Yoda: Neil Irwin in NYT Gets Its Right – Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites — Robert Steele Comments + Book Review RECAP

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

At last, NYT gets something right.

Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites

New York Times, 18 September 2014

When you get past the details of the Scottish independence referendum Thursday, there is a broader story underway, one that is also playing out in other advanced nations.

It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time.

. . . . . . . .

Power is not a right; it is a responsibility. The choice that Scotland is making on Thursday is of whether the men and women who rule Britain messed things up so badly that they would rather go it alone. And so the results will ripple through world capitals from Athens to Washington: The way things are going currently isn’t good enough, and voters are getting angry enough to want to do something about it.

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Sep 18

Mongoose: Attaboy Australia — Beheading IO Stopped — But What Should US Do?

Mongoose

Mongoose

Very well done, Australia!

Australia raids foil reported ISIS beheading plots

Australian counterterrorism forces detained 15 people Thursday in a series of suburban raids after receiving intelligence that the Islamic State movement was planning public beheadings in two Australian cities to demonstrate its reach.

About 800 federal and state police officers raided more than a dozen properties across 12 Sydney suburbs as part of the operation — the largest in Australian history, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the Associated Press. Separate raids in the eastern cities of Brisbane and Logan were also conducted.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the plan involved kidnapping randomly selected members of the public off the streets in Sydney and Brisbane, beheading them on camera, and releasing the recordings through Islamic State’s propaganda arm in the Middle East.

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Sep 18

Tom Atlee: Climate and Democracy

Tom Atlee

Tom Atlee

The two most important issues? Climate and democracy.

Climate and democracy are what I call meta-issues – issues which impact virtually every other issue and therefore, I believe, have priority over all other issues. This is a controversial assertion. But I want to stress that it comes not from denial of the importance of other issues, but from caring about them from a big enough perspective to see that they can’t be successfully addressed in isolation from these two all-pervading issues which have the power to make or break everything else we are doing.

After receiving my last message, an organizer for Sunday’s mega-People’s Climate March in NYC (and elsewhere) asked me what I thought of it.  [Note:  This post was written after the subsequent post about research and polarization, but mistakenly posted before it.]

While urging anyone who feels called to attend this important mega-demonstration to do so if they can, I want to give a more nuanced response to the organizer who wrote to me, and to share it with you here.

It has been joked that all people are equal but some are more equal than others.

In a similar vein, I would suggest that all issues are important and interconnected, but some are more important and interconnected than others.

Take climate and democracy.

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Sep 18

Mini-Me: Greater Khorasan – Iran’s Second Front?

Who?  Mini-Me?

Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

What is Khorasan?

Syria’s hard cell: Rise of Khorasan group alarms U.S.

Wikipedia / Greater Horasan

See Also:

Graphic: Muslim Sunni – Shi’ite Distribution (Global)

ISIS @ Phi Beta Iota

Tip of the Hat to Jaime Enoch Ortega at LinkedIn.

Khorasan Large

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Sep 17

Marcus Aurelius: STRATFOR on Scottish Referendum Plus Secession RECAP

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

One of their better pieces.

The Origins and Implications of the Scottish Referendum

Geopolitical Weekly

Stratfor, Tuesday, September 16, 2014

By George Friedman

The idea of Scottish independence has moved from the implausible to the very possible. Whether or not it actually happens, the idea that the union of England and Scotland, which has existed for more than 300 years, could be dissolved has enormous implications in its own right, and significant implications for Europe and even for global stability.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

. . . . . . .

The point of all this is to understand that the right to national self-determination comes from deep within European principles and that it has been pursued with an intensity and even viciousness that has torn Europe apart and redrawn its borders. One of the reasons that the European Union exists is to formally abolish these wars of national self-determination by attempting to create a framework that both protects and trivializes the nation-state.

. . . . . . .

The right to national self-determination is not simply about the nation governing itself but also about the right of the nation to occupy its traditional geography. And since historical memories of geography vary, the possibility of conflict grows. Consider Ireland: After its fight for independence from England and then Britain, the right to Northern Ireland, whose national identity depended on whose memory was viewing it, resulted in bloody warfare for decades.

. . . . . . .

I think that however the vote goes, unless the nationalists are surprised by an overwhelming defeat, the genie is out of the bottle, and not merely in Britain. The referendum will re-legitimize questions that have caused much strife throughout the European continent for centuries, including the 31-year war of the 20th century that left 80 million dead.

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Sep 17

Chuck Spinney: Gary Leupp on Washington’s Ignorance About the Sunni-Shia Divide — PLUS Sunni-Shia Graphic and ISIS RECAP

Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney

ISIS and Washington’s Ignorance About the Sunni-Shia Divide

“Most Americans Don’t Have a Clue”

by GARY LEUPP

Counterpunch, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

EXTRACTS

Patrick Cockburn reports that Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to Washington (1983-2005), once told  M16 head Sir Richard Dearlove: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will literally be ‘God help the Shia.’ More than a billion Sunni have simply had enough of them.”

