The Attack Of The Boars

This would be a good title for a discussion of Trump and his supporters….nothing is more boring than those people……but in this case I am talking about pigs (yes these same people could be called that…but not in this incident)…..the four legged type of pig.

It appears that ISIS has a new foe in the battle for Iraq……

An apparent ambush of ISIS militants is making headlines, if only because those who overpowered them were reportedly wild boars. A tribal leader in northern Iraq tells the Times of London the animals killed three members of the Islamic State and injured five others on Sunday. His best guess is that the militants were preparing to launch an ambush of their own near a Kurdish checkpoint some 55 miles from Kirkuk. “The area is dense with reeds, which are good for hiding in,” he says, but he speculates the men’s movements disturbed the boars.

Refugees fleeing fighting in the area spotted the bodies, and a Kurdish intelligence official floats an alternative theory—that the militants were near the checkpoint because they intended to defect and surrender, reports the Telegraph. Either way, ISIS responded by killing as many wild boars as they could in the area, he says.

NY Post had another take on this situation……..

A herd of wild boars became the latest group to join the fight against ISIS — killing three jihadi barbarians during a stampede this week in Iraq, according to reports.

At least eight ISIS fighters were taking cover among dense reeds in the al-Rashad region about 55 miles southwest of Kirkuk, preparing for a surprise strike on local anti-ISIS tribesmen when the hero boars charged them on Sunday, Newsweek reported.

But in the three days before the boars attacked, the militants executed 25 people attempting to escape the clutches of the terror group, Assi told the Times.

“We know that a massacre took place in Hawija district through our sources,” he said. “This will not be ISIS’s last massacre against citizens.”

ISIS is believed to have recovered the bodies of their dead , and have now began to shoot at the boars in retaliation.

This is a problem with a solution….EAT PORK!

This technique is a bit cheaper than bombs….a plan to consider….for it is better than anything that we are trying these days.

Misadventures In Paradise

Since the discovery of oil and its importance to nations there has been many adventures into the Middle East and in all that time none have actually considered the outcome of any meddling…..that is what happens when you chase profits.

Yep, America has been sticking its nose into the region for many decades and in all that time no one has ever understood the region therefore all of our intervention has been nothing more that one misadventure after another….

The American Conservative takes a look at the region and our interventions…..

“From now on,” President Donald Trump declared in his inaugural address, “it’s going to be only America first, America first!” If so, no region stands to be more affected than West Asia and North Africa—what Americans call “the Middle East.” America’s interests there are now entirely derivative rather than direct. They are a function of the self-appointed roles of the United States as the warden of world order, the guarantor of other nations’ security, the shepherd of the world economy, and the custodian of the global commons. If America is now to look out only for itself, it has little obvious reason to be much involved in the Middle East.

The United States is a secular democracy. It has no intrinsic interest in which theology rules hearts or dominates territory in the Middle East. It is not itself now dependent on energy imports from the Persian Gulf or the Maghreb. For most of the two-and-a-half centuries since their country was born, Americans kept a healthy distance from the region and were unharmed by events there. They extended their protection to specific nations in the Middle East as part of a global struggle against Soviet communism that is long past. What happens in the region no longer determines the global balance of power.

Source: America’s Misadventures in the Middle East | The American Conservative

Many wish that we could claim a victory in our adventurism….sadly we cannot….most of today’s problems can be seen through the eyes of Lebanon in the 1980’s……

We should take a step back and re-think of war in the Middle East…..for the scorecard today is not good……

Make no mistake: after 15 years of losing wars, spreading terror movements, and multiplying failed states across the Greater Middle East, America will fight the next versions of our ongoing wars. Not that we ever really stopped.

Sure, Washington traded in George W. Bush’s expansive, almost messianic attitude toward his Global War on Terror for Barack Obama’s more precise, deliberate, even cautious approach to an unnamed version of the same war for hegemony in the Greater Middle East.

Sure, in the process kitted-up 19 year-olds from Iowa became less ubiquitous features on Baghdad’s and Kabul’s busy boulevards, even if that distinction was lost on the real-life targets of America’s wars—and the bystanders (call them “collateral damage”) scurrying across digital drone display screens.

Source: How to Lose the Next War in the Middle East | War Is Boring

This is not the first time that I have called for a fresh approach to the Middle East…..old school solutions have done nothing but waste lives, equipment and money for decades.

Every question that can be answered must be answered or at least engaged. Illogical thought processes must be challenged when they arise.Wrong answers must be corrected.Correct answers must be affirmed. —From the Erudite faction manifesto

Syria: Another Regime Change?

Since the gas attack and the subsequent missile attack the chants of “Assad must go” have amplified….and the ever popular….”Assad’s days are numbered”…these are nothing more than cute slogans and one liners…..

