Closing Thought–10Oct18

Today let’s talk about Americans in detention internationally.

When Our Dear Leader came to power he made it a point to lambast the countries that held US citizens….Iran, North Korea and most recently Turkey and some preacher being held.

But an American citizen is being held by a so-called ally and yet the US and most notably our leader just shrugs his shoulders and could care less….

Lara Alqasem, who had already been given a student visa and was accepted by Hebrew University, was detained upon arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport last Tuesday. She was ordered deported for her alleged past membership in a student organization that advocates the boycott of Israel.

“Denying entry to foreign students based on political beliefs or ethnic heritage is an attack on academic freedom,” 58 mostly American professors and academics wrote in their petition, expressing dismay at the decision to deport Alqasem and calling on Israeli authorities to reverse their decision.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan suggested that Alqasem could be released, and that he might even “consider” allowing her to visit Israel, if by Wednesday morning she publicly renouncing BDS in general as illegitimate and apologizes for “what she did.”

What she did?  It is not like she shot some Israeli walking on the street…..she chose to protest in a non-violent way…..something Israel CANNOT say in their dealings with Palestinians.

I would expect nothing less from this administration…..they care NOTHING about human rights or the rights of their citizens unless there is a political again from said care.

God forbid that anyone criticize Israel for they are the “Chosen people”……and to that I say BULLSHIT!

Khe Sanh–1968

One of the more notable battles of the Vietnam War is Khe Sanh….there have been documentary after film about this battle….but since that was  50 years ago maybe some do not know what I am talking about…..

The U.S. military presence at Khe Sanh began in 1962, when Army Special Forces built a small camp near the village, located some 14 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam and 6 miles from the Laotian border on Route 9, the principal road from South Vietnam into Laos.

U.S. Marines built a garrison adjacent to the Army camp in 1966. In the fall of 1967, the People’s Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) began to build up its strength in the region, and U.S. officials began to suspect that Khe Sanh would be the target of an attack.

This short video that lets you get a grip on the action taking place….

I bring this to your attention after reading a declassified document about those days …..

The top commander of U.S. military forces in Vietnam readied nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield in the early months of the brutal 1968 battle at Khe Sanh, according to recently declassified documents obtained by the New York Times.

It is so sad that a nuke is their first response to the battle….did anyone consider the American troops in line with that possible nuke strike?

So sad that a nuke was even an option.

War, as French leader Georges Clemenceau famously said, is too important to be left to generals. Generals often see the battlefield in narrow terms, seeking victory at any price, if only to avoid the stain of defeat.

But what price victory if the world ends as a result?

A Price Of War

While I was doing some research for a post on my opinion blog, Gulf South Free Press, I came across an article that shows the cost of conflict and the price of survival for some refugees……

Walk among the plastic tents in one corner of this sprawling, dust-swept desert camp packed with Syrian refugees, and a young woman in a white headscarf signals.

“Come in, you’ll have a good time,” suggests Nada, 19, who escaped from the southern border town of Daraa into Jordan several months ago. Her father, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a traditional red-checkered headscarf, sits outside under the scorching sun, watching silently.

Nada prices her body at $7, negotiable. Her daily income averages $70 a day.

Several tents away, a clean-shaven, tattooed young Syrian man, who says he was a barber back in the city of Idlib, offers his wife. “You can have her all day for $70,” he promises. He says he never imagined he would be selling his own wife, but he needs to send money back to his parents and in-laws in Syria, about $200 a month.

I am not sure that this story is accurate….I find the the “Times” has been known to print some propaganda from time to time…..

My question is what happens to these women when the conflict ends and they try to go home…..will this attempt at survival be used against them?

Please forgive the thought here….but these women are f*cked both physically and literally……this is so sad.

Just something to think about on this day waiting for the next storm to hit land.

A Price To Pay To Criticize The Saudis!

The big international story right now is the possible assassination of a WaPo journalist, Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey…..

Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey by a 15-member team dispatched by Riyadh specifically to murder him, two Turkish officials tell the Washington Post. “It was a preplanned murder,” one says. A third backs up that account. “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul,” the official tells the AP. “We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate.” Khashoggi friend Turan Kislakci told the AP on Sunday that officials told him, “He was killed, make your funeral preparations. We called a few other places, these are lower officials, but they said: ‘We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way.'” Khashoggi was made to “faint,” then dismembered, officials told him.

