Pope Francis addressed a joint session of congress at the invitation of Speaker of the House John Boehner on Thursday, September 24th. While the media coverage of his message has been emphasizing emotionally charged issues like abortion, gay marriage, death penalty, immigration and global warming, his message of the evil of weapons proliferation and America’s proxy wars with Russia have been largely ignored. From Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:
Why Do We Care Whose Side the Pope Is On? Why Are So Many Pundits Trashing the Pope?
So the pope is here. His arrival has spawned a Drake/Meek Mill-style diss battle within the pundit class, pitting conservatives bemoaning the pope's false prophecy against liberals swooning over his platitudinous anti-capitalism….
Overt religiosity is the norm on the GOP side, with God-stalking nutballs like Michele Bachmann or Ben Carson perennially front and center. Meanwhile, the closest thing to a famed religious liberal that America has seen over the span of many decades was probably Susan Sarandon's nun character in Dead Man Walking….
Pope Francis won over urban liberals through writings like his 184-page encyclical on climate change, which described the earth as an "immense pile of filth…."
Conservatives loved the pre-Francis Catholic strategy for dealing with the poor. First, you create lots of cheap third-world factory labor by discouraging contraception. Then you give lip service to alleviating poverty by pushing a program of strictly voluntary charitable donations.
US And UK Arm Child Soldiers At World’s Largest Arms Fair In London
LONDON — Against the objections of the United Nations, this week the United States and the United Kingdom together helped arm the world’s child soldiers.
Tuesday through Friday this week, the British capital played host to the world’s largest arms fair, Defence and Security Equipment International, where global arms vendors — many from the U.S. — sell their wares to world governments seeking to upgrade their arsenals. The event was expected to draw 32,000 visitors from 60 countries, including multiple nations that make use of child soldiers in violation of international law.
According to a report from The Guardian, of the 23 nations known by the United Nations to use child soldiers, the U.K. sold arms to 19 of them during the past five years…
Pope Decries “Shameful and Culpable Silence” on Arms Sales “Drenched in Innocent Blood”
Pope Francis on Thursday gently scolded Congress on a variety of issues, from immigration to foreign policy, but on one unexpected topic — the weapons sales that fuel armed conflicts around the world — he couldn’t have been much more blunt.
He was speaking about his determination “to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world,” when he said this:
Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.
Those were fighting words, especially given where he spoke them. The U.S. is by far the largest arms supplier in the world, with domestic manufacturers selling more than $23.7 billion in weapons in 2014 to nearly 100 different countries. During the Obama administration, weapons sales have surged to record levels, in large part due to huge shipments to Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia.
In the American media, the deafening sound of crickets, didn’t merit any coverage at all. And the type of weapons that are being sold are particularly vile designed for maximum killing of civilians. While congress is willing to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood, they allocate money for the arms industry without the blink of an eye, paid for by the American taxpayers.
The weapons sales to Saudi Arabia include cluster bombs and other munitions being used to hit densely populated areas, schools, and even a camp for displaced people in Yemen.
And a healthy chunk of those arms sales — especially to Israel and Egypt — are heavily subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer.
Congress, which could have blocked any of this, went along happily — in no small part because of the approximately $150 million a year the defense industry spends on lobbying and direct campaign contributions….
U.S. firms make up seven of the top 10 arms-exporting companies, with Lockheed Martin and Boeing coming in at numbers one and two. Also in the top 10: Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies and L-3 Communications.
Thursday’s speech was not the first time the Pope has spoken out about the arms trade. He referred to it as “the industry of death” in a talk with Italian schoolchildren in May. “Why do so many powerful people not want peace? Because they live off war,” he said.
Yes, in America war is big bucks baby, and those big bucks have been funding the American governments’ proxy war with Russia through the overthrow of the government of Ukraine and the war that America refuses to allow to end in Syria unless their elected leader Assad goes.
The American congress’ latest big bucks gift to the arms industry was the funds to train “moderate rebels” to help to overthrow the Assad regime. And what did the cash strapped American People get for their “hard earned tax dollars” that congress spent? From Mint Press:
New US-Trained Rebels In Syria Gave Their Weapons To al-Qaeda
Reports out of Syria suggest that the group immediately took its weapons and vehicles to al-Qaeda territory and turned them all over to them.
It’s already been heavily reported how badly the first class of New Syrian Forces (NSF), also known as Division 30, did after being trained by the US and sent into Syria. There were 54 of them to start, and last week Centcom conceded there were only “four or five left.” This may still look like a runaway success compared to the second class.
The second class entered Syria by way of Turkey on Friday, and according to reports there were between 70 and 75 of them in total. Today, reports out of Syria suggest that the group immediately took its weapons and vehicles to al-Qaeda territory and turned them all over to them.
So the American congress is training and arming al-Qaeda in order to line their own pockets with campaign funds, at the same time the American congress is cutting Social Security disability by 20% to fund the arms industry. Now that’s how congress looks out for the taxpayers. From Dispatch:
WASHINGTON — The 11 million Americans who receive Social Security disability benefits face steep cuts next year, the government said on Wednesday.
