Read The Transcript–Part 2

Closing Thought–15Nov19

Just to be honest this the is memo of the second phone call made by the president to Ukraine……Trump has released his second transcript (it is not a transcript and says so on the document)…..(read the warning in highlighted yellow)…….

Trying to head off some of the fallout from the hearings evidence no doubt….

Read the Memo here……https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6429034-White-House-memo-on-Trump-call-with-Ukraine.html

Be sure to watch for my days summary of the Hearing in tomorrow’s blog.

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Syrian Oil Saga

Recently Trump move troops out of Syria just to redeploy them in Eastern Syria around the oil fields…..I wrote about what I thought about the idea of the US basically taken Syrian oil……https://lobotero.com/2019/11/05/syria-the-confusion-and-the-chaos/

I have not seen anything that would lead me believe that the US has the best motives about the Syrian oil….

Whether to control the oil or flat out take the oil, US statements on the new military mission in Syria are heavily oil-themed. Other reports, however, suggest that the operation is a lot more complicated than that.

In reality, a lot of the goal is nation-building, with US forces meant to both keep the Syrian government out of this part of Syria, and try to “bring prosperity” to the region, propping up a potential territory of rebels.

This is again built around the assumption that the US can manufacture an autonomous, prosperous region, using the oilfields as the revenue source, and then steer that region toward hostility with the rest of Syria.

This will likely end up being a plan easier for the Trump Administration to sell than overt theft of oil, as it allows the US to retain its primary focus, military hostility toward Syria with an eye toward eventual regime change.

To that end, the US keeps condemning Syria and Russia for airstrikes in the Idlib Province of northwestern Syria, and is demanding a full halt to strikes to resolve the situation through the UN. Ironically, the US has also opposed that UN reconciliation process, because it’s not going to end with regime change.

Pentagon officials are also pointing out that their military presence in Syria implies US military authority to open fire on Syrian government representatives if any of them try to reclaim control over the Syrian oilfields.

(antiwar.com)

I still say that the oil is that of Syria not the US and as such we should have NO voice in how it is used…..and yet the Pentagon says they have the right to order our troops to shoot on sight….no matter who……

Pentagon officials asserted Thursday U.S. military authority over Syrian oil fields because U.S. forces are acting under the goal of “protecting Americans from terrorist activity” and would be within their rights to shoot a representative of the Syrian government who attempted to retake control over that country’s national resource.

The comments came from Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman and Navy Rear Admiral William D. Byrne Jr. during a press briefing in which the two men were asked repeatedly about the legal basis the U.S. is claiming to control Syrian oil fields.

The briefing came less than two weeks after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “That’s our mission, to secure the oil fields” in the Deir ez-Zor area of eastern Syria. President Donald Trump’s comments before and after that remark —”We’re going to be protecting [the oil], and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future,” and “The oil… can help us, because we should be able to take some”— were seized on by critics who claimed Trump was suggesting violating international law by plundering another country’s resources and openly saying the U.S. was pursuing war for oil.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/08/pentagon-claims-us-authority-shoot-any-syrian-govt-official-who-tries-take-control

I reiterate…..what gives the US the right to basically steal Syrian oil?

Apparently Trump decides and it is still the policy of this admin…..

Speaking during a visit with Turkey’s President Erdogan, President Trump sought the simplify the US role in Syria, saying Turkey’s issues over the border were thousands of years in the making.

“We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure,” Trump insisted in comments, adding that “we kept troops in Syria only for the oil.” This is in keeping with Trump’s talking points of recent weeks, which emphasize the idea that the US is going to take Syria’s oil.

The insistence that the US is there “only for the oil,” however, is a critical point, because it runs directly contrary to every comment made by anyone else in the administration in recent weeks.

Pentagon officials have played up the idea of the US fighting with Syrian troops, Russian troops,and ISIS as reasons for staying in the country. Some have been dismissive of the idea that the US would be keeping the oil at all, despite President Trump very clearly, repeatedly saying that’s exactly what he intends to have happen.

(antiwar.com)

Is there a legal question that needs answering?

Following new meetings with defense leaders last week, President Trump has signaled intentions to expand his new war in Syria, which is a war entirely built around military control of oilfields in Eastern Syria from which he intends to extract oil.

