Go North Young Man

Closing Thought: 17Jan19

The GOP’s hit man has been Rand Paul, a bit of a Libertarian, in our Congress…he usually runs to a camera and spouts his opposition to this policy or that and then when the time comes he supports it. To me that makes him a “media whore” (those that will do or say anything to get on camera and in the news)…..

But the best thing is he is a rabid opponent of “socialized medicine”…very local in his opposition…so when the news came out that he had to have surgery I found his choice of locations an interesting one……

The fallout from Rand Paul’s 2017 fight with a neighbor continues: The Kentucky senator is going to Canada for surgery he says is related to an injury he got when Rene Boucher attacked him while he was mowing his lawn. Paul ended up with six broken ribs and a bruised lung, and is scheduled to have outpatient hernia surgery next week at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, the Courier-Journal reports. Of course, much is being made about the fact that Paul is an opponent of socialized medicine and has compared universal health care, which Canada uses, to “slavery.” But his spokesperson had a response for the criticism, noting the hospital Paul is utilizing is privately administered.

“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one—this is a private, world renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” the rep says. The Hill notes that the hospital bills itself as “the only licensed hospital in the world dedicated to repairing hernias.” According to documents filed as part of Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher, which is seeking money for medical costs related to the attack, the procedure is estimated to cost between $5,000 and $8,000. A jury trial for the civil case is scheduled for Jan. 28. Boucher pleaded guilty to the attack in March.

But I thought that the Canadian system was inferior……That should tell you everything you need to know about the American health care……a Libertarian will not support it in deed.

Time for that Medicare For All thing!

More US Deaths–2019

With all the debate on whether we are pulling out of Syria or not there is one thing that never changes….the chance of being killed in service to the country.

4 American soldiers were killed in Manjib, Syria by a suicide bomber…..

Described as the deadliest attack against US troops in Syria, a suicide bombing in the city of Manbij killed at least 15 people, including four US troops, and wounded a number of others, including three US troops.

The attack was claimed by ISIS, and that started an immediate furor among opponents of the announced US withdrawal from Syria, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who suggested the very idea of the pullout had provoked the attack by emboldening ISIS.

This is almost certain to grow dramatically, with huge numbers of lawmakers and media pundits opposing the Syria pullout bound to present this as vindication for keeping the war going.

This is not just a convenient case for hawks to be mad, but also for ISIS themselves. ISIS, like its al-Qaeda predecessors, is very keen to keep US forces in the immediate vicinity as a way to keep them globally relevant. As with al-Qaeda in places like Afghanistan, the US has long been willing to give them exactly what they want.

So while now many are gearing up to try to further slow, if not outright stop, the Syria pullout, the reality of the situation is that if the US had kept to the reported 30-day pullout in the first place, the troops attacked today almost certainly would’ve already been out of Syria.

The names have not been released….I shall update this post as soon as the names are available…..

The sad thing is to see the media and war hawks try and use this incident of sadness as a rallying cry to stay the course in Syria. (A separate post to follow soon)

“To Advise And Support”

I know that most people only know about our many wars from what little information they get from their news media of choice…..in other words they get very little info in a 30 second report…..

Most Americans think they know what the US is doing in all these countries (about 140 countries)….they are not fighting but rather they are advising and supporting…..is that what you think the US is doing these days?

It is an excellent con job……how many of you know just what an “Adviser” actually does…..what are the parameters under they must function?

Military writing requires that the bottom line be stated up front.  Here is the bottom line: an advisor is a person lawfully tasked and employed to provide expert advice and counsel to Foreign Security Force officials, representatives, and influencers; through the establishment or continuance of interpersonal relationships founded on mutual trust and respect.” For some reading this, that definition may seem obvious; for others it may seem almost counterintuitive. Our considerably diverse comprehension of what an advisor actually is was my motivation for writing this article.

The mission to advise has existed for many years. In fact, some could argue that the United States owes its existence at least in part to an advisor named Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian military expert employed by the fledgling Continental Army to train military maneuver.7 However, for this discussion I am focusing on the contemporary character of the mission in the era of the Wars on Terror (2001-present 2018).

I have already provided the bottom line, so now I need to explain how I got there. To do that, I will first reflect on a cold war era method of defining duty by exploring what it is that we expect our advisors Be, Know, and Do. I will then discuss briefly, the sources of my bottom line conclusion including a discussion on the impact of this topic. And then, I will conclude the paper by exploring what needs to be done in the interest of our sustained national security.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/definition-advisor-comprehending-mission-advise-foreign-security-forces

Please read the missions that the “advisers” must labor under and the functions of the job scope……

Learn Stuff!

Turn The Page!

A Real Life “Manchurian Candidate”

Back in the 60’s there was a great suspense movie with Frank Sinatra, The Manchurian Candidate…..the movie is about some brainwashed soldiers during the Korean War…it was a “Red Scare” film….it was updated in the 2000s….but the original was by far the better of thew two….

Trailer from the original movie

Now the trailer for the newer version…….

I have been writing about this situation for several years now……this is one of my posts…..https://lobotero.com/2017/01/05/modernizing-the-manchurian-candidate/

I bring all this up because of the news in the last couple of weeks…but of course if you listen to the talking heads it is all “fake news”….but is it?

The article below entitled Trump, The Manchurian Candidate: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Campaign to Destabilize the Trump Presidency waspublished on January 4, 2017 prior to the inauguration of president Trump.

