Closing Thought–27Jun17

Let’s have a little fun today.

“Aliens”!

The Truth Is Out There!

Nope not a post about those supposedly illegals that sneak across our borders and steal jobs…..rather I am talking about those aliens from another planet that are visiting…and I use the term loosely.

News could be bigger than the Moon Landing.

By now most everyone has heard about the hacker group called “Anonymous”, right?

They say they have proof that aliens are here and NASA knows all about it…..

Anonymous, the global hacking collective, believes that alien life exists—and it thinks that NASA is about to confirm it.

The shadowy group made the claim in a 12-and-a-half-minute video published on an unofficial YouTube channel on Tuesday.

The video centers around recent findings by the American space organization, including the discovery of 219 new planet candidates—10 of which present similar conditions to Earth—by NASA’s Kepler space telescope team in June, as well as comments made by a senior NASA official in a U.S. government hearing.

Source: Anonymous says NASA has evidence of aliens

Alright….believe or no believe?

Could the “Ancient Alien” people be right?

Thoughts?

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Then There Is Mosul

The war in Iraq is still raging…..we just do not hear much about it thanx to the media and its fascination with political chicanery.

ISIS is losing ground around and in the Iraqi city of Mosul….the Iraqis have said that the fall of ISIS in Mosul is only days away…..

The battle to wrest full control of the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State will be over in a few days, the Iraqi military said on Monday, as elite counter-terrorism units fought militants among the narrow alleyways of the historic Old City.

An attempted fight-back by militants failed on Sunday night and Islamic State’s grip on the city, once its de facto capital in Iraq, was weakened, a senior commander said.

“Only a small part (of the militants) remains in the city, specifically the Old City,” Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) in Mosul, told Reuters.

“From a military perspective, Daesh (Islamic State) is finished,” Assadi said. “It has lost its fighting spirit and its balance. We are making calls to them to surrender or die.”

As CTS units battled militants in the densely-populated maze of tiny streets of the Old City, which lies by the western bank of the Tigris river, Assadi said the area under Islamic State control in Mosul was now less than two sq kms.

Mosul will fall “in very few days, God willing,” he added.

(Reuters)

Let’s say that the prediction is factual…..what will be the events following the fall?

The U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria appears to be nearing its end. In Mosul, Iraqi military forces are now pushing into ISIS’s last pocket of resistance in the Old City as allied militias cut off ISIS forces near Tal Afar. In Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have encircled the ISIS “capital” in Raqqa and pushed into the city proper with U.S.-led coalition support.

However, as ISIS’ territorial footprint shrinks, a new battle for control over liberated areas is brewing. Forces aligned with the U.S.-led coalition are not the only players fighting ISIS. Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government, the Iraqi central government, Iran-backed militias, and a mix of Kurdish militias are just some of groups angling to stake their claim to the lands ISIS leaves behind.

Two strategic areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border – Sinjar in northwestern Iraq and the regions of Raqqa and Deir al Zour in eastern Syria – are set to play a vital role in this burgeoning power struggle. As these disparate forces operate in ever closer proximity, who stands to gain after ISIS’ fall, and how far is the U.S. willing to go to assert its interests in eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq?

Source: As ISIS Falls, Border Battles Loom | The Cipher Brief

The aftermath will be the battle for territory….the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia…all will want their piece of the newly liberated pie.

Where will this put the US troops that in country?  What part will they play on the ensuing battles?

The one constant will be the US fighting unwinnable wars…how long will the American people allow this to continue?

Does Anyone Remember 2003?

I am talking about the mash up to the invasion of Iraq.

Recall all the news about WMDs and yellow cake uranium….the false narrative that Iraq was somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks……all propaganda to justify invading a sovereign country…..in this case Iraq.

They were making a case for invasion as they did in the 1990’s and the fist Gulf War.  If you recall back then it was babies left on the floor of a Kuwati hospital so the Iraqis could steal medical equipment…again that never occurred.

Again making a case for justification for invasion.

I bring up a little history because I think they are at it again……this time in Syria.

In a recent press conference Spicer had a bombshell (no pun intended) to drop…..