All of this is raising ever-growing legal questions, both about what the legal ramifications of an overt war for oil would be, and about what the military is actually supposed to do in this environment, and against whom.

President Trump has so far side-stepped questions about the legality of taking other countries’ oil by arguing that it’s a lot of money the US could make every month in doing so. As far as military orders, those still haven’t been issued, and moreover officials concede a lot of details are “yet to be worked out.”

Despite lack of clarity on what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who it’s against, the US troops in Syria are doing something, and Kurdish YPG forces were also reported to have gotten involved, sending some troops of their own to help guard the oil fields.

The Kurds are reportedly helping the US guard the oil from ISIS, and while that’s a pretty straightforward mission for the Kurds, it’s a lot more complicated for the US, with a lot of the people the US is keeping away from the oil having nothing to do with ISIS.

Unspoken is that the US mission is to keep Syria’s oil away from Syria, and experts are being very clear that that notion is very illegal under international law. So far that doesn’t seem to be phasing officials, but anyone participating outside of US command is going to be trying to style this as about ISIS.

(antiwar.com)

I still do not see the legality of the US occupation of Syrian oilfields.

Not to worry the president will make it all much clearer…..

President Trump’s position on the Syrian War aims to further simplify matters. Turkey’s President Erdogan says he is worried about Turkey’s border with Syria, and President Trump sees an opportunity to contrast his own war, saying “we left troops behind only for the oil.”

In the context of US-Turkey relations, this seems very straightforward and avoids conflicts of interest. Admitting that the whole US war is for oil isn’t the panacea Trump thinks it is, however, and he’s running up against other US officials on this issue.

Lawmakers are couching the Syrian War as being about protecting the Kurds, while the Pentagon’s leadership sees it heavily built around fighting ISIS and continuing to work toward regime change in Syria. Some even suggest it’s about countering Russia.

Trump’s all-oil agenda directly contradicts everyone else, and gives the impression that the US is being deliberately evasive about its military agenda and where US foreign policy is going.

Trump’s comments may simply reflect his agenda and what he cares about in Syria, just the oil. At the same time, other top officials plainly see the legal complications to overtly looting oil during a military occupation, and are downplaying that matter hoping nothing ever comes of it, or that at the very least they can avoid culpability by making their role in the war something else.

(antiwar.com)

I am so glad it has been cleared up….how about you?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

That ISIS Thing

We have not had much news about ISIS…as it should be because according to Trump he defeated them single handed….and yet they still exist….

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate.

“Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the president said apropos of nothing during a news conference with the Australian prime minister on September 20. “I defeated the caliphate — ISIS.”

At a press conference on October 21, after pulling troops out of Syria, Trump put himself even closer to the battle with the Islamic State: “I’m the one that did the capturing. I’m the one who that knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.”

The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

A look at this ISIS thing through the eyes of a Neocon think tank……

Almost as soon as it became clear that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, the revisionism began about whether this was actually a good thing.

Some analysts predicted that al-Baghdadi’s death as a “martyr” would inspire others, becoming a “propaganda bonanza” for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

We should not be so gloomy. The death of such a sadistic killer and serial rapist is unambiguously good news.

It was also the last thing that ISIS needed. Caliphate relinquished, the group’s operations inevitably will be disrupted by the death of its emir, especially with Abu Hassan al-Muhajir—a potential successor—killed in a U.S. airstrike just hours later.

5 Things to Watch in Tracking the Future of ISIS

The group has been diminished but not gone……and they have a new tactic of terror….FIRE

A media outlet affiliated with ISIS has been instructing the group’s radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, according to posts on an internet forum dedicated to the terror group.

At least four propaganda posters that have appeared on the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet have urged followers to “ignite fires” as part of an ongoing jihad against America and its allies.

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/isis-tells-followers-to-set-forest-fires-in-u-s-europe/

The caliphate is down but not out……

Just months after the Islamic State militant group lost the last of its territory in Syria, and days after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S.-led raid, the group has found safe haven in a remote, ungoverned space in Iraq, as foreign fighters move across the border from Syria, military officials tell NBC news.

