Who incidentally seem to have gone to the Star Trek Discovery school of war, conflict or combat where even watchers can see real wars don’t end that way.
For those unfamiliar with the latest franchise installment either because they are Trekkie purists who haven’t liked anything since the original series, perhaps Next Generation days, are upset with the latter franchise incarnations, storylines prone to griping endlessly about Deep Space Nine and Voyager both, treated Scott Bakula’s Enterprise like the red-headed step child no one wanted to acknowledge or simply finding Discovery’s constant plot twists plus bad handling serious issues a bridge too far. The rarer few who prefer Star Wars, lastly those for whom Discovery has ruined the franchise for trek lovers the way some assert The Last Jedi forever tainted Star Wars for the galaxy far, far away’s diehards, or the medium they chose to air it on, making it a shameless bid for CBS’ All Access, forcing those unwilling to pay the fee to popular ‘illegal’ sites offering episodes. Discovery’s plotline follows the story of Michael Burnham whose parents were killed in a 23rd century terrorist attack on Vulcan by those in their society who believe the federation and cavorting with humans is a bad idea, leaving her to be raised by the younger version of famed ambassador Sarek; after attending Vulcan schooling and surpassing her peers despite her species’ inherent disadvantages she is denied a slot on a Vulcan exploration ship and Sarek uses his connections to get her a position on a federation ship, details sprinkled throughout season one. Bringing us to the opening pilot where Burnham is first officer her ship and her captain reestablishing first contact with the known hostile Klingons; long story short leaning on her Vulcan connections in trying to stop a war she is accused of mutiny and starting the resulting war, sentenced to life in prison and suffering a raging case of survivors guilt as her ship was destroyed, a war started where thousands have died in the initial battle and the measly 6 months since when she is plucked off her prison ship by Discovery’s captain believing her scientific background useful. Discovery itself a cutting edge science vessel tasked with finding a way for the federation to win a war they are badly losing with something called a spore drive equaling instantaneous long distance transport. Shortening a very long story including surgically altered persons, alternative universes and a traitorous captain finds Discovery returning to her home universe after a 3 month absence to the revelation the federation has all but lost the war, core star bases and world’s all that’s left to them and the Klingons making a b-line for earth at which point out of desperation star fleet command is willing to betray their principle ideals willing to set off a bomb on the Klingon home world capable of killing the population hoping it will send those speeding toward earth, hovering around earth waiting for a clearly imminent attack back home. Michael Burnham appalled and searching for another way, finally she approaches L’Rell a Klingon prisoner who wanted to ‘defect’ when Admiral Cornwell was attacked and imprisoned on the main Klingon ship after a peace envoy attempt gone bad; except she had no intention of truly defecting rather connecting with her lover and the appointed Klingon leader anointed before the original leader was killed during the initial skirmish with star fleet who was surgically altered to look human in order to infiltrate Discovery taking on the persona Ash Tyler and picked up by Discovery’s captain when he was held in a Klingon prison prior to rescue (told you the plot twists represented a problem). Ultimately Burnham convinces star fleet and presents L’Rell with an offer she can’t refuse, take the bomb deactivation codes, unite her people under her banner, the unification their sacrificed leader wanted or it goes off; she succeeds and the Ash Tyler character goes off with her, Burnham is reinstated in star fleet, record expunged for her heroic actions, their ideals saved and season 1 closes with, among other things, Burnham giving a lecture to fleet cadets about those ideals, how she broke them and how she redeemed herself by going back to them. Relating this to real life events, minus the inherent politics in Rodenberry’s work, comments current directors are trying to make in the modern times of the Trump era and hopefully making the last page make sense as far as it’s inclusion, people tired of endless wars Chris Matthews and likeminded persons always coming back to the fact president Trump ran on ending categorized stupid wars directly referring to our ever and ongoing conflicts in the middle east, Kyle Kulinski known for shouting on his YouTube channel/radio show we’re bombing 8 countries seem to be under the utopian vast misconception that all we have to do to end this is pack up our crap and leave, stop spending money over there, walk away and let these people take care of themselves, govern themselves. No thought given to, if we do that, they’ll rightfully scream we came, we destroyed and left their country in shambles then disappeared, missing that too will only increase terror attacks against America not decrease them eliminating all economic opportunity in their own country apart from the stipend given to families of suicide bombers; isn’t that the example they point to with Somalia, its pirate problem directly tied to U.S., western intervention, negative consequences thereof in the form of ambitious regime change goals unrealized? And suddenly walking away task unfinished doesn’t somehow cheapen the lives lost during our ‘invasions’ of Afghanistan, Iraq, the sacrifice, pain and turmoil of people who came back but maimed, mangled, fighting through traumatic brain injury, forever changed by PTSD, battle/deployment related mental illness, their families, loved ones, children, spouses, what about all the civilians in places we’d never heard of until our troops were marching; we leave them in a lurch because the price is too high, not just in dollars but persons killed or harmed, worse because we’re tired and don’t wanna do it anymore, except this isn’t parks and rec basketball, neighborhood dodgeball, you can’t just take your ball and go home. Honoring the men and women who serve, their repeated deployments to mentioned regions, the lives they gave for their country, the limbs, pieces of their sanity given for their country and more importantly a set of ideas, morals and governmental structures, of self-governance by the people and for the people across the globe is ensuring they didn’t die in vain, didn’t suffer in vain, means finishing the objective, getting these counties, peoples to a point of self-governance, routing out terrorists, limiting the spread of radical, terroristic ideas and ideologies around the world protecting our own freedom in the process. Extraordinarily light on detail, hardly ever talked about beyond get out, get out, get out, what are we doing there, any realistic extraction plan that turns over control to civilian, rightful authorities, seeing that there are such things before you go, leaving something besides chaos and dysfunction in their wake; constantly chiding so called neo-cons, war hawks for their lack of plan, quickly finding themselves in the same proverbial boat, how to ‘get out’ not listed on any current progressive platform, because here’s a secret, while their motivations may be viewed as more pure, well intentioned than the ‘endless war to feed the military industrial complex’ left leaning/progressive talking point, hey don’t know either. But it shouldn’t be surprising knowing these are the same people who think Medicare for all will solve the nation’s healthcare woes, forget the scenario of Jimmy Kimmel’s little boy not born to Jimmy Kimmel who has the funds to cover the costs of repeated heart surgeries it will take to correct his profound birth defect, unlike minimum wage workers averaging $15,000 a year, most Americans making $30,000 or less believe; unclear what would happen to such a family when the 20% usually left to the Medicare insured to pay is well into the millions and way over their heads. Who further have faith currently senator Sanders, as hopeful future president Sanders could get all adults in America enrolled in something like 4 years, children of course as they are born after implementation and those zero to 18 an understandable priority, there would be no lifetime caps as with some private insurance and no collapse of a hitherto stable for decades system despite adding vision and dental absent from standard care today; a hard to believe claim considering the inevitable influx of persons needing extensive dental procedures, eye exams, glasses and contacts, another unknown options for persons needing dentures, partials and other dentistry post or in lieu of extractions. These are the same people who believe whole heartedly in Sanders again and his free college program missing the tiny detail that it only applies to in state public institutions so even if you are good enough academically to get into Harvard, Yale other known top notch schools after high school, unless you won the financial birth lottery of being born to wealthy parents, you won’t be able to attend, even under the Bernie plan to reduce and eliminate student debt long term; excited citizens who ignore the inherent unfairness in free college for everyone instead of saying, similar to comments on Warren Buffet’s prescription drugs, no we won’t pay for his so we can pay for the average non-millionaire/non-billionaire persons, the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg Mark Cubin, Donald Trump can pay for their own children’s college, post-secondary education while taxpayer and federal government initiatives pay for everyone else’s. Apart from being good enough for a famous institution, left out of this glorious program too are people who must go out of the state from where they presently live to attend a school offering a degree in the thing they wish to make their career out of; and before thinking it’s the right’s characterization encompassing Peruvian bongo drums, lesbian dance theory, Beyoncé or The Beatles, which are classes almost exclusively at derided liberal arts colleges, not majors, when I was doing career exploration before college at the turn of the 21st century I looked into architecture only to discover to become fully qualified I would have to continue schooling or take certification tests in a neighboring state to actually be able to work, become an employable architect. While in college in the early 2000’s I knew students, fellow classmates who were getting forensic science degrees then planning to head out of state for continued schooling or internships unto certifications in their field, knew at least one who stayed in her electrical processing plant job despite her degree because moving wasn’t an option; unanswered once more, people who must continue beyond a 4 year degree to obtain their career, now seen as the new high school diploma, who increase the likelihood of mandatory going out of state. I’ve discussed repeatedly