Closing Thought–14Oct19

By now the whole world and even FOX News watchers know that Turkey is invading Northern Syria in search of the Kurds.

First, Kurds?

The Kurds are mostly Sunni Muslims who share a common language, customs and cultural traditions. But they don’t share a nationality.

And the Kurds DID assist the Allies in WW2…..


The #Kurds DID fight on the Allied side in WW2. They helped break the siege after the 1941 pro-Nazi Coup d’état in Iraq & were part of the (pro-Allied) Iraq Levies. In 1942 Kurds made up 25% of the force. By 1943, 10 of the 44 companies of Iraq Levies were Kurdish.

Now that you have been brought up to date on the Kurds….

My problem is that Turkey has invaded a sovereign nation in this case Syria……I do believe that this is frowned upon by most international treaties.

Like treaties the US has signed over the years Trump is null and voiding most of them in his narcissistic rampage through our foreign policy.

I believe that this invasion is a violation of the United Nations Charter Article 2…..

  • The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
  • All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
  • All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  • All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

I wish I could say that Turkey is the sole violator…but that would be a LIE.

Now we wait to hear what the UN will have to say and/or do…..

What about NATO…since Turkey is a NATO memeber and Syria were to attack them…..the US would be compelled to enter into this conflict….

  • Collective defence means that an attack against one Ally is considered as an attack against all Allies.
  • The principle of collective defence is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
  • NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, for instance in response to the situation in Syria and in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
  • NATO has standing forces on active duty that contribute to the Alliance’s collective defence efforts on a permanent basis.

All the confusion in and around Syria made me thonk of a song from my past…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Deadliest Battle For The USA

I have been studying World War One for a very long time……it has been 100 years since the end of this war and what have we learn?

To be honest…we have learned very little.

To Europe the war was a “Big Deal” because they lost so many young men that a whole generation was damn near wiped out.

It is not so important to us Americans…..but since we did participate in this conflict then what was the deadliest battle for our troops?

A century ago, the first shots were fired in one of the most important American military engagements ever — and the deadliest battle in U.S. history.

World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which involved more than a million American soldiers and claimed the lives of 26,277, was launched in northern France on Sept. 26, 1918 to push the German army out of the country and reclaim a rail network vital to supplying enemy troops. The fight lasted a grueling 46 days and generated scores of stories of heroism and sacrifice.

But most notably, it helped bring an end to The Great War.

World War One, The Great War, The War To End All Wars, was considered by many as an accident brought about by events that spiraled out of control…..but to others including myself think that the war was NO accident…..

Not surprisingly, this has brought all sorts of stories and op-eds discussing the disastrous events that killed some 16 million people and wounded an additional 21 million others.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war.  Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

AS I have said…I studied WW1 because of the scope….others study WW2 because of its result……as they say Idealists study WW2; realists study WW1…..

Scenario one: a dominant superpower, serving as the unquestioned head of an international alliance, and possessing unmatched military and economic strength. This superpower appears exceptionally led at the military, political, and bureaucratic levels, and possesses the time and space to conceptualize a focused strategy against a specific threat.

Scenario two: several powerful nations operating in a multipolar world, pursuing divergent interests, with none possessing an absolute advantage over the others. Exceptional political and military leadership is lacking, and the rapid pace of change means these nations are carried forward by events over which they exercise little control. Few are certain what a future threat or strategy may resemble.

Our first scenario describes the world of 1945; the triumphant United States at the head of a new international order and poised to combat a clear challenger. Our second describes the world of 1918: victorious powers fighting over diverging interests, squandering their opportunities of peace, but convinced in their conceit that the world could be ordered in their image.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“I Read, I Wrote and now You KNow”

“Lego ergo Scribo”

2019 Pre-Debate Debate

The day before the day of the debate…and it is Indigenous Day……

The 4th Dem debate of the 2020 season has been a cock up……only a very few qualified for the debate….mostly the corporate candidates with a few others….my choice for a candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, made into this debate….but there was so much confusion that the media did nothing to help clarify simply because their choices were in so screw the rest…..

