Closing Thought–17Oct18

Before I begin I need to ask a question……for a couple of months there was a stable on the TV thingy whenever it was turned on and now it is missing and I would like to know….WHERE THE HELL IS RUDY?

Just a mere few days before we vote in the 2018 Mid-Terms……and usually the GOP would have their arms wrapped around veterans and the military and a show of FAKE support…..in other words the Vets would be used as a political prop……

It is a new day and a new GOP….a GOP of cowards and d/bags….why?

They are trashing candidates that oppose them that also served this country in the military (something most of the GOP has NOT done)……most of whom looked to their ambition and not the need of the country.  So d/bags is a mild form of what I really think of them.

Today’s Republican party isn’t exactly known for its civility or honesty — but if you thought the GOP couldn’t sink any lower, think again.

Apparently fearing an electoral bloodbath in November, House Republicans have released a series of ads attacking their Democratic opponents — many of whom happen to be military veterans and former intelligence officers — by questioning their patriotism, smearing them as anti-American, and even falsely labeling them as terrorist sympathizers.

The ads are funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, Politico reports.

In one ad, Republicans slam House candidate Jason Crow — a Colorado Democratic candidate who received a Bronze Star for heroism in the Iraq war and an award for being a “lawyer of the year” for his veterans advocacy work — by falsely claiming he “neglected” Colorado veterans.

https://shareblue.com/house-republicans-smear-military-veterans-attack-ads/

Vets mean very little to the GOP and especially Trump after the election….this GOP is a pack of cowards and spineless drones.

Vets need to see just how little their service means to these worthless d/bags and vote accordingly.

Vets please do not let these toadies in Congress do what they want….they want to rip benefits from the people that have paid into the system……they are blaming the Dems…..a good slogan but a GODDAMN LIE!

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I Wanna Talk Gun Control

I was tired of the total speculation around a nomination……and totally weary of the moronic babbling of Our Dear Leader……the Whine of the elderly GOP…….and the false confidence of the Democrats….in short I am  tired of the news in general.

So let’s talk about something that is a forgotten topic these days….Gun Control.

To start the debate there are a couple of discussions on the subject…….

https://www.debate.org/opinions/should-we-have-gun-control

https://www.debate.org/opinions/is-gun-control-effective

https://gun-control.procon.org/

That ought to get the blood bubbling a bit……and even might draw some out of the shadows to insult and harangue……

Now that everyone is awake……here what I really wanted to write about……the whole debate is basically a battle of statistics……most times the stats used can be misleading…..

The academic debate over gun control consists mainly of a war of statistics. New studies come out every few weeks, and as a result, both sides are constantly locking horns over the validity or invalidity of this-or-that study in this-or-that country.

For those who aren’t formally trained in data analysis, this debate can seem impossible to navigate. How should untrained laypersons go about interpreting the findings of statistical studies?

https://theantimedia.com/misleading-statistics-gun-control-debate/

How was that?

Did the pressure rise a bit?

Me?

I am pro gun and we will leave it there but to me that does not mean the same thing as it does to a NRA toadie.

That was fun.

Besides the important stuff is not asked…..like….where is Rudy?

Turn The Page!

Today In History–17 October

On this day in the year 1244 during the 6th crusade the Frankish Army was defeated by the Egyptians……

The Sixth Crusade was of monumental importance to Europe as it managed to achieve what previous Crusades had failed to do – recapture the Holy Land. Considerably less fighting was involved in this Crusade, rather it was the diplomatic manoeuvring by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, which achieved the desired outcome and saw the Kingdom Of Jerusalem regain control of Jerusalem and other surrounding areas for the next 15 years.

The Crusade – which began seven years after the failed Fifth Crusade – was brought about by Frederick, who sought to assuage his guilt at his lack of leadership of the Fifth Crusade by launching the Sixth Crusade to recover Jerusalem, paid for by Holy Roman Empire funds.

http://historylearning.com/medieval-england/the-crusades/sixth-crusade/

The final battle was fought in Gaza in Palestine.

The defeat of the Frankish Army lead to a couple of things……the loss of power and prestige of the papacy and of course the 7th Crusade……ancient exercise of today’s endless wars.

History is a good thing…..but only if you learn from it…..if not then it bites you in the ass.

Afghanistan After 17 Years

Break out the bubbly….we have an anniversary to celebrate……17 years ago this month, October, we entered into a war with the Taleban and AQ in the central Asian country of Afghanistan.

Seriously!

17 years and some of the troops were in diapers when it began and they are now fighting it….how many movies have been made about this situation….the length of the war that is…….those were considered “fantasies”.

This worthless back and forth reminds me of the 100 Years War fought between France and England in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Anyway we continue to deploy our troops and they continue the fight…..and after 17 years what have we learned…..either valuable or not?

Seventeen years ago this month, in response to an attack on American soil many times greater than had ever occurred before, the United States under Acting President Dick Cheney — sorry, make that Vice President — launched what became the longest and most expensive war in American history.

A war that, strangely and stupidly, still goes on with no more signs of victory than it has ever had in all these years.

The war on Afghanistan, begun in retaliation against the Taliban government of that country that had apparently harbored the al-Qaida organization we held to be instigators of the 9/11 attack, has been responsible for at least 110,000 Afghanistan deaths, including 31,000 civilians, and 2,375 American soldiers killed and 20,320 wounded, according to official statistics. Statistics that, like most things in that country, are highly unreliable and, for Americans, do not include the full number of mental casualties and the number of soldiers who have committed suicide in the years after serving, estimated to be between 10 and 20 a day.

