Closing Thought–26Apr17

“Benghazi Calling!”

I remember the days when the GOP was jerking off on their desks because of the attack in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador to Libya.  All the investigations that found nothing…all the politicians face time on talk TV…..and all the conspiracy crap from the bowels of the likes of Alex Jones, WND and a wealth of morons from the Right.

Then in 2016 we had candidate Trump that mentioned it whenever it was advantageous…..and he was concerned how lax Clinton was with the security of our diplomats……

As usual the Trump person was full of piss and vinegar….why?

Although President Donald Trump repeatedly railed against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the attacks on the Benghazi consulate, he still has yet to nominate anyone to oversee American embassy security.

As Politico reported, Congressional Democrats are calling the omission hypocritical while Republicans are encouraging Trump to work faster to fill this and other important posts at the State Department.

“The State Department has security professionals who are up to the job, but we do need all hands on deck given the many evolving threats we face,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). “I hope a nominee for assistant secretary will be put forward soon.”

Source: Trump railed against Benghazi — but he still hasn’t nominated anyone to oversee embassy security

It is okay with those tiny brains of the Trump supporters….that Pres. Trump is nothing like candidate Trump.

But what can you expect from a candidate from the hypocritical party…..but if the unthinkable happens will Trump be held up to the same scrutiny as Clinton….my guess is NOT a chance.

But if you prefer music to bullsh*t then maybe this selection will be a better end of the day………

That closes down the notebook for the day….be well, be safe….tomorrow is another day….chuq

Guernica Remembered

In 1936 the Spanish landscape erupted in a bloody civil war that lasted until 1939…..I know about this war because I lived in Spain and when I was there some of the scars from family against family still lingered……and my grandfather was fighting there as part of the International Brigades….(read more history)….

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) broke out when the Spanish army in Morocco when a few of the most influent generals of the Spanish Army, led by General Francisco Franco, rose up against the democratically elected Republican government, presided over by Manuel Azaña. Allegiances were not always clear-cut during this conflict. Essentially, the ranks of the Left (also known as Loyalist and Republican) comprised workers, peasants and trade unions, but also the Spanish government, Socialists, Communists and Anarchists. The Right (also known as Nationalist), was supported by rebellious factions of the army, industry, landowners, the middle classes and the Catholic Church. For various and somewhat contradictory reasons, the Loyalists received the support of the Soviet Union and European democracies, while the Nationalists were armed and equipped by the Fascist governments of Germany and Italy.

The Spanish Civil War would prove to be both fierce and bloody. Although the resources of the two sides were not that unequal, the Nationalists were better organized and received extensive material aid from Germany. The Loyalists received very little assistance from the Soviet Union and, moreover, were divided by internal conflicts between Communist, Socialist and Anarchist factions.

While European and North American volunteers fought for the Republic in the framework of the International Brigades, and a number of foreign artists and intellectuals supported the Loyalist cause, including Ernest Hemingway (who was working as a reporter and photographer) and George Orwell (who fought on the Republican side only to be prosecuted later on and thus becoming profoundly disillusioned by the rivalry in the ranks of the Left), the Nationalists were finally triumphant.

General Franco’s victory marked the beginning of a forty-year dictatorship in Spain (1939-1975). In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Hitler sought Franco’s support for his own military campaign, but Spain was in no position to provide either financial or human aid. Although the Spanish Civil War had been a training field for the battles to be waged in the Second World War, Spain would play no part in the latter but agreed to sponsor a small army of volunteers known as La División Azul.

One of the worse airstrikes by the Nazi Condor Legion was in the attack on the  Basque town of Guernica……

The German bombers appeared in the skies over Guernica in the late afternoon of April 26, 1937 and immediately transformed the sleepy Spanish market town into an everlasting symbol of the atrocity of war. Unbeknownst to the residents of Guernica, they had been slated by their attackers to become guinea pigs in an experiment designed to determine just what it would take to bomb a city into oblivion.

Spain was embroiled in a convulsive civil war that had begun in July 1936 when the right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco sought to overthrow Spain’s left-wing Republican government. It did not take long before this bloody internal Spanish quarrel attracted the participation of forces beyond its borders – creating a lineup of opponents that foreshadowed the partnerships that would battle each other in World War II. Fascist Germany and Italy supported Franco while the Soviet Union backed the Republicans. A number of volunteers made their way to Spain to fight and die under the Republican banner including the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the United States.

