Closing Thought–03Mar17

“Blame The Liberals”!

In recent days Mr. Trump has set about blaming liberals for all the ills of society…..which is nothing new because the Right wing nose pickers have been dong it for decades….

In recent days liberals and especially Obama have been blamed for protests, for hackings, for cemetery attacks, I am sure there is more that I ignored….

if you are unfortunate enough to be exposed to some of the lunatics on the Right then you know of what I speak….there is lots of ink being wasted on blaming others for the new guys shortcomings.

But sadly all this is nothing new…..like I said the Repubs have been blaming liberals have been blaming liberals for decades….everything from the crucifixion to World War Two to today’s problems….they will need to find new material…..

In Trump’s world, progressives are the true racists and white people face endless persecution. None of this is new.

Donald Trump is a professional white victimologist. The examples are legion. Trump never takes responsibility for his actions and appears to believe in numerous fictions: News media outlets are conspiring against him, Barack Obama is trying to sabotage his presidency, the military and not the commander in chief is to blame for the recent botched raid that killed a Navy commando, the women who accused Trump of sexual assault are all lying, millions of “illegal votes” were cast against him, and the tens of millions of people who have protested his regime are all paid operatives.

Source: Donald Trump’s “blame the liberals” talk belongs to a long right-wing tradition of white victimology and conspiracy theory – Salon.com

All this is just silly…..but what can we expect when we elect a reality star?

Time to begin my weekend…..everyone thanx for all the support and participation this past week….now enjoy your weekend….be well, Be safe…..chuq

Bill…..Bill…..Who’s Got The Bill?

We have been bet about the head with the slogan “repeal and replace” for about 7 years….and the new dude in the Oval Office has made it a cornerstone of his presidency.

There has been much confusion on what will the plan be…..but after many hours of debate and promises there seems to be a plan in the Congress to do just what was promised…..

One small problem….no one is saying where the bill is or what it will entail….

As of Thursday, a new version of House Republicans’ ObamaCare repeal and replace bill is available for review by members and staffers on the House Energy and Commerce panel, but they’ll have to do a bit of work to see it: There’s just one copy, kept in a dedicated reading room, and no other copies are being given to lawmakers to take with them, Bloomberg reports. The new draft “is being treated a bit like a top-secret surveillance intercept,” the site notes, after an outdated draft was leaked last week and quickly derided—Republicans are looking to avoid the same thing happening again. But they might be doing too good a job, as lawmakers are struggling to locate the shrouded-in-secrecy draft:

  • Rep. Frank Pollone, the top-ranking Democrat on the above-mentioned panel, has been on a quest to find the copy of the latest draft so he can read it. So far, he’s had no luck, even when he went by the room it’s supposed to be kept in. NPR follows his search.
  • Sen. Rand Paul went on his own search for the bill Thursday, tweeting about his progress and bringing along a copy machine in case he found it. More on his quest, and a look at some of the Democrats poking fun at the “Where’s the bill” fiasco, at the Washington Post.
  • It didn’t help that the rumored location of the secret bill got leaked, leading reporters to join in the hunt. A ton of people showed up at the room, but none of them located the bill. Vox has more.
  • The House Energy and Commerce committee is tentatively scheduled to vote on the secretive bill next week, reports the New York Times, which has criticism from Democrats claiming Republicans are “playing hide-and-seek” with the bill.

I understand the fear of a leak….but in this case since it is suppose to be something for the citizens of this country….why keep it a secret….is there something nefarious going on?  I recall the secrecy around the TPP and all the grief around that plan….

Is the bill that bad that it must be hidden until the last moment?

Mercenaries To China

I have written extensively about the private armies from the US…..let’s be honest these are nothing short of mercenaries (my blog search widget will get you to all the posts on the subject)

Blackwater or whatever name they use this time around is back in the news.  These so-called security contractors have been at the heart of several wars in the recent past….from Iraq and Libya and now they are on there way to China…..

OK, OK, not Blackwater. That’s the mercenary force of convicted war criminals founded by Erik Prince that will never outrun its infamy no matter how many times it changes its name.

