AMERICAN SNIPER BULLSH_T

January 24th, 2015
Sniper hidden in grass

Here is the way a sniper spends his days

“They are heroes, and that’s obvious to anyone thinking clearly”

Jeff Koopersmith, 12 January 2015

I cannot understand what the battle about the film “American Sniper” is all about.

The American snipers I know of did not start the wars in the middle east. Dick Cheney did that despite warnings to the contrary which we and our snipers, so long after, now reap.

American snipers did not order the planes that hit the World Trade Center.

American snipers believe that they are helping greatly to protect other troops on the ground – and they are.

I am particularly disappointed by Michael Moore’s remarks because they eat away at his other ingenious work that is truly needed in a nation that has caught too grand a dose of greed. Remarks like his lessen his credibility, with everyone.

The film shows not only how difficult this job is, but how it hangs in the consciousness of the sniper. The Jihadists they shoot and kill  also have snipers that kill and maim our boys and girls.  So don’t fool yourself Mr. Rogan.  You are attacking the wrong reality.

Despite the fact that I believe these uprisings stem from poverty and dictatorship, there is no sanity in throwing the baby out with the baathwater. (sp. intentional). To say that snipers are evil is tragic. They are doing what we ask them to do -and at terrible cost to them whether they survive or not. Imagine feeling that you killed so many, or you missed too many.

How would the people who never served feel if put in this position?

If there is blame to shuffle – deal it to the Commanders in Chief and their shell-shocked cabinets as well as us.

It is we who expect revenge for the attacks of the early 2000s and before. It is we who demand our pound of flesh. If any are murderers it is us or the men who lied to us about the need for the first invasion in the Middle-East.

So “man-up” and see the film before you review it and insult the men and women who risk their lives and limbs every moment they are away from home, their families and their friends.

My God – if only for their parents, their children and their spouses – keep your mouths shut.

 

.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA – STATE OF THE UNION COMPLETE – HERE

January 21st, 2015

2015 OBAMA STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS – HERE

ON KRAUTHAMMER: More idiocy from the Pundit Psychiatrist

January 20th, 2015

The Duke Krauthammer

 

By Jeff Koopersmith, for American Politics Journal

WASHINGTON DC – 20 January 2015 – It is terrifying how many times Charles Krauthammer turns up like a bad penny on Fox News.  One never knows when that mean-spirited grump will show his face, care of Roger Ailes et al and his usual team of bleached screaming blondes or the likes of Bret Baier who I am forced to write has a far loftier IQ than the con-freak he replaced, Brit Hume – just another reject from the broadcast networks  joining most of the has-beens on Fox.

The Kraut (my pet name for him) appeared on Fox with Baier, mostly to do his duty as a sneering critic of President Obama who has clearly decided to do battle with the new GOP majorities in the House and Senate by helping aliens become citizens and seeking laws to urge the wealthy to provide a bit more of their billions to give at least some relief to the middle class and at even some of the poorest in these United States.

Of course, making a tax  move on the fastest growing kleptocratic cabal in world history is plain nonsense to Krauthammer who may have finally reached the top ten percent of earners through either a drunken Act of God or some Voodoo intonation that allows him to cloud your television screen and your brain in his nonstop appearances and truthless opinion columns in the Washington Post.

I often wonder Whether Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com and the owner of the Post, reads Krauthammer’s fairytales without feeling like texting the newspaper’s HR department with an electronic pink slip.

My anger at The Kraut does not come from anything but his own outrageous flexure of the truth. I am sure he is a wonderful guy to go to a Nats game with, or wonder what it would have been like if we had lost the second World War.

Krauthammer tells us that President Obama’s plan for tax reform is “not about tax reform.”  He adds that this is corruption of the language because it is not tax reform in that it does not “simplify the tax code, lower rates, and eliminate loopholes” when that is exactly what the reform will do.