I tried to give my reader my take on what “regime change” would look like for Syria…….

Source: What’s The Syrian Endgame? – In Saner Thought

Let’s say that we have success with a Syrian regime change….(wait!  I need to stop laughing)…..really….what are the options that the “leaders” are considering for this mythical regime change?

Beyond the narrow justification of these strikes as being necessary to reinforce an eroding international norm against the use of chemical weapons, this U.S. military intervention has resurfaced questions concerning the ultimate strategy that the Trump Administration is pursuing in Syria.  Before the strikes, senior administration officials including Secretary of State (SecState) Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Halley suggested that U.S. policy would abandon even the pretense of President Barack Obama’s objective of ousting Assad from power in Damascus[3].  However, in the aftermath of the strikes, the Trump Administration signaled an apparent about-face as National Security Advisor (NSA) Herbert Raymond “H. R.” McMaster declared that U.S. policy in Syria would “simultaneously” pursue the twin goals of destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and removing Assad[4].  While the fight against ISIS is making significant progress, the administration has not yet articulated a detailed strategy for pursuing the ouster of Assad.  There are two broad options available:

Source: U.S. Options for Regime Change in Syria | RealClearDefense

Sorry but I may offer an opinion neither of these two options will hold the key to a successful regime change.

Look at Iraq…..that alone should deter these toads from either of the two options….In the post referenced above from IST I set forth what the future of Syria will look like.

I wish I could be more optimistic, you see I have lived in Syria many years ago and I liked the country and the people, there is not much left in the country for a successful transition to democracy.

I am positive that Syria can bounce back from this Hell….but not so with the way the US is approaching the problem…..and for now that is all there is….

Let’s Debate Syria

Yesterday in class a student requested a substantive talk on the Syrian situation….and since I encourage my students to research a situation I decided to closed down my lesson for a half hour to have a debate on Syria….( I have the power)…..

The young lady started with that she understood why we were in Syria but was confused why so many people compare it to Iraq.  She was not sure why.

I spent about 10 minutes explaining the mash up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq…that apparently it was started on lies.

She then asked if not doing something in the face of humanitarian crisis would have been the right thing……I asked her she was talking about non-intervention….she was…..after about 5 minutes of back and forth I asked her where she had got her info for the questions….

This is the report that she had read…….

It’s remarkable just how little the basic contours of the Syria debate have changed, despite more than five years of brutal civil war. The same perceptions and misperceptions about intervention dominate today. In some ways, they are even worse now because of the distorting figure of President Donald Trump. Is it possible to separate one’s feelings about the man from the recognition that he is, whether we like it or not, our commander-in-chief?

Source: A practical guide for avoiding fallacies on Syria | Brookings Institution

After we talked for awhile longer and I told her that Brookings did some good research and papers….but that they have an agenda….like most think tanks….they say they are non-partisan but most consider them a liberal think tank…in so it has been known to change views depending of politics…..that it is a good place to start but not to end.

I decide to forgo the lesson plan for the day and to talk to the class about Syria…in the headlines but few know why…..

Below is a good synopsis…..

As the Syrian conflict enters its seventh year, more than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, more than a million injured and over 12 million Syrians – half the country’s prewar population – have been displaced from their homes.

In 2011, what became known as the Arab Spring revolts toppled Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Source: Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning | News | Al Jazeera

After 5 years and an all out assault on a Syrian airbase……what should come next?

Whether one believes they were the long-overdue response to the Syrian regime’s brutality, a one-off event that will not affect the conflict’s trajectory, a risky step that could prompt military escalation or all of the above, the 7 April U.S. missile strikes on Syria’s Shayrat air base in response to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons should be seized upon as an opportunity to jumpstart diplomatic efforts. The strikes have heightened tension between Moscow and Washington. Yet, this added volatility and the risks attached to it could and should prompt more serious pursuit by the two countries of their purportedly common interest: de-escalating violence sufficiently to establish a meaningful political track. This can be best achieved by deepening rather than breaking off U.S.-Russian cooperation.

Source: Syria after the U.S. Strike: What Should Come Next | Crisis Group

I have said a couple of times that I am disturbed on how the media has framed this…..they are basically a cheerleader for military action…..and has uplifted Trump from “Dud to Dude”……

It is pretty amazing how quickly the media and suck-up politicians can transform a mendacious, hypocritical, amateurish, ignorant, incoherent, bigoted buffoon who is way, way out of his depth into a man of courage, which is what they did to President Trump this past weekend. All it takes is some saber rattling and launching a few dozen missiles. Granted, the Trump brand is already so tarnished that he didn’t get the bounce or the adulation that the Bushes, pere and fils, got when they began their wars. According to one poll, only 51 percent of Americans approved of Trump’s action, but given that Trump’s favorability rating has hovered around or even south of 40 percent, this is an improvement.

