WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Jan 07 10:27

As Trade Talks Begin, US Infuriates Beijing With Latest Navy Operation In South China Sea

As a US delegation led by senior trade officials arrived in Beijing on Monday to begin the first round of in-person talks to resolve the burgeoning US-China trade war, the US has reportedly carried out its latest 'Freedom of Navigation' operation in the South China Sea - though at least this time there wasn't a near-collision with a Chinese ship.

Since President Trump's inauguration, the US has stepped up its 'Freeops' as the US Navy seeks to contain China's growing military ambitions in the Pacific. But since the trade war began, the US has demonstrated a keen sense of timing, contributing to China's decisions to cancel security conferences and reconsider coming to the table to talk on trade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yet another, vivid, example of ..."Just because something is ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, is utterly no guarantee that the US government won't order our military to uncork something where the optics, and timing, are absolutely at their worst.

Jan 07 10:09

New in 2019: Two new US air bases in Africa nearing completion

U.S. Africa Command is hoping to finish two new air bases in 2019, one in Niger and one in Somalia, to stage operations against militants in the region.

Niger Air Base 201, a future hub for armed drones and other aircraft, was supposed to be completed this year. The region’s difficult weather and harsh conditions are pushing completion back to the middle of 2019, officials told Air Force Times.

Air Base 201 will eventually house the U.S. armed drone mission in Niger that currently operates out of Niger’s capital, Niamey.

Jan 07 10:08

Resisting Tyranny in the New Year. Headquartered in Washington: The Most Egregious Human Rights Offender in World History

It’s headquartered in Washington – with branch offices in Tel Aviv, Brussels, Berlin, London, Paris, other European capitals, and elsewhere worldwide.

It’s scourge threatens everyone everywhere, its diabolical agenda hostile to peace, equity and justice, to the public welfare, we the people meaning the privileged class exclusively, ordinary people exploited, not served.

The rage of ruling authorities in America and its junior partners to dominate and exploit aims to transform all countries into ruler-serf societies, unsafe and unfit to live in – Washington rules overriding international and sovereign state laws, US-controlled NATO operating as a global military, manufactured crises unjustifiably justifying endless wars against invented enemies, nonbelievers eliminated.

Jan 07 09:28

$100 Billion in Weapons to the Saudis Buys a World Full of Hurt

On December 13, the United States Senate made history with a vote invoking the 1973 War Powers Act to stop America’s military participation in, and support of, the unauthorized and immoral war against the desperate people in Yemen.

Never before had a vote of this nature passed the Senate. The measure passed with 56 senators voting in support and 41 voting against. It marked the first time the Senate has been able to put the breaks on our involvement in Yemen, a war that was never authorized by Congress, as is required by our Constitution.

Meanwhile, Speaker Paul Ryan went to extraordinary lengths to forestall a vote on a similar motion in the House of Representatives.

The history here is worth noting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I type this, the US military is aiding and abetting Saudi troops in Yemen, and, with the US government, is culpable a colluding in what have to be called "war crimes"; there is just no way to say this.

I have seen too many images of Yemeni children blown to bits, courtesy of Saudi air strikes; I have seen too many images of Yemeni children dying from malnutrition, courtesy of US/Saudi blockade of Yemen's ports, so no food can get into this tortured country; and I have seen too many images of Yemeni children, sickened by cholera, (possibly weaponised), courtesy of Saudi bombing water Yemen's infrastructure, to be silent.

Yes, bombs are about the only thing other countries want to buy from us, and just from a business perspective, one could say, these sales are "good for business"; but at what cost to this country's very soul and nature, do we continue to arm countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the crooked and dictatorial leadership of which hates any notion of a constitutional monarchy, and continue to oppress their own people?!?

I don't know about the rest of you, folks, but I am very tired of living in a country which, so consistently around the world, commits war crimes with impunity.

I remember being a kid, and being very proud to be an American; but as I got older, and was trying to look, objectively, at what the US does around the world, and why it does it, these "Claire on the Road" moments (at least intellectually), have been a real eye-opener.

The pattern is extremely clear. If there is someone sitting at the head of a government that DC doesn't like, with great resources (Like Afghanistan or Iraq) it destabilizes it; "the US creates "regime change", to a more Western-centric government; has the resources of that country expropriated, and controlled by US-friendly corporations, and all of the transactions done only in the US dollar.

When Karl Marx made the observation "All wars are economic in nature", the guy was very clearly correct in his assessment.

Jan 07 09:04

US-Backed Syrian Militants Carry Out Rare Surface-to-Surface Missile Test

What do US forces in Syria do when the Commander-in-Chief orders a "full" and "immediate" draw down of troops from the country? They conduct a rare surface-to-surface missile test with their "rebel" partners on the ground of course.

An exclusive report from Middle East news site Al Masdar finds the following based on a video of the missile test uploaded to opposition social media on June 3rd, though it's unknown precisely when the test was carried out:

The U.S.-backed rebel forces carried out a rare missile test in the Al-Tanf region of southeastern Homs province recently.

U.S.-backed "Revolutionary Commandos" reportedly conducted this missile test in the Al-Tanf Zone that is located along the Iraqi border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But I have to ask; at whom was this aimed?!? Did it, again, as happens so many times with US-led attacks, hit civilians?!?

There are no answers on that from this article.

Jan 07 08:51

No Syria withdrawal without Turkish pledge not to attack Kurds, Bolton says

President Donald Trump will not withdraw American troops from northern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t then attack Syrian Kurdish forces that have been critical allies in the fight against ISIS, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.

Bolton said a commitment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that protects the Kurds after American forces exit is something Trump is demanding, and that it’s just one of several conditions that have to be met before U.S. troops leave.

“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, Bolton can back-peddle with the best of them!!

I would not hold my breath that Erdogan will spare the Kurds in any way;but of course, that was Bolton's strategy here all along, as the "excuse" for keeping American military in Syria, permanently, and not leaving.

But this statement leaves me wondering: who precisely is in control of American foreign policy?!?

If you said "Israel's Netanyahu"(among other parties) you would be, of course, completely correct.

Netanyahu is unsure whether the Israeli AG is going to press charges of corruption against him, so he dissolved the Knesset, and set elections for 9 April; just about the time that President Trump has stated, vaguely, that the drawdown in Syria was supposed to start.

Without any oversight by the Knesset, which he dissolved last month, and with him holding two positions in government, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense, he has from today to the 9th of April (about 90 days) to do anything he wants that the IDF leadership believes is "do-able" in that time frame.

I think he has given Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo their "marching orders" as to just what they will do in the Middle East that will cause him to be thought of very positively, by the time Israeli elections happen.

I don't know whether the madness will be against Gaza; Lebanon; Syria; or Iran; but this is when I expect Netanyahu, who is now a geopolitically wounded animal, to either lash out; or have his American proxies in the Middle East, do the same.

Jan 07 08:10

TALIBAN WANTS US TALKS MOVED FROM SAUDI ARABIA TO QATAR

Taliban officials said yesterday that the movement will not attend planned peace talks with the United States in Saudi Arabia this month and wants them moved to Qatar.

The next round of talks between the Taliban and the US are the fourth in a series aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan. The talks will address the withdrawal of foreign troops and a possible ceasefire in 2019.

The movement’s leaders have rejected an offer from the Afghan government for direct talks despite mounting international pressure to involve the Western-backed government in the discussions.

“We are supposed to meet US officials in Riyadh next week and resume the unfinished peace process held in Abu Dhabi last month,” a senior Taliban member told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“The problem is that Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted us to meet with the Afghan government delegation, which we cannot do for the time being, and therefore we canceled the meeting in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, finally, there may be a way for the stalemate in Afghanistan to end, and US/NATO troops can go home?!?

I wouldn't want to bet on it right now.

Jan 06 16:14

Girl power to kill: Women now control America’s military-industrial complex

It’s not just Congress that’s seeing more and more female faces as of late. Women have taken control of the US’ multibillion dollar military-industrial complex too. Who said that war is only a man’s business?

With the 116th Congress being hailed as the most diverse and most female one yet, the rise of the empowered woman has left few sectors of business and government untouched and now extends to the US’ cosy-cosy club of arms manufacturers and their government procurers.

Politico celebrated this “watershed” moment on Wednesday, announcing that as of January 1, the CEOs of four of the nation’s top five defense contractors – Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Boeing’s defense wing – are now women. The latest appointment was of Kathy Warden as CEO and president of Northrop Grumman.

Jan 06 15:34

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

Deep State point of view,but a lot of truth about how much power the President would have if he invoked a State of Emergency and Martial Law.

The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority.

Jan 06 14:45

It Begins: Russia, China, and India Are Now All Dumping the US Dollar

(RT) — The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

Jan 06 10:06

Xi Jinping Orders Military to ‘Enhance Combat Readiness’ After U.S. Travel Warning

Chinese state media announced Friday that Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “enhance their combat readiness,” without elaborating what threat has made preparation for combat so urgent.

The announcement followed threats from Xi himself that the Chinese state would not reject the use of force if necessary to invade and capture the nation of Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province. It also follows remarks from the Pentagon that its prime concern is China’s military activities and a warning for Americans from the State Department to avoid traveling to China if possible because police can arbitrarily detain them at any time.

Jan 06 10:05

Russia to Deploy Precision Strike Missiles in Western Atlantic

Russia is deploying long-range, precision cruise missiles to the western Atlantic that American defense officials say will allow Moscow to target Washington and other East Coast cities with conventional or nuclear attacks.

Moscow is adding Kalibr land attack cruise missiles to both warships and missile submarines that Moscow plans to use in Atlantic patrols near the United States, sorties that were once routine during the Cold War.

