Those Killbots

We all know of the outcome of Skynet taking over, right?

The world is moving more and more close to the day when AI is the warfare norm….until then we have our drones….and the Chinese has taken that concept one step further…..

Chinese military contractors have already started to sell dangerous, autonomous killer robots to customers in the Middle East.

For instance, a Chinese company called Ziyan is actively marketing its Blowfish A3 — an autonomous helicopter-like drone armed with a machine gun — to international buyers, according to Defense One. While several countries have been working towards this tech for years, this news means we’re finally, and unfortunately, living in the era of killer robots.

While Ziyan works to sell its autonomous killbots to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Chinese government is already entrenched in the killer robot trade.

“As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next-generation stealth UAVs when those come online,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, per Defense One. “In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/china-selling-autonomous-killer-drones

We look for ways to make the battlefield ‘safer’ for our troops by using drones…unfortunately the civilians are NO safer….if anything are in more peril.

Thanx to everyone for their kind attention to IST….your visits are much appreciated..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Ukraine For Dummies

Ukraine this and Ukraine that…..but what do most Americans really know about the country and the region?

First a general description…… Ukraine was the center of the first eastern Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Weakened by internecine quarrels and Mongol invasions, Kyivan Rus was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and eventually into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The cultural and religious legacy of Kyivan Rus laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism through subsequent centuries. A new Ukrainian state, the Cossack Hetmanate, was established during the mid-17th century after an uprising against the Poles. Despite continuous Muscovite pressure, the Hetmanate managed to remain autonomous for well over 100 years. During the latter part of the 18th century, most Ukrainian ethnographic territory was absorbed by the Russian Empire. Following the collapse of czarist Russia in 1917, Ukraine achieved a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), but was reconquered and endured a brutal Soviet rule that engineered two forced famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died. In World War II, German and Soviet armies were responsible for 7 to 8 million more deaths. Although Ukraine achieved independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, democracy and prosperity remained elusive as the legacy of state control and endemic corruption stalled efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civil liberties.

Now a map of the region…….

Image result for Ukraine images

For those that may not completely understand the history or the situation then maybe a short refresher course will be of some help……..

So here is a kind of primer for those who might be interested in some Ukraine history:

  • Late 1700s: Catherine the Great consolidated her rule; established Russia’s first and only warm-water naval base in Crimea.
  • In 1919, after the Bolshevik Revolution, Moscow defeated resistance in Ukraine and the country becomes one of 15 Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
  • In 1954, after Stalin’s death the year before, Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, assumed power. Pandering to Ukrainian supporters, he unilaterally decreed that henceforth Crimea would be part of the Ukrainian SSR, not the Russian SSR. Since all 15 Republics of the USSR were under tight rule from Moscow, the switch was a distinction without much of a difference – until later, when the USSR fell apart.

Read On…….

Ukraine for Dummies

Hopefully since the MSM will not explain the situation completely this may help my readers in some small way.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Syrian Oil Saga

Recently Trump move troops out of Syria just to redeploy them in Eastern Syria around the oil fields…..I wrote about what I thought about the idea of the US basically taken Syrian oil……https://lobotero.com/2019/11/05/syria-the-confusion-and-the-chaos/

I have not seen anything that would lead me believe that the US has the best motives about the Syrian oil….

Whether to control the oil or flat out take the oil, US statements on the new military mission in Syria are heavily oil-themed. Other reports, however, suggest that the operation is a lot more complicated than that.

In reality, a lot of the goal is nation-building, with US forces meant to both keep the Syrian government out of this part of Syria, and try to “bring prosperity” to the region, propping up a potential territory of rebels.

This is again built around the assumption that the US can manufacture an autonomous, prosperous region, using the oilfields as the revenue source, and then steer that region toward hostility with the rest of Syria.

This will likely end up being a plan easier for the Trump Administration to sell than overt theft of oil, as it allows the US to retain its primary focus, military hostility toward Syria with an eye toward eventual regime change.

To that end, the US keeps condemning Syria and Russia for airstrikes in the Idlib Province of northwestern Syria, and is demanding a full halt to strikes to resolve the situation through the UN. Ironically, the US has also opposed that UN reconciliation process, because it’s not going to end with regime change.

