Closing Thought–14Apr17

Ten Paces Turn And Fire!

The history of this country has had a couple of really important duels…..

First it was the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton….Ham lost.  Then there was the duel fought by Andrew Jackson over the reputation of his wife….there have been many others but those made the history books.

The reason that I bring this topic up is because of something that has happened in Oregon…….

The Oregon Legislature may have an unusual request for voters in the next election that harkens back to that fateful day in 1804 when a bitter rivalry between Vice President Aaron Burr and the nation’s first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, was settled with a fatal gunshot. Should ongoing discussions in Salem materialize, voters would see a question on their general-election ballots asking if a 172-year-old ban on dueling by public officials—as in, the old-fashioned way of resolving fights—should be erased from the Oregon Constitution, reports the AP. The constitutional ban in question is Article II, Section 9, which says anyone who offers, accepts, participates in a “challenge to fight a duel … or who shall agree to go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust, or profit.”

The article was signed in 1845, almost 15 years before Oregon’s statehood, when squabbles were still often resolved by duel even decades after Hamilton’s death. “They decided that it would not be very civil if two members of the Legislature disagreed and then shot each other on the front steps of the provisional capitol,” GOP Sen. Brian Boquist said Wednesday during the bill’s first committee hearing. Democratic Sen. Ginny Burdick jokingly called it “the bill I’ve been waiting all session for.” The sole public testimony came from Dan Meek, a Oregon Progressive Party rep, who opposes Boquist’s proposal. “This resolution would allow the candidacies of persons who give or accept challenges to fight duels,” Meek wrote. “Also, there is a cost to removing obviously unenforced and unenforceable provisions in the Oregon Constitution, including the cost of processing and printing this resolution on millions of ballots and processing the results.”

Why not?

You know in this age of partisan bullsh*t maybe a duel is just what we need to settle these juvenile dispute among our spineless politicians.

Thoughts?

I’m off to start my weekend…..hope every one has a beautiful day and some fun….be well, be safe……chuq

Yemen: The War To Come

The US has become so involved in the Middle East that we seem to look for every opportunity to jump into another conflict….or as some say….a war.

We have been playing in the shadows of a conflict for several decades…that country is Yemen.

I have been keeping my readers up to date on this conflict…..my most recent post……

Source: Yemen–Vital Conflict – In Saner Thought

The latest comment from one of our enlightened leaders was from CentCom commander…Gen. Votel…….

As the White House is reportedly weighing deeper military involvement in the Yemeni civil war alongside Middle Eastern allies, America’s top commander in the region told Congress “there are vital U.S. interests at stake” in the fight.
Army Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the U.S. does not want Yemen to be used as a sanctuary for attacks against the U.S. and allies or for militants to choke off the Red Sea’s Bab el-Mandeb strait, which runs past Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula as well as Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa.
Yes Irene…….the White House is considering a deeper involvement in Yemen…..

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has asked the White House to lift Obama-era restrictions on U.S. military support for Persian Gulf states engaged in a protracted civil war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to senior Trump administration officials.

In a memo this month to national security adviser H.R. ­McMaster, Mattis said that “limited support” for Yemen operations being conducted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — including a planned Emirati offensive to retake a key Red Sea port — would help combat a “common threat.”

But I ask if this is really necessary?

Does the US need to be doubling down in Yemen?  Isn’t our plate full enough?

While all eyes are focused on Syria, the United States is busy making extremely bad situation in Yemen even worse. In the wake of the recent Washington visit of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Trump administration has significantly increased its support for the Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. But lacking clear objectives, a plausible theory of victory, or an exit strategy, neither the United States nor Saudi Arabia is playing a winning hand in Yemen. While there may be opportunities in Yemen and elsewhere in the region for U.S. cooperation with the Sunni Arabs in containing Iran, siding with Saudi Arabia and its partners in Yemen’s civil war has implicated America in a strategically ill-conceived and morally reprehensible military campaign and risks dragging the United States into a quagmire.

