Two Candidates, Zero Solutions

By ow the American voter has heard every lame ass reason for them to vote for dumb or dumber…..every applause line possible has been uttered and NOTHING of real substance has been heard.

We have comical solutions like a “Great Wall”…on “make the sand glow”…..or “we will defeat…..”none of it actually spells out how exactly any of these pipe dreams will work…..and their website are as worthless as used toilet paper…..but the major of Americans will vote for either “numb nuts” or “I want nuts”…..

Of course after the most recent bombing in NYC and Jersey the two candidates had to sprint to a microphone to offer their visions……

Facts are still coming out about the New York and New Jersey bombings. But from the information we do have, one thing is clear: the counterterror solutions promoted by Trump and Clinton would not have helped prevent it.

Source: Two Major Candidates, Zero Solutions for Terrorism – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

The next president will need to be a leader of exceptional quality….and neither of these two clowns have shown none of that quality……

Over the next four years, U.S. men and women will almost certainly be fighting and dying in combat operations abroad. Whoever becomes commander-in-chief in January 2017 will probably spend his or her term in office explaining to the American people, long tired of war, why still more sacrifice is necessary. On the economic front, a long-ignored fiscal crunch will have to be confronted. And if these two major challenges are not daunting enough, the next president is likely to face a country as polarized as it has been at any time in the last century. He or she will have to find a way to bridge the differences or be content representing barely half the population. That task may become even more difficult, given that the United States is becoming a nation of far more diverse ancestry, faith traditions, and complexion. The president who does not recognize and adapt to the new America could be seen as a player from yesteryear, or even an outlier in the unfolding national story. Presidential leadership is no simple matter.

Source: Presidential Leadership: Uniting Behind Exceptionalism | World Affairs Journal

We will be ass deep in international problems….NO matter which comic makes it to the White House.

Fool Me Once, Then Fool Me Twice……

Did anyone out there watch Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday?

Yea….me either.

The US has a long history of “fooling” the pubic in favor of war….The Gulf of Tonkin attack 2, Gulf War 1, Iraq 2003, Libya in 2011 and now it is Russia that is getting the full nelson…..

I appears that the UK is suffering from this deception as well……

After the British report exposing falsehoods to justify invading Iraq in 2003, a new U.K. inquiry found similar misconduct in the 2011 attack on Libya, but no lessons are learned for the West’s new propaganda about Russia, writes Robert Parry.

A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West’s military intervention to “protect” civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous “regime change” operation.

The report from the U.K.’s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the “humanitarian” mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos.

Source: Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia – Consortiumnews

The media is working long and hard with the governments to make the case against Russia…..Russia has been responsible for many things but could they be getting a “bum’s rush” these days?

Check out my past post on how to recognize propaganda and tell me what you think this is all about……

Propaganda 2.0

What Is Propaganda?

Jill Stein on U.S. Policy in the Mideast

My regular readers know that I am thinking Green and that I firmly believe that foreign policy will be the most telling of issue in this election….

I have written extensively about the positions of the two major candidates and their issues on foreign policy….but I have written very little on the stands of the Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein……and then I found an interview with her on this subject…..

The foreign policy positions of third-party candidates haven’t received a great deal of media attention in the 2016 presidential election, but that could change in the weeks ahead as polls continue to tighten in crucial battleground states.

“[M]ost voters think/assume that Clinton is going to win. That can de-motivate turnout, or shift votes to [third] parties,” tweeted elections analyst Nate Silver.

RealClearWorld had the opportunity this week to discuss a variety of foreign policy issues with Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. This email interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Source: Jill Stein on U.S. Policy in the Mideast | RealClearWorld

Nothing in this interview would change my mind on Dr. Stein…..her answers to the few questions were commonsense answers that I can live with….

Voters need to look at all aspects of their candidates positions….just to follow someone because of rhetoric is sheer lunacy…..look what it has wrought in the last 50 years…..

These may not make sense to you….but to anyone that knows about international relations they make perfect sense and are positions that could end many of the conflicts we do NOT need.

