The Circle of Death

Some people just want to watch the world burn

Some people just want to watch the world burn

It’s a new day, a new week and a weekend full of deadly bombings. And in the wake of bombings and massacres in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad and a week ago in Kenya, we have to wonder, is this leading up to something? Were these the actions of a few dozen or so wanna-be Gavrilo Princips hoping that they could spark off another great war? I can’t know. I’m just a dumb guy in the Midwest. The only time I’ve ever been to Paris was about nine months before I was born. So, I have a connection to Paris, albeit a remote one. My views on this situation are unlikely to be surprising, i.e. treat it like a criminal investigation, gather evidence arrest people, and repeat until the whole bunch have been rolled up. My advice on what not to do? bomb people indiscriminately. I’m sure the usual gang of right wing idiots are out there saying idiotic shit, but I really don’t care to wade through it and give them the page views.

Just remember, people revert to type when they are scared. Violent people will advocate violent courses of action. And violent courses of action empower violent people. So as a thinking person, am I just the fun house mirror of people like Charles Krauthammer who thinks that every crisis means only two things, that Obama is bad and that we should bomb somebody, preferably Iran? I don’t think so. While I do think that all wars are bad, I also think that some wars need to be fought. I think that western aggression will only serve to make Daesh more legitimate in the eyes of the Muslim world. How many times are western nations going to fall for the “start a war after a terrorist attack” gambit? Does anyone remember WWI? The Second Gulf War? Any kind of plan will last about 20 seconds after the bullets start flying. I don’t freaking understand the people whose first instinct when they see a fire is go grab a can of gasoline and start pouring as fast as they can.

[Sneaky photo edit by OBS]


Comments: 15


Excellent post.

Hope you don’t mind Helmut, but I added the perfect photo.


I don’t mind in the slightest. Excellent and appropriate photo!


I don’t think “indiscriminately” means what you think it means. Even you manage to specify “Daesh” and the “Muslim world”, if only to reason powerfully–rather like a battered spouse–that it’s best not to provoke the serial batterer or to alienate his support network.


Such new, interesting, and valuable insight. Bombing indiscriminately has always worked so well before, why not keep it up? Why didn’t we think of that? What could possibly go wrong?

I bow before your immense wisdom and would love to subscribe to your newsletter.

Also, too: racist troll is racist. Color me shocked! I think I shouldn’t have second-guessed the spam filter.


I disagree, indiscriminately is precisely the word I wanted to use. Aerial bombardment is indiscriminate. Don’t believe me? Ask the surviving staff and patients in that MSF hospital that the US Air force blew the shit out of a few weeks ago. MSF had informed the US forces and their afghan allies on multiple occasions, that they were in the hospital, and where it was, and to please not blow it to hell. I think they even called the US on multiple occasions during the actual bombardment, to beg for mercy, that didn’t stop the bombardment, nor did it stop the Air Force and allied Afghani soldiers from machine gunning survivors as they ran from the building.
Calling for more war, more raids, more aerial bombardment, is a recipe for more of the same.

Try again. Until the integrity and competence of every person in the chain of command from commanders to spotters to pilots or drone operators down to the soldiers on the ground can be verified, there will be indiscriminate violence in any military action. Because all it takes for “friendly fire” accidents is one incompetent or malicious spotter with a score to settle. Look at the Turkish military gleefully bombarding the Kurds when we really wish they’d shoot at Daesh, or Assad.

An officer in the infantry of the US Army once told me that his job wasn’t politics, it was to send lead downrange. That’s what we get for sending in the military.

So if we want to kill a shitload of people indiscriminately, by all means, let’s send in the troops… again… into a country they don’t understand… again… and trust that they’ll magically know who the bad guys are and that those same bad guys aren’t hanging out in hospitals or mosques or otherwise surrounded by people we’d rather not kill.


Sadly, I wasn’t aware that there was a terrorist bombing in Kenya last week.

Also sad (and terrifying) that Rightwingers haven’t learned anything from the unnecessary and bloody Iraq war. The U.S. hasn’t been successful in its war in either Iraq or Afghanistan. What makes Republicans think that a U.S. led war in Syria would be more successful?


Say, (possibly) new troll, that’s a nice straw man you’ve got there!


saw this on fb today and all i can say is…wow…what the?