The only problem for Krauthammer is that he somehow puts himself in the laps of billionaires and sees reform as only that which punishes the poor (as in welfare reform and lack of healthcare “reform“) and rewards the richest among us with tax cuts and lower private medical insurance premiums – both of which are not on the Obama “feed the rich” menu – He doesn’t have one.

Along that line, The Kraut tells of, surprisingly, that Obama’s plan, which the President will announce tonight during his State of Unions speech, is a tax and spend via revenue increases for the federal government – This even though the Cheney Wars have cost us untold trillions that made Cheney himself  a richer than Croesus neocon even as he was arranging the hanging death of Saddam Hussein who he once shook hands with in celebration of Saddam’s agreement to go to war with Iran, thus starting the beginning of the end for hope of any kind of peace in the Middle -East.

Well done Mr. Cheney!

Krauthammer labels tax relief for the middle class and some of the poorest Americans as “handouts” and “curly cues.”  (You can hear him say that and more below on a Fox clip from Real Clear Politics)

Charles Krauthammer lives in the far gone past – this time harking back to the 1980s and what he calls “25 years of almost uninterrupted economic growth” Really, but for whom?

He conveniently forgets that during those same 25 years the average working man and woman has had absolutely no real increase in earnings while the unindicted co-conspirators in our “Open Markets ” were busy  putting  the nation in bankruptcy which only Obama rescued – not Mr. Bush.

During the 2008 presidential campaign Krauthammer posits that Charlie Gibson, of all people,  asked President Obama a “famous question” – Huh? – Whether raising capital gains tax is something Obama would support – even if it lowered revenues. The President said he would.

Again The Kraut acts as if respected economists, not those  in the back pockets of the wealthy, believe that increasing taxes on the richest would indeed cause tax revenue to go down. Right. We increase taxes on the wealthiest against their humongous income and vast estates – but this results in less revenue?  Ah! It must be that they will all flee to the Cayman Islands and leave the nation destitute – Is that what The Kraut believes will happen?

This is not true of course – unless someone like Krauthammer engineered it through other weaselish tax breaks for the wealthy hidden in another part of  the text of the Tax Code.  Obama is not planning to do this, he just wants to provide a modicum and deserved relief for people that actually work for a living – behind a desk, in a mine, in a high school – not around a dinner table at Les Grenouilles in Manhattan.

And predictably, Charles Krauthammer, follows this by explaining to we morons that the point of ” taxes are to bring in revenue.”

Yes, that’s correct Mr. Krauthammer, the point of raising taxes on top tier incomes IS to bring in revenue, but direct that revenue, at least in part,  to the most needy and therefore  abused in this country.

Crikey!  The evil Kraut, to cover his a__, claims that President Obama wants to punish the rich regardless, but that he would agree with the Obama  plan if it would help the economy.

Yup, that’s Krauthammer – correctly himself with no bases in fact.

I rest my case,

See Charles Krauthammer’s appearance here:

Video

(Thanks to Fox News, Bret Baier, and Real Clear Politics.)

 

 

Mario Cuomo – An American Dream and man of the people is Going Home

January 2nd, 2015

 

Mario Cuomo

A great New Yorker, A wonderful Governor, and a guy for the common man: Mario Cuomo

 

A hero and mentor of mine, Mario Cuomo, has died.  He is survived by his wonderful wife Matilda, his children and 12 grandchildren.

Governor of New York for three terms, Mario led the charge against Reagan Republicans, reminding them almost every day that it was the common man who was in trouble in the early 1980s and not the wealthier of us.

There is nothing more to add save for the fact that Mario Cuomo was and will continue to be a true “shining star on a hill” and someone I was proud to study and know. Best of all – he was a helluva baseball player.

I am bereft

Jeff Koopersmith

Play this for him and you remember his soul:

“Innocent” Rep. Steve Scalise: Why He WON’T Last As House Majority Whip

December 30th, 2014
Rep. Steve Scalise

Rep. and ‘almost” Majority Whip Steve Scalise – He won’t last as majority Whip – maybe lasher?

