Closing Thought–14Nov18

I read an op-ed a couple of days ago and I had to give it time to sink in….someone thinks that Hillary is poised to run again for president………

A longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton has made a prediction in the Wall Street Journal that will be very good news to some Democratic voters and very bad news to others: Hillary Clinton is running again. So writes Mark Penn, a pollster and adviser to the Clintons from 1995 to 2008, in an op-ed co-authored with Andrew Stein, president of the New York City Council. Their premise is that Clinton will return to the Hillary Clinton of old, “the universal-health-care-promoting progressive firebrand of 1994.” Think of it as “Hillary Clinton 4.0.” In earlier iterations, version 2.0 lost to Barack Obama as a centrist and version 3.0 lost to Donald Trump after blowing it with white, middle-class voters. The new version of Clinton, however, has learned from all these mistakes.

“Clinton has a 75% approval rating among Democrats, an unfinished mission to be the first female president, and a personal grievance against Mr. Trump, whose supporters pilloried her with chants of ‘Lock her up!,'” the authors write. “This must be avenged.” She’s also had two years to assess her defeat to Trump and what she did wrong. What about the new generation of Democrats? They proved they’re not ready for prime time with the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg will support her rather than run against her, they write, and Joe Biden wouldn’t stand a chance. Clinton might not announce early, perhaps not until after Iowa, “but rest assured that, one way or another, Hillary 4.0 is on the way.” Click to read the full op-ed.

Seriously?

Why?

Please stop!  Let the country move passed the Clintons….

She will be a point of contention and will invoke the ire of that guy that sits in the White house as I type….the Dems need new blood…the Clintons are old hat and should go the way to the do-do.

The same for Pelosi….she will be a focal point of attacks and the Dem agenda will be pushed to the background…..again the Dems need new blood in the House leadership if they truly want to make a difference….looking to the past will give them nothing but heartache…Clintons and Pelosi are the past please Dems move on to the present and look to the future.

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“Making America Great Again”–Part 16

The series written by historian Maj. Sjursen has taken the reader through the early day, the revolution, the convention and the days as the country come to terms with itself……and now he touches on the decade before the outbreak of hostilities that led to what was to be called the American Civil War…….

Part 16 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

“Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators … mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.” —Sen. William Seward of New York (1858)

“It is difficult to achieve a full realization of how Lincoln’s generation stumbled into a ghastly war. … To suppose that the Union could not have been continued or slavery outmoded without the war … is hardly an enlightened assumption. If one questions the term ‘blundering generation,’ let him inquire how many measures of the time he would wish copied or repeated if the period were to be approached with a clean slate and to be lived again.”—Historian J.G. Randall (1940)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-a-broken-union-1851-1861/

The war is coming……Abe( a name he hated) Lincoln is coming, so much history and so much change is coming…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Who Owns The GOP?

Well to answer that question I would say pick a large corporation and the GOP has fingers in their wallets….but the one that owns the most spineless representatives of both parties is the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……

These vultures are making record profits……feeding the Saudis weapon systems so the Saudis can destroy the poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen…..

There have been a few in the House that are trying to curtail the US involvement in this conflict….but now the GOP has stepped up and done what the M-IC wants….kill as much attempts to end the US involvement as possible…..

…a measure is being advanced at the behest of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aiming to derail House Continuing Resolution 138, a War Powers Act challenge which would force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led War in Yemen.

Under the War Powers Act, any individual lawmaker is intended to be able to raise the matter of an unauthorized war for debate and a vote on the floor. Efforts to do so have failed, however, as the House leadership has used the Rules Committee to sidestep the issue.

This move to derail the debate is part of the first day of lame-duck House business, and Rep. Ryan and the other leaders seem to be hoping to turn the legal challenge of the war into a partisan issue. Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) accused the Republican leadership of shirking Congressional responsibility.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), however, is hoping to drum up enough Republican support for the legal challenge to prevent this, arguing that the legality of the Yemen War deserves a full debate and vote in the House.

(antiwar.com)

Those wishing to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the attempt to strip privilege from H. Con. Res. 138 should do so quickly, as the vote is expected on Wednesday. You can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, or find the phone number for their specific representative here.

Speak up!  The US does not need to be part of the Saudi genocide of Yemen.

Time For The House To Step Up

(I will re-blog this post in January of 2019 as the new Congress gets sworn it…just a reminder)

Voting is done……the tally is the Dems have prevailed.

The House is now in the hands of the Dems…..and now is the time for the Dems to step up and take back the power to declare war…..they have allowed the president too much lee way in this field and because the president has had a free hand we are fighting someone in at least 100 locations….time for that to change!

