52 Card Pick-Up

Blog Post


Biden Corruption

China in Focus

US Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was allegedly revealed to have made extensive financial gains from a Chinese company. It’s worth watching. Of course, if old Joe wins the presidency, this corruption will vanish instantly along with the people who could testify. Hillary will consult.

A lawsuit highlights a common point of Chinese corruption: rampant extortion and blackmail. One police chief offers to make the charges against one company disappear, for a price.


The Iraq War & WMD’s

The Resolution called for a verifiable proof the WMDs were disposed of. If Iraq had no WMDs (it didn’t), then it had to prove where and how it disposed of them.

This presented a problem for Iraq that destroyed the weapons in clandestine manner, in order to keep up the Potemkin WMD program as a deterrent against Iran. Saddam was afraid without those, Iran would seek to destabilize Iraq and overthrow Saddam in favor of their Shia allies within Iraq. Saddam believed the threat of chemical weapons shielded him from that fate.

The weapons were still disposed of, but no documentation was kept, and the people involved with the actual destruction (with the exception of the King of Spades, “Chemical Ali” – Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander, chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, and Saddam’s cousin**) were executed. Iraq’s problem was that they did too good of a job. There were no credible witnesses, no paper trail and no evidence to show that anything was destroyed. Total access to Iraq wouldn’t help inspectors, because Iraq is a vast and empty land, with too many places to hide the stuff.

It took the coalition about half a year to discover the buried planes of the Iraqi air force, next to an airport.

The reality was, as I learned, that George Bush and the ‘neocons’, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz wanted to invade Iraq irrespective and the WMD’s and vague allusions to 9/11 were enough for the American people. If the Iraqis had been able to prove that they didn’t have any WMD’s, the US (and coalition) would have found another pretext.

** Seven years after the fall of Baghdad, Chemical Ali was executed.


Fun with Maps

Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom


Opinions on where Northern California begins





h/t Woodsterman

29 thoughts on “52 Card Pick-Up

  1. WMDs in Iraq? Nah, they didn’t have anything. There’s no reason that the sewers under the main research lab area was so friggin hot that it set off anybody’s meters that got near it (story from a good Marine friend of mine who had to go spelunking under said facility and even with remote bomb robots, they couldn’t get very far in the sewers due to the very high radiation levels…)

    Of course, people will say that radioactivity is from the US use of depleted uranium rounds. Which never reached the sealed sewers under said suspected research facility. Must have just been background radiation, right? Maybe a buried BOLO from ancient Mesopotamia…

    And looking at Australia, I remember when Australia was a friggin right-wing overly conservative stronghold.

    As to Biden (senior and junior) corruption? How else can someone working for 47 years as a government stooge have a family so rich and powerful? Yet the newsies are worried about Trump’s taxes and income?

    1. The Iraqis did a great deal of harm and had aggressive WMD programs – including plans to launch a nuke from Bull’s gun (if you recall that). But based on what I know, those programs had all been shut down by the time we invaded the place.

      I want to know if Biden paid income tax on the millions of dollars in graft that he received via Hunter. Ok, I know the answer, and the media will hide it anyway.

  2. Didn’t Saddam use chem weapons on some of his own people?
    If he had destroyed them, then he was placed in a position of having to prove a negative.
    He was not one to garner much sympathy, though.

    I seem to remember a reference to a post-WWI study showing that any Middle East campaign would have to start with Iraq as the center. If so, I wonder what the neocons thought they would accomplish.

    Meanwhile, did they ever discover what was on that convoy that skedaddled out of Iraq (besides Imelda Marcos’s shoes)?

    1. The British had their own adventure in Mesopotamia in the 1920’s. They left. We left.

      Now that the US is exporting oil, there’s not much interest in the place.

  3. The WMD were immaterial, although there was certainly a lot of world suspicion about the programs.

    The simple fact is that the Kuwait war never ended with a peace treaty, merely a ceasefire. Iraq violated that ceasefire by attacking our enforcement troops at least weekly for the entire gap period between the two wars – firing on our no-fly patrols, etc. Just because the Iraqi military was garbage and these attempts always failed does not mean that they were not violations, nor that they were acceptable.

    We had casus belli up the wazoo, and didn’t even require a new declaration of war.

    Getting rid of Saddam and his family was a basic good, it’s just a damn shame that the American people didn’t have the patience to let us sit on the place for 50 or 75 years and turn it into a vaguely civilized 2nd world nation.