The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits, unless Congress acts.
The average monthly benefit for disabled workers and their families is $1,017. The typical beneficiary would receive $193 less per month.
In more bad news for beneficiaries, the trustees project that there will be no cost-of-living increase in benefits at the end of the year. It would mark only the third year without an increase since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.
Separately, about 7 million Medicare beneficiaries could face a monthly premium increase of at least $54 for outpatient coverage. That works out to an increase of more than 50 percent.
Hey America, baby needs a new pair of combat boots, literally. And while congress is waging this proxy war against Russia, do you really think Putin is just going to sit there and take it? I guess not, From Washington Times:
Putin takes charge, orders Russian troops to Syria after Obama’s plan flops
Vladimir Putin views the Syrian army and its Iranian allies as incapable of defeating the Islamic State in Syria, prompting the Russian president to directly intervene in recent weeks by setting up an air base and sending in tanks, artillery and jet fighters, a report to Congress says.
Mr. Putin’s bold yet risky move of putting troops on the ground directly confronting a terrorist group contrasts sharply with the Obama administration’s strategy of an air campaign over Syria but little other military action in that country….
Analysts at the Congressional Research Service delivered an assessment to lawmakers Friday that says Mr. Putin is helping his ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, and protecting Russia’s southern flank in the Caucasus, where Islamist fighters congregate and deploy…
The report added: “Putin’s recent call for an all-out effort against the Islamic State also may stem from the sizable number of jihadist fighters from the North Caucasus fighting in Syria, who may pose a serious problem for Moscow should they return to Russia.”
If Mr. Putin does view the war against the Islamic State as stagnant, he has an ally in Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Dempsey told reporters this month that the war is “tactically stalemated.”
This whole gang in the White House, the Pentagon and State Department have really made a mess. The Islamic State is their creation due to their zeal to overthrow the government of Assad in Syria, demanding that Assad must go. But the whole world believes that Assad is part of the solution not part of the problem.
And the mess they’ve made in Syria is just like the mess they made in Ukraine, both are proxy wars with Russia. This is the new cold war with Russia that began when W. Bush withdrew from the Non Proliferation Treaty with Russia as soon as he came into office.
There is no good that can come from this. The Bush Cheney Doctrine of arrogance and brute force with the President as judge, jury and executioner has been replaced with the Obama Biden Doctrine of arrogance and brute force with the President as judge, jury and executioner. The predictable outcome has been the decline of America as a Super Power, losing its grip on the Middle East. From MintPress:
Twenty five years ago, on September 11, 1990 then US president George H.W. Bush declared the United States the “sole superpower”; however, times have indeed changed for Washington since then…
…. the most irrefutable evidence of Washington’s loss of influence in the Middle East is Barack Obama’s reaction to Russia’s recent activity in the region aimed at halting the Syrian crisis.
America’s top policy makers have rushed to blame Russia for what they have called exacerbating the situation in the Middle East. But why is Washington sweating bullets over Moscow’s involvement in Syria?
“What has Washington freaked out is not the possibility that Russia will make the situation worse in Syria. After more than one year of destructive bombing by US and NATO planes, creating the present EU Syrian refugee crisis, the situation could hardly get much worse if Russia’s actions manage to isolate ISIS [ISIL].
What scares Washington war hawks is the possibility that Russia’s strategy could succeed in ending the ISIS [ISIL] reign of terror…”
On September 15, 2015 the CSTO members unanimously denounced terrorism in Iraq and Syria and expressed their readiness to team up to fight extremism in the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly the Islamic State…
According to Wikipedia “the CSTO is the Collective Security Treaty Organizations an intergovernmental military alliance, acting as counterpart to the NATO alliance, which was signed on 15 May 1992. In 1992, six post-Soviet states belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States—Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.”
If the CSTO deploys their forces in Syria under the UN auspices it would be far more effective than the US-led coalition forces…
“Unlike the Coalition, the CSTO maintains positive relations with the governments of Iraq and Syria, which enables it to envisage far greater efficiency… Technically speaking, the CSTO has the capacity to deploy up to 50,000 men in less than two weeks…”
While Russia is gaining ground in the Middle East due to its diplomatic peace strategy, Washington’s “strategy of wars everywhere” is facing a decline.
“If Russia is able now to forge a genuine, honest coalition of nations to isolate and destroy the Washington-created Frankenstein monster called ISIS [ISIL] or IS, and to allow Syrians to settle their problems with the duly-elected President, Bashar al-Assad in free elections without the US-financed NGOs of George Soros or the National Endowment for Democracy, the world will take a giant step away from war…”
The media’s deadly silence on Pope Francis’ message to the war mongering congress was an endorsement of the proliferation of arms sales for maximum profits and America’s proxy wars with Russia. Hopefully congress will learn from the Pope’s message that your flag decals won’t get you into heaven anymore.
By Patricia Baeten