Miserable People

I close today’s postings with a few thoughts on miserable people……

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”–Carlos Castenada

“If we live a self-directed, self-motivated, self-centered life, always needing to get our own way, then we’re going to be miserable. In fact, many times we believe it’s our problems that are making us unhappy when, in reality, it’s because we’re focused on ourselves!”–Joyce Meyer

 “When you’re miserable, you don’t want anyone around you to be happy.”–Amy Lee

Gotta bounce my friends….but I shall be back tomorrow just as irritating as I am today….you’re welcome.

Yemen? Is That A Country?

Most Americans could not find Yemen on a map if given a check to do so….the ones that know anything about the country know that AQ attacked the USS Cole in the harbor of Yemen….after that they have NO idea.

For more than a year the Saudis have been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age, according to some small minded Americans it was not a difficult task…….but as far as why this conflict is on-going….you will get a vacuous stare if you ask anyone…..

It is only a matter of time before the US will be sucked into this conflict to preserve the integrity of the Saudi royal family…..those that pretend to know this issue will write it off as simply two sects fighting for supremacy…….maybe this will help my reader understand this situation a bit better……

For more than a year, Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been wracked by a bloody war between the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen’s internationally recognised government.

The Houthis and the Yemeni government have battled on-and-off since 2004, but much of the fighting was confined to the Houthis’ stronghold, northern Yemen’s impoverished Saada province.

In September 2014, the Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and proceeded to push southwards towards the country’s second-biggest city, Aden. In response to the Houthis’ advances, a coalition of Arab states launched a military campaign in 2015 to defeat the Houthis and restore Yemen’s government.

Here are some key facts about Yemen’s complex war:

Source: Key facts about the war in Yemen – News from Al Jazeera

Earlier in this post I said that the US could be drawn into this conflict…..I was mistaken….we are already taking part……

A “small number” of U.S troops are deployed on the ground in Yemen to help fight the al-Qaida affiliate there that was controlling a major port city, a defense official said.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to say how many U.S. troops are there supporting operations led by the Yemeni military and the United Arab Emirates around the port city of Mukalla.

Source: U.S. reveals troops on the ground in Yemen

How many wars has the US been involved in that started with “small amount of troops”?

How long before this gets uglier than it is now?

The Name Game

Most Americans are well aware of a group named Al-Qaeda….in case the mind is going….that is the group founded by Osama and was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  Keep that in mind……

Now we move to Syria…..there is an affiliate of AQ operating in the country…Jabbat al-Nusra…at times they are at odds with the barbarous bunch called ISIS…..there is also reports that sya as horrible as ISIS is al-Nusra is more dangerous……

Hardly a day goes by without news of the progress being made in the war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In recent months, American-backed forces have secured much of the Syrian-Turkish border, recaptured Ramadi, and stemmed the flow of fighters and supplies to the terror group’s capital cities of Raqqa and Mosul.
But momentum is not the same as winning, and the U.S. has fallen into a number of traps in Iraq and Syria — the most deadly of which has been set by al Qaeda.
Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, is more dangerous than ISIS — and while the two groups share the common goal of establishing a global caliphate, they are using different means to achieve it.

Al-Nusra first emerged in January 2012, 10 months after the start of anti-government protests that were brutally repressed by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, leading to a now more than five-year-old multi-sided conflict.

The group is an offshoot of the Islamic State in Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in the country, in which Jolani was a leading figure in Nineveh province, a jihadist stronghold in the north.

In April 2013, Al-Nusra refused to join up with IS and pledged allegiance instead to Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later proclaimed Al-Nusra the only branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Believing that their public status as al-Qaeda’s formal “affiliate” in Syria has made them a target, the Nusra Front is announcing its intention to rebrand as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or Sham Liberation Front, which itself won’t officially be affiliated with al-Qaeda’s parent organization.

More info on al-Nusra……

Source: Everything You Need To Know About the New Nusra Front | TIME

All this drama is a ruse…..it has been planned for awhile to take the heat off the group……

….. the ruse is transparent, since al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a public audio statement only back in May suggesting Nusra could make a public break with al-Qaeda as a way to unify Islamists to form an “emirate” to rival ISIS. Whatever the reason, there is no suggestion this is going to leave Nusra, or whatever it calls itself, as anything but Syria’s al-Qaeda.

Nothing has changed…the group will still be as barbarous as usual…the only purpose of this “switch” is to try and lessen the attacks by the US and others with the hope it can survive past this conflict.

Jabhat al-Nusra, or JAN, is many things at the same time. It includes nationalists, nationalist-Islamists, Islamists, Syrians, non-Syrians, elements who reject global terrorism, global terrorists, hardliners, relative moderates, and many other ideological strains. The cement holding this organization together is composed of two parts: Opposing Assad, and an organizational structure that is able to provide an ideological frame, a political platform, a plan of action and operational structure, a disciplinary system, and the means to survive and continue the fight.

