Death In The Middle East

Closing Thought–03Dec18

Yet another death of an American soldier in the Middle East (actually he was a sailor)……

Some sad news came out over the weekend…the top commander in the Middle East was found dead in his home in the island nation of Bahrain…..

The admiral leading American Naval forces in the Middle East turned up dead at his Bahrain residence Saturday, CNN reports. Vice Adm. Scott Stearney’s death is under investigation, but media reports say there’s no evidence of foul play. “This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at Fifth Fleet, and for the entire Navy,” says Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations. The Fifth Fleet is part of the US Navy’s Naval Forces Central Command, which controls operations in areas including the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. America sees those Naval Forces as a deterrent to Iran and Iran-supported Houthi rebels, which are considered possible threats to regional shipping.

Stearney, a 36-year Navy veteran, took command in the Middle East in May and led more than 200,000 US service members and civilians, per NBC News. The Navy website says he was a Chicago native who graduated from the University of Notre Dame and in 1982 entered the Navy, where he was an aviator and flew the FA-18 Hornet in strike fighter squadrons. He has served several commands and was chief of staff of a Joint Task Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Bahraini Ministry of Interior and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are looking into his death, Reuters reports.

The gossip around right now is that he may have committed suicide……I give the reference only to show what is being said not as an indictment……..https://thehill.com/policy/defense/419299-top-navy-admiral-was-found-dead-in-apparent-suicide

IST offers all condolences to the family and friends of Commander Stearney…..the nation lost a brave man……Rest in Peace.

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To Kill A President

Almost from the very beginning there have been those that have thought that killing a president would solve all the problems…..and unfortunately this president is no different…..

A North Dakota man has admitted stealing a forklift as part of a bizarre plot to kill President Trump last year. US Assistant State’s Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell says Gregory Lee Leingang, 42, stole the forklift and made his way to the motorcade route before Trump arrived to speak at a refinery in Mandan on Sept. 6. 2017, the Grand Forks Herald reports. “The intent was to basically try to get to the limo, flip the limo and get to the president and he wanted to kill the president,” Sasse Russell told a federal court Friday. As part of a plea deal, Leingang admitted attempting to damage government property and “attempting to enter or remain in a restricted building and on grounds while using a dangerous weapon.”

Leingang was arrested after the forklift became stuck in a gated area. Public defender Michelle Monteiro told the court the Bismarck resident was “suffering a serious psychiatric crisis during this incident” and his mental health has improved after seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist in prison. She said Leingang pleaded guilty in state court to stealing the forklift and setting two fires the same morning. He received 15 years for those crimes and 5 years for an unrelated burglary charge. Leingang will be sentenced on the federal charges Feb. 15, and Sasse Russell says she is considering making the federal sentence concurrent to the time he is serving on the state charges. (In 2016, a British man who admitted plotting to kill Trump was sentenced to a year and a day in federal custody.)

That puts Trump in good company (something he is not too fond of doing in person….I mean finding good company)……

From Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, a look at presidential assassinations and failed attempts.

http://timelines.latimes.com/us-presidential-assassinations-and-attempts/

Notice as we get into the twentieth century the presidents involved in assassination attempts have gone up…..I wonder why that is?  (Geez!  That was sarcasm people!)

This has always been there and I guess it will continue to be so……

Is More Democracy Better?

We have just practiced one of our “inalienable rights”….we voted in the midterms and according to the pundits democracy has won out over the silliness in the country today.

But has it?

I still have not seen a backlash that all were predicting…..okay the Dems won the House…..who did not see that coming?  Repubs keep the Senate….and this is a surprise?  At what point will all that make a difference to my life?  But it does give the high paid pundits something to talk about…..

Just what did the midterms prove?

People voted…..Trump still has a 40% approval……Dems still are as rudderless as always….do I really need to continue?