Jan 06 09:19

Senate's First Act: "An Implicit Rebuke" Of Trump's Syria Draw Down

The Republican-held Senate's first order of business as it reconvened on Friday for 2019 was to push back against President Trump's planned Syria withdrawal, as the first bill Republican leadership introduced, led by hawk Marco Rubio, is being described as "an implicit rebuke" of the president's Syria policy.

Jan 06 08:34

US To Hold "First-Ever" Missile Drill On Japan's Okinawa

The US Military will conduct its first-ever missile drill on the Japanese Island of Okinawa, located in the East China Sea, as Washington attempts to counter an increasingly aggressive China. Japan Times reported on Thursday that the US military had notified Japan’s government that it would deploy anti-ship missile systems around the strategically important island this year, the original story was released by Sankei Shimbun.

The war exercise would fortify the island with possible truck-mounted anti-ship cruise missile systems seen as a countermeasure to potential attacks from Chinese surface-to-sea ballistic rockets, the paper said.

Jan 06 07:45

Lobe: The role of the Weekly Standard, devoted to Israel, in promoting war

There was really no surprise in this. Just a few floors up from The Standard’s offices were those of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a veritable hive of pro-war activity and part-time Pentagon “consultants.” AEI was, more specifically, the home of Richard Perle, a favorite of Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who, as chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, played a critical role in getting Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith placed into their posts as Deputy Secretary of Defense and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, respectively, and of positioning Iraqi expatriate con man par excellence Ahmad Chalabi at the center of the administration’s policy- and decision-making.

Jan 05 13:55

Girl Power To Kill (Women now control America’s military-industrial complex)

No matter the gender of the person at the reins, the US maintains a military presence in some 177 countries worldwide, and the Department of Defense has an annual budget of almost $700 billion. War is big business for America’s defense manufacturers too. Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics made a combined $56 billion in the third quarter of 2018 alone.

Jan 05 11:12

Trump Instructs Pentagon to Curb Watchdogs’ Access to Secret Military Reports

Transparency groups decry move as hindering the work of inspectors general.

President Trump, in a nationally televised Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, instructed acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to withhold classified battlefield reports from inspectors general, a move that brought objections from transparency advocates.

“I can tell you [a] story when I got here about our military that I don’t even want to talk about,” Trump said. “We do these reports on our military. Some IG goes over there, and he goes over there and they do a report on every single thing. We’re fighting wars and they’re doing [a] report and releasing it to the public. The public means the enemy. Those reports should be private reports.”

The president continued: “Let them do a report, but they should be private reports and be locked up … [Giving the reports] out to the enemy is insane. And I don’t want it to happen anymore, Mr. Secretary. You understand that?”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; if these reports were absolutely glowing, in terms the accomplishments of US troops, fighting on the ground in Afghanistan and elsewhere, would President Trump be as agitated as he appeared to be, Wednesday, on this issue?!?

I would suspect... probably not.

Jan 05 10:51

REPORT: USS COLE PLOTTER KILLED IN YEMEN

One of the masterminds behind a deadly attack on a US warship in Yemen more than 18 years ago was killed in that country earlier this week, according to a report published Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi, an al-Qaeda operative, is believed to have played a central role in the Oct. 12, 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in which 17 American sailors were killed.

US intelligence indicates al-Badawi was killed Tuesday in an airstrike in Ma’rib Governorate, CNN reported, citing an anonymous Trump administration official.

The strike took place when al-Badawi was reportedly driving alone. No collateral damage is currently known.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to remind our readers and listeners, during the Obama presidency, that the US and the world were told that military operatives in Pakistan killed a guy who might have somewhat looked like Bin Laden, but was not Bin Laden.

President obama announces Osama Bin Laden's death

Or if you crave a truly fact-centric version of Osama's death, try what appeared at WRH:

Osama Bin Laden: A Dead Nemesis perpetuated by the US government.

Now, this person, who allegedly put together the horror attack on the USS Cole MAY, or may not - be alive. Just please remember that, when you read stories like this. is that they need to be read with more than a grain of salt.

Jan 05 10:47

80 US Troops Deployed to Central Africa Over Concerns of Violence in Congo

US President Donald Trump announced Friday that 80 US military personnel had been deployed to the central African country of Gabon in response to violence in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo centering on its disputed presidential elections.

Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders noting that the first troops of the deployment had arrived in Gabon's capital of Libreville on Wednesday. The letter notes that further troops may be deployed "if necessary" until the "security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Right into the middle of an Ebola epidemic!

Jan 05 10:45

US tensions with China, Russia rise

China has warned that it is not afraid to protect itself when necessary as tensions with the United States continue unabated.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing will prioritize developing cooperation between its armed forces and those of other countries.

“Also — looking at the bigger picture for our countries — if what we mutually seek is a partner, then we will likely get a partner. But if what we seek is an adversary, then we will certainly get an adversary,” Lu said on Thursday.

His remarks came after acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said his top priority is to counter China.

Jan 05 10:03

CHINA RELEASES FOOTAGE OF "MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS" DROPPED BY NUKE CAPABLE JET

On Friday China unveiled video from a successful test of its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs" in reference to a weapon previously used by US forces in Afghanistan. The official Xinhua news agency published details of the weapon for the first time while calling it the "Chinese version of the 'Mother of all Bombs'".

It is reportedly 5-6 meters long and its massive weight means the delivery vehicle, in this case China's H-6K long range nuclear capable bomber, can only carry one at a time.

While China has denied that it is a thermobaric bomb — an explosive that uses oxygen in the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion — its incredible size mimics the 22,000-pound GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb that US forces dropped in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province targeting a jihadist hideout tunnel complex in April of 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The timing of this demonstration, right before trade talks are supposed to start next week, was absolutely not accidental; this test was done now, so that people in the American government and military, understand that they have this weapon, and will not be afraid to use it, if the Chinese military sees the timing as right.

Jan 04 13:54

Trump ignoring Tel Aviv’s demands about Syria: Israeli report

US President Donald Trump’s recent statements about Syria have alarmed Israeli officials and intelligence services, according to an Israeli report.

"It’s unfortunate that he isn’t paying attention to the evidence provided by the intelligence services," said an unnamed senior Israeli official speaking to the Israeli Ynet news website on Thursday.

"We are in a state of shock. Trump simply doesn’t understand the extent of the Iranian military's presence in the region."

The statement was made in response to Trump’s earlier remarks, which some Israeli media outlets described as an American “policy change” on Syria.

“Iran is pulling people out of Syria, but they can frankly do whatever they want there,” said Trump

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I posit a very different thought here.

Netanyahu is in the political fight of his life, and still unsure if Israel's AG will indict him for corruption.

Netanyahu has dissolved Israel's Parliament, and called for an election to be held on 9 April.

So what I think has happened, is that Israel has given President Trump his "marching orders", which is why the slowdown of the withdrawal of American troops will happen in 90 days, which conveniently dovetails into the time between the moment the Knesset was dismissed, and elections were called on April 9th.

What President Trump has done, has been to give Netanyahu 90 days in which he can do what he wants militarily, in Gaza; Syria; Iran; or Lebanon, so as to look "uber-butch" to the voters come April 9th.

Let's just say that we may well be on the cutting edge of a March/April "Israeli surprise". But if any of these actions come off badly, Netanyahu may well have sealed his fate at the ballot box.

Jan 04 13:42

What’s behind US labeling China a ‘threat’ & what if trade talks fail? Keiser Report weighs in

China undermines US monopoly, making cheaper goods and equipment America cannot spy on, veteran economist Michael Hudson told RT’s Max Keiser. He warns that the world is to split if the two powers fail to settle their row.
Washington cannot stand and feels insecure when it cannot totally control other countries, allowing it to make others do “whatever we want in foreign policy and treat you like we are treating Iran,” professor of economics at the University of Missouri and a researcher at the Levy Economics Institute explained in a New Year’s special of Keiser Report.

The same applies if the US is unable to put spyware in different devices, the analyst added. But China manufactures its own chips among other high technology equipment thus making this mission impossible.

China is making telephones and computer equipment that we can’t spy on and that is a threat to our national security because they’re interfering with our ability to spy on you and on it,” Hudson said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am hoping (and praying) that things at this meeting go well.

If not, we could be looking at the results of this "fracturing world" end in a world war.

Jan 04 12:47

Pompeo Warns Iran Against Launching Rockets Into Space

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement preemptively warning Iran against following through on a plan to launch rockets into space, saying that they are required to cease all nuclear-related activities and that the US will not allow them to put international security at risk.

Pompeo further accused Iran of being in defiant of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, saying that Iran must not launch any rockets into space as a result.

Iranian officials dismissed these allegations, saying that no UN resolution prohibits them from sending vehicles into space. This is not the first time this has been a subject of dispute between the US and Iran on the UNSC 2231.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Secretary of State Pompeo, your amazing ability to lie to get what you want, is well documented.
Pompeo lied to Congress about Yemen to protect arms sales

You accusations against Iran in this area have no merits and are very fact-free. You are making up the argument that if Iran shoots any more rockets into space, the Iranian government should be defined as a "regional aggressor", and that should be the justification for an American strike against it.

And to add insult to injury, the IAEA, at its last round of inspections, declared that Iran was following the letter of the law, and does not possess any nuclear weapons.

And here is what they said in October of 2018:

Benjamin Netanyahu, please go away

The article goes on to state:

The IAEA seems to have had enough of Netanyahu’s mumbo jumbo. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano responded to Netanyahu by saying that the IAEA's work "must always be impartial, factual, and professional.”

Without a single evidence, the mad man from Tel Aviv proceeded to say:

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues. Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles.”[3]

Right now, Netanyahu is in one of the roughest patches in his political career, as it is still uncertain as to whether Israel's Attorney General will indict him for corruption.

He has just dissolved his Parliament, and he is desperate for a distraction, which I believe, President Trump just gave him, in announcing the the Syrian withdrawal process to end in April.