the things I found out belatedly about my own major necessitating going out of town, if not out of state, to make it viable thanks to my hometown housing the country’s most prestigious journalism school, the limited options for the overflow of those students, students obtaining English degrees toward the same/slightly different but related goals, in part why my career has never gone past an obscure blog essentially volunteering for no money It does nothing to answer how other countries who have free public universities and private, paid higher ed. institutions prevented employers from only selecting job candidates from private, tuition based institutions because they believe them to have the better potential workers, they carry more prestige and by extension at least perceived elevated competence; paramount for us because there is a good chance that’s exactly what employers will do should Sanders get his wish in the near future just creating a whole new set of problems and no better prospects upon obtaining higher education, better financial stability flowing out from that education or job security post mentioned higher education— big oops. Citizenry overjoyed, practically salivating at the mere idea of one more Sanders brainchild: a government jobs guarantee never mind similar to the limitations of free college and how employers are likely to respond to it, aside from the already negative connotations assumed around productivity and job performance ‘lacking considerably when you can’t be fired’ it still doesn’t solve the problem with secondary education totally apart from affordability, the so called skills gap largely caused by employers who want pre-k though 12 ed., colleges, trade schools to bring them ready made workers instead of engaging in the most rudimentary job training failing to comprehend they have such an abysmal pool of workers due to this overarching and continuous self-inflicted wound. Neither initiative changing business mindsets to engineer post-secondary programs in partnership with their local college and trade institutions tailored to the skills required, adequately recognize skillsets potentially housed, garnered in an applicant’s job history that would fit them well into the position or correct the basic misunderstanding that post-secondary college education can be substituted for employer given job training specifics not a readiness for said training in a broad felid like social work, can be traded for the barest minimum tutorial on how you do things in your particular workplace. If we want to see what can go wrong in societies viewed as virtual utopias compared to the capitalistic greed of today ponder the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode ‘In the Cards’ where Jake Sisko attempts to get his father an antique baseball card knowing his love for the sport and the particular ancient player; problem, the person/entity auctioning off the card is doing so for money or equal value trade and earth, the United Federation of Planets commonly shortened to the federation has long ago given up monetary based economic systems much to the dismay and chagrin of his Ferengi friend Nog coming from a completely profit obsessed, solely profit motivated society, who he tries to borrow the money from leading the 2 on a wild adventure of wish fulfilments and item procurements favors for favors in an endeavor to get that coveted card; now it all worked out in the end, each person got something they wanted, lost and borrowed items returned to them restoring a level of contentment to the isolated station, making life a little easier especially for the Starfleet personnel far from home. But it is an example of why people inherently fear socialism as defined by the progressive policies dominating political platforms since 2016, prominently featured approaching 2018’s midterms, mattering little if they are confusing and conflating socialism as seen in communist Cuba, Venezuela or social democracy present in Scandinavian countries, when/where everyone isn’t playing by the same rules yet you must navigate to survive and thrive; check out the later seasons of DS9’s mentions of the Maquis people living on the demilitarized zone between Cardassia and the federation colonists from the outset whose homes were given away in peace treaties between Cardiassia and the federation or star fleet officers who found themselves sympathizing more with the group than the federation when it came to the treatment of these displaced people who want none of the federations control after being treated as bargaining chips, leverage, bearing the consequences of federation hypocrisy rather seek independence from their ‘birthright, who names them traitors and the Cardassians who classify them terrorists. On a DMZ where largescale issues plaguing earths distant past still exist (much like today) you don’t see in their blissful utopia best summed up by Commander Benjamin Sisko: “On Earth there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window at Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it’s easy to be a saint in paradise. But the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there, in the Demilitarized Zone, all problems have not been solved yet. There are no saints, just people; angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with the Federation approval or not.” Connecting that to our current political climate, geo-realities how quickly we forget just how small those latter countries are held up next to us, our population/reputation counterparts, that we are viewed as the leading global superpower and carry the moniker the world’s policeman; while the younger generation, progressives see this as patently unfair, undemocratic and disastrously arrogant our western world allies see something else, leadership, guidance, also un-talked about, a burden removed from them to make some of the very decisions we’ve been grappling with now ‘through 17 years of war;’ they aren’t talking about them on the global stage they way they do us, negatively regarding our middle eastern interventions, Israel and the BDS movement for Palestinian rights that has a lot of individual American support for oppressed peoples because we were crafting policies and committing the bulk of troops, though not completely alone. Until very recently they have been able to cling to their ideals and be held up as the pinnacle of socialism/socialism done right where people have education, healthcare, solid jobs and things hum along indefinitely; on the heels of multiple migrant influxes precipitated by conflict hot beads spanning the middle east, North Africa, they can no longer say that. Belgian language textbooks referring to Syrian refugees as terrorists, Sweden the latest to see a far right nationalist uprising like most of Europe has whether Italy earlier in the year as a far right group there provided food and healthcare checks to the needy if you weren’t an immigrant or Germany where far right protests and anti-Semitic violence/harassment are on the rise; congratulations you are just like the rest of us when pushed to it, when forced to tackle the huge issues of immigration, migrants, refugees and the like seen are the same undercurrents of racism, nationalism America is both constantly and recently chided for, routinely asked why it can’t be more like Europe, follow the European example. Cold hard truth is faced with familiar dynamics they react almost identically; it’s just for the most of the modern century and a half they haven’t had to thus Europe becomes the false utopia everyone is reaching for; an exercise in why they say you should never meet you heroes. Previously this blog supported the millennial, gen Z stances against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, all our middle eastern conflicts, still does in terms of both acknowledging their perspective, position, respecting their right to their opinion on the subject and the reasons behind their thinking while not necessarily agreeing with them rather I’ve thrown my personal support for, laid out the case behind why I firmly believe the wars in those 2 countries were the right move at the time, why staying in even now is our only choice. Blog and author dissecting Benghazi and what every investigator, congressional committee missed while chasing Hilary Clinton for phantom ghosts of wrongdoing which disappeared like mist up close spelling a security failure that didn’t have to be if the American forces/persons had taken security far more seriously. Needing to be wholly shattered to is ‘the Star Trek Discovery view’ of what exactly happens in war, the concept that if we are the good guys, our cause is just, if we are doing it right availing ourselves of the latest technologies many of them fashioned for the very purpose of war then civilians and innocents never get hurt, the only people who die are the bad guys; separating the secondary effects of war often cutting people off from vital supplies like food, water, medicine electricity, heating and cooling spreading death and disease well before or after bombs stop dropping, guns stop being fired, if chemical and bio agents aren’t on the list of atrocities, there is the sheer reality sometimes civilians do get hurt, sometimes the wrong target gets hit including hospitals, pharmacies, homes where ordinary people were and terrorists weren’t. Sadly such is the nature of war, does that mean we need to be staggeringly more careful with drone strikes, raids and related tactics— without question, but we also need to take off the rose colored glasses about what war means in the post 9/11 era; if we want a truer view of war matching our 21st century conflict/warzones watch the episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine where war with the dominion breaks out, the episode after Nog loses his leg, how the characters respond personally and emotionally to the war happening around them. Analyze the character of Kira Nerys Bajoran resistance, fighter militia commander called in commentary today a terrorist, Gene Rodenberry world equivalent; which will inevitably bring up testimonials from soldiers who after their tours of duty who came back saying they felt like the terrorists over there. That having been said and established about the horrors and consequences of war, countering the Chris Mathews ideology of ‘stupid wars’ dictators do not stable regions make; continuing, giving people democracy and freedom around the world is never a stupid war, helping people in their bid toward self-governance, even when that bid includes violence, and when doesn’t it, is never a stupid war. Because democracies aid in preventing so many other evils of which war is only one; democracies decrease famine, disease spread global and regional pandemic style, increase education for the world’s girls often cut off from learning because of their gender, because of normal biological processes specifically period shaming, which can mean should they be lucky enough to be able to go to school, affording tuition where applicable for their country’s variation on k-12, obtain a uniform, almost always applicable in places least likely to be able to procure one, they don’t finish high school because being viewed as unclean dunning their menstruation cycle means missing school, struggling to catch up or giving up do to relentless teasing and commentary. Malala Yousafzai equally famous for her poise, grace an activism on behalf of girls whose simple wish is basic education first became known to the world after being shot in the head by the Taliban for being on a bus headed to school; sidebar she was a woman and insulted them to boot so she had to die, except she lived, living to become the youngest Nobel laureate. Democracy leads to a better life for citizens under its governance, yes even capitalist democracy; what makes it all worth it.
