Archive for ‘Military’

November 1, 2014

If you vote Republican, you’re partially responsible for the Iraq war disaster

by Ben Hoffman

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Conservatives have been trying to blame the Iraq war disaster on Obama claiming Republicans “had it won,” but “Obama lost it.” They blame it on Hillary Clinton for voting for the Iraq war resolution. They even justify the disaster by claiming that “Bush found WMDs in Iraq.” He did, but those WMDs were sold to Hussein by Reagan and Bush, Sr, and they were all dismantled and disabled.

You can’t be a conservative without being willing to lie for the Republican party simply because you cannot defend Republican policies without lying.

Here’s the latest news about the Iraq war disaster…

Islamic State group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq’s Anbar province, officials said Saturday, the latest mass killing committed by the group.

The shooting happened late Friday in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of the provincial capital of Ramadi, Anbar councilman Faleh al-Issawi said.

Militants accused the men and women of the Al Bu Nimr tribe of retaliating against them after being displaced from their homes when the group seized the Anbar town of Hit last month, al-Issawi said.

“These killings are taking place almost on a daily basis now in the areas under the control of the Islamic State group and they will continue unless this terrorist group is stopped,” al-Issawi told The Associated Press.

An official in the Anbar governor’s office confirmed the death toll. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to brief journalists.

On Thursday, authorities found the bodies of 48 Sunni tribesmen killed by the Islamic State group in Anbar.

Read more…

October 22, 2014

Defense spending has more than tripled since 1998

by Ben Hoffman

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During the 2000s, we had an economy based almost entirely on massive defense spending, which put our country deep in debt. And what exactly do we have to show for it, other than 1000s of graves and 10s of thousands of wounded veterans? The war in Iraq created ISIS/ISIL, and fighting them is costing billions more.

Republicans voted to increase defense spending despite the Pentagon advocating for spending cuts. Republicans receive a lot of donations from the military industrial complex, which explains it. Their policies are driven almost entirely by who will fill their coffers.

Democrats receive a lot of money from the MIC, also, but they’re not nearly as corrupt and don’t tailor their policies to big money donors.

May 5, 2012

Romney and the Republicans in a Nutshell

by Ben Hoffman

Romney and his “friends in Congress think the same bad ideas will lead to a different result or they’re just hoping you won’t remember what happened the last time you tried it their way,” President Obama told an audience in Columbus, Ohio today.

Read more…

Republican “solutions” are to give large corporations more power, allow them to pollute the environment, more tax cuts for the rich, fire government sector workers, ban abortion, oppress gays, cut spending on our infrastructure and education, and spend even more on defense. Those things do nothing to make our country better. They’re destroying our country.

April 29, 2012

Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.

by Ben Hoffman

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Source

February 25, 2012

Bush’s War In Afghanistan: The Trillion Dollar Blunder

by Ben Hoffman

KABUL — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan called on his troops to resist any urge to avenge the deaths of two American soldiers killed in riots over the burning of Korans at a U.S. base, even as renewed protests Friday claimed at least seven lives.

The anti-American demonstrations by thousands of Afghans who took to the streets after midday prayers were further evidence that President Barack Obama’s apology has failed to quiet the outrage over what the U.S. says was the inadvertent destruction of the holy books.

The killing of the two U.S. soldiers and the civil unrest have further strained Afghanistan’s relations with the United States. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is trying to negotiate a long-term partnership agreement with the United States to govern the activities of U.S. forces in his country after 2014, when most foreign combat troops will have left or taken on support roles.

At least 20 people, including the two U.S. soldiers, have been killed in four days of violence. Protesters have ignored appeals by Karzai, parliamentarians and some clerics for an end to the violence until an investigation into the incident at Bagram Air Field is concluded in coming days.

Read more…

This is what you get when you have a president with no intellectual curiosity and who thinks he is doing the work of God. Our fiasco in Afghanistan has done nothing good for the U.S. and has made us less safe. The only people who have benefited are the military contractors and other war profiteers.

Bin Laden was killed using intelligence in a mission costing less than a million dollars. That should have been our strategy from the start. Instead, Bush and his cronies decided to invade and occupy Afghanistan — a blunder that cost the U.S. thousands of lives and well over a trillion dollars when you factor in all costs.