    1. The study that was done pre-war was that it would take 250,000 troops for 10 years to fix Iraq post war, using every drop of oil revenue to fuel the repair job. The reply from Rumsfeldt was, “We don’t have 250,000 troops to commit to that” — exactly.

      Then there is Iran. And Iraq was a bulwark against Iran.

      I don’t weep for the dead Tikritis (Saddam’s family and friends) but a lot of Americans died needlessly in my opinion and it cost us a vast sum of treasure.

  4. For reference, Melbourne and Sydney are about 50% of Australia’s population, and as I recall it, over 40% of Melbourne were born overseas. I’d imagine it’s similar in Sydney. Hell, there’s now more Africans in the state of Victoria than there are Aboriginals.

    There’s not actually that many Australians left in Australia, definitely outnumbered by imports. When the small town near where I grew up is maybe 500 people and the petrol station is run by an Indian and half the businesses are now owned by Chinese, what does that tell you?

    I long ago came to the conclusion our politicians are utterly corrupt, bent on replacing the people they are supposed to represent thinking they’ll still be on top. They’re going to be shocked when identity politics bites them in the arse. Eventually the rest of us will have to shed the blood to try to clean up the mess. I’m sure Larry and a few others have been around the world enough and read enough history to see where the outcome of such “multicultural” societies leads.

    Why yes, I am bitter, thank you for asking…

    1. I’ve heard the same things from friends who live/lived in Australia. One of my best friends, retired from the Federal Police who worked intelligence for years, landed in Thailand for reasons you cite. He said that he hated to see the place fall apart. Sad.

      1. Funny you mention that, nearly all the Aussie blokes I know who are halfway switched on have either left or are planning to, unless they have ties here they can’t get away from easily.

    2. There are those who think that Walter Max Lippmann was a great man.
      I am not one of those persons.

      “Multiculturalism” is a scam. It harms society as a whole. However, certain groups are poised to take advantage of the fragmentation of society. Multiculti is essentially a force multiplier for them.

  5. So much fodder, so little coffee.

    Everyone knows there were no WMD’s (gotta bridge for sale if you want it).

    The media either doesn’t care or doesn’t know they are the manipulated tools (fools?) of international influence on our society that affords two levels of what is legal and what is not. Look at the two “Townhall’s – one was a fireside chat sans bourbon, the other was a dog fight. George never asks Biden about the e.mails? Uh yeah. The Angry Bird relentlessly arguing with the President. Zero respect, like she has some right to do so. And some of the questions to POTUS?? You get the privilege to ask the President a question one-on-one and you come up with some nudge topic? POTUS wiped the floor with her. Watched Trump Card last night, makes total sense.

    “Stay out of the road!” Shows the influence of public education, a 6-year old knows better.

    1. Curious if Joe and Hunter will have an “Epstein didn’t kill himself” accident, how else will the handlers get out from under the Pedo Joe & Son debacle? Then – no surprise – hours after the story breaks the Harris campaign announces COVID “cases” in her entourage as an easy excuse to stay out of the limelight.

      1. With Joe it will be “he died peacefully in his sleep” once he wins the election and is sworn in, to propel Harris through the glass ceiling in a “the king is dead, long live the king” scenario. Hunter, out of the limelight, might take a sail boat out on a trip and simply never come back. He’s much easier to remove – no body, no evidence of foul play, no sail boat. Shark (now loaded on cocaine) with a full belly.

        1. I think the 2020 ‘can this get anymore stupid” strangeness will hit a crescendo sometime and fittingly around Halloween. But, like cockroaches, shine a light and they scurry to the dark corners. Unfortunately with this latest criminal activity the flashlight manufacturer is hitting the remote “off” button and the light goes out. I’m sure there are some people who voted early who regret their decision, hopefully it won’t be enough to do any Trump 2 damage.

          Here in Colorado the ballot included a weirdly (lawyer obfuscation) worded item to [effectively] circumnavigate the Electoral College, a thinly veiled attempt to steal the election. Question is how many of the activist/ignorant will vote yes?

  6. I’ve no insight on the whys of invading Iraq. On a personal level I was relieved.

    At the time, Iraq had the 4th largest standing Army in the world and had some eleven years of combat experience fighting Iran. The US Vietnam experience, along with the Grenada and Panama operations, made me cynical.

    Cliche, amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics. Our attack had one decent highway to supply forward operations.

    The attack was brilliant and the logistics nearly flawless. My confidence was restored in our Armed Forces.

