Surprise, Surprise: ISIS and the US
By Dennis Loo (10/1/14)
In the September 30, 2014 NY Times you can find this quote about ISIS from a senior US Army general with combat experience in Iraq:
“We were surprised by their regional ambitions, the speed of their advance into Mosul and the collapse of the Iraqi security forces."
"Who dropped the ball?" is the question being asked in "Many Missteps in Assessment of ISIS Threat."
Bombing ISIS to Destroy It Is Like Drowning a Fire With Gasoline
By Dennis Loo (9/29/14)
Something has to be done about ISIS.
If we want to do something about ISIS, then we need to ask ourselves what is causing ISIS in the first place. Otherwise we’re acting out of fear and ignorance, never a recipe for good results. If you attack a disease without knowing what’s causing it, then you could – and in this case will - accelerate rather than curb the disease. As virulent as ISIS is, it will grow under the US air strikes the way that a fire rises ever higher and hotter if you try to drown it by pouring gasoline on it.
As Haaretz reported on September 19, 2014:
The Islamic State jihadist organization has recruited more than 6,000 new fighters since America began targeting the group with air strikes last month, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
ISIS and al-Qaeda are the bitter fruit of the US invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are US policies coming home to roost in spectacular fashion. What Obama is doing in ordering relentless airstrikes in Syria and Iraq is fueling ISIS, not damaging it.
Syrian Airstrikes and the Khorasan Group
By Dennis Loo (9/24/14)
Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the US government's claims are true that its airstrikes on Syria killed eight leaders of the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaeda offshoot, thus foiling an "imminent attack” on the US homeland.
Consider the facts and logic of this claim.
Even if a) Khorasan was in fact planning an “imminent” attack and b) their key leaders were killed, exactly how did this decapitation stop that “imminent” attack (and especially, future ones)?
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)