No, no, no! Not Blackwater! It’s Frontier Services Group—an entirely different mercenary group chaired by Erik Prince—that is heading to China! And they’re not there to sell mercenary services! Absolutely not. They’re merely opening some “forward operating bases” to help the Chinese train “ex-” PLA soldiers how to be mercenaries! It’s entirely different!

Now that we have that clear, some context: Erik Prince is the notorious mercenary who believes he’s the modern-day descendant of “Wild Bill” Donovan. (Prince even named his youngest son, Charles Donovan Prince, after Bill.) Prince’s budding career as a contract killer went down in flames in 2009 after it was revealed that Blackwater was a front for a secret CIA assassination program. He later admitted that Blackwater “became a virtual extension of the CIA” and took orders directly from the agency, but by that point the news spotlight had shifted elsewhere.

Source: Blackwater Heads to China

It is time to end the career of these mercenaries that operate outside the parameters of decency.  These hired killers should be imprisoned not employed.

Somalia–Take A Right At Ethiopia

My regulars know that I am always watch conflicts around the world……because in some way the US will become involved up to our ears….and that means death and destruction.

How many out there saw the movie “Black Hawk Down”?

A movie about the US limited deployment to the East African country of Somalia….and our involvement did not end well.  Military deaths occurred and we did what we did in Lebanon in the 1980’s….we cut and run as quickly as possible.

I bring up this sad part of our military history because of something I read the other day……

President Trump’s recommendations from the Pentagon are starting to trickle in, and they seem to everywhere involve more escalations of US involvement and increased flexibility for the Pentagon to order airstrikes in various countries to target “apparent threats.”

And while it’s not as high profile as recommendations expected later this week in places like Syria, that’s the case for Somalia as well, where the Pentagon is seeking increased aid for the Somali Army, moving US special forces closer to the front lines, and loosening up restrictions on airstrikes.

AFRICOM chief Gen. Thomas Waldhauser described Somalia as “our most perplexing challenge,” saying that the US needs to shift its focus toward weakening al-Shabaab enough that the African Union forces that have been in Somalia for a decade can finally defeat them.

Despite being presented as a “fresh perspective” on the long fight in Somalia, the Pentagon recommendation is their go-tell plan in wars everywhere: more direct US involvement, more embedding of forces, and more airstrikes with less restrictions, a plan which hasn’t worked well anywhere else.

(antiwar.com)

The US is setting up a possible replay of the 1990’s situation….the only thing that makes sense is Einstein’s quote.

War On Terror–Trump Style

Our presidente made a claim during his campaigning days that he would defeat ISIS and win the War on Terror….he said he would give his generals 30 days to come up with such a plan….

A bit behind schedule but a plan has been announced……

Full details of the plan have not been released yet, but the long-promised Pentagon proposal to escalate the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been delivered today, and is said to includes options for large deployments of additional troops to Syria, as well as increased targeting of ISIS the world over.

The plan for the Pentagon is to “rapidly” defeat ISIS, with the assumption that throwing more US troops at the situation will make it go faster. Officials at the Pentagon conceded this strategy might need to be further refined before implemented on the ground.

It is particularly noteworthy that we don’t really know any more about the plan today, beyond the talking points, than we did about it in recent weeks when officials started hyping its upcoming delivery, with the recommendations still apparently boiling down to straightforward additions of a number of combat troops.

Sadly Trump has continue to do what the Right has been doing for years….feeding the fear……but words and fearmongering will not win anything….but that never stopped the rhetoric…..

The CATO Institute gas offered up some insights……

When President Trump rails against the news media and decries reports as “fake news,” he is beating a dead horse. American trust in the news media is already at a historic low point, with a September 2016 Gallup poll finding that just 32% of the public (and just 14% of Republicans) have a “fair amount” or a “great deal” of trust in the mass media.

