Who Owns The GOP?

Well to answer that question I would say pick a large corporation and the GOP has fingers in their wallets….but the one that owns the most spineless representatives of both parties is the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……

These vultures are making record profits……feeding the Saudis weapon systems so the Saudis can destroy the poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen…..

There have been a few in the House that are trying to curtail the US involvement in this conflict….but now the GOP has stepped up and done what the M-IC wants….kill as much attempts to end the US involvement as possible…..

…a measure is being advanced at the behest of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aiming to derail House Continuing Resolution 138, a War Powers Act challenge which would force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led War in Yemen.

Under the War Powers Act, any individual lawmaker is intended to be able to raise the matter of an unauthorized war for debate and a vote on the floor. Efforts to do so have failed, however, as the House leadership has used the Rules Committee to sidestep the issue.

This move to derail the debate is part of the first day of lame-duck House business, and Rep. Ryan and the other leaders seem to be hoping to turn the legal challenge of the war into a partisan issue. Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) accused the Republican leadership of shirking Congressional responsibility.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), however, is hoping to drum up enough Republican support for the legal challenge to prevent this, arguing that the legality of the Yemen War deserves a full debate and vote in the House.

(antiwar.com)

Those wishing to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the attempt to strip privilege from H. Con. Res. 138 should do so quickly, as the vote is expected on Wednesday. You can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, or find the phone number for their specific representative here.

Speak up!  The US does not need to be part of the Saudi genocide of Yemen.

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“Making America Great Again”–Part 15

In this part of the series we move past the Age of Jackson and onto our expansion West…..this part is about the Mexican-American War and its implications…..

Maj. Sjursen looks at this conflict more than most hisztorians care to do so…..there is so much more to this conflict than the history textbooks want to give the student…..

Part 15 of “American History for Truthdiggers.”

The United States of America conquered half of Mexico. There isn’t any way around that fact. The regions of the U.S. most affected by “illegal” immigration—California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas—were once part of the Republic of Mexico. They would have remained so if not for the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Those are the facts, but they hardly tell the story. Few Americans know much about this war, rarely question U.S. motives in the conflict and certainly never consider that much of America’s land—from sea to shining sea—was conquered.

Many readers will dispute this interpretation. Conquest is the natural order of the world, the inevitable outgrowth of clashing civilizations, they will insist. Perhaps. But if true, where does the conquest end, and how can the U.S. proudly celebrate its defense of Europe against the invasions by Germany and/or the Soviet Union? This line of militaristic reasoning—one held by many senior conservative policymakers even today—rests on the slipperiest of slopes. Certainly nations, like individuals, must adhere to a certain moral code, a social contract of behavior.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-the-fraudulent-mexican-american-war-1846-48/

Now you have a grasp on what Paul Harvey called “the rest of the story”….

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Was 100 Years Enough?

We have just celebrated the end of World War One…here in the US it was a celebration of Veterans Day…..I have been looking back at the war for the last few years…..I am amazed at the death and destruction that war gave the world…..

First let’s look at some misconceptions that have been spread about the war…..

Eleven leading historians explode some major myths that have clouded our understanding of the Great War over the past 100 years…

The killing of Franz Ferdinand was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back

https://www.historyextra.com/period/first-world-war/the-great-misconceptions-of-the-first-world-war/

It has been 100 years since the armistice has been signed…..and the world events show us that war is ever present for various reasons…..but did we learn anything from World War One?

The close of World War I was supposed to end the world’s reliance on arms—and empire. But on the centenary, the Middle East offers proof that this hasn’t happened.

The First World War, which ended a century ago Sunday, was supposed to be a hinge-moment in history: a war to end all wars, and a war to end the imperialism that had shaped the West’s interaction with the world for centuries. After the United States joined the war in 1917, President Wilson insisted it be fought in the cause of self-determination.

But despite its massive toll, the war did not end empire, and many of today’s struggles are rooted in that failure, including Americans’ own imperial investments in war.

https://newrepublic.com/article/152153/100-years-enough

About the only lessons learned by World War One is that there will always be bigger and better weapons and those that will want to possess them and ultimately use them and there will always be those that amass huge fortunes selling those weapons to whoever has the cash…..

Then we ask just what did all those people die for?

