Wounded Warrior Project:  Say It Isn’t So

I regularly write about the raw deal that the US veterans are getting from their country……they are like tools…..once they wear out they are discarded and replaced……

They deserve better than what they are getting….they were asked…they gave and now we let them suffer in silence….why?

I hate it that our vets have to beg for donations to help make them right again……this country needs to step up and do the right thing…..

I have given props where props are due…..and one that I like for their work with American wounded vets is the Wounded Warrior Project……that is until recently…..

Too many charities spend money like drunken sailors….they piss money away on all sorts of unnecessary expenditures….like bonuses…..marketing schemes, etc……now appears that WWP is NO different than all the others……

I read this piece……

Donated to the Wounded Warrior Project? You might’ve helped fund lavish parties for employees rather than veterans in need. A two-part CBS News investigation, based on interviews with more than 40 former employees, finds millions in Wounded Warrior donations have been wasted. “Their mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors, but what the public doesn’t see is how they spend their money,” says Erick Millette, a former employee who suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. He accuses the organization of “using our injuries, our darkest days, our hardships, to make money,” which is then spent on catered employee parties, fancy restaurants, and so-called team-building retreats at beachside hotels, where bar tabs can reach $2,500. The cost of the charity’s four-day annual meeting at a five-star Colorado hotel in 2014: $3 million.

Employees describe CEO Steven Nardizzi arriving to events on a horse or Segway. One time, they say, he rappelled down the side of a building. A former staffer believes the charity wants “to show warriors a good time,” but there’s no follow up, per CBS. “It just makes me sick,” adds Millette. He says Wounded Warriors waits for veterans to call, rather than reaching out to them, though the charity denies that claim. A rep also describes the spending as “the best use of donor dollars to ensure we are providing programs and services to our warriors and families at the highest quality.” Tax forms note spending on conferences and meetings spiked from $1.7 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2014, the same amount spent on combat stress recovery that year. Public records also show the charity spends 60% of its budget on vets, compared to up to 96% for other veterans’ charities.

I will be checking on this story for confirmation….I do hope that there is a logical explanation for this article……

Please tell me that isn’t so!

On another note…….Veterans charities are a hot topic in this election cycle….and that is another bitch I have……veterans are only thought about when it serves some political purpose…….

Source: Hottest Trend In GOP Presidential Politics: Using Veterans Charities For ‘Political Stunts’ | ThinkProgress

It is sickening when these brave people become political props……the only concern is how much cash can they help supply the candidate…..a pathetic situation on both counts……

Have you an opinion?

Professor’s Class: Week 4 Class 2

Wednesday’s Class………

(Note:  I found a memo from the Dean on my desk saying that we had a meeting at 1100 hrs….on Friday…..cannot be good…I am guessing that my plain spoken style may have offended some…..so this will be an ass chewing…..should I bring Vaseline?)……..

I began class by taking roll…all present and accounted for……..

Informed student that since the class was cut to 4 weeks from 6…that we would only slightly touched on the GW Bush and the Clinton years…..most everything during these two admins was common knowledge and not enough time had passed to make an accurate analysis……

We began with the Clinton Years……

Clinton Administration, 1993-2001.

Besides mediating the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, Bill Clinton’s involvement in the Middle East was bracketed by the short-lived success of the Oslo Accords in August 1993 and the collapse of the Camp David summit in December 2000.

The accords ended the first intifada and established Palestinians’ right to self-determination in Gaza and the West Bank and established the Palestinian Authority. The accords also called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

But Oslo left unsettled such fundamental questions as the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, the fate of East Jerusalem, which is claimed by Palestinians, and continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the territories.

Those issues, still unresolved by 2000, led Clinton to convene a summit with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli leader Ehud Barak at Camp David in December 2000, the waning days of his presidency. The summit failed. The second intifada exploded.

Throughout the Clinton administration, terrorist attacks orchestrated by the increasingly public bin Laden punctured the 1990s’ post-cold war air of quietude, from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the bombing of the USS Cole, a Navy destroyer, in Yemen in 2000.

That is about the extent of his involvement in the Middle East……he had a war in the Balkans to run and a domestic agenda that needed his full attention…….

Discussion…….

George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2009

After deriding operations involving the U.S. military in what he called “nation-building,” President Bush turned, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, into the most ambitious nation-builder since the days of Secretary of State George Marshall and the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. Bush’s efforts, focused on the Middle East, have not been as successful.

