Thrashing Not Swimming 254


David Cameron relies on the complicity of mainstream media and the gullibility and disinterest of the British public to get away with an extraordinary switch. Two years ago he was strongly urging military action in Syria against the forces of President Assad. Now he urges military action against the enemies of President Assad. That includes against groups and individuals who were initially armed and financed by western intelligence agencies, and are still being financed by our Saudi “allies”.

Indeed one of the many extraordinary features of this fervid political period is that the neo-cons (be they Tory or Blairite) who are so actively beating the drum for war, are the ones who absolutely refuse to acknowledge that the source of the poison is Saudi Arabia. Cameron today told Westminster that the head of the snake is in Raqqa. That is plainly untrue. The head of the snake is in Riyadh. But if your God is Mammon, that is blasphemy.

It is also fascinating that the same people who triumphantly warned Putin he would get blowback from bombing the Islamists in Syria, deny that our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing of Libya have any blowback effect or in any way cause terrorism in the West. The hypocrisy would be hilarious were it not so serious.

The French are pounding the city of Raqqa as I write and the truth is, whatever the propaganda, that they have already killed more entirely innocent civilians in their bombing than were killed in the horrible atrocity in Paris. The killing on both sides is mindless. The majority of those the French are bombing into oblivion in Raqqa are people horrified at being occupied by ISIL, just as the people killed by ISIL in Paris were ordinary people as powerless as the rest of us to affect the way the elite run our foreign policy. Those who believe that the random killing of bombing is the solution to random killing are crazy.

I was terribly, terribly sad for the victims of Paris and their loved ones. But I could not help but note that we did not fly flags at half mast or illuminate buildings in the rather lighter tones of red white and blue that could have marked Russia losing nearly twice as many dead in a related terrorist atrocity just a few weeks before.

For the terrorists themselves, I have no sympathy. To kill entirely innocent people is indefensible in any circumstances. To believe that religious kudos can be gained from killing the innocent is incredibly sick.

I have often argued that it is actually not difficult to commit a terrorist attack. If I wanted to kill people next week, did not care who I killed, and was prepared to die myself, I could most certainly do so successfully. The key point is of course that in reality there are very, very few people deranged enough to carry out such atrocious acts. Any rational analysis shows this is not an existential threat. Terrible as these attacks were, they killed 0.01% – that’s one in ten thousand – of the population of Paris. They increased the tiny chance of being murdered in France by only 20%. There are over 600 murders a year in France. Many more people die every year in traffic accidents in Paris than were killed in this atrocity.

I am not trying to mitigate the evil or atrocity, I am trying to put it in context. The drama of the incident is used vastly to exaggerate its impact and to justify those moves which the Establishment had up their sleeve anyway as the vast and growing disparity between rich and poor calls for more weapons of social control. These include massive surveillance of the population, larger and more intrusive security services, aggressive policing, an institutional system of informers in education, a new crime of “non-violent extremism”, and of course yet more wars in the Middle East –

The sad thing is of course that the terrorists are so stupid as to increase the powers of the very forces in society whose policies they purport to be fighting, while the only people they kill are also those getting the short straw of society’s gross inequality. I suspect the leadership knows this. Of course, if you are a Saudi prince, then right wing, highly authoritarian western governments hostile to economic equality are exactly what you want too. It makes your lifestyle in London, Paris and Monte Carlo so much easier.

Meanwhile David Cameron thrashes about. The only way he can see to look credible is to go and bomb someone, even if it is the opposite side he wanted to bomb last time. It won’t stop terrorism, but it will be good for the arms manufacturers and security industry. It will help stoke the jingoism that is so useful in enabling the wealthy to maintain their firm grip on political power.

Actually stopping terrorism would of course do none of those useful things for the Establishment. I do not claim that the Establishment deliberately employs a Middle Eastern policy that promotes and exacerbates terrorism. But their policy has that effect, and they use its consequence in their own interest in retaining a firm grip on political power. It helps further ensure that political power will not be employed to reorder society upon more egalitarian lines.


254 thoughts on “Thrashing Not Swimming

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  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    Craig, thank you for this new post – it was needed.

    “But I could not help but note that we did not fly flags at half mast or illuminate buildings in the rather lighter tones of red white and blue that could have marked Russia losing nearly twice as many dead in a related terrorist atrocity just a few weeks before.”

