A Deadly Gamble

First, Vladimir Putin is not Hitler. Not even close. Putin is hampered by a nationally fatal shortsightedness, blinded by the prism of Russian history and culture, and torn between modernizing an oil weighted economy and appeasing oligarchs who could sieze control of the country, or at least split into the Balkan-type civil fracturing of a nuclear power. That isn’t altogether different from the United States, by the way.

In my 2014 book, A TRAGIC FATE: Politics, Oil, the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Looming Threats to Civil Aviation Kindle Edition by WC TURCK http://www.amazon.com/TRAGIC-FATE-Politics-Malaysia-Airlines-ebook/dp/B00RPXWDPK I described the dangerous position Russia has found itself, desperately grasping for economic and social equilibrium through the control of oil and gas reserves.

The Syrian crisis illustrates Putin’s precarious position precisely. First, the historic correction of oil prices, affected by a sluggish global economy, de-escalation between Iran and the West, the end of supply-chain disrupting wars, Fracking and OPEC’s assault on Fracking’s profitability, carbon emission initiatives and green technology threatens Putin’s economy and security. More than 2/3 of the Russian economy is based on oil revenues. Low prices are devastating to Russia, exactly the opposite of America’s consumer-based economy. Tensions in Syria with the insertion of Russia’s military appear to have driven a spike in oil prices, opening October 1st at nearly $47.

Second, Western, and particularly US policy and action in Syria’s civil war has proved a complete failure. According to the International Business Times Syria has ” 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil as of January 2013, which makes it the largest proved reserve of crude oil in the eastern Mediterranean according to the Oil & Gas Journal estimate.”

While the US wants Syrian President Assad out, envisioning a chaotic scenario akin to the Libyan debacle, that leaves the door wide open for Putin and Russia to step inside. The airstrikes this week confirmed that Putin is less interested in assailing ISIS than he is in supporting Assad.

The pay off for Russia is clear. Syria possesses vast reserves of oil, gas and oil shale as yet untapped because of the fighting. Think of Syria as something of a mini-Crimea, which Putin siezed from Ukraine because of its strategic interest and proximity to Black Sea oil and gas reserves. If Putin, as he sees it, can end the fighting and alleviate pressure on Damascus, or sweep it off into a corner of the country the appreciation of Assad would pay untold dividends for Putin.

It is all short-sighted of course. The world will only continue moving father and farther away from reliance on fossil fuels. Putin and his government have shown little or no inclination in evolving and adapting to that eventuality. That short-sightedness may be the most dangerous component of all of this. No matter what direction Putin goes, without divesting from oil and gas as the bulwark of his economy, disaster and danger are only a heartbeat away.

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Shaming Jesus

We hear all the time from the right how they speak for Jesus when again and again it becomes a do as I say not as I do scenario. At some point you must ask yourself if they are simply invoking the name to keep you under control, that is, shaming you into compliance with crafted and concealed deals and policies, cloaked in religion that are meant simply to provide a few with greater power, privilege and security at the expense of the rest of us. The refugee catastrophe, which Revolution and Beer has chronicled and followed for several years now, is a case in terribly stark and tragic point.

The crisis now in Europe’s heart reached a current peak this week when Hungary closed its border to tens of thousands of refugees(Migrants is an insult to the desperate plight of these people) were driven back with truncheons, water cannons and tear gas as they tried to cross the border. Note, that none of these people have food, water or shelter or any understanding of how they and their families will survive day to day. Hungary was refused barbed-wire by a German anti-capitalist company-Sarcasm Alert here.

Interestingly Serbia, not known over the last two decades for a particular love of Muslims was gloriously receptive and merciful to these poor people. Many thousands flooded across the border into neighboring Croatia where there was an outpouring of support, love and help from average people. In talking with people from the Balkans, many of whom survived the cascade of wars in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia it seems the crisis awakened memories for Croats and Serbs of their own nation’s recent struggles. Where religion once seemed to define untold horrific and barbaric acts there is now a common humanity and the understanding of the necessity, the moral imperative to help someone in need.

