On Wednesdays I try to post something international…..hot spots where I see a problem will arise that could force the US into doing something stupid or at least ill advised……
Black hawk Down……Remember the movie? If you do then you will also know that it was based on a true story that took place in 1994….for those that are not sure what really happened…….
Somalia in 1994 after an American Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Mogadishu and the bodies of crew members were displayed before the television cameras.
The sight was horrific….but what lead to that point?
Operation Restore Hope, when, in the final days of the presidency of George Bush senior, on December 5, 1992, 30,000 US troops were sent into Somalia under the pretext of delivering food aid to starving children.President Bill Clinton continued what became ever more openly an occupation. He was forced to pull US troops out of Somalia in 1994 after an American Black Hawk helicopter was shot down.
Now that you have had a refresher course in the US actions on the Horn of Africa….it will bet you are asking why would I re-hash the past….and I can say….Glad you asked!
The Obama administration is preparing a new military intervention in Somalia under the pretext of humanitarian concern for starving drought victims. The media has fallen into line with a campaign mixing crocodile tears and hand-wringing with denunciations of the Islamist movement al-Shabaab, which is blamed for the deepening crisis.US officials blame this organisation for the present famine. “The relentless terrorism by al-Shabaab against its people has turned an already severe situation into a dire one that is only expected to get worse,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last week.
Back in 1990, it was those darn pesky “warlords” that were causing the hunger and the famine in Somalia and today it is those darn pesky al-shabaab that is doing it……and once again the media is helping the administration to build a case for intervention in another country with the US military…..is the US posturing to do just that?
I am not saying that it is inevitable that the US will intervene militarily….only that the possibility is there and with our record….it should be expected! Why? We have made the same mistakes over and over…..look at Afghanistan…..the same mistakes the Russians made…..and now it sounds like a rev up to “humanitarian” aid to Somalia……Does Libya ring a bell?
For decades I have been writing and lecturing about the need for the US to cease its roll as the police force for the world…….it seems that whenever a maniacal dipstick threatens someone…..the world turns to the US to protect them from whatever perceived threat there is..and like the dutiful servants of man…we up and run head long into another war of sorts…..and who pays for all this adventurism? The American taxpayer…that is who!
The time is now to reconsider our roll as the world’s police force….it is time to tell the world that they need to handle their little squabbles among themselves….the US is struggling with amount debt and can NO longer afford the luxury of being the hero to the world, well at least half of it……
Other than my simple objection to our adventurism, is there any other reasons to stop being the world’s policeman? Why, yes there is! Below is a list by Michael Snyder for Black Listed News……a good list and excellent reasons to cease our law enforcement roll to the world…..
#1 Prior to the beginning of the “War on Terror” our national debt was under 6 trillion dollars. Today, it has more than doubled and currently sits at a whopping 14.3 trillion dollars.
#2 Today, the U.S. military is in nearly 130 different nations and it has a total of about 700 military bases around the globe. It costs approximately 100 billion dollars each year to maintain these military bases.
#3 U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.
#4 The United States already accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the planet. China is next with only 6.6%.
#5 If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.
#6 When you throw in all “off budget” items and other categories of “defense spending” not covered in the Pentagon budget you get a grand total ofsomewhere between $1.01 and $1.35 trillion spent on national defense in 2010.
#7 The U.S. government borrows an average of about 168 million more dollarsevery single hour.
#8 The Pentagon currently gobbles up 56 percent of all discretionary spending by the federal government.
#9 Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26%, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61% during that same time period.
#10 The cost for the first week of airstrikes on Libya was 600 million dollars. Keep in mind that the leader of the opposition in Libya has admitted that his forces contain large numbers of the same “al-Qaeda fighters” that were shooting at American troops in Iraq. So we are going broke and we are helping al-Qaeda take power in Libya at the same time.
#11 The total price tag for each F-22 fighter jet is approximately $350 million.
#12 Over the past decade, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost U.S. taxpayers well over a trillion dollars.
#13 If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
#14 Since 2001, the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan breaks downto well over $3,600 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
#15 Just one day of the war in Afghanistan costs more money than it took to build the entire Pentagon.
#16 The United States government is now responsible for more than a thirdof all the government debt in the entire world.
We are going broke and part of the reason, although not the only reason, are our wars and our adventurism…..maybe the more that the people know, the more they will demand that we worry about this country first and the rest of the world second……wishful thinking, I know…..but we have got to start somewhere.
