Closing Thought–08Nov18

Does anyone these days remember the “Axis Of Evil”?  No?  In 2002 it was Iran, Iraq and North Korea….and later that year under-secretary of state John Bolton added Libya, Cuba and Syria……well not much has changed since Bolton took over the reins of State as SecState……he now has his version of the “Axis” and he had to find a word to differentiate his from GW Bush’s….how does “troika” sound (side note…is that not a Russian word?  Interesting choice of words.)?

Since he could not include North Korea because Our Dear Supreme Leader has made nice nice with their dictator and we have invaded and occupied Iraq….what was he to do…..and then he hit upon a region that has been largely forgotten since the 1980’s…….Central and South America…..

More than 16 years after arguing that George W. Bush should add Cuba, Syria, and Libya to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea in the “Axis of Evil,” John Bolton has coined a new term. In a policy speech at a conference in Miami, the national security adviser dubbed Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela the “Troika of Tyranny” in the western hemisphere, the Hill reports. “In Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked, and the dangers of domination and suppression,” Bolton said. He referred to the leaders of the three countries as the “Three Stooges of socialism,” who are “true believers, but they worship a false god.”

Bolton jabbed at the previous administration’s policies, saying the Trump administration is concerned with “sanctions, not selfies.” “Under this administration, we will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores in this hemisphere,” said Bolton. “We will not reward firing squads, torturers, and murderers.” He praised the election of right-wing leaders in Latin America, including Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Bolton announced new sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, including a ban on American citizens trading in Venezuelan gold, and said Nicaragua would “feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions” until it allows free and fair elections to take place, the Guardian reports. (A source says President Trump discussed an invasion of Venezuela last year.)

What a grand imagination from the “Walrus” ………

For further reading…..

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/john-bolton-takes-latin-american-troika-of-tyranny-to-task

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/07/the-troika-of-tyranny-the-imperialist-project-in-latin-america-and-its-epigones/

Ain’t it grand?

(What happened to Russia-gate?)

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“Making America Great Again”–Part 12

The historic series about this country…..we have been through the pre-war days, the war, the convention and then the first 3 presidents and their approach to governing the new nation.

This part of the series covers the War that few Americans understand…they know we fought and won this war but little else is known……the War of 1812…..

Maj. Sjursen gives the reader an excellent look at the conflict……

Part 12 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

“Strange indeed did it appear to me to find so many names, familiar household words, as enemies—the very names of officers in our own army. … How uncomfortably like a civil war.” —British Lt. John Le Couteur upon visiting an American Army camp (1813)

Americans, sadly, know little of their own history. Who among us recalls anything about the War of 1812? Few, if any. What those few do tend to remember are patriotic anecdotes from a long-ago war: Andrew Jackson mowing down foolish redcoats at the Battle of New Orleans; Dolly Madison saving the portrait of George Washington just before the British burned down the capital; Francis Scott Key penning “The Star Spangled Banner” as he observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-the-forgotten-and-peculiar-war-of-1812/

So much is unknown about this War……read and learn stuff.

Class Dismissed!

How About Those Lower Drug Prices?

**This draft was written several weeks before the elections….it got lost in all the news that swirled around the airways**

This is a question I ask as someone who has to take pain meds as well as other forms thanx to old age…..but I ask because time after time I have heard Our Dear Supreme Leader tell the country that our health care will be better and that drug prices will be lower…..and after two years I have seen NO lowering of prices, at least on my drugs……

But wait!  All the bomb stuff the media was focusing overshadowed the news the Trump has a plan to lower drug prices…..

Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, in which health care has been a major issue, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, the AP reports, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices than people in other countries do for the same medications. “We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. But consumers take note: The plan would not apply to medicines people buy at the pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office, as are many cancer medications. Officials said the complex proposal could take more than a year to put into effect.

