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Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category

Day 163. 

We are quickly approaching the 100 day mark in beloved leader’s presidency.  All through the campaign and at the very beginning of his presidency, he has said over and over that he will accomplish so much in the first 100 days.  He even had something called his contract with America on what will be accomplished during his first 100 days.  I believe there were something like 10 legislative bills he said would be passed.

Well, so far, nothing has been passed.  He made a very feeble attempt at passing a replacement for the ACA, and it crashed and burned even before it could get to the floor of the House and have a vote.  He hasn’t released any information on his tax reforms which he claimed would be passed by now.

He ordered a 90 day review on cybersecurity and promised we would all be very pleased with the results.  No results have come forward, and no one seems to know who is even supposed to conduct this review.  So, one hasn’t even started yet.

Beloved leader claims to have “done more in my first 100 days than anyone in history”.  Which is a blatant lie.  Now he claims that the “first 100 days” thing is a bunch of bullshit.  Maybe because he hasn’t done anything yet.

About the only thing he has accomplished so far is to destroy the EPA and our environmental protections.  He has made it much easier for coal companies to pollute rivers and streams but not at producing more coal.  He has tried to implement his Muslim Ban but has failed at that as well since it was blocked in the courts more than once.

Yes, he did get his terrible nomination to the Supreme Court.  But, as usual, the Republicans had to change and break the rules to get it done.  They proved once again that “they don’t need no stinking rules”.  Something trump loves to hear.

Oh, he launched some missiles at Syria after saying that the dictator could stay as far as trump was concerned.  The damage was so minimal that the Syrian Air Force was carrying out air strikes against the rebels the very next day from that airfield.  Maybe that is because he warned the Russians and therefore the Syrians we were coming.

And, of course, we cannot forget that his administration is under FBI investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians hacking during our elections last year.  I guess that is something he is real proud of as well.

So, as we approach his first 100 day mark, we need to ask what will be his first major “victory” of his administration.  Here are my choices.

First, will he start a war with North Korea?  All of the signs are leaning in that direction.  Only, he doesn’t seem to understand that a war with North Korea would probably include nuclear weapons.  That could cause a global catastrophe.  I really doubt if he fully understands that threat.  I am more inclined to believe that he thinks that would be okay since the nuclear weapons would only be used on Asians anyway.

Second, will he manage to start a war with Iran.  Republicans and trump have been itching for a war with Iran for a very long time.  He want’s to “review” the nuclear deal with Iran even though his own State Department put in writing that Iran is complying with the accord.  Since when does this country pull out of an agreement that is being followed?  Does our word mean nothing anymore?

He claims that Iran isn’t complying with the “spirit” of the accord.  What he really means is they aren’t complying with his “spirit” of the accord.  So, he can just pull out and let Iran get the nuclear weapons this accord has prevented them from getting.  Does that mean that if we pull out of the accord, are we then going to invade Iran on the premise of them wanting nuclear weapons and we are just trying to stop them?  Doesn’t that sound a lot like the second Iraq War that W. got us into and trump blasted during the campaign?

Third, will he finally manage to toss 24 million people from their health care coverage.  He and Republicans are going to try again to pass the Americans Without Health Care Act.  Only this time, because the have allowed the so-called Freedom Caucus to name the conditions, more than 24 million people will lose their coverage.

The Freedom Caucus wants a provision that allows states to opt out of the coverage part for people with pre-existing conditions.  The provision says they must have a “High-Risk Pool” for these people.  But, it doesn’t say how it is to be funded.  Meaning, when a state opts out, insurance companies will have license to price pre-existing conditions out of the market.  So instead of just 24 million people losing their coverage, the number will most likely double.

But don’t worry, trump calls this a “wonderful bill” that will make coverage cheaper for everyone.  People with pre-existing conditions, and those who will lose Medicaid coverage are not considered as part of the “everyone” trump keeps talking about.  Or he believes that having no insurance is “cheaper” since you don’t have to pay premiums.  So what if you get sick.

Fourth, will the administration allow those retired miners to lose their coverage and pensions as we talked about the other day?  Is he going to step up to the plate and ensure they keep their retirement benefits or just throw them to the side of the road like everyone else who isn’t rich?  Can we consider that a “major victory” for trump because it will save a whopping 200 million dollars per year?

Fifth, will he cause a government shutdown at the end of next week.  As of midnight next Friday night, the government money will run out.  If there isn’t a continuing resolution, the government will shutdown again.  And, if it does shutdown it will be trump and the Republicans fault full stop.

The only thing that needs to be done is a continuing resolution that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year.  That is all.  But, Republicans and now trump love to throw in “poison pills” that hurt people just to say they are “standing on principle”.  They simply cannot allow a continuing resolution to pass cleanly and try to get their pet projects through normal channels.

This time, trump seems to be the trigger.  He wants his money to build his damn Berlin Wall.  He is even threatening to stop paying the subsidies in the ACA if he doesn’t get the money.  That would mean that millions of poor people, working poor people, and middle-class people would immediately lose their health care coverage because they wouldn’t be able to afford their premiums.

