Closing Thought–19Sep18

We all have those little things that irritate the Hell out of us…..like things not returned to their original location…..or people who use the word “literally” wrong……..mine is when people in authority have NO idea what they are talking about.

And yes I have such a person in mind….

In a clumsy attempt to attack a non-interventionist congressional colleague, Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger got his war geography mixed up — referring to Syrian President Bashar Assad as “the Butcher of Baghdad”.

In an interview with CNN at the weekend, Kinzinger lashed out at his Democratic House colleague, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, for her controversial decision to meet with Assad in 2017, but ran into some geography trouble when trying to insult the Syrian president.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2018/september/17/republican-congressman-calls-syrian-president-assad-the-butcher-of-baghdad-in-war-geography-fail/

This idiot is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs……personally I think anyone on such a committee needs to have a grasp on international reality.  As Randy Newman sez….”they’re Rednecks don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground”.  (Do not take offense…just listen to the words)

All I can say is “bless his heart”…..which is Southern speak for “you’re an asshole”.

Thumbs up to the GOP for putting an ignorant slob on an important committee…..especially these days when a  bit of expertise would be a plus for our foreign policy since nothing positive comes out of the White House.

Sorry I cannot go any further….red face laughter makes it difficult.

Later!

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America’s War On Communism

Some might think this is a post about the Cold War and the confrontation of the US and Soviet Union……but that would be a mistake….but one that would be logical if history is not known.

One hundred years ago today, 19 September 1918, the American Expeditionary Force in Russia was attacked by the Red Army.

That is correct the US sent troops to Russia to fight in their Civil War against the Red Army…..

Many Americans would be surprised to learn that the USA, along with Britain, France, and Japan, fought a campaign in Russia just after the Great War (World War I). The primary objective of this action was the re-establishment of an Eastern Front following the collapse of the Russian government during the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, but Allied fear of communist ambitions in other countries also played into the intervention as will be seen below. The overall campaign was named the Polar Bear Expedition, but was also known as the Northern Russian Expedition, the American North Russia Expeditionary Force – ANREF or the American Expeditionary Force North Russia – AEFNR.

These efforts are not mentioned in most history survey courses, and few texts even mention that US troops (or those of any other nation) fought against the Bolsheviks during this period. The presence of US Army units from Michigan in Vladivostok, Archangel, and other Russian locations is rarely noted although the University of Michigan maintains an archive of photographs and other primary evidence relating to the period.

http://www.criticalenquiry.org/history/polarbear.shtml

For further reading on this bit of forgotten American history….

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/889/woodrow-wilson-and-the-american-expeditionary-force-to-siberia-1918-1920

https://www.armyheritage.org/75-information/soldier-stories/347-aefnorthrussia

Have you ever heard the Russia is being paranoid?

This incident could be one of the reasons that Russia is leery of the intentions of the US….after all we sent an invading force to their country…..which is interesting since the US was considered an isolationist country in those days.

But why did we participate in a Russian Civil War?  But first let’s look at the war……

In 1918 a variety of different groups opposed the Bolshevik government. This included landowners who had lost their estates, factory owners who had their property nationalized, devout members of the Russian Orthodox Church who objected to the government’s atheism and royalists who wanted to restore the monarchy. The closing down of the Constituent Assembly and the banning of all political parties united Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Cadets. Others were unhappy with the acceptance of the harsh terms of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty which resulted in Russia being deprived of a third of her population, a third of her factories and three-quarters of her coal and iron producing areas. She also had to pay reparations totalling 3000 million roubles in gold.

http://spartacus-educational.com/RUScivilwar.htm

Could this American intervention be the opening shot of the coming Cold War?

That concludes your history lesson for the day.

Syria By Any Other Name

Since the media has chosen to ignore the conflict in Syria does not mean that the fighting is over.

After all these years of fighting in Syria one would think that the US would have some influence within the country…..one would think…..

Syria’s capital looks a bit like Washington, D.C.: imposing government buildings, heavy traffic, busy streets, and imperious officials. Public edifices are surrounded by concrete walls. The main difference may be the ubiquitous regime propaganda: you can’t miss images of President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez, whereas President Trump’s visage is missing from Washington.

