...

"The targeting of music, sport and leisure is no accident" states Rafia Zakaria.

'In Paris Attacks, Terror Declares War on Fun' is interesting and great food for thought.

Pearl said...

Interesting analysis.

Subject: Clinton’s debate performance leaves trail of fodder for political adversaries from The Washington Post

Pearl said...

And from the NYtimes.

Hillary Clinton Botches Wall Street Questions
After a good start on national security and terrorism, Hillary Clinton flubbed legitimate questions about her ties to Wall Street on Saturday.

Or, copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Patricia M. said...

Thank you, Karen, for the as always astute analysis - and thank you Annenigma for the link. Much appreciated - as always.

annenigma said...

Some countries can bomb the hell out of other countries for years and have an enemies list a mile long, but as long as the action is one-sided, it's barely newsworthy unless one of 'ours' dies, and simply not part of everyday consciousness. That's just the way our owner$ want to keep it too. Cheer on your sports teams or Nascar heroes, go to concerts and movies, and by all means keep shopping. Actually, 'shop 'til you drop' could take on a whole new meaning soon.

It's too bad we don't have rationing like during WWII, special taxes, or any other hardship that would serve to remind us that government is waging war in our name , not to mention creating and arming terrorists as part of that. So now the terrorists are giving us wake up calls to the hard reality that war isn't one-sided. "This is War!" declared Hollande as if it just started and the other side started it. So let's get that damned straight - we're not at war until the enemy fights us back.

Can you imagine if there was a ban on mass sports and entertainment when wars were started and until they were over? No football, no Nascar races, no gathering in large groups. Wars wouldn't even start and ongoing ones would end tout de suite. As they say in sports, everyone needs to have 'skin in the game'. Unfortunately, it looks like that's exactly what the terrorists are setting out to do - get more skin in the game.

I hope they don't learn lessons from history. When the U.S. Government wanted to send a strong message that couldn't be ignored in WWII, they didn't drop atomic bombs on military targets. They actually did the unthinkable. They hit massive numbers of innocent civilians engaged in everyday life in the city to get more skin in the game. Those huge numbers of civilians then lost their skin, which was the brutally unspeakable point of it. Talk about earning bad Karma.

Tragically, anything can and will be rationalized when it comes to war, or whatever name mass murder goes by these days.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with us.

Pearl said...

It is obvious from all the deeply concerned comments in Sardonicky from Karen's chilling report, Annenigma's moving response, etc. that the kind of dangerous world we live in has become a more and more disturbing reality with the kind of events occurring in Paris. And there seems to be no clear path ahead about how to deal effectively with continuing terrorism.
I sent two comments in above about how Hillary handled issues brought up at the Democratic debate that she would have to deal with if elected to the Presidency and which major newspapers expressed strong concerns about which surprised me. I felt that finally the press is beginning to recognize why we have such terrorism loose in the world and how it is related to the kind of decisions made by U.S.Presidents and officials in our past ala Secretary of States.

When Hillary was confronted by her two rivals, (Bernie especially), regarding her connections to Wall St.along with other revealing comments. the cracks in her campaign became clearer. Had she been in office currently, judging by her put down of Obama's calmer approach, I shudder to think where further escalation by military means might take us and still may.

This presidential election is becoming a more and more vital issue for the future as a result and although I don't have high hopes for a Bernie Sanders victory, what he is saying about some of the issues are being heard finally. Whether it will continue to be picked up by the media is the only way sanity may prevail but we may need another possibility in the wings to take over. It is all very chilling as the U.S. always has the loudest voice globally and the most military hardware to back it up.

I hope that Hillary will be dethroned at least and we have a year to hope for things to turn around somehow. Looking at the kind of leadership of most nations in the world does not fill one with hope. It will be interesting to follow the reactions of U.S.citizens once the shock of Paris events calm down and how Hillary handles her own political past which is being challenged more and more.

Keep up the dialogue in Sardonicky. I find the start of a 'revolution' among many University students on the issues promising and they are not Hillary supporters.