Source: The Bombing of Guernica, 1937

Today is the 80th anniversary of the attack……and a prelude to the death and destruction that would become World War Two…..and the only memory the world has of this attack is a painting by Picasso entitled “Guernica”……sad.

What Will Korean War Part 2 Look Like?

All the mash up with North Korea has got the country talking.  Even my class had to put in their 2 cents worth….we talked about the first one and how it started and ended…afterwards they asked…what will the next Korean War look like?

A good question and thankfully I had read an article that asked that very question….I told the class to read it and we would discuss it at next session (I reminded them UNZ has a Libertarian lean to it)……

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets.

What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like. Memory of the bloody, indecisive first Koran War, 1950-53, which killed close to 3 million people, has faded. Few Americans have any idea how ferocious a conventional second Korean War could be. They are used to seeing Uncle Sam beat up small, nearly defenseless nations like Iraq, Libya or Syria that dare defy the Pax Americana.

Source: What Would Korean War II Look Like? – The Unz Review

I would like for my readers to also join the conversation……so let your thoughts be heard.

Remember Operation Eagle Claw

Closing Thought–25Apr17

I apologize but this post was a draft that was suppose to be published yesterday and I somehow missed it.

Yep you got it….another history lesson……

This is an operation that cost American lives and it should not be forgotten…..

On 4 November 1979, after a popular revolution swept the Shah of Iran, a close American ally, out of power, Iranian students backing the new revolutionary Islamic government stormed the US embassy in Teheran and took the staff and USMC security contigent hostage. In all, 52 Americans were captured and it was unclear whether they were being tortured or readied for execution. After six months of failed negotiation, the US broke diplomatic relations with Iran on 8 April 1980 and the newly certified US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) was put on full alert and plans were being drawn up for a rescue.

The Americans faced a daunting task. Teheran is well inside Iran and away from friendly countries. The hostages were not held at an airport as in Israel’s four years earlier Entebbe raid. Good intelligence was hard to come by about forces inside the embassy and in Teheran. And of course, all the planning and training had to be carried out in complete secrecy.

Source: Operation Eagle Claw

The sacrifice that these people made should not be forgotten….and I will see that they are not.

Anzac Day

I am always going on about the American vets and have pretty much ignored other countries and their vets….I apologize.  The ugliness of war effected more than just Americans…..and ALL vets deserve their recognition.

Today is Anzac Day……25 April

It is their equivalent to the US Veterans Day….an observant of the Great War (WW1)…….a day to honor those that fought and died.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world. When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.

Source: Anzac Day: Remembering the Soldiers on Unexpected Battlefields | RealClearDefense

Take a few moments and think about the sacrifices that all war veterans make for the country…..they deserve far more than they are given.

I will attempt to rectify my oversight,,,,again I am sorry for my thoughtlessness.

Afghanistan: Land Of The Proxy

My old farts that visit IST will remember the days of yore, 1979, when the USSR entered Afghanistan…..I use “old farts” because few seem to want to remember that we have been doing “business” in Afghanistan for over 25 years.

The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in 1979, attempting to shore up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. In short order, nearly 100,000 Soviet soldiers took control of major cities and highways. Rebellion was swift and broad, and the Soviets dealt harshly with the Mujahideen rebels and those who supported them, leveling entire villages to deny safe havens to their enemy. Foreign support propped up the diverse group of rebels, pouring in from Iran, Pakistan, China, and the United States.

It was a proxy war between the USSR and the US and the people of Afghanistan were caught in the middle of the 9 years of death and destruction……The US armed the opposition to the Russian occupation and today it appears that Russia is arming the opposition to the American occupation…..

The Afghan War is going extremely poorly, 16 years in, and the US military needs someone to blame for its failures. The first choice among a lot of top military figures seems to be Russia, and while they offer no evidence to back up their claims, several have alleged that Russia might conceivably be arming the Taliban.

US commandeer Gen. John Nicholson appeared to be joining that camp today during comments in Kabul, complaining about the “malign influence” of Russia in the country, and insisting that he was “not refuting” allegations of Russia shipping weapons to the Taliban.

(antiwar.com)

I bring all this up because there seems to be another proxy war between Russia and the US brewing…..and yes Afghanistan will be caught in the middle once again.

