This Is What Politically Correct Looks Like

If you have any Right Wing friends or if you read Right Wing articles or if you listen to the more Right leaning news sources then you will have heard their favorite term over and over and over……Political Correct.

They use it as a catch all for anything that they cannot agree with and it is usually followed by other such adjectives as “apologist”….it is their most popular argument for whatever the subject maybe….after all it is easier than having an actual rebuttal to the issue.

I have the perfect example of what “political correctness” is…..

After warning Syria not to fly planes in the Hasakeh Province or risk getting them shot down by US planes in the area, the Pentagon is struggling to convince reporters that there is some sort of distinction between this zone you can’t fly in and a “no-fly zone.”

…….

The Pentagon has since expanded this to declaring the area “an exclusion zone,” which is distinct from a no-fly zone because the Pentagon says it is a different thing. Spokesman Peter Cook insisted the US has warned Syria not to fly planes in the area for a long time now.

(antiwar.com)

That my friends is the best example possible for what politically correct is……not the off-hand insult that some Righties regurgitate ad nauseum….

I must end my posting day…I am off to eat stuffed grape leaves, olives, figs, blue cheese with a little honey…..try it…….. you will like it!

A Middle East Cold War

2016 is shaking out as an election on foreign policy…..the winner will be ass deep in the Middle East for decades longer…..

The Cold War that we all know and love was  between the years of 1945 and 1991….when the US and Western powers would stand-off against the Soviet Union…….across the globe.

In 1979 with the Iranian revolution there began another Cold War….this one was for the hearts and minds of the Middle East…..waged between Saudi Arabia and Iran……

For years the Saudis had the upper hand thanks mostly to their close ties with Washington……but in the last decade or so……… that pendulum is swinging toward Iran……

Just as the US and the USSR fought proxy wars the Saudis and the Iranians are doing the same things……the battlefields are in such places as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon….and the situation seems to be expanding…..

A cold war is taking place in a very hot place. A key component of the sectarian competition between Shia and Sunni Islam in the Middle East is geopolitical, with Iran facing off against Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies in a struggle for regional dominance.

As with the original Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, the conflict does not involve direct military confrontation between the main rivals, at least not yet. It is being fought diplomatically, ideologically, and economically – especially in the oil markets – and through proxy wars, such as the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. There are few problems in the wider Middle East that cannot be traced back to the power rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Source: Is Iran winning their Mideast Cold War with Saudi Arabia? | Informed Comment

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There are more observations of the “Middle East Cold War”……..

There are, at the present moment, four game plans colliding with each other in a terrain filled with hidden mines. The sum of the collusion will be totally different than the objectives of each of the players. Worst, no one has the ability to predict the outcome, not even the players themselves.

Let us examine briefly each game plan as seen by each player before addressing, in general, the potential paths of this dangerous game.

Saudi Arabia:

From the Saudi perspective, Iran has gone too far. Ideologically, Tehran enshrined the export of its revolution into its constitution. Practically, it has the Quds Force of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) to make sure that this principle is implemented. Furthermore, it achieved progress through infiltrating Iraq after the US-UK ill-advised invasion and it moved and it is actively present in Damascus now. This came after successfully creating Hezbollah in Lebanon and was followed by the Houthi rebellion in Yemen and the control over Sana’a. The Shia Crescent developed into a full moon.

Source: Washington, Moscow, Tehran and Riyadh: The Coming Conflict over the Middle East | Middle East Briefing

This is the region that the US created and the problems that our new prez will be facing….personally I do not see either one of the candidates capable of making the most important decisions pertaining to the region.

Do you?

No New Deal!

We hear a lot these days about the need for a “New Deal” to bring this economy back into some sort of balance…..we need good paying jobs and new industries that will return this country back to prominence….

But I disagree with that assertion….what we need is a new economic way of thinking…..the days of the 1930’s is dead and gone…..time to think of new ways to do the same thing…..

I do not understand the thinking by some in this country…..they seem to hold a grudge against poor people…..not something you would expect from a supposed “Christian” nation…..

Time to re-think our options……

Forget the New Deal, the 21st century needs a new global model of balanced growth based on cooperative economics.

In today’s global economy, neoliberalism reigns supreme, organized labor is in deep retreat and public debt has shot through the roof. In the face of these crises, is a global 21st century remaking of the 1930s-era New Deal what people on the left should be fighting for?

Contemporary progressive parties, such as Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, have rallied around the idea of a “new New Deal,” while the European Citizen’s Initiative for a “New Deal 4 Europe” appears to have the backing of both Labor and Green party leaders in several European countries. In the US, Bernie Sanders has also been a strong advocate of this idea as the way out of our troubles.

