While You Were Otherwise Distracted

While the world was losing its small mind over refugees…..Russia has made in-roads into the Middle East…..for good or bad they are there…..or maybe you were buying into the falsehoods that the candidates are spreading……and then there is the most recent terrorist attacks in Paris……

My point is while you were letting the MSM do your thinking for you a development is taking place in Africa….and no this is not a post about Boko Haram or some other equally disgusting group….nope this is China.

China is establishing its first military base in Africa, according to a top U.S. general, providing yet another sign of its growing reach beyond the Asia-Pacific.

“They are going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa,” U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, recently told defense reporters.

Setting up a military base in Africa makes perfect sense given China’s vast economic presence in the region, said J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council. The base would be cheaper than China’s current, temporary arrangements that allow for docking ships at Djibouti ports to conduct naval patrols, he said.

The base also gives China an airfield that could significantly improve its intelligence gathering capabilities over the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Eastern Libya and well into Central Africa.

The move into Africa represents a challenge to the dominance of the United States, which has its own military base in Djibouti, at Camp Lemonnier, from which it conducts intelligence, counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations.


China is spreading its wings into areas that they have never been interested in……why?  Now China is on the Horn Of Africa…..that puts them very close to the Middle East……

The answer to that question could be found in a “white paper”…….In a May white paper, China said its army would “adapt itself to tasks in different regions, develop the capacity of its combat forces for different purposes, and construct a combat force structure for joint operations.”

This move should give the war hawks all they need to expand our interests and actions to try and control this situation…..

All that while you were otherwise distracted……and now you know…..so return to your normal viewing pleasure……

This concludes my day……if you are on the road for the holiday please be careful and be safe I want to see you all Monday…..I will be around for the next 4 days….just not as blog active as usual……

Turn the page!

Reformers And The Devout

I have spent some time in the Middle East…..first as a researcher/analyst for a Spanish newspaper and later as a resident for a couple of months in between jobs……I originally applied for a job at the UN Mission in Tunisia as an analyst but I was beaten out of the job by a guy that had many more letters after his name than I did.

During my studies on international relations and the Middle East I had to take courses in history of the region and a course on the Quran…the theory being to have a good perspective on the people and issues one must have knowledge of the Quran.  (No I did not convert to Islam as some may think)……You see it is difficult to understand the region if one cannot understand the religion.  I do not pretend to be an expert on the Quran…..but I do know enough to NOT condemn a religion because someone else has a hard on for it……

Now with the background out of the way……let us take a leap and say that the world wins this battle with ISIS and/or Al-Qaeda…..for a better Middle East, a more calm and prosperous Middle East there needs to be a few changes, according to some……..

Source: Some Thoughts on Reforming Islam interpretations and Fighting Terrorism | Middle East Briefing

All those that are demonizing Islam for whatever reason….I ask them….what do you want of Muslims?…..conversion to your “approved” religion or maybe just kill them all……

In closing….I have found that many who want to sound semi-intelligent when writing or talking about the Middle East and the problems always find these quotes from the Quran to justify their hatred…..especially when it comes to what they want to call jihad or the war against the West….first of all the modern jihad came into being in the 1940’s when the Muslim leader of Palestine called for it to try and stop the influx of Brits and Jews (that is as simply as I can put it…if someone wants a more detailed history lesson then I will provide upon request)…..

I have tried to not comment on all the hate speak against the Quran as the inspiration for the actions of ISIS and such groups……originally I posted that if one uses the Quran as the true words of God then Surah 63 should remove all doubt how the devout feel about these groups…..(at least to me…..)

al-Munafiqun (the hypocrites)

1. When the hypocrites come to you, they say, “We bear witness that you are God’s Messenger.” God knows that you are His Messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.

2. They treat their oaths as a cover, and so they repel others from God’s path. Evil is what they do.

3. That is because they believed, and then disbelieved; so their hearts were sealed, and they cannot understand.

4. When you see them, their appearance impresses you. And when they speak, you listen to what they say. They are like propped-up timber. They think every shout is aimed at them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. God condemns them; how deluded they are!

5. And when it is said to them, “Come, the Messenger of God will ask forgiveness for you,” they bend their heads, and you see them turning away arrogantly.

6. It is the same for them, whether you ask forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them; God will not forgive them. God does not guide the sinful people.

If the only Muslim you know is on FOX News then please keep your bullsh*t comments to yourself…….


​ The Baltic: The Land Of Wonder | Ace News Room

Once again I have written an article for my friends at Ace News room……people in the US are starting to sound like they did back in 1960’s….it is all about what Russia is up to as opposed to what the USSR was up to back in the day….

This world is becoming multi-polar….the US is no longer the dominate power in the world…..others are gaining and as they gain the same games played during the Cold War are returning to our foreign policy….

The Baltic nations illustrate this game perfectly…..