I mean really?  Beloved leader hates Latinos so much that he is willing to let you lose your health care coverage?  There are ways to fund projects, but holding hostage half of America is not the way it is supposed to be done.  You simply put together a plan and a bill, take it down to Congress, and fight like hell to get what you want.

The problem with this simple legislative way the government is supposed to work is that Republicans abandoned that principle 40 years ago.  Now, they simply want to hold America hostage and hold their breath until they get what they want.  They think it is much easier that way.  And, the only people who will be hurt by their tactics are the “little people”, not themselves.

Those are my five favorites of what would be trump’s “major victory” during his first 100 days in office.  He hasn’t proposed any meaningful legislation.  He hasn’t issued any Executive Orders that does anything except help pollute the planet and make the rich richer.

He has made sure that the “swamp” he promised to drain is overflowing its banks right now.  Corruption and unethical behavior are running rampant in his administration.  So, maybe he is right when he says that he has done more than anyone else in history.  I haven’t seen so much corruption and unethical behavior surface so fast in an administration in my lifetime.

I have said before that the first 100 days thing doesn’t mean much to me.  I am more interested in being shown that the person in the White House has some kind of plan and is ready with some real legislation to push the plan forward.  Beloved leader doesn’t seem to have a plan, and he has no legislation to put forward.

His backers say he is “learning on the job”.  I say it shows his incompetence.  He has shown me only that he is interested in making the rich, like himself, richer.  He is interested in destroying our planet by tearing down environmental protections that have taken decades to implement.  He is interested in allowing a foreign oil company take land away from private farmers in America to build a pipeline that will produce not one drop of gasoline for our country.  It is all going to be exported.

He has shown disdain for the Average American by trying to take away their Health Care Coverage and polluting their drinking water and poison the air they breath all in the name of profits for the insurance companies and the polluters.

I seriously doubt that trump will manage to accomplish even one of these five options.  He doesn’t have the competence to accomplish anything and he is proving that day-by-day.  Which could be a good thing for us.  Because any one of the five options above would be disastrous for the American People.  Especially to most of the very people who voted for him.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 159. 

From now on, April 18 will be known as the real April Fools Day.  Our beloved leader has decided that today would be a good day to show his total lack of integrity by signing an Executive Order to “Review Buy American, Hire American” policy.

If you think that beloved leader is really interested in enforcing such a policy, you have not paid attention to his family’s own businesses.  Oh, I know that he is talking about Buying American and Hiring American when it comes to government contracts, but he even lied about that.

When he said he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline he said both would have to use American Steel.  Only, they aren’t using American Steel.  As a matter of fact, the entire Keystone XL Pipeline will be made using German Steel.  And, he said that was okay with him.

As you know, the day above is the count of days since he was elected president and still has not moved his own business manufacturing to the U.S.   All of his products are made overseas.  Including his family’s products.  Except Junior’s wine business.

The review will also look at the H-1B visa process.  You know, the very same process that Junior has hired over 1600 people using at his winery.  Meaning the majority of his winery is made up of immigrants, not American Workers.  Then we have trump himself hiring foreign workers for his resorts, specifically his Mar A Lago resort where he spends more time than just about anywhere else.

How is junior going to keep his winery stocked with employees if he can’t use the H-1B visa program?  How is trump going to keep his resort stocked with employees if he can’t use the program.  You can bet it will either not be changed, or it won’t affect certain industries.  That way, he can exempt himself and his family from any changes on the horizon.

It has also been reported that Ivanka got her three trade marks approved in China the very same day she was sitting next to the Chinese President at dinner at Mar A Lago.  Her and hubby Jared were both there and surprise surprise the trade marks were approved right then and there.

Beloved leader says that he is exempt from “conflict of interests” but his family isn’t.  Ivanka could seriously be suspected of conflict of interest when she sat in at the dinner and miraculously she gets her trade marks in China.

The problem is that everyone is falling for this shit.  The media, the people, and especially the trump supporters are all falling for this shit.  They think that he really means what he says.  But, he doesn’t mean a damn word.  He simply says what he thinks they want to hear and then does something different that will benefit himself.

One of the craziest things I heard at a press briefing the other day was when the propaganda minister, Sean Spicer, said that the White House will keep the visitor logs secret and not be transparent.  The reason that the trump White House will not be transparent at all is because Obama wasn’t transparent enough.

President Obama put the visitor log online so everyone could see it.  He was the first president to do so.  But, he did block out certain names if it meant national security or other potential secret work.  This president who claimed to be even more transparent says that gives him the right to just not follow his predecessor’s lead.  He claims that no other president made the visitor log public, and he is right.  Only, the other Presidents did not claim to be so open and transparent.  Or in trump’s own words “this will be the most transparent presidency in history”.  Another lie.

There is nothing transparent about trump’s presidency.  He won’t release the White House visitor’s log.  He won’t release his own tax returns on the bogus excuse that they are under audit.  He doesn’t do anything to make his presidency “transparent”.

Now, in what will probably be a wonderful photo-op, he will sign an Executive Order about Buying American, Hiring American.  Only it won’t be anything that will affect his own businesses.  Why?  Simply because his is a brazen liar!

