Closing Thought–11Dec17

Debilitating poverty……open sewage……poor education…..sounds like most Third World nations, right?

Maybe so but in this case it is some of the stuff a UN investigator on poverty found in rural Alabama……yes, right here in the US of A……

A United Nations official investigating poverty in the United States was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world.

“I think it’s very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I’d have to say that I haven’t seen this,” Philip Alston, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, told Connor Sheets of AL.com earlier this week as they toured a community in Butler County where raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits.

The tour through Alabama’s rural communities is part of a two-week investigation by the U.N. on poverty and human rights abuses in the United States. So far, U.N. investigators have visited cities and towns in California and Alabama, and will soon travel to Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/raw-sewage-hookworm-and-civil-rights-un-official-shocked-at-poverty-in-rural-alabama/

This in the “greatest” country in the world…….how pathetic is this?

That is it for me for today…..same time tomorrow….same blog…..be well….be safe……chuq

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Somebody Screwed Up

I wrote several posts about the deaths of 4 special ops troopers in the West African nation of Niger…..(in case you have not been watching this situation)…….

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/30/niger-wtf/

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/27/niger-more-news-more-questions/

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/deaths-in-niger-update/

Finally more info aboiut this attack and the deaths…..but as usual the Pentagon states the obvious……

The deaths of eight soldiers, including four U.S. soldiers, in Niger in early October could have been prevented and were the result of an improperly executed mission to collect information on high-ranking Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, a new report claims.

Sources told BuzzFeed News that the deaths at the village of Tongo Tongo could have been avoided if the mission was better planned and that it is not known whether decisions were made by the soldiers or their commanders back at the base.

http://thehill.com/policy/international/364095-deaths-of-american-soldiers-in-niger-were-avoidable-report

Someone screwed up.  Seriously?  That is the best the Pentagon can do….stating the obvious is not “getting to the bottom” of this situation.

Requiem For Middle East Peace

Last week the US did what it has been doing for decades only this time they came out of the closet and proved that it had NO intention of settling the problems in the Middle East….problems that it helped create……problems that it feed for 70 years.

For years the US has been the harbinger of ill will towards the Palestinian people…..for years it has said that the only answer to the problems was that of a two state solution……and the if one knee jerk decision Fearless Fosdick has ended any hope of a peaceful solution.

Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of US and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace, per the AP. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said in a White House address, calling it “overdue” and in the best interests of the US. He said recognition acknowledged the “obvious”—that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government despite the disputed status that is one of the key elements in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “This is nothing more or less than the recognition of reality,” Trump said.

There are many questions that normal Americans will probably ask…..and there is some great answers to these questions….

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/trump-jerusalem-move-key-questions-answered-171206074533021.html

In policy terms, a central question is what President Trump recognised as Israel’s capital. Was it West Jerusalem, thereby leaving open the possibility that East Jerusalem would be the capital of a future state of Palestine? Was it present-day municipal Jerusalem within its unilaterally expanded borders, thereby essentially pre-empting the final status of the city? Or was it some third variant? His statement was not clear.

On the one hand, Trump specifically cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act as the basis of his decision, which refers to the “undivided” Jerusalem that Israel considers to be under its sovereignty. In justifying his decision, he mentioned locations not just within West Jerusalem (the parliament, Supreme Court, and prime minister’s residence) but also within the occupied Old City, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, without stating that he was or was not recognising Israeli sovereignty in the East.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/israelpalestine/counting-costs-us-recognition-jerusalem-israels-capital

The big question now is how this stupid decision will effect the Palestinian struggle?

https://972mag.com/is-jerusalem-forcing-a-new-direction-for-the-palestinian-struggle/131340/

The world has now got to take sup the slack….the US has left a gaping hole in the fabric of the planet……

https://shareblue.com/world-leaders-forced-to-hold-emergency-meeting-because-of-trump/#.WiwW87qQdpY.twitter

The plight of the Palestinian people is up to the world…..maybe now it will step up and do the right thing…..it has for too long bowed to the US….now te world needs to PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

 

North Korea And Beyond

We  all know the machismo of Fearless Fosdick and his rhetoric aimed at North Korea and its leader……but has Li’l Kim had to say in the past couple of days……

War on the Korean Peninsula is now inevitable thanks to America’s “confrontational warmongering remarks,” North Korea warned late Wednesday. A statement from the country’s foreign ministry said the outbreak of war is an “established” fact and the only remaining question is when it will happen, Reuters reports. “We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the US miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the US dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened,” the statement said.

