Closing Thought–27Apr18

Most everyone knows about the so-called “Islamic Extremists” that are causing most of the violent attacks in this world.

Salafi brand of Islam is one of the beliefs these killers hold on to and now one country is trying to slove that problem……

Kazakhstan’s newly created Ministry of Religious Issues and Civil Society says it is taking steps to ban the Salafi branch of Islam in the country.

Minister Nurlan Ermekbaev said on October 14 in Astana that Salafism “poses a destructive threat to Kazakhstan” and his ministry was working on steps to legally ban it.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has said that a series of deadly attacks in June in the northwestern city of Aqtobe were carried out by Salafists.

The Salafi branch of Islam has been branded as extremist and banned in some former Soviet republics.

Salafists follow a strict form of Sunni Islam and do not recognize other branches of Islam, such as Shi’ism and Sufism.

The majority of Muslims in Central Asia are followers of Hanafi, a more moderate branch of Sunni Islam.

(Radio Free Europe)

That could control the violence in the Central Asian country….however I find it a bad thing when religion is banned…..I can see both sides of this…..but since the country of Saudi Arabia is the originator of this brand of Islam maybe there is where the program to eliminate the problem should begin…..

Plus the countries around this nation are all Islam as a majority….so any hardships and the bad guys will slink across a border and regroup and return to do whatever damage they were thinking of committing.  So the ban may be ineffective as stopping the salafists.

Just a thought.


Pompeo: More War Could Be Coming

For antiwar wonks like myself yesterday was a dark day for the chances of less war and stress on our troops….Trump’s choice for a replacement for Tillerson has skated through the nomination….

The Rex Tillerson era is officially over. The Senate on Thursday confirmed Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state by a vote of 57-42, reports the AP. The confirmation of Pompeo, who is leaving his job as director of the CIA for the new position, had been in jeopardy before Rand Paul’s last-minute switch in favor allowed him to clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week. Still, Thursday’s Senate vote is one of the slimmest margins for the job in recent history.

Every past nominee since at least the Carter administration has received 85 or more yes votes, with the exception of Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. He got 56 yes votes. Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, is expected to be sworn in almost immediately so he can begin serving as top diplomat. Pompeo has been deeply engaged in the administration’s efforts on North Korea and recently traveled to Pyongyang.

A big mistake has been made by the Congress and especially those cowardly Dems that voted to confirm…..

With the help of six Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), the Senate on Thursday helped President Donald Trump move one step closer to completing his war cabinet by confirming the ultra-hawkish torture supporter Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State by a vote of 57-42.

“The Senate has made a mistake of historic proportions by rubber-stamping Donald Trump’s war cabinet,” Jamal Abdi, executive director of NIAC Action, said in a statement following Thursday’s vote. “The U.S. appears headed towards a catastrophic exit from the Iran deal in spite of the pleas of our closest allies and Mike Pompeo will only encourage Trump off the brink.”

This can only mean a return to the good old days of nation building bullshit and the possibility for a war with Iran…. Pompo’s big wish when in Congress.

But who the Hell cares?  Americans are too busy sucking up to the pig in the poke and worrying about the newest diet to ever care about our troops or the safety of the world.

Hands Across The DMZ

We have the possibility for a Nobel Prize in the making here….North and South Korea met at the DMZ and history was made……

With a single step over a weathered, cracked slab of concrete, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history Friday by crossing over the world’s most heavily armed border to greet his rival, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, for talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim then invited Moon to cross briefly north with him before they returned to the southern side. Moon grasped Kim’s hand and led him along a blindingly red carpet into South Korean territory, where school children placed flowers around their necks and an honor guard stood at attention for inspection, per the AP. Beyond the surface, however, it’s still not clear whether the leaders can make any progress in closed-door talks on the nuclear issue, which has bedeviled US and South Korean officials for decades.

Kim’s news agency said that the leader would “open-heartedly” discuss with Moon “all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity, and reunification of the Korean peninsula” in a “historic” summit. It’s the first time one of the ruling Kim leaders has crossed over to the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone since the Korean War ended (though not officially) in 1953. Nuclear weapons will top the agenda, and Friday’s summit will be the clearest sign yet of whether it’s possible to peacefully negotiate those weapons away from a country that has spent decades doggedly building its bombs despite crippling sanctions and near-constant international opprobrium.

After all the tough talk about nukes a proposal has bee-n made about those nukes…..

The leaders also pledged to work for “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula and to reunify families divided by the war. “I hope this will be an opportunity for the two Korean peoples to move freely from North to South,” Kim said. “We need to take responsibility for our own history.”

The leaders pledged to make the DMZ a “peace zone” and to cease the broadcasting of propaganda across the zone by May 1. Military talks will be held next month to discuss reducing tensions, reports the AP, which notes that the declaration did not outline any concrete steps toward denuclearization. A South Korean official tells Reuters that Kim jokingly apologized to Moon for waking him up with missile tests and issued an invitation to visit Pyongyang later this year, which the South Korean leader accepted. In a tweet early Friday, President Trump, who is expected to meet Kim by early June, praised the “historic meeting,” adding: “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!”