While Congress is on break, trump is hiding out in the White House or at Mar A Lago doing nothing, as usual.  Republicans are being battered at town hall meetings across the country, and trump is trying to look presidential at an Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn.  While Vice President Pence is trying to look “stern” at the North Korean border, and trump is playing golf.

Oh, he launched missiles at Syria that didn’t take out the military airbase like he said.  It destroyed about 20 planes while his administration tried to claim that it took out 20 percent of the Syrian Air Force.  A lie.  Then he decided to show off and dropped a huge bomb in Afghanistan on ISIS.  His followers all hailed him as being “presidential”.  But, he hasn’t said what he will do next or what he even thinks should happen next.  That would entail some real thought.  Something that is really foreign to trump.

No, singing this Executive Order will be another empty photo-op that won’t do a damn thing to help the American People.  It won’t help make sure that contractors use and hire Americans when working on government contracts, because if they cry it will cost too much, trump and the Republicans will give them a pass and let them use whatever material and whatever workers they think will be cheaper.  That is how they have handled everything so far.

The man is such a fool his foreign-born wife even had to remind him to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem at the start of the Easter Egg Roll yesterday.  Where are all the conservatives slamming him for being anti-American like they tried to do with President Obama?  But, as usual, there is not a peep from the right-wing wackos.  Which only proves to me they are the ones who are anti-American.

So, go ahead and mark your calendars.  April 18 will now officially be known as April Fools Day.  It has been declared so by the number one American Fool, our beloved leader.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 155. 

All of a sudden, our beloved leader has fallen love with our depleted military and our stupid generals.  That is what he has said about our military for almost 2 years now.  Suddenly, the military isn’t so depleted that he can’t use it as a toy, and our generals are all really smart and “outstanding”.

But, that also leads us to potential “big time” trouble as trump would say.  Now that he has fallen love with our military, the next possible target would be North Korea.  And, that is where the big time trouble would be.

North Korea is not Syria.  North Korea is not Iraq.  North Korea already has nuclear weapons.  And, they have a child version of trump as their beloved leader who has killed his own family members because he thought they were a threat to his power.

That means that all of the talk about “taking care of North Korea” that trump has been uttering is even more dangerous.  We have a carrier group near the peninsula.  What if their child killer decides to make a preemptive strike against that group with nuclear weapons?  We have thousands of our sailors in harm’s way like we haven’t since the cold war ended.

And a preemptive strike if North Korea should test nuclear bomb places the entire peninsula in danger.  Ever since the Korean war ended with its cease-fire, we have treaded carefully there.  The leaders of that country have been belligerent for years.  They continuously bluster about how great their military is and how wonderful they are.  They tell their people that means they would win any war against the south and the U.S.

North Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world.  They are willing and many of the hard-liners are eager to fight.  Yes, it is most likely that a war in Korea would result in a win for us and our allies, but at what cost?

Is it worth starting a war because of the behavior of North Korea?  You must remember, Seoul is just 35 miles from the North Korean border.  There are about 20 million people who live in and around Seoul.  That means the city is in range of North Korea’s massive artillery. That means even using conventional weapons, the North could kill millions of South Koreans.

Don’t forget our forces stationed in South Korea either or the American business people who live and work in Seoul.  On top of that, South Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world.  If there is a war, the country would be devastated and need to rebuild again costing billions of dollars.

Every year the U.S. and South Korea holds exercises in the country.  One of the objectives is to determine what would happen if a war did break out on the peninsula.  All of the exercises so far has shown there is no good option for a war.

Something does need to be done about getting North Korea to get rid of their nuclear weapons.  But, is war the answer?  It may come to that point.  But are we there yet?  For the first time, China is starting to put pressure on North Korea where it hurts.  North Korea gets most of their money from selling coal to China.  China just sent back all of their coal shipments and told North Korea to keep them.

China is not looking forward to a war in Korea either.  Assuming that the U.S. and its allies would eventually win such a war, do you really think that China wants a border with a unified Korea that is backed by the U.S. with possibly U.S. troops on its border?  Which means, would China decide to send troops in if North Korea is on the brink of defeat as they did in the 1950s?

Then we have the agreement with South Korea.  In that agreement we are not supposed to use any military force against North Korea without consulting South Korea first.  The people in South Korea are getting very nervous as tensions on the peninsula rise.

Even if we do consult with South Korea, what if they say they don’t want the U.S. to use a preemptive attack on the North?  Do we ignore our ally and do it anyway?  Will our beloved leader play chicken with the lives of millions of our ally’s people?

And, what about Japan?  Japan is already in reach of North Korea’s missiles.  What happens if the North decides to attack Japan as well?  There is no doubt that Japan will retaliate, and we will have no choice but support our ally there as well.

Finally, what about our own Congress?  Any attack against North Korea would be considered an act of war against a foreign country.  Only Congress has the authority to declare such action.  So, an unannounced preemptive attack by the administration against North Korea would be unConstitutional.

