Flynn Gone, McMaster Cometh

In Like Flynn is no longer with us in the capacity of NSC head……and the search went on….Patraeus said NO…..Odierno said NO…..someone even said the idiot of the Right John Bolton was being considered….but hew was passed over….(a fine decision by the president)….and finally a name came up that was agreeable to most…..

President Trump has picked his new national security adviser: Army Lt. Gen. HR McMaster. He is “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said in announcing his decision Monday in Florida, per Politico. McMaster replaces Michael Flynn, who was asked to resign over his conversations with the Russian ambassador about sanctions before taking office. The Los Angeles Times calls McMaster “one of the military’s most prominent intellectuals.” Some related coverage:

  • A blogger at Foreign Policy who knows McMaster calls him “smart, energetic, and tough,” and he maintains that McMaster has written one of the best books on the Vietnam War: Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.
  • McMaster talks about life in the military in this 2014 interview with the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga. Among the quotes: “Some people think, hey, you’re in the military and everything is super-hierarchical and you’re in an environment that is intolerable of criticism and people don’t want frank assessments. I think the opposite is the case. In the Army, because the stakes are so high—right?—you can’t just be a yes-man and say, ‘Great idea, boss!’ if you don’t believe it—right?—because lives are at stake.” Read it in full here.
  • The New York Times says McMaster’s thinking on counterterrorism served as the basis for Gen. David Petraeus’ strategy that shifted momentum toward the US against insurgents in Iraq.
  • Last year, McMaster warned that the Army needed to stop shrinking, notes Heavy.com in its five-things-to-know feature on the general.
  • McMaster participated in the Battle of 73 Eastern during Desert Storm in which US troops were outnumbered but still prevailed because Iraqi soldiers were using outdated equipment. He wrote about the battle and its lessons at the Strategy Bridge.

This man is an intellect to be dealt with….yes he is a hawk but a hawk with a brain and sound rational thought.  His cheerleaders are many……

  • Politico describes McMaster, author of a 1997 book on America’s mishandling of the Vietnam war, as “one of the military’s leading warrior-scholars” and predicts that he will help Trump build bridges with GOP defense hawks like John McCain, who praised McMaster on Monday as “a man of genuine intellect, character, and ability.”
  • Retired Lt. Gen. David Barno tells the Washington Post that he knows McMaster well and he believes the general will excel at coordinating policy. “I don’t see HR as director of an orchestra; I see him as someone who is getting all the instruments to play together,” Barno says.
  • Cosmopolitan rounds up eight things to know about McMaster, including the fact that he “is known for standing up for his beliefs” and was chosen as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2014.
  • National Review reports that Charles Krauthammer, one of Trump’s fiercest conservative critics, described the choice as encouraging, noting that McMaster’s willingness to go against prevailing opinion of the time when planning the Iraq troop surge shows “this is a guy who will say what he thinks and promote what he wants.”
  • At Business Insider, Paul Szoldra praises McMaster as a “fantastic choice,” not least for the great deal of respect he commands from the troops
  • The AP notes that McMaster has a “reputation for being willing to speak truth to power”—and he “appears to hold a much dimmer view than Trump of Moscow’s military and political objectives in Europe.”

The MSM seems to think it is a wise choice……

Below is his opinion on the US approach to war……this is from a speech he gave in 2015……

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who spends his days trying to figure out the future of conflict and has gained wide respect for speaking his mind, told an audience at the University of South Florida on Wednesday that the United States needs to do a better job of learning lessons and adapting because of its “narcissistic approach to war.”

And, echoing outgoing President Dwight David Eisenhower’s farewell to the nation in 1961, McMaster urged renewed caution about the military-industrial complex and its influence on how America wages war.

Source: General dissects U.S. approach to war in speech at USF | TBO.com

My personal observation—-I was very impressed in his book on the Vietnam War, Dereliction Of Duty, he was very critical of the leadership during the war and hew was spot on in his analysis…..he is outspoken and has a great intellect….that will make for a good NSC chair if he does not compromise for a cushy posting…..

Trump’s Trade Reforms

The election of 2016 trade and jobs were a focal point of many voters….and the rhetoric was aimed at those concerns so much so that a win was registered in trump’s column.

He promised to re-negotiate some trade agreements and eliminate others and this would help create jobs that most Americans desperately need and want….

All great campaign words but how will they play out in reality?

Trump’s proposals for high tariffs might sound good. But combined with policies that weaken unions, they’re not good for wages.

