Closing Thought–13Dec18

On this day in 1945 the Hyena of Auschwitz was executed… Irma…….

On December 13, 1945, Irma Ida Ilse Grese, age 22, was executed in accordance with her sentence of death for the crime of committing War Crimes  (Crimes Against Humanity) for her service as a concentration camp guard at Ravensbruck and Auschwitz Nazi death camps during World War II.

The apparently attractive young lady thus became the youngest female executed by British authorities during the 20th Century.

Irma was born in 1923 to a dairy working family in Germany, but her mother committed suicide by drinking acid in 1936, after finding out her husband was having an affair. Irma’s father remarried and probably joined the Nazi Party. A somewhat troubled girl, Irma quit school at age 14 and was deeply involved (obsessed) with a Nazi program for girls called the League of German Girls. She attempted to become an apprentice nurse, but could only find work at an SS sanatorium. Irma also found work as a dairy helper, but took the opportunity of getting a job as a concentration camp guard at Ravensbruck in 1942. Apparently enthusiastic about her job, she quickly rose to the second highest rank a female guard could hold and transferred to Auschwitz in 1943 where she was involved in selecting which inmates would go to the gas chambers.

Camp inmates learned to hate and fear Irma, who dressed as stylishly as possible and took great pains to prepare her makeup and feminine appearance. Irma was known to deviate from picking the sickest inmates for death, and instead choosing any female that retained a semblance of her beauty. Irma was accused at trial of taking sadistic pleasure in the beatings and general savaging of prisoners, including torture and attacking prisoners with guard dogs. Witnesses testified that Irma often wore heavy boots and carried a whip and pistol, randomly shooting prisoners as she saw fit.

Irma was subjected to a 53 day trial conducted under British jurisdiction, and was one of only 3 female concentration camp guards executed, despite many others being accused of similar crimes.  At her trial Irma claimed she was sent to camp duty against her will.  Along with the 3 females sentenced to death, 8 male guards from Auschwitz were also sentenced to death and executed.  Of all these, only Irma remained defiant of her captors.  Her last word before being hanged was “schnell!” meaning “hurry up.”

Another sordid side story to Irma Grese is that she apparently was quite popular with the SS officers and guards (males), and had relations with some of them, reputedly even Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious sadistic camp doctor.  Irma reportedly forced an inmate doctor to abort Irma’s baby by one of these Nazis, and Irma planned on a career as a movie actress after the war.  In a bizarre twist on her wish to be in movies, Irma was the inspiration for the title character Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, a 1975 Canadian film.

(Warning:  This trailer can be disturbing on many levels…..)

Your history lesson is done and I am off to see the doctors…have a day and see you tomorrow……chuq

Peace Out!

The “L” Word

Hey Trumpites!

Found something else for you to worry about…..the “L” word is in use again….Pompeo says that Trump will bring about a “New liberal world order”……there it is that “L” word that you simpletons are so damn afraid of….only this time it is out of the mouth of a slimy Trump appointee…….Pompeo.

Arguing that President Trump is working appropriately to confront “bad actors” and to exercise American global leadership, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a major policy speech declaring Trump to be forging a new, liberal world order that would drive Western civilization forward.

Much like past such American efforts, this newest of world orders is envisioned chiefly for the purpose of picking fights with nations the US perceives as rivals or enemies. Singled out in the speech were Russia, China, and Iran.

So it’s Western civilization against the world, once again, and this time more than ever, the US wants to make sure they are given unconditional dominance over the efforts, so as to eschew any international objections.

To that end, while Pompeo praised the long US-dominated NATO, he went after other international bodies like the UN, the European and African Unions, and the OAS, saying they no longer serve the world’s interests, and declaring post-Cold War multilateralism to be a failure.


The message here is that the alternative to failure is US hegemony, and anything the US can’t exercise near absolute control over is simply a relic. Pompeo went so far as to suggest that if the post-Cold War financial system were really working properly, China wouldn’t have made so much money in international trade, and says the current system is powerless to stop China.

Pompeo concluded that US unilateralism is going to reform the world in a proper, US-driven image, saying America will lead “now and always” and that international bodies need to reform themselves to help the US goals “or be eliminated.”

Should I pause here for the arrival of the “grammar police”

You know the ones that think that have a superior grasp of the English language…..but where?

They will point out that the word “liberal” is small “L” not Liberal with a capital “L”……should I wait?

Yep then attack their ignorance.  (actually this part is put in to see who reads the post or not)…..

The Right despises the “Left”……yes despises just look at the adjectives the use to describe a Dem…ergo a Liberal…..but without them the Right would have NO one to blame for their impotent governing style……

It is the “L” Word!

Afghanistan? Seriously?

Note:  I know this is a lot to read….but Americans are dying is it not time to ask the hard questions and demand the hard answers?

For 17 years I have been writing about our war in Afghanistan… position is that we should have gone in and punished those that planned and carried out the attacks on 9/11 and then we should have left the country to its own devices for if there was a threat again we could always return to punish.

The longer we stay the louder the voices get for us to withdraw and return home…..I read a lot and some of the sites are not on the withdrawal page….

Recent events in Afghanistan have reenergized those in favor of a U.S. military withdrawal. “Let someone else take up the burden,” urged one opinion piece in Slate. Another in the UK-based Guardian newspaper bluntly noted: “It’s time for America to end its war in Afghanistan.” Some media reports have also suggested that U.S. negotiators in Doha, Qatar have agreed to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as part of a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.

Yet without a political settlement, which is still a longshot, a U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan would have serious risks. Chief among them would be the resurgence of terrorism and the deterioration of human rights—including women’s rights—that come with a Taliban victory.

