Closing Thought–31Mar18–#2

I had to break with my tradition of one closing thought on week days……I break it because of the news of another American death in Syria….

A roadside bomb in northern Syria killed two coalition personnel, including an American, and wounded five others in a rare attack since the US-led coalition sent troops into the war-torn country, a US defense official said Friday. The military didn’t say where the attack took place, but it came hours after a Syrian official said a roadside bomb exploded in the tense, mixed Arab-Kurdish town of Manbij not far from the border with Turkey, per the AP. A US military statement said the attack happened Thursday night and that the wounded were being evacuated. A DOD official in DC said one of the two killed was an American service member and the other was of another nationality that the official wouldn’t specify. No other information on the American was immediately available.

Earlier Friday, US military rep Col. Ryan Dillon couldn’t yet say who was behind the attack. “We have our initial assessment and thoughts … but we won’t provide [them] until [an] investigation is complete,” he said. Dillon added the coalition has had other fatalities in Syria over the past three years, though “perhaps by different means.” The head of the Manbij Military Council, an Arab-Kurdish group backed by the US, said the bomb went off around midnight hundreds of yards from a security headquarters that houses the council. The town has seen small explosions, protests, and an assassination attempt on a council member in recent weeks. Local officials blame Turkey and other adversaries for trying to sow chaos in the town that was controlled by ISIS militants until the summer of 2016.

Sad news indeed…..IST sends our condolences to his family.

I wish that these posts were a thing of the past….we are reporting too many deaths in too many endless wars.

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Closing Thought–31Mar18

Yesterday (I believe) Trump made a speech to some union types in Ohio and as usual he rambled on and on, a campaign type speech of ad libs he even gave a shout out to Rosanne’s new show and her ratings…..what made him think that workers in Ohio would give a crap about Roseanne and her new show?

AS I said he rattled on and on but then he did say something that many news outlets missed…..it made my ears perk up…..

The U.S. will be leaving Syria “very soon”, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

“We’ll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now,” he told supporters during a speech in Ohio about his infrastructure proposal. “We’re going to have 100 percent of the caliphate, as they call it — sometimes referred to as land. We’re taking it all back quickly.”

Trump continued to slam U.S. spending in the Middle East, calling it futile and argued that it detracts from domestic spending.

“We spent seven trillion dollars in the Middle East and you know what we have for it? Nothing,” he said.

I find that I am in agreement with him but that is not unusual I agree with him on many foreign policy ideas during his campaign…..but that soon disappeared.

My question is…..is this a new policy or his usual bullsh*t that Trump is noted for?

As an opponent to our endless wars I find this statement encouraging but then I have heard him make so many promises and done so little of them that I am skeptical…..my money is on just more Trumpian BS.

I bow out for the day to begin my weekend…..may you have a enjoyable one also….chuq

Once And Future Infowars

Well first the Infowars in this post has nothing to with the site from the uber-conspiracist, Alex Jones….or the tin foil hat crowd…..

We have seen how social media has played into our elections and the spread of crappy world views….some might even say “fake news”…..but the future of social media is in question….maybe not by everyone but some at least……

A new book covers this subject……..

Violence, like Twitter, is a means of communication. If we do not understand it as such, its place in international relations makes no sense. As Thomas Schelling wrote in 1966: “The power to hurt is bargaining power. To exploit it is diplomacy — vicious diplomacy, but diplomacy.” Thinkers such as Joseph Nye and John Arquilla have argued that future wars will be determined by “whose story wins” more than who wins on the battlefield. Any analysis of narratives affecting war, however, must explain how violence itself shapes and destroys narratives. Violence may be a terrible way of communicating, but it will always be the ultimate way for states to signal their intentions and capabilities when discourse fails.

Journalist David Patrikarakos’ War in 140 Characters is an extremely rewarding, yet hopeless attempt to argue that new information technology — specifically, social media — has fundamentally “destabilized classic forms of war” and suggest that something new is upon us. According to Patrikarakos, social media is “one thing above all else: effect without cause.” As a result, it has given actors without any resources the ability to have an impact on what he calls the “narrative” and “discursive” levels of war, at which actors interpret the truth and political meaning of military action. Since the narrative and discursive levels of war have a greater impact on the political outcome of a war than military operations, effective tweeting can make battles irrelevant. And since non-state actors are better at tweeting than the West’s discredited institutions, they have gained an unprecedented advantage. The pernicious effects of battlefield social media thus threaten “the very idea that wars between state and non-state actors are asymmetric.”

https://warontherocks.com/2018/03/the-once-and-future-infowars/

It is up in the air on the future of social media….Facebook has called into question the security on these sites and points to ways they can be exploited.