I know that this post will mean very little to anyone at all…..but for me it is a personal thing for I have been into the area now in dispute…..a personal journey, if you will……so I apologize for the personal break and that I have gone off on a tangent here…..
First of all…please STOP using the term “the Sahara Desert”! The word Sahara means desert….so you are saying the desert desert……
When I was working in the Middle East I was in Morocco and had a chance to visit Western Sahara….that was shortly after the Spanish pulled out……
Western Sahara is just south of Morocco on the coast with the Atlantic….there is little to NO rainfall….temps got from 115 in day to 30′s at night…..few people and few resources…….Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco
Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976 and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’s withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’s sovereignty ended in a 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire; a UN-organized referendum on the territory’s final status has been repeatedly postponed. The UN since 2007 has sponsored intermittent talks between representatives of the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front to negotiate the status of Western Sahara. Morocco has put forward an autonomy proposal for the territory, which would allow for some local administration while maintaining Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, with Algeria’s support, demands a popular referendum that includes the option of independence.
A little background to help understand the post a bit better…..
Since 1976 there is been a series of conflicts and situations in Western Sahara but none have been good for the Sahawaris (indigenous people)…..and now the Obama admin has jumped on the Moroccan band wagon…..
“We have stated our belief that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic and credible, a potential approach to satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity,” Clinton told reporters.
The Polisario Front group demands a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara, a phosphate-rich territory that was annexed by Morocco after Spain withdrew in 1975. Morocco has only offered greater autonomy.
This is CRAP! It is what Morocco wants NOT what the Sahawris want……
In 1991, the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire between the Polisario forces and Morocco. The basis for this was that a UN-supervised referendum would determine the country’s future. However, despite numerous promises and resolutions from the UN, the referendum has not taken place. This is largely due to support for Morocco from the Western powers, particularly France and the US.
Repression in the Moroccan occupied territories continues. On November 8, 2010, Moroccan forces violently attacked non-violent protesters camped at Gdeim Izik, outside the capital El Aaiun. In the aftermath, Moroccan soldiers and settlers attacked Saharawi homes and shops in El Aaiun. An estimated 36 Saharawi were killed and 723 wounded, and 163 were arrested and are currently facing Moroccan military courts. Does this sound like they will give these people autonomy? If it does then we are not reading the same books……
My time among the people was great and they were a courteous and friendly people that only wanted one thing……freedom for them and the land….so far all they have gotten is crappy promises from the US, Morocco, France and many other countries….when I was leaving I was asked, “why does anyone but a Sahawris want this land?” An excellent question…it has NO gas or oil….it has NO arable land….it has NO natural resources other than some phosphates…….this land has nothing but the Sahara and if you ever go there you will NOT want it either……so why is it such an international thing?
I suggest that the US butt out of this situation and let the Sahawris have their own land…nothing about this smacks of the freedom loving American stereotype…it smacks of colonization of one country by another……IT IS NOT RIGHT! What happen to the belief in self-determination?
Like I have said….most Americans could care less about this piece of sand….but for me it is just something I had to post on…….have a day!
Well sports fans…the Pres will make another “major” Middle East speech….but will it make a difference or will it be just another speech?
Remember back some 17 months ago….Pres. Obama was in Cairo making an unforgettable speech….one of his best according to some sources….he talked about AQ and extreme Islam, Palestinians and a array of subjects…,.basically, saying that the US was going to do better in the Middle East over the last administration……after such a moving address…..how has he done in keeping his promises….an opinion piece in the Post of Pakistan touches on this subject……
President Barack Obama’s pledge on Wednesday to strive for better relations with the Muslim world drew skepticism in Cairo, where last year he called for a new beginning in the Middle East after years of mistrust. In a visit to Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, Obama acknowledged morSeventeen months after Obama’s Cairo University speech, al Qaeda is still threatening the West, peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain stalled over the issue of West Bank settlements and US troops remain in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many in the Middle East believe that Washington’s tight alliance with Israel makes it impossible to end the suffering of the Palestinians, breeding cynicism among Arab Muslims toward US intentions in the region. “It’s all speeches — in the end the same American politics, and Jewish politics, continues,” said Cairo retiree Mohamed Abdel.e needed to be done to repair ties with the Muslim world.
There you have it….seems that moving and inspirational speech made 17 months ago has done little to solve the problems of the US in the Middle East….like they say….it was nothing but a speech and no one in the area really consider for a moment that anything would change….SURPRISE! Nothing has changed!
