Those Pesky Headaches

In retaliation for the death of the Iranian general a rocket attack on US bases in Iraq…..

Fortunately there were no casualties…..but Trump has made it clear that all that happened were some headaches for US troops…..

Additional US troops who were identified as having potential concussions tied to the Jan. 8 Iranian missile attack have been taken to Germany for treatment, defense officials said Tuesday. While the AP says no troop count was provided, the reportedly small group adds to the 11 who were removed from Iraq and sent to medical facilities abroad last week. While giving a news conference in Davos on Wednesday, President Trump was asked by a reporter about why he’d previously maintained that he was told no troops were injured in the attack. “I heard that they [had] headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious,” he replied, per the Hill. The reporter pushed: “So you don’t consider a potential traumatic brain injury serious?”

Trump’s reply: “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen. I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. … No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no.” CNN shares the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s stance, which is that most traumatic brain injuries are mild, though they can affect cognitive function in the long run. Mild TBIs can be tougher to spot because there may be no external sign of injury, and the symptoms can mirror that of PTSD, it notes.

Appears those “headaches” are a bit more serious than first announced…

Iran’s retaliatory strike on US troops injured more Americans than thought. The Pentagon on Friday said that 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, reports the AP. Of those, 17 are still under medical observation. Eight of that group were shipped back to the Walter Reed Medical Center in the US for treatment, while the other nine are receiving treatment in Germany, per NBC News. The injuries came after Iran fired missiles at an Iraqi air base in retaliation for the US strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The injury issue has been in the news because President Trump said in the immediate aftermath of the attack that no US troops were hurt. Then, after a Pentagon update said 11 troops had concussion-like injuries, Trump described them as “not very serious” and as “headaches,” adding, “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.” He compared them to troops who had lost limbs in roadside bombs. Of the 34 initially diagnosed, 16 are now back on active duty in Iraq.

Brain injuries are serious……it may be a long time before the final results are in….

Anyone making such a comment was never in the military and spent their time chasing skirts while others fought and died so they could be a coward.

After writing this draft more news has come to light…..the VFW weighs in on the “not serious” head injuries…..

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.

“The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter,” William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” Schmitz added.

“And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/vfw-demands-apology-from-trump-over-comments-calling-headaches

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Are We Ready For War?

With tempers moldering in the Middle East yet again….there is an important question that needs asking….are we truly ready for a protracted war?

I have written about this topic……https://lobotero.com/2011/01/12/military-must-be-ready-for-the-next-war/

After the most recent airstrike by the US and the war of words between Iran and the US….the president has said we are ready for war…..

“The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment,” he tweeted on Jan. 5. “If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way.”

Besides being wrong (the military has not spent that much), he repeated a mistake that military leaders have made for years: emphasizing weapons over the fitness of the men and women charged with firing them.

Over the past 18 months, ProPublica has dug into military accidents in recent years that, all told, call into question just how prepared the American military is to fight America’s battles.

If forced to fight in the Persian Gulf or the Korean Peninsula, the Navy and Marine Corps are likely to play crucial roles in holding strategic command of the sea and defending against ballistic missiles.

https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-says-u-s-is-ready-for-war-not-all-his-troops-are-so-sure

Further Reading:

Defense Strategy for a Post-Trump World

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

War–Invest Your Children

There is an old saying….”Old men start wars and young men fight them”……and then Sartre said “when the rich wage war it is the poor that die”……”War settles nothing!”

There has been a lot of reports about the possibility of a new war for us Americans to fight and die.

I see the warmongers thumping their chest in wild blood lust…and yet as many wars as we are fighting today I see very little of people in opposition to war.

The young should be listening to all the war rhetoric and listening closely…..for they will be called upon to fight the “good fight”….

America’s forever wars and their fallout over these last 18 years have been hell for kids. Just ask Ismail or any of the other 56 wounded children who survived an August 2018 attack on their school bus in northern Yemen by Saudi planes armed with American weaponry. Of course, you can’t ask the perhaps 40 children who died, thanks to a single 500-pound laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin. And that was just one example of the way, in these years, war has torn the lives of children apart across the Greater Middle East.

Take, for example, Iraqi children in a country remade (or, more accurately, devastated) by the U.S. invasion of 2003 and everything that followed from it, including the ISIS takeover of major Iraqi cities in 2014. By 2016, UNICEF reported that “one in every five children in Iraq is at serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence, and recruitment into armed groups.” That was 3.6 million children (a jump of 1.3 million in 18 months). And if you make your focus larger still, UNICEF recently reported that, thanks to largely war-induced humanitarian crises across the Middle East and northern Africa, 32 million children need assistance, 5.8 million of whom are refugees.

