Afghanistan: War Without End

Does anyone out there remember Afghanistan?

It was that war of yesteryear that we focused all of our patriotic zeal toward……but now?  Not so much…..remember now?

My granddaughter was born after the US invaded Afghanistan….she is going on 13 and she has never known a time when the US was not at war…..though she probably does not know of it because the media and the government does not want a repeat of the 60’s and 70’s protests…….

In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks we invaded Afghanistan in search for the mastermind of the attacks…..Osama…..with the help of a few of our allies and the Northern Alliance we went in and kicked the Taleban and AQ in the stomach…..the only blotch on our achievements was that the military and others allowed the most wanted man escape across the mountains into Pakistan……

So for over 15 years we have been in a running battle with AQ, the Taleban and whoever else wants to join the fray….you would think with the might of the US military would have worn down the Taleban to a few isolated pockets, right?

You would be mistaken…….

15 years into the US occupation of Afghanistan, the nation is a less occupied than ever, as a new report to Congress warns that the Taliban’s military gains have left it in control of a bigger chunk of the country than at any time since the 2001 US invasion.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the author of the quarterly report, cited tens of billions of dollars in waste and a general lack of security, warning the situation in Afghanistan is worsening by most metrics.

Pentagon officials have been warning for awhile that the situation on the ground is deteriorating, but the SIGAR report offered more specifics and a stark metric, territory hold, by which to measure just how badly things are getting.

What is the end game for Afghanistan?

Pentagon officials have recently talked of the 2017 pullout date as though it’s all but abandoned already, suggesting the US would remain in the nation for “generations” to come. Nicholson may be overseeing the transition to that permanent occupation.

I think that the last paragraph says it all……

Anyone think that maybe a new plan would be advisable?  This pre-World War Two thinking is getting this fight nowhere…..15 years and we are NO better situated than we were when we invaded….

Time for a massive re-think………America does not need a war without end.

 

GOP: One More Down

After the Iowa Caucuses the messenger of the Lord, Huckabee, bowed gracefully out of the 2016 election….and then we were down to 11 candidates ……..almost enough as to not have to settle for the “Kiddie Table” debate……

Sad news…..we are down to 10 on the GOP side…….

New Hampshire Republicans will have one less presidential candidate to consider: Rand Paul is dropping out of the race, reports CNN. The move comes after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, leaving the libertarian-leaning senator to focus instead on keeping his seat in Kentucky, where he faces a re-election challenge, reports Politico. “It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,” Paul said in a statement cited by ABC News. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty.” Read it in full here.

At least Paul was talking about our disastrous foreign policies……that conversation will now be silent during the campaigns…..who will be the voice of reason in the GOP now?

Who will be the next to drop from our memory?

News From Israel—–You Will Never Hear

There is news from Israel then there is NEWS from Israel….and most times the news we get here in the US is so sanitized that it borders on propaganda……

For instance these stories…….

Israel is ALWAYS prefaced with “the only democracy” in the Middle East….but that is pure propaganda…..what makes a country a democracy?  Freedom of religion? Illegal detention without charges?  Or maybe it is equality of all citizens?

If you picked the later then maybe you should rethink the whole Israel thing…..

The Knesset yesterday voted against a draft bill proposed by MK Jamal Zahalka of the Joint Arab List, which stipulates the inclusion of an equality clause in Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

The majority of the Likud bloc, the Haredi parties and Kulanu party voted against the proposal. They were joined by Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid. However, the Joint List, Meretz and the Labour parties all supported the bill.

During his proposal, Zahalka said: “All constitutions in modern countries begin with stressing the principle of equality amongst their citizens. Even undemocratic countries adopt this principle legally, considering it a cornerstone for any modern political system, including democracy, which seems impossible and meaningless without equality.”

Source: Knesset rejects bill for equality for all citizens

Maybe now would be a good time to stop calling Israel a democracy……sounds more like an authoritarian regime than a democracy……

The biggest bone of contention in the Israel-Palestine conflict is the building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land…..every American prez since Johnson has made it clear that the US dopes not consider these settlements as legit……now it looks like the Congress may be actually going to address this situation……

For as long as Israel has been building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. has expressed unequivocal opposition to them.

The Johnson White House called settlements “contrary to the Geneva Conventions.” Former Secretary of State James Baker said they “violate United States policy.” Former President George W. Bush demanded “settlement activity in occupied territories must stop.” And the Obama Administration has said repeatedly that settlements are “illegitimate.” The fact that American opprobrium hasn’t slowed Israel’s land grab — that, indeed, the U.S. government has tacitly encouraged settlement expansion by failing to exact a diplomatic price for its continuation — doesn’t change the policy.