April happens to be the month when snap elections are to be held in Israel; so in essence, President Trump has given him time to do something "amazingly evil" between now and April, perhaps against Iran; perhaps against Lebanon; perhaps against Syria, because he wants to look "butch" to his electorate.

There is no accident here in the timing; we may well be looking for a "March/April "Surprise", generated by Israel, and supported by the US government, again, to keep Netanyahu in office.
in the Middle East

Jan 04 12:11

TRUMP WALKS BACK SYRIA PULLOUT AS NOOSE TIGHTENS - GOLD GOATS 'N GUNS

If anyone still thinks that Donald Trump has some master plan to kill off his Deep State adversaries they should check themselves into therapy. I know withdrawal is hard, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to curing it.

He doesn’t have a plan. He may fight them but it won’t be with any kind of master plan to trap them in some beautiful bit of political judo.

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

No, Trump is winging things at this point. While he still has the office he’s trying to do some of the things he promised. Doing that may keep him in power for a few more months.

But with his walking back the timetable for pulling troops out of Syria after a visit from Lindsay Graham (R-MIC/AIPAC) should tell you all you need to know about Trump’s willingness to stand up to the pressure he’s under.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel and his AIPAC sponsors have spoken; they want to make a complete desolation of the Middle East; want to see the war in Syria expand, as well as a war against Iran, to be led by the Americans, (only at the costs of American blood and American money, of course,) which the Russians and Iranians will probably join, on the Syrian side.

I am sickened by this about-face on President Trump's part, but we had to see the handwriting on the wall years ago, in terms of what Israel was up to, and how they think they can maneuver the American president in any direction they feel is beneficial for Israel.

What President Trump needs to realize, is that what may be beneficial to Israel, may not be at all good for We the People, you know, the folks who hired him, thinking that he was at least going to keep his promises.

Unfortunately, as time has unfolded, we have seen him flip-flop on so many issues, that we are getting "intellectual whiplash" at the rapidity of these policy changes.

And with the continued clamoring by the Warmongers for more and more US-sponsored military engagements around the world, I would not bet against the possible return to the draft in this country, perhaps as early this year.

Jan 04 11:57

IS THE END OF THE BRUTAL WAR IN YEMEN FINALLY AT HAND?

When the new Congress convenes Jan. 3, it is expected to pass a House resolution upholding congressional war powers and ending all direct U.S. involvement in the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. But hopes remain high that H. Con. Res. 138 will help to end the Yemen war itself. Congressional strategists and activists who have been working on the issue believe passage of the war powers measure will force Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the negotiating table.

Proponents of the war powers resolution, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California, argue the Saudis will not be able to continue the war without the political-diplomatic support of the United States, and the Yemen resolution will make dramatically clear the Saudis can no longer count on U.S. support.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is more than a bit of naivete on the part of these Congressional Representatives, thinking this resolution will kill the war in Yemen.

The Butcher of Yemen is not likely to sit down and negotiate with anyone at this point; and he doesn't give a damn about the Yemeni people killed and crippled for life, nor does he care about the lives lost in the Saudi military; they are simply "a means to an end"

While I wish them luck, because many thinking Americans, including me, do not wish to see the American military aid and abet Saudi war crimes in Yemen, I don't think that this legislation will be signed by President Trump, and that he will veto it, on the grounds that wars like the war in Yemen, "are good for the weaponry business", which it is.

But at what point do these war crimes tear away at the fabric of decency and justice, in this country?!?

This is a war upon which the American people need an open, honest discussion of how the US military got committed into this mess, and the quickest way out of it.

Jan 04 08:55

‘Jealous’ US Upping Military Activity in Latin America to Counter Russia, China

The US has been stepping up its involvement in military exercises in Latin America in recent years, partly in response to growing regional influence by Russia and China. The US has long supported right-wing governments in the region to protect its interests and block Soviet influence; more recently, they’ve been a bulwark against the Pink Tide.

Almost since the country's inception, the United States has viewed Latin America as its own backyard, with US President James Monroe articulating that view in 1823 in a doctrine that came to be named after him. Ironically, that, too, was provoked by Russian expansion into the Americas, when it claimed land along North America's northwestern Pacific coast.

Jan 04 08:54

Trump Mulls Nominating 'China Hawk' James Webb as Pentagon Chief - Reports

US President Donald Trump is looking at former Secretary of the Navy James Webb, a former Democratic senator, and advocate of confronting China, as his next secretary of defense to replace James Mattis, the US media said Thursday.

Webb, who served as secretary of the Navy under Republican President Ronald Reagan was a critic of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and may be asked to implement US troop withdrawals from both Syria and Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Jan 04 08:45

US upgrading F-35s amid S-300 delivery to Syria – reports

The deployment of advanced S-300 missiles to Syria has set off alarm bells in the US and Israel

The Pentagon’s decision to conduct addition tests for its F-35 stealth fighter means that it is not so sure about the plane’s invisibility to Russia’s S-300 missiles, the Indian newspaper EurAsian Times wrote.

“The fact that the Americans tried to make the plane invisible does not mean that it really is. And it’s not for nothing that the Pentagon suddenly announced the need for additional F-35 tests, recently. This is clear evidence that the US themselves do not believe in the competence of F-35 against the S-300 air defense systems,” the news site added.

Jan 04 08:23

Developer Leaks Image Of New Self-Propelled Cannon For Russian Forces

TsNIITochMash, the Russian industrial design bureau tasked with designing and manufacturing new weapons for the modernization of Russian Armed Forces, has just leaked out new schematics of its next-generation airdroppable artillery piece, slated for testing by the Airborne Forces and the Naval Infantry later this year.

The image of the new "Lotus," a self-propelled, tracked artillery system, appeared in the design bureau's 2019 corporate calendar, was leaked on social media via the bureau's Instagram account, and was first reported by Sputnik.

Jan 03 12:24

Scott Adams: Romney, Trump’s Press Conference, Arctic Ice and Nuclear Power

A+ Good risk/reward play by Romney
President Trump’s comments on walls that exist and work
Anti-Trump forced to deal with Obama and Popes walls
“Sand and Death”, President Trump’s branding is excellent
Visual persuasion examples and the essence of issues
AOC in group picture of new House members
AOC once again, makes the right choice when others don’t
Focusing on ice to determine if climate change is real
Is ice increasing or decreasing in net total?
How do we not know the clear answer to that question?
Steve Goddard and Tony Heller are the same guy
One powerful skeptic voice…not two, pen name
Rebuttal charts for temperature data on climate change
The most basic, easily verifiable facts aren’t agreed on?
Are nuclear and fusion power cost effective or not?
Really smart people aren’t in agreement

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1080842402166845441

Jan 03 11:50

Thousands vs 1 killed: Why did MSM notice Yemen bloodbath only after Khashoggi’s murder? -RT Video

Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen against Houthi fighters - deemed terrorists by Riyadh - has been ongoing for more than three years now.

Yet -

Jan 03 11:21

Israel's 'Sea Wall' Complete Along Gaza For Total Air, Sea and Land Blockade

Israel is close to bringing its controversial 'Sea Wall' which runs along side the Gaza Strip to completion, Israeli media Channel 10 reports. The project has come under international condemnation and scrutiny since it began in May 2018, at which point Israeli officials announced the massive sea barrier separating Gazan and Israeli sections of water is necessary to prevent Hamas fighters from infiltrating Israel by sea as they did during the last war in 2014.

Jan 03 11:11

WAR IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS AND ORGANIZED CRIME: AFGHANISTAN’S MULTIBILLION DOLLAR OPIUM TRADE. RISING HEROIN ADDICTION IN THE US

Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the 500 billion dollars mark. This multibillion dollar hike is the result of a significant increase in the volume of heroin transacted Worldwide coupled with a moderate increase in retail prices.

Based on the most recent (UNODC) data (2017) opium production in Afghanistan is of the order of 9000 metric tons, which after processing and transformation is equivalent to approximately 900,000 kg. of pure heroin.

With the surge in heroin addiction since 2001, the retail price of heroin has increased. According to DEA intelligence, one gram of pure heroin was selling in December 2016 in the domestic US market for $902 per gram.

The Heroin trade is colossal: one gram of pure heroin selling at $902 is equivalent to almost a million US dollars a kilo ($902,000) (see table below)

Jan 03 11:03

Trump wants 'insane' public releases of Pentagon watchdog reports to end

US President Donald Trump has slammed the Pentagon's inspector-general for releasing reports about Iraq and Afghanistan to the public, demanding even less transparency from one of the country's least transparent agencies.

Trump told acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan he wanted to stop releasing the watchdog reports to the public immediately, calling the practice “insane” during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Jan 03 11:01

Acting US defense secretary says it’s all ‘China, China, China’

While Washington is locked in tough trade talks with Beijing, China is also on the mind of the acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan who reportedly told civilian leaders at the Pentagon to focus on the country .

Less than two days on the job, Shanahan – previously deputy defense secretary to James Mattis, who departed on Monday – told the leaders to remain “focused on ongoing operations” but “remember ‘China, China, China,’” an anonymous official told Reuters.

Jan 03 10:30

The Military & Political Trends Of 2018 That Will Shape 2019

2018 was marked by notable and sometimes alarming political, military and security developments around the world. The Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and East Asia once again became the scenes of global and intra-regional standoffs. A characteristic feature of the past year was the fact that almost all cross-border regions as well as regions which directly concern the economic and security interests of the USA, the EU, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation have been drawn into the confrontation between global forces. This leads to the conclusion that there are no more “safe havens” in today’s world.

Jan 03 10:20

Russia to expand Iskander arsenal in 2019, test 200 new weapons

The Russian military is slated to expand its arsenal of Iskander-M nuclear-capable missiles in 2019, one of the nearly 200 new weapons that Moscow continues to develop under its new state armament program.

