Warmongers Unite!

Both parties are scrambling to keep our many wars up and rolling…..I have basically covered this with the “Bounties” thing……

https://lobotero.com/2020/07/02/mutiny-of-the-bounties/

https://lobotero.com/2020/07/03/the-bounty-thing/

I question the timing of the news release…..I do not question the authenticity of the reports just the timing of the release just months both the general election.

The Dems, which in my day was antiwar for the most part, have joined Liz Cheney and the Neocons to keep the wars going and people dying….

Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee teamed up with Republicans this week to pass an amendment co-sponsored by Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney—daughter of notorious “war on terror” architect Dick Cheney—that prohibits Congress from spending money to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan without first meeting a series of vague conditions that critics said appear designed to prevent withdrawal.

The amendment (pdf)—co-sponsored by freshman Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.)—states that before the number of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan can be reduced below 8,000, the Pentagon must certify that the withdrawal “will not increase the risk for the expansion of existing or formation of new terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan” and “is in the best interest of the United States national security and in furtherance of United States policy toward Afghanistan for achieving an enduring diplomatic solution.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/03/why-are-house-democrats-siding-liz-cheney-prolong-endless-war-afghanistan

Warmongering is a disease!

A disease that seem to be spreading throughout our political apparatus……

Nothing alarms defenders of the U.S. foreign policy consensus more than the prospect of American retrenchment after the last thirty years of overexpansion and failed wars.

If there is one unquestioned assumption in conventional foreign policy thinking, it is that retrenchment is undesirable and dangerous and must never be allowed to happen. The hostility to the idea of retrenchment is so strong because it threatens to reduce U.S. ambitions and opportunities for entanglement in other parts of the world, and the defenders of the status quo thrive on both.

H.R. McMaster is the latest in a line of enforcers of Washington’s prevailing orthodoxy to denounce advocates of retrenchment and restraint. In a new essay in Foreign Affairs called “The Retrenchment Syndrome,” the former general and National Security Advisor to Donald Trump takes it upon himself to respond to Stephen Wertheim and others making the case for foreign policy restraint earlier this year. The essay is remarkably stale and replete with hawkish clichés, and his broadsides against those he calls “retrenchment hard-liners” never hit home. McMaster’s case against retrenchment unwittingly demonstrates how sclerotic and bankrupt the dominant view in Washington has become.

There Seems to be No Cure for Warmongering Syndrome

I will admit that I support Trump on his stands about our numerous wars…..he has tried to bring troops home and the Congress and the M-IC are fighting him tooth and nail on this front.

I have been calling for the dismantling of the US war machine for many many years and now there seems to be a bit of a resurrection of the anti M-IC control of our foreign policy…..

2020 began with a near-war with Iran – the deadly upshot of a bomb-first-ask-questions-later approach to world affairs.

Then came a pandemic – a public health disaster made all the more lethal by our leadership’s utter indifference to the lives of the people, especially the poor and people of color.

Then the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. Three more names to the list of Black lives that didn’t matter to the state. An eruption of righteous rage. Even more police brutality in response.

The lesson of these historic months is clear: funneling trillions of dollars into institutions designed to violently protect the status quo – be they police or military – does not make ourselves, our loved ones, or our communities safer. Police budgets account for 30-60% of town and city budgets. As cities and states find themselves in budget crises, education and health care find themselves on the chopping block while police budgets are protected and even increased.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/20/dismantle-war-economy

I have said that I support his troop withdrawals….but let my clarify…while that is a good sign Trump also attempted to start a new war…this time with Iran just a few short months ago.

I totally agree that it is time for the Pentagon to get a haircut of taxpayer money.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Civil War Missed Opportunities

There is a lot of talk these days about the Confederacy…..especially the monuments to the “heroes” of the American Civil War….but this post in NOT about those stone monuments…..but rather the missed opportunities that could have lead to a quicker conclusion of the war.

WHAT IF THE South had marched on Washington D.C. in 1861 after the First Battle of Bull Run? Suppose General George McClellan had been bolder during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Picture General George Meade pursuing and destroying Robert E. Lee’s army once and for all after Gettysburg. Could any of these scenarios have led to an early conclusion to the U.S. Civil War?

