Wednesday, October 24, 2012


During Monday's presidential debate (the last of the season) the topic of drone warfare was mentioned but skated over with no in-depth discussion, and both candidates voicing support. It was from an unlikely source that essential comment has come: Joe Scarborough, a former Republican member of Congress who hosts a morning political talk-show. Please note Democrat-supporting Joe Klein's stance on the matter!

As Glen Greenwald has writtten HERE:

Obama has led all sorts of progressives and other Democrats to be the most vocal supporters of unrestrained aggression, secret assassinations, and "crippling" the Iranian people with sanctions. It is completely unsurprising that the most sociopathic defense of drones comes from one of the most committed Obama supporters, and that it's now left to a former GOP Congressman to raise objections. As much as anything, that is the Obama legacy.

And, as William Astore wrote in his piece America Lost Last Night's Presidential Debate

The U.S. will continue to escalate drone strikes on assassination missions of dubious legality, all in the name of killing the bad guys. Neither candidate bothered to address civilian casualties, blowback, or whether they accept the right of other countries to launch their own drones on assassination missions. (In this case I'm guessing that imitation by China or Russia or Iran would not be considered the sincerest form of flattery.)

For anyone keen on election predictions there's a page at a blog called The Moderate Voice: Real Psychic Predictions 2012 - Politics and More (updated October 2012).

Having scrambled through it, I'm no wiser, but it was fun!

I decided to fish out my tarot deck from the back of a drawer where it has rested for quite some time, undisturbed. Shuffled, mentally asking, "Who will be the next president of the USA?" Drew 3 cards. 6 of Swords, 8 of Rods, Ace of Cups. I'd rather hoped to see one of the royal cards emerge, but my tarot deck is in enigmatic ain't sayin'. Yet those three cards seem to me to offer a reassuring omen indicating that things will not be nearly as bad as many expect or are predicting, whether President Obama retains his hold on the White House, or Gov. Romney takes over. In view of the opening topic of this post, it's hard to be convinced.

6 of Swords = a moving away from danger. 8 of Rods is a card of movement - swiftness, completion, fulfillment, progress and action. Ace of Cups represents the start of something good and positive. I was surprised to see these cards emerge - really! But emerge they did. I guess each person could interpret them as an indication that their own chosen candidate will win. I have no chosen candidate, so the message for me is that whatever happens, the outcome of the 2012 election will not turn out to have been disastrous for the country and the world.

Gut-feeling: I've thought for a while that the President will gain another 4 years in power because, of the two candidates, he's in a better position to be able to get done what The True Powers That Be need to be done. He will be Their preference. With Romney in the White House there'd be heavy opposition from the left against certain propositions which The Powers That Be see as essential. Obama has the left tamed, therefore he is, as one writer has put it "the more effective evil". Absent a landslide for Romney, which isn't likely, I'm sure there are ways and means to tweak a close-run thing so that the desired result is obtained.


mike said...

Drones are now a part of the global tools of warfare...the US is just one of the players:






India, Pakistan, Japan...perform an internet search and you will find numerous articles about almost any country's entry into the drone kingdom.

Drones are now on par with assault rifles, warships, conventional aircraft, rockets, missiles, etc. Drones are part of standard military defense.

If you should become overwhelmed with a tarot card shuffling desire, please ask specifically, "Will Obama retain the presidency?"...or..."Will Romney become the next president?". Thanks...

Twilight said...

mike ~~ All the more reason to realise that what the USA is doing, under President Obama's watch, and in anybody's name who gives either him or Romney their vote, is storing up more hatred in the countries being targeted, especially from the so-called collateral damage when innocents and children are murdered.

Fear of future pay-back is one thing, more important still is the fact that murder is taking place in our names....NOW!

Because drones are "part of standard military defense" does not make it right for President Obama to order drone strikes on sovereign countries with whom the USA has not declared war, and accept the resultant murder of innocents as par for the course. This is pure evil, Mike!

I'll take another swing at the tarot deck later - with one of your questions.

mike (again) said...

Twilight, I don't disagree with you at all, but whether a drone, an actual fly-over with a real airplane dropping a bomb, or a missile strike, seems a matter of semantics to me. The US mainstream didn't seem too upset when the US performed fly-overs that dropped bombs on innocent civilians in Iraq, killing tens of thousands...and that WAS a declared war that had no fundamental basis to it. An Imperialist nation can do as it pleases.

As we've both agreed before, the US has some unique karma regarding our military posturing. I far prefer the "make love, not war" slogan, myself!

Twilight said...

mike ~~~ The US mainstream still isn't upset - about drones. A few voices are raised - very few.

I did object equally to fly-overs dropping bombs on Iraq and consequent civilian deaths.

Fishing around in the archives I found a post about the movie "Redacted", I wrote:

I wish Mr De Palma the best with his new film. It will certainly not be easy viewing, but could help to bring home the horrors of war to US audiences.

Some current estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq since the start of the conflict are as high as one million. Casualties of any World War 3 would be between 6 and 7 billion.... man's exit from planet Earth.

I trust that Americans who truly believe in 'Peace on Earth' will consider carefully before casting their votes in the primaries and in 2008. There is one candidate whose focus is, and always has been, on peace - Dennis Kucinich. Journalists delight in telling us that he is unelectable. What does this say about us?