"In 2019, the process of reequipping the missile troops of the Russian Ground Forces with the Iskander-M missile systems will be completed. In accordance with the state defense order, the manufacturer will hand a unit of the Iskander-M systems over to the Western Military District," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Capable of hitting targets 500 kilometers away, the precision-guided missile can be used against multiple-launch rocket systems, long-range artillery guns, command posts and communications centers.

The Iskander-M missiles are designed to perform special maneuvers at extreme speeds and release decoys to bypass all existing missile defense systems, according to the Russian defense ministry.

Jan 03 09:20

Iran 'Can Do What They Want' in Syria, Trump Says

Speaking on the war-torn country in wake of his momentous decision to pull out American troops, Trump sidelines question on move's timing, says it will 'happen over a period of time'

Jan 03 09:19

Croatia threatens to cancel F-16 purchase from Israel over months of delays

Croatia threatened to cancel its purchase of F-16 fighter jets from Israel on Thursday, January 2 after months of stalling due to a lack of U.S. approval.

Croatia had in March agreed to buy 12 used F-16s from Israel to replace its Russian-made MiG-21s.

The deal, worth $500 million (€440 million), was the Balkan nation’s biggest arms purchase since splitting from former Yugoslavia in the 1990s war.

But Washington objected to the sale of the U.S.-made jets because it wants the removal of electronic system upgrades that Israel added.

After months of delay, the Croatian defense ministry said it asked Israel for “official information by January 11 on whether Israel can deliver the planes.”

If Croatia is not able to buy the specific jets it chose, the government will cancel the deal, the ministry said.

Jan 03 09:15

The Army, in need of recruits, turns focus to Seattle, other liberal-leaning cities

Army recruiters in Seattle can earn a Friday off for each new soldier they enlist. But in a city with a thriving tech industry and a long history of anti-war protests, the recruiters haven’t gotten many long weekends.

“It’s no secret we’re a little behind,” Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Vargas, who heads the city’s recruiting station, told four recruiters at a recent morning pep talk. With a week left in the month, he wrote the station’s goal — five recruits — on a white board, and then the current tally: two

Jan 03 09:12

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

A journalist with NBC has resigned from the network with a statement which highlights the immense resistance that ostensibly liberal mass media outlets have to antiwar narratives, skepticism of US military agendas, and any movement in the opposite direction of endless military expansionism.

“January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good,” begins an email titled ‘My goodbye letter to NBC’ sent to various contacts by William M Arkin, an award-winning journalist who has been associated with the network for 30 years.

Jan 03 09:12

Trump's Right About ‘Ridiculous’ Misuse of U.S. Troops

Donald Trump has been complaining for years about the promiscuous use of American military personnel. Two weeks ago, he did something about it, announcing the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 from Afghanistan.

Republicans joined Democrats in condemning Trump for acting impulsively, sowing "chaos," and precipitating a "national security crisis." But it's the president's overwrought critics who are making choices without thinking, driven by the momentum of military mistakes to support open-ended commitments that make no sense.

The U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war was never authorized by Congress, and its aims were nebulous. A few months ago, Trump's national security adviser was saying American forces would stay in Syria as long as Iran or its proxies are operating there—in other words, indefinitely.

Jan 02 14:23

Trump Trashes Mattis, Says "I Think I Could Have Been A Good General"

In his first Cabinet meeting of the new year, President Trump went off-script with reporters, slamming recently-departed Defense Secretary Jim "mad dog" Mattis, claiming he "essentially fired" the four-star general, who abruptly resigned last month.

Trashing Mattis' management of the Afghanistan war, Trump reminded reporters that Mattis had personally thanked him for helping secure $716 billion for national security in the current fiscal year. But then he quickly rebuked:

"What’s he done for me?” Trump said.

“How had he done in Afghanistan? Not too good.”

Adding that:

"I think I would have been a good general...but who knows.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is one of the most utterly tasteless, ill-conceived statements this President has ever uttered, and as we all know, is far from his first, consistently, and nearly pathologically, taking potshots at fired executives within his government.

So Mr. President,some words of wisdom; it would good for our country, at this point, if you could, please, try to contain your hubris, coupled with your outrage against people you recommended for serious high-level positions in the administration, then fired, somewhere other that twitter, or public events or addresses.

A diary would be a nice idea, perhaps, in a cuneiform that only you can read, which stays close to you at all times.

In closing, I would like to share the article indicating how much the people who served under Mattis, felt about him:

Mattis: the man, the myths, and the influential General's Deep bond with his marines.

Jan 02 11:10

CIA-MANAGED FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN ARE REPORTEDLY CONDUCTING 'TORTURE AND KILLINGS WITH NEAR IMPUNITY'

Afghan strike forces overseen by the CIA are operating with little care for preventing civilian casualties, a lengthy New York Times report details Monday, and their brutality has fostered local populations' sympathy for the Taliban.

The CIA-managed teams work "unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians, conducting night raids, torture and killings with near impunity," the Times reports, citing Afghan and American officials. "Those abuses are actively pushing people toward the Taliban, the officials say," and as the U.S. military footprint in the country has declined from its 2011 peak of about 100,000, these "strike forces are increasingly the way that a large number of rural Afghans experience the American presence." Unconfirmed reports suggest some raids may even include American operatives.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to read this with absolute disgust, contempt, and a really nasty feeling in one's gut, that were war crimes were a competitive sport, the US would be close to winning "the gold", as the country which has committed so many war crimes that it has lost count..if count was ever kept.

And I have to speculate; is this behaviour on the part of the CIA-backed troops actually intended and engineered to make this 18 year old war run longer, so that the various "Alphabet Soup" agencies, which make millions running the poppy trade, creating very strong, cheap, heroin, for "off-shelf operations", won't lose their source of income?!?

Were I a betting woman, I would not bet against it. And no, the photos below haven't been photoshopped:

Images: US military guarding opium poppy fields in Afghanistan

Jan 02 10:54

XI JINPING SAYS TAIWAN "MUST AND WILL BE" REUNITED WITH CHINA

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the people of Taiwan to accept it "must and will be" reunited with China.

In a speech marking 40 years since the start of improving ties, he reiterated Beijing's call for peaceful unification on a one-country-two-systems basis.

However, he also warned that China reserved the right to use force.

While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.

Beijing considers the island to be a breakaway province and Mr Xi's comments are in line with China's long-standing policy towards reunification.

But on Wednesday, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said the island would never accept reunification with China under the terms offered by Beijing.

"I want to reiterate that Taiwan will never accept 'one country, two systems'. The vast majority of Taiwanese public opinion also resolutely opposes 'one country, two systems', and this is also the 'Taiwan consensus'."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF President Trump wants a better relationship with China, he seriously needs to rethink US policy on Taiwan. As reported at www.diplomat.com in September of last year: Where will the US/Taiwan relations under Trump End up?

This article offers a very thoughtful observation of the issue: "Over the past few years, the rise of Chinese capabilities and Beijing’s growing willingness to exert pressure on Taiwan and Washington has intensified a broader debate across administrations about the strategic importance of U.S.-Taiwan relations. Though more nuanced, that debate is often caricatured as being between those who recognize Taipei as a key partner to engage either on its own terms or as part of a wider strategy with allies and partners directed against China, and those who see Taiwan as just a challenge to manage within the much-prized China relationship."

Jan 02 09:16

Chinese Admiral Says Sinking US Carriers Would End South China Sea Spat – Report

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have escalated in recent months amid a growing number of US Navy "freedom of navigation" missions in the South China Sea and Chinese efforts to beef up its military presence in territories over which several Asian powers have overlapping claims.

People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Science Deputy Director Rear Admiral Luo Yuan has suggested that sinking two US supercarriers would resolve the dispute surrounding the East and South China Seas, News Corp Australia Network has reported, citing Taiwanese media.

Speaking at a Chinese military industry summit on December 20, Luo took aim at the US military, which he described as one of "five cornerstones" of possible US weakness. According to the academic, "what the United States fears the most is taking casualties."

Jan 02 09:12

Worse Than Obsolete: NATO Creates Enemies

NATO’s and the US military’s desecration of corpses, attacks on wedding parties, mosques, hospitals and market places - along with the bombing of allied troops, torture of prisoners, and their notoriously unaccountable drone warfare - are a few of the alliance’s more infamous outrages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

Twenty years’ worth of “unintended” or “collateral” damage hasn’t created friends in the war zones:

Jan 02 09:11

US Rage For Endless Wars Threatens World Peace In The New Year

Washington’s hegemonic aims, under Republicans and undemocratic Dems, represent the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival.

Jan 02 09:10

US Army Awards Raytheon $200 Million Contract For Phalanx Gatling Guns

According to Raytheon, the Phalanx LPWS (Land Phalanx Weapon System), part of the Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system, is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun that can detect and destroy incoming: aircraft, artillery, mortar rounds, and rockets in the air before they hit their intended land-based targets.

Jan 02 08:28

China’s world first: Electromagnetic railgun goes to sea

The world was shocked when pictures began circulating early last year of a strange, large gun seemingly bolted to the bows of a Chinese amphibious assault ship.

It turned out to be the world’s first naval rail gun. Now it’s been pictured in operation.

A hazy image of the oddly-shaped ship with its oversized gun sailing in the open ocean has been released on China’s tightly controlled social media networks.

Jan 02 07:33

The United States is First in War, But Trailing in Crucial Aspects of Modern Civilization

In 2017 (the last year for which global figures are available), the U.S. government accounted for more than a third of the world’s military expenditures?more than the next seven highest-spending countries combined. Not satisfied, however, President Trump and Congress pushed through a mammoth increase in the annual U.S. military budget in August 2018, raising it to $717 billion. Maintaining the U.S. status as “No. 1” in war and war preparations comes at a very high price.