Renata Ivosh, mother and grandmother, survivor of the siege of Sarajevo and a refugee from Bosnia went with her daughter to the train station in Zagreb with cookies and juice for Syrian refugees. The family, living in a tiny basement apartment makes less than $10,000 a year for a family of 4. A farmer who survived the destruction of Vukovar in 1991 hoped his farm to hundreds of passing refugees, feeding and sheltering them. Contrast that to former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh, with a net worth estimated at well over a million dollars decried on his radio show that there is no money to help even a few thousand refugees headed to this nation of nearly 400 million. He rebuked the Pope’s suggestions that catholic parishes open their doors, saying it is what Jesus would do. Last week Walsh actually said that in that case “Jesus was wrong!”

So the question is, is it the words or the deeds? Who claims to speak for Jesus and who is actually doing the work he described in help the least of his brethren? The answer may shock you. The answer speaks directly to much of the ills our nation faces. The answer might empower you more than you ever thought possible, to the detriment of frauds and used car salesmen like Walsh, Trump and Hillary.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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ISIS: Why History Matters

The Sumerians called it Buranuna 5000 years ago, and it held for them a magical quality. There empire centered roughly between the Buranuna, or Euphrates and the Tigris, a fertile delta running from Basra just north of Kuwait, running through the hearts of Iraq and Syria into eastern Turkey. This is the cradle of civilization, the place where humanity sought settlement over nomadic existence. This is where our collective ancestors settled into those furtive first communities and invented farming. It was not by happenstance. This was the only place it could have happened some 9700 years ago. This is the crossroads, the natural and sustainably survival path north into Turkey and Europe, or into the Russian Steppes, or east into Asia. The Tigris and Euphrates is indelibly imprinted upon the human soul. Our history is in those rivers. The legacy of that murky and convoluted history still reverberates and intrudes upon the illusion of our modern pretense that we have severed those primitive ties to our ancient selves.Iran_Euphrates_River_Map

This was the seat of power of the Persian king Darius III before he was defeated by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela, just outside of modern day Mosul. Mosel sits astride the Tigris River, where Kurdish forces fended off ISIS last month. In fact, the history of this land is key to understanding ISIS. That the Pentagon, Republicans and Democrats and the media have failed to note that is, in my opinion, a fundamental miscalculation in confronting ISIS. Two weeks ago the Syrian towns of Al Tabqah and Ar Raqqah on opposite banks of the Euphrates fell to ISIS. This week they are pressing assaults for Baghdad. As of this writing the northern Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish frontier was close to falling. The capture of the town neutralizes Kurdish resistance in the region, on the road to Jarabulus, consolidating their control over the Euphrates and Tigris delta clear to Baghdad. That control makes them an entity to be reckoned with and a state to be recognized.

Once they ISIS has solidified control over the region the rest of Iraq will fall, and it it is likely that ISIS will turn south to Kuwait for a warm water port and access to the Persian Gulf. ISIS is Sunni. This largest sect of Islam believes itself the closest adherents to the Prophet Muhammed and his heir Abu Bakr. But what sect of any religion doesn’t believe that it holds the fast track to God or a prophet? The Seljuk Turks, which raged across the middle east in the 10th and 11th centuries used these lands as their base of operations, moving up the Euphrates and into Turkey. The land ISIS now covets mirrors the Seljuk expansion to a frightening degree. There are powerful historic connections for ISIS to the region. History tells us much.

South of Baghdad and just west of the Euphrates, on the edge of the river’s fertile extent lies the city of Karbala. It was the site of the Battle of Karbala in 680AD. The city is considered holy by Shia. Loss of the city to the Sunni ISIS would represent a spiritual and historic calamity within Islam. Over the last several years Sunni militants and ISIS sympathizers have continually attack Shia pilgrims to the city.

In both the Bible and Koran there are references to the river as well:

“The Prophet Muhammad said: “The Hour will not come to pass before the river Euphrates dries up to unveil the mountain of gold, for which people will fight. Ninety-nine out of one hundred will die [in the fighting], and every man among them will say: ‘Perhaps I may be the only one to remain alive’.”

“Soon the river Euphrates will disclose the treasure of gold. So, whoever will be present at that time should not take anything of it.”