Source: Doubling Down on America’s Misadventure in Yemen

The Saudis two year air campaign in Yemen is causing a huge humanitarian crisis….so is the US interest in Yemen a way to protect the Saudis from the blow back coming for their inhuman attacks on the Yemeni population?

What is the end game for the US in Yemen?

We are told that it is to help crush AQAP?  Really?

Does anyone know the truth?  I do not believe it is anything to do with the press it is getting….how about you?

Syria:  A Multi-Level Analysis

This latest attack by the US on Syrian soil has many components…..I try to give my reader as many aspects of the raid as I can possibly find…..

Below is an analysis from WND (not a usual source for me…they tend to rely too heavily on conspiracy bullshit to be accurate)….I include this because it is another look at the raid and I feel that all sides need to be presented and in doing so the reader will find the info he/she needs to make a valid observation.

It is a lengthy report….but well worth the time to read it….some interesting points were made….some not so interesting……

Information Clearing House” –  “The Saker” – The latest US cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase is an extremely important event in so many ways that it is important to examine it in some detail.  I will try to do this today with the hope to be able to shed some light on a rather bizarre attack which will nevertheless have profound consequences.  But first, let’s begin by looking at what actually happened.

Source: A Multi-level Analysis of the US attack on Syria

Please let me state again….this is FYI and does not mean in any way that I endorse the findings…..I believe there is NO such thing as “Too Much Information”…..

Tulsi: A Voice In The Wilderness

Since 2016 I have been amazed at the guts of this one US Congresswoman from Ohio…..she was the first to come out in Bernie’s corner and since those days I have been following her career…..and let me say as a person that is a strong antiwar supporter her stands are the perfect stand for us people that detest war and all its trappings…..

After the latest strike on a Syrian airfield she was the first to come out with a warning that needs to be heard and understood…..

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has a message for the liberals attacking her criticism of President Trump’s missile strike on Syria, warning that a rush to aggression risks repeating the same mistakes that led the United States into the Iraq War.

“We need to learn from Iraq and Libya — wars that were propagated as necessary to relieve human suffering, but actually increased human suffering many times over,” she said in an email to The Hill.

Gabbard, a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard who served two tours in Iraq, has been highly critical of Trump’s decision last Thursday to launch 59 missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a deadly chemical attack that killed scores of civilians, including children, in a western Syrian town days before.

Source: Gabbard: ‘We need to learn from Iraq’ | TheHill

It is great to see that the antiwar movement has someone that will step up and take over from us aging ones from the past…..she should be applauded and not criticized for her stand….

Donald Trump’s feverish tweeting appears to be contagious. Amid a chorus of praise for the administration’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase last week, Neera Tanden, the head of the Center for American Progress, dashed off a tweet calling on voters in Hawaii to oust Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard for expressing skepticism about the Syrian government’s responsibility for the chemical attack that provoked the U.S. military strikes.

Former presidential candidate and former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean piled on, and tweeted that Gabbard’s comments were a “disgrace” and that she “should not be in the Congress.”

Gabbard had good reason to ask for proof. By his own account, Trump struck rapidly after seeing gruesome televised pictures of dying babies. No time was allowed for an independent investigation of the source of the chemical weapons attack. No presentation was made to the United Nations or the Congress, asking for permission to use force. Trump flipped his own policy on its head overnight, and began lobbing missiles.

Source: Democrats Shouldn’t Be Trying to Banish Tulsi Gabbard – LA Progressive

This is why I have NO use for Democrats…they are spineless toads that only in it for the dollars….Tulsi should be held up as an example of how Dems should be acting in this time of war….someone needs to stand up against the M-IC and Tulsi is doing just that….

Finally a Dem with a spine!

Thank you Tulsi….you represent me better than any of my state reps…..you have my support.  chuq

MOAB…….Not In Utah!

