Do The Same Thing Over And Over

Most of us know the quote by Einstein… is a profound quote….it can be applied to just about everything the US does on the world stage.

As a student of war I visit many sites, even some neocon and pro war sites….it helps me get a perspective on the subject….that is to look at both sides of the subject…..

In 2001 Bush proclaimed the War on Terror, although we have been fighting terror heavily ever since the USS Cole and the embassy bombings of the late 1990’s….but with all our resources we are not making much headway….why is that?

Today, we struck back,” the president said after the United States conducted a military strike against terrorists and their sanctuary. But which president? George W. Bush, who declared war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks? Barack Obama, who subsequently took charge of that war? Or Donald J. Trump, who carries the mantle today?

Really, it could have been any of the three—but it was none of them. President Bill Clinton uttered those words on August 20, 1998.

Clinton made the statement after ordering a military strike against al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sudan in response to two, nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed twelve Americans (and more than two hundred others). With a foreshadowing of the future to come, Operation Infinite Reach could be seen as the counterterrorism strike that started it all.

Part of the problem is that Bill Clinton was a wimp.  He had major terrorists in his sights but failed to act.

Plus our “leaders” are not keeping up with the times….most are working off definitions from 1970….I hate to be the one that pisses on their parade but the world has changed and so has the definition of terrorism and terrorist.

Until they get a grip on that one simple problem they will continue to use outdated tactics that will do more harm than good.

Why not look at Afghanistan?

Data the Pentagon issued last year to spotlight the success of operations against militant groups in Afghanistan were inaccurate, raising questions about the real progress of the secretive counterterrorism campaign being conducted by the U.S. and Afghan military.

Key figures in the by-the-numbers look at U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism missions in the second half of 2017, which have been published by prominent news outlets, were wrong, defense officials confirmed after Stars and Stripes pointed out discrepancies. The incorrect data — including a breakdown of independent and joint raids and a body count of enemy fighters — were released in an unclassified December report to Congress titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.

Our efforts are not doing the job they were intended to do….we are sadly spinning our wheels…….


Time For A Revisit 1973

My regulars know that I cannot let the fact that we are still fighting wars started before my granddaughter was born and she is 15 now…..and I do harp on the conflicts a bit much but since few people see the necessity to keep these wars in the minds of our people I feel that I must do so.  And yes I am anti-war and hope that if people see what is happening to our country and our military they too will see the need to end all this intervention for the sake of intervention.

Let’s start with 1973.

The year before the resignation of Nixon……so what could be so important that we should revisit that year?

The War Powers Act……..Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973, it did so to reestablish procedures for Congress and the president to share responsibility for the introduction of armed forces into foreign conflicts. By explicitly limiting the executive’s prerogative to initiate or escalate military actions, the act affirmed that such power rests with Congress. The founders assigned Congress this most important authority to ensure solemn debate and prevent the kinds of foreign policy disasters that plagued European monarchies.

I have bitched in the past about the fact that the Congress needs to step up ans exercise their power by re-defining the AUMF…….the Congress has been wimping out for decades and that we are fighting a conflict on most continents maybe now would be a good time to revisit the War Powers Resolution of 1973……..

The ongoing hostilities in Yemen are just the sort of conflict the founders meant to avoid. The Saudi monarchy’s war has become a foreign policy debacle for the United States, and hell-on-earth for the Yemenis. Indeed, the cholera crisis now facing the country is the worst in recorded history.

Yemen’s deteriorating circumstances offer Congress an opportunity to reclaim its constitutional mandate and help resolve a humanitarian catastrophe by demanding deliberation viz. material and logistical support for Saudi’s war of attrition.

The US Congress is staffed with cowards….they are afraid to do anything at all for it may piss off someone and it might cost them votes or worse…….. donations.

War after war is the future as long as the Congress refuses to act…….costing this country massive amounts of cash and the lives of our citizens……

When will enough be enough for the American people?

Closing Thought–19Mar18

You know that most people always say the “hindsight is 20/20″….any analysis can be targeted to the source but only after the event takes place…..well let’s look at the attacks on 9/11.

There has been a wealth of ink thrown at the public about the failures of the intel agencies and the FBI that allowed these men into the country and thus allowed them to carry out their despicable mission.

