Does A Bus Piss Them Off?

Closing Thought–14SEp18

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

Recently word has come out that the Saudis attacked a bus filled with school children…..

Of course the world was outraged and after first denying the attack they (Saudis) did an about face and took responsibility for the deaths…….

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

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

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

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

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


What is it about buses that pisses the Saudis off?


It’s Afghanistan As Usual

An Update before I begin my posting day…..I wrote about the death of an American soldier but no name was released….that has changed…..

…the soldier killed was Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Bolyard, 42, of Thornton, West Virginia. It said he died of wounds sustained from small arms fire in Logar Province, but it provided no other details about the incident.

Bolyard was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, based at Fort Benning, Georgia. His brigade was sent to Afghanistan early this year as part of a revamped American strategy to bolster the Afghan security forces by placing U.S. military advisers with Afghan troops closer to the front lines.  (

Yesterday I wrote a post on the situation in Afghanistan ……. and as usual events moved to make the post needy of more information…so let me extend the reports from Afghanistan.

A brand new general has taken command in Afghanistan…..

17 years into the US War in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Scott Miller has arrived in the country to take over control of the US-led occupation, replacing outgoing Gen. John Nicholson. Miller is the 17th commander to lead the war.

Gen. Miller has been participating in the war in Afghanistan from the beginning. He was present during the 2001 US invasion, then at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was among the forces sent during President Obama’s escalation of the Afghan War, as a brigadier general. Now, he’s a full general, commanding the longest war in American history.

Miller talked of adjustments to be made, but gave no suggestions that he’s going to make any serious changes. This likely means he’ll follow the historic trend of taking over, promising a review of policy, offering nominal changes and quickly falling out of favor, only to be replaced by the next commander.


But what will be new with US policy……not a damn thing!

As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks draws near, the Afghanistan War—the nearly seventeen-year-old conflict those terrible events spawned—is seeing a change in leadership. Army Lt. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, America’s ninth commander, is preparing to take charge of the effort but has already admitted to his lack of innovative thinking. At his confirmation hearing in June, he told the Senate that he couldn’t guarantee a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home. This is unfortunate—and expected. Despite the change of command, Miller represents the same stale thinking that has permeated U.S. foreign policy for the last two decades.

Sad news over the Labor Day weekend is that yet another American soldier has died in Afghanistan and another soldier wounded but in stable condition…….but the good news is that a former asset of the CIA that became a major terrorist has been killed……the leader of the terrorist cell known as the Haqqani Network has been eliminated…..

The Taliban say the Afghan Haqqani network founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, an ex-US ally turned fierce enemy, has died after years of ill health. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told the AP that Haqqani died on Monday inside Afghanistan. The elderly founder of the outlawed group had been paralyzed for the past 10 years. The Haqqani network was declared a terrorist organization by the United States in 2012. Haqqani, whose son is believed to have taken over the network in 2001, had not been heard from in several years, and reports of his death had been widespread in 2015.

In announcing Haqqani’s death Tuesday, Mujahed called him a religious scholar and an “exemplary warrior” who was “among the great distinguished Jihadi personalities of this era.” Haqqani, whose group had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, was a prized CIA asset when Afghan guerrillas were fighting Soviet forces in the 1980s, the BBC reports. He allied himself with the Taliban after they seized power in 1996, and his group is believed to have been behind many recent attacks on NATO and Afghan forces.

And that is not the only setback the terrorists have endured…..

The U.S. military confirmed that it killed Abu Saad Orakzai, the Islamic State’s emir for its Khorasan province, in an airstrike in Nangarhar, Afghanistan on Aug. 25. The Afghan government had previously announced his death, but the report was not confirmed.

“The strike resulted in his death,” according to a press release that was issued by Resolute Support, NATO’s command in Afghanistan. The airstrike targeted Orakzai, who is also known as Abu Sayed Bajauri and Abu Sayad Erhabi, “in the eastern area of the Nangarhar province,” and was carried out by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

Sorry to be crude here but…..”another one bites the dust” came to mind……

That is the latest reports that I have access to….if anything changes I will attempt to let my readers know.

Saudis Throw A Hissy Fit

There has been report after report that the Saudis and the UAE have been ignoring civilians when ordering these attacks…….After 2 separate attacks and the deaths of 60+ children in Yemen the UN finally has issued a report on the action of the Saudis…..The report noted Saudi and UAE forces killed thousands of civilians in airstrikes, tortured detainees, raped civilians, and used child soldiers as young as eight. The two nations repeatedly hit residential areas and there is “little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties.”

After the report was issued the Saudis threw one of their fits…..

the UN confirmed in considerable detail misdeeds by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, killing thousands of civilians in Yemen, raping and torturing detainees, and using child soldiers. The report warned these may amount to war crimes.