President Donald Trump claims he will use international trade policy to bolster the middle class and reduce income inequality.

“The great American middle class is disappearing,” he wrote for USA Today during his campaign. “One of the factors driving this economic devastation is America’s disastrous trade policies.”

That rhetoric resonated with many of the disaffected and downwardly mobile workers who had voted for Democrats in past elections. It seemed to echo labor’s longstanding criticisms of so-called free-trade deals.

Source: Trump’s Trade Reforms Will Not Increase US Wages

Yes, it is early in his reign and there is still time of sanity….the biggest question is…..will the middle class survive?  Or will those jobs actually materialize?

There Are Spies And Then There Are Spies

From time to time I write for a couple of other sites….mostly on current affairs or international relations…..I appreciate their confidence in me to allow me to write for them.

This is an op-ed that I wrote for Ace News Room……

In the last week there has been a wealth of reports about our spy agencies….CIA, NSA, DNI, etc……

It appears that our new wielder of power has a hard on for our intel community….during the transition word came out that he would revamp the agencies…..

Source: There Are Spies And Then There Are Spies

Reiteration At Its Best

Same Song Different Day.

I did something yesterday that I am not proud of doing….I watch Trump’s latest “I am the greatest tour”…his 75 minute press conference.  This is my first and definitely my last Trump news conference unless something major is about to happen….I had never heard such egocentric babbling in a very long time.

Before I go…..let me give you a short synopsis of the time in Hell…..the lines that got the most chuckles out of me.  I did not listen for policy but rather the tone and the words…..I was not disappointed….just a list of the lines that I found laughable.

President Trump held forth with reporters at a lengthy news conference Thursday afternoon, defending his first weeks in office and again going after the media over “fake news.” A sampling, via the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the New York Times:

  • On his White House: “I open the paper and I see stories of chaos, chaos. It’s the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite not being able to get my Cabinet approved.”
  • On his progress: “I don’t think there’s ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we have done.”
  • On the travel ban: “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban, but we had a bad court. We got a bad decision.”
  • A swipe at Obama? “To be honest, I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, it’s a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country.”
  • On Michael Flynn: The ousted NSA chief is a “fine person,” but “he didn’t tell the vice president of the United States the facts. And then he didn’t remember. And that just wasn’t acceptable to me.”
  • On the media: “The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. The press are out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”
  • On Russia: The Russia story “is a ruse. … I have nothing to do with Russia.”
  • On leaks/fake news: “The leaks are real, but the news is fake.”
  • To an African-American reporter: “Are they friends of yours?” when she asked about the Congressional Black Caucus.
  • On “dreamers”: “We are going to deal with DACA with heart,” he said of the Obama program to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the US as kids.
  • On himself: “I’m not a bad person by the way. … I do get good ratings.”

Don’t fret, you Trump worshipers, there will plenty of others that will contradict me…..and they you will believe….(go figure)…..

After only a month and I have had enough foolishness from the White House….

Again the movie “Idiocracy” comes to mind……

…And Those Regular Press Conferences… Yikes!

This is a “Press” of an article written by a friend of IST from his new blog, “Finding Political Sanity”….stop by and help him get it up and running….

“You know what it is? Here’s the thing. The public isn’t — you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don’t know if it’s true or false because they’re not involved. I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved. So I know when you’re telling the truth or when you’re not. I just see many, many untruthful things.”

Source: …And Those Regular Press Conferences… Yikes! |

Thanx for your time….chuq

Coming Of A Police State?

If you follow the news, and most of the readers of IST do, then you will recall the Ferguson Missouri problems a few years ago…the protests and the reactions……..you will also recall the the police appeared to be a military force confronting the protesters….and this situation has occurred over and over…..the police armed and equipped like a military force…..

Like I said this appears to e the wave of the future……

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere.” We should all be cognizant of King’s quote. In the 20th and 21rst centuries, U.S. policies around the world, both economically and militarily, have been questionable at best. They started with the Philippines in the beginning of the 20th century up to the Middle East today. These policies, more often incredibly violent, are coming back to haunt us. An example of this includes the U.S. international policy of “Low-Intensity Conflict” (LIC).

Source: The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments

What got me to thinking along this road was something the Trump said when he was addressing the Chicago wave of violence…..not the quotes about immigrants or thugs or anyhting along those lines….what it was was his statement that he would send in the Feds……”If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds.”

Send in the Feds?  Would that not be something akin to a police state?

