Closing Thought–16May18

Most other countries in the world has a wide array of candidates in their elections we here in the US usually have 2 major candidates a couple 3rd party ones ……2018 is the mid-term elections here and this time we have a wide array ourselves….we have right wingers, neo-nazis and a bunch of criminals….

How did the Republican Party — once known as the party of “law and order” — become a party that could provide space for lawbreakers and extremists, thugs and criminals, hoodlums and hate groups? This astonishing transformation can only be attributed to the presidency of Donald Trump, whose words during the 2016 campaign and during his term in the White House helped make America safe for extremists.

White supremacists, Infowars conspiracy theorists and convicted criminals are running, some as viable candidates, on the GOP ticket on the state and federal level, something which would have been unheard of only a few years ago.

Such individuals are not barred from putting their hat in the ring and aspiring for elected office, but it is remarkable that party leaders have by and large not shown the backbone to condemn them. But in a way that’s not surprising in a party where extremism and intolerance are mainstream GOP fare, and its standard bearer runs an ethically challenged administration mired in criminal investigations. Trump said he would drain the swamp, but he is the swamp, and he is sending swamp-dwelling creatures to the Senate, Congress and the state house.

https://www.laprogressive.com/extremist-republicans/

The GOP really needs to clean their party up a bit…….

The mid-terms may prove to be quiet entertaining…..

Advertisements

Ken Burns’ Vietnam War

By now most Americans interested have watched Ken Burns’ documentary of the Vietnam War…..I have read many critiques both pro and con….me?  I was there and do not need to be reminded of the stupidity or the insanity…..

But I read a peace in the New Statesman about the film……..

In his own remarks, Mac Owens mentioned an essay by Jim Webb, the decorated Vietnam combat veteran, writer, and former US senator. That essay, “Heroes of the Vietnam Generation,” pairs well with an earlier essay, “Peace? Defeat? What Did the Vietnam War Protesters Want?,” which was also published by the American Enterprise Institute, in 1997. Both are very useful, especially for those who didn’t live through the Vietnam era, for understanding some of that generation’s dynamics.

Webb discusses how it was really the first time in US history when a lot of people argued not going into the military was actually a good thing, and this sentiment has guided how a lot of people look at the Vietnam War. In order to justify not serving in the military at that time, many described the war as unjust, unnecessary, and unwinnable. While I can’t read Ken Burns’ mind, if you look at his documentary The Vietnam War, it certainly seems to support this mentality.

https://providencemag.com/2018/05/ken-burns-omits-vietnam-war/

Of course when Vietnam is mentioned or debated there is always the subject of who won that war…..

To bring with that would nice to know what those asking and answering the question what their definition of winning and losing in war really means.

In order to know whether the U.S. lost the Vietnam war or not, it’s wise to go back and see why the Vietnam war started in the first place. Domino theory or containment was usually used as a  justification for the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The fact is the U.S. failed to stop the spread of Communism throughout Vietnam which led to its spread to Laos and Cambodia in 1975. However, it is arguable that the effects of the war in Korea and Vietnam that the U.S. had involved in did help the rest of South-East Asian countries such as Thailand and Singapore stay free of communism.

Military-wise, the U.S. arguably never lost any major battles. However, it could not stand the constantly increasing loss of American lives and the economic burden the war carried on its people and was eventually forced to leave Vietnam before the war ended. Without its direct support, South Vietnam surrendered to the North Communists and disappeared from the world map not long later.

In short, in the picture of Vietnam, the U.S. failed to defend South Vietnam against the North Communists and probably lost the war politically rather than militarily as Vietnam was far from the war of major battles. In the bigger picture of containment, the U.S. did achieve their initial goals to a certain extent.

https://thevietnamwar.info/who-won-the-vietnam-war/

This is a good piece for those interested in a by-gone war that most Americans had sooner forget

The Nader Speaks

Back in the day when Ralph Nader was running as a 3rd party candidate I accused him of being a media whore.  Why?  Because every time you turned around he was on the TV spouting some crap that few Americans wanted to hear….not saying that I disagreed with him just he was everywhere…..today that would be nothing new for it is standard operating procedures for a politico.

Even though I did not think much of his constant natterings I admit that I do agree with some the old dude has had to say about the Democrats…..

If Democrats are wondering why they lost to reality television star Donald Trump and the deeply unpopular GOP in the 2016 elections—and why their advantage in 2018 polling continues to slip—longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader argues the party must stop searching for scapegoats and start fighting for a bold and progressive agenda.

