Those Killbots

We all know of the outcome of Skynet taking over, right?

The world is moving more and more close to the day when AI is the warfare norm….until then we have our drones….and the Chinese has taken that concept one step further…..

Chinese military contractors have already started to sell dangerous, autonomous killer robots to customers in the Middle East.

For instance, a Chinese company called Ziyan is actively marketing its Blowfish A3 — an autonomous helicopter-like drone armed with a machine gun — to international buyers, according to Defense One. While several countries have been working towards this tech for years, this news means we’re finally, and unfortunately, living in the era of killer robots.

While Ziyan works to sell its autonomous killbots to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Chinese government is already entrenched in the killer robot trade.

“As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next-generation stealth UAVs when those come online,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, per Defense One. “In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/china-selling-autonomous-killer-drones

We look for ways to make the battlefield ‘safer’ for our troops by using drones…unfortunately the civilians are NO safer….if anything are in more peril.

Thanx to everyone for their kind attention to IST….your visits are much appreciated..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Syrian Oil Saga

Recently Trump move troops out of Syria just to redeploy them in Eastern Syria around the oil fields…..I wrote about what I thought about the idea of the US basically taken Syrian oil……https://lobotero.com/2019/11/05/syria-the-confusion-and-the-chaos/

I have not seen anything that would lead me believe that the US has the best motives about the Syrian oil….

Whether to control the oil or flat out take the oil, US statements on the new military mission in Syria are heavily oil-themed. Other reports, however, suggest that the operation is a lot more complicated than that.

In reality, a lot of the goal is nation-building, with US forces meant to both keep the Syrian government out of this part of Syria, and try to “bring prosperity” to the region, propping up a potential territory of rebels.

This is again built around the assumption that the US can manufacture an autonomous, prosperous region, using the oilfields as the revenue source, and then steer that region toward hostility with the rest of Syria.

This will likely end up being a plan easier for the Trump Administration to sell than overt theft of oil, as it allows the US to retain its primary focus, military hostility toward Syria with an eye toward eventual regime change.

To that end, the US keeps condemning Syria and Russia for airstrikes in the Idlib Province of northwestern Syria, and is demanding a full halt to strikes to resolve the situation through the UN. Ironically, the US has also opposed that UN reconciliation process, because it’s not going to end with regime change.

Pentagon officials are also pointing out that their military presence in Syria implies US military authority to open fire on Syrian government representatives if any of them try to reclaim control over the Syrian oilfields.

(antiwar.com)

I still say that the oil is that of Syria not the US and as such we should have NO voice in how it is used…..and yet the Pentagon says they have the right to order our troops to shoot on sight….no matter who……

Pentagon officials asserted Thursday U.S. military authority over Syrian oil fields because U.S. forces are acting under the goal of “protecting Americans from terrorist activity” and would be within their rights to shoot a representative of the Syrian government who attempted to retake control over that country’s national resource.

The comments came from Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman and Navy Rear Admiral William D. Byrne Jr. during a press briefing in which the two men were asked repeatedly about the legal basis the U.S. is claiming to control Syrian oil fields.

The briefing came less than two weeks after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “That’s our mission, to secure the oil fields” in the Deir ez-Zor area of eastern Syria. President Donald Trump’s comments before and after that remark —”We’re going to be protecting [the oil], and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future,” and “The oil… can help us, because we should be able to take some”— were seized on by critics who claimed Trump was suggesting violating international law by plundering another country’s resources and openly saying the U.S. was pursuing war for oil.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/08/pentagon-claims-us-authority-shoot-any-syrian-govt-official-who-tries-take-control

I reiterate…..what gives the US the right to basically steal Syrian oil?

Apparently Trump decides and it is still the policy of this admin…..

Speaking during a visit with Turkey’s President Erdogan, President Trump sought the simplify the US role in Syria, saying Turkey’s issues over the border were thousands of years in the making.

“We’re keeping the oil, we have the oil, the oil is secure,” Trump insisted in comments, adding that “we kept troops in Syria only for the oil.” This is in keeping with Trump’s talking points of recent weeks, which emphasize the idea that the US is going to take Syria’s oil.