So I hope beloved leader is consulting with the leaders of Congress right now and letting them know what he is planning on doing.  Otherwise, he will break the law if he goes ahead with a preemptive strike.

But, more than that, we need to look at and understand what other enemies might do if we attack North Korea.  What might Russia do?  What might Iran do?  Will Russia take a preemptive strike against North Korea as a sign they can go ahead and invade Ukraine?  Maybe Iran will decide it is a good time to invade Iraq to take over that country?

Maybe Iran would think it is a good time to actually attack Israel.  What then?  That could totally destabilize the mid-east.  Then we would be looking at war across the board.

Handling North Korea is not the same as bullying your political opponents.  It is not the same as sending missiles into Syria after telling the Russians and Syrians to leave the area.  It isn’t the same as dropping a huge bomb on ISIS.

We are talking about striking a country that has a large and competent army.  We are talking about striking a country with a leader even more unstable than our leader.  We are talking about a real war with potentially tens of millions of people being killed.

All of the talking heads, especially on the right are talking about how trump is learning on job and getting better.  I wrote yesterday I don’t agree with that analysis.  I still don’t.  We will get a real understanding what trump has learned and whether or not he has any idea of what his job is when we see how he handles North Korea.

If he continues with his “gut” and makes a rash decision concerning this situation, it cold spell disaster for the Korean peninsula and for the world.  If it is true that trump only listens to and does what the last person he speaks to says, we better hope a sane person is that last one.

This weekend Christians are celebrating Easter. Jews are celebrating Passover.  North Korea is celebrating the 105th birthday of the country’s founder.  The first two celebrations are celebrations of peace.  The third is a celebration of dictatorship.  The third could be the only one worth watching.  Will North Korea simply hold their parade and go home, or will they do something like test another nuclear weapon, launch test missiles, or launch a preemptive attack on our carrier group or South Korea?

The first two scenarios would be bad, but not something to start a war over.  The last two would mean war.  And, how trump reacts to one of the first two scenarios could also mean war.  We can only hope that cooler saner heads prevail.  Unfortunately, the actions so far from these two leaders don’t give us too much confidence.

We can only watch and wait.  Despite all of the stupidity in the world over the last 70 years, this is the closest we have come to worldwide disaster since the Cuban Missile Crisis.  We averted that disaster because there were two leaders who understood the consequences.  Both leaders were able to overrule their hawkish military leaders.  Does trump have the guts to say no to his Generals like Kennedy did?  Will he even order them to get clearance from him before launching any attack against North Korea?

This issue is way beyond politics or trying to look and talk tough.  This is a situation that could lead to life and death for millions of people.  This is when real leaders stand up and resist primal instincts to simply attack.  Rational thought needs to be used.  That is where our problem is.  We haven’t seen a lot of rational thought from trump so far.  If he really is learning his job, now is the time to show that he has learned to rationally think.

 

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Day 151. 

Yesterday, the news media was still all agog about the strike on Syria.  Still too many of our media were trying to show that trump was being “presidential” when he ordered the attack.   However, there were four words that prove you cannot trust trump, and that his administration will spin anything to try to make him look good.

Those four words came from Nicky Haley who is the UN Ambassador for the U.S.  She was on Jake Tapper’s show when he asked:

He was worried about starting World War III over Syria. Why is that no longer a concern? And why was the 2013 chemical weapons attack, which, as you know, was deadlier, not a trigger for him in terms of the principle of inaction in Syria?

In typical Republican fashion she replied:  “He wasn’t president yet”.  She went on to say:

But I don’t know what his thought process was then.  I can tell you what his thought process was this week, which was, he is not going to condone chemical weapons use ever.

I can tell you that of the conversations I had this week, he knew what the risks were, he knew what the situation was, he looked at the history of the situation, and he decided.

But, it was the first four words that she uttered that are the most scary.  She admitted that trump cannot be trusted to follow through on his “promises” that he made on the campaign trail.  See, it wasn’t just in 2013 that trump said attacking Syria would be wrong, he kept that up through the entire campaign.

He kept up his anti-interventionalist attitude and even went so far as to say that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, would start World War III over Syria.  The 2013 comments were not one-offs.  They were expressed as his foreign policy.  Just a week before the chemical attacks, his administration made it clear that it was not our goal to oust Assad.

Then, when he does intervene in Syria, it is okay because when he made all of those comments “he wasn’t president yet”.  And, unfortunately for us, that leaves a whole lot of questions about other promises he has made.

For example, all during the campaign, he said that he would “repeal and replace Obamacare” with something great.  He said that his health care plan “would cover everyone”.   But, his backing of the Americans Without Health Care Act proved he didn’t mean that either.  Is that because he “wasn’t the president yet”?

Then we have his promise not to touch Medicare or Social Security.  Are we to believe that he will keep Ryan and Price from gutting those two programs?  Or, are we to believe that he can dial those promises back too because “he wasn’t president yet”?

That can go for just about everything he promised during the campaign.  We are already hearing from his Secretary of Homeland Security that his “beautiful wall” probably won’t be a full “physical wall”.  We are still waiting to see how his infamous “infrastructure bill” will look like.  He has not given specifics on that one either.  Are we to assume that he wasn’t telling truth because “he wasn’t president yet”?