But now let’s look at the democracy we love (about here someone will no doubt point out that the US is a republic…..thanx for that now go back to sleep)……

Candidates and Political Parties…….the candidates no longer need to hold to party ideology……

n the late evening of August 29, 1968, a balding fifty-seven-year-old wearing a black suit and a black tie took the stage at the International Amphitheatre, in Chicago, to accept his party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States. Framed by a gray backdrop, Hubert Humphrey promised America a bright new day: “It is the special genius of the Democratic Party that it welcomes change, not as an enemy but as an ally; not as a force to be suppressed but as an instrument of progress to be encouraged.”

When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, some two decades earlier, Humphrey was hailed as a liberal hero for his outspoken support of civil rights. When he served as Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vice-President, he continued to champion progressive causes like equal-opportunity hiring and privately expressed misgivings about the military escalation in Vietnam. But, during the primaries, he did not publicly distance himself from Johnson even as the President became less and less popular, and activists gradually came to see Humphrey as the hapless face of a failing establishment. “Once a fiery liberal spirit,” the satirist Tom Lehrer lamented in song, “Ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. / Second fiddle’s a hard part, I know, / When they don’t even give you a bow.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/12/is-more-democracy-always-better-democracy

An outside group, Indivisible, has taken upon themselves to help the Dems grow a spine…..a lofty task……..

After more than year of playing defense against President Donald Trump and the GOP’s attacks on healthcare, workers, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, and the common good, the progressive group Indivisible on Tuesday published a new action guide aimed at helping organizers and constituents go beyond resistance and pressure the new House Democratic majority to fight for a positive, ambitious agenda.

“This guide is for what comes next,” Indivisible notes, contrasting the new roadmap with its viral 2016 Trump resistance guide.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/14/help-democrats-stiffening-their-spines-new-indivisible-guide-details-how-trump

The GOP may be a hopeless cause…..they have sided with sex deviates and have lambasted a military man in defense of a cowardly president……their redemption will be harder for these spineless slugs…

Democracy is a fascinating topic and I will re-visit it in the near future….

Turn The Page ….but Stay Tuned!

Is War Illegal?

I have been having a debate with my neighbor about war….it is a friendly debate there is not insulting language or name calling ….just providing perspective to each other ( I miss that)……

An interesting question and I am sure that I will have those people that will defend the US trotting off to war.  Personally I think that if it is not illegal then it should be made so.

AS a student of conflict I am always looking at the history of war and the outcome…..the years after World War One was the years that war was addressed in many countries trying to find a way to avoid another devastation.

This is just a historical look at war…..let’s start in 1928 and the Kellogg-Briand Pact…..The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement to outlaw war signed on August 27, 1928. Sometimes called the Pact of Paris for the city in which it was signed, the pact was one of many international efforts to prevent another World War.

On August 27, 1928, fifteen nations signed the pact at Paris. Signatories included France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Belgium, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy and Japan. Later, an additional forty-seven nations followed suit, so the pact was eventually signed by most of the established nations in the world. The U.S. Senate ratified the agreement by a vote of 85–1, though it did so only after making reservations to note that U.S. participation did not limit its right to self-defense or require it to act against signatories breaking the agreement.

For further information

http://totallyhistory.com/kellogg-briand-pact/

Now for the res of the thought…….

Every war being fought today is illegal. Every action taken to carry out these wars is a war crime.

In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact or Pact of Paris was signed and ratified by the United States and other major nations that renounced war as a way to resolve conflicts, calling instead for peaceful ways of handling disputes.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was the basis for the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which 24 leaders of the Third Reich were tried and convicted for war crimes, and for the Tokyo Tribunal, in which 28 leaders of the Japanese Empire were tried and convicted for war crimes, following World War II.

https://original.antiwar.com/kevin-b-zeese/2018/09/24/all-wars-are-illegal-so-what-do-we-do-about-it/

In an age where armed conflict is the only answer….where confrontation outweighs diplomatic pursuits then it is time to take another look at Kellogg-Briand.

I am always looking for short videos that I can include to help my readers understand…..I found one that explains the economics of war perfectly….

Turn The Page!