Death in Mali–Is Justice Served?

About 2 years ago in the West African nation of Mali and our US Special Ops troopers, who are the best in the world, had a situation where an Army Green Beret was killed by 2 Navy Seals and a couple of Marine Raiders…..I wrote extensively about this event….most of what I wrote is referenced in this post……https://lobotero.com/2018/12/11/death-in-mali-update/

A Navy SEAL pleaded guilty Thursday in the hazing death of a Green Beret soldier, detailing the late-night plot to break into 34-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer, put him in a chokehold and restrain him with duct tape during a deployment in Africa.

In a pretrial agreement, Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault, unlawful entry, obstruction of justice and violating a general order by committing hazing. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against him.

Following the agreement, a military judge sentenced Matthews to one year in military prison.

Matthews said that he, along with another member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and two elite Marine Raiders, carried out the “juvenile” attack on June 4, 2017, in Bamako, Mali’s capital.

The service members are also accused of lying to Navy commanders and investigators about what happened.

Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, Matthews’ attorney, Grover Baxley, said his client “looks forward to detailing what happened that night in Mali almost 2 years ago and hopes that his explanation of events will assist the Melgar family in finding some semblance of closure.”

He added that Melgar’s death was “an unforeseen accident that has dramatically impacted the lives of everyone involved. SOC Matthews is eager to assist with the Navy’s resolution of this case and then attempting to move on with his life.”

In an earlier statement to Military Times, Matthews’ attorney said he didn’t believe his client nor the three other men accused meant to kill Melgar.

“I don’t believe any of these four men did. This was an avoidable tragedy, and SSgt Maxwell is deeply remorseful for his role in it,” Maxwell’s other attorney, Brian Bouffard, wrote in an email.

Even though Melgar died in June 2017, the Pentagon did not release any information regarding his death until news outlets broke the story several months later.

According to The Washington Post, the tragedy occurred after a long night of drinking and partying. Two SEALs and two Marine Raiders smashed their way into Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer because they purportedly wanted to teach him a lesson for leaving them behind in traffic on the way to a party at the French Embassy

One of the SEALs, Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony E. DeDolph, jumped on Melgar and put him in a chokehold while Matthews grabbed Melgar’s legs. The two Marines then duct-taped his legs together. When they moved on to Melgar’s wrists, they realized he had stopped breathing.

The case, including allegations of a coverup, shed light on the culture of heavy drinking and womanizing in a West African city where there are alcohol restrictions and warnings about terrorist threats.

(Fox News)

I am glad that this may be finally over for the family of SSgt Melgar……but the accused are full of shit!

They are glad it is over?  After lying constantly and then given a lighter sentence I guess they are glad it is over.  And to fake concern for the family of SSgt Melgar is disingenuous…

Personally, I think they got off light and they should be thankful…there is NO excuse for special ops killing each other there are enough “bad guys” to do it for them.

Think about this…if I get drunk and drive and kill someone I am guilty of vehicular homicide …….and yet these people are not guilty of any thing other than a wrist slapping offense.

The Pentagon is anxious to close this chapter and move on…..but should it?

The Pentagon needs to get a handle on the discipline problem within the Special Ops…..I thought the Special Ops troops were the best of the best…..yet they act no better than some sophomoric frat boys.

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Slice And Dice Death

Recently there has been a rise in civilian deaths….both reported and those that are hidden from the light…..and it is not limited to one conflict or another it is across the spectrum in our War on Terror…..

“There is no military solution” is an often-heard saying since the “global war on terror” began almost 18 years ago.

We need political solutions to the military conflicts we’ve embroiled ourselves in over the last two decades, most policymakers agree. But in the meantime, the last three administrations have sent in the military to pave the way for a political solution—and have kept them there, allegedly to protect civilians from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia, among other militant groups.

Yet all too often, these civilians become casualties of the very military forces Washington supposedly deployed to protect them.

A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians—including children—in ever rising numbers.

 
The Pentagon has come up with a solution to the alarming rise in civilian deaths……a new missile!
Ever heard of a missile that doesn’t explode? That, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a key feature of a secret weapon adapted by the US military. It’s a modified version of a Hellfire missile that hits pinpoint targets but doesn’t explode on impact, meaning reduced damage and less risk of civilian casualties. The weapon, which the Journal likens to a “speeding anvil” falling out of the sky, is known as R9X. But it also has a nickname, “the flying Ginsu,” inspired by its hidden ring of six blades, which emerges just before impact and shreds anything it meets. The missile was in development as early as 2011—a similar weapon was reportedly considered in the plot to kill Osama bin Laden—but so far the Journal has found only two instances in which it’s been used.
 
