Closing Thought–21Dec18

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends that offered their well wishes while I was indisposed with a stomach virus….I am not 100% yet but it is getting better by the day.

Thanx for the visits even though most knew there would be very little offered…. I rested and took in liquids and some soups from time to time…..and the color came back to my cheeks.

Plus next week will be a short week for posting because of Christmas and duties that I must perform……I try to give my regulars a least a post a day…..your loyalty is very important to me and I want you to feel that I will always trying to keep you up to date as long as I breathe.

Thank you for your loyalty and your kind words they are much appreciated and warms the heart on a cold day.

Have a nice weekend…….be well, be safe……chuq

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Trump Be Right!

My regular readers might want to sit down before they read this post…..some of it may come as a shock.

I hate to pee on the parade……I believe Trump is doing the right thing.

Have you listen to the bullsh*t that politicians and pundits have spread in opposition to Trump’s decision to draw down our troops in Syria and Afghanistan?

None of it is real!  They are giving cover to help the M-IC retain their war profits…..and the MSM soft balled all the pundits and let them spread crap.

One more thing ….the GOP has been called the “War Party”….well the Dems are no damn better…..and that shows us who owns our Congress and the MSM……

All know that I am not a big supporter of war and all also are aware that I could never be called a Trump supporter….but I believe that his decision on Syria is the right one to make…..could I be coming around?  Please do not get ahead of yourself on this……

In my opinion he has not made many decisions that I can agree with and it is refreshing to finally see that I can give him his props when deserved…..

Apparently I am not alone……his party, the party of war, will not agree and the M-IC is trotting out all their paid agents to piss on his Syrian decision…..all the naysayers cannot make me believe that it is bad to leave Syria…..and like I wrote I am not alone……

Neither the mainstream left or the interventionist right is willing to admit that Trump is capable of cogent policy. Sometimes they’re right – on Syria, they’re wrong!

“Impulsive, irresponsible, and dangerous.” Such was the way, just this morning on CNN, that Democratic Representative, and House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer described President Trump’s recent announcement that he’s bringing home the 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria. Last night, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham – a true hawk’s hawk – declared on the Senate floor that Trump’s decision is a “disaster,” and a “stain on the honor of the United States.” Two points here, one minor, one major – let’s begin with a semantic quibble: when maintaining national “honor” becomes a last ditch argument for continuing indecisive, perpetual war, perhaps it really is time to leave. And, more importantly, there’s this: anytime that Steny Hoyer and Lindsay Graham are in agreement and share a disdain for a foreign policy decision – even a Trump decision – well, then, the president might just be on to something.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/12/20/giving-credit-where-credit-is-due-trump-is-right-on-syria/

I believe this action is a promise made during Trump’s campaigning days…..if so then he can count a promise kept….there are not many of these.

Nonetheless I find myself in agreement with the site “National Interest”……

Donald Trump has announced that he is bringing home America’s troops from Syria just two years after he was elected president. His plan to end one of America’s many wars prompted a mob to gather outside the White House, pitchforks at the ready.

The mob wasn’t made up of angry farmers or workers. Instead, the feverish crowd constituted Washington’s war party: ivory tower think-tankers, editorialists promoting perpetual war, wannabe commanders-in-chief eager to launch their next democracy crusade, and politicians who collected draft deferments when their lives were on the line—but who now see the need for the United States to “exercise leadership.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/why-trump-right-withdraw-troops-39352

It is possible that something will change my mind…..but for now I agree with the decision made by this president.

So This Is Christmas–2018 (Almost)

Just days before Christmas Day

And all through the country

Smiles of joy

And sighs of dismay……

I have seen many a Christmas day some truly glorious and others not so much…..but this year, 2018, takes the cake as a huge piece crap as far as the country goes…..