In fact ISIS has been only to happy to sell their black gold, or oil on the black market for pennies on the dollar to fund their operations. Like the rest of us ISIS is perpetually caught between history and tomorrow. That history bends our reason as we craft illusions of freewill in our reach for tomorrow. Mankind like a racer shadowed at the shoulder by a competitor is constantly forcing itself to look forward while look back at its own history. ISIS is just as crippled by that dichotomy as the rest of us. Their burden is living too much in an idealized past. Here in the West, we are burdened by a lack of historical perspective and the realization that our collective history remains a shared lesson and curse.


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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America’s Slide Towards Genocide: A Place of Refuge

I am declaring my home a refuge should the hate-mongers and bigots in this country threaten my Muslim friends and neighbors.

The day after September 11th 2001, I went over to a Mosque on the northwest side of Chicago and met with an Imam and several other members of the Mosque. After witnessing the genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, and learning how a society descends into acts of genocide I was concerned for my Muslim friends and neighbors. To them, for fear of what this country might do to a minority, I offered my home as a sanctuary, vowing to give my life to protect and defend my neighbors. Never again and not in my name meant, and still means something to me.

I was to learn that an event like September 11th, in a nation without any real understanding of Islam would not undertake a serious pogrom. It was bittersweet when only a hand full of incidents occurred. Most people ignored the chicken-little hate-mongering against Muslims by FOX news and the Rightwing media. There were no internment camps during the criminal war in Iraq for Muslims as this country employed for Japanese citizens and immigrants during the Second World War. By the way, ask yourself why there were no such camps for white German Americans? But the media-fed bigotry descends upon the soul like a fog, eventually settling deep.

Genocide is a process. It needs a fertile soil; and base to grow from. That soil has been cultivated since September 11th. The idea of radical and extremist Islam has been constructed, feeding a self-fulfilling prophecy in ISIS, as this country has created an enemy as a means of legitimacy and control. Hard to believe? You now routinely surrender your constitutional rights for the illusion of protection and security. You accept banality and snarkiness as journalism. The government has more control in your lives thanks to the patriot act and the war on terror. It scrutinizes your emails and conversations and fondles you at airports. As long as your favorite shows are on cable TV and the fast food place on the corner remains open and you can walk into Target with a gun, freedom prevails!

Radical Islam must exist for the war profiteers and their media salespersons. Obama says we could be at war with ISIS for years to come, at a million dollars a cruise missile, or $300 thousand for a laser guided bomb; But the video is awesome! The oligarchs and their subordinates in government, including Obama and Tea party and Republican and Libertarian cohorts as well, amass great fortunes over gas and oil. Western companies do business with ISIS-without a single head being cut off. Western nations purchase oil from ISIS. ISIS, like America is at war with the poor and the weak. See a pattern yet?

But genocide is more a social affliction than a political one. It runs away with a society properly primed by the politic and its media. So the media today is filled with plots against New York, a workplace beheading by a deranged individual in Oklahoma and ISIS threatening to attack the American mainland. we have been fed the crime in the beheadings of Americans in stylish videos. next comes the investment of threatened terror at home. The third component will be an American shot down over ISIS territory. The hysteria of the media will increase to a din. They are on the verge. I saw it in ex-Yugoslavia, and I still have copies of the lists and reasons the Hutus in Rwanda read over the radio calling Tutsis cockroaches and detailing why they should be killed.

You think America is immune? We are more susceptible than any other culture on the planet, primarily because we believe we are better. And ISIS would lave for us to do something rash and terrible to our Muslim friends and neighbors to legitimize their brand and to solidify their power. The equation is simple if you are open to it.

That’s why as an American of conscience, who sees the world and people clearly for who and what they are, I am designating my home a sanctuary should this country transpire to some thing inhuman against Muslim friends and neighbors. God forbid that should happen, but if it does anyone threatening or violating this household and all who take refuge here would wish that ISIS was your only enemy.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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The ISIS Overreaction. No strategy may be part of the strategy. A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!………………..