In early January 2017, we had predicted an unprecedented constitutional crisis characterized by a coordinated and carefully planned operation to destabilize the Trump presidency involving several stages, both before and after his inauguration.

We are dealing with a carefully planned operation, a “conspiracy” in the true sense of the word.

In recent developments (January 2019), the FBI investigation is being quoted by the media as “evidence” that Trump is “wittingly or unwittingly” an agent of the Kremlin. (see below Guardian January 2019 report)

 
Personally, I liked the original much better…I guess as an old fart that lived through the Red Scare days I can relate.  The news smacks of the script of the Manchurian Candidate….could this be the case….if not it would make a good script for a future movie.
 
Just Saying.

In case you would like to watch the full movie…..

The Confirmation Wars

When Judge Ginsberg missed a day of court and the media and the president was preparing for her to leave the court I thought about the confirmation wars and had to open up about the situation.

Just before the midterms we had a knock down and dragged out confirmation process for a new judge for SCOTUS….surely you remember the name Kavanaugh, right?

It was Dem vs Repub and that is where this silliness is at now….the judgeship is a political appointment with all the trappings of a campaign with ads and all……and then Ginsburg, RBG, missed a day from the court and the media and right wing pundits have her about to retire and even die…..they so badly want our president old what-his-name to put another radical conserv on the court meaning the country will be f*cked for a generation maybe longer……

A judge should not be picked based on their politics….their record of decisions means less than their stands on certain social issues….we can thank the dullards in the Federalist Society et al for this bastardization of the judicial process.

This needs to end and end now…..our process is turning into a joke and that is not what the Founders had in mind…….we need to end the confirmation wars for good.

With the courts, perception is just as important as reality. The judiciary relies on the public’s faith in its role as a fair arbiter of disputes — without that legitimacy, why would citizens or officials feel obliged to follow court orders?

If one is concerned about the Supreme Court as an institution that can safeguard against constitutional overreach by the other two branches, the bare-knuckles politicking over recent Supreme Court nominees is incredibly shortsighted.

As this most recent (and awful) confirmation saga finally comes to its end, one unsettling consequence surfaces: The legitimacy of the Supreme Court is undermined by the U.S. Senate and its current confirmation process.

Before we try to claw our way out, let’s take a moment to see how we got here. Spoiler alert: No one has clean hands.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/410897-how-do-we-end-the-cycle-of-confirmation-wars

Of course there will be people that agree but then the process will NOT change any time soon…….agreement in principle is what we Americans do but actual change is not something we are capable of doing at any time.

The media is still pushing the story that RBG is getting closer to retirement…..it is pathetic how blatant the MSM is being about RBG…..

That Terrorist Threat

The US has not had an organized terrorist attack in months even years…that is good to see that our counter terrorist dynamics is working so well.

As a wonk for international situations, for conflict management and for security issues I read a lot of papers and reports and I see through my readings that there could possibly be a new batch of terrorist in the wings.

We took care of AQ and in the process of dealing the fatal blow to ISIS…so where could the danger be?

The way Westerners think about Islamist terrorism has grown dangerously outdated. For decades, officials have focused on attacks launched by Middle Easterners. Today, however, the real threat increasingly comes from further east. In the former Soviet states and beyond, militants who once harbored mostly local grievances are turning their attention to the West. They will be the menace to watch in 2019.

The threat posed by Middle Eastern terrorists has been shrinking for some time. Even during the war against the Islamic State, Russian speakers from former Soviet countries were already committing many of the major attacks in the West. Those included relatively simple lone-wolf events, such as the 2017 truck strikes on pedestrians in New York and Stockholm—both conducted by Uzbeks—but also more complicated operations, such as the 2016 suicide bombing of Istanbul’s airport—which was allegedly organized by a Russian national—and the 2017 attack on a nightclub in the same city, led by an Uzbek.

The New Face of Terrorism in 2019

Central Asia has been a hotbed for terrorists in the past….and the outlook is not very good for the future….

Central Asian countries’ reputation as exporters of radicalized extremists appears to be giving way to one marked by a growing threat of terrorism domestically. A number of incidents in Tajikistan over the last year highlight the problem of increasing militant activity that targets both foreign and national interests. Several factors—the Islamic State’s shift in focus toward Afghanistan following losses in Iraq and Syria; growing Chinese influence in Central Asia; and ongoing repression by authoritarian governments—point toward a more widespread threat, however, that is likely to affect the region as a whole.

https://jamestown.org/program/terror-threat-turns-inward-on-central-asia/

The predictions are not good….and the overall chances of a Central Asian terrorist attack gets better this year…..

In the past two years, Central Asians have been involved in terrorist attacks in Istanbul, New York, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm. While we have seen more attacks by Central Asians outside the region than within it, in August four tourists were killed in an Islamic State-inspired attack in southern Tajikistan. This was the first attack credibly linked to IS in the region. Some have been quick to label Central Asia as a growing “hotbed” of Islamic extremism and exporter of terrorism. Returning fighters from Syria and Iraq, spillovers from Afghanistan, and “homegrown” terrorists are all framed as threats to the region. Yet assessing the threat remains difficult, due in no small part to the way the governments of the region manipulate it in order to consolidate their power.

http://voicesoncentralasia.org/assessing-the-terrorist-threat-in-and-from-central-asia/

This situation needs constant monitoring…..for we do not want to be caught with our pants down again.