I have no idea what the Republican Party has become – but I was trained by Republican National Committee in the 80s at the U.S. Senate level where, becaseu the National Journal, was going to sit-in with our class for a day, the fellow running the GOP Univeristy then cautioned us not to use words such as nigger, kike, or somesuch. (Name withheld, as he is still alive).

I have always been sort of an independent liberal, and frankly my client at that time was a Republican, but he also was as liberal as any Democrat.

I must admit that I wasn’t shocked at what I heard from the class leader, but it dawns on me – because of the latest racism scandal involving House Majority Whip (Maybe) to be- Steve Scalise – as he has been found to have been a key speaker at a white supremacist conference sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan leader – David Duke himself. Rep. Scalise has not denied he spoke at this conference, but of course, saying he might have attended the Klan meeting (aka “conference”) and he denies knowing who he was speaking to or why.

Sure, and the GOP stands for the working class, healthcare for all, and a livable safety net for those Americans who just can’t compete in the current high speed blender economic circus where the top 5% of women buy Hermes bags for $20-45,000 dollars each, and the middle class ladies get by with a canvas tote from National Public Radio (NPR).

All this happened light-years ago in 2002 in New Orleans – home of the conservative and wannabe President and Governor of Louisiana, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal.

Scalise has said this thus far, “I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group,” told the Times-Picayune news, “I had one person that was working for me. When someone called and asked me to speak, I would go. I was, in no way, affiliated with that group or the other groups I was talking to,” he added.

My Lord – he might have spent the evening at the American Nazi party that day!  God love him – it just slips his mind.

No, how could he be a White Supremacist ? Here’s the makeup of his District at the last Census:

White alone – 94,527 (68.9%)

Hispanic – 18,791 (13.7%)

Black alone – 14,885 (10.8%)

Asian alone – 5,418 (3.9%)

Two or more races – 3,234 (2.4%)

Other race alone – 230 (0.2%)

American Indian alone – 123 (0.09%)

Of course Lil’ Steve could never attend a NAACP conference in his District very near the New Orleans Airport, where the average home costs about $250 thousand the most earn less than $40 thousand and are very White.

David Duke (KKK) told the Washington Post that Scalise was invited to the Klan Function aka EURO Rally by two close friends, Howard Farrell and Kenney Knight who both seem to be in hiding as no searches we have completed could find anything about these two Scalise buddies. I suppose that Duke isn’t protective of Scalise any longer.

Scalise, though, has a expert woman fronting for him named Moira Bagley (Hopefully not related to Democrat Smith Bagley) – who told reporters :”We have no reason to believe he was not there. It is 99% likely that he was there, but we have no direct records so cannot confirm for definite.”

The slimey part of the story is that “The Conference” was held by a fraud called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (Euro) formed by and eagerly promoting our old Klan friend David Duke, the former KKK grand wizard who was far too interested in politics for his type.

There are few educated people alive today who haven’t heard the name David Duke – yet Mr. Scalise has no memory of what or who he spoke to – what he said, and why he was there at the Best Western Hotel in New Orelans among some attendees who might as well have dressed in white sheets and hoods.

Almost overnight there is no public or private support in the Capitol for Rep.Scalise, the third highest-ranking House Republican and one of the most senior seemingly white supremcist racists in Washington DC despite his efforts to lose his memory.

Yet Louisiana governor Bobby Jindall, who is not a white supremcist and himself one of the few non-white figures in the Republican Party, had the gall to say that Scalise was a “good man who is fair-minded and kind-hearted.”…….

The “conference” took place in Scalise’s future congressional district at the Best Western Plus in Metair, LA – south of New Orleans.  Don’t stay there although it is rumored that EURO was scolded by Best Western when they found out what it was.

