Fighters from the terror group ISIL, which is so atrocious it was kicked out of the Al-Qaida network due to its brutality, just captured Tikrit after recently capturing Mosul. Iraq seems poised to be split into three parts, a Kurdish state in the north, an Iranian puppet in the east, and a salafist terror state in the west - in fact, you could very well argue that is already the case.

In 2007 there were less than 30 terror groups like Al-Qaida, now that number has risen to around 50. In 2007 there were 18-42.000 terror incidents, last year it was 44-105.000. Deaths from terror attacks has risen from around 7.500 in 2007 to almost 18.000 in 2013, and this doesn't even count the Syrians which has been killed by the terrorist actors, ISIL among them, in the civil war there.

Safe to say, the mission hasn't been accomplished and the war on terror has been going badly lately, if not outright lost.

So, any good ideas..?

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2014-04-30-07.59.44

Stumbled upon this.  Seems relevant somehow.

Erock, it's more than somehow relevant.

It's a starker form of the message in James W. Loewen's book, Lies My Teacher Told Me.

First published in in 1995, it has been updated and republished in 2007.

I read the 1995 edition and have the 2007 edition on my Kindle.

IMNVHO (...not very humble....), people in both political parties have earned treason charges.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

You mentioned both political parties.  An image comes to mind when I think of our two-party system:

 A dog fight, two dogs in a ring, fighting it out, while the 1% (who own both dogs, btw) move through the crowd picking pockets.

Let me break into this mutual admiration fest to point out that this is the one country with a free press, adversarial political parties each eager to get the dirt on the other (witness the way the GOP won't let go of Benghazi or Obamacare), and which expends more time and energy on self-criticism than any other country you or I can think of.

The problem, if there is one, isn't that information is hidden on any sort of large and/or systematic scale, it's that the public makes up its own mind based on its own perceptions and values and, yes, biases.

There is no conspiracy. Nobody is in control of information here they way the Jews were supposedly in control of banking.

...this is the one country with a free press.

Except for all the others.

Watch Fox "News" or CNN, etc. and see how much time they actually spend on delivering important, relevant, un-slanted news; see how much time they spend on sensationalized, over-dramatized, repetitive pieces filled with exploding graphics and hyperbole; see how much time they spend spouting their own opinions.  Perhaps you think Justin Bieber acting like a douche again or a Kardashian getting married again is real news.

...adversarial political parties each eager to get the dirt on the other...

All part of the show, meant to distract us while those in charge increase their wealth, power, and control.

Watch Fox "News" or CNN, etc. and see how much time they actually spend on delivering important, relevant, un-slanted news; see how much time they spend on sensationalized, over-dramatized, repetitive pieces filled with exploding graphics and hyperbole; see how much time they spend spouting their own opinions.  Perhaps you think Justin Bieber acting like a douche again or a Kardashian getting married again is real news.

What you're describing IS a free press! What do you want, a press controlled by your own special interests? the government? some revolutionary council?

It seems to me that, to be honest about it, you aren't actually faulting the free press but the free public who are free to change stations once a station starts telling them things they'd rather not hear.

Your enemy isn't the press or the government, it's human nature.

All part of the show, meant to distract us while those in charge increase their wealth, power, and control.

Wow, you're actually a full-blown conspiracy theorist. So, is the Trilateral Commission or Bilderberg Group using fluoride or contrails to control our minds and take away our freedom?

The press is free in the sense it isn't government controlled, but it has not been truly free since it became a for-profit enterprise, circa the Gulf War. Fast forward to present and what we have is Hollywood gossip news and talking heads who think the loudest voice wins. What matters now is not informing the public nor journalistic integrity but the bottom line. In case you haven't noticed the trend, fewer and fewer media corporations own more and more media outlets, and media have become more and more partisan.

"Wow, you're actually a full-blown conspiracy theorist."

I don't think there's a group of men in top-hats sitting in a room, smoking cigars and twisting their mustaches while plotting to enslave the world. But here are some things I do think:

- I think large corporations of every stripe contribute big bucks to both sides of all the major elections, so that whoever wins owes them favors. These favors take many forms, including relaxation of regulations that cut into profits, subsidies even though profits are astronomical, special tax incentives, military protection of American business interests abroad, etc.

- I think members of the boards of directors of these big corporations sit on the boards of multiple companies, including media corporations, making their interests interrelated.

- I think officers in these big corporations take high ranking government positions (see Dick Cheney/ Halliburton), resulting in massive profits and influence for the companies; and vice versa.

I have read many of your posts and comments, Unseen, and I don't know what you think gives you the standing to condescend to me. I'm not a conspiracy theorist and I don't even own an aluminum foil hat. I just pay attention. You should try it.