Source: ​ The Baltic: The Land Of Wonder | Ace News Room

Fly The Crowded Skies Of Syria

Last Friday I wrote a post about the crowded skies over Syria and the possibility of something that could gone wrong…..in case you did not bother to read the post I offer it up here……

Source: The Crowded Skies Of Syria | In Saner Thought

I got some blow back on the post……nothing derogatory or insulting but since the post……. the news this morning was…..

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Russia denied that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies. “We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said. “The Ministry of Defense would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.” Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored several warnings. The ministry said the pilots parachuted, but it added that Moscow had no further contact with them. More:

  • Video footage of the incident showed a warplane on fire before crashing on a hill and two crew members apparently parachuting safely. According to Turkey’s Dogan news agency, a Russian helicopter flew low over the Bayirbucak Turkmen region in northern Syria, searching for the two pilots.
  • A Turkish military statement said the plane entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province. “Two F-16 planes on aerial patrol duty in the area intervened against the plane in question in accordance with the rules of engagement at 9:24am,” the statement said, adding that the plane had been warned 10 times in the space of five minutes.
  • Russian authorities say the plane was one of dozens flying sorties as part of the country’s bombing campaign in Syria, reports the Washington Post, which notes that since Turkey is a NATO member, the downing of the jet is bound to increase friction between Moscow and the West.
  • Reuters reports that activists say the plane crashed in a mountainous part of Syria’s Latakia province, where government forces have been fighting insurgents. A Syrian rebel group has sent Reuters video of what it says is the body of one of the Russian pilots.


But what about the crew men of the plane shot down?

The two crew ejected from the stricken plane, the Russian defence ministry said, but the fate of the pilots was not known.

A leader of Turkmen forces in the north of Syria said his men had fired on the pilots as they parachuted, killing one.

Jahed Ahmad, of the Free Syrian Army’s 10th Brigade in the Coast, told the AP news agency that the pilots had attempted to land in a Syrian government-held area.

The group published graphic video showing gunmen standing around a bruised and bloodied pilot who appeared dead.

The Turkmens in northern Syria are allied with rebel groups seeking the overthrow of Syrian president and Russian ally Bashar al-Assad.

If true this incident could be problematic on its own……

This is an incident and I believe that more could come…..there are so many players doing the same thing……it will be interesting to see how the US government spins this incident…..

I closing……. the four most beautiful words in the English language……I TOLD YOU SO!

Some Veterans Figure It Out

I seems like every week we creep closer and closer to yet another “war”…..I will admit that I am an anti-war person or as I was called back in the day a ‘peace-nik”…..when I returned from Vietnam I started down my path to try and get people to see that wars are not always what they are told…..that there were nefarious reasons for war…..and it had little to do with “God and country”….

I read this piece in the LA Progressive and thought that it was something that everyone should read….

Source: Some Veterans Figure It Out

My two tours of duty in Vietnam helped me to become an activist….war changes people sometimes for the better…..only someone that faced death in a war zone will understand what I am saying….it is not something that can be explained to someone who was not there….when I was sent to talk with a therapist I would ask one question…..”were you there”?  If the answer was no then I would walk out…..opinions are like assholes….everybody has one but if you have no first hand knowledge then your opinion carries NO weight.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox…..any comments?

The Crowded Skies Of Syria

Yes, Irene this is about that magical land commonly known as SYRIA.

A couple of years ago we had the people of Syria un an uprising against their leader, Assad…..this was during what the media likes to call “the Arab Spring”….that quickly morphed into an armed uprising of rebels groups in opposition to Assad…..then there was a report of the use of CWs by the government against the people and the US waded into the fray……then there is ISIS, that barbaric group that is fighting everyone.  This situation plowed along until Assad conned the Russians into joining the fight against the rebels…..and then there was a horrific plane bomb that kills mostly Russians and ISIS claimed responsibility…..now Russia is taking on rebels as well as ISIS….let’s not forget the Turks that have decided to join the fight but most of their foes are the Kurds……

Then this week ISIS strikes again…..they execute a Norwegin and a Chinese person…..now thanx to their actions ISIS will have a new foe to join in the fight…….looks like Carson’s screw up by mentioning the China was in Syria….may have been prophetic…….

Beijing has vowed to bring ISIS to justice after the group said it had executed two hostages, a Chinese and a Norwegian.

ISIS said it had killed the two men, identified as Chinese national Fan Jinghui and Norwegian citizen Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad in its English-language online magazine Dabiq.

President Xi Jinping “strongly condemned” ISIS for the killing of Fan, the first known Chinese national to be killed by the group, and the country’s foreign ministry said the Chinese government would “definitely hold the perpetrators accountable.”

But how to respond to Fan’s “cold-blooded and violent” death presents a dilemma for China, which has stayed on the sidelines in the fight against ISIS and has a long-held principle of noninterference in other countries’ affairs.


Kinda amazing since I had just read an article about China and the Middle East just before the news of the ISIS executions hit the wires……

Source: Is it time for China to step up its engagement in the Middle East? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Soon there will be planes from US, Syria, Russia, Turkey, France, and whoever else wants to join in and now China may be the next to enter Syrian airspace…..

