And in the wake of the temperance-flare of President Obama’s anti-Syrian peace-now-but-war-later speech last night, the US can curl up and go fast asleep, except for the horrendous other problems still lurking under the cover of the cries for battle.
(Illustration found here).
Obama’s speech was quick/down and dirty — 15 minutes of bullshit. Odd the chandeliers above his head looked like a crown of some sort, and in watching the president try and act grown-up made the whole scene comically absurd. Despite all the peace talk, the president appeared let-down there would be a delay in war, and kept flashing words like “pin-prick” that supposedly meant something or other. He had to explain: Let me make something clear: The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks.
What kind of prick do they do, then? Whole countries, of course, and is a ‘pinprick,’ like a ‘targeted strike,’ and what’s the difference?
Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post notes the literal bottom line to the speech, especially Obama’s blather about a Syrian strike with “modest effort and risk” is just bullshit:
But the part about “modest effort and risk” hits a false note.
We have all learned in the past decade is that there are no “modest” wars.
The use of U.S. military force always means big risks and big consequences.
The idea that lobbing missiles into a cauldron as volatile as Syria would violate this rule is ludicrous, and Americans know that.
Americans know a lot more than the elites think we do — and all the glitter of war won’t alter the state of the US in the nowadays — and that’s rich.
The top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century.
U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But until last year, the top 1 percent’s share of pre-tax income had not yet surpassed the 18.7 percent it reached in 1927, according to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.
Last year, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose 19.6 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.
Syria has no input in this, you pinpricks.
In the fluttering excitement over all things Syria, shit’s still in the surveillance state.
The U.S. National Security Agency violated rules on surveillance of telephone records for almost three years and misled a secret court, raising fresh concerns that spy programs lack adequate controls to protect Americans’ privacy.
The latest revelations show NSA spying was broader, violated restrictions on domestic surveillance more often, and may have targeted innocent Americans to a greater degree than previously known.
They are contained in documents released yesterday by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in response to privacy groups’ lawsuits.
This NSA roll is something that don’t want to end.
Spencer Ackerman at the Guardian adds this scary little item:
The documents, mostly from 2009 and declassified Tuesday, describe what Walton said were “thousands” of American phone numbers improperly accessed by government counterterrorism analysts.
They also indicate that US government officials, including NSA director Keith Alexander, gave misleading statements to the court about how they carried out that surveillance.
Despite repeated public assurances of NSA competence, the agency told the Fisa court in 2009 that “from a technical standpoint, there was no single person who had a complete understanding” of its phone records “architecture”.
In other words, these NSA clowns are not only assholes, but are incompotent — welcome to the pinprick era.