Raising speculation that the US is about to attack Syria again, the White House has issued a statement late this evening accusing the Assad government in Syria of conducting “potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack,” claiming that such an attack would involve the “mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”

The late night report was extremely light on details, but threatened to make Syria’s government and military “pay a heavy price,” suggesting that the statement was only issued to lay the groundwork for a new round of US attacks on Syrian government targets.

The US last attacked Syria in earnest in early April, firing 49 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base. The attack was carried out despite reports ultimately showing that the US intelligence community found no evidence a chemical weapon attack took place.

(antiwar.com)

Source: White House Says Syria May Be Preparing Another Chemical Attack, Warns Assad Will “Pay A Heavy Price”

It is sounding like the drums of war are getting louder.

Source: Our Rush to War in Syria – Antiwar.com Origina

Bang the drums….blow the trumpets….prepare!

Here we go again!

Fearless Leader, Come On Down!

Recently the Russians issued a statement that they had killed the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, in an airstrike in Raqaa Syria…..they have said they are 90% sure that he has been killed.

But first………

The 2003 American invasion of Iraq, which came not long after the invasion of Afghanistan, proved to be highly controversial, not only for the rationale behind the invasion (Saddam Hussein and his putative support of 9/11 and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction) but for how the war itself and the governing of the country were conducted. On May 11, 2003, President George W. Bush appointed L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer as the Presidential Envoy to Iraq and then the top civilian administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Shortly thereafter, two of the CPA’s most notable decrees entered into force, on May 16, 2003 and May 23, respectively:  CPA Order Number 1 , which banned the Ba’ath party in all forms, a process otherwise known as de-Baathification; and CPA Order Number 2, which dismantled the Iraqi army.

The US got rid of the Iraqi army and its generals….then some question this decision…..

The latter decision was sharply criticized in hindsight, as many observers blame it for fueling the insurgency that would plague the country to this day. Bremer defends the decision by noting that most of the Iraqi army had been brutalized under Saddam and had no desire to continue serving if given the chance. Therefore, in the Pentagon’s terminology, the Iraqi army “self-demobilized.

To this day that one decision haunts the country of Iraq…..

Source: Iraq’s de-Baathification still haunts the country – Al Jazeera English

About here there will be some that are questioning my motivation for this post….and I will clear it all up…..

If Baghdadi is truly dead and there seems to be no successor waiting in the wings then analyst think that there will emerge an Iraqi general from Saddam’s day to take over the leadership of the group.

Source: If Baghdadi is dead, next IS leader likely to be Saddam-era officer – Iraqi News

To me it makes perfect sense….ISIS is losing on almost all fronts if there is a way to re-group and come back punching it will take a military man with experience and sense the US made sure that there would be a wealth of experienced officers with their ill conceived de-Baathification program available…….the prospect is good that a Saddam general will rise to the top of the group.

We did what we always do…..make the seeds of opposition easy to sprout and grow…..

Another round fired into the foot of the nation.

Bolivia–Would Make A Good “B” Movie

South and Central America has been breeding ground for US interference in state affairs…..we did it in Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia among others…..

We seem to always use the Monroe Doctrine as an excuse for any interference in the region…..

For those whose knowledge of the Doctrine is a bit limited…..I shall assist….

On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe used his annual message to Congress for a bold assertion: ‘The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.’ Along with such other statements as George Washington’s Farewell Address and John Hay’s Open Door notes regarding China, this ‘Monroe Doctrine’ became a cornerstone of American foreign policy. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams had played the most important role in developing the wording of the declaration, and he also influenced the doctrine’s overall shape.

…..the situation in Central and South America. Revolutions against Spanish rule had been under way for some time, but it seemed possible that Spain and France might seek to reassert European rule in those regions. The British, meanwhile, were interested in ensuring the demise of Spanish colonialism, with all the trade restrictions that Spanish rule involved. British foreign secretary George Canning formally proposed, therefore, that London and Washington unite on a joint warning against intervention in Latin America. When the Monroe cabinet debated the idea, Adams opposed it, arguing that British interests dictated such a policy in any event, and that Canning’s proposal also called upon the two powers to renounce any intention of annexing such areas as Cuba and Texas. Why should the United States, he asked, appear as a cockboat trailing in the wake of a British man-of-war?

