How America enables its allies’ bad behavior

While I was lecturing I was always having an exchange with this history professor or that…..basically it was always about the US allowing its allies to do extreme things and stand by them when it is proven to be a horrific act….

The worst violators are Israel and Saudi Arabia and the list will grow now that we have the beginnings of a new Cold War…..

Thankfully I have not had that debate in a couple of years and then I read a pretty good article in Vox……

It is satisfying and certainly trendy to complain about America’s allies. President Barack Obama unloaded on them recently in an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, calling them “free riders” who rely on the US for security but refuse to pay back. The commentariat has piled on, with a special focus on deteriorating relations with such perennial malcontents as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey.

The truth is that our allies behave the way they do because we let them. We provide billions of dollars in military and other aid to countries in order to protect and advance US interests, yet we fail to use this leverage to induce the recipients of this aid to behave in a way that actually advances US interests.

Source: How America enables its allies’ bad behavior – Vox

All in the name of profit……they do not care how or where the weapons are used….only that once used they need to be replaced….and that means more profits….a vicious cycle…that benefits NO one but the M-IC.

When All Else Fails, Sue The Bastard!

I close my posting day with a piece about our continuous wars and how could we stop the insanity…..

Some of us bloggers have been bad mouthing Obama and his predecessor, GW for going to war without getting the approval of the US Congress….personally, I do not think that American troops should be used unless absolutely necessary….going to war is just an easy option….it takes little thought and even less conscience.

It appears that someone has stepped up to make the point…….

It’s not that Army Capt. Nathan Michael Smith doesn’t want to take out the Islamic State. It’s just that he doesn’t think President Obama has the authority to wage war against ISIS without Congress’ OK. That’s the crux of the 28-year-old intelligence officer’s lawsuit filed Wednesday in US District Court in DC, in which he cites his “conscience” and the promise he made as a serviceman to uphold the Constitution, the New York Times reports. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” he says in the 53-page document. Smith, who’s currently stationed in Kuwait, lodged his complaint on the heels of the president’s recent announcements that he’s sending more troops to both Iraq and Syria.

Obama has said before that he doesn’t need Congress’ approval because the current campaign falls under the umbrella of 2001’s Authorization for Use of Military Force, put into place to authorize the president (then George W. Bush) to go after any “nations, organizations, or persons” that had something to do with the 9/11 attacks, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But it gets sticky with ISIS: Although the group is an al-Qaeda offshoot, it didn’t exist in 2001 and has since been officially cut loose by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. But a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation said in 2014 that it’s a little more involved than that, and that although ISIS may not be part of al-Qaeda anymore, “they are organizations from the same swamp.” What could make Smith’s case difficult to win, a Harvard Law School professor tells the Times: the fact that Congress has appropriated money to put toward the current ISIS conflict, which could signify it’s on board with the president’s initiative.

It is time to reconsider this damn thing……I feel that anytime that 50+ US troops are deployed in a war zone then there MUST be a congressional approval.

This may sound like a waste of time but at least this will bring some attention to a serious breach of protocol…..but I am not optimistic that much will come out of this lawsuit….but I will give him an “A” for the effort.

In defense of America First

Here it is…..that moment that all dread….the Professor and his damn historical perspectives……

The 2016 election has brought about a renewed interest in a movement from the 1930’s…..the America First movement…

Mr. Trump has as a slogan “Making America Great Again” and that has a renewed interest in the slogan “America First”…..but with all the hoopla with the election what is truly meant by “America First”?

Sadly, I do not think that Trump’s ideas have anything to do with international entanglements……

America First was a young, politically diverse, and surprisingly well-lettered movement that wanted to keep America neutral (like Switzerland or Ireland) as Europe descended into World War II. Though it started on the East Coast, it was concentrated in the Midwest and had over two million members nationwide. It counted major American political figures, Democrat and Republican, in its ranks, as well as many men of letters.

Source: In defense of America First

There will always be a historical perspective……to the dismay of many…..

When Is a Boot on the Ground Not a Boot on the Ground?

Let me begin by saying that I am f*cking tired of the use “Boots on the ground”……it is a dehumanizing technique to refer to troops that will possibly die in defense of their country…at least do them the honor of treating them with some sort of respect.

Onward!  I have been writing about the use of American troops and then trying to deny that they are being used to the public.  It is a propaganda p[loy to try and lessen the impact of our troops dying to the public.

This article tries to answer the question posed in the title…..

No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria — except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration.

The semantic arguments over whether there are American “boots on the ground” muddy the view of a situation in which several thousand armed U.S. military personnel are in Iraq and Syria. Obama has said more than a dozen times that there would be no combat troops in Iraq and Syria as the number of service members in those countries grows; last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged the military personnel there were in combat and “we should say that clearly.”

Source: Q&A: When Is a Boot on the Ground Not a Boot on the Ground? | Military.com

Women And The Draft

The big news, at least for some, is that women have been approved for roles in direct combat units…….and the peasants went batcrap crazy at the news….they say that families will be destroyed and other such fears…..

So if we have a draft will women be forced to register?

Well Batman….if they turn 18 then yes they should register for the draft….but then we have some like this tool from the Congress, Duncan Hunter,……..

A key congressional committee voted last week to require young women to register for potentially compulsory military service, but the gender-equalizing reform threatens to make felons out of women who refused to participate.

Though prosecutions currently appear unlikely, men jailed for not registering with the Selective Service System and some former authorities who participated in the cases are concerned about criminalizing a large swath of the population.

Enforcement wasn’t always lax, and the law that may be applied to women allows for five-year prison sentences for “knowing and willful” non-registration with an equally long statute of limitations.

