Death Of A Statesman

Sad news today….the death of one of the last statesmen left in the US Congress, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland….

Rep. Elijah Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office says. He was 68. A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a House committee that investigated President Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs. As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House, the AP reports.

Cummings was born on Jan. 18, 1951. In grade school, a counselor told Cummings he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly, and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer. “I was devastated,” Cummings the AP in 1996. “My whole life changed. I became very determined.” It steeled Cummings to prove that counselor wrong. He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the statehouse, where he entered office in 1983. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in a special election in 1996. The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted that Cummings “generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state, and nation for so many years.”

Rep, Cummings will be sadly missed by the Congress and the nation…..our Congress have so few actual statesman…men/women of conviction and decency….

IST would like to offer our warmest feelings toward the Representative and his family……

May He Rest In Peace.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

Afghanistan–What The Hell?

Our longest ever war has had a couple of bad days in the last week…….it seems that we have nset about killing a bunch of civilians on two occasions in less than 5 days….

First on 19 Sept……..

US forces carried out their latest disastrous air strike in Afghanistan. A US drone attacked and killed at least 30 civilians, and wounded 40 others in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.

The victims of the attack were farm workers who were participating in the harvest of pine nuts in a village’s forest, and a number of children who were also there to take part in the harvest.

What adds insult to injury, however, was that the village elders had foreseen this as an issue, and specifically sent letters around to officials two weeks ago. The letters, dated September 7, were meant to assure that the gathering on the outskirts of the forest was nothing to do with militants, and was merely hired laborers for the harvest. They were assured this was not a problem.

So about 200 workers gathered around a camp on the edge of the forest, lit bonfires, and talked about the security situation at their respective villages of origin. Then the US drone arrived and started attacking the camp, sending survivors fleeing into the forest.

US officials downplayed the fact that there was a letter informing everyone what this camp was. The official statement was that the existence of the letter would be considered in the investigation.

(antiwar.com)

Second attack was on 23 Sept the second attack……

For the second time in a week, a US military operation in Afghanistan has ended with a large number of civilians dead, and US officials offering very dubious arguments as to why it wasn’t their fault.

The Sunday night attack saw US and Afghan commandos raid a house in Helmand Province, and ultimately launch airstrikes. The attack killed at least 40 civilians, including a number of children.

Instead of the Taliban building they thought they were raiding, it turns out the airstrike pounded an ongoing wedding reception. The Afghan government has already admitted to what happened, saying they are “saddened” by the deaths and want to take extra caution in the future.

Because the US is on one of those kicks where they don’t take responsibility for anything, the US statement confirmed the airstrike but denied killing civilians. They claimed the attack targeted al-Qaeda, and suggested any civilians “died from al-Qaeda weapons,” and not from the US dropping bombs on them.

(antiwar.com)

I realize that collateral damage involving civilians is a common occurrence in war but this is pushing the limits of acceptability.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Sad News For A Saturday

I regret that I must report on yet another death of a US soldier in Afghanistan……

A U.S. service member died in combat Thursday in Afghanistan a little over a week after two Army Green Berets were killed by enemy small-arms fire.

A statement from Operation Resolute Support officials in Kabul did not identify the service member or branch of service. Pentagon policy mandates that names of personnel killed are not released until 24 hours after the next of kin are notified.

This latest casualty marks the 15th service member to die in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, which has become the deadliest year since the U.S. formally ended combat operations in 2014.

(military.com)

It is to for the candidates to answer question on the policies and the wars we are fighting….too many fine Americans have given their lives.

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IST offers our condolences to the family…..our thoughts are with you and yours on this weekend.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Just How Stupid Are They?

Every day it seems that some ignorant mental midget grabs a gun and goes on a rampage…..and the pundits and wonks have the same coverage and conversation on a growing problem…..and the same result of all the debate and analysis….we wait for the next attack so we can have the “talk” all over again.

Basically it is……deaths….talks…..wait….rinse and repeat……

I had my little rant because of something completely different….it is the butt hurt Rep from California Devin Nunes who is suing Twitter for 250 million……

Newsweek reported that an attorney representing Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is arguing that two parody Twitter accounts making fun of the congressman are as dangerous as guns.

The lawsuit alleges that the parody accounts, called “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” constitute “an orchestrated defamation campaign of stunning breadth and scope, one that no human being should ever have to bear and suffer in their whole life,” and for Twitter to keep them operating is equivalent to negligently giving someone a firearm without determining if they are qualified to use it.