Source: Why Trump Was Able to Sucker the World on Syria | By Neal Gabler | Common Dreams

Trump has drawn his little line in the sand (the problem with those lines is a wind blows up and they disappear) and all the king’s boyz have had their say on Syria….but really what is next?

Since World War II, every war America started without just cause it lost. Vietnam and the second Iraq War are tragic proof of this conclusion. But America also failed when it intervened with military force for similarly flawed reasons. The reasons are obvious. First, America failed to exercise sound strategic thinking and judgment. Second, America lacked sufficient knowledge and understanding of conditions in which force was used.

In other terms, White Houses never answered the fatal “what next?” question. Congresses never demanded answers. And the public was too often disengaged and disinterested to demand accountability.

Source: Does America ever learn? What next in Syria? – UPI.com

All in all a good session in class…..BTW the young lady that started the class down this path will be getting a favorable grade for showing initiative on the Syria situation…..(I need more like her)……

According To Law…..Was It Legal?

Since the attack there has been international outcry saying that the attack was a violation of international law…I am writing about that issue here today….

The first “Press” is from the site of a regular visitor to IST….Green Road Journal…….

According to the Syrian News Agency SANA, the US led Coalition has carried out targeted airstrikes against a chemical weapons depot in Hatla, east of Deir Ezzor. The depot is held by ISIS-Daesh terrorists:
The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the aircrafts of the so-called “US-led International Alliance” on Wednesday between the hour 17:30 and 17:50 carried out an airstrike against a position of ISIS terrorists that includes a large number of foreign mercenaries in the village of Hatla to the east of Deir Ezzor, causing a white cloud that became yellow as a result of the explosion of a huge store that includes a large amount of toxic materials.

Source: Trump’s Missile Attack On Syria; Mass Media Ignores Truth, Morality, Legality And Verifiable Facts, Most Had Orgasmic Reaction To Shooting Off Hard Upright Missiles In Tubes; War Drums Beating, Military Industrial Complex Celebrating | A Green Road Journal

Next is from a major site…Politico….they defend the attack as a legal response….

“No child of God should ever suffer such horror,” argued President Donald Trump during his statement justifying last Thursday’s U.S. missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military. Since then, his decision has faced withering scrutiny, particularly on legal grounds. Critics, from Russia to some members of Congress, have argued the military action was an illegal violation of Syria’s sovereignty. “Whatever it is,” tweeted Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith in response to a question about what the legal justification for the strike was, “it exceeds all prior precedents under domestic and international law.” Use of chem weapons is horrific,” tweeted ACLU national security lawyer Hina Shamsi, “but Trump’s military action violates Constitution & U.N. charter. No legit domestic or international law basis.”

Source: Why Trump’s Attack on Syria Is Legal – POLITICO Magazine

I have given as many posts as possible on this action….I want my reader to be as well informed as anyone……they will decide the validity of this attack.

I still am wondering why NO one and I mean NO ONE is asking the question about the number of missiles fired and the damage done to the airfield….this “attack” does not pass the smell test…..neither the action or the reaction can pass the test.

A Drive-By Tomahawking

I has been a week since the US attacked the Syrian airfield….and the analysis is still going on……personally, I want answers and I believe that most of my readers do also (but I could be mistaken for some want to believe).

Since the attack by the US on the Syrian airfield I have been trying to give all sides of the debate…..this is a piece I found on the Libertarian Institute website.

On Friday, the fact-checking organization weighed in on the legal debate over President Trump’s April 6 bombing of a Syrian airfield, with two essays concluding it was A-OK, constitutionally. “In some cases, people saying Trump needed congressional approval have gone too far” Politifact’s Lauren Carroll pronounces. For instance, Rep. Marc Pocan’s (D-WI) claim that there’s “no legal basis” for the strikes rates a full-on, needle-in-the-red “FALSE” on P-fact’s patented “Truth-o-Meter.” Tom Kertscher of Politifact Wisconsin asserts that: “For limited military activities like the missile strike, presidents can send in forces without approval from Congress.” You see, while the president may not have the legal authority to unilaterally launch a full-scale war, he can—if he thinks it’s a good idea, and assures himself it won’t bog us down—order up acts of war that don’t rise to the level of war: a light dusting of cruise missiles—a micro-aggression, constitutionally speaking.

Source: Weak Legal Pretext for Trump’s Drive-By Tomahawking – The Libertarian Institute

But with all the info available was this strike necessary?