That’s it for today my friends…I am off to lecture…..will be back tomorrow….

The Myth of American Retreat

Okay I admit it……I from time to time read the American Conservative…..while I do not agree with everything they write I do appreciate their perspectives from a conservative point of view…..there is so little true conservative thought these days.

What passes for conservative thought is nothing more than neoliberal bullshit…..especially when it comes to foreign policy and international relations….

The end of the Cold War brought about a rush of American politicos trying to set the US up as the preeminent power in the world….all the allegiances have not done what the neolibs desire….a safer America…..

The United States has been pursuing a grand strategy of primacy since at least the end of the Cold War. This hegemonic approach has sought, through active, deep engagement in the world, to preserve and extend the U.S.’s global dominance that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse. In other words, it has aimed to turn the unipolar moment into a unipolar era. Maintaining this dominance has meant aggressive diplomacy and the frequent display, threat, and use of military power everywhere from the Balkans to the Baltics, from Libya to Pakistan, and from the Taiwan Straits to the Korean peninsula.   

Unfortunately, primacy has largely failed to deliver what must be the first, second, and third priorities for any grand strategy: the satisfaction of national interests, foremost among them America’s safety. Rather than peace and security, primacy has brought about questionable military interventions and wars of choice in Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans (twice), Iraq (three times, depending on how you count), Libya, and Syria. Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the deaths of almost 7,000 American troops, the wounding of tens of thousands more, and the filing of disability claims by nearly a million veterans. Rather than protecting the conditions of our prosperity, primacy has cost Americans dearly, with the annual defense budget now set to rise to around $600 billion and the Iraq War alone wasting trillions of dollars. As for our values, the U.S. approach has placed our nation in the uncomfortable position of defending illiberal regimes abroad, stained our reputation for the rule of law with Guantanamo and drone campaigns, and sacrificed the Constitutional authority of Congress. 

Source: The Myth of American Retreat | The American Conservative

The US needs a change in direction…..the world has changed and we must change with it…..that will make the country safer.

What Will Future Bring?

The election will soon be in the history books…in more ways than one…..but with a win what will the next president face as far as foreign policy goes?

The big question for our next president is….what to do about ISIS?

There are so many players now in the fight…..Iran, Russia, US, Turkey, UK and on and on……will it be just a double down or will the players actually attempt to solve the situation?  (that is rhetorical for we all know the answer)……

When Turkey’s President ordered armed forces to cross into northern Syria with the tacit approval of Washington and Moscow, he was looking one step ahead of the Obama Administration’s waffling approach to the war on the Islamic State (ISIL) and the efforts to end the Syrian war, which is now in a new and even more violent phase.

Essentially, Erdoğan is taking a calculated but well-informed guess that the next US President, whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, will take a more aggressive stance against ISIL and other like-minded organizations — and will not object to Turkey having established an extensive “safe zone” in Northern Syria west of the Euphrates River. Turkish forces have already moved well beyond the limited invasion zone that Erdoğan presented to Vice President Joe Biden, during Biden’s recent visit to Ankara.

Erdoğan is prepared to wait out the final months of the Obama Presidency, which will end, for all practical purposes, immediately after the November presidential elections, when the incoming president-elect will take over the direction of policy.

In both cases, a significant overhaul of US policy on Iraq and Syria can be expected.

Source: Next US President Will Up the Ante against ISIL—But How? | Middle East Briefing

As long as the next president keeps the same dialog going…the Manichean approach…that is good vs evil, right vs wrong…etc….then this will be a protracted scenario with little chance of conclusion…..

But then it seemed that Pentagon official was engaged in one of the intellectual exercises favored by both neoconservatives on the political right and liberal internationalists on the political left: Drawing up foreign policy narratives that reflect the dualistic cosmology of Manichaeism in which international relations is seen as a never-ending struggle between light and darkness, between the forces of good led by the United States that are confronting the bad guys, ranging from “rogue states” to “authoritarian regimes” that threaten to destroy the liberal international order.