Meanwhile Speaker of the House and VERY TAN but still Wthie – John Boehner (not pronounced “Boner”) as well as the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seem not able to respond to questions about Scalise’s background even though, surprisingly, he was backed by the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party in a hot fight for the Whip position.

Some so-called experts on the Hill say he will survive the revulsion, however, I can assure you that he will not survive unless there is a gun battle at the FIrst Street NE, Washington headquarters of the Republican Party.

Tom Cole the GOP deputy whip (deputy to Scalise) said the usual: “This looks to me like an incident where a politician was at the wrong place at the wrong time by accident.” UmHm.  “As a Native American I am pretty sensitive to charges of racism and white supremacy,” the Oklahoma congressman thought to say. “I have never seen any evidence that Steve holds such views. Quite the contrary … I do not believe he has a racist bone in his body.”

(Or a white sheet and pointed hat in his briefcase.)

David Duke is the most well-despised white supremacist in America, and was, for a very short time, a Louisiana state representative after switching his party from Democrat to Republican – I assume to stay in sync after the Southern Democrats disappeared from history.

Scalise told reporters: “At the end of the day, you are judged by your character.”

Right Steve. So goodbye, and good luck – you will need it.

 

 

Obama’s Cuba Move: FOX News Channel Goes Wild With Hate

December 17th, 2014
Time for us to visit and talk and bury the hatchet.

Time for us to visit, talk, and bury the hatchet.

fidel agingFolks, don’t forget to watch FOX Non-News this evening to gawk at “Billo the Klown” O’Reilly and blonde shriekette Megyn Kelly telling 6o-year-old stories and lies about how horrible Cuba and Fidel Castro was, and is. They will lie and tell you that Cuba was cool until Fidel kicked out the scum that owned not only the people and the gambling casinos, but also all the sugar. Really?

Maybe Fidel made a deal with the Devil – the Soviets – but he tried first to gain the confidence of the USA – and was rebuffed.

I know that some Cubans that have escaped and moved to this country won’t like what I am saying, and I respect them. I understand their desire to come to America and I can’t fault them.

I just think it’s a little too long to have an island and people living under our economic hammer for so many decades.

I want the Cuban people and Cuban Americans along with anyone else here to be able to be able to visit Cuba, their relatives and friends on the Island – and I hope you will as well.

Don’t listen to the Neocons. Haven’t they caused enough trouble – Thus far scowling Dick Cheney has destroyed peace in almost every nation in the Middle East – and the ones that survive from his ill-gotten wars and the deaths of our brave men and women, will,

When you see Cheney on the tube – a raspberry will do!

Slapping Putin – Obama to sign stiff but flexible new sanctions

December 16th, 2014

Ruble Chart

WASHINGTON—President Obama is due to sign legislation that will tighten the straightjacket currently choking the Russian economy.

As of this writing the Russian Ruble is drifting down to over 75 Rubles per dollar which is a stupendous drop in its value equaling a slip from 30 Rubles per dollar only months ago.

NATO allies and other western nations are uneasy regarding the Moscow reaction, but the White House appears to believe that either the current situation in Russia will work to weaken or even topple the Putin-led government or at least bring enough pressure on him to remove his eccentricities from Ukraine.

On the side of the coin, some sources worry that pushing the Russians this hard lends a hard handed reputation to the US that it does not need on top of the reports on torture that came from the Senate last week. There is also some chatter, but not on in the media as yet that new and additional sanctions could act to force Putin to move toward more severe measures.

Those measures could range from further folderol in Ukraine to a genuine Russian invasion that would further destabilize a region already hammered by a plummeting economy and other worries about oil prices and Islamic terrorism in Russia itself.

We must also wonder about Russia’s cooperation in other areas like the Middle East and even the US space program.

One must believe the White House has significant even weighty intelligence in these regard and is assured that nothing more than minor placating adjustments from Russia in the Ukraine might result.

