Closing Thought–18Jan17

Ever since I have been writing there has been this deathly fear of the “s” word……to the point of obfuscation.

Now word has come out that should get all the old farts losing what little sleep they get……

On Wednesday, November 9, at 9:47 am, BuzzFeed News sent out a push notification: “Trump is leading a global nationalist wave. The liberal world order is nearly over and the age of populism is here.” This, from a publication better known for listicles than sweeping political pronouncements. If even BuzzFeed felt it necessary to ring the death knell for the “liberal world order,” then liberalism must be really, really dead.

But what, besides global nationalism, can replace it? The answer is clear if we look at the 2016 election from its inception. The race we should be remembering is not just Clinton versus Trump, but Sanders versus Clinton. For nearly a year, millions of Americans supported an avowed socialist, and many of those people were young—like me.

Source: Why Millennials Aren’t Afraid of Socialism | The Nation

Will this make a difference in upcoming elections?

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See What Blood Money Can Buy?

Yesterday I wrote a post about the defunct mercenary operation, Blackwater, and how it is functioning as an air force in Libya…..read below…

Source: From The Ashes – In Saner Thought

After posting that article I found another one about Blackwater and its founder and CEO, Prince, it appears that he is working as an adviser to the Trump team from the shadows……

Erik Prince, America’s most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the defense and state departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.

On election night, Prince’s latest wife, Stacy DeLuke, posted pictures from inside Trump’s campaign headquarters as Donald Trump and Mike Pence watched the returns come in, including a close shot of Pence and Trump with their families. “We know some people who worked closely with [Trump] on his campaign,” DeLuke wrote. “Waiting for the numbers to come in last night. It was well worth the wait!!!! #PresidentTrump2016.” Prince’s sister, billionaire Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and Prince (and his mother) gave large sums of money to a Trump Super PAC.

Source: Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump From the Shadows

What does this mean to the future of war for the US?  An adviser whose sole reason for life is……..WAR!

Leaving the Age of Disconnect

I have been saying for a couple of years now that we live in an age of disconnection……meaning that we are not concerned with reality but rather the disconnection that we chase…Twitter, FaceBook, et al……

We are ate up with FADS…..and to feed this disconnection we indulge in the crap of brain power…reality TV, food fads, even the pursuit of “fake” news (and that is enough said about that subject), appearance concerns and “fitness” fads….(what the Hell is a man bun?  A why?)….oh there are plenty more but it is exhausting just thinking about them…..

Our society needs to stop chasing this disconnection and start worrying about our future…..there is more on this……

It’s too easy simply to blame Donald Trump for the void that’s suddenly apparent at the center of American government — or will be on Jan. 20.  In fact, I’m utterly sick of hearing his name, let alone accounts of his latest outrage or trivial impertinence, which is the equivalent of crack cocaine in the news cycle: all Trump, all the time. It’s been that way for a year.

……

We kind of live with this stuff and the vague pain it causes — because we know it’s wrong and feel the wrongness deep inside us — and in the process of ignoring this pain we have devolved ever more deeply into techno-escapism. We allow ourselves to be lulled and distracted by the superficial media, which continually presents us with new enemies to blame. (The Russians! The Russians! They messed with our election!)

Source: Leaving the Age of Disconnect | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

In the coming months we shall see just how successful we can be as a people.

Gee, Why Is Russia So Paranoid?

There is much talk these days that Russia is just being paranoid….that NATO and the USA does not have any intentions of starting a new Cold War….

I had try to explain a little history of Russia to help my readers try to grasp their thinking….

Source: “A Paranoid Russia” – In Saner Thought

Then the most recent build up in Eastern Europe of US armor……

Source: The Return of “Heavy Metal” | Ace News Room

Then more recent news of US troops moved to the Russia border in Norway…..

Tensions are already on the rise between the US and Russia over massive US deployments in Germany for a training exercise marching east toward Russia. A force of US Marines are now heading to Trondheim, Norway for another deployment along the Russian border.