But in the real world, as opposed to the imaginary universe that neoconservatives and Wilsonians dream about, there are very few really good protagonists or really bad antagonists.

Source: Dangerous Manichean Foreign Policy Narratives | The National Interest Blog

The problem is this situation is driven by profits not right or wrong…..that will be left to the MSM to sell the idea to the public…in other words….this situation shall continue for the foreseeable future….little to no change will come.

The Terror of the Status Quo

Let start by saying that I have found some amazing thoughts and insights recently in the American Conservative….an unlikely source for me because I guess I am one of those “apologists” (an off-handed insult by those on the Right for people that will not agree with them) just 20 years ago I would had scoffed at anything coming from a conservative source….but these days of stupidity it is a joy to see that there are still some that can think for themselves on the Right.

We are bombarded by terrorists that commit those atrocities in cities across the globe….the problem is when analyzed by the media and some bloggers they try to look beyond the recent attack to a larger reason….the problem is that these attacks come mostly from a handful of “lone wolf” attackers (more on this subject at a later day) …..few look at the person….they are disgruntled, discouraged and wothless citizens that seem to want some sort of recognition.

Once upon a time the big threat to civilization was al-Qaeda. But today it is ISIS, alternatively known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh. Transcending their existence as actual physical entities, the names or acronyms have become metaphors for terrorist attacks, striking fear in the hearts of the people and enabling the political class in Europe and the United States to grow government in response. At the Republican National Convention, presidential candidate Donald Trump vowed to destroy ISIS—and the Democrats led by Hillary Clinton will probably follow suit. But can it be done? Or, more to the point, how does one go about doing it? How will Trump and Clinton keep their promises to keep Americans safe from Islamic radicals?

What we call terrorism is a tactic used by groups that are essentially political. You can find it in Tacitus, read about it in the accounts of 19th-century anarchists, and consider how it evolved in modern times, starting with the European leftist groups in the 1970s and then migrating to the Middle East. Today terrorism and Islamic radicalism are closely linked, but it is important to remember that it was not always so. What we refer to as terror enables a weaker party to demoralize and even threaten the stability of a nominally much stronger ruling authority.

Source: The Terror of the Status Quo | The American Conservative

What the American people do not know about terrorism would fill volumes….but instead they prefer to champion lame one-line solutions….which most times is not a solution at all but rather a program to strengthen the terrorist resolve.

Syria: A Ray Of Hope

There is news and then there is NEWS…..over the weekend there was some major news only it has been shuffled to the background thanx to the antics of the political process and the political games….

Syria has been a mess for years….everyone fighting everyone else to the point that it is more confusing than a plot on Reality TV……but through all this death and destruction a small ray of hope has broken through……

Russia and the US announced plans for a ceasefire in the five-year Syrian civil war Friday, CNN reports. Under the agreement—which both the Syrian government and opposition groups have tentatively agreed to—calls for an end to hostilities starting at sundown on Monday. Secretary of State John Kerry says the “bedrock of the agreement” is the government’s cessation of air force missions in any areas occupied by rebel groups. “That should put an end to…the indiscriminate bombing of civilian neighborhoods,” Kerry says. According to the AP, Kerry calls the ceasefire a possible “turning point” in the war that has killed more than 500,000 people.

The announcement came after “intensive” talks in Geneva, the BBC reports. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave journalists waiting for the end of 13 hours of negotiations pizza “from the US delegation” and vodka “from the Russian delegation.” The ceasefire will allow the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas, including Aleppo, where nearly 700 civilians—160 of them children—have been killed in the past 40 days. If the ceasefire lasts a week, the US and Russia will start planning joint military operations against al Qaeda and ISIS fighters in Syria. But such ceasefire agreements have failed in the past. “We think [the arrangement] has the capability of sticking, but it’s dependent on people’s choices,” Kerry says. “It is an opportunity and not more than that.”

Beginning sundown today……A nationwide cease-fire by Assad’s forces and the U.S.-backed opposition is set to begin across Syria at sundown Monday. That sets off a seven-day period that will allow for humanitarian aid and civilian traffic into Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, which has faced a recent onslaught.

