The Unstoppable Force vs. The Immovable Object — Noah Feldman, Foreign Policy Could the United States really go to war with China? Are we on the brink of a new Cold War? The question isn’t as outlandish as it seemed only a few years ago. The United States is still the sole reigning superpower, but it is being challenged by the rising power of China, just as ancient Rome was challenged by Carthage, and Britain was challenged by Germany in the years before World War I. Should we therefore think of the United States and China as we once did about the United States and the Soviet Union, two gladiators doomed to an increasingly globalized combat until one side fades? Or are we entering a new period of diversified global economic cooperation in which the very idea of old-fashioned imperial power politics has become obsolete? Should we see the United States and China as more like France and Germany after World War II, adversaries wise enough to draw together in an increasingly close circle of cooperation that subsumes neighbors and substitutes economic exchange for geopolitical confrontation? Read more …. My Comment : To begin …. I doubt very much that we will ever see such a conflict in our lifetime. But if such a possibility does rear it’s ugly head …. in today’s climate I doubt very much that the U.S. would go to war against China. There is zero political will in Washington to even fathom such a possibility. On the flip side …. I cannot same about the Chinese …. and this is my biggest worry.
Capt. Richard Koll, left, and Airman First Class Mike Eulo monitored a drone aircraft after launching it in Iraq. U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Steve Horton Drone Strikes: A Candid, Chilling Conversation With Top U.S. Drone Pilot — David Wood, Huffington P ost He always watches for the kids. Peering through cameras and sensors from his computer station thousands of miles away, he absorbs the details of daily life in the villages below. He develops an eerie intimacy with his targets. Which house these kids belong to. When that mom goes out to market. Who visits and why. He tries to ensure innocents are nowhere near. Then he yells “Rifle!” and fires the missile, watching until “Splash,” the detonation of the missile warhead. Until the last few seconds, if kids suddenly do appear, he can yank the missile away. Bill “Sweet” Tart is a drone pilot, one of the most experienced in the U.S. military. A decorated Air Force colonel, he sat down for a frank chat with The Huffington Post’s David Wood, providing a rare glimpse into the secretive U.S. drone wars. Read more …. My Comment: A fascinating read for those who are interested in drones.
Photo: YouTube screen shot Rebel Video Showing Atrocities Renews Questions About Post-Assad Syria — Washington Times WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, May 16, 2013 – The video released today showing Syrian rebel fighters executing soldiers they claim took part in massacres of civilians is the latest proof that the Syrian war is not a cleanly-defined case of good against evil, and suggests the conflict will continue even if the Assad regime falls. On the video, which the Syrian Observatory for Human rights dates from 2012, a Nusra Front commander wearing a black balaclava walks behind a row of blindfolded prisoners kneeling in a row and shoots them in the head one at a time. Other Nusra fighters shouted “God is great” as the commander shot each prisoner. Read more …. More News On Syria’s Civil War Syria Live Blog — Al Jazeera Syria: Obama pins hopes on peace talks — The Guardian Syrian regime’s position strengthens as world pushes for diplomatic solution — CBC As global powers squirm in indecision over Syria, Assad’s hand improves — Haaretz Syrian rebels call off Aleppo prison siege after troops throw inmates out window — The Telegraph Report: Torture Evidence Found in Syrian Prisons — ABC News/AP Rights Groups: Syria Holds Thousands Incommunicado — ABC News/AP Refugees fleeing besieged Qusayr say Syrian rebels dug in, preparing for government onslaught. — McClatchy News Iraqis in southern city mourn 2 Shiite fighters killed in Syria — FOX News/AP Syria rebel ‘heart eater’ says ready to face trial if Assad does — Reuters Syria’s lung-eating rebel explains himself — Passport/Foreign Policy Syria’s cannibal rebel defends himself — The Independent Factbox: Rising Syrian death toll, refugee wave — Reuters U.N. says more than 1.5 million refugees have fled Syria — CNN Syria crisis: number of refugees tops 1.5 million, says UN — The Guardian Number of Syrian refugees tops 1.5 million: UNHCR — Reuters UN says Syrian refugees top 1.5M mark as conditions deteriorate quickly — Washington Post/AP Welsh aid worker tells of the horrors and everyday heartache facing Syria conflict refugees — Wales Online US sets sanctions on 4 ministers in Assad’s government, leader of al-Qaida-linked rebel group — Washington Post/AP U.S. widens sanctions to four Syrian officials, TV station, airline — Reuters President Obama under pressure to intervene in Syria — BBC U.N. ‘strongly’ condemns Syrian government attacks on civilians — Washington Post U.N. chief Ban says must not lose momentum on Syria conference — Reuters UN pushes for swift action in Syrian conflict — Deustche Welle UN Chief In Russia For Syria Talks With Lavrov, Putin — Radio Free Europe Russia discusses Syria crisis with UN’s Ban Ki-moon — BBC Ban Ki-moon in Russia for talks about Syria sanctions — UPI Syrian ex-minister leads team planning for reconstruction of war-ravaged country — Washington Post/AP Syria’s war: Nobody is really winning, there are only losers — Bill Neely, ITV Al-Qaeda barbarism Syria’s real story — John Curtis, Examiner Growing fears of chemical Armageddon in Syria — Jonathan miller, Channel 4 News
The Scandals Are Falling Apart — Ezra Klein, Washington Post Things go wrong in government. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. Sometimes it’s rank incompetence. Sometimes it’s criminal wrongdoing. Most of the time you never hear about it. Or, if you do hear about it, the media eventually gets bored talking about it (see warming, global). But every so often an instance of government wrongdoing sprouts wings and becomes something quite exciting: A political scandal. The crucial ingredient for a scandal is the prospect of high-level White House involvement and wide political repercussions. Government wrongdoing is boring. Scandals can bring down presidents, decide elections and revive down-and-out political parties. Scandals can dominate American politics for months at a time. Read more …. My Comment: Summarizing Ezra Klein (who obviously wants to be the next White House Press spokesman) …. IRS as a tool used to target conservatives …. no big deal. The IRS is an independent body ….. there are no White House fingerprints on this …. someone got fired (a Bush appointee) …. end of story. Benghazi …. a tragedy …. confusion on who did the attack and why …. normal in the fog of war/terrorism …. but the White house could do nothing about it. We released a few emails to prove to the world that we were confused …. end of story. Seizing the AP’s phone records …. nothing illegal here …. besides …. the Republicans were complaining about leaks anyway …. end of story. Sighhhh …. this is the course of U.S. politics and how a good portion of the media covers it today. Or …. quoting the Roman satirist and poet Juvenal …. give them more bread and circuses .
Obama To Meet Military Leaders On Sexual Assault — USA Today WASHINGTON — President Obama was to meet Thursday with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to discuss the military’s sexual assault crisis, the Pentagon announced. The meeting is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. The military has been rocked by several high-profile sex scandals, the latest of which involves the investigation of a sergeant at Fort Hood who officials say had been running a prostitution service and sexually assaulted another soldier. The other service chiefs and secretaries and senior enlisted officers will also attend the meeting with Obama. Read more …. More News On President Obama Meeting Military Leaders On The Epidemic Of Sexual Assaults Obama to meet with military leaders over sex assaults — CBS/AP U.S. military warns of sexual assault ‘crisis,’ to meet Obama — Reuters Obama to meet with military brass and Pentagon civilian leaders over sex assault — Washington Post/AP Obama to Discuss Military Sexual Assaults With Joint Chiefs — Bloomberg Obama to meet with military leaders on sexual assault — Politico