January 27, 2012

Defense Contractors File For Bankruptcy

by Ben Hoffman

A Belcamp defense contractor has filed for bankruptcy protection about a month after a Harford County judge ordered it to pay $2 million to a subcontractor in a legal dispute over a pair of lucrative military deals.
Stem International Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Baltimore on April 28, listing assets of between $1 million and $10 million and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.

The contracts with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir in Virginia and with the Environmental Chemical and Biological Center are potentially worth as much as $110 million.
Source

Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow, the Georgia-based firm whose president has been charged in an alleged $10-million kickback scheme, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.

The defense contractor, which also operated in Middletown, filed for voluntary Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Georgia one month after laying off all its employees.

The company’s founder and president, Anjan Dutta-Gupta, of Gerogia, and Ralph M. Mariano, a civilian program manager with the Naval Sea Systems Command who has residences in Warwick and Virginia, were arrested in early February and face federal bribery charges.
Source

You’ll never see a Republican complaining about war profiteering or other abuse, though. They only express “outrage” when clean energy companies fail so they can use it for political gain. And the military industrial complex is a big source for their campaign funding.

January 25, 2012

Obama’s State of the Union Address

by Ben Hoffman

Obama needs to learn how to frame his comments a little better to penetrate America’s “bumper sticker” mentality. There are two central issues facing our country right now: high unemployment and high deficits.

The Republican “solution” is to fire government workers, allow businesses to pollute our environment, and allow banks to gamble with our money. And then when disaster ensues, they just blame it on the Democrats! Yeah, that’s good for our country!

Obama outlined his plan, which includes higher taxes on the highest incomes, which would help balance the budget and have little (if any) negative effect on the economy. Our infrastructure is in dire need of repair, and this is the ideal time to put people to work repairing it. We need huge cuts in military spending. The war on terror isn’t fought effectively with bombs; it’s fought with intelligence, which only requires a small fraction of the money required for traditional wars. We also need to repeal the Republican deregulation that caused the near total collapse of our economy, which means restoring Glass-Steagall.

If his SOTU speech was truly a political speech (as right-wing pundits claim), he would have called out Republicans on all the damage they’ve inflicted on our country. Republican deregulation resulted in the near total collapse of our economy. They allowed us to be attacked in 2001 and responded by invading and occupying two countries at a cost of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars. It took intelligence to finally get Bin-Laden — not wars. Republican tax cuts (the Republican stimulus) did little to create jobs but more than doubled the national debt. Obama’s Stimulus was 1/3 tax cuts, so why all the whining about spending?

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January 20, 2012

14 Elements of Fascism

by Ben Hoffman

Dr. Lawrence Britt analyzed the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. While, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history, they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.

Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
  5. Rampant sexism.
  6. A controlled mass media.
  7. Obsession with national security.
  8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
  9. Power of corporations protected.
  10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
  14. Fraudulent elections.

Source

December 29, 2011

Cost of War vs. Cost of Green Energy

by Ben Hoffman

The cost of one bad loan to Solyndra: $535 million.
The cost of one day of war in Iraq: $720 million.

Guess which one they’re outraged over in Republicanistan?

December 29, 2011

Obama Selling Fighter Jets To Terrorists

by Ben Hoffman

HONOLULU — Fortifying one of its key allies in Persian Gulf, the Obama administration announced a major new weapons deal with Saudi Arabia on Thursday, saying it had agreed to sell the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 fighter jets valued at nearly $30 billion.

The agreement is part of a broader 10-year, $60 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia that Congress approved a year ago. But its timing is laden with significance, with tensions over Iran mounting in the Persian Gulf and the United States pulling its last soldiers out of Iraq.

Read more…

Every terrorist who attacked us on 9/11 was from Saudi Arabia, including Osama Bin-Laden. How the hell can we sell arms to that country? Oh, yeah… profit.

December 26, 2011

A World Without Religion

by Ben Hoffman

Isn’t it time we stopped believing in these children’s fairy tails and started embracing science? Religion is responsible for most of the pain and suffering in the world. We were attacked in 2001 by right-wing religious fanatics.

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty. […] Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life’s work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me…”
~ Adolf Hitler

Hitler referenced God in every one of his speeches. He used religion to gain power and to reign terror throughout the world.

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
~ Steven Weinberg

December 18, 2011

Newt Gingrich: The Fascist Candidate

by Ben Hoffman

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Newt Gingrich has plans to be a fascist dictator if elected president.