On September 8, a Washington Post/ABC poll was released. An initial report from ABC claimed that Gabbard had not received the 2% necessary for the poll to count as a qualifying poll, but the Gabbard campaign announced that she had indeed received the 2% necessary for the poll to count as a qualifying poll, citing the Washington Post figures directly. To further complicate matters, FiveThirtyEight claimed that it had received confirmation from the DNC that the poll did not count for Gabbard but the Gabbard campaign countered by stating that no official DNC ruling had been stated and that FiveThirtyEight did not name their source from the DNC.  Presently, no official DNC ruling has been made, but it is important to note that previously DNC policy has been passed down orally, and only confirmed later by statements to the press, without any official ruling, as was done with the Bullock controversy above.

The confusion stems from the fact that the poll data was presented with two columns, one of “all” adults, and one of “registered” voters, even though the question was only asked to those who “leaned” toward the Democratic party. Gabbard had 1% in the “all” column and 2% in the “registered” column. An identical DNC approved poll conducted on the 1st of July was also located in the data, but it is unclear which category was used for the qualification for the debates, as no candidate had 2% in one category and 1% in the other, although FiveThirtyEight claims the above DNC source told them the sample for the “debate qualification will be the adult sample”, and Politico used the “registered” column for their data compilation. Gabbard later reached 2% in two other qualifying polls, allowing her to qualify for the fourth debate.


After all the confusion Tulsi stated that she might boycott this debate because of the DNC rulings that try to eliminate some candidates in favor of others……

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) says she may boycott the Democratic presidential debate next week, accusing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and media of “rigging” the primary contest against outsider candidates such as herself.

Gabbard pointed to what she described as “arbitrary” and nontransparent qualification requirements as evidence party leaders “are trying to hijack the entire election process.”

The Hawaii Democrat, who has hit the qualification thresholds for Tuesday’s debate in Ohio, said she’d decide in the coming days whether to participate.

“The 2016 Democratic Primary election was rigged by the DNC and their partners in the corporate media against Bernie Sanders,” Gabbard said in a statement.

I agree with her that the DNC and the media is trying to decide who the candidates will be for 2020……I have been saying that for most of 2019…..

I do not think that she should boycott.

I understand her reason for saying she would but to what purpose?

Her voice, antiwar voice, is needed on that stage….I hope she does reconsider her thought.

Update–Tulsi reconsidered and will attend the debate tomorrow.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!


I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Professor’s Classroom

My blogging buddy Pete of gave me an idea…..back in the dark days of this blog although in those days it was titled “Studies and Observations” on Blogger…I would start the week with a short historic quiz and unfortunately it got very little traffic…so I thought I would hopefully give them a new life by re-blogging them on IST…..the Google machine awaits…….Thanx Pete for the inspiration……

In Saner Thought

Hiya Class! Today’s lesson is one question.

Who was the last president to have an immediate family member fight in a war?


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Breaking News: Syria

The Middle East just took a step closer to a full blown war….instead of the hunt for a “safe zone”…..

NATO ally has invaded a sovereign nation, Syria, in pursuit of a people they say are terrorists….the Kurds….

In a meeting the scales are weighted…..Syria has ageed to defend the Kurds from Turkish aggression…..

This might be a last-minute, desperation deal—but now Syrian Kurds have some protection. They said Sunday the Syrian government has agreed to send army forces to the nation’s northern border to try to curb Turkey’s assault, the BBC reports. Russia brokered the deal over three days between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and President Bashar al-Assad’s government, a Kurdish intelligence official tells the Washington Post. What the Kurds gave up in response is unclear, but Mazloum Abdi, leader of the SDF, described it as a necessity.

“We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,” he writes in Foreign Policy. But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.” Abdi expressed appreciation of America’s “generous support,” but said “Turkey would never attack us so long as the US government was true to its word with us. We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives.” Indeed, Turkey attacked as President Trump ordered most or all US troops in the area to pull out.

This situation is leading to an old stand-off…..NATO vs Russia……Syria has help…Russia and Iran…..NATO has Turkey……

This should test the strength of the NATO charter.

On the other front in this….American troops…..

US officials had already made a big deal of withdrawing from northern Syria, but President Trump on late Saturday has finally ordered a full withdrawal from the area, covering about 1,000 troops that were still in potential combat areas.