The US has past another milestone in war…..it has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever…..why now?

I waited before posting because I wanted to see the reaction to this “new” concept in war…….

US forces in Afghanistan dropped the military’s biggest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan, reports the AP. Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump says it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, formally called the GBU-43/Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs,” with the equivalent of 11 tons of TNT. Stump says it was dropped on a cave complex used by ISIS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan.

  • The bomb weighs 21,000 pounds and was first detonated in a 2003 test, reports Fox News. When dropped, it detonates before reaching the ground, resulting in a huge blast radius.
  • See a History Channel video about the bomb and the 2003 test here.
  • It is not the nation’s biggest conventional weapon, notes the Guardian. That would be the Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57, a “bunker buster.”
  • Back in 2007, the Guardian reported that Russia had detonated the “Father of All Bombs,” said to be four times more powerful than the US weapon. The test took place at a military base. It’s a “thermobaric bomb” with a yield of 44 tons of TNT, adds Business Insider.
  • Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command, gave the green light for use of the bomb in Afghanistan, reports CNN. White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not answer questions about whether President Trump personally approved the mission. “I’m not going to get into the details right now,” he said, deferring to the Pentagon.

NPR hits some of the logistics: “At more than 30 feet long, it’s too big to fit inside the weapons bay of a standard Air Force bomber. Instead, troops load it into the cargo compartment of a specialized transport, the MC-130 Combat Talon, which releases it over the target by opening its ramp in the same way it might for paratroopers or air-dropped supplies.”

We have been at war for almost 16 years and if this is some sort of “cure all” why has it not been used before?

When it first introduced the bomb, the Pentagon said it was designed to terrify America’s enemy into submission.

…..campaign promise to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS, the Pentagon dropped the “mother of all bombs” — one of its largest non-nuclear munitions — for the first time on Thursday, in Afghanistan. The 21,600 pound weapon was developed over a decade ago, but was never used due to concerns of possible massive civilian casualties.

The Pentagon said it used the weapon on an ISIS-affiliated group hiding in a tunnel complex in the Nangarhar province. The group, according to the Pentagon, is made up of former members of the Taliban.

The Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” has a mile-long blast radius.

Source: “Mother of All Bombs” Never Used Before Due to Civilian Casualty Concerns

There is so much more about the bomb and space is limited here so if you want to know more then there is furthering reading below……

Source: U.S Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb In Nangarhar | TOLOnews

Source: Commander-in-Chief Trump Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on Afghanistan | Common Dreams

War Drums Beat Louder

Since we hit that Syrian airfield the war drums have been beating a bit louder…..and they are playing for North Korea.

We all are aware of the tension between NK and the US and well the rest of the world…….and it appears that Japan is paying the drummer……

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Thursday that North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan, as international concern mounted that a missile or nuclear test by the authoritarian state could be imminent. “There is a possibility that North Korea is already capable of shooting missiles with sarin as warheads,” Abe told a parliamentary panel when asked about Japan’s readiness at a time of increased regional tension. A US navy aircraft carrier is heading toward the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang prepares for the 105th anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung this weekend. The Guardian reports there is speculation the country could stage a missile test around the birthday celebration or on April 25, which marks the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.

North Korea has been producing chemical weapons since the 1980s and is now estimated to have as many as 5,000 tons, according to a South Korean defense white paper. Its stockpile reportedly has 25 types of agents, including sarin, reports the AP. Japan, under its postwar constitution, has limited the role of its military to self-defense only and relied on the US for offensive and nuclear capability. But recently, Abe’s ruling party has proposed that Japan should bolster its missile defense, including upgrading the capability to shoot down an enemy missile. China weighed in on the overall situation Thursday, per Reuters, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi saying, “Military force cannot resolve the issue. … Amid tensions we will also find a kind of opportunity to return to talks.”