    The reason for that may have been that the Paris events were obviously terrorist attacks whereas no one was sure at the time what had brought down the Russian airliner (it could have been a ‘simple’ accident).

    BTW

    1/. did you get a reply from President Ahtisaari’s Office to your letter?

    2/. were you not going to tell us something about your intentions for the future?

    Best regards.

  • craig Post author

    On the Russian plane – that again raises the question of why deaths from terrorism are more terrible. It was precisely the same tragedy to the dead and bereaved whether a simple plane crash or a bomb.
    On 1), no. On 2), yes am going to.

  • MerkinOnParis

    How many times have I said to myself ‘I wonder what Craig’s take on this is’?.
    Doesn’t matter whether I agree with him or not.
    Doesn’t matter whether the Trolls are drowning us in sorrow.
    I am still able to find some gold amongst the litter that Cheltenham deposits.
    No exception this time, I think.
    I was at recent event where we saw the slow Gaza genocide in pictures.
    There is no need to call it anything else.
    Keep going Craig. LooseCanons’r’us. Maybe even Cannons.

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    Craig

    “On the Russian plane – that again raises the question of why deaths from terrorism are more terrible. It was precisely the same tragedy to the dead and bereaved whether a simple plane crash or a bomb.”

    ________________________

    Never having lost a loved one either in a air accident or in a terrorist attack I can only speculate. Perhaps the difference is that the possibility of an air accident is always there somewhere, at the back of our mind, whereas the thought of dying through a terrorist attack is not? And/or the absence of intention when dealing with death by air accident and the very definite existence of intention in the case of death through terrorist attack?

  • Manxman Jim

    Thanks Craig for yet another piece full of insight and sense. I’m of the left politically and read a great deal of opinion from some very good commentators. Your views however are the ones I value the most.

    Please keep up the good work and the very best of luck with your future plans.

    Jim

  • Patsy Holland

    Welcome back Craig, quality observations as ever.

    This sentence appears to be overly magnanimous:

    “I do not claim that the Establishment deliberately employs a Middle Eastern policy that promotes and exacerbates terrorism.”

    1 Surely ‘terrorise’ is precisely what the megalomaniacs, the authoritarians, the imperialists and the colonialists within the Westminster Establishment are desperately seeking to do ‘in the national interest’, to project power for themselves domestically and abroad

    2 The British people are harrassed and terrorised, on a daily basis, by the insidious Establishment bombast and bravado continually emitted from every available mainstream bullhorn – eugenics by media at the behest of the Establishment

    3 In view of the massive state terrorism visited by the Establishment and its allies upon Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, is it realistic not to claim that the Establishment deliberately employs a Middle Eastern policy that promotes and exacerbates terrorism, when said policy has violence and terror at its core?

    4 Terrorism helps to provide armies, navies, air forces, police and secret services with budgets and a raison d’être; is it therefore logical that there are vested interests in terrorism, or at the very least the perception of terrorism, that could lead to a temptation to ‘LIHOP’ or ‘MIHOP’, e.g. through agents provocateurs, to keep business brisk?

    5 Terrorism erodes civil liberties and provides the Establishment with greater executive powers to use as they wish – what’s not to like, if you’re the Establishment?

    We are in the midst of a holocaust and it therefore goes beyond magnanimity to deny any pro-terrorism element in the Establishment.

  • Martin

    Hi Craig,

    I do enjoy your writing, you give some interesting insights and utilise a large lexicon.
    You forgot to mention Israel’s role in the hole IS thing though.

    Regards.

