More US Deaths

Closing Thought–22Mar19

Some sad news comes to us out of the US longest war….Afghanistan…..

Two American service members have been killed during an operation in Afghanistan, officials said.

The US and Nato Resolute Support mission said the Americans were killed while conducting an operation on Friday. In accordance with US defense department policy, the names of the service members killed in action were being withheld until after notification of the next of kin.

The statement did not specify the location of the combat or say who the soldiers were fighting.

There are about 14,000 US military personnel in Afghanistan, supporting Afghan forces as they struggle with a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over almost half the country. They are also fihgting the Islamic State affiliate, which has expanded its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed “caliphate” has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.

The latest deaths bring the tally of US fatalities in Afghanistan to at least four in 2019, and a total of at least 65 US military deaths since January 2015, according to US government and Nato reports.

(The Guardian)

Pete Buttigieg: The 7 Issues Guide

Pete Buttigieg: The 7 Issues Guide

This young man is impressive….he answers all question with clarity…he does not avoid direct questions like so many of the Dem candidates….please if you are thinking about supporting a candidate for 2020…learn a thing about Mayor Pete. chuq

Political⚡Charge

buttigieg Pete Buttigieg; Photo by Yuri Gripas, Reuters

The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.

But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.

In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified…

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The Iraqi Debate

Once again the old debate on whether the invasion and then occupation of Iraq in 2003 was worth the cost…..plus the reason for the invasion in the first place…..

The debate returns because of a report that has been published……

As Iraqis mark 16 years since the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq on 20 March, the US Army has recently made public a long-awaited Iraq war study.

The study, though ready for release in 2016, had been delayed due to concerns over airing “dirty laundry” about decisions made by some of its leaders during the conflict.

The 1,300-page, two-volume history, which includes hundreds of declassified documents, highlights both the mistakes and successes of the US involvement in Iraq, from the 2003 invasion to the rise of the Islamic State (IS). It is a detailed testimony of the impact of the Iraq war on that nation and the entire Middle East. 

As someone with Iraqi origins, reading the entire two-volume history was an emotional journey – a painful testimony to the vicissitudes that have ravaged Iraq since 2003. Reading it as a historian, on the other hand, was gratifying, as it vindicates the value of the discipline of history.

 
Why did the US invade?  Oil, WMDs or democracy?
 

Sixteen years after the United States invaded Iraq and left a trail of destruction and chaos in the country and the region, one aspect of the war remains criminally underexamined: why was it fought in the first place? What did the Bush administration hope to get out of the war?

The official, and widely-accepted, story remains that Washington was motivated by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme. His nuclear capabilities, especially, were deemed sufficiently alarming to incite the war. As then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Despite Saddam not having an active WMD programme, this explanation has found support among some International Relations scholars, who say that while the Bush administration was wrong about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, it was sincerely wrong. Intelligence is a complicated, murky enterprise, the argument goes, and given the foreboding shadow of the 9/11 attacks, the US government reasonably, if tragically, misread the evidence on the dangers Saddam posed.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/20/why-did-bush-go-war-iraq-answer-more-sinister-you-think

Of course we can always find someone who will justify the invasion and I will post them as I find them…..

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and claimed that if Saddam was still in power we “wouldn’t have the problems you have right now,“ I believed he was dead wrong. As I argued then, from the moment Hussein took power until he was deposed in 2003, there were few greater instruments of instability in the world than Saddam Hussein.

Before he was allegedly “contained” by constant, substantial American military deployments, he invaded his neighbors, gassed his people, harbored and supported terrorists, and was responsible for not one but two of the largest conventional military conflicts since World War II — the horrific Iran–Iraq war and Operation Desert Storm. Even after American containment efforts attempted to lock into place and limit his malign reach, he was a prime supporter of a deadly Palestinian suicide-bombing campaign that caused proportionately more Israeli civilian casualties than American civilians lost on 9/11, he tried to assassinate an American president — George H. W. Bush — and he routinely fired on American pilots enforcing lawful no-fly zones. He violated the Gulf War cease-fire accords, interfered with weapons inspections, and hid away chemical weapons by the thousands. No, his WMD program wasn’t nearly as extensive as we thought, but it is fiction to believe his weapons were entirely gone. Americans were injured by Saddam’s chemicals during the war.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/iraq-war-just-cause-saddam-hussein-threat-stability/

I am watching and listening to the talking heads on the Tube….most are asking how did we get this so wrong?  A silly question!

These are the people that went before the nation and sold the public on a lie and Americans die.  They want to appear as if their hands are clean when in reality theirs are drenched in blood!

AS we recognize the 16th anniversary of the invasion we are still having the same excuses for the invasion…..none can be justified in my mind….but keep trying maybe they will hit on something that will resonate with me.

Peace Out!

Modern Monetary Policy

Yep I am about to bore the crap out of my reader…..when it comes to economics the average person glazes over and goes to that “happy place” in the mind until the talk is finished.

But I feel I need to drop some info on my readers……there has been much in the MSM about the Green New Deal and the proposals by a couple of candidates about taxing the rich……

I want to give my reader a look into the policies and the economics of them…..

First the call to “Tax The Rich”……

I don’t consider myself an MMTer, but there is a basic Keynesian concept which has been associated with MMT, which is both true and important. For the federal government, taxes are not about raising revenue, taxes are about reducing consumption to prevent inflation.

The point is that the federal government does not need taxes for revenue, since it can just print money. It instead taxes to create the room in the economy for government spending. This view is sometimes wrongly taken as a “get of jail free” card, where the government can spend whatever it wants without worrying about raising revenue.

That could be true in a deep downturn. However, if the economy is near its full employment level of output, where additional demand will lead to rising inflation, we are pretty much back in the world where we need taxes to offset spending. Any major increase in government spending will lead to higher inflation, unless we have higher taxes or have some other mechanism to reduce demand in the economy.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/20/modern-monetary-theory-and-taxing-the-rich/

Next how about that Green New Deal that is getting the conservs lathered up to the point that they resurrect a fear from the 1950s……

Much of the Democratic Party, including almost the entire pack of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has embraced the concept of a Green New Deal (GND). This is an ambitious plan for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time creating good-paying jobs, improving education, and reducing inequality.

At this point, the specific policies entailed by these ambitious goals are largely up for grabs, as is the question of how to pay for this agenda. One way of paying for it, borrowing from the economic doctrine know as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), is that we don’t have to.

Modern Monetary Theory argues that a government that prints its own currency is not constrained in its spending by its tax revenue. Some on the left have argued that we can just print whatever money we need to finance a GND. This claim does not make sense.

 
All this is possible…it will NEVER fly with conservs who live and die on tax cuts……a real shame….for this countries needs big ideas once again…..the Repubs are NOT those people.