    The subsequent occupation was one fuck up after another, IMO. By that time, the politicians (many wearing uniforms) were calling the shots.

    1. The Gulf War rocked the Russians. The Iraq war, a decade later, served to confirm what they (and the Iraqis) knew. The Chinese as well, who have a large army. Numbers are important but in modern warfare, there is a qualitative factor.

      Then more recently, there was the Battle of Khasham wherein a mixed force of about 500 Russian private military contractors and Syrians attacked US forces. According to sources in the Russian private military company, Wagner Group – cited by news media as well as the Pentagon – U.S. forces were in constant contact with the official Russian liaison officer posted in Deir ez-Zor throughout the engagement and only opened fire after they had received assurances that no regular Russian troops were in action or at risk. Best guess at casualties is that 100 private Russian military contractors were killed and 200 wounded. It was a lesson that the Russians took back home to review.

  7. Loved the last two. Dealt with FVEY for over 20 years. Interesting exchanging data sometimes…LOL Also interesting attending meetings in those countries. 🙂

  8. Of course it never mattered whether Iraq had operational WMD. The Neocon agenda is to use the military and economic might of the US in service of another nation. They are not conservative in any way (the “con” obviously stands for something else). Embroiling the US in wars and conflicts, many of which do not benefit the American people at large serves two purposes:
    1. Their enemies get hammered by the US. Their enemies come to hate the US and to lump us in with a brave and plucky little nation in the Middle East. (I talk to a lot of people from Pakistan, Iran, etc. The man on the street doesn’t “Hate us for our freedoms”. Hell, they generally admire the US and want to live here.)
    2. American deaths in these military adventures is a feature not a bug. The more American blood shed in these misadventures, the more the average American comes to pick sides, and to side with a plucky little foreign power.
    Neocons by and large are manipulative parasites who frankly don’t care about the interests of the United States, and the American man on the street, other than how the US can be used to serve their ends.

    1. No, the so-called neocons are not conservative. They serve the military industrial complex. The third purpose is that the beltway bandits make literally trillions of dollars. But you’re on point.

    2. PS. The politics of oil and money being what it is, the Trump Era has ushered in new peace agreements between Israel and its adversaries with the exception of Iran, which will likely come to the table if President Trump is re-elected. The misery index there is very high. Imagine a situation where there is no looming Middle Eastern War. I’m not suggesting that the Syrians will be content or that the Turks won’t remain fractious, but nothing that the USA should concern itself with.

  9. while sadam had largely closed out his wmd production, he was trading oil for chemical munitions with at least one nato ally, germany, and the russians. they both sent crews in several weeks before the jump off of shock and awe to recover the remaining munitions and any evidence they could lay hands on. can’t say if bush et al knew about it prior or after the build-up. frankly i don’t think so, but those crews were given safe passage in and out. i suspect a couple of foreign ministers went with hat in hand when they figured bush really meant what he said. of course none of that matters, it just sticks in my craw when folks say there weren’t any wmd in iraq.

    1. There WERE WMD’s in Iraq. I don’t think that was ever in dispute. The real question is whether, at the time of invasion, they were an adequate pretext. Do we invade other countries (Cuba comes to mind) because of WMD’s? Yes, we certainly came close during the Kennedy Administration but do we today? They are a hostile foreign power (though they loved Obama and he loved them), they have WMD’s. What about Venezuela? I don’t know what they’ve picked up since the communists took over.

      The Gulf of Tonkin incident also known as the USS Maddox incident, was a hoax international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. You can conflate that with the Iraqi WMD’s (which were obtained for use against Iran) or you can say that it’s not the same thing. After the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein had a real concern about the US, which had the credible military power to invade Iraq and crush him personally. It turns out that his concerns were well founded.

      My issue with Iran was that the American people were sold a load of goods (again). What WMD’s Saddam Hussein had at the outset of the war were not aimed at Israel (who had nukes) or the USA. I am familiar with the valid information you laid out in regard Germany and Russia, both of whom wanted to sell him chemical weapons. Taken in context with the world at large, is the totality of Iran’s activity pre-invasion adequate justification? That’s the question and a yes or a no to that has to be weighed against US blood and treasure. Taking out Saddam led to the rise of ISIS (now gone from the map), and to a much stronger Iran, the new power in the region. Was it worth it?

      1. oh i agree whole heartedly, if you mean iraq. of course hillary tried to sell us on attacking iran after the initial sell of attacking syria fell thru. anything to keep the hegemony going eh? we’ve been wagged more times than the dog’s tail.

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