While they didn’t specifically dispute any of this, Saudi Arabia was predictably furious about the report, angrily condemning it as having “misconstrued the facts of the conflict… ignoring the true reasons for the conflict,” while saying that it was an Iranian coup against the “legitimate government in Yemen.”


Not to worry….the Saudis will be protected by the US and the UK among others…..not to worry the Saudis have many “friends” on the Security Council so their position will be protected.

Many have asked just what does the US truly get for its undying support for the Saudis?

Ever since Franklin Roosevelt’s historic rendezvous in 1945 with Abd Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, American presidents have been enamored with Saudi kings.

But nothing in the 70 plus-year history of U.S.-Saudi ties comes close to the cosmic groveling that now defines President Donald Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and his slavish obeisance to its dangerous and irresponsible policies.

Personally, I think it is time to end our undying support for the Saudis and their allies and demand a cessation of hostilities in Yemen….end the cycle of death for the people of Yemen…..

If the US were to follow the rules of warfare written into US military law and treaties to which the US is a party, the US must immediately end its support for the Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen. We should also marshal all of its diplomatic tools to end the conflict. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia, and allies such as the United Arab Emirates, have been waging a devastating war in support of the former government of Yemen against the current Houthi regime. Amnesty International has called the conflict a “forgotten war” because its deadly consequences have failed to rise to the level of international crisis in media or government agendas. However, under former President Barack Obama and now Donald Trump, the US has been complicit in war crimes and the creation of a completely preventable humanitarian nightmare for the people of Yemen

After writing this draft the Saudis have accepted they may have screwed the pooch on these attacks…..

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen admitted on Saturday that “mistakes” had been made in an August air strike that hit a bus and killed 40 children, and pledged to hold accountable anyone who contributed to the error.

The rare concession follows mounting international pressure, including from allies, to do more to limit civilian casualties in a civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed the already impoverished country to the brink of famine, Reuters said.


Do not believe it!  My guess is the PR group told them to take credit and the story would die…if they did not the backlash would be great and a story for all times.

In closing…..the US involvement in this conflict is not guilt free…..

John McCain–American Hero

This will be my last tribute to the memory of John McCain…..Me I seldom agreed with this man on policy….he was a neocon and too pro war for my book…..however he was a man that met his obligation to the country by his military service.  He was loved by the GOP as well as hated by the same…..most people that “hated” the man had NO idea what he was about…..and the ones that speak the most vile crap are those that stayed home during war and hide behind deferments….

This is the last post I will write to John McCain…..

In my dictionary, a “hero” is 1) an illustrious warrior; 2) a man admired for his noble qualities;or 3) one who shows great courage. John McCain met all the criteria.

As a United States Navy pilot, McCain was daring to the point of recklessness, determined always to be in the thick of the fight. His conduct during a long and brutal captivity in Vietnam was the definition of nobility and courage.

His Senate career demonstrated courage of a different sort, as he staked out independent positions on issues ranging from immigration to torture to campaign finance.

In his final days, McCain was one of the few leaders of his party to directly challenge the Trump administration, calling for a restoration of civility in our politics, and integrity in our public life.

His last words to the country and its people…….

Before he died, John McCain wrote a farewell letter to Americans in which he expressed thanks for the privilege of serving and said the nation’s “present difficulties” would pass. See the full text at the Atlantic. Here are four excerpts:

  • “I’ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them. I’ve often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now, as I prepare for the end of my life. I’ve loved my life, all of it.”
  • “We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment, and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down …”
  • Our public debates can be nasty, but “we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times.”

“Do not despair of our present difficulties. We believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history. We make history. Farewell fellow Americans, God bless you, and God bless America.”

Once again in case it was missed…..See the full text at the Atlantic.

And that my friends is how a true American hero makes a speech.

Senator John McCain may you Rest In Peace.

Tribute To John McCain

Over the weekend we got the sad news that Sen.John McCain had passed away… a radical I seldom agreed with the man on policy… a Vietnam vet I respected the man……and I am sure that my reader will be seeing many tributes to McCain’s memory and his legacy…..

I share one that I read to his memory….

I did not join in the rather ghoulish anticipation of John McCain’s death indulged in by some war opponents. On Twitter, one aspiring attention-seeking pundit was suspended for her tasteless display of disdain for a dying man, and while there was an outcry (she was reinstated) I was not among the out-criers. For once I agreed with @jack, although I’m sure this meeting of the minds was purely coincidental and not likely to happen again: a little old-fashioned respect for the dying never hurt anyone. Far be it from me to cheer on the effects of cancer on a human being: I won’t do it, no matter who is involved.  This disrespectful rudeness was also indulged in by our President, another class act, who has more in common with his left-wing enemies than either is ready to acknowledge. (Trump eventually did his duty, however, albeit laconically.)