  • bevin

    Russia’s investigation has discovered that the airliner was brought down by terrorists. This confirms the claims made by ISIS which has long been active in the Sinai.
    The truth is that the initial reaction by western media to the tragedy was to blame the Russians for engaging in the war against ISIS in Syria. Russians were warned that there would be blowback- a price to pay for their siding with the Syrian government. In France this took the form of Charlie Hebdo’s jeering cartoon, laughing at the deaths of more than 200 Russians.
    It is notorious that ISIS has been sustained by the west and particularly by Turkey and the GCC tyrants, important customers of Britain’s and France’s arms dealers. It is also noteworthy that ISIS and al qaida act with complete impunity along the Israeli border, indeed that their wounded soldiers are treated by Israel’s military hospitals.
    The “west” has long been determined to get rid of Assad, because he is allied with Iran. To achieve this aim they have encouraged al qaida and ISIS (formerly al qaida in Mesopotamia), just as they are encouraging the Yemeni franchise AQAP.
    A direct parallel to the Paris attacks preceded them by a couple of days when Beirut was the scene of another atrocity killing dozens of Lebanese and injuring more than 200. And the western world divided its reaction between yawning and suggesting that, since south Beirut, is largely inhabited by shia it got what was coming to it for supporting Hezbollah.
    It should be unnecessary to add that the sunni terrorists in Lebanon are openly sponsored by the Saudi government, to which Mr Cameron and Hollande are not only allied but before whose rulers they prostrate themselves. And us.

  • BrianFujisan

    And On, and on the Arms dealing Goes..With the new
    sale of $1.29 billion worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, including tens of thousands of bombs that will Continue to rain down on Yemen

    Craig, good to see ya back.

    ” The majority of those the French are bombing into oblivion in Raqqa are people horrified at being occupied by ISIL, just as the people killed by ISIL in Paris were ordinary people as powerless as the rest of us to affect the way the elite run our foreign policy. Those who believe that the random killing of bombing is the solution to random killing are crazy.”

    So true, Not unlike what the Dali Lama has been Saying ( most unusually for him )..

    “I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”..

    “The twentieth century was a violent one, and more than 200 million people died due to wars and other conflicts. We now see a spillover of the previous century’s bloodshed in this century,”

    http://theantimedia.org/the-dalai-lama-just-told-the-world-to-stop-praying-for-paris/

  • Vincenzo Vinciguerra

    Hello Craig,

    Was Operation Gladio real? The Bologna Train station bombing? The Brabant massacre? The Piazza Fontana bombing? What about the P2 lodge? The Ordine Nuovo? Hell, the whole ‘deep state’?

    Who said, “”You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game … to force the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security.

    “This is the political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished, because the state cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.”

    Whoever it was, it seems they uttered it into the ether with none hearing nor anyone remembering. As with all terrorist acts the likelihood of the state being behind it may never be considered. Instead we must shake our fist – two minute hate style – at whomever the state wishes us to destroy. Syria, it seems.

    Speaking of 1984, did it ever occur to anyone whilst reading it that the war with Eastasia was in all likelihood a lie and that there was in fact no war, no enemy, and that they’d made it all up? I don’t see why not. As if those who’d confabulated Big Brother would baulk at bombing their own people? The logic of the necessity of war remains and between: relying on ‘the other’ to fulfil their role as enemy; and just plain doing it all yourself, the latter answers the brief far better than the former.

    That was clearly and unarguably the case in Italy, Belgium, and Germany in the seventies and eighties. Did that murderous deep state miraculously disappear? And does a leopard change its spots?

    And Paris? Why not?

  • CanSpeccy

    Your analysis presupposes that the atrocity in Paris was perpetrated by ISIL (or ISIS), but why would ISIL incite NATO intervention against itself in Syria? And why would NATO, uninvited by the Syrian government, intervene in Syria to fight ISIL, when NATO shares ISIL’s goal of toppling the Assad regime?

    Might be a good idea to start with a sensible hypothesis about the motivation of the Paris assassins, rather than dwelling irrelevantly on the horrors of war.

    It’s clear that ISIL serves the US imperial purpose and for that reason receives the material backing of the US. Putin’s intervention has buggered up the plan to trash Assad, carve up Syria and make way for pipelines carrying gas from the Gulf to Europe, thereby undermining Russia’s gas exports. It would also mean an end to Russia’s naval base in Syria.

    Other US/Nato purposes are also obviously served: for example, driving hundreds of thousands and probably millions of refugees into Europe, thereby helping to fulfill the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan for the destruction of the European nation states, a project pushed by the traitors, Merkel, Sarkozy, Blair – oh and those pseudo Scotch nationalists disappointed by the slow rate of immigration to Scotland.