Damn!  That is gonna be one damn crowded airspace!

And all these planes makes the possibility of an accident causing an international incident rise 10 fold……

What could possibly go wrong?

2016: And Then There Is Foreign Policy

I believe that the next election, 2016, will be primarily a foreign policy election….I know I have said all this before……but all indications and events are sealing it in stone….

The US is facing ISIS, Russia, China and points too numerous to type here….my fingers get tired just thinking about how many countries I could name…..

Clinton will be a war hawk…..I do not care how much she tries to push back from the label….she will be what she is….a war hawk.  Bernie…I am not sure how he feels about the whole thing….I know he will be anti-war and that will defeat him with American voters…..O’Malley?  Who cares?

Now the GOP candidates……They all will be war hawks…..so if you are a voter who cares about foreign policy then any candidate will do….that is if your answer to every situation is war….

But let us talk about a couple of the more “popular” of the GOP dudes…..Bush and Carson….

Let’s begin with a “not too popular” Jeb Bush……

In a speech at The Citadel, Jeb Bush on Wednesday called for more ground troops to combat the “brutal savagery” of ISIL, and in the aftermath of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, issued a clarion call for new American leadership abroad.

Speaking to more than 100 cadets inside Mark Clark Hall, Bush said that the U.S. and its NATO allies should not delay in taking further action to stop the spread of Islamic State across Iraq and Syria. “Militarily, we need to intensify our efforts in the air – and on the ground,” Bush said. “While air power is essential, it alone cannot bring the results we seek. The United States – in conjunction with our NATO allies and more Arab partners – will need to increase our presence on the ground.”

Bush cautioned that the scope of ground forces should be based on the recommendations of military generals and said that the bulk of them “need to come from local forces that we have built workable relationships with.”

That should remove any doubt about his intentions regarding war….but there is something I need to point out…..He said……”the scope of ground forces should be based on the recommendations of military generals…….”
That is an interesting thing to say when generals are making it clear what they think about more troops for the Middle East…..
Escalations of airstrikes against ISIS targets are so common as to be virtually trivial at this point, but Pentagon officials are expressing growing disquiet about the latest calls for dramatic escalation of the war, saying they don’t believe the political leadership has learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan.
They warn military gains quickly evaporate in the absence of political and diplomatic moves to sustain those gains, and see a similar expectation of a sweeping military victory without any real moves to sustain it coming up once again.
Seems generals are not on the same page as Bush….but that can be remedied….replace the generals with more “yes men”….
Shall we take a look at a on and off front runner for the GOP nomination….Ben Carson?
He has once again slipped behind Trump….time for him to make another platitude that will fire up his support…..but in the meantime some of his team have reservations about the candidate……

Ben Carson is finding it very difficult to get a grasp of foreign policy, according to at least one of the advisers that have been trying to explain it to him. “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” former CIA agent Duane R. Clarridge, who has been advising the candidate on terrorism and national security, tells the New York Times. Clarridge and top Carson adviser Armstrong Williams say they were frustrated by the candidate’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, where he failed to name the allies he would contact first for an anti-ISIS coalition.

Clarridge tells the Times that Carson’s claim during last week’s debate that the Chinese are in Syria appears to have come from a US intelligence source in Iraq who “overleaped.” After the unusually frank interview with the 83-year-old Clarridge appeared, a Carson campaign spokesman told Business Insider that it was an “affront to good journalistic practices” for the Times to “take advantage of an elderly gentleman,” adding that the candidate has more than a dozen foreign policy advisers and receives daily briefings. The Times countered that it was “Williams who recommended that we talk to Mr. Clarridge and described Mr. Clarridge as a ‘mentor’ to Mr. Carson on foreign policy.”

He has a dozen foreign policy advisers and gets daily briefings and he still cannot get it right……if I were a Carson supporter I would have concerns over his lack of knowledge about the single most important issue for 2016…..but then again….I am NOT a supporter.

A writer for the “American Conservative”, Daniel Larison,  has put it best……

The bigger problem that Carson’s struggles point to is that almost all of the Republican candidates are woefully unprepared and lacking in foreign policy experience, and the few that have some experience don’t have very much. Carson’s lack of preparation on foreign policy is the most obvious in the field, but most of his competitors have the same weakness. That is what happens when a party simultaneously equates hard-line rhetoric with “expertise” and dismisses foreign policy experience as unnecessary for its presidential candidates.

That leaves the Donald whose big idea is exactly what we are doing now…..”bomb the sh*t out of them”……what can I say…..when in doubt ……state the obvious!

Once again the American citizen is being herded into a rush to war…..the latest poll after the Paris attacks show that Americans support the use of US Troops by 65%…..this should feed the political rhetoric until the next attack….and that GOP rhetoric is starting to sound familiar…..think back 80 years.