Essentially, the weapon is employed when a regular airstrike on a high-value target would pose a risk to innocent bystanders. Aware that the US would want to avoid civilian casualties, terrorists routinely hide in places with women and children. With the R9X, the US can minimize the risk. After the CIA used the R9X to kill an al-Qaeda terrorist traveling by car in Syria in 2017, for example, photos showed a large hole in the vehicle’s roof, along with some cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, the exterior of the car appeared in pretty good shape. Gizmodo notes rumors have been swirling about a secret weapon since that time.
 
(antiwar.com)
 
The key to the claim is the term “minimize” civilian deaths…..then they, the civilians, are still at risk just a lower risk than say a Hellfire…..
 
Sorry I am still not impressed….it is still an implement of destruction that will continue the killing of civilians but at a lower rate (does anyone see how silly that sounds?)

What Of The War On Terror?

Gee there is not much news these days about those pesky terrorists that were all the rage 2 years ago. NO now we must learn about some damn silly horse race or some golfer who gets a medal for what we are not sure or then there is the Royal birth…another mouth for the country to feed. But what about that all important War on Terror?

I am so glad you asked.

First how about an assessment of Global Terrorism?

……..the jihadist threat has become more diverse since the horrific attack on September 11, 2001. Prior to 9/11, al-Qaeda maintained a base in Afghanistan and fought alongside the Taliban, operating primarily at the cellular level in several other countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Al-Qaeda’s base in Afghanistan was key to allowing it to recruit and train its cadre of global operatives for attacks against the U.S. and its allies. Iran’s primary proxy was Hezbollah in Lebanon, and it also supported Palestinian terrorist groups against Israel.

Since 9/11, al-Qaeda’s footprint has greatly expanded. It has established branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula); North and West Africa (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM); Somalia and East Africa (Shabaab); Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent); and in Syria. In many of these countries, al-Qaeda maintains an active insurgency, and in some, al-Qaeda’s branches or allies control a significant amount of land.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/04/30/examining-the-global-terrorism-landscape/

Speaking of 9/11 al-Qaeda were the bastards that committed that atrocity so how have they been dealing with the loss of Osama?

The organisation he led was considered one of the deadliest jihadist groups in the world, commanding thousands of fighters.

It was also believed to have had considerable financial resources.

But with the demise of its leader and the emergence of the Islamic State group (IS), al-Qaeda’s power and influence have weakened considerably.

So how influential is the group today, and what threat does it now pose to global security?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48056433

One last report about terrorism……

Most people know who ISIS or IS or Daesh are and what they are capable of doing…….and most people that have watched the Middle East know who Blackwater is and the crimes they committed with the deaths of Iraqi civilians…..why are these two mentioned in the same breath?

I am so glad you asked!

The Arabic-language newspaper al-Akhbar reported that Blackwater and other security firms have been allowed to operate in Iraq since early 2018 under intense US pressure.

The daily cited sources close to the chargé d’affaires of the US mission in Iraq, Joey Hood, as saying that Blackwater had transferred US military equipment from Jordan to the western Anbar Province.

According to the sources, the private company is currently training Daesh terrorists at the Ein al-Assad base which President Donald Trump visited in December. 

Al-Akhbar quoted field sources as saying that trucks carrying Daesh militants were transferred from the town of Baqouz, the last piece of land which the terror group held in Syria

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/05/06/595230/US-Blackwater-training-Daesh-Iraq

Seriously?

Read that report carefully!

If true then there is something rotten at the Pentagon.

The War on Terror is about as ineffective as the War on Drugs…wasting money and making people wealthy while doing as little as possible.

When Is It Terrorism?

Let me ask…..if the FBI arrested a guy named Ali with lots of weapons and a manifesto to kill politicians and media personalities would and should he be charged with terrorism?

If your answer is yes then I say rightly so…….

Then why was this d/bag not a terorist?

A federal magistrate has agreed to the pre-trial release of a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being a domestic terrorist, the AP reports. US Magistrate Judge Paul Day noted on Thursday that 50-year-old Christopher Hasson hasn’t been charged with any terrorism related offenses. Hasson was arrested Feb. 15 and is awaiting trial on firearms and drug charges. Prosecutors say he created a hit list of prominent Democrats, two Supreme Court justices, network TV journalists, and social media company executives. Day says he still has “grave concerns” about Hasson based on information prosecutors have presented. The magistrate says Hasson is “going to have to have a whole lot of supervision.” Day planned to order home confinement and electronic monitoring for Hasson. It’s not clear where Hasson will be confined or when he’ll be released. (Hasson reportedly once wrote that he was “dreaming of a way to kill every last person on earth.”)

