Closing Thought–02Nov17

The chest thumping between Donald Trump and Li’l Kim…..all threats  of the use of force of some type…..mostly nukes are threat….has anyone really given these threats much thought?

I really do not want my granddaughter having to practice the old “duck and cover” drills that I had to participate in in school.

The insanity is getting fever pitch…..that cannot be good…..someone in DC must have some sanity left after the Trump win…..they need to speak up….NOW!

Maybe now would be a good time of the thought and to run this tune on a 24 hour loop.  We are talking about nukes not a slap fight…people need to get it into their heads just what these two douche bags are offering this country,

 

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Vietnam: The Series

I have been reading the reviews of Ken Burns new documentary of the Vietnam War….I will admit as a participant in that action I cannot watch it much without having to turn away.

I think that it is good that the war is being documented and discussed….there is much about that war that need to see the light of day.

All aspects of that war needs to be part of the discussion….not just the perceived “victories”…there are lessons to be learned from the many small defeats that we suffered.

The veterans of that war are starting to disappear and will go the way of the Korean War…..mostly forgotten or ignored for the various reasons….but their stories need to be told and need to be heard.

So far there has been many articles and opinions written about the documentary both pro and con…as there should be….the problem is that too many are watching this series through a prism of “God Bless America”….some sort of misplaced patriotism, if you will.

Not everything that the US attempted in Vietnam was legal and definitely not moral.

GOP Wassup?

DC is awash with chaos.  The rebellion is lead (in a way) by Flake, Corker and McCain and according to Trumpites these men are RINOs.

RINOs simply because they will not stand by and let Trump ruin this country.

If we therm I would wear the badge proudly.

But it makes perfect sense….a label from a group that thinks in labels and slogans.

The problem is most “conservatives” today would not know conservatism if it bit them in the ass.

Maybe it is time to re-think Burke and conservatism…….

Conservatives are engaged in deep introspection these days. As they reconsider their direction, they would do well to look back to the formative period of their movement. They may find something there of great value—something many conservatives think their movement embraced, but in truth rejected.

By 1952, liberal candidates had not only captured the last five Democratic presidential nominations but the past five Republican nominations as well. Most observers considered conservatism dead—a philosophy unsuited for modern times. A small number of intellectuals disagreed. They believed that—if redefined—conservatism might be resuscitated. But they passionately disagreed about how it should be redefined.

Source: Burke Not Buckley | The American Conservative

Let’s Talk Iran

This is a lot to take in but with Trump at the helm we could be looking at a conflict with Iran…..some we do not need.  It is important that the American understand what is at stake and be prepared for more US troops deployed to fight more useless fights.

WE know that Trump does not like the Iran deal and has not re-certified the deal…..and yet…..

Visiting the Iranian capital city of Tehran on Sunday, IAEA chief Amano Yukiya publicly reiterated that Iran is in all ways living up to its nuclear-related commitments under the P5|+1 nuclear deal.

While the comments were made addressing reporters, Amano’s comments were seen as a message to President Trump, who has been falsely accusing Iran of violating the deal, and has set up an effort for Congress to withdraw the US from the pact.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had specifically asked the visiting Amano to reiterate the IAEA’s position on the matter. Iran has been trying to ensure the P5+1 deal stays intact, with or without American involvement.

Amano has expressed annoyance at comments from the Trump Administration in the past, which are often directly contradictory to the facts of the deal, and he has felt the need to publicly correct the facts and defend the deal

(antwar.com)

Iran has complied with the terms of the agreement then why has Trump a problem?  Wonder how much Israel had to pay for Trump’s decision?

Well Trump has a plan (he always has a loser of a plan)…….

* The United States new Iran strategy focuses on neutralizing the Government of Irans destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.
* We will revitalize our traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region.
* We will work to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.
* We will counter threats to the United States and our allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.
* We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGCs gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.
* Most importantly, we will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.

Source: Subject: EMBARGOED President Donald J. Trump’s New Strategy on Iran

His new plan is a non-starter and he is pushing the aggression button too often.

The decision by President Trump to decertify the Iran deal and impose sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps marks the public debut of a campaign that’s been underway since the spring, when Trump ordered his national security team to find ways to “roll back” Iranian influence.