Khashoggi, who wrote for the Post and often critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was at the consulate to complete paperwork so that he could marry his Turkish fiance. Saudi Arabia, which contends that Khashoggi left the consulate without incident, pushed back on the report, saying that an official at the consulate “expressed doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue.”

Further incidents keep pointing to some sort of wrong doing by the Saudis… film has gone “missing”……

Security camera footage was removed from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Turkish staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared while inside the building, Turkish authorities have claimed.

A week after Khashoggi vanished in the heart of Turkey’s biggest city, details of the investigation into his disappearance continued to point towards Riyadh having ordered Khashoggi’s seizure.

At late events are changing almost momentarily…….Turkey will be given access to the Saudi consulate….but any evidence will be long gone, IMO……

Turkey said Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as it investigates why journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished there a week ago, an extraordinary probe of a diplomatic post amid Turkish officials’ fears the writer had been killed inside the building. That Saudi Arabia would allow foreigners to enter a consulate and search it shows the growing international pressure the kingdom faces over the disappearance of Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post who has criticized the Saudi government. The Saudis have called allegations of any involvement in his disappearance “baseless,” but had no immediate comment on Turkey’s announcement. It remained unclear when the search would take place, reports the AP.

So far, the kingdom has offered no evidence in the past seven days to show the 59-year-old ever left the building, as a new surveillance photo surfaced that showed him walking in on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. The door Khashoggi used appeared to be the main entrance of the consulate in Istanbul’s 4th Levent neighborhood, a leafy, upscale district that’s home to several other consulates. The consulate has other entrances and exits as well, and Saudi officials insist he left through one of them, though they have offered no surveillance footage or evidence to corroborate their claims. Two Turkish officials previously told the Post they believe a 15-person team killed him within the consulate and possibly dismembered him, though Turkey has provided no evidence to that end. Read more on their claims here.

I have been waiting for someone in our government to do more than shake their head and say “those darn Saudis” under their breath…..Rand Paul steps up……

The latest fallout from the disappearance and presumptive murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could see the Saudis losing their main source of arms. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says he intends to force a vote on blocking further US arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.

Sen. Paul announced the plan on a local radio show, saying he hopes to force a vote in the Senate by the end of the week which would force a full halt to US arms shipments if there is “any indication” the Saudis are behind killing Khashoggi.


I would like to see this criticism go deeper than Paul for he has proven to be a media whore looking for headlines more than change.

The more we see of this crown prince ,MbS, the more savagery we see around him….is this the ally we want in an unstable region?

And We Go To Syria

I have been showing for years that this war we are fighting in Syria is not going as we would like…..we went after ISIS after we were told for decades that Assad was the enemy of the free world.

And then I read an article about the US “New Strategy” for the war in Syria…..

As the civil-war aspect of the Syrian conflict winds down, the great power struggle among states is intensifying. It appears the Trump team has discovered that its ability to help solve the former will determine how it fares in the latter.

To that end, the president’s team is fine-tuning an approach to Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS, freeze the conflict elsewhere in the country, and reinvigorate the peace process according to UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

I got a good chuckle from parts of this piece……for one the diplomatic aspects… far as I have seen there are no diplomatic aspects.  Syria is a sovereign nation like the leader or not and it is NOT the US place to define their policies.

But that with all this so much crap passed around….there is a chance of mission creep?

One of the ten principles of war taught at all military colleges is “Selection and Maintenance of the Aim”. It sounds simple enough, but when the principle is not adhered to then things often go awry.

Think the invasion of Iraq – was the aim to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, or to establish a functioning democratic state in the heart of the Middle East? The military planned for the former, while the political leadership envisaged the latter. So what started out as a purely military operation morphed into a nation-building effort without the necessary political direction to transition in a timely manner from a military-led to a civilian-led effort. It became mission creep on steroids.

The ensuing chaos simply proved the perspicacity of the authors of the ten principles. And it also proved the relevance of another of those principles – “Unity of Effort”.

On the diplomatic front…… “with actions like targeting Shi’ite militias or Russian mercenaries in Syria, neither of whom Congress authorized, on the grounds that they were engaged in hostile actions against rebel factions that the US, at least for the purposes of the attacks, were labeled “partners” at the time.”

None of that would lead to a positive diplomatic outcome.