Closing Thought–07Apr17

The Chinese Are Coming!

For the last couple of days the Chinese leader and Pres. Trump have had a head to head meeting in Florida….at the “Southern” White House, Mar-A-Lago.

My guess is after a round of golf and a Big Mac the two leaders will sit down and meet on trade, North Korea and South China Sea situation…..

U.S.-China presidential summits are always important, but this one comes at a particularly sensitive time. Under the Obama administration, China proved to be a valuable U.S. partner on climate change, Iranian nuclear nonproliferation, and other areas of common interest. Where U.S. and Chinese interests diverge, however, Beijing has shown an increasing willingness to act in ways that directly undermine the United States. From a U.S. perspective, the negatives are beginning to undermine the positives, and it is time for a change in course.

At Mar-a-Lago, Americans need the Trump administration to show up with a coherent strategy for dealing with high-priority issues, such as trade and North Korea, without needlessly sacrificing positive progress in other areas.

There are some important issues that need attention……

  • Framing the complex mix of cooperation and competition in U.S.-China relations
  • Taking serous action on the North Korean nuclear threat
  • Addressing the lack of reciprocity in U.S.-China trade and investment relations
  • Finding positive anchors for the relationship
  • Stopping the bleeding on Taiwan

I know that Trump is a fan of the false flag “news” outlet run by nut case Alex Jones, Infowars…..let’s hope Trump steers clear of something Jones had to say about China…..

Jones said, Democrats and Republicans alike are trying to undercut Trump, including California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. Repeating his homophobic comments about Schiff, the “InfoWars” broadcaster said “scumbags” like Schiff are hurting the country: “You think having all those fairies and pansies over there with their little chicken necks running around attacking our president all day makes us look strong? It makes us look weak!”

“So if China keeps pushing,” he added, “the only option is full commitment to hit China preemptively. That’s the only way to survive this nuclear war and Trump knows it. And Russia has already been told they better stand down. The United States is preparing to nuke China so get ready assholes! All of you wanted it, you’re gonna get it!”

Our weekend will be a good one the weather is typical Spring….warm days cool nights….I will enjoy my days hope you all do too…and thanx everyone for your visits and participation in IST…you guys make it all worth while.


The Surreal World of Foreign Interventionism

Does anyone besides me and a few others realize that we have been intervening in the Middle East for 27 years?

In all that time just what has been accomplished?

I think it is about time to re-think all this intervention crap.

I read an interesting paper written for a mostly Libertarian blog, the Future of Freedom Foundation….interesting points.

I published an article entitled “Prepare Now for Blowback,” in which I pointed out what would seem to be obvious to any reasonable person after some 27 continuous years of U.S. interventionism in the Middle East and 16 continuous years of interventionism in Afghanistan: that some people who sympathize with the people who the U.S. government is killing, bombing, and destroying are going to retaliate with terrorist attacks. It’s just a fact of interventionist life.

I suggested that people should ponder the blowback from U.S foreign policy now, when things are relatively calm, because when another big retaliatory terrorist attack occurs here in the United States, rational thinking is going to be in short supply. That’s when U.S. officials will be exclaiming about how the terrorists (or the Muslims) hate us for our freedom and values and will be completely ignoring the role that U.S. interventionism plays in producing the deep anger and hatred that motivates acts of anti-American revenge.

Source: The Surreal World of Foreign Interventionism – The Future of Freedom Foundation

So yes I am one who thinks we have overstayed our welcome in the Middle East…..time for the US to bow out and let situations play out….I believe we might be seriously surprised.

Another article that supports what I am purposing….

It’s time to end US military engagements in the Middle East. Drones, special operations, CIA arms supplies, military advisers, aerial bombings — the whole nine yards. Over and done with. That might seem impossible in the face of ISIS, terrorism, Iranian ballistic missiles, and other US security interests, but a military withdrawal from the Middle East is by far the safest path for the United States and the region. That approach has instructive historical precedents.

America has been no different from other imperial powers in finding itself ensnared repeatedly in costly, bloody, and eventually futile overseas wars. From the Roman empire till today, the issue is not whether an imperial army can defeat a local one. It usually can, just as the United States did quickly in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. The issue is whether it gains anything by doing so. Following such a “victory,” the imperial power faces unending heavy costs in terms of policing, political instability, guerilla war, and terrorist blowback.