I am old enough to remember and therefore so should Mr. Kulinski also be able to remember when we first ‘invaded’ Afghanistan we likewise liberated it from the Taliban meaning men were shaving their beards if they chose, listening to secular radio if they chose, women were going out in public having shed their full burka if they chose, were finally empowered to push back against the ultra-conservative must be accompanied by a male relative religious rules, empowered to work at least in some capacities selling made food products to name one. And no it isn’t as simple as we went there to capture Osama Bin Laden ‘mission accomplished bitch’ come home we are still there because terrorists are still a dominating presence there, independent having changed their respective names over the years, thus leaving would destroy all our hard work, make meaningless the lives who died there, leave in worse straits the citizens who once celebrated their liberation from oppression. Long has Iraq been a source of people, progressives, liberals screaming how wrong we got it, how officials lied and said Saddam Hussain was involved in 9-11 when he clearly wasn’t, had weapons of mass destruction when he didn’t, if he said he did he was posturing in front of advisory Turkey; America having its own agenda for going in whether Bush 43’s desire to avenge his father and finish what wasn’t in the first gulf war or if it was the oil and natural gas resources he was looking to obtain in some sort of deal with the Saudis. Now in the Trump era with serious worries about his dictatorial, autocratic nature, his attacks on the rule of law, attacks on the press, it’s bought out those reminded of that era where the press was then too non-existent, buying the company line to quote Rob Reiner; well here’s the part no one got wrong, the rape rooms and mass genocide president Bush talked about in his warning address to Saddam Hussain and the Iraqi people about how to lay down their arms and stay out of the fighting, the national address the night the war began that mentioned nothing about 9-11, Hussain’s involvement in the attack, but instead mentioned rebuffed UN inspectors there to monitor their nuclear capability in things that weren’t meant to make the lights go, weren’t in the interest of scientific research but in making nuclear weapons, in manufacturing materials unto a nuclear bomb, bomb advancements that make Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like a meager test, a minor accident, the years long back and forth we’d been engaged in with the dictator and the fearful, but logical, thinking post the catastrophe that was 9/11 he could be the a follow up threat looming on the horizon, factors multiplied exponentially calculating his unwillingness to provide, us anyone in the international community straight answers about their nuclear capability, weapons of mass destruction arsenal. Or the indisputable fact, regardless of the ‘lies’ of the Bush/Cheney administration, bad intelligence, media hysteria met with poor journalism that had Americans believing given ‘propaganda’ connecting 9/11 to Iraq, our war there was to avenge us for what they did September 2001, when he, Saddam Hussain, was interviewed by the FBI he admitted to lying about his possession of nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction whether it was posturing to Turkey, the U.S., perhaps fulfilling his own delusions of grandeur since according to a history channel documentary he believed himself to be the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, was on a one person quest to rebuild Babylon up until he was putting his own face on Iraqi money. Lock step with people like Muammar Gaddafi and Idi Amin best depicted in The Dictator and The Last King of Scotland respectively dictators all, typically found low intelligence persons all, who are mentally ill, mentally unstable if not outright clinically insane, worth remembering history proved identical findings about Hitler; so why is it so hard for progressives the Kyle Kulinski’s, Jimmy Dore’s of the world, their avid listeners, perspective adopters to grasp that concept as it pertains to the Middle East as opposed to Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur? Recently The Young Turks, whose tagline reads home of progressives did a breakdown of what terror groups might not have formed had we not inserted ourselves in countries a-la Iraq, Afghanistan complete with a monetary assessment of how much each American is paying for our wars over there, what those funds are actually feeding; focusing on the first half of the presented premise, obvious question that jumps out, what terror groups, global threats would have come into being had we not intervened, had we not been the ones to intervene? Because progressives wrongly base their arguments on this one false idea, that if we didn’t ‘invade’ Iraq no one else would; yet, there is every indication reading the climate at the time, the 9/11 shockwaves sent reverberating around the globe, especially jarring to the whole western world system, something would have popped off, something would have happened to provoke armed conflict, war. It is entirely conceivable had the US not lead the charge, the U.N., NATO, perhaps both would have become increasingly jittery about his Hussain’s relentless tug of war with nuclear inspectors, individual or a group of European countries couldn’t, wouldn’t have done likewise and war started that way. Identically on the subject of torture water boarding, anal feeding and the shameful, needless humiliation at Abu Ghraib topics making it back across all media spectrums with president Trump’s controversial nomination to oversee the CIA; of course Gina Haspel is the wrong choice for CIA director, not the least of which because she participated in torture, obfuscated if not lied about it, subsequently destroyed evidence to cover it up to then be given a senior position well before her current consideration for yet another high ranking job. Still she is the wrong choice solely if your intention is to turn over a new leaf, to draw a line in the sand and say no more torture will be done by the United States of America, its military, its government, we are years post 9/11 and will go back to abiding by international law in our conflicts because we never should have left it, but that doesn’t prevent hindsight from being 20/20, that doesn’t tell us what to do in the future during the aftermath of the next 9/11 style attack to hit us regardless of the intel networks and preventatives we have in place dealing with people, trying to obtain vital information from people who are subjected to torture in their own country, live under a dictatorial regime and quite possibly won’t respond to anything else, what do you do with persons clearly shown to be enemy combatants if not detain them in a place reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay; shouting down what we did, individual things, unquestionably wrong, doesn’t tell us what to do instead, rewrite the playbook for the next round coming in 5, 50 or 500 years, answers again progressives don’t have apart from don’t get into this to begin with. Dovetailing into the nitty gritty of another paralleled conflict showing a bit of a reverse to the notion past is prologue, widely publically unknown about the NATO military aid given to Libya until well after the fact, first mentioned in the 2016 presidential debate by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, translating to they only half believed it, took it seriously as a facet of how we got into ‘yet another war,’ let an atrocity like Benghazi happen, the international community was pranging state department phones, begging America about their fears concerning a coming genocide in that country specifically NATO allies, who, ignorantly brushed aside, participated in the air support campaigns meant to help Libyan rebels along with citizenry take control of their government, every indication they would have moved forward with their actions and support had the U.S. not chosen to join them leading to the same outcomes we are faced with now. If they did it with Libya there is nothing to say they wouldn’t have done it with Iraq if they saw it as themselves the only ones willing to step up in a potential humanitarian crisis; Libya happening under U.K. prime minister David Camron not previous prime minister Tony Blair often viewed too chummy with his American counterpart president George W. Bush, add that to the equation and Iraq becomes a forgone conclusion no matter who made the first move. Honestly you can hardly go a day of watching Secular Talk hosted by the unique Kyle Kulinski absent hearing familiar refrains on how many countries we’re bombing, the offensive wars we’ve instigated against people who didn’t attack us; except modern day Middle East conflict was touched off by 9/11 where middle eastern persons from various counties littering that region did attack us, killed thousands of Americans for no other reason than they view us as the great satan, hedonistic, excessive, arrogant, utterly against their religious strictures; 10 to 1 secretly jealous of the freedoms given to Americans, the immigrants that grace our shores, at least pre the Trump presidency. Followed by the Arab spring anti-government protests starting in North Africa, not the middle east, 9 years after beginning our search for Bin Laden in Afghanistan routing terrorists in the process, and 7 years after our involvement in Iraq sought to put an end to rape rooms, mass genocide and locate WMD, when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in front of a government building, people economically desperate, tired of being oppressed rose up and said enough is enough, one following/building upon the other. Where did the international community get the idea mass genocide might happen in Libya, dictatorial reaction to Arab Spring movements, protests amassed in the streets met with violence because they don’t possess that freedom there, the brutal, bloody, deadly Tehran (capitol of Iran) protests a lone year before reacting to election results; against said described backdrop what did anyone think was going to happen, should happen? Conveniently forgotten in Kulinski’s, progressives’ assessment of Libya, particularly as it pertains to how foolish they think it is to float our intervention in the country as a model for crafting a deal with North Korea because Gadhafi disarmed, we went in later and killed him, him