It was used to justify the coup in Guatemala, then the Cuban missile crisis, then the coup in Chile and next on the hit list was Bolivia in 1980…….

Social unrest, political fragmentation, drug trafficking, and violence all characterized the late 70’s in Bolivia. All of the major parties failed to gain a majority vote, coups were attempted with an alarming frequency, and human rights violations were severe and widespread. In the early 80’s, Bolivia transitioned to democracy, but that transition was far from smooth. In a 1997 interview with Charles Stuart Kennedy, Alexander Watson (Deputy Chief of Mission in La Paz, Bolivia 1979-1981) discusses the turbulent course of events, beginning with a coup on June 20, 1980, how he gave the keys to his house to certain political leaders, the change in policy after Ronald Reagan’s election and the eventual collapse of the coup plotters.

Source: “It was something out of a B movie” – The 1980 Coup in Bolivia – Association for Diplomatic Studies and TrainingAssociation for Diplomatic Studies and Training

And typically our intervention brought about years even decades of military rule and population suppression.  These coups did little to improve the lives of the people we say we are there to help.

Your history lesson in diplomatic adventures of the US is done…..(for today)

Class dismissed!

A “Clear Victory”

Who says hiring judges with “political purity” is not a thing?

SCOTUS proved today the necessity for the judges need to be partial to a political belief…..use the Constitution not a party spin……

President Trump scored a significant, if partial, victory from the Supreme Court on Monday: The justices agreed to allow a scaled-down version of his travel ban to take effect. The court also agreed to hear the case in the fall, setting the stage for a ruling that could have wide implications on presidential power, reports the New York Times. The upshot is that the Trump administration can put into effect a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, along with a 120-day ban on the US refugee program. However, the court imposed what the Washington Post terms an important exception. The ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” said the justices.

Those who have no family or business ties in the US, or who have never visited before, would likely be out of luck. The court added that the case may well be moot by the fall, noting the White House originally said the ban would be a temporary one while it reviewed vetting procedures. Once that review is completed, the restrictions would presumably be lifted anyway. Two lower courts have blocked the ban, a revised version from the Trump administration’s first effort, essentially declaring it to be unconstitutional. Trump has said the ban would take effect within 72 hours of court approval.

There you have…put enough conservs on the court and you can crap all over the Constitution.

With his victory you would think that he would be dancing a jig for his policies….but instead he wants an apology…..

“The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling,” the president wrote in a two-parttweet, referring to this story. “With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero ‘tapes’ of [Trump] people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!” He also wrote that Obama didn’t go after Russia more aggressively because he assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win. Obama “colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good,” Trump tweeted.

How much juvenile BS will the American people stand…I know that his brainless supporters will see the need…but really?

I guess we have to wait for October for a final decision…..something for the MSM to fixate on for 4 months…..oh goody!

The “Fearsome” Return

The 20th century gave rise to a wealth of democratic movements….but in the last couple decades it appears that it is waning…..at first just a bit…but it seems to be getting stronger every year…..

In his brief time in the White House, US President Donald J. Trump has made a point of bestowing praise on the world’s leading autocrats. He repeatedly called Vladimir Putin a “strong leader,” described Xi Jinping as “a very good man,” said Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was doing a “fantastic job,” and lauded Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his triumph in a referendum that greatly expanded his presidential powers.

Trump’s new friends represent a rogues’ gallery of modern authoritarians.  These 21st-century strongmen are responsible for introducing an arsenal of new tactics to use against their domestic opponents, and have gone on the offensive in an effort to subvert and replace the liberal international order.

Source: Surging Autocrats, Wavering Democrats

As democratic movements wane the authoritarian movements gain strength…..and with that new found power the tactics must be fought to preserve democracy wherever it exists…..

After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing their old tactics and devising new ones.

It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win.

Source: Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it | Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder | Opinion | The Guardian

We must attack authoritarianism where it exists……democracy must prevail.