Kiss That Nobel Good-Bye

Closing Thought–24May18

Have you heard the news today?

First there was the chest thumping then there were the kind words of approval then there was the news that North Korea and US would sit down to a much needed summit……Trump would meet Kim……

North Korea is destroying their nuke test site……

North Korea carried out what it said is the demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday, setting off a series of explosions over several hours in the presence of foreign journalists. The explosions at the nuclear test site deep in the mountains of the North’s sparsely populated northeast were centered on three tunnels into the underground site and a number of observation towers in the surrounding area, reports the AP. The planned closing was previously announced by Kim Jong Un ahead of his planned summit with President Trump next month. Sky News correspondent Tom Cheshire was on hand, and described it thusly: “We hiked up into the mountains and watched the detonation from about 500 meters away. … There was a huge explosion, you could feel it. Dust came at you, the heat came at you. It was extremely loud.”

The North’s decision to close the Punggye-ri nuclear test site has generally been seen as a welcome gesture by Kim to set a positive tone ahead of the summit. Even so, it is not an irreversible move and would need to be followed by many more significant measures to meet Trump’s demands for real denuclearization. By bringing in the foreign media, mainly television networks, the North is apparently hoping to have images of the closing—including explosions to collapse tunnel entrances—broadcast around the world. The group included an AP television crew. The North did not invite international inspectors to the ceremony, which limits its value as a serious concession.

…….and then there were words that put the summit in jeopardy and finally the news came out….the summit has been axed!

Hours after North Korea announced it had blown up its nuclear test site, news of something else blowing up. The White House on Thursday released a letter from President Trump to Kim Jong Un canceling the planned June 12 summit in Singapore. It reads in part: “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

The statement the president references came from senior North Korean official Choe Son Hui, who called Mike Pence a “political dummy” for comparing North Korea to Libya in the context of denuclearization and warned Pyongyang wouldn’t “beg” for dialogue. CNN’s sources tell it the statement “infuriated” Trump and his team, specifically the portion about Pence. “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used,” Trump continued in the letter.

Odd…they eliminate their reactor site and then eliminate the summit…..this is an odd occurrence….

One thing we can say for sure…..Trump can kiss the Nobel Peace Prize good-bye…….after all the work that his minions in Congress did to try and force the committee to award the prize to Trump…..

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That Famous Midnight Ride

Yep I am a student of history and because of that interest I do have a tendency to force feed history to my readers.  I love me some history.

When I was in college I thought about a paper on Paul Revere and his famous ride……but instead I did a paper on the writing of the DoI and my theory on who actually wrote the document.

Then recently I read an article about Uncle Paul and his famous ride.

In the spring of 1860, Harvard professor and well-regarded romantic poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began working on a poem about an otherwise obscure messenger ride by American patriot Paul Revere on the evening of April 18-19, 1775. Longfellow hoped to use the story of Paul Revere’s ride as a vehicle to warn the American Union that it was in danger of disintegrating (which it was). Even though there is good evidence that Longfellow knew the real story of Revere’s ride (from Paul Revere’s 1798 letter to Dr. Jeremy Belknap of the Massachusetts Historical Society, published in a magazine Longfellow had almost certainly read), Longfellow chose to simplify and re-arrange parts of the story in the interests of creating a better and more effective poem. In particular, Longfellow reversed the story of the famous signal lanterns hung in Christ Church tower to indicate that British troops had left Boston. According to Longfellow, Paul Revere was waiting “booted and spurred” in Charlestown across the river from Boston for the signal, whereas in fact Revere was still in Boston when the signals were shown. The signals were not “for” Paul Revere, but “from” Paul Revere to the Sons of Liberty in Charlestown, because Revere was apprehensive that he would be prevented from leaving Boston.

https://www.biography.com/news/paul-reveres-ride-facts

I did a little research for the paper that I wanted to write and tried to find some info that Paul might be a Brit spy…..he did not complete his ride for he was stopped by the British before he got too far….is it possible that he passed on info to them about Concorde and such?

The Lie Of Victimhood

The move is complete and the violence will continue….but there is more to this than the embassy…..

Unarmed civilians are being shot and maimed by an army that if it occurred elsewhere there would be a world uproar…..and yet it has been a whimper…..the US has made sure that Israel is protected…and yet this same scenario was playing out in Libya and we know how that turned out…..

The United States has used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block a Monday resolution calling for an independent probe into the killing of scores of Palestinian protesters this week along the Gaza Strip border. The protesters were killed by Israeli forces.

It is very common for the US to use its veto power to protect Israel from any UN Security Council repercussions for its mistreatment of the Palestinians. US Ambassador Nikki Haley praised Israel over the killings, saying they’d not only shown “restraint” in only killing 61, but had shown more restraint than any other country on the planet would’ve in the face of the demonstration.

Haley further claimed that the blame should really fall on the Iranian government, on the grounds that the protesters were encouraged by the Hamas movement, and Iran has backed the Hamas movement in the past.

