Closing Thought–10Apr18

As we prepare for yet another massive strike in Syria……

It is no secret that I am against the massive use of drones that the USA has come to depend on…….I was against is use by Bush and then Obama and since Trump has taken office he has stepped up the use of these killers.  My objection is that the US is killing more civilians with drones than terrorists.

I read a report that Trump is upset with our drones attacks….why you may ask……

On the 2016 campaign trail, President Donald J. Trump famously stated he would not only bomb the sh*t out of ISIS’ oil fields but that he would also kill the terrorists’ families.

“We’re fighting a very politically correct war,” Trump said at the time. “And the other thing with the terrorists — you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families! They care about their lives, don’t kid yourselves. They say they don’t care about their lives. But you have to take out their families.”

His original statement made me dislike this person from the get go…..there is NO excuse for deliberately targeting and/or killing civilians.

Days done….Peace Out…..chuq


The Sins Of Social Media

The Zuck-meister is testifying before Congress….he will be apologetic hoping that it will ward off any action by Congress….protect the cash, screw the user.

With the latest news of the use of Facebook’s members info has led to a new and fresh look at social media….new warnings, new worries, new possibilities……

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data exploitation crisis seems to be waking up a new wave of Americans to the fundamental downsides of our purposeful addiction to social media providers. Russia’s information war, designed to foment domestic unrest, exposed more of us to the reality of online manipulation, but many viewed this as a willful attack by an outsider, not reflective of a base problem with the social media platform business model.

This week’s outing of how and why Cambridge Analytica extracted vital, personal information on more than 50 million Americans for political reasons amplifies how dangerous the fundamental business model is to our national cohesion.

Do you remember the Dark Ages?

That historic age when all progress stopped and the world went into a period of ignorance……could this new info about what is going on with social media could it be leading us into a new form of the Dark Ages?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is the latest in a series of incidents that, taken together, have contributed to a rising sense of alarm over the effects of social media — on human behaviour, on civil discourse, on democratic politics. A growing number of commentators have concluded that social media — shorthand for Facebook, Twitter and Google — are more a force for harm than good, whether in their own lives or society at large.

Certainly the effects are not trivial. Whether or not you think the more underhanded uses of social media — fake news, Russian bots, or the exploitation of improperly obtained personal data to compile detailed psychological profiles of tens of millions of voters — decided the course of the last U.S. presidential election, they plainly were of some importance, or those responsible would not have gone to such lengths to deploy them.

Andrew Coyne: The pessimists might be right, social media may have plunged us into a new dark age

Just a few thoughts in the aftermath of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco……

Beware of social media….best advice that I can give.

Trust No One But Yourself!

Syria–The Clock Is Ticking

The news came down that Syria has once again used chemical weapons on its citizens….about  year ago trump had to make a similar decision…..(read about it here)….

This should have been the lead because of the raid on Trump’s lawyer’s office……at this point….who cares?  We are about to attack a sovereign nation and possibly kill Russians or Iranians or Syrians and we are focused on some damn lawyer thing.

On Monday the president said that he would decide the response to the chem attack……..

President Trump on Monday said he would decide how to respond to a suspected chemical attack in Syria within 48 hours, reports the Hill. Trump had previously condemned the “animal Assad” by tweet over the civilian deaths, but he addressed the matter in person Monday with reporters. “It was atrocious. It was horrible,” said the president. “This is about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen.” Trump said he’d be meeting with his national security team—including new national security adviser John Bolton, who starts Monday—to figure out the next steps. “If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out,” he said.

Earlier Monday, defense chief Jim Mattis also called out Russia, reports USA Today. “The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons,” he said. “And so, working with our allies and our partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue.” The White House has asked the UN Security Council to launch an independent inquiry into the attack. (The US military hit a Syrian air force base last year, and one big question is whether Trump will be more aggressive this time.)

There is a familiar timeline on this situation….you may check it out here……

An alleged new ‘chemical incident’ in Syria reminds of a similar series of events we saw last year. We are told to believe that each time the U.S. pulls back from the war on Syria the Syrian government is responding with a ‘chemical attack’ that pulls the U.S. back in.

Trump was very vocal on how he  feels about these attacks on children…….and yet wants to know why we cannot killed the families of alleged terrorists with drone strikes…..

Trump has said “this is about humanity and we cannot let this go on”…….what about Yemen?  What about the deaths in Palestine?  Where does he draw the line on humanity?

Do not forget the babble that comes out of Nikki Haley’s mouth…..she is the consummate hypocrite….her fake outrage does NO one any good…..her idle words fall on deaf ears…..

We will see how many people the US action will cost….will it be note worthy?

What Of The Balkans?

I spend a lot of time doing research on international situations……I usually concentrate my time on the affairs in the Middle East but from time to time I see a problem in the world that needs attention…..and this time it is the Balkans.

I have written a couple of post about the Balkans….listed below in case that wee missed….

This region is once again making the rounds in think tanks…..

  • The confluence of a rising series of pressures in the Balkans, as well as the attention of Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev – who has taken on the region as a special responsibility – suggests 2018 will see the launch of a renewed Russian campaign in the Balkans.
  • Russia looks to the Balkans as a battlefield in its “political war”, in part to compensate for its mixed success with “active measures” in Europe. Russia is seeking to create distractions and potentially bargaining chips with the EU, especially as this push coincides with the EU’s own renewed attention to the region.
  • The aim is not to assert authority over the region for its own sake so much as to harness and magnify existing tensions. In Russian eyes, the EU’s approach towards the Western Balkans is neither serious or systematic and so offers Moscow opportunities to create leverage.

The Balkans are too confusing… many different countries with so many different agendas… there any way to make sense of the Balkans?

What might qualify in Germany or the United States as “political instability” would be seen as business as usual in the Balkans, where insecurity and political violence are all too common. Consider the following two examples. In Montenegro, NATO’s newest member, two car bombs exploded in the past seven days and a major protest against violence is being planned by a Western-funded nongovernmental organization for the weekend. In Kosovo, just days after Kosovar forces arrested and deported a Serbian government official, the prime minister fired his interior minister and his intelligence chief for deporting six Turks accused of being involved in the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for the 2016 attempted coup, without his approval. (The Kosovar president has refused to accept the dismissal of the intelligence chief, and he remains in his post.) In other parts of the world, events like these might attract attention. But in the Balkans, they barely raise eyebrows.

These are a few articles and/or white papers from a few think tanks….the US needs to worry for we have NO diplomatic corps to speak of and that does not bode well for a calming effect on the region.