As we’re likely to see over the coming year, Iran has cultivated its own options to throw nails and bomblets in the path of any presumptive American juggernaut. It might be possible to roll back Iran’s reach in the Middle East, but not without painful costs, which can be visited on a web of American targets and allies located throughout Iran’s sphere of influence.

According to Middle East experts who have consulted privately for the administration on Iran policy, the president asked for ways to raise the price for Iran of its expansionist policy in the region — without exposing America to direct new threats. That might not be possible.

What about a conflict with Iran….how would we fair?  Worse than you think….

Is war with Iran inevitable? Camped out here in Washington just two blocks from the White House, I can tell you one thing: it seems possible.

The chatter between talking heads, foreign policy professionals, and members of the press feels very much like the run-up to war with Iraq back in 2002. And we all know that turned out oh-so-well.

That’s why I’m scared to death.

Source: I Fought a War Against Iran—and It Ended Badly | The American Conservative

Let’s say push came to shove….could the US handle a conflict with Iran on its own?  Some say no.

Dealing with an ambitious and powerful Iran entails a broad range of open-ended challenges that define the ever-turbulent Middle East. Without the 2015 nuclear deal, however, those challenges are likely to become even more daunting.

NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump has announced what was long anticipated: that he will not certify that Iran is complying with the July 2015 “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) signed by the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Iran. Nor will he certify that the suspension of sanctions undertaken by the US as part of the agreement is justified and in the vital national interest of the US.

Source: The US Cannot Go It Alone On Iran by Richard N. Haass – Project Syndicate

This so-called president is already pushing the war button too often aimed at North Korea….can we afford a second front against Iran?

Iran is taking Trump and his Boyz seriously…….

Iran’s official IRNA news agency says the Iranian air force is holding its annual military exercise to show off its ability to safeguard the country’s airspace.

The drill is taking place near the central city of Isfahan, a region that is home to the country’s key nuclear facilities, including the Natanz uranium enrichment plant. Isfahan also has an air base that played a major role during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The military spokesman for the two-day drill, Gen. Masoud Rouzkhosh, says it aims to improve and update capabilities of the air force, as well as display Iran’s military power.

He says fighter jets, bombers and drones will be tested during the drill near Isfahan, about some 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, south of the capital, Tehran.

Thia situation could very well get out of hand quickly………

Someone needs to speak up….Congress needs to stop playing partisan games and get a grip on this president.  We cannot afford more war and especially on two major fronts.

Just how sick is our fearless leader?

Iraq/Syria Update

Note:  This is a lot to take in but if you read the articles you will be more informed than some of your leaders…I feel it is my duty to keep my readers informed and educated….chuq

I have been an analyst of the Middle East for decades….while events may fall from the headlines because of news I continue to monitor and report that which the MSM tries to suppress.  Other news is more timely but I feel as long as we have troops fighting in the Middle east then it is important to make my headlines.

The Pentagon loves lying about troop levels in its major wars, and that’s been particularly true in Iraq and Syria, where after being called out for underreporting several times they officially decided they were going to stop telling the public troop levels at all.

Maj. Gen. James Jarrard told reporters today that the US has about 4,000 ground troops in Syria, which is nearly 4,000 more troops than they’ve ever admitted to before. This figure apparently wasn’t supposed to be public, as other Pentagon officials were quickly scrambling to walk back that announcement.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon claimed to have no idea what the 4,000 figure was meant to represent, but insisted that the official figure for US troops in Syria is just 503. Whether that’s a firm count, or just the usual Pentagon hand-waving number, was unclear.

(antiwar.com)

While US is fighting whoever is handy in Syria the Russians are looking for a diplomatic venture in Syria…..

Russia is accelerating its efforts to subvert the Syrian political process by establishing a new diplomatic framework that sets conditions to expel the U.S. from Northern Syria. Russia announced its intent to host delegates from all major opposition, ethnic, and tribal factions at a “Syrian Congress on National Dialogue” in Sochi on November 18. Russia may exploit the conference to broker a wider reconciliation deal between the Bashar al Assad Regime and the Syrian Kurdish YPG under conditions that preclude long-term U.S. influence in Syria.

