Closing Thought–22Jan18

I try to write about it when troops are killed in the line of duty for they do not always make the news….depends on the events and situations of the day.

Sometimes the deaths are not always troops on the mission…..like this story that did not make the news…..

Gunmen ambushed two Americans and two Canadians traveling through Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, kidnapping them and killing two policemen, a state police spokesman says. The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night when they were ambushed around Kagarko, Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu says. “The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers,” he said. The kidnapped visitors are investors who were setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan, according to Aliyu.

Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been sent to the area to try to rescue the North Americans and to apprehend their abductors, Aliyu says. Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock says Canadian officials are aware that two citizens were reportedly abducted, the AP reports. The government would not provide details due to privacy issues, he says. Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna-to-Abuja highway. Two German archaeologists were seized at gunpoint last year less than 60 miles northeast of Abuja and later freed unharmed. Sierra Leone’s deputy high commissioner was taken at gunpoint on the highway in 2016 and held for five days.

The families of the slain have IST prayers and may their loved ones rest in peace.

That be it for today……wishing all my readers a good evening and hopefully we will meet again tomorrow here on IST……chuq

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It’s “Stormy” Weather

We have a full shutdown of the government…..so let’s talk…..SEX.

Back in the 80’s a candidate had a blond sit on his knee and he dropped out of politics…..in the 90’s we had a prez that got a BJ and was impeached….in the 2000’s a candidate had an affair and almost went to jail….and in 2016 we have a prez that is proud of grabbing women by the genitals and he is still popular….my my how times change.

And our prez may have paid a porn star for her silence over an affair….

It’s not every day that the New York Times reports on an In Touch article about a porn star, but here we are. In a follow-up to last week’s Wall Street Journal article that alleged an adult film actress was paid $130,000 in 2016 to stay mum on a consensual sexual encounter with a then-married Donald Trump in 2006 comes the In Touch article, published Wednesday. It is based on a 2011 interview with Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, and describes her meeting Trump at a 2006 golf tournament and having “textbook generic” sex that night. Among the more salacious details: that the encounter allegedly happened four months after Melania Trump gave birth, and that Trump told Clifford she was beautiful “like his daughter.” Per the article, the two met up on future occasions, with the Times quoting it as saying Trump last called Clifford in late 2009 or early 2010.

The In Touch article says it backed up Clifford’s claims via a polygraph and corroboration from an adult-film colleague and her ex-husband. Clifford has since denied the affair, and Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, again disputed the account to the Times, calling it the recirculation of “an old and debunked story.” As far as recirculation goes, Slate Group editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg also elaborated on his conversations with Clifford in August and October of 2016 (no story was published at the time) in a piece for Slate, writing, “The worst Trump had done, she said, was break promises she’d never believed he would fulfill.” Like the In Touch article, Weisberg says Clifford told her Trump had promised her a slot on The Apprentice

After reading this story what would you think would be the reaction of Trump?

Do you think he would threaten a lawsuit?

But wait!  Let’s recap okay?

In Touch held back from publishing Stormy Daniels’ 2011 account of an alleged affair with Donald Trump after the future president’s personal lawyer threatened to sue, four former employees of the tabloid’s publisher told the AP. In Touch magazine published its interview with the adult film star on Friday—more than six years after Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, sent an email to In Touch‘s general counsel saying Trump would aggressively pursue legal action if the story was printed, according to emails described to the AP by the former employees. Daniels signed a source contract with the magazine, which said a friend and Daniels’ ex-husband corroborated her account of a 2006 tryst. She also passed a lie detector test, the magazine said.

In the interview, Daniels claims she and Trump had a sexual encounter after meeting at a golf tournament in Nevada, a year after Trump’s marriage to Melania. It wasn’t immediately clear why In Touch didn’t publish its interview during the 2016 presidential campaign despite reminders from former employees that the transcript was still available in the company’s networks, two former employees said. A spokesperson for the magazine claimed it only learned of its earlier interview after a report in the Wall Street Journal last week. She wouldn’t comment on the magazine’s decision not to publish in 2011. Despite Daniels’ first-person details on Trump, former employees said the decision not to run the story in 2011 was a justifiable business decision because at the time because Trump didn’t have the same star appeal as more famous celebrities.