Why is this person not sent to Gitmo and held with the rest of the terrorists that wanted to do harm to this country?

Once again a domestic terrorist gets the “benefit of the doubt”……somehting not many others get to claim……

Does that mean a white dude that wants to kill our political leaders and media personalities is not a terrorist….but a guy named Ali with the same intentions is a terrorists.

Can we call this situation an example of “white privilege”?

Will ISIS Rest In Peace?

Just yesterday our beloved Supreme Leader issued a proclamation that ISIS will be gone in 24 hours……

ISIS is down to its last scrap of territory and it will be “gone by tonight,” President Trump declared Wednesday, showing reporters at the White House two maps of Syria and Iraq. “I brought this out for you—this is a map of everything in the red, this was on election night, in 2016, everything red is ISIS,” he said, pointing to a map with large areas in red. Pointing to a second map, he said: “When I took it over it was a mess, now on the bottom it’s the exact same. There is no red,” he said, ABC reports. “In fact there is a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight.” At a tank factory in Ohio later in the day, Trump brought the maps out again, saying the “caliphate is gone as of tonight,” the AP reports.

Trump has announced the imminent defeat of ISIS before, but the battle for the tiny enclave of Baghouz has dragged on for weeks longer than expected. Authorities say the offensive was slowed down when an unexpectedly large number of civilians fled the village—up to 30,000, most of them believed to be the families of militants. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have now taken control of the village, though some fighters are still believed to be holed up with women and children in a sliver of land by a river. With that area still controlled by ISIS, “it would be weird to expect an announcement in the next day,” an SDF official tells the New York Times.

Since most Americans have the info retention of a goldfish maybe I should refresh some memories……

 

ISIL began as an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which in 2006 became known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). The movement, led by key al-Qaeda figures, played a major role in driving the sectarian conflict that followed the US invasion in 2003.

ISI carried out deadly attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, during this period, targeting Western-allied tribal leaders and US army posts before eventually being pushed out.

Undeterred, it soon pitched up in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which it then used as a hub to continue its attacks.

In 2010, the group’s current leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named ISI chief. Two years later, he mandated ISI affiliates to set up an offshoot in Syria – a country that had been forced to contend with its own civil war.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/anatomy-caliphate-rise-fall-isil-190320140536453.html

There has been lots written here in the West about Islamic Extremism….but just what does that entail?


The Islamist worldview is in direct opposition to contemporary Western ideas about government, society, and the role of religion in everyday life.  Despite this opposition, or possibly because of it, the Islamist movement is gaining popularity around the globe.  The apparent failure of Western ideologies, unequal distribution of wealth for natural resources exacerbated by globalization, and on-going conflict between Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to Muslim masses to seeking solutions from more traditionally-minded leaders who promise a return to Islamic Golden Ages via rejection of secularism in favor of Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.  This, however, sets many on a path of conflict with the West.  Examples of radical Islamist organizations abound: Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, ISIS, and Hezbollah.  Such organizations fill Western minds, as well as Middle Eastern governments, with great concern if not outright fear, but what exactly is an Islamist worldview?  Does it inherently include violence?  What are its origins and targets of critique?  How has it evolved in the twentieth century and why do its tenants appeal to so many in the Muslim world today?  This article will briefly look at each of these questions in order to provide a perspective on contemporary Islamism and facilitate a better understanding of the phenomenon as a whole, thus providing some insight into the recent wave of unrest across the Middle East.  Ultimately, Islamism is a unique and diverse collection of ideologies and doctrines that range from the progressive to the radical.  It is my assessment that one must not make the mistake of lumping all Islamist ideologies, movements, and organizations into a singularly narrow, one size fits all category, nor should one automatically consider Islamism a threat in the Muslim world or beyond.  Rather, Islamism is simply another ideological option that must be weighed in terms of its effectiveness and appeal, while recognizing that there is a potential for extremism similar to that manifested in other secular and sacred movements.  Because of this, it is imperative for Western nations to open lines of communication with leaders of the protest groups and insurgents in such places as Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain in order to develop an understanding of their motivations, ideologies, and their goals for the Middle East.

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/overview-islamic-fundamentalism-primer-understanding-extremist-islam

Now that I have filled in as many blanks as I could the question remains…..Is The Islamic State defeated?