Knowing that the evidence refuted the claim that the Syrian Air Force was responsible for the April 4, 2017 chemical nerve agent attack, the National Security Council (NSC) manufactured a false claim that intelligence actually supported [President Donald J. Trump’s] decision to attack Syria, and…to accuse Russia of being either complicit or a participant in an alleged atrocity,” according to Theodore A. Postol, an MIT Professor of Science , Technology and National Security, who has previously served as a scientific adviser to the Chief of Naval Operations.

Postol’s conclusions were set forth in three successive reports. In the first, the renowned scientist concluded that the photographic evidence of a bomb crater relied upon by the White House does not support the conclusion “the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it was dropped from a plane.” To the contrary, the evidence “clearly indicates that the munition was almost certainly placed on the ground with an explosive on top of it that crushed the container so as to disperse the alleged load of sarin.

Source: MIT Scientist: “White House Lied, Manufactured Evidence to Justify Tomahawk Missile Strike.” – LA Progressive

I believe the only way that we can have a overview of the situation is to check out all sides of the debate….

The missiles used were Tomahawk missiles….and according to most reports all 59 did not hit their target, there is a bit of confusion on just how many……but this then leads us to ask….if the missiles were not that accurate or were somehow intercepted then just how effective can they be?

While researching (something everyone should do before they voice an ignorant opinion) I found a Defense site that questions the Tomahawks existence….

As the U.S. military prepares to do combat in an increasingly threatening and competitive global arena, the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile may not be “the weapons system solution for the future,” the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said April 13.

“I think we have to decide what’s next after Tomahawk,” said Air Force Gen. Paul Selva at an Air Force Association breakfast in Arlington, Virginia. “My gut tells me, as I look at the requirements a decade or more out, that a subsonic, non-stealthy, low-maneuvering, unitary warhead may not be the answer.”

Source: Senior Pentagon Official Casts Doubt on Tomahawk Missiles Future

I will admit that I do hold some of the same beliefs on foreign policy as the Libertarians…..I do have a problem with their domestic stuff so they are out as far as support during elections…..some politicos need to embrace their issues on foreign policy but as it is today we have NO opposition to continuous war….the voices that are there are sidelined by accusations and innuendo perpetrated by the MSM.

Please let me know what you think about this situation.

Yemen: The War To Come

The US has become so involved in the Middle East that we seem to look for every opportunity to jump into another conflict….or as some say….a war.

We have been playing in the shadows of a conflict for several decades…that country is Yemen.

I have been keeping my readers up to date on this conflict…..my most recent post……

Source: Yemen–Vital Conflict – In Saner Thought

The latest comment from one of our enlightened leaders was from CentCom commander…Gen. Votel…….

As the White House is reportedly weighing deeper military involvement in the Yemeni civil war alongside Middle Eastern allies, America’s top commander in the region told Congress “there are vital U.S. interests at stake” in the fight.
Army Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the U.S. does not want Yemen to be used as a sanctuary for attacks against the U.S. and allies or for militants to choke off the Red Sea’s Bab el-Mandeb strait, which runs past Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula as well as Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa.
Yes Irene…….the White House is considering a deeper involvement in Yemen…..

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has asked the White House to lift Obama-era restrictions on U.S. military support for Persian Gulf states engaged in a protracted civil war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to senior Trump administration officials.

In a memo this month to national security adviser H.R. ­McMaster, Mattis said that “limited support” for Yemen operations being conducted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — including a planned Emirati offensive to retake a key Red Sea port — would help combat a “common threat.”

But I ask if this is really necessary?

Does the US need to be doubling down in Yemen?  Isn’t our plate full enough?

While all eyes are focused on Syria, the United States is busy making extremely bad situation in Yemen even worse. In the wake of the recent Washington visit of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Trump administration has significantly increased its support for the Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. But lacking clear objectives, a plausible theory of victory, or an exit strategy, neither the United States nor Saudi Arabia is playing a winning hand in Yemen. While there may be opportunities in Yemen and elsewhere in the region for U.S. cooperation with the Sunni Arabs in containing Iran, siding with Saudi Arabia and its partners in Yemen’s civil war has implicated America in a strategically ill-conceived and morally reprehensible military campaign and risks dragging the United States into a quagmire.

Source: Doubling Down on America’s Misadventure in Yemen

The Saudis two year air campaign in Yemen is causing a huge humanitarian crisis….so is the US interest in Yemen a way to protect the Saudis from the blow back coming for their inhuman attacks on the Yemeni population?

What is the end game for the US in Yemen?

We are told that it is to help crush AQAP?  Really?

Does anyone know the truth?  I do not believe it is anything to do with the press it is getting….how about you?