Thursday, March 15, 2012

International Criminal Court has zero legitimacy

The International Criminal Court rendered its first verdict yesterday, convicting some black african warlord of using child soldiers. While it certainly shocks the conscience of first-world people who live their lives between the cubicle farms of their employment and the McMansions they call home, we live in a world of gross disparities, where norms of behavior deviate wildly.

For the cushioned set reading on the web or viewing on widescreen TV, there must be a sense that the machinery of civilization and order is functioning normally. All these far-off villains are getting the come-uppence, so we can go about our lives without morally breaking a sweat:
Is International Criminal Court verdict a wake-up call for war criminals? - World - CBC News: "The treaty that created the International Criminal Court came into force almost ten years ago, on July 1, 2002. The treaty, the Rome Statute, provided for the creation, for the first time, of a permanent international criminal court to prosecute the most serious cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
On March 14, the ICC brought down its first verdict, which fuelled discussions about what took so long, and even whether the court is worth the expense."
On the other hand, where are the war criminals from first-world countries, the ones who've waged aggressive wars of choice against resource-rich but militarily weak adversaries, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents?

We fail to see the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the dock, or the partner in crimes against humanity, Tony Blair. Are the crimes of Thomas Lubanga so much more heinous than those of his peers in the world of infamy? Hardly, as one needs to go back to the likes of Hitler and Stalin to find evildoers of equal stature.

Of course, the US is not a signatory to the treaty that established the ICC, and for good reason. It isn't because the US' standard of justice is so superior to the rest of the world's, either, but an implicit admission that the US doesn't feel bound to the same standards of behavior in international relations to which it routinely holds others.

So, while we comfort ourselves with the vision of Thomas Lubanga biding his time in some prison, we can simply ignore the war criminals in our own midst, and whose assent we've passively given by our collective inaction.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

American exceptionalism at its peak

When we read about the massacre of innocent Afghan civilians in their beds by a US soldier, it provides a bone-chilling reminder of just how exceptional the USA is:
American soldier accused of killings had traumatic injury: "KABUL: The American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians had a traumatic brain injury and had problems at home after his last deployment, it was claimed as survivors gave graphic accounts of the massacre.
The staff sergeant was said to have had the mental health screening necessary to become a sniper.
A teenager who survived the rampage told how the soldier, from the 2nd Infantry Division, murdered several members of his family and even ''insulted'' his victims as he shot them. The 15-year-old said the soldier was running after women and tearing at their dresses as he roamed his uncle's house."
Exceptional in violence, exceptional in cruelty. Exceptional beyond measure in the ability to prevaricate and misdirect attention to other, more salutary subjects.

The US government will do its best to spin events in a least damning narrative, until the entire fiasco is finally driven off the front pages and TV news reports by other, more entertaining fare.

While this incident makes the US mission more untenable than it already was, that isn't particularly a concern for the military and political establishment, while negative public feelings can have a most negative effect on taxpayer budgetary beneficence and discretionary military adventurism.

They can't put dead Afghans back together again, but this murderous thug in US fatigues won't be able to derail the US' most excellent imperial exploits.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Poll: Most Americans love war

In spite of the absence of evidence that Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, and the declaration by the secretary of defense a few weeks ago that US intelligence agencies have determined that Iran is not attempting to acquire a nuclear weapon, most Americans are ready to go to war simply because they're being egged on by the media:
Poll: Most support U.S. military action to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "(CBS News) Amid continued speculation that Israel may be considering an attack on Iran, a majority of Americans say they would favor using U.S. military action against Iran to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll."
This poll will become additional fodder in the case being built for war. Iran's nuclear program -- which under international inspection has been declared to be in compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- has rhetorically morphed into Iran's nuclear weapons program in the steady diet of news reports our recumbent citizens consume.

It's no wonder they're ready to give their assent for war. Now, let's move on the the important questions, like how accurate was the Sarah Palin biopic "Game Change"?

It's interesting how, at the same time the US citizenry is being whipped into a patriotic and belligerent frenzy, they admit their most pressing personal concern is the rapidly rising price of gasoline, which is key to the US suburban and exurban lifestyle, with it's nominal 50-mile daily commutes in a 16-seat SUV.