But did you know that in 1998 a commission was formed, the Hart-Rudman Commission, to study our national security….the findings were released in three parts…..the last part was issued February of 2001…..

A third set of recommendations focused on
reorganizing the executive branch of the US federal government for
post-Cold War operations. Much of the federal government still remains
in a Cold War configuration, Hart declared, with the State Department
and the National Security Agency not well equipped to deal with
terrorist threats. A fourth set of recommendations outlined a reform of

The one part that did not make it into the news of the day….it dealt with our public service people……

The fifth set of recommendations from the Hart-Rudman commission examined breaking down the barriers to entry to public service.

“We concluded that the national security of
the United States was being undercut by the declining caliber and
quality of people entering public service—not only elected office but
appointed office, civil service, diplomatic corps and so forth,” Hart/20

The point is that the Bush White House was warned about 9 months prior to the attacks of 9/11…..and they chose to ignore the recommendations….so it is not hindsight it was foresight that was 20/20 in this case.

It Should Be A Crime!

It is far from a secret that I have not been on-board with the foreign policy of the US for many decades.

I feel we would be in better shape if we had concentrated our aid to humanitarian aid and not military.  I think we would be in better shape to actually lead the world to a more peaceful future.

Our sad foreign policy went off the rails with the end of World War Two.  I have written much along these lines but not having the name recognition of say Ramsey Clark, a former US AG……

“If the kitchen gets a little too hot for him, I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach and he could have a nice life over there.”

There are few countries in Latin America that have not experienced the USA both secretly and overtly backing a right wing military government coup.[1]

The US Secretary of State’s criminally insane back handed remarks favoring a civil war, with all the probable loss of lives a civil war would bring, seems to fit as appropriate within a US foreign policy of world domination.  Human suffering has never been of any  consequence to the financial interests of that 1/10 of 1 per cent of Americans who, to one degree or another, rule us all.

That is the way it has been since the end of the Second World War, a war made possible by US investments and joint ventures in the rearming of Nazi Germany,[ 2] a war that made the USA rich and the first all powerful single superpower.

The billions upon billions of dollars that we have wasted trying to lead the world using military might would have been better spent on humanitarian endeavors.

In other words…the use of ‘soft power’…….

But the profit margins are not there for the greed of the American corporations will win over proper policy every time.

When Is Meddling Not Meddling?

Election meddling is fascinating……plus the news loves it also……

Yes it is a given fact that Russia meddled into our election process…..I could write a post about that but no need there has been enough ink wasted on this subject.  I use “wasted” because there are still some, about 35%, of the population that still does not think that Russia’s  meddling is no big deal……these are the same “people” that called for the total destruction of the country 25 years ago……what changed?

I will instead write about the US meddling in other country’s elections…..

The US does not have clean hands when it suits them…..Guatemala, Iran, Chile…..just to mention a few…..

Always underpinning the US investigations into allegations of Russian election meddling was the unspoken reality that the US too has a history of meddling in foreign elections when it suits their interests.

James Woolsey, the CIA Director from 1993 to 1995, addressed questions on that point, admitting that the US has interfered in elections in the past, but “only for a very good cause,” and when they thought rigging the vote would benefit democracy.

“It was for the good of the system,” Woolsey insisted. Researchers suggest  the US interfered in elections at least 81 times since World War 2, far more often than Russia. Some analysts are arguing that the two are not equivalent, however, because the US meddling was “pro-democracy” in intent.

Yet a casual look at CIA involvement in regime changes shows myriad times when US interference involved ousting democratically elected governments, often by orchestrating coups, to prop up regimes seen more favorable to US interests. In the 1950s, this included regime change in Iran to support BP oil profits, and one in Guatemala for United Fruit Company.


The only difference between US meddling in elections and that of Russia is our meddling cost people their lives…..Russia’s just gave MSM a news story that keeps on giving.

Closing Thought–09Mar18

The Holocaust was a barbaric event in the history of the world….the deaths and the mistreatment of Jews during WW2 was unconscionable….

