Who Wants This War?

Well unless you hide during the day under a rock then you are aware of how close the US and Iran maybe to a war……personally, I do ot think it is a good idea but then I am an antiwar person and cannot see too many wars as a good thing.

But ask yourself….just who is it that wants this war?

Trump and the Secstate and NatSec adviser do not seem to be on the same page….so who wants this?

Speaking on state TV of the prospect of a war in the Gulf, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei seemed to dismiss the idea.

“There won’t be any war. …We don’t seek a war, and [the Americans] don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The ayatollah’s analysis is correct. Consider the consequences of a war with the United States for Iran.

Iran’s hundreds of swift boats and handful of submarines would be sunk. Its ports would be mined or blockaded. Oil exports and oil revenue would halt. Airfields and missile bases would be bombed. The Iranian economy would crash. Iran would need years to recover.

 
But not to worry….the Speaker of the House said that the Congress have not voted for war….

The Trump administration does not have congressional authorization to go to war against Iran, the Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives warned on Thursday amid escalating tensions in the region.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she backed what appeared to be U.S. President Donald Trump’s aversion to actual military conflict with Tehran.

“I like what I hear from the president — that he has no appetite on this,” she said. The Washington Post, citing several unnamed U.S. officials, reported late Wednesday that Trump was frustrated that his advisers may be rushing into war and that he preferred a more diplomatic approach and direct talks with Iran.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-iran-congress/u-s-house-speaker-congress-has-not-approved-war-against-iran-idUKKCN1SM1WA

Really?  The Congress has not thought it important enough to vote on any war since the invasion of Afghanistan….so what makes me think they will have any say whatsoever in whether we go to war with Iran or not?

Besides they, the Congress, cannot stop a war any way….look at the failure with the Yemen conflict….the Congress has become a toothless tiger.

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Death in Mali–Is Justice Served?

About 2 years ago in the West African nation of Mali and our US Special Ops troopers, who are the best in the world, had a situation where an Army Green Beret was killed by 2 Navy Seals and a couple of Marine Raiders…..I wrote extensively about this event….most of what I wrote is referenced in this post……https://lobotero.com/2018/12/11/death-in-mali-update/

A Navy SEAL pleaded guilty Thursday in the hazing death of a Green Beret soldier, detailing the late-night plot to break into 34-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer, put him in a chokehold and restrain him with duct tape during a deployment in Africa.

In a pretrial agreement, Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault, unlawful entry, obstruction of justice and violating a general order by committing hazing. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against him.

Following the agreement, a military judge sentenced Matthews to one year in military prison.

Matthews said that he, along with another member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and two elite Marine Raiders, carried out the “juvenile” attack on June 4, 2017, in Bamako, Mali’s capital.

The service members are also accused of lying to Navy commanders and investigators about what happened.

Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, Matthews’ attorney, Grover Baxley, said his client “looks forward to detailing what happened that night in Mali almost 2 years ago and hopes that his explanation of events will assist the Melgar family in finding some semblance of closure.”

He added that Melgar’s death was “an unforeseen accident that has dramatically impacted the lives of everyone involved. SOC Matthews is eager to assist with the Navy’s resolution of this case and then attempting to move on with his life.”

In an earlier statement to Military Times, Matthews’ attorney said he didn’t believe his client nor the three other men accused meant to kill Melgar.

“I don’t believe any of these four men did. This was an avoidable tragedy, and SSgt Maxwell is deeply remorseful for his role in it,” Maxwell’s other attorney, Brian Bouffard, wrote in an email.

Even though Melgar died in June 2017, the Pentagon did not release any information regarding his death until news outlets broke the story several months later.

According to The Washington Post, the tragedy occurred after a long night of drinking and partying. Two SEALs and two Marine Raiders smashed their way into Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer because they purportedly wanted to teach him a lesson for leaving them behind in traffic on the way to a party at the French Embassy

One of the SEALs, Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony E. DeDolph, jumped on Melgar and put him in a chokehold while Matthews grabbed Melgar’s legs. The two Marines then duct-taped his legs together. When they moved on to Melgar’s wrists, they realized he had stopped breathing.

