Yes We Have No SecDef

Closing Thought–21Jun19

First,  good news for US soccer fans…US has moved on from group play scoring 18 goals in 3 games…They start the knock out round with Spain…….the other good news is the French Gran Prix this Sunday……

The first day of Summer and we still have no real SecDef…..

It’s a difficult time for the Pentagon to be without a permanent U.S. defense secretary.

The Trump administration is grappling with an escalating crisis with Iran, an unusual and controversial deployment of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, the nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan and stalled talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Amid all that, and more, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down this week and the man tapped to replace him on an interim basis appears to face legal hurdles that could initially prevent him from serving more than about six more weeks. It’s an unusual level of uncertainty for one of the most important jobs in the administration.

https://www.apnews.com/a6cfc870fb8e4f9ca2dce63471eefce0

Pres. Trump’s acting SecDef Shanahan has tucked tail and ran from the Pentagon….but which war hawk will get the nod as the new chief of the Pentagon?

Arkansas’ senator, Tom Cotton, has be auditioning for a cabinet post for two years……or will Trump be satisfied with another ‘acting” secretary he has appointed Mark Esper……

Who will be the next SecDef?

For the second time in six months, President Donald Trump is searching for his next defense secretary.

After enjoying stability atop Pentagon leadership for the first two years of his presidency, Trump has been unable find a permanent appointee for his Defense Department Cabinet post since Jim Mattis was forced out of office on Jan. 1.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was announced as that replacement last month, but on Tuesday withdrew his name from consideration amid reports of past domestic violence incidents involving his family. Army Secretary Mark Esper will take his place while a new nominee is chosen.

 
So far the five names being floated around show NO indication of being qualified for the job….but that has NEVER stopped Trump from nominating subservient toads…..something the Pentagon does not need.
 
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Closing Thought–14Jun19

Today is Flag Day…..a day when most Americans should spend some time a learn how to properly display the American flag.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt…the Iranians did it! (Pompeo and Bolton’s accusation)

We have had two more attacks in the Persian Gulf and as usual the US is blaming Iran……

Two tankers traveling through the Gulf of Oman were attacked on Thursday, forcing the crews to abandon the ships, and which left one of the ships on fire. One of the sailors was reported “slightly injured” in the incidents.

The ships were the Front Altair, a tanker owned by Frontline which was shipping naphtha to Taiwan, and the Kokuka Courageous, a ship owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo, was transporting methanol to Singapore. They departed from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The ships were apparently hit with sea mines, potentially magnetic mines. The US Navy claimed to have seen an unexploded mine on one of the two ships. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials immediately blamed Iran.

Pompeo’s declaration of Iran’s guilt was based chiefly on similar incidents happening in mid-May. John Bolton and Pompeo blamed Iran then, and since this was the same sort of thing, they blame Iran now. The problem is, they have offered no evidence Iran was responsible for the first incidents, let alone today’s, and are just tying them all together. Pompeo rattled off a list of things to blame Iran for, including multiple incidents that were done by Yemen’s Houthis, a rocket fired in Iraq that was never convincingly blamed on anyone, and an Afghanistan bombing that clearly was nothing to do with Iran at all.

(antiwar.com)

Where’s the evidence?

In a press conference that immediately evoked memories of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday claimed Iran was behind alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman without presenting one single shred of evidence.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high-degree of sophistication,” said Pompeo, who did not provide any details on the intelligence he cited.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/13/deja-vu-iraq-war-lies-mike-pompeo-blames-iran-tanker-attack-without-single-shred

Is this the same intel that our President refuses to accept elsewhere?

For me the question is…..The big questions are, as always, motive. Iran has no conceivable reason to attack such ships. 

Plus the Japanese ship is attacked while Japan’s Abe is on a state visit to Iran….again it smells like cow manure.

Just thinking out loud……

On The Road To War!

It seems that the advisers to the president are determined to get into a shooting war with Iran…..personally I do not think any of these accusations are true (that means they are LIES)…..apparently I am not alone…..

The narrative of an “increased threat” posed by Iran and its proxies across the Middle East is being used to justify a US military buildup and a general escalation of tensions in the area. British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, however, has raised serious doubts about that.

Maj. Gen. Ghika said that there has been “no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces,” despite the claims from US officials, mostly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Perhaps more damningly, Ghika says he does not believe there is any daylight between Britain’s assessment of “no increased threat” and the assessment from US intelligence.

