Closing Thought–10Oct19

Before I begin the mind numbing geopolitics…I would like to wish John Lennon a Happy Birthday…..born 09 October 1940…he is sadly missed…..https://liveforlivemusic.com/features/john-lennon-birthday-2019/

We need to move on……

By now we all are aware of the events unfolding in Syria with the Turks and the Kurds.

Trump basically gave Turkey a green light to attack the Kurds in Northern Syria……..but he has a unique reason for turning his back on an ally…..

President Trump angered critics including fellow Republicans with bizarre remarks Wednesday downplaying the importance of the alliance between US and Kurdish forces against ISIS, and of alliances in general. The president defended his decision to allow a Turkish offensive in northern Syria by pointing out that Kurdish fighters did not assist the US in military operations like the D-Day landings. “They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy for example,” Trump said. “They’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.” Business Insider notes that Normandy is around 2,500 miles from the Kurdistan region, and isn’t part of the US. “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds,” Trump added.

Asked whether he felt abandoning the Kurds sent a worrying message to other US allies, Trump replied: “Alliances are easy,” adding that it will be easy for the US to form new ones. He also said America’s “alliances” have “taken tremendous advantages of us.” Trump’s own alliances with some Republican lawmakers appear to be weakening. “At request of this administration the Kurds served as the primary ground fighters against ISIS in Syria so US troops wouldn’t have to,” but Trump then “cut deal with Erdogan allowing him to wipe them out,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio. Rep. Liz Cheney said she couldn’t understand why Trump “is leaving America’s allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS.” Cheney and other Republican lawmakers described news of the Turkish offensive as “sickening.”

I got a history lesson today…I am so pleased (sarcasm)….I just love a good ad lib…and this was NOT one of those.

Please tell this person to STOP trying to re-write history….someone correct the BS…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Is Patriotism?

This is one of those nagging questions that needs a answer…

In this nation of tribes within tribes….the term patriot and patriotism have fallen into some sort of funk….once again I try to help my readers look into this phenom…I have my definition….but is it the best one….or is there any other definition that fits the term more properly.

I have asked this question many times for it is a political tool and can be used as an insult to opponents…..I have asked and I have written many times trying to get to the root of the answer to “what is patriotism”?

A few of the more recent writings……

https://lobotero.com/2016/07/07/patriotism-whats-it-good-for/

https://lobotero.com/2016/09/25/who-has-a-lock-on-patriotism/

https://lobotero.com/2017/04/21/what-happened-to-patriotism/

I still do not have a sufficient answer to the question.  I have my feelings on the term but what about others…do they feel the same as I?  It is a term that is batted around too easily to the point of becoming political slogan instead of a way of life.

Those lingering questions…….

What is patriotism?

Is it an ideology?

Is it love of country?

Is it a religion?

Is it values?

What makes it patriotism?

Answer me that.

What makes one a patriot?

Patriotism is not love of country, if by “country” you mean scenery—amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesty, and the like. Almost every country has pretty collections of rocks, water, and stuff that people grow and eat. If that’s what patriotism is all about, then Americans have precious little for which we can claim any special or unique love. And surely, patriotism cannot mean giving one’s life for a river or a mountain range.

Patriotism is not blind trust in anything our leaders tell us or do. That just replaces some lofty concepts with mindless goose-stepping.

https://fee.org/articles/the-true-meaning-of-patriotism/

Is there one overriding characteristic that will define patriotism?

I have questions with few answers.

Anyone that thinks they have the answers then please jump in and enlighten me and my readers.

If there are NO common definitions of patriotism then how can we have a united nation with freedom and justice for ALL?

Just a thought.

Any thoughts you would like to pass on?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Pompeo–Water Boy

Back in 2016 when president elect announced his choice of SecState, Rex Tillerson, I was aghast…..I thought because he , Tillerson, had very little foreign service experience that he would go down in history as our worse SecState…..

I wrote of my concerns in 2016…….https://lobotero.com/2016/12/15/tea-for-the-tillerson/

But since that was an age ago here is a small reminder of what Tillerson brought to the State Department……https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/rex-tillerson-state-issues-233353

Since Tillerson’s departure and the naming of a Trump toady as SecState…..https://lobotero.com/2018/03/14/my-opinion-us-state-secretarys-rex-tillersons-replacement-is-the-presidents-toady/

I may have been mistaken in my judgement over Tillerson……

That is right…I am admitting that I may have been mistaken when I said that Tillerson would be our worse SecState of all time…..and then Trump brings in Pompeo to carry his water for him (a toady)….

We have worked for a half dozen secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations and rarely if ever have we encountered one more ill-suited for the job. Pompeo, who seems to be motivated by his own political ambitions and his desire to keep his job, has produced little of real consequence to advance the nation’s interest. If he continues on his current trajectory, Pompeo may end up being remembered as the worst secretary of state in modern times.

