Closing Thought–23May17

Roger Moore, the 3rd James Bond, has passed away at age 89 of cancer…R.I.P.

Does Anyone Care?

They are out there, blind Trump apologists, doing all they can to protect this yutz from the truth……

During the 2016 campaign Trump made many promises and since being elected has done very little to fulfill those promises.

I have pointed out where he has failed to deliver on several occasions and have never found a supporter that cares that they were lied too to get their vote.

Remember when Trump said he could shoot someone in the street and not be arrested? (a paraphrase)  Looks like that may be true.

It is very confusing because Trump predecessor was called out constantly over his promises and his failure to give those promises to his voters….so what is the difference between the two presidents?

If you were paying attention to what we learned about Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, then you know that the president of the United States was once the impresario of a student-swindling Trump University, the founder of a Trump Foundation designed for tax evasion and illegal self-dealing, and the chief executive of a Trump Organization that has long relied on various techniques of grifting, from rip-offs of workers and contractors to serial bankruptcies.

And if you know all that, then you cannot be surprised by the way that he and his family have conducted themselves during the first 100 days of his presidency, which is also the way they will behave until they leave or are removed from the White House. They have misused the office of the president to enrich themselves in ways that none of Trump’s predecessors, not even the most venal, could have imagined doing.

Source: Trump voters are willing to be conned as long as he deports immigrants and bombs the world – Salon.com

His brain dead supporters will stand by him even when he may be endangering our national security…..like when he gave classified info to the Russians.  His pea brain supporters try to deflect his betrayal of the country by pointing to an Obama thing about the missile codes……the problem with that argument is Obama did not give the codes and Trump DID disclose classified into to the Russians….so they argument is as lame as the supporters choice for president.

Thanx everyone for your participation and I will see you guys tomorrow…….chuq

The Speech That Was

The speech is over and I shall move on after this post….

The president has made his big speech in Saudi Arabia and that was about it…he was suppose to make others but with that one speech he had shot his wad….it seems he was spent (but I thought it was Clinton that was low energy)….

The speech was to the Muslim World…….he went to the heart of the “Muslim World”….Saudi Arabia…..sadly Saudi is NOT the Muslim World….regardless what the president had to say……

“I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world,” President Trump said in Riyadh on Sunday, in a speech billed as a call to Muslims to promote a peaceful understanding of Islam and to unite against terrorists.

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, but it is not the capital of the Muslim world. In fact, it’s worth remembering that “the Muslim world” is not actually a place. It’s a Western idea built on the faulty racial logic that Muslims live in a world of their own—that Islam is an eastern, foreign religion that properly belongs in a distant, faraway, dusty place. (This is arguably the logic that underlies Trump’s Muslim travel ban, currently held up in the courts: Islam is foreign, “Islam hates us,” Islam cannot possibly be a real American religion and that is why we can ban its adherents. Stephen Miller, an architect of the travel ban, was also reportedly among the writers of Trump’s Islam speech.)

Source: Trump Addressed a ‘Muslim World’ That Does Not Exist – The Atlantic

The American Conservative posted that Trump should not make this speech, this was before the trip began…..

One of the possible pitfalls of Trump’s upcoming foreign trip is the speech he intends to give in Saudi Arabia on Islam:

A speech was added in Saudi Arabia to provide an “inspiring yet direct” message to the Islamic world, according to national security adviser H.R. McMaster. That’s an echo of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who addressed Muslims in Cairo in his first major speech on foreign soil.

A second address in Israel, which local newspapers reported would take place at the ancient archeological site of Masada, was moved indoors to a museum. Transporting Trump to the mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea would have required the use of a cable car.

Both speeches were being drafted by Trump’s policy adviser Stephen Miller, who helped write Trump’s convention and inaugural addresses, with input from the large collection of advisers who are helping to plan the trip: son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, McMaster and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

Source: Trump’s Islam Speech Is a Mistake | The American Conservative

Well in all honesty this is a moot point because the speech he made was not about Islam at all…..but others did not seem to think much of this speech at all……

First is an op-ed from the NYT….and as one would think it is not very flattering…..

Two of our opinion writers, Mustafa Akyol in Istanbul and Wajahat Ali in the Washington, D.C. area, watched President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia this morning and discussed what they thought it means for the Middle East, American foreign policy and Muslims around the world.

Finally a piece written by Juan Cole……..again not very flattering……

Trump’s speech on Islam, written by notorious Islamophobe Stephen Miller, who used to organize Orwellian Two Minutes Hate sessions against Muslims at Duke, is just as bizarre as everything else Trump does.

Miller-Trump imply, as has become common in right wing American discourse, that Muslims have a peculiar problem inasmuch as they produce terrorists. What do they think the Ku Klux Klan is? I estimate that people of European Christian heritage polished off as many as 100 million persons in the 20th century and that Muslims may have killed 2-3 million.

Source: Trump on Islam: Neo-Orientalism and anti-Shi’ism

The speech on Islam was more about the divide and anti-Iran, which is a Shi’a sect within Islam, than it was about the religion per se….