And yet Obama will try again….and once again NOTHING will change….he will make a good speech and that is about it…there will be NO change in Yemen or Syria or Bahrain or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict…..so I say again…NOTHING will change!
For decades, the Middle East has been a minefield…this guy our guy….that guy bad man….this guy (who the Hell knows)….there has been war in the ME since they were fought sticks and stones and every age has had its humanitarian problems…..now I ask which one is a humanitarian problem?
I ask this because we are told that the US had NO choice but to act in Libya because of the degrading humanitarian situation….at least that is the official tag line……but what made Libya a humanitarian situation? The threat of people dying with an attack on Benghazi? If we use that explanation….why was the Sudan, where 2 million civilians have died, not a humanitarian crisis? Or Yemen, where the government forcves are killing their residents….or Bahrain where the Sunni majority is killing Shi’a majority this time with the help of Saudi Arabia, who by the way are Sunni….why are these NOT in the crosshairs of the UN or the US? Could it have anything to do with the oil reserves in Eastern Libya?
The ME is a minefield with young “facebookers” fighting old establishment and moderates…..or tribe against tribe…..or Sunni against Shi’a…….there is NO one size fits all in the ME…….each one is different….but one thing is a constant in the ME….despotism!
And then there is another land mine to worry about…..who do we stand behind in each of these conflicts? We have NO idea who are the leaders, if any, of any of these developing situations……..and then there is this…..what are the chances that say AQ gets their hands on oil and the money that it generates? Would that constitute another armed intervention? Yet another war?
This piece of American adventurism leaves more questions unanswered than it answers……what will we do? What will be our future in the next 5-10 years? Will we be fighting Arabs? Because that seems to be a war that we cannot win and hopefully that is NOT on the agenda in Washington.
On a side note: The US will give Tunisia $20 million to help promote democracy…..think about that for a moment……maybe we should spend that $20 million in the US because it looks like our democracy is in its waning days…..JUST A THOUGHT!
College of Political Knowledge
Subject: International Relations
For three weeks the people of Egypt have been demonstrating their disgust with the government….mostly peaceful with the except of a couple of days when Mubarak sent in the dogs to beat the hell out of the opposition……for the most part the US has been doing what I consider the best thing…..staying out of it and working behind the scenes to keep it peaceful and to find a possible solution….but keeping in mind that it is Egypt and only Egyptians have a final voice on what that solution will be…….
But as usual there are those on the Right that are bitching about the Prez and his handling of the whole Egyptian situation….and some have even come down on the side of Mubarak who has kept the people under his thumb for thirty years while receiving billions upon billions of US foreign aid…..
All this reminds me of the lunatics on the Right how they are always referring to what the “Founders” had to say or think or meant…….okay then let us go with that……
Jefferson said that we Americans should export the “Empire of liberty”……. meaning?
“We shall divert through our own Country a branch of commerce which the European States have thought worthy of the most important struggles and sacrifices, and in the event of peace [ending the American Revolution]…we shall form to the American union a barrier against the dangerous extension of the British Province of Canada and add to the Empire of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous Enemies into valuable friends.” – Jefferson to George Rogers Clark, 25 December 1780.
Meaning? Jefferson thought and believed that it was America’s job and responsibility to spread freedom across the globe…….so if Jefferson considered it our job to spread democracy, why would the people that pretend to speaker for the Founders be so against the US doing just that?
By the US staying out of the fray we are doing exactly what Jefferson wanted…..we are letting the people of Egypt decide their own future with democracy….may I suggest that people like Palin, DeMint, Beck and the rest of the lunatics on the Right…….stop using the Founders in ways that they NEVER intended…….or learn moree about the Founders so that you are correct when you invoke their names……
If one is into conspiracy theories….I have one for you….the Right is on the support Mubarak bandwagon because they are running scared….if the people win and there is no Islamic revolution then their whole premise for the fear factor goes in the crapper and with that they have NOTHING!
Egypt is for Egyptians! And Jefferson would agree with me on this (may be the only thing that he would agree with me on)………
As promised, the president will have his up-to-date review of how things are going in Afghanistan…….i have said that they are NOT going well at all, but I am in the minority….or at least I thought I was….
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds a record 60% of Americans “say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment — and a politically hazardous one — in advance of the Obama administration’s one-year review of its revised strategy.”
With that said the review that will be given to the president today will say…..
“Specific components of our strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan are working well and there are notable operational gains.