The Holocaust Museum gives an award to persons who confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity……..and the Burmese leader of the democratic movement, Aung San Suu Kyi has been told that her award has been withdrawn……

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum gives out its prestigious Elie Wiesel Award to just one person a year, selecting “an internationally prominent individual whose actions have advanced the Museum’s vision of a world where people confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.” Now, the second person to ever receive the honor (Wiesel himself was the first, in 2011) has seen it rescinded. In what the New York Times calls “perhaps the strongest rebuke yet,” the museum on Tuesday informed Aung San Suu Kyi in a letter that it was stripping her of the award due to her response—or non-response, as she has yet to publicly say the word “Rohingya”—to Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

The letter explains the museum has been “closely monitoring the military’s campaign against the Rohingya and your response to it,” and that it began publicly airing its concerns about what was happening to the Rohingya in 2013; subsequent visits to Myanmar and Bangladesh have followed. “We had hoped that you—as someone we and many others have celebrated for your commitment to human dignity and universal human rights—would have done something to condemn and stop the military’s brutal campaign and to express solidarity with the targeted Rohingya population,” the letter continues. The museum implores her to “use your moral authority to address this situation” and ends with words from Wiesel himself: “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

I think this ward is one that is needed in this world today……however if the museum wants to give this award then it should make a strong statement against the state of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinian people…..the killings, the imprisonment, the land theft, the destruction of crops and homes…..the treatment of the Arab-Israelis as second class citizens.

The museum brings spotlight to the horrible treatment during the Holocaust and yet turns a blind eye to the similar tactics of Israel.  Until they address this then I cannot take them seriously.

I will be called an anti-semite for this but that would be inaccurate….I do not hate Jews…I hate the heavy handed tactics of the government of Israel.

Off I go to boycott as much as I can….will see you guys later…..more stuff in the works….time to begin my weekend of gardening……chuq

Death Of Soft Power

Soft and hard power….I know it sounds like some sort of add for miracle mattress….well Hell not this time…..soft power is a technique for handling world affairs…..a technique that is being lost especially with a Trump presidency……

The evidence is clear. Donald Trump’s presidency has eroded America’s soft power. Only 30% of people recently polled by Gallup in 134 countries held a favourable view of the United States under Trump’s leadership, a drop of almost 20 points since Barack Obama’s presidency. The Pew Research Center found that China, with 30% approval ratings, had reached near-parity with the US. And a British index, The Soft Power 30, showed America slipping from first place in 2016 to third place last year.

Trump’s defenders reply that soft power does not matter. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, proclaimed a ‘hard power budget’ as he slashed funds for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development by 30%. For promoters of ‘America First’, what the rest of the world thinks ranks second. Are they right?

A country’s soft power comes primarily from three sources: its culture (when it is attractive to others), its political values such as democracy and human rights (when it lives up to them), and its policies (when they are seen as legitimate because they are framed with some humility and awareness of others’ interests). How a government behaves at home (for example, protecting a free press), in international institutions (consulting others and multilateralism) and in foreign policy (promoting development and human rights) can affect others by the influence of its example. In all of these areas, Trump has reversed attractive American policies.

Would you like to understand what “soft power” means?

“Soft power” is a term used to describe a nation’s use of co-operative programs and monetary aide to persuade other nations to ascribe to its policies. With U.S. State Department budget cuts likely in the wake of the August 2, 2011 debt ceiling deal, many observers expect soft-power programs to suffer.

Hard power makes more profit for the defense industry so it will be more attractive than soft power and will remain so until we find a way to make peace as attractive (profitable)  as war…..not any time soon.

Soft power……hard power…..whatever….the US needs to get back to basics…….

An especially pernicious idea regarding U.S. foreign policy was Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s assertion that the United States was the world’s “indispensable nation.” It would have been bad enough if that statement had been a content-less expression of national narcissism. However, that same arrogant assumption has been the guiding principle of Washington’s foreign policy since the end of World War II—and especially since the end of the Cold War. The belief led to strategic overextension, as the United States embraced security obligations, both explicit and implicit, around the world.

Military force is not the best foreign policy…..but since our diplomatic corps is in the crapper….it is all we have at this point in history.

This will be my last post until I can get the whole doctor experience for the day over with……hopefully it will be over soon……..