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

What Will Korean War Part 2 Look Like?

All the mash up with North Korea has got the country talking.  Even my class had to put in their 2 cents worth….we talked about the first one and how it started and ended…afterwards they asked…what will the next Korean War look like?

A good question and thankfully I had read an article that asked that very question….I told the class to read it and we would discuss it at next session (I reminded them UNZ has a Libertarian lean to it)……

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets.

What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like. Memory of the bloody, indecisive first Koran War, 1950-53, which killed close to 3 million people, has faded. Few Americans have any idea how ferocious a conventional second Korean War could be. They are used to seeing Uncle Sam beat up small, nearly defenseless nations like Iraq, Libya or Syria that dare defy the Pax Americana.

Source: What Would Korean War II Look Like? – The Unz Review

I would like for my readers to also join the conversation……so let your thoughts be heard.

Political Ignorance Or “Axis Of Adults”?

During the 2016 campaign I will admit that there were some issues that Trump voiced that I could get behind…not to the point that I would have ever considered voting for him…..but he did have a few stands that I liked…..such as staying out of Syria with ground forces…..a possible overhaul of NATO….and his idea to keep America safe without intervention.

The problem is when he got elected and began to put together a cabinet I was concerned because he was appointing many generals to positions of power.  Trump was avoiding the use of real diplomats in positions of diplomacy…to me this was a force of ignorance that would lead to a path of destruction……

The truth is the Trump was in no more position of knowledge than the last couple of presidents…but his predecessors at least attempted to find people with the knowledge to run the foreign policy of the US…Trump not so much…..

It is what we might call ‘the consensus judgment’ that President Trump is a deeply ignorant man and perhaps a profoundly ignorant President. But it is worth stepping back and considering just what this means, the different kinds of ignorance that exist and how they differ.

Without making a direct comparison, it is worth remembering that each of the last three Presidents came to office with a steep learning curve about the modalities of the presidency and many aspects of the challenges and issues they would face. Clinton, Bush and Obama were each, in different ways, pretty green. Bush’s father, since he had served in Congress, as head of the CIA and especially because he had served as a fairly active Vice President for the previous eight years, came in knowing quite a lot about the specifics of the Presidency.

Source: Trump and The Problem of Militant Ignorance

Then the Syrian situation presented itself and after a couple of missiles and a bomb the media is starting to take a more positive look at the foreign policy of Trump…..

There’s a new band in town that’s guiding national security by quietly tutoring the most powerful man in America. Never-Trump Republicans who’d been apprehensive about President Donald Trump are celebrating the trio’s influence, calling Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Homeland Secretary John Kelly the “Axis of Adults.”

Through near daily contact with the trio, as well as Trump’s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and CIA director Mike Pompeo, Trump’s world view appears to be morphing more closely to match hawkish conservatives of the Bush administration.

Source: New Power Center in Trumpland: The ‘Axis of Adults’ – The Daily Beast

While the MSM may have a positive attitude toward Trump…I do not…..his reaction and those of his subordinates is nothing new…..his reaction to the situation was the same as Obama and Baby Bush…..the neocons win…..

Donald Trump won the 2016 nomination and general election largely because he was able to pose as a populist and anti-interventionist “America Firster.”

Barack Obama won the 2008 election in good part because he promised “hope and change” and because he gave a speech years earlier against the then-impending invasion of Iraq.

Short of disclosure of diaries or other documents from these politicians, we won’t know for certain if Obama and Trump planned on reversing much of what they promised or if the political establishment compelled them to change. Either way, they both perpetrated massive political fraud. And what is perhaps most striking is how quickly each of them backtracked on their winning core campaign messages, particularly since they were both proclaimed as representing “movements” meant to shake up the system.

Source: Deceivers in Chief: How Donald Trump and Barack Obama Are Alike – Truthdig

Amazing how all this works out….when it comes to foreign policy then campaign promises mean nothing.

Can A “Smoke Screen” Be Effective Policy?

As someone who spends his time analyzing and researching foreign policy I am a bit taken back by the new kid in town, DC that is……

During his run up to his election as president I was in Trump’s corner on some, and I repeat SOME, of his foreign policy statements.  I did not care much for his domestic rhetoric but some of his rhetoric on international situations were spot on…..you will notice that I use the word “were”…..his actions speak nothing to his rhetoric.

