Closing Thought–18Jan19

This post may be of little interest to most readers….however it is something that many of us think about or live with daily.

Okay, I would like to wax nostalgic…..my memories of basic training at Fort Jackson was not something that I look back with fondness.  9 weeks of total Hell.  Oh that run up Drag Ass Hill was something NO one could forget.

All these memories flooding back after I read a piece that talked about the Army’s new “basic training”……

Army basic training got a major face lift in 2018.

Early in the year, Fort Jackson, South Carolina’s basic training program of instruction was updated to encourage more fitness and discipline in new soldiers, while infantry one-station unit training at Fort Benning, Georgia, was extended from 14 to 22 weeks.

Senior leaders have said that extension will be made permanent in 2019, along with extensions for OSUT for the other combat arms, such as armor and engineer. Also under consideration: changes to the length of basic combat training.

“We have packed a lot into basic training — we have — and we need to extend it,” Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told reporters in June. “We know we can make a better product.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/01/02/new-in-2019-the-armys-basic-infantry-training-is-about-to-get-longer-and-it-could-be-a-sign-of-broader-changes-to-come/

I am sure that there are readers that remember their experiences with some sort of Basic Training…that does not include our president for he had “bone spurs” in his small feet.

Share if you like.

Another thing about military recruitment…..

As the babies born on and after 9/11 start turning into military aged citizens….the military needs to think over its recruitment strategies…..

While actual enlistment in the armed services saw only a modest and temporary bump, the years following 9/11 saw an increase in average scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and the number of high school graduates recruited for the Army, according to a 2006 Congressional Budget Office study.

A 2005 Heritage Foundation report found an increase in military recruits from higher-income neighborhoods following the attacks and an increase in overall education levels.

Crofoot said he noticed another trend in his own recruitment work.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/02/teens-born-after-9-11-reach-military-age-recruiters-face-new-challenges.html

Sad that I can write a post like this……Just saying.

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Are Reparations Due?

There have been many examples of country’s seeking reparations for wrongs done to them…the Armenians are looking to Turkey for reparations…..Blacks in the South are seeking them…..on and on……but the one that I find the most ludicrous is what Israel is looking to do……. Israel is trying to get reparations for wrongs done to them in the distant past…..reparations if you will……

Reparations?  Just what the Hell?

1. The act or process of making amends for a wrong.
2. Something done or money paid to make amends or compensate for a wrong.
3. reparations Compensation or remuneration, as for damage or economic loss, required from a nation defeated in war.

Israel is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in compensation from Middle Eastern countries where Jewish people fled or were expelled from.

The Jewish state has hired an unnamed international accounting company to estimate the damages it should seek per an expected US peace plan, according to a Hahadashot TV report.

Claims for assets in Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Iran and Yemen are expected to reach $200 billion.

 
How will they accomplish this?  They cannot use the international courts for they do not accept their jurisdiction…..then how will they hope to accomplish their goals….they have very little good will in the world…just what would make the nations bow to the Israeli demands?
 
If the world recognizes Israel’s claims then the world should recognize the claims made by Palestinians.
 
If the US plan goes into effect…then the Palestinians will have a argument worth hearing…..what plan?
 
Israel’s Channel 13 has leaked what it says are the contents of President Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan for Israel and Palestine. The report would grant the Palestinians a state that encompasses 85%-90% of the occupied West Bank.

The plan would be for Israel to keep its settlements, though no longer expanding isolated outposts. Moreover, the plan would mandate Israel evacuate any outposts which are illegal under Israeli law. That’s a big deal, because Israel has recently changed its own laws to facilitate retroactively legalizing a lot of these outposts.

The Palestinian capital would be in East Jerusalem, and the Palestinians would be given “most of the Arab neighborhoods” there. Some areas would also be jointly run by Jordan and Palestine.

Africa: East And West

I try to keep my readers up to date on the happenings in Africa….especially the terrorists operating within the continent.