The former House Speaker held a half-hour phone call on Saturday during which he pledged to abolish courts and eliminate activist judges he believed were either outside the mainstream or infringing too deeply on the commander in chief’s authority. On Sunday, he followed that up by saying he would be willing to arrest a judge who he thought was out of line.

“If you had to,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked if he would send a Capitol Hill police officer to round up a judge, “or you would instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshal.” His preference, he added, would be to impeach the judge in question.

“You have an increasingly arrogant judiciary,” he said on “Face the Nation.” “The question is: Is there anything we the American people can do? The standard answer has been eventually we’ll appoint good judges. I think that’s inadequate. The constitution promises a balance of the judicial branch, the executive branch and the legislative branch. The federalist papers say specifically the weakest of the three branches is the judiciary.

Read more…

According to Gingrich, judges with whom he disagrees are activists. We currently have the most activist Supreme Court judges in at least half-a-century with the Roberts court, yet because they support Gingrich’s agenda, he doesn’t have a problem with them. And in a Gingrich administration, he and will have judges he doesn’t agree with put in prison. Those are the words of a fascist. Gingrich is currently the leading Republican candidate with 30% support. This is scary how far to the right our country has gone.

December 16, 2011

The War In Iraq – What Exactly Did We Win?

by Ben Hoffman

We’re finally finished with our Iraq occupation. So far, it’s cost us over a trillion dollars and the lives of well over 4000 soldiers and over 30,000 wounded. Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of a war waged for political gain.

In our Iraq excursion, we invaded a sovereign nation that was of no threat to us. The Bush administration allowed us to be attacked on September 11, 2001, and then he used that as an excuse to invade Iraq. Much of the rationale for going to war turned out to be based on lies or weak evidence, yet the investigation into how we “got it so wrong” has never been completed. We spent more on the investigations into Bill Clinton’s personal life during his presidency than we’ve spent on the investigation into how we were lied into this war — a war that some say may be the biggest blunder in U.S. history. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his personal life, yet no one has been punished for lying us into this war.

The Bush administration used fear and hatred to advance his radical right-wing agenda. He got policies implemented that caused our federal debt to more than double, and some of which resulted in the near total collapse of our economy. Our government is now more polarized than it has been in at least 100 years. Our Supreme Court is stacked with activist political hacks thanks to Bush’s appointments.

So, after eight years of occupation, we leave Iraq with one of the most corrupt governments in the world. Violence is increasing, the government is headed by right-wing religious extremists, unemployment is high, and civic unrest runs rampant.

So what exactly did we win?

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December 7, 2011

The Values That Made America Great Are Not Shared By Republicans

by Ben Hoffman

Obama made a great speech this evening about American values. If you didn’t see it, you can watch it here:
http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nbc-news/45571853#45571853

He talked about American values and how we used to be a country where if you worked hard and were honest, you could make a good life for yourself and your family. Those days are gone. Now we’re a country that rewards reckless behavior and it’s every man for himself. The tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 benefited the wealthiest and put us deep in debt while the rest of the country stagnated. The deregulation and lack of enforcement of existing regulations led to the near total collapse of our economy. And Republicans are fighting tooth-and-nail for any new taxes to help balance the budget and for regulation to prevent another catastrophe. Republicans and right-wingers want to destroy our democracy, which will destroy our country. We’re well on the way towards fascism and so are several other countries as a result of the worldwide economic recession. Right-wingers lie to defend their party just as they did back in 1930s Germany. Time will tell if the result will be the same.

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December 4, 2011

Police Shoot Man “Wielding” Hammer

by Ben Hoffman

A Denver police officer shot a hammer-wielding man who allegedly tried to attack the officer this afternoon behind a south Denver Kmart, authorities report.

The patrolman, whose name has not been released, was parked behind the store doing paperwork around 1:30 p.m.

The suspect was taken to Denver Health in critical condition.

“The suspect was wielding a hammer. The officer fired his duty weapon striking the suspect,” Ferrari said.

Read more…

The police in Denver are out of control. They work for the government (us) and are members of unions, but there seems to be no accountability for their actions. We are becoming a police state where attacks on citizens are becoming more and more frequent. There are very few deadly attacks on police yet murders committed by police have become a regular occurrence and few are ever punished. It’s rare that an officer will even be docked pay for their attacks, many of which are unprovoked.