America’s self-satisfied ‘Me Generation’ has abandoned the anti-war movement

Members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march around the Capitol here, as part of their week-long demonstration against the Vietnam War. © Bettmann / Getty Images

By Robert Bridge

Once upon a war, Americans waged large-scale protests against overseas military adventures, even helping to stop the Vietnam War. Today, the spirit of dissent has vanished, replaced by intensely personal issues.

The first months of 2018 demonstrated that the protest movement in the United States is alive and well. In January, millions of women – energized by the Hollywood-inspired #MeToo movement – took to the streets of America to voice their displeasure at Donald Trump’s first tumultuous year in the White House, as well as sexual discrimination against females.

In March, another protest rocked America as thousands of protesters – moved by the Parkland high-school shooting, which left 17 people dead in Florida – assembled in Washington, DC in a call for stricter gun control. In light of the disturbing frequency of shooting sprees in the US, it would be wrong to question the importance of such a movement. Yet, however tragic is the sight of innocent Americans being slaughtered by some deranged shooter, those deaths pale in comparison to the number of innocent people being killed in foreign lands as a direct result of US military incursions, many of them absolutely illegal.

So, where were the protests as illicit regime-change operations – in places like Iraq, Libya and now Syria – were systematically destroying the lives of innocent people?

Where was the march on Washington, DC when Barack Obama, in the twilight of his bloodstained presidency, was dropping massive amounts of munitions on numerous countries, all of them in the Muslim world?

“In President Obama’s last year in office, the United States dropped 26,172 bombs in seven countries,” wrote Micah Zenko of the Council for Foreign Relations. “Most (24,287) were dropped in Iraq and Syria.”

How many innocent people – men, women, children – had their lives snuffed out violently and prematurely from such a cavalier attitude towards war, we will never know, nor did many people in the United States challenge their leaders on that question.

This apathetic attitude on the part of so many Americans to this wave of death and destruction against foreigners in foreign lands suggests that any semblance of an anti-war consciousness has left the building. For all intents and purposes, the Democrats and Republicans are essentially of the same mind when it comes to the question of war (in short, it is deemed an altogether positive event, so long as few Americans die). In fact, the reason the ‘liberals’ as well as factions inside of the Republican Party despise the ‘maverick’ Donald Trump – who, thanks to his own personal wealth, did not need much outside donations (bribe money) to finance his presidential campaign – is because he threatened to end military entanglements overseas, thus depriving the military industrial complex of untold amounts of blood money.

For anyone who doubts that statement, consider how the liberal media suddenly and sickeningly became Trump’s best friend after he unleashed a Tomahawk missile attack against Syria’s Shayrat airbase on April 7, 2017 – the first time the US military had attacked Syria’s pro-government forces.

Fareed Zakaria, a political commentator with CNN, the US news channel with arguably the worst opinion of the US president, glowed in the after burn of that illicit missile launch against a sovereign state.

“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,” Zakaria enthused, hardly able to control his jingoistic juices. “I think this was actually a big moment.”

Not to be outdone, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, shaking his pom-poms for the defense sector, actually called video footage of the missile strike “beautiful.”

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two US Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams said. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.’ And, they are beautiful pictures of fierce armaments making, what is for them, a brief flight over to this airfield.”

Only at the end of that psychotic soliloquy did Williams venture to ask: “What did they hit?” Gee, maybe a school? A hospital? Apparently, that was of secondary consideration for the journalist war booster, which strikes me as the ugliest oxymoron of all time.

With this sort of sycophantic reporting and analysis behind every “beautiful” missile launch, is it any wonder the American anti-war movement is nowhere to be found?

There is a real temptation to compare the current state of apathy and indifference of our day to the raucous Vietnam War-era when the streets and, more importantly, the universities became the sight of historic showdowns against the government. The high point of that protest movement came on May 4, 1970 when students at Kent State University came under fire by members of the Ohio National Guard during a mass anti-war gathering. Four students were killed and nine wounded in the melee. Eventually, hundreds of university campuses across the country joined the movement that witnessed violent and non-violent protests involving more than four million students.

Compare that impassioned anti-war spirit, which seems right at home with institutions of higher learning, to the current sad state of universities. Today, students are actually breaking out in violent protest whenever some controversial guest speaker visits their campus to deliver a speech on a topic they find offensive. With this sort of aversion to healthy debate and discussion, it is almost impossible to imagine the university being the source of an anti-war awareness any longer.

There is also a bit of a helpless feeling, especially following the attack on Iraq in 2003 by US-led forces and despite massive anti-war protests, that the people are powerless to effect any real change.

“What’s missing is any sense of connection to the government, any sense that it’s ‘ours’ or that we the people matter,” Tom Engelhard wrote. “In its place… is the deepest sort of pessimism and cynicism about a national security state and war-making machine beyond our control. And why protest what you can’t change?”