In other words, the US officials are lying about the intelligence, presumably to justify the growing US buildup and to keep hyping the possibility of a war with Iran. US Central Command, however, angrily shot back contradicting Ghika, insisting his statement runs counter to established US position on the matter.

CENTCOM’s statement is not exactly a refutation of Ghika’s position on UK and US intelligence. Rather, it refers to “identified credible threats” but provides no indication where they came from. It clearly wasn’t intelligence agencies, because the threats were only made available to intelligence agencies after their identification.

Early reports on the “Iranian proxies” allegation suggested it came out of Israel, and that it was built around Israeli officials believing it would make sense for Iran to do that sort of thing to attack the US. This could suggest it was never verified by US or UK intelligence, and was rather just accepted as the official version because it fit with US policy at the time.

(antiwar.com)

US is fanning those flames vigorously…..(do not believe all the denials)…..these neocons want war……

The Sunday “sabotage” on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates warrants a “thorough investigation,” according to US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid, who told reporters that he wants responses “short of war” to be taken.

Other officials indicated on Monday that they consider Iran the main suspect of the attack, though they have conceded that they don’t have any real evidence of this, let alone proof. Abizaid said starting a war over it would not be in the interest of Iran, the US, or Saudi Arabia.

Which is a potentially controversial position for the ambassador to take, given the ongoing US military buildup in the Middle East, centered around the idea of a war with Iran. Even if he believes this isn’t in America’s interest, nor justified on unproven allegations of sabotage, it seems to be the general direction the US is headed anyhow.

In particular, the idea of having a thorough investigation before the reaction is not the way the US has done things in recent years. At a time when hawks are lining up to call for action against Iran on any pretext, it is vital to hear the call to let cooler heads prevail.

(antiwar.com)

Filter out all the warmongering BS and think about one thing……this article was published in The American Conservative……

David French defends one of the great crimes of the 21st century:

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today.

There is good reason that the Iraq war has “precious few defenders.” The Iraq war was a great crime and a massive blunder. Not only was it illegal under international law, but it was undeniably unjust according to any fair reading of just war theory. Our government did not have just cause to invade Iraq and overthrow its government. Preventive war can never be justified, because it can never be just to strike first against another country because you fear what their government might one day do to you. That is simply aggression committed out of irrational fear. To say that you still think 16 years later that invading Iraq is “just and proper” is to admit that you don’t know what those words mean.

Preventive War Is Always Unjust

The “Just War Theory”? 

A confusing thing but as usual I can help……Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought. The justification can be either theoretical or historical.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/

In this world today, the 21st century in case there is any confusion) war does not make sense….the only people to gain are those that make the weapons of destruction.

We Americans have allowed too many wars in our name…..all the deaths are in our name…..and what does anyone gain?

****Breaking News******

News came out after I had written this draft for post today……

The US Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran. The security alert, published on the embassy’s website on Wednesday, comes after Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and American interests. On Sunday, the embassy advised Americans to avoid travel to Iraq, citing “heightened tensions.”

And the world waits!

Peacemakers, Warmongers And Fence Setters

You are about to go to the polls and vote for your favorite candidate or in my case the one with the least smell about them…..but who represents your political thinking…a peacemaker?  Or a Warmonger?  Maybe a coward that sits on the Fence and watches the political winds?

Who represents you?

In lifetime voting records tabulated by Peace Action, the average House Democrat has a 72% peace voting record, while the average House Republican scores only 10%. In the Senate, the difference is 69% to 14%

As a foreign policy crisis explodes over the apparent Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the failure of the U.S. Congress to assert its constitutional war powers over three years of illegal U.S. military action in the war on Yemen and booming U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners is finally coming home to roost.

The UN already reported two years ago that a child was dying every 10 minutes in Yemen, wracked by the war and its consequences, including malnutrition, diphtheria, cholera and other preventable diseases.  Data already showed that more than a third of Saudi-led airstrikes were hitting schools, hospitals, markets, mosques and other civilian sites. But none of the dire warnings by UN agencies and NGOs could trigger the constitutionally required debate and decisive action by the U.S. Congress.  Even now the Trump administration is trying desperately to salvage its blood-soaked arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/23/peacemakers-warmongers-and-fence-sitters-who-represents-you

I look for the person that I feel will keep the US ot of useless wars….and like I said these days I just hold my nose and vote or I look for an alternative candidate that has NO chance of winning but at least I have voted my principles in most cases…..too many cannot say that.

Today is your day to send whatever message you have close to your heart….please go vote…..your country needs you.