Do something! Why doesn’t Obama have a strategy? Just go bomb ISIS back to the stone-a…okay, pre-stone-age. I am not an Obama apologist, and I advocate a robust reaction to ISIS, but people, PLEEAASSEE! The just-do-something syndrome is as dangerous in this instance as the don’t-do-nothing paralysis. For all of the experts who either can compel us that war is never the answer and we should just ignore ISIS like a petulant child until they realize their erroneous ways to the war pornographers who want to ride, or ride someone’s kid over the hill in some Yee-ha, cheap beer swillin,’ flag waving sporting event, where are the real questions for all these self-infatuated experts? Jumping in with both feet on this one just cuz ya gotta have a strategy to satisfy most people in this country who would struggle to find Syria on a map, let alone bomb it is dangerous.

But FOX and the Republicans are hysterical over Muslims, Muslims, Muslims everywhere! So we jump in hard. Does that become a giant lightening rod for Jihadists, a tipping point for moderates, a call to arms out of sympathy? And then what? A bombing campaign must be backed up with a longer term strategy on the ground and internationally. What does the US-led bombing of Sunnis in Iraq mean for the ethnic divisions strained to the breaking point in Iraq? Those opposing ISIS on the ground are fractured, factionalized and often beleaguered.

ISIS has drawn thousands to their ranks amid porous borders that would make the Mexican/American border look like the Berlin Wall by comparison. What happens to those people? Who polices them up? Who restores order without turning genocidal or vengeful against otherwise peaceful and victimized Sunnis caught in the middle of the Sunni fanatics of ISIS? What is they scatter and export violence in an ill-conceived war? What stabilizes the region in the longer term that prevents this from flaring again? Because those answers are difficult doesn’t mean we do nothing, by the way.

As for Syria, Assad is not suddenly our pal, but there is a semblance of stability across extremist Sunni and Shia lines, but there is also legitimacy to the original rebellion which was co-opted, and from which sprang this extremism. Here’s the deal. The world isn’t a cartoon. It is complex, which is not a call for inaction, but rather caution, planning, perspective and wisdom. After the major fuck ups of foreign policy the past 40 years by this country, we ought to be wise as old owls! If you absolutely have to stick something into the wall socket, you’d better damn well turn off the breakers feeding the current, or at the very least make sure you are grounded. Jamming something in the wall, otherwise, will likely bring a world of unexpected surprises…and none of them are good.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Where are the moderate Muslims on the beheading of James Foley? A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!………………..last night on the Joe Walsh show he posed a question I think is on everyone’s mind. This past week American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS terrorists after being held for more than 2 years in Syria, where he was reporting on the conflict. Despite an attempt at rescue by US Special Forces, Foley was butchered, his beheading broadcast on the internet. Walsh, on his show, demanded that moderate Muslims, who claim to be a religion of peace, publically condemn his death. Walsh said no Muslims had condemned the killing, that is except, as I found by Googling “Muslims, ISIS, condemn” British Muslim organizations, American Muslim organizations, the Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim and Christian leaders together in India. In fact, many Muslims publically condemned the killing, from many sources, but somehow failed to get noticed by Walsh and the corporate war Press in America and Australia. Walsh missed Muslim Indonesian Minister Djoko Suyanto who said that ISIS posed a threat to the nation’s religious and cultural diversity. “The government rejects and bans the teachings of ISIS…” or maybe, the Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s most influential Muslim cleric, or the Arab League. Walsh even tripped past a Reuters story by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) condemning the “forced expulsion of the Christian brothers of Iraq from their homes, cities, and provinces… These are acts that violate Islamic laws, Islamic conscience and leave but a negative image of Islam and Muslims.” Perhaps he just missed Imams on the BBC. Why, the good bigot, war criminal and scumbag Walsh, who pretends at being a “good” Christian, even missed Vatican Radio and the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad Ameen Madani, with his official statement denouncing the “forced deportation of Christians as a crime that cannot be tolerated.” Don’t hunt. I have all the links below. My question is, where the fuck is Israel’s condemnation for this act? Where are the Bolivians, Monrovians, Iowans, Eskimos, Japanese fishermen (and women)? Our friends the Fijians are suspiciously silent. Texas Governor Rick Perry has not publically condemned ISIS. Why, Rick? There has been a series of burglaries in Walsh’s faggy suburban community, yet Walsh is silent. Why has he not publically condemned them, and if he does now, is it only to deflect his possible part in these terrible crimes against good white people’s property? So why the fuck should “moderate” Muslims, whatever the fuck that means, be the parrots to “extremist” Christians like Walsh(unfounded blind universal angst and hate against a group is extreme? Or is it that the Western and American war-profiteering media and the hysteria generating rightwing is really only interested in endless war for oil, money, power, destabilization and hegemony as a means to a sultry end. The proof is below and all around you, unless you are just content to hate, and perpetuate this shit between religions. In which case you are a giant turd floating in our collective gene pool of evolution.