Did Trump just declare an escalation in the situation between US and Iran?

Riddled with hypocrisy, clichés and absurdities, President Donald Trump’s speech Sunday before an assembly of monarchs and despots in Saudi Arabia spelled out an agenda of escalating US militarism throughout the Middle East and a buildup in particular toward war with Iran.

Hailed by a fawning American media as “presidential”–supposedly eclipsing for the moment the crises and factional struggles engulfing the administration–the speech was reportedly drafted by Stephen Miller, the extreme right-wing ideologue credited with being the chief architect of Trump’s abortive executive order banning people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the US.

Source: Trump’s Speech in Riyadh Signals US Escalation Against Iran | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Is this a good thing or is it a line being drawn on the backs of our military?

The speech lecture is over…..we can all go back to our regularly watched commentary.

New Pentagon Strategy to “Annihilate” ISIS

While everyone was otherwise distracted with the Russia thing and the impending presidential trip a new “plan” was hatched by Trump to annihilate ISIS…..it begins with the visit to Saudi Arabia by the prez……

Global Research has looked at the news plan……

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced at a press briefing on Friday that President Donald Trump had approved a new Pentagon plan that would escalate the war for US domination of the Middle East and North Africa.

Mattis told reporters that the plan would aim to militarily encircle strongholds of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to “annihilate” the Islamist militia, which still controls significant portions of Syria and Iraq

The immediate target is the ISIS capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, where a major offensive is being prepared by the US in coordination with the various Kurdish and Arab Syrian militias it has built up during the five-year conflict. The civil war has been stoked by the US and its regional allies with the aim of unseating Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Source: Trump Approves New Pentagon Strategy to “Annihilate” ISIS | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Actually sounds like the same plan that has been in place for years…..but this plan may require more American troops for it to be a success…if a success is possible.

Another Missile, Another Threat

While Trump is schmoozing the Middle East the North Koreans have launched another missile….and the world stands on the brink (okay that was a bit melodramatic)……

North Korea fired off yet another missile on Sunday, but the latest salvo shot down South Korea’s new government’s hopes of extending any olive branch, reports Reuters. Combined with an earlier test in the week, Seoul’s foreign ministry was blunt, calling the tests “reckless and irresponsible actions throwing cold water over the hopes and desires of this new government and the international community for denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula.” The latest missile flew only about 350 miles, notes the BBC, toward the Sea of Japan. That range is shorter than those of the North’s last three launches.

With this success the world is looking toward a way to stop this from spiraling out of control…..but the rhetoric does not sound like looking for a way to control this situation…..

But let’s say that the worse comes into being…..how would the US respond to war with North Korea (this is a war hawk look at the possible situation)……

The Trump administration sees no good military options in North Korea.

The rogue regime’s missile tests are growing more frequent, and Kim Jong-Un is closer than ever to being able to deliver a nuclear-tipped missile to the United States’ West Coast.

Yet given Seoul’s proximity to the border, military leaders fear that any preemptive strike would almost certainly set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events resulting in profound loss of life.

Recently, the military has taken a back seat to the State Department, where U.S. officials continue to push diplomatic and economic measures, hopeful, with the help of China, it can pressure the regime to halt its provocations voluntarily.

Source: War with North Korea: An inside look at how U.S. troops would respond worldwide

A nightmare scenario…..all we can do is hope that saner minds will prevail before it comes to war.

Before that….what do we know about N. Korea’s nukes?

A good question and here are some answers…..and if you want to know then this is a pretty good source on the subject.

Source: North Korea’s nuclear weapons: Here is all we know | News | Al Jazeera

Dictators, Autocrats, Oh My

Have you noticed that the US gives the greatest support to dictators, autocrats and military regimes?  Look at the latest trip by the president…..the room where he made his speech was overflowing with dictators and autocrats……

The Shah of Iran in the 60’s and 70’s, Pinochet of Chile, Saddam of Iraq before he became a bad guy and the same with Noriega in Panama, the autocrats across the Middle East…Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan etc……and the trend continues even today….we spend a lot of money and resources keeping these petty dictators in power….

Much outrage has been expressed in recent weeks over President Donald Trump’s invitation for a White House visit to Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, whose “war on drugs” has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. Criticism of Trump was especially intense given his similarly warm public support for other authoritarian rulers like Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (who visited the Oval Office to much praise only weeks earlier), Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who got a congratulatory phone call from President Trump on his recent referendum victory, granting him increasingly unchecked powers), and Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-ocha (who also received a White House invitation).

But here’s the strange thing: the critics generally ignored the far more substantial and long-standing bipartisan support U.S. presidents have offered these and dozens of other repressive regimes over the decades. After all, such autocratic countries share one striking thing in common. They are among at least 45 less-than-democratic nations and territories that today host scores of U.S. military bases, from ones the size of not-so-small American towns to tiny outposts. Together, these bases are homes to tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

Source: How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes Across the Globe | Alternet

As I have written….the trend continues today and the Trump foreign policy does nothing to change the direction this country is traveling.  We put all our eggs in the authoritarian basket……and we pay for it all in the future.