Closing Thought–05Oct17

Dammit!  I’m Hungry!

There has been many stories coming out of the 3 hurricanes that hit the United States this year….the loss of power, lack of potable water, the destruction, deaths and the biggie…..shortage of food.

This president has a lop-sided view of the ones that hit mainland US and the one the hit the territories….the latest the lack of food for those in Puerto Rico…there is cure for the mainland but not for the islands…..

The governor of Puerto Rico has claimed the Trump administration turned down a request that food stamps be made available for use in fast-food restaurants and in other places that serve prepared hot meals, amid power cuts and food shortages on the island.

Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria several weeks ago, leaving many of its inhabitants without running water or electricity—making it extremely difficult to prepare meals.

Island officials had requested that the U.S. federal government permit food stamps—on which almost 40 percent of Puerto Rico’s population, (or 1.3 million people), relies—to be used to purchase hot meals or in fast-food restaurants; a request the island’s governor said on Tuesday had been denied.

Source: Hurricane Maria: USDA Waives Food Stamp Restriction in Puerto Rico, Spokesperson Says

I am sure this is an oversight by some mid-level bureaucrat…..but if true it is a despicable act….like I said….If True.

Is this what this country has become?  Classifying Americans?  Some get benefits others do not.  A New form of segregation?

 

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Just Say Your Are Sorry!

Since Ken Burns released his newest documentary about the Vietnam War I have been following it up with some historic perspectives on the war.

I fought my way through 21/2 years in Vietnam and when I returned back to the US I became a staunch anti-war protester.

Over the years I have had many discussions with others about that war….some served others did not…..at one time some older gentleman told me that I need to apologize to the country for my activism.

I was taken aback and asked why should I apologize?

He told me that it was people like me that tore the country apart with all the protests to the point that the country was weakened by all the division.

My first reaction was…..BITE ME!

I said that I had nothing to apologize for and that he, a supporter of the war, should do it more than I.  Support sending in children to fight a bloody war that was NEVER meant to be won.

This event from my past came to m                                                                                                        ind after I read a piece on Common Dreams…..

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, something like this:

It was beyond cruel what was done to Viet Nam vets. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell.

That’s a comment made on my Facebook page when I posted Jerry Lembcke’s very insightful review of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s series, The Vietnam War. Lembcke points out that the series promotes the established narrative that for Vietnam vets, the experience of coming home to a “hostile” public was “more traumatic than the war itself.” As I will discuss here, Lembcke, a Vietnam veteran and Associate Professor Emeritus at Holy Cross College, has dedicated much of his life to countering and disproving that narrative.

Now take a close look at the above statement. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell. The implication is, of course, that while this person didn’t do it, others must have “protested the soldiers,” referring to the ubiquitous stories of soldiers and veterans being harassed, hounded, called baby killers and spat on by a variety of protesters and, as the stories usually go, “long haired hippies.” Actually, this particular comment was part of a string of responses to someone who claimed he was “urinated on while in uniform.”

Source: Vietnam War Protesters have NOTHING to Apologize For | By | Common Dreams

In hindsight I still see NO reason for me to apologize…I did what I felt is morally right.

American War Dead

WE Americans continue to die in defense of our country.  We have died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and the list goes on.  It is a sad occasion when I have to write another post about more Americans dying in wars of no interests.

Yesterday here on IST we reported of yet another American killed in Iraq and it is out sad duty to report today that 3 more Americans have been killed but this time it is in West Africa……

US officials say three US Army special operations commandos were killed Wednesday and two others were wounded when they came under fire in southwest Niger. The officials say the two wounded were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are in stable condition, the AP reports. The officials say the commandos, who were Green Berets, were likely attacked by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militants. In a statement, US Africa Command said the American forces were on a joint patrol with Nigerien Armed Forces troops north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.

Africa Command said the US forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists. The White House says President Trump was notified about the attack Wednesday night as he flew aboard Air Force One from Las Vegas to Washington. The military says the two wounded soldiers will soon be transported to Germany for medical treatment, CNN reports.

These deaths made the cable news shows (show me surprised)……

At the time of this writing the names of the dead and wounded have not been released….

Our deepest sympathies go out to the families.

What Options?

We hear all the President’s men when talking about what to do about the situation in North Korea…..”we have options”

For months now, the U.S. has been trying different measures to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program. In recent weeks, many have assumed that an attack on North Korea was no longer on the table – that there would be some sort of diplomatic solution, mainly focused on sanctions, that would force Pyongyang to fall in line.

But it’s dubious to believe that sanctions would cause North Korea to abandon something that it believes is so fundamental to its national security.

That seems to have been confirmed over the weekend by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who said that the U.N. Security Council has exhausted its options in dealing with North Korea and that the matter might have to be handed over to the Pentagon. We are therefore at the point where the possibility of military action must be taken seriously again. But in its attempt to deal with the threat from Pyongyang, the U.S. is facing another obstacle: South Korea.

Source: The US Faces Unsavory Choices in the Korean Peninsula – Geopolitical Futures

Options?  There is always options.  But in this case what the Hell are they talking about?  I do not like vague solutions for pressing problems and “we have options” is as vague as it can get.

As the doomsday rhetoric intensifies between two untested and inexperienced leaders in Pyongyang and Washington, the risk of actual combat is rising.

At the United Nations, President Donald Trump shocked most of the U.N. General Assembly by threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea to end the “suicide mission” of its “Rocket Man” leader. North Korea has threatened to create a “sea of fire” in both South Korea and the United States. On Saturday, U.S. B-1 bombers flew close to North Korea’s east coast on what the Pentagon said was a mission to demonstrate the military options available to Trump. The U.S. president commented that Kim Jong Un and his foreign minister Ri Yong Ho “won’t be around much longer” if they continue their rhetoric.F

So what are the military options that the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military could put in front of the president?

Source: James Stavridis: What are Trump’s military options in North Korea?- Nikkei Asian Review

None of these options are acceptable.

This needs to simmer down before someone says something they cannot walk back and the world becomes more messy than it is today.