While the Muslim Socialist Obama pleads against "loose talk of war" for its negatory effect on fuel prices, he's between a rock and Bibi Netanyahu's boot on his balls in this upcoming kinetic military operation against Iran -- no able politically to say no, yet not willing to sink his presidency by saying yes.

He is the classic indecisive clown caught in a situation over which he is not man enough to prevail -- and thus he waffles and shuffles, hemming and hawing and equivocating -- the same political strategy that has carried him to his current lofty position, and from which the true magnitude of his incompetence is in plain view for the world to deride.

He is, in a nutshell, the very essence of the US conundrum: a weak, vacillating leader bereft of leadership skills, and who struts and saunters about the world stage like the dilettante he is, privileged without any redeeming characteristics, and trying to play off his lack of substance with vacuous pronouncements backed up by irrationality and bellicosity in the name of higher profits for bankers.

Syria, Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominate UN agenda | CTV News

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts as a reporter asks several questions during a news conference at the State Department in Washington Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The epitome of hypocrisy, Hillary the Bloated Toad

The principle cause of US loss of prestige in the world is embodied in the person of Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state under that master of prestidigitation, Barack "Slick" Obama. These two clowns of renown, who wage discretionary war with a complete absence of remorse or hesitation, have plunged a once-esteemed polity into the gutter of international relations. They are warmongers par excellence, neocons beyond reproach, who make war like rabbits make love -- promiscuously. Here's Hillary at work, ginning up conflict with Syria, begging for a more perfect coalition of the unwilling to resist:
Syria, Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominate UN agenda | CTV News: "On the sidelines of the council debate, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled to hold bilateral talks.
Russia, which is Syria's most powerful ally, and China have vetoed two U.S. and European-backed Security Council resolutions which would have condemned President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown, saying they were unbalanced and demanded that only the government stop attacks, not the opposition. Moscow accused Western powers of fueling the conflict by backing the rebels."
Ms. Hillary doesn't seem to be dissuaded by the Russians' hesitation, as she continues to beat the drum for more war. The Libyan adventure simply whetted her whistle for bloodshed and destruction, and now she wants to widen the circle of confusion to encompass more of the middle east.

Next stop, Iran. But first, the US must whittle the opposition to the grand imperial project down to size. Putting the Russians into their place as subservient and obedient vassals is a prodigious undertaking, but no one can accuse the US of setting its sights low when it comes to pillage and rapine.

Hillary and her bosses must have it all. They seek everything!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hacker Sabu was a plant

When the photos of this bulbous clown "Sabu" started appearing on the web, his bloated, grotesque visage suggested nothing more emphatically than the utter shamelessness of a person who'd entrap others for his own profit. As they days went on, the story crystallized thus:
Hacker Sabu Worked Nonstop As Government Informer - Security - Vulnerabilities and threats - Informationweek: "According to court transcripts unsealed Thursday, Hector Xavier Monsegur, 28, better known as the hacktivist group LulzSec's leader Sabu, quickly turned model informant after being busted by two FBI agents.
"The defendant has literally worked around the clock with federal agents. He has been staying up sometimes all night engaging in conversations with co-conspirators that are helping the government to build cases against those co-conspirators," Assistant U.S. Attorney James Pastore told U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska at a court hearing on August 5, according to news reports."
Now, to us this repugnant individual seems little more than a government agent who insinuated himself with a talented but restless group of young hackers, and using the resources of the government commenced a grand conspiracy that would ultimately ensnare all the pliable and guileless cybernerds in a campaign of high-profile but ultimately harmless pranksterism that could later be parlayed into more money for the government's anti-terror bureaucracy and its attendant hangers-on in private industry.

Sabu's alleged enthusiasm for joining with his captors and joining the cyber-vigilante crusade is not the act of a true believer in anything but the power of positive con-artistry. From his position as the government's number one tool for entrapping these unwise and unwitting youngsters, Sabu has assured himself of a lucrative payday today, as well as future gigs on the frontline of the anti-terror dog-and-pony show.

Welcome, USA's newest millionaire!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I'll be back...

I'll be back -- I promise... I've just hit a bit of a rut, with all these Russian spam/scam sites that are generating fake "traffic" to the blog... I'm hoping they take their business elsewhere. Besides, no one reads this stuff, anyway.