To me it is a little suspicious that sarin gas is being used to fuel the mash up to action……only days after a sarin gas attack in Syria and a US retaliation and now NK is wanting to use the gas for itself……

Now word has come out that if NK has another nuke test or fires a missile in any direction there could be a response by the US……

The US is preparing to launch a preemptive strike on North Korea should the country appear ready to conduct a nuclear weapons test—something it may be considering doing as soon as this weekend. The information comes from “multiple senior US intelligence officials” speaking to NBC News. North Korea has been warning of a “big event” in the near future, and officials believe it to be a nuclear weapons test.

To prepare, the US has positioned two US destroyers, as well as heavy bombers, in the area. And an aircraft carrier strike group is on the way. Officials say the preemptive strike could be a combination of missiles, bombs, special operations forces on the ground, and cyber warfare. It would reportedly not involve nuclear weapons. One senior intelligence officer acknowledges the “high stakes” of the situation, as well as the chance that US preparations could provoke action by North Korea. For its part, North Korea has promised a “merciless retaliatory strike,” including nuclear weapons, if the US attacks first. Read the full story here.

Really?

And what of the population in Seoul, about 20 million, would they not be the logical target for a NK retaliation?

This weekend could be the tell of the tale….a big parade, a military parade, and a good time for a test of some sort……

Time for these toads in DC to step back and use a little rational thought….but will they now that they have tasted PR success with Syria?

Military force cannot resolve tension over North Korea, China said on Thursday, while an influential Chinese newspaper urged the North to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for Chinese protection.

With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area and tension rising, South Korea said it believed the United States would consult it before any preemptive strike against the North.

Fears have been growing that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of UN sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that a policy of patience was over.

Source: China: Military force won’t halt North Korea threat | China News | Al Jazeera

Please someone get a script for “chill pills”….Washington is on a PR high and we need to bring them back down to reality.

This is not a pretty picture.

Is Gas Worth The Price?

America’s latest attack on Syria was a result of the supposed use of Sarin gas by Assad on the local population…….the US called it a humanitarian response….a punishment for the use of the gas Sarin.

We have had all sorts of info come out about the attack…the reason, the result, the excuse……pics have been released about the gas attack results and pics about the result of the missile attack on the Syrian airfield…..but so far I have seen nothing that would be proof positive of the attack and who committed it…..

I have been researching the intel (the intel available to us mere mortals, that is) and I found some interesting articles that my readers may find informative…..

But I have found a few pieces about the gas and the intel……

A four-page white paper, prepared by President Trump’s National Security Council staff and released by the White House on Tuesday, claimed that U.S. intelligence has proof that the plane carrying the sarin gas left from the Syrian military airfield that Trump ordered hit by Tomahawk missiles on April 6.

The paper asserted that “we have signals intelligence and geospatial intelligence,” but then added that “we cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack due to the need to protect sources and methods.”

Source: Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence – Consortiumnews

I believe the sources were revealed….sigint and geospatial sources…..

Then there is this “white paper”…..does not really give much in the way of proof…..

I am responding to your distribution of what I understand is a White House statement claiming intelligence findings about the nerve agent attack on April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria. My understanding from your note is that this White House intelligence summary was released to you sometime on April 11, 2017.

I have reviewed the document carefully, and I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria at roughly 6 to 7 a.m. on April 4, 2017.

Source: The Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – The Unz Review

As long as I am writing about a sarin attack I thought that you guys could profit from a knowledge of what a sarin bomb attack entails…..

The recent chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun in Syria is alleged by witnesses to have been delivered by an air-dropped bomb.  The purpose of this article is to systematically break down a Sarin bomb into its components and analyse what happens to them.  This first part addresses the contents of the bomb and how these components interact with the environment.

What’s in an air-dropped Sarin bomb? A Sarin bomb will contain more than just Sarin.

Source: bellingcat – Anatomy of a Sarin Bomb Explosion (Part I) – bellingcat

I will post “part 2” when it becomes available……

I hope that that this information is helpful to those that are, like me, looking for answers.