Others wonder if the White House has completely sampled the mood in the Kremlin and is keeping in mind that Russia is yet a prodigious nuclear power.

President Obama will have elasticity regarding when and how severe the roll out of these new sanctions, will occur but once Obama begins I am hopeful that Mr. Putin ‘comes to the table’ or telephone and begins a frank and mutually rewarding rather than debilitating solution.

 

 

Rich Lowry – the Newest and Dumbest NN on NPR

December 15th, 2014
rich lowry

The latest member of the Cheney Youth – see 1938.

Dear NPR:

Your greatest supporters believe that Rich Lowry is the latest “Cheney Youth” member (see Hitler for comparison) to hit your airwaves. This guy is a paid puppet for the ultra

 

right wing and the newest fool to take on National Review – “A review of American Greed as it’s called.” and you should hear Lowry defend the crooks In the banking industry!  It’s beyond belief.

Lowry acts as if he knows it all – but you should have listened to him tell the NPR audience that Fracking is why oil prices are down (No, its the Gulf states holding back on production), That Senator McCain can’t be taken seriously about torture “because we’ve always been at war and that means killing people – and how can you use drones against people and complain about torture? Lowry is a snotty moron.

He doesn’t see a drone as an airplane WITH a pilot – no different than in any war since the airplane was first used – THER IS A GREAT DIFFERENCE between the two – perhaps Rich needs a course in Logic and Semantics, which he would most likely fail.

Lowry is what the Germans are no calling NN’s – Look it up Rich if you don’t know what we are talking about – American Politics Journal ; Rich Lowry acts as if he knows it all – but you should have listened to him tell the NPR audience that Fracking is why oil prices are down (no its the Gulf states holding back on production), That Senator McCain can’t be taken seriously about torture “because we’ve always been at war and that means killing people – and how to you use drones against people and complain about torture?

Lowry is a moron. He doesn’t see a drone as an airplane WITH a pilot – no different than in any war since the airplane was first used – THER IS A GREAT DIFFERENCE in the two – perhaps Rich needs a course in Logic and Semantics, which he would most likely fail. Lowry is what the Germans are now calling NN’s – Look it up Rich if you don’t know what we are talking about – American Politics Journal Editor Emeritus

– Jeff Koopersmith

MORONIC ITEMS THE SUPER-RICH BUY

December 8th, 2014
A GOOD BUY AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET

It seems the 1% are having trouble wasting their billions these days. What do you think?

This size of this wart-like gross-looking but delicious thing is nearly twice that of the existing record holder, which was sold for $417,200 in 2010. Bidding for this extraordinary white truffle did not yield “twice the price”  The rich are getting smarter – the auction gallery that sold it – did so for less than $62,000.00 USD – a bargain at ten time the price.   Maybe we are making progress with the middle class?

What is hilarious is that Sotheby’s PR Department seemed to be hinting – at least to CNN that the puss sac yellow thing would go for $1 million!  Congratulations to the buy who got this 4.2 pound Martian vittle!  Now go out and try to sell it again – this time at Chiristie’s!

Jeff Koopersmith

It’s the Stupid, Stupid

December 8th, 2014
Eric Bolling

Speaking of Stupid Americans?

It’s the Stupid, Stupid

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers (crisispapers.org)

Barack Obama is not stupid and he says he doesn’t want his administration to do “stupid things” in foreign policy. So why, then, has he done a reckless, stupid thing by starting a new, two-theater war in the Middle East? And why did that war in Syria have to commence immediately as an existential necessity?

Even though I don’t agree, I can at least somewhat understand a rush to war when it comes to Iraq. The corruption and vacuum of leadership in that country opened up a rich shaft for the extremist jihadis of ISIS to mine — and they are moving inexorably toward Baghdad. But what was the absolute moral hurry to bomb inside Syria?; you mean the operation couldn’t have waited a few weeks so there could be a full-scale national debate, both in Congress and in the American polity in general, about the wisdom of such a dangerous move?