We are watching our stock indices sliding into oblivion, presidential legal woes, troops coming home from Syria (possibly)….and an overdose of “Jingle Bells”….all that is enough to make any one person apprehensive…..but it did not stop there……

After VP Pence goes to Congress and tells them the president will sign the CR to fund the government……he, Trump, does what he does best…waffles……

A government shutdown is suddenly in the cards again. After the Senate appeared to lessen the risk of one by passing a temporary funding bill, the measure ran into a brick wall in the House. President Trump and Republicans are again demanding that any legislation include $5 billion to build a border wall, and the president delivered the message in person during a meeting with House GOP leaders Thursday. “The president informed us he will not sign the bill that came from the Senate last evening because of his legitimate concerns for border security,” Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters. “So what we’re going to do is go back to the House and work with our members.” The details:

  • One day left: The president’s move “dramatically” increases the chances that a partial government shutdown will begin at the end of Friday, reports the Washington Post. And Politico uses the same word. The Senate bill would have provided funding into February.
  • The statement: “We protect nations all over the world, but Democrats are unwilling to protect our nation,” said White House press chief Sarah Sanders after the Trump meeting. “We urgently need funding for border security and that includes a wall.”
  • The problem: If House GOP leaders bring a bill to the floor with $5 billion in wall funding, there’s no guarantee it would pass, reports the Wall Street Journal. It would likely get the support of zero Democrats, and many lame-duck Republicans have been skipping votes. Even if it did pass the House, it would likely fail in the Senate, because spending bills need 60 votes and Republicans have only 51 seats.
  • Right-wing fury: After Trump signaled earlier this week that he would settle for less, conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus berated his stance, as did right-wing pundits. Among those coming down hard on Trump late Wednesday was Ann Coulter, with a column headlined “Gutless President in Wall-Less Country” at Breitbart. “On the basis of his self-interest alone, he must know that if he doesn’t build the wall, he has zero chance of being re-elected and a 100% chance of being utterly humiliated,” she wrote.
  • Trump’s first hint: In a Thursday morning tweet, Trump gave the first hint of his intentions. “When I begrudgingly signed the Omnibus Bill, I was promised the Wall and Border Security by leadership,” he wrote. “Would be done by end of year (NOW). It didn’t happen! We foolishly fight for Border Security for other countries – but not for our beloved U.S.A. Not good!”
  • If it happens: National parks will likely close, nine federal agencies will shutter, and more than 420,000 federal employees would have to work without pay. The New York Times has details on the ramifications of a shutdown.

There is time for a short term spending bill…will the “Grinch” crap on Christmas?

That would be big enough jolt but there is more……the jobs report was not as good as it could have been……

And then the big news……

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is stepping down from his post, President Donald Trump announced Thursday, after the retired Marine general clashed with the president over a troop drawdown in Syria and Trump’s go-it-alone stance in world affairs. Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump’s administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the president’s hardline and sometimes abruptly changing policies, the AP reports. The announcement came a day after Trump surprised US allies and members of Congress by announcing the withdrawal of all US troops from Syria, and as he continues to consider shrinking the American deployment in Afghanistan. Trump said on Twitter that a new secretary will be named soon.

In his resignation letter, Mattis alluded to disagreements with Trump as the reason for his departure. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis wrote. Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria has been criticized for abandoning America’s Kurdish allies, who may well face a Turkish assault once US troops leave. Mattis, in his resignation letter, emphasized the importance of standing up for US allies in an implicit criticism of the president’s decision. “While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies,” Mattis wrote.

No worries here.  Trump will nominate a “yes man” in the vane of Pompeo…look for the “suck up” Tom Cotton to be mentioned.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mattis-resigns/

Trump has issued his statement about his desire to withdraw American forces from Syria made the Hill go into stroke mode then his next desire for troops should send the pundits and the M-IC into heart attack territory…..

Fresh off the announcement of a US military withdrawal from Syria, officials are saying that the Trump Administration is actively considering a major drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, potentially starting in the next few weeks.