What’s more disturbing is how loose with the facts Trump has been when it comes to talking about terrorism. In recent weeks, as his immigration, refugee, and travel ban foundered in the courts, Trump turned to Twitter to proclaim that “THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Speaking at a law enforcement conference, he stated that terrorism is “a far greater threat than people in our country understand. Believe me.”

Source: Trump’s Terrorism Fearmongering vs. The Facts | Cato Institute

So far all presidents since GW have the same plan for “defeating” terrorism…..the big problem is that their tactics do nothing to defeat anything and everything to extend the situations that will only prolong this war on terror……

Since 2001, when then US President George Bush announced his “War on Terror,” presidents and politicians both in the United States and among America’s allies, have repeated this phrase and have done their utmost to convince the public that indeed, the West was fighting a “War on Terror.”

Yet there is something disturbingly ambiguous about what exactly the “War on Terror” consists of, who it’s being waged against and how it could ever possibly be brought to a successful conclusion.

It is also often referred to as the “Long War,” and for good reason. America’s ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is the longest armed conflict in US history. Additionally, US troops still find themselves in Iraq, some 14 years after the initial invasion and occupation of the state in 2003.

Because of the ambiguous nature of the “War on Terror,” politicians have been given much room to maneuver their rhetoric, explaining why more wars must be waged, more liberties curtailed at home and more wealth and power channeled into fewer and fewer hands.

Source: How a Real War on Terrorism Would Look and Why the US Isn’t Fighting One | New Eastern Outlook

The sad thing is that we keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different outcome…….Einstein had a name for that……

Balkans–A Return To Yesteryear?

I usually concentrate my international post on the region that I know a bit about, the Middle East…..sometimes at the expense of other regions that are having as much problems as others.

I try to keep up with the region of Europe known as the Balkans…mainly because I have a loyal visitor that hails from this region and I hope to get her input in my posts…especially if I have mis-read something that I post about.

I the last couple of days I have run across some interesting stirrings in the region….

First from the small country of Montenegro…….

Official Washington’s New Cold Warriors are painting NATO’s admission of tiny Montenegro in the stark black-and-white colors of a heroic stand against “Russian aggression” but that misses the real reasons why it’s a bad idea,

Any day now, Arizona Senator John McCain promises, the U.S. Senate will vote to approve the incorporation of Montenegro as the 29th member state in the NATO alliance. Though few Americans likely know where to find the tiny Balkan nation on a map, Montenegro has become another dubious focal point of the West’s new confrontation with Russia.

Source: NATO’s Strange Addition of Montenegro – Consortiumnews

Next news from another small country in the region…..Macedonia

Together with our NATO allies and EU partners, the United States has been closely following the process of government formation in Macedonia triggered by the December 11, 2016 parliamentary elections.

The United States calls on Macedonia’s leaders to form a new government without further delay, in a manner consistent with the constitution and Macedonia’s aspirations to join the European Union and NATO. The formation of a new government committed to rule of law and implementing needed reforms will help end a political crisis that has severely hindered the country’s democratic and economic development and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The United States urges all parties to put the interest of Macedonia and its citizens above all else, to work together constructively, and to fully implement all of their commitments under the Przino agreement.

I know the US enjoys sticking our noses in others business….but this is silly….Macedonia should not be pressured on anything….it is like the US wants final approval of the government.  I know what I would tell the US.

It is beginning to look like the Balkans has started rumbling over ethnic issues yet again and could become a major migraine for Trump and his lackeys…..

Now, the Balkans are once again dicing with crisis. Borders are being questioned, ethnic tensions are bubbling up, and land swaps are being mooted as a last resort to prevent a slide back towards violence. Forget China and the Middle East: the former Yugoslavia could yet emerge as Trump’s first real foreign policy headache.

Last month, a row over a Serbian train covered in the slogan “Kosovo is Serbia” in multiple languages sent towards Mitrovica precipitated the worst crisis for years in the region. Most of Kosovo is dominated by ethnic Albanians, who make up 90% of the population.

Source: Rumbling Balkans threaten foreign policy headache for Trump | World news | The Guardian

I try to do a round-up for many regions for the US is entering into a new era….a more dangerous era.