Closing Thought–02Oct18

Where have all the terrorist attacks gone….we hear about some sort of attack in the major combat areas like Afghanistan and Syria and Iraq….but what about the worldwide terrorists networks and its attacks on the Western countries?

Does the lack of news about these attacks mean that we are winning this so-called war?

First, no were are not winning a war on a tactic….the terrorists are still waiting for that perfect time for the next attack…..like maybe in the Nederlands?

Dutch police on Thursday foiled what it described as an attempt to commit a major terrorist attack with AK 47 machine guns, grenades and a car bomb.

Officers arrested seven suspects, aged between 21 and 34, who planned to attack an event with guns and grenades, and detonate the car bomb in a different location.

Dutch prosecutors were tipped off by intelligence services who said the ringleader wanted to hit “a large event in the Netherlands where there would be a lot of victims”.

Counter-terror authorities said: “In the Netherlands, jihadist networks operate with the intention of planning attacks in Europe. These arrests must be seen in that light.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/27/dutch-police-foil-major-terror-plot-raids/

Remember a couple of years ago when the media and just about every blog was taunting this tale of that about the coming apocalypse thanx to terrorists and their attacks…..and now these same blogs are wall to wall judge stories and posts…..it illustrates just how small the minds have become.

Just because the media chooses not to report on these things does not mean that this war (on Terror) is in the waning days…….and because it happened in Europe does not make it any less important…..regardless what some would like to believe.

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The Year Was 1791

1791 was a busy year in American history…..the beginnings of the Whiskey Rebellion and the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

First let’s go to the Whiskey Rebellion……only a few short years after the end of the Revolution and we are at it again……

What started as a tax in 1791 led to the Western Insurrection, or better known as the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, when protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting.

On March 3, 1791, Congress instituted a tax on distilled liquors to help pay off the debt from the American Revolution. Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton had initiated a program to increase central government power, and the tax was to fund his policy of assuming war debt of those states who failed to pay.

During this time the western part of Pennsylvania was separated from the east by the Allegheny Mountains.  Farmers, the majority of the population, found there was a limited market for their grain locally, and it was difficult to transport the grain to the east for sale. So instead, farmers converted their grain to whiskey, which made it easier to transport and more marketable.

https://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-whiskeyrebellion/

For those pressed for time or just plain lazy……

Now in my opinion this “rebellion” was part of the reason for the 2nd amendment….you know the amendment that cause people to go blind with rage.

About 5 years ago I wrote my thoughts about the 2nd amendment and why it was included in the Bill of Rights…….(again these were my thoughts)

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/30/why-the-2nd/

It is always a joy for me to share some history with my readers…..hope everyone learned something……

Class Dismissed!

Are There Spines Being Grown?

I have complained many times about the lack of action and yes the lack of a spine by our elected officials when it comes to committing our troops in harm’s way.

They have allowed the president to go to war without any intervention from the Congress that is suppose to be the last word on war.

Their lack of action is driven by elections and not the rule of law….just like so much in our society the rule of law means NOTHING.

So I was surprised when I read of at least two attempts to limit the president’s reach when war is concerned……

A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday under the War Powers Act. If the bill is passed, it would formally end US military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The war in Yemen was never authorized by Congress, and US participation has become increasingly controversial, as Saudi airstrikes kill staggering numbers of civilians. This has led to growing resistance within Congress, though Congressional leadership has often sought ways to circumvent the votes.

Last year, the House offered a very similar War Powers Act resolution. Such resolutions are legally required to come up for a vote, though the leadership managed to block that one, and bargain their way down to a non-binding resolution.

Indeed, that bill and a Senate version came with the Pentagon claiming there were no US ground operations in Yemen involved in the war, a claim which later proved to be a lie. That in particlar has added calls for a re-vote.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), the lead sponsor, says he is confident that the new version of the bill won’t suffer the same fate, noting that support for the bill has expanded since then.

The support for ending the war both reflects incidents like the Saudi attack on a school bus in August, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s overt circumvention of the 2019 NDAA clause which obliged the US to halt aid to the Saudis until they did more to reduce casualties. Pompeo immediately declared they’d done enough, though the death toll has continued to rise.

(antiwar.com)

And the second attempt concerns a possible attack on Iran……..

With National Security Adviser John Bolton threatening to “come after” Iran this week and President Donald Trump accusing the country of sowing “chaos, death, and destruction,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was joined Wednesday by several other members of the Democratic caucus in urging Congress to ensure that the U.S. avoids yet another prolonged war by passing legislation affirming that a preemptive attack on the country would be illegal.

The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) signed on as co-sponsors.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/27/avoid-repeating-catastrophic-mistake-iraq-invasion-senate-bill-would-forbid-attack

These attempts may not meet with success but at least someone is trying to break the cycle of endless interventions that recent presidents have put this country in….we can only hope that sanity will soon return.