Bush had the world’s backing when he led an attack on Afghanistan in October 2001 to topple the Taliban regime there, which had given sanctuary to al-Qaeda. Bush’s expansion of the “war on terror” to Iraq in March 2003, however, had less backing. Bush saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein as the first step in a domino-like birth of democracy in the Middle East.

But while Bush talked democracy regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, he continued to support repressive, undemocratic regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and North Africa. The credibility of his democracy campaign was short-lived. By 2006, with Iraq plunging into civil war, Hamas winning elections in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah winning immense popularity following its summer war with Israel, Bush’s democracy campaign was dead.

We discussed the Iraq War and that of the Afghan War…….

Before class was over I told them that Friday’s class would be review only of the material in prep for the final next Monday……Plus that I had been called on the carpet by the dean and the class would be over at 1100 hrs on Friday……

Iran: The Riverine Mysteries

I recently wrote a couple of posts about the sailors that were captured by the Iranians…..and as I suspected I got a few comments but most of them were anti-Iranian and not an answer to the questions I asked within my posts….

I do hope that people read the entire post and not just the title of the subject matter…..some seem to think that I was defending the Iranians or maybe speaking bad of the US Navy……none of that would be true…..I did however, have questions that I need answering, at least for me……

As a past analyst I am trained to look for small details that could be more revealing than the big picture…..the one thing that struck me was the female sailor in the pic of the crews in the small room…..she seem to be segregated from the rest of the crew…..is she having a problem with the situation?  Maybe she has a problem with her crew mates……she does not appear to be part of the crew, at lest to me….

I have been reading as much as possible on the situation….trying to get a handle on what is going on…..we will probably never know the whole story….but that should not preclude any questions from being asked…..

I read a piece that I found intriguing and decided to share it with my readers…..

The events surrounding the interception of ten American sailors in two US riverine boats who somehow wandered into Iranian waters continues to baffle the curious. Not that the American media is to be included among those asking questions: aside from the outraged shrieks of the neoconservative outlets over the alleged “appeasement” of Iran and the […]

Source: The Riverine Mysteries – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

The media and the lame excuses given by the government has done nothing to ease my mind at what I think was a covert mission……after all Farsi Island is an Iranian Naval Base……

And then there is yet another incident involving the US and Iran on the high seas of the Persian Gulf…….

The US warship, reportedly the guided-missile cruiser the USS Monterey, was loitering around in the Sea of Oman today when it got a warning from the Iranian Navy to withdraw, cautioning that the ship had entered the area of an ongoing military exercise.

Iranian Admiral Habibollah Sayyari accused the US ship of trying to spy on the live-fire exercise, but did confirm that the US ship left quickly after receiving the warning that it had strayed into the missile range of the exercise. They also reported warning a US jet away from the area.

US Navy officials confirmed that Iran had announced a “closure” in the area because of a live-fire exercise, which is common practice, but offered no explanation for why the US warship strayed into the area, beyond saying they don’t consider announcements like that to be “orders.”

Once again…..questions.

Was this an accident or an intel mission or maybe a provocation?

What is going on in the Persian Gulf?  The first thought is that it is a game…..a geopolitical game……personally, I do not like the idea of putting troops in danger for a game……am I alone?

ISIS: We Have A New Plan (Again)

The early days of the Vietnam War was an air campaign….the thought was to punish the enemy and make them do what we want…..does that sound at all familiar to anyone other than me?  (Just a little history for my fans)…….

I have been watching and criticizing the plans that the US is employing in their fight against ISIS…..recently I saw a another plan for taking the fight to the barbaric group…..the problem is…..it still lacks the one element that it needs……a way to success….

This is an op-ed I wrote for my friends at Ace News Room about the plan and the problems with it……published in Ace News Room………

Source: ISIS: We Have A New Plan (Again)

Please let me know your thoughts.

2016…..Say It Isn’t So

I like to propose scenarios that would make good discussions…..

Let’s talk about the upcoming GOP convention.  I know….kinda early for that conversation…..but it is looking like it will be an epic convention…..why?