Haley mostly sought to downplay the links between the massacre and the US opening its new embassy in Jerusalem. It is fair to suggest that the two events aren’t wholly connected, as the protest was organized for Nakba Day. It is impossible not to notice that the US made the decision to open the Israeli Embassy on Nakba Day, however, despite knowing it would be seen as yet another insult to the Palestinians.

(antiwar.com)

Restraint my ass!  This is typical bullshit from a country that allows war crimes to go unchecked……

The US media is just as guilty as Haley in this whitewashing of the deaths of civilians……

Typical of the mindset of corporate media reporting on what happened in Gaza on Monday as Israeli soldiers killed more than 50 protesting Palestinians, is this tweet from CNN. It says: “Death toll rises to at least 52 people during clashes along the border fence between Israel and Gaza, Palestinian officials say. More than 2,400 people have been injured.” CNN’s new slogan is “#FactsFirst.”

Adam Johnson, who writes for the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, responded to CNN with a tweet of his own:

“This one’s got it all:

  • ‘death toll rises’ — no one was killed and no one specific party did the killing, the death toll just mysteriously ‘rises’
  • ‘clashes’ — launders all power asymmetry
  • ‘2,400 people have been injured’ — all 2,400 are Palestinian but lets go with ‘people’.”

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said on his blog that he did a Google News search for the word “massacre” and found not one reference to Gaza.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/14/u-s-media-whitewashes-gaza-massacre/

And American journalist keep pushing the “victim” card for Israel….it is the biggest lie we have these days…..

The New York Times has always had a double standard on human rights, but they usually aren’t very open about it.  They condemn Russian bombing as horrible war crimes, but criticize similar US bombing as mistakes and pretty much ignore Israeli bombing of Gaza. But they don’t come right out and say that killing is good or that it is cruel to be kind and kind to be cruel and Palestinians need to be shot for their own good.

Until now.

Columnist Shmuel Rosner says essentially this, and the Times published him three days ago: “Israel Needs to Protect Its Borders. By Any Means Necessary.”

http://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/columnist-palestinian-palestinians/

If the US foreign policy was at all consistent then we would do as we did in Libya…..attack and destroy for threatening civilians……

The Syrian civil war, we have been told, began as part of the Arab Spring and really took hold when Syrian government forces allegedly opened fire on protesters across the country in early 2011. This pattern of indiscriminate violent behavior against civilians has been a talking point in the western media’s regime-change narrative. The media often goes so far as to claim that the government led by Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy.

What then, should we make of Israel’s decision to open fire on protesters in the Gaza Strip this past week, killing over 60 protesters and wounding 2,700 more in the process? According to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Israel is not an aggressor at all but a country that has shown considerable “restraint” in its use of force. Despite the claim that most of the dead were Hamas members, the fact that 2,700 people were injured suggests Israel deployed lethal force upon thousands of protesters — not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks of the word “restraint.” Even purposely shooting one unarmed protester seems to contradict everything we are supposed to believe about human rights and democracy.

http://theantimedia.com/us-bombing-israel/

Our Foreign Policy has never been consistent and our defense of the innocents in this world has become a joke that the whole world sees for what it is….a goddamn lie!

A New Iranian Nuke Deal?

Yes there is a new list of demands from the Trump crazies that Iran MUST adhere to for the deal to go back into effect…and there are some doozeys……..

Now that the US has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, what would it take to strike a new deal? A lot, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed Monday in a speech outlining US demands, reports the Wall Street Journal, the AP, CNN, and Al Jazeera. Pompeo listed 12 things Iran must do, including:

  • Stop the enrichment of all uranium
  • Allow “unqualified access” to all nuclear sites
  • Withdraw all forces from Syria
  • Release all US citizens in custody
  • Stop its threats to destroy Israel
  • Halt its support for militant groups in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon
  • Declare all previous efforts to build a nuclear weapon

“Relief from sanctions will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies,” said Pompeo in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. “We acknowledge Iran’s right to defend its people. But not its actions which jeopardize the world’s citizens.” The gist of coverage from the above sources suggests that the odds of Iran agreeing to the demands are virtually nonexistent. “There is such an enormous trust deficit between the US and Iran that Iranian leaders are likely to really shrug this off as yet more angry rhetoric coming from the Trump White House,” per Al Jazeera.

Tell me would the US accept these conditions……these are more to protect Israel than to end nuclear dreams.  Read Pompeo’s words it is that superiority thing…..”do as we say not as we do” sort of thing.

Personally I think his bluster will bite him in the butt….and I am not alone……

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speech on new sanctions on Iran lays out a wide range of Iranian behavior he would like to change, and specified harsh US financial sanctions as his instrument.

Pompeo, a Kansas oil man backed by the Koch brothers, is just a former congressman and a virulent Christian fundamentalist with white nationalist tendencies. He knows little about the world and is among the worst prepared secretaries of state in American history. He also knows nothing about the history of the region.