Then we have to consider the simple fact that he said he conducted the attack because he was so moved by those “beautiful babies” being killed in the chemical attack.  Yet, he still says that he won’t allow those same “beautiful babies” to immigrate to the U.S. in order to keep from dying in the next chemical attack.  That is because all of those “beautiful babies” are a real threat to America.

The unfortunate part in all of this is that our wonderful media did not press the issue.  No one asked Haley if the fact that he changed his mind so easily was simply because when he said he was against such actions “he wasn’t president yet”.  No one asked if that included his promises on everything else he said during the campaign.

We are only three months into the trump presidency, and we already see that he cannot be trusted with anything he says.  When he breaks his promises to his majority of supporters and guts Social Security and Medicare, he can always fall back on this absurdity of “he wasn’t president yet” when he made those promises.

I know that everyone thinks that politicians all lie to get into office.  However, we have not had a president who so blatantly has lied to the people and then use the lame excuse of “he wasn’t president yet”.

As we speak, he has sent a naval fleet off the coast of North Korea to “show our strength”.   Russia and Iran are rattling their swords saying the attack on Syria “crossed many red lines” in their opinion.

Are we going see his “America First” policy really meant “America First In War” policy?   Will he then use the excuse that “he wasn’t president yet” when he said he wouldn’t drag us into another war?

Since Republicans are having a hard time to really defend the “moron in chief”, they are grasping at straws to defend him.  However, every time they open their mouths, they give us another reason not to believe or trust our beloved leader.

Yesterday it was Nicky Haley who blurted out that we cannot trust trump with those four little words.   All kinds of pundits have been claiming that she is the “rising star” in the Republican party today.  If those words are any indication of her qualities, we still don’t have any “stars” in the Republican party.

The party is filled with political hacks who are not interested in governing.  They are only interested in the power of being in office gives them.  And, as usual under Republican rule over the last 40 years, we all lose.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 149. 

In the last twenty-four hours we have heard lots of people talking about how “presidential” the attack on Syria was.  Pundits are falling all over themselves congratulating trump for his “presidential stand” against the dictator in Syria.  You are even hearing how the bromance between trump and putin has ended because of the attack.

I don’t agree with either of those assessments.  I know that just because you use the most powerful military in the world to blow some shit up does not make you presidential if that is all you have.  And, so far, trump has shown us that is all he has.

What everyone is missing is that we have bombed and blown shit up in Syria for a while now.  President Obama sent in bombs more than once in Syria, but he was attacking ISIS not the Syrian government.  When he requested authorization from congress, something he should have done, to attack Syria after the chemical attack in 2013 with basically the same target and plan as this one, he was rejected by the same Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell who claim that now it is being “presidential” because their lackey bombed Syria without asking them to stick their necks out on the issue like Obama did.

And, for all of you “pure constitutionalists” out there, Obama followed the Constitution in getting approval from Congress to launch an attack on a sovereign nation.  Beloved leader did not seek approval which means he did not follow the Constitution.  Which also means he used “executive overreach” to launch his attack.

Yesterday I asked, what next?  We still don’t know what is being planned next, if anything.  We hear that if Assad uses chemical weapons again, he will be attacked again.  But that is all.

Additionally, we don’t know how much damage was actually done.  It was reported yesterday that Syrian planes were taking off from the airfield that was attacked less than 24 hours later.  They were flying attack missions against the same area of Syria that they chemically attacked earlier in the week.  So, it would appear the attack, in Mitch McConnell’s own words, was a “pinprick”.

But, even more importantly, we need to know, and we have a right to know, just what beloved leader plans to do next.  He has officially dragged us into the civil war in Syria.  Bombing ISIS as Obama did was one thing, bombing Syrian forces is another.  Since we have now more or less picked sides for the whole world to see, what will he do next?

Just a couple of weeks ago we were told by the empty suit, Rex Tillerson, that who runs Syria is up to the Syrian people.  Things changed Thursday night when trump attacked that leader directly.  So, are we now fighting on the side of the rebels and are we going to try to oust Assad?  Are we going to increase air strikes against not only ISIS but the Syrian military as well?

If we manage to oust Assad, what then?  Who will run Syria?  Will Russia have a say in who is the new leader?  What happens if Syria becomes another Iraq?  Will we continue the western policy of putting together countries without regard to what the population is and what they want?  Or, will we consider splitting up the country so each ethic or religious sect gets their own country?

If we are going to expand our presence in Syria, does that mean ground troops?  If there are ground troops, how will that affect things with Russia and Iran who already have troops in the country?  Will we decide to split up the country under American, Russian and Iranian zones like we did Berlin after World War II?

That would mean that each of the three countries would be forced to keep their troops in Syria for a very long time.  Are we willing to do that?  If we do, what does that mean to the rest of the middle-east?  What if Iran demands the zone bordering on Israel?  More importantly, what will Turkey say about that?  Would we need to include a zone for them?