Pentagon officials are also pointing out that their military presence in Syria implies US military authority to open fire on Syrian government representatives if any of them try to reclaim control over the Syrian oilfields.

(antiwar.com)

I still say that the oil is that of Syria not the US and as such we should have NO voice in how it is used…..and yet the Pentagon says they have the right to order our troops to shoot on sight….no matter who……

Pentagon officials asserted Thursday U.S. military authority over Syrian oil fields because U.S. forces are acting under the goal of “protecting Americans from terrorist activity” and would be within their rights to shoot a representative of the Syrian government who attempted to retake control over that country’s national resource.

The comments came from Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman and Navy Rear Admiral William D. Byrne Jr. during a press briefing in which the two men were asked repeatedly about the legal basis the U.S. is claiming to control Syrian oil fields.

The briefing came less than two weeks after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “That’s our mission, to secure the oil fields” in the Deir ez-Zor area of eastern Syria. President Donald Trump’s comments before and after that remark —”We’re going to be protecting [the oil], and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future,” and “The oil… can help us, because we should be able to take some”— were seized on by critics who claimed Trump was suggesting violating international law by plundering another country’s resources and openly saying the U.S. was pursuing war for oil.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/08/pentagon-claims-us-authority-shoot-any-syrian-govt-official-who-tries-take-control

I reiterate…..what gives the US the right to basically steal Syrian oil?

Apparently Trump decides and it is still the policy of this admin…..

Speaking during a visit with Turkey’s President Erdogan, President Trump sought the simplify the US role in Syria, saying Turkey’s issues over the border were thousands of years in the making.

“We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure,” Trump insisted in comments, adding that “we kept troops in Syria only for the oil.” This is in keeping with Trump’s talking points of recent weeks, which emphasize the idea that the US is going to take Syria’s oil.

The insistence that the US is there “only for the oil,” however, is a critical point, because it runs directly contrary to every comment made by anyone else in the administration in recent weeks.

Pentagon officials have played up the idea of the US fighting with Syrian troops, Russian troops,and ISIS as reasons for staying in the country. Some have been dismissive of the idea that the US would be keeping the oil at all, despite President Trump very clearly, repeatedly saying that’s exactly what he intends to have happen.

(antiwar.com)

Is there a legal question that needs answering?

Following new meetings with defense leaders last week, President Trump has signaled intentions to expand his new war in Syria, which is a war entirely built around military control of oilfields in Eastern Syria from which he intends to extract oil.

All of this is raising ever-growing legal questions, both about what the legal ramifications of an overt war for oil would be, and about what the military is actually supposed to do in this environment, and against whom.

President Trump has so far side-stepped questions about the legality of taking other countries’ oil by arguing that it’s a lot of money the US could make every month in doing so. As far as military orders, those still haven’t been issued, and moreover officials concede a lot of details are “yet to be worked out.”

Despite lack of clarity on what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who it’s against, the US troops in Syria are doing something, and Kurdish YPG forces were also reported to have gotten involved, sending some troops of their own to help guard the oil fields.

The Kurds are reportedly helping the US guard the oil from ISIS, and while that’s a pretty straightforward mission for the Kurds, it’s a lot more complicated for the US, with a lot of the people the US is keeping away from the oil having nothing to do with ISIS.

Unspoken is that the US mission is to keep Syria’s oil away from Syria, and experts are being very clear that that notion is very illegal under international law. So far that doesn’t seem to be phasing officials, but anyone participating outside of US command is going to be trying to style this as about ISIS.

(antiwar.com)

I still do not see the legality of the US occupation of Syrian oilfields.

Not to worry the president will make it all much clearer…..

President Trump’s position on the Syrian War aims to further simplify matters. Turkey’s President Erdogan says he is worried about Turkey’s border with Syria, and President Trump sees an opportunity to contrast his own war, saying “we left troops behind only for the oil.”

In the context of US-Turkey relations, this seems very straightforward and avoids conflicts of interest. Admitting that the whole US war is for oil isn’t the panacea Trump thinks it is, however, and he’s running up against other US officials on this issue.

Lawmakers are couching the Syrian War as being about protecting the Kurds, while the Pentagon’s leadership sees it heavily built around fighting ISIS and continuing to work toward regime change in Syria. Some even suggest it’s about countering Russia.