Debates about how the bloody four-year conflict might have ended had one commander or another moved with greater haste, boldness, or discernment have raged for year

In fact, some of the war’s finest scholars, and more than a few ‘armchair historians’ as well, have explored all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. And playing these sorts of guessing games carries risks – anyone bold enough to hypothesize is often greeted with scorn, derision and ridicule. After all, Civil War buffs are a passionate breed!

Nevertheless – and grasping full well the firestorm such speculation often ignites among aficionados of the period – I will offer up a few speculations of my own, stipulating as I do, that they are my own humble opinions, and nothing more.

Missed Opportunities – Four Battles That Might Have Ended the U.S. Civil War Long Before 1865

I still think that the South would have lost the war no matter what….they just did not have the industrial base for a prolonged conflict.

In full disclosure….my maternal grandmother’s name was Elizabeth Mae Davis…and according to the family tales and sagas she was related to Jefferson Davis.

I know there are many that like the study of the American Civil war….of which I am not one…..and if they have any thoughts on missed opportunities….please feel free to share….

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Clinton’s Serbia/Kosovo

In the 1990s I was never a supporter of Clinton’s war in the Balkans….

The communist years

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.

After Tito’s death in 1980, tensions re-emerged. Calls for more autonomy within Yugoslavia by nationalist groups led in 1991 to declarations of independence in Croatia and Slovenia. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army lashed out, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia. Thousands were killed in the latter conflict which was paused in 1992 under a UN-monitored ceasefire.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17632399

It all began……

Milosevic in 1998 launched his fourth war in the former Yugoslavia, this time intending to address his “Albanian problem” by using his army to force out over 60 percent of the population of Kosovo. Given European and American inaction for years as people were killed in Bosnia earlier in the decade, Albanian Americans were fearful that history could be repeated in Kosovo. So, they organized themselves. They united different community factions, opened an office in Washington, D.C., and began engaging in one of the oldest of American traditions – petitioning their government to do something to stop the killing and rape in Kosovo.

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/435462-lessons-from-the-1999-us-military-intervention-in-kosovo

Clinton put all the hopes of Kosovo in the hands of Hashim Thaci and now this person has been indicted for war crimes….

President Bill Clinton’s favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with “war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.” Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” and the indictment involved “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”

Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities

Another version to above article here…..https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/30/bill-clintons-serbian-war-atrocities-exposed-in-new-indictment/

This makes Clinton just as guilty in my book as Thaci…..I love the closing statement of the article…..

“Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush’s conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America’s political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?”

That is a rhetorical question….for I already know the answer….and the media will make sure that it does occur again…..and again……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Bounty Thing

I said in my original post on th situation that I was suspicious of the timing…….https://lobotero.com/2020/07/02/mutiny-of-the-bounties/

There is several different reports about this situation…..and I guess if depends where you stand politically…..so it depends on who you believe….think back a few years on the actions taken on faulty intel……

Digging below the bombshell headlines and MSM chyrons on the current Russian-bounty-on-US-soldiers-in-Afghanistan allegations, it seems three separate US government (USG) agencies — the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Pentagon – have different assessments as to the veracity of this story. To ascertain which assessments are most reliable, one has to understand how each agency is staffed and how it operates in gathering information to formulate its intelligence assessments. Having worked in Afghanistan for six years (and before that in Iraq) as an USG civilian advisor with a Top Secret clearance, I can offer insights on how to evaluate the veracity of this story – including my opinion on the real rationale behind the illegal leaks of classified intelligence that occurred and the political agenda this story is attempting to advance.

Who To Believe on Afghan Intelligence: CIA, NSA, or Pentagon?

The Congress is up in arms over the story….as they should be if it is true…..but they also have been trying to stop Trump from bringing the troops home from Afghanistan……they may have found the way to stop the troop withdrawal…..

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump’s vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.

Despite at least three serious flaws with that reporting, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment was approved 45-11.

Home/The State of the Union/House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

How convenient. Liz Cheney joins Democrats leading the charge.

The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump’s vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.

Despite at least three serious flaws with that reporting, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment was approved 45-11.

The Crow amendment would block funding if the U.S. draws down below 8,000 troops and again below 4,000 troops “unless the administration certifies that doing so would not compromise the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, not increase risk for U.S. personnel there, be done in consultation with allies, and is in the best interest of the United States,” reports The Hill. “It would also require an analysis on the effects of a drawdown on the threat from the Taliban, the status of human and civil rights, an inclusive Afghan peace process, the capacity of Afghan forces and the effect of malign actors on Afghan sovereignty.”

Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-Colo.) NDAA amendment will require several certifications, including an assessment of whether any “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives.”

House Using Shaky Russian Bounty Story To Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

The M-IC has needed something to bring the troop withdrawal to a screeching halt…..

As I have said….I am suspicious of the timing of this situation/

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Mutiny Of The Bounties

Pandemic is growing every day and the protests apparently are not newsworthy anymore….so what can the media be going on about?

Bounties!

There has been a story circulating around the nation…it seems a report has been found that tells of bounties paid by Russia for the killing of American soldiers.

The president has denied the whole affair…..and there is contradictory reports as well…..

The new controversy over allegations that Russia put bounties on US troops in Afghanistan—and whether President Trump himself was briefed about it—continues to gain steam. The White House briefed a group of Republican lawmakers on the issue Monday, and a group of Democratic lawmakers will be briefed on Tuesday, reports Politico. Trump has insisted that he was never told about the allegations, though reports continue to surface challenging that. The AP, for example, is out with a story saying that top White House officials were aware of classified intel on the matter in early 2019 and that it “was included in at least one of President Donald Trump’s written daily intelligence briefings at the time.” The story also reports that former national security adviser John Bolton has told friends he briefed Trump about it.

The New York Times makes a similar assertion in the first paragraph of its latest story: “American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said.” One of the Republicans in Monday’s briefing, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, defended the president afterward, reports NBC News. Yes, the allegation may have appeared in a written briefing to the president, he said, but it wasn’t deemed to be “a credible, actionable piece of intelligence” at the time. “And if at any point it did, it would be raised to his attention.” McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, added that he came out of the briefing concerned that the bounty allegations were true.

As I said there is some opposition to this report….and it comes from NSA……

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the National Security Agency “strongly dissented from other intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia paid bounties for the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan.”

Another account of the NSA not giving much weight to this intelligence was given to CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge on Monday. An unnamed intelligence official told Herridge that the NSA deemed a report on the Russian bounties “uncorroborated.” The official said the report “does not match well-established and verifiable Taliban and Haqqani practices” and lacks “sufficient reporting to corroborate any links.”

The CIA is used as an example in the Journal’s report of an agency the NSA allegedly disagreed with over the intelligence. So far, the CIA has declined to comment on the issue besides a vague statement from CIA Director Gina Haspel. “When developing intelligence assessments, initial tactical reports often require additional collection and validation …  Leaks compromise and disrupt the critical interagency work to collect, assess, and ascribe culpability,” Haspel said.

NSA Dissents From Other Agencies Over Russian Bounty Intel

Are there problems with these reports?

According to the American Conservative there are three problems…..

A bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban ‘Bounty’ Story

Could this report be timed for a specific audience?

Afghan Bounty Scandal Comes at Suspiciously Important Time for US Military Industrial Complex

Looks like confirmation of the accusations…….

But three separate Taliban sources told Insider they were aware of Russian bounty payments being made — though they said only the less-disciplined elements on the fringes of the group would take up such an offer.

https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-did-pay-extremists-attack-american-soldiers-taliban-sources-say-2020-7

Bounties?

If these stories prove to be accurate then there is nothing new…sorry to crap on your parade.

The US has put the bounty on Osama and other AQ leaders as well as ISIS……it has also has put bounties on “criminals” in Africa….

It is not the first time that American soldiers have been targeted with bounties……….My time in Vietnam I was a LRRP and in the Delta there was a bounty on us of 500 dong (Vietnamese money) paid by the North Vietnamese….I am sure that we were not the only targets for these bounties.

I think the bigger story is whether the president knew or not….if not then why?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan Can Be Deadly!

I know…NO SHIT Professor!

There is other ways that it is deadly other than the Taleban and friendlies and IEDs……

It seems that someone put bounties of American soldiers…..and that someone was RUSSIA…..