http://twocircles.net/2014aug19/indian_muslims_unequivocally_condemn_brutal_atrocities_isis.html#.U_XszE0g9Fo

http://rossrightangle.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/canada-decent-muslims-condemn-isis-savages/

http://news.yahoo.com/islamic-scholars-condemn-expulsion-iraqs-christian-brothers-120656878.html

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/07/25/worlds_muslim_leaders_condemn_attacks_on_iraqi_christians/1103410

http://news.sky.com/story/1298792/british-muslims-unite-to-condemn-evil-isis

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28270296

http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/British-Muslims-Condemn-Barbarity-ISIS/story-22789193-detail/story.html

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-muslim-and-christian-groups-condemn-isis-as-anti-islam-2012168

http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/american-muslim-organizations-condemn-isis-murder-of-journalist-james-foley/0020275

http://rt.com/uk/181836-british-muslims-isis-foley/

http://cbrainard.blogspot.com/2014/08/iraq-syria-war-muslims-condemn-is-isis.html

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Syria Intervention is critical for long term safety of the United States and American Troops

"Gasses" by John Singer-Sergent

“Gasses” by John Singer-Sergent


The nation seems more polarized than ever regarding the possibility of military intervention against Syria for the use of chemical weapons against its own civilians. While I have advocated intervention on immediate humanitarian grounds, I also readily acknowledge I am in the minority opinion. But there are much deeper issues, long ranging issues. One of those issues has to do with the safety of our soldiers in the field. The key to that is adherence and protection of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC) outlaws the manufacture, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons such as the one Assad’s forces used on civilians two weeks ago. And it remains important to note here that Assad has never denied the use of these weapons, which I think would be a diplomatic no brainer if I was facing an attack by the most powerful nation on earth. Currently 189 nations are party to the CWC, which carries the force of international law, Israel and Myanmar have signed, but have yet to ratify the convention. Syria, with North Korea, South Sudan, Egypt and Angola is one of 5 nations that have not signed the convention, which in a democratic sort of way makes them, at the very least, pariahs.

The United States is not without reproach here. Defoliants, such as Agent Orange, which the United States used greatly, and to disastrous health and environmental effects is banned under the current treaty. The United States must live with its crimes and the terrible deformities caused among generations of Vietnamese from the use of Agent Orange.agent-orange-4 And there is a dangerously subjective sliding scale, as many countries still possess old stockpiles, and riot control agents, such as CS and Pepper spray are widely used by this government primarily as a means to curtail peaceful protesters. But the use of chemical agents directly against troops in combat, including American Troops has not been seen since the horrors of the First World War, when chlorine and chlorine-based agents like the infamous Mustard gas and phosgene gas attacks. Estimates were on some 90,000 total killed in the First World War, with one and a quarter million injured, many of those permanently.

British troops killed in a German gas attack

British troops killed in a German gas attack

But the widespread use was so repulsive internationally that even amid the wholesale slaughter of the Second World War, the use of Chemical Weapons was anecdotal. After dropping several sulfur bombs on Warsaw in September of 1939, the Nazi government in 1942, amid the war, apologized and stated that the bombs were dropped accidentally. Notably, while the Nazis were apologizing for the sulfur bombs, they were employing Zyklon gas against Jews in concentration camps. But here as well, those Nazis, still pursued to this day, are held accountable under international law. Humanity has drawn a line. It cannot afford to retreat from that line. No one is better prepared to defend that line than the United States, a sad but undeniable reality.article-2401382-1B6F2CF5000005DC-138_634x475

And so we come to the options before the world community, but most particularly the one nation that has the capacity to strike, if only symbolically to send a message that the world will not and cannot retreat from that line. No chemical weapons have been employed against American troops since those terrible days during the First World War, and though the record since is not pristine, there is undeniable progress. And so we know the stakes of inaction, and that would a the abandonment, or indifference, a creeping indifference to the treaty on the use of Chemical weapons which may not be perfect but which has succeeded in virtually eliminating these terrible weapons from the field of battle.

