Pete Buttigieg: The 7 Issues Guide

Pete Buttigieg: The 7 Issues Guide

This young man is impressive….he answers all question with clarity…he does not avoid direct questions like so many of the Dem candidates….please if you are thinking about supporting a candidate for 2020…learn a thing about Mayor Pete. chuq

Political⚡Charge

buttigieg Pete Buttigieg; Photo by Yuri Gripas, Reuters

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified…

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The Iraqi Debate

Once again the old debate on whether the invasion and then occupation of Iraq in 2003 was worth the cost…..plus the reason for the invasion in the first place…..

The debate returns because of a report that has been published……

As Iraqis mark 16 years since the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq on 20 March, the US Army has recently made public a long-awaited Iraq war study.

The study, though ready for release in 2016, had been delayed due to concerns over airing “dirty laundry” about decisions made by some of its leaders during the conflict.

The 1,300-page, two-volume history, which includes hundreds of declassified documents, highlights both the mistakes and successes of the US involvement in Iraq, from the 2003 invasion to the rise of the Islamic State (IS). It is a detailed testimony of the impact of the Iraq war on that nation and the entire Middle East. 

As someone with Iraqi origins, reading the entire two-volume history was an emotional journey – a painful testimony to the vicissitudes that have ravaged Iraq since 2003. Reading it as a historian, on the other hand, was gratifying, as it vindicates the value of the discipline of history.

 
Why did the US invade?  Oil, WMDs or democracy?
 

Sixteen years after the United States invaded Iraq and left a trail of destruction and chaos in the country and the region, one aspect of the war remains criminally underexamined: why was it fought in the first place? What did the Bush administration hope to get out of the war?

The official, and widely-accepted, story remains that Washington was motivated by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme. His nuclear capabilities, especially, were deemed sufficiently alarming to incite the war. As then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Despite Saddam not having an active WMD programme, this explanation has found support among some International Relations scholars, who say that while the Bush administration was wrong about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, it was sincerely wrong. Intelligence is a complicated, murky enterprise, the argument goes, and given the foreboding shadow of the 9/11 attacks, the US government reasonably, if tragically, misread the evidence on the dangers Saddam posed.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/20/why-did-bush-go-war-iraq-answer-more-sinister-you-think

Of course we can always find someone who will justify the invasion and I will post them as I find them…..

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and claimed that if Saddam was still in power we “wouldn’t have the problems you have right now,“ I believed he was dead wrong. As I argued then, from the moment Hussein took power until he was deposed in 2003, there were few greater instruments of instability in the world than Saddam Hussein.

Before he was allegedly “contained” by constant, substantial American military deployments, he invaded his neighbors, gassed his people, harbored and supported terrorists, and was responsible for not one but two of the largest conventional military conflicts since World War II — the horrific Iran–Iraq war and Operation Desert Storm. Even after American containment efforts attempted to lock into place and limit his malign reach, he was a prime supporter of a deadly Palestinian suicide-bombing campaign that caused proportionately more Israeli civilian casualties than American civilians lost on 9/11, he tried to assassinate an American president — George H. W. Bush — and he routinely fired on American pilots enforcing lawful no-fly zones. He violated the Gulf War cease-fire accords, interfered with weapons inspections, and hid away chemical weapons by the thousands. No, his WMD program wasn’t nearly as extensive as we thought, but it is fiction to believe his weapons were entirely gone. Americans were injured by Saddam’s chemicals during the war.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/iraq-war-just-cause-saddam-hussein-threat-stability/

I am watching and listening to the talking heads on the Tube….most are asking how did we get this so wrong?  A silly question!

These are the people that went before the nation and sold the public on a lie and Americans die.  They want to appear as if their hands are clean when in reality theirs are drenched in blood!

AS we recognize the 16th anniversary of the invasion we are still having the same excuses for the invasion…..none can be justified in my mind….but keep trying maybe they will hit on something that will resonate with me.

Peace Out!

Modern Monetary Policy

Yep I am about to bore the crap out of my reader…..when it comes to economics the average person glazes over and goes to that “happy place” in the mind until the talk is finished.

But I feel I need to drop some info on my readers……there has been much in the MSM about the Green New Deal and the proposals by a couple of candidates about taxing the rich……

I want to give my reader a look into the policies and the economics of them…..

First the call to “Tax The Rich”……

I don’t consider myself an MMTer, but there is a basic Keynesian concept which has been associated with MMT, which is both true and important. For the federal government, taxes are not about raising revenue, taxes are about reducing consumption to prevent inflation.

The point is that the federal government does not need taxes for revenue, since it can just print money. It instead taxes to create the room in the economy for government spending. This view is sometimes wrongly taken as a “get of jail free” card, where the government can spend whatever it wants without worrying about raising revenue.