“The fight against ISIS is continuous,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Seely, commander of Task Force-Iraq. “We’re seeing ISIS fighters move from Syria across hundreds of miles of desert.”

Their goal, Seely says, is to re-establish their physical caliphate in the region.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/defeated-isis-has-found-safe-haven-ungoverned-part-iraq-n1076081

How many times must I say this….ISIS IS NOT DEFEATED!

It is only napping waiting for the day to return.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Coming Nuke Spring?

Trump in his wisdom(?) has left most of the treaties that the US has lived by for decades…..most of the nuclear treaties have been hit the hardest, INF and START….

Kolossal’naya opasnost.” In a recent BBC interview, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used those two words – “colossal danger” – to sound the alarm of the risk the world faces as tensions rise between Russia and the West. What prompted such strong language to describe the geopolitical standoff? Two more words: nuclear weapons.

Indeed, Gorbachev himself was a key player in unprecedented atomic disarmament a generation ago, signing the landmark 1987 accord with U.S. President Ronald Reagan to reduce arsenals of the then two superpowers with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). Over the past year, both the U.S. and Russia announced their withdrawal from the INF.

https://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/disarmament-to-rearmament-the-quiet-return-of-nuclear-risk

I am not looking forward to a f*cked nuke policy…..I lived through all the duck and roll drills, all the fear and speculation of the nuclear holocaust to come…..

But it is 2020 and an election year….so which of the Dem candidates is capable of a nuclear policy?

Will the candidates continue to support the policy that gives the US president unfettered authority to start a nuclear war? Or will they instead lower global risk of war and publicly commit the US to a nuclear No First Use policy?

Fifty-seven years ago last month the world breathed a sigh of relief. Most of that October in 1962 had been spent on the brink of nuclear war. A stare down at a naval blockade, dramatic UN Security Council meetings, a somber Presidential address, a shot down spy plane – and through it all tense backroom negotiations and letters between Kennedy and Kruschev. Ultimately peace prevailed and we backed away from nuclear armageddon. Now the anniversary is remembered as a shining example of Presidential resolve in the face of crisis. However, that’s not the whole story.

President Kennedy’s leadership didn’t end with the removal of missiles. In some ways it was only just beginning. What he knew was that his responsibility went further. He couldn’t just prevent disaster, he needed to address the causes to prevent it from happening in the future. Some steps were taken immediately, the famous “hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House was installed. Kennedy and then Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, continued the correspondence they began in the heat of the moment no longer discussing immediate moves and demands but potential long term routes toward nuclear de-escalation. Ultimately, in June of 1963 President Kennedy publicly outlined his “Strategy for Peace” in a speech at American University. In it he committed to ending US nuclear weapons testing, voiced his support of the global nuclear testing ban, and called for the pursuit of “complete disarmament.” By October of 1963, the US Senate had ratified the Limited Test Ban Treaty and the path seemed set for de-escalation.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/05/which-2020-candidates-are-ready-address-threat-nuclear-weapons

As I look at the candidates we have left in the race I cannot see any of them with a solid nuclear policy…..my candidate being antiwar may be the only one I would trust to come up with a good solid proposal…..the rest of the 2020 field is just Neocons in Dem clothing.

I Read, I Know, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Please Explain Syria

We were told that our troops would be leaving Northern Syria and coming home….then they were going to a base in Northwest Iraq (Iraq said they could not stay)…then we were told that a small group of troops would go to Syria to protect the oil fields……..what is the deal here?

https://lobotero.com/2019/11/05/syria-the-confusion-and-the-chaos/

Apparently it is ‘official’ US troops to Eastern Syrian to take Syrian oil…..it must be important because we will build two new bases in Syria…

Reports out of eastern Syria, citing local sources, say that the US appears to be preparing to build two substantial military bases in the Soor area, near major oilfields which the Trump Administration intends to retain.

Since President Trump announced in October that his military goals in Syria were being entirely revised around the idea of keeping control over oilfeilds, and talked of extracting oil from the area, US military deployments have centered on oilfields in the east.

It makes some sense then that the US would be building bases in that area, since it’s where the troops are staying. If anything though, this rush of material shows both how hasty the oil-taking decision was, and how long the US is likely to end up stuck in Syria trying to get oil out of there.