President Trump has insisted in recent months that the United States has defeated the Islamic State. “We just took over 100 percent caliphate,” he told reporters on Feb. 28. “That means the area of the land. We have 100 percent.” He has made similar claims for months, tweeting in December, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria.” Others, including senior government officials, have disagreed with this characterization. In January, former presidential special envoy for the Counter-ISIS Coalition Brett McGurk said that “ISIS is not defeated” and that the administration’s new policy of reducing U.S. troop presence in Syria would give the group “new life.” Citing the terrorist attacks committed in the Islamic State’s name, most analysts argue that the group has not been entirely eliminated and cannot be considered defeated.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/islamic-state-defeated

It, ISIS, will rear its ugly head again…….and there is thoughts on that as well…….http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/10/isiss-second-resurgence.html

Waiting For ISIS To Die

The barbarous group known as ISIS is cornered in a small village in Eastern Syria…..they are being pounded by the Kurds and the SDF and yet they hang on to life and fight back viciously….

As we sit and wait for ISIS to die there are a few thoughts that we need to consider…..

The U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation March 1 backed by U.S. artillery and air support in an effort to defeat the remnant core fighters of the Islamic State in the last sliver of the militant group’s self-declared “caliphate,” the term it used to describe the territory in Syria and Iraq it conquered and governed under its austere interpretation of Sharia. With the destruction of the so-called caliphate imminent, many have begun to wonder if the jihadist group could ever recover. But this is the wrong question. Instead of asking whether the Islamic State core can recover as many — including Stratfor — did when the group was on the ropes in Iraq in 2010, the proper question is whether the Islamic State core will be permitted to recover again. The difference between these two questions is subtle, but vitally important

 
The West has fought this extremism but is it possible we may have gotten somethings wrong?
 
The ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis has become fashionably outdated but still shapes the way we understand the connection between Islam, terrorism and the Middle East.  In 2019, it is time to ‘forget the Middle East’ and change the way we perceive Islam.  Vera Mironova, in ‘The New Face of Terrorism’, claims that the way Westerners think about ‘Islamist terrorism has grown dangerously outdated’, and the terrorist attacks at Western targets have been increasingly coming from militants of the former Soviet Union, not the Middle East. Following on these insights, I argue that it is time not only to ‘forget the Middle East’ but also stop essentializing Islam in the Middle East.
 
 
They, ISIS, may be suffering staggering losses in Syria and could possibly be defeated (not destroyed) but they will raise their ugly head once again in Southeast Asia….
 

Across the islands of the southern Philippines, the black flag of the Islamic State is flying over what the group considers its East Asia province.

Men in the jungle, two oceans away from the arid birthplace of the Islamic State, are taking the terrorist brand name into new battles.

As worshipers gathered in January for Sunday Mass at a Catholic cathedral, two bombs ripped through the church compound, killing 23 people. The Islamic State claimed a pair of its suicide bombers had caused the carnage.

The lesson we should learn is one that is being overlooked with all the glad handing for victory…..we cannot defeat an idea and ISIS will rise again to continue their push for extremism…..

Why Not Paraguay?

The big news on the world stage is the mash up the US is having with Venezuela……there are many reasons but oil is probably the only reason.

First, let me ask…..are we still fighting a War on Terror? Is the money trail of the terror groups still one of the prongs of that war?

If so then why are we not paying closer attention to Paraguay?

Paraguay?

The U.S. Department of Justice last year designated Hezbollah, a Lebanese political party and militant group, as a transnational criminal organization, thanks to its long-standing and well-documented partnership with Latin American drug cartels. A focal point of Hezbollah operations in the Western Hemisphere is the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, a sanctuary for all sorts of organized crime. Numerous terrorism financing, money laundering, and drug trafficking cases in U.S. courts involve Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese nationals who operate there. Argentina and Brazil have shown an increased readiness to take action against Hezbollah, but Paraguay, the country where Hezbollah is most vulnerable to action, is the most reluctant to recognize the challenge.

Paraguay’s president, Mario Abdo Benítez, in power since last August, is under pressure to change that. Despite a promising start, his administration remains plagued by the same problems his predecessors could not overcome, and a reckoning is coming. This year, the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, will evaluate Paraguay to assess the effectiveness of Asunción’s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism finance systems, for which the task force sets global standards. Countries that do not measure up, such as Iran and North Korea, have to contend with cumbersome restrictions that inhibit trade and investment.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/02/14/paraguay-is-a-fiscal-paradise-for-terrorists/

This is a good thing…..the country is trying to break its association with terror groups……why is the US not more involved in this situation? (well not known to the public)

The president of Paraguay is doing what DC wants so he is in good standings…..as opposed to Venezuela.