Closing Thought–26Jan18

Ever notice there are always lists for everything?

And a new list of countries to be careful of has been issued……

US authorities issued an emergency order Monday requiring additional screening of cargo on flights departing for the United States from five Mideast countries, citing a threat of terrorism. The Transportation Security Administration order is aimed at preventing terrorist attacks in response to “persistent threats to aviation,” TSA said in a statement. The countries falling under this order are Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The countries were chosen because of “demonstrated intent by terrorists groups to attack aviation from them,” the statement said. TSA said most of the requirements of the emergency order are already being carried out voluntarily by airlines in some countries, but it didn’t identify the countries.

Airlines that TSA said are affected by the order are EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad, although EgyptAir no longer accepts cargo shipments on flights to the US at the request of American authorities, notes the AP. Under the requirements of the order, airlines are supposed to provide certain information on the shipments “at the earliest practical point” before loading the cargo to US customs officials. The shipment information is then compared to information the US has on terror threats.

What I find the most interesting is that most of the countries are allies……go figure!

Just Another Shooting…..

I have waited a couple of days before I wrote about the latest gun violence…..I wanted to see how the nation dealt with it……apparently it is no big deal…….it is sad to see how this has been handled….

Another school shooting is in the news, this time in western Kentucky. Two 15-year-olds, a boy and a girl, were fatally shot Tuesday morning at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Twelve others were injured by gunfire, and another five were otherwise injured in the chaos that ensued, says Gov. Matt Bevin. The alleged shooter is in custody and has been identified only as a 15-year-old classmate of the victims. More details on what is and isn’t known:

  • The shooting: Police say the shooter entered the school just before 8am and opened fire with a handgun. First responders got to the school in about nine minutes, and a deputy arrested the suspect. “He was apprehended non-violently at the scene,” says Lt. Michael Webb of the State Police, per NBC News. “There is no way to tell how far it would have gone.” A school law enforcement or resource officer was at the school when the shooting occurred, per
  • The motive: Police have not speculated on one. The suspect, who is expected to be charged with murder and attempted murder, was pictured being led away in handcuffs.
  • The victims: Few details were being released, but most of the victims were believed to be students. The deceased girl was dead at the scene, and the boy died at a hospital. Authorities have not identified them. At least two of those injured had gunshot wounds to the head, reports the Lexington Herald Leader.
  • The scene: The shooting erupted in a school common area, just before the start of classes. “I tried to run, but I fell,” says 16-year-old Lexie Waymon. “I heard someone hit the ground. It was so close to me. I just heard it and then I just, everything was black for a good minute. Like, I could not see anything. I just froze and did not know what to do. Then I got up and I ran.”
  • The escape: “They was running and crying and screaming,” Mitchell Garland, who provided shelter to dozens of students at his nearby business, tells the AP. “They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there.”
  • Training: Students at the school, located about 120 miles northwest of Nashville, Tenn., recently underwent training on what to do in the event of an “active shooter,” says State Police chief Rick Sanders. They “did exactly as they were trained,” he said, per

Second in 2 days: The shooting follows another at a high school in the town of Italy, Texas, on Monday. Police there say a 16-year-old boy shot a 15-year-old girl in the school cafeteria. She is recovering in the hospital, and the suspect has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reports NBC 5. One group counts nearly 300 school shootings since 2013.

It made the news but that was all there was…..a single day of varying reports about the shooting.

I guess it is no big deal any longer….I mean we have had 1500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook……and 2 this month alone.  Apparently these shootings have reached the point that it is just a routine event in our society.

Time For Turkey To Go

The country of Turkey has been in the news lately….from the supposed coup to the battle against ISIS to confronting the US over the Kurds in Syria… other words they are being a major pain in the butt of the US.

They have even threatened the US on Syria……

US-Turkey tensions mounting surrounding the Turkish invasion of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin District look to be getting much worse, with Turkey’s deputy premier Bekir Bozdag warning that the US is the one risking confrontation by supporting the Kurds.

Bozdag warned the US needs to “review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground,” and that US forces who continue to support the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers terrorists “will become a target in this battle.


How will Trump handle this threat coming from his “bromance”?

Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952….they became a member during the Cold War as a blocking country for Soviet expansionism….but with the election of Erdagon Turkey has been becoming a “freneny” more so than an ally on the world stage.

Maybe now would be a good time to give Turkey the boot from NATO……

The case for evicting Turkey from NATO got stronger this week.

First, the United States announced the backing of a border security force drawn mainly from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava, the quasi-independent Kurdish region in northeastern Syria along the Turkish border. Then Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will “strangle” that American-backed force “before it’s even born.” Russia, Iran and Syria’s Assad regime are standing with Erdogan.

The YPG, along with the multiethnic Syrian Democratic Forces which the YPG dominates, are the only armed groups indigenous to Syria that are willing and able to take on ISIS and win, and they’re the only significant armed faction in Syria’s dizzying civil war that isn’t ideologically hostile to the West. In October of last year, they finally liberated Raqqa, the “capital” of the ISIS “caliphate,” while the Russian and Syrian militaries were busy pounding rebels instead in the west.

Question should be would retaining Turkey in NATO be more beneficial than giving them the boot?

Trump Cronies Look At The World

As a foreign policy wonk I am always watching our public servants and how they handle situations…..the NatSec Adviser and the DoD are setting the tone and have blocked out State Department….

WE have a SecDef that thinks cute little statements will smooth over a wealth of crap spread by his boss.

Mattis tries to schmooze the Iranian people…..he will fail.

The U.S. has “no beef” with the Iranian people who have shown in recent street protests that they “aren’t buying” the policies of the regime in Tehran, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.

Matts also told Pentagon reporters that Iran has thus far failed in the grand scheme to establish a “land bridge” across Syria as part of an overall effort to create a “Shiite crescent” in the Mideast running from Tehran to Beirut.

I think it is a wonderful statement but not firmly rooted in reality…..does he not realize that if push comes to shove it will be the Iranian people that will pay the price?  Like I said…..a cute statement.

Then there is McMasters who some consider a intellectual a thinking man’s soldier……and in reality he is nothing more than a warmonger toad…..

Why is H.R. McMaster so alarmed by North Korea? Why does Donald Trump’s national-security adviser insist—more vigorously than any administration official except the president himself—that Kim Jong Un must be denied the capability to place a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach the United States, even if this requires initiating a military conflict with the North that could devolve into a cataclysmic war?

While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are focused on diplomatic efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program, McMaster “is arguing more vocally, publicly and privately, that military options need to be considered,” The Wall Street Journal noted on Tuesday. The Trump administration, it reported, is debating whether to give Kim a “bloody nose” by conducting limited strikes against North Korean targets in retaliation for further nuclear or missile tests.

Nothing has changed…the M-IC owns DC and sets the agendas.