Yet the only war of the 20th century more senseless than Vietnam was the so-called Great War, and most especially America’s intervention in an old world tragedy for no good reason whatsoever. That is to say, the Marine heroes of the bloody battle of Belleau Wood did not die “in the trenches for the cause of freedom”.

To the contrary, they died there owing to the fanatical megalomania of President Woodrow Wilson. The latter maneuvered America into the Great War in April 1917 when it was nearly over, and for the purpose of giving himself a grand seat at the peace conference afterward to reshape the world in accordance with his messianic vision.

That was a horrible reason in itself for the 116,000 deaths of American servicemen during the less than 12 months that they were actually engaged in battle at the tail end of the war. The real tragedy of their sacrifice and the real crime of Wilson’s pointless intervention was that it snatched victory for the allies, who didn’t deserve it, from the jaws of stalemate among the militarily exhausted, financially bankrupt and politically demoralized combatants on both sides of the conflict.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2018/11/12/america-should-have-skipped-the-war-not-just-the-ceremony/

I agree with another article I read about the holiday…..

…every public institution will pause and go through the motions of “thanking” America’s veterans; but the whole pretense ignores that the populace hardly cares about foreign policy.

Veterans’ Day – maybe we ought to drop the whole charade. Don’t get me wrong, there will be celebrations a plenty: the NFL will roll out the ubiquitous stadium-sized flags and march uniformed service members in front of the cameras; cities across the nation will hold parades; and millions of Americans will take a moment to go through the motions and “thank” the nation’s soldiers. Sure, the gestures are sometimes genuine and certainly preferable to the alternative. Still, all this martial spectacle misses the salient point hidden just below the surface: the American people are absolutely not engaged with U.S. foreign policy. Most could hardly name the seven countries its military actively bombing, let alone find them on a map.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/11/12/one-veterans-plea-get-informed-or-ditch-the-holiday/

Basically to me war makes no sense to me….and I am not alone…..

America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-doesnt-make-sense-anymore/

AMEN!

I say that because I have heard people bad mouthing our veterans and servicemen as basically “freeloaders”…..to this I say “go find a war and go fight then talk to me!”  PERIOD!

Time For The House To Step Up

(I will re-blog this post in January of 2019 as the new Congress gets sworn it…just a reminder)

Voting is done……the tally is the Dems have prevailed.

The House is now in the hands of the Dems…..and now is the time for the Dems to step up and take back the power to declare war…..they have allowed the president too much lee way in this field and because the president has had a free hand we are fighting someone in at least 100 locations….time for that to change!

The American political environment is as polarized as it has been in recent memory. But there is one major policy priority that should unite lawmakers on both sides: making the legislative branch relevant on matters of war and peace.

The assumption within the foreign policy establishment is that national security in general, and war-making in particular, are distinct responsibilities of the executive branch. The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, after all, under Article 2 of the Constitution.

But the legislative branch is not meant to be a bystander. The authors of the Constitution understood that concentrating too much power in the executive branch would start the country down a dangerous road to perpetual war. “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement,” James Madison observed astutely, and the temptation to make war “would be too great for any one man.”

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-depetris-congress-war-powers-20181008-story.html

An excellent point and a point that I and others have been saying since 2003…..time for the Congress to start doing their job and let the president play to the cameras.

One little-noted consequence of the Democrats’ victory in the House of Representatives on Tuesday is that, for the first time in several years, there will be serious oversight of the Defense Department and possibly some cuts in high-profile weapons systems and secret commando operations.

At the Defense News Conference in September, Rep. Adam Smith, the Washington Democrat who has been the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and is likely to become its chairman in January, listed his top priorities if his party took control of the House. They include:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/democrats-house-pentagon-oversight.html

Is it possible that a new House could change the ddirection of US foreign policy?

The blue wave that crested over the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday was just large enough to usher in a Democratic majority for the first time in eight years. Because the president retains extraordinary powers to manage international affairs, foreign policy and national security may seem like the least likely areas to look for change in the new era. But Democrats may well force a shift in Washington’s approach to the world.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/how-house-democrats-will-shift-us-foreign-policy/575215/

And from the Middle East…….

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2018/11/midterms-revamp-mideast-policy-congress.html

So much rides on the new House…..but will anything change?

Democrats will use their new majority in the US House of Representatives to reverse what they see as a hands-off approach by Republicans toward President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, and push for stricter dealings with Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, Reuters reports.

