Jabba The Jihadi

Ever hear of this guy?

Of course not you have been focused on and bitching about the impeachment trial……

It seems that this overweight jihadist has been arrested in Iraq…

Iraqi authorities made an arrest so large they had to load it onto a flatbed truck.

An Iraqi SWAT team arrested 560-pound Islamic State preacher Abu Abdul Bari, also known as Shifa al Nima, this week in Mosul. The extremist ideologue was transported in the back of a truck.

The Iraqi government said the large jihadi is a top ISIS leader known for “provocative speeches against the security forces,” according to a statement by the Iraqi government.

Bari issued religious decrees, known as fatwas, that ordered the execution of clerics and scholars who refused to pledge loyalty to the brutal terrorist group.

He also ordered the 2014 demolition of a mosque built on the site believed to be the burial spot for the biblical prophet Jonah. As ISIS came to power in the region, its clerics ordered the destruction of many cultural sites, ruining centuries of history.

Maajid Nawaz, founder of anti-extremism group Quilliam, said that images of the arrest are likely humiliating for ISIS.

“Do not underestimate the psychological blow the image of this obese monster being arrested is to ISIS. Gluttony is frowned upon by jihadists. But, also, ISIS branded themselves as fighters possessing rare courage & discipline… meanwhile this walrus was their top religious cleric,” he said

No way he was gonna outrun the law……

High-ranking Islamic State official, Abu Abdul Bari

Another terrorist taken from the field…..and yet it keeps going and going kinda like the Energizer Bunny…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Troops In West Africa

The Pentagon has shown a lean toward removing troops from West Africa and redeploy…https://lobotero.com/2020/01/16/closing-thought-16jan20/

After that news a lawmakers disagree with the SecDef……

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been publicizing his intention to cut troops from Africa and send them to the areas around Russia and China for great power competition for some time. He is facing some pushback from Congress.

Efforts in recent years to brand the substantial US military position in Africa as being core to the global war on terrorism apparently stuck in the minds of a lot of lawmakers of both parties, who now say that the US can’t afford to withdraw those troops.

This increases the likelihood that Esper’s Pacific pivot will never happen. Already, his plans to cut troops from Iraq and send them seems dead, with President Trump bound and determined not to cut Iraq troop levels because Iraq wants them to.

The arguments on both sides are paper thin, either that the US needs to keep troops in Africa to be in Africa, or that they need to move them to China to do more to China. As Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) warned, if the US pulls troops out of Africa “then they will not be there.”

(antiwar.com)

I bet that the M-IC had a cow and paid dearly for the lawmakers to oppose….and then news that will help our troops stay in West Africa……

The Defense Department has remained relatively tight-lipped regarding the brazen Jan. 5 raid on a military base at Manda Bay, Kenya, but a new report from the New York Times provides a riveting account filled with new details about how the hours-long gunfight played out.

The attack, carried out by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terror group, killed a U.S. service member and two defense contractors and prompted the Pentagon to deploy its East Africa Response Force (EARF) to secure the base’s crucial airfield.

Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, pledged that the U.S. military would “harden our resolve” in the aftermath of the attack, stating that the U.S. “remain[s] committed to preventing al Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African and international partners.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/kenya-manda-bay-attack-report

Yes I know Kenya is in East Africa so do not try to use that……troops will remain now that the threat is more pronounced.

Makes One Think.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–23Jan20

I have been an opponent of the massive amount of spending that tghe country does on its so-called defense.

We have American citizens starving and dying of inadequate health care but yet we can spend trillions on worthless endless wars.

Those damn defense contractors! (Let me state here that not all contractors for the defense department are crooks….but there are too many as it is now)…….

Shell companies….tjose techniques used by drug dealers and terrorists to hide their money are also employed by some defense contractors…..

Shell companies have come under attack for obscuring illicit money flowing into real estate. But it turns out they’re also a problem for the Pentagon.

Some Defense Department suppliers have used such front companies to fraudulently win manufacturing bids, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study of Defense Department contractors.

In some cases, the shell companies helped contractors obscure that they were making U.S. military equipment abroad, the GAO said, posing a risk to national security and quality control. More often, they were used to win contracts meant for companies owned by disabled veterans or minorities, it said.

