The Ins And Outs Of DC: The Saga Continues

For the last year the advisers to Pres. Trump have been caught in the continuous revolving door that is the White House…….and guess what?  Another one bites the dust…..McMasters is out and the war monger Bolton is in…….

President Trump is getting his third national security adviser in the first 14 months of his presidency, Reuters reports. Current national security adviser Lt. Gen. HR McMaster is resigning, to be replaced by John Bolton on April 9. “I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend,” Trump tweeted Thursday. McMaster, who replaced Michael Flynn as national security adviser, is also resigning from the military, the New York Times reports. While McMaster and Trump butted heads both publicly and privately during his tenure at the White House, officials say McMaster’s resignation is amicable and has been in the works for weeks. Officials say Trump wanted to finish a shakeup of his national security team before a planned meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

McMaster’s replacement was US ambassador to the UN under the second Bush administration and is “one of the most radically hawkish voices in American foreign policy,” according to a Vox explainer on Bolton. The incoming national security adviser has said the US should declare war on both North Korea and Iran. Bolton, notably, has also been a longtime contributor on Fox News. In the past, he’s been accused of abusing his subordinates and manipulating US intelligence ahead of the Iraq War and has connections to anti-Muslim groups. His appointment to national security adviser was met with concern from some areas. “I operate on the assumption that John Bolton should be kept as far away from the levers of foreign policy as possible,” says the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.

He has been a cheerleader for attacking Iran and North Korea… will he fit into the Trump White House?

Our troops will pay the price for this decision.

And in the mean time we Americans will hear lots of accusations, innuendoes, lies and just plain bullshit from this person….typical for today’s White House……


Scapegoat For All Seasons

Let’s talk about Russia….and NO this is not about their alleged tampering into the US elections….recently a ex-spy in the UK and his daughter are poisoned and Haley ran to the UN to let it be known…..

Nikki Haley came out strong against Russia and in support of the United Kingdom on Wednesday following the nerve agent attack that left a former Russian spy and his adult daughter in critical condition in England, CNN reports. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack,” the US ambassador to the UN told the Security Council, adding the White House “stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain.” “Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance,” Haley said. “Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”

It was by far the most forceful statement out of the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson had said Russia was “clearly” responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia but was shortly fired by Trump, NBC News reports. When asked about Tillerson’s firing Tuesday, Trump said “as soon as we get the facts straight” the US would “condemn Russia or whoever it may be.” According to Business Insider, former US diplomats have expressed confusion about why the White House hasn’t done more to back its ally Great Britain, which has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Nicholas Burns calls it “judgment day” for Trump. “Will he support Britain unequivocally on the nerve agent attack?” the former US ambassador to NATO says. “Back NATO sanctions? Finally criticize Putin? Act like a leader of the West?”

Okay let me say right here that this is getting a bit hectic….we are blaming Russia for everything that goes wrong in the world…..Wait…I am not saying they are innocent of the accusations only that they have become a convenient whipping post for the world.

“What reason would Russia have to do this?” said Sergey Markosyan, 36, as he popped into a Magnit supermarket in Moscow for beer, salty snacks and a carton of eggs. “He was in Britain, right? So shouldn’t they look in Britain?”

On Wednesday, Theresa May told British MPs there was “no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter”

A year ago Russia was in the news as a source for problems in Germany…..

The accusation seems to be that Russia is capitalizing on domestic opposition to Merkel’s open-door immigration policies by directing funds to the contrarian Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party, whose support has surged as disenchantment with Merkel has grown (as seen in its success in recent state elections).

Then after all this scapegoating there came a “new” accusation…..

A US security alert on Thursday contained a jarring warning: Russia has infiltrated the US energy grid and could wreak havoc if it chose to do so. “They have the ability to shut the power off,” an exec with the digital security firm Symantec tells the New York Times. “All that’s missing is some political motivation.” The alert from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI says hackers working on behalf of the Russian government got into the systems of nuclear, water, and electrical plants, as well as “critical manufacturing sectors,” and essentially poked around to figure out how things operated.

I know most Americans have the attention span of a goldfish but just a few years ago our “electric grid” was open for a terrorist attack….and years before that it was the Soviets that were about to attack our electric grid….