In his person, and his public pronouncements, McCain was the perfect representative of the nascent imperial class: born in the Panama Canal zone, the son of an Admiral, he was almost fated to become what he did indeed become – the archetypal Praetorian, the veritable embodiment of America’s post-World War II empire. A paladin of the cold war while it lasted, and a tireless advocate of post-cold war hegemonism, his favorite phrase was “boots on the ground,” and he championed this as a policy option for virtually every foreign policy problem confronted by US policymakers.

In these days to stupid a man of logic and truth will be sorely missed.

Good bye John and thanx for everything.  chuq

More Sad News!

While the media is jumping through their asses to cover Omarosa or that Manafort trial or whether a transgender person won an election another American soldier has died from wounds in Afghanistan…..

A Special Forces soldier from Hawaii died Sunday after being injured last week by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Monday in a statement, bringing the number of U.S. troops killed this year in combat in Afghanistan to five.

Sgt. 1st Class Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion, 36, of Waikoloa on Hawaii island was working alongside Afghan commandos in the Sangin district of Helmand province when he was killed by the bomb, which also wounded several Afghans and at least one other American, according to two military officials.

Transfiguracion was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, according to a biography released by the Army. He was born in the Philippines and enlisted in the Hawaii National Guard less than two months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Gov. David Ige said in a written statement Monday, “Hawaii has lost a brave soldier who sacrificed his life serving his country. My deepest condolences to Sgt. 1st Class Transfiguracion’s wife and children, and his entire ohana. Let our community come together to support them now and in the coming months.”

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “Staff Sgt. Reymund Transfiguracion served our country and the people of Hawaii honorably in the U.S. Army and as a member of the Hawaii National Guard. My condolences and aloha are with Staff Sgt. Transfiguracion’s wife, Edelyn, their two daughters, and the Transfiguracion ohana.”

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa tweeted Monday, “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Army Staff Sgt. 1st Class Reymund Rarogal Transfiguracion. Thank you, for your service. Please keep his wife, two children and family in your prayers. Remember to honor our troops and respect our veterans and their families.”


IST would like to add our sympathies to the family and friends of this brave American….Thank you for your sacrifice.

A video from a year ago……this is something that the Pentagon does not want the American people to see…..

This should be mandatory for the news to show each and every body returning to the US…..Americans need to know the cost of their wars…… as it is now they have little idea.

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!

Yemen Finally Makes The News!

For about half a decade the Saudis have been hammering Yemen, the Middle East poorest countries, with airstrikes…..most Americans have no idea where it is or why it is being fought….please take 8 minutes and learn about this conflict…..

Now that I have caught you up…..the incident that finally put the Yemen war in the news was the Saudi attack on a school bus…..

An airstrike hit a bus in a market in northern Yemen on Thursday, killing at least 43 people, including children, and wounding as many as 63, according to Yemen’s rebel-run Health Ministry. The airstrike came from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite Houthi rebels in the country, and the coalition said it was in retaliation for a missile fired at the kingdom the previous day. Yemen’s rebel-run Al Masirah TV aired dramatic images of wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood as they lay on hospital stretchers, per the AP. The attack took place in the Dahyan market in Saada province, a Houthi stronghold that lies along the border with Saudi Arabia. The bus was ferrying local civilians, including many children, according to Yemeni tribal leaders.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said an ICRC-supported hospital received dozens of dead and wounded following the attack. “Scores killed, even more injured, most under the age of ten,” adds the head of the ICRC in Yemen. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said the attack targeted rebels who had fired a missile at the kingdom’s south, killing one person and wounding 11 others. The coalition said Wednesday’s projectile, fired toward the southwestern Saudi city of Jizan, was intercepted and destroyed but its fragments caused the casualties. The spokesman insisted Thursday’s attack was a “legitimate military action.” Saudi Arabia backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government and has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015. The rebels control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sa’naa.

The Saudis are one of the US biggest customers for weapons and armament….as can be seen in this photo from the bus attack….

A prominent Yemeni journalist who throughout the war has been instrumental in getting images and information out of the country ahead of Western journalists has photographed and examined fragments from one of the exploded missiles found at the site of the US-Saudi coalition airstrike on a school bus in Yemen, which left as many as 50 people dead and 63 injured — the vast majority of which were children

The price of war that few want to hear….the death of children….unacceptable from a country that cares so little for their fellow man…..

This transgression will go the way of all such attacks….swept under the proverbial rug…..for you see NO ONE gives a shit especially Americans!

Turn The Page!