dragged through the streets with a pipe jammed in his rectum, so why on god’s green earth would Kim Jung Un agree to that is, what happened to Gadhafi was at the hands of and sole responsibility of his own people who disarmed him themselves and shot him with one of his own guns. The reason he ended up dragged through the streets at all is due to how horribly he treated his people, the horrendous things he had subjected them to on a whim. Almost never mentioned the who wasn’t dragged through the streets and killed by his people, rather tried by the established interim government set up in that country for 100’s of killing of a minority Muslim group in 1982 forgoing the current rape rooms, mass genocide and general misery for something concrete, provable, one Saddam Hussain; found guilty, sentenced to death by hanging and who had that sentence carried out. Oh, now maybe it was a kangaroo court, Kabuki theater precursor to the trial of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak; but it is interesting to see a criminal trial resulting in a dictator’s lawful execution turn and call Iraq intervention worthless. Still situations in Libya and Iraq holding a lot of mirroring qualities experts commenting it has never been a question of can we do it, can we achieve the regime change desired, that really shouldn’t be a dirty phrase because boiled down to its most basic components it comes out to can we give these people democracy, self-governance rather bluntly stating it’s the political will we lack to commit to the long haul, the 30 odd year task it would be to actually meet stated goals, do the hard work, tack on another 10 years now probably thanks to sporadic troop commitments, surges and withdraws conflicting strategies/approaches. News cycles move so fast and there’s so much going on in the world, progressives never letting go of the 17 years we’ve been in armed conflict somewhere across the Middle East (fair enough) they have trouble recollecting the nervous Iraqi people voicing tangible uncertainty regarding what happens once America is no longer there, legitimate question multiplied by sections of Iraq’s literally infant government as well as American troops scheduled to leave; lo and behold, we turn around twice and ISIS, the latest formed terror faction is creeping back in, America criticized for choreographing withdraw to the media allowing said terrorists to circle a date on their calendar when they can do whatever they want. Not to mince words, lets recall the catalyst behind troop withdraw wasn’t successful gains in Iraq, natural progression of the government sift we wanted, fought for, a fledgling democracy we could finally leave in the hands of its people to nurture and flourish; the troop drawdowns over the past 15 years right up to present day center around public, opinion, public weariness with war, the then recession’s toll on us inklings we should be spending that money on the home front rather than abroad; never mind leaving them worse off than any American could ever be. Who can’t recite the jokes of late night comedians calling French fries freedom fries suddenly when they opted out of participating in the Iraqi offensive, endless jokes stemming from France’s years of capitulation; only to be hailed as sensible heroes for not engaging, question for later in the piece, will they be hated again for backing the Syrian bombing in response to the alleged chemical attack that prompted Trump to bring weapons to bear on Assad’s forces? What’s not rhetoric their absence made little difference and ignored chiefly because this is American progressive national news left off are the American allies nearly always also present less due to bad intel, lies told to them to garner their support and more because they felt solidarity with us, may well have understandably wanted to avoid becoming a target in the not so distant future. Further turning a critical eye to terror attacks conducted across Europe, progressives argue stems from Middle East intervention, they are attacking counties that didn’t join in our offensive against them, so there goes that excuse. Next going down the list of progressive objections to our Middle East interventions the accusation we keep ourselves involved in other parts of the world to feed America’s military industrial complex adding we have the largest military contrasted to the next half dozen to a dozen westernized, global player countries combined; it’s hard to tell which truly came first the defense contractors a-la the ones like Blackwater sent to Iraq with the task of rebuilding who instead engaged in corruption lining their own pockets and killing civilians in some cases, or the need for someone other than already spread thin military personnel, back when it was just Iraq and Afghanistan soil we were fighting on, to come in and reconstruct infrastructure. Practically rendered a chicken or the egg, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin type debate, ponderance, but the bigger question there has to be, can’t we get a defense contractor, private military company or some organization to do so effectively sans the brazen behaviors that company participated in? Who do we bring in to successfully rebuild these counties minus ‘the most expensive gas station in the world’ (built in Afghanistan with a 43 million dollar price tag) anecdotes popping up; concept solid use the abundance of natural gas available in the country, convert cars to that, free the people from costly foreign oil imports, problem conversions cost more than most Afghans make in a year. Speaking of Afghanistan, once revealed on a Young Turks segment was a poll/survey conducted of the Afghan people asking them to explain why Americans were there, the answers shocking, they believed them there to take their stuff, land, natural resources, belongings of value, people thinking they are defending those things as well as their right to go where they will and do as they please hurting no one. Ok simplistic question, those nationwide megaphones seen throughout every Muslim country announcing their call to prayer 5 times a day, why not use those to tell people in all used and indigenous languages we are only here for terrorists listing names of known groups active there, not your land, natural resources, belongings of value, they are less combative, more inclined to cooperate when they understand what’s happening and why; secondly, translators were and are par for the course, why exactly weren’t they telling locals this from day one? Totally blowing apart ‘the terrorist was me’ sentiments held by select soldiers are the ones who circa 2015 could not watch news footage showing terrorists back in control of sections of Iraq, so dedicated to their mission, seeing the Iraqi people free and making their own choices, though they no longer donned a uniform they returned as volunteers to fight alongside people who merely want to secure their home. Running us headlong into addressing an adjacent topic in both countries and strategies moving forward purported segments on Fox news calling to privatize the war in Afghanistan strongly suggesting we are still a force in the country, the region not to route terrorists but to loot their minerals and natural resources from them, Kulinski’s segment accurately sourced it as being from Fox News and the person advocating it being the former founder of Blackwater now having changed its name repeatedly to avoid the taint of its prior scandal; the problem with his assessment of what this means is that president Trump himself is the one who brought up the suggestion of taking minerals from Afghanistan, raiding the oil in both Iraq and Libya as the spoils of war, recuperation of a fraction of our monetary losses at an event well before he announced his candidacy for president, calling America stupid and China smart from raping the land of referenced minerals, statements he reiterated on the campaign trail. But key, it hasn’t happened yet, no signs it will happen, at all forget soon despite the president’s voiced frustrations; on the contrary, he said no to the ‘privatization’ efforts proposed by Eric Prince last year, no indication military leaders, the secretary of defense general Mattis would go along with such a plan minerals or oil either one, military persons on the ground would 1 be capable of doing as asked, 2, actually do it. Compiling evidence of a significant disconnect between what fanatics like John Bolton may want, senators like Lindsey Graham, former diplomat Henry Kissinger floating bombing North Korea and the fundamental, tangible objectives on the ground in country. And it too hasn’t happened, no moves have been made to attack the Korean peninsula Lindsey Graham has little political power though he is a serving U.S. senator, Mr. Kissinger is a 95 year old out of touch has been who served under the singular president to resign Richard Nixon and his turmoil embroiled successor Gerald Ford whose most controversial act was pardoning is predecessor; initial reaction, why are we giving either one oxygen, taking them remotely seriously? Bob Woodward’s bombshell book relating a frightening but positive outcome story where someone talked Trump out of a tweet announcing the withdraw of Americans and their families from South Korea, actions that would have been read as a serious step toward full scale war; in its place was the summit where arguably nothing productive got done, but talking is better than trading missiles. Probabilities on what will actually take place versus bombastic hyperbole, thinking out loud in front of press cameras or friendly to your political leanings television shows solidified if other stories housed in Woodward’s book are anywhere close to accurate and his reputation independent the subject matter strongly leans toward they are, allegations it’s the military ‘adults in the room’ that stopped Trump from at minimum attempting to assassinate Syria’s Assad patently illegal and potentially causing a whole host of other problems, not least of which is decimating chances for stability in the country among many instances where Trump staff did little things to preserve the country as we know it. Closing here is to confront a serious final topic how to handle the atrocities, war crimes committed in these countries by American soldiers visiting death and trauma onto innocent civilian people, guaranteed it won’t be a popular opinion, hopefully supplemented for a relevant one stated succinctly we don’t put to trial people, even in a military court persons found mentally unfit to stand trial; and how many of these cases of soldiers who ‘knowingly’ opened fire on civilians, not hit the wrong target, got wrong information hitting a house with ordinary persons in it not a terrorist stronghold describe snapping, detail in layman’s terms what amounts to a mental breakdown. Maybe that’s why John Bolton whatever his manic, neo-con, war hawk reasons has a point in decrying the international criminal court, however bad the way he’s going about it is; because soldiers who lost it, weren’t mentally stable enough to be there from the start, wasn’t Bo Bergdahl the biggest example, wanting to be Jason