Source: US Military Should Get Out of the Middle East | By Jeffrey D. Sachs | Common Dreams

During the rhetoric of the campaign I was sort of thinking that Trump may embrace the need for the US to get out of the Middle East……but I was mistaken….he has doubled down on all the crap Bush and Obama had been doing in the region.

Time to pack up and come home.

Unconstitutional Foreign Policy?

I have been writing about all our many wars and the ones we fight today are basically unconstitutional.  These armed conflicts have NOT been authorized by the Congress….something the the Constitution calls for……

The sad part is that the population does not seem to care about all these unconstitutional wars.  The public needs to be aware of these wars…maybe then we can force the cowards in Congress to do their jobs.

Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen is illegal and dangerous. Yet Washington continues to backslide us in.

The White House is considering a major expansion of America’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war, according to the Washington Post. It’s a move that is not surprising given the speed with which the new administration has become embroiled in Yemen’s fight.

That does not make this development any less disappointing or unwise, enlarging as it does the U.S. role in a reckless war that has flown clear under most Americans’ radar, and which sees us supporting a Saudi coalition that’s been credibly accused of war crimes.

On top of all this, Congress has not declared war on Yemen as required by the Constitution, nor has it even bothered with an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). This is a presidential war in its truest sense, launched entirely at one man’s discretion and now, perhaps, expanded at the sole decision of another.

Source: Why is everyone so blasé about unconstitutional foreign policy? | Rare | Rare

Will any of this thinking change now with the attack on a Syrian military installation?

I wish the American people would work up the courage to question their leaders on war…..we need to more aware of the things done in our name……

Analysts On Syrian Missile Strike

Last night the US launched 59 missiles at the air base that supposedly launched the gas attack on Syrian civilians….

There will be all sorts of speculation and if you prefer that on the MSM then please by all means get the analyses from them….but below is war analysts on war and conflict have to say……

“There can be no future for Assad and his regime in Syria. It is good that the Trump Administration has recognized that the regime must go in order for negotiated settlement to occur. Demonstrating American will to use military force is a necessary first step. President Trump still needs a larger strategy to achieve the outcomes that US national security and humanity require.
– Jennifer Cafarella

“Immediate strikes do not preclude a more robust strategy. In fact, they open the door to it.”
– Jennifer Cafarella

“We will change everyone’s calculus, and that starts a clock. Our adversaries and enemies will recalculate. The U.S. must move out smartly to achieve its strategic objectives in Syria, which include but go beyond preventing Assad from murdering his own people.
– Jennifer Cafarella

“Assad has reminded the U.S. and the world that his military campaign – and that of his external backers – is a crime against humanity.  President Trump is upholding America’s commitment to international law, as he should.”

– Jennifer Cafarella

“Assad could not survive, let alone conduct systematic atrocities such as his repeated use of chemical weapons and other crimes against humanity, without the active support of Russia and Iran.  Assad will not stop until they withdraw their unconditional support for his brutality.
-Genevieve Casagrande

Deterrence is a persistent condition, not a one hour strike package. President Trump has demonstrated his intent and capability to use American force if necessary. He must sustain pressure against Assad in order to set conditions to achieve vital US national security interests in Syria.”
“The Trump Administration has begun to re-establish the credibility of an American military response, essential to creating conditions for a durable negotiated settlement.”-Christopher Kozak
(from the ISW blog)
This will have little effect on the war raging in Syria…..Assad may think a little harder before reusing chemical weapons but the rest of the war will continue as is….it was a play to show Iran and North Korea what is available…….this may accomplish something that will aid Trump…his approval rating may go up a bit….beyond that it will be business as usual.

When A Good Man Goes To War

It’s official!  50+ missiles fired at a Syrian air base……

The United States has attacked a Syrian air base with roughly 60 cruise missiles in response to a chemical weapons attack it blames on President Bashar Assad. US officials say the Tomahawk missiles were fired from two warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeting a government-controlled air base in Syria, reports the AP. The move comes after US officials accused Syrian aircraft of killing dozens of civilians by using chlorine mixed with a nerve agent, possibly sarin, earlier this week. President Trump, who had said the Syrian attack crossed “many, many lines” for him, said Thursday night that it was in the “vital national security interest” of the United States to stop the use of chemical weapons.