Also unusual are the ubiquitous checkpoints. They’re there to prevent terrorism via car bombs. Although the threat of terrorism scares most Americans, it actually offers a form of relief to Damascus residents. Until recently insurgents controlled some suburbs, from which they fired artillery and mortars into the city. Today those neighborhoods, just a few minutes away, are wrecked and empty. It may be the peace of the grave, but at least it is peace.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washingtons-influence-in-syria-is-nowhere-to-be-found/

Since the first bomb fell on Syria I have been saying that this battle was not necessary…in fact it is a stupid waste of manpower and money……

As tensions continue to mount around the Al-Qaeda-held province of Idlib in Syria, the New York Times has published an op-ed by virulent neoconservative war whore Bret Stephens explaining that the US should intervene militarily in order to thwart the geopolitical agendas of Iran. He argues that any movement to recapture Idlib should be met with a full-scale assault on the Syrian government, crippling its air force and attacking Bashar al-Assad’s presidential palaces. Stephens says this must be done to prevent Tehran from “consolidating a Shiite crescent stretching from Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.”

https://theantimedia.com/why-interventionism-syria-crazy-stupid/

And now for your visual entertainment a little ditty about the war in Syria…..

Some people are predicting n end to the war in Syria…if they are accurate what will be next?

There can be little doubt about who emerged as the dominant partner when the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran convened in Tehran to discuss the next stage in Syria’s brutal war.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan flew to Tehran with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to join Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a discussion on the fate of Idlib, the rebel-held province that is the last remaining redoubt of the anti-Assad opposition movement.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/as-the-syrian-war-nears-its-end-a-tense-new-struggle-is-materialising-1.770121

Syria,,,,,,Syria….

Turn The Page!

Does A Bus Piss Them Off?

Closing Thought–14SEp18

During war there are always stories that makes one think of this or that….and for several years Saudi Arabia has been locked in conflict with its neighbor Yemen.

Recently word has come out that the Saudis attacked a bus filled with school children…..https://lobotero.com/2018/08/10/yemen-finally-the-media-has-noticed/

Of course the world was outraged and after first denying the attack they (Saudis) did an about face and took responsibility for the deaths…….https://lobotero.com/2018/09/04/saudis-throw-a-hissy-fit/

And just yesterday another bus related attack by the Saudis…..

Last month, Saudi warplanes attacked a busload of school children in northern Yemen, killing scores of them. The strike used a US-provided bomb, and led to major Congressional moves to limit involvement in the war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday, signed off on Saudi activities, bypassing Congressional limits.

Having dodged a bullet in avoiding Congressional attempts to halt US aid, the Saudis clearly haven’t learned anything, however, as on Thursday, Saudi warplanes attacked a bus station in the port city of Hodeidah, killing at least 20 civilians, mostly children.

Saudi forces have carried out multiple attacks against Hodeidah in recent days, trying to help Yemen forces attack the vital aid port. Yet as has often been a problem with Saudi airstrikes in Yemen, their targeting seems haphazard, and as likely to just hit a bus depot full of civilians waiting to evacuate as any combatants.

Very public incidents of civilian deaths, especially egregious cases of killing children in buses, have meant a lot of patience with the Saudi war has run out. Such incidents are likely to continue to undermine what little international support the war still enjoys.

(antiwar.com)

What is it about buses that pisses the Saudis off?

Those Old-Time Wars

…but I exp-ectI have been writing and analyzing conflict (war) for many years and in all that time I have valued the input from my readers on their thoughts and beliefs about the subject.  I am fortunate enough to have several readers and visitors that have strong opinions o the matter and they do not always agree with what I have said or written…..but I find it exhilarating to have opposition for it always helps the conversation move forward.

Recently a good friend from https://harbenpost.wordpress.com/,  to IST was commenting on a post I wrote about war…..https://lobotero.com/2018/09/05/its-afghanistan-as-usual/

His comment was about fighting wars the way we use to and winning them like we use to……my point is that the “big war” is no longer the way we fight……but after saying that are their still things called “Battle Lines”?

It is common in today’s wars to claim there are no battle lines, but this is only because we do not create or at the very least do not want to recognize them as such because the enemy creates them. The creation of battle lines is the intentional act of an army and is, in fact, one of its great powers. In recent years modern armies have seized territory pushing the enemy out and behind the borders of that territory. Only to then stop pursuing them and begin administering the territory they seized.

It follows then that while the army is thus occupied and unwilling to cross the existing territorial borders in pursuit of the enemy’s final destruction. It becomes an easy thing for that enemy to build a center of gravity, and from the safety of this position across the border (A battle line they created) continue the war in every facet with almost no serious risk to their operations. We’ve seen this time and time again especially in modern warfare. Just in the last century, we’ve seen it in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, and other places as well.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/30/do_battle_lines_still_exist_113661.html

In other words it depends on the way war is viewed.

Personally, I view war as a use of special operating teams with massive technological superiority….but that does not mean that the conflict can be won…..take Vietnam as an example then fast forward to Afghanistan and then Iraq……technological superiority did not lead to victory….but then we need to define victory…..for “victory is more difficult art than the war” (cannot remember who said that…..just know it was not me).  Keep in mind….”Victory counts for nothing  if those who gain it know not what to make of it”.  In the last 60 years the US is a prime example of that statement.