We should always be wary of hurry-up wars; someone (usually with $omething to gain) is trying to rush things along before the public remembers the previous such wars and how disastrous those turned out.

This whole Mideast situation is a chaotic mess, which cries out for more rational analysis. So let’s try to parse out as much as we can in terms of possible motives for war, along with pointing out the scary ramifications that always attend The Dumb. Here are 10 places to start.

1. MUSCLE BEACH

Ronald Reagan and CheneyBush were celebrated by the Right and some Independents for their “muscular” military policy — that is, taking the country to war. So Obama for years has been covering his, and Democrats’, perceived electoral vulnerability of being seen as “weak” and wishy-washy when it comes to national-security issues.

The speeches Obama has given in the past few weeks, justifying his somewhat amorphous military plans to crush and destroy ISIS could have been delivered word for word by George W.  No wonder the Hard Right Republicans are celebrating — while they lobby for sending foot-soldiers into Iraq and Syria ASAP. And no wonder the liberal left is discombobulated by their formerly anti-war leader’s dash toward militarism, especially with regard to bombing inside Syria.

2. NEO-CONS 2.0

The Cheney-ite neo-conservatives have a simple way of viewing the world: To them, the U.S. is the last remaining superpower and thus it should move aggressively to mold the world in its image, even if it takes a few more wars. The problem with such thinking is that such a geopolitical strategy didn’t work in the 1990s and it won’t work now: so many modern-day wars are asymmetrical and difficult for large, musclebound nations like the U.S. to fight successfully (see Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.)

From the standpoint of these smaller countries, “success” in this context means to bleed the superpower with a thousand cuts over many years. Stalemate becomes victory, since eventually the American citizenry grows weary of military quagmires and withdraws from the battlefield.

Why the rush to war in Syria? I suspect that Obama and his military advisors saw a golden window of opportunity they couldn’t resist: a greatly distracted Assad, an enemy in ISIS that almost invited the initial bombing runs and missile attacks by massing men and materiel right out in the open, a violent Sunni/Shia split in Islam, some Arab cheerleaders anxious to rein in extremist jihadis, the president free to act on his own since the U.S. Congress wanted to keep its fingerprints off a new Middle East war (hence, no debate), especially right before the midterm election.

3. A TRUE BELIEVER?

Another possibility: What if Obama’s war posture is not an act? Maybe he really believes what he’s saying. The progressive Left chose to see Obama as a liberal activist when he actually was much closer to the center-Right and beholden to the prevailing corporate worldview. He certainly was no pacifist. Recall that when the President received his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his acceptance speech to the assembled diplomats in Oslo inexplicably was a defense of going to war — the “just war” argument.

Obama today may truly believe in his own propaganda, that ISIS is the latest manifestation of pure evil and must be eradicated; forget the fact that many of the ISIS fighters originally were recruited, armed and encouraged by the U.S. as tough fighters in the Syrian opposition. Now Obama wants ISIS to be ripped, root and branch, from the face of the earth, despite opposition from potential allies.

Surely, Obama sees that no country is champing at the bit to put its soldiers on the ground in Syria. If other nations want to help at all in the Syrian theater, it will be mostly from the air and will mainly be in service to the U.S. air force and drones. (A somewhat reluctant Turkey seems willing to send combat troops, if it has to.)

As for the U.S., Obama promises no boots on the ground, unless there’s a damn good reason to do so. And, as the American people have figured out (see recent polls), there will be a “damn good reason” to do so.

Since Obama is not stupid, he must know that it won’t take much to make the U.S. change its mind about BOTG (boots on the ground). All it will take is a U.S. aircraft shot down by ISIS or Syrian missile, or when U.S. military members are taken prisoner and threatened with beheading, or when some major act of ISIS terrorism occurs inside “The Homeland” — or that can be blamed on ISIS Central, even if done by free-lancing jihadis. You can bet that in such circumstances, there will be BOTG very quickly, whether those of active-duty soldiers or large numbers of special forces operators.

