Closing Thought–18Apr17

These days there is a wealth of push back against the presidency of Donald Trump……and many are looking for ways to fight his presidency…..in a legal way…..

I found a piece about a new party that is dedicated in the confronting the Trump agenda……the Resistance Party.

We fight to defend constitutional rights, democratic norms, & the rule of law in the United States

Source: The Resistance Party – We Are the Resistance

Resistance is there you just do not know it because apparently the antics of some idiots in the LA bayous is more important…..of course this will be of no consequence….because no one cares.

If you are not a fan of the Trumpster then maybe check out this “party”…or just roll over and do it again…..wink wink…..

That is it for me for today….see you guys tomorrow with more stuff….chuq

 

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Let’s Debate Syria

Yesterday in class a student requested a substantive talk on the Syrian situation….and since I encourage my students to research a situation I decided to closed down my lesson for a half hour to have a debate on Syria….( I have the power)…..

The young lady started with that she understood why we were in Syria but was confused why so many people compare it to Iraq.  She was not sure why.

I spent about 10 minutes explaining the mash up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq…that apparently it was started on lies.

She then asked if not doing something in the face of humanitarian crisis would have been the right thing……I asked her she was talking about non-intervention….she was…..after about 5 minutes of back and forth I asked her where she had got her info for the questions….

This is the report that she had read…….

It’s remarkable just how little the basic contours of the Syria debate have changed, despite more than five years of brutal civil war. The same perceptions and misperceptions about intervention dominate today. In some ways, they are even worse now because of the distorting figure of President Donald Trump. Is it possible to separate one’s feelings about the man from the recognition that he is, whether we like it or not, our commander-in-chief?

Source: A practical guide for avoiding fallacies on Syria | Brookings Institution

After we talked for awhile longer and I told her that Brookings did some good research and papers….but that they have an agenda….like most think tanks….they say they are non-partisan but most consider them a liberal think tank…in so it has been known to change views depending of politics…..that it is a good place to start but not to end.

I decide to forgo the lesson plan for the day and to talk to the class about Syria…in the headlines but few know why…..

Below is a good synopsis…..

As the Syrian conflict enters its seventh year, more than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, more than a million injured and over 12 million Syrians – half the country’s prewar population – have been displaced from their homes.

In 2011, what became known as the Arab Spring revolts toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Source: Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning | News | Al Jazeera

After 5 years and an all out assault on a Syrian airbase……what should come next?

Whether one believes they were the long-overdue response to the Syrian regime’s brutality, a one-off event that will not affect the conflict’s trajectory, a risky step that could prompt military escalation or all of the above, the 7 April U.S. missile strikes on Syria’s Shayrat air base in response to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons should be seized upon as an opportunity to jumpstart diplomatic efforts. The strikes have heightened tension between Moscow and Washington. Yet, this added volatility and the risks attached to it could and should prompt more serious pursuit by the two countries of their purportedly common interest: de-escalating violence sufficiently to establish a meaningful political track. This can be best achieved by deepening rather than breaking off U.S.-Russian cooperation.

Source: Syria after the U.S. Strike: What Should Come Next | Crisis Group

I have said a couple of times that I am disturbed on how the media has framed this…..they are basically a cheerleader for military action…..and has uplifted Trump from “Dud to Dude”……

It is pretty amazing how quickly the media and suck-up politicians can transform a mendacious, hypocritical, amateurish, ignorant, incoherent, bigoted buffoon who is way, way out of his depth into a man of courage, which is what they did to President Trump this past weekend. All it takes is some saber rattling and launching a few dozen missiles. Granted, the Trump brand is already so tarnished that he didn’t get the bounce or the adulation that the Bushes, pere and fils, got when they began their wars. According to one poll, only 51 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s action, but given that Trump’s favorability rating has hovered around or even south of 40 percent, this is an improvement.

Source: Why Trump Was Able to Sucker the World on Syria | By Neal Gabler | Common Dreams

Trump has drawn his little line in the sand (the problem with those lines is a wind blows up and they disappear) and all the king’s boyz have had their say on Syria….but really what is next?

Since World War II, every war America started without just cause it lost. Vietnam and the second Iraq War are tragic proof of this conclusion. But America also failed when it intervened with military force for similarly flawed reasons. The reasons are obvious. First, America failed to exercise sound strategic thinking and judgment. Second, America lacked sufficient knowledge and understanding of conditions in which force was used.