Admittedly, much of the indifference to these military adventures could stem from the new nature of warfare. In the Vietnam era, for example, much of the fighting was done on the ground, in the jungles, and many more US soldiers were dying. At the same time, a military draft threatened to call up thousands of new recruits from the general population. In other words, many Americans felt a real threat, a real reason, to protest the war. Much like the Vietnamese, their lives were at stake.

The tragic irony is that today, with so much media and social media at our fingertips, we are better informed than ever. Yet we are discovering that the ability to access information, with the possibility of holding the ‘powers that be’ to account for their actions, does not necessarily mean that it will happen. In fact, most people today, especially the youth, are so overloaded with information that what our military is doing overseas seems to be the least of their concern. After all, there are so many Facebook posts to check, so many selfies to snap, so many messages to tweet. And anyways, war is something that happens to foreign people, probably some terrorists, who probably deserve what they are getting. After all, America, the ‘exceptional nation,’ would never attack innocent people for an imperialist agenda. Right?

@Robert_Bridge

Ex-Obama UN envoy blames Russia for anti-establishment success in Italy’s elections

One of the key people behind the policies that destabilized Libya and Syria, causing a flood of refugees to Europe, accused Russia of influencing the Italian elections after voters gave the cold shoulder to establishment parties.

Russia’s utility as the universal scapegoat cannot be underestimated these days. A historically-separatist region votes for independence? Russia! Somebody on the internet smeared your candidate? Russia! Extreme cold comes from the east? Er… Russia probably still wants “thousands and thousands and thousands” killed by the cold, as one member of the UK cabinet claimed, and sells its gas to freezing Britons as deception.

So it’s no surprise that the outcome of the latest election in Italy, which resulted in a surge of anti-establishment forces, would be blamed on Moscow. For instance, here is Samantha Power, formerly a senior official in the Obama administration, sharing an article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais about how Russia allegedly spun an immigration discourse in Italy.

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The Spanish article is a hit piece based on social media analysis done by a private firm, claiming the Russian news outlet Sputnik and the almighty Russian bots made the discourse in Italy radicalized on the issue of immigrants. Because Italians, obviously, cannot be genuinely unhappy to be living in a country that also happens to be a primary destination for refugees departing across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya and have no right to feel betrayed by Brussels’ immigration policies.

But the criticism is precious coming from Power, a staunch advocate of America’s “humanitarian interventions” by the military since Yugoslavia and onwards. During her tenure as member of the National Security Council and later ambassador to the UN in the Obama administration, this pretext was used to destroy Libya, which had served as a barrier for irregular immigration to Europe under strongman Muammar Gaddafi and has now turned into a hotbed for people smugglers. It was also used to justify the arming of militants in Syria, perpetrating the war that displaced millions of people. Power advocated a direct military intervention, Iraq-style.

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The Twitter post has gained plenty of angry responses. People reminded Power of numerous interventions Washington had its fingerprints on, calling her position ‘ludicrous’. But don’t let them shake your convictions – they are all surely just Russian bots doing the Kremlin’s bidding.

Sunday’s election has shaken the political scene in Italy, seeing voters ditch the ruling center-left parties and switch to anti-establishment forces. The Euroskeptic Five-Star Movement came out as the top individual party, winning over 32 percent of the vote, while anti-immigrant Lega Nord party outperformed expectations, garnering over 17 percent.

A center-left bloc led by ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi from Italy’s Democratic Party, gained some 23 percent, admitting “a very clear defeat” in the election. Political analyst Daniele De Bernardin believes that people voted for change on Sunday, not for a particular party.

“In the last five years we had a lot of party switching in the country. Five Star Movement is a movement that puts together very different people with different views,” he told RT, adding that the party can be viewed as a “post-ideological movement.”

What’s putting people together is in fact “a sentiment of changing the country,” he concluded.

The Snowflake Sh#t Show Melts Down

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n Jan 14, 2018

Regardless of the fact that Former President Obama blamed David Cameron for turning Libya into a shit show back in 2016. And when Obama called Mitt Romney a bullshitter, Rolling Stone backed the statement. Saying the halls of the White House have heard no shortage of profanity over the decades. But Trumps comment has been morphed into vile and racist by the Left, hell bent on destroying their own credibility and any progress on their coveted DACA deal.Jon Bowne reports.

Supreme Court OKs full enforcement of Trump travel ban

A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington

The Supreme Court has ruled to allow the full enforcement of President Donald Trump‘s travel ban affecting six Muslim-majority countries.

