Monday, March 14, 2016

Putin shat, and it didn't seem stupid

Russian pilots climbing into a fighter jet at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria in October.

DDGD March 14, 2016

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Today’s Post is brought to you by…  The Fait Accompli Group: This is your carpet. We just shat on your carpet.

Quote & Comment

Quote: “I’m very proud of this moment,” he told me. –The Atlantic

Comment: If intervention to prevent such developments amounts to doing “stupid shit” what’s left of our humanity? What’s the point of having power? What was the meaning of never again? What kind of world are we building? The arc of history may indeed bend towards justice, but, pray tell me how can this knowledge give comfort to a dying child, a tortured prisoner of conscience, a grieving mother, a destitute man? Does this knowledge exempt us from the responsibility to act kindly? Does it justify indifference to genocide? Good intentions are not the only thing that paves our path to hell: smug certainties are the greater culprit.

The Delirica

Screen Grab from Episode of Damien

Genocide as Entertainment. The opening scenes of A&E’s new series, Damien, take place in contemporary Damascus, Syria. They purport to show an attack and an ensuing massacre by government forces on the Christian Quarter in Old Damascus. The problem: although the attack is attributed to government forces, the flag the soldiers waive, which is shown for a fraction of a second, is actually the Independence Flag adopted by the Revolution, and not the Baath flag imposed by the regime. Also, and although the regime did conduct operations against Christians on separate occasions, it did so in a clandestine manner using techniques such as car bombings and kidnappings that can be attributed to Islamists, because the whole point was to scare Christians of the rebels and have them rally behind them rally behind the regime. A direct attack as shown in the series would have defeated the purpose. So, now with our suffering, our genocide, serving as nothing more than background noise and entertainment, the truths and facts of it have become totally irrelevant. (The Delirica)

The Daily Delirynth

The Post-American Middle East: The title of this post is admittedly misleading and is meant for provocation purposes only. Perhaps a more apt title is: The Realist Doctrine. 

For America is not actually leaving the Middle East or any region where it currently has a presence and an influence for that matter. Wholesale abandonment of the world is not what lies at the heart of America’s political realism or Obama’s Doctrine. Rather, and under the influence of realist experts and officials, America will continue to pursue its interests, far and wide, but it will do so under the strictest of guidelines and the narrowest of focuses, paying little heed to other peoples and polities’ wants and “shenanigans,” including its traditional allies in the East and West. (Read the rest of this long post on the Delirica)

America is not immune to social mayhem, and it’s about time its leaders realized how close to danger it is.

Trump the Divider! Obama the Brute! President Obama recently offered a “brutal assessment of the rise of Donald Trump,” by blaming it on the kind of discourse adopted by the Republican establishment over the last few years. “The Republican Party set the conditions long ago for Trump’s success, Obama said. The billionaire just capitalized on the GOP’s own tactics, the president argued.”

He is right wrong. But his is more than an assessment. There is an element of gloating here, as though the Republicans’ problem with Trump is going to remain “contained” within the confines of the Republican Party and will have no societal repercussions.

This attitude is not surprising coming from a man who prides himself on failing to intervene to stop the ongoing genocide in Syria dismissing it as “stupid shit.” Obama doesn’t seem capable of fathoming the danger involved in either situation. He simply seems to be incapable of empathy. As a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, I, too, have a problem with empathy, at least when it comes to expressing it, or feeling it except as some kind of vague numbness, but that was enough for me to learn over time of its importance when it comes to human behavior and interrelations. Empathy is not simply about feelings and sentiments; it’s about developing a deeper understanding of certain developments and their potential implications. It gives a deeper context to pure intellectual analysis. A person who is incapable of factoring empathy into his calculations is bound to undermine them on both the domestic and international fronts.

Perhaps what happened in Chicago will come as a wakeup call for Obama, and others, Democrat and Republican, Realists and Interventionists alike. Meanwhile, let’s hope that no one chooses to turn Trump into a martyr. For, then, this will not be a passing incident, and we can all seriously expect all hell to break loose. There is too much anger in many quarters in this country, and we do not need this development, and we cannot afford to think to a Trump as a purely Republican phenomenon, nor of Sanders as a purely Democratic phenomenon. And we really have to explore together ways to satisfy the real concerns of both segments, as diverse as they are, in order to defuse the growing tensions.

America is not immune to social mayhem, and has never been. Only vigilance and pragmatism have saved it over the last few decades. Today, we need a major dose of them. This time calls for strong and capable leadership, not from behind but from the frontlines at home and abroad. I cannot imagine that America has grown barren. (The Delirica)

Mission Accomplished or Fait Accompli? Putin Orders Start of Syria Withdrawal, Saying Goals Are Achieved. Since the declared mission was to fight the Islamic State, the mission in that sense was not really accomplished. Still, Putin managed to present us all with a fait accompli (the real mission accomplished) that is the consolidation of Russia’s hold, by military and legal means, over the coastal areas of Syria. Now Russia operates an airbase and not simply a port. Moreover, a close of reading of the agreement that allowed for Russian troops to go to Syria clearly suggest that Russians can reposition there troops to their bases at any time to conduct whatever military operations they want with little deference to whatever government is in place. And you can bet that whatever transitional plan is agreed will end up recognizing this agreement among many others signed by the Assad government.

The Deliricon
Rhoid Rage: A phenomenon observed mostly among people whose best ideas seem to come out of their ass. It largely involves gathering in large groups and speaking shit to power, while defecating on oneself. Most populist politicians and many of their supporters seem to suffer from this condition that continues to defy analysis.

The Trumplitias (AKA the Orange Heads): An aspirational modern-day American equivalent of the Brown Shirts where membership seems based on IQ scores, the lower they are the higher the rank, the louder the voice and the smaller the hands.

The Berniemeisters (AKA The Bernie Brownie Gang): The American Progressive equivalent of the Swiss Guard, known for being clueless but hip-with-it. Members of this Post-Post-Modern Guard are known for their addiction to appreciation of a certain kind of brownies, hence their more common but less formal name: the Bernie Brownie Gang.

The Cauldron  

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