Russia is none too happy, again, both annoyed at the US for deployment yet more troops along their border, and at Norway, who promised not to host any foreign troops on the Russian border when they became part of NATO. Norway insists this is just a temporary deployment and doesn’t count.

If the roles were reversed what would the US be saying and/or feeling about all the build-up?

Kurds–Wassup?

Slowly I am returning to my primary interests that being foreign policy, international relations and conflict management…..an area I have neglecting because of the stupidity of the last election…..I will correct my failings.

Kurds have been the “good guys” in the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq and Syria….they have been a valued ally to the US and NATO…..now that ISIS is on the defensive and some even say on the run what will happen after the killing and destruction is done?

The Kurds have been pushing for a homeland in the heart of the Middle East for many many years but the calls have become louder since 2003 when the US invaded then occupied Iraq.

The problem is the Syria and Turkey may have a different opinion on the future of a “Kurdistan”…..so the question being asked is….what will the Kurds do?  There are many factions and factions within factions among the Kurds….any transition will probably be anything but calm…..

Turkey’s President Recep Yayyip Erdogan had a long conversation with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi in the first week of January, followed by sending his Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus to Baghdad. Then Ankara’s Prime Minister Binali Yildrim visited the Iraqi capital January 7, had long talks with Abadi, and reached an agreement on the security issues concerning the two countries. Among other issues, the Turkish-Iraqi talks included a discussion about Turkey’s military presence in Bashiqa and PKK presence in Sinjar (Shingal).

The PKK is in Sinjar via two affiliated groups: The People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Shingal Protection Units (SPU). Baghdad recognized the SPU as a friendly, non-terrorist group. Turkey, on the other hand, considers the PKK, the YPG, and the SPU terrorist groups.

However, Turkey is moving fast to establish an anti-PKK coalition in Iraq. This coalition includes Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Nineveh’s Turkish-trained National Mobilization Forces (NMF or Al Hashd Al Watani).

Source: Now, What Will the Kurds Do? | Middle East Briefing

Now with that said…..let’s theorize that the Kurds get their wishes, especially in Iraq, will it be a calming transition?  Probably not!

The campaign against the Islamic State (IS) in Mosul has diverted attention from simmering problems inside the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that will affect post-conflict stabilization. Within the last several months alone, there has been another assassination of a Kurdish journalist, an “honor” killing of a university student, death threats against a female Kurdish parliamentarian, bombing of an Iranian Kurdish party office that killed seven people and a string of foiled terrorist attacks in Sulaimaniyah province. These incidents have occurred alongside ongoing demonstrations by civil servants for unpaid salaries, a nonfunctioning Kurdish parliament, swelling numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, an expanded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Turkish airstrikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq. They have not only reversed most gains the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has realized since 2011, but also leave the Kurdistan Region increasingly vulnerable to financial collapse and internal conflict.

Instead of “inevitable Kurdish statehood” after the defeat of IS, a more realistic scenario is weakened autonomy, political entropy and armed conflicts. The KRG launched “independent” exports in 2014, but the Kurdish economy is now in tatters. KRG debt exceeds $22 billion. The availability of electricity has decreased to 2005 levels, or about four hours a day in many areas without private generators. Tens of thousands of youths continue to migrate from the region. The once-touted Kurdish energy sector is being undermined legally and politically. Although the KRG exports about 600,000 barrels of oil per day to Ceyhan, these exports remain contentious, are dependent on Turkey and are largely sourced from Kirkuk — still a disputed territory — and not the Kurdistan Region. International oil companies have thus far abandoned 19 oil fields in the Kurdistan Region, including ExxonMobil’s withdrawal from three of its six fields.
Source: Is Iraqi Kurdistan heading toward civil war?
This scenario will NO doubt keep the US and its NATO cronies in the region for all eternity…somebody has to protect the holdings of the corporate masters in Washington.