It would appear that some of the folks who were hoping that Donald Trump was actually an isolationist “jobs” president, rather than the authoritarian white nationalist with imperial ambitions he clearly showed himself to be on the stump, are now being forced to face reality. Everything he has done since he was inaugurated proves him to be dead serious about unleashing the military and the police to enact his agenda, and he wants the other branches of government to understand that if they obstruct him he’s going to make sure his rabid followers know who to blame.

Source: Donald Trump’s Coming Police State: We Have a President Who Wants Unlimited Power and Won’t Respect the Rule of Law | Alternet

He may not have meant it in the way it was said….but that kind of talk is disturbing.

God I love it when a plan comes together!

Closing Thought–16Feb17

Obama Did It!

God knows that I was a staunch critic of Obama while president….but I will have to just laugh at the conspiracists have to say these days…..

One of the biggest jokes in the conspiracy queue is Alex Jones….I have a hard time taking anyone that cites him as a reliable source seriously….he is on the “shadow government” bandwagon…..

Furious about national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, Alex Jones posted a video commentary this morning warning about the threats President Trump is facing from what Jones described as a demonic conspiracy out to destroy him.

While railing against a Foreign Policy article (which he misattributed to Foreign Affairs) about the Russian government’s view of Trump, Jones said that there is a plot to sabotage both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin over their efforts to stop globalism.

Among the plotters, according to Jones, is Barack Obama, whom he accused of living in a “bunker” in Washington, D.C., where Jones believes he is personally directing and “recruiting with [George] Soros an army for a Bolshevik-style revolution.”

We all have seen the numerous protests that are sweeping the nation….anti-Trump protests that is….if you read any Right leaning websites then you probably already know that these protesters are getting paid or the better oner is Obama is behind them……

Fox News, fringe media outlets, and fake news purveyors echoed New York Post columnist Paul Sperry’s claims that former President Barack Obama is establishing a “shadow government” through his nonprofit organization Organizing for Action (OFA), with an “army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000” — to organize protests against, and to “sabotage,” President Donald Trump. Sperry has a history of pushing falsehoods, misleading claims, and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. A similar claim about an Obama “shadow government” was also made on Fox by discredited author Ed Klein in December 2016.

Paul Sperry: Obama Creating “Shadow Government” To “Sabotage” Trump, And His Organization “Helped Organize Anti-Trump Marches … Some Of Which Turned Into Riots.” New York Post columnist Paul Sperry wrote that former President Barack Obama is creating “what will effectively be a shadow government” to “sabotage the incoming administration” with “an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000.” Sperry claimed that “activists” involved with Obama’s nonprofit, Organizing for Action (OFA), had already organized “anti-Trump marches across US cities, some of which turned into riots.” From the February 11 column:

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

And now the Trump incompetency is all Obama’s fault….according to a Trump supporter……

The Trump White House is clearly leaking like a sieve, and right-wing apologists, like ex-Navy S.E.A.L. Carl Higbie continue to carry water for Trump by blaming the Obama White House staff leftovers. He was on with Stephanie Ruhle, who follows Morning Joe weekdays.

RUHLE: You think that maybe there’s people in there who are patriots saying, I have to figure out a way to get the truth out?

You’d think a Navy S.E.A.L. would expect a General to be tough, but not Carl Higbie, He is worried that people are picking on poor Mikey, the same guy from this appalling RNC Reichstag-style speech.

Higbie, by the way, is auditioning as a potential replacement for Sean Spicer, some say.

HIGBIE: Or people with crosshairs on Mike Flynn, you don’t know. we have enormous leaks coming out of the White House. this is indicative of politicos, Obama leftovers, we call them them we bes, we be here when you come and we be here when you go. The loyalists. Donald Trump needs to find out who is loyal, who is a political.

Source: Malcolm Nance Smacks Higbie Down: ‘We Swore An Oath To The U.S. Constitution’ | Crooks and Liars

Sorry I have a problem with all this bullshit.  I expect more from a group that demands accountability from others but not their president…..(there is a name for that)……

Americans cannot come up with an opposition on their own….they need someone to tell them what is wrong…..is that about it?

In 2008 there was the rise of the Tea Party…remember?

Was that a plan by the Bush2 group for a “shadow government”?

But there is a new kid on the streets……

Source: Pro-Trump Propaganda Outlets Are Blaming An Obama Shadow Government For Massive Anti-Trump Protests

This gets more humorous by the day and it has only been about 4 weeks since the new guy raised his hand…..gonna be a long 4 years….how much juvenile crap will the American people stand?