Source: The 21st Century Doesn’t Need a New Deal — It Needs a New Economic Model

We need more than some neoliberal rehash of the New Deal of FDR.  The US needs a whole new economic model that pits jobs and output over profits.

The race to profits is what has turned the US economy into one similar to some Third World countries…..few at the top and corruption so they can stay at the top……

There can be successful workers as well as successful owners….but not in the model that the two candidates want to preserve.

Time for the American people to start thinking for themselves and ignore party politics……what is best for them and their family.

Libya’s Chaos

I am proud to say that IST recently got a Libyan born person to comment and follow….I am pleased to have a person that can offer first hand observation and knowledge of the conflict raging in Libya…..I look forward to his input…..

Libya is a situation that has been made worse by the involvement of the US and its NATO thugs…..but they, powers that be, would prefer a “light footprint” in this conflict….meaning they want to work from behind the scene…..

Over the past two weeks, the Obama administration has introduced a significant escalation of U.S. involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. On August 1, U.S. forces launched Operation Odyssey Lightning, a campaign of limited airstrikes in support of Libyan militias against Islamic State fighters ensconced along the Libyan coast in Sirte, the birthplace of Muammar Qaddafi. This week, Pentagon officials also acknowledged that U.S. Special Operations Forces are on the ground in Libya, providing direct intelligence support to forces loyal to Libya’s fragile Government of National Accord (GNA). Those actions represent another manifestation of the Obama administration’s “light footprint” approach to military force—the use of standoff strike capabilities in support of allied ground troops—and they highlight the limitations of that approach.

Source: Libya and the Limits of the Light Footprint | World Affairs Journal

But once again the US has had to put troops on the ground in Libya……

A small number of U.S. special operations teams have been seen on the ground in northeast and western Libya for the better part of a year, conducting patrols and advising local militias as part of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State — or ISIS or ISIL — picks up steam, even as the U.S. and its European allies revealed Monday they have begun shipping weapons and equipment to Libya’s fragile unity government to battle the jihadi threat, despite U.N. sanctions.

Source: U.S. troops deployed to Libya in campaign against ISIS – Washington Times

Once again the excuse is that we have only  “a small amount of US Troops” on the ground…..how many times has that one statement come back to bite us in the ass?

For those that have NO idea what is going on in Libya….other than the Benghazi attacks of several years ago…..maybe this will help explain what is happening in the country.

Source: Libya’s chaos, explained in five graphics – CNN.com

Another problem for the US in Libya is their hand-picked crony to run the country…..

As the US war in Libya moves into its third week, officials and analysts are seeing a lot of problems with their plans, but perhaps the biggest problem is one of their own creation, the Libyan Army and its leader, long-time CIA asset Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Hifter was a general of Moammar Gadhafi until 1987, when he was captured by Chad. The next year, he became a US proxy for an anti-Gadhafi insurgency, and after that collapsed, moved to Virginia, with occasional trips back to Libya for other failed US-backed plots.

When NATO imposed regime change in 2011, Gen. Hifter was quick to make his grand return, and has been trying to consolidate his power ever since. He announced a coup in 2014, which didn’t amount to much, and is now at the head of the army loyal to the UN-backed Tobruk government.

(antiwar.com)

The last time the CIA did anything right as far as “regime change” goes was the 1950’s and in Guatemala….since then it has been one disaster after another…..so how do you think this situation will play out?

Don’t Count Trump Out

If you read many of our Right wing brethren blogs you have seen that they are determined to keep the faith that trump will win this election….hands down.

I like optimism but I feel they may be beating a dead horse….but keeping with my tradition of trying to give both sides of this argument I found a couple of asrticles that plays into their hopes….

First is an article from of all places the Middle East….go figure….

The presidential election is still far off, at least as time is measured in politics, and both candidates will have plenty of chances to fall victim to their own shortcomings.

RealClearPolitics’ latest average of national polls shows Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump 47.2% to 41.2% in the US presidential race.

It is actually remarkable that Trump is only down by a handful of points considering his lack of self-control and unexplained diarrhea of the mouth. This is the same guy who spent his first press conference as the Republican nominee talking about former rival Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Source: US elections 2016: Why we shouldn’t count Trump out

The second article appeared in Sputnik, a Russian site that is biased toward the Russian point of view…….but they did have something to say about the Trump candidacy….

Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Queen of War, Golden Goldman Girl, for all practical purposes is by now the official bipartisan candidate of US neocons and neoliberalcons alike.

Certified add-ons include Wall Street; selected hedge funds; TPP cheerleaders; CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) interventionists; media barons; multinational corporate hustlers; in fact virtually the whole exceptionalist US establishment, duly underwritten by the bipartisan, mega-wealthy 0.0001%.

