Closing Thought–10Jul18

Since 2010 I have been leery of the Tea Party and especially their so-called caucus in Congress, the Freedom Caucus……ever noticed the more extremist the group the more patriotic their names are?

Any way one of their “leaders’ is Rep. Jordan of Ohio and he is having his problems with the time before his Congressional days….

A team doctor who allegedly molested athletes; coaches who reportedly knew but turned a blind eye. It’s not the story of Michigan State University and Larry Nassar but that of Ohio State—and the allegations are touching a “powerful” Republican congressman. NBC News on Tuesday reported on claims from three former wrestlers who say the late Dr. Richard Strauss molested players during his tenure with the team from the mid-’70s to late ’90s—and that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the team’s assistant wrestling coach for the 1986 to 1994 period, knew. Jordan denied being aware of the abuse claims several months ago (the university said in April it was investigating) and repeated that denial Tuesday. But those NBC News spoke with say that just isn’t so. More:

  • Former wrestler Dunyasha Yetts says he went straight to Jordan after Strauss began to remove his wrestling shorts when he sought help for a thumb injury. He said Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson spoke with Strauss, who the New York Times reports committed suicide in 2005. Yetts says it was far from the only discussion players had with Jordan, and that it was commonly known Strauss showered with players though he didn’t work out.
  • Mike DiSabato, another player who spoke with NBC News, got detailed in an interview with CNN: “I never saw Doc Strauss … where he didn’t ask me to—where I went to see him for medicine or whatever, finger injury, shoulder, knee—where he did not want to examine my testicles. He groped. Every time. If you wanted your meds, if you wanted to stay healthy … so that you could stay on scholarship, you grinned and beared it, so to speak.”
  • CNN says male members from 14 of the university’s sports teams—among them baseball, fencing, football, swimming, and track—have levied allegations against Strauss per Ohio State. Some 150 people have been interviewed as part of the probe.
  • What a rep for Jordan had to say after NBC News published its article: “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State. He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask because, if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”
  • The Columbus Dispatch quotes a written statement from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur attorney Kathleen Trafford as saying Jordan was contacted by phone and email but did not respond to the interview requests. Jordan’s rep countered this, demanding “that they send us the supposed communication” and noting Jordan remains “willing to assist.”

The Times gives context to Jordan’s position in the House, describing the Freedom Caucus member as being floated as a potential successor to Paul Ryan as speaker. Though the Times sees that outcome as “unlikely,” it believes he’ll exert influence over the selection.

Of course he is denying an knowledge of the abuse….as we would expect……I say if guilty he needs to be a BBQ…..and as we would expect he is blaming his enemies and the media for his problems…..let the case go where it must…..

While writing this draft more news on the Jordan front has come to light…..

The number of Ohio State wrestlers who’ve come forward to say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abuse at the hands of their team doctor is rising, despite Jordan’s adamant denials. After an initial report on three former wrestlers, NBC News interviews a fourth accuser, Shawn Dailey, who says he was groped several times by Dr. Richard Strauss in the mid-’90s, when Jordan was the team’s assistant coach. “It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down,” Dailey, now 43, says, adding he never approached Jordan about his own abuse but took part in locker room discussions about Strauss with Jordan. Dailey specifically backs up the account of former teammate Dunyasha Yetts, saying Jordan’s reply to Yetts after Yetts complained about Strauss was: “If he tried that with me, I would kill him.”

Dailey notes he’s a Republican, like Jordan, whom he calls a “close friend” and “good guy” whose campaign he donated to in 1994. Still, “what happened drove me out of the sport,” he says. “So I was surprised to hear Jim say that he knew nothing about it. … That’s kind of hurtful.” Former UFC champ Mark Coleman also speaks out, telling the Wall Street Journal “there’s no way unless [Jordan’s] got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State. … I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.” Meanwhile, President Trump has weighed in, telling reporters Thursday that he believes Jordan “100%, no question in my mind.” “Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington,” Trump said, adding he doesn’t believe the allegations against him “at all.”