An imperialist nation ? I don't know about that, Mike.
Maybe using a different definition of empire from that describing empires of old, it could be - in intent anyway.
It'll certainly carry on "doing what it likes" because The People have allowed themselves to become powerless, gradually, the Germans in the 1930s.

Twilight said...

mike ~~ I tried another tarot enquiry: "Will Barack Obama retain his position as president?"

8 Cups/Page Rods/Hanged Man

Immediate reaction (said to be the one that counts most) is that he will not, based on the first and last cards.

For various interpretations of the cards, if you're not familiar with them the site is very good.

mike (again) said...

Thanks, Twilight! Have you read the latest about vote-flipping and Tagg Romney's investment in electronic voting machines?

Twilight said...

mike ~~ I had skimmed headlines about possible voting fraud but hadn't given it a lot of thought, thought the it was just another scare story.
Having read the two linked articles (thanks) I'm not so sure, especially as the 2nd article ends with Election fraud has been a part of politics in the United States throughout its history.

My gut feeling won't go away though - it is still that Obama will be safe, if only by a whisker, in spite of tarot indication, and possible fraud.

R J Adams said...

The use of drones in warfare is bad enough. Their use for indiscriminate murder is morally unacceptable in any civilized society. The US is not at war with any other country (the 'war on terror' is no more a war than the 'war on drugs' or the 'war on want')yet murders individuals and their families with impunity, based on 'intelligence' we all know to be dodgy at best. Many (possibly, most) Americans don't seem to give a damn who their country slaughters, just so long as they, themselves, don't have to take any responsibility for the causes of terrorist attacks on Western nations. They are stunningly oblivious to the hatred engendered against the US and its 'allies' by the use of these barbaric, cold-blooded, weapons of death. For once, Scarborough is right. Trouble lurks just around the bend.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ You put it so well, RJ, thank you! And this in a country where around half of the population have a dicky fit about abortion. An unformed fetus in the USA is more valuable than the life of a child in a country with oil reserves or of some other nefarious value to The Powers That Be.

Whether we call it karma, as mentioned by Mike, or blowback, or just desert, it'll come around. It give me no pleasure at all to say that, because decent, undeserving people will have to suffer too, and probably suffer more than those who deserve to.

mike (again) said...

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths," Barbara Bush said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on March 18, 2003. "Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

This quote is taken out of context, but, verbatim, is very appropriate for America's apathy toward war and consequent deaths of civilians. It's still concerning when reading the full context of her quote! See for the context.

Enjoy the fall colors, Twilight...the "blue norther" arrived this morning...delightfully cool air has arrived.

I'm still holding-out hope that Morfy will return your BMW e-mail!

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Even in context that remark reveals a certain unpleasantly elite attitude, mindset. Living in an ivory tower of privilege as she and many do, a bubble of self interest, I guess we could expect little better.

The general public (or many of them) are disappointing on the subject of drones. I read a piece at Huff-Po just now by
Robert Naiman : 5 questions that should be asked about drone use. The comment thread at the time I looked was pathetically short - around 8; while other topics had gathered thousands of comments.

Thanks, Mike.

Yes, we too have a very blue norther cooling things down here, expecting a frost tonight, even. We'll head east and hope to catch "the peak" of Fall colour this time, we've usually managed to miss it.

I'm hoping to receive something back from Ms Morfy still, yes. She could be out of the country I guess, I think I read somewhere that she spends half the year in the US and half in Athens.
I'll wait for around a month, if no response still, I'll re-send my enquiry.

DC said...

Joe Klein's comments really appalled me..."who's 4 year olds were getting killed" ...???...this drone matter is nothing more than a crying shame on us...on Americans in general....since we are the ones voting and the ones that supposedly have the power to either let this keep happening or not.
Obama has been a complete and utter letdown....worse that GW Bush in so many poignantly humanitarian ways. I hate to say it but it seems to me that the presidents from Bush Sr. on....and likey many b4...yet not so public......are all becoming increasingly murderous....all in the name of post 9-11 security.
Not to mention the civilian rights that are systematically violated in the name of homeland security.
It saddens me to no end...this disgustingly ignored topic of drone killings. I wonder if the American people will ever "get it"...seeings how the American Public is spoon fed all of this "bad guy" B.S...great post btw.

Twilight said...

DC ~~ Hi there! Thanks!

I agree with your observations 100%
Don't know the answer, I doubt there is one because not enough people care enough. Sad. All we can do is keep raising the issue whenever an opportunity presents.

mike (again) said...

This evening, PBS premiered an excellent over-view of current drone technology, capability, utilization discrimination (or lack), potential regulation, and future. I found it informative and entertaining!

It should be available for free viewing on their website soon. Here is their link for the premier:

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Thank you- I have bookmarked the link and intend to watch the show ASAP.

Twilight said...

mike ~~~ I've watched the programme - interesting and informative - fair and balanced (with apols to Fox).

I felt for one of the inventors who, after showing how his work could be used for helping firefighters, said something along the lines of "but our work is often used in ways we didn't intend".

The future is scary for us! The present is scary for the people of Pakistan, Yemen etc where the US is playing deathly games putting innocent civilian lives at risk, with their new toys.