Syria is a mess.  The civil war has been raging for six years.  A lot of the country is in total ruins.  Even if we find a peaceful solution to this mess, how does Syria recover economically?  How does Syria recover from this horrible situation?  Who will be responsible to help rebuild the country?  Will we even consider helping them, or hide back in trump’s “America First” slogan?

Beloved leader has put himself in a real mess as far as I am concerned.  The problem is he has no clue how to get out of it.  We are facing lots of problems and we don’t have the people in place to handle all of these problems and offer proper solutions to them.

As we have talked, the State Department and the Department of Defense are horribly undermanned because trump hasn’t even named anyone to fill the empty desks that smart people who could analyze and help solve these problems usually fill.  Thursday night trump officially became a war president.  And, he is ill prepared to be a war president.

Finally, trump claimed he launched the attack because of the heart wrenching videos of the victims of that horrible chemical attack.  The very same people who have been hoping to come to the U.S. to get away from the war and be saved from becoming victims of future attacks.  If he was so moved, why is he still banning refugees from coming here?  That just shows me he really isn’t “moved” by those videos, he just used them as an excuse to blow up some shit for some good press for a change.

As you can see, just blowing shit up does not make one presidential.  Having a plan, knowing what you will do next, and be able to explain those two things to the American People make you presidential.  I am afraid we will be waiting for hell to freeze over before trump becomes presidential in any meaningful way.

Remember his “secret plan” to defeat ISIS?  We still haven’t seen that plan either on paper or in action.  That tells me he has no plan to follow-up his attack on Syria with.

The major reason Iraq is such a mess goes back to George W. Bush and his neo-con VP Dick Cheney.  They launched an attack on Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein without a plan to follow once that happened.  As a result, there has been 14 years of civil war in that country, too.

If trump thinks that blowing shit up is being presidential, what can we expect when he looks at North Korea?  Will he decide to blow shit up there too without a real plan for follow-up action?

Sorry folks, but without thinking things through beforehand and having a real plan for what to do, blowing shit up is political not presidential.  We need a president not a continuous political candidate at this critical time in the world.  Problem is trump only wants to be a continuous political candidate.  He has shown no real interest in becoming a real president.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 148.

Thursday night, our president ordered a missile attack on Syria.  The target was a single airfield that was supposedly used to launch the chemical attack by Assad on his own people.

It should be noted that this attack was probably a good thing.  However, there are a lot of questions about the attack and how it was coordinated with our allies, and if Russia was notified just prior to the attack.

Notifying Russia would have been a good thing because Russia has advisors all over the country as well as thousands of troops in the country.  By warning them, even if giving a very short time period, it would have given them time to get out of the way and save their people in the attack zone if any of their people were there.

Our beloved leader just made his first decision on the international stage, and we can only hope he took the necessary steps necessary to keep personnel from countries like Russia and Iran out of harms way.

I am not going to criticize the president for the attack.  I do believe that we cannot just sit back and watch a country break international law by using chemical weapons.  However, I also cannot help but worry about how it was handled, and what he plans to do next.

I urge you not to be too overly excited or overly damning about the attack.  This dictator has been brutal in the civil war, and killing innocent civilians is bad enough.  Using chemical weapons against women and children is inexcusable and should be punished.  But, we also must consider many things that could result from this attack.

First, we have to wonder what Assad will do in retaliation, if anything.  For example, it would not surprise me if he launched another chemical attack on the rebels in retaliation.  Dictators have a tendency to retaliate against their own people if they are harmed in anyway.

Secondly, we have to wonder if he might target our ground troops that are in Syria.  Will he decide to attack them, maybe even using chemical weapons?  As I mentioned the other day, we have approximately 1500 troops in Syria fighting ISIS.

Third, we need to wonder what Russia and/or Iran will do in retaliation, if anything.  Especially if we didn’t warn them and their people were killed in the attack.  It was reported they notified Russia, but what about Iran?  There wasn’t anything said about them yet.  We have to be honest, if our people were killed by another country, we would be extremely pissed off about it, and there would be lots of calls for retaliation.

Fourth, what are the cowards in the Republican Controlled Congress going to do?  One of the biggest reasons President Obama didn’t do anything in Syria was due to law.  He did not have an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) from Congress.  There were bills introduced by Democrats to get an AUMF at the time, but our cowardly Republicans refused to even vote on them.

If it becomes necessary for us to do more in Syria, especially if they use chemical weapons again, the president will need an AUMF to legally take additional action.  Yes, the biggest “hawks” in Congress are all in the Republican Party.  However, when they are asked to put their necks on the line with a vote on any AUMF, they run and hide.  So, what are they going to do after this attack.

Fifth, what about Hezbollah?  What will they decide to do, especially against Israel.  The biggest ally and arms supplier to Hezbollah in their fight against Israel is Syria and Iran.  For that matter, will Assad decide to attack Israel itself in order to attempt to drag Iran and other Arab nations into the fight to save his skin by trying to escalate his civil war into a war on Israel?

The real concern is that if Assad were to attack Israel can bet you last dollar that Israel will retaliate.  And, I don’t believe they will be too worried if they kill any Russians and/or Iranians in the process.  That could be a real problem.  Can our president keep Israel out of the conflict or not?    Would he even try.