Of course the president will not believe the allegations…Jordan is his butt boy in the House with Nunes……birds of a feather sort of thing.

No secret that I would like to see Rep. Jordan run out of Washington….but not like this…..I prefer that he be beat at the polls.

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Say “Adios” To NATO?

It is no secret that Trump does not like NATO in the least…..he is due in Europe to meet with NATO countries and he has sent a letter to a few of them asking for cash……

President Trump heads to Belgium next week for a NATO summit, and he has set the tone in advance with what the New York Times calls “sharply worded” letters to leaders of other member nations. The gist: Trump asserts that they’re not paying their fair share for defense, adding that the US is tired of picking up the slack and might rethink its role in alliance. Deutsche Welle reports that Trump sent letters to at least eight leaders, but the Times says it could be a dozen. It quotes from a particularly pointed one to Germany’s Angela Merkel. “The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound,” he writes. “This is no longer sustainable for us.”

Trump adds that it will “become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded.” Trump has long made clear he dislikes NATO, though he previously reversed his position that it was “obsolete.” Specifically, the US asserts that other nations are not meeting a commitment to devote 2% of their GDP to national defense, reports CNN. Belgian leader Charles Michel says he is “not very impressed” with Trump’s letter, and the Times collects a quote from a former Pentagon official: “Trump still seems to think that NATO is like a club that you owe dues to, or some sort of protection racket where the US is doing all the work protecting all these deadbeat Europeans.”

Speaking of letters an ambassador has sent a letter of resignation….

The United States embassy in Estonia has a brand new opening at the top, and the now-former ambassador, James Melville, went out swinging at President Trump, reports the Washington Post. “The honorable course is to resign,” Melville wrote Friday on Facebook. “For the President to say the [European Union] was ‘set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank,’ or that ‘NATO is as bad as NAFTA’ is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it’s time to go.” Estonia, the Post notes, sits on the Russian border, and Melville’s resignation comes as Trump indicates he’s rethinking NATO protections for such countries and ahead of his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Having served under six presidents and 11 secretaries of state, I never really thought it would reach that point for me,” Melville wrote.

Trump seems to forget that many of the NATO nations when asked came to the assistance of the US in a wide array of scenarios…..from Afghanistan to Iraq to African problems……..where will these allies be when asked in a time of need?

Further Reading:

True, the Trump administration continues to emit a range of conflicting signals about alliances. Within the pages of the National Security Strategy (PDF) and the unclassified summary of the National Defense Strategy (PDF)—the formal documents underpinning declaratory strategy—allies are seen as positive contributors to U.S. security. Yes, the documents continue to expound Trump’s point about the need for allies to carry more of the weight. See, for example, page 28 of the NSS: ‘We need our allies … to modernize, acquire necessary capabilities, improve readiness, expand the size of their forces, and affirm the political will to win.’

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/03/a_post-alliance_us_113577.html

Putin will play a game and will offer to give some concessions…..

 A senior Kremlin official tells Bloomberg that Vladimir Putin is preparing to offer significant concessions to President Trump at their July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland in the hopes of beginning to repair strained relations between Russia and the United States. Chief among them, according to the official, is a discussion on Iran’s role in Syria – an issue that Moscow is simultaneously coordinating with Tehran.

http://theantimedia.com/putin-prepares-major-concessions-trump-summit/

If Trump weakens NATO how would Russia test its strength?

At Poland’s northeast border there’s only a narrow strip of inland border connecting it to NATO members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It’s called the Suwalki Corridor and it has long been an object of concern for Western military leaders.

To the west sits a unique spot Russian territory, the exclave of Kaliningrad, a key military port on the Baltic Sea. To the east is Belarus, a key Russian military ally. On the eve of this week’s NATO Summit, the former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe is issuing a new warning: cutting off that corridor could be how Russian President Vladimir Putin cuts off the Baltic states from the rest of NATO, possibly without firing a shot.

