Closing Thought–17Jun19

Something we hear very little about these days, with all the election and legal wrangling to news of our War on Terror……believe it or not we are still trying to counter terrorism across the world………and as a law the president must inform Congress of our efforts as a national security thing…..

The text of the letter sent by President to the Congress outlining the US military efforts across the world……

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed United States combat-equipped forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/text-letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-president-pro-tempore-senate-6/

This is a good idea but my question is…what about the troops in Central Asia….are they not armed and ready for combat?

Making America (History) Great Again–Part 31

As the calls for the impeachment of an American president…..Maj. Danny Sjursen takes a look at the dark days around the Nixon re-election years…….

Maj. Sjursen has a unique way of looking into the soul of American history….his series should be taught…if not in high school then in college…..his perspective is similar to the writings of Howard Zinn, another historian with a great look at our history,,,the good and the bad……

Before we go to Part 31….I want to help my readers able to read all the Parts of this series…..

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10;Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30.

This Part of the series looks at the “Dark Lecacy Of The Nixon Years”…..

He was corrupt. He was petty, angry and resentful. He was also one of the most astute politicians in the annals of the American presidency. Time after time he overcame obstacles and defeats to rise again. His genius, ultimately, was this: He envisioned a new coalition and knew how to channel white resentment over the civil rights and antiwar movements into political triumph. This was his gift, and his legacy. Americans today inhabit the partisan universe that Richard Milhous Nixon crafted. Republican leaders to this very day speak Nixon’s language and employ Nixon’s tactics of fear and anger to win massive white majorities in election upon election. Indeed, though Nixon eventually resigned in disgrace before he could be impeached, the last half-century has been rather kind to the Republican Party. Only three Democrats have been elected president in that period, and Republicans have reigned over the White House for a majority of the post-Nixon era.

For all that, Nixon remains an enigma. Though he crafted a lasting conservative majority among American voters, he also supported popular environmental and social welfare causes. He secretly bombed Laos and Cambodia and orchestrated a right-wing coup in Chile but also reached out to the Soviets and Chinese in a bold attempt to lessen Cold War tensions and achieve detente. A product of conflict, Nixon operated in the gray areas of life. Though the antiwar activists, establishment liberals and African-Americans generally hated him, Nixon won two presidential elections, cruising to victory for a second term. He was popular, far more so than many would like to admit. Although the 1960s began as a time of prosperity and hope, they produced a president who operated from and exploited anxiety and fear, and in doing so found millions of supporters. Nixon was representative of the dark side of American politics, and no one tapped into the darkness as deftly as he did. The key to his success was his ability to rally what he called the “silent majority” of frustrated Northern whites (most of whom traditionally were Democrats) and angry Southern whites (in what came to be known as his “Southern strategy”). It was cynical, and it worked.

 
As an old fart that remembers these days all too well…..appreciate the observations from this historian…..all Americans need to remember or at least learn about those dark days of the American presidency….so that it cannot happen again……(too late!)……

Privatization Sucks!

In 1980 with the election of Reagan and the defeat of Carter a new way of running the government came into being…..privatization…..and since it has become the “thing” the country has lost bunches of cash paying these contractors to do the jobs that use to be handled by civil service employees.

When I left the Army I became a civil servant ( not a private contractor) doing the same job that I was doing in the military.

Most jobs in the Defense Department are cheaper with civilian employees as compared to contractors, according to an internal Pentagon report, though the cost comparisons differ based on location, pay grade and job function.

Civil service workers are most likely to be less expensive than contractors performing the same work in the Washington, D.C. region and in the Southeastern United States, the report compiled by the Office of the Secretary of Defense found. More than 75 percent of comparisons in the Southeast the Pentagon ran between government and contract workers showed a higher cost for the private sector, and the capital region was not far behind. Government Executive obtained the never-before reported on document through a Freedom of Information Act request.

https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/12/civilians-are-cheaper-contractors-most-defense-jobs-internal-report-finds/153656/

There has always been waste and fraud in the process of issuing contracts…but it seems to have gotten much worse after privatization…..

I believe that a whole new way of dealing with contractor needs implementing…..ear plugs that are not safe…the Pentagon needs to fine them the total cost of the contract and not allow the company to bid again for 5 years.

But does privatization really work?

According to privatization’s supporters, this shift from public to private management is so profound that it will produce a panoply of significant improvements: boosting the efficiency and quality of remaining government activities, reducing taxes, and shrinking the size of government. In the functions that are privatized, they argue, the profit-seeking behavior of new, private sector managers will undoubtedly lead to cost cutting and greater attention to customer satisfaction.

https://hbr.org/1991/11/does-privatization-serve-the-public-interest

But make up your own mind……https://www.governing.com/topics/mgmt/pros-cons-privatizing-government-functions.html

As you may have guessed…I do not think the privatization has produced all the benefits that the Reagan bunch promised in the 1980s.

Just thinking out loud.

Is It Is Or Is It Ain’t?

If you have been paying attention to the news these days then you will know that we may be inching closer to a war with Iran……..

Pompeo has gone on the Tube and accused Iran of an attack on tankers in the Persian Gulf….without any proof other than his word……the problem there is that the captain of one of the attacked tankers does not agree with Pompeo….

The owner of the Japanese tanker that was attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, the Kokuka Outrageous, contradicted the US military’s claims about the attack. Central Command reported that the two tankers were hit with limpet mines, a type of mine that is attached to the hull of a ship below the waterline using magnets. But Yutaka Katada, the owner of the Kokuka Outrageous, said he received reports a projectile hit the ship.

“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Katada said at a press conference, “The place where the projectile landed was significantly higher than the water level, so we are absolutely sure that this wasn’t a torpedo. I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

(antiwar.com)

All this reminds me of the 1980s…..the old “Tanker Wars”……

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

https://www.apnews.com/ceb6e7a86bf14a9a8d8ecf81c9dcc7ef

Plus the MSM has been hyping the incident to fan the flames of war….trying to get the public lathered up so they will fully support an illegal war….

If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/14/think-us-media-wont-help-lead-nation-war-iran-based-flimsy-or-false-intelligence

It is getting so bad that Pompeo even blames Iran for attacks by the Taleban….

In the violence in Kabul broached by Pompeo, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a U.S.convoy on May 31 that killed four Afghan pedestrians and wounded four American servicemen and at least three civilians. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid boasted of the attack in a phone call with The Associated Press.

But on Thursday, as Pompeo slammed Iran, he called the Kabul bombing one of “a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests,” the Post reported.

The characterization of the Kabul attack as linked to Iran surprised experts and a former U.S. diplomat, the Post reported. Besides the Taliban’s claim of responsibility, they said it would be unusual for Iran to launch an attack inside Kabul.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tanker-attacks-iran-pompeo-taliban_n_5d0581b2e4b0dc17ef0aed60

These warmongers are itching for another fight and will use or blame whoever they must to get their war.