That price is not only paid in dollars—plus massive death and suffering in warfare?but in the impoverishment of other key sectors of American life. After all, this lavish outlay on the military now constitutes about two-thirds of the U.S. government’s discretionary spending. And these other sectors of American life are in big trouble.

Jan 02 07:31

Yemen: our future?

Socially sanctioned killing is called war. The word “war” may be the most powerful word in human history, because it creates a mask of respectability for — that is, it conceals — the dehumanization and mass slaughter of a designated enemy, along with limitless environmental contamination. When we’re “waging war,” we have given ourselves permission not to know what we are doing, even if what we’re doing is putting life on Planet Earth in danger of extinction.

Say hello to Yemen, the possible future of all of us!

Jan 01 11:44

China Builds Massive Radio Antenna Facility to Communicate With Submarines

China has constructed a massive radio antenna facility covering more than 1,000 square miles at a secret location inside the country’s borders, according to researchers linked to the project.

The radio antenna project has come under scrutiny because the wave types emitted by the Wireless Electromagnetic Method (WEM) project, namely extremely low frequency (ELF) radio waves, are considered "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That's odd. The International Agency for Research on Cancer never bitched about the US' ELF radio systems.

Jan 01 11:43

Trump withdrawing from Middle East to focus on China: Academic

US President Donald Trump is pulling out troops from Syria and ending war in Afghanistan in order to focus on economic negotiations with China, an American writer and academic says.

James Petras, a retired professor who has published on political issues with particular focus on Latin America, the Middle East and imperialism, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday.

The US has reportedly evacuated a military base in Syria, the first step towards delivering on Trump’s recent pledge to pull American forces out of the Arab country.

According to local residents of al-Malikiya, in the northeastern province of Hasakeh, some 50 American soldiers had already left the base and traveled to a base in Iraq, along with their armored vehicles and other equipment.

Jan 01 11:40

Powerful U.S. forces work against pullout of troops from Syria

President Donald Trump’s announcement on Dec. 20 that his administration would quickly pull some 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 of the 14,000 in Afghanistan seemed to have caught many high-ranking U.S. as well and U.S. allies around the globe off guard.

It is unclear, however, to what extent the pullout will be able to be implemented. Trump is under a lot of pressure from even his supporters to back off or slow down the plan.

This often happens throughout history, when the core beliefs of a country promulgated by elites are challenged — and in the case of the U.S., it is both Republican and Democratic elites. The dismay at the retirement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis indicates the many battles ahead for a rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The writer of this op-ed misses one very critical fact; the "winner" from this draw-down of US forces in Syria, is Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu, now fighting for his political life because he is on the keening edge of potentially being indicted for corruption by Israel's Attorney General.

Netanyahu has recently dissolved the Knesset, and set the date of 9 April for the next round of elections.

As now both Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, he can now wreak whatever havoc he wants in Syria (or Lebanon, or Iran), for these next 4 months until the election, with US collusion and cooperation from the commanders and their troops still on the ground.

And I would like to politely mention to the writer of this op-ed, that there will be utterly zero "rebalancing' of US Foreign Policy, particularly in the Middle East, as long as Trump is outsourcing his Middle East Policy to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There are moments where there are goals to be achieved with which we should be aligned with Israel; but a regional war against Syria, Iran, and Lebanon, (with Russia most likely to take the side of these countries)at the enormous costs, which Tel Aviv fully expects to be expended in American blood, and American money?!?

So President Trump, I feel the need to strongly caution you, that the use of US troops, fighting and dying for what can only be characterized as a wretchedly apartheid, rogue theocracy with nuclear weapons, is not the highest and best use of US troops right now.

And at its point in its history, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to insure a victory in this kind of war.

you are welcome, President Trump

Jan 01 11:39

Russian Military Reveals New Tank Capable of Firing Depleted Uranium Rounds

The modernisation of the tank, last upgraded in 1985, has allowed it to be armed with kinetic energy anti-tank rounds made of depleted uranium. The latter increases the density of the round's material, making it more effective against steel armour.

The Russian Defence Ministry has published specifications for the latest model of Russia's T-80 tank (named T-80BVM) developed in 2017. It turned out that the tank has received a new auto-loader, allowing it to use new anti-tank ammo: Svinets-1 and Svinets-2 740 mm rounds. Although little is known about these rounds, reports suggest that one of them is made of an alloy, based on depleted uranium.

Jan 01 11:38

TROOPS' DEATH TRAPS Fury as MoD cover-up is exposed, revealing thousands of soldiers are living in Grenfell-style fire traps, watchdog says

SOLDIERS are living in death-trap barracks due to repeated budget cuts and a woeful decline in safety drills, the MoD watchdog warns.

Thousands of unmarried troops live in rundown quarters, including a 33-storey block taller than Grenfell Tower.

Jan 01 11:24

The One Reason America Can't Police the World Anymore: Washington Is Broke

Even if America once felt wealthy enough to squander its financial resources in such pursuits, those days have ended. Washington is effectively bankrupt, with massive unfunded liabilities. Its fiscal future will only worsen as Baby Boomers continue to retire.

Jan 01 11:17

CIA’s Afghan Forces Terrorize the Public, Undermine Trust

7 years into the US war in Afghanistan, various administrations have tried myriad different strategies to try to win the war, many of them involving recruiting local groups. While the Pentagon’s various allies have had well-documented problems, they’re nothing compared to the CIA.

Clandestine and playing fast and loose with the rules, the CIA’s own Afghan forces, various bands of local gunmen with some nominal training, have missions to do, and very little in the way of rules of engagement.

Being told to “search for militants” is all but blanket permission to raid and loot random homes. One survivor of such a raid describes the fighters taking him away for questioning. After they took him, they killed his two brothers and sister-in-law, then burned the house to the ground, killing his 3-year-old daughter.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I really hate being a citizen of a country which perpetually commits war crimes; reading this story this morning, made me just ill.

And remember; this horrific, nearly 18 years-on war, is not being fought "to defend the American way of life", or honor, or glory; it is being perpetuated so that ultimately, a US-compliant Afghani government will make sure that the pipelines can be leased by the appropriate corporations; make sure that only US-centric corporations can extract Afghanistan's rare earth minerals; and that rights to harvest and distribute opium poppies are done only with US-friendly resources, and that the transactions for all this are conducted with US dollars only.

When Karl Marx made the observation that "All wars are economic" in nature, he was dead spot on; unfortunately, in US history classes, the financial components leading to wars, are seldom legitimately recognised.

Jan 01 11:06

Trump Slows Syria Pullout: Military Given Four Months to Withdraw

Reports that President Trump is slowing America’s withdrawal from Syria were confirmed today in a series of Tweets, during which Trump confirmed that the US was “slowly sending our troops back home.”

Though there was never an official timetable for the withdrawal, early reports suggested that the 2,000 US troops believed to be in Syria could be out within 30 days. Now, President Trump is said to be giving the Pentagon four entire months.

In the meantime, the troops are going to be engaged in continued combat with ISIS, and US airstrikes will also continue. President Trump made reference to “ISIS remnants” in his comments.

This presence of remnants has been fueling a lot of the calls among hawkish politicians to just stay in Syria forever, on the grounds that if even a few remain, they’ll quickly regrow into a large organization. Several groups are expected to continue fighting ISIS after the US leaves.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks as though Turkey's impending invasion of Syria is on hold, pending the US drawdown.

But let's look at the real reason for the timing here, shall we?!? It appears that President Trump, unfortunately, as usual, has been given his "marching orders" from Tel Aviv.

Please remember: Israel's Netanyahu, is reeling on the ropes for the fight of his political life, if Israel's attorney general indicts him for corruption, (for which, BTW, Israel's AG is getting threatened, and his father's tomb was recently desecrated Israel's Attorney General had Father's tomb desecrated)

The Israeli Knesset has been dissolved, and elections are scheduled for 9 April of this year. And at the moment, until those elections take place, Netanyahu has also taken the job of minister of defence, as in November of last year. Israeli Prime Minister takes over Defense Ministry

Trump's " new and improved, Israel-compliant" pullout schedule in Syria actually gives Netanyahu, who now is both Prime Minister, and Defense Minister, a clear shot of creating major mayhem against Syria, Gaza, and Iran, coordinated with the White House, and US Pentagon, with utterly no oversight from Israel's Parliament, because it is now dissolved.

Were I an Israeli citizen right now, looking at this scenario, even appreciating what military weaponry and might are possessed by Israel's IDF, you would have to color me very nervous indeed.

Animals are at their most vicious when cornered, and wounded; so it is also for politically wounded heads of state.

Jan 01 10:58

The Mattis Dilemma

The resignation letter of Secretary of Defense James Mattis that was published last Thursday revealed much of the Deep State mindset that has produced the foreign policy catastrophes of the past seventeen years. Mattis, an active duty general in the Marine Corps who reportedly occasionally reads books, received a lot of good press during his time at Defense, sometimes being referred to as “the only adult in the room” when President Donald Trump’s national security and foreign policy team was meeting. Conveniently forgotten are Mattis comments relating to how to “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” His sobriquet in the Corps was “Mad Dog.”

Jan 01 09:30

STRATCOM APOLOGIZES FOR DISTURBING TWITTER JOKE ABOUT DROPPING NUKES

Hours before the New Year's ball dropped in Times Square, US Strategic Command published - then swiftly deleted - a seemingly insensitive tweet making light of the US's violently interventionist foreign policy just weeks after President Trump ordered one of the biggest troop drawdowns in recent memory.

In a play on the annual ball-dropping ritual, StratCom tweeted that "if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger" than the New Year's ball.