United States intelligence agents believe that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill U.S. soldiers and other coalition troops during peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban, The New York Times reports. The talks were part of an effort to wind down U.S. military presence in the Middle Eastern nation, but the covert effort by Russia appears aimed at undermining them. U.S. intelligence officers reportedly reached the startling conclusion months ago and have been debating a response since. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the matter, as has the White House National Security Council, but neither has made a direct response. Islamist militants and their associates killed 20 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2019, and intelligence officers believe that the insurgents did collect bounties from Russia, but it’s unclear how many of those deaths are considered paid for by Russia.

Read it at The New York Times

Our president was told this back in March by our intel agencies…..

US troops, killed by paid assassins? Maybe so, if this story holds any water. A Russian military spy unit has secretly paid Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan—something President Trump learned about months ago but chose not to act, US officials tell the New York Times. According to US intelligence, the Russian unit shuttled bounty money to Islamist militants (or armed criminals who work with them) back in 2019. Trump and the White House’s National Security Council examined the issue in late March and mulled various options, like making a diplomatic complaint or escalating sanctions, but the White House has not yet responded. This, of course, could become political dynamite if it’s confirmed.

“If true, this is outrageous conduct by Russia,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif), who suggested that Trump might be “beholden to Putin” as he puts “US troops’ lives at risk by doing nothing.” But there are problems. Only a few coalition troops died in Afghanistan amid a wave of attacks in 2019, and just four Americans were killed in combat there in 2019. And if it’s true, why would the Russians do it? Officials say it might be an attempt to derail US-Taliban peace talks or get revenge for Russian mercenaries killed by US troops in a 2018 battle in Syria. Meanwhile, the Kremlin is keeping mum and the Taliban has issued a flat denial. And the revelation has triggered “intense debate” at the White House about how to respond, the Washington Post reports

INTENSE DEBATE?

And in 4 months no one has any idea how to respond?

An Intense debate and Trump knew nothing about this……

President Trump on Sunday denied that he had been briefed on reported US intelligence that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan, and he minimized the allegations against Moscow. American intelligence officials concluded months ago that Russian officials offered rewards for successful attacks on American service-members last year, at a time when the US and Taliban were holding talks to end the long-running war, per the New York Times. Trump, in a Sunday morning tweet, said “Nobody briefed or told me” or Vice President Mike Pence or chief of staff Mark Meadows about “the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians.” “Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us,” he said, per the AP.

The White House issued a statement Saturday denying that Trump or Pence had been briefed on such intelligence. Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, also said neither the president nor vice president was “ever briefed on any intelligence alleged” in the Times’ report. Trump’s tweet came a day after Joe Biden said that the report, if accurate, was a “truly shocking revelation” about the commander in chief and his failure to protect US troops in Afghanistan and stand up to Russia. Russia called the report “nonsense.” “This unsophisticated plant clearly illustrates the low intellectual abilities of the propagandists of American intelligence, who instead of inventing something more plausible have to make up this nonsense,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. A Taliban spokesman said the militants “strongly reject this allegation” and are not “indebted to the beneficence of any intelligence organ or foreign country.” Trump responded to Biden on Twitter, saying “Russia ate his and Obama’s lunch during their time in office”

If the president was not briefed then who was having the intense debate?

Truly a country lead by amateurs.

And that amateurish BS gets people killed….

The bounties Russia allegedly put on US troops in Afghanistan led to at least one US soldier’s death, sources tell the New York Times. President Trump has denied reports that he was briefed on the plot, in which Russia promised to pay the Taliban if they killed American troops, but the Times‘ sources say US intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan told superiors about the scheme as early as January. The plot allegedly played out in 2019, and after the US spies and commandos recovered a large amount of US cash during a raid on a Taliban outpost and followed up that find with interrogations of captured militants and other criminals, the intelligence community came to its conclusions about the bounty plot. Officials have since then been reviewing combat casualties over an 18-month period; the Washington Post‘s sources say “several” deaths are believed to have come as a result of the scheme.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–25Jun20

Today 70 years ago America’s most forgotten war began….

Seventy years ago, the Korean War broke out. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, leading to one of the gravest crises of the Cold War.

For the leaderships of South Korea and the United States, the North Korean attack constituted a strategic surprise for which they were totally unprepared. Yet, within two days, the administration of President Harry Truman in the United States managed to mobilize the United Nations Security Council into adopting two crucial resolutions. The first criticized the North Korean invasion and called for its armed forces to withdraw immediately from South Korea; the second called on members of the United Nations to lend assistance to South Korea in its efforts to repel the invasion.

https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/the-korean-war-at-70/

What could possibly make the world go to war again just a few short years after the last one had ended?