The case, including allegations of a coverup, shed light on the culture of heavy drinking and womanizing in a West African city where there are alcohol restrictions and warnings about terrorist threats.

(Fox News)

I am glad that this may be finally over for the family of SSgt Melgar……but the accused are full of shit!

They are glad it is over?  After lying constantly and then given a lighter sentence I guess they are glad it is over.  And to fake concern for the family of SSgt Melgar is disingenuous…

Personally, I think they got off light and they should be thankful…there is NO excuse for special ops killing each other there are enough “bad guys” to do it for them.

Think about this…if I get drunk and drive and kill someone I am guilty of vehicular homicide …….and yet these people are not guilty of any thing other than a wrist slapping offense.

The Pentagon is anxious to close this chapter and move on…..but should it?

The Pentagon needs to get a handle on the discipline problem within the Special Ops…..I thought the Special Ops troops were the best of the best…..yet they act no better than some sophomoric frat boys.

Neocons Chest Thumping

The news these days is how close the US is coming to a shooting war with Iran…..but it is not the first time in recent history……

https://lobotero.com/2006/12/27/how-will-an-iranian-war-begin/

https://lobotero.com/2015/04/16/a-really-bad-idea-a-limited-war-with-iran-the-national-interest/

Keep in mind that the architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq on false information was John Bolton, among others…..and now he is in a position that gives him more influence than in 2003……

All I can say is…here we go again!

An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging a report that, at Bolton’s request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.”

Pretexts for an Attack on Iran

John Bolton is in “Wonderland” at this time……

John Bolton has a Haig-sized ego. (one must be an old fart to appreciate the Haig reference) He aspires to control the ebb and flow of foreign policy in the Trump administration. He is often at odds with his colleagues from the State Department and Pentagon. And he is dealing with a president who, if not asleep much of the time, is only intermittently focused on national security issues.

Recently, Bolton too seemed to have his “I’m in control here” moment. With the conflict intensifying in Venezuela, the national security advisor leaked the opposition plan for the army to defect en masse from the Maduro government in favor of challenger Juan Guiado. Bolton’s tweets reportedly angered President Trump, who felt “boxed into a corner,” particularly after the defections didn’t materialize and Nicolas Maduro did not flee the country.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/16/bolton-in-wonderland/

Time for all parties to step back and think what they are doing. Once the “brink” has been breached then coming back becomes much more difficult.

Perhaps these actions are a prelude to negotiations: the U.S. is exerting “maximum pressure”, it says, to bring a more compliant Iran back to the table; in like manner, should Tehran conclude that it has no choice but to reach a new deal with Washington in order to relieve unsustainable economic strain, it will want to enter such talks with a stronger hand. Resuming its nuclear activities, making its presence felt in the region, and disrupting Saudi or Emirati oil exports could all be ways of enhancing its bargaining power. But if these manoeuvres are a diplomatic game, it is a dangerous one: either side could misinterpret the other’s intentions. Any Iranian move could easily lead to U.S. and/or Israeli strikes which, in turn, could lead to an Iranian counter-response. Or vice versa. Escalation comes easily; de-escalation is a much taller order, especially in the absence of direct channels of communication that can pre-empt misunderstandings or miscalculations.

 
This could become a major war since we have a president that sows chaos in his wake….this needs a steady hand and commonsense to prevent this from exploding.
 
But until then….the Neocons in Trumpland are trying to sell this as a “Just War”…….a Just War?
 
Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical. The theoretical aspect is concerned with ethically justifying war and the forms that warfare may or may not take. The historical aspect, or the “just war tradition,” deals with the historical body of rules or agreements that have applied in various wars across the ages. For instance, international agreements such as the Geneva and Hague conventions are historical rules aimed at limiting certain kinds of warfare which lawyers may refer to in prosecuting transgressors, but it is the role of ethics to examine these institutional agreements for their philosophical coherence as well as to inquire into whether aspects of the conventions ought to be changed.
 