Amazing turn of events and I am waiting for the Trump mind to start taking credit for all this….so far the Twitter thumbs have not been active on this event….but it is early….if anyone could piss up this it would be Trump.

Rwanda–24 Years Later

24 years ago the world turned its back on the African nation of Rwanda and the humanitarian crisis that ensued…..

Pres, Clinton was the typical coward and turned a blind eye to the events unfolding in Rwanda…..I wrote about this on the 20th anniversary of the crisis…..

I relive this event because of something that has happened in Rwanda…..

Mass graves that authorities say could contain more than 2,000 bodies have been discovered in Rwanda nearly a quarter-century after the country’s genocide, and further graves are being sought nearby. The new discovery is being called the most significant in a long time in this East African nation that is still recovering from the 1994 killings of more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate ethnic Hutus. Some Rwandans are shocked and dismayed that residents of the community outside the capital, Kigali, where the mass graves were found kept quiet about them for so many years. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people are thought to be buried in the graves based on the number of area residents who went missing during the genocide, Rashid Rwigamba, an official with the genocide survivors’ organization Ibuka, tells the AP.

The information leading to the discovery came from a local landlord who at first refused to answer questions about the suspected mass graves until threatened with arrest, Rwigamba says. The landlord was later arrested, suspected of taking part in the killings and accused of knowing where people had been buried all along, he adds. Houses and toilets that had been built on top of the graves have been destroyed to make way for the search. “The exercise is ongoing and we have identified another house we suspect was built on a piece of land where victims were buried,” Rwigamba says. Bodies found so far include those of babies, based on the clothing that has been found. During the genocide, a roadblock manned by Hutu militias was established meters away from the sites of the mass graves, survivors tell the AP.

This is a chapter of American foreign policy that we had rather forget but some of us do not want us to forget the death of thousands that we could have helped and possibly prevented.

America talks a good game about human suffering but we do as little as possible to alleviate it….this is typical American foreign policy and it is about to get worse.

What Of Syria? (Updated)(Again)

Many of us foreign policy wonks have been asking some serious questions for years now.  What is our intent in Syria?  Can someone actually define our goals for Syria? Many other questions too numerous to list but those are the two most important questions that need answering.

After all do we want another extended war like Afghanistan?

This is an article that was first published in neocon paper, National Interests”……I say that because I do not agree with the praise on Pres. Trump but there are other parts that hold some validity ….at least with me…..

Give credit to Donald Trump for a moral clarity that eluded his predecessor about the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians. The president stood by his word and didn’t tolerate the Syrian dictator’s use of weapons of mass destruction. But while the recent strike on Syria was important and necessary—it was far from sufficient. The consolidation of Iranian and Russian military bases there is disastrous for the security of the U.S. and its allies. And the ongoing conflict, which Assad will not end anytime soon, fuels the global jihadi movement more than any other single factor.

It pays to review the origins of the conflict: In the full winds of the Arab Spring, the people of Syria stood up against one of the most brutal and oppressive Arab dictatorships with peaceful demonstrations. The Assad regime, however, chose a course of violence, suspecting rightly that without a decisive response it might go the way of Muammar el-Qaddafi’s rule in Libya. In the ensuing civil war, outside sponsors and Salafi-jihadi groups made their way to the Syrian battleground. Assad himself, deliberately fueled the increase of jihadists in order to discredit the entire rebellion and hold the West hostage to his own survival. He released Al Qaeda members from Syrian prison and replaced them with peaceful protestors.

I am waiting for someone in the government to step forward and give a full explanation of what of Syria.

The Brookings Institute has weigh in also……

Help local allies in Syria hold their ground.  As Crocker and I argue, this objective may require small deployments of U.S. forces to certain sectors of the country—for specific purposes like being able to call in airstrikes if partners are threatened, or protecting aid workers who are helping reconstruct these areas so refugees can start to return.

and more……

This leans kinda heavy on the neocon side….but at least it is some sort plan that we have been waiting for…..

After a quick bit of pulling out of Syria Trump has done what he does best……obfuscate.

(this is the updated part)

Just a month after another brief public flirtation with the idea of withdrawing from Syria, President Trump once again said he wants US troops out of Syria, promising “big decisions” very soon. His first talk of a pullout was scrapped days later. This time, he backtracked almost instantly.

With French President Emmanuel Macron in tow, Trump told reporters that he and his allies are taking a long-term approach to Syria, and that this would involve leaving “a strong and lasting footprint” within Syria. He said talk of the long-term issues in Syria was “a very big part” of his discussions with Macron.

The idea that Macron is driving Trump’s decision-making was a big issue last week. Macron claimed credit for Trump agreeing to stay in Syria, but quickly reversed course, and insisted the two had always agreed on the issue.

I am sure that our war weary troops will be glad for the promise of more and more danger.

And I wait…….and we wait……

Another update……

 In recent weeks the American public has been inundated with reports claiming the U.S., the U.K., and France have conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reportedly used chemical weapons against his own people. Most of the American, British, and French media have lined up behind the proclamations of their respective political leaders by declaring as fact that the Assad regime is responsible for alleged chemical attacks as far back as 2013. The most recent attack is alleged to have taken place earlier this month in Douma, Syria.

Stay tuned I am sure there is more to come…..chuq