Sixth, we have to wonder if this attack was also a signal to North Korea.  We need to wonder how the baby dictator in North Korea will react to this attack.  Will he think this is just a first strike and he is next?  If he believes that, will he launch a preemptive attack on South Korea?

The President of China is with the president right now.  Will he call North Korea and tell them it doesn’t affect them and don’t do anything stupid?  Has our president even asked him to make such a call?  Since trump has gone on record and said “If China won’t do anything to stop North Korea, we will” we need to wonder what North Korea is thinking right now.  If we don’t, we can be caught with our pants down in South Korea.  I am not going to be just watching Syria, Russia and Iran.  I am going to be watching North Korea as well.

Seventh, did trump tell the Chinese what he was going to do?  The Chinese President is with him, and I believe it would be very poor diplomacy not to inform him before the missiles started flying.  I am hoping that since as of this writing China has been quiet about the attack, he did.

Please be clear.  I am not denouncing the attack.  I am not denouncing trump for the attack.  Nor am I cheering it either.  I am merely wondering what he did before launching the missiles, and who he notified before the attack.  The answers to those questions will help determine what will happen next.  A real leader would have taken such steps and considered everything I discussed above before acting.

People like General Mattis should know this too.  I am hoping that for once trump actually listened to him before he fired off the first missile.  All we can do now it to wait, watch, and wonder what is next.

 

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Day 147. 

For once, that quote from our beloved leader may be right on the nail.  Only, I don’t think it will be what he thinks it will.  He made that comment talking about Susan Rice, but I think it will be more about his incompetence than anything else.

Let me start here by explaining why all of the hoopla he is trying to place on Rice is a false narrative.  He is trying to make you believe that if Susan Rice requested redacted names be released to her is the same as leaking the information.  He is telling you in reality that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

I will try to explain the process as best I can.  It works like this.  Several people who are cleared receive intelligence reports about FISA warrants,.  When they get the report any U.S. citizen caught up in the warrant has their name redacted in the report.  If that person reads something that is disturbing, they can request the name of that person to better analyze what took place.

Once that request is made, it goes through a thorough process to determine if giving the name is necessary.  The person making the request is not involved in the process.  The National Security Agency has the final say so if the name will be given to the person requesting it.  It must also go through the intelligence agency who collected the information in the first place.

If it is decided that the name can be released to the person requested, that person cannot share that information with anyone else.  Except, maybe the President if necessary.

Secondly, a recipient of these reports, cannot request the reports of all incidents of a U.S. citizen being incidentally surveilled.  The reports are filed under the name of the person on the FISA warrant, not the people they are talking to.  So, the idea that anyone could ‘request” all reports dealing with a certain U.S. citizen is bogus.

One of the people who receive these reports on a daily basis is the National Security Advisor.  It is simply a matter of that person doing their job if they feel they need the name of a redacted person.  So, this idiocy over Rice is nothing but a political game being played by conservatives.

But, let’s get back to the quote.  We are sitting on the edge of two major international crises.  One is in North Korea where their version of trump is planning to go nuclear in the real sense.  And, the other is in Syria where the dictator has heard trump say he is safe from us.

Beloved leader has made a lot of political statements about these two problems, but he has yet to say anything about what he might do about them.  He has blustered and threatened with his infamous quote of “all options are on the table”.

That is one of the most ridiculous statements that can be made by a leader of any country.  Syria has used gas in attacking the rebels about 5 – 9 times since trump has taken office.  This is the first time he has even recognized the attack.  And, since he loves Putin so much, it is doubtful he will do anything without Putin’s permission.

You must also take into consideration that trump has said over and over for at least four years now, that “Syria is not our problem.  We need to let Russia and Iran settle the problem there”.  Now he claims to have had “a change of heart”.

We also have to look at what he did yesterday with the National Security Council.  He relieved Steve Bannon from his permanent seat on the NSC Policy committee.  The thing that struck me most about this move is the feeble excuse for the move given by the White House.

The White House said that Bannon was on the council to “keep an eye on Michael Flynn”.  Now that Flynn is gone he isn’t needed there anymore.  That only shows the American People that trump’s judgement of people is absolutely horrible.  How in the hell can a president name someone his National Security Advisor and then have to put someone on the council in order to  “keep an eye” on him.  That fact would tell any sane person that the nominee isn’t qualified to be the National Security Advisor in the first place.

To put in in terms trump might understand, that would be like naming someone the CFO of a major corporation, and then having to hire someone else just to make sure the CFO doesn’t try any embezzlement against the company.  It would be stupid business practice, and it is dangerous when it comes to national security.

The executive branch has over 500 positions that need Senate approval.  So far, trump has not even named a nominee for 512 of those position.  At least 38 of those positions are in the State Department.  These positions lead departments that are supposed to feed information to the president on international issues that he needs to make informed decision.   Beloved leader, by his own incompetence of not filling these positions, is not getting the information he needs at this critical time.