With a rare invitation to appear on cable news, Nader told MSNBC host Ari Melber, Nader said that instead of blaming third party candidates like himself and other external factors for losses that resulted from their own incompetence and inability to articulate an inspiring platform, Democrats must embrace widely popular ideas like Medicare for All and a living wage if they are to oust the “corporate indentured” Republican Party.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/11/ralph-nader-decrepit-democrats-stop-scapegoating-and-embrace-bold-agenda

Like I said…I agree, at least this time…….the Dems are spending too much time and energy scapegoating….and I think all that crap will not turn the lever in their favor come the next elections.

The Art Of The Deal

WE have seen or heard the the president will meet with Kim in Singapore in June to discuss the denuclearzation of the Korean Peninsula….but in light of his, Trump, decision to bow out of the Iran nuke deal what must North Korea be thinking?

Why bow out?  What could the real reason be for the decision……

Donald Trump doesn’t hate the Iran deal because it is a bad deal. He hates it because it is by all accounts a decent deal that has actually been working.

If you doubt this statement, ask yourself: What sensible argument has Trump ever offered to support his opposition to the deal? Sure, he has used his ever-expanding and descriptive vocabulary to call it some grandiose names, but he hasn’t actually explained what is wrong with it.

If the deal is so bad, why would he even want to bother pursuing a deal with North Korea? What deal could he possibly make that wouldn’t involve an arrangement similar to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? (We will turn to this point in a moment).

http://theantimedia.com/why-trump-abandoned-iran-nuclear-deal/

Sounds logical…..

A thought about the Iran Deal……

So, he did it. Trump announced on 8 May that he would reimpose sanctions against Iran. This is a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed by President Obama with Iran, the UK, Germany, France, Russia, the EU and China in 2015. The other signatories may now scramble to do what they can to salvage the deal, but it is likely that Iran will simply turn its back on it.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/middle-east/2018/05/donald-trump-ending-iran-nuclear-deal-outbreak-organised-stupidity

That aside what are the chances that the nuke deal can be saved….not by the US but by the European nations.

A couple of thoughts……

Despite months of E3-US negotiations to avert an unnecessary crisis over the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has declared a hard exit from the nuclear agreement. The decision demonstrates that the US has decided that confrontation with Iran is both necessary and inevitable, regardless of what European allies think. The US administration looks set to increase tensions with Tehran and promote an implosion of Iran’s economy in ways that significantly increase risks of greater military escalation in the Middle East. Moreover, in the coming weeks, United States looks set to lead an economic and political assault on European interests.

The E3 should now acknowledge that its negotiating tactic of accommodation and comprise with Trump has failed. If Europe is to have any influence forthcoming US policy on Iran, European governments should quickly shift tack, unifying behind a more assertive diplomatic strategy aimed at deterring the worst-case scenario of renewed Iranian nuclear program and more instability and violence in a region close to its borders.

http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_after_trump_iran_decision_time_for_europe_to_step_up

A group that I have worked with in the past also has an idea and they think that Europe can fill the void left by the US……

Why does it matter? U.S. withdrawal from the deal might kill it instantly; more uncertainty over the deal’s fate might suffocate it, as opinion in Tehran is turning against it. Iran could cancel the deal; target the U.S. or its Middle East-ern allies; or leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – all exacerbating the regional turmoil.

What should be done? Europe should develop a plan B to keep Iran party to the deal regardless of what the U.S. does on 12 May. This plan should include short- and medium-term measures to build trade with Iran, contingent upon verification of continued Iranian compliance with the deal and additional re-forms.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/185-how-europe-can-save-iran-nuclear-deal

I wish them luck in their endeavor……

But will the talks go forward at all?  Who will be the first to derail these talks?

President Trump is supposed to have a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month—but now North Korea, angry over joint military exercises between the US and South Korea that started Friday, is threatening to cancel it. The Korean Central News Agency called the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and US air forces that are taking place in South Korea over a period of two weeks “an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula,” per Yonhap News. The KCNA said high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday were canceled, per the Hill, and that “the United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.”

The USA just could not stop the muscle flexing…….

Aerial combat drills involving US and South Korean warplanes are riling North Korea, whose state media referred to the exercises as a “provocative military ruckus.” North Korea has responded by postponing some high-level talks with South Korea set for Wednesday in the DMZ.

North Korea’s statement also admonished the US to “undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit.” North Korea submitted a notice to South Korea on the Wednesday postponement, but the US State Department says they’ve received nothing suggesting a change in summit plans.

The Kim-Trump summit has been confirmed for June 12 in Singapore, and US officials say there is no sign that this sudden increase in tensions is in any way putting that in jeopardy. The talks are expected to focus chiefly on denuclearization.

(antiwar.com)

It would be a great day if this deal can be preserved….any deal that minimizes or eliminates nuclear weapons is a good deal….In my book.