4. THE TRUE TARGET IN SYRIA

The bombs raining down on Syria from the air are aimed at ISIS facilities and troops, but the actual goal is regime change in Damascus. (And, after that, maybe Iran.)

Surely, Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, can see the handwriting on the wall, that he’s next in the U.S. crosshairs, so why is he being so relatively quiet as his country’s sovereignty is violated every day by U.S. bombers and missiles?

It seems clear, at least to me, that some accommodation with Assad — perhaps with tacit promises of weapon and cash — was reached before the U.S. bombing campaign began. In its most simplistic tactical form, that deal might have been something like this: “You stay out of our way — we will let you know in which regions of Syria we will be operating on that day — and you can continue to rule.” Assad perhaps figured: “I need to regroup and grow stronger, so if the U.S. wants to be my air force for a year or two, I’ll take it. In the interim, I can try convincing the U.S. that I’m their best hope in the region, even if they say they abhor my methods of control. That might mean that I would effectively be in the same camp as Israel, but ‘politics makes for strange bedfellows’ and ‘the enemy of my enemy is my (temporary) friend’.”

In addition, Assad is playing the nuclear card as further insurance the U.S. will not overthrow him: He’s revealed four heretofore secret chemical facilities which, if ISIS were to get ahold of, could ignite a firestorm of death and mass destruction all over the region and beyond.

5. ISIS STRATEGY

ISIS, at the moment, seems content to be the leading jihadi force in the Middle East region, even though its spokesmen like to poke a verbal stick in the eye of the “Great Satan” by promising attacks eventually on the American homeland.
The eventual goal of ISIS is to establish the modern equivalent of the 7th-century caliphate for all Muslims, and perhaps re-create the Islamic Empire over much of the rest of the world.
One key to doing this is to enrage the United States and its Western allies enough to draw them into the maelstrom that is the Middle East. Just as Osama bin Laden did with the attacks of 9/11. The naive, angry U.S. snaps up the bait and invades another  Muslim land.

Right now, ISIS is reaping the whirlwind from the air. Lots of damage, losing some momentum and so on, but bearable. What is likely to transpire: ISIS at some point ordering its troops to melt into the villages and urban settings for awhile, while it sharpens its guerrilla tactics and uses its social-network smarts to help round up thousands of new recruits. I would expect terrorist bombings in the capitals of Europe and in those Arab countries (Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, etc.) supporting the U.S.-led war.

Since it’s difficult to root out ISIS fighters from the air, eventually the U.S. and its allies will feel obliged to put boots on the ground, and the mousetrap will snap shut.

6. “UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES”

Wars look so contained and tidy on the map charts when they are started. It doesn’t take long before all hell breaks loose and there’s no way to put the bloody genie of war back in the bottle. And then the unintended consequences start, and battle plans have to be rethought as the casualties and slaughters commence.

There will be plenty of surprises as the new Syria/Iraq war unravels. But even now, we can anticipate some, such as factions switching sides, high-tech weaponry winding up in ISIS and other jihadi hands, new fighters coming onto the field, alliances breaking apart, key nation-state actors in Europe starting to change their minds, Putin’s Russia causing mischief, anti-war protests worldwide starting to grow in size, free-lance terrorists bombing inside the U.S. and its coalition partners, the broadcasting of videos of U.S. coalition tortures, etc.

Yes, the U.S. military can be amazingly successful at times. But in these wars, there will be no victory. Just slow bleeding — of U.S.  men and materiel and Americans’ sense of themselves as a moral people.

Does that mean that ISIS’ barbarities should be ignored? Of course not. Their medieval mentality and cruelties and desire to force conversions on a mass scale to re-establish the Islamic caliphate — all these must be confronted. Right now, the default mode of that reaction is violence (not that far removed from the extreme wars of The Crusades). The U.S. should be seeking more creative ways, involving larger alliances, and economic and political sanctions, to build a stronger moral/diplomatic/economic/political shield against ISIS. It may not ultimately work, but it can’t hurt and might actually help repel the advances of this group of cutthroats.