Russian outlets have predicted the oil the US intends to appropriate will be worth around $30 million per month, though President Trump has claimed a much higher value of $45 million per month in his own comments.

Either way, the cost of keeping US troops in Syria exclusively to try to take the oil is not insubstantial, and the cost of building and operating entire new US bases is only going to add to that cost.

The assumption seems to be that the oil will pay for this in the end, though the legal basis for taking the oil simply does not exist, and so far no US company has indicated even a hint of interest in getting drawn into this difficult effort. 

(antiwar.com)

What happened to all the news reporting that Trump was betrayer everybody in the Middle East with his troop withdrawal…..it swas a false narrative that the MSM bought into hiok line and sinker….and they were WRONG!

That noise you can hear is Donald Trump flip–flopping in the sand. Last week, American troops and dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles moved to occupy oil fields in Syria. The escalation came just half an hour after Trump had tweeted that all US soldiers had left the country and would be coming home. As so often, the President says one thing, then orders the military to do the other. On Twitter, Trump is ending the endless wars. In the real world, he is perpetuating them.

Trump’s focus is not really Syria, of course. It is the presidential election next year, and his precious voter base. But he can’t seem to decide if his supporters are peaceniks or bloodthirsty chauvinists. His problem is that they are both and neither. He’s beginning to learn that the relationship between foreign policy and domestic politics is more complicated than perhaps he realised.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/11/the-story-behind-donald-trumps-fake-withdrawal-from-syria/

The troops have returned gto Syria and in a big way…..

We now have troops once again in Syria….so what is their ‘directive on engagement’?

Well right now….there is NOT one!

United States troops stationed in Syria have yet to receive guidance on their mission, including the basic rules of engagement, according to a military official in a CNN report published Monday.

Some military commanders deployed to Eastern Syria were reportedly still waiting to receive their directives to guard oil fields in the region. For some of these troops, it was unclear where their destinations would be and how long they were expected to stay there, according to CNN.

https://www.insider.com/us-troops-guarding-oil-fields-syria-rules-of-engagement-2019-11

The more I read…the more I cannot see what the end game will be….as usual it is chaos nothing disciplined….and that is the foreign policy we get when the 3 Stooges run the policies……and I am not alone here….

Confusion has prevailed regarding the purposes of the U.S. troop presence in Syria, and whether the declared purposes are the actual ones. Originally the expedition was widely understood to be all about combating the Islamic State (ISIS) after the group had established a mini-state on a large portion of Syrian and Iraqi territory. Then hawks within the Trump administration and President Trump himself, in a classic case of mission creep, declared that the U.S. troops were also in Syria to “watch Iran”. Later variations of the creeped-up mission included not only watching Iran but also, through some unexplained mechanism, getting Iran and maybe Russia to abandon their positions in Syria.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/donald-trumps-take-oil-strategy-syria-mistake-92991

All this wrong on many levels….but other than that it will come back and bite the US in the ass…..PERIOD!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Master Stroke In Foreign Policy

I have given my opinion on the action taken by Pres. Trump and Syria…..and I am sure that there are many out there that have formed their opinion from their favorite news source….those sources are making the case of the “poor Kurds” being betrayed by the US and how that will play with our foreign policy in the future.

If my opinions are needed then I offer my post at the time of the US withdrawal……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/16/but-the-kurds-are-our-friends/

All the MSM has been in the pockets of the warmongering Neocons and condemned the withdrawal of American troops….even FOX has not been in Trump’s corner for this situation.

In all fairness I want to post an article that is 100% in Trump’s corner for the pull out…….

President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria is a brilliant strategic move that simultaneously achieves all of our major objectives in the region.

Perhaps because it has been so long since America had a coherent foreign policy strategy, the political establishment is aghast at the president’s action, predicting all manner of calamitous consequences. The same “experts,” however, have been responsible for the myriad foreign policy disasters that have befallen this country over the past two decades, so their discomfiture should be taken with a rather small grain of salt.

In one deft move that doesn’t put a single American life at risk, President Trump achieved a regional solution to ISIS, undermined Iran’s capacity for foreign aggression, and disentangled the United States from an alliance of convenience that threatened to create major diplomatic headaches down the road.