This week he sent his son-in-law to meet with Kurdish leaders in Iraq.  He did not send anyone with any real experience in the area to help advise him.  Kushner’s main sidekick on this trip was “trump’s private body-guard”.  And, he wasn’t there as a body-guard, he was sitting at the table with the Kurdish leaders.

I can only imagine what the Kurds thought of their counterparts at the meeting.  In one picture, you can see one of the Kurds staring at the body-guard and it is clear to me that he isn’t impressed with him.

Today beloved leader is supposed to meet with the President of China Xi Jinping.  He says that he will have frank discussions with him about North Korea.  We have been told by trump that “if China doesn’t do something about North Korea, we will”.

That can only be taken by China as a warning that trump will start a war on the Korean Peninsula.  My question is who is going to attend this “meeting” with the Chinese and trump?  You can bet that Kushner will be there.  But, who else is going to be there?  Especially who will be there that actually has experience dealing with China and knows something about the whole situation there and in North Korea?  Are we gong to be led by an incompetent leader with inexperienced advisors?

We have a president who has no experience in governing.  He promised the American People that he would “hire the smartest and best people available” to help him.  Instead, he has hired incompetent people with no experience in governing or international affairs.

Let’s be honest, being the head of a major oil company and bribing country leaders to get contracts to take the oil out of their country does not give you “international experience” that is required to be Secretary of State.  But, that was trump’s best pick for the job.

Whenever we have a change in Presidents, we get tested by our adversaries.  We are being tested right now, and I am sorry, but I have very little confidence in our beloved leader to make the right moves.

These tests come now because our adversaries know just how incompetent our beloved leader is.  They know that he has bashed NATO and our closest allies.  They know that he refused to shake the hand of the German Leader, but glad handed the dictator of Egypt.  They know that trump has weakened our national security like no other president before him.

They figure that now is the time to strike.  North Korea is blustering like a real country.  Although they are an enigma, they are nonetheless dangerous.  The capital of South Korea is in range of North Korean artillery.  We have thousand of our own troops stationed in South Korea.  This area has always been a powder keg waiting to explode.  Making the wrong moves right now will touch off that powder keg.

If trump cannot get China to realize they are in the same boat as we are when it comes to North Korea, that could mean not only a war with North Korea, but also a war with China, North Korea’s only real ally.  We need someone in those meetings with Jinping who understands this simple fact, and keep beloved leader from leading us to a war that could be devastating.

Syria is testing us mainly because trump gave him the green light to behave as he wishes.  There is no accident in the timing of the chemical attack the other day when you consider the “hands off” policy trump has been following for several years.  And, especially when his Secretary of State and UN Ambassador said we would not do anything to overthrow Assad.

Once Assad heard those words, again, he figured now was the time to strike.  Republicans are showing confusion as to why Assad would choose now to use his chemical weapons that Russia assured us were removed.  They claim that using chemical weapons is the behavior of someone losing and Assad is not losing.

Using chemical weapons is also a tactic used by a dictator to eliminate his opposition.  Even if you are currently winning, you need to make sure you totally eliminate the opposition so they cannot regroup at a later date.  That is why he is using chemical weapons now.  That and the fact that trump has said we won’t overthrow him.

But, again like with North Korea, we need to understand the real dangers.  If trump shoots from the hip and attacks Assad, there are real dangers there too.  Both Russia and Iran have troops inside of Syria.  Only, contrary to what beloved leader is telling us, they are not fighting ISIS, they are fighting the rebels fighting against Assad.  So, if we start bombing and kill Russian or Iranian soldiers, what will they do?  If you think they will sit back and let it happen, you are very badly mistaken.

The next few days or weeks are going to be almost frightening to watch.  Our incompetent president is being placed on the world stage and everyone will be watching how he will respond to these incidents.

This is the time that we need a president who is willing to learn his job, listen to real advisors who know what they are talking about, and be able to talk to and negotiate with our adversaries.  Diplomacy at the end of a gun is not the answer.

Instead, we have a president who is too worried about tweeting unproven accusations against those he considers his political enemies.  Instead, we have a president who relies on the advise of people with absolutely no experience dealing with hostile countries.  Instead, we have a president wo gives a speech using political rhetoric instead of defined policies.

Every time trump speaks about international affairs, the entire world, friends and enemies alike, scratch their heads and wonder what the hell he is talking about.  That is not what we need right now.  We need sober, intelligent, clear thinkers who understand the full complexities of these situations.  Instead, we have a spoiled brat as our leader who thinks that giving a campaign speech is policy setting.

So, he was right when he said “I think this is going to be the biggest story”.  When facing real crises, incompetence is the biggest story.  If it wasn’t so serious, I would find it very humorous when Republicans say “he is going to lead us where he wants the country to go.”  Because, he has no clue where he wants the country to go, because he has never thought about the country, only himself.  Is it any wonder his approval rating has hit a whopping 35 percent?  But, at least his numbers are higher than Bannon’s and Spicer’s.  So, he still leads the pack of his incompetent administration.

Beloved leader has said that he believes in “enhanced interrogation” or torture.  He keeps proving that belief.  Every day under his administration has been pure torture for the American People.

 

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