How War Targets the Young

I have written about the shortcomings in our volunteer military……the young needs to pay attention…..

Show me a better deal for the common person,” he said.

Soldiers like him are increasingly making the United States military a family business. The men and women who sign up overwhelmingly come from counties in the South and a scattering of communities at the gates of military bases like Colorado Springs, which sits next to Fort Carson and several Air Force installations, and where the tradition of military service is deeply ingrained.

More and more, new recruits are the children of old recruits. In 2019, 79 percent of Army recruits reported having a family member who served. For nearly 30 percent, it was a parent — a striking point in a nation where less than 1 percent of the population serves in the military.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/who-signs-up-to-fight-makeup-of-us-recruits-shows-glaring-disparity/ar-BBYQ89L

Here’s a thought for Millennials……pay attention and you will not be surprised…..but I guess for that to sink in I need to be on some sort of social media and have no life…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan

Going on 19 years of troop deployments and conflict and what have we got to show for it?

The American people have lied to for at least 15 years on the progress of our exercise in regime change (a post on that coming)…..

So let us consider what exactly they are hiding from us. It began with last year’s announcement that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) – the congressionally mandated watchdog on all aspects of this war – would no longer report Afghan Security Force (ASF) casualty data. It’s now classified. I wonder why. Could it be that the US trained and equipped (to the tune of some $70 billion) Afghan military is suffering unsustainable casualties, is losing troops faster than it can recruit? Maybe its because Washington finds it inconvenient to admit that the ASF is nowhere near its target personnel strength, that desertions and absence without leave are rampant in the ranks, and that the Afghan GDP is insufficient to pay for its own security forces.

After all, every president from Bush to Obama to Trump has told us that advising the ASF is America’s number one priority and the key to a successful exit. Given that, one would think it rather important to face the truth about the utterly insufficient Afghan military and police force. Instead it’s classified. You’re no longer allowed to know that discomfiting truth.

Classifying Defeat: Hiding Data on the Losing Afghan War

This country has spent billions on the training of the Afghan police and military and for damn near two decades and what is the prognosis?

“The Afghan military – and particularly the Afghan police – has been a hopeless nightmare and a disaster,” Sopko told lawmakers on Wednesday. “And part of it is because we rotate units through that aren’t trained to do the work, and they’re gone in six-to-nine months. I don’t blame the military, but you can’t bring in a Black Hawk pilot to train an Afghan policeman on how to do police work. And that’s what we were doing — we’re still doing.”

Sopko testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday following the Washington Post’s publication of the “Afghanistan Papers,” a series of interviews that SIGAR has conducted in which top U.S. officials have privately conceded that the war in Afghanistan has provided few — if any — tangible successes.

https://taskandpurpose.com/afghan-troops-police-disaster-sopko

So we have got NOTHING in return for our money spent…is that about right?

It is time to cut our losses on a hopeless endeavor….and I am not alone with this feeling…..

Even conservative veterans are now calling for an end to Afghanistan…..

Those two voices were among five unveiled Thursday in a 30-second television ad that will air in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, urging voters to demand their lawmakers put an end to “endless wars.” As part of that effort, the first order of business for the sponsor of the ad, Concerned Veterans of America, is to get America out of Afghanistan.

“We would like to see a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible,” said Nate Anderson, an Army Green Beret and executive director of CVA, a conservative veterans’ group.

“The reality for us is that leaving our forces there only puts them at further risk in a country where we don’t have a strategic objective that we have not already met,” Anderson said, recalling the death of Osama bin Laden, punishing the Taliban for harboring al Qaeda, and largely uprooting the terror group from the country. “All those things happened,” he said.

And yet, 18 years, 3 months, and 9 days after Operation Enduring Freedom officially launched, the war continues to grind on, albeit under a different name. This past weekend, two American service members were killed and two others were wounded after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Their deaths were the first in the new year.

https://taskandpurpose.com/cva-ad-endless-wars

A new ally for the call to end our endless wars……slowly but slowly the antiwar movement is gaining popularity….

Yes, Conservative Vets Want Out of Afghanistan, Too

The question is….is anyone listening?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More US Deaths

Closing Thought–13Jan20

Sad news from Afghanistan…..two more Americans have been killed in country…..