7. WISE ADVICE

As the old colonial system broke apart after World War II, the active principle for Western countries was “never fight a war on the landmass of Asia.” The new warning should be “never fight a war in the Middle East.” In that roiling, unstable part of the world, the social and political infrastructures are infinitely complex, virtually impossible for outsiders to understand, easy to get bogged down in the tribal, clan, religious miasmas, with constantly shifting alliances. In short, it’s easy to use missiles and bombs from thousands of feet in the air, but actually getting on the ground and trying to decipher the shadowy social/political rules and subrosa ways of doing business is the very definition of ill-advised policy. Has America learned nothing from its defeats in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (lessons already learned by the Brits and the Russians in Afghanistan)?

As the U.S. gets bogged down in these new Mideast wars, it will spend down its treasury, its aging infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, the economy will collapse once again, the environment will continue to be degraded, the results of climate change will wreak more havoc on cash-starved localities, the gap between the uber-wealthy and the rest of us will grow larger, social revolution will become more necessary and real in the streets, etc.

8. ELECTORAL FALLOUT

It may turn out that the American Left will find itself joining forces, at least temporarily, with the rightist Rand Paulites to demand up-or-down votes on use of military force in Syria/Iraq.
Normally, the ruling party in power can count on the polity rallying around the flag and the troops doing the fighting. But whether the U.S. citizenry will continue to support these newest wars in the Middle East is unclear. It’s not even clear which political party is “in power” — the one that controls the White House? the one that controls the House? — or which military policies the populace might support: boots on the ground? drone and air force bombing??

My guess as I write this in early October is that the GOP is gaining traction using ISIS (“the terrorists are coming!”) to generate fear and anxiety, and that may be enough to tilt the midterm elections in their direction. The Democrats are split on the advisability of Obama’s war policies, and may not react in enough time (we’re less than a month away from election day) to win enough victories.

Needless to say, if the Hard Right continues to dominate the House, and becomes the majority in the Senate, the country is in for a catastrophic, post-election hard landing in every area imaginable, from economics to judicial appointments (especially to the Supreme Court) to educational slidebacks to fundamentalism and authoritarianism making massive gains in the public arena.

9. A HUMUNGOUS GAMBLE

Obama, it seems to me, is gambling that the good patriotic zeal of finally hitting back at somebody will accrue to the benefit of the Democrats in the midterm elections in November. But I’m not sure Obama can pull it off, hence the gloomy assessments above. Especially if Turkey and then NATO get sucked into the larger war, and Russia feels compelled actively to join the other side. WW3, anyone?

If the Syria/Iraq campaign is still going on in stasis in 2015 and the following year, and is viewed by the U.S. population as “Obama’s War,” stalemated and unwinnable, the Democrats may pay a high price at the polls in 2016, losing the White House and any hope for real traction in the years following.

10. WHAT CAN BE DONE?

What the U.S. needs is a full-scale social/political revolution, but though the need is certainly there, the “objective conditions” don’t seem to be in forceful play. This is true even as it’s becoming more obvious that we are moving slowly, incrementally toward a revolutionary tipping point.

Less than a month before Election Day, there doesn’t seem to be much direction and passion among the liberal/progressive left. Which means that the Democrats’ GOTV campaign will amount to little more than reducing the electoral damage rather than offering viable, creative, populist-Democratic alternatives.

If the electoral train hasn’t yet left the station, there may still be enough time for the Democrats to kick their strategy into high gear. But the Dems are notorious for snatching defeat out of the jaws of possible victory. As Tiny Tim might have said: “God help us, everyone.”#

Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and now serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (crisispapers.org). Comments: crisispapers@comcast.net .