Closing Thought–05Sep17

Remember the USS Liberty!

I have writing about the cowardly attack by Israeli forces on the USS Liberty during the 6 Day War….an attack that has been ignored for 50 years….

This post is t5he combination of all the posts that I have written over the years….

Source: USS Liberty–The 50th Year – In Saner Thought

Now there is some good news for those dead sailors…the American Legion is calling for a congressional inquiry into the attack by Israel.

On June 8th 1967 the United States Navy intelligence ship the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked in international waters by aircraft and vessels belonging to Israel. Thirty-four sailors, Marines and civilians were killed in the attack. The deliberate Israeli air and sea onslaught sought to sink the clearly identified intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. It was in truth the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault, which was clearly intended to destroy the intelligence gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing fighting between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with torpedo boats from the sea. When one Israeli pilot hesitated, refusing to attack what was clearly an American ship, he was instructed to proceed anyway.

Most Americans are completely unaware that a United States naval vessel was once deliberately targeted and nearly sunk by America’s “greatest friend and ally” Israel. The attack was followed by a comprehensive cover-up that demonstrated clearly that at least one president of the United States even back nearly fifty years ago valued his relationship with the state of Israel above his loyalty to his own country.

Source: The USS Liberty Wins One! – The Unz Review

This is not justice for those dead but it will be a good start.

About goddamn time that America starting paying attention…..Israel needs to be held accountable for the deaths at their hands.

I would celebrate by jumping up and down but a broken foot makes that not such a wise idea….

Tax Reform—-2017 Edition

Once again the GOp is trying for tax reform…..something their plans have NEVER been….tax credits for the rich is not reform….this is my ideas for a simpler tax code….chuq

Gulf South Free Press

Slowly but slowly some fresh air is filtering into DC as the Congress is on their Summer break.

The GOP attempt to ‘repeal and replace”, something they had been harping on for at least 7 years, fell on its face hard….and when they return after Labor Day will try move on to something new?

You guessed it!

It is that time again…..that time when the GOP jumps on the issue of tax reform.  That time ever session when the GOP talks a mean case for protecting jobs and helping hard working Americans.

You do realize that it is all BS, right?

Why?

The Congress has been cutting taxes for 40 years and in all that time the Middle Class has lost out and in all that time the voter falls for the BS every time it is proposed…even though I can see it with every paycheck that it is a…

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Is The Toxicity Terminal?

Why are so many looking to the 2020 election?

We have a president Trump….to some he is a godsend….to others he is the anti-Christ…..his presidency is toxic too many hanging fruit for the media to chase and yet they persist on thinking ahead to 2020….

Is Trump too toxic to be re-elected if he decides to run?

President Trump is historically unpopular. His overall approval ratings languish at around 37 percent, and his specific actions often poll even lower. (On the eve of the Joe Arpaio pardon, just 21 percent of Arizonans favored such a move.)

As Trump moves ever-further into the toxic swamps of the far-right, his numbers keep sinking. If this keeps up, Trump will end up having to bow out of the 2020 race or face the prospect of losing to any halfway competent Democrat in a landslide … right?

Source: Trump is toxically unpopular. He still might win in 2020.

So thinking about this realistically what do you think?  Yes or no?  Can he pull his presidency out of the crapper to be re-elected in 2020?

What Was The Plan?

About now everyone with a couple of functioning ears will know that NK fired a couple of missiles towards Japan and they landed in the Pacific.

Japan knew they were coming and let lose the high shrills of the CD sirens.

Then back in Washington the chest thumping began all over again….

North Korea’s provocative new missile launch has prompted an early morning warning from President Trump in which he says that “all options are on the table.” Trump doesn’t offer specifics but chastises Pyongyang for launching a ballistic missile that flew over Japan. “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” said the presidential statement, per the Washington Post.

In its coverage for the North’s test launch, the New York Times characterized Pyongyang’s move as a “direct challenge” to Trump, who said last week that the North was “starting to respect us” after Trump began talking tough. Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday night, and afterward Abe told reporters that Japan and the US were “completely matched” in their stances and would discuss ways to increase international pressure on the North. Pyongyang has twice before fired missiles over Japan, in 1998 and in 2009, but it said afterward that those missiles were carrying satellites. The AP reports that the latest launch involved a midrange ballistic missile, which is “unambiguously” for military purposes, unlike the two earlier missile launches.

After all the news I got to thinking…..after all the foreign aid and cash we ship to Japan and they have NO way of intercepting these missiles?

