Closing Thought–14Jun19

Today is Flag Day…..a day when most Americans should spend some time a learn how to properly display the American flag.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt…the Iranians did it! (Pompeo and Bolton’s accusation)

We have had two more attacks in the Persian Gulf and as usual the US is blaming Iran……

Two tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman were attacked on Thursday, forcing the crews to abandon the ships, and which left one of the ships on fire. One of the sailors was reported “slightly injured” in the incidents.

The ships were the Front Altair, a tanker owned by Frontline which was shipping naphtha to Taiwan, and the Kokuka Courageous, a ship owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo, was transporting methanol to Singapore. They departed from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The ships were apparently hit with sea mines, potentially magnetic mines. The US Navy claimed to have seen an unexploded mine on one of the two ships. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials immediately blamed Iran.

Pompeo’s declaration of Iran’s guilt was based chiefly on similar incidents happening in mid-May. John Bolton and Pompeo blamed Iran then, and since this was the same sort of thing, they blame Iran now. The problem is, they have offered no evidence Iran was responsible for the first incidents, let alone today’s, and are just tying them all together. Pompeo rattled off a list of things to blame Iran for, including multiple incidents that were done by Yemen’s Houthis, a rocket fired in Iraq that was never convincingly blamed on anyone, and an Afghanistan bombing that clearly was nothing to do with Iran at all.

(antiwar.com)

Where’s the evidence?

In a press conference that immediately evoked memories of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday claimed Iran was behind alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman without presenting one single shred of evidence.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” said Pompeo, who did not provide any details on the intelligence he cited.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred

Is this the same intel that our President refuses to accept elsewhere?

For me the question is…..The big questions are, as always, motive. Iran has no conceivable reason to attack such ships. 

Plus the Japanese ship is attacked while Japan’s Abe is on a state visit to Iran….again it smells like cow manure.

Just thinking out loud……

Debate Night Is Set!

20 For 2020!

In about two weeks the first debates of the 2020 election cycle……Dems have a plethora of candidates to choose from….every flavor of Democrat available……female, gay, centrist, Leftist, Old White guys. African-American, Asian, Hispanic, mayors, Senators, etc etc…….all that is missing is a Partridge In A Pear Tree.

And the voting Dems have not made up their minds yet (I have but then I am not that typical) according to most reports……

Ahead of the first 2020 debates beginning in two weeks, a majority of Democratic voters are undecided or are open to changing their first choice. Twenty Democratic candidates will argue their case, with ten candidates each spread out over two nights in Miami June 26-27. Interest in the contest remains remarkably high while certainty around its outcome remains much lower than sometimes acknowledged.

There is the reality of currently undecided voters. Beyond that, the vast majority who have settled on a first choice candidate have indicated, when asked, that their support for that first choice is soft. They continue to consider other candidates, often multiple other candidates, or state that they may change their mind. The most recent SSRS/CNN pollputs the number of voters who may change their mind at 55%. A May 18-21 poll by YouGov noted that nearly 3 in 4 likely Democratic primary voters either have not settled on a first choice or are considering more than one candidate. A state poll in North Carolina released by Emerson has 62% indicating that they may change their mind. Emerson removes undecideds from their poll numbers before reporting. This means that closer to three-quarters undecided or willing to change their mind is realistic. 80% of likely Democratic caucus attenders in this weekend’s Selzer poll in Iowa named a second choice candidate when asked.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/11/as-first-2020-debate-looms-most-democrats-are-still-persuadable/

The roster has been set for the stages on the 26 and 27 of June…..

The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that 20 candidates have qualified for the party’s first presidential debates later this month. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts were the only major candidates out of the two dozen Democratic hopefuls who failed to meet the polling or grassroots fundraising measures required to get a debate spot. Two lesser-known candidates, former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, also missed the cutoff, the AP reports. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had been on the bubble, both made the debate based on polling measures. The campaign’s opening debates, June 26-27 in Miami, will offer a prime opportunity for many White House hopefuls to reshape a race defined in recent weeks by former Vice President Joe Biden’s domination of polls.

An NBC News drawing Friday will divide the field between the first and second debate night. Party officials have promised to weight the drawing with the intention of ensuring that top-tier and lagging candidates are spread roughly evenly over the two nights. Those assignments will determine the debate strategies for many campaigns. Candidates will have to decide whether to go after front-runners such as Biden, challenge others in the pack or stand out by remaining above the fray. They must also decide how much to focus on President Trump. The polling and fundraising thresholds will remain the same for the July debates over two nights in Detroit. But the polling and fundraising marks will double for the third and fourth debates in September and October: Candidates will have to meet both marks instead of one or the other

As the elections and primaries move closer the more the DNC will push for certain candidates to participate……I have said before and nothing has changed…..I do not appreciate the DNC deciding who the candidates will be regardless of the number that are trying for the nomination…..it should be up to the voter to decide these things not a bunch of professional liars and cowards in the DNC.

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2019/05/30/only-certain-dems-are-welcome/

Learn Stuff!

Then VOTE!

That “Beautiful” Letter

Love Letters In The Sushi….or More News From the Korean BBQ

As a person who worked as an analyst in the government I find the statements by this president as simplistic and probably bullshit.

I do not understand Trump’s warm feelings for Kim of the DPRK (North Korea)……my years working in DC I never heard anyone refer to a letter sent by a leader as “beautiful”……and yet it seems that most of Kim’s letters are just that…..