In other terms, White Houses never answered the fatal “what next?” question. Congresses never demanded answers. And the public was too often disengaged and disinterested to demand accountability.

Source: Does America ever learn? What next in Syria? – UPI.com

All in all a good session in class…..BTW the young lady that started the class down this path will be getting a favorable grade for showing initiative on the Syria situation…..(I need more like her)……

Grab Your Knees And Bend Over

The attack in Syria….the “Big Bang”……the vocal war with North Korea…..the ramping up of troops deployments to areas like Somalia and Yemen…..it appears to this analyst that the war drums are beating a bit louder…..

The media seems to be on the side of more involvement around the world…..armed involvement……

The American public is bracing for war now that President Donald Trump has seemingly stumbled upon “the keys to the family gun cabinet,” as one observer put it, after a week of rash and aggressive military action.

The unprecedented use of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), known as the ‘mother of all bombs,’ on Thursday was just the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S. in recent days, prompting demands for a Congressional debate on the use of military force.

Source: Americans Bracing for More War Under Trigger-Happy Trump | Common Dreams

Americans should be very worried at the tone in DC…the chest thumping and the screams for revenge are getting louder and the louder it gets the more likely more force will be used…..

Time for my fellow citizens to start paying attention and time for a antiwar movement to appear and demand that this crap end……time for a movement to end these wars of opportunity and exploitation…..time to bring our overworked troops home for a rest…..

Below is a “Libertarian” look at the situation…..a look that I firmly agree with on most points…..

War-whoops and loud applause from foreign policy establishments and their media supporters have greeted President Trump’s missile strike in Syria, the dropping of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and the dispatch of a naval task force in the direction of North Korea.

This spurt in belligerence over the last week has as much to do with domestic American politics as any fundamental new development in the rest of the world. Trump needed to defuse the accusation that he was too close to President Putin and too tolerant of a Russian ally like Bashar al-Assad. The resort to military action was largely in keeping with the old Pentagon saying that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge”, meaning that it is politics inside, not outside the US, which is the real decision-maker.

Source: America should start exploring how to end all the wars it’s started – The Unz Review

Time for the American public to wake the Hell up and smell the explosive residue…..it will only get worse the more silent the public remains…

According To Law…..Was It Legal?

Since the attack there has been international outcry saying that the attack was a violation of international law…I am writing about that issue here today….

The first “Press” is from the site of a regular visitor to IST….Green Road Journal…….

According to the Syrian News Agency SANA, the US led Coalition has carried out targeted airstrikes against a chemical weapons depot in Hatla, east of Deir Ezzor. The depot is held by ISIS-Daesh terrorists:
The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the aircrafts of the so-called “US-led International Alliance” on Wednesday between the hour 17:30 and 17:50 carried out an airstrike against a position of ISIS terrorists that includes a large number of foreign mercenaries in the village of Hatla to the east of Deir Ezzor, causing a white cloud that became yellow as a result of the explosion of a huge store that includes a large amount of toxic materials.

Source: Trump’s Missile Attack On Syria; Mass Media Ignores Truth, Morality, Legality And Verifiable Facts, Most Had Orgasmic Reaction To Shooting Off Hard Upright Missiles In Tubes; War Drums Beating, Military Industrial Complex Celebrating | A Green Road Journal

Next is from a major site…Politico….they defend the attack as a legal response….

“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” argued President Donald Trump during his statement justifying last Thursday’s U.S. missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military. Since then, his decision has faced withering scrutiny, particularly on legal grounds. Critics, from Russia to some members of Congress, have argued the military action was an illegal violation of Syria’s sovereignty. “Whatever it is,” tweeted Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith in response to a question about what the legal justification for the strike was, “it exceeds all prior precedents under domestic and international law.” Use of chem weapons is horrific,” tweeted ACLU national security lawyer Hina Shamsi, “but Trump’s military action violates Constitution & U.N. charter. No legit domestic or international law basis.”

Source: Why Trump’s Attack on Syria Is Legal – POLITICO Magazine

I have given as many posts as possible on this action….I want my reader to be as well informed as anyone……they will decide the validity of this attack.

I still am wondering why NO one and I mean NO ONE is asking the question about the number of missiles fired and the damage done to the airfield….this “attack” does not pass the smell test…..neither the action or the reaction can pass the test.

Mine Is Bigger Than Yours

I know…I know…I said that I would not write about the damn MOAB any more unless there was something substantial…well I believe I found something….

There has been lots written about that damn bomb dropped in Eastern Afghanistan….the MOAB.

