Closing Thought–19Jun19

Recently our beloved supreme leader issued his dictum that all aid would be cut off to the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because they are doing little to curb the amount of immigrants headed to the US border……

His, Trump’s, slobbering supporters were all down with him on this unilateral use of his powers……but what the MSM has not done is tell the the rest of the story to his supporters…..

The Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala but will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the United States.

The State Department said that after a review of more than $615 million in assistance that President Donald Trump ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with $432 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved. The remaining amount will be held in escrow pending consultations with Congress, it said.

That $432 million, which comes from the 2017 budget, is being spent on health, education and poverty alleviation programs as well as anti-crime efforts that many believe help reduce migrant outflows from the impoverished Northern Triangle region. About $370 million in money from the 2018 budget will not be spent and instead will be moved to other projects, the State Department said.

“Previously awarded grants and contracts will continue with current funding,” department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. She added that assistance “to help the Northern Triangle governments take actions that will protect the U.S. border and counter transnational organized crime will also continue.”

(yahoo news)

Just to let his supporters know that his tough talk is just that…TALK!

And as they say…Talk is cheap!

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Rush To Condemn

By that I am talking about the West’s belief in anything said about North Korea…..and then the lack of correction by the media after they make a false report….for instance….recently it was reported that North Korea’s Kim had executed his negotiator on nukes because of the failure of the Hanoi “summit”….and then the person in question was spotted a week later very much alive,,,,and that false report was not corrected by most of the MSM.

I have often question some of the claims by the government and their propaganda arm, the Mainstream Media….

Why do we so easily believe the false reports? Have we been programed to do so?

The American Conservative answers this question……

Perhaps the greatest bottleneck in creating a stable and self-sustaining peace regime on the Korean Peninsula isn’t North Korea’s nuclear weapons or missiles but something much simpler: making peace with what we feel in our hearts is “evil.”

Case in point: last week, a right-leaning South Korean publication, The Chosun Ilbo, published a bombshell story that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had “purged” Kim Hyok-chol, Pyongyang’s lead negotiator in working level talks leading up to the Hanoi summit, executing him a month later. Another even more senior official close to Kim himself, Kim Yong-chol, was “sent to a labor and reeducation camp.”

That’s big news. And from there it gets even more interesting. Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, had “not been spotted in public since the Hanoi summit” some 50 days ago, said a South Korean government official. She was reportedly ordered to “lay low.”

 
Americans are easy to rush to condemnation…..they have had years even decades of programming to get the society pleasingly numb to reality.
 
The real story is the “Squid Wars”……this is a battle for squid harvest in the Sea of Japan…..
The Japanese coast guard says its patrol boats have been pushing back hundreds of North Korean boats trying to poach in fishing grounds rich with squid off Japan’s northern coast. Coast Guard officials say they have forced more than 300 North Korean boats out of Japan’s exclusive economic zone near Yamatotai since May, the AP reports. The patrol boats used water cannons on 50 North Korean boats that ignored warnings. Coast Guard footage obtained Tuesday showed North Korean crewmen on a wooden boat abandon a fishing rope after being sprayed with water. Japanese authorities have stepped up patrols in the area as North Korean poaching has surged in recent years. Experts say Pyongyang’s campaign to boost fish harvests has increased poaching by North Korean boats.
Have you ever smelled dried squid?

Closing Thought–17Jun19

Something we hear very little about these days, with all the election and legal wrangling to news of our War on Terror……believe it or not we are still trying to counter terrorism across the world………and as a law the president must inform Congress of our efforts as a national security thing…..

The text of the letter sent by President to the Congress outlining the US military efforts across the world……

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of United States Armed Forces equipped for combat.

MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF UNITED STATES COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS

In furtherance of counterterrorism efforts, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the United States Central and Africa Commands’ areas of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed United States combat-equipped forces to conduct counterterrorism operations and to advise, assist, and accompany security forces of select foreign partners on counterterrorism operations. Specific information about counterterrorism deployments to select countries is provided below, and a classified annex to this report provides further information.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/text-letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-president-pro-tempore-senate-6/

This is a good idea but my question is…what about the troops in Central Asia….are they not armed and ready for combat?