  • Tony M

    Covers so much, so well Craig. There’s a detachment from the awfulness of it, necessary to think it through logically, coldly and to express all it encompasses. We can’t change the world hardly, though should never cease trying, but maybe we can make a little refuge in which our rules apply, set the best example possible, showcase only one of many alternatives, in time find like-minded communities ready for a new and better way of living and make the best of a varied lot together. Hope the muck sticks only to the defunct UK/GB past, an empire of shame, and each country of Britain go our own way as we each think best, ever in friendship. England is the laggard, the real England, cruelly yoked to this entrenched evil, this parasitic elite that reigns malign, it needs to form some democratic representative body, though sadly no such tradition ever existed there, and when ready, for it can’t come soon enough, to be able to fire the government with extreme prejudice and take the reins. Wake from your lazy indolent slumber, you’ve slept-in, you’re late, any further war crimes the Labour-Tory extremist factions, led by Cameron, commits, they’re not British, they’re England’s and wholly made in England, we in Scotland disown them, start facing responsibility for what is done and will be done in your name, and not with the bloody false-flags “British” and “Britain” ever again.

    Came across this apt quote:

    “Violence can only be concealed by a lie and the lie can only be mantained by violence. Any man who has once proclaimed violence is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  • Mary

    Yes good that you are back Craig and thank goodness for your sane words in the welter of those calling for full scale war from the mad men. The corporate media especially the BBC and Sky News have been assisting them greatly in this of course.

    I heard mention that Cruise missiles are now being despatched. The poor people who have not been able to get out. Whatever can it be like for them.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-17/caught-tape-russian-cruise-missile-flies-above-syria-moscow-deploys-strategic-bomber

    Our friend from Atlantic Bridge days was calling for boots on the ground yesterday. Here he is on Monday feeding Theresa.

    Liam Fox Conservative, North Somerset
    Events in Paris have exposed the truth about ISIS and its fellow jihadists, which is that they hate us not because of what we do, but because of what we are. They hate our history, our identity and our values. Does my right hon. Friend agree that those who say that we will be left alone if we leave them alone are peddling a dangerous and deadly deception?

    Citation: HC Deb, 16 November 2015, c385

    Theresa May The Secretary of State for the Home Department
    My right hon. Friend makes a very important point. It is quite clear from those who attacked in Paris and those who have attacked elsewhere that their poisonous ideology is against the way in which the west conducts its life—the sort of lives that we lead and the sort of structures that we have in the west and elsewhere in other parts of the world. He is absolutely right that it is not the case that if we take no action, they will take no action against us. It is clear that they have evil intent and, sadly, as we saw on Friday, they have put that evil intent into practice.

    and yesterday following Cameron

    Dr Liam Fox (North Somerset) (Con): The continued reach and activity of ISIS represents a monumental international security challenge. The aim was to degrade and contain ISIS, but it is not contained, so I thank my right hon. Friend for what he said yesterday about the need to cut off the financial supplies to ISIS and to deal with the narrative over values, and for what he has said today about the need to join our allies in taking action over Syria, as well as Iraq. He is absolutely correct when he says that no military campaign of this nature has ever been won from the air alone, so we may yet require an international coalition on the ground of the sort that we required to remove Saddam from Kuwait. May I ask my right hon. Friend simply to rule nothing out and give no comfort to ISIS, because these people hate us not because of what we do but because of who we are?

  • CanSpeccy

    “Events in Paris have exposed the truth about ISIS and its fellow jihadists, which is that they hate us not because of what we do, but because of what we are. They hate our history, our identity and our values. Does my right hon. Friend agree that those who say that we will be left alone if we leave them alone are peddling a dangerous and deadly deception?”

    What a load of bollocks.

    In Syria, NATO and ISIL are on the same side, attempting to overthrow the legitimate government. That being the case, why jump to the conclusion that ISIL was responsible for the Paris attacks? Why not point a finger at NATO, anxious to enter the war to counter the damage Russia has done to to ISIL and America’s other proxies?

    Or are we supposed to assume NATO incapable of such Hitlerian tactics; only Putin, Russians in Ukraine and and Muslims being capable of such evil.

  • CanSpeccy

    “Any man who has once proclaimed violence is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.”

    Could apply this to whole societies: US:Nato in Afghanistan (Karzai installed by Bush said only the other day that 9/11 was nothing to do with Afghanistan, as is obviously the case); Iraq (where there were no WMD, SORRRREEEE, as Blair said the other day); and Libya where UK/France/Canada, etc. bombed the shit out of the country in the name of preventing Gadhafi bombing his own people.

