Closing Thought–12Dec17

NYC had another attempted terrorist attack yesterday…..the problem was the guy had the IQ of a turnip and did more damage to himself than to any people near-by…….

The president made a comment……..all I can do is laugh…..Fearless Fosdick is as clueless as always.

Now on to today’s closing thought…….

We all remember 9/11 if for no other reason than it is all Guiliani can talk about when in front of a camera…….and most will also remember the Boston Marathon bombing, right?

Let me say before I go any further that I cannot verify all this info so I am just putting this out there for some thoughts….by posting this I by NO means think this is entirely accurate…….

This is a piece written on the blog for the Institute of Political Economy…..remember the Tsarnaev name….it is the name of the brothers that committed the crime (Boston Marathon bombing)….or did they?

FBI Evidence Proves Innocence of Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Paul Craig Roberts

I have been contacted by attorney John Remington Graham, a member in good standing of the bar of the Minnesota Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. He informs me that acting in behalf of Maret Tsanaeva, the aunt of the accused Tsamaev brothers and a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic where she is qualified to practice law, he has assisted her in filing with the US District Court in Boston a pro se motion, including an argument of amicus curiae, and an affidavit of Maret Tsarnaeva. The presiding judge has ordered that these documents be included in the formal record of the case so they will be publicly accessible. The documents are reproduced below.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/08/17/fbi-evidence-proves-innocence-accused-boston-marathon-bomber-dzhokhar-tsarnaev/

Interesting read…..is this for real or is it just another conspiracy theory?

Something to think about before I return in the morrow with more thought provoking stuff……chuq

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Where The Hell Are The Troops?

I have been writing about the deployment of our military for many years……we have troops basically fighting all over the world…..we have about 800 military bases in 70 countries…..but there is 44,000 troops deployed and no one knows where the Hell they are…..I know….say what?

When the Pentagon wants to mislead the public about where US troops are, generally speaking, they just lie. Yet sometimes the number of troops is just too big to claim as a rounding error, and questions start happening.

This week, the focus is on over 44,000 US military personnel deployed to “unknown,” which immediately raises red flags, because that’s not a place. Pentagon officials, however, say there is “no good way” to describe where they are.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning, on the one hand, presented this as an “operational security” and “denying the enemy any advantage,” including, it seems providing any specifics on who “the enemy” at this point even is.

At the same time, Manning presented this as simply a limitation of the Pentagon’s current capabilities, and that there is literally “no personnel system” in the Pentagon that tracks where everyone is, and they just stick everyone else in “unknown” so the number of troops they officially have balances out with the number of troops deployed in actual, real places.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon went a step further, saying that the figures are flat out fiction, and were “not meant to represent an accurate accounting of troops currently deployed to any location. They should not be relied upon for a current picture of what is going on.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis suggested that the situation was complicated, but also that he wasn’t entirely comfortable with the lack of accounting for troops abroad, saying at some point he was going to try to put everything together and figure out where everyone really is.

(antiwar.com)

Now we will wait to see if someone in the bowels of the Pentagon knows where these troops are…..maybe Fearless Fosdick has an idea…..I mean that moron has knowledge that no one else has……

Somebody Screwed Up

I wrote several posts about the deaths of 4 special ops troopers in the West African nation of Niger…..(in case you have not been watching this situation)…….

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/30/niger-wtf/

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/27/niger-more-news-more-questions/

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/deaths-in-niger-update/

Finally more info aboiut this attack and the deaths…..but as usual the Pentagon states the obvious……

The deaths of eight soldiers, including four U.S. soldiers, in Niger in early October could have been prevented and were the result of an improperly executed mission to collect information on high-ranking Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, a new report claims.

Sources told BuzzFeed News that the deaths at the village of Tongo Tongo could have been avoided if the mission was better planned and that it is not known whether decisions were made by the soldiers or their commanders back at the base.

http://thehill.com/policy/international/364095-deaths-of-american-soldiers-in-niger-were-avoidable-report

Someone screwed up.  Seriously?  That is the best the Pentagon can do….stating the obvious is not “getting to the bottom” of this situation.

An Alternative Strategy

From time to time I offer up a “what if”….a historic look at events that might have changed the world if a different course had been charted…..this is a fine piece written about the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath…..it makes a bunch of excellent points to consider…..

It is a lengthy article but well worth the time to read…….

You’ve heard the platitude that hindsight is 20/20. It’s true enough and, though I’ve been a regular skeptic about what policymakers used to call the Global War on Terror, it’s always easier to poke holes in the past than to say what you would have done. My conservative father was the first to ask me what exactly I would have suggested on September 12, 2001, and he’s pressed me to write this article for years. The supposed rub is this: under the pressure of that attack and the burden of presidential responsibility, even “liberals” — like me, I guess — would have made much the same decisions as George W. Bush and company.