Is It Is Or Is It Ain’t?

If you have been paying attention to the news these days then you will know that we may be inching closer to a war with Iran……..

Pompeo has gone on the Tube and accused Iran of an attack on tankers in the Persian Gulf….without any proof other than his word……the problem there is that the captain of one of the attacked tankers does not agree with Pompeo….

The owner of the Japanese tanker that was attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, the Kokuka Outrageous, contradicted the US military’s claims about the attack. Central Command reported that the two tankers were hit with limpet mines, a type of mine that is attached to the hull of a ship below the waterline using magnets. But Yutaka Katada, the owner of the Kokuka Outrageous, said he received reports a projectile hit the ship.

“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Katada said at a press conference, “The place where the projectile landed was significantly higher than the water level, so we are absolutely sure that this wasn’t a torpedo. I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

(antiwar.com)

All this reminds me of the 1980s…..the old “Tanker Wars”……

Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

https://www.apnews.com/ceb6e7a86bf14a9a8d8ecf81c9dcc7ef

Plus the MSM has been hyping the incident to fan the flames of war….trying to get the public lathered up so they will fully support an illegal war….

If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/14/think-us-media-wont-help-lead-nation-war-iran-based-flimsy-or-false-intelligence

It is getting so bad that Pompeo even blames Iran for attacks by the Taleban….

In the violence in Kabul broached by Pompeo, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a U.S.convoy on May 31 that killed four Afghan pedestrians and wounded four American servicemen and at least three civilians. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid boasted of the attack in a phone call with The Associated Press.

But on Thursday, as Pompeo slammed Iran, he called the Kabul bombing one of “a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests,” the Post reported.

The characterization of the Kabul attack as linked to Iran surprised experts and a former U.S. diplomat, the Post reported. Besides the Taliban’s claim of responsibility, they said it would be unusual for Iran to launch an attack inside Kabul.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tanker-attacks-iran-pompeo-taliban_n_5d0581b2e4b0dc17ef0aed60

These warmongers are itching for another fight and will use or blame whoever they must to get their war.

Closing Thought–14Jun19

Today is Flag Day…..a day when most Americans should spend some time a learn how to properly display the American flag.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt…the Iranians did it! (Pompeo and Bolton’s accusation)

We have had two more attacks in the Persian Gulf and as usual the US is blaming Iran……

Two tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman were attacked on Thursday, forcing the crews to abandon the ships, and which left one of the ships on fire. One of the sailors was reported “slightly injured” in the incidents.

The ships were the Front Altair, a tanker owned by Frontline which was shipping naphtha to Taiwan, and the Kokuka Courageous, a ship owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo, was transporting methanol to Singapore. They departed from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The ships were apparently hit with sea mines, potentially magnetic mines. The US Navy claimed to have seen an unexploded mine on one of the two ships. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials immediately blamed Iran.

Pompeo’s declaration of Iran’s guilt was based chiefly on similar incidents happening in mid-May. John Bolton and Pompeo blamed Iran then, and since this was the same sort of thing, they blame Iran now. The problem is, they have offered no evidence Iran was responsible for the first incidents, let alone today’s, and are just tying them all together. Pompeo rattled off a list of things to blame Iran for, including multiple incidents that were done by Yemen’s Houthis, a rocket fired in Iraq that was never convincingly blamed on anyone, and an Afghanistan bombing that clearly was nothing to do with Iran at all.

(antiwar.com)

Where’s the evidence?

In a press conference that immediately evoked memories of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday claimed Iran was behind alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman without presenting one single shred of evidence.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” said Pompeo, who did not provide any details on the intelligence he cited.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred

Is this the same intel that our President refuses to accept elsewhere?

For me the question is…..The big questions are, as always, motive. Iran has no conceivable reason to attack such ships. 

Plus the Japanese ship is attacked while Japan’s Abe is on a state visit to Iran….again it smells like cow manure.