To me a Just War is a silly notion that only applies in a very limited reasons…..
 
And then we have those that a “Preventive War” is the only answer…..to that I say Bullshit!
 
The Neocons are working overtime to find a justification for a war……most are based on LIES and propaganda……PERIOD!

Regime Change By The Book

Have you been watching the antics of the US foreign policy in trying to force regime change in Venezuela?

So far three (3) attempts and three (3) failures…makes one think that it is all so much manure that the Trump Boyz are spreading.

The US has a history of attempted regime change…some successful and others were a disaster for the people to the targeted country…..

Since my typing is slow and labored these days….I will turn you over to more academic writers….for now…….

The United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR) did not go to war with each other between 1945 and 1991. Instead, both superpowers sought to wield global power and influence by manipulating smaller nations. They did this in many ways: through diplomacy, treaties and alliances; by providing aid or trade deals; by supporting friendly political groups or leaders; and by supplying arms, military equipment and training. The US and USSR also exerted pressure on ‘unfriendly’ foreign governments. In extreme cases, American and Soviet agents worked to change or overthrow these governments. In Europe, the Soviets installed socialist regimes loyal to Moscow, while elsewhere the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) orchestrated or supported coups that displaced socialist or left-leaning governments. These interventions often brought about disruption, conflict and significant human suffering. During the Cold War, several democratically-elected leaders were replaced with puppet governments, military juntas or dictators who were authoritarian, violent and corrupt.

 
Now that so many of the US attempts at regime change have gone terribly wrong…the US Special Forces has written a book on the proper way to go about regime change and/or coup……(Let is write there is now a how to book on regime change)…
US Special Operations Command can now be said to have literally written the book on US-imposed regime change, with the book “Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness” released this week by their official school.

The official study covers 47 distinct cases of US special forces trying to intervene in various countries from 1941-2003. It did not include some of the more famous US-backed coups, as the study said they did not involve “legitimate resistance movements.

This meant a few pages covering each incident, attempts to sort them into various categories, and determinations if they were successful or failures. Overwhelmingly, they determined their own interventions were successful.

Apparently anticipating the problems in years to come, the study also addressed mounting unrest across the Middle East in its early portion, and waved this away by arguing that it was generally the fault of the Soviet Union, and would’ve happened no matter what the US did.
 
(antiwar.com)
Okay right about here I need to say…WTF?
 
To begin with there have been a couple of “how to” books over the years and most are in my library…….maybe if “leaders” would read more they would not have to waste time and money writing a book that is already in print….several to be exact……
 
Form ten years ago…..”How To Stage A Military Coup’ by David Hebditch and Ken Connor….from Skyhorse Publishing….
 
Then from an older book…..from 1968….”Coup D’Etat–A Practical Handbook” by Edward Luttwak from Harvard University Press…
 
Maybe if they read more then their feeble attempts at regime change would be more successful.
 
Just Saying!

Tariffs…..Tariffs…..We All Fall Down

Of all the shiny objects that Trump and his lackeys throw out for the news to digest…tariffs is the biggest one for his supporters and our economy…….

I heard a report that advisers in the Whote House aren scrambling to explain the markets to this president…..

Seriously?

A “really smart person” and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business (the second most prestigious school of business) needs someone to explain the economics?  Did he sleep through that class at Wharton?

Let me help his supporters for they are wrapping themselves around a LIE.

How simple can I go?

A tariff is a TAX……how’s that for simple?

A tariff is a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country. That tax might be an ad valorem tax, which is a fixed percentage of the product’s price from time to time, or a specific tax that stays the same no matter what happens to the product’s price. Either way, the aim of import tariffs is to stop cheap goods from coming into the country from overseas and stealing market share of domestic producers. In this sense, tariffs are a form of protectionism, imposed to save industries that are especially vulnerable to competition from overseas.

I have tried to make it simple for people to understand tariffs and their results……

https://lobotero.com/2019/05/10/as-tariffs-come-and-go/

I am not so sure that Trump economic policies were the result of Trump economics……tariffs are proof for me…..they will bring the “surging” economy to a screeching halt.