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Both soldiers were killed in action yesterday when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The soldiers were conducting operations as part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:

Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia.

Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois.

Both soldiers were assigned to 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

For more information regarding Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, media may contact Lt. Col. Mike Burns, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Officer at (910) 432-6189 or michael.j.burns34.mil@mail.mil.

I am so sorry that these families have to go through this…..the thoughts and well wishes from IST go out to the families.

Hell NO! I Won’t Go!

Recent events have me thinking about days of yore and how they equate with today.

The title is a  familiar chant if you are an old fart that remembers the Vietnam War.

Read On!

But what about these days when there is NO draft for the young to worry about?

Could that change?

Today, however, the chances for great state conflict are high. As the threat of interstate warfare increases, America’s small expeditionary force (which is wearing thin from decades of constant deployments) will be insufficient to meet the challenges that rival great powers, such as China or Russia, pose to the U.S. military. This is especially true, considering the focus of America’s enemies on depriving U.S. forces of their aforementioned technological advantages.

U.S. policymakers should start planning now for the inevitable need to reconstitute the draft and should start anticipating how best to prepare for the demands placed upon its future force—and the country overall—in the event of another world war. When God told Noah to build the ark, he did not wait until the rain began. Similarly, U.S. policymakers have a moral duty to better prepare the country for the coming storm right now. A lack of planning will ensure the worst possible scenario befalls the United States when a great power war begins.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/01/07/the_next_world_war_is_comingand_so_is_the_draft_114963.html

Just so happens that a poll has been done and the question asked was if they would try to avoid the draft if necessary?

… a lottery was held to begin drafting Americans into military service for The Vietnam War. This lottery marked the first time since World War II that the US drew numbers to determine who would serve in the military, and it came amid anti-war protests that showed how opposed young people were to selective service. There was no legal avenue to avoid the draft, but many young men tried to find excusable reasons.

Young men today would do the same if there was a draft, according to data from YouGov. 

Three in 10 (31%) male Millennials say that they would “try to avoid being conscripted into the armed forces.” Since all males between ages 18 and 25 must enroll in the US draft, this group is the most likely to be impacted by selective service. Women and older generations were more likely to select “Not Applicable – I have good reason to believe the armed forces would not try to conscript me (e.g. because I am too old, have a disability).”

https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/11/27/50-years-after-vietnam-war-draft

Millennials would try and avoid serving if possible.

See the full YouGov survey results about conscription

Americans think it’s “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that America will send troops into a new war within the next 40 years. Other YouGov data from June 2019 found that a majority (59%) of Americans believe another “world war” is likely to take place in the next 40 years.

My thought is …REALLY?

Then maybe get off your ass and look up from that damn phone and become the voice to end these goddamn wars of intervention…..endless wars….

Hope I am around  to see how fast these little shits turn to antiwar movement to help save their butts…they will become what they laugh at these days….Boomers.

But if the House has its way they will do away with the Selective Service….once and for all…..

H.R. 5492 (text of bill) would:

  1. Repeal the Military Selective Service Act (thereby eliminating Presidential authority to order men to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft and eliminating criminal penalties for failure or refusal to register);

  2. Abolish the Selective Service System (thereby ending contingency planning by the SSS for the Health Care Personnel Delivery System or any other form of special-skills draft);

  3. Prohibit all other Federal agencies from imposing civil sanctions (denial of Federal student financial aid, Federally-funded jobs, etc.) for nonregistration or using nonregistration as a basis for other adverse determinations (denial of naturalization as a US citizen, etc.);

  4. “Preempt” (and thereby override and prohibit) all state sanctions for nonregistration (denial of drivers’ licenses, state financial aid, state jobs, etc.); and

  5. Preserve the rights of conscientious objectors under other laws and regulations (such as applicants for reassignment to noncombatant duties or discharge from the military on the basis of conscientious objection).

(antiwar.com)

Bill Introduced To End Draft Registration

But with Trump’s fanning the fires of war with Iran the Selective Service had so many panic visitors that it crashed the service…..

In the aftermath of the US drone strike that killed the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad, the phrase “World War III” began trending on social media.

More startlingly, a US government agency which registers young men for a potential military draft saw its website crash.

Related: Iranian Americans on edge as tensions surge: ‘The fear is palpable’

“Due to the spread of misinformation,” the Selective Service System (SSS) tweeted on Friday, “our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time … We appreciate your patience.”