The statement also slammed US officials including CIA Director Mike Pompeo for “impudently criticizing our supreme leadership, which is the heart of our people.” The statement came as the “Vigilant Ace” military drills involving hundreds of American and South Korean aircraft continued, with a US B-1B supersonic bomber flying over the peninsula Wednesday, the AP reports. The South Korean military said the drill, in which the US bomber simulated land strikes, “displayed the allies’ strong intent and ability to punish North Korea when threatened by nuclear weapons and missiles.” (On Tuesday, a senior UN official visited North Korea for the first time since 2011.)

Everybody involved in this situation has blasted the other……everybody has the idea of what should be done…..and it looks like war could be inevitable….heavy hard words but what is wrong with the US and NK actually talking to each other?

Anyone who says talk is cheap hasn’t tried getting President Trump to talk with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un. Not even the specter of a war that could kill millions of people on the Korean peninsula, Japan and now even the continental United States seems sufficient to push the two leaders into negotiations. Both sides insist on unacceptable preconditions before they will even consider holding formal talks to reach a peaceful settlement.

Successful negotiations might end Washington’s economic sanctions and military preparations against North Korea, but Pyongyang demands that outcome before it even starts talks. Two weeks ago, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Han Tae Song, said, “As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the U.S. and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/30/whats-wrong-with-talking-to-north-korea/

Talking is far better than bullets…..

The Russians have delivered a message from NK…….

With its nuclear and missile programs having advanced substantially over the past several months, North Korea is now ready for direct nuclear negotiations with the United States, according to a message delivered to US officials by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Details of the plan delivered from Lavrov to Rex Tillerson weren’t totally clear, though in recent weeks North Korea has suggested they envision Russia being involved in any such talks as well. Lavrov says North Korea’s main goal in the talks is security guarantees.

This is unsurprising, as North Korea’s foreign policy seems to be built more or less entirely on the notion that a US invasion could happen at any moment, and they’ve been very public about their nuclear program being designed to deter the US from launching a costly war.

There was no word out of the State Department on any US response to such talks. Though Tillerson has advocated diplomacy with North Korea, they’ve also suggested that any direct talks would require unilateral North Korean disarmament as a precondition.

(antiwar.com)

It appears that talk is cheap but what would the results be if there is no talks?

In a nuclear standoff with North Korea more than two decades ago—long before the reclusive government had atomic weapons that could threaten America—US officials planned for war. Declassified documents published Friday show the United States believed its military and South Korea’s forces would “undoubtedly win” a conflict on the divided Korean Peninsula, with the understanding it would cost many casualties. The Pentagon estimated at the time that if war broke with Korea, some 52,000 American service members would be killed or wounded in the first three months. South Korean military casualties would total 490,000 in that time. And the number of North Korean and civilian lives claimed would be enormous.

Today, with North Korea almost able to directly threaten the US mainland with nuclear strikes, the possibility of conflict looms as it had in 1994. Twenty-three years ago, the stakes were different, reports the AP. At that time, President Bill Clinton’s administration considered a cruise missile strike on a North Korean nuclear complex after it began defueling a reactor that could provide fissile material for bombs for the first time. Former President Jimmy Carter headed off a conflict, meeting with founding North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and helping seal an aid-for-disarmament agreement. The pact endured for nearly a decade, despite frequent disputes and periodic flare-ups on the peninsula. The AP has more.

Do we want a war or do we want a world that is safe from bullies and warmongers?

Do we talk or do we walk?