Syrian state TV reported a US missile attack on a number of military targets and called the attack an “aggression.” The Washington Post notes that the US attack brings with it a heightened risk of confrontation with Syria supporters Russia and Iran. Russia initially defended Assad after the civilian deaths, saying that government airstrikes had hit chemical weapons being stored illegally by rebels. But on Thursday, a Kremlin spokesman made a point to say that its support was not “unconditional.” Hundreds of US troops are currently stationed in Syria, advising local forces ahead of an assault on the city of Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold.

How did it come to this?

A couple of days ago chemical weapons were used in Northwest Syria on a civilian population…..and as usual there is no shortage of finger pointing as to the culprit of use.

The day of the attack an unusual suspect was taunted as the cause……

An apparent chemical attack that killed scores of people Tuesday is being called one of the worst atrocities of the Syrian civil war—and President Trump blames his predecessor. The “heinous” actions of the Assad regime “are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said in a statement, per NBC News. “President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line,’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.” Syrian activists say at least 72 people, including many children, were killed in a regime airstrike on a rebel-held town in Idlib province.

Obama did it!

Before the attack our napping SecState made a statement about Assad and Sen. Rubio is claiming that statement lead to the attack…..

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria occurred shortly after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could remain in power.

“In this case now, we have very limited options and look, it’s concerning that the secretary of state, 72 hours ago or a week ago, last Friday, said that the future’s up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad. In essence almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity,” Rubio said on the show “AM Tampa Bay.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a few days later we see this,” Rubio concluded.
This attack has the politicos using Tillerson’s words to accuse… I am in no way a supporter of Tillerson but this is just silly to blame him as if Assad was waiting for “permission” to use chemical weapons.
Even our new UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, has gotten on her moral high horse……..
Scores were killed in Syria’s Idlib province on Tuesday in what the New York Times calls “the worst chemical attack in years” in the war-torn country. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is saying it had nothing to do with it, and Syrian ally Russia is also deflecting blame, claiming that an airstrike hit a “terrorist” chemical weapons workshop in Khan Sheikhoun, dispersing the poison, now widely believed to have been a nerve agent like sarin gas. But members of the Trump administration, as well as other US politicians, are now blasting Vladimir Putin for protecting Assad, with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley taking the lead at a UN Security Council gathering Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. “How many more children have to die before Russia cares?” she asked at the special session that was prompted by a request from Britain and France.
“When the U.N. consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,” Haley told the U.N. Security Council at an emergency meeting called in response to Tuesday’s suspected chemical attack in Syria’s northern province of Idlib.
Just days before the attack she echoed what Tillerson had said…….
Some are noting that just last week, Haley said removing Assad from power was no longer a US priority and that the US had to “pick and choose” its battles; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said last week that Assad’s fate was now up to the Syrian people, per Reuters.
America did what it always does….mounts its high moral horse…..and all the while ignoring the children in Yemen and Palestine…just another indication of the hypocrisy.
Threats abound….will Trump take this opportunity to launch a “surprise” attack on Assad?  Trump has said this attack is “beyond the red line” and “would not be tolerated”…..
What will be the response?  First who used the chemical weapons?  Maybe it would be a good idea to know who used these weapons before we jump head long into the fire.
The U.S. government and the mainstream media rushed to judgment again, blaming the Syrian government for a new poison-gas attack and ignoring other possibilities,
With the latest hasty judgment about Tuesday’s poison-gas deaths in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, the mainstream U.S. news media once more reveals itself to be a threat to responsible journalism and to the future of humanity. Again, we see the troubling pattern of verdict first, investigation later, even when that behavior can lead to a dangerous war escalation and many more deaths.
Before a careful evaluation of the evidence about Tuesday’s tragedy was possible, The New York Times and other major U.S. news outlets had pinned the blame for the scores of dead on the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. That revived demands that the U.S. and other nations establish a “no-fly zone” over Syria, which would amount to launching another “regime change” war and would put America into a likely hot war with nuclear-armed Russia.
Do we need to wait for “Frat Boy” Jared to come home from his time in the spotlight so he can flip the coin for his daddy-in-law”?