Closing Thought #2–19Apr17

EXTRA!  EXTRA!  Read All About It!

My second closing thought for the day….but this was just good to wait.

It is official the Mouth Of FOX News is out on his ass!

Embattled Fox News host Bill O’Reilly will not return to the air.

In a statement released Wednesday, parent company 21st Century Fox announced that O’Reilly had lost his job at Fox News Channel. “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” a statement said.

The decision comes after advertisers fled the O’Reilly Factor over revelations that Fox News paid out nearly $13 million in settlements to five women who claimed the host sexually harassed them. Last week, O’Reilly announced he would be taking a vacation that was planned “last fall,” prompting sources at Fox News to reveal the Murdoch family is considering whether to keep O’Reilly on the air. He was scheduled to return next Monday.

What will all those deep thinkers of the “Ignorati” do without their source of crappy news?

Not to fret you lovers of lies….there is always Breibart or Alex Jones or WND to turn to for your bullshit news.

You know all this could have been avoided he he had enough brains to pay a hooker instead of flexing his Johnson at co-workers….just saying.

Peace out…my friends….chuq

Closing Thought–19Apr17

Ahoy Mateys!

Anchors Aweigh!

But first…what are these Trump-ites smoking?

Spicer said that the 48% win by the Dem in was a big loss for the Dems….even the Tweeter in chief wrote that it was a loss for the Dems…and these are the people that say news is fake news…..that must be some kinda good shit they be smoking!  Bag it and price it!  The internet will do the rest!

Now to the post at hand.

There is a mash up between the US and North Korea…..the exchange of words, some not so polite and then our President threatened the NK with the full force of the Us Navy……a carrier group headed for the waters off the Korean peninsula….

VP Pence has his “tough” words for NK…….

“We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response,” he said. “All options are on the table. History will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain.”

But then when the smoke settled the group was not anywhere it was said to be….

Over the past couple of weeks, speculation about an imminent US attack on North Korea has centered heavily around the USS Carl Vinson’s carrier strike group, which White House officials had hyped as having been sent to the Sea of Japan to send a “powerful message.”

The White House and other top officials had reiterated this deployment many times since the initial announcement, presenting it as steaming rapidly toward North Korea for an apparent confrontation. Imagine everyone’s surprise, then, when the US Navy released a picture of the USS Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia.

You’ll immediately notice that Indonesia is nowhere near North Korea, and also that the ship was announced as having left Singapore en route to North Korea, and actually sailed in the opposite direction. The White House is now insisting that they were just telling the media what the Pentagon had told them about the USS Carl Vinson’s destination.

(antiwar.com)

Now….WTF?

Now I know a bit of misdirection is always used in world affairs but this was something more than that.

Was this a ploy?  Or just a bit of chest thumping?

I understand a diplomatic bluff but this one was a lame one at best….in today’s electronic world it could be easily verified of the location of this “group”…..

This was amateur hour at best….. Just a few months into the Trump administration, it still isn’t clear what course the president’s foreign policy will ultimately take. What is clear, however, is that the impulsiveness, combativeness, and recklessness that characterized Donald Trump’s election campaign have survived the transition into the presidency.

Not the best way to run a foreign policy……but without experts in the field this is what we have left…..juvenile bragging and threatening…..zero credibility.

Go now!  Enjoy the rest of your day….I shall be back….chuq

Afghanistan: Is There A Road Out?

This is a situation that I have written about many times and yet very little has changed in all that time.

Damn near 16 years of continuous war in Afghanistan….and yet no one wants to get out…..that is none of the M-IC wants to get out they are making obscene profits….so why kill the goose with the golden eggs?

My problem with this conflict is that we accomplished most of what we set out to do by 2003….and yet we are still fighting a war we cannot win…..why?

There is no military strategy for Afghanistan…..the country has turned over that portion of this conflict to defense contractors that will do anything but leave a lucrative “gold mine”……

More than 16 years after the first Special Operations Forces unit stepped onto Afghan soil, does the United States have a strategy in Afghanistan?

The Trump administration is still trying to determine the answer to that question, which is why President Trump dispatched National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to Afghanistan for a full review of Washington’s options. McMaster, Trump said, traveled to Afghanistan to “find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners.”

“Progress” is an interesting term, because it’s been used by civilian and military leaders repeatedly for more than a decade and a half as a means to assure the American people that their sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers in uniform are undertaking a mission that is of the utmost importance to the national security of the United States.

Source: Still Missing a Strategy After 16 Years in Afghanistan | RealClearDefense

National Interest magazine was looked that the situation in Afghanistan…..

Good strategies are essential for the priority national-security challenges America faces, whether it is Syria, ISIS, Russia, China, North Korea or Afghanistan.

President Trump has sent National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster to Afghanistan as part of a U.S. strategy in that key country. Afghanistan is America’s longest-standing commitment in the post-9/11 struggle against terrorism and remains a frontline state in that effort. In February, the commanding U.S. general in Afghanistan testified that some twenty terrorist groups are operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the “highest concentration” in the world.