A video of B-2 bombers dropping two 30,000-pound conventional weapons during a test run accompanied the video, according to the Associated Press.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Very not funny, folks, and particularly unfunny to people living on a first-strike target here on Oahu, because all military communications go from here eastward.

Dec 31 16:28

Scott Adams: Explaining the Syria Withdrawal in a Way CNN Will Not Understand

President Trump’s campaign promise: We’ll get out of Syria
President Trump’s request for exit plan 8 months ago
CNN now saying exit is random, impulsive, arbitrary

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1079853871218929664

Dec 31 12:48

Having the Manhood To Be a Coward (A letter to our draft age youth)

Ask yourself whether you are willing to kill in an unjust war, whether decrees from the US government can provide sufficient moral justification for you to slaughter folks in Afghanistan or Nicaragua (in my day), or anywhere, and whether being called a coward is more frightening than selling your soul, so to speak.

Dec 31 11:03

This Lie Called Democracy

Well, another year stumbles out the door and a new one is pushed in. This procedure is emulated by the consistency of this lie we call democracy.

Everybody participates in it.

The politicians who need the lie to get them into office.. and keep them there;

The embedded in empire media, especially the electronic mainstream ‘so called’ news shows (with models, actors and actresses making millions posing as journalists);

The stalwarts of these two ‘servants of empire’ Republican and Democratic parties; and last but surely not least many of my friends and neighbors who still buy into the lie.

Let me be as clear as a rare smog less big city day: So long as we continue to allow private money into electoral politics, there will never be the foundation for a true democracy… Period!

Just imagine if wealthy interests could not openly bribe politicians with campaign donations. Perhaps maybe then we could see some semblance of economic justice and a healthier public.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, we have the "illusion" of actually having a voice in the choice of our leadership; unfortunately, however, far before we are allowed to vote for our "choice" in a Kabuki-style, ballot-binging style, all people who run for Federal office, have been thoroughly vetted by the heads of corporations, the deep state, to make sure that the candidates will "deliver" for them, once they are in office.

So what does this mean, practically?!?

It means that no matter who gets elected, this country has only one party; the war party, and these wars have become nearly perpetual in nature, as the only way of accomplishing the geopolitical "grand game" of the US government.

It also means, most generally, that whatever Israel wants, the US government will give it to them, as by now, courtesy of Sheldon Adelson and Israel's (current) Prime Minister Netanyahu

And if you do not believe me, take a look at the following headline, from antiwar.com, from yesterday: Top Republicans claim that Trump is rethinking his Syria withdrawal plans

IF true, that turnaround was so quick, it nearly made me breathless.

And I would tend to believe that the impetus for Trump's alleged "rethink" on Syria didn't come from phone call from Turkey's Erdogan; I would much more strongly suggest that the impetus phone calls came from both Sheldon Adelson, Trump's biggest financial backer of the 2016 elections, and Israel's Bibi Netanyahu, threatening heaven knows what to Trump, or the US, if US forces withdrew.

Dec 31 10:13

American Legion Joins VFW in Calling for Congressional Investigation of Israel's Attack on USS Liberty.

Due to the persistence of surviving crew members and the continual emergence of new revelations, the national veteran's group American Legion has passed Resolution 40 calling for Congress to "publicly, impartially, and thoroughly" investigate the attack by Israel on an American ship in 1967, in which 34 American sailors were killed and hundreds of others were wounded. The resolution comes despite a veil of government secrecy which keeps key documents on the attack classified more than 50 years later. [NSA USS Liberty documents.

The attack, which surviving crew members to a man say was deliberate, as well as a stellar list of high-ranking officials, has never been officially investigated outside of a Navy Court of Inquiry and an NSA probe. Surviving crew members were not allowed to testify to key points which did not fit the official conclusion that it was an accident.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may only happen when pigs make the amazing discovery that they are aerodynamic, but to have such respected, Veteran-centric organizations asking for this, may mean "The times, they are a'changin" for Israel's hubris and impunity, and believing that they can get away with any crimes, particularly against American targets, in order to further their geopolitical goals.

Dec 31 09:56

6 RED SEA COUNTRIES LAUNCH JOINT MILITARY DRILL

A military drill between six Red Sea countries was launched in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, according to the kingdom’s official SPA news agency.

The Red Wave 1 exercise brings together naval forces from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen and Djibouti. Observers from Somalia are also taking part in the drill.

“The exercise aims to strengthen maritime security of the countries bordering the Red Sea, protect territorial waters, enhance military cooperation and exchange combat expertise,” commander of Saudi Arabia’s Western Fleet, Major-General Saqr bin Mohammed al-Harbi, said.

The military drill is scheduled to continue until Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I want to know here, is, who do they believe will be "the enemy" with which they will, at some point, engage militarily?!?

Looking at how this unprecedented representation of these countries, coupled with the level of professionalism needed to coordinate and pull such exercises together successfully, were I a betting woman, my bet would be... Iran.

Dec 31 09:50

US Rage for Endless Wars Threatens World Peace in the New Year. The Danger of Nuclear War is Real

Washington’s hegemonic aims represent the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival.

At his annual marathon Q & A news conference last week, Vladimir Putin warned about possible nuclear war, a growing threat because of Washington’s reckless geopolitical agenda, including withdrawal from the Iran (JCPOA) nuclear deal and INF Treaty, as well as its reluctance to negotiate extending New Start (April 2010) on reducing and limiting strategic weapons, expiring in February 2021 if not renewed.

Based on bad advice from regime hardliners, Trump falsely called New Start a bad deal favoring Russia. It’s nothing of the kind. It’s even-handed, shifting things to less war and more peace globally.

Last October, John Bolton called for withdrawing from New Start. He convinced Trump to abandon the JCPOA and INF Treaty. He advocates greater US toughness against all sovereign independent countries.

Dec 31 09:32

IS A 'LAND SWAP' BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA BEING BROKERED BY RUSSIA?

According to a report by RT: [1] “A high-ranking Turkish delegation arrived in Moscow on Saturday, only a day after international media broke news on Kurdish militias inviting Syrian forces to enter Manbij before the Turks do. Syria’s military proclaimed they ‘raised the flag’ over Manbij, but there have been no independent reports confirming the moving of troops into the city.”

The report notes: “The Saturday Moscow meeting was key to preventing all actors of the Syrian war from locking horns over the Kurdish enclave, Middle East experts believe.”

“Obviously, Turkey will insist that it is their forces that should enter Manbij, Russia will of course insist the city should be handed over to Assad’s forces,” Kirill Semenov, an Islamic studies expert with Russia’s Institute for Innovative Development, told RT.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have hopes (and prayers) that this can be intelligently accomplished, so there is no more loss of life on any side; and IF Russia has actually brought Turkey and Syria to the bargaining table on this issue, my hat is off to them.

Dec 31 08:52

NATO Partisans Started a New Cold War With Russia

When historians examine the first few decades of the so-called post-Cold War era, they are likely to marvel at the clumsy and provocative policies that the United States and its NATO allies pursued toward Russia. Perceptive historians will conclude that a multitude of insensitive actions by those governments poisoned relations with Moscow, and by the latter years of the Obama administration, led to the onset of a new cold war. During the Trump administration, matters grew even worse, and that cold war threatened to turn hot.

Since the history of our era is still being written, we have an opportunity to avoid such a cataclysmic outcome. However, the behavior of America’s political, policy, and media elites in response to the latest parochial quarrel between Russia and Ukraine regarding the Kerch Strait suggests that they learned nothing from their previous blunders. Worse, they seem determined to intensify an already counterproductive, hardline policy toward Moscow.

Dec 30 10:22

America's Closest Mideast Allies Using Child Mercenaries To Fight In Yemen

Over a year ago we reported on the fact that the Saudi-US-UAE coalition in Yemen has been increasingly reliant on foreign mercenaries, including even officers, from Sudan to execute its three-year long ground war against Shia Houthi rebels as coalition jets pounded urban areas from the skies. As this was long before the brutal Jamal Khashoggi killing at the hands of the Saudis, we were among a tiny handful that bothered to cover it — aside from a few Middle East outlets — significantly before western mainstream media suddenly "discovered" the tragedy unfolding in Yemen, a Saudi-driven conflict the UN has belatedly called "the world's worst humanitarian crisis".

Dec 30 10:15

Pentagon "Panicking" After Successful Russian Hypersonic Missile Test According To Die Welt

Although the glider, able to carry megaton-class nuclear weapon, was presented along with SARMAT missile system tests, super-fast drone torpedoes, cruise missiles with nuclear power plants, the air missile system "Kinzhal" as well as laser and hyper-sonic weapons as one of the newest additions to the Russian arms complex in March, the newspaper claims it to be proof of sabre-rattling by the great powers in the wake of US President Donald Trump announcing his country's withdrawal from the 1987 INF Treaty in October.

What makes Avangard unique is its manoeuverability as the vehicle constantly changes its course and altitude while it flies through the atmosphere, zigzagging on its path to its target, making it impossible to predict the weapon's location, as former Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov revealed. This characteristic ensures that the target this hypersonic missile is actually heading to remains virtually secret, according to the US think tank Rand Corporation.

Dec 30 10:06

Israeli Firm Caught Up in US-China Rivalry Over Advanced Military Robots

The US Army is apparently searching for cutting-edge technologies to be used in its military service, and new players in the field seem to be popping up, along with an established Chinese manufacturer.

Israeli firm Roboteam is competing with Massachusetts-based Endeavor Robotics over a series of major contracts to build the US army’s top-notch generation of ground robots. Those machines will be designed to be smarter and easier to run than the remote-controlled rovers that have helped troops disable bombs for more than 15 years.

Dec 30 10:05

'Cracks Appear': Economist on Why US' Giving Up Its Global 'Policeman' Role

Donald Trump's official rejection of the role of a global "policeman" could be called the most important event of the outgoing year, Sputnik contributor Ivan Danilov writes, stressing that the cracks in the foundations of American hegemony have already become too visible.