Some media outlets are partisan, some are not. But the point is that people are free to choose their news and it is the public that decides what to watch or listen to. 

You don't seem to see corporations as in competition with each other. If they aren't really in competition with each other, but instead collude, then you really are talking about a conspiracy of businessmen who want to reduce the world to a few rich people and a vast population of low-wage workers. Problem is, you'll make a lot less money for your business if you only have poor people out there with little money to spend on your products. If they want to maximize profits by making us all poor, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

You don't need board members on multiple companies (nothing new, by the way) for companies to have common interests, but for every interest two corporations have, there are probably two others with opposing interests. Why? Because they are competitors. Cooperation can only go so far.

If Cheney manages to make big money for Haliburton, it means some other company doesn't make that money. They can't all make the same money. This is why this corporate conspiracy theory is nonsense. 

I might think it's condescending of you to assume that because my views differ from yours, I must not be paying attention.

...then you really are talking about a conspiracy of businessmen who want to reduce the world to a few rich people

Nah, but they certainly don't worry about the distribution of wealth, so the net effect is the same, The golden age of the American middle class peaked in the 1960's. Trickle down, and kiss your pensions goodbye. Large competitors work together (e.g. lobby) to grow/protect the total market. What is good for Smith and Wesson is good for Glock.

Problem is, you'll make a lot less money for your business if you only have poor people out there with little money to spend on your products. If they want to maximize profits by making us all poor, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Nah, it' a 5 year plan and markets change. Many corporate officers like to hit it big and run. No problem sacrificing the company either. Chop it up and sell it off. The money doesn't go away, fewer but larger transactions business to business or business to government equals efficiency.

When I got my MBA, there was a little bit of talk about how good ethics is good for business. But maximizing shareholder wealth in the near future is the real goal.

My take is that there are few secret specific conspiracies, but the aggregate of business as usual has the same result. Is this lopsided distribution good for America? I don't know for sure but I suspect not.

 

You don't seem to see corporations as in competition with each other.     ...they are competitors. Cooperation can only go so far.

YOU don't seem to see that even though they are in competition for our consumer dollars, their macro-level concerns and interests are the same. 

Shell and Exxon may be competitors at the pump, but they work together for things like continued subsidies, looser EPA regulations, special tax incentives, military protection for interests overseas, etc., things that make use of their government connections, maximize profits, and keep the playing field uneven.

Bank of America and Citigroup may be competitors in the marketplace, but they both support looser banking regulations and interest rate manipulation, which keep the playing field uneven and keep them firmly ensconced in their positions of power.

And, competitors or not, they ALL support lower taxes for upper incomes (excuse me, "job creators") and no estate taxes, which again keeps the playing field uneven.

You seem to be remembering a time when companies were engaged in fair competition on a level playing field (though I'm not sure when that might have been).  But they discovered quite some time ago that if they work together on some things, they ALL make out like bandits.  And no, it's technically not collusion since they have already successfully shaped the laws in their favor.  The job of government is to maintain a level playing field.  That's difficult when politicians are in corporate pockets and when corporate officers and government officials appear to switch places at will.

If they want to maximize profits by making us all poor, they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Companies are run by people, people whose salaries and bonuses are based on profits from THIS month or THIS quarter or THIS year.  Like RobertPiano was saying, there is a mentality of hit it and quit it in business these days.  I see businesses raising prices while cutting quality, service, and staff in order to maximize profits TODAY, with little regard to how those changes will affect the company long-term.

Some media outlets are partisan, some are not.

I tend to watch BBC America for world news that is non-partisan.  They have the added bonus of no exploding graphics or hyperbole; they just report the news.  Good luck finding non-partisan national news.

Erock, I just remembered what the publisher of a weekly newspaper told me years ago, moments after I had opined on First Amendment rights:

Freedom of the press belongs to people who own presses.

I had said something about the Newspaper Protection Act, which was being criticized by political activists because it allowed federal attorneys-general to give owners who cooperated with the government the economic advantages of joint operations, such as the actual printing.

During the war in Viet Nam, the government objected to what some newspapers were telling readers about the war. Phoenix had two newspapers and they were benefiting from the joint operations the anti-monopoly laws would have banned.

...this is the one country with a free press, adversarial political parties each eager to get the dirt on the other....the GOP won't let go of Benghazi or Obamacare

At best U is ignorant of politics. At worst he is unable to stop his devil's advocacy.

The press: too few own too many presses and the 1960s-era Newspaper Preservation Act rewards cooperative publishers by allowing more economical joint operations.

The parties: both accept bribes and extort donations from the same people/companies.

The GOP: which part of the bitterly-divided GOP?

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