Bolivia–Would Make A Good “B” Movie

South and Central America has been breeding ground for US interference in state affairs…..we did it in Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia among others…..

We seem to always use the Monroe Doctrine as an excuse for any interference in the region…..

For those whose knowledge of the Doctrine is a bit limited…..I shall assist….

On December 2, 1823, President James Monroe used his annual message to Congress for a bold assertion: ‘The American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.’ Along with such other statements as George Washington’s Farewell Address and John Hay’s Open Door notes regarding China, this ‘Monroe Doctrine’ became a cornerstone of American foreign policy. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams had played the most important role in developing the wording of the declaration, and he also influenced the doctrine’s overall shape.

…..the situation in Central and South America. Revolutions against Spanish rule had been under way for some time, but it seemed possible that Spain and France might seek to reassert European rule in those regions. The British, meanwhile, were interested in ensuring the demise of Spanish colonialism, with all the trade restrictions that Spanish rule involved. British foreign secretary George Canning formally proposed, therefore, that London and Washington unite on a joint warning against intervention in Latin America. When the Monroe cabinet debated the idea, Adams opposed it, arguing that British interests dictated such a policy in any event, and that Canning’s proposal also called upon the two powers to renounce any intention of annexing such areas as Cuba and Texas. Why should the United States, he asked, appear as a cockboat trailing in the wake of a British man-of-war?

It was used to justify the coup in Guatemala, then the Cuban missile crisis, then the coup in Chile and next on the hit list was Bolivia in 1980…….

Social unrest, political fragmentation, drug trafficking, and violence all characterized the late 70’s in Bolivia. All of the major parties failed to gain a majority vote, coups were attempted with an alarming frequency, and human rights violations were severe and widespread. In the early 80’s, Bolivia transitioned to democracy, but that transition was far from smooth. In a 1997 interview with Charles Stuart Kennedy, Alexander Watson (Deputy Chief of Mission in La Paz, Bolivia 1979-1981) discusses the turbulent course of events, beginning with a coup on June 20, 1980, how he gave the keys to his house to certain political leaders, the change in policy after Ronald Reagan’s election and the eventual collapse of the coup plotters.

Source: “It was something out of a B movie” – The 1980 Coup in Bolivia – Association for Diplomatic Studies and TrainingAssociation for Diplomatic Studies and Training

And typically our intervention brought about years even decades of military rule and population suppression.  These coups did little to improve the lives of the people we say we are there to help.

Your history lesson in diplomatic adventures of the US is done…..(for today)

Class dismissed!

A “Clear Victory”

Who says hiring judges with “political purity” is not a thing?

SCOTUS proved today the necessity for the judges need to be partial to a political belief…..use the Constitution not a party spin……

President Trump scored a significant, if partial, victory from the Supreme Court on Monday: The justices agreed to allow a scaled-down version of his travel ban to take effect. The court also agreed to hear the case in the fall, setting the stage for a ruling that could have wide implications on presidential power, reports the New York Times. The upshot is that the Trump administration can put into effect a 90-day ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, along with a 120-day ban on the US refugee program. However, the court imposed what the Washington Post terms an important exception. The ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States,” said the justices.

Those who have no family or business ties in the US, or who have never visited before, would likely be out of luck. The court added that the case may well be moot by the fall, noting the White House originally said the ban would be a temporary one while it reviewed vetting procedures. Once that review is completed, the restrictions would presumably be lifted anyway. Two lower courts have blocked the ban, a revised version from the Trump administration’s first effort, essentially declaring it to be unconstitutional. Trump has said the ban would take effect within 72 hours of court approval.

There you have…put enough conservs on the court and you can crap all over the Constitution.

With his victory you would think that he would be dancing a jig for his policies….but instead he wants an apology…..

“The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling,” the president wrote in a two-parttweet, referring to this story. “With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero ‘tapes’ of [Trump] people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!” He also wrote that Obama didn’t go after Russia more aggressively because he assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win. Obama “colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good,” Trump tweeted.

How much juvenile BS will the American people stand…I know that his brainless supporters will see the need…but really?

I guess we have to wait for October for a final decision…..something for the MSM to fixate on for 4 months…..oh goody!

The “Fearsome” Return

The 20th century gave rise to a wealth of democratic movements….but in the last couple decades it appears that it is waning…..at first just a bit…but it seems to be getting stronger every year…..

