Syria: The Rest Of The Story

2018 is the year that a foreign policy wonk will be the most important person….why you may ask…..

A year ago the media and the president and his men could not talk enough about Syria…..and now you cannot find a word on the MSM news sites…..but just because there is nothing on FOX News does not mean there is nothing happening…..

Well everyone is patting themselves on the back with the defeat of ISIS and the caliphate…..well that is what Trump and his minions would have you believe….ISIS is not gone and will not be forgotten.

First….the caliphate may be all but a memory…..but the emirate looms large……in the city of Idlib….that would be Syria…….

While the representatives of Free Syria Army (FSA) are in Washington soliciting the Trump administration to restore the CIA’s ‘train and equip’ program for the Syrian militants that was shuttered in July last year, hundreds of Islamic State’s jihadists have joined the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ in Idlib in their battle against the advancing Syrian government troops backed by the Russian airstrikes to liberate the strategically important Abu Duhur airbase, according to a recent AFP report [1] by Maya Gebeily.

The Islamic State already had a foothold in neighboring Hama province and its infiltration in Idlib seems to be an extension of its outreach. On January 12, the Islamic State officially declared Idlib one of its ‘Islamic governorates,’ has reportedly captured five villages and claimed to had killed two dozen Syrian soldiers and taken 20 hostages.

We will ignore the emirate thingy…..Tillerson has stated recently that there will be a open end presence for troops in Syria……

Pentagon officials have been indicating for quite some time that they have no intention of leaving Syria, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on Wednesday, finally set out the new US policy goals aimed at justifying what he described as an “open-ended” deployment.

Instead of a “counter-terror” operation focused on ISIS, the US presence is now also intended to generally fight against Iranian influence, to facilitate refugee returns to Syria and, most scandalously, to “ensure the departure of the Assad regime.”

The US has long insisted on regime change in Syria, but never before suggested that their military deployment in the country was anything to do with that, let alone that the US might try to impose regime change militarily.

With the legal justification for the US deployment in Syria already shaky, at best, with no authorization from the Syrian government, re-positioning the war away from ISIS and toward a war with the Syrian government and its allies makes an open-ended deployment even less tenable.


First of all Tillerson is SecState not SecDef….so any use of US troops should be made by the SecDef…..and I guess we have returned to the old days of nation building.

I guess everyone is worried about Iran…….only because Israel wants it that way…..


Afghanistan: The Rest Of The Story

Do I need to point out that  Afghanistan is the US longest war?  I didn’t think so.

Every president since Bush2 has pretended that there is some sort of grand plan for the conflict in Afghanistan… has been a lie since 2001….some say that the key to Afghanistan is through Pakistan….

As 2018 begins, Pakistan has not stopped its support of terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, in any fundamental ways.

America and its Coalition partners have now been at war in Afghanistan for six years longer than the Soviets were at war in Afghanistan.

There are a number of reasons why the war in Afghanistan is a protracted stalemate, but a huge one lies in the delusion that portrayed Pakistan as a friend and, until now, impaired clear-eyed thinking about a strategy for Pakistan.

The reason for the stalemate is the support and sanctuary that the Pakistani security establishment has continued to provide to the enemies of the Afghans, Americans and the Coalition partners.

Pakistan is the hideout for many within the Taleban and has been since the early days of America’s involvement…..the Taleban has been a thorn in the US collective butt….but what is most amazing is that the US needs the Taleban intact to justify its time in Afghanistan…..

I read an interview with some people from Afghanistan about the necessity of the Taleban for the US and its proxies…..

“Whoever sits in the White House will continue to serve the 1% and spread wars across the world, to maintain the US hegemony. Many corporations, arms manufacturers and corporate-employed mercenaries, benefit from the war itself, or from extravagant reconstruction opportunities the war destruction creates. The increase in the number of US troops is not to secure the country or annihilate the US creations, the Taliban and ISIS, but rather a show of US power to rivals, Russia, China and Iran.

Despite all their differences, the US and Iran’s aim in Afghanistan converge on one point: the promotion of fundamentalist thought, and continued support for the most reactionary, dark-minded and criminal fundamentalist elements. While the US killed hundreds of Afghan revolutionaries and freedom-fighters through its fundamentalist mercenaries in the 1980s and 90s, it used these tactics to prevent the rise of nationalist, freedom-fighting and independent figures and forces that would resist its occupation and bullying,”

The US will continue to fight and die in Afghanistan as long as it stays profitable…..and the president and his minions will continue to lie as long as the M-IC needs then to do so.

Death In Mali

I have been watching this situation and of course writing about it……

On June 4, Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar — a 34-year-old Army Green Beret — was found dead in US Embassy housing in Mali while he was on a secret assignment. Investigators currently believe he was strangled to death — and that two members of SEAL Team 6 may have killed him.

Murder among US service members is relatively rare, but it’s especially shocking to see that the two suspects — Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, and a still-unnamed sailor, both Melgar’s roommates — form part of one of the most revered military units in the United States. SEAL Team 6 became internationally famous for successfully killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

A probe, first reported by the New York Times, is ongoing — and no one has yet been charged with a crime. But it appears the suspected SEALs changed their story and lied about about what happened. The Daily Beast reports that Melgar found out the two SEALs were taking some money designated for an informant fund. The SEALs asked Melgar if he wanted to get involved, but he declined.

This situation is being dragged out because of the “team spirit” thingy… the wagons and protect our own….BS!  If murder was committed then someone needs to pay… is truly sad…..American soldier killing another American soldier……

Not much more is known now as it was when this first came to my attention…..