Source: An Afghanistan Strategy for Trump | The National Interest

As someone who studies and writes about conflicts…I see NO strategy from this president or any of his predecessors….NO one seems willing to find a successful conclusion to this war….why?

Here is the only strategy I have seen …….

That more US troops are headed to Afghanistan, some 16 years into the invasion and occupation, is a foregone conclusion, with commander Gen. John Nicholson seeking “a few thousand more troops” in testimony to Congress, and seemingly all recommendations out of the Pentagon seeking escalations of varying sizes.

Hawks outside of the chain of command, however, are seeking even bigger military commitments to the conflict. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle, formerly a part of assessment teams for Gens. Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus, is arguing for the US to send “around 100,000” ground troops to Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

There you have the only strategy these people have…..more troops, more war…..

What a grand plan!

Syria: Another Regime Change?

Since the gas attack and the subsequent missile attack the chants of “Assad must go” have amplified….and the ever popular….”Assad’s days are numbered”…these are nothing more than cute slogans and one liners…..

I tried to give my reader my take on what “regime change” would look like for Syria…….

Source: What’s The Syrian Endgame? – In Saner Thought

Let’s say that we have success with a Syrian regime change….(wait!  I need to stop laughing)…..really….what are the options that the “leaders” are considering for this mythical regime change?

Beyond the narrow justification of these strikes as being necessary to reinforce an eroding international norm against the use of chemical weapons, this U.S. military intervention has resurfaced questions concerning the ultimate strategy that the Trump Administration is pursuing in Syria.  Before the strikes, senior administration officials including Secretary of State (SecState) Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Halley suggested that U.S. policy would abandon even the pretense of President Barack Obama’s objective of ousting Assad from power in Damascus[3].  However, in the aftermath of the strikes, the Trump Administration signaled an apparent about-face as National Security Advisor (NSA) Herbert Raymond “H. R.” McMaster declared that U.S. policy in Syria would “simultaneously” pursue the twin goals of destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and removing Assad[4].  While the fight against ISIS is making significant progress, the administration has not yet articulated a detailed strategy for pursuing the ouster of Assad.  There are two broad options available:

Source: U.S. Options for Regime Change in Syria | RealClearDefense

Sorry but I may offer an opinion neither of these two options will hold the key to a successful regime change.

Look at Iraq…..that alone should deter these toads from either of the two options….In the post referenced above from IST I set forth what the future of Syria will look like.

I wish I could be more optimistic, you see I have lived in Syria many years ago and I liked the country and the people, there is not much left in the country for a successful transition to democracy.

I am positive that Syria can bounce back from this Hell….but not so with the way the US is approaching the problem…..and for now that is all there is….

Populist Under Every Rock

I do so enjoy my little history lessons from time to time….Americans seem to think that history has nothing to do with anything…..politicians have worked hard to make the uninformed voter as ignorant as possible on history.

The election of 2016 was one where the media made lots of ratings with the rise of populist thought in our politics.  But this past election was actually nothing new…there is always a populist line of campaign just it does not get the attention it should and our history has a rich heritage of populist thought.

There 5 major ventures into populism in our election process……

The 2016 election constituted one of the great populist uprisings of American history. A large segment of the electorate rose up against American elites and many of their underlying governing nostrums—globalism, lax border control, free trade, American military adventurism, a wariness toward nationalism, the cozy relationship between Big Government and Big Finance. It’s an open question whether President Trump, who ran against those nostrums, will govern as he campaigned. There are sound reasons to believe he will abandon many of his campaign pronouncements and meld his populist rhetoric with more establishmentarian actions. If so, his political story could become one of the great sleight-of-hand perpetrations of the American experience.

It may be instructive, in any event, to look at the other great populist uprisings of our history by way of a comparative analysis. Herewith then is a list of the country’s five most powerful waves of populism.

Source: The Five Most Powerful Populist Uprisings in U.S. History | The American Conservative

There you have your electoral history lesson….we will thank me later.

Class dismissed!

Foreign Aid And National Security

We have a new president, 89 days in case you were unaware (LOL), his policies are clear foreign aid bad, national security good…..the problem is the two issues can go hand in hand…..

President Trump released his first budget on March 16th which largely functions as his programmatic wish list, or perhaps better said, as his strategic vision for the nation’s priorities.  The drastic cuts he proposed will likely not all come to fruition as Congress still has it’s say on the matter, but they speak volumes to the workforce who has to implement his programs and to our partners overseas whom we rely on for security cooperation.  Leaving aside the cuts to domestic agencies, the President’s proposed cuts to the State Department generated a lot of angst among national security professionals.  In what seems to be a hallmark of decision making by the Trump Administration, the architects of the budget seemed unable to account for second and third orders of effect of their budgetary decisions—in this case, that these massive budget cuts to the State Department would have significant effects on our Homeland Security.

Source: Foreign Aid and Homeland Security: A Match Made in Washington | RealClearDefense

The problem is no one wants to look at the correlation between the two issues…..one can strengthen the other.

Another problem is I do not believe that the current administration is capable of commonsense decisions….they feel everything must be sweeping a Tweet-worthy.