Since Americans have NO recoverable memory of the past it makes it easier for the same bullshit to be given to the public with a fresh coat of crap  and a bit of repackaging.

I am not saying there is NO threat to worry about just that it is a convenient scapegoat…..

If these “threats” were truly that serious then why has NOTHING been done to see that they cannot happen?

Back in the Cold War Russia was the enemy the scapegoat for all problems internationally……is it possible that we have returned to those days?

Do The Same Thing Over And Over

Most of us know the quote by Einstein… is a profound quote….it can be applied to just about everything the US does on the world stage.

As a student of war I visit many sites, even some neocon and pro war sites….it helps me get a perspective on the subject….that is to look at both sides of the subject…..

In 2001 Bush proclaimed the War on Terror, although we have been fighting terror heavily ever since the USS Cole and the embassy bombings of the late 1990’s….but with all our resources we are not making much headway….why is that?

Today, we struck back,” the president said after the United States conducted a military strike against terrorists and their sanctuary. But which president? George W. Bush, who declared war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks? Barack Obama, who subsequently took charge of that war? Or Donald J. Trump, who carries the mantle today?

Really, it could have been any of the three—but it was none of them. President Bill Clinton uttered those words on August 20, 1998.

Clinton made the statement after ordering a military strike against al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sudan in response to two, nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed twelve Americans (and more than two hundred others). With a foreshadowing of the future to come, Operation Infinite Reach could be seen as the counterterrorism strike that started it all.

Part of the problem is that Bill Clinton was a wimp.  He had major terrorists in his sights but failed to act.

Plus our “leaders” are not keeping up with the times….most are working off definitions from 1970….I hate to be the one that pisses on their parade but the world has changed and so has the definition of terrorism and terrorist.

Until they get a grip on that one simple problem they will continue to use outdated tactics that will do more harm than good.

Why not look at Afghanistan?

Data the Pentagon issued last year to spotlight the success of operations against militant groups in Afghanistan were inaccurate, raising questions about the real progress of the secretive counterterrorism campaign being conducted by the U.S. and Afghan military.

Key figures in the by-the-numbers look at U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism missions in the second half of 2017, which have been published by prominent news outlets, were wrong, defense officials confirmed after Stars and Stripes pointed out discrepancies. The incorrect data — including a breakdown of independent and joint raids and a body count of enemy fighters — were released in an unclassified December report to Congress titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.

Our efforts are not doing the job they were intended to do….we are sadly spinning our wheels…….

Time For A Revisit 1973

My regulars know that I cannot let the fact that we are still fighting wars started before my granddaughter was born and she is 15 now…..and I do harp on the conflicts a bit much but since few people see the necessity to keep these wars in the minds of our people I feel that I must do so.  And yes I am anti-war and hope that if people see what is happening to our country and our military they too will see the need to end all this intervention for the sake of intervention.

Let’s start with 1973.

The year before the resignation of Nixon……so what could be so important that we should revisit that year?

The War Powers Act……..Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973, it did so to reestablish procedures for Congress and the president to share responsibility for the introduction of armed forces into foreign conflicts. By explicitly limiting the executive’s prerogative to initiate or escalate military actions, the act affirmed that such power rests with Congress. The founders assigned Congress this most important authority to ensure solemn debate and prevent the kinds of foreign policy disasters that plagued European monarchies.

I have bitched in the past about the fact that the Congress needs to step up ans exercise their power by re-defining the AUMF…….the Congress has been wimping out for decades and that we are fighting a conflict on most continents maybe now would be a good time to revisit the War Powers Resolution of 1973……..

The ongoing hostilities in Yemen are just the sort of conflict the founders meant to avoid. The Saudi monarchy’s war has become a foreign policy debacle for the United States, and hell-on-earth for the Yemenis. Indeed, the cholera crisis now facing the country is the worst in recorded history.

Yemen’s deteriorating circumstances offer Congress an opportunity to reclaim its constitutional mandate and help resolve a humanitarian catastrophe by demanding deliberation viz. material and logistical support for Saudi’s war of attrition.

The US Congress is staffed with cowards….they are afraid to do anything at all for it may piss off someone and it might cost them votes or worse…….. donations.