Donald Trump's abrupt withdrawal from Syria and a partial pull-out from Afghanistan have indicated that the US is no longer capable of pouring trillions of dollars into expensive overseas operations, says Russian economist and Sputnik contributor Ivan Danilov.

During his surprise visit to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on 26 December the US president declared an end to America's role as a global "policeman", stressing that it is "ridiculous" to maintain presence "in countries most people haven't even heard about".

Dec 30 10:02

NATO Armed Forces in Europe, Afghanistan

NATO-Russian relations have been complicated over the past years as the alliance maintains its course for eastward expansion. The alliance has been also stepping up its military presence in Europe since 2014, using the alleged Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis and what it describes as general destabilizing activities as a pretext. Moscow has refuted the allegations and warned that such a policy may undermine stability in the region.

Dec 30 09:56

US Rage for Endless Wars Threatens World Peace in the New Year. The Danger of Nuclear War is Real

Based on bad advice from regime hardliners, Trump falsely called New Start a bad deal favoring Russia. It’s nothing of the kind. It’s even-handed, shifting things to less war and more peace globally.

Last October, John Bolton called for withdrawing from New Start. He convinced Trump to abandon the JCPOA and INF Treaty. He advocates greater US toughness against all sovereign independent countries.

Before becoming Trump’s national security advisor, he urged terror-bombing Iran and North Korea, sanctions not enough, he said, diplomacy “a waste of time.”

He claimed

“Iran will not negotiate its (nonexistent) nuclear (weapons) program.” He urged “military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq…”

He said

“(t)he way to end (North Korea’s nuclear program) is to end the North.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only minor problem with Bolton's foreign policy scenarios, is that they are barking-mad delusional, and in no way fact-centric.

I have never met someone who worked for the IAEA; but these are all highly intelligent people, with words on their CVs I would probably have to look up in a technical on-line manual.

So when these people are telling me that Iran is still following the P5+1 agreement to the letter, even after the US government has withdrawn from it, and have no nuclear weapons program, as recently as this last fall, I would tend to agree with them.

IAEA REPORTS YET AGAIN, IRAN'S COMPLIANCE WITH THE JCPOA
And I would like Mr. Bolton to show "hard evidence" of his claims against Iran, because that is all they are; claims, which cannot be backed up by any factual rationale.

In my world, the US government's throwing the US military (for whom I have the highest respect) at problems which should be handled with morally responsible, hard-won negotiations with countries with which we have differences, tends to have catastrophic results.

Please take a look at how horribly the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, and Libya are going.

And yet, Bolton is advocating more wars against countries like Iran (very apt to bring Russia to its side), should such a thing get greenlit by the White House, and war against North Korea (which would almost definitely get China on its side).

So one must conclude the following rationalization of wars which do aid or help the American people in any way; Bolton is a large stockholder of the many military industrial complex companies, which prosper immensely from wars, and/or he has outsourced US foreign policy to Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Dec 30 09:14

After Syria, Trump Should Clean Out His National Security Bureaucracy: They're undermining his positions and pursuing their own agendas. John Bolton should be the first to go.

President Donald Trump has at last rediscovered his core foreign policy beliefs and ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Right on cue, official Washington had a collective mental breakdown. Neocons committed to war, progressives targeting Trump, and centrists determined to dominate the world unleashed an orgy of shrieking and caterwauling. The horrifying collective scream, a la artist Edvard Munch, continued for days.

Trump’s decision should have surprised no one. As a candidate, he shocked the Republican Party establishment by criticizing George W. Bush’s disastrous decision to invade Iraq and urging a quick exit from Afghanistan. As president, he inflamed the bipartisan War Party’s fears by denouncing America’s costly alliances with wealthy industrialized states. And to almost everyone’s consternation, he said he wanted U.S. personnel out of Syria. Once the Islamic State was defeated, he explained, Americans should come home.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bolton should definitely be the first to go.

He has shown himself to be contemptuous; hubristic; and ultimately the "poster child" for appallingly lousy foreign policy decisions emanating from the Trump White House.

Dec 30 09:09

Yemen Parties Agree to Reopen Main Road Between Sanaa, Hodeidah, and Taiz: Ongoing talks yield another deal, allowing travel between major cities

While the Sweden-based Yemen talks are over, consultations have continued among the various combatants. These have resulted in another deal, with the warring parties agreeing to reopen Kilo 16, the main road connecting Hodeidah and Taiz to the capital city of Sanaa.

This is a huge move for civilians, allowing them to travel out of combat zones to safer places, and also allowing for humanitarian aid shipments out of the aid port of Hodeidah to those other cities.

Dutch Gen. Patrick Cammaert, the head of the UN monitor group, suggested that Hodeidah should be used as the port of entry for all aid into Yemen. That’s likely going to be a tough sell, with neither side having withdrawn from the surrounding area of the city.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me just a tiny bit hopeful here.

Dec 30 09:07

Syrian Army Deploys to Manbij in New Alliance With Kurds: Turkey says Kurds have no authority to invite Syrian army into major Syrian city

With Turkey’s imminent invasion of Kurdish territory in northeastern Syria expected to begin any day, the Kurdish YPG has quickly secured a new alliance with the Syrian government. Within short order, the Syrian Army has arrived in the city of Manibj, on the Euphrates River, to help with its defense.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that this first deployment is of over 300 Syrian troops, with military spokesmen saying they are to deploy on the city’s outskirts with the goal of “defeating all invaders and occupiers.” There are US and French troops still within the city of Manbij itself, and Turkish-backed rebels advancing on the city from the north, with the expectation that this will be the first target of the new Turkish invasion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Perhaps this consolidation between Kurds and the Syrian government will work well for both parties.

And I am sorry; the Turkish government has absolutely no right to chastise the Syrian government from doing anything it wants within its sovereign territory; but it will get dicey if Turkey, a NATO country, winds up attacking US, Another NATO country, or Iranian, or Russian troops still working in the area.

Dec 30 08:59

Did the U.S. Military Just Admit Victory in Afghanistan Is Impossible?

In the week before President Donald Trump’s reported decision to abruptly withdraw 7,000 U.S. service members from Afghanistan, the top U.S. commander there all but admitted that the 17-year-old war there will not end with a military victory for the Pentagon.

“This fight will go until a political settlement,” Army Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission there, told CNN when asked whether the Afghan campaign against the Taliban had reached a stalemate. “These are two sides that are fighting against one another, and neither one of them will achieve a military victory at this stage.”

In the same interview, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass concurred with Miller’s assessment, cautioning that U.S. and Afghan officials will face a complicated diplomatic situation given the Taliban’s aggressive rejection of the current administration in Kabul.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sure as heck sounded like that to me, in his interview!!

Color me two and a half shades of cautiously optimistic here.

Dec 30 08:30

TRUMP CRITICS OF SYRIA WITHDRAWAL FUELED RISE OF ISIS

Too many of those protesting the removal of U.S. forces are authors of the catastrophe that tore Syria to pieces, reports Max Blumenthal for Consortium News.

Birthing ISIS From the Womb of Regime Change

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Clinton, Kerry, and the rest of the Beltway blob lined up reflexively behind George W. Bush.

The insurgency that followed the violent removal of Iraq’s Ba’athist government set the stage for the declaration of the first Islamic State by Abu Musab Zarqawi in 2006. Five years later, with near-total consent from Congress, Hillary enthusiastically presided over NATO’s assault on Libya, cackling with glee when she learned that the country’s longtime leader, Moammar Gaddafi, had been sodomized with a bayonet and shot to death by Islamist insurgents — “We came, we saw, he died!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is one element regarding the assassination of Qaddafi this article will not touch with a 10 foot pole, and treats it like Kryptonite, something to stay away from at any cost. But here it is, from Hillary's own email, nonetheless:

NATO KILLED QADDAFI TO STOP LIBYAN CREATING OF A GOLD-BACKED CURRENCY

The article goes on to state:

One of the 3,000 Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department on New Year’s Eve (where real news is sent to die quietly) has revealed evidence that NATO’s plot to overthrow Gaddafi was fueled by first their desire to quash the gold-backed African currency, and second the Libyan oil reserves.

The email in question was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by her unofficial adviser Sydney Blumenthal titled “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold”.

From Foreign Policy Journal:

The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”

"Five years later, with near-total consent from Congress, Hillary enthusiastically presided over NATO’s assault on Libya, cackling with glee when she learned that the country’s longtime leader, Moammar Gaddafi, had been sodomized with a bayonet and shot to death by Islamist insurgents — “We came, we saw, he died!", provides us with a really interesting window on this lady's thought process.

This very much reminds me of a line from the now-cancelled, but brilliant and iconic show, "Elementary", where the Sherlock character is telling the Watson character that his father "had assassins on speed dial."

One has to wonder, given that this is the only couple in American politics with a known "dead bodies list" if that might be true for Arkansas'geopolitical "Gruesome Twosome", Bill and Hillary Clinton.

So, there you have it.

Dec 30 08:04

CHILD SOLDIERS FROM DARFUR FIGHTING AS MERCENARIES FOR SAUDI ARABIA IN YEMEN

At any time for nearly four years as many as 14,000 Sudanese militiamen have been fighting in Yemen in tandem with the local militia aligned with the Saudis, according to several Sudanese fighters who have returned and Sudanese lawmakers who are attempting to track it. Hundreds, at least, have died there.

Almost all the Sudanese fighters appear to come from the battle-scarred and impoverished region of Darfur, where some 300,000 people were killed and 1.2 million displaced during a dozen years of conflict over diminishing arable land and other scarce resources.