That could be true in a deep downturn. However, if the economy is near its full employment level of output, where additional demand will lead to rising inflation, we are pretty much back in the world where we need taxes to offset spending. Any major increase in government spending will lead to higher inflation, unless we have higher taxes or have some other mechanism to reduce demand in the economy.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/20/modern-monetary-theory-and-taxing-the-rich/

Next how about that Green New Deal that is getting the conservs lathered up to the point that they resurrect a fear from the 1950s……

Much of the Democratic Party, including almost the entire pack of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has embraced the concept of a Green New Deal (GND). This is an ambitious plan for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time creating good-paying jobs, improving education, and reducing inequality.

At this point, the specific policies entailed by these ambitious goals are largely up for grabs, as is the question of how to pay for this agenda. One way of paying for it, borrowing from the economic doctrine know as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), is that we don’t have to.

Modern Monetary Theory argues that a government that prints its own currency is not constrained in its spending by its tax revenue. Some on the left have argued that we can just print whatever money we need to finance a GND. This claim does not make sense.

 
All this is possible…it will NEVER fly with conservs who live and die on tax cuts……a real shame….for this countries needs big ideas once again…..the Repubs are NOT those people.

Closing Thought–21Mar19

Another moment in history when Americans can be proud (that is sarcasm)…….

The United States says it was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism over freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors. 

The resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” was approved by the U.N.’s human rights committee on Friday with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions. 

Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-votes-against-anti-nazi-resolution-at-united-nations/

This is a sickening moment for me……I am ashamed of this country’s leaders that would allow this vote…..

Will ISIS Rest In Peace?

Just yesterday our beloved Supreme Leader issued a proclamation that ISIS will be gone in 24 hours……

ISIS is down to its last scrap of territory and it will be “gone by tonight,” President Trump declared Wednesday, showing reporters at the White House two maps of Syria and Iraq. “I brought this out for you—this is a map of everything in the red, this was on election night, in 2016, everything red is ISIS,” he said, pointing to a map with large areas in red. Pointing to a second map, he said: “When I took it over it was a mess, now on the bottom it’s the exact same. There is no red,” he said, ABC reports. “In fact there is a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight.” At a tank factory in Ohio later in the day, Trump brought the maps out again, saying the “caliphate is gone as of tonight,” the AP reports.

Trump has announced the imminent defeat of ISIS before, but the battle for the tiny enclave of Baghouz has dragged on for weeks longer than expected. Authorities say the offensive was slowed down when an unexpectedly large number of civilians fled the village—up to 30,000, most of them believed to be the families of militants. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have now taken control of the village, though some fighters are still believed to be holed up with women and children in a sliver of land by a river. With that area still controlled by ISIS, “it would be weird to expect an announcement in the next day,” an SDF official tells the New York Times.

Since most Americans have the info retention of a goldfish maybe I should refresh some memories……

 

ISIL began as an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which in 2006 became known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). The movement, led by key al-Qaeda figures, played a major role in driving the sectarian conflict that followed the US invasion in 2003.

ISI carried out deadly attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, during this period, targeting Western-allied tribal leaders and US army posts before eventually being pushed out.

Undeterred, it soon pitched up in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which it then used as a hub to continue its attacks.

In 2010, the group’s current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named ISI chief. Two years later, he mandated ISI affiliates to set up an offshoot in Syria – a country that had been forced to contend with its own civil war.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/anatomy-caliphate-rise-fall-isil-190320140536453.html

There has been lots written here in the West about Islamic Extremism….but just what does that entail?


The Islamist worldview is in direct opposition to contemporary Western ideas about government, society, and the role of religion in everyday life.  Despite this opposition, or possibly because of it, the Islamist movement is gaining popularity around the globe.  The apparent failure of Western ideologies, unequal distribution of wealth for natural resources exacerbated by globalization, and on-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to Muslim masses to seeking solutions from more traditionally-minded leaders who promise a return to Islamic Golden Ages via rejection of secularism in favor of Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.  This, however, sets many on a path of conflict with the West.  Examples of radical Islamist organizations abound: Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, ISIS, and Hezbollah.  Such organizations fill Western minds, as well as Middle Eastern governments, with great concern if not outright fear, but what exactly is an Islamist worldview?  Does it inherently include violence?  What are its origins and targets of critique?  How has it evolved in the twentieth century and why do its tenants appeal to so many in the Muslim world today?  This article will briefly look at each of these questions in order to provide a perspective on contemporary Islamism and facilitate a better understanding of the phenomenon as a whole, thus providing some insight into the recent wave of unrest across the Middle East.  Ultimately, Islamism is a unique and diverse collection of ideologies and doctrines that range from the progressive to the radical.  It is my assessment that one must not make the mistake of lumping all Islamist ideologies, movements, and organizations into a singularly narrow, one size fits all category, nor should one automatically consider Islamism a threat in the Muslim world or beyond.  Rather, Islamism is simply another ideological option that must be weighed in terms of its effectiveness and appeal, while recognizing that there is a potential for extremism similar to that manifested in other secular and sacred movements.  Because of this, it is imperative for Western nations to open lines of communication with leaders of the protest groups and insurgents in such places as Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain in order to develop an understanding of their motivations, ideologies, and their goals for the Middle East.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/overview-islamic-fundamentalism-primer-understanding-extremist-islam

Now that I have filled in as many blanks as I could the question remains…..Is The Islamic State defeated?