Many readers may cringe at the thought, but former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has to be taken seriously when she suggests that anyone in the White House on 9/11 would inevitably have seen the world through the lens of the Bush administration. I’ve long argued that just about every Bush-era policy that followed 9/11 was an unqualified disaster. Nevertheless, it remains important to ponder the weight piled upon a president in the wake of unprecedented terror attacks. What would you have done? What follows is my best crack at that thorny question, 16 years after the fact, and with the accumulated experiences of combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42724-what-if-an-alternative-strategy-for-9-12-2001

I spend a lot of time second guessing our foreign policy establishment…..to me they have not made a good or an accurate decision in 25 years…..and a continuation of an unwinnable war is just what I am referring to……not a good decision in decades.

Congress Asked For An Assessment

Congress recently masked for an assessment of AQ and other related terror groups…..and this is the report that CNA gave to the US Congress….makes for interesting reading…..

In 2015, the U.S. Congress decided it was time to take a public accounting of the U.S. government’s war against al-Qaeda. In that year’s National Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated:

The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall provide for the conduct of an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the United States’ efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda … since September 11, 2001.

At CNA, we recently completed that independent assessment and concluded that the current U.S. strategy will not defeat al-Qaeda, and that a renewed approach is needed. After 16 years of war against this group, at a cost of over a trillion dollars and thousands of U.S. military members killed, how can this be?

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/congress-asked-assessment-war-al-qaeda-heres-told/

The problem now is that Trump is ceding all control over the situation to Russia…..

Six months after President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike against a Syrian government airbase, an act his aides said would give the U.S. renewed leverage across the Middle East, he is increasingly a bystander as Russian President Vladimir Putin takes the lead in shaping postwar Syria.

On Wednesday, Putin will host the presidents of Iran and Turkey in the resort city of Sochi — one of several Russian-brokered meetings the U.S. will not attend as the Syrian conflict winds down.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/21/trump-putin-russia-syria-257407

With the US froze out of these proceedings and Trump’s desire for an open ended approach to Syria can disaster be far behind?

The Trump administration is expanding its goals in Syria beyond routing the Islamic State to include a political settlement of the country’s civil war, a daunting and potentially open-ended commitment that could draw the United States into conflict with both Syria and Iran.

With forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies now bearing down on the last militant-controlled towns, the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria could be imminent — along with an end to the U.S. justification for being there.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-moves-toward-open-ended-presence-in-syria-after-islamic-state-is-routed/2017/11/22/1cd36c92-ce13-11e7-a1a3-0d1e45a6de3d_story.html

None of this will sit well with the US interests in the region…..(more to come on this situation)……absolutely NO one with any foreign policy chops thinks that Fearless Fosdick knows what he is doing……

Albert Einstein is almost certainly not to be credited with the cliched definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” But what the quote lacks in prestigious origin (not to mention medical precision), it makes up for in discouraging accuracy as a descriptor of Washington’s post-Cold War approach to foreign affairs, particularly post-9/11.

By this measure, American veterans and the public more broadly are far more sensible, as a new poll commissioned by RealClearPolitics (RCP) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) reveals. The survey finds significant agreement between these two groups in three key areas, which taken together show a cross-partisan movement toward realism and restraint that demands a hearing in the halls of power.

(the Charles Koch Institute not a reliable source IMO)

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/12/05/veterans_and_the_public_agree_us_foreign_policy_isnt_working_112727.html

Every day this person proves that he has NO grasp of international relations and how it effects this country….as if he really cares…..

IST’s Afghan Report–Dec 2017

First, I need to report that the Taleban is losing people to ISIS in northern Afghanistan…..

ISIS has held territory in the Jawzjam Province for months, and that appears to be continuing to grow with reports that top Taliban commanders in the province have defected to their side, allowing them to expand their hold across multiple districts.

Throughout the 16+ year US occupation, Jawzjan has been relatively stable, with only limited Taliban influxes that rarely amounted to more than skirmishes. The presence of ISIS, though well documented, had mostly flown under the radar too, with ISIS elsewhere in the country considered a bigger priority.

This seems to have changed with the new defections, as US officials are now calling attention to the ISIS growth in the area, and commanders are saying an anti-ISIS offensive across the north is to be launched in the next few days.

Such offensives have accomplished little in other parts of the country, with large body counts claimed, and Afghan officials repeatedly declaring ISIS “wiped out” only for the group to reassert itself within a matter of days after the fighting dies down.

(antiwar.com)

Plus the Northern region is teeming with crime and corruption…..

Escalating US airstrikes across northern Afghanistan have pushed Taliban forces away from the key city of Kunduz, which Taliban have actually captured at times in recent years. Officials are trying to brag about this as a big victory.

