Closing Thought–11Dec18

Does anyone remember the name of BUNDY?

They began their rise with a stand off about some cattle in a wildlife refuge….it then escalated later onto a bird sanctuary and a confrontation with Federal agents….now the son of the elder Bundy has decided that the militia movement is bogus…..in solidarity with the so-called “caravan”…….

Ammon Bundy is best known as a leading light of the American militia movement (a motley coalition of various different flavors of firearms enthusiasts who hate the federal government). He’s famous for getting into armed standoffs with federal agents and violently occupying bird sanctuaries. His friends are the kind of folks who co-chair pro-Trump veterans groups; his father is the kind of man who says, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” — and proceeds to explain why black people were “better off as slaves.”

So, this being 2018, Bundy naturally just disavowed the militia movement in solidarity with the migrant caravan, suggested that nationalism is actually the opposite of patriotism, and said that Trump’s America resembles nothing so much as 1930s Germany.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/ammon-bundy-quits-militia-movement-defends-migrant-caravan.html

Now I want to hear the retort from the alt-Right that held the Bundys up as the saviors of America…..

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Death In Mali–Update

I have been following the story of the death of an American Green Beret at the hands of 2 SEALs and 2 Marine Raiders in the West African nation of Mali…….

https://lobotero.com/2018/01/13/death-in-mali-2/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/27/death-in-mali-continued/

I have been following and writing about this situation since I first learned about the death and the investigation.

The 4 Special Ops troopers were set to go to trial on 10 December and news has come out that the trials will be postponed……

A preliminary hearing for two Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALs and two Marines Raiders charged in connection with the death of an Army Green Beret in Africa in 2017 has been pushed to 2019.

Article 32 hearings, the military’s equivalent to a civilian preliminary court hearing, were originally set for Dec. 10 at Naval Station Norfolk. The Navy did not say why the hearings were pushed back but indicated it expected to hear the case in March.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/12/07/hearings-postponed-seals-marines-charged-green-berets-death.html

The family of the deceased deserve  speedy end to their ordeal….and yet the Navy is dragging its feet….why?

Could this delay have anything to do with the discipline problems that are rumored?

https://lobotero.com/2014/11/10/squabbling-seals/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/19/its-about-the-discipline/

The Navy needs to bring this chapter to a close as quickly as possible and allow the widow and family time to grieve and find some closure.

Weekly Standard–End Of Days

The title does not imply that this will be some sort of religious rant…..have NO fear I leave those commentaries to those that feel it necessary to share……this post is about the impending doom of a pillar of neo-conservatism….the Weekly Standard.

Political magazines depend on the largesse of motivated patrons for their survival. When the patrons lose interest—or run short on cash—the magazines expire unless other moneybags can be located to cover the losses. Following that eternal script, the Weekly Standard appears close to folding because its current patron—and most important reader—billionaire conservative Philip Anschutz, has grown tired of it. He better favors his other conservative political publication, the Washington Examiner, which his company announced plans on Monday to “expand into a national distributed magazine with a broadened editorial focus.” In other words, the Standard is dying so the Examiner can live larger.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/06/weekly-standard-never-trump-magazine-222766

Since 1995 the Weekly Standard has been a driving force of neo-conservative thought…..from the mind of Bill Kristol sprang a magazine that became a go to source for just about everything neocon……Neocon?…….but just what is a Neocon?

It appears that the magazine that help spread misinformation about Iraq to help make the case for the invasion and occupation and a driving force in the opposition to Iran….is looking like it is dead in the water……

The rumored demise of the Weekly Standard is yet another of Donald J. Trump’s achievements that will go uncelebrated by his liberal enemies: indeed, they are even now mourning the death of the neoconservative flagship as they never did when it was at the height of its maleficent glory.

And of course neoconservatism’s many fellow-travelers are out there with panegyrics. It “stood up for conservative principle” in the age of Trump, writes Meghan McArdle. What principle this might be, Ms. McArdle somehow neglects to say: perhaps it’s a penchant for perpetual war, the only known characteristic this famously eccentric and variable band hold in common. Both McArdle and the editors of the Standard thrilled their readers with stories of the great danger posed by Saddam Hussein, who they told us had nukes hidden beneath his palace ready to launch at a moment’s notice.

Let’s take a look at the three important roles played by the Standard and its editors in the history of the post-9/11 era.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/12/09/the-end-of-the-weekly-standard/

Could this be the death of the rabid neocon philosophy?

I think not….maybe a rebrand….but these warmongering toads will be with us….for now.

Death Comes To Yemen

***Once again I apologize for the length of this post but all the information is there and needs to be read….there is more to this situation than the 30 seconds it gets in the news***

There has been a lot of back and forth about the Saudi led war on the Arabian country of Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East…..not many natural resources to covet…..if so then why try to bomb them into extinction?

The oldest reason around these days….religion.