The insistence that the US is there “only for the oil,” however, is a critical point, because it runs directly contrary to every comment made by anyone else in the administration in recent weeks.

Pentagon officials have played up the idea of the US fighting with Syrian troops, Russian troops,and ISIS as reasons for staying in the country. Some have been dismissive of the idea that the US would be keeping the oil at all, despite President Trump very clearly, repeatedly saying that’s exactly what he intends to have happen.

(antiwar.com)

Is there a legal question that needs answering?

Following new meetings with defense leaders last week, President Trump has signaled intentions to expand his new war in Syria, which is a war entirely built around military control of oilfields in Eastern Syria from which he intends to extract oil.

All of this is raising ever-growing legal questions, both about what the legal ramifications of an overt war for oil would be, and about what the military is actually supposed to do in this environment, and against whom.

President Trump has so far side-stepped questions about the legality of taking other countries’ oil by arguing that it’s a lot of money the US could make every month in doing so. As far as military orders, those still haven’t been issued, and moreover officials concede a lot of details are “yet to be worked out.”

Despite lack of clarity on what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who it’s against, the US troops in Syria are doing something, and Kurdish YPG forces were also reported to have gotten involved, sending some troops of their own to help guard the oil fields.

The Kurds are reportedly helping the US guard the oil from ISIS, and while that’s a pretty straightforward mission for the Kurds, it’s a lot more complicated for the US, with a lot of the people the US is keeping away from the oil having nothing to do with ISIS.

Unspoken is that the US mission is to keep Syria’s oil away from Syria, and experts are being very clear that that notion is very illegal under international law. So far that doesn’t seem to be phasing officials, but anyone participating outside of US command is going to be trying to style this as about ISIS.

(antiwar.com)

I still do not see the legality of the US occupation of Syrian oilfields.

Not to worry the president will make it all much clearer…..

President Trump’s position on the Syrian War aims to further simplify matters. Turkey’s President Erdogan says he is worried about Turkey’s border with Syria, and President Trump sees an opportunity to contrast his own war, saying “we left troops behind only for the oil.”

In the context of US-Turkey relations, this seems very straightforward and avoids conflicts of interest. Admitting that the whole US war is for oil isn’t the panacea Trump thinks it is, however, and he’s running up against other US officials on this issue.

Lawmakers are couching the Syrian War as being about protecting the Kurds, while the Pentagon’s leadership sees it heavily built around fighting ISIS and continuing to work toward regime change in Syria. Some even suggest it’s about countering Russia.

Trump’s all-oil agenda directly contradicts everyone else, and gives the impression that the US is being deliberately evasive about its military agenda and where US foreign policy is going.

Trump’s comments may simply reflect his agenda and what he cares about in Syria, just the oil. At the same time, other top officials plainly see the legal complications to overtly looting oil during a military occupation, and are downplaying that matter hoping nothing ever comes of it, or that at the very least they can avoid culpability by making their role in the war something else.

(antiwar.com)

I am so glad it has been cleared up….how about you?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–12Nov19

Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day…and yet our vets are still fighting illnesses that they contracted while they fought our many wars…….

Us Vietnam vets had our Agent Orange….the Gulf War has its Gulf War Syndrome…..

Agent Orange gave exposed vets different types of cancer…..The Gulf War Syndrome has several symptoms among then are…..

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue that isn’t relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions.
  • Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Examples include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain syndrome.
  • Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

I bring up these illnesses from our past wars because of the findings in our present wars…..

Veterans saw a spike in urinary, prostate, liver and blood cancers during nearly two decades of war, and some military families now question whether their exposure to toxic environments is to blame, according to a McClatchy investigation.

McClatchy found that the rate of cancer treatments for veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs health care centers increased 61 percent for urinary cancers ⁠— which include bladder, kidney and ureter cancers ⁠— from fiscal year 2000 to 2018.

The rate of blood cancer treatments ⁠— lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia ⁠— rose 18 percent in the same period. Liver and pancreatic cancer treatment rates increased 96 percent and prostate cancer treatment rates increased 23 percent.