President Trump has insisted in recent months that the United States has defeated the Islamic State. “We just took over 100 percent caliphate,” he told reporters on Feb. 28. “That means the area of the land. We have 100 percent.” He has made similar claims for months, tweeting in December, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria.” Others, including senior government officials, have disagreed with this characterization. In January, former presidential special envoy for the Counter-ISIS Coalition Brett McGurk said that “ISIS is not defeated” and that the administration’s new policy of reducing U.S. troop presence in Syria would give the group “new life.” Citing the terrorist attacks committed in the Islamic State’s name, most analysts argue that the group has not been entirely eliminated and cannot be considered defeated.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/islamic-state-defeated

It, ISIS, will rear its ugly head again…….and there is thoughts on that as well…….http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/10/isiss-second-resurgence.html

Managing War

I am an antiwar person and I have studied conflicts, management and resolution….my hatred for war came from my 2 and half years in Vietnam in the late 60s early 70s…..

I look at the institution of war….and yes it is an institution especially now when we are fighting the same war for 18 years……

War is controlled (managed) by several ways……a quick look at the parts of the management……

Military commanders and their staffs rely on a variety of conceptual models to assist in their planning for and conduct of operations. Civilian defence thinkers and academics also employ the same tools to help illustrate their ideas. Among the those used are the Phases of Operations and the Spectrum of Conflict. While there is no standard design for each, they do have a certain style. In the U.S. system, the phases of battle model generally begins at Phase 0, which represents the period of shaping for the coming campaign, and ends at Phase 5, which covers enabling civil authority. Visual depictions of the Spectrum of Conflict usually place non-warfighting operations on one side and progress through increasing graduations of levels of violence and risk to the other side, culminating with nuclear war. Between these two extremes, war can be divided into a multitude of categories.

 
The problem is that our generals in their education at the War College are taught Clausewitz, the Master of War……this is a Prussian from the 19th century…and war has moved well,beyond the days of cavalry charges and massive troop encounters….
 
A couple of things of Clausewitz……
 
Clausewitz book, On War, is the bible of warfare instruction…..we need to stop teaching his theories and start thinking in 21st century tactics…..
 

I am not insisting that Clausewitz does not provide valuable lessons. But by focusing on Clausewitz we miss important discussion that should be brought to military education. This leads me to the purpose of this article, for which I have two primary goals. First, to point out specific things which Clausewitz got wrong and reasons why we should stop teaching On War. Think of it like moving from a devotional reading of The Bible to a historical critical examination of it. Second, to identify what we should start teaching more of in all military education.

Let’s first look at what Clausewitz got wrong.

https://taskandpurpose.com/just-say-no-to-clausewitz

What got me to thinking about this was so,ething I read in The American Conservative……

The most curious thing about our four defeats in Fourth Generation War—Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan—is the utter silence in the American officer corps. Defeat in Vietnam bred a generation of military reformers, men such as Col. John Boyd USAF, Col. Mike Wyly USMC, and Col. Huba Wass de Czege USA, each of whom led a major effort to reorient his service. Today, the landscape is barren. Not a military voice is heard calling for thoughtful, substantive change. Just more money, please.

Such a moral and intellectual collapse of the officer corps is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its way to history’s wastebasket. The situation brings to mind an anecdote an Air Force friend, now a military historian, liked to tell some years ago. Every military, he said, occasionally craps in its own mess kit. The Prussians did it in 1806, after which they designed and put into service a much improved new model messkit, through the Scharnhorst military reforms. The French did it in 1870, after which they took down from the shelf an old-model messkit—the mass, draft army of the First Republic—and put it back in service. The Japanese did it in 1945, after which they threw their mess kit away, swearing they would never eat again. And we did it in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in four new wars. So far, we’ve had the only military that’s just kept on eating.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/an-officer-corps-that-cant-score/

All in all the US is working on outdated instruction….the education of our military people is as bad as the education of our citizens.

How Did The Rich Get Richer?

Closing Thought–20Mar19

If you are social media or watch any main stream media then you have heard all about how the rich got richer…..especially after Trump’s tax cuts…..

May I see a show of hands…..do you know just how did the rich get richer?

Okay would you like to know? Of course you would…it may be one of those issues that helps you who to vote for in 2020….

I could bore the crap out of you with all this monetary policy claptrap or I could turn you on to the cartoons below that make this all so much simpler…….

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

It’s grounded in 50 years of reality.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

Don’t just bitch about stuff……

Learn Stuff!