War after war is the future as long as the Congress refuses to act…….costing this country massive amounts of cash and the lives of our citizens……

When will enough be enough for the American people?

Explain Niger, Please

When I was in the hospital in October of 2017 and had my toes removed for good measures I wrote about the deaths of Americans in the West African nation of Niger…..and wrote several other posts about the event and the American deaths…..

In October, the ambush that led to the death of four US special forces revealed that US forces were operating in Niger in large numbers. The Pentagon hasn’t gotten any better with transparency, however, as in December, the US got into another battle in Niger, and it was never disclosed publicly.

The December 6 Niger battle, according to reports, saw US Green Berets and Nigerien military engaged in a protracted gunbattle that left 11 suspected ISIS fighters killed. There were no US casualties, so the Pentagon never reported it.

Well it seems that all is not as together as the Pentagon would have us to believe…….

 The Pentagon, already struggling to manage growing concern about the US military operations ongoing in Africa, is now facing a second problem. Last week, it was revealed that the Pentagon had kept a number of recent clashes in Niger a secret.

Pentagon officials are now trying to defend not just the war effort, but the idea of keeping most of the details of the war effort in Niger from the public. Unsurprisingly, they’re trying to present this chiefly as keeping the details secret from the enemy.

“They learn a great deal from information he put out. They don’t deserve a report card,” insisted Pentagon spokesperson Dana White. Other officials insisted all the fighting and all the secrecy about the fighting were totally appropriate.

Niger is a mess and let’s not forget the problems we are having in Mali, another West African country….

Apparently AFRICOM is a screwed up mess that few want to correct…..West Africa is a hot bed that needs proper command…..but something it does not appear to be getting….American deaths are mounting even Americans killing Americans….

Closing Thought–19Mar18

You know that most people always say the “hindsight is 20/20″….any analysis can be targeted to the source but only after the event takes place…..well let’s look at the attacks on 9/11.

There has been a wealth of ink thrown at the public about the failures of the intel agencies and the FBI that allowed these men into the country and thus allowed them to carry out their despicable mission.

But did you know that in 1998 a commission was formed, the Hart-Rudman Commission, to study our national security….the findings were released in three parts…..the last part was issued February of 2001…..

A third set of recommendations focused on
reorganizing the executive branch of the US federal government for
post-Cold War operations. Much of the federal government still remains
in a Cold War configuration, Hart declared, with the State Department
and the National Security Agency not well equipped to deal with
terrorist threats. A fourth set of recommendations outlined a reform of

The one part that did not make it into the news of the day….it dealt with our public service people……

The fifth set of recommendations from the Hart-Rudman commission examined breaking down the barriers to entry to public service.

“We concluded that the national security of
the United States was being undercut by the declining caliber and
quality of people entering public service—not only elected office but
appointed office, civil service, diplomatic corps and so forth,” Hart/20

The point is that the Bush White House was warned about 9 months prior to the attacks of 9/11…..and they chose to ignore the recommendations….so it is not hindsight it was foresight that was 20/20 in this case.

25 Years Of Negotiations

We all know the back and forth of Trump and Kim….and in those months so much bullshit has been given ink on this subject……those of us that like diplomacy and those other dickheads that want to bomb everyone disagreeing with them into the Stone Age…..

All these people how many know the history of our negotiations with North Korea?  How Many?  (Pause to see if they let go of their wanker to read further)…….

Since I am some what of a student of foreign policy let me help…..

With the prospect of Donald Trump holding a summit with Kim Jong Un in the near future, it’s worth looking back at the history of American negotiations with North Korea over the past 25 years.

The conventional wisdom says that whenever any agreement has been reached, North Korea has cheated. But the reality is more complex. Not all negotiations have failed — and the collapse of agreements during that time has been as much the responsibility of Washington as of Pyongyang.

Start with the Agreed Framework of October 1994. North Korea agreed to freeze its reactor at Yongbyon. In return, the Clinton administration promised heavy fuel oil, support for the construction of proliferation-resistant light-water reactors, and a gradual overall improvement in relations.

This will go a long way to educate those fools that think they have all the damn answers…….at least it will help them if they are so inclined and most are not……