Closing Thought–23Feb17

There are news stories that are just not important enough to make the evening news….but yet some moronic celeb never has his jersey stolen and it is updated for days…..

In the past I have written about nuclear accidents and other stories that could be a problem for the world in the near future….we all know about Fukashima and that is bout it for nuke mistakes…..but there is nuclear material missing around the world that could make it into a dirty bomb or other weapon….

I try to help my readers stay attuned to these incidents with the hope they they will stay alert and safe…..

I read another report that did not make it into the news…….this time it is Northern Europe……

As mysterious radiation spread over the Arctic and south into Europe last month, conspiracy theorists quickly claimed Russia had restarted nuclear testing at Novaya Zemlya, the Drive reports. But the truth is—probably—a lot less menacing. According to the Independent Barents Observer, a spike in the radioactive isotope Iodine-131 was first measured on the Norway-Russia border in mid-January. But the spike wasn’t made public until later, when it reached France, Science Alert reports. The levels of Iodine-131 weren’t high enough to be a danger to the public, but the isotope is usually connected to nuclear fission, so concern abounded. That concern only deepened when the US, with no explanation, sent its nuclear “sniffing” aircraft to Europe.

Despite the alarm, the radiation bloom probably wasn’t caused by a nuclear explosion. First, there was no seismic activity to go along with the radiation spike. Second, no other radioactive isotopes spiked besides Iodine-131, Motherboard reports. And while a nuclear explosion—or accident—is still a possibility, Norway’s radiation protection agency believes the likely culprit is a pharmaceutical company working with Iodine-131, which is used to treat cancers. It’s still unclear where the radiation originated, with officials only narrowing it down as far as “Eastern Europe,” but medical companies that work with Iodine-131 all have detectors for a leak. So it seems someone out there knows what happened but isn’t talking.

They still no idea where it came from or why…..

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New Eyes Of NatSec

I am a foreign policy wink and that also makes me interested in the policies that decide our national security.  We have a had a bit of a tumultuous month on that front….the original appointee had to cut and run and now the president has named a new guy to the position of NatSec adviser…..Gen. McMaster.

I am antiwar and do not much appreciate those that are heavily invested in the M-IC….but in this case McMaster may be the best person for the job at this point in the Trump tenure.

In reporting on President Trump’s appointment of H.R. McMaster to the post of national security adviser, the New York Times referred to Lieutenant General McMaster as a “military strategist.” Precisely what this phrase is meant to convey is not entirely clear. In profiling McMaster, the Times does not credit him with having originated some Big Idea akin to Alfred Thayer Mahan’s theory of seapower or Billy Mitchell’s conception of strategic bombing.

In all likelihood, Times editors use the phrase “military strategist” loosely to mean something like “a soldier who thinks.” Or more crudely, “not a knuckle-dragger.” Or “preferable to the cretin who Trump just fired.” By conferring on McMaster the title of military strategist, the Times signals its approval.

Source: The Duty of General McMaster | The American Conservative

That article will fill in the blanks on McMaster and he will most likely be at odds with the “Big Cheese” at the White House, Bannon……

When America’s most influential Islamophobes are upset, you know the president made a good choice. “Score one from the swamp,” whined Robert Spencer upon hearing the news that Donald Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his new national security adviser. Spencer makes a living scaring Americans about the dangers of Muslim soccer moms. “John Bolton lost out to this guy?” sputtered his frequent partner in whine, Pamela Geller, who scoffed at the general for saying, “Every time you disrespect an Iraqi, you’re working for the enemy.”

Source: McMaster Has the Islamophobes Worried. Good. – POLITICO Magazine

McMaster’s duties besides advising the president on national security issues are many…he needs to head some of the more disastrous thoughts off at the pass (so to speak)…..

At a time when the Trump administration continues to spark an immediate and growing national security crises due to mismanagement and reckless policies, the national security community felt great relief at the president’s selection of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as the next national security advisor. McMaster will be tasked with resolving a number of serious foreign policy blunders already committed by the new administration. President Trump must ensure that McMaster has the authority and tools to deal with the following seven problems.

Source: McMaster’s Challenge: His Boss Is Already Making America Less Safe – Center for American Progress

McMaster has an unenviable job within the Trump White House and this may be the best person for that job….for now.

His actions will bear watching to see if he is truly the man described or just another toad in the yellow stained road of Trump.

A Woman Of Principle

At the beginning of this year a US Rep, Tulsi Gabbard, went on a mission to Damascus….for which she took lots of grief from some and from others , like myself, thought that she did a very necessary thing….she went to talk with the ruler of Syria…..I wrote about her trip….