In his brief time in the White House, US President Donald J. Trump has made a point of bestowing praise on the world’s leading autocrats. He repeatedly called Vladimir Putin a “strong leader,” described Xi Jinping as “a very good man,” said Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was doing a “fantastic job,” and lauded Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his triumph in a referendum that greatly expanded his presidential powers.

Trump’s new friends represent a rogues’ gallery of modern authoritarians.  These 21st-century strongmen are responsible for introducing an arsenal of new tactics to use against their domestic opponents, and have gone on the offensive in an effort to subvert and replace the liberal international order.

Source: Surging Autocrats, Wavering Democrats

As democratic movements wane the authoritarian movements gain strength…..and with that new found power the tactics must be fought to preserve democracy wherever it exists…..

After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing their old tactics and devising new ones.

It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win.

Source: Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it | Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder | Opinion | The Guardian

We must attack authoritarianism where it exists……democracy must prevail.

Closing Thought–26Jun17

Paying For Miracles!

That is “paying” not “praying” for miracles.

There seems to be booming business in Africa on the selling of miracles…..religious leaders are making profits off these hopes by parishioners…selling miracles…..

The Christian nation of Zambia has a proliferation of churches led by foreign and local pastors, popularly known as prophets. They take advantage of people’s credulity to make good money.

On a recent Sunday morning in Chibolya Secondary School, in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, more than ten churches conducted services in several classrooms. The noise made it hard to concentrate on any sermon.

Hundreds of people flocked to the area to hear a so-called prophetic word. This refers to a prophecy tailored to serve one individual at a particular time. It is a foretelling of personal events and the congregants loved it.

Source: Zambia: Selling Miracles in Zambia – allAfrica.com

Kinda sounds like a practice of the Roman Catholic Church, the early years……I guess they had to pay for all that opulence in buildings and ceremonies somehow.

It is stories like this that turn people off of religion…I have a problem with this type of religious programs….

Personally, I think it is disgusting to prey on people’s beliefs and to profit from their situations.

I need to go take a shower now!

Must close it down for now…..enjoy your day….chuq

Democrats! Time To Move On!

I waited a couple of years to see or read where a Repub said this with all the silly antics of the GOP in Congress….and as usual my wait was in vain.

This whole Russia-gate thing has been raging for months….all the while Dems are trying to use it as some sort of message to the American voter…they are failing.

Let’s be honest…the average person cares little about this Russian thing.  I spend time at a local college and there is very little discussion there as well.  The only places that this has any footing is the MSM and some blogs….after that no one is talking or even caring.

Even national polls show that it is not that important to the population…..

…….the latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey, provided exclusively to The Hill, which paints a complicated picture of voters’ opinions about the numerous probes that have engulfed the White House.

Sixty-four percent of voters said the investigations into President Trump and Russia are hurting the country. Fifty-six percent of voters said it’s time for Congress and the media to move on to other issues, compared to 44 percent who said the focus should stay on Russia.

But other surveys have found strong support for the special counsel investigating the Russia probe. A Harvard-Harris survey released last month found 75 percent support for former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation.

There is evidence in the Harvard-Harris survey that voters are taking the investigations seriously: Fifty-eight percent say they’re concerned by allegations of obstruction of justice against Trump, with the same number worried about possible dealings between Trump and the Russian government.

But far more — 73 percent — say they’re concerned that the Russia probes have caused Congress to lose focus on the issues important to them. That figure encompasses 81 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats.

(thehill.com)

In short the public is growing ever weary of the political games and the lack of Congressional attention to the important things in the voters lives.

If the prez would stop using Twitter to try and bully any opposition then the MSM would have little to report and would move on.

I am not saying remove on from the investigations just keep any news close to the vest until there is something big to report.

As long as the fixation is on this Russian thing then important issue go under-reported or not at all.

We have a health care bill that is a piece of crap, we have a budget debate coming, etc.

Source: The Politics Behind ‘Russia-gate’ – Consortiumnews

And for God sake move on from the last election!  Clinton lost…Trump won.  Trying to find someone to blame is doing no good…it definitely is not a unifying topic for the Party.

Source: Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket – Consortiumnews

Dems need to find a message that will resonate with voters and stop chasing every Tweet that comes off Trump’s thumbs…..or 2018 will be NO different than any of the last couple of elections.