Attempts to reduce JAN to ISIL part deux are mistaken insofar as they neglect structural and ideological differences between the two groups. This is not to say that JAN is more or less dangerous than ISIL. It is to say that the two groups are completely different along both ideological and organizational lines. Overlooking those differences is natural in public opinion, but it is not suitable for experts or policy makers, as in the field of fighting terrorism, every detail matters.

Source: The Future of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria | Middle East Briefing

Same game….different name?

Distancing itself from the ambitions of its sponsor is both good politics and may be good for Syrians.

And yet, the announcement has been received internationally with weary scepticism and‎ a level of cynical dismissiveness that fails to understand the opportunity this decision represents.

The principal Western response has been that al-Nusra Front leadership’s decision is merely cosmetic, designed to remove itself from the list of groups subject to bombardment. This, of course may be true but it misses the point.

Source: Tough choices ahead as al-Nusra splits from al-Qaeda – Al Jazeera English

 

Why Doesn’t The Military Speak Up?

I have heard this statement or should I say question asked many times….if they see something wrong why do they not speak up?

For one, they serve at the discretion of the president and most like their jobs so they smile and do what they are told….ever noticed that the generals that make the news are all retired before they speak up?

There is a big reason why….read on……

Blindspots mean no truth-telling until after retirement.

The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight.  Iraq is chaotic and scarred. So, too, is Libya. Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and lash out. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.

Source: Why the Military Brass Can’t Face the Colossal Failure of Perpetual War | Alternet

What about military personnel?

When I was serving a soldier could not participate in any political campaign while in uniform….that included protests or rallies……

I’ve often wondered, can people who have spent their lives working in an institution, particularly in the military or some other part of the national security state, retire and suddenly see that same institution in a different and far more negative light?  Once outside, they become, in essence, critics of […]

Source: Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

A military person cannot be seen as showing favoritism for one side or the other while on active duty…..a soldier has a duty no matter the political leanings to carry out the orders of his commanders……any questioning of that authority will get them subject to punishment under the UCMJ…..

What they do in the voting booth is another matter……between him and his conscience…..

The Budget Bullsh*t!

It’s Monday and I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend….but now it is time to get busy……

Every Congress we are confronted with the way we shall spend our revenue….and as most people know we seldom do that under budget.  And that brings on the endless whining and sobbing over the busted budget.

One side tries to get cash for social programs like education, environment, etc and the other is all about cutting spending and at the same time trying to eliminate some revenue….(you business men out there explain that to my readers)….and in the end the Congress pushes the signing of a budget to the very limit of time and even threaten to screw the country if they do not get their way…..(a mature solution is seldom on the books)……

But the one area that most agree with needing more and more money is the Pentagon or as most call it the “defense budget”…..one can understand the need for a good secure nation but the problem is all the cash that the Pentagon gets it also pisses much of it away…..

Late last year, I spent some time digging into the Pentagon’s “reconstruction” efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries it invaded in 2001 and 2003 in tandem with a chosen crew of warrior corporations. As a story of fabled American can-do in distant lands, both proved genuinely dismal no-can-do tales, from roads built (that instantly started crumbling) to police academies constructed (that proved to be health hazards) to prisons begun (that were never finished) to schools constructed (that remained uncompleted) to small arms transfers (that were “lost” in transit) to armies built, trained, and equipped for stunning sums (that collapsed).  It was as if nothing the Pentagon touched turned to anything but dross (including the never-ending wars it fought).  All of it added up to what I then labeled a massive “$cam” with American taxpayer money lost in amounts that staggered the imagination.

Source: The Amount of Our Taxpayer Money the Military Pisses Away Is Just Unbelievable | Alternet – Linkis.com

It is ridiculous the amount of taxpayer money that is wasted or “stolen” for lack of a better word….and yet it is the same debate every session….no one is willing to make the Pentagon more economically sound…..why is that?

Plug the waste hole and some of the social programs to get some cash…just a thought.  But nope!  No one cares about those millions but the 100’s that someone may use for food stamps and some stroke out and go a days rant about the fraud…..

Democratic Party Platform Disappoints

This election draws near to a conclusion….and I still post stuff that will hopefully educate the voter…..

To say that I was disappointed in the platform that the Dems settle on would be disingenuous on my part….personally I think that it is platform that would better suit the GOP than good loyal Dems……

Progressives vow to ”take the fight to Philadelphia” and battle for stronger platform at Democratic Party convention.

When contentious Democratic Party platform negotiations finally came to a close late on Saturday, progressives again left disappointed.

At the committee’s final meeting in Orlando, Florida, supporters of Hillary Clinton successfully voted down amendments supporting a single payer healthcare system, a nationwide ban on fracking, as well as an amendment objecting to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and characterizing the settlements as illegal.

The losses stung progressives already dismayed by the committee’s refusal to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the platform earlier that day, among other defeats.

Source: Pro-Fracking, Pro-Colonialism, Anti-Single Payer: Democratic Party Platform Disappoints – Linkis.com

The Dems platform sucks the worse in history…..any true progressive, not those cowards in the Clinton camp, should look elsewhere for a candidate that best represents their issues……the Dems will NOT be that party!