But since he has taken the helm of this nation and its foreign policy I have been trying to get a handle on just what it is that he wants to accomplish internationally.

He, Trump, has gutted our diplomatic corps which in my opinion does little to protect Americans worldwide.  How does he hope to formulate a policy when he is missing those people that are “experts” on the many different regions?

At best his foreign policy has been hit and miss loaded with bravado and out right bullshit.  Not much makes sense….most of it sounds like a third grader taunting a playground rival.

Basically, to me his words and his pseudo policies are nothing but a smoke screen for is impotency in the foreign policy arena.

North Korea and Syria are prime examples…….

So far President Trump’s foreign policy has been nearly impossible to predict.  As we saw this past week, some of the President’s choices, particularly the decision to strike the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have created strange bedfellows among America’s foreign policy watchers.  Traditional foreign policy thinkers on the right and left, the so-called “Establishment,” publicly lauded the strikes, albeit for somewhat different reasons.  Meanwhile, Trump’s core supporters, who rallied around his isolationist campaign promises, have been sharply denouncing the strikes as warmongering.  Everyone in Washington appears to have been caught off-guard by the President’s decision to intervene in the world’s most protracted conflict, while analysts, journalists, and policymakers are scrambling to determine what it all means.  The President’s speech after the strike, as well as statements from the White House, argue this decision was tied to Syrian regime use of chemical weapons late last month.

Source: Strategies, Diversions, and Trump’s Smoke-Screen Policy | RealClearDefense

His staff is not much better although there are a few that could formulate an adequate policy……but Trump seems to want it his way and his thoughts….I am hoping that someone with an adult brain will finally assert themselves and a true foreign policy will emerge.

The big question is…..will it emerge?

The Institute of Defense Studies published a paper asking if Trump’s foreign policy was shaping up?

April has been an eventful month geopolitically so far. President Trump carried out a much-trumpeted-about Tomahawk missile strike at the Syrian regime, held responsible by him for a nerve-agent attack on the village of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib, a province largely held by rebels. Trump has changed his mind on China, which he previously accused as a ‘currency manipulator’. He has also changed his mind on ‘resetting’ relations with Putin and US-Russia relations are at their ‘lowest point’ in years. Trump has issued a harsh warning to North Korea to stop missile and nuclear tests. There are signals that Trump would scale up the US military engagement in Afghanistan. Trump has congratulated, with alacrity, Turkey’s President Erdogan on his referendum victory. Are all these developments related to one another?

Source: Is President Trump’s Foreign Policy Shaping Up? | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

All we can do is hope…..before it is too late.

The Strange Case of Tulsi Gabbard

I have voiced my support for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in the past…she sticks out because she is about the ONLY true antiwar politician in Congress.  As someone who has been an antiwar activist for most of my adult life I am pleased to see a dedicated person in Congress.

I try my best to introduce her to as wide array of people as I can.  Her message needs to be heard and understood….she is doing all she can to end the endless war cycle that this country has been on for at least 25 years.

Source: Tulsi Gabbard Finds An Ally – In Saner Thought

Source: Tulsi: A Voice In The Wilderness – In Saner Thought

Source: A Woman Of Principle – In Saner Thought

I recently read a piece about her written in Neo Eastern Outlook….the truth is that this has a pro-Russian lean to its stories but in this case they did a fine job introducing Ms Gabbard to their readers.

In 1968, Democratic Senator Robert Kennedy, an anti-war candidate, was the front-runner in the presidential race. The party had revolted against President Johnson, forcing him to drop out of contention, and America got behind an anti-war candidate who surged ahead in the polls. He was quickly murdered.

Americans had gotten used to this solution being used, after all we had lost his brother John and Martin Luther King. The least well-kept secret at the time was that organized crime along with the oil and defense industries ran Washington and would murder anyone that got in their way.

There are more players to consider but little has changed, no, it has actually gotten much worse. There is a modern day “Robert Kennedy” out there, it’s Tulsi Gabbard, under attack by the jackals in Washington, perhaps not a big enough target, not yet anyway, for them to kill. We must wait and see.