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/20/18/07/how-russia-could-test-nato-warns-former-us-army-europe-commander/149530/

The meetings to come will test the alliances that the US has depended on for decades….will they be there when needed again?

There is so much more and I will revisit this subject soon…..and report on “what is what” (love that saying)……

Oops! Well That Sucked!

History is a fun subject…we get to look into the lives of our ancestors…..I do a lot of reading and I have found some blunders, military blunders that few of us realize.

Take Russia…there were two separate invasions that were just amazing and each one was beaten by those famous Russian generals…..General January and General February…..

I would like to teach my reader about the 10 most amazing military blunders in history…..

Throughout history, battles have been lost to bad weather, insufficient weaponry and bad luck. But what about those for which poor judgment and shoddy planning are to blame? From the French troops led to their death at Agincourt, to Hitler’s lost army of 330,000 men at Stalingrad, historian Rupert Matthews rounds up 10 of the worst military mistakes in history…

Any fool can lose a battle. All you need to have is a weaker army than your opponent. What takes a special talent is to lose a battle when you start off with all the advantages in your own hands.

Some commanders have managed to throw away the power of greater numbers, strong positions and superior weaponry with blunders of such awesome scale that they have ended up losing a battle that, logically, they should have won with ease. Here are the most impressive military blunders in history…

https://www.historyextra.com/period/medieval/worst-military-blunders-battles-mistakes-history/

Like I said Oops!  That just sucked!

Diplo-speak

Diplo-speak is what diplomats do when they talk to the press or the public…..makes perfect sense to them but after thought tells them to stop speaking.

Take North Korea….at one point Pompeo and others said that NK should follow the example of Libya or the “Libya Model”…they meant that the leader gave up his nukes and was met with a warm embrace by the West.  The problem was that also lead to the civil war and the death of their leader.

Now Pompeo after his latest round of talks in NK has said that NK should follow the “Vietnam Model”……Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now suggesting another example in Vietnam.

After the end of the Vietnam War, the US and Vietnam ultimately had a successful rapprochement, and now have close ties.

This could be an appealing model for North Korea to follow, as it would suggest both the end of the war, something North Korea has long sought in the Korean War, which began in 1950, and a rapprochement with close trade ties.

But will South Korea sign on to the “Vietnam Model”….if one recalls North Vietnam invaded the South and took control of the country and turned it communist.

Maybe Pompeo should just stop trying to find a “Model” to sell NK….just hold talks and work to eliminating the nukes and stop trying to sell the idea…..

I think it is great that the two countries are talking……now the diplomats need to stop running to a mic and trying to be cute……

Niger–Update

Back in October 2017 when I was in the hospital a story came to my attention about the deaths of US Special Ops troopers in the West African nation of Niger.

Of course I had to write a post about the deaths for not many Americans even knew we were fighting and dying in Niger.

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/30/niger-wtf/

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/deaths-in-niger-update/

There has been further news developing in Niger…..it seems that the locals do not want us to be there fighting…..

In an interview with the Guardian, Nigerien President Mahamidou Issoufou said that he does not want US or other foreign troops fighting on the ground in Niger, and that such troops should limit their actions to training and intelligence-gathering.

Issoufou discussed the ongoing war on terror in western Africa’s Sahel, saying it will take years to finish, comparing it to the Syria and Iraq fight. He said foreign allies should do more to help the local militaries in the region fight for themselves.

The US has a substantial number of troops in Niger, a fact revealed after troops were ambushed last year and four were killed. The US also built a large drone base in Niger, despite substantial opposition within Niger to the US presence.

(antiwar.com)

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/03/us-niger-drone-base/

The US once again does what it wants in other countries….maybe a better plan would be to get local confirmation that we are at least wanted before he insert our troops into these countries.