Borne, Bradly/Chelsea Manning, no matter how much a hero leftists regularly paint the latter the psychological toll of their unresolved gender identity issues could have led to god knows what kind of incident far greater than leaked documents angering our government. Blog and author said it before and will say it again number one reason for better, increased, more sophisticated and in-depth screening for who gets into the military, who passes through the ranks of the military, but once they are showing mental instability directly correlated to tours of duty, no we get them the mental health help they need, the mental health component Bergdahl’s lawyer advocated for, Manning petitioning for the transition services she needed and managed to receive after a lengthy process through the legal system. Grossly never talked about by Kulinski is that the international criminal court wishes to investigate us, he implies regarding Iraq other independent media Afghanistan, calling the former an illegal war minus necessitated approval from the UN, an offensive war against a country that didn’t attack us, killed minimum 200,000 civilians, permanently occupied that country, lastly doing toucher to cover it up; expounding from his usual talking points with the UN component, though this author has watched and used his videos for years, admittedly not during the height of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, as for ‘torture,’ things now classified such that weren’t then, it was done primarily to garner information or unsanctioned by soldiers who believed the vast misconception Iraqis were involved in 9/11 and they were extracting revenge. Unremarked upon is if the international criminal court has investigated the other countries who participated in operation Iraqi freedom, operation enduring freedom in Afghanistan, allies who also provided troops through the duration of either war, both of which included every westernized nation on the globe. Or is are we the last one for them to investigate, the last holdout refusing an investigation, his recent segment on president Trump’s declaration ‘the U.S. is above the law,’ but did president Obama initiate similar refusals just more tactfully ;or, was it only our turn after they’ve gotten to all the rest and it’s not come up before? Might be good to know to fully judge Bolton or Trump’s reactions don’t you think, rather than focusing his audience on the outrage; another lost fact key perpetrators of actions at Abu Ghraib were brought up on charges and put through the legal system, punishments not as harsh as some, not even the victims it’s worth adding, would have liked, but punished all the same. Returning to the mental health element in soldiers who kill, become dangerous the way they did there, why when putting the American drone pilots, descriptions of their experiences, the moral outrage, repugnance they were left with into proper perspective it means we need to get infinitely better at knowing what we hit, reducing the sense it is a video game, cracking down on derogatory terms used as euphemisms for possibly killing innocents, children, not disbanding a tool that means less loss of life for the solider, narrowly defining when we use them, as a last resort, where it’s too dangerous for humans to travel, there is no way for them to effectively reach their target otherwise, not as expedience political or not. The difference between again to borrow from classic TV imitating life before our eyes The West Wing describing the ‘assassination’ of a terrorist as not against international law because you can target terrorist command and control centers naming the assonated party correctly a ‘walking command and control center,’ applying the principle to real life think Anwar al-Aulaqi and indiscriminately talking out women, children, ordinary civilians because officials were too crazed or lazy to double and triple check intel.
Fighting, conflict, war and bloodshed across and surrounding Israel is as old as the biblical story of Isaac and Ishmael, so you might think progressives al-a Kyle Kulinski, Cenk Uygur who think like you probably do have a point, understand Kulinski’s support of Tomi Lahren’s ‘epic takedown’ of the Trump administration’s hopes for Middle East peace completely divorced from putting unquestionably unqualified Jared Kushner in charge of the task, or simply understand they have no shot at changing outcomes in any meaningful way; are happily shocked, like he was when she, as a conservative, came out against efforts to change things that have been like that for hundreds of years. Overlooked there is something inherently un-American-ly defeatist about saying we won’t try because it’s too hard, we won’t try because if it’s been this way hundreds of years, what can we do about it? Syria holding similar biblical and ancient historical conflict backgrounds gets lumped into the same thinking, but public/pundit response, including Ms. Lahren’s, to Syria again utterly ignores 2 things, the ordinary Syrian people on camera begging for help in their bid for freedom against a known dictator to anyone in the international community who would listen, only directly pleading with the U.S. and rightfully confused (we liberated Afghanistan, Iraq, gave air support to Libya and threw our political support behind democratic attempts in Egypt yet ignored Syria altogether) when senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain traveled there to meet with Syrian rebels, show conditions there to garner support back here at home for helping them. One of the comprehensible hesitations for congress to forestall U.S. involvement via weapons, arming support was they were unsure who the rebels were fearing arming terrorists in a hard to discern morass of factional groups, indecisiveness causing us to wait too long as terrorist filled the vacuum, ISIS to al Qaeda’s latest arm; direct demonstration of inaction’s dire consequences instead of what we should have done, armed Syrian rebels who only wanted Assad gone, not saw a power grab for a larger caliphate, and we ended up inadvertently arming terrorists anyway. A double blow to people yearning for freedom chronicling Syria’s like Libya’s rebellion came forth out of the Arab spring; yet what was our catalyst to get involved, to finally enter another armed conflict, to commit troops; it was video footage of people, children writhing in the throes of a chemical attack launched by that dictatorial regime. Let us also kick start our memories and vigorously refresh Mr. Kulinski’s and his parallel thinking cohorts’ recollections president Obama went to congress for that needed, constitutionally mandated declaration of war he and others constantly accuse presidents of circumventing in the post 9/11 age, congress said no, leaving Obama talking about this is the world’s red line backing down and looking stupid, weak. At the time this blog pointed out how bad it was to say those things then not follow through, sans having congressional approval if that’s the route he chose to take; however, it is then wrong and hypocritical to accuse, at least him, of acting unilaterally, ignoring the constitutional strictures on war when you ask and they say no. Underscoring the egregiousness of categorizing Obama’s desired actions in Syria with ‘all the other conflicts begun absent a formal declaration of war’ is, as that piece pointed out, congress’ no was arrived at and held to for far too long less because they seriously weighed the consequences of loss of life to troops, their families, limited military personnel who were and are already doing repeated tours of duty in our existing conflicts, the financial toll it would take on the country in light of things like the great recession, much needed infrastructure and other work the monies could go for domestically, but instead because they basically said we’re tired, we don’t want to; unwilling to face the backlash generated by the American public if they engage in yet another war, or make their case for aiding their fellow human beings and how we would feel if in their shoes reduced to the ones pleading for help as our country stood in ruins, our children bloodied or dead in our arms. Knowing they would have to face their constituents and rationalize their decision within a country who, snatching scenes from the West Wing again that feels like it could have been written today, showing mock statistics then Americans thought largely we give too much in foreign aid or more lacking empathy think it should be cut, a ‘fictional’ 9% of respondents who contradicted themselves answering both, statistics doubtlessly culled from the timeframe of the episode. Based on the last statistic given TV chief of staff Josh Lyman had a point when he uttered the following [on the opinion poll] “There should be another box you can check for: I have utterly no idea what you are talking about. Please god, don’t ask for my input.” Are we absolutely sure that was wholly fiction, those weren’t actually recent numbers on the subject or similar to actual sentiment expressed in polls, and that was on foreign aid doled out in food stuffs, efforts to build clean water wells in portions of Africa, provide/improve sanitation where there’s little/none not war; disappointed cynics can easily picture that being a real scenario. Pivoting fully back to real life, real problems in need of solutions we are so callus, so desensitized, so unfeeling, so wrapped up in our own problems we see kids suffering and dying from a chemical attack and we think it’s not our job, our leaders job to do something to help; it took yet another, minimum one, chemical attack and a different administration, quickly amassing a track record of doing everything wrong, to take direct action? Really that’s who we are today, it says something pretty profound when a little 6 year old boy was writing to president Obama asking to adopt a Syrian refugee about his age seen bloodied in a siege and dazed on a train or in an ambulance, photo unclear which, while we send Washington the message whatever you do don’t start another war, whatever it is the cause can’t be just enough to spend another dime, to send another person, to send a gun or a bullet. Maybe that’s why Brian Williams looked at the missile strikes in retaliation for the 2018 chemical assault on civilians and said beautiful, which spawned the expected reaction of progressive screaming about how mainstream media is beating war drums, horrified he could use such a word to describe something meant to kill, because someone was finally doing something to at minimum try and slow down known atrocities. Maybe that’s why the photos taken of the airstrike where done ‘artistically’ with a bright light, the American flag framed in the picture, panel going on to comment how during war, armed conflict we rally behind the president, their implication mindlessly, no one wants to be unpatriotic; because if video of people writhing, struggling to breathe, a majority children harmed by chemical agents for the second time rained down on them by their own government for daring to say they want to govern themselves, want a dictator punished for what no one argues are crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity or more generic illegalities, didn’t get our attention, there is a slim chance publicized pictures of our idealism will. Little inconvenient fact it had been 5 years since the jarring footage first alerting us to chemical warfare turned on Syrian civilians, 4 since Russia, China and Iran had entered into a tri-fold pact with Syria’s oppressive, massacring its own citizens government to fight the terrorists willing to help Syria’s people when we weren’t regardless if it is to turn around and craft the Syria that’s left in their own different, oppressive image. Kulinski asked the semi-rhetorical question himself, when it becomes a world war tallying the sheer amount of world player countries involved on either side; other shrewd scrutinizers of the elements unfolding pertaining to Syria have highlighted Assad would have been deposed, removed long ago if it had not been for their allied help, top of the list Russia. Russia continuing to be a subject Kulinski and Dore refuse to discuss on any level encompassing Putin’s meddling in the middle east, power posturing in Syria; returning to the current administration’s most recent bombing, its achievement, lack thereof, but because it’s president Trump, the definition of bumbling incompetent, mix of captain Queeg and Bagdad Bob he bombs a hanger that within hours or days was back up and running committing airstrikes; triggering the all too familiar, listening to self-proclaimed progressives, berating of MSNBC, bastion of horrible mainstream media, lamenting the airstrike killed no one. Set aside momentarily reports civilians might have been hit, they were comparing and contrasting other campaigns done in history and saying it didn’t hit any military equipment, facilities used by the opposing side to effect devastatingly lasting damage on them, didn’t take out, meaning long term injure or kill strategic military personnel, masterminds, any of the people supporting Assad, wanting his rule maintained for their own selfish ends, influential, valuable persons willingly working for him, shortened: the bad guys, the things/persons you would want to hit in a war, in a military offensive. Worse due to it not meeting the standard objective for such a campaign, meeting any objective period, even subtracting the deterrent of deceased fighters on their side, had the goal instead been limited to decimating facilities, arsenals purposefully avoiding loss of life on moral principle; fact stands firm it has generated no impetus for Assad to pause, think twice about attacking his people from then on chemically or conventionally rendering the exercise wholly ineffectively moot. Translation for those so unfamiliar with war, conflict and how this works, he might as well have done nothing; that was the argument of former navy cryptology specialist Malcom Nance routinely giving educated analysis on terrorism, the intelligence community, insurgency and torture, if anyone ought to know it is logically him, not just the panels sick, twisted idea bombs/missiles, large war machinery should always kill people. Here is the thing progressives calm, cool and collected about the North Korea summit while mainstream media ‘freaked out’ failed to comprehend, it wasn’t them talking to the communist dictatorial country Kulinski’s favorite target Rachel Maddow had a problem with rather that talking led to him giving away the store, giving away negotiating leverage at the first use of flattery by Un; and, to date they still haven’t de-nuclear-ized, talks have stalled, secretary of state Pompeo’s last trip was canceled, another foreign policy failure that only looked good for show not substance. Repetitive though it surely is to read Russia’s influence over the region increasing as the United States systematically abdicates responsibility for the country independent troops there; purely this blog and author’s situational reading, Adding a layer of cringe worthy terror contemplating their ally Russia and their penchant for espionage knowing way more than the most paranoid intelligence person would have dreamed based on the bots and fake American social media pages they designed, it may well give, have given Assad the dead this is all America’s got, all we are willing to do only make him likely to step up his assault on his people. Experts like Evelyn Farkas housing a long history of achievements and advisory positions understanding geopolitics far better than radio/YouTube personalities, Kulinski, Dore Uygur, who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Security Studies, and Women in International Security Studies who is on the advisory board for the Harold Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations and the Aspen Institute Socrates Scholar Program. Holds year of experience 2005 she served on a Council of Foreign Relations task force chaired by Samuel R. Berger and Brent Scowcroft that produced a monograph In the Wake of War: Improving U.S. Post-Conflict Capabilities, 2009 she became a member of the Center for National Policy’s Future Forces advisory group a bit more optimistic telling MSNBC a week ago the benefits of staying in Syria for America, chiefly as diplomatic leverage wielded against entities like Iran, the rest of the region (see video after next paragraph), to quell the chaos and bring a semblance of order, panelist pinpointing our small footprint’s big, positive impact. Not forgetting the people of Idlib pinned down in the last surviving rebel stronghold consisting of civilians clarifying another long running information gap about the country; Uygur did a segment February 2018 explaining why president Trump characterized by braggadocio, bellicose language, later saying North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat after his meeting with Kim Jung Un for example, isn’t bragging about Syria staunchly asserting it is because ISIS has nearly been eradicated from the area realities he doesn’t want out, made public so we can stay there, continue feeding, their favorite derogatory phrase, ‘the military industrial complex’. A fundamental misunderstanding of the objective, of at least what should have always been the stated objective, not one dimensionally fighting ISIS, terror groups with new names yet who haven’t changed their stripes or ideology, but freeing the people from a brutal dictator they no longer wish to tolerate and are willing to fight to rid themselves of. Latest attack from the U.S. side response to Assad using chemical weapons on his own people, the only people denying it are Assad himself, Assad supporters in country and the Russians whose denials are eerily reminiscent of the attacks on Hillary Clinton so say cyber experts looking at #Syriahoax on social media, allied with, we coved this above; the only people who don’t believe it Kulinski/Dore faction of supposed to be independent media, Dore who did a segment of his show announcing everything we see on TV about Syria is fake news, no offense to the Hindustan Times apparently a newspaper pit of India but can anyone, non-western worldwide confirm the accusation we hit an anti-venom factory not a chemical weapons plant? Contrasted against the president everyone from political pundits, to news commentators, to ordinary citizens unanimously agree doesn’t have any empathy or doesn’t show/demonstrate it if he does have it reportedly, from people inside the Whitehouse, decided on the airstrike, Kulinski’s eyes were bulging a TV analyst said killed no one, after seeing children writhing and gasping on television (the released video footage of the attack) knowing it was real not fiction, actors, people, little kids were dying; simultaneously take his purported comments about wanting to assassinate Assad saying he wanting to f-ing kill ‘em according to the Bob Woodward book, probably sprang out of the same place. Granted, being willing to spout such things as the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, often revered as the most powerful person on the globe is dangerous piled atop a preponderance of evidence detailing erratic behavior, who looks bad in the first scenario a commander in chief nicknamed the chaos president or progressives who express their outrage at doing something about a brutal dictator; facing the latter, we can all understand the compulsion to do something upon seeing horrific footage like that, thinking Assad a monster on the level with the likes of Hitler, Pol Pot seeking to act accordingly no matter how dangerously problematic. Here is the Star Trek Discovery, ultimate pacifists comprehension of what is going on around them, around the world, in their context the galaxy/universe, any solution to a problem is acceptable except using violence even when met with violence or imminent threat to your person, to innocents on a massive scale; never mind the series opens with main character first officer Michael Burnham arguing with her captain Philippa Georgiou regarding what to do with the Klingon ship they just encountered, knowing full well the Klingons’ propensity for deadly violence. Georgiou adamant stat fleet doesn’t fire first independent the person who gave her the advice she sought and was trying to implement was ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, Vulcans the only species to successfully bring the Klingons to a peace table exactly by firing first disabling ship or fleet; critical moments indecision causing them to fire first and the start of war to break out. The rest of season one emphasizing how wrong Burnham had been in her thinking that fateful day vowing never to make the same mistake again optioning for elaborate non-violence when given a chance to redeem her choice; except that only works if both sides all sides are playing by the same rules sad when a television show previously referenced that’s been off air 11 years gets that, can better communicate that in fictional temporary president Walken more than independent media; these people caught up in any of the listed conflicts have never been playing by the internationally sanctioned rules of war, mystifying why we though they would, when we were aware of their powerful disdain for the western world. Still Kulinski and company hold to a policy the United States should practice non-intervention; sci-fi fans doubtlessly reminded of the late seasons of Stargate SG1 based loosely on Arthurian legend famous Merlin and Morgan Le fay actually belonging to a highly advanced and now evolved onto another plain of existence race known as the ancients; when SG1 stumbles onto a galaxy transporting device essentially allowing you to temporarily swap bodies with someone from another universe they find a group of supernatural-esque beings calling themselves the Ori and demanding people’s worship. With SG1’s arrival uncovering a galaxy who has never heard of them they target our universe an ancient warning the galactic saviors of the world the Ori’s secret; they and the ancients where once much the same on a path of next plain evolution, shedding your physical form and existing as energy they called ascension when they got a taste of power and the high they get off being worshiped fooling their