Closing Thought–08Jun17

In Case You Missed It!

So much news and so little time…….

Today is a busy day….what with Qatar, Hearing, Iran attack…that the MSM just could not find a way to squeeze this into the reports of the day…..

North Korea angered the US and its own neighbors Thursday morning with yet another missile launch, this time involving what South Korean officials believe were multiple anti-ship missiles from Wonsan on the country’s east coast. Officials say the missiles traveled around 125 miles. Pyongyang is trying to develop missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and the Washington Post reports that the pace of testing has been “relentless:” There were three missile launches in May, making it 16 for the year, meaning Kim Jong Un has now ordered as many launches in 2017 alone as father Kim Jong Il ordered during his 17 years as the country’s supreme leader.

The missiles, fired the day after South Korea announced that it is delaying implementation of the THAAD anti-missile system, landed in waters where the US aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan recently carried out drills with the South Korean navy, the AP reports. CNBC reports that Pyongyang released a statement this week denouncing the US not for the drills, but for President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. The foreign ministry statement slammed the “egotism and moral vacuum” of those making such a “short-sighted and silly decision” about the global environment.

I guess this was of a low priority for the day……

Day is done….chuq is out…..back tomorrow with more stuff.

USS Liberty–The 50th Year

This day’s posts are dedicated to the memory of 34 US sailors that died at the hands of a betraying ally……

Today, 08 June, is the 50th anniversary of the cowardly attack by Israel on a naval vessel, USS Liberty, in 1967…the attack killed 34 American sailors and wounded 170 others.

Below is an archive of all the posts I have done over the years about this attack….please take the time and learn about this event….I know it is a lot to take in but 34 dead Americans would appreciate your time……

Source: The USS Liberty Must Not Be Forgotten – The Unz Review

Source: Two important lessons from Israeli attack on the USS Liberty – In Saner Thought

Source: USS Liberty Veterans Association | Letter to Bibi – In Saner Thought

Source: Liberty Survivors Say US Still Downplays Israel’s Attack on Ship – In Saner Thought

To this day Israel has NOT been held accountable… this day Americans still think Israel is some sort of ally and friend… this day these brave Americans go not avenged…..

To me these attackers are despicable cowards and in NO way deserve our friendship or our help…..let alone any respect. Period!

Not Remembering the USS Liberty

I will be dedicating today’s posts to the attack on 08Jun1967…..

It is June and everywhere there are celebrations of the victory in the 6 Day War….nowhere in all this is there ever much mention of the deadly attack by Israel on a US naval vessel, USS Liberty, and the death and injuries that it caused.

If Trump were this “America First” dude then why did he NOT bring up this attack that the world knows about but the US and Israel choose to forget?  Why?

It is safe to assume that when President Donald Trump lands in Israel Monday, he will not have been briefed on the irrefutable evidence that, nearly 50 years ago – on June 8, 1967 – Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in international waters, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding more than 170 other crew. All of Trump’s predecessors – Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – have refused to address the ugly reality and/or covered up the attack on the Liberty.

Source: Not Remembering the USS Liberty by —

Every American should be outraged at this dismal of American deaths….the US should sack up and confront Israel over this betrayal…instead of cowering to them like well beaten mutts…..only COWARDS allow this to go unanswered……

Then we remember the day……

There has been a lot of media coverage mostly written by Israelis or American Jews regarding Israel’s “victory” fifty years ago during the so-called Six Days War directed against its Arab neighbors but I have yet to see an account that mentions the fate of the U.S.S. Liberty. Nevertheless, the Liberty is not forgotten. This Thursday at noon at Arlington National Cemetery there will be a small gathering for the annual coming together with the survivors and friends of the most decorated ship in the history of the U.S. Navy, a victim of a particularly brutal and unprovoked attack by Israel that has been covered up for half a century by the powers that be in Washington. The moving service will include reminiscences by surviving crew members plus the ringing of a ship’s bell for each one of the thirty-four American sailors, Marines and civilians that were killed in the deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught that sought to sink the intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. Present will be a number of veterans like myself and other Americans who are committed to ensuring that the story of the Liberty will not die in hopes that someday the United States government will have the courage to acknowledge what actually happened on that fateful day.

Source: Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty – The Unz Review

Source: Infamy at Sea: Israel’s Attack on the USS Liberty 50 Years Later

Source: The Day Israel Attacked America – Al Jazeera English

Source: USS Liberty crew member recalls fatal ’67 US-Israeli skirmish – News – Stripes

Source: 50 Years Ago: NSA’s Deadliest Day | Observer

Iran: ISIS Attacks

It is a busy day here on IST…..attacks, hearings, Qatar and USS Liberty…..I will try to be short and sweet…whenever possible….and thanx everyone for the visits……

I have waited a few days before posting on this situation to see how the tale shakes out…..

A couple of days ago ISIS hit the capital of Iran…..killing and injuring many…. first time Iran has tasted the likes of ISIS and its tactics……

Terror in Tehran: Several attackers stormed into Iran’s parliament and a second group of attackers including a suicide bomber targeted the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday. At least 12 people were killed and 42 people were wounded in the twin attacks, reports the AP. ISIS claimed responsibility, marking the first time it has taken responsibility for an assault in Iran, the AP reports. The Sunni extremist group is fighting Iran-backed forces in Syria and Iraq.

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry says security forces were able to thwart a third terrorist attack in the country’s capital. In one image in state media, a man was seen lowering a young boy from the parliament building. Authorities say a woman was arrested at the scene of the shrine attack. The attack on the tomb of Khomeini was symbolically stunning, the AP notes. As Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.