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

I refuse to let this date go by without a mention of the brave men and women that fought and died in a froze wasteland on the Korean Peninsula.

Please take a few minutes to give these people the respect they are due.

“lego ergo scribo”

The Confederacy

There is lots of debate these days about the short lived Confederate States of America…..to some it is “heritage” (for me that is just a cover term) to others it was a repressive state dedicated to the ideal of white supremacy.

Let the old Professor take you on a trip down that historical lane…..

We can pretend that the cause of the war were several factors but the truth of the matter is…..Confederates fought the war mainly to protect a southern society of which slavery was an integral part.

For any of my history buffs….if you would like to see how the CSA was set up then here is a copy of the Constitution…..https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp

Here is the sanitized version of the CSA from the History Net….

The Confederacy, when used within or in reference to North America, generally means the Confederate States of America. It is also called the Southern Confederacy and refers to 11 states that renounced their existing agreement with others of the United States in 1860–1861 and attempted to establish a new nation in which the authority of the central government would be strictly limited and the institution of slavery would be protected. Secession from the existing Union led to the American Civil War, a bloody, four-year struggle that left much of the South in ashes and ended its hope of creating a new confederacy of states on the North American continent.

Confederacy

If you want a truly sanitized look at the American Civil War then let AARP show you the way…..https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-04-2011/8-ways-civil-war-changed-lives.html

Now let’s look beyond the sanitation of the events of 1861-1865……the Confederacy…..

For the four years of its existence, until it was forced to surrender, the Confederate States of America was a pro-slavery nation at war against the United States. The C.S.A. was a big, centralized state, devoted to securing a society in which enslavement to white people was the permanent and inherited condition of all people of African descent.

The Confederates built an explicitly white-supremacist, pro-slavery, and antidemocratic nation-state, dedicated to the principle that all men are not created equal. Emboldened by what they saw as the failure of emancipation in other parts of the world, buoyed by the new science of race, and convinced that the American vision of the people had been terribly betrayed, they sought the kind of future for human slavery and conservative republican government that was no longer possible within the United States. This is the cause that the statues honor.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/confederacy-wasnt-what-you-think/613309/

There you have the facts about the Confederacy.

Now a little extra for this post…..could the Civil War ended earlier than 1865?

In fact, some of the war’s finest scholars, and more than a few ‘armchair historians’ as well, have explored all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. And playing these sorts of guessing games carries risks – anyone bold enough to hypothesize is often greeted with scorn, derision and ridicule. After all, Civil War buffs are a passionate breed!

Nevertheless – and grasping full well the firestorm such speculation often ignites among aficionados of the period – I will offer up a few speculations of my own, stipulating as I do, that they are my own humble opinions, and nothing more.

Missed Opportunities – Four Battles That Might Have Ended the U.S. Civil War Long Before 1865

Could the war had been avoided with a bit of a compromise?

The only compromise that could have headed off war by then was for the Southern states to forgo secession and agree to abolition. Conceivably Lincoln would have agreed to gradual abolition to avoid war; he certainly believed before the war began that he lacked the constitutional authority to emancipate the slaves unilaterally.

Once the Confederate states seceded and troops fired on Fort Sumter, the only solution possible was complete Southern surrender. And as the war continued, and slavery became an explicit justification for the conflict, emancipation became central to a resolution.

https://www.history.com/news/could-compromise-have-prevented-the-civil-war

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Our Syria Policy

That’s right there is still a major conflict going on in Syria….it has been push to Page 3 with all the pandemic and protests….but make no mistake it is still as volatile as ever.

And Trump is gonna use one of his favorite things in the whole world….sanction…..to punish Syria.

More specifically the Caesar Act….

The Caesar Act, passed in Congress last year, took effect on Wednesday. It seeks to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into negotiations with Washington, while preventing foreign allies from assisting the reconstruction of Syria’s devastated cities and economy. 

It targets the supporters of the Assad government in politics, business and banking. From Russia to Europe, the Gulf, Lebanon and beyond, the new sanctions may freeze assets and trigger travel bans and arrest warrants against violators.