Source: Gender-Neutral Draft Registration Would Create Millions of Female Felons | US News

This is so much CRAP!  And yes I capitalized it because it is that much crap.

This may be a moot point…..there are some in the Congress that wants to do away with the draft altogether….but I think that is to protect the rich from actually having to serve this country than it is to protect women.

As far as I am concerned……if women are capable of doing the job then they should have the same chances as a man…..as far as the ruination of the family goes….NO one cares that the fathers have to go and the family has survived….the family will survive if women are sent to war.

The Baltics: Countdown To WW3?

I recently read an article about the region of Europe called “The Baltics”……it was not a very optimistic story of the future…..but first I have been watching the events in the Baltics…..I wrote an op-ed about the region……

Source: The Baltic: The Land Of Wonder – In Saner Thought

Then I saw another story on the region……

Russia’s economy is reeling and its military forces are increasingly engaged in Syria and Ukraine, NATO commanders, governments and analysts are concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adventurism has not run its course. Most anxieties focus on the Baltic states as Russia’s next potential military target.

Russia has many advantages in the Baltics. The situation of Russians there, particularly in Estonia and Latvia where many Russians remain non-citizens, provides Moscow with an issue with which to stoke tensions.

Source: Counting Down to a Russian Invasion of the Baltics

I then read more on the possibility of some sort of confrontation between Russia and NATO…….as I am always looking for the possibility of confrontations that could possibly lead to a widening conflict in the future….

And then I ran across another piece that lead me to consider the possibilities that I fear…..the US or should I say NATO is dedicating more and more assets to the Baltics……

Get ready for the new cold war, which will no doubt turn hot if Hillary Clinton gets into the White House: NATO has just announced it is “considering” the addition of 4,000 more troops to be stationed in Poland and the Baltic states, i.e. right on Russia’s western border. The Washington Post helpfully informs us […]

Source: What Is the US Military Doing in the Baltics? – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Who is the most paranoid?  Russia or NATO?

The Battlefront Diary

My final post of the day…..keeping you informed because NO one else will.

Once again I will step up and give you the news that the media would rather you not know…..

First, this is not from the shooting war in the Middle East but from a country that has tasted the terrorism we all so dread…..Belgium

The entire population of Belgium is to be issued with a ration of iodine tablets, months after warnings about the threat of Isil building a dirty bomb.

It emerged following last month’s terrorist attacks that an Isil cell may have been plotting to kidnap a nuclear expert in order to build a “dirty bomb”. Eleven nuclear workers had their passes revoked.

Do they know something we should?  Maybe…….

Though the extremely cautious nature of their statements means they didn’t offer much detail, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is expressing “extreme concern” about the possibility that ISIS is not only using chemical weapons, but is making them.

The “possibility” is just their reluctance to confirm things they haven’t been formally authorized to confirm, as ISIS has bragged about their capacity to manufacture chemical weapons in multiple videos, and they have repeatedly launched such strikes, sickening large numbers of civilians and combatants.

ISIS has captured a large number of empty chemical weapons shells over the course of the war in Iraq and Syria, remnants of those nations’ since dismantled programs, and has developed the capability to produce some more primitive chemicals to deploy in such weapons.

It is permissible to worry?

After years of denying that US troops are in the thick of the fighting in Iraq and Syria……

Speaking today at the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joe Dunford confirmed that US troops in Iraq are “fighting and dying” in combat operations, confirming that the October 22 death of a Army sergeant was in combat.

That admission is a big one, as US officials have danced around the question of “combat troops” by presenting the troops being deployed to Iraq, and elsewhere in the region, as “trainers” or “advisers” in official comments.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – AK) pushed particularly hard on the matter, saying he believes the attempt to present Iraq as “non-combat” diminishes the sacrifices of the soldiers slain in the country, and that it iss important to “level with the American people.”

Finally a little truth from the Pentagon…it is a bit refreshing.

One more LIE from the White House……..

After Pres. Obama announced on Monday that he would deploy 250 additional special operations troops to Syria, State Department spokesperson John Kirby tried to deny that Obama had ever promised not to send “boots on the ground” there.

“There was never this ‘no boots on the ground,’” said Kirby. “I don’t know where this keeps coming from.”

The problem for Kirby was that Obama has repeated the promise at least 16 times since 2013:

For instance, on August 30, 2013, Obama said: “We’re not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach.”

On September 10, 2013, he said: “Many of you have asked, won’t this put us on a slippery slope to another war? One man wrote to me that we are ‘still recovering from our involvement in Iraq.’ A veteran put it more bluntly: ‘This nation is sick and tired of war.’ My answer is simple: I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.”

On September 7, 2014, he said: “In Syria, the boots on the ground have to be Syrian.”

And on and on and on………

Appears the Brits are going to follow suit of the Americans……

British defense officials are confirming that there is ongoing consideration of a plan to send “hundreds more” troops to Iraq, with the troops to be listed as “trainers.” This would be a substantial addition to the existing 300 troops in Iraq.

Unlike the US, which has been putting its ground troops increasingly on the front lines, the British troops in the nation so far are far away from any combat sites. In addition to training

Another American soldier has died in Iraq…..

ISIS forces attacked and overran the northern Iraqi town of Tel Asqof, near the major ISIS city of Mosul, with a number of suicide vehicle bombers forcing their way in through Kurdish forces, and fighting heavily. Among the slain in what officials are confirming is “direct combat” was a US Navy SEAL, Charles Keating IV.

This is the third US soldier killed in fighting on the ground in Iraq since the latest war began in 2014, despite repeated assurances from the Obama Administration that there would be “no boots on the ground” in Iraq whatsoever.

News from the battlefront that is not important enough for the MSM to waste their time on reporting…..