Aftermath of a gas attack directed by Saddam Hussein

Aftermath of a gas attack directed by Saddam Hussein

So now that field has become the cities and towns of Syria. The victims are civilians; the old, children, the innocent. For that, as this country did over Saddam’s gassing of civilians, there should be a momentous outcry. Isolationist policies have never served this nation. They failed us at two world wars and contributed to the September 11 attacks. It will certainly not serve us now, and may in turn, I believe , prove a terrible danger.

If this nation believes it can escape the consequences of the attack two weeks ago in Syria, whether or not it acts, it is sorely mistaken. Arguing that “why here and not at some other terrible place on the planet” is a tacit admission of the refusal to start someplace. It is a celebration of the power of doing nothing out of fear, laziness or indifference. to count the cost to the nation is to ignore the billions we toss away to corporations, pay to scavenging military and security contractors or the selfishness of a nation that spends tens of billions on pet and gardening supplies, and which squanders untold billions on incarcerating marijuana smokers. The arguments about Al Qa’eda are a dodge. Quibbling over the exact numbers of dead is cowardly and fake. Iraq was a crime, Afghanistan a farce. Syria is critical…

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.
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Syria: The Left has lost its way(The right never knew the way)

Marketing. Modern activism has become the victim of the same obtuse and hysterical marketing that has plagued the rest of our culture, particularly our friends on the right. The looming debacle over the Syrian civil war is a sublime case in point. I am stunned by a loss of idealism and integrity by many on the left. Not for their opposition to the possibility of war or a limited attack against Syria’s Assad regime, advertised as an effort to degrade his ability to launch Chemical attacks on his own civilians, but by the chicken crap reasons the Left eschews action in Syria.

From Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.) to Ed Schultz there is this refrain about angering Assad, or the fear that he might hit us back. Not sure that many police officers have the luxury of refusing to answer calls because a perp might lash out. If you get into a fight, you are in the fight to win, even if winning is letting some would-be bully, like Assad, that every time he gets out of line, or crosses a line, he knows that someone bigger and meaner will give him a bust in the chops. If that bigger and meaner guy is acting to protect someone smaller and weaker, what could be a nobler cause? If you know someone is beating his children and you do nothing, and cop the attitude that it is their fight, and why should I get involved, well, that says more about you than about the abuser.

And that may be the most dangerous revelation of all of this, that we are not afraid of principles, only to stand for them. We are afraid of the fight, the just and righteous fight. That betrays to the world a dreadful lack of resolve, courage and confidence.

The left is also pushing a panic narrative describing how there is controversy over who fired the latest chemical weapon that killed scores of Syrian civilians. There is no serious debate that Assad was responsible. First and foremost, the Assad regime has not denied using them. Citing the Alternative media only goes so far. So-called Alternative media, where one could also find stories about an SAS hit squad offing Lady Diana, Black seeds can cure anything, the ongoing prediction of imminent American collapse(Always two years away), something insipid from Glenn Beck, Aliens living among us and Russian pictures of a soul leaving a body, has its own issues with accuracy and reality. Anything in the Alternative media, like the corporate and status quo media should come with heaping scoops of skepticism.

And what happened to my fellow Lefties who long cried and advocated for a world without borders? Suddenly those same Lefties have retreated to a defense of stateism, and retreated from the ideals of going to the aid of our fellow human being? Where are my lefty pals who dreamed of one world and a brotherhood of all people? Their argument that this isn’t our fight, that it is a religious fight, a civil war, or that we need to worry about “our” people first would seem to support FOX News’ refrain that this is indeed a Center Right nation, and not at all a Progressive nation. It would seem to affirm that we do indeed have more in favor of the Ron and Rand Paul’s, and the Ayn Randian morality of self-centered culture, and that all the blathering by Progressives and Liberals the last couple of decades is as ideological and substantive as choosing up sides for a high school field hockey game.

