Closing Thought–07Aug17

The Smuggler’s Life

Smuggling use to be a noble gig….you would run American beer or cigs into a country and make a killing off the product.  Then came the drugs.

Drug smuggling became a lucrative occupation as well as a dangerous one.

Have you seen the movies and some TV shows about how the CIA was involved in the drug smuggling trade?  Movies like “Air America” and TV shows like “Snowfall”……

How about the top 10 drug smugglers of the CIA?

The Central Intelligence Agency, created in 1947, oversaw the distribution of many of the billions the US spread around. This paper trail was clandestine, its secrecy justified by supposed national security concerns. But the reality was that the CIA’s aims aligned easily with brutal figures worldwide. Public awareness of its feats would have embarrassed the agency.

One result is that huge drug syndicates have emerged; another is that countries have transformed into major drug producers. Because drugs are illegal, traffickers use some of their ill-gotten riches to pay law enforcement to look the other way, if not get in on the action. Corruption and criminality corrode governments. Civilians suffer.

Source: Meet the CIA’s 10 Favorite Drug Traffickers | Alternet

Hope you learned something today…..It has been a joy imparting the info to my readers…..have a day….chuq

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What White House Rest?

After the president installed Gen. Kelly in his new job in the White House the Chief of Staff there are many in the media that see it as a positive thing and may well be a White House reset and a chance to get the administration back on topic.

Then our fearless leader takes to Twitter……

President Trump may be away from the White House for a while, but he’s not taking a vacation from Twitter. He unleashed several tweets Monday morning on everything from a defense of his base to a personal attack on Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling),” he wrote, citing recent rallies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Iowa. “The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs, Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!” headded.

Trump’s statements come after a weekend report by the New York Times that several big-name Republicans, including VP Mike Pence, were beginning to consider 2020 runs of their own because Trump’s support was showing cracks. (Pence rejected the report.) As for Blumenthal, Trump wrotethat the Connecticut Democrat “told stories about his Vietnam battles and conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?” (It’s a reference to this.) The president also reiterated that he’s not on vacation as the White House undergoes renovation and is “working hard from New Jersey.”

The leader of the “free world” takes to Twitter to bully a political opponent…seriously….how old is this guy?

I believe all those that thought that this was a chance for the president to take control of the agenda are in for a rude awakening……actually just more of the same.

The Nazi Voter

About here someone has read the title and is busy typing a reply to this post and condemning me for equating this person to the Nazis….well bite me!  This is a post about a voting bloc within Germany in the 1920’s and 30’s.

Several years ago I read a book about the state of Germany in the years after WW1 especially those that would be voting in the elections.  It covered many aspects of German society and the voting habits of its population.

A fascinating book, The Nazi Voter, written by Thomas Childers.

I recently found a good article about the same sort of stuff that was in the Nazi Voter……how society was breaking down and what led to the popularity of the Nazis…..

Amid the swirling mess in Berlin of political intrigue, rumors, and disorder, the SA, the Nazi storm troopers, stood out as an ominous presence. In the spring of 1932, many in the German democratic government came to believe the Brownshirts were about to take over by force.

Source: The History Place – Rise of Hitler: The Republic Collapses

It has always fascinated me as to how, in hindsight, could the German people allow someone like Hitler to come to power through the vote.

Some of my questions have been answered……

Thoughts?

Team America Versus Jihad

We as a nation have been fighting a jihad for almost 20 years….and what have we really learned from the experience?

The outcome if studied carefully screams….NOTHING!

War serves itself if there is no strategy to guide and constrain it. The purpose of strategy is to fulfill a political purpose and that purpose should relate to an end that sees a better peace than before the war began. The means and methods, or the instruments of power and the ways they are employed, should align to achieve the political object sought at the costs and duration the state is willing to bear. If war brings more enemies and perpetual war, strategy is flawed.

The U.S and its allies have been fighting terrorists and insurgents for almost 16 years. America has the best-equipped, most-seasoned, and best-led forces in its history. The forces of Team America have won a number of battles, conducted a host of strikes, and killed or captured many terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. Yet there are more murderous Islamist groups around the globe today than there were on 11 September 2001, and there is a strategic stalemate in Afghanistan. Team America is adept and upbeat about doing lethal actions to kill and capture militants. But, Team America does not have a viable strategy.

Source: Team America versus Jihad | The National Interest Blog

I have been harping for years that we need to understand the jihad mindset….not worry about other aspects….learn what they are thinking to better fight their creeping ideas….

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on July 20, Maj. John Spencer wrote:

“The battle for Mosul represents the future of warfare — and it wasn’t pretty … A rag-tag army of a few thousand Islamic State fighters managed to hold the city for months against some 100,000 U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces.”

Source: Thinking Clearly About ISIS | RealClearWorld

There are a few myths about the US declared War on Terrorism….the reality is that this “War” is not as successful as some would have us believe….

As I argue in my recently published policy analysis here at Cato, the American-led war on terror has clearly failed. Unfortunately, rather than accept the obvious fact that the campaign was badly misguided and focusing homeland security efforts in more fruitful areas, the Trump administration appears ready to embrace, and perhaps even to escalate, the American commitment in the Middle East. Though President Trump himself has frequently voiced concerns about nation building in Iraq and the mission in Afghanistan, few of his senior advisers appear to share his worries. And sadly, few voices from the foreign policy establishment have questioned the need for continued American intervention.

The near total lack of debate begs a simple question: Why do so many smart people support the continuation of a strategy despite its abject failure over sixteen years and in the absence of anything even remotely approaching a new theory of victory?

Source: Fatal Fallacies in the War on Terror | Cato @ Liberty

The one aspect that all should remember…..we can kill the body but not the idea.

Maybe there is a good starting place for the formulation of a plan.

Could The North Korea Crisis Been Avoided?

We hear a lot about what is going on with North Korea….most of it is sounding a lot like the pre-war rhetoric coming out of the Bush White House prior to the invasion of Iraq and the search for the WMDs he did not have…..

But with all this about what NK is planning to do with their nukes…..was there a time when all this would be a moot point?

North Korea’s nuclear weapons probably aren’t going anywhere. The test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday is the latest disconcerting development in a decades-long slide toward a nuclear-armed North Korea capable of striking the U.S. homeland and its allies. As past administrations repeatedly failed to make the hard choices, the Trump administration now faces an uphill, if not impossible, battle as it pursues a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

…………

The U.S. had one chance to stop North Korea in its tracks a little over two decades ago. It would have been bloody, but significantly less devastating than a conflict would be now.

Source: North Korean Nuclear Crisis: We Could Have Stopped This in 1994 | National Review

Once again this NK situation could be a “crisis” of our own making.

I wish more people would care about the situations that our “leaders” get us into and see that they did nothing when they should have…..and then they overreact to the situation that they helped create.

A great foreign policy. (sarcasm)