Representative Eliot Engel, the Democrat in line to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said they might also seek congressional authorisation for the use of military force in places like Iraq and Syria. But on some hot-button areas, like China and Iran, he acknowledged there was little they could do to change the status quo.

As the majority party, Democrats will decide what legislation is considered in the House and have a more prominent role in setting spending policy and writing legislation.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181108-how-a-democratic-us-house-could-alter-foreign-policy/

But there is a dark side….recently the US Congress, a few members, have called for a ceasefire in the Yemen-Saudi mash-up….I agree but the problem is that the statement is little more than a PR stunt to look like the Congress is doing something…..

In an October 30 press release issued by the State Department, the Trump administration called “on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—both of whom have long defended the Yemen war—are now calling for a ceasefire within 30 days.

Yet these exhortations are meaningless without real pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are poised to launch yet another offensive on the Yemeni port of Hodeidah.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-yemen-ceasefire-believe-it-when-you-see-it/

Like I have said….ALL BARK NO BITE!

Dems!  Time to step up!

Rivalries!

AS a grad of international relations and conflict management we study history as well and throughout history there have been international rivalries that have shaped the world we live in today……the following are the ten most important rivalries that brought about the world we know today.

On Aug. 27, 1914, the Japanese navy set up a blockade of Tsingtao, a German-run port on the coast of China, after declaring war on the German state just four days earlier. The Japanese navy then waited for the British navy to arrive at Tsingtao, and the two combined forces attacked and then captured the German-held port. The Japanese went on to seize most of Germany’s overseas colonies in the Pacific and began setting up its own empire, which of course put the country on a collision course with the United States and the United Kingdom.

The German-Japanese rivalry is an odd one to think about, given that the two states were allies in World War II, but it was so short-lived that the term “rivalry” is probably the wrong term to use to describe their fight in World War I. Even today, Germany and Japan are sometimes thought of as rivals in the global economy because both countries specialize in high quality goods, and they oscillate between having the third or fourth largest economy in the world (nominal GDP) behind the United States and China, but rumors of a commercial beef between Germany and Japan today are non-existent.

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2018/08/30/10_rivalries_that_shaped_world_history_353.html

Now that I have shown the rivalries through history there is something else that needs the light of day.

The agreements that ended the Cold War are disintegrating…..

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) was probably the Alliance’s most important and secretive institution during the Cold War. Notably, it worked out NATO members’ joint strategy and tactics for using non-strategic nuclear weapons in a possible all-European war with the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. Such a confrontation seemed all too possible—and sometimes almost inevitable—during acute crisis situations that brought the Cold War opponents to the brink in 1949, 1956, 1962, 1973 and 1983. In the last of the aforementioned crises, tensions spiked as the United States deployed nuclear-tipped land-based cruise missiles as well as medium-range Pershing II ballistic missiles on the territory of several European NATO allies to counter the threat of the deployment of hundreds of Soviet SS-20 nuclear intermediary missiles known in Russia as Pioneer. The Soviets produced over 800 Pioneer missiles, and each carried a heavier payload than the Pershing IIs; but their U.S. counterparts were stealthier and much more accurate.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/10/10/agreements_that_ended_the_cold_war_are_disintegrating_113882.html

The world is going to crap and look what the “master race” is doing……bitching about a DNA result and insulting a porn star….we are so much better than this.

Geez!  I love history there is so much that the average person knows not that it is fun to help them understand our world.

It is probably just me but I shall do my part.

Turn The Page!

World War One Remembered–11 November

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

We approaching the 100 year anniversary to the end of the Great War, World War One……and most Americans have NO idea what the war was about or how the US was involved…..

100 years ago today……the Great War ended!

As a political historian I feel that all wars must be remembered for it could help deter any further wholesale slaughter in the name of civilization…..but first since this war is not well remembered here in the US I shall give my readers a 2 part breakdown of the War…(not to worry they are short videos)……

The popular belief was the the Great War was unavoidable…that as the countries militarized a confrontation was inevitable…..but was it?

There is another school that believes the Great War was an accident that was never intended to go beyond punishing the Balkans for their part in the deaths of the crown prince and his wife…..but was it?

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, formerly called the Great War.