The government watchdog reviewed 32 cases that made their way to criminal prosecutions or lawsuits between 2012 and 2018. Taken together, they illustrate how the Pentagon’s $350 billion in annual contracting can be gamed using companies that exist largely on paper.

The problem could be far bigger, since the GAO’s study wasn’t intended to gauge its scope. The watchdog said the Pentagon had made only spotty efforts to pierce the secrecy of shell companies.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-04/how-the-pentagon-was-duped-by-contractors-using-shell-companies

32 cases and $350 billion…….

Whatever happened to “oversight”?

Apparently that is a thing of the past as long as the Congress gets most of the cash from lobbyists and corporations.

This is a pathetic sytory that plays out every budget and the American people just shrug and allow their money to be pissed away on crap and politicians.

Plus the M-IC can get away with murder…..

According to the Washington Post, General Dynamics is “the fourth-largest corporate recipient of US government contract dollars” and Mattis himself one of at least 50 “high-level government officials” hired by defense contractors since the Trump era began. In fact, on the very board that Mattis rejoined sit six other former military officers and officials, including a former Navy admiral, a former Air Force general, a former deputy secretary of defense, and Novakovic herself who once worked for the CIA and the Pentagon. And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget about all those figures from the world of the weapons makers who have headed the other way like Mark Esper, the current secretary of defense, who was previously a lobbyist for Raytheon.

How The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Away With Murder

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Are We Ready For War?

With tempers moldering in the Middle East yet again….there is an important question that needs asking….are we truly ready for a protracted war?

I have written about this topic……https://lobotero.com/2011/01/12/military-must-be-ready-for-the-next-war/

After the most recent airstrike by the US and the war of words between Iran and the US….the president has said we are ready for war…..

“The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment,” he tweeted on Jan. 5. “If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way.”

Besides being wrong (the military has not spent that much), he repeated a mistake that military leaders have made for years: emphasizing weapons over the fitness of the men and women charged with firing them.

Over the past 18 months, ProPublica has dug into military accidents in recent years that, all told, call into question just how prepared the American military is to fight America’s battles.

If forced to fight in the Persian Gulf or the Korean Peninsula, the Navy and Marine Corps are likely to play crucial roles in holding strategic command of the sea and defending against ballistic missiles.

https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-says-u-s-is-ready-for-war-not-all-his-troops-are-so-sure

Further Reading:

Defense Strategy for a Post-Trump World

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is Up With Middle East Policy?

I was trained in the diplomacy and conflict management in college and I then went to work in the Middle East as an analyst….after living in the region for 6 years I have learned that there is always more to the policies than what we see, read or hear…..

First where are the troops stationed in the Middle East?

The US has between 60,000 and 70,000 troops in the Middle East, according to the US Central Command, and has announced plans to deploy thousands of additional troops to the region amid the heightened tensions.

This map shows where US soldiers are deployed in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as some of the major bases they are stationed at in the region.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2020/01/military-presence-middle-east-afghanistan-200113120612249.html

I understood Bush’s policies and that of Obama as well….neither was a policy that I thought would succeed….then Trump was elected and the policy became obfuscated and in coherent…..

Donald Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani, the most influential figure in Iran other than the Ayatollah Khamenei, will increase the terrorist threat to the United States and the global community. Suleimani’s death has already provoked widespread outrage in Iraq and Iran among the Shiia populations. Prior to the killing, Iraqi leaders were campaigning against Iran’s military presence in their country. Now, the Iraqi Parliament has called for the removal of the U.S. military presence. The decision has created more tactical and terrorist opportunities for the Islamic State as the United States has decided to cease operations against the Islamic State.

Trump’s decision has undermined fundamental U.S. decisions in every way, particularly the need to forestall terrorist threats; protect friends and allies; and prevent Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration has enhanced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to improve relations with Iraq and Iran; caused controversy and even dissent within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; and further exposed the instability and ignorance of Trump’s national security team. Since the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, the European co-signers of that agreement along with Russia and China, have questioned the wisdom of Washington’s international actions.

The Incoherence of U.S. Policy in the Middle East

I see no continuity in our Middle East policy…..chaos and knee jerk decisions seem to be the rule of the day.

I fear that this approach will just make the region more dangerous and solve no problems.

Where did it all begin?

Well with World War One and the Sykes-Picot…..but beyond that where did the whirlwind we have today get its fuel?