Details are still emerging on this discussion, but the recent struggles of the Afghan War have been very well publicized, and the Taliban’s negotiations with the US has centered on them wanting the US to withdraw under any peace deal.

With the August 2017 escalation in Afghanistan having gone poorly, there have been reports for months of the administration changing direction. The Pentagon had been pushing hard against a drawdown, however, trying to emphasize the large death tolls in Afghanistan as a sign of progress.

But the draw down could be coming very soon, according to officials. They say that the first US troops could be returning home as soon as January. Though official troop levels aren’t well documented anymore, there are an estimated 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Who wrote this script?  That was rhetorical for we all know where the direction came from now don’t we?

What happened to hot buttered rum and shopping this time of the year?

So this is Christmas?

Five days and counting (this is for those that are filled with anticipation)

And as always…”Merry Christmas”!

Afghanistan–Late 2018

I read recently that the US may have a build-up of troops for Afghanistan……

Increasingly resigned to the reality that the US simply isn’t going to stumble into a military victory in Afghanistan, US military commanders are looking to redouble their efforts. The goal now to to not just kill people, but “shape the political environment” ahead of negotiations.

Officials now see their goal increasingly as bolstering America’s bargaining position in inevitable negotiations with the Taliban. Their tactics for this are, unfortunately, further escalation of the raids and airstrikes that failed to win the war in the first place.

“You turn the dial up,” Gen. Miller said of the US intentions now that they think the Taliban are willing to negotiate. The assumption is that the Taliban will want an end to the war and start making concessions to avoid further US escalations.

Yet this ignores the entire 17+ year history of the war, in which the Taliban has always been content to wait out US surges, particularly those that seem extremely temporary, and continue to amass gains where they can.

(antiwar.com)

After 17 years of constant fighting in Afghanistan can anyone really say why we continue to put the troops through this ordeal?

The quote below is from a letter from the White House to Congress that informs the House and Senate about deployments of the U.S. Armed Forces to combat areas. (White House, Dec 7, 2018).

“Consistent with the strategy I announced publicly on August 21, 2017, United States Armed Forces remain in Afghanistan for the purposes of stopping the reemergence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten the United States, supporting the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field, and creating conditions to support a political process to achieve lasting peace.  United States forces in Afghanistan are training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces; conducting and supporting counterterrorism operations against al-Qa’ida and against ISIS; and taking appropriate measures against those who provide direct support to al-Qa’ida, threaten United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan, or threaten the viability of the Afghan government or the ability of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to achieve campaign success.  Although reconciliation efforts are ongoing, the United States remains in an armed conflict, including in Afghanistan and against the Taliban, and active hostilities remain ongoing.”

Does that answer the question?

Does that sound like we actually know what we are doing?

Basically it is pride that will keep our troops fighting and dying….PRIDE!

In an interview with the Washington Post on November 27, President Trump reiterated his personal skepticism of the continuing American military presence in Afghanistan. He said the only reason for this status quo policy was because “virtually every expert” told him the United States needed to keep fighting there, otherwise they will be fighting here.

This deference to the Pentagon and military experts didn’t begin with Trump, as presidential candidates since 9/11 have always defended their foreign policy prescriptions by insisting they would listen to the counsel of the military brass. Trump alarmed many Washington insiders during his campaign for his seeming willingness to reject the advice of experts on most topics, but the foreign policy establishment has been successful thus far in containing his more unconventional instincts.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-war-afghanistan-now-about-only-one-thing-pride-37997

More troops for Afghanistan?  Well we are taking troops out of Syria…that could free up some new deployments (that was sarcasm in case you missed it)

After reading about the possible build-up came word of a possible draw down…..

Fresh off the announcement of a US military withdrawal from Syria, officials are saying that the Trump Administration is actively considering a major drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, potentially starting in the next few weeks.

(antiwar.com)

Head spinning yet?

This is the perfect illustration of the Trump foreign policy!

While I agree with the idea of bringing troops home…..this confusion is NO way to run a foreign policy.