It doesn’t look like it from within Kunduz, however, as locals report that the city is every bit as troubled, and even if it doesn’t seem like the city is facing imminent takeover, crime and corruption are soaring.

Instead of fearing Taliban, locals now fear random gunmen, who rob anyoe they think has any money, and routinely kidnap people, holding them for ransom, a tactic previously common with the insurgency.

The Taliban isn’t so far from the city either, so traveling much of anywhere risks being caught in the cross-fire of ongoing military operations in nearby villages, leaving Kunduz residents effectively trapped in an increasingly insecure “secured” city.

(antiwar.com)

The Taleban has a great source of income even in poverty ridden Afghanistan….POPPIES!

Afghanistan just produced a record poppy crop despite massive $7.6 billion in U.S. counternarcotics spending since the war there began, a new report from an independent watchdog found.

The value of opium poppy produced in Afghanistan spiked from $2 billion to $3 billion from 2012 to 2013, according to a brief released Tuesday from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/21/afghan-poppy-crop-reaches_n_6021814.html

The logical reaction to this source of revenue for the Taleban would be to use Agent Orange and wipe out their crops, right?  War on Drugs 101…eliminate the source.  And then just recently I read a story about this problem…..

Opium unifies the enemies of American interests in Afghanistan. Poppy cultivation feeds power to the Taliban, drug lords, and corrupt officials. That power grew dramatically in 2017 — with production up 87 percent in one year to 9,000 metric tons, according to the latest report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

On Aug. 21, President Donald Trump announced that U.S. policy in Afghanistan will now serve American interests without pre-established time or troop limits. “Conditions on the ground — not arbitrary timetables — will guide our strategy from now on…. We will fight to win.” However, he also noted: “Military power alone will not bring peace to Afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat arising in that country. But strategically applied force aims to create the conditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace.”

Kill All the Poppies

Now it would seem that somewhere in the Pentagon there was one little guy that  raised his hand and said…”why not eliminate their crop”?

I cannot believe that after 16 years and the Afghans are still capable of raising a record crop of poppies….does anyone in the Pentagon have a brain?

And then there is China and their role in Afghanistan……..

Soon after his inauguration as President of Afghanistan in 2014, Ashraf Ghani paid a trust-building visit to China. During his trip, Ashraf Ghani maintained that China is a “strategic partner of Afghanistan in the short term, medium term, long term and very long term.”

Three years later, President Ghani met his Chinese counterpart on the sideline of 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan privately for fifteen minutes. A confident Xi Jinping assured Ghani that the People’s Republic of China decided to send Wang Yi; the foreign minister to Kabul in order to talk upon bilateral issues, including peace with Pakistan. Utilizing its unique regional geopolitical leverage on all actors, China is trying to take all the credit in the Afghan peace process.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/21112017-chinas-winning-role-in-afghanistan-oped/

Honey is always better than vinegar…..maybe the Chinese should stop by DC some time and give a lesson or two….God knows what we are doing is not working…..

There is more disturbing news…….

Americans are rightly outraged over revelations that Congress spent $17 million since 1997 to pay off and muzzle victims of congressional sexual misconduct and other abuses. But the U.S. government has spent vastly more effectively bankrolling far more worse sexual atrocities in Afghanistan — in brazen violation of U.S. law.

Since 2002, the U.S. has spent more than $70 billion financing Afghan security forces, including the Afghan military and police. A law sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) prohibits the Pentagon from bankrolling any foreign military units if there is “credible information that the unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”

http://thehill.com/opinion/international/362972-your-tax-dollars-fund-afghan-child-rape

Come on!  It is time to admit that Afghanistan is a f*cked up mess and come home!

Closing Thought–05Dec17

I had written about the death of a Green Beret at he hands of 2 SEALs in Mali…..read my two posts….

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/31/usafricom-wtf/

https://lobotero.com/2017/11/13/death-in-mali/

Sorry to say there is not much more info about this man death….but there was another article written about his situation recently…….

The family of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar laid him to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, five months after his mysterious death during a secret assignment in Africa.

A medical examiner said Melgar was strangled to death, but the most striking thing about the case isn’t that a 34-year-old member of the Army’s Special Forces was killed overseas. It’s that two men under investigation are members of SEAL Team 6, arguably the most revered unit in the entire US military.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/11/27/16666096/navy-army-seals-homicide-mali

If this report is true then what the Hell is going on in AFRICOM?  What kinda of military is this where Americans are killing Americans?

AS more is released I will be keeping my readers up to date.

I am a bit ashamed that these post have not gotten more attention from my readers…..it will not go away if you ignore it because I will  never let it go until the whole story is told.

Have a good evening….and look for me tomorrow….I will be back…..chuq