And then there are those that see what I see (I cannot believe that a conservative site and I would agree) the longer we stretch our occupation out the more chance are that we could lose……

There’s a prevailing maxim, both inside the armed forces and around the Beltway, that goes something like this: “The U.S. can never be militarily defeated in any war,” certainly not by some third world country. Heck, I used to believe that myself. That’s why, in regard to Afghanistan, we’ve been told that while America could lose the war due to political factors (such as the lack of grit among “soft” liberals or defeatists), the military could never and will never lose on the battlefield.

That entire maxim is about to be turned on its head. Get ready, because we’re about to lose this war militarily.

Then another view of the situation……

These days it seems everything the U.S. military touches in Afghanistan turns to rubbish. It’s possible this war is already over, only Washington won’t concede it.

The news continues to be anything but good coming out of Afghanistan…..our airstrikes are killing more civilians than terrorist, Taleban attacks and takes control of more and more territory, and our troops keep dying…..

And that last part has me asking…….what are American troops dying for?

What benefit has been accrued to our country as a result of these compounding sorrows, grief and pain borne by such a tiny minority of our fellow citizens?

How much more blood must be spilled in Afghanistan before Washington acknowledges reality and ends the war?

Three more American troops were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb on Tuesday and three others wounded; their names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. These deaths, along with Sgt. Leandro Jasso who was killed in a firefight last Saturday, bring the number of troops killed in Afghanistan this year to thirteen. Unless major changes are made in U.S. strategic policy, they will not be the last to die.

That is an interesting question that needs a definitive answer.

Something I have been pointing out for a couple of years now…….

Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and the other neo-con wild boys who came to power with George W. Bush in 2001 all shared a vision. In their minds, they saw a cowed, conquered Iraq as the stepping stone to a wider conflict that would, in the righteous fullness of Republican time, lead to broad regional transformation and the enforced peace of empire, all of it lubricated by “liberated” Middle Eastern petroleum.

Using Iraq as a jump-off point, they would knock off regime after regime, running up the stars and stripes as they went, and then watch as peace and prosperity unfolded like a desert blossom. That cauldron of seemingly endless conflict would soon become a happy democratic paradise filled to bursting with McDonald’s customers tying the laces of their new Nike sneakers with fingers stained purple from voting. All the wild boys needed was a catalyst, a “new Pearl Harbor,” to get the ball rolling. When the Towers came down, they took their shot, and we were off to the races.

If we have forgotten we are at war then maybe it is time to end the insanity……

You’d hardly know it from the news, but we’ve been continuously at war in Afghanistan since 2001. The war quietly turned 17 on October 7.

Unfortunately, America’s amnesia didn’t prevent Command Sergeant Major Tim Bolyard from being killed in Afghanistan in early September during his eighth combat tour and 13th deployment.

Learn Stuff!

A “Gulf Of Tonkin” Moment!

As I research I see a couple of “Gulf Of Tonkin” moments…..I see a couple of situations that could be pushed to the point of no return…..but what is a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident?

I could waste your time with a wordy description or I could make it simple……I chose simple….

Now that we know what I mean where can there be the situations that could be disastrous?

Russia/Ukraine in the Sea of Azov…….

Ukraine, Russia and US Navies are in close contact in this region and a small incident could explode into more troubles……

The jockeying for position goes on……Ukraine wants the West to up its sanctions on Russia…..

Speaking at a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the foreign minister of Ukraine denounced the recent seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew by Russian forces off Crimea, saying it represented another assault on international law.

“It is a matter of urgency to provide a prompt and consolidated international response to this act of aggression. Declarations are not enough. There must be action,” Pavlo Klimkin told the annual gathering of OSCE ministers.

There are those that do not think Ukraine deserves undying loyalty……

The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin’s blatant aggression and “outlaw behavior” against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories.

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev’s broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine’s volatile domestic politics.

There is more to watch in region around the Sea of Azov……

No one wants war, but this is how one gets a war. Two angry states are poking and probing at the flammable edges of an extended war zone, each acting in what it believes is a controlled fashion with little risk of escalation, but each ready to risk the next step if the price of retreat seems too high. Here begins the chain of actions and reactions coupled with miscalculations leading to a conflagration neither wants or expects.

The violent incident on the approach to the Kerch Strait is not how many in the West envisage the path to war in Europe. That path is different from Russia using stealth to take a bite out of the Baltic states. It is also not Moscow heating up the war in Donbas before launching an assault on all of eastern Ukraine or conquering a land bridge from Donbas to Crimea. Nor was it Russia using a snap exercise to disguise an attack on a soft portion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s defenses.

That region is a possible hot spot and there is another Gulf of Tonkin incident waiting to happen…..Iran.

There are those that see a war in the making…….

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repeated an earlier threat to block ships from leaving the Persian Gulf if the U.S. government continues to seek to block Iranian oil exports. Rouhani’s comments came a day after the U.S. sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf on Monday in an apparent “show of force,” ending the longest period the U.S. had gone without an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf over the past two decades.

While some – at the time – anticipated that the U.S.’ deployment of the aircraft carrier was an empty threat meant to intimidate Iran, new developments suggest that there may soon be a military showdown in the Persian Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz as Iranian and regional media have reported that the Iranian Navy has deployed a large naval contingent of 58 fleets to the northern waters of the Indian Ocean near the Persian Gulf. According to Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, the naval contingent is closely monitoring the area as they await orders from the Iranian government.


This seems inevitable……all we can do is hope that calmer heads will prevail…..but with these Neocons in positions of power around Trump….calmer heads are out numbered.