Closing Thought–05Apr18

Trump has a new plan to control the flow of immigrants across our border all coming for free stuff.  His brilliant plan is to use the National Guard as a deterrent….

Since Congress has not authorized their use what will their deployment entail?

Pesident Donald Trump and border-state governors are working to “irmmediately” deploy the National Guard to the US-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration, with some troops potentially arriving later Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said. “The threat is real,” Nielsen said at an afternoon briefing, adding that Trump was signing a proclamation to put the deployment into effect. “It’s time to act.” The announcement came hours after Trump pledged “strong action today” on immigration and a day after he said he wants to use the military to secure the southern border until his “big, beautiful wall” is erected, the AP reports. In a tweet early Wednesday, Trump said that “Our Border Laws are very weak” and that Democrats “stand in our way” of new laws. He added, “We will be taking strong action today.”

Federal law prohibits the use of active-duty service members for law enforcement inside the US, unless specifically authorized by Congress. But over the past 12 years, presidents have twice sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security and assist with surveillance and other support. The White House counsel’s office has been working on the idea for several weeks, according to a senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. Nielsen said the administration was considering a model similar to a 2006 operation in which President George W. Bush deployed National Guard troops to the southern border, with a focus on assisting US Customs and Border Protection personnel. “We are anxious to have the support,” she said.

This could be a violation of the “Posse Comitatus Act”…..the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. This act, passed in response to the use of federal troops to enforce reconstruction policies in the southern states, prohibited the use of the U.S. Army to enforce laws unless the Constitution or an act of Congress explicitly authorized such use. This act was amended five times in the 1980s, largely to allow for the use of military resources to combat trafficking in illicit narcotics.

But each time Congress has had to vote on the use of US military personnel.  But as usual this president seems to think that he is above the Constitution.

How much further can this president push before the Congress grows a spine and pushes back?


Trade Wars Cometh

Just last month Pres. Trump let it be known that he would enforce tariffs on steel and aluminum……the first shots were fired in the new trade wars…..these will effect Americans in several ways….cost of cars and even their addictive sodas…..but what will Asia do in response?

The Bangkok Post had an op-ed on this situation……

Over the past five decades or so, Asia’s economies have relied largely on an export-oriented development model to support rapid economic transformation and growth. But with US President Donald Trump fulfilling…

In the past year, Mr Trump has withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), renegotiated its free-trade agreement with South Korea, and raised “safeguard” tariffs on imported washing machines…

China has made it official that it will respond…it has notified the WTO of its intentions…..

The notification came in a WTO document that was dated last Thursday but posted only after the Easter public holidays.

It came after China said late on Sunday that it has increased tariffs by up to 25 per cent on 128 US products, escalating a dispute between the world’s biggest economies.

China has now fulfilled its legal duty to notify the WTO and other member states of its retaliatory measures.

The great Trade Wars of the 21st Century have begun….

This is the warning shot of the end of the “Pax Americana” (a bit melodramatic)… not know what that means then stay tuned for I will cover the “Pax” in an upcoming post.

Treason And Incompetency

Let’s do a history lesson about our early days of struggle…..

The early days of our fight for independence had our share of chaos and characters…..after the war for independence also had its characters……

Of course, along with Arnold, Aaron Burr stands out in American History as one of its quintessential villains. In addition to killing Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel, he later plotted an insurrection to form a separate country in the American Southwest.

But Burr wasn’t a lone conspirator; he had allies whom he would rely upon to carry out his nefarious activities.

Syria–The Rest Of The Story

Then there is that war in Syria….the conflict to defeat ISIS and the battle goes well…..less than two weeks ago Trump said that US troops would be coming out of Syria…..”very soon”… use his words.

And the world went batcrap crazy with speculation and of course as with everything that Trump says it had to be walked back…..

“I want to get out—I want to bring our troops back home,” President Trump said, referring to Syria, during a press conference Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the White House announced that US troops will remain in the country, the New York Times reports. Trump had said Tuesday that since “we were very successful against ISIS,” it was “time to come back home.” But in Wednesday’s statement, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that while “the military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed,” the US and its partners “remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated.” A senior administration official tells Reuters that in a National Security Council meeting Tuesday, Trump agreed to keep troops in Syria longer, but not much longer.

The Washington Post, also citing a senior administration official, reports that on Tuesday Trump instructed military leaders to get ready to pull troops from Syria, though a timetable was not set; NBC News also cites a senior official who said Trump only “reluctantly” agreed to let troops remain for now. Reuters’ unnamed official predicted troops would only stay for a year or less. In the Times’ view, it seems that Trump’s top military advisers have convinced him that keeping the 2,000 American forces still in Syria is integral to ensuring ISIS doesn’t regain its foothold there. But the Post takes a slightly different tack, reporting that it appears Trump is still determined not to leave the ongoing military presence in Syria that top military advisers think is necessary. Trump surprised his advisers last week with a public statement that US troops would leave Syria “like, very soon,” and during the Tuesday news conference, he said that he recently told King Salman of Saudi Arabia that if the king wanted US troops “to stay, maybe you’re going to have to pay.”

The message is mixed…..are we in or out?

It is said that Trump is displeased with the message he is getting from his war planners… in or out?

The commander-in-chief and his national security team are sending mixed signals on U.S. policy in Syria. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said: “The primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS. We’ve almost completed that mission, and we’ll be making a decision very quickly, in coordination with others in the area, as to what we’ll do…I want to get out, I want to bring our troops back home.”

However, at almost the same time on Tuesday, senior U.S. officials speaking at the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington reiterated the U.S. commitment to the military mission against ISIS in Syria. “We are in Syria to defeat ISIS. That is our mission and our mission isn’t over and we are going to complete that mission,” said Brett McGurk, U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

We reached out to a number of our experts with deep experience in Syria and the surrounding region to understand what’s at stake if the U.S. decided to withdraw militarily from Syria. Their thoughts are adapted for print below:

I was skeptical when I heard his original statement and nothing has changed that would have me believe that Syria is over soon…..not happening….not on the books by the M-IC.