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/on-afghanistan-war-anniversary-what-lessons-have-we-learned/article_2706490a-c89a-11e8-9e80-e3f0ce1bec79.html

Let us be honest……we learned the same thing that we learned after a decade of the Vietnam War……NOTHING!

I see the head of Blackwater does not take NO for an answer…..the Afghan government has told the world that they would NOT accept foreign mercs fighting their wars and yet…they keep trying……

The Afghan government doesn’t agree on much, but they appear overwhelmingly aligned in their rejection of Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s proposal to “privatize” the US occupation of Afghanistan.

A lot of the specifics of this plan have not been made public, but the broad strokes are that, 17 years into the US occupation, the military would be replaced outright by US-hired military contractors. Prince argues this would make the war cheaper.

Prince’s plan clearly can’t happen if the Afghan government refuses, but in the quest to replace the US military, replacing the Afghan government with a more favorable one might not be such a tall order. Prince has been holding a flurry of meetings in recent weeks.

The meetings are with influential Afghans, including top politicians who are potential replacements for President Ghani in the upcoming election. Prince insists he isn’t trying to interfere in Afghan politics, though it’s not a real secret that a more favorable government would be very good for him.

(antiwar.com)

Our so-called training mission is really trying to get more proxies ready to fight our wars for us……

Within a decade, Australia must anticipate greater economic, political and military competition in the Indo-Pacific and, as power balances shift, the ADF will struggle to sustain the technological advantage it maintained during the Cold War. In this increasingly multipolar security environment, the high-technology, high-lethality, high-cost conventional warfighting platforms we’re acquiring will be of decreasing use. These exquisite acquisitions will, paradoxically, increase the likelihood of low-cost proxy conflict, as we see in Syria. Indeed, this situation has led Daniel Byman to note that all of today’s major wars are in essence proxy wars.

Proxy wars are not a new phenomenon. During the Cold War, the threat of mutually assured destruction drove major nuclear powers to achieve political ends through indirect means—as when the U.S. fought Vietnamese forces that were heavily backed by China and Russia.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/10/15/proxy_wars_and_the_demise_of_conventional_warfighting_113892.html

With a new year will we have learned anything or will we continue down this same well worn road?

As a child of the 60’s I am always finding music to explain the stories I write…..and I think I found the best song to describe our involvement in Afghanistan……ENJOY!

We can check out….but we can NEVER leave!

And Then There Is Syria

Believe me just because the media has forsaken Syria the war is far from over….it just seems that all is progressing along prescribed lines….not so.

But since I am an observer so others can take selfies and “PIN” cute shit…..Syria is still a key….at least it should be…..

The Syrian chessboard is still as complicated as it was in the beginning…..

The Syrian civil war has always been devilishly complex, with multiple actors following different scripts, but in the past few months it appeared to be winding down.

The Damascus government now controls 60 percent of the country and the major population centers, the Islamic State has been routed, and the rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are largely cornered in Idilb Province in the country’s northwest. But suddenly the Americans moved the goal posts and – maybe – the Russians have fallen out with the Israelis, the Iranians are digging in their heels, and the Turks are trying to multitask with a home front in disarray.

https://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2018/10/12/the-syrian-chess-board/

The rhetoric is muted these days….but what does the US want from Syria?

The United States’ top diplomat has officially announced the expansion of the country’s mission in Syria, where Washington has long been accused of pursuing interests outside of its stated goal of defeating the Islamic State militant group.

Addressing the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s 36th annual awards dinner in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “defeating ISIS, which was once our primary focus, continues to be a top priority, but it will now be joined by two other mutually reinforcing objectives. These include a peaceful and political resolution to the Syrian conflict and the removal of all Iranian and Iranian-backed forces from Syria.”

https://www.newsweek.com/us-finally-admits-what-it-really-wants-syria-1165131

That is right we are their to protect Israel….we care nothing for what the Syrian people want or are going through….as long as Israel can go about their BS Apartheid State unmolested (I use this word as a tribute to GOP candidates)…..(IMO if Israel cannot stand on their own then that is their problem not the US)…….

The US has spent much money and ordinance to destroy Syria and then they say something STUPID……( I expect this kind of hardcore crap from a sloppy drooling Neocon like Pompeo)……..

With US officials having already committed to keeping troops inside Syria more or less forever, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set the same standard for the provision of any reconstruction aid in Syria, the expulsion of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces.

Pompeo says Syria’s government “bears responsibility” for the Iranians being there, and that the onus is on them to expel all of them before any costruction came happen.

The “Iranian-backed” forces standard is extremely broad, as the US can, and at times haas, argued that almost everyone on the side of the Syrian government is effectively an Iranian proxy. This means there is unlikely to ever be a case where US officials are satisfied that all Iranians and Iranian-backed forces are gone.

Effectively this rules out US involvement in post-war reconstruction in Syria, which probably isn’t a surprising fact, as the US wanted regime change from the start, and didn’t get it. It’s not clear if this rules out aid for the Syrian Kurds in reconstruction of the vast territory they control.

(antiwar.com)

Is that the most infantile statement…..but I expect stuff like this from the mouths of the man crushes of Our Dear Supreme Leader……worthless and spineless toads……