The American political environment is as polarized as it has been in recent memory. But there is one major policy priority that should unite lawmakers on both sides: making the legislative branch relevant on matters of war and peace.

The assumption within the foreign policy establishment is that national security in general, and war-making in particular, are distinct responsibilities of the executive branch. The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, after all, under Article 2 of the Constitution.

But the legislative branch is not meant to be a bystander. The authors of the Constitution understood that concentrating too much power in the executive branch would start the country down a dangerous road to perpetual war. “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement,” James Madison observed astutely, and the temptation to make war “would be too great for any one man.”

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-depetris-congress-war-powers-20181008-story.html

An excellent point and a point that I and others have been saying since 2003…..time for the Congress to start doing their job and let the president play to the cameras.

One little-noted consequence of the Democrats’ victory in the House of Representatives on Tuesday is that, for the first time in several years, there will be serious oversight of the Defense Department and possibly some cuts in high-profile weapons systems and secret commando operations.

At the Defense News Conference in September, Rep. Adam Smith, the Washington Democrat who has been the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and is likely to become its chairman in January, listed his top priorities if his party took control of the House. They include:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/democrats-house-pentagon-oversight.html

Is it possible that a new House could change the ddirection of US foreign policy?

The blue wave that crested over the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday was just large enough to usher in a Democratic majority for the first time in eight years. Because the president retains extraordinary powers to manage international affairs, foreign policy and national security may seem like the least likely areas to look for change in the new era. But Democrats may well force a shift in Washington’s approach to the world.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/how-house-democrats-will-shift-us-foreign-policy/575215/

And from the Middle East…….

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2018/11/midterms-revamp-mideast-policy-congress.html

So much rides on the new House…..but will anything change?

Democrats will use their new majority in the US House of Representatives to reverse what they see as a hands-off approach by Republicans toward President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, and push for stricter dealings with Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, Reuters reports.

Representative Eliot Engel, the Democrat in line to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said they might also seek congressional authorisation for the use of military force in places like Iraq and Syria. But on some hot-button areas, like China and Iran, he acknowledged there was little they could do to change the status quo.

As the majority party, Democrats will decide what legislation is considered in the House and have a more prominent role in setting spending policy and writing legislation.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181108-how-a-democratic-us-house-could-alter-foreign-policy/

But there is a dark side….recently the US Congress, a few members, have called for a ceasefire in the Yemen-Saudi mash-up….I agree but the problem is that the statement is little more than a PR stunt to look like the Congress is doing something…..

In an October 30 press release issued by the State Department, the Trump administration called “on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—both of whom have long defended the Yemen war—are now calling for a ceasefire within 30 days.

Yet these exhortations are meaningless without real pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are poised to launch yet another offensive on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-yemen-ceasefire-believe-it-when-you-see-it/

Like I have said….ALL BARK NO BITE!

Dems!  Time to step up!

An European Army?

Closing Thought–12Nov18

WTF?

I shared this info with a loyal reader of IST from the UK, https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/ , I try to get first hand info on stories I read….Pete has a great mind and lets me know what’s what in the UK and EU…..his takes are much appreciated.

The French dude has called for a standing “European Army” to protect the continent from Russia and the US…..really from the US?

Emmanuel Macron is calling for the formation of a “real European army,” and while two of that potential force’s foes, per the French president, are usual suspects, it’s the third that’s raising eyebrows. During a tour of WWI memorials in Verdun on Tuesday, Macron encouraged countries in Europe to establish a unified military effort to shield the continent “with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America,” reports AFP, via Time. “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” Macron noted, apparently referencing Trump’s pulling out of a nuclear weapons pact with Russia last month.

“Peace in Europe is precarious,” he added, with the Guardian noting Macron also warned of rising populism and nationalism there. Macron will be hosting a global “peace conference” in Paris on Sunday that will include Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other top leaders, and he’s expected to keep cautioning against what he calls the “leprosy” of nationalism—especially when compared to the past. “I am struck by similarities between the times we live in and those between the two world wars,” he told local media. The BBC, meanwhile, doesn’t know if this idea will ever fly, noting that “there is no evidence that any group of European countries has the political will or economic muscle to spend sufficiently on defense to make up for the United States’ raw power.”

Most of Europe is in the clutches of austerity programs so I do not think the cash is there for another standing army…..and then there is the “will”…don’t think there is much of that either.

World War One Remembered–11 November

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

We approaching the 100 year anniversary to the end of the Great War, World War One……and most Americans have NO idea what the war was about or how the US was involved…..