Americans killing Americans……

Another Soldier’s Death

WE begin another year of war in Afghanistan and more US death…..

A U.S. Special Forces soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday came under small-arms fire while on a foot patrol, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, was killed in Nangarhar province’s Achin district, an area in which U.S. forces have been combating both the Islamic State and the Taliban. The Islamic State in Khorasan, the militant group’s Afghan affiliate, established roots there in the mountainous area along Pakistan’s border in 2014, and the U.S. military launched raids and airstrikes there in 2017 as it stepped up its campaign against the group.

Golin was a Special Forces weapons sergeant with 10th Special Forces Group, of Fort Bragg, N.C., the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a news release Wednesday. A native of Riga, Latvia, he moved to Fort Lee, N.J., in October 2004 and joined the Army a few months later in January 2005.

Golin initially served as an infantryman, deploying once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He joined Special Forces in 2014, and deployed to Afghanistan in September.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this time of grief…..may he rest in peace.

Closing Thought–26Dec17

The deaths just keep mounting up….the latest is in Iraq….

A 20-year-old soldier from Turlock died in Iraq on Wednesday in a noncombat-related incident, according to a Department of Defense news release.

The release identified the soldier as Spc. Avadon A. Chaves. The incident is under investigation, and his family declined to comment upon the circumstances of his death. Chaves was a specialist in the infantry.  Chaves died at Al Asad, Al Anbar Province, Iraq, according to the news release. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Bliss, Texas.

IST wishes the family well and may their loved one rest in peace.

Closing Thought–20Dec17

I have written several posts about the deaths of special ops troopers in the West African country of Niger and there has been a story around the death of Green Beret La David Johnson….there has been so many theories around why his body was not found with his comrades and found 2 days after the others…..there has been an update to the story…..

An American soldier killed during an ambush in Niger with three comrades wasn’t captured alive by the enemy or executed at close range, the AP has learned. A military investigation found evidence he apparently fought to the end. Dispelling a swirl of rumors about how Sgt. La David T Johnson, 25, of Florida, died, the report has determined that he was killed by enemy gunfire from an offshoot of the Islamic State group. A 12-member Army special forces unit was accompanying 30 Nigerien forces when they were ambushed in a densely wooded area by as many as 50 militants carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Officials familiar with the investigation say Johnson was hit as many as 18 times by a volley of machine gun rounds and that he was returning fire.

The bodies of three US Green Berets who died during the firefight were located on the day of the attack, but Johnson’s remains were found two days later. The gap in time led to questions about whether Johnson was taken away by the enemy. The report found there were no indications he was shot at close range or had been bound or taken prisoner, as several media reports have suggested. Officials say that during the attack, Johnson and two Nigerien soldiers became separated with the others as they tried to get to a vehicle to escape. The report concluded that Johnson, who was athletic and a runner, was in the lead and got the farthest away, seeking cover in the brush. Officials say there were a number of enemy shells around Johnson, and evidence that he appeared to fight to the end.

Hopefully this will be all there is to this…I am sure that his wife and family want an end to this drama so that he may rest in peace…..

I must be off for now….I will be back later with more stuff….have a good evening my friends…..chuq

Is This Country Addicted To War?

Almost every time the president speaks on foreign affairs he basically threatens someone.

After listening to Fearless Fosdick I had a thought……is this country addicted?  Well we are addicted to crappy news coverage……and I think we are addicted to war….why else would we be fighting in so many countries……but someone agrees with me…….

It’s been going on for so many years – Predators cruising, looking for their prey. Some attention has since been paid to the phenomenon and to the devastating effect their actions have had on their victims, but it hasn’t really mattered. The predation has only spread.

Oh, before I go any further, let me clear up one possible bit of confusion. I’m not talking about Charlie Rose, Roy Moore, Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, or any of that crew of predators. I’m talking about America’s robotic killers, the drones that long ago were grimly named Predators (retired this year) and their more advanced cousins, the Reapers (as in Grim…), who have taken a once-illegal American activity, political assassination, and made it the well-respected law of the land and increasingly of huge swaths of the globe.

Let me say here that I am anti-war and have been since 1972…….I truly believe that we are addicted to war…..I have seen that another question was asked by the American Conservative……who among us would support an indefensible war?

The war on Yemen has de facto support from both parties in Washington and has been enabled reliably by both the Obama and Trump administrations, but very few people seem willing to defend that policy publicly. Except for occasionally publishing propaganda pieces by Saudi government representatives, the reliably hawkish Wall Street Journal editorial page says virtually nothing on the subject. There is not much of the usual cheerleading that we are used to seeing when a U.S. client government is waging an unjust war on its neighbors. The war is simply ignored here in the U.S. for the most part, and its tacit supporters are no exception. It is understandable that there would be few people interested in publicly trying to defend the indefensible, but it is still somewhat remarkable that a war that no one can honestly justify commands so much automatic backing.

To my chagrin I find myself agreeing with a lot of what the American Conservative magazine has to say…..never did I think that was possible in the past……but these days they are making some outstanding observations… the most recent article in the magazine…….

“We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea,” declaimed Rex Tillerson last week in Vienna.

“Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

Tillerson’s principled rejection of the seizure of land by military force—“never accept”—came just one day after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and pledged to move our embassy there.

How did Israel gain title to East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights? Invasion, occupation, colonization, annexation.

While Buchanan writes little that I agree with I do however like what he wrote in the above article…..