John Bolton told the Wall Street Journal that North Korea had not complied with the deal reached with the US during last year’s Singapore summit. President Trump spoke hours later, however, defending Kim Jong Un, and insisting that he had “kept his word.”

“He kept his word. There’s no nuclear testing. There’s no large, there’s no long-range missiles going up,” Trump insisted. He added that all North Korea had done was very short-term, short-range tests, and that he considers those a “whole different deal.”

Trump also reported that he had received a “beautiful” letter from Kim, calling it “very warm” and expressing confidence that the two sides would eventually be able to reach an agreement.

Trump and Kim had a very positive meeting in Singapore last year, but the February Hanoi Summit ended in failure. Since then, there has been no visible progress on talks, and North Korean state media has expressed growing impatience, calling on the US to try a new approach.

The big obstacle has been that North Korea’s commitment to eliminate its nuclear arsenal is expected to take quite some time, but the US has so far ruled out any easing of sanctions or international hostility toward the North Koreans until the entire process is completed. Since the US has continued to increase sanctions in this time, many in North Korea are doubting if the US is approaching this with honorable intentions.

(antiwar.com)

Then he made another silly statement….he said that he would not use a family member as a CIA asset….seriously?  There is NO better source of accurate intel than from a family member…but not to Trump…..

President Trump has responded to reports earlier this week that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s slain half-brother Kim Jong Nam had worked as a CIA informant before his 2017 murder, saying he would never allow that to happen while he is in office.

Trump told reports on the South Lawn that when he speaks to Kim “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”

Technically, it already did. Kim Jong Nam was killed in Malaysia in February 2017, after Trump took office, and it is believed he flew to Malaysia to meet with his CIA contact. While the CIA’s use of him started before Trump took over, it clearly didn’t end with his election.

In reality, Trump likely believes that disavowing this tactic against Kim would be a way to try to gain his favor in future talks. Diplomatic progress with North Korea in 2018 was significant, but has all but halted in 2019. Trump has remained confident he will make more progress with Kim, with whom he seems to have quite the rapport.

(antiwar.com)

This is amazing…..I have talked with friends that handled Asia in the past and they cannot comment any further than to shake their heads in disbelief.

Does Trump have any idea what the CIA does for a living? 

What is in it for Trump to treat Kim like a ally?  Who will make the cash off this relationship?

This is all too damn silly for words…or it would be if it were not so damn pathetic.

Not to worry….this docu-drama is not over yet.

When Did Sudan Become Subservient?

Most Americans have no idea of the violence and problems brewing in the North African nation of Sudan…..and that is why I am here….to inform and educate.

I ask the question in the title because of something I read in the news……

The head of Sudan’s ruling military council was given a “green light” by Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to crack down on protesters camped for weeks outside the military’s headquarters, a Sudanese military expert has told Middle East Eye.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, the well-informed expert said he understood that plans to destroy the protest camp in Khartoum had been discussed during recent visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC).

“The breaking up of the sit-in was one of the main points on the agenda that was discussed,” the expert said. “Unless he got the green light from his regional allies he would not have been able to commit such a crime.”

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/sudan-crackdown-saudis-gave-green-light-assault-protesters

When did the Saudis become the “masters”?

The blood thirsty Saudis have made sure that the Sudanese government will need their help……the Sudanese government is being punished by the African bloc for their ruthless handling , thanx to the Saudis, of the protesters……

The African Union (AU) on Thursday suspended Sudan until the establishment of civilian rule, intensifying global pressure on its new military leaders to stand down after the worst violence since Omar al-Bashir’s fall in April.

Ethiopia – where the continental bloc is based – planned a mediation effort, with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed due on Friday to meet members of both the ruling Transitional Council (TMC) and the opposition, a diplomatic source said.

Both sides had been in talks over a civilian-led transition to democracy. But their already faltering negotiations collapsed when security forces stormed a sit-in protest camp on Monday, killing dozens of people.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-sudan-politics/african-bloc-suspends-sudan-demanding-end-to-military-rule-idUKKCN1T71C7

It appears as it can get worse for the protesters in Sudan for they have vowed to continue their onslaught…..

Sudan’s pro-democracy movement vowed Thursday to press its campaign of civil disobedience until the ruling military council is ousted and killers of protesters are brought to justice, as security forces fanned out across the capital and appeared to thwart any new demonstrations.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sudan-protesters-keep-campaign-until-082350161.html

Sudan analysis…….

Sudan’s stability is integral to the interests of several countries, some of which are interestingly rivals with one another. The GCC and its Egyptian ally are competing with Turkey for influence in the country, which is essentially an extension of the ongoing “GCC Cold War” between Qatar and the rest of its notional partners in the bloc over Doha’s patronage of the Ankara-allied Muslim Brotherhood that the remaining members of the organization and Cairo regard as terrorists. Bashir had previously allowed Turkey to rebuild the historic port of Suakin, which Egypt and the GCC consider to be part of a secret plot to set up a Turkish naval base in the Red Sea and has fueled speculation that they might have backed the early stages of the Color Revolution as part of a campaign of pressure to get him to reconsider this deal. Russia and China are also Sudan’s close partners, too, with the former seeing it as its point of entry into the rest of the continent and one of the three states pivotally comprising its “African Trilateral” while the latter needs the country for its envisaged bi-coastal “Sahelian-Saharan Silk Road“.

The Saudis are inserting themselves through out the region…..their war on Yemen, their blockade of Qatar and their shady deals with Israel….and now they move into North Africa.

Time for them, the Saudis, to be slapped down…… their arrogant meddling is causing more problems than it solves.