Easy…as of today our man Donald appears to be unstoppable……

One clear theme seems to be emerging after Thursday night’s debate: Donald Trump is looking stronger than ever:

  • Sure, Jeb Bush may have challenged Trump’s idea to ban Muslims during Thursday’s debate, but he did so almost as a “supplicant,” meekly asking Trump to reconsider, writes Jonathan Chait at New York. It’s emblematic of something larger: “Those of us who believed Republican elites would kill Trump’s candidacy out of self-preservation have to face the increasingly plausible prospect that, for whatever reason, they may lay down their arms before a shot has been fired.”
  • “That was the question left hanging at the conclusion: Have they all missed their chance to take down Trump?” writes Cathleen Decker at the Los Angeles Times.
  • “What was unthinkable a few months ago no longer is,” writes Dan Balz at the Washington Post. “Trump’s durability in national polls and his standing in the early states have forced GOP leaders—and all his rivals—to confront the possibility that the New York billionaire and reality TV star could end up leading the party into the fall campaign against the Democrats.”
  • Ted Cruz may have gotten the better of his exchange with Trump over Cruz’s eligibility, but the very fact that Cruz was answering the question at all is a testament to how thoroughly Trump has dictated this primary season, writes Rick Klein at ABC News. He may yet lose, but the debate “revealed the extent to which Trump has already won.”
  • “All in all, it was a very good evening for Trump. This late in the game, a single debate is unlikely to drastically change the existing dynamics,” writes Josh Voorhees at Slate. “That, of course, will be just fine with Trump.”

I remember the beginning of the 2016 process…..when was that?  Has it been that long?  Sorry.  In the beginning the media was slobbering all over JEB!….they gave a nod to Rubio and Paul…..but they really felt that it would be a easy ride for the Bush family……they were dead wrong….and now the GOP is sitting there worried that they will have another hung convention…..

Republican strategists who had spoken of a smooth nomination process just a few months ago are now braced for a battle royal at the Quicken Loans Arena. Insiders tell the Washington Post that GOP bigwigs gathered Monday and discussed the possibility of a brokered convention in Cleveland in July. The party hasn’t entered a convention without a clear nominee since 1976, when Gerald Ford narrowly defeated conservative insurgent Ronald Reagan on the first ballot. The Post’s sources say the GOP leaders discussed strategies in case there is no clear nominee this time around and no winner on the first ballot, allowing delegates to shift allegiances in what Reuters reports would be the first brokered GOP convention since Thomas Dewey was nominated in 1948.

A source tells the Post that some GOP strategists argued for a strategy to make sure there was a clear alternative to Donald Trump in the event of a brokered convention, though another official present at the meeting tells Reuters that Trump wasn’t the focus of the discussion. “It was more logistical in nature, not strategic,” he says. “It was more like ‘are you planning for a hurricane?'” A former Mitt Romney adviser agrees that with the field still crowded, talk of a brokered convention goes beyond Trump. “What you’re seeing is the party bracing for a potential Hunger Games scenario where you have a different person win each of the first four primaries and they all have the resources to slug it out until the convention,” he tells the Post.

A contested nomination?  Damn….the media would be jerking off…..they have not had an interesting convention in 40+ years……

Okay people…..would a contested nomination be a good thing…..or just more political games at the expense of the voter?

What say you?

Pentagon’s ‘Successes’ Look More Like Failures

At least that is the way it appears to me……

Yes I know I have been really hard on the Obama admin and their policies concerning conflicts…..especially in the Middle East.

We have been told that all is well and the policies are on target for success….the problem is that the successes keep changing almost on a daily basis…..with every action and then counter-action we, the public, is give a new story…..

As an analyst when I was employed by the government we worked on scenarios to come up with a course of action to counter whatever ploy the “enemy” took……the problem is, as I see it, the analysts these days were trying to use the techniques that was used in the Cold War days…..there is one slight problem with that plan…….they seem to never consider an asymmetrical war instead of a conventional one……this, in my opinion, is why the Pentagon has to issue these glowing reports of success and why it must constantly change….

The ignorance of the Pentagon has proven that these old farts are not capable of dealing with war in the 21st century….their answers are the answers of the middle 20th century…..massive firepower and overwhelm the enemy with troops….

The threat of war still looms behind the current geopolitical chess match, but what form will it take and who will be involved? More importantly, with the current shift towards asymmetry, who will prevail? Who can prevail?

The scenario is intensified by asymmetric war ideology, tactics and weapons, world shatter-belt zones of “permanent instability” are growing – and they are necessarily growing. Sometimes called “multi-polarity” and presented as the positive spin-off from economic globalization, and above all presented as consensual by the great powers (and would-be great powers), the loss of center and the growth of periphery is a stark fact of the coming world.

And a bigger problem is that many of the candidates still will not see the necessity of change the mindset……you see an asymmetrical war is the way of the future….the days of large units storming the beaches is over……the days of brawn over brains is over……time for new blood and new ideas in the Pentagon…..

But do not take my word for it…….

The only thing the US military has succeeded at is believing its own propaganda.

Source: Why Do All of the Pentagon’s ‘Successes’ in Iraq Look More Like Failures? | The Nation