Closing Thought–12Jun17

Death Comes To Afghanistan!  (Again)

Sad news to report……more US deaths in Afghanistan at the hands of a “friend”……

Three US soldiers were killed Saturday when an Afghan army solider opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan, US officials tell CNN. One other US soldier was wounded in the attack, which took place in the Achin district. An Afghan official said the Afghan soldier was killed after the attack. The AP reports the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that a Taliban loyalist had infiltrated the Afghan army “just to attack foreign forces.”

A statement from the US military said merely that the military was “aware of an incident in eastern Afghanistan.” White House spokesperson Raj Shah told reporters traveling with President Trump in New Jersey that Trump was “following the emerging situation in Afghanistan.” Such insider attacks have happened before in Afghanistan. In March, another Afghan soldier was killed after he opened fire on foreign forces at a base in Helmand province, wounding three US soldiers.

My sympathies go out to their families…….

Time for the war hawks to step aside and let saner minds prevail….time to come home.

Day is done and I will go quietly into the night….’til the morrow my friends….chuq

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America’s Real Red Scare

These days we hear a lot about Russia in the news and on blogs and assorted journals on-line…..

I find it fascinating that we still have a “Red Scare”……this time it is not from “the Commie hunters” from our recent past……this time it is the “Commie fear merchants” from the past that are defending Russia……

Originally posted at TomDispatch. Back in 2011, thinking about the implosion of the Soviet Union two decades earlier and what followed, I wrote: “In 1991, when the Soviet Union disappeared and the United States found itself the last superpower standing, Washington mistook that for a victory most rare. In the years that followed, in a … Continue reading “America’s Real Red Scare”

Source: America’s Real Red Scare – Antiwar.com Original

Like I said….all so fascinating to watch the pendulum swing…..

Is Trump Fighting Terrorism?

Or is he just tweeting about it, while making it worse?

I recall during the election there were promises made about the elimination of terrorism made by then candidate Trump.  Does anyone else recall this?

Well we have had yet another terrorist attack in the UK and Donald has gone back to his thumbs and started Tweeting again about the death of terrorism…..

But is he going about removing terrorism the right way?

So far he is using the same tactics as the last two presidents and they also promised to end this rein of terror….so I say again….is Trump fighting terrorism?

Donald Trump came to the presidency on a wave of overheated rhetoric about the terrorist threat, the failures of his predecessors, and promises, as he said in his inaugural address, to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” Four months into his term, and on the heels of Saturday’s terrorist attack in London, which killed seven and injured dozens in the third attack in Britain in three months, it’s worth asking: Is Trump actually delivering decisive counterterrorism?

Let’s break it down. Yes, he’s been decisive and even dramatic, from the issuance of his initial travel ban a week after being inaugurated to his May trip to Riyadh, where he tried to galvanize the Muslim world against terror. But it isn’t serious counterterrorism—that is, policy that will diminish the terrorist threat—that he is producing. Instead, Trump’s steps so far seem to be designed to exacerbate the danger and lengthen the life expectancy of jihadism.

Source: Is Trump Fighting Terrorism? – POLITICO Magazine

So far it is the same stale tactics as before….did not work then….will it work now?

Here’s a thought…..since ISIS et al are Sunni extremism then maybe a better tactic would be to align ourselves with Iran, who are Shia…….

In the past quarter century, the United States and its Western allies have suffered much from terrorism, mostly perpetrated by Sunni extremists. America has spent billions of dollars fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups and more recently the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) with little to show for it. Washington has forged new counterterrorism alignments with several Sunni leaders—Arab and non-Arab—across the greater Middle East to contain the threat of terrorism, again to no avail. President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia and his meetings with the mostly Sunni heads of Arab and Muslim countries are the latest examples of Washington’s feverish pursuit of alliances to fight radicalism and extremism.

Source: Aligning with Iran Necessary to Combat Sunni Extremism « LobeLog

Just a thought…….

Not going yo be a popular idea in some circles…but think about it….who better to take on extreme Sunnis than the Shia?

So far our president has given us promises……promises in 140 characters.

Life After NATO

Donald J. Trump made a historic foreign trip and landed in the middle of a NATO meeting……anyone that has followed Trump through his election will understand that he detests NATO and all its meaning.

He has thumped his chest about the US bowing out of the organization that it formed back in the early days of the Cold War and the Soviet expansion after WW2……

While in Belgium he made a speech to the members of NATO…and the world stood still…..

For all intents and purposes, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – the foundation for American security for the past seven decades – ceased existing on May 25, 2017.

While attending a highly anticipated (some might say dreaded) meeting with NATO heads of state and government in Brussels, U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a speech railing against member-states who have failed to meet economic obligations to the defense pact, going so far as to indirectly abrogate the alliance’s cornerstone: the provisions for collective defense under Article V of the treaty.

Article V is the backbone of the NATO alliance: that an attack against any individual member will be treated as an attack against all members, and will be met with a requisite response. Article V is perhaps the biggest piece of what incentivized the Europeans to resist Moscow throughout the nuclear-tinged threat of the Cold War era. But after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Europeans steadily gutted their militaries, redirecting funds to ballooning social programs and pensions.

Source: Life After NATO

Now all we have to do is sit back and watch the consequences unfold…..American foreign policy is suffering from the mind of Trump…there are so many things that can go wrong….and they will at the most inopportune moment possible.

Still I having a problem seeing how Trump is going to produce a safer world and a safer country with his disdain for foreign policy.

Maybe I am missing something…..but I kinda doubt it.

Blueprint For A Banana Republic

Back in March, which seems like a lifetime ago, Pres. Trump released his fist budget…..and it was a doozey….but instead of sounding like a plan it reads more like the ideas of a banana republic.

President Trump has released a budget blueprint outlining increased military spending and cuts across other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Congress will still have to draft a formal budget, but the plan released Thursday by the White House indicates the president’s priorities. Read the full document below. Read more about the specific proposals and their implications here.

But if you do not like others analysis of the budget then take the time a read the damn thing for yourself and see what is being done to this country.

Source: Full Text Of President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint : NPR

If you read and are capable of understanding what you have read then you will see that this budget is turning our country into a banana republic style military dictatorship….and if you remember any history at all then you will recall that this will lead to NOTHING good.

A combination of spending cuts that will escalate domestic poverty while simultaneously increasing investments in militarism.

The Trump administration has officially unveiled its proposed budget to “Make America Great Again,” and by all accounts it’s a total flop. Most news outlets are ignoring the greater implications of what is proposed in the budget itself—the society America would become if the Trump budget became official.

Source: Trump’s Budget Is a Blueprint for a Banana Republic-Style Military Dictatorship | Alternet

The only saving grace is that this budget seems to have very little support from either side of the aisle.  It may well be dead before it arrives…..

We can hope that calmer more reasonable minds will prevail…..but I am not holding my breath.