Recently there was an attack in Nairobi Kenya….all fingers are pointing at al-Shabaab, originally from Somalia….but this group is known but that is about all that can be said…..but who and what is al-Shabaab?

Al-Shabaab is the deadliest jihadi group in sub-Saharan Africa, largely operating in Somalia but known for brutal attacks on neighbouring Kenya.

Founded in 2006, the group – whose name translates from Arabic as the “The Youth” or “Mujahideen Youth Movement” – began as the militant arm of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), an alliance of hard-line Sharia courts in southern Somalia who sought to rival the Transitional Federal Parliament for control of the country.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/al-shabaab-who-africa-terror-group-jihadi-group-somalia-islamist-a8728921.html

Then we go to the West of the continent……Burkina Faso

I recently wrote a post about the situation in the country……https://lobotero.com/2019/01/08/in-the-land-of-the-lost/

After that post I read a report on an uptick of terrorism in the country of Burkina Faso……

Ten years ago, the prospect that Nigeria would become a jihadist hotspot—let alone the world’s third “most terrorized” country after Iraq and Afghanistan—received hardly any consideration (Africanews.com, December 6). Nevertheless, much has changed in ten years. Today the situation in northeastern Nigeria is worse than any predictions made a decade ago. Moreover, the violence from Nigeria has spilled over into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. This begs the question—are there “peaceful” countries today in West Africa that ten years from now could spiral into jihadist violence?

This article examines the security situation in southern Burkina Faso, which shares borders with “peaceful” countries on the West African coast, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Those countries have largely been spared from jihadist violence, with the exception of the 2016 Grand Bassam attack in Côte d’Ivoire that left 16 dead. Now, however, they appear to be on the verge of suffering from jihadist spillover from Burkina Faso into the northern regions of their countries. This article first reviews recent attacks that have occurred in southern Burkina Faso and discusses the networks of groups operating there. It then highlights certain structural factors in coastal West African countries that jihadists could exploit to launch attacks similar to what they have done in Nigeria, if not Burkina Faso and Mali as well.

https://jamestown.org/program/burkina-faso-and-the-looming-jihadist-threat-to-coastal-west-africa/

There have been increases in terrorist activity in Africa….but so far it has been contained to regional attacks and concentration……but they could expand their reach at anytime…especially if they learn to work together instead of factionalism.

As Africa comes out of the tag of Third World the opportunities for terrorists groups gets better and better…..African nations need to be vigilant to try and prevent the rise as permanent.

More US Deaths–2019

With all the debate on whether we are pulling out of Syria or not there is one thing that never changes….the chance of being killed in service to the country.

4 American soldiers were killed in Manjib, Syria by a suicide bomber…..

Described as the deadliest attack against US troops in Syria, a suicide bombing in the city of Manbij killed at least 15 people, including four US troops, and wounded a number of others, including three US troops.

The attack was claimed by ISIS, and that started an immediate furor among opponents of the announced US withdrawal from Syria, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who suggested the very idea of the pullout had provoked the attack by emboldening ISIS.

This is almost certain to grow dramatically, with huge numbers of lawmakers and media pundits opposing the Syria pullout bound to present this as vindication for keeping the war going.

This is not just a convenient case for hawks to be mad, but also for ISIS themselves. ISIS, like its al-Qaeda predecessors, is very keen to keep US forces in the immediate vicinity as a way to keep them globally relevant. As with al-Qaeda in places like Afghanistan, the US has long been willing to give them exactly what they want.

So while now many are gearing up to try to further slow, if not outright stop, the Syria pullout, the reality of the situation is that if the US had kept to the reported 30-day pullout in the first place, the troops attacked today almost certainly would’ve already been out of Syria.

The names have not been released….I shall update this post as soon as the names are available…..

The sad thing is to see the media and war hawks try and use this incident of sadness as a rallying cry to stay the course in Syria. (A separate post to follow soon)

Syria! Whatcha Gonna Do?

