Finally, a not so little cynical, though probably pertinent analogy: remember the 1980s craze of kidnapping and holding for ransom Western diplomats, journalists, peace brokers, etc in Lebanon? Apparently no Russian national ever was taken, and there were not a few of them there at the time. Can't recall the source, acc. to whom that was so, because, when the craze started, the KGB preventively kidnapped one of the local gangster bosses known to engage in that, and sent him back with his cochones in his mouth. May be apocryphal for all I know. But if not, that and worse is what awaits the perps in this case, if they are identified and located by the Russians.
Studied Russia quite a bit and never once recall coming across that. And, I was going to ask for a source for that.
Russia did have a lot of ties with groups down there at the time. They continue to have ties with the Shia side of things.
And Russia engaged in a lot of very sketchy activity, including arming middle eastern and irish terrorists. But, we have records of these things. Besides the Mitrokihn archives, moles who have defected, fmr KGB who have written 'tell all' memoirs where they didn't even have to have redactions because the old regime was gone...
re WWIII scenarios
Russia is in a tense position, and China, as well. Then you have the Muslim majority nations across asia and africa into the heart of the middle east. And Russia and China tied up closely with the shia, whereas the US and West is tied up closely with both Sunni and Israel.
Someone mentioned "little cabals". I believe there are some titanic underground organizations roving about out there. But, truth is always vastly stranger then fiction.
What people should be expecting in the future is another kind of bad thing. Not like earthquakes or global world wars. Something that confronts and grabs people at the core of their being and twists until all the life they knew before was gone, so incredible is the shock.
People and their minds are very fragile things, so rarely exposed to anything that is truly wonderous, mind bending, emotion twisting, shock inducing... to anything that overpowers their mind entirely, that overpowers their heart.
We watch so much on the other side of the screen, forgetting how distant it all is. How mundane and consistent reality is. Not that it is this way for all. And then there are those who demand to know the truth, and hearing nothing back, they make great postures about how they are the authorities of truth.
So much of what wires us requires the up close and personal. We can natively divide between news and compelling fiction. We have seen a thousand shocking "911" in cinema, but the real one, despite far away for most of us, was so visceral. We have seen countless beauties of the sex we desire on screen, but nothing quite like the blood rushing with phermones of love up close and personal engaging our senses. We have seen so many club scenes on the other side of the screen, but nothing quite like being there with the drugs in the scents enflaming our bodies and souls. We have seen so many life threatening events on the other side of the window of the television and theater screen, but nothing quite like when it is real, and right in front of us.
I will give you that. I was on my cell phone, and really found the article interesting because of the evidence he spelled out indicating the targeting of the hospital was extremely likely to be intentional. I cobbled up the headline I gave it just for conversation starters. The real story is that the US intentionally targeted a hospital and there is overwhelming evidence indicating that they did.
The problem with the, as you say editorialists, not journalists, saying it was accidental, I think... is if they are going to be so 'rah rah rah', why don't they stomach what they are really standing for. Straight up go, "Yeah, so, I am for gunning down a hospital. There were some taliban probably in there. In war you have to do some bad things."
Do they ever stop and think about what their views actually mean? I think human beings have a severe problem with not thinking. Too much behavior is automatic. Even their supposed own viewpoints tend to be regurgitated opinions they heard from someone else.
The worst serial killers don't like to personify their victims, either.
The willing audience closes their eyes, sticks their fingers in their ears, points the gun, and pulls the trigger trying to ignore the screams. But, they still do it. And that guilt still gets on them. Not having thought it out as they should just makes them irresponsible, asleep, zombiefied, instinctual, irrational, weak.
Would they stand up for their opinions if they saw up close video of the innocent patients, nurses, and doctors? If they saw them with their families, smiling? And then if they saw them screaming, getting torn to bits, in agony, and blood? Would that personification make them change their minds and think? Or would they just nod and go, "yeah, it had to be done"?
To be fair, don't confuse me with such a critic. I support a lot of these actions, and did from the beginning. That doesn't mean I know if the hospital attack was necessary or not, it probably wasn't. But I do not have the full facts. It does not mean I supported these actions because Cheney and crew would get Halliburton to screw up a lot there. Or that I supported the motives there that the Bush administration primarily went in there with, in general. It was using a blunt, ugly instrument to handle a really nasty wound. Losing a leg to save the patient, like a tourniquet. Everyone got the general big picture, however. Extreme, fundamentalist Islam is a severe global problem. The heart of that problem is right there between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. While the US and global troops were still set out as if the main enemy was the Soviet Union.
The problem is contained now, in a very ugly fashion. It is still likely to fester until it blows up. But at least there is now structure there to help contain the explosion. And I mean there having the visualization of a wound that is so full of rot that it bursts, killing the whole patient.
War is nothing to celebrate, or turn into political currency. It is not a football game to cheer, and ignore the bloodshed and cost. If you are going to support it, look at the cost on both sides. Painful to do, but worthwhile, if you believe your soul is worth anything at all.
"Going into intels is shady business".
Actually, think about it. CIA, FBI counterintelligence special agents, NSA, and so on... these grab from the top colleges, people who are sober, don't use drugs, are not promiscuous, have strong ethics. Top Secret clearance requires extensive background checks, investigations, routine lie detector, drug testing maintenance, financial analysis... even when you are talking about kids that go into these fields from the military, you are talking about those who have lived very strict lives and are high performance achievers.
You know, when they did studies about kids shooting viet kong during the Vietnam war, they discovered many would pull the trigger, aiming the gun in the direction of the enemy, but not actually shooting at them. Some would. Their lives were in danger, but they did this.
Now, you are talking about behavior - like what you see in cinema, for instance, or conspiracy theories - where people keep secrets, work for the US government... and engage in full out secret surveillance on very important people. Politicians. Corporate leaders. Intel and military leaders. People willing to perform domestic assassinations. People willing to use secret surveillance for extortion and other forms of manipulation secret surveillance provides. To plan out extensive lies, as one sees in Leverage or the Sting, Blacklist, and so on... implement them. On people whose only real crime usually is just that they are useful. Important. They are a judge or a jury member. They own a big company, or they are on a steering committee. They got elected. Or they were ambitious in journalism, law enforcement, intelligence, or military. Or because they saw something and tried to say something, but saying something they couldn't be allowed to do.
I am not saying there is nothing out there, just saying, there are realities.
Your statement is privacy and that has nothing to do with anything, but it does. If there isn't that which I am talking about, then what is the problem? The system is working, everyone is properly handling the data. They aren't going to do bad stuff or subvert anything. They don't care about convicting nobodies or looking at the sex lives of nobodies. Or the opinions of nobodies. Or even the important. They just want to find actual terrorists. The 'quixotic problem of preventing the impossible', to quote Schneier... they have to 'look at everyone all the time' because they are trying to stop that one attack which could be 'by anyone from anywhere by any means'.