Some families are so eager for the money that they bribe militia officers to let their sons go fight. Many are ages 14 to 17. In interviews, five fighters who have returned from Yemen and another about to depart said that children made up at least 20 percent of their units. Two said children were more than 40 percent.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the Saudi government and military, are completely happy with this arrangement?!?

And the US military chain of command is perfectly morally comfortable, knowing that kids are fighting in this genocide the Saudi Saudi Arabian are creating in Yemen?!?

Of course, perhaps, to both the Saudis and the US forces assisting them, because they are from another country, they are simply considered "collateral damage", and the decision has been made that it is better that Houthis kill these kids, rather than Saudi or US nationals.

This only adds to my disgust, at the reality that the US military is enabling Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

Dec 30 07:36

BROTHER OF SAUDI BILLIONAIRE PRINCE ALWALEED RE-ARRESTED

Among the more notable geopolitical events that took place last week, and which was swept away by the chaos in the capital markets, was Thursday's surprising announcement of a Saudi cabinet reshuffle that moved around some of the key players in the Khashoggi murder scandal (most notably the chief Saudi diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir) and removed Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf al Saud as the Kingdom's ambassador to the UK.

As a result of the reshuffle, more liberals and progressives will move into positions of power, suggesting that it could be part of the Kingdom's plan to move ahead with its 'liberalizing' reforms to try and rehabilitate MbS's tarnished reputation as a reformer. Amid the reshuffle, the king also ordered the creation of a new political and security council (presumably to help protect his chosen successor's flank) and - in a move that is reminiscent of a controversial decision made by President Trump this year - establishes a new Saudi space agency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would suggest that ultimately, the writers of Middle Eastern history will not be terribly kind to Prince Mohammed bin Salman; and this arrest, coupled with the debacle which is the Saudi genocide in Yemen, will make these changes in personnel somewhat akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on what has now become the "H.M.S. Salmanic"

Because he was born into the opulent wealth for which the Royal House of Saud is known, there may be many honorifics by which he is frequently addressed; but the title I think will stick, long after his death, is that of "The Butcher of Yemen."

Dec 29 09:57

U.S. Navy to flex muscles in Arctic: 'Opportunity for conflict is only rising'

The U.S. Navy is preparing to take a page from its South China Sea strategy with plans to eventually carry out “freedom of navigation” missions through the Arctic as the geopolitical scramble for dominance heats up while long iced-in sea passages thaw.

Although the goal will be to send a clear signal to Russia and China that America is a force to be reckoned with in the race to control valuable territory at the top of the world, Pentagon leaders acknowledge that it could take years, and they stress that Washington has a lot of catching up to do.

Dec 28 16:23

TRUMP CRITICS OF SYRIA WITHDRAWAL FUELED RISE OF ISIS

President Donald Trump’s announcement of an imminent withdrawal of US troops from northeastern Syria summoned a predictable paroxysm of outrage from Washington’s foreign policy establishment. Former Secretary of State and self-described “hair icon” Hillary Clinton perfectly distilled the bipartisan freakout into a single tweet, accusing Trump of “isolationism” and “playing into Russia and Iran’s hands.”

Dec 28 14:00

As US Exits, Syrian Army Raises Flag Over Kurdish Province For 1st Time Since War's Start

Currently, the Syrian Army has deployed around the city saying it stands ready to protect it from nearby pro-Turkish forces. This as the Syrian Arab Army announced it "raised the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic there" as confirmed by Russian television footage from on the ground.

Meanwhile the local MMC, or SDF Manbij Military Council appears to still maintain authority in the city in coordination with the Syrian Army. There appears a quiet status quo and possible indirect negotiations happening between US, SDF, and Syrian Army forces, with broader negotiations between Turkey and Russia — the latter which controls the airspace above the province.

On the ground there's a tense and potentially volatile yet still stable situation still holding, reflected in the following interesting scenario:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Praying for peace to break out here, any moment.

And Turkey has been very clearly warned by the Russians that any attempt at a military operation here, might go down very, very poorly.

Were I Erdogan, I would be listening, very clearly, to what Russia has to say.

Dec 28 13:16

The “Self-Genocide” of the West, Preparing its Populations for War, By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and Prof. Stephen F. Cohen

Russia as The Enemy.

The Democrats have an interest in the vilification of Russia as “Russiagate” explains Hillary’s loss of the 2016 Presidential election and gives Democrats hope of removing President Trump from office. The media lacks independence, knowledge, and integrity and is the tool used by the military/security complex to control explanations, a prostitution of the media that has made the term “presstitutes” an accurate description. As strategic and Russian studies are largely funded by the military/security complex, the universities are also complicit in the march toward nuclear war. Republicans are as dependent as Democrats on funding from the military/security complex and the Israel Lobby.

Dec 28 13:11

Trump Scores, Breaks Generals’ 50-Year War Record

The mainstream media has attacked President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria as impulsive, blindsiding his own national security team. But detailed, published accounts of the policy process over the course of the year tell a very different story. They show that senior national security officials and self-interested institutions have been playing a complicated political game for months aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite presence on the ground in Syria.

The entire episode thus represents a new variant of a familiar pattern dating back to Vietnam in which national security advisors put pressure on reluctant presidents to go along with existing or proposed military deployments in a war zone. The difference here is that Trump, by publicly choosing a different policy, has blown up their transparent schemes and offered the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On this issue, I give President Trump an absolute thumbs up.

NOW, I need to see what he is really ready and able to do to ratchet down tensions between the US and Russia, the US and China, and the US and Iran!!

Dec 28 13:09

Israeli ex-general, polling closest to Netanyahu, joins 2019 election race

A former Israeli armed forces chief who opinion polls show poses the toughest challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for reelection next year formally established a political party on Thursday.

Details about Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party, leaked to local media after it was registered, gave little indication of its ideological tilt.

Along with preserving Israel as “a Jewish and democratic country”, the party pledged unspecified changes to priorities in national security and the economy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I an Israeli voter, I would want to know, first and foremost, what his position on the Palestinians and Palestinian statehood.

Dec 28 13:04

Thank Goodness for Trump, the Ugly American

Donald Trump is the Ugly American incarnate. More so than even Dick Cheney or George Bush the Younger. His boorish manners and in-your-face self-promotion puts to shame the servile European, Japanese and other spittle-lickers who have profited from their associations with Washington at the expense of their compatriots. These would-be friends of Washington have nowhere to hide from the disgrace Trump metes out to them before their own peoples. All of this is good and necessary medicine to set the world on its way towards a multipolar future. Far more than we “American dissidents” have been able to muster.

Therefore, I can only say “godspeed” to Donald Trump in the New Year 2019. May he willy-nilly continue to do God’s work.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a Christian pacifist activist, I have to confess; I do have a hug and a punch (more like a gentle tapping, nothing hurt) relationship with this President.

I am very morally concerned about how the US military's aided and abetted Saudi war crimes in Yemen, to which President Trump is particularly tone-deaf, when thousands of innocents have been murdered.

I am very hopeful, that this drawdown in Syria will make it possible for the country to return to some kind of normalcy, and all the rebuilding help it can get.

But getting immigration completely legal again; this is an area where I share President Trump's agenda. I love people, and agree that having good people immigrate to our country who have skills, and embrace the American ethos, is a wonderful thing. Please, just let them come legally, and healthy, is all I am asking.

I love those words, written by Emily Lazarus, emblazoned on plaque placed on the Stature of Liberty;

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The issues here are that, A, we're living in the 21st century, and B, technology has taken over, big time, for what used to be done by unskilled labor.

OK, illegal immigrants have no money; they cannot speak the language of the country in which they want to live;; and may be desperately ill with diseases the US has barely seen in recent years, and have zero relevant job skills but expect that the US government is supposed to take care of you?!?

Forgive me, but on what planet do they think this is happening?!?

Trump Fact Check: how much does illegal immigration cost this country every year?

The article goes on to question: "What are the facts behind the economic impact of illegal immigrants? We checked his (Trump's) figures with immigration and tax policy experts across the political spectrum,who said he was exaggerating, at best.

Oh, Really?!?

"A little high," said Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation.

Rector said his 2013 estimate pegged the cost of undocumented immigrants — the cost of services received minus their tax contributions — was about $54 billion a year.

A precise cost is nearly impossible to ascertain, many experts said. That's in part because undocumented immigrants operate within the shadows, leaving their full fiscal contributions — and use of taxpayer-funded resources — at least somewhat unknown.

"It's really hard to calculate anyone’s 'net cost' or 'net benefit.' We all use all kinds of services, from roads to military protection. How do we apportion what part of that is something I or you or an immigrant use?" said Kallick.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, the cost, currently, is around, +/- $54 billion; but that, in my world, is $54 billion too much, with our homeless Vets living rough in our streets, and our infrastructure crumbling, and there being "allegedly" no money to fix it.

I am very glad President Trump is attempting to do something about this, and the Dementocrats are looking, like disgruntled, petulant juveniles, through refusing the funding for a security wall at the border between the US and Mexico.

Dec 28 12:28

US Commanders Dismiss Afghan Drawdown as ‘Rumors’

Persistent media reports that President Trump has ordered a drawdown from Afghanistan, with either 5,000 or 7,000 troops returning home, seemed more or less confirmed. Despite this, some of the highest ranking Pentagon officials claim to know nothing about it.

Visiting Camp Dahlke West, Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shrugged off the reports when talking to troops, saying “there’s all kinds of rumors swirling around,” but that the mission was unchanged.

This comes after the commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, said he’d received no orders on any drawdown yet. Miller has followed that up by saying the fighting will continue until there is a political settlement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whoa, there; did I just hear the words "political settlement" come out of General Miller's mouth in that last statement, rather than stating that a military victory is imminent?!?

Color me ever so slightly, possibly, hopeful on Afghanistan for the first time in one long time.

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