McClatchy analyzed all billing data for veteran visits involving a cancer diagnosis at VA medical facilities from fiscal year 2000 to 2018. The data was obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. A more in-depth methodology of the review can be found here.

McClatchy selected that time frame to look at what impact the last two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on veterans’ medical needs, even as the VA continues to treat veterans from past wars.

Veteran Marine Corps Sgt. Mark S. Villamac Ho joined the military after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and deployed in early 2003 to Al Numaniyah, Iraq, as an aircraft rescue firefighter.

In Iraq he was exposed to the firefighting foam the military is removing from service due to its links to cancer, and to the open-air trash-burning pits that more than 187,000 veterans have reported made them sick.

(McClatchy)
Each war seems to have its unique illnesses that are a result of the actions in these conflicts.
 
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A History Sunday

Most readers of IST know that I am a history buff and a foreign policy wonk….so I would like to pass on some historic stuff that I have been saving for a rainy day….

Today, 10 November, the Marine Corps is founded in 1775……Cavalry hero Maj. Reno is court martial for being a peeping tom in 1879…..1969 Sesame Street debuts…..the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald 1975…….

One of the most devastating weapons introduced in World War One was the machine gun…..his name was Hiram Maxim…..

HIRAM MAXIM WAS a prolific American inventor. During his lifetime, he devised mousetraps, curling irons, steam pumps, bronchitis inhalers, and even an amusement park ride. He also tinkered with powered flight, early radio technology and light bulbs.

It wasn’t until 1882 however that the 42-year-old inventor conceived his most famous creation.

“I was in Vienna, where I met an American whom I had known in the States,” Maxim told the Times of London. “He said: ‘Hang your chemistry and electricity! If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other’s throats with greater facility.’ ”

Over the course of the next three years, Maxim toiled in his London workshop and, lo, the Maxim machine gun was born.

Machine Gun — How Hiram Maxim’s Deadly Invention Changed History

LSMFT!  Old Gold……Chesterfield……war made these items popuar…I am talking about cigarettes….

On July 11, many thousands of people heard a fascinating story on NPR and WBUR’s Here and Now radio program, in which two esteemed historians asserted that Americans never would have been as dependent as they are on tobacco were it not for the considerable support of the U.S. government. To many, this was surely a surprising assertion, since Big Tobacco is often perceived to be at odds with big government, with its regulations and disclosure requirements and general aversion to its citizens getting sick and dying. There was only one problem: the two historians, both men, did not credit the source of the story—another historian, a woman named Sarah Milov, and her new book, The Cigarette: A Political History.

https://newrepublic.com/article/155164/war-made-cigarette

More history will have to wait for I still have a tangerine crop that needs picking….

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But before that can happen I need to handle another situation…..I believe someone is telling me it is time for that walk I promised about 30 minutes ago……

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Got to go…..TTFN

P.S. this is tangerines off of one tree……

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And there is more waiting…….

Have a great Sunday and relax for next week will be a busy week…..chuq

Please Explain Syria

We were told that our troops would be leaving Northern Syria and coming home….then they were going to a base in Northwest Iraq (Iraq said they could not stay)…then we were told that a small group of troops would go to Syria to protect the oil fields……..what is the deal here?

https://lobotero.com/2019/11/05/syria-the-confusion-and-the-chaos/

Apparently it is ‘official’ US troops to Eastern Syrian to take Syrian oil…..it must be important because we will build two new bases in Syria…

Reports out of eastern Syria, citing local sources, say that the US appears to be preparing to build two substantial military bases in the Soor area, near major oilfields which the Trump Administration intends to retain.

Since President Trump announced in October that his military goals in Syria were being entirely revised around the idea of keeping control over oilfeilds, and talked of extracting oil from the area, US military deployments have centered on oilfields in the east.

It makes some sense then that the US would be building bases in that area, since it’s where the troops are staying. If anything though, this rush of material shows both how hasty the oil-taking decision was, and how long the US is likely to end up stuck in Syria trying to get oil out of there.

