Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


leveymg's Journal
leveymg's Journal
October 1, 2013

Netanyahu has not RSVPed. Maybe we should send a car to pick him up?

Is there some reason pressure isn't put on Israel to ratify the NPT and get rid of its own chemical and biological weapons?

RESPONSE TO POST: "Russia moves to revive plans for conference on WMDs in Middle East"

September 29, 2013

Libya is a model of democratization we can apply across the region.

(RESPONSE TO POST: "3 Libyan army officers assassinated in Benghazi&quot
September 29, 2013

Very good choice. That thing would walk away from a Bell Ranger if set up right.

I still prefer this '67 model with the same engine, personally:

September 27, 2013

Stevens was no ordinary Ambassador - he was a career spook diplomat. The DOS and CIA overlap in

many ways as far as the execution of covert action is concerned. You are right, probably more so under Secretary Clinton than in the past. You only need to look at Steven's background -- he attended UC Berkeley, UC Hastings Law and the National War College -- to see that he is a melding of the martial and intellectual in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt or T.E. Lawrence. He has worked in every significant center of foreign policy-making and every posting in the Mideast where the US has intense covert activities and strategic relationships during the past two decades:

Stevens joined the United States Foreign Service in 1991. His early overseas assignments included: deputy principal officer and political section chief in Jerusalem; political officer in Damascus; consular/political officer in Cairo; and consular/economic officer in Riyadh. In Washington, Stevens served as Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs; Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs; Iran desk officer; and staff assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

He had served in Libya twice previously: as the Deputy Chief of Mission (from 2007 to 2009) and as Special Representative to the National Transitional Council (from March 2011 to November 2011) during the Libyan revolution. He arrived in Tripoli in May 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.[4]

There were actually over 50 CIA people based in the nearby compound who showed up at the airport for evacuation. That's the "Annex" group of buildings next to the 14 large storage units in the adjacent warehouses where some have speculated the CIA actually stored the missiles and other sophisticated armaments that had been seized and purchased during the previous year. So, Stevens probably thought he was reasonably safe, as help or refuge was less than 1/2 a mile away from his unfortified diplomatic compound. He was comfortable with the militant groups he worked with in Eastern Libya - after all, he had handed them independence.

September 27, 2013

State Dept/CIA directed the uprising of extremists in E. Libya and unleashed them on the region

The Libyan revolution was largely driven by an armed uprising in Eastern Libya that was organized by this American official, who you should recognize.

In February, 2011, as the rebellion started, Chris Stevens set up camp in Benghazi not in Tripoli, Misrata or the Berber areas.

The area in E. Libya between Benghazi and Tobruk also accounted for the largest percentage of foreign al-Qaeda suicide bombers in Iraq. Stevens was well aware of the presence of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups in Benghazi, he wrote a 2008 cable analyzing the groups. Obviously, it was very important to the Obama Admin. to have someone on the ground in Benghazi coordinating Jihadist and Salaafist groups in the area, as they were the most effective part of the opposition. See, my post, Blowback in Benghazi, http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021343355

Ambassador Stevens and the oversized CIA station developed another interest in Benghazi: looted Libyan antiaircraft missiles and Jihadis going to Syria. Thousands of them. The spread of arms and escalation of violence across the region was the known and inevitable result of the breakup of the Libyan military and the scattering of sophisticated weapons following regime change in Libya. The State Department and CIA thought they had it under control, in large part because Stevens and Petraeus convinced the Administration that they were in charge of the situation. They were wrong.

Please see related post, http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3708699 If you need more cites or sources, please let me know.

September 27, 2013

There are more than 4 million Americans with security clearances. Most of them

are cleared to spy on the rest of us.

One might therefore say, numerically, that we are far more spied upon than the East German population was before the Wall came down.

Actually, it's worse than that.

In 1990, the population of E Germany was about 16 million, of which 170,000 were paid Stasi informants. That's about 1 percent of the population. That number almost exactly matched the number of active uniformed personnel in all three branches of the DDR military.

Today, the active duty US military numbers about 1.5 million, but the number of American civilian contractors with security clearances is at least twice that same number. There are roughly 300 million of us. That means, the proportion of security-cleared military and civilians is actually fifty percent higher in America today than it was in Communist East Germany at the time Markus Wolf ran the Stasi.

He would feel right at home in America, 2013.

(Stasi files)

September 25, 2013

Business values tech, quants and lawyers, but society is better off with more teachers and artists.

Capitalism turns everything upside down, including the natural order of things. The highest flowering of human development is not this:

It is this:

The inverted measure of value leads to a world that looks like this:

September 24, 2013

There were few lethal casualties in Syria for the first 6 weeks of the "Arab Spring" phase of the

rebellion. There were no massacres until after the April 8, 2011 violent demonstrations and gun battles in Dara'a, on the Jordanian border, that left more police dead than demonstrators. That series of events leading up to the first large scale violence is shown in the timeline here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Syrian_civil_war_%28January%E2%80%93April_2011%29

The Arab Spring was not originally met with much enthusiasm inside Syria. In fact, in the first five or six weeks it was largely ignored by both the opposition and the regime until foreign exile groups called for "Days of Rage" and armed insurrection broke out in Dara'a, which is acknowledged to be the place where the Syrian civil war started.

On April 8, snipers opened up on the crowds and on police in Dara'a. More Syrian policemen died that day than did demonstrators. An AP video of the gunmen can be viewed here:

As for the the standard media framing of the civil war as an entirely unprovoked slaughter of unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators by the military, that is a myth. The mob in Dara'ia was not unarmed and not peaceful. The tanks didn't roll in the streets of that city until the 13th, after some components of Syrian Army units defected and heavy fighting broke out.

I am afraid that what follows the Assad hereditary dictatorship will be worse for most Syrians than the regime that is being swept away by a larger religious war. Our involvement in that spreading war threatens further blowback for ourselves that will make 9/11 look trivial.

September 23, 2013

This is how most people feel when they are confronted by open carry demonstrators:

If it isn't blunt intimidation, I don't know what is.

September 23, 2013

Wow. I didn't even think they still made chips in this country. And, get this, it isn't a scam.

There's already a $13 billion fab facility run in the Mohawk Valley of NY by a consortia of large global companies that first started operating there in 1997, according to the Wiki for the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE.) I had to do a double-take and some Googling. That name just reads too much like science fiction from the early 1980s.

I've long been a skeptic of Silicon Valley hype (and a fan of Cyberpunk). In the early 1980s, I was living in Santa Cruz, CA, a little hippie surfer town just over the hill from San Jose, the epicenter of the then rocketing American computer software sector. But, I sensed all was not well and sustainable in this new industry and the cybernetic society it was shaping. I foresaw the dot.com crash of 2000 coming at the beginning of the personal computer age and described life in America after the Big Bust in a 1982 series of ten articles for a little weekly newspaper, The Santa Cruz Express. In the first installment, Santa Cruz in the Year 2002,I wrote:

Early in the year 2000, the microelectronics industry went bust because of market saturation and declining consumer income . . ."

Well, I got the timing of the crash spot-on, anyway. Here is one of several of the installments I've posted at Photobucket, part of the series: "Santa Cruz in the Years 2002-2012" (1982). This NY tech campus sounds eerily like one of the "Jack Junior" installations I imagined would be built, and largely abandoned after the bubble burst in the 2000s. Imagine that:

RESPONSE TO POST: "New York Plans $45 Billion Fab Campus," http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1319557&

Profile Information

Member since: Wed May 5, 2004, 08:44 AM
Number of posts: 36,418

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»leveymg's Journal