I believe that large scale operations are a growing thing of the past…..after the initial strike the conflict settles into a humdrum existence tit for tat confrontations.

Those Nuclear Constraints

Since we elected Our Dear Leader last November there has been a wealth of nuclear related crises for the White House to contend with….most of which the are problems of their own making…..Iran comes to mind and then there is North Korea and the “summit” and the nuke negotiations that are trying to take place….

Let’s step into the “Way Back Machine” to the glory days of the Cold War…..nukes were on everyone’s lips…..and the US having been the ONLY nation to ever use nukes had a plan…..

Recently declassified documents shed light on a U.S. nuclear war plan developed in 1964 by the Pentagon’s Joint Staff to bomb Russia – then the Soviet Union – and China with nuclear weapons so extensively that it would destroy them “as viable societies.” The war plan itself, known as Single Integrated Operational Plan 64 (SIOP-64), has not been declassified, as no SIOP has ever been released to the public by the United States government.

However, newly declassified documents that record the Pentagon Joint Staff’s review of SIOP-64 were recently made available through George Washington University’s National Security Archive project. The documents reveal numerous details about the still-classified plan that shine light on the Pentagon’s willingness to wage nothing short of total war against its adversaries at the time.

In particular, the documents show that the plan sought to accomplish the destruction of Russian and Chinese society by targeting and eliminating their industrial potential while also wiping out the majority of their urban populations. Still more troubling, urban civilians were proposed to be the main target and measure of the U.S. nuclear war plan as the Joint Staff sought to use “population loss as the primary yardstick for effectiveness in destroying the enemy society, with only collateral attention to industrial damage.”

https://theantimedia.com/pentagon-plan-drop-nuclear-bombs-ussr-china/

Yes that is right….there was an actual plan to bomb the Soviet Union and China into the Stone Age.

Let’s look at nuclear constraints…….

The United States Army and the Russian Army view each other as potential future adversaries. General Mark Milley, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, has spoken extensively about the threat Russia poses and its adversarial nature.[1] Likewise, the 2014 “Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation” also identifies the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as the primary threat to Russia.[2] While the U.S. and Russian militaries view each other in an adversarial way, both have developed different conclusions about future warfare based on the current environment and the constraining impact of nuclear weapons. The U.S. Army has returned to emphasizing large-scale operations against near-peer threats like Russia, as outlined in its recently updated doctrine in Field Manual 3-0: Operations.[3] In contrast, while Russia has retained some large formations—designed to deter attacks and if needed fight under nuclear conditions—Moscow has turned towards more ambiguous methods employing smaller, more agile conventional formations to achieve external political objectives.[4] In fact, General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, has suggested the greatest threat to Russia is from a U.S. sponsored political movement and other U.S. strategic capabilities, but not large-scale conventional operations.[5] Russia’s preparation for future warfare better appreciates the realities of nuclear constraints; rather than preparing for large-scale operations, the U.S. should prepare for small, politically constrained, ambiguous, limited conflict with Russia.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/08/07/nuclear_constraints_and_concepts_of_future_warfare_113692.html

A couple views…..I would like to hear from my readers on their opinion on the nukes and their use.

Really Bad Military Leaders

This history lesson could turn into a graduate dissertation….so to limit the size of the post we will talk about military leaders of the firearms era….

On August 16, 1812, General William Hull of the U.S. Army surrendered Fort Detroit to an inferior English force.  American forces numbered about 2,100, while the combined English and Native American forces only numbered just over 1,300.  Hull was court-martialed, convicted and sentenced to death.  Luckily President Madison gave him a reprieve.  History is full of military blunders and dunderheads,

read on……

https://www.historyandheadlines.com/10-really-bad-military-leaders-firearms-era/

Allow me to expand this post a bit…..

If you are ever in Paris then I recommend a visit to the Louvre, a top notch museum…think Mona Lisa, The Thinker, Gaugin, van Gogh, etc…..

But the site has not always been a museum……in the past it has been a fort and a palace…..

Pairing a priceless permanent collection with a captivating history, it is no wonder why Paris’ Musée du Louvreis the most visited museum in the world. Though it is renowned for its role as a major arts institution, it has not always exhibited masterpieces during its 800 years of existence.

Before housing famous sculptures and paintings, the Louvre was home to France’s kings and queens. And prior to its stint as a palace, it was a fortress intended to protect the city of Paris from invasions. Here, we explore the museum’s unique history, tracing its fascinating evolution from medieval castle to world-class art museum.

https://mymodernmet.com/louvre-history/

That is the history lesson for the time being….you know more is to come…..

Class Dismissed!