Source: ISW Blog: Russia Seizes Syria Diplomacy Reins

Tillerson is sounding like Iraq will become a US possession whether Iraq likes it or not……

Testifying to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the US presence in Iraq is so permanent at this point that even if Iraq specifically requests the US withdraw and removes permission for them to be there, the US will remain.

Tillerson addressed the question from Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who asked whether the US intended to stay in Iraq uninvited like they are in Syria. Tillerson insisted the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) gave the US legal authority to stay.

This appears to be an entirely new position for the US government, as the Bush Administration agreed to withdraw from Iraq after being unable to get Iraqi authorization to stay, and absolute legal immunity for US troops along with it.

(antiwar.com)

The main problem with Iraq is the US never understood the country at all…..

Days after the Kurdish Region of Iraq held a controversial independence referendum, Baghdad sent army and militia units to attack Kurdish positions in and around Kirkuk in the disputed territories. Such swift, aggressive action demonstrated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s insistence that Iraqi Kurds will remain a part of his country, by whatever means necessary. Now, we are seeing the first repercussions: Long-time Kurdish Region President Masoud Barzani, who pushed for the referendum, resigned on October 29, sparking riots in the Kurdish capital of Erbil and other Kurdish cities, and launching new recriminations among Kurds and between Arabs and Kurds.For America, the short, sharp fighting in northern Iraq has revealed a brutal truth: Its dream of a democratic and federal, united Iraq is over. Ironically, that dream dies just as the Americans and their allies are winning major battlefield victories against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Raqqa, the capital of ISIS, fell to a U.S.-sponsored battlefield coalition of Syrian Arabs and Kurds. U.S.-backed Iraqi forces, meanwhile, captured Hawija, one of the last ISIS strongholds in the country. But as the fighting shows in Iraq and foreshadows in Syria, Washington never had a political plan to deal with the underlying ethnic and sectarian contests for power that originally gave birth to ISIS.
Source: America Never Understood Iraq – The Atlantic

At this point, the US appears to be used to being engaged in overseas wars without permission, particularly in places like Syria, and having already declared their presence in Iraq to be permanently, officials figure they’re going to just pretend it’s legal.

Those are the major stories that the MSM overlooked….I could write the people that died Iraq over the past week……okay I will……

Antiwar.com found that at least 1,649 people were killed and 647 were wounded in violent activity during October. This is considerably fewer than in September, when at least 3,129 people were killed; only 496 were wounded.

The breakdown is as follows: At least 374 civilians were killed, and 300 were wounded. Among Iraqi and Kurdish servicemembers, at least 296 were killed, and 345 were wounded. One U.S. servicemember was killed, and another was wounded. Also, two Turkish servicemembers were killed, and three were wounded. At least 20 members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) were also killed. Finally, at least 979 Islamic State militants were reported killed, but only two were wounded. Some of the dead were found in mass graves.

(antiwar.com)

Could Iraq be close to the end of 40 years of war?  Good questioon and here is a Libertarian lean to the answer…..

There is a growing mood of self-confidence in Baghdad which I have not seen here since I first visited Iraq in 1977. The country seemed then to be heading for a peaceful and prosperous future thanks to rising oil revenues. It only became clear several years later that Saddam Hussein was a monster of cruelty with a disastrous tendency to start unwinnable wars. At the time, I was able to drive safely all around Iraq, visiting cities from Mosul to Basra which became lethally dangerous over the next 40 years.

The streets of the capital are packed with people shopping and eating in restaurants far into the night. Looking out my hotel window, I can see people for the first time in many years building things which are not military fortifications. There are no sinister smudges of black smoke on the horizon marking where bombs have gone off. Most importantly, there is a popular feeling that the twin victories of the Iraqi security forces in recapturing Mosul in July and Kirkuk on 16 October have permanently shifted the balance of power back towards stability. The Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, once criticised as weak and vacillating, is today almost universally praised for being calm, determined and successful in battling Isis and confronting the Kurds.

Source: Iraq may be coming to the end of 40 years of war – The Unz Review

Anything is possible in the Middle East but I think that there is still some animosities in Iraq that need working out before we can say there is an end to war in the country.

That was a lot to read….but if you want to know what is happening around our troops then it is worth the time it took to read this post.