Do they have the capacity for self-defense?  Were they timid?  Did the US stop them from acting?

If so, why did they allow the missiles to come so close?

In the aftermath of North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile across Japan early on Tuesday morning, the Japanese government went to great lengths to reassure the public that it is taking all the necessary steps to protect them. In truth, however, there was effectively very little that the Japanese military could have done to neutralize this latest provocation by Pyongyang.

Source: What stopped Japan from intercepting North Korean missile? | Asia | DW | 30.08.2017

I have no expertise in Asian affairs so I have to do what most people do when they want answers…..RESEARCH.

NK has fired numerous missiles at Japan…..just what is the plan here?

North Korea’s launch of a missile over Japan early on Monday morning was certainly irresponsible. But for Pyongyang, it was more of a carefully calculated risk than a reckless gamble. It is the latest step in a strategy aimed not to get into a shooting war but designed to build up the nuclear and missile capabilities that the regime firmly believes it needs.

A potential nuclear power firing missiles is of course enough to put the world on edge – and possibly provoke retaliation. Even mainstream U.S. commentators such as Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass are now suggesting that Pyongyang’s apparent irresponsibility is so great that it undermines faith in deterrence as a strategy and turns “a preventive strike [into] a serious option, notwithstanding its high risks and potential costs”.

Source: The Strategic Thinking behind North Korea’s Missile Gambit | Crisis Group

After a speech before the UNSC Amb. Haley made it clear the path that lay before us….

One day after North Korea conducted its largest-ever nuclear test, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is “begging for war,” CNN reports. Haley made the claim during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Monday as part of a lobbying effort to convince them to take the “strongest possible measures” against North Korea after the country detonated a thermonuclear warhead underground on Sunday. “Enough is enough,” Haley said. “We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked.” Yesterday Defense Secretary Jim Mattis responded to the latest test by saying the US will answer North Korean threats with a “massive military response — a response both effective and overwhelming.”

Experts believe the explosive tested Sunday has a power range of between 50 and 150 kilotons, far larger than the power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima at the end of WWII, the BBC reports. Pyongyang claims it has the capacity to reduce the warhead in size and attach it to an ICBM capable of hitting the US mainland, though some analysts remain skeptical. Regardless, Haley said, US patience with North Korea is “not unlimited.” “Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy,” she told her colleagues on the security council. “We have kicked the can down the road long enough. There is no more road left.”

At the latest UN Security Council meeting on North Korea’s nuclear test, US Ambassador Nikki Haley declared that the US is certain North Korea is “begging for war.” She added that the US, which has been threatening to attack North Korea for months, doesn’t want a war.

The more I research this situation the more I smell something fishy….there is more to this than the straight up bravado that we hear about nightly.

Watch this soon the real reason for this news will come to light….if it has not already.

The Vote That Could Change Everything

It is September and the battle for Mosul and against ISIS is slowly winding down…but a new wrinkle is about to pop up that could start Iraq down a whole new path of conflict.

September 25, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil will hold a binding referendum on whether or not to secede from Iraq. It will almost certainly pass. More than a decade ago, the Kurds held a non-binding referendum that passed with  99.8 percent of the vote.

No one knows what’s going to happen. Iraq is the kind of place where just about anything can happen and eventually does.

Kurdish secession could go as smoothly as a Scottish secession from the United Kingdom (were that to actually happen) or a Quebecois secession from Canada, were that to actually happen. It could unfold like Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, where some countries recognize it and others don’t while the Serbs are left to stew in their own juices more or less peaceably.

Source: The Kurds Are About to Blow Up Iraq | World Affairs Journal

If the Kurd vote to cede from Iraq they will be tearing the heart out of the nation….and the rest of Iraq will not go quietly into this good night.

Experts often question the degree to which the Kurds of Iraq and their various peshmerga groups are united politically. The Kurdistan Region is split between the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). These parties fought a civil war against one another in the mid-1990s and have since maintained separate military and security forces. Despite recent moves toward integration, separate KDP- and PUK-aligned forces continue to predominate the peshmerga. These political armies add another layer of complexity to the already Byzantine mix of territorial struggles, hydrocarbon disputes, and militia politics playing out in the Kurdistan region. Complicating things further, the KDP and PUK have since fractionalized, most dramatically with the emergence of the Gorran (change) movement in 2009, which claims to disavow the entrenched and corrupt politics of the two traditional parties.

New conflict….new problem in the Middle East…..and the US will have to be ass deep in this conflict as well….after all they have been our allies for decades.