Fighting forces are to also pull back from the Castello Road, a key thoroughfare and access route into Aleppo, and create a “demilitarized zone” around it.

Also Monday, the United States and Russia will begin preparations for the creation of a Joint Implementation Center that will involve information sharing needed to define areas controlled by the radical Nusra Front and opposition groups in areas “of active hostilities.”

The center is expected to be established a week later, and is to launch a broader effort toward delineating other territories in control of various groups.

As part of the arrangement, Russia is expected to keep Syrian air force planes from bombing areas controlled by the opposition. The United States has committed to help weaken the Nusra Front, an extremist group that has intermingled with the U.S.-backed opposition in places.

A resumption of political dialogue between the government and opposition under U.N. mediation, which was halted amid an upsurge in fighting in April, will be sought over the longer term.

Now the part that should the blogs in multiple directions is the fact that US and Russia are working in partnership (for now)……..

The United States and Russia working in lockstep against ISIS and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. A rejuvenated truce that will compel President Bashar Assad’s air and ground forces to pull back. New flows of badly needed humanitarian aid. Those details emerged Saturday as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov capped another marathon meeting in Geneva to present their latest ambitious push to end Syria’s devastating and complex war, the AP reports. The potential breakthrough deal, which promises a new US-Russian counterterrorism alliance, launches a nationwide cessation of hostilities by sundown Monday.

The military deal would go into effect after both sides abide by the truce for a week and allow unimpeded humanitarian deliveries. Then, the US and Russia would begin intelligence sharing and targeting coordination, while Assad’s air and ground forces would no longer be permitted to target Fath al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front; they would be restricted to operations against ISIS while the US and Russia target both groups. The deal will hinge on compliance by Assad’s Russian-backed forces and US-supported rebel groups, plus key regional powers such as Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—though as with previous blueprints for peace, Saturday’s plan appears to lack enforcement mechanisms.

What could possibly go wrong (he asked smilingly)……

What are the chances of success with this effort?  Now there is a good question.

In order to evaluate the value of the Kerry-Lavrov effort, we only have the patterns of previously exerted efforts, conducted separately or in a minimum de-confliction mode, to assess the extent of the individual impact of each power, then proceed to explore the potential impact of both combined.

In the case of Russia, its recent intensive air raids around Aleppo and Hama have not achieved their purpose on either front. The armed opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra, has made very impressive progress on both battle fields.

In the case of the US, the state of play in northern Syria shows a very limited ability to influence the dynamics of the on-the-ground-course of the fight: Turkey’s incursion – the defection of hundreds of Arab Syrian fighters from the US-backed, predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to join the Turkish-assisted opposition west of the Euphrates – previous failed US attempts to train Syrian forces in order to set them up against terrorist forces – these are but a few examples of a long list of trials and failures for US involvement in Syria.

Therefore, it is safe to say that Russia’s heavy bombardment plus Assad’s and Iran’s repeated offensives on multiple fronts have not reversed the dynamics on the ground in any substantial way. The US has not fared any better. Neither have its attempts to train forces, play the SDF off pro-Turkish forces, and other shallow and similar tactics changed the dynamics.

Considering such a dismal record for the two powers on the ground, independently, it is only natural to review whether together they can achieve any degree of success in fighting terrorism jointly. In other words, we must return to examining the link between the two powers, either working together or alone, on the one hand, and the course of the actual conflict on the ground as it progresses.

(MEBriefing.com)

Time will tell if this will be a successful endeavor……my guess is there are too many players with too many goals for it to be successful…..and I hope I am mistaken.

But am I?

One group has already rejected the truce……

An influential Syrian rebel group, the hardline Islamist Ahrar al-Sham, on Sunday rejected the truce deal brokered by Russia and the United States hours before it was due to begin.

A high-ranking member of the group, which works closely with former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, said in a statement on YouTube that the deal would only serve to “reinforce” the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and “increase the suffering” of civilians

Not a good start, huh?