  • Hieroglyph

    Hate is too strong I word, but I certainly detest Dr Liam Fox – for both who he is and what he does. Him, Werritty, Dim Dave, and all the rest.

    Where is Werritty anyway?

    The Guardian BTL has turned into The Daily Hate over the last few days. Corbyn especially is getting the most bizarre of kickings, for reasons that basically escape me. Something to do with not wanting to murder people in cold blood. The only real reason I still read The Guardian is for the BTL comments (oh, and the football), but given they have been taken over by trolls and the blood-thirsty, I wonder why I bother. Above the line isn’t much better either.

  • DavidH

    As ever, insightful analysis of the situation from Craig. But what of the solutions? You can’t get away from the idea that SOMETHING must be done as the converse that NOTHING can be done in the face of such a barbaric attack is unthinkable.

    Encouraging grass-roots revolutions for more freedom and democracy in these countries has led to chaos and destruction. Invasion and regime change has led to chaos and destruction. Bombing is at least less costly for our side and if life is cheaper over there then so be it… And make no mistake which side we should be on. Unless you want to give up your cozy western security and go live in a desert, in fear of being beheaded by a marauding tribe for believing in the wrong god. Now that’s terror.

    The comparison with deaths by car accidents is interesting. The difference being that car accidents are carefully managed to a knowable and accepted level. Hence the relative lack of terror. There are a mass of regulations (severely restricting personal freedoms, by the way) governing how cars are designed, sold, driven and registered, so the deaths per population or per mile driven are pretty constant and don’t shock. Same for airplane accidents. The terror inducing thing about terrorism is the thought that if they could, they’d do it every day in every city, blow up 10 planes next month, kill millions if they really could poison our wells, as their scriptures instruct them to do. The projections don’t have to be entirely rational to be terrifying.

    Solutions should be rational, of course, but still there seems little that’s sensible on offer.

  • Mary

    Medact is a group of concerned health professionals. They met at a conference last weekend. Health Through Peace – http://www.medact.org/events/peace-health/

    Act now to address urgent threats posed by escalating armed conflict and militarisation, say health experts
    14 11 2015

    ‘Armed conflict and militarisation pose grave and escalating threats to health worldwide and must be tackled urgently, warned a coalition of leading health, peace, development and security organisations at a conference in London today.

    The event – organised by Medact and supported by The Lancet, The BMJ, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Saferworld, International Alert, Oxford Research Group, Kings College London, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the Faculty of Public Health – brings together over 700 doctors, nurses, scientists, frontline humanitarian workers, health science students, academics and others to discuss the reality on the ground of wars in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and to mobilise around a security agenda that focuses on the prevention of war, and includes protection from poverty and climate change.’

    [..]

    ‘The conference is an opportunity to for the UK health community to develop recommendations for the British government in the lead up to the National Security Strategy review in December this year, and the decision on the renewal of Trident in 2016. It aims to mobilise harness the voice and mandate of health professionals to challenge the drivers of conflict, mass displacement and violations of international humanitarian law, all of which undermine healthcare, exacerbate inequality, and end and blight the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide.’

    I fear they will not be heard.

  • Tony M

    On a scale of barbarity, whatever happened in Paris, wasn’t all that barbaric, at all.

    DavidH, go and cower somewhere else. Poisoning wells eh? It won’t be the first time, happened during the Nakba and it wasn’t Muslims doing it, but other more terrifying religious exceptionalist terrorists, it’s still going on now today, with Israeli settlers often putting rotting meat and carcases in Palestinian wells.

  • CanSpeccy

    Re Tony M

    Glad you agree it makes sense.

    But Nazi/Nato’s propaganda is so feeble, so transparent, so silly, so contemptible, that practically no one seriously believes anything the Western elites have to say.

    That’s why Trump is trashing the Republican Parties approved presidential contestants. He can say the truth, e.g., that everyone in government with any cognitive capacity whatever knew in 2000 that 9/11 or something like was coming down; that Putin is smashing ISIS so if that’s what the West wants why not leave it to them; that mass immigration of young strong Muslim males to the US could spell big trouble and is unjustified by any humanitarian consideration, etc.

    CM’s just has a hopeless task to persuade any but the most simple minded that any of the Soros BS that he seems compelled to peddle could possibly be true.