But there was another story that was in the news but no one bothered to bring attention to it because too many were taking a victory lap about the use of MOAB…….but what could be that important?

How about FOAB….Father Of All Bombs…..a Russian invention.

To be honest it may be a myth….a little chest thumping by the Russians.

The specifics of the mythical Father of All Bombs have never been confirmed beyond Russian military claims, but it is purported to have a blast equivalent to a whopping 44 tons of TNT. This would give it a blast radius roughly twice that of the American MOAB, at about 300 meters. Like all other “thermobaric” bombs, it uses the atmosphere to power its fuel reaction, rather than incorporating an oxidizer into the fuel mixture in the weapon itself. This means that as the explosion progresses, it burns through the air to power its own chemical reaction, creating a super-heated, ultrasonic shock wave that literally vaporizes most anything other than rock.

Russia typically describes the FOAB as a nuke without the fallout — a chance to harness the destructive potential of a nuclear weapon without the messy radioactive contamination that follows.

But what is the difference?

MOAB

Radius Damage:

  • Up to 1000 yards: Obliterates everything.
  • Up to 1 mile: Knocks people, tents, light buildings, cars and jeeps over within 1-mile radius.
  • Up to 1.7 miles: Shockwave kills people, causes severe damage to properties, equipment, blows trucks, tank off road.
  • Up to 2 miles: Causes deafness.
  • Up to 5 miles: Shakes ground, break windows.
  • Up to 30 miles: 10,000 foot high mushroom crowd.

Here are some features of MOAB:

  • Each MOAB costs around US $16 million.
  • So far the United States has 20 such weapons and the military has spent almost $314 million on the production of the explosive.
  • The original goal of building the MOAB was to act as a non-nuclear deterrent against former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein.
  • At the time of its development, MOAB was considered as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed.
  • After MOAB was tested, Russia on the other side tested its “Father of All Bombs”, which is claimed to be four times as powerful as the MOAB.

FOAB….(not much info available)

Here are some features of FOAB:

  • “Father of All Bombs” (FOAB) is a Russian-designed, bomber-delivered thermobaric weapon.
  • Some reports suggest that the bomb specially designed by Russian military is four times more powerful than MOAB.
  • Hence FOAB is considered as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the world.
  • Also, United States defence analysts had several time raised questions on the veracity of Russia’s claims.
  • On September 11, 2007, FOAB was successfully tested in the late evening.

Yes this may be a myth a flexing of their propaganda muscle……and this has been avoided by the MSM….so I decided to do what the MSM refused to do….make the comparison.

What World War I Unleashed In America

One hundred years ago the US was preparing to send its forces to Europe to join in the fighting to save the world….from what most are not sure….but save it nonetheless….Dough boys are on their way.

I have been saying for a long time that World War One was the event that shaped the world we live in today….it all began on the fields of Belgium and France in 1914.

A new PBS documentary recalls the bloody battles, the social turbulence and the nation-changing legacy of the terrible conflict.

One hundred years ago, two events three days apart set the 20th century’s trajectory. On April 9, 1917, in Zurich, Vladimir Lenin boarded a train. Germany expedited its passage en route to St. Petersburg — known as Leningrad from 1924 to 1991 — expecting him to exacerbate Russia’s convulsions, causing Russia’s withdrawal from World War I, allowing Germany to shift forces to the Western Front. Lenin boarded the train three days after the United States, responding to Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare and other provocations, declared war. Soon 2 million Americans would be in Europe. They, and the promise of many more, compelled Germany to accept an armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Source: What World War I unleashed in America

Then there are all sorts of stories told about WW1….some are true and some are myths….and let us look at some of the myths from that war.

One hundred years ago, on April 6, 1917, Congress voted to declare war on imperial Germany. The First World War was the pivot of the 20th century: It took the lives of 17 million people and resulted in the collapse of three major empires (the German, the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian). In the aftermath, totalitarian regimes both right and left came to power, leading to a second, far bloodier global conflict. Alas, for most Americans, the “Great War” holds little interest, particularly compared with the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam — all conflicts remembered as titanic moral struggles that transformed the nation. This neglect has given rise to some serious misconceptions about the war in which more than 116,000 Americans died.

Source: Five myths about World War I – The Washington Post

This war was important in so many ways and yet we try to block it out as best we can……why?

We must never forget or ignore the wars that our soldiers were asked to fight.  This country already does a disservice to the vets let us not compound the disrespect.