followers to adopt their ‘religion’ that offers neither enlightenment or eternal life on a different plain because it removes to ‘worshiper’s seeking their own knowledge, betterment. In an effort to neutralize the threat resident archeologist Daniel Jackson goes in search of the powerful Merlin, crosses preverbal swords with Morgan Le fay because the ancients hold to a strict policy of non-interference with lower plains of existence; a policy Merlin, when found and revived wholly disagreed with precisely because of what the Ori are doing, the drastic power imbalance, not to mention the big lie on eternity, false religion they were peddling. Nevertheless Americans, particularly progressives, want to practice non-intervention on the same level, no matter what, practice only diplomatic intervention, bringing countries to peace tables little else, want scenes like what they saw as little as 2 years, seeing familiar pictures, not staged but familiar of happy liberated people out from under the thumb of ISIS in Syria, shaving beards and burning their Burqas as someone else Kurdish fighters did the liberating, people watching news coverage doubtlessly thinking can we go back to that, in blissful ignorance thinks that’s how war works? Breaking down the latest media footage from Yemen, with a side of shock CNN actually did their job calling out the U.S. for providing the weaponry that did it, showing a bombing’s effect on children including 2 dead toddlers, children who know what planes and bomb drops sound like, taking reporters to the merger places in their homes where they hide at those sounds Kulinski unable to imagine being a kid under those conditions; unfortunately every kid who’s lived through war has adjacent experiences children during world war II in America, American children in the height of the cold war 1950’s, the public campaign/service announcements duck and cover, drills held in schools, sales of fallout shelters, because of the time which would have done nothing against nuclear radiation. His reaction implies WWII wasn’t worth it because of the detriment it had on kids in America, Europe who weren’t Jewish, weren’t targets, pretends as if talking down Hitler and stopping atrocities wasn’t worth the yes steep, steep price— it was; like nuclear drills, war drills circa the cold war 1950’s (though admittedly ineffective) means we shouldn’t hold fire, earthquake or tornado, tsunami, volcanic evacuation drills where applicable because it might scare children, not tell them what to do when or if ever face with the emergency, stop them from panicking and increase their chance of survival, the whole understanding behind why we do it. His reaction harkens back to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 passenger plane shot down over Ukraine in 2014 during their battle to stop Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the radio traffic from a solider asking what they were doing there commenting this is a warzone; it screams what do you expect, yes war is bad, yes it’s why we should gravely consider ever going to war, but there are causes that are just, once war has started you must deal with the reality, the conditions on the ground. All that being said we refuse to help militarily based solely on public opinion the most obtuse person can surmise then we multiply insult to injury not only to Syrian refugees who merely want a safe place to live, to preserve their life, secure life for their children the way every parent can who’s not existing, which can’t be mistaken for living, in a warzone but to our western world allies particularly in Europe inundated with huddled masses whose country has been decimated. We tout ourselves as the greatest, most wealthy country in the world and we take the fewest displaced people from a region reduced to rubble, have politicians during the 2016 election cycle saying only Christians should be permitted in the country to prevent allowing terrorists to slip through when the bulk of the refugees are women and children below the age of puppetry, maximum college age or whole families, mothers, fathers and their children, refugees once here trying to bring beloved extended family grandparents, a grown persons aging parents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Advocating states shouldn’t be forced to accept refugees for relocation, local representatives suing the government, filing other legal paperwork pushing back against the Obama administration plans to settle vetted refugees in cities, towns across America partly using the terrorist excuse others using the resource excuse asserting they can’t handle it. A special kind of ironic since again we won’t support them militarily, only grudgingly accept the small intervention leaders a-la president Obama could do sans drawing the ire of the public then get upset when our leaders, humane citizens agree to accept refugees into the country, push to help destitute people who have nothing beyond the clothing on their back settle here and begin productive lives that will benefit America in the long run. From the purely, what they call populist left, economic nationalism lens they constantly go to when they want to decry the dollar amounts spent on foreign soil, on war, missed completely in their stance, the workarounds public opinion fuels in spaces like the Obama administration consign us to double duty taking in more refugees, spending more resources ordinary people will default to should be used at home for struggling Americans on top of monies shunted to impotent military operations—on that. The detestable half measures he’s always screaming about when talking about Medicare for all and that Medicare plus isn’t Medicare for all, campaign finance, getting exorbitant, big money out of politics, repeatedly calling democrats weak, some might term it cautious, versus progressives who want to go in whole hog and now, essentially look before they leap. Where refugees do settle, national news chronicling shameful, for a nation of immigrants, public reaction shouting town halls, apoplectic one school rehearsed and used a Muslim greeting, their variation on hi how are you, heard throughout the middle east, Arab world, for an elementary school student to make her feel safe, welcome and facilitate teaching young children multi-culturalism and tolerance based on current/life events happening around them as they welcomed the new student to their classroom. Funkstown, Maryland’s view of president Trump’s travel ban their support of it news footage documenting the noted 97% white population who seen on film from their comments and attitude they wouldn’t know a Muslim if they saw one, unless it was perhaps a woman in a headscarf entrenched in their small town Christianity no diversity, forward thinking, limited commerce, no one seeking to come to their town from the rest of America only outside where everything is so much worse. Lost on resistant persons who turn a blind eye, the refugee you turn away today is the terrorist of tomorrow quite possibly roaming your neighborhood, choosing your place of work as a target, your favorite grocery store, public park, other place you visit to make their statement about your ill-treatment, your callous disregard for fellow human suffering.
Damn right we’re ‘fighting offensive wars against countries who didn’t attack us,’ because we aren’t attacking the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, many times not the official governments of say Yemen; where we are in 3 out of 4 of the above cases it is because the government is a dictator terrorizing, using terroristic tactics on his own people. Contrary to popular belief, we are attacking terrorists, more specifically terrorist networks, top terror leaders in the countries of Libya, Pakistan, Somalia exc. so that they won’t gain unsurmountable strength and attack us in a more conventional coordinated way, so they aren’t the masterminds of the next 9/11 type event to hit the western world not singularly America. We are doing so in defense of the whole world not being swallowed in the caliphate these people are interested in creating; want to know how we get exactly that, the much feared Sharia law always being bandied about by conservative republicans, religious conservatives anywhere near a microphone, it isn’t the repeated on a loop talking points of Fox News, right wing media when confronted with so called liberals demands for things like sane gun rights balanced with restrictions, transgender persons to use the bathroom they are comfortable with or suggest legalizing marijuana based on scientific research/uncovered knowledge as much as the ridiculously punitive prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, people literally serving life in jail for one joint, it’s allowing terrorist organizations to fester unfettered. Damn right we’re ‘fighting offensive wars against countries who didn’t attack us,’ because we are the ones stepping up when we look around and see no one else will, meeting terrorists where they are so listed countries above don’t start looking a lot like Syria where no outsider can tell where ordinary citizens are versus terrorists too willing to exploit an aid gap; you’d think Europe inundated with terror attacks and youth joining the terror militants known as ISIS would be as keenly interested in tamping down their spread, but it seems they caught the other American disease, opposite of war, war, war- apathy. Kulinski ignores or forgets, perhaps even dismisses Boca haram, a what, terrorist group, kidnapped local school girls in Nigeria, why just as bad as doing it at all, because they believed it was against their religious doctrine for girls to be educated so took them from their boarding school; Al-Shabab, another what, terrorist group, attacked a mall in Kenya filled with tourists from various countries, high probability at least one American, the year before, but we have no business in Africa lending our expertise, lending our help to see another part of the world not be negatively impacted by Islamic terror/radicalization, be less impacted by those forces, sure. Expertise we are uniquely positioned to give because we are the ones holding the longest running experience with terrorism in its ever evolving forms, because Europeans were the first to draw down their various governments troops from Iraq, Afghanistan where we stayed in; practicalities that don’t matter we steadfastly are pegged as the nation that can’t keep itself out of other nations’ business, none more accusatory than the younger generation. Forget the global outcry, forget the social media campaign #bringbackourgirls; fast forward to present day, what are we doing in Niger, 2 words: fighting ISIS, specifically teaching forces there how to fight ISIS , terrorists themselves so we don’t have to— so we don’t end up committing more troops and resources there than we are already. Likewise there is no ‘shadow war’ in North Africa, there is fighting terrorists, terror groups in North Africa so they are not the next influx of radicalized Islamic terrorists, the next influx of conflict displaced refugees no one wants to take on in the western world or here at home; why we are building a base there, to fight terror there, to prevent the spread of violent Islamic radicalization throughout the whole African continent. On top of those provable facts is the following Reddit quote providing even more perspective if accurate “One thing I hear Kyle say in every foreign policy story he covers is that the US is “We’re bombing eight different countries right now!”