Not surprisingly, this has brought all sorts of stories and op-eds discussing the disastrous events that killed some 16 million people and wounded an additional 21 million others.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war. Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

https://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-great-myth-world-war-i-was-no-accident/

August 1914 was the start of the Great War, the War to End War, World War One (only after the start of hostilities with Germany in 1939)……

This war needs to be remembered because of the massive amounts of casualties, millions upon millions died from combat and that does not include the civilian deaths…..

It wasn’t the good war. But, in our popular imagination, it wasn’t the bad one either.

Instead, it’s identified by a vague mixture of concepts, names, and events: the Lusitania, “Wilsonian Idealism,” Versailles, Theodore Roosevelt.

The First World War – known as the “Great War” in Europe – has largely faded from memory on this side of the Atlantic. Arguably, this is because our involvement was so brief – joining the slaughter over two years after it began and leaving it just over eighteen months later.

https://original.antiwar.com/Harry_Blain/2018/09/10/everything-about-2018-shows-why-americans-should-remember-world-war-i/

The US learned valuable lessons in the fields of Flanders…..lessons that we have carried forth…..

Is there an “American way of war?” To answer this question, one would do well to start with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I, often rightly said to be America’s first modern war. The AEF exhibited both good and bad traits. To begin with the bad: One finds arrogance and the conviction of superiority vis-à-vis America’s allies and enemies, along with the assumption that they had nothing to teach U.S. forces. The good: Notwithstanding the initial arrogance and conservative institutional culture, some commanders and their men displayed an ability and willingness to learn, especially at the operational and tactical levels. Most importantly, they recognized that in fact America’s allies had a great deal to teach the U.S. military. Rather than let their self-confidence close their minds, they saved it for assertiveness on the battlefield.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/how-the-u-s-military-learned-to-learn-in-world-war-i-lessons-from-the-american-expeditionary-forces/

Around the world unlike the US….people remember the war and all its horror……https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46168105

Class Dismissed!

Turn The Page!

Saturday–10Nov18

Once again we have gone from the 80+ range to the low 50s….we all hope for some moderation…..50s+ is perfect weather…cool enough for a light jacket and warm enough for the need for a heater does not exist…..Mo is loving the weather she spends her time chasing birds an squirrels…..damn!  I wish I had all that energy.

Enough of the old fart stuff……

The day before Veterans Day and the day before the celebration of the 100 years since the end of World War One…..

I have tried to help my readers get the grip on the war that killed 110,00+ Americans in 8 months….the carnage in this war has never been matched to date…..

There are a bunch of myths about the War…..plus it is a war that most Americans have NO idea what it was aall about or why we were involved…..

https://www.historyextra.com/period/first-world-war/the-great-misconceptions-of-the-first-world-war/

World War One has had a lasting impact….get to know what the situation was all about…..https://graphics.wsj.com/100-legacies-from-world-war-1/

World War One ended 11 November 1918….and began America’s Grand Strategy……

On November 11, 1918, World War One, the Great War, ended. Amid the chaos that followed—revolution, the fall of empires, and rise of nations—the United States attempted to build a rules-based world which favored freedom. American power had won the war, and President Woodrow Wilson was trying to shape a peace along the lines of what we now call a rules-based or “liberal” world order. Wilson’s Fourteen Points, presented the previous January, challenged the imperial, balance-of-power system of the European powers (on both sides) which had started the war, and at the same time took on Lenin’s revolutionary alternative. Wilson’s ideas were a rough draft of American Grand Strategy in what has been called the American Century.

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/one-hundred-years-of-american-grand-strategy

Originally, Veterans Day was called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War One……we should remember the day for what it was…..

Those of us of a certain age may remember that Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day – the day the guns fell silent in war-torn Europe at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War, the Global War that we now call World War I, had reached a ceasefire. In the months and years that followed, the victorious allies would rearrange the boundaries of much of the globe, uprooting peoples and nations in a fragile peace that set the stage for World War II.

This year marks the centenary of the Armistice and a reminder that the old is ever new. In 1821, John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State and future president said our young republic would be the friend of liberty and independence everywhere, but the vindicator and champion only of our own. America, said Adams, “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Otherwise, she might gain an empire and, in the process, lose her soul.

https://original.antiwar.com/Jack_Kenny/2018/11/08/remembering-armistice-day/

Adams words do NOT ring hollow!  America is slowly losing its soul a small piece with every war it fights…..