Trump’s all-oil agenda directly contradicts everyone else, and gives the impression that the US is being deliberately evasive about its military agenda and where US foreign policy is going.

Trump’s comments may simply reflect his agenda and what he cares about in Syria, just the oil. At the same time, other top officials plainly see the legal complications to overtly looting oil during a military occupation, and are downplaying that matter hoping nothing ever comes of it, or that at the very least they can avoid culpability by making their role in the war something else.

(antiwar.com)

I am so glad it has been cleared up….how about you?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

That ISIS Thing

We have not had much news about ISIS…as it should be because according to Trump he defeated them single handed….and yet they still exist….

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate.

“Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the president said apropos of nothing during a news conference with the Australian prime minister on September 20. “I defeated the caliphate — ISIS.”

At a press conference on October 21, after pulling troops out of Syria, Trump put himself even closer to the battle with the Islamic State: “I’m the one that did the capturing. I’m the one who that knows more about it than you people or the fake pundits.”

The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

A look at this ISIS thing through the eyes of a Neocon think tank……

Almost as soon as it became clear that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, the revisionism began about whether this was actually a good thing.

Some analysts predicted that al-Baghdadi’s death as a “martyr” would inspire others, becoming a “propaganda bonanza” for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

We should not be so gloomy. The death of such a sadistic killer and serial rapist is unambiguously good news.

It was also the last thing that ISIS needed. Caliphate relinquished, the group’s operations inevitably will be disrupted by the death of its emir, especially with Abu Hassan al-Muhajir—a potential successor—killed in a U.S. airstrike just hours later.

5 Things to Watch in Tracking the Future of ISIS

The group has been diminished but not gone……and they have a new tactic of terror….FIRE

A media outlet affiliated with ISIS has been instructing the group’s radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, according to posts on an internet forum dedicated to the terror group.

At least four propaganda posters that have appeared on the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet have urged followers to “ignite fires” as part of an ongoing jihad against America and its allies.

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/isis-tells-followers-to-set-forest-fires-in-u-s-europe/

The caliphate is down but not out……

Just months after the Islamic State militant group lost the last of its territory in Syria, and days after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S.-led raid, the group has found safe haven in a remote, ungoverned space in Iraq, as foreign fighters move across the border from Syria, military officials tell NBC news.

“The fight against ISIS is continuous,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Seely, commander of Task Force-Iraq. “We’re seeing ISIS fighters move from Syria across hundreds of miles of desert.”

Their goal, Seely says, is to re-establish their physical caliphate in the region.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/defeated-isis-has-found-safe-haven-ungoverned-part-iraq-n1076081

How many times must I say this….ISIS IS NOT DEFEATED!

It is only napping waiting for the day to return.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Today Will Be A Busy Day

All eyes should be on their favorite news outlet for the live coverage of the impeachment proceedings……the AP breakdown the important stuff for the day………

IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS GO LIVE ON TV

Two seasoned diplomats, William Taylor and George Kent, will be the first witnesses to publicly testify in the House impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR TRUMP

The president comes face to face with the limits of his power, as public impeachment hearings will help shape how he will be viewed by voters next year and his place in history.

If that is not to your liking and not your cup of tea then there are several other important issues playing out today……

 

  • Key players. The Hill lists some key players to watch during the hearings, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who will be the first lawmaker to question the witnesses. Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the committee, will also be allowed to make an opening statement and question witnesses for up to 45 minutes.
  • Trump: “The circus is coming to town.” Trump called Sean Hannity a “brave warrior” and tweeted parts of his anti-impeachment rant. “The circus is coming to town. The corrupt, compromised, coward & congenital liar Adam Schiff Show on Capital Hill,” Trump wrote. “There is zero due process, none. It is yet another fraudulent hoax conspiracy theory. It is another Witch Hunt.”
  • The Democratic case. A top Democratic official tells the New York Times that the witnesses will help make the case that Trump is guilty of “serious misconduct” by trying to “bribe, extort, condition or coerce” Ukraine’s president to investigate one of his political rivals. Schiff said Tuesday that he believes Trump is guilty of both bribery and “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which are impeachable offenses under the Constitution.
  • The GOP defense. The BBC reports that a memo circulating Tuesday set out a “straightforward” Republican defense of Trump. GOP lawmakers are expected to argue that Trump was acting out of legitimate concerns about corruption—and that witnesses who say otherwise are “unelected bureaucrats” who are biased against the president.
  • Debunked claims. The Washington Post lists some debunked claims likely to surface during the hearings, including Trump’s argument that his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect.”