UK’s Secret Wars

As one person who studies and analyzes conflicts I like to look back on history and the different covert wars that made little news in their day.

I have been checking out the covert wars that have been fought by the US and its allies to include the UK…..and since I have readers and commenters from the UK  I thought I would post this piece and hopefully get more info from those who may know more…..

During my research on covert wars I cam across this article in the BBC website…..”Britain’s Secret Wars”…it is a long article and packed full of info and hopefully some info that is not there can be told by my readers.

Let me stress…this is a lengthy article but well worth the read for anyone interested in covert ops……

For more than 100 years, Britain has been perpetually at war. Some conflicts, such as the Falklands, have become central to our national narrative, but others, including the brutal suppression of rebels in Oman, have been deliberately hidden.

n the months after the surrender of Japan on 14 August 1945, the British people were ready to believe that war was behind them. The newspapers were full of stories about possible home rule for India, and dockers going on strike in London, Liverpool and Hull. It is questionable how many readers of the Manchester Guardian on 6 December 1945 saw, let alone read, a short item that was tucked away at the foot of page six, nestled between a reader’s letter about the Nuremberg war crimes trials and a leading article about the foundation of the United Nations.

Source: Britain’s secret wars | Ian Cobain | UK news | The Guardian

History is fascinating and covert ops even more so……so much has happened under the radar…it is interesting.

My Advice For The Saudis–“Bite Me”!

I have been writing a lot on the Saudi-Qatari mash up recently.

Does the Arab League still exist?

Where is the mediation by the League?

Questions for another post no doubt.

The Saudis have released their demands for this situation to be over…..

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis, insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbor shutter broadcaster al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran, and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. In a 13-point list—presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis—the countries also demand an end to Turkey’s military presence in Qatar. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar this month over allegations the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism. Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which include paying an unspecified sum in compensation.

According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalize citizens from the four countries and expel those currently in Qatar, in what the countries describe as an effort to keep Qatar from meddling in their internal affairs. They are also demanding that Qatar hand over all individuals who are wanted by those four countries for terrorism and provide detailed information on opposition figures it has funded. Qatari officials in Doha did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. But the list included conditions that the gas-rich nation had already insisted would never be met, including shutting down al-Jazeera. A day earlier, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the demands must be “reasonable and actionable.”

What are the specific terms issued by the Saudis?

1) Scale down diplomatic ties with Iran and close the Iranian diplomatic missions in Qatar, expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and cut off military and intelligence cooperation with Iran. Trade and commerce with Iran must comply with US and international sanctions in a manner that does not jeopardise the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

2) Immediately shut down the Turkish military base that is currently being built, and halt military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatari territories.

3) Sever all ties to all the “terrorist, sectarian and ideological organisations,” specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL, al-Qaeda, Fateh Al-Sham (formerly known as Nusra Front) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Qatar needs to formally declare those entities as terrorist groups based on the list of groups that was announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, and concur with all future updates of this list.

4) Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, US and other countries.

5) Hand over “terrorist figures,” fugitives and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.

6) Shut down Al Jazeera Network and its affiliate stations.

7) End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.

8) Qatar has to pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.

9) Qatar must align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.

10) Submit all personal details of all the opposition members that Qatar supported and detail all support that Qatar has provided them in the past. Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over all files detailing Qatar’s prior contacts with and support for those opposition groups.

11) Shut down all news outlets that it funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye, etc.

12) Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid.

13) Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.

Okay now we know what the Saudis want.

MY advice to the Qatari government is to issue a two word statement…..”BITE ME!”

Saudis want to control the press…..they made no mention to Saudi citizens that have supported terrorism (start at home before you demand of others)…..Qatar should counter with reparations for the blockade…..Saudis want to pick Qatar’s friends…..Saudis want open access to Qatari monetary books…..Saudis are not concerned with rights and freedom of self-determination of Qatar……they want control.

In essence….BITE ME!

Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani writes: Qatar’s policies are rational, moral and just, and our efforts to foster dialogue and oppose tyranny will lead to a better future not only for our people but also for the world. Qatar has the right to chart its own course, without the interference of other nations, and that is what we can and will do. The door to the negotiating table will stay open.

The UN needs to step up and act like the governing body they are suppose to be……Saudis are acting like the bully in the school yard…the world should not allow this to continue….it could have far reaching consequences.