It is the age old shia/sunni divide……Saudi is mainly Sunni and Yemen mainly Shia…..but if you are not sure of the conflict……

Hope that was helpful…..but I want to post on the massive amounts of deaths this war has created…..

More and more Westerners are starting to realize just how brutal this war is on the civilian population of Yemen…..the bus attack that killed many school children ….so along those lines  I want to talk about these and other deaths…..

In a week there have been about 123 deaths…..(an exact total is damn near impossible thanx to the Saudi onslaught)…….

According to the UN refugee agency, some 1,500 civilian casualties were inflicted in Yemen from August through October. Broken down, the agency says this is an average of 123 casualties per week.

This large number of casualties is unsurprising, as throughout that period the Saudi-backed invasion forces have been attacking heavily populated areas, and Saudi airstrikes kill civilians several times a week.

Civilian casualties are an ongoing problem throughout the war in Yemen, and the UN’s report came with a call for both sides to “do more” to protect civilians during the fighting. That they named both sides was likely necessary to prevent the Saudis from reacting furiously.

(antiwar.com)

Since the beginning of this conflict the civilians have been the targets (or so it appears)…….

In Yemen, a place where things couldn’t get worse, things have gotten worse.

85,000 children under the age of five may have died during the war in Yemen, according to the international charitable group Save the Children.  This figure was arrived at using data gathered by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  Save the Children’s November 20 press release states that the children died from “extreme hunger and disease.”  Saudi Arabia’s naval blockade of Yemen’s port of Hodeidah is a huge factor in Yemen’s catastrophic food shortage.

Haven’t we already read this story?  It has been only a month since the New York Times ran a series of photos of Yemen’s dead and dying.  The lead photo is of a 7-year-old Yemeni girl, Amal Hussain, in a state of advanced starvation.  Amal has died since the photo appeared.

(look at the photos if your stomach can take it)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/06/yemen-85000-dead-kids/

Should peace on the Arabian Peninsula be given a chance?

In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have better success. The Huthis arrived in Sweden on 4 December, with the internationally recognised government due to arrive the next day.

The talks in Sweden are preliminary consultations to set the stage for eventual negotiations. Griffiths hopes that the two sides will agree on some basic confidence-building measures, including prisoner swaps, the reopening of Sanaa airport and perhaps an agreement to stabilise Hodeida, as well as a broad roadmap for future talks. The two Yemeni delegations – representatives of the Huthi Ansar Allah movement and of the government of Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi – are not scheduled to meet face-to-face on this occasion; instead, the UN will shuttle between them. But given that every round of talks has collapsed – the last meaningful negotiations took place in Kuwait more than two years ago – even these limited goals may prove to be a stretch.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/yemen-giving-peace-chance

The Congress is set to vote on the US involvement in the war on Yemen……

This week, the Senate will be holding floor debates on a resolution which challenges the legality of the US war in Yemen under the War Powers Act. The bipartisan bill would require the US to withdraw support for the Saudi-led conflict. The vote is expected some time this week.

A number of senators have expressed growing support for the bill in recent weeks, seeing it as a rebuke of the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This has meant testimony to the Senate so far has centered on the murder, not the war.

The State Department has insisted that the administration intends to continue the war, spinning it as part of regional efforts against Iran. This is the Saudi narrative of the war, based on the other side being Shi’ites.

Speaking in the United Arab Emirates, State Dept. official Tim Lenderking pushed for the US to continue supporting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, saying that withdrawing from the war would send “a wrong message.”

(antiwar.com)

A group that I have some dealings with has issued a call for action in Yemen after the Congressional vote……

The U.S. Congress is notoriously reluctant to take tough decisions on matters of war and peace, which makes the Senate’s 29 November vote on the conflict in Yemen all the more remarkable.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/yemen/six-steps-make-most-us-senates-yemen-vote

And now the Brookings Institute has issued a paper on the possibilities after a Saudi withdrawal…….

Pressure is mounting on Saudi Arabia to pull out of Yemen. The Pentagon announced on November 9 that it would stop aerial refueling of Saudi planes conducting operations in Yemen, ending assistance that began under President Obama in 2015, when Riyadh first began its bombing campaign. Last week, the Senate broke with the White House voted 63 to 37 to advance a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war. Democrats in the House of Representatives have promised to use their impending majority to end U.S. support for the Saudi war. So far, the president himself remains unconvinced and loyal to his Saudi friends, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis both called for a ceasefire, suggesting the administration position on the Yemen war may be softening.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/12/05/yemen-after-a-saudi-withdrawal-how-much-would-change/

My personal feelings are that the Saudis have enough Congress people in their pockets to head off any blow back about the death and destruction of Yemen and the crisis they have created because of some religious bullshit.

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/05/yemen-made-simple/

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/10/yemen-finally-the-media-has-noticed/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/01/yemen-the-war-best-forgotten/