How to watch. The proceedings will be aired live on C-Span and cable news networks, reports Business Insider. They will also be streamed on the websites of the House Intelligence Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

And now for the rest of the world……..

 

TRUMP, ERDOGAN TO MEET AT WHITE HOUSE

Relations between the two NATO allies are at their lowest point in decades, with Turkey turning toward Russia on security issues and Ankara facing a Washington backlash over attacks on Kurdish forces and civilians.

AS HONG KONG DESCENDS INTO CHAOS, CHINA MULLS OPTIONS

Analysts say that the violent protests, now in their sixth month, may give Beijing the justification it needs to take more direct action.

KABUL’S AIR POLLUTION MAY BE EVEN DEADLIER THAN WAR

A research group says more than 26,000 deaths in Afghanistan’s capital could be attributed to air pollution in 2017, compared to 3,483 civilians killed that year in the Afghan war.

I think that ALL Americans should watch the hearings and listen closely to the testimony……plus if you are planning to watch the circus then maybe you should be armed with the transcripts….and the old professor can help with that as well…..

3 transcripts were released….that of a Deputy Sec. of Defense, Laura Cooper……you may read the entire thing here…..https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/CPRT-116-IG00-D012.pdf

Christopher Anderson who was an assistant to the Ukraine Envoy….his testimony can be read here……https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/11/politics/read-testimony-christopher-anderson/index.html

Catherine Croft, a top State Department official….her’s can be read here…..https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/read-transcript-state-dept-official-catherine-croft-s-impeachment-testimony-n1080331

Read Yovanovitch’s testimony in full here. (Initial news coverage of her testimony is here.)

Read McKinley’s testimony in full here.

Read Volker’s testimony here……https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6540429/CPRT-116-IG00-D007.pdf

… another transcript was released to the public…that of Ukraine expert…..Bill Taylor and it can be read here……https://www.scribd.com/document/433753426/William-Taylor-testimony

The most recent release from yesterday…..State Department employee testimony can be read here…..https://www.scribd.com/document/433921637/George-Kent-testimony

…two transcripts released for public consumption……..first the transcript of the testimony from Col. Vindman…….https://www.scribd.com/document/434064258/Vindman-pdf

Second from Fiona Hill……https://www.scribd.com/document/434065486/Fiona-Hill-testimony

Now you are ready for the proceedings to begin…..

Not to worry I will post a short summary of the day’s proceedings…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Coming Nuke Spring?

Trump in his wisdom(?) has left most of the treaties that the US has lived by for decades…..most of the nuclear treaties have been hit the hardest, INF and START….

Kolossal’naya opasnost.” In a recent BBC interview, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used those two words – “colossal danger” – to sound the alarm of the risk the world faces as tensions rise between Russia and the West. What prompted such strong language to describe the geopolitical standoff? Two more words: nuclear weapons.

Indeed, Gorbachev himself was a key player in unprecedented atomic disarmament a generation ago, signing the landmark 1987 accord with U.S. President Ronald Reagan to reduce arsenals of the then two superpowers with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). Over the past year, both the U.S. and Russia announced their withdrawal from the INF.

https://www.worldcrunch.com/world-affairs/disarmament-to-rearmament-the-quiet-return-of-nuclear-risk

I am not looking forward to a f*cked nuke policy…..I lived through all the duck and roll drills, all the fear and speculation of the nuclear holocaust to come…..

But it is 2020 and an election year….so which of the Dem candidates is capable of a nuclear policy?

Will the candidates continue to support the policy that gives the US president unfettered authority to start a nuclear war? Or will they instead lower global risk of war and publicly commit the US to a nuclear No First Use policy?

Fifty-seven years ago last month the world breathed a sigh of relief. Most of that October in 1962 had been spent on the brink of nuclear war. A stare down at a naval blockade, dramatic UN Security Council meetings, a somber Presidential address, a shot down spy plane – and through it all tense backroom negotiations and letters between Kennedy and Kruschev. Ultimately peace prevailed and we backed away from nuclear armageddon. Now the anniversary is remembered as a shining example of Presidential resolve in the face of crisis. However, that’s not the whole story.