Last is this fiction of Al Qa’eda in Syria. Certainly they are there. They are proving themselves in those small numbers as willing to stand and sacrifice for their ideals and are winning the hearts and minds of victimized and lost Syrians. We are not. Al Qa’eda, despite the hysteria over Benghazi was on the wane. They are capitalizing on this tragedy to our detriment as we cower and withdraw from the world, except where it will make us money. Again, “in our interest,” long the argument of the Right is now the chorus of the Left. But Al Qa’eda is more benefitting from pro-Assad propagandists, and the US has been tricked into their inflated presence and the fear of that terror collective. Shame on us.

Skepticism in all things is healthy, and there is ample history to support being ultimately skeptical of this government. They have not served us well, and they undermine our national credibility by acting purely on money-driven interests. But the debate should be to find the truth as a means of making decisions on doing the right thing, not in doing what benefits our protected and insulated corner of the planet. We should be the big mean guy with the big heart that is that shining city on the hill, who is that last best hope for mankind. The right won’t do it, and the Left is losing it. Find your selves again, my Leftist friends, and I pray you find yourself Progressive and not reactionary.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.
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Failing to act in Syria: America’s Moral Dilemma

So here is the dilemma: President Obama says, after at least 3 chemical attacks against Syrian civilians, that the Assad regime has crossed a line and now must face the wrath of the international community. In the latest attack 1429 civilians were killed with Sarin gas, government controlled delivery systems being the only possibility. Video and images show scores of dead, and many in the final terrible and agonizing throes. He announces military action is imminent, and remains intent even after losing British support. He does, however have French support. The Arab League also supports action. Suddenly, Obama reverses course and decides to seek congressional approval. Some see this fully as a means of dodging a true moral responsibility

Rewind to more than 18 months ago when many were arguing for a resolute message to the Syrian government when the first atrocities against civilians. Journalist Mika Yamamoto was killed in August 2012 documenting Assad’s brutal crackdown on dissidents in the city of Homs, joining American Marie Colvin and Frenchman Remi Ochlik five months before. Dozens of journalists have died among more than 100,000 civilians. But the dead are dead, and retribution for the dead is impotent revenge. Justice is different from revenge, and this note is an argument for justice rather than revenge.

There is and always has been an emotional and moral tripwire, regardless of the WMD issue. Kosovo it was a bloody ravine, in Sarajevo it was a terrible market attack. All of them triggered an international military response. All of them were precipitated by months or years of atrocities against the innocent, all of them saw events early on in which the primaries of those atrocities believed they had crossed a line too far, only to have that line ignored by the international community. In the early months of the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia, Serb forces shot down a UN helicopter they said by accident. But there was no response from the international community, and the Serbs then understood there was no resolve against their actions which ultimately led to nearly 200,000 dead, twice that number wounded and more than 10 times that number in refugees. The UNHCR numbers current Syrian civilian refugees over 1.5 million, with likely a similar number internally displaced.

Republican Tom Cole promoted the ultimate lie of a stoic or disinterested international community, one used ad nausea in foreign conflicts. It is the message of the ignorant to the ignorant, and that is that this is an intransigent and eternal religious conflict. This began as retribution against a freedom movement calling for elections and the end to the Syrian monarchy. That is the eternal struggle here-freedom.

Did the International Community miss the opportunity early on to prevent the current bloodshed? Government bombings in Homs in 2012

Did the International Community miss the opportunity early on to prevent the current bloodshed? Government bombings in Homs in 2012

Now the American public, the victim of a media that was largely ignored this civil war, only has FOX News and Rightwing propaganda to rely on for any sort of perspective. In those perspectives is coiled the narrative of Al Qa’eda terrorists or Islamic fundamentalists. They are there to be sure, the opportunists that they are, but then they are willing to fight and die on the side of the Syrian people. The West, for all of its innuendo and falsehoods cannot even muster the truth in reporting.

The world once looked to the United States as a defender of human rights. We have squandered that as a nation, and the pale reaction to the brutality inflicted by the Assad regime from the start of the conflict-which was one sides before civilians began defending themselves and fighting back-only underscores the abandonment of human rights and ideals. Instead we argue openly the perversion of our pretend ideals about national self-interest.