Under the plan, Medicare payments for drugs administered in doctors’ offices would gradually shift to a level based on international prices. Prices in other countries are lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers. Drugmakers immediately pushed back, arguing the plan amounts to government price-setting. “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” lobbyist Stephen Ubl said in a statement, calling the plan a “detriment.” HHS says overall savings to Medicare would total $17.2 billion over five years. Beneficiaries would save an estimated $3.4 billion through lower cost-sharing for physician-administered drugs. The proposal is structured as an experiment and would apply to half the country. Officials said they’re seeking input on how to select the areas of the country that will take part in the new pricing system. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said politics would have nothing to do with it. (This $69 billion deal may reshape health care as we know it.)

So the drugs that doctors give out….the drugs that doctors get paid by drug companies to give out….how does this help anyone that does not get their drugs from a doctor’s office?

The answer is….. not one goddamn bit!

So much for a better health care with the Trump tea…..another pile of steaming bovine fecal matter…..there seems to be more and more fecal matter accumulating around this president.

Yemen’s David To Saudi Goliath

Saudi Arabia has been in the news for about a month….their war with Yemen…well the Houthi tribesmen….has made news on many occasions….like the attack on the school bus killing children, their creation of a humanitarian crisis….let us not forget that the US is ass deep in the conflict as well….

But news comes out that calls into question just what our time and money has proved in Saudi.

We train their military….we provide some air cover….we are also fight AQAP at the same time the Saudis are destroying the poorest country in the Middle East….all the while the Houthis are the “bad guys”…..why?

I bring our involvement out because of something I read while most Americans are laser focused on who did what to whom in the midterms…..

Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement has managed to stave off an intense offensive against the vital aid port of Hodeidah on Tuesday. After several days of losses, they have stopped the Saudi-led forces’ advance just on the outskirts of the city itself.

Three coordinated offensives were being launched against the city, and it has trapped thousands of civilians within. The front-line of the fighting has gotten dangerously close to the main hospital in Hodeidah, threatening to further worsen the humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis also reported they’d halted an incursion by Saudi-backed forces into Yemen. The Saudis have not commented on any attempt to send fighters across the border so far, and all indications are that they continue to be focused on attacking the aid port.

Hodeidah is the port that imports 70% to 80% of all aid into Yemen, and the last such port under the Houthis’ control. Saudi forces have been attacking the area for weeks, and have cut off supply lines for the city, but so far have not taken the port over itself.

(antiwar.com)

After billions upon billions have been spent by the US as well as the Saudis and these people cannot dislodge a few Houthi tribesmen?

I question the sanity of our involvement….as should every thinking American.

Time for the question to be asked and an adequate answer be provided….

Lara Seligman interviews Sen. Chris Murphy on the need to end U.S. involvement in the war on Yemen:

FP: How much responsibility does the United States bear for the humanitarian disaster in Yemen?

CM: I think there is an American imprint on every single civilian death inside Yemen. We sell them the bombs, we help them with the targeting, we fuel their planes in mid-air, and we give them moral cover. So I don’t think there is any way around complete American culpability for the humanitarian nightmare that is happening there.

We also have made no meaningful effort at all to try to find a path to peace. The Trump administration has been totally AWOL on the political process. They have outsourced it to the U.N., and there is no sign that the U.N. is making any progress. It stands to reason the Saudis will never move until the United States commands them to move.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/our-responsibility-for-the-destruction-of-yemen/

As I have said many times…the US is ass deep in the blood of Yemen……

US-backed forces loyal to the Saudi and UAE governments continue to attack the main Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah Wednesday. While the city itself remains unbreached, ground troops have seized the main road leading into the city, even more tightly restricting flow to and from it.

****

Amid growing international calls to stop threatening the vital port, the Houthis’ leader issued a statement calling US calls for a ceasefire “hypocritical,” given US-backed forces have dramatically escalated their attacks since the call, and US support for those forces has not slowed.

(antiwar.com)

The time has come….do not let it slip away.

Iran: Here We Go Again

Voting has ended and we await the result…….The midterms were all consuming for the media…there were events on the international stage that flew under the MSM radar……

1979–Iranian rebels storm and occupy the American embassy in Tehran……and began 40 years of diplomatic bullsh*t….under Obama there was a deal struck by what is called the P5+1 that would limit and end Iranian search for nukes……but then we elected a “deal maker” and nothing is good enough…..