All that is just good and well….but our policy is not as all that as the neocons pretend……

Washington is deliberately hindering Syria’s economic and physical reconstruction as it pursues regime change in Damascus. Until Assad makes significant political compromises to his opponents, abides by U.N. Security Council Resolutions weighted against his own government, or agrees to resign — demands he has shown no willingness to consider — U.S. sanctions will remain intact and may even tighten. The 83% of Syrians already living in poverty are effectively being punished for the barbarity, corruption, and ineptitude of their government.

In addition to utilizing the power of the U.S. financial system, the Trump administration is also dipping into the U.S. military toolkit. Officially, the American people are told, U.S. troops stationed in Eastern Syria are performing counterterrorism operations against ISIS. The reality, however, is hundreds of American military personnel are being used to block Damascus and Moscow from accessing Syria’s meager oil fields. The logic is fairly straightforward: If Assad is unable to access these fields and export oil again, the financial pressure eventually will force him to offer political concessions to his Syrian adversaries. 

https://www.realclearworld.com/2020/06/16/our_syria_policy_is_broken_496391.html

All this is just the wrong policy…but not according to the Neocons….they say more and stricter sanctions will help the Syrian people…..

The collapse of the lira brought with it rapid inflation. The United Nations’ World Food Programme estimated in April that the cost of a basket of basic goods such as flour and oil had increased by 111 percent over the previous 12 months. Already impoverished by the war and reliant on foreign aid, Syrians are increasingly going hungry, even in areas where Assad’s grip has long been firm. Restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 made the situation more dire, although the regime has begun to lift them. Last week, Assad fired Prime Minister Imad Khamis as public anger rose in areas under the regime’s control. The population of major urban centers seems resigned to Assad’s rule, but there have been unprecedented protests in the southern province of Suwayda, where demonstrators called for Assad’s ouster.

The deprivation Syrians were already enduring raises the perennial question of whether the sanctions will strike a balance between the pressure they exert on rogue regimes and the costs they inflict on civilians. In the case of Syria, the grisly evidence of systematic mass torture has minimized the extent to which elected officials on either side of the Atlantic have questioned the justice of sanctioning Assad and his accomplices. Still, there are a handful of analysts who equate the thinking behind the Caesar Act with the mentality of the Assad regime.

Sanctions Against Syria Will Help, Not Harm, Civilians

Once again the Neocons prove that their only concern is regime change and NOT the good of the Syrian people.

Slapping Assad on the pee-pee does nothing to help the Syrian people that are hungry without health care or any benefits…..

These sanction are effecting more than Syria….Lebanon’s economy is tied with Syria and theirs will collapse with the Syrian….

Syria is also in economic freefall and the value of its curency plummeting. Before the war began nine years ago, $1 was equivalent to around 50 Syrian Pounds. Today, the exchange rate has $1 trading at almost 3,000 Syrian pounds. 

The collapsed financial system has made Syrians more dependent on Lebanon’s banking system, but it is facing its own financial crisis. 

With interlinked economies, the prospect of Lebanese banks dropping Syrian businesses for fear of sanction penalties has sparked concerns that the Caesar Act may worsen the situation in both countries.  

For instance, without access to Lebanese banks, goods and trading partners, the average Syrian may have no other choice but to turn to those empowered in their own country, likely Assad’s allies. 

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-caesar-act-syria-maximum-pressure-campaign

Where does all this insanity stop?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

To Fight Or Not To Fight?

That is the question.

What made me think of this again was the president’s orders for troops to go help with crowd control and of course there were his mindless threats of extreme us of our troops.

It seems that the spread of Covid-19 has made the leaders (some leaders) think of a cessation of hostilities during the pandemic…

Which nations are most vulnerable to a coronavirus outbreak? Nations without a robust health-care system can’t handle a major outbreak, and perhaps the easiest way to tell which nations those are going to be is to look at which nations are being torn apart by war.

That’s why five years into Yemen’s war they’re a major area of concern. That’s why 19 years into the US occupation, Afghanistan is seen as so vulnerable President Trump wants to leave before the outbreak gets there. Where war goes, coronavirus follows, and fighting the pandemic is wholly incompatible with fighting one another.