President Kennedy’s leadership didn’t end with the removal of missiles. In some ways it was only just beginning. What he knew was that his responsibility went further. He couldn’t just prevent disaster, he needed to address the causes to prevent it from happening in the future. Some steps were taken immediately, the famous “hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House was installed. Kennedy and then Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, continued the correspondence they began in the heat of the moment no longer discussing immediate moves and demands but potential long term routes toward nuclear de-escalation. Ultimately, in June of 1963 President Kennedy publicly outlined his “Strategy for Peace” in a speech at American University. In it he committed to ending US nuclear weapons testing, voiced his support of the global nuclear testing ban, and called for the pursuit of “complete disarmament.” By October of 1963, the US Senate had ratified the Limited Test Ban Treaty and the path seemed set for de-escalation.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/05/which-2020-candidates-are-ready-address-threat-nuclear-weapons

As I look at the candidates we have left in the race I cannot see any of them with a solid nuclear policy…..my candidate being antiwar may be the only one I would trust to come up with a good solid proposal…..the rest of the 2020 field is just Neocons in Dem clothing.

I Read, I Know, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Iran And Enrichment

The media keeps the pressure up on Iran….it has jumped into the Neocon camp and dealing in false information……to illustrate their fanning the flames moment…..the headline was “Iran Thumbs It’s Nose At The Nuke Agreement”……

Iran is continuing to back away from its nuclear deal with world powers following US withdrawal over a year ago. On Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced that uranium gas would be injected into centrifuges at the underground Fordo facility beginning Wednesday. A rep for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran later said gas would be injected into 1,044 centrifuges with the goal to enrich uranium up to 4.5% concentration of U-235. The 2015 deal limits Iran to low-enriched uranium, with no more than 4% concentration. Iran actually agreed not to carry out enrichment at Fordo until 2031, per the BBC. “Trump’s complaint with the Iran accord was that key restrictions expired by 2030, but the net result of the recent announcements is that those restrictions are largely being thrown out now,” reports the New York Times.

Iran sees its move as a bargaining chip. It’s “reversible” if other signatories—the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia—allow Iranian oil to be sold on foreign markets and relieve economic pressure from US sanctions imposed after Trump pulled out of the deal, Rouhani said. “Then we will stop feeding gas to the centrifuges.” He spoke a day after Iran announced it had doubled the number of advanced centrifuges at its larger Natanz facility, where enriched uranium is already being produced, per the Times. On Tuesday, the US State Department said Iran had “no credible reason to expand its uranium enrichment program, at the Fordo facility or elsewhere, other than a clear attempt at nuclear extortion.” Per the Times, “with the steps taken in recent weeks, Iran might be able to produce enough fuel for a single nuclear bomb in under a year.”

Please someone tell the world that none of thus would be news if Trump had not wanted to destroy a deal of the Obama administration……had nothing to do with the nuke thing but rather a popular Obama policy……it had to go.

Really?  No”credible reason”?  Maybe all the past war drum beating and threats from some slug in DC…..maybe they take threats seriously?

Iran is an oil exporting country…well it just got a shot to the arm…..

Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country’s south with over 50 billion barrels of crude, its president said Sunday, a find that could boost the country’s proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over US sanctions. The announcement by Hassan Rouhani comes as Iran faces crushing American sanctions after the US pulled out of its nuclear deal last year. Rouhani said the field was located in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province, home to its crucial oil industry, reports the AP. Some 53 billion barrels would be added to Iran’s proven reserves of roughly 150 billion, he said. “I am telling the White House that in the days when you sanctioned the sale of Iranian oil and pressured our nation, the country’s dear workers and engineers were able to discover 53 billion barrels of oil in a big field,” Rouhani said.

Oil reserves refer to crude that’s economically feasible to extract. Figures can vary wildly by country due to differing standards, though it remains a yardstick of comparison among oil-producing nations. Iran currently has the world’s fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil and the world’s second-largest deposits of natural gas. It shares a massive offshore field in the Persian Gulf with Qatar. The new oil field could become Iran’s second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 925 square miles, with the deposit some 260 feet deep, Rouhani said.

Just a thought

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”