I have watched the saga around the Syrian conflict go from devastation to a draw down to a slow down to a not leaving any time soon.

Bolton threatens Syria (Syria is not alone in the threats)…..something these warmongers do almost daily….

a State Department official said “(w)e have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from” the country. Delay may turn out to be not at all.

On Sunday, a senior Iraqi parliamentarian said

“(t)he  Americans have built a military base in Erbil (in) the Iraqi Kurdistan region to use…against Iraq’s neighboring countries, in particular Iran and Syria.”

Iraqi media said the Pentagon has 14 military bases in the country – along with a reported 18 in Syria. The US is highly unlikely to abandon them, especially ones considered most strategically important.

An earlier report indicated the Pentagon intends establishing a permanent base along the Iraqi border with Syria. Turkey reportedly established one or more military bases in northwestern Aleppo.

On Saturday, a senior Trump regime official said US forces may remain indefinitely at the (illegally established) al-Tanf base in southeastern Syria near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders

https://www.globalresearch.ca/bolton-threatens-syria-us-troop-withdrawal-on-hold-permanent-us-military-base-on-syria-iraqi-border/5664843

This conflict has never been an easy one to follow…Obama made it murky and then Trump came in and it became damn near bleak.

So may I ask….what the Hell is the US Syria policy?

Does anyone know for certain just what US policy is in Syria? And by “anyone,” we include the folks in the White House and the State Department.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly canceled a scheduled sitdown with National Security Advisor John Bolton, then went on live TV to berate him. His gripe: Bolton had suggested the US won’t totally withdraw its forces from Syria until the safety of its Kurdish allies is assured, mostly from Turkish attack.

It’s just the latest whirl in the policy merry-go-round that’s spun ever since President Trump dropped his surprise announcement of a Syria withdrawal “as quickly as possible.”

https://nypost.com/2019/01/08/does-anybody-know-what-americas-syria-policy-is/

Just thought I would ask.

Trump has said that Syria is nothing more than “sand and death”…..but according to Neocon thought….we should never underestimate the importance of Syria….

When Donald Trump described Syria last week as a place of “sand and death”, without “vast wealth”, it would have helped him to first check his remarks with a contemporary historian.

That person might have been able to tell the US president that during a significant period of the last century, as it still is today, Syria was the centrepiece of competition between leaders in the Levant and Egypt, so that whoever controlled the country could pretend to a degree of regional dominance.

As Patrick Seale wrote in his classic book The Struggle for Syria, the nation’s “centrality derives from the fact that it lies at the heart of the Arab-Asian power system where, for good or ill, it affects every political relationship in the region”. With Mr Trump saying that his aim in the Middle East is to contain Iran, it made no sense for him to describe Syria dismissively. Without a strategy towards Syria, it is unlikely the US will succeed in curbing Iran.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/history-proves-syria-s-strategic-importance-should-not-be-underestimated-1.811201

It all comes down to Syria is nothing but a spot to confront Iran….not the devastation….not the death….not the refugees….none of that matters to the US as long as they can stick to Iran.

How sad is that?

But Bolton has flexed his tiny muscles and overrules Trump on the Syrian draw down….

National Security Advisor John Bolton has in effect overruled President Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal decision. This will have fateful consequences for America’s national interests, and none of them are good. Speaking in Israel, Bolton stated that two conditions must be met before a withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the conditions amount to a recipe for indefinitely prolonging the deployment. One is that the United States must “make sure ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again”—an objective that is impossible for the two thousand U.S. troops in Syria to achieve. With the mini-state of ISIS largely gone, whatever threat the group poses is a matter not of military control of a patch of Syria—a patch of “sand and death”, as Trump put it —but instead of ideology, politics, fear, and hatred that cannot be described on a battle map.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/syria-policy-hawks%E2%80%99-talons-sink-deeper-trump-41017

Apparently Trump is too ignorant to realize the insubordination of Bolton…..will Trump realize his brain fart?

https://theweek.com/articles/816140/shameful-insubordination-john-bolton

But guess what……generals said when asked about Bolton’s turn around on Syria…”We do not take orders from Bolton”…….