That does leave Donald J. Trump in the astonishing position of egomaniac billionaire outsider who somehow dreams he can game the whole system on his own, moved by his inexhaustible chutzpah.

Source: Could Trump Pull Off a Post-Party Coalition?

I also found a piece in the New republic about the Trump candidacy…….before you dismiss the source please read the article……

Rapidly sinking in the polls and careening from blunder to blunder, Donald Trump has ordered the second major shake-up of his staff in three months. Paul Manafort, who was named campaign chairman in the previous shake-up, has failed in his attempts to domesticate Trump and help him pivot to a centrist message, and the Republican nominee has now brought in Steve Bannon, chairman of the conservative website Breitbart. By all reports, Bannon wants to “let Trump be Trump”—to rile up the right-wing base with incendiary rhetoric and launch vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton.

The consensus view among political observers—including, and perhaps especially, on the right—is that Trump’s dumpster-fire campaign has become a wildfire. “Trump Has Decided To Live in Breitbart’s Alternative Reality,” announced the conservative Weekly Standard. On CNN, former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro called Trump a “turd tornado.” And Noah Rothman notes in Commentary, the flagship journal of neo-conservatism, “By bringing on Breitbart’s head, any illusion of distance between the Trump campaign and its most unwaveringly supportive blog is now gone. The Trump campaign will be said, rightly, to have embraced the voice of the racially transgressive ‘alt-right’ and self-identified ‘white nationalists.’”

Source: Trump’s Media Empire Takes Shape | New Republic

Okay I admit it….the New republic article is not at all flattering….but it is something to consider if one plans to vote for the man this November….

Just a few of the sources that seem to be on the Trump bandwagon for whatever reason……this should help those die hard fans that refuse to believe that Trump is in serious trouble with the voters……

To my Right wing brethren…..you are welcome.

(Insert Subject) For Dummies

When I was at university and studying the Middle East I was required to take subjects like Islamic History and Islam….this helped the student understand the region and the people…..

When I am doing research I start with a book series, A Very Short Introduction to (Insert subject), it is a very broad intro to just about any given subject and I also will try the “Dummies” series….and then I branch out once I have gotten a broad overview….this assists me on grasping the subject before I continue….

Since the beginning of the horrible group that calls itself ISIS began there are some that have tried to make it ALL of Islam that is to blame….NO matter how much information they are given they refuse to move on from this broad characterization…..it feeds there hate perfectly….the problem is it is all a lie….

Why do I say this?  It seems that recruits to ISIS have little knowledge of Islam to begin with……

The Islamic State isn’t exactly choosy about who gets to enter its ranks, based on an examination by the AP of thousands of leaked ISIS documents that show recruits often had very little, if any, religious knowledge to back up their desire to join—with a couple of British newbies even buying The Koran for Dummies and Islam for Dummies on Amazon right before heading overseas to fight for their “cause.” The AP says its probe—which included interviews, court testimony, and scrutiny of more than 4,000 entry forms of foreigners heading to Syria in 2013 and 2014 to join up with ISIS—showed those terror candidates were “overwhelmingly ignorant” of Islam and had to be schooled via indoctrination videos and visiting imams specifically commissioned to bring them up to speed.

About 70% of the recruits had “basic” knowledge of Sharia law (i.e., not much at all), while 24% claimed “intermediate” knowledge and 5% “advanced” status. And per a study by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, those who wanted to carry out suicide bombings tended not to be religious scholars—the naifs volunteered more often. Some recruits tell the AP they were thrown by their ISIS experience once they got there: One now-regretful European recruit tells the AP, “I realized that I was in the wrong place when they began to ask me questions on these forms like ‘When you die, who should we call?'” What all of this means, per a former CIA case officer and Mideast extremist expert: that although some recruits do indeed join up with ISIS for religious reasons, most, including those from the West, are drawn instead by “a sense of belonging, a sense of notoriety, a sense of excitement. … Religion is an afterthought.” (A glimpse into an ISIS job application.)

The most telling part of this is the statement….” indoctrination videos and visiting imams specifically commissioned to bring them up to speed.”

The leader of ISIS uses some sort of perverted Islam to justify what he is doing….none of it is true Islam.

There is another analysis of this story….

Some young men were lured by an alcohol-drinking recruiter. Others ordered ‘Islam for Dummies’ from Amazon before going to Syria.

Source: Islamic State recruits knew pretty much nothing about Islam, documents show | VICE News

So is it about the religion or is it just criminals doing what criminals do?

This will fall on deaf ears of those who choose to hate for the sake of hatred…..but maybe someone will want to see what is what.