To be fair, Pompeo works for a mercurial and undisciplined President who trusts and empowers no one, interferes in foreign policy when his vanity and mood swings move him, and sees everything through the lens of his own personal and political needs. It may well be that no secretary of state can navigate these turbulent waters.
After John Bolton was ousted as national security adviser, Pompeo became the most influential foreign policy voice in Washington after Trump. And yet it appears Pompeo is either unwilling or incapable of using that influence to advise the President. There is no speaking truth to power here. Pompeo seems unwilling to apply any brakes on Trump’s impulses and in fact seems willing to keep one foot on the accelerator — particularly when it comes to defending Trump’s trade war with China and defending Saudi Arabia.
 
To be fair Pompeo is a Trump toady and a Neocon slug…none of which bodes well for our foreign policy.
 
The latest story of the Ukraine and Trump just illustrates what a total lackey Pomeo is to Trump…..

If it wasn’t clear that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is President Donald Trump’s lapdog, his actions around the Ukraine scandal have left no doubt.

He feigned ignorance about the president’s call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and later admitted he was on the call after press reports exposed him. He used to be all for Congressional oversight of the State Department when he was in the House and now says questions about the administration’s conduct toward the European nation amounts to “bullying.” And instead of standing by the ambassador to Ukraine, he let the president recall her seemingly for personal reasons.

It would be astounding if it weren’t so predictable. Time and time again, Pompeo has gone out of his way to defend and protect the president. As CIA director, he publicly distorted intelligence to favor his boss. As America’s top diplomat, he’s continued to defend Trump’s most questionable actions and overseen a highly politicized State Department.

I feel that he, Pompeo, will go down in history as the worse most clueless and fickle SecState….and the country will take decades to repair the damage that Trump and his water boy, Pompeo, has done to our policies.
 
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

ISIS Defeated, As The Story Goes

As Turkey begins its attack to “take care” of the Kurds there is a little something that should be considered (not that anyone consulted me)…….

After years of war and barbarity in Syria and Iraq we are told by the president of the United States that ISIS has been defeated……of course I had to take exception to that declaration…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/02/18/all-bow-down-isis-defeated/

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/21/will-isis-rest-in-peace/

https://lobotero.com/2019/08/28/isis-the-return/

Just a small sampling of my posts on the declaration that ISIS had been defeated.

We were told that the US mission in Syria has been accomplished and now we may depart with head held high….unfortunately declaring was premature…..

US President Donald Trump has issued multiple declaration of victory over ISIS. Back in December 2018, Mr. Trump stated: “We have won against ISIS.” He subsequently initiated US troop withdrawals from Syria. The administration has equated the loss of physical territory with ISIS defeat. By the summer of 2019, ISIS no longer wielded control over its territorial caliphate in Syria and Iraq, as the last stronghold of Baghouz fell in Syria in March. In July 2019, President Trump reiterated his belief in the triumph over ISIS: “We have 100 percent of the caliphate, and we’re rapidly pulling out of Syria. We’ll be out of there pretty soon. And let them handle their own problems. Syria can handle their own problems—along with Iran, along with Russia, along with Iraq, along with Turkey. We’re 7,000 miles away.”

However, any declarations of victory over ISIS are premature. The group has long been developing its insurgent capabilities and has been preparing to take the fight underground. There are numerous indicators suggesting that ISIS is getting ready for a comeback. According to the recent Pentagon inspector general’s report, ISIS is resurging in areas of Syria and Iraq. The report estimates that the group retains a force of fourteen to eighteen thousand people, including up to three thousand foreigners.

https://mwi.usma.edu/mission-accomplished-perils-declaring-premature-victory-isis/

Sadly you can kill the person but not the idea…..ISIS can and will make a comeback……

Lt. Col. Jace Neuenschwander, a battalion commander in Task Force Nineveh which is part of the U.S.-led coalition effort, says that ISIS has tried to adapt to finding new places to exploit gaps in security in Iraq to stay alive. Located near Mosul, Neuenschwander and several hundred personnel are part of the tip of the spear in terms of identifying an ISIS resurgence. “[ISIS have] had a hard time staying alive,” he says. ISIS keeps a low profile and is losing ground, safe havens and smuggling routes. His sector, which stretches around the city of Mosul towards the Syrian border is “not as active as it once was” and the Iraqi Security Forces are doing a good job.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/can-isis-make-comeback-85006

The truth is that ISIS and AQ have starting branching out into the sub-continent and South Asia…..they will make a comeback just few know exactly where.

To update the news……. in Syria….ISIS gets a breather for now…..

The major Syrian Kurdish faction the SDF has reportedly halted its anti-ISIS operations, to the extent that any were still going on, in response to Turkish ground forces crossing the border into northeastern Syria on Wednesday.

This move absolutely makes sense, with sources saying that the SDF believes it is impossible to resist a Turkish invasion and fight ISIS remnants at the same time. Clearly, this was something the Kurds threatened to try to deter Turkey.

In reality, there do not appear to be substantial anti-ISIS operations going on anymore anyhow, and hasn’t been for quite some time, since ISIS lost all their territory months ago. The ISIS battle was a big talking point for the US, and they are keen to keep that narrative going.

The US has demanded that Turkey take charge of the ISIS operation now that they are in northeastern Syria, with a focus on keeping prisoners detained. It is likely that anything even remotely ISIS-related will be blamed on Turkey.

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”