Unilateral US sanctions as a means of regime change or radically changing regime behavior have a strong record of failure, especially when applied to states with pricey primary commodities like petroleum.

https://www.juancole.com/2018/05/pompeo-iran-sanctions.html

These Trump people are the least capable of leading this country than ever before……

While the US makes demands that will not be met……the EU, China and Russia are moving to save the deal that is in place now……

While previous reports have indicated that there was little interest in talking about a new nuclear deal with Iran, the withdrawal of the US from the existing deal appears to have changed things. Now, Russia, China, and the European Union are to hold talks on a major revision of the deal later this week.

This new deal would keep Iran’s requirements the same as the existing deal, but would increase the incentives guaranteed by the other powers. This is an attempt to keep Iran complying with the deal as the US ratchets up sanctions.

While the US was the one pushing for a “new” deal in the first place, the other nations have kept the US completely sidelined in these new talks. This is unsurprising, as many see the US trying to undermine any such deals.

The new deal is said to offer Iran billions of dollars in financial aid to make up for the US dishonoring the pact and withdrawing its own sanctions relief. The deal also aims to pledge international cooperation to prevent US  sanctions being enforced internationally.

(antiwar.com)

This deal be saved one way or the other….but making unrealistic demands is not the “art of the deal”.

Closing Thought–23May18

It Just Sucks!

There is a situation in DC that needs watching and better yet explaining……something in or around the White House is sucking badly!

A sinkhole has appeared on the White House lawn, causing headaches for groundskeepers and giving the current occupant’s critics an irresistible metaphor. The Washington Post reports that the sinkhole was first spotted last week on the North Lawn, yards away from the White House press briefing office and the office of deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley. Over the last few days, the sinkhole, which groundskeepers have surrounded with caution tape, has expanded and a second one is apparently opening up next to it. The sinkhole could be the result of a leaking old water line eroding space underground, and it doesn’t help that much of Washington, DC, is built on swampland, Forbes notes.

Some experts believe the sinkhole could be the result of debris settling from Obama-era construction projects. National Parks Service spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles says the service is keeping a close eye on the situation and is bringing in outside experts to help “remedy the situation,” CNN reports. “Sinkholes, like this one, are common occurrences in the Washington area following heavy rain like the DC metro area has experienced in the last week,” she says. “We do not believe it poses any risk to the White House or is representative of a larger problem.” (A year ago, a sinkhole opened up in front of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.)

It appears as if these sucking sink holes are following our President around……I am sure that there is a comic skit in this situation……I will leave it to late night TV hosts to do the honors….in the mean time I await the rebuttal from those lovely supporters that will have a good excuse (I am sure).

Peace Out Brothers and Sisters…..chuq

1940–Was France Truly Doomed?

In 1939 the Nazis invaded Poland and thus began the last “great” war….WW2….then in 1940 Hitler decided to take over the rest of Western Europe and they began with Belgium, Holland and into France…..

Many observers say that France was doomed because it depended on the Maginot Line for its defense and the Germans basically just went around the fortifications and into the heart of France…..

So the question remains…was France doomed in 1940?

France holds a unique place in the collective military psyche. Once the military paragon of Europe, the French seem to have been doomed to an inexorable decline since Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.[1] France’s recent expeditionary achievements in Mali are praised, but within the range of small-scale operations. When it comes to major wars, many Americans remember France’s military collapse in 1940 and assume it was inevitable, since the French were stuck in the obsolete tactics of Verdun. This is not some kind of a post-2003 French non-interventionism bashing. Rather in Europe, the most severe critics are often the French themselves.

Surprisingly, it is seldom emphasized that the French could quite possibly have imagined something close to the Blitz if they had been not just one but two wars behind in 1939. Indeed, before 1914 they were the strongest advocates of the offensive, which had been taught for years at the Ecole de Guerre by future Marshal Ferdinand Foch, and theorized by the influential Colonel Louis de Grandmaison to the point of the offensive à outrance (attack with no limit). The latter was much criticized later for having inspired the bloody and failed offensives of 1914-1916. But that does not erase the fact that, in the dialectic of the cannonball and the cuirass, the advantage goes successively from one to the other. Hence, the concept of lightning war was really nothing new in 1940, especially to the French. Today, Western armies see the blitzkrieg as the quintessence of military art because it splendidly combined technological innovation with the culture of mission command.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/04/26/were_the_french_really_doomed_to_defeat_in_1940_113374.html

Many stories have been told about the French in 1940 but the one that too many have overlooked is the heroism of the French army to hold off the Germans so that the English could be evacuated off the beach at Dunkirk.

Was That With A “T”?

I have written many times about the waste and the out right loss of funds budgeted for the Pentagon…..the latest article just makes my case for me…..

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

(Read On……)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-pentagon-cant-account-for-21-trillion/

You realize that amount is greater than the GDP of Australia?  We could fund a whole other country on the missing funds from the Pentagon

Isn’t our Pentagon a wonderful department…..that is my money, your money, the taxpayers money that no one can account for….time to a change.