Source: Congress is sneakily trying to rewrite American policy on Israeli settlements. It must be stopped.

But doing the right thing will be difficult….the Israeli Lobby will work overtime and spend lots of cash on the people that represent us to see that this is NEVER put into place…..

American travel website has been offering accommodations in settlements in the West Bank…..it must stop……

Airbnb, the popular travel website, is the target of a new campaign against its listings of accommodation in the settlements built by Israel in the occupied West Bank.

Five organizations launched a campaign called Stolen Homes on Wednesday calling on Airbnb “to immediately stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements, all of which were built on stolen Palestinian land and deemed illegal under international law.”

A petition notes that “through earning fees from settlement vacation rentals, Airbnb is directly profiting from the continuing occupation and dispossession of Palestinians.”

Source: Airbnb told to cease profiting from Israel’s war crimes | The Electronic Intifada

One of our rights here in the US is that if we do not like the actions of a certain entity we may boycott that entity as they did back in the Civil Rights days…..But that right may be soon only a memory if the state of New York gets its way…….

A law being proposed in New York would create an official blacklist of supporters of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Legal experts and activists say the measure is reminiscent of the McCarthy era and could have drastic consequences for individuals, organizations or firms who engage with the campaign to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights.

Anti-BDS legislation was also introduced this week in California.

Source: New York bill would create official blacklist of Israel boycott supporters | The Electronic Intifada

Wonder how much cash that is costing the Jewish lobby?  If this is successful what will be next for the rights we have?

As much as I do not like the idea of losing my right to boycott…….it could be a good thing in the long run….it would focus more attention on the movement and the actions of Israel which could lead to improvements in the way Israel does business…..(that is just a thought)…..

All the news you will probably never hear about the doings in Israel…..

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about the BDS Movement…….

Source: BDSmovement.net | The Palestinian BDS National Committee website

Your thoughts would be appreciated……..

Clinton: Business As Usual

The Iowa voting is over and out lady of the airways, Hillary, has won the contest by a narrow margin and now it will be on to New Hampshire….but what are those Clinton supporters really voting for?  Her gender?  Or her policies? Just what is the major attraction?

For me I feel it is an election for the very soul of the Democratic Party……with a successful Clinton campaign we will be facing business as usual….all over again.  Why?  She is the big money candidate and she will embrace that just to win while promising that it will not influence her ruling prowess.

But is that true?

Of course it is….look who she has on her team…..Bubba who is a master at selling influence though the Clinton Global thingy….but then there are others that see the same……

Source: The ‘Clinton System’ of Selling Access to Bad Guys – Hit & Run : Reason.com

As my readers are well aware of…..I do not think much or her foreign policies….she may have been the Sec of State but her policies smack of neo-conservatism…..and again I am not the only analyst that see this…….

Another astute analyst has an opinion…….Robt. Parry writes……..

In seeking to put Sen. Bernie Sanders on the defensive over his foreign policy positions, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is embracing a neoconservative stance on the Middle East and gambling that her more hawkish approach will win over Democratic voters.

Losing ground in Iowa and New Hampshire in recent polls, the Clinton campaign has counterattacked against Sanders, targeting his sometimes muddled comments on the Mideast crisis, but Clinton’s attack line suggests that Sanders isn’t adequately committed to the positions of Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his American neocon acolytes.

Source: Hillary Clinton Seeks Neocon Shelter | Consortiumnews

Wait there is more…….

If the candidate’s foreign policy record is any guide, a Hillary Clinton presidency would perpetuate and bolster some of our most hateful national characteristics.

Source: Marjorie Cohn: Want Endless War? Love the U.S. Empire? Well, Hillary Clinton’s Your Choice – Truthdig

Personal opinion here…..but if we elect Clinton we will be electing the same failed policies we have had for the last 25 years….probably more….

This election is young….too young to predict the outcome….but if you listen to the news then you will see that it is obvious that Clinton is their choice…..and since most Americans get their opinions from their fave news outlet….then we can extrapolate that Clinton will be the next prez……

I feel sick!

 The White Whale of American Politics

The Iowa Caucus is in the history books….the election has officially started…..but will it decline into more of the same silly games or will it become about solutions to our problems?

I would to thank the country for doing me a huge favor…….I am an analyst of international situations and the candidates, mostly the GOP, have made it a very important part of this election……

The problem is that they are not doing a good enough job to inform Americans instead they offer knee-jerk slogans or shot from the hip attitudes that does nothing to make the people understand the situations or any possible solutions…….

Foreign policy is important…..but political trickery or rhetorical does little to explain why it is important……is it a “white whale”?

Source: The Water’s Edge » Campaign 2016 Friday Foreign Policy Roundup: The White Whale of American Politics