Personally, I have never trusted any of them as far as I could spit them….my footprint on social media is very small to the point of being damn near none existent.

I have no confidence still and will continue to use them sparingly.

What The Hell Happened To ISIS?

#######Warning:  Strong language to follow######

The question pertains to Al-Qaeda also…..

The news these days is a porn queen and lawyers and Russia….what the fuck happen to those darn pesky radical Islamic extremists?  Did we kick the a/holes back to the Stone Age?

First of all, if you have ever been to Iraq or Syria these days that Age would not be a very long goddamn trip.

But really…what the shit is going on with our well funded War on Terror?

These are the question that a well informed American should be asking…..but Nooooooo they are too goddamn busy slobbering over some large boob blonde and her duel with the Donald.

If you have had enough of this damn silly lawyer fest then let me take you to where the rubber hits the road…..

The Middle East is far from fucking rid of the terrorists……..

No amount of money, reconstruction, or reconciliation will undo the cumulative effects of decades of collective war in Iraq and Syria. Once this conclusion is accepted, it is productive to define what the current insurgency evolves from and may become. To provide a baseline of understanding, an insurgency can be defined as an “insurrection against an existing government, usually one’s own, by a group not recognized as having the status of a belligerent.” The next generation of belligerents will give a sense of unpleasant familiarity to those they face as they redefine ways and means to unchanged ends. This article will explore the vague future for insurgencies in the region and attempt to add clarity to what the insurgencies that may rise from the ashes of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) could look like. This article will also prescribe ways the Iraqi government, local governments in western Iraq and eastern Syria, and the international community, can mitigate the drivers of these insurgencies.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/15/post-isis_antagonists_and_the_looming_struggle_113201.html

Then there is AQ…….the lack of news would have you believe that we have kicked their asses and the death of Big Bad Bin Laden has ended their stranglehold on the terror genre…..if so then you are so fucking wrong…..

While the self-proclaimed Islamic State has dominated the headlines and preoccupied national security officials for the past four years, al-Qaeda has been quietly rebuilding. Its announcement last summer of another affiliate—this one dedicated to the liberation of Kashmir—coupled with the resurrection of its presence in Afghanistan and the solidification of its influence in Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, underscores the resiliency and continued vitality of the United States’ preeminent terrorist enemy.

Although al-Qaeda’s rebuilding and reorganization predates the 2011 Arab Spring, the upheaval that followed helped the movement revive itself. At the time, an unbridled optimism among local and regional rights activists and Western governments held that a combination of popular protest, civil disobedience, and social media had rendered terrorism an irrelevant anachronism. The longing for democracy and economic reform, it was argued, had decisively trumped repression and violence. However, where the optimists saw irreversible positive change, al-Qaeda discerned new and inviting opportunities.

https://www.cfr.org/expert-brief/al-qaedas-resurrection

On so many levels this is far more important than the lawyers and the Russian accusations…..

Saudis: Masters Of BS

Since the beginning of our newest president he has been coddling the Saudis….his first international trip was to gravel to the Saudis and now he is floating the idea that the Saudis can be trusted with nuke power…..

Administration reports on President Trump’s discussions with the Saudi Crown Prince neglected a major topic of discussion: Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions. Subsequent reports reveal that the nuclear program was a topic of discussion, though to what extent still isn’t totally clear.

In recent days, the crown prince has talked openly of wanting nuclear arms “as soon as possible” if they believe Iran will get them. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed this, and used virtually identical language in doing so.

Now Iran isn’t attempting to get nuclear weapons, but President Trump’s expected blowing up of the P5+1 nuclear deal could mean Iran withdraws its civilian program from certain obligations under the treaty, and that’s likely to set off a bunch of wild speculation that they are. The Saudis are clearly laying the groundwork for their own reaction.

Officials say President Trump is considering allowing Saudi Arabia to enrich its own uranium with US-made centrifuges. There is also talk of the US building nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. All this would purely be civilian use.

(antiwar.com)

Really?   The Saudis are not acting as a responsible leader for the Middle East…..but rather as a loose cannon…….

Saudi Arabia’s thirty-two-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is touring the West seeking to buy arms and encourage investment. A stop in Washington was mandatory.

The de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, known as MbS, has been busy wreaking havoc internationally, punishing political enemies domestically, loosening social controls at home, and burnishing his image abroad. Amid rising opposition to Saudi-generated carnage in Yemen, the Trump administration appears to be abandoning proliferation concerns in seeking to sell nuclear reactors—even as it complains about Iran’s presumed nuclear ambitions.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/saudi-arabia-has-become-geopolitical-loose-cannon-24982

What price did Trump demand for siding with the Saudis?  Or is the nukes for the Saudis the price that the US must pay for some reason or another?