Among the troops withdrawing were the personnel in a US base at Ayn al-Issa. Turkish forces were approaching the area, and had cut off US supply lines by seizing the highway. Keeping the base at that point seemed no longer feasible.

That the Pentagon is reporting this new order covers 1,000 troops in northern Syria is interesting, as just days ago the US claimed to have only 15-100 troops left there, when they came under fire from Turkish artillery. Even before that, Trump claimed the US had only ever had 50 troops there in the first place, as to downplay the pullback.

It is not clear from the reports where these 1,000 troops are going, though so far there is no indication that the US is actually leaving Syria. Rather, it is likely they’ll just move deeper south, as to give Turkey more room to operate.

With Turkey moving its troops deeper into Syria, and Syria’s Army advancing into the area to resist them, the fight could get very complicated very quickly. The US clearly doesn’t want to get directly involved, though these slow, incomplete pullouts mean the US is also determined to keep a toehold in the country.


The news will be daily around this situation…..I will be watching.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What About The Saudi-Iranian Mash Up?

Whatever happen to the brewing war in the Persian Gulf?

A week begins and this situation is a distant memory.

Just last month we were on the brink of an all out war (we seem to always be on the brink these days) with Iran over the Persian Gulf incidents…..and attack on a Saudi refinery and one on ma Saudi ship….

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

With the situation between the Saudis and the Iranians it is always a tit for tat……and so it was recently…an Iranian tanker has been attacked…..

Two missiles struck an Iranian tanker traveling through the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia Friday, Iranian officials said, the latest incident in the region amid months of heightened tensions between Tehran and the US. Saudi officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, per the AP. The state-run IRNA news agency, quoting Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co., identified the stricken vessel as the Sabiti. Iranian state TV said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the oil tanker and caused an oil leak into the Red Sea near Jiddah. The leak was later stopped, per IRNA. “This latest incident, if confirmed to be an act of aggression, is highly likely to be part of the wider narrative of deteriorating relations between [the Saudis] and the US and Iran,” private maritime security firm Dryad Maritime warned.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi described the incident as an “attack” carried out by those committing “dangerous adventurism.” In a statement, Mousavi said the Sabiti was struck twice in the span of a half-hour and that an investigation was underway. “The oil tanker … sustained damages to the body when it was hit by missiles,” IRNA said. The agency didn’t say whom Iranian officials suspect of launching the missiles. Images released by Iran’s Petroleum Ministry appeared to show no visible damage to the Sabiti visible from its bridge, though they didn’t show the ship’s sides. A spokesman for the US Navy’s 5th Fleet overseeing the Mideast said authorities there were “aware of reports of this incident,” but he declined to comment further.

Tit For Tat!

The president and his troubles with the legal stuff has overshadowed a news report that should have been a headline……Iran and Saudis hold talks….

the Saudis appear to be resigned to the fact that they just aren’t starting that war. Their fallback plan, it seems, is to now try to get some indirect negotiations going with Iran to reduce tensions, after spending years bringing those tensions to a boiling point.

Exactly how this process got going is unclear, put Iraqi and Pakistani officials say they were brought into the matter by the Saudi Crown Prince, and both are now intending to serve as mediators for the indirect talks.

Iran is on board for the effort, but Saudi officials, despite being reported to have started the whole thing, are now saying they’re considering the idea, but want to make sure everyone thinks Iraq and Pakistan are acting unilaterally, and they never approached anyone.

An official Saudi statement also insists that since the escalation was all the fault of Iran, they need to begin de-escalation, and that it’s not up to the Saudis to do that. This is in keeping with the Saudis’ stance of trying to provoke every action in the Middle East, but also keep up a narrative where they didn’t actually do anything, and just react to everything that happens.

And while the Saudis usually turn to the US to drive whatever policy they want, it is noteworthy that the US seems uninvolved in this peace process. It seems even the Saudis are well aware that the US isn’t a nation to try to use to make peace.


This should have been a lead story since if these talks are successful then the war drums would be silenced and the the humanitarian crisis and war in Yemen could be negotiated to a halt.

This should have been the story of the week.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”