Source: Finally, Some Leadership! – In Saner Thought

I like this person…she is a vet, shows courage and is against regime change…..I will get behind anyone from any party that has the courage to stand up against these wars of opportunity that the US seems Hell bent on fighting….

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a rare member of Congress willing to take heat for challenging U.S. “regime change” projects, in part, because as an Iraq War vet she saw the damage these schemes do, as retired Col. Ann Wright explains.

I support Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, going to Syria and meeting with President Bashar al-Assad because the congresswoman is a brave person willing to take criticism for challenging U.S. policies that she believes are wrong.

It is important that we have representatives in our government who will go to countries where the United States is either killing citizens directly by U.S. intervention or indirectly by support of militia groups or by sanctions.

We need representatives to sift through what the U.S. government says and what the media reports to find out for themselves the truth, the shades of truth and the untruths.

Source: Tulsi Gabbard vs. ‘Regime Change’ Wars – Consortiumnews

I agree with the author…I am in support of Rep. Gabbard’s attempts to bring some sanity to all the interventionism running rampant in DC these days.

We need more politicians with courage…as it is we have spineless drones of the M-IC.

I will be watching her and reporting on her activities…..she deserve more exposure….I will try to help….

Why Does Congress Accept Perpetual Wars?

Since the Korean War the US has been in virtual continuous war….during Vietnam there was a movement to try and change that but then the government and the media has done a swell job at making the American people accept war and all its trappings……

This is a subject that few Americans want to think about….and if IST is any indication….few care little about what the American soldier must go through during and after combat…..

The American Conservative has taken a look at this subject……

Nominally, the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with its counterpart in the House of Representatives, provides oversight of U.S. military activities. Yet recently, the committee’s unacknowledged purpose seems to be avoiding the meaningful exercise of this role, especially when it comes to scrutinizing the nation’s commitment to armed conflicts like the ongoing Afghanistan War.

Oversight implies ownership. The Congress of the United States has no desire to own a war that is the longest in U.S. history, grows longer by the day, and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

Source: Why Does Congress Accept Perpetual Wars? | The American Conservative

This subject is dear to me……and I will continue to bring it up and write about it as often as I can…..

Time for the American people to re-think the concept of perpetual war…..Congress is the agency that declares war and yet they have shirked their duty for over 15 years…it is time for them to return to doing the job they were elected to do….

“A Nation at War”

I have been writing about our continuous state of war for decades….usually it falls on deaf ears or ears that have all sorts of justifications for this situation….

Last week, Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), expressed his dismay about the Trump administration. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil,” Thomas opined.  “I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war.”

If the U.S. is now “a nation at war,” when, do tell, will we return to being a nation at peace? If the answer is, “When the last terrorist is eliminated,” say goodbye right now to what’s left of American democracy.

What does that mean, we’re a nation at war?  Many will think that a dumb question, but is it?  Sure, we have roughly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, and that war isn’t over.  Sure, the U.S. is still helping Iraqi forces (notably in Mosul) against ISIS and related terrorist groups. Yes, the U.S. and NATO (joined by Russia?) are seeking to corral and eventually to end ISIS and “radical Islamic extremism/terrorism.”  But do these efforts constitute a world war, like World Wars I and II?

Source: “We’re a Nation at War” – LA Progressive

Yes, I have been antiwar for damn near 50 years and this country should be also….how many Americans are dead because of all this adventurism?

We remain a nation at war because the government and the media are working in concert to keep negative images off the web and front pages….images like this…..

In a moving scene, an Army wife met her husband on the airport tarmac last week—but he was in a coffin. The heartbreaking reunion between Tara and Shawn Thomas was caught on video by Lisa West Williams, who was traveling in the plane that transported Shawn Thomas’ body home to North Carolina. The video she took out her window shows members of the military removing Thomas’ flag-draped coffin from the plane before Tara, dressed all in black, approaches and rests her head against the coffin. “There was not a dry eye around me,” wrote Williams on Facebook. The video has been viewed nearly 10 million times since she posted it Tuesday.

Shawn, 35, was a Green Beret who was killed in a vehicle accident in Niger Feb. 2, during his eighth deployment, according to the Army Times and his obituary, which says that he died “defending our freedom while doing a job that he loved.” His unit had been deployed to Africa to train locals to counter the spread of terrorist groups; he had previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Williams says that she spoke to his wife, a mother of four, after taking the video: “She did thank me for the video and she wanted it to be shared,” Williams tells WNCT. “She wanted people to realize that this goes on every day. There are many men and women that come home in a casket and they’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

Images like this would go a long way to opening the eyes of the public to the horrors of war and in return open our eyes to the need for a robust antiwar movement.