Contrary to claims that withdrawing American special forces from Northern Syria will enable ISIS to resurrect itself, for instance, the arrangement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan merely shifts responsibility for the few remaining ISIS fighters onto Turkey.

The successful operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi only makes it even less likely that the terrorist group will reemerge.

https://www.amgreatness.com/2019/10/30/trumps-withdrawal-from-syria-is-a-foreign-policy-masterstroke/

Please read this article…..like I said 100% in support on the action taken by Trump.

I agree with the troops coming home but I do not agree with allowing Turkey a free hand in Northern Syria…..it is time for the US to end its endless wars but this is not the best way to achieve that end.

But as this article states we now have a coherent foreign policy….that I cannot agree with and think it is at best wishful thinking not a reality…..plus the confidence that ISIS is defeated is also wrong.

I have seen nothing that leads me to believe that our foreign policy is coherent….chaotic yes, coherent NO.

American foreign policy is increasingly falling into disarray and incoherence. President Trump’s doctrine of principled realism, in my opinion, is the correct approach. Principled realism in international politics where nations go to war, however, requires disciplined leadership and decision-making to ensure the world does not resort to unnecessary violence. Any willingness to forego a sense of global responsibility should give pause to American citizens, allies and partners. The question here is whether this doctrine of principled realism has devolved to unprincipled realism to endemic confusion.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/465329-the-trump-doctrine-principled-realism-or-endemic-confusion

But then that is my opinion and I would like to hear yours on this situation……the 3 Stooges are in charge of our foreign policy…..Pompeo, Rudy and Trump……NONE know what they are doing.

So do I think that all this was some master stroke of foreign policy?  NO!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

What Did Turkey Know?

Remember when the US killed Osama and they questions started flying around about what did Pakistan know about it?

Did Pakistan know that Osama was hiding in plain sight?

Now a few in the intel service are starting to ask similar questions about Turkey and Baghdadi…..

As U.S. intelligence analysts comb through electronic and paper documents seized last weekend from the lair of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one question is foremost on their minds: How was the Islamic State leader able to find refuge in a Syrian province secured by the Turkish military and its proxy forces?

Three U.S. national security officials told me that they want to know more about Turkey’s knowledge of Baghdadi’s whereabouts. One important task for the team now going through the material seized in the Baghdadi raid and another raid that killed organization’s spokesman, Abul Hassan al-Muhajir, is to map out the relationship between Turkey’s intelligence service and Islamic State.

Both men were hiding close to the Turkish border in Syrian territory. Muhajir was found in Jarabulus, a town in the Aleppo province patrolled by Turkish forces. Baghdadi was found in Idlib province, where there are numerous Turkish military checkpoints.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-01/baghdadi-raid-did-turkey-know-where-he-was-hiding-in-syria

For me do not care one way of the other….Baghdadi is dead and that is all that is important.

This looks like Bloomberg just trying to stir shit…..for it matters not what Turkey knew or did not know….Baghdadi is dead…..

His second in command is dead as well and the new leader is some dude from the the ranks that few knew of….the intel people might want to worry about this new guy more than what Turkey knew and when.

Baghdadi is DEAD….he took the cowards way out a blew himself up….Turkey had nothing to do with this event….our military people achieved their goal and took the bastard out.  PERIOD!

Turkey is trying to regain their primo spot in the elimination of ISIS after the US and the Kurds killed Baghdadi…..

Turkey announced that they have captured the older sister of the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The woman, identified as 65-year-old Rasmiya Awad, is being described as having suspected affiliation with an extremist group.

Turkey captured Awad in a raid in north Syria’s town of Azaz, in the Turkish-controlled part of the Aleppo Province. Officials said she is believed to be an intelligence “gold mine.”

Little is known about Baghdadi’s sister, though Turkish officials say they believe what she knows about ISIS could significantly expand understanding of the group, and facilitate more raids.

This is likely an attempt for Turkey to score a big win in anti-ISIS operations, after the US killing of Baghdadi was attributed in many reports to the Kurdish YPG sharing intelligence about him.

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”