In the long history of imperial folly and recklessness, nothing compares to U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf. Yes, the British shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan in 1838, and, yes, JFK shouldn’t have backed the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in November 1963. If they had thought things through more carefully, one wouldn’t have lost an entire army in the retreat from Kabul while the other wouldn’t have stumbled into a dozen-year-long quagmire that would leave the US military depleted and demoralized – not to mention killing more than a million or more Vietnamese.

But those were momentary miscalculations compared to the slow-motion disaster in the gulf. For nearly half a century, every US president – liberal, conservative, or whatever – has pumped up a regional arms race that has set the stage for ever more destructive wars. The death and destruction have been incalculable. Yet not once throughout the long sorry saga have Americans paused for even a moment to consider where it was all going.

Who Created the Persian Gulf Tinderbox?

Where will it all end?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Jan20

As the nation awaits the start of the Senate Trial…..how about a little humor to lessen the pain of the impeachment wait?

We think that our politicians are bold when they have a heated argument with an opponent or a voter….but these are very mild compared to the rest of the world…..

These are clips from around the world and the differences of opinion and how they are resolved…..

Parliaments around the world communicate dissent in various ways. In some cases, yelling is enough. Elsewhere, ministers express themselves with fistfights, kicking, elbowing, gouging eyes, spraying tear gas, and throwing things (including eggs, chairs, microphones…). 

In Jordan, after a heated debate, one MP wanted to shoot another but was not allowed to bring his AK-47 into the parliamentary chambers. (And he, or perhaps someone else, seems to be wielding a knife.) He was ordered out into the hall, where he fired a shot, the noise of which interrupted a speech. 

Well, there are limits to what will be tolerated. As shown in the video below, an emergency meeting was held, after which one member announced, “Some are suggesting to sack the member of parliament who did that.”

Violence in the US Congress was once fairly common, as a recent book documents. If the political culture grows any more polarized, could it return? 

House of Pain: Watch Crazy Parliament Fights From Around the World

Watch all the short clips…they are wonderful.

Now that is how we should be settling our opposition…..a good fist and the winner takes the day in politics.

Maybe extend it to international situations…..leaders of the two countries meet in a neutral area and have a 3 round fist fight…..the winner is declared by a panel of neutral judges or a knock out….the winning side gets the dispute settled in their favor.

Pretty simple and straight forward….this is a violent world we live then use that violence to settle disputes….other tan killing each other.

Just a thought!

“lego ergo scribo”

"He Said Bad Stuff"

I am as most already know that I like foreign policy and conflict management…..I have studied many forms of the execution of foreign policy but I have never heard of one that is actionable because of Rhetoric.

Most Americans know that we recently killed a top Iranian general in an airstrike…..there is a story that there were plans to attack American embassies and a couple of other reasons for the assassination.

But Trump has said now that he was killed because he said “bad things”……seriously?

President Trump has struggled with legal justifications for the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, failing to back up claims of an “imminent” threat, claiming that didn’t matter because of bad things he’d done. On Friday, Trump suggested to donors that Soleimani was killed not because of what he did, but because of what he said.

Trump made the comments at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, saying that he heard Soleimani’s comments, and asked “how much of this shit do we have to listen to?” Trump made no mention of any threats in his decision to kill Soleimani.

This is particularly noteworthy because it represents another example of the president changing his story on the controversial assassination, one which very easily could have led to a major war with Iran.

Claims of an “imminent threat,” true or not, are always made by the US military after an attack because it is one of very few legal pretexts established for carrying out an otherwise aggressive attack. Being insulted by what Soleimani was saying, naturally, is not a legal justification of any sort.

That in less than two weeks the president has repeatedly changed his justification isn’t a good sign, and that this most recent narrative was offered only during a private dinner to his donors, suggests that this was neither meant for public consumption, nor a very good justification at all.

This also came just a day after Trump warned Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to “be careful with his words” after a critical sermon. In this new context, we are clearly meant to understand that if Trump didn’t like what he said, it might easily be a reason for him to be killed.

(antiwar.com)

If they is an adequate reason to assassinate a leader then h why have we not done so for North Korea’s Kim, who has said more “bad stuff” than just about anybody?

I truly would like to know just what style of foreign policy does Trump subscribe to….that is besides the “Pasta Technique”……

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”