So worth reading again and again until it sinks in : read this today on a post and it says it all…and pasted from another face book patriot, I think she is spot on, I have not verified this, but I know most of it to be the truth on who holds these positions! This idiot needs to go!
In case you have any doubt……..
When you read this you will understand why Obama refuses to say the words “radical Islam.” Did you know that We Now Have a Muslim Government? … John Brennan, current head of the CIA converted to Islam while stationed in Saudi Arabia. Obama’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett,~~is a Muslim who was born in Iran where her parents still live. Hillary Clinton’s top advisor, Huma Abedin,~~is a Muslim, whose mother and brother are involved in the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Assistant Secretary for Policy Development for Homeland Security, Arif Aikhan,~~is a Muslim. Homeland Security Advisor, Mohammed Elibiary,~~ is a Muslim. Obama advisor and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Salam al-Marayati,~~ is a Muslim. Obama’s Sharia Czar, Imam Mohamed Magid, of the Islamic Society of North America~~ is a Muslim. Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighbor-hood Partnerships, Eboo Patel,~~is a Muslim. And last but not least, our closet Muslim himself,~~ Barack Hussein Obama. It’s questionable if Obama ever officially took the oath of office when he was sworn in. He didn’t repeat the oath properly to defend our nation and our Constitution. Later the Democrats claimed he was given the oath again….in private? CIA director John Brennan took his oath on a copy of the Constitution,~~not a Bible. Congressman, Keith Ellison took his oath on a copy ~~of the Qur’an. Congresswoman Michele Bachman was vilified and almost tarred and feathered by Democrats when she voiced her concern about Muslims taking over our government. Considering all these appointments, it would explain why Obama and his minions are systematically destroying our nation, supporting radical Muslim groups worldwide, opening our southern border, and turning a blind eye to the genocide being perpetrated on Christians all over Africa and the Middle East. The more damage Obama does, the more arrogant he’s become! Our nation and our government has been infiltrated by people who want to destroy us. It WILL only get worse. Plus John Kerry’s son in law is an Iranian muslim. Had enough?


While I do think that all wars are bad, I also think that some wars need to be fought. I think that western aggression will only serve to make Daesh more legitimate in the eyes of the Muslim world.

Here’s my thing: wars can be worth fighting if you don’t fuck up the post-game. If you do, odds are you’ll just have to fight them all over again in twenty years. World War Two is remembered as “the good war” not only because the Axis so unambiguously were the aggressor, not only because it allowed us to end one of the world’s worst crimes against humanity… but also more simply because people can look at places like Western Europe and Japan and say “well obviously it’s a good thing that the Allies won. Look at what we’ve got out of it.”

(And one of the reasons neo-fascism is at its strongest in places like Hungary is that on the other side of the Iron Curtain, it’s nowhere near as obvious for many people that the Allies winning was a good thing. Or at least that it made any real difference).

What does that mean for the Middle East? Simple: Afghanistan and Iraq have already demonstrated that we just don’t do “post-game” anymore. Many of us have no idea that it’s something we need to think about (Rumsfeld infamously telling the generals they weren’t supposed to even plan for the aftermath), and even those who do often have no idea what it’s supposed to look like. (It does us no good to send people over there who are sincerely trying to build a solid working society if they think you can build a solid working society by drowning the government in the bathtub and then waiting for the Invisible Hand to save us all, as the Heritage Foundation interns we sent to Iraq did, with disastrous results).

Having a Democrat in the White House makes some difference, but not that much; there are still too many Republicans, powered by an angry and motivated voter bloc that shares all their delusions. We won’t have the kind of bipartisan consensus for rebuilding Syria and Iraq that we did in the post-WW2 years, and that consensus was vital to making things work (imagine if Taft had taken over in 1952 instead of Eisenhower. Goodbye Marshall Plan, goodbye NATO). At best, we’ll have what had in the post-Civil War era – many successes, but actively sabotaged every step of the way by reactionaries in Washington and ultimately abandoned when they retake power.

So, really, going to war with ISIS would ultimately solve nothing; like in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’d whack one group of bad guys, but do nothing to fill the vacuum, which means another group like them would just pop up within a decade.

(And all this is ignoring the fact that it won’t do much to address islamist radical cells already in place in the West).


Just to note that the Daniel Davies link from the “‘Shorter concept created by…” blurb is obsolete. And I can’t be arsed to fire up the way back machine to find the page.


It does appear it’s telling and worthwhile all round for someone to throw on the lights in the vestry every now and then.


Speaking as one who has actually dropped bombs in anger:

Aerial bombardment is a rather blunt instrument of national policy and really not the best tool for combating terrorism.

It’s great when you need to smash an army, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here.

Sledgehammers make rather poor flyswatters.


Has anyone mentioned the repeated, and I mean repeated descriptions of the fierce, heavy bombardment from France, in which they dropped a third the average bombs that the coalition the Americans were leading did?


Brooks never contemplates that the only meaningful kind of life that he actually values is actually the kind filled with melancholy, disappointment, and constant struggle. Think Jesus at Gethsemane, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Think Socrates as he contemplates the hemlock, “Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt?” (Translation: my death is the recovery from an illness).


(comments are closed)