That’s why when the pandemic started, the UN Secretary General made the unusual move of calling for a global ceasefire, and slowly but surely, the call is gaining traction, with most of the world now on board. The US and Russia are the last outliers likely to stop the matter at the UN Security Council.

Even there, the idea of a global ceasefire has enough traction that the idea isn’t dead on arrival. With a vote expected soon, some experts say that a few exceptions may be all it takes to get Russia and the US to stop resisting the measure.

Russia wants to be free to strike in Syria if they feel the need to, and the Trump Administration wants to support the ceasefire, so long as it doesn’t hinder any of America’s many, many wars. Reconciling that is easier said than done.

Which isn’t to say the plan isn’t going forward. If anything, it is a testament to how important the ceasefire is that despite the substantial obstacles, there are still efforts to keep advancing the push.

(antiwar.com)

Brought that up to show that some leaders are trying to do the right thing and focus on the pandemic…..

But until it gets more leadership I have a thought about the military……

Think UNIONS!

Back in my years in the military there were a few of us that thought the military should be unionized……..

This is a DoD report in military unions…..https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/734746.pdf

Fascinating reading……

Like the report stated many disagreed and the biggest opposition was what if we had a war and no one wanted to fight…..which is the doctoral dissertation……

Justin Colby deserted the US military due to his belief that the war in Iraq was unjust. “The army did a lot of good things for me. It taught me responsibility. But I won’t bite my tongue anymore and continue doing something I think is wrong.”[1] Colby is deemed a deserter, having refused to return to the war in Iraq, a war he no longer believed to be just. His case represents one of 3,101 US soldiers who refused to fight in the US Coalition in Iraq between 2005 and 2006 alone.[2] Thus representing a growing phenomenon for active military personnel as they act on their moral agency by refusing to fight. The alternative course of action is to apply for conscientious objection status. However, applicants face a steep burden of proof demonstrating “firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in the war in any form or the bearing of arms, by reason of religious training and belief.”[3] From 2003-2005, the US approval rate was just over fifty per cent.[4] A core dilemma for combatants is that there is no option for selective conscientious objection; a refusal to fight on the grounds of “political, philosophical or sociological beliefs,”[5] permitting the unwillingness to fight on moral grounds. Due to restricted legal avenues and lack of rights associated with military refusal, combatants are left with no other choice but to desert.

By focusing on the notion of combatants’ right to refuse wars which they deem unjust, this essay will challenge the ethics of just war scholarship using a revisionist framework, effectively determining the extent to which soldiers have the right to be held morally accountable for their participation in an unjust war and, further, have the right to refuse. The first section will explore the justifications of orthodox just war theory and the reasons why combatants under just war theory are denied the right to the moral agency to determine the justness of war. The second section will examine the revisionist justification for the reconciliation of just war principles, reinstating moral agency in combatants. The third section will use the case study of the Second Gulf War, led by the US coalition, to assess, first, whether this war satisfied the just war doctrine and, second, whether soldiers had an obligation as moral agents to evaluate its failures and refuse to fight. The final section will explore the hierarchy of moral responsibility, concluding that if moral responsibility is not accounted for in the higher tiers of a military command, soldiers have a moral obligation to apply their moral agency in warfare.

Can Soldiers Refuse to Fight? The Limitations of Just War Theory

As a student of conflict I find this an interesting topic……

Now the pandemic has taken over the news cycle daily…..gone are the reports on the military and as the world suffers the Un has a message and some countries are signing on…..

With the world in the throes of the calamitous COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres is pushing for a global ceasefire, seeing a planet-wide halt to war as a chance to allow an all-out effort to fight the virus.

This is getting some interest beyond NGOs and the Pope. As of Friday, 11 countries have endorsed the idea, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Libya, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

While the UN is still looking for a big nation engaged in foreign wars to really make this a thing, but some of these nations have some substantial domestic conflicts that might benefit from a ceasefire, and countries like Syria may find themselves influencing others.

These are also some of the countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemics, with countries like Yemen, Libya, and Syria some of the nations least prepared for an outbreak, with war leaving the countries with little medical infrastructure.

(antiwar.com)

Only a small group of nations have signed on and as we should expect none of the “Big Guys” are willing to give up on war even in these trying times.

What say you about this situation?

Sorry that post was a rambling mess….oh god is trumpitis wearing off on me?  (I need a shower!)

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”