Stupid is as stupid does!

A couple of idiotic statements from this group of mental midgets……

As the US-China trade war continues to rage, President Trump is not only defending the hugely disruptive effect it is having on the global economy, but promising that the “great patriot farmers” of America would reap the rewards when the US ultimately won the trade war.

Trump promised that the US government would compensate farmers for any losses they suffer from the tariffs, and suggested China would pay for that compensation in the form of the higher tariffs they are paying for the US allowing them “to do business with us.”

Trump’s promises to the farmers are likely driven by the political reality of the situation. Farmers heavily backed Trump’s election, and the trade war has heavily hurt their exports to China, as retaliatory sanctions have left them increasingly noncompetitive on the market.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a lot more comfortable with US farmers suffering in the trade war. Cotton insisted the hardship for them was “minimal,” and that China would suffer more than America would, suggesting that made it worth it.

Cotton further said that the hardships borne by American farmers was nothing compared to the sacrifices made by US soldiers in various wars overseas.

(antiwar.com)

Very smart?  MY ASS!

Trump’s lie that this is just a squabble with China seem to have soothed the feathers of Wall Street……markets are a bit more stable…..

Maybe he is smart….smart enough to know that a LIE will tamp down any opposition to Trump’s mash up with China.

On The Road To War!

It seems that the advisers to the president are determined to get into a shooting war with Iran…..personally I do not think any of these accusations are true (that means they are LIES)…..apparently I am not alone…..

The narrative of an “increased threat” posed by Iran and its proxies across the Middle East is being used to justify a US military buildup and a general escalation of tensions in the area. British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, however, has raised serious doubts about that.

Maj. Gen. Ghika said that there has been “no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces,” despite the claims from US officials, mostly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Perhaps more damningly, Ghika says he does not believe there is any daylight between Britain’s assessment of “no increased threat” and the assessment from US intelligence.

In other words, the US officials are lying about the intelligence, presumably to justify the growing US buildup and to keep hyping the possibility of a war with Iran. US Central Command, however, angrily shot back contradicting Ghika, insisting his statement runs counter to established US position on the matter.

CENTCOM’s statement is not exactly a refutation of Ghika’s position on UK and US intelligence. Rather, it refers to “identified credible threats” but provides no indication where they came from. It clearly wasn’t intelligence agencies, because the threats were only made available to intelligence agencies after their identification.

Early reports on the “Iranian proxies” allegation suggested it came out of Israel, and that it was built around Israeli officials believing it would make sense for Iran to do that sort of thing to attack the US. This could suggest it was never verified by US or UK intelligence, and was rather just accepted as the official version because it fit with US policy at the time.

(antiwar.com)

US is fanning those flames vigorously…..(do not believe all the denials)…..these neocons want war……

The Sunday “sabotage” on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates warrants a “thorough investigation,” according to US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid, who told reporters that he wants responses “short of war” to be taken.

Other officials indicated on Monday that they consider Iran the main suspect of the attack, though they have conceded that they don’t have any real evidence of this, let alone proof. Abizaid said starting a war over it would not be in the interest of Iran, the US, or Saudi Arabia.

Which is a potentially controversial position for the ambassador to take, given the ongoing US military buildup in the Middle East, centered around the idea of a war with Iran. Even if he believes this isn’t in America’s interest, nor justified on unproven allegations of sabotage, it seems to be the general direction the US is headed anyhow.

In particular, the idea of having a thorough investigation before the reaction is not the way the US has done things in recent years. At a time when hawks are lining up to call for action against Iran on any pretext, it is vital to hear the call to let cooler heads prevail.

(antiwar.com)

Filter out all the warmongering BS and think about one thing……this article was published in The American Conservative……

David French defends one of the great crimes of the 21st century:

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today.

There is good reason that the Iraq war has “precious few defenders.” The Iraq war was a great crime and a massive blunder. Not only was it illegal under international law, but it was undeniably unjust according to any fair reading of just war theory. Our government did not have just cause to invade Iraq and overthrow its government. Preventive war can never be justified, because it can never be just to strike first against another country because you fear what their government might one day do to you. That is simply aggression committed out of irrational fear. To say that you still think 16 years later that invading Iraq is “just and proper” is to admit that you don’t know what those words mean.