Just like all these types of attacks the rhetoric is on-going…..out of Iran a reason for the attack is being spread…….

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia for twin attacks on Iran’s parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on Wednesday morning which left 12 people dead.

The attacks, which took place a few kilometres south of the capital, were the first in the country to be claimed by the Islamic State group.

“This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists,” said the IRGC in a statement, published by Iranian media.

Source: Iranian Revolutionary Guard blames Saudi Arabia for Tehran attack | Middle East Eye

They could have a point…..

5 Things To Watch In Comey’s Testimony

If you are a political junkie and are planning to watch the Congressional Hearing today then there are a few things you need to watch for during the event……

There is a guide…….

The hearing marks the former FBI director’s first public remarks since Trump abruptly fired him last month.

Trump ousted Comey on May 9, amid an investigation into whether the president’s associates aided a Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. And on Wednesday, Comey described for the first time a series of uncomfortable interactions — in the months before his firing — in which Trump nudged Comey to publicly absolve him of any connection to the Russia probe. According to Comey’s prepared testimony, the president also demanded loyalty and asked Trump to go easy on Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, who is under FBI investigation.

Source: 5 things to watch in Comey’s testimony on Trump and Russia – POLITICO

This will be a show not to miss… matter which way you swing……it is must see TV!  Don’t forget to keep an eye on Twitter also.

Great fun will be had by all.

Qatar: Rest Of The Story (So Far)

Qatar is now in the news and we Americans know so little about an important ally in our war with terrorists.

A quick refresher course for those who care enough to read…..

Source: The history of Qatar: From 1700s till now – Khaleej Times

Now for the story as of today……..

President Trump thrust himself into a bitter Persian Gulf dispute on Tuesday, claiming credit for Saudi Arabia’s move to isolate its smaller neighbor, Qatar, which is a major American military partner. – New York Times

For the tiny, oil rich nation of Qatar, Al Udeid Air Base, home to more than 10,000 U.S. service members, has long been something of an insurance policy. Now the Qataris, at odds with their neighbors and under fire from President Trump on Twitter, are anxiously waiting to see if that policy pays off. – Washington Post’s Checkpoint

US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. – CNN

President Trump sided with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries Tuesday in a deepening diplomatic crisis with Qatar, casting a cloud over a $21.1 billion sale Boeing is counting on to keep open its F-15 production line. – Defense News

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of a change in leadership in Qatar, which is embroiled in a major diplomatic crisis with its Gulf neighbors. – Associated Press

Kimberly Dozier reports: Qatar’s brand new ambassador to Washington was already bewildered, along with much of the rest of his country, at dramatic moves by several Arab nations in the past 48 hours to cut diplomatic and trade ties with the tiny Gulf nation. The hate tweets by Donald Trump only made things worse. – The Daily Beast

Editorial: If successful in this showdown, the Middle East’s most reactionary rulers will have taken another step toward shutting down domestic political alternatives, whether moderate Islamists or liberal democrats, and blocking the rapprochement with Iran that ultimately will be needed to end the region’s wars. Worst, they will have succeeded with the help of a U.S. president who seems not to comprehend American interests, nor how he is damaging them. – Washington Post

Just what are the motivations behind these attacks on Qatar…..

Shortly after the heavy guns of the Emirati and Saudi-controlled media fired their salvo at Qatar, their Gulf neighbour lay in a smouldering ruin, unable to host anyone or anything, let alone a World Cup. At least, that was how they fondly imagined it.

The claims were hysterically inflated: Qatar funded all the terrorists; Qatar could not be allowed to “sabotage the region”; Qatar must choose sides over Iran. Finally, the emir of Qatar was reminded of the fate of Mohamed Morsi.

Source: Three potential motives behind the tension between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours | Middle East Eye

This split is something that could be a game changer in the Middle East…….

The move by several Arab states to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday seemed to catch the world by surprise, but it had been in the works for some time, as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among others, had grown fed up with the meddling of the tiny Gulf state.

Accusing the Qatari government of supporting militant groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the nations — which include Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen — were emboldened by Donald Trump’s call during his visit to the region two weeks ago to “drive out the extremists.”

Source: Why the sudden split in Middle East relationships? Look to Iran and Sunni vs. Shia – World – CBC News

Lines are being drawn in this situation…..Turkey has weighed in……

Turkish parliament is expected to push through a draft bill to allow troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in the Gulf state of Qatar as tensions between Doha and other Arab states escalate.

Lawmakers from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party proposed on Wednesday to discuss two bills that would let troops be deployed to Qatar and green light a deal between the two close allies on military training, officials toldReuters.

Source: Turkey parliament to push through troop deployment to Qatar

This situation is fascinating to IR geeks like myself.

Why does this smell like something that will not end well for the US?


Update:  News as I was finishing up my post…..

With all diplomatic ties between Qatar and most of its fellow GCC members now severed in an ideological row with Saudi Arabia, the Saudi kingdom has publicly issued an ultimatum, giving Qatar just 24 hours to give in to a litany of major demands, with speculation that they would face immediate military invasion if they don’t submit by then.

Not a good sign……keep in mind 2 years ago the Saudis decided to bomb Yemen into the Dark Ages……will they do it again?

James Comey’s Prepared Statement

Before I turn IST over to the USS Liberty…….

Today is the big day…..the Congressional Hearing…..if you will be watching then prepare yourself with a quick read of Comey’s opening statement….

The remarks were published on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s website. In those seven pages, Comey detailed his interactions with President Donald Trump on several occasions.

Source: Read James Comey’s prepared statement before Thursday’s Senate hearing | PBS NewsHour