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The Trump administration’s request to enforce the third incarnation of Trump’s travel ban was approved Monday. The Supreme Court ruling rolls back lower court rulings that restricted enforcement based on bona fide relationships with US persons or businesses. Such exempt relationships had included grandchildren, grandparents, nieces, nephews and cousins of US persons.

The travel ban on US entry for nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen will be in full effect, while it also undergoes challenges in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, and the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, according to AP.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments for and against the current version of the travel ban, updated in September to include some Venezuelan officials and North Korea, next year. Lower courts have already approved of those two latest additions to the list of countries.

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Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, liberals on the high court appointed by presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama respectively, would have left the lower court rulings in place, according to AP.

In court papers, Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued that since June, “multiple government agencies have conducted a comprehensive, worldwide review of the information shared by foreign governments that is used to screen aliens seeking entry to the United States,” according to The Hill.

“Based on that review, the proclamation adopts tailored entry restrictions to address extensive findings that a handful of particular foreign governments have deficient information-sharing and identity-management practices, or other risk factors,” Francisco said.

The American Civil Liberties Union reacted on Twitter, saying the Supreme Court decision lacked merit. “We are at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday to argue that the Muslim ban should ultimately be struck down,” the ACLU said.

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Protesters Say The Darndest Things! – SJW CRINGE

This week Fleccas headed to the Earth Day March (protest) to see what Trump did this time. Lots of good Fleccas Talks action here!

S. Levi

Lol, nice flecca you burned that guy with the concentration camp sign. Good job bro on calling out that hypocrisy.

 Jimmy Pop Ali

S. Levi flecca just took a backseat and let the guy dig his own hole the more he spoke the deeper he got. He looked like he was on the verge of talking himself into changing his mind.
Tyler Fries

These idiots know nothing about how business works. What kind of CEO is doing the work himself? Answer: a bad one
crazy4truth

You are awesome! First that you can fearlessly enter the belly of the beast. And second that you understand and can articulate the issues with obviously clueless people. More please!
Jessie Reissman

“I don’t pretend to know all the facts about it” but I will come to every protest and hold a trump Russia flag. God they are dumb!
kevdoom2

I laughed so hard when he took his glasses off when the guy said Hillary has been more honest.
Jami Harpole

“Trumps a liar” “Who did you vote for?” “Hillary” His reaction after that was priceless! Had to take off his sunglasses to look that guy in the eyes to see if he was trolling him! 🤣 you sir earned another subscriber!

Blowback? Manchester bomber linked to terrorist group which UK allegedly backed

Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi and his father, Ramadan, had long-standing links to a violent jihadist group which may have had British backing for the 2011 Libyan war and a 1996 attempt to kill then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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The controversy centers on the role of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which was both an anti-Gaddafi and Al-Qaeda subsidiary in the North African state.

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Many of the fighters which formed the group in the mid-90s were veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war from the 1980s. They went on to fight the Gaddafi regime in Libya itself.

The war saw the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime and the eventual murder of the leader himself after he was captured by opposition fighters. Since NATO’s intervention, Libya has been in chaos.

It has descended into a protracted civil war, is a major contributor to the international refugee crisis, has its own branch of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), and two opposing governments.

The elder Abedi was reportedly one of the LIFG fighters who fled Gaddafi’s response to the rebels, settling in London and, later, in Manchester.

The area of Manchester in which Salman Abedi grew up was home to a number of other LIFG members, including former senior commanders including Abd al-Baset Azzouz, who left Manchester to go to Libya and run a 200-300-strong militant network for Osama Bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Azzouz is reported to be an expert bomb-maker.

In 2002, former MI6 agent and whistleblower David Shayler accused the British spy agency of colluding with the jihadist group in a failed 1996 effort to kill Gaddafi, an allegation the British government strenuously denies.

Allegations have also emerged that in 2011, the UK may have relaxed restrictions on LIFG fighters based in the UK and helped them return to Libya to fight Gaddafi.

The UK was at that time engaged in fighting Gaddafi as part of a US-led NATO coalition. Former fighters interviewed by the Middle East Eye said that the UK actively supported the return of anti-Gaddafi dissidents, including those with Al-Qaeda links, to the North African state.

One fighter who spoke to the Middle East Eye said he had been interviewed by an MI5 agent who asked if he waswilling to go into battle?

While I took time to find an answer he turned and told me the British government have no problem with people fighting against Gaddafi, the fighter said.

Others reported that when the war in Libya began, they looked into how to get fake documents, because their passports had been removed as part of restrictive control orders placed on them by the UK government.

One said that within days, the authorities had returned their passports, after which they headed straight to Libya to take on Gaddafi.

At the time of the war, current UK Prime Minister Theresa May was Home Secretary, with oversight of MI5 operations. It is not clear if she was aware of the decision to relax restrictions of jihadists and return their travel documents.