100 years ago today……the Great War ended!

As a political historian I feel that all wars must be remembered for it could help deter any further wholesale slaughter in the name of civilization…..but first since this war is not well remembered here in the US I shall give my readers a 2 part breakdown of the War…(not to worry they are short videos)……

The popular belief was the the Great War was unavoidable…that as the countries militarized a confrontation was inevitable…..but was it?

There is another school that believes the Great War was an accident that was never intended to go beyond punishing the Balkans for their part in the deaths of the crown prince and his wife…..but was it?

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, formerly called the Great War.

Not surprisingly, this has brought all sorts of stories and op-eds discussing the disastrous events that killed some 16 million people and wounded an additional 21 million others.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war. Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

https://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-great-myth-world-war-i-was-no-accident/

August 1914 was the start of the Great War, the War to End War, World War One (only after the start of hostilities with Germany in 1939)……

This war needs to be remembered because of the massive amounts of casualties, millions upon millions died from combat and that does not include the civilian deaths…..

It wasn’t the good war. But, in our popular imagination, it wasn’t the bad one either.

Instead, it’s identified by a vague mixture of concepts, names, and events: the Lusitania, “Wilsonian Idealism,” Versailles, Theodore Roosevelt.

The First World War – known as the “Great War” in Europe – has largely faded from memory on this side of the Atlantic. Arguably, this is because our involvement was so brief – joining the slaughter over two years after it began and leaving it just over eighteen months later.

https://original.antiwar.com/Harry_Blain/2018/09/10/everything-about-2018-shows-why-americans-should-remember-world-war-i/

The US learned valuable lessons in the fields of Flanders…..lessons that we have carried forth…..

Is there an “American way of war?” To answer this question, one would do well to start with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I, often rightly said to be America’s first modern war. The AEF exhibited both good and bad traits. To begin with the bad: One finds arrogance and the conviction of superiority vis-à-vis America’s allies and enemies, along with the assumption that they had nothing to teach U.S. forces. The good: Notwithstanding the initial arrogance and conservative institutional culture, some commanders and their men displayed an ability and willingness to learn, especially at the operational and tactical levels. Most importantly, they recognized that in fact America’s allies had a great deal to teach the U.S. military. Rather than let their self-confidence close their minds, they saved it for assertiveness on the battlefield.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/how-the-u-s-military-learned-to-learn-in-world-war-i-lessons-from-the-american-expeditionary-forces/

Around the world unlike the US….people remember the war and all its horror……https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46168105

Class Dismissed!

Turn The Page!

Veterans March

As Veterans Day approaches our veterans need to come together and start demanding their rights and benefits….even if it means shutting down the DC machine.

I have given my readers an idea of how they could do this…..by taking a page from American history…..

https://lobotero.com/2016/11/11/we-need-another-bonus-army/

America has a long history of crapping on their veterans…..and the society as a whole is not much better.

In case my post was too long and you would like to know about the Bonus army then a short video may help…..

This is what our veterans need……a demonstration that they will NOT be ignored any longer…as it is now they are nothing more than political props to be trotted out during campaigns and then pushed aside when no longer needed.

Begin with a MARCH!  But do not end there!

 

Veterans are numerous and with organization they can win their case with DC…..remember veterans have a proud history of demanding their rights and benefits…..granted the government over-reacted….but that is what you want….the more they act to more the news will focus on you and your problems and solutions…..just do it!

Time for Veterans to band together and demand the benefits and the entitlements they earned fighting senseless wars for politicians and oligarchs…..

It is also time for this country to be reminded of our veterans and all they do so others can stay home and snuggle with their loved ones…..Veterans deserve better than they get!

For soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, coming home is more lethal than being in combat.”
~ Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston

Not all heroes wear the uniform of war.

In the United States, however, we take particular pride in recognizing as heroes those who have served in the military.

Yet while we honor our veterans with holidays, parades, discounts at retail stores and restaurants, and endless political rhetoric about their sacrifice and bravery, we do a pitiful job of respecting their freedoms and caring for their needs once out of uniform.

https://original.antiwar.com/jwhitehead/2018/11/08/a-badge-of-shame-the-governments-war-on-americas-military-veterans/

Time for veterans to stop depending on elected officials that care more about the cash they can raise than the vets they can help….veterans need to depend on themselves like they do on combat…..no one knows better than the person next to you in the “trenches”…..

Saying “Thank You” does not feed their children or repair their bodies….time for all Veterans to strike a blow for their broken promises……DO IT NOW!

A small token….but you have my support and the support of IST.