If recent developments are any indication, Russia is becoming increasingly focused on and active in Afghanistan. The Russian government has held several consultations with Tajikistan on expanding security cooperation on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border and has explored increasing the scope of its Central Asian military bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). It has also increased its diplomatic engagement with the Taliban and, according to Afghan and U.S. officials, may even be providing security assistance to the group. Long a consideration for Russia, Afghanistan is growing in importance to Moscow at both the tactical and strategic levels. And as it does, it is becoming an increasingly important theater for the U.S.-Russia competition.

Source: Afghanistan: The Next Big U.S.-Russia Proxy Battle | RealClearDefense

This is what the US and Russia are very good at doing……using proxies so they do not have to get their hands dirty….as it were……

Russia is a great power that retains muscle memory (and a strategic arsenal) from its past superpowerdom. In the Ukraine and Syria, Russia has challenged the United States—its former peer and a hesitant hegemon in decline—through direct military interventions. Additionally, Moscow has impressively deployed hybrid warfare tactics to create the perception that it has influenced the U.S. presidential election and forged a rift between the incoming commander-in-chief and elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

Surprisingly, Afghanistan is emerging as another arena in which Moscow is pointedly working at odds with Washington’s interests. Indeed, recent moves by Russia now represent a pivot toward Afghanistan, posing a set of challenges that have been unanticipated by U.S. observers of the region. The incoming Trump Administration ought to be aware of Russia’s newfound assertiveness vis-à-vis Afghanistan, both in the threats it poses as well as the potential opportunities it may present.

Source: Russia Returns to Afghanistan | The National Interest

What is left to say….some tactics never change….and that could very well be the problem.

There is one more thing to say…..

Mattis did meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and offered the same assessment that US officials have been offering on the Afghan War for the past 16 years, that it’s “going to be a tough year” in Afghanistan, and that the US appreciates the major problems facing the country.

There you have same song, different year.

After I wrote this draft another Afghan story came to my attention……

The use of a large conventional bomb against an Afghan tunnel complex occupied by Islamic State militants recently captured the media’s imagination. Talking heads rushed to discern the meaning of the decision. Was it President Donald Trump sending a message to North Korea? Was the president even involved in the decision? It turns out that he wasn’t.

The U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, says he ordered the use of the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst Bomb, known colloquially as the “mother of all bombs”) for purely tactical reasons: “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles.” The jubilation expressed by U.S. media in purely tactical destruction, however, sent a strategic message to some Afghans: that the United States considers their country a collection of targets to destroy rather than a country with a history and, hopefully, a future. A senior pro-government political analyst in Kabul whom I have known for decades points out that even if the Islamic State flees the area, the government’s weakness means the Taliban, who pose a greater threat to the government, will fill the vacuum.

Source: It’s Much Bigger Than Afghanistan: U.S. Strategy for a Transformed Region

The song is FAR from over!

It’s Looking A Lot Like “Groundhog Day”

I am referring to our wars of conquest of those barbaric groups AQ and ISIS…..

We have been fighting one or the other for about 20 years…the other is a fairly recent add to the War on Terror…..

The problem is that we keep doing the same thing over and over and spinning our wheels in the process….kinda like the movie “Ground Hog Day”…..only with guns, bombs, death and destruction.

The current situation in Syria reminds us again that we are failing in our post-9/11 wars. We have accomplished neither the strategic objectives set forth by the Bush administration nor those of the Obama administration. Both administrations have had notable successes and achieved periodic tactical and operational progress, but neither created sustained strategic success. The jury on the current administration is still out, but on the campaign trail the President suggested we can defeat ISIS with military force alone—bombing the *@#! out of them. To put it kindly, this approach misses the mark. America has led a concerted leadership decapitation campaign against both al Qaeda and ISIS for a decade and a half. Such a campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. How much longer will we take this approach before we learn that we are waking up to the same day over and over again?

Source: U.S. Strategy for al Qaeda and ISIS: It’s Groundhog Day | RealClearDefense

I keep waiting for all those brilliant minds in the government to come up with something new and innovative…..so far there is NOTHING new under the table at the Pentagon.

And this new administration is definitely not the group to end this war with a victory….they, like their predecessors, are nothing more the hammer to help the M-IC nail down massive profits with NO intention of ever ending this gravy train.