“Most important, al-Qa’ida’s senior leadership in Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001. In Pakistan, we are laying the foundation for a strategic partnership based on mutual respect and trust, through increased dialogue, improved cooperation, and enhanced exchange and assistance programs. And in Afghanistan, the momentum achieved by the Taliban in recent years has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in some key areas, although these gains remain fragile and reversible.
“While the strategy is showing progress across all three assessed areas of al-Qa’ida, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the challenge remains to make our gains durable and sustainable.”
(Thanx to Reuters for the overview)
First of all, what would you think it was going to say? Did you really thin it was going to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
The troops will start home next July….good sign? Nope…..it is to make it appear that part of the campaign promises are being upheld…….they rumor is we will reevaluate our mission (what ever that is) in 2014….what happens then? Another 10 years…maybe?
We Americans, the people as the politicians like to refer to us as, are dead set against this war and 60% are, if that was the Senate it would be the “super-majority” that we are always hearing about, why are we still there fighting a war that CANNOT be won? If we leave it to the generals, we will be there when my granddaughter turns 18 and we we there when she was born….I would say that is long enough….cut your loses and let the a/holes go back to the 12th century…….
WikiLeaks!…….now here is the subject of the week……everyone has an opinion on what is to be done with this Assange dude that has leaked these quarter million documents…I have heard that he is guilty of treason or something just as strong…..as I think back to the release of the “Pentagon Papers” by Daniel Ellsberg (yes I am that old!) I recall hearing a bunch of the same criticism….that Ellsberg was killing American soldiers or that it would harm our diplomatic mission for years to come…..on and on and on……
To begin with…this latest release of previously secret documents is mostly gossip, NOT intel of any kind….I mean when you have emails or the like that calls Sarkozy a “naked emperor”…..that is NOT something that is classified……yes there has been some released that could be seen as some sort of secret….. but treason?
I heard Mike Huckabee say that the person releasing these was guilty of treason and should be executed…..made me think back…..some little toad named Scooter outed an active CIA agent named Plame…..did anyone on the Right call for him to be executed? Do not hurt yourself….NO THEY DID NOT! Even though it is a massive crime to do so…..this is just a political football….it is a use of news to make points back home and reinforce the idea of “American Exceptionalism”……..
But the airwaves are full of people, some well intentioned, calling for someone’s head….mostly the head of Assange….but ask yourself this…..
How did a lowly PFC get access to all this info if we have such a good security system in place for our computer system that is so basic to our national security? And now the US has changed the way info is accessed…kinda like closing the proverbial barn door after the cows have made their escape……and is NO one looking at the higher ups that allowed this type of thing to happen? I mean the Minister of Defense in S. Korea resigned after the N. Korea attack last week….why is the US placing the blame solely on the shoulders of this lowly analyst….apparently it was not that hard to retrieve the info….someone at the top was asleep at the wheel….and they are the REAL criminals in this continuing saga……I am sure this is FAR from over!
Another point…..this is being used to avoid talking about the real issues that face Americans….lack of jobs, a struggling economy……it is all smoke and mirrors….hoping that the American people will feel betrayed by someone other than their elected officials…..nice try….but it does not work…..well maybe on idiots!
From the VOMITORIUM
I recently read a piece about what the UAE’s ambassador to the Us has said about the US and Iran….before I give you the quote I would like to say that I am truly sick of these sanctimonious a/holes telling us what we should do ……..
Recently in Aspen the ambassador made the following comments:
Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba reportedly endorsed the military option if sanctions do not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” Otaiba said to an audience in Aspen, Colorado. “I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what.”
“If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?,’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’ I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the UAE,” Otaiba reportedly said, in response to a question after a public interview with the Atlantic magazine. (then do it yourself!)
Okay! Enough! This is the final straw! It is time for the US to cut its defense budget to a percentage of the GDP and let the rest of the damn world fend for themselves. The rest of the world, has done just that, especially our allies in Europe and now it is time for them to STOP hiding behind our backs and learn to defend themselves.
You want to lessen the budget deficit…then that idea would go a LONG way in doing just that….it would not be too damn popular to the military-industrial complex which bribes politicians as much as Wall Street does.
I have been saying for years that it is time for the US to get out of the police business….that it is time for the rest of the world to do their part. I have said and said that foreign aid was the biggest drag on our budget and that it was beyond time to rethink that program. I am NOT speaking of the humanitarian programs that is only about 10% of our total foreign expenditures…but rather our military presence in place that NO longer need our protection from the boogie man…….
I would like to tell the ambassador to go f*ck himself…if he is that concerned then raise an army for their own protection and stop wimping out and telling the US what to do and how to do it.