Preventive War Is Always Unjust

The “Just War Theory”? 

A confusing thing but as usual I can help……Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/

In this world today, the 21st century in case there is any confusion) war does not make sense….the only people to gain are those that make the weapons of destruction.

We Americans have allowed too many wars in our name…..all the deaths are in our name…..and what does anyone gain?

****Breaking News******

News came out after I had written this draft for post today……

The US Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran. The security alert, published on the embassy’s website on Wednesday, comes after Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and American interests. On Sunday, the embassy advised Americans to avoid travel to Iraq, citing “heightened tensions.”

And the world waits!

Wassup in Africa?

There is one continent that the western world seems to dismiss as often as it can….like it does not matter…..but it does.

For instance….China is heavily invested in Africa…..the problem is their presence is having a negative effect…..

On a sticky morning on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Solomon Wambogo Munyua sprinkles water on the long and sturdy green shoots of the garlic crop he planted in January.

His farm is just one-eighth of an acre, perched on the humid mountainside in the fertile East African Rift Valley, over which glacier-capped peaks loom.

It isn’t an easy existence, and his concerns include issues ranging from transportation costs to the low prices paid for produce.

But these complaints are dwarfed by a new challenge farmers such as Munyua feel powerless to fight: imports of Chinese garlic flooding into the Kenyan market.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-s-relationship-africa-illustrated-garlic-tensions-n994486

That is a great example…….

But China is not alone….Russia seems to be back in Africa……

Russia’s recent activities in Sudan and the Central African Republic have been the subject of intense speculation.

That’s because along with renewed economic ties, private Russian military contractors are reported to have been active in both countries.

This is particularly sensitive in Sudan, where there have been widespread, often violent anti-government protests.

Moscow has been increasingly turning its attention to sub-Saharan Africa, developing trade, security and defence links.

So, what do we know about Russia’s activities in Africa, and how extensive are they?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45035889

Russia is on the rise in Africa……

Six African Heads of State will be among global leaders and foreign dignitaries to eye-witness the official ceremony inaugurating the newly elected Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, scheduled to take place on May 7 in Moscow.

The importance of this ceremony is that Putin will continue to keep the symbols of power – the national seal, the national flag and a specially bound copy of the Constitution after taking the oath of office as President.

 
I bring up the two situations with two of the biggest competitors of the US because I would like to know what the US has in store for Africa……

Africa is not likely to emerge as one of US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy priorities. But the continent is almost certain to be affected by the fallout from his hardline foreign policy views, his strong anti-Muslim pronouncements, his vow to eliminate Islamic terrorism, and his “America First” economic policies.  And the prospects are probably bleak for any bold new development initiatives targeted at Africa like those rolled by his predecessors Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Over the past two decades, US Africa policy has enjoyed strong bipartisan congressional support from both Democrats and Republicans working together. But without a strong commitment to Africa in the White House or Executive Branch under Trump, the major programmes that have defined US policy in Africa for the past two decades will probably struggle to sustain the previous funding levels and state support.

https://africanarguments.org/2017/02/01/trumps-africa-policy-unclear-and-uncertain/

Newsweek offered n small look at what the Trump Africa Agenda will look like……

The U.S. faces an ever-connected, dynamic, and often dangerous world. Nowhere are the obstacles and opportunities presented by these conditions more evident than in U.S.-Africa policy.

Despite offering little insight into this foreign policy thinking during the campaign, the president-elect will enter office facing a number of serious challenges to U.S. interests in Africa, but also an unprecedented chance to deepen a partnership with the fastest-growing continent in the world and advance American security and economic interests.

The following priorities should be of particular interest to the Trump administration:

https://www.newsweek.com/three-priorities-donald-trump-africa-521375

As usual the US seems to care little for the Africa nations….only what can be pulled from their natural resources…..(see map to help one understand)……