Nunes filed the $250 million defamation suit against these two Twitter accounts, as well as Twitter itself and Never Trump GOP strategist Liz Mair, earlier this year. He has also alleged that Twitter was secretly “shadow banning” his account by preventing people from finding him in search results, which Twitter says never happened, and which doesn’t present any clear legal injury even if it was true.

(Raw Story)

If you are against gun laws then I suggest you read that again.  (Pause here for the slower readers)

Maybe someone should tell the idiot Nunes that he is doing some damage just because he got butt hurt over criticism.

This lawsuit could have wide ranging consequences…..I am not a lawyer but even I can see the chances here….maybe the NRA should hold a consultation with Nunes and suggest that he drop the lawsuit to avoid any long term damage he could possibly do.

“An action has an equal but opposition reaction”

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–13Aug19

I try to post whenever I read or hear about another US soldier dies in our many years of intervention….my readers need to know….

The Pentagon is investigating the combat death of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer/

The latest is a Marine from 2nd Raider Bn. killed in Iraq….

The Pentagon identified a US Marine killed in Iraq this weekend as Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer.

Koppenhafer, 35, of Mancos, Colorado, was killed Saturday by enemy small arms fire while conducting combat operations, the Department of Defense said in a Sunday news release.
Koppenhafer was killed while advising and accompanying Iraqi Security Forces on a planned operation in Nineveh province, Iraq, according to a press release from Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
 
According to Marine Corps Times, Koppenhafer was named “Marine Special Operator of the Year” in 2018 by the Marine Corps Association for his role in guiding elite Iraqi Special Operations Forces in northern Iraq.
Koppenhafer was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the official name for the US-led operation fighting ISIS. A Pentagon inspector general’s report on the fight against ISIS released earlier this month warned that “despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was re-surging in Syria.”
 
(cnn.com)
Now there seems to be some question about his death…..

He was first reported to have died by small-arms enemy fire. The Pentagon is now looking into whether he was accidentally shot by U.S. or Iraqi forces instead.

Most of the 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq train Iraqi security forces and conduct counterterrorism operations, according to the newspaper. A report by the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General released earlier this year said ISIS militants were waging an “effective clandestine” insurgency in Iraq and Syria and still pose a significant threat

Death by friendly fire……

Too many of our best are maimed and killed in these useless conflicts….conflicts that are not needed only to pad some back accounts.

Take a few moments to give some thought for the family…..may their loved one Rest In Peace.

“Lego ergo Scribo”

Closing Thoughts–06Aug19

Some good news from the Korean War….more than two dozen MIAs have been identified by the remains returned by North Korea….

Defense Department officials have identified 25 more missing service members from the cases of remains turned over by North Korean officials last year, a major advance for dozens of families who have waited decades for closure in the deaths of their loved ones.

The identifications were first announced by Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday afternoon and later confirmed by officials at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency during their annual briefing to families of the Korean War, held in Washington.

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the news “A promise kept from the agreement between (North Korean) Chairman Kim (Jong Un) and President Donald Trump … to return all of our fallen heroes.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/08/02/more-than-two-dozen-missing-korean-war-troops-just-identified-from-returned-remains/

This excellent news for the families of these fallen heroes….may they now get the closure that they have waited so long to obtain.

This is one of the few positive things to come out of the dealings with Kim and North Korea…..these families deserved to know the fate of their loved ones.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–27Jun19

More sad news to report…..2 more American soldiers have died in Afghanistan in a firefight with the Taleban…..

Two US soldiers were reported killed Wednesday in a firefight in Afghanistan. This brings the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to nine.

Details are somewhat conflicting, with the two soldiers, part of a Special Forces team, killed by small arms fire in a fight with the Taliban. US officials claimed the fight was in southern Uruzgan Province, while the Taliban said it was in eastern Wardak Province.

It isn’t clear why the two sides offered different accounts of where the fight happened, and it’s worth noting that the two provinces in question don’t even border one another. Early reports suggested that the Taliban had ambushed the US troops.

With 9 US troops killed in only the first half of 2019, their casualties are tracking a multi-year high. 13 were killed in 2018, and 11 more were killed in 2017. Though this is below the highs of early in the war’s first decade, the tolls have been rising over the past couple of years.

This reflects the Trump Administration’s decision to escalate the war in 2017. The war continues to rage,

(antiwar.com)

For more information about these deaths we go to the Stars and Stripes……https://www.stripes.com/two-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan-were-special-forces-in-close-quarters-fight-according-to-report-1.587645

Enough is enough…..it is time for war to be put to bed as a foreign policy technique……it is an election in about 18 months and what better time to make the cessation of war a prime policy for the candidates?

When will the American start to care about the deaths our presidents have ordered?

As the old song says….”Give Peace A Chance”……

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo” (I think therefore I write)