Revenge is wasted on the dead, justice belongs to the living. There are more than 2 million civilians displaced by the war.

Revenge is wasted on the dead, justice belongs to the living. There are more than 2 million civilians displaced by the war.

Curious, since, so many in this nation argue that we are a Judeo-Christian nation based upon Judeo-Christian ideals and morality. As we have seen our ideals have been traded for oil, stock deals, international trade and consumerism. The world sees that. They see the stain upon our soul and hear the ghastly echo of moral abandonment behind our words. It lowers the standard of human rights or compels other nations to pick up that standard, not in partnership with America, but in spite of, and that, that is certainly the most dangerous threat to American security now and in the future.

Progressives and Liberals are certainly right to argue that war is never the answer, and as an ideal that is true. What I would argue is that war, limited war to degrade a despot and his army in the defense of the innocent is a regrettable necessity. Walking away from the suffering of innocents suffering, while hiding behind the abstract of national borders, is a disgrace for any person who believes them self moral. War for national self-interest is immoral. In the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “if there is injustice anywhere, there is injustice everywhere.’

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.

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Manipulated into War? Of Oil, Syria and the mistakes of the past

Are oil interests driving the price of oil up by using the Syrian conflict as an excuse? Even a simple look at the market reveals some uncomfortable insights. If true, the cynical manipulation of the market, and the blatant disregard for human lives would place the international community on course to repeat the upheavals and tragedies that have come to define the last 30 years with multiple wars for oil.

Syria is ranked a very distant 32nd among oil producing nations in 2009, with a downward trend towards reserves and will, according to analysts, become an oil importer by the end of the decade. The war in Syria has not affected oil prices so far, despite nearly two years of bloody fighting. No oil routes are affected by the current fighting, and international intervention would secure even more any routes potentially threatened shipping routes.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency reported ‘that Syrian government revenues are severely limited by the loss of oil export capabilities, particularly the lost access to European markets, which in 2011 imported $3.6 billion worth of oil from Syria according to news reports.’ http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=SY. Again, these numbers reflect exports before sanctions, and that up to now no significant impact was realized in energy markets from the conflict, until now.

In 2009 the Oxford Business Group’s Syria Report showed that oil exports accounted for 23% of government revenues, 20% of exports, and 22% of GDP in 2008. Syria exported about 150,000 barrels per day in 2008, and oil accounted for a majority of the country’s export income. Since March 2011 production of oil has been down more than 50%, costing the nation more than $3.5 billion in revenue.

Assad has however secured foreign investment in its oil industry aimed at boosting output. It is the investment from countries like Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Russia, China and India that is at risk. According to the EIA report :

The SPC operates through several subsidiaries, with the most notable being the Al-Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC), which is a joint venture between the SPC, Royal Dutch Shell, the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Other SPC subsidiaries include the Deir Ez-zor Petroleum Company, the Syria-Sino Alkawkab Oil Company, the Hayan Petroleum Company, the Oudeh Petroleum Company, and the Dijla Petroleum Company. Other international oil companies with interests in Syria include Gulfsands, Sinopec, and Total, and several other smaller companies also have stakes in the Syrian oil sector.
It is notable that Royal Dutch Shell appears to have maintained an interest in the market despite European sanctions against Syrian oil imports into European markets.

Despite all of this, in part on news of a possible international military response to the conflict in Syrian that crude oil prices spiked to an 18 month high. Why now? Why not at any point previously in the conflict. Crude oil prices have been trending downward recently.

Taken together, it would seem to indicate a massive manipulation of the market, and that the Syrian conflict offers a prime excuse and cover for that manipulation. The reason that becomes problematic is that it reveals greater concern for markets than lives, which ultimately drives irresponsible short-term action and inaction by market-focused governments. This strategy is pragmatically based and short-sighted, as was all too evident with Western support of Afghani-freedom fighters during the Soviet occupation. The West became involved for self-serving reasons and then abandoned the Afghan and Pakistani people victimized by the conflict. That led subsequently to a rise of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and more than a decade of disaster.

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