The Trump administration on Friday announced the reimposition of all US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The sanctions will take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial, and energy sectors, the AP reports. It’s the second batch of penalties the administration has reimposed since President Trump withdrew from the landmark deal in May. With limited exceptions, the sanctions will penalize countries that don’t stop importing Iranian oil and foreign companies that do business with blacklisted Iranian entities, including Iran’s central bank, a number of private financial institutions, and state-run port and shipping companies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who released a list of 12 demands Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted, said they’re “aimed at fundamentally altering the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The sanctions include ending support for terrorism, ending military engagement in Syria, and completely halting its nuclear and ballistic missile development. “Maximum pressure means maximum pressure,” Pompeo said. Pompeo said eight nations, which other officials identified as US allies such as Italy, India, Japan, and South Korea, will receive temporary waivers allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum products for a limited period as long as they end such imports entirely. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said 700 more Iranian companies and people would be added to the sanctions lists under the reimposed sanctions. Pompeo and Mnuchin both said the sanctions will have exceptions for humanitarian purchases. (Hawks in Congress want to get tougher on Iran.)

Yep under Trump we have gone back in time to the days of protests and hard feelings toward the US by Iranians…..

What’s new? A 40-year analysis of Iran’s economic performance and regional policy reveals little to no correlation between the two, as Tehran has continued to pursue policies it deems central to its national security no matter its degree of economic wellbeing at home.

Why does it matter? The Trump administration hopes that sanctions will force Iran to curb its regional activities. But data shows that outcome is uncertain as changes in Iran’s wealth have had little impact on the direction or capabilities of its regional policy. Sanctions risk empowering harder-line officials in the Islamic Republic and prompting them to lash out, exacerbating regional tensions.

What should be done? The U.S. optimally should leverage its sanctions to de-escalate regional tensions. That requires acknowledging Iran’s legitimate security concerns as long as Iran acknowledges those of its regional rivals. However unlikely at this time, the U.S., Iran and Gulf Arab states should take steps to build a more stable regional security architecture.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/b64-illogic-us-sanctions-snapback-iran

There are many setbacks that these sanctions could aggravate….

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iran/regional-risks-rising-us-iran-rivalry

https://www.globalresearch.ca/new-iran-sanctions-risk-long-term-us-isolation/5658745

Pompeo has stated that these sanctions will not hurt the Iranian people….

As the Trump Administration reimposes all nuclear sanctions on Iran beginning Monday, there is a substantial difference between the narrative of “toughest ever” sanctions and the reality that most of the world has no intention of complying with US demands this time.

This has Secretary of State Mike Pompeo trying to argue that Iran knows how decisive these sanctions are, and further emphasizing that some countries need “a little bit more time” to stop buying Iranian oil.

Pompeo is also trying to defend the humanitarian issues of these sanctions, saying that they will not hurt the ordinary Iranian. This is clearly untrue, as the sanctions are hurting aid groups importing medicine, and forcing the public to be increasingly dependent on the Iranian government, the only group with the size, and money, to weather the immediate attempts to halt banking contacts.

This is a typical Neocon LIE!  Sanctions always hurt the people of the sanctioned country.

As the reader can see there are few that see any upside to re-imposing of crippling sanctions…….there is NO upside……

The next round of economic sanctions on Iran, which will start going into effect on Nov.4, will mainly target the country’s oil and gas industries. These sanctions were eased after the 2015 signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, but are being phased back in following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the accord six months ago.

Trump’s goal in reinstituting the sanctions is to kill the nuclear deal, to bring Iran’s economy to the point of total collapse, to contain Iran’s regional involvement in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and, in spite of Washington’s denials, presumably to celebrate the collapse of Iran’s ruling regime. The White House’s official position is that, by increasing economic and political pressure, it aims to bring Iran back to the negotiating table in order to replace the JCPOA with a new deal that bears Trump’s name.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mousavian-iran-commentary/commentary-five-reasons-why-trumps-iran-sanctions-will-fail-idUSKCN1N42QY

AS I have written there are few that see any upside to these sanctions…..and some even think that it will bite the US in the ass in the long run…..

Me?  I cannot say for certain….it does not look good…..