Russian outlets have predicted the oil the US intends to appropriate will be worth around $30 million per month, though President Trump has claimed a much higher value of $45 million per month in his own comments.

Either way, the cost of keeping US troops in Syria exclusively to try to take the oil is not insubstantial, and the cost of building and operating entire new US bases is only going to add to that cost.

The assumption seems to be that the oil will pay for this in the end, though the legal basis for taking the oil simply does not exist, and so far no US company has indicated even a hint of interest in getting drawn into this difficult effort. 

(antiwar.com)

What happened to all the news reporting that Trump was betrayer everybody in the Middle East with his troop withdrawal…..it swas a false narrative that the MSM bought into hiok line and sinker….and they were WRONG!

That noise you can hear is Donald Trump flip–flopping in the sand. Last week, American troops and dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles moved to occupy oil fields in Syria. The escalation came just half an hour after Trump had tweeted that all US soldiers had left the country and would be coming home. As so often, the President says one thing, then orders the military to do the other. On Twitter, Trump is ending the endless wars. In the real world, he is perpetuating them.

Trump’s focus is not really Syria, of course. It is the presidential election next year, and his precious voter base. But he can’t seem to decide if his supporters are peaceniks or bloodthirsty chauvinists. His problem is that they are both and neither. He’s beginning to learn that the relationship between foreign policy and domestic politics is more complicated than perhaps he realised.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/11/the-story-behind-donald-trumps-fake-withdrawal-from-syria/

The troops have returned gto Syria and in a big way…..

We now have troops once again in Syria….so what is their ‘directive on engagement’?

Well right now….there is NOT one!

United States troops stationed in Syria have yet to receive guidance on their mission, including the basic rules of engagement, according to a military official in a CNN report published Monday.

Some military commanders deployed to Eastern Syria were reportedly still waiting to receive their directives to guard oil fields in the region. For some of these troops, it was unclear where their destinations would be and how long they were expected to stay there, according to CNN.

https://www.insider.com/us-troops-guarding-oil-fields-syria-rules-of-engagement-2019-11

The more I read…the more I cannot see what the end game will be….as usual it is chaos nothing disciplined….and that is the foreign policy we get when the 3 Stooges run the policies……and I am not alone here….

Confusion has prevailed regarding the purposes of the U.S. troop presence in Syria, and whether the declared purposes are the actual ones. Originally the expedition was widely understood to be all about combating the Islamic State (ISIS) after the group had established a mini-state on a large portion of Syrian and Iraqi territory. Then hawks within the Trump administration and President Trump himself, in a classic case of mission creep, declared that the U.S. troops were also in Syria to “watch Iran”. Later variations of the creeped-up mission included not only watching Iran but also, through some unexplained mechanism, getting Iran and maybe Russia to abandon their positions in Syria.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/donald-trumps-take-oil-strategy-syria-mistake-92991

All this wrong on many levels….but other than that it will come back and bite the US in the ass…..PERIOD!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Master Stroke In Foreign Policy

I have given my opinion on the action taken by Pres. Trump and Syria…..and I am sure that there are many out there that have formed their opinion from their favorite news source….those sources are making the case of the “poor Kurds” being betrayed by the US and how that will play with our foreign policy in the future.

If my opinions are needed then I offer my post at the time of the US withdrawal……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/16/but-the-kurds-are-our-friends/

All the MSM has been in the pockets of the warmongering Neocons and condemned the withdrawal of American troops….even FOX has not been in Trump’s corner for this situation.

In all fairness I want to post an article that is 100% in Trump’s corner for the pull out…….

President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria is a brilliant strategic move that simultaneously achieves all of our major objectives in the region.

Perhaps because it has been so long since America had a coherent foreign policy strategy, the political establishment is aghast at the president’s action, predicting all manner of calamitous consequences. The same “experts,” however, have been responsible for the myriad foreign policy disasters that have befallen this country over the past two decades, so their discomfiture should be taken with a rather small grain of salt.

In one deft move that doesn’t put a single American life at risk, President Trump achieved a regional solution to ISIS, undermined Iran’s capacity for foreign aggression, and disentangled the United States from an alliance of convenience that threatened to create major diplomatic headaches down the road.