There are thus deep animosities within Islam, as there have been, historically, within Christianity.

There was a time when Protestants viewed Roman Catholics as idolatrous heretics and bloody wars of religion ravaged Europe. ISIL is now fighting such a war against Shiites, Christians, Yezidis, secularists, and others it sees as unbelievers and as stooges of the west. But its primary target is the Shiites.

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Sep 17

Patrick Cockburn: Letter from Arabia — ISIS is the Lesser of All Evils — And Most Certainly Less Evil Than an Invading Occupying USA…

Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn

The Impossible War

Isis cannot be beaten as long as there is civil war in Syria

BY PATRICK COCKBURN

CounterPunch • SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

A letter printed at the bottom of this article was emailed by a friend soon after her neighbourhood in Mosul was hit by Iraqi airforce bombers. This was some hours before President Barack Obama explained his plan to weaken and ultimately destroy Isis, which calls itself Islamic State, by a series of measures including air attacks. The letter illustrates graphically one of the most important reasons why American air power may be less effective than many imagine.

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Sep 15

SchwartzReport: Why Obama Will Lose to ISIS — Indeed, How He Will Empower and Enlarge ISIS…

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

I started out today writing a short essay on my views about this new war, then came across this, with which I agree. It makes my main point: You would think after 11 years of war in the Islamic world, we would learn something about the culture and how to work with it. Apparently not. I think one really has to ask now: Cui bono? Who benefits?

Why Obama Will Lose His Endless War in Syria and Iraq
STEVE WEISSMAN – Reader Supported News

Never bet on another man’s game,” my father loved to say. It’s a lesson Barack Obama never learned, especially in his military strikes against Islamic State.

Islamic State, or ISIL, has only one way to keep the support of Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen and former Baathist supporters of Saddam Hussein. The blood-thirsty ‘fools of God” need to be seen defending their people against a Western invasion, which is precisely what Obama gives them.

He plays the role they purposely provoked with their brutal beheadings, summary executions, and sickening use of mass rape to keep their fighters happy. He becomes the foreign, Christian crusader defiling a Muslim land, and he does it in company with Iranian as well as Iraqi Shiites, whom Islamic State despises as heretics, and with the blessing of Sunni Arab leaders it correctly sees as outrageously corrupt.

In other words, the more jihadis Obama kills, the more Sunnis that Obama recruits to their ranks. Not a winning strategy.

Read full article.

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Sep 15

Edward Luce: From England with Sanity — STOP on ISIS!

Edward Luce

Edward Luce

America’s perpetual war on terror by any other name

If you embark on something with your eyes half-open, you are likely to lose sight of reality

Financial Times, 14 September 2014

EXTRACT

The reality is the US war on terror has succeeded where it was supposed to. Mr Bush’s biggest innovation was to set up the Department of Homeland Security. If you chart domestic terror attempts in the US since September 11 2001, they have become increasingly low-tech and ineffectual. From the foiled Detroit airliner attack in Mr Obama’s first year to the Boston marathon bombings in his fifth, each attempt has been more amateur than the last. The same is true of America’s allies. There has been no significant attack in Europe since London’s July 7 bombings nine years ago. Western publics have acclimatised to an era of tighter security.

If this is the balance sheet of the US war on terror, why lose sleep? Chiefly because it understates the costs. The biggest of these is the damage an undeclared war is doing to the west’s grasp on reality. Myopic thinking leads to bad decisions. Mr Obama pointedly avoided using the word “war” last week. Although there are more than 1,000 US military personnel in Iraq, and more than 160 US air strikes in the past month, he insisted on calling his plan to destroy Isis a “campaign”. Likewise, the US uniforms are those of “advisers” and “trainers”. These kinds of euphemism lead to mission creep. If you embark on something with your eyes half-open, you are likelier to lose your way.

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Sep 14

Yoda: Fareed Zakaria on ISIS and Post 9/11 Lessons Learned — Are Kissinger and Zakaria Pushing Back Against the NeoCons?

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Astonished, we are.

Lessons outlined in below video:

01 Don’t always take the bait.

02 Don’t overestimate the enemy

03 Remember politics (over there).

Phi Beta Iota: It is worth noting that none of the regional countries including Jordan is ready to provide ground troops. They are all — without exception — sucking the USA in to be the target.  On a positive note, for the first time in 50 years, there is a break in the ranks of the “insiders.” This is a very positive development. Any and all US activity — from mediocre intelligence support to repressive regimes to air strikes to boots on the ground — should be forbidden by the public — sadly, big money wants this war and is paying to make the public stupid in time for the 2014 elections. We are reminded of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, the Dixie Chicks.  All right and all righteous in their time. All were also assassinated or marginalized for daring to confront the national security state that is formed and operated by traitors the FBI dares not go after. Can the Director of the FBI reconnect with his oath of office and his integrity and start making some inroads against traitors? We are not holding our breath.

 

See Also:

ISIS @ Phi Beta Iota

Kissinger on Not Getting Sucked In

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Sep 14