Closing Thought–20Dec18

Finally!

After 200 tries the Congress finally has made lynching a federal crime…..and about damn time!

After around 200 failed attempts over at least 100 years, a bill to make lynching a federal crime has finally passed the Senate. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced in July, passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday, the Hill reports. It was sponsored by Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Tim Scott—three of the 10 African-American senators in US history. The bill defines lynching as “willfully, acting as part of any collection of people, assembled for the purpose and with the intention of . . . [causing] death to any person” and makes it a hate crime punishable by up to life in prison, the Washington Post reports. The bill also criminalizes attempts to lynch and conspiracy to lynch.

The NAACP says at least 3,446 black people were among more than 4,700 people lynched between 1882 and 1968, mostly in the South. “This has been a long arc, a painful history, and a shameful history in this body,” Booker, said on the Senate floor. “At the height of lynchings across this country affecting thousands of people, this body did not act to make that a federal crime.” Harris described lynching as “a dark and despicable aspect of our nation’s history.” It’s not clear whether the House will pass the bill and send it to President Trump before the Christmas holiday, the AP reports. (Last year, a Mississippi lawmaker called for lynchings as Confederate statues came down.)

“The wheels of government move slowly”….not a more accurate statement has ever been uttered.

Again!  About damn time!

Another Brick In The Wall

Can you hear Pink Floyd?  Close your eyes…it’s there.

Well that is not what this is about……it is all about that wall that has been wanted by Trump…..first promise was that Mexico would build it, then it was a threat to shut down government if he, Trump, did not get the money for his wall, then a memo to cabinet members telling them to look for unused funds for the wall……none of these waffles have given him, Trump, what he wants…..”that big beautiful border wall”……

Now we have the next “brick ” in Trump’s wall song…….

President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall. But as the question of money for his campaign proposal once again roils Congress, one man thinks he may have found a solution: Crowd-funding.

Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Florida resident who was severely wounded in the Iraq war, has started a GoFundMe campaign to complete Trump’s signature pledge. The campaign has raised over $2 million in the three days since it started, with an overall goal of $1 billion.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/19/trump-border-wall-gofundme-campaign-1070788

Who will fund the wall this time?

Will the raised funds actually go for a wall or will they fall into the abyss of of other Trump charities and Foundation stuff?

Mexico?  Russia even?  Or just gullible ignorant Americans that fell for the BS the first time?

Holy Crap Syria!

I have been saying that the US needs to remove itself from Syria…..its mission is all but over time to come out……

The Brookings Institute has released a paper about the Middle East situation…….

Painful though it may be, the United States needs to begin the work of pulling back from its overwhelming involvements in the Middle East. This is the conclusion we draw in our new Foreign Affairs article, “America’s Middle East Purgatory: The Case for Doing Less.” At a time when U.S. interests in the Middle East are declining at pace with the American public’s appetite for commitments in the region, the United States must embrace a Middle East policy defined by greater clarity and discipline.

Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have struggled to balance a preference for reducing America’s extensive regional commitments with the breakdown of regional order and the vociferous protestations of America’s regional partners. The push-pull dynamic between American and regional preferences has produced a worst-of-both-worlds approach to policymaking, by which American involvement remains at a level high enough to incur significant costs, but too low to drive the region toward a more positive trajectory.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/12/11/getting-america-out-of-middle-east-purgatory/

The news that came out yesterday gave this post its title…..it seems that soon the US will be withdrawing ALL its troops from Syria…..I know I know….SAY WHAT?

In a surprise move, President Trump has declared victory over ISIS in Syria, and the White House has confirmed that a complete withdrawal of US military forces from Syria has been ordered. Officials also say the State Department will be withdrawn in the next 24 hours.

This would see an estimated 2,000 US troops pulled from Syria, which comes after many months of Pentagon officials positioning the military presence as a very long-term one. No one seems to have anticipated this announcement.

In the immediate lead-up to the announcement, however, the Trump Administration has been telegraphing a post-war mindset a bit, with special envoy James Jeffrey confirming earlier this week that the US accepts Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is staying in office.

That’s a big shift after years of demanding regime change at the end of the war. Now, US officials are just insisting that no reconstruction aid will be provided unless the Assad government changes substantially.

The announcement is expected to start a lot of arguments, with a number of Congressional hawks already positioning themselves as vehemently opposed to the pullout. Hawks within the administration will likely oppose the plan as well, and the Pentagon seems to have planned to just stay in Syria permanently.

British Defense Minister Tobias Ellwood issued his own statement rejecting Trump’s announcement, saying he “strongly disagrees” with the assessment that ISIS is defeated. It is unclear if Britain intends to keep attacking Syria on their own.

The biggest impact of a US pullout is likely to be in Syrian Kurdistan, where Turkey is threatening an invasion, and the Pentagon has been warning that would be “unacceptable.” President Trump spoke to the Turkish president just a few days ago, and if a pullout was imminent then, they presumably would’ve discussed the matter, and the implications. This may explain President Erdogan having the impression that Trump endorsed his invasion.

It’s not clear how long it will take for the US to get 2,000 troops out of Syria, and some military officials may drag their heels on the matter, hoping that they can talk the president out of ending the war. For now, however, there is reason to hope that the American involvement in the war is about to be over.

Seriously?  After all the accusations the US is willing for Assad to stay in control?  My how the song has changed!

Now how hard would it be to do the same thing in Afghanistan? (Look for a post on this coming soon)…after all we thoroughly stomped AQ and we stayed to wasted blood and treasure…..let’s not make the same mistake in Syria.

Time for the troops to come home!

ISIS is NOT defeated and they will try to make a comeback…..for now the US needs to regroup.

If Trump sticks by his guns then I will have nothing but good to say about him…at least on the Syrian Front.

The Defense Industry big guns will come out in protest to this announcement……this will show the public who pays these toads.

Plus the M-IC will use the MSM to fight against this presidential decision….this is NO way to foreign policy…..