  • CanSpeccy

    But I don’t mean to be rude. Well maybe I do. But I don’t mean to be unkind. It’s just that while we can expect stuff of this fatuity from the likes of Senator Marko Rubio, that twit Jeb Bush, Hillary Clingon or the usual media obfuscators, liars and distortionists, it’s not what one would hope to hear from a person of Craig’s undoubted intelligence, knowledge and experience.

  • Tony M

    I can see Trump winning, awful as he is, and if someone had to win it might as well be him, than any of the far worse alternativea. He better think twice about visiting Scotland though, that rug won’t pass quarantine.

  • BrianFujisan

    Towards WWIII

    “President Obama is wrong – ISIS is not contained,” declared Rep.Ted Poe (R-Texas) Poe, who on Monday introduced a resolution urging the administration to invoke Article Five. “This is our fight, but not our fight alone. American should take the lead and urge a joint response as a body of nations.”

    ” In March 2011, the Arab League, by unrecorded voice vote, petitioned the UN to enact a “no-fly zone” over Libya. The League’s resolution was brought about, in large measure, through a covert deal between Washington and Riyadh allowing the Saudis to dispatch an expeditionary force to Bahrain to help the Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy put down an uprising on the part of its suppressed and persecuted Shiite minority.

    With Washington’s tacit blessing, Saudi troops assisted Bahrain’s U.S.-equipped security forces to massacre peaceful protesters. This was done, once again, to secure an Arab League resolution asking the Security Council to authorize a “no-fly zone” in Libya, which the public was told would be a “limited” engagement.

    As former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul pointed out at the time, establishing a “no-fly zone” is an act of war. To use a somewhat vulgar metaphor, once warplanes invade and occupy a country’s air space, and the pilots are given orders to kill, foreplay has ended and intromission has occurred.

    Acting on that principle, the Obama administration quickly abandoned any pretense of restraint, urging the Security Council to pass a resolution “authorizing” a “range of actions” going well beyond deployment of warplanes over Libya. The administration obtained a Chapter Seven resolution — the UN equivalent of a formal declaration of war. Congress played no role in this process.

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/congressman-ready-declare-wwiii-wake-paris-innocent-civilians-damned/

  • RobG

    Mary
    18 Nov, 2015 – 3:49 am

    Liam Fox Conservative, North Somerset
    “Events in Paris have exposed the truth about ISIS and its fellow jihadists, which is that they hate us not because of what we do, but because of what we are. They hate our history, our identity and our values.”

    To state the obvious, America, Britain and France are acting totally outside of international law, and are undoubtably using weapons in Syria that are banned by the Geneva Convention.

  • RobG

    Craig, any comment on the fact that the Paris attacks took place one day before pre-arranged Syrian peace talks in Vienna?

  • YouKnowMyName

    My younger relatives asked me just yesterday, “we had world war 2 – then we had the cold war, now we are fighting terrorism – but who was our enemy before September 2001?”

    I replied that we hadn’t any nemesis in particular then, for the perpetual enemy, the military industrial complex was almost at peace, NATO/CIA/KGB almost weren’t needed anymore . . . almost

    You can see the phase-space that was available and ‘needed’ to be occupied by the liars, the wilful Gladio disinterment, to guarantee work and pensions, jobs for the boys

    of course – documents have come out that half-way through the Cold-War the CIA discovered the full operational strength of their opponent at the time, revealing a massive blunder/overestimate of their enemy’s capabilities and intentions – they had a dichotomy a) tell the prez the unadorned truth and lose jobs for the boys b) continue warmongering and making things up, provoking sadness with their badness, needlessly.

    I guess they will always choose b)

    Oh, and USSR had space-based-weapons which they fired on January 24th 1975, in case anyone cares: http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a18187/here-is-the-soviet-unions-secret-space-cannon/

  • Habbabkuk (You may well be a person of interest)

    Craig

    You may wish to comment both on the appearance and on the substance of the following, from one “Martin”:

    “You forgot to mention Israel’s role in the hole IS thing though.”

    In particular because I suspect the omission was deliberate and not an example of the forgetfulness which increases with the years….

    I, and perhaps others, would be particularly interested to hear your views on the phenomenon – rather current on this blog – of commenters dragging Israel into every single topic you write about.

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