Source: The Strange Case of Tulsi Gabbard and other Tales of Terror | New Eastern Outlook

Please if you can help get her message out I know she would appreciate your efforts.

Watch this Lady she will make a difference in the coming elections….she is a rising star.

Isolationism: What’s It Good For?

During the run up to the election of 2016 there was a call for the US to revert back to a policy of isolationism…..

But first let’s look at isolationism as it pertains to foreign policy….

National policy of avoiding political or economic entanglements with other countries. Isolationism has been a recurrent theme in U.S. history. It was given expression in the Farewell Address of Pres. George Washington and in the early 19th-century Monroe Doctrine. The term is most often applied to the political atmosphere in the U.S. in the 1930s. The failure of Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s internationalism, liberal opposition to war as an instrument of policy, and the rigours of the Great Depression were among the reasons for Americans’ reluctance to concern themselves with the growth of fascism in Europe. The Johnson Act (1934) and the Neutrality acts (1935) effectively prevented economic or military aid to any country involved in the European disputes that were to escalate into World War II. U.S. isolationism encouraged the British in their policy of appeasement and contributed to French paralysis in the face of the growing threat posed by Nazi Germany.

(britannica.com)

But those days are long one.  The US cannot revert into isolationism….not in the global economy we have today….it is a myth…..

The American Conservative had a brilliant take on this issue……

For reasons unknown, and if revealed unlikely to be reassuring, my hometown newspaper, the Boston Globe, regularly provides space on its opinion page to the novelist Richard North Patterson. As a manufacturer of pulp fiction, Patterson has achieved spectacular success, churning out bestsellers with titles like The Devil’s Light and Loss of Innocence. If my own books sold a tenth as many copies, I’d retire to a baronial estate in Scotland and spend my remaining days fishing for trout, sipping single-malt whiskey, and reading potboilers by the likes of Richard North Patterson.

So as a spinner of fictional yarns, Patterson is a master of his craft. Unfortunately, when commenting on events of the day, that penchant for fiction persists.

Source: The Fiction of U.S. Isolationism | The American Conservative

The US cannot hide within its borders…..it must engage the world….but through the use of force is not the way to engage.  Diplomacy is a better weapon than a bomb.

Grab Your Knees And Bend Over

The attack in Syria….the “Big Bang”……the vocal war with North Korea…..the ramping up of troops deployments to areas like Somalia and Yemen…..it appears to this analyst that the war drums are beating a bit louder…..

The media seems to be on the side of more involvement around the world…..armed involvement……

The American public is bracing for war now that President Donald Trump has seemingly stumbled upon “the keys to the family gun cabinet,” as one observer put it, after a week of rash and aggressive military action.

The unprecedented use of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), known as the ‘mother of all bombs,’ on Thursday was just the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S. in recent days, prompting demands for a Congressional debate on the use of military force.

Source: Americans Bracing for More War Under Trigger-Happy Trump | Common Dreams

Americans should be very worried at the tone in DC…the chest thumping and the screams for revenge are getting louder and the louder it gets the more likely more force will be used…..

Time for my fellow citizens to start paying attention and time for a antiwar movement to appear and demand that this crap end……time for a movement to end these wars of opportunity and exploitation…..time to bring our overworked troops home for a rest…..

Below is a “Libertarian” look at the situation…..a look that I firmly agree with on most points…..

War-whoops and loud applause from foreign policy establishments and their media supporters have greeted President Trump’s missile strike in Syria, the dropping of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and the dispatch of a naval task force in the direction of North Korea.

This spurt in belligerence over the last week has as much to do with domestic American politics as any fundamental new development in the rest of the world. Trump needed to defuse the accusation that he was too close to President Putin and too tolerant of a Russian ally like Bashar al-Assad. The resort to military action was largely in keeping with the old Pentagon saying that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge”, meaning that it is politics inside, not outside the US, which is the real decision-maker.

Source: America should start exploring how to end all the wars it’s started – The Unz Review

Time for the American public to wake the Hell up and smell the explosive residue…..it will only get worse the more silent the public remains…