Just thinking out loud……

That “Beautiful” Letter

Love Letters In The Sushi….or More News From the Korean BBQ

As a person who worked as an analyst in the government I find the statements by this president as simplistic and probably bullshit.

I do not understand Trump’s warm feelings for Kim of the DPRK (North Korea)……my years working in DC I never heard anyone refer to a letter sent by a leader as “beautiful”……and yet it seems that most of Kim’s letters are just that…..

John Bolton told the Wall Street Journal that North Korea had not complied with the deal reached with the US during last year’s Singapore summit. President Trump spoke hours later, however, defending Kim Jong Un, and insisting that he had “kept his word.”

“He kept his word. There’s no nuclear testing. There’s no large, there’s no long-range missiles going up,” Trump insisted. He added that all North Korea had done was very short-term, short-range tests, and that he considers those a “whole different deal.”

Trump also reported that he had received a “beautiful” letter from Kim, calling it “very warm” and expressing confidence that the two sides would eventually be able to reach an agreement.

Trump and Kim had a very positive meeting in Singapore last year, but the February Hanoi Summit ended in failure. Since then, there has been no visible progress on talks, and North Korean state media has expressed growing impatience, calling on the US to try a new approach.

The big obstacle has been that North Korea’s commitment to eliminate its nuclear arsenal is expected to take quite some time, but the US has so far ruled out any easing of sanctions or international hostility toward the North Koreans until the entire process is completed. Since the US has continued to increase sanctions in this time, many in North Korea are doubting if the US is approaching this with honorable intentions.

(antiwar.com)

Then he made another silly statement….he said that he would not use a family member as a CIA asset….seriously?  There is NO better source of accurate intel than from a family member…but not to Trump…..

President Trump has responded to reports earlier this week that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s slain half-brother Kim Jong Nam had worked as a CIA informant before his 2017 murder, saying he would never allow that to happen while he is in office.

Trump told reports on the South Lawn that when he speaks to Kim “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”

Technically, it already did. Kim Jong Nam was killed in Malaysia in February 2017, after Trump took office, and it is believed he flew to Malaysia to meet with his CIA contact. While the CIA’s use of him started before Trump took over, it clearly didn’t end with his election.

In reality, Trump likely believes that disavowing this tactic against Kim would be a way to try to gain his favor in future talks. Diplomatic progress with North Korea in 2018 was significant, but has all but halted in 2019. Trump has remained confident he will make more progress with Kim, with whom he seems to have quite the rapport.

(antiwar.com)

This is amazing…..I have talked with friends that handled Asia in the past and they cannot comment any further than to shake their heads in disbelief.

Does Trump have any idea what the CIA does for a living? 

What is in it for Trump to treat Kim like a ally?  Who will make the cash off this relationship?

This is all too damn silly for words…or it would be if it were not so damn pathetic.

Not to worry….this docu-drama is not over yet.

007 North Korean Style

As usual there is always something in the news about Kim and North Korea and this week is no different…..

First, Kim and his Gang are getting antsy about their diplomacy with the Trump Gang……

North Korean state media has issued a new statement on Tuesday, reiterating the call for the US to “withdraw its hostile policy” toward North Korea and come up with new negotiation efforts.

The media has been pushing this increasingly in the past few weeks, as the one-year anniversary of the first Kim-Trump summit approaches. That summit went exceedingly well, though a failed Hanoi Summit in February has stalled the process since then.

With no progress in months, North Korean state media are increasingly emphasizing the need for a new approach, and warn that the US can’t continue its “arrogant and unilateral” policies and expect to get anywhere.

(antiwar.com)

Sanctions on North Korea…..56 nations are violating the sanctions according to the UN…….