It added that it was “conducting business as usual” and emphasised that a return to the draft is not imminent: “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the president would need to pass official legislation.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-government-agency-website-crashes-212942668.html

Once again…if you are that afraid then maybe becoming part of the solution would be in order…..well at least Idaho has tried to make a difference…..

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and arguably the most influential foreign policy voice in Congress, Saturday returned home to Idaho, only to find himself under growing public pressure from veterans and even his own party to end America’s ground troops presence in the Middle East.

Initiated by a group of veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in the heavily Republican state, whose efforts have quickly spread to other states, the Idaho Republican Party’s state central committee Saturday approved two resolutions urging Risch to support President Trump’s efforts to withdraw U.S. troops from the Middle East, hold public hearings to spotlight recent revelations of “constant lies” by U.S. government officials and corruption by military contractors in Afghanistan, and return to a doctrine of deploying U.S. troops for long-term combat duty overseas only after Congress has approved a formal declaration of war as provided by the Constitution.

Idaho Republican Party Passes Antiwar Resolutions

Finally the antiwar protesters have come out of the shadows…….https://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/news/nation/2020/01/04/anti-war-protestors-organize-after-us-killed-iranian-general/2813297001/

It is good to see that the American people have not lost their courage or their concern.

Could antiwar become more pronounce?

Today, as we spiral perilously toward direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, it is worth reflecting on the failures to rein in Trump’s aggression along the way. Given the obvious signs that Trump has been keen to escalate the United States’ many wars — and begin new ones — the complicity of other institutions in Trump’s belligerence, particularly Congress, is stunning.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/08/we-need-strong-anti-war-movement-yesterday

Time to return to those days of yore and protest….you may not like them but they have been effective in the past….why not try again?

Their signs were much as anticipated, likewise the chants, the word and curse “imperialism” hardly ever absent from either. But most everybody else with an interest in sign-carrying brought their own, hard-made or a few dozen of the same item offset, like the 8×5” sheet handed to me with the DSA messaging. Looking around, I saw a diorama of the Madison Left—the former leader of the state AFL, a city council member or two, youngsters that I’d never seen before and oldsters that I had seen many times. Only days since New Years, “Auld Lang Syne” went though my head as I took note of the absent-because-dead, generations of lefties and peaceniks since I first got to town in 1967. My favorite home-drawn sign, seen now many times over the years, was probably “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”—the tone of the legislature being dominated by hypocritical white evangelical Republicans. Even better is the one I did not see at this demonstration, “What Would Bob La Follette Do?” because hardly anyone even now fails to recognize the visage and message of our great antiwarrior, 1917 style, sometime governor and Senator to boot.

The Return of the Antiwar Movement: Memories and Intimations

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–09Jan20

Blood Diamonds!

How many people know what they are and why they are illegal?

AS usual the Old Professor can help.

Diamonds are supposed to be symbols of love, commitment, and joyful new beginnings. But for many people in diamond-rich countries, these sparkling stones are more a curse than a blessing. Too often, the world’s diamond mines produce not only diamonds – but also civil wars, violence, worker exploitation, environmental degradation, and unspeakable human suffering.

Not long ago, the public started to become aware that large numbers of diamonds are mined in violent and inhumane settings. Consumers are now demanding, with ever greater urgency, that their diamonds be untouched by bloodshed and human rights abuses. So far, however, the diamond industry’s response has been woefully inadequate. Diamonds with violent histories are still being mined and allowed to enter the diamond supply, where they become indistinguishable from other gems. Violence and injustice remain an everyday aspect of diamond mining.

https://www.brilliantearth.com/conflict-diamond-trade/

I bring this up because Russia is proposing loosening the rules around “blood diamonds”….

Russia is proposing to move toward ending the ban on selling so-called blood diamonds from the Central African Republic, a former French colony that’s struck recent military and commercial ties with Moscow, amid resistance from the U.S. and Europe.

The CAR, which is mired in civil conflict, should be granted a “road map” outlining the steps it needs to take to get the suspension of diamond sales lifted, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said in an interview in Moscow.

“We need to ensure that illicitly traded diamonds move to the legal marketplace, bringing income for people and taxes for the state,” Moiseev said. “The situation in CAR isn’t getting any better, and we can’t delay this any more.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-15/russia-seeks-to-lift-ban-on-blood-diamonds-from-african-ally

Wassup with this proposal?

These diamonds prop up governments and pay for wars and killings…….why would Russia want to lessen the law and make the activities more numerous?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”