After days of back and forth over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pullout American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday the process of withdrawal has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements.

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria” has started.

“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” the Baghdad-based official said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/01/11/us_official_says_troop_withdrawal_from_syria_has_started_114098.html

I see that our Syrian policy is as murky as always.  None have been able to answer the one question…..just what is the US Syrian policy?

Can you?

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, (Pause) Bomb Iran

I can hear the late senator John McCain singing that song during the 2008 presidential election…..it is the mantra of the Neocons and their masters the Israelis for decades. Since 1979 the Israelis have preyed on the US neocon hatred for what the Iranians did to the US in that year.

SO when the news came out the Bolton had asked for plans for an attack on Iran made none of us old farts surprised…it it old hat to Neocon behavior…..

The attack—three mortar shells launched into Baghdad’s diplomatic sector by Iranian militants—injured no one, but the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that it “triggered unusual alarm” inside the Trump administration. National Security Adviser John Bolton responded by asking the Pentagon to draw up plans to attack Iran, a request so unusual and a response considered so outsize by many senior administration officials that it “definitely rattled people,” one such official tells the Journal. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.” An NSC rep says it simply “coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats.” Bolton has long advocated regime change in Tehran, notes the Journal, and penned a 2015 New York Times op-ed with the headline, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”
I have been writing about this news for decades,….ever so oftewn the Neocons, when in control, throw a story like this one out there for the MSM to feed on for awhile……https://lobotero.com/2018/07/31/bomb-bomb-iran/

US–A Force For Good?

Most know that my little expertise is in the Middle East and in foreign policy….so when I cannot get a speak by the SecState I go to friends in the Middle East and get the speech that way.

I was sent a video from Egypt of Pompeo’s speech….okay after I listened I sat there and had to listen again….what a pile of manure from an official of the US…..first he said that the US was a force for good…that when the US retreats chaos reigns….(think about that for a moment)…..

I had begun a draft in analysis of this piece of manure speech by an amateur diplomat….and I was notified that I had a piece in waiting……

“An arrogant tirade extolling the U.S. as a liberator not an occupier, a defender not an aggressor—a depiction that runs totally counter to the sordid U.S. history of invasions and occupations all over the world.”

A speech delivered by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday was immediately chided by critics as bellicose and ahistorical “hogwash” that did more to reveal the incoherence and dangers of the Trump administration’s foreign policy than anything else.

Pompeo’s speech is voodoo diplomacy and not very damn accurate but I would expect such LIES from a Neocon lackey…..but please read the speech for yourself and you decide what part of it is true…..if you can…..

Thank you, Frank. Thank you to Frank Ricciardone. Thank you for your service to America as well, in addition to the duties that you perform here.

I’ve had the good fortune to be a frequent visitor here to Egypt and the Middle East as Secretary of State. In my prior role as CIA director, I was here with some frequency, and I came here too as a member of Congress. Every time I come, I get to see something new, something wonderful.

This trip is especially meaningful for me as an evangelical Christian, coming so soon after the Coptic Church’s Christmas celebrations. This is an important time. We’re all children of Abraham: Christians, Muslims, Jews. In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and His Word, and The Truth.

https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2019/01/288410.htm

This was a typical Neocon blathering…..anti-Iran, anti-Obama…..their policies are such crap that all they have is to blast Iran and Obama….garbage foreign policy…….https://lobelog.com/pompeo-in-cairo-anti-obama-anti-iran-and-little-else/

This speech was so much bullsh*t that it made for painful watching….sorry but anyone listening to that speech that was not a Neocon is laughing hysterically under his/her breath.