The United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea (or Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)), established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1874 (2009), reports annually its findings and recommendations on the implementation of Security Council resolutions on North Korea. These reports list in detail cases of proven or alleged sanctions violations of the ten UN resolutions on North Korea that have been passed by the Security Council since 2006. This year’s report, covering the period February 2018-February 2019, mentions over a hundred new, continuing, or unresolved proven or alleged violations involving 56 countries, territories, and entities.2 Thirty-one of the 56 states listed in this report were allegedly responsible for multiple sanctions violations. Using data and findings from another Institute study, the Peddling Peril Index for 2019 (PPI 2019), which ranks all 200 countries, territories, and entities according to the effectiveness of their strategic trade controls, we also consider these 56 countries in terms of 1) their overall score under the index, and 2) the comprehensiveness of their export control legislation, which allows for a clearer picture of the weaknesses of those involved in or caught up in alleged North Korean sanctions violations.

The 56 countries involved in alleged violations during the reporting period, listed in alphabetical order, were:

Algeria*, Belize, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, France, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand*, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore*, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen (Houthi faction), and Zambia.

http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/56-countries-involved-in-violating-unsc-resolutions-on-north-korea-during-t

Now the spy novel stuff……

It seems that Kim’s half brother was an CIA asset….

Assassinated in February 2017 at a Malaysian airport, Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam has been revealed in new reports to have been a CIA informant, and had flown to the airport to meet with his CIA contact.

Once considered the heir apparent for Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Nam fell out of favor decades ago, with controversies centered around him trying to use a fake passport to sneak into Japan and visit Tokyo Disneyland. He had been living mostly in China since then.

While he was definitely a CIA asset, it was believed he had ties to several other countries’ spy agencies, including China. China never confirmed this, nor as of yet has anyone else.

How useful of an informant he would have been is less clear, however, as he was many years removed from being in North Korea, ad no noteworthy power base there, and was considered unlikely to have much information on the country’s inner workings.

(antiwar.com)

Finally, it is being reported that Kim used flesh eating fish to kill a general that had fallen out of favor……

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un borrowed an execution technique from a James Bond movie to rid himself of a top general, according to British media.

In the James Bond film, ‘You Only Live Twice’, antagonist Ernst Stavro Blofeld famously removes any opposition by releasing a trapdoor over a piranha-filled pool, causing the unfortunate victim to fall to a gruesome end.

Several British media outlets, including the Sun and the Star on Sunday, reported over the weekend that one of North Korea’s top generals suffered such a fate after displeasing Kim Jong Un, being thrown into a piranha-filled pool after having his torso and arms slashed with knives.

The general, not named by media sources, was reported to have been punished for plotting a coup. 

https://www.jpost.com/OMG/Kim-executes-James-Bond-style-punishment-for-General-592016

This is NOT verified….and if we wait long enough the general may well show up later as did the ones said to be dead by the MSM……https://lobotero.com/2019/06/03/the-purge/

Plus there is little accurate in the JPost…they just assist the West in the propaganda machine…….

Then more news reports on the DPRK……

The name of the report is an ominous-sounding one: “Mapping the Fate of the Dead.” And the contents of the report issued Tuesday by the Transitional Justice Working Group, a South Korean NGO, don’t belie its morbid title, detailing research dedicated to human rights violations in North Korea, including killings and burials. Among the findings: the identification of nearly 320 sites used for public executions that were often witnessed by upward of a thousand people, sometimes including young children of the people put to death, the BBC reports. The identification of the sites—which included prisons and labor camps, as well as locations near schools, markets, and sports sites—was based on interviews with more than 600 defectors. The executions, which stretched back decades, were prompted by everything from murder and attempted murder to more minor infractions like stealing copper and cows.

And while one person interviewed described a cheerier atmosphere at an execution witnessed in the ’60s, complete with a “festival” vibe and upbeat music, more recent state-sanctioned killings have served as a “core method of inciting fear and deterring citizens from engaging in activities deemed undesirable by the regime,” per the report. Most of the executions happened by firing squads, with some of those interviewed noting that the executioners appeared to be intoxicated. “Public executions are to remind people of particular policy positions that the state has,” Sarah A. Son, TJWG’s research director, tells the Guardian and Reuters, which couldn’t independently verify the report’s accounts. “But the second and more powerful reason is it instills a culture of fear among ordinary people.”

How accurate is this?  Or is this just another unverified piece of gossip?  This is all so silly at this point….what does all this unverified BS actually accomplish?

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