Could the election results in 2018 play into this narrative?

Tensions Are High!

While everyone was laser focused on the drama around the Supreme Court….there was an incident in the South China Sea that may be just a fluke or the precursor of things to come……..

A tense encounter unfolded Sunday between US and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea. Per CNN, the American destroyer USS Decatur was aggressively approached by a Chinese warship while conducting what are called freedom of navigation operations in the Spratly Islands. in a statement, Capt. Charles Brown with the US Pacific Fleet said a Chinese Luyang destroyer approached the US vessel in an “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuver. According to CBS News, the Chinese vessel came with 45 yards of the Decatur, a dangerous proximity that forced the Decatur to maneuver away in order to prevent a collision.

The encounter is an extreme example of the recent tense US-China relations in the region. Just last week, China refused a request for the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship, the USS Wasp, to dock in Hong Kong next month. In spite of these and other setbacks, including his own canceled state visit to Beijing, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday that US-China relations are not worsening, per the AP. “There’s tension points in the relationship, but based on discussions coming out of New York last week and other things that we have coming up, we do not see it getting worse,” Mattis told reporters in Paris. “We’ll sort this out.” Back in the Pacific, Capt. Brown affirmed that US forces will continue to operate “anywhere international law allows.”

Is this an accident or is it something to do with our trade war with China?

Does anyone remember Tonkin incident?

WE should have known something was up…..

Defense Secretary James Mattis is downplaying the mounting tensions between the US and China, saying he doesn’t expect ties to worsen any further. The signs are, however, that the situation is still getting worse.

On Monday, China announced that they are cancelling the annual high-ranking US-China security meeting in Beijing. This was supposed to see Mattis meeting top Chinese military officers, but Mattis’ visit has been cancelled.

(antiwar.com)

Denuclearization–Here And Now

Back in June Our Dear Leader met with Kim of North Korea and after a couple of hours we were told of the deal and desire to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

But first let’s tell everyone what the Hell the term means and to make it easier we have a short vid that will fill in the gaps……

The problem is that the two major parties may be using two different definitions to the term…..

With each passing day, the impending Trump-Kim summit takes another dip toward disaster.

In just a month or so, President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, an unprecedented event of great risk and opportunity. Yet Trump, who leapt at the offer of a meeting with unstudied speed and enthusiasm, shows no signs of deciding what he wants from these talks—and seems unaware of what Kim’s quite clear objectives are.

As has been clear from the moment the subject came up, one obstacle to a successful summit is that both leaders are going into it with conflicting premises. Kim thinks Trump is caving to the reality of a North Korean nuclear arsenal; Trump thinks Kim is caving to the pressure of U.S. sanctions and threats. Both are probably right to some degree, but it’s hard to see how the talks can produce a lasting peace if each man thinks that he has the upper hand at the outset and that, therefore, any deal must be struck on his terms.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/trump-and-north-korea-are-using-different-definitions-of-denuclearization.html

It seems that the denucleariztion is not as important as it was in a speech given by Trump in June of this year.

In the latest twist in Donald Trump’s shifting strategy on North Korea, the U.S. president on Wednesday backed off a set timetable for Pyongyang to denuclearize, ahead of a planned visit next month to the North Korean capital by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“I think we’re really going to do something that’s going to be very important, but we’re not playing the time game” with North Korea, Trump said during a televised news conference in New York. “If it takes two years, three years or five months — doesn’t matter.”

Trump’s comments marked a stark contrast with a claim a week ago by Pompeo, who said that negotiations would lead to the “rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021,” before the end of Trump’s first term.

The administration had earlier given the North a one-year deadline to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/09/27/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/trump-backs-off-timetable-north-korean-denuclearization-top-u-s-diplomat-announces-trip-pyongyang-next-month/#.W60GSPm1uM8

I have been watching this for awhile and do not see any progress….of course I am not privy to  the totality of the negotiations….but as far as I can see it is not going as planned.

Does anyone really think Kim will go it alone?

Speaking at the UN on Saturday, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho warns that North Korea has taken significant goodwill measures toward disarmament in the past year, but does not see any corresponding moves by the US. That’s fueling mistrust.

That’s a problem, and Ri warns that there is no way North Korea is going to go through the entire disarmament process unilaterally without any trust in reciprocation. In particular, he warned there was concern about the US resistance to a phased process.

The US is not only resisting any efforts to offer any reciprocal goodwill efforts, and publicly saying they’ll do nothing until North Korea totally completes denuclearization. They are also pushing for increasing sanctions against North Korea, while other nations seek UN sanctions relief.

US officials argue that the sanctions are what got the process going in the first place, and more sanctions mean more progress. North Korean officials, however, are increasingly seeing this as not a give-and-take diplomatic effort, but just the US issuing increasing demands and giving nothing in return.

(antiwar.com)

Over the months the two, Kim and Trump, have fallen in love.  (Trump’s words not mine)