Think about it……all the grief that others took like Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, John Edwards….after the media trashing these people took and now the act of sex is no big deal to the “moral majority”……plus the support remains…..amazing how times change.

Personally I care not how many these people had sex with…..all I care about is a little consistency….

Iraq: The Rest of The Story

What have you heard aboiut Iraq these days?  All is quiet on the Iraqi front.  Since 2017, late into the year, it appears that some are thinking that the Iraqi War came to an end……The American Conservative takes a look at the close of Iraqi hostilities…….

While you are here…For the last 15 years, our magazine has endeavored to be your refuge from the nasty partisan politics and Washington echo chamber with thoughtful, smart conservatism, fresh and challenging writing, and authors who, above all, bravely hew to our most basic tenets: Ideas over ideology, principles over party. Please consider a tax-deductible, year-end contribution so that TAC can make an even bigger difference in 2018!

The year 2017 saw America’s serial wars in Iraq ending with a whimper, not a bang. And in the oddest of ironies, it may be that Donald Trump, the fifth president to preside over U.S. military operations in Iraq, has more or less ended it, whether he had much to do with or not.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/this-year-the-iraq-wars-truly-came-to-an-end-iran-kurds-isis-is/

Iraq haws won its war with ISIS and now that it is over what is there in the future for the country….

You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster—a friend crossing Death Valley with next-to-no gas in his car—and then add, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Such is the Middle East today. The U.S. is again at war there, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria, advising here, droning there, coalition-building in the region to loop in a little more firepower from a collection of recalcitrant allies, and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/seven-worst-case-scenarios-for-iraq/

Iraq has a long road back to normalcy…..is Iran good for their future?  Or will the US try to insert itself in the reconstruction?  The US is the last place Iraq should look to for help.

Syria: The Invasion Begins

ISIS is all but completely wiped out…..the US has said it will remain in Syria until Assad is gone…..the Kurds are still a thorn in Turkey’s ass and this is where this post picks up….since the US media has been silent on this situation…..I feel  I must step up and be the voice that the public needs.

Following up on a flurry of Friday artillery strikes against Kurdish forces in the Afrin District on northern Syria, Turkish warplanes carried out a large number of airstrikes against the small district, with at least 108 strikes reported, leaving the towns’ streets empty, and locals panicking.

Syria’s government complained Turkey hadn’t informed them of the attacks, adding that they “strongly condemn” Turkish aggression. Syria had threatened to target Turkish warplanes raiding their airspace, however, and there’s so far no sign of this happening.

Instead the US-backed Kurds are getting hammered from the air, and Turkey is now not only massing their own troops at the Afrin border, but has bused in thousands of Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels to attack the Kurds as well.

Afrin District is relatively low-value, except that Turkey has long maintained Syrian Kurds aren’t allowed west of the Euphrates, and this is the westernmost district under Kurdish control. Turkish officials have said after Afrin, the city of Manbij will be attacks, then Kurdish border territories east of the Euphrates.

(antiwar.com)

This could draw the US into an expanding role in Syria…..could draw the US into conflict with Russia and even Turkey , an ally……none of this bodes well for the US or its troops.

The US State Department has issued a statement Friday warning that reports of Turkey attacking the Kurdish YPG in northern Syria are a significant destabilizing event, and would not help Turkey with its concerns about border security.

The statement made it clear the US, at the time, was unclear if Turkey’s attack was true, though Turkey’s Defense Ministry has since clarified the invasion is underway, and that there is no stopping it.

So from Turkey’s perspective, they’ve already waited out ISIS, and see it as time for their long-anticipated attack on the Kurds. With the US having heavily backed the Kurds against ISIS, this is going to be a major source of tensions between the US and Turkey.

(antiwar.com)

A new year and a new war, the expansion of an older conflict,  the US military will have to pay the price.