Contrary to claims that withdrawing American special forces from Northern Syria will enable ISIS to resurrect itself, for instance, the arrangement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan merely shifts responsibility for the few remaining ISIS fighters onto Turkey.

The successful operation to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi only makes it even less likely that the terrorist group will reemerge.

https://www.amgreatness.com/2019/10/30/trumps-withdrawal-from-syria-is-a-foreign-policy-masterstroke/

Please read this article…..like I said 100% in support on the action taken by Trump.

I agree with the troops coming home but I do not agree with allowing Turkey a free hand in Northern Syria…..it is time for the US to end its endless wars but this is not the best way to achieve that end.

But as this article states we now have a coherent foreign policy….that I cannot agree with and think it is at best wishful thinking not a reality…..plus the confidence that ISIS is defeated is also wrong.

I have seen nothing that leads me to believe that our foreign policy is coherent….chaotic yes, coherent NO.

American foreign policy is increasingly falling into disarray and incoherence. President Trump’s doctrine of principled realism, in my opinion, is the correct approach. Principled realism in international politics where nations go to war, however, requires disciplined leadership and decision-making to ensure the world does not resort to unnecessary violence. Any willingness to forego a sense of global responsibility should give pause to American citizens, allies and partners. The question here is whether this doctrine of principled realism has devolved to unprincipled realism to endemic confusion.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/465329-the-trump-doctrine-principled-realism-or-endemic-confusion

But then that is my opinion and I would like to hear yours on this situation……the 3 Stooges are in charge of our foreign policy…..Pompeo, Rudy and Trump……NONE know what they are doing.

So do I think that all this was some master stroke of foreign policy?  NO!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

What Did Turkey Know?

Remember when the US killed Osama and they questions started flying around about what did Pakistan know about it?

Did Pakistan know that Osama was hiding in plain sight?

Now a few in the intel service are starting to ask similar questions about Turkey and Baghdadi…..

As U.S. intelligence analysts comb through electronic and paper documents seized last weekend from the lair of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one question is foremost on their minds: How was the Islamic State leader able to find refuge in a Syrian province secured by the Turkish military and its proxy forces?

Three U.S. national security officials told me that they want to know more about Turkey’s knowledge of Baghdadi’s whereabouts. One important task for the team now going through the material seized in the Baghdadi raid and another raid that killed organization’s spokesman, Abul Hassan al-Muhajir, is to map out the relationship between Turkey’s intelligence service and Islamic State.

Both men were hiding close to the Turkish border in Syrian territory. Muhajir was found in Jarabulus, a town in the Aleppo province patrolled by Turkish forces. Baghdadi was found in Idlib province, where there are numerous Turkish military checkpoints.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-01/baghdadi-raid-did-turkey-know-where-he-was-hiding-in-syria

For me do not care one way of the other….Baghdadi is dead and that is all that is important.

This looks like Bloomberg just trying to stir shit…..for it matters not what Turkey knew or did not know….Baghdadi is dead…..

His second in command is dead as well and the new leader is some dude from the the ranks that few knew of….the intel people might want to worry about this new guy more than what Turkey knew and when.

Baghdadi is DEAD….he took the cowards way out a blew himself up….Turkey had nothing to do with this event….our military people achieved their goal and took the bastard out.  PERIOD!

Turkey is trying to regain their primo spot in the elimination of ISIS after the US and the Kurds killed Baghdadi…..

Turkey announced that they have captured the older sister of the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The woman, identified as 65-year-old Rasmiya Awad, is being described as having suspected affiliation with an extremist group.

Turkey captured Awad in a raid in north Syria’s town of Azaz, in the Turkish-controlled part of the Aleppo Province. Officials said she is believed to be an intelligence “gold mine.”

Little is known about Baghdadi’s sister, though Turkish officials say they believe what she knows about ISIS could significantly expand understanding of the group, and facilitate more raids.

This is likely an attempt for Turkey to score a big win in anti-ISIS operations, after the US killing of Baghdadi was attributed in many reports to the Kurdish YPG sharing intelligence about him.

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”