. The eight he is referring to are Afghanistan, Iraq,  Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan,  Libya,  Syria, and most recently Niger. Niger is the latest country he added to his list, denouncing the action in multiple segments.  So this is actually an incorrect statement. First, let’s talk about Niger. The problem is, Niger’s government only authorized armed US drone flights, and no US strikes have yet taken place. The move was intended to allow the US the ability to kill ISIS and al-Qaeda should the need ever arise in the future.  Next, Kyle includes Libya. The last time the US bombed Libya was 2 months ago, and it was a targeted strike against al-Qa’ida militants (totally legal according to the 2001 AUMF) which didn’t kill any civilians. Other than that, we haven’t bombed Libya in over a year and there’s no ongoing campaign. On Pakistan, the last time the US bombed Pakistan was 4 months ago, and it was a targeted drone strike against the Haqqani network, a Taliban and al-Qa’ida ally. It killed “The militant commander, Nasir Mehmood, who was also known as Khawari, and two of his aides”, and no civilians. Other than that, there have been no other bombings this year. Regarding Yemen, the last US strike there happened 2 months ago. This one apparently killed civilians, but it was supposed to hit al-Qa’ida, which is legal according to the 2001 AUMF. There have been no other strikes in 2018. About Iraq, ISIS no longer controls any real territory there, although there are some remnants left. As you can see by this chart, US bombing has basically stopped there, and it has dwindled down to very little in Syria as well (since ISIS is on the verge of being defeated there too). So if Kyle’s wrong, countries are we really bombing? The answer is 3: Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. In these countries, we are bombing ISIS, al-Qa’ida, and the Taliban. The reason why I decided to bring this up is that saying “we’re bombing eight different countries right now” is a little bit disingenuous and does not correspond with the reality of the situation. I think it would be great if Kyle checked up on these wars, which were a pretty big deal a couple of years ago but have largely wound down recently. I just wanted to make sure Kyle was correct on the facts.” Regardless of the overall accuracy of a random comment on a social media platform with limited, dubious monitoring and more for violations pertaining to terms of service than factual error, there are at least 2 fundamental things this commenter gets right A- every drone strike, every bomb, every action has been targeted toward members, factions of known terror groups or networks, key leaders of same, B- alluded to but not exclusively spelled out is that said issues, bombings in Pakistan are not new they go back to the directly post 9/11 world and Pakistan’s established record of supporting and harboring terrorists; let’s remember where they eventually found Osama Bin Laden ‘hiding out’ in virtually plain sight in Pakistan implication being had Pakistan been the cooperative ally they professed entirely to be rather than a passive aggressive regional player he would have been found literally years before. Why are we building a base in Africa including surrounding infrastructure when our infrastructure here at home receives a grade of D+ and is worsening by the day, why do we need yet one more military base when we have 900 around the world at an astronomical cost to maintain, as Kulinski and his breed of thinkers never stops pointing out, because that’s where terrorists currently are trying to build a stronghold, trying to build an operation; not to mention our D+ infrastructure would work small miracles there. Kulinski and progressives have to know parts of Africa have little or no infrastructure beyond poorly hewn dirt roads, some beaten paths carved out by foot traffic alone; for the base it work it must have infrastructure, Niger’s people/government can’t provide it so we have to, it may be as simple as inability to get proper materials to build, the author doesn’t know and neither have angry progressives deigned to find out. Giant swaths of the African continent need infrastructure to fully benefit from the world’s humanitarian aid; if progressives were smart and as far seeing as they wish everyone was at home on universal, single payer healthcare, free college and legalizing drugs unto regulation and taxation of the last item, they would already be thinking about what the soon to be crafted infrastructure could be used for when no longer needed for its current function, can it, will it serve as a catalyst for Niger’s government to prioritize infrastructure for its obvious benefits, craft foreign aid requests, negotiations toward that task? They would be pondering what the buildings could be converted into to help Niger’s military or civilian population going forward then communicating that to their local leaders to get it to persons like the secretary of state, writing letters to the person holding that position; instead it’s the familiar talking point refrain what are we doing there and look how much money we’re spending to ‘invade,’ to orchestrate another country’s political landscape to suit our needs to their utter ruin, to tell them how to do things they want to, can and need to figure out for themselves. Or knowing the volatile nature of the globe, the conflict zone parts of Africa, the continent has been for decades and the reality terrorism is rearing its ugly head, the prudence of keeping the base open and operational for emergency use should another adjacent situation arise. Points that can’t help but bring us back to those 900 military bases we hold across the world cataloged against the list of NATO member and U.S. ally nations who participated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, to common knowledge they all didn’t build their own bases littering these and neighboring countries with them indicating they shared bases/space on American built ones already in existence, operation to accomplish their mission; practicalities that would make sense knowing the building of those bases happened in the post WWII model of how to prevent world war III but also prepare, based on the changing military, political terrain of the intervening decades, for the possible global conflict that can’t be prevented. Anyone who has seen a pandemic, North American, global disaster, foreign attack, alien invasion flick, keeping with the art imitating life, doing it better than life while remaining plausible theme throughout the piece, knows national guard and whatever military has survived, can reach the disaster zone is deployed in stopping the threat, keeping order, getting people to available safety, temporary shelter; Day After Tomorrow much Mr. Kulinski where climate change had pretty much rendered North America
uninhabitable thanks to superstorms triggering an ice age within days and we had to negotiate with the other side of the globe, areas America once called the 3rd world for sanctuary? Fiction looking increasingly like future, and not in the happy ending better world scheme of Star Trek for all its flaws, but in the end of the world, end of life as we know it sense, considering climate date and the age of the movie itself, suddenly those military bases dotting the world look awfully good as hospitals and shelters, later schools, government buildings doing refugee processing, document production foreign governments don’t have to or build or run because personnel were there and can help; pray to god we never get there but if we do…Always framed is every conflict we get into, every new conflict we engage in is to feed the military industrial complex, to line the pockets of powerful defense contractors, weapons makers; not we engage minimally, undertaking supporting roles in smaller conflict to avoid greater conflict, wrongly swept aside, we are active in Africa to prevent more of what’s seen via link 7 below hundreds of migrants on a boat off the cost of Spain who spent days or weeks there seeking entrance into the country as refugees facing many of the challenges Syrian refugees came up against countries who don’t want to take them, claim, not wholly without merit, they don’t have the resources to help them. Flipping the usual perspective contemplate the following, 900 military bases and we were forced to build another one to serve the need, not of money grubbing politicians and wealthy contractors in suits and ties, dressed up mercenaries who will kill indiscriminately for the right price, but of fighting terrorism where it lives, where we can successfully defend defenseless people, instruct effected people in their own effective defense; truths that should be scary but pertaining to the spread of terrorism not the overreach, long fingers of our government, ‘how far we will go to invent needs for our vast military spending.’ Strange progressives seemed to be under the gaping misconception U.S. forces weren’t in some capacity invited into Niger, Somalia by someone holding a semblance of power; no matter the newspaper, the non-western world media there are no complaints from the formal aspect Niger’s government about U.S. presence, no protests from Niger’s people about American soldiers or the base reported bolstering the invited evidence; as if their wasn’t some kind of approval on their end for the projected base. If there factually wasn’t, show us the evidence not just the outrage of what you think they are doing and why; diving headlong into another obvious point this piece nearly missed, progressives commonly bring up the number of American military bases around the world ogling at their cost to upkeep, sheer number compared to other westernized nations, the next dozen geo-political, economic equals to America combined (forgoing theirs can be so small because ours is so big or that the U.S. almost always takes the lead in foreign affairs necessitating military personnel/weapons) not said, military installations were built without the host nations consent, were done with grudging consent via bully diplomacy allow this or we cancel trade, remove aid, impose tariffs, just that they exist, that the newest one is going up without being splashed on American front page news, topline on everyone’s online newsfeeds. Educated guess who reached out on Somalia support, their government fed up with the havoc of pirates, now terrorists posing an even bigger danger; this isn’t Iraq, Afghanistan where according to them we walked in and said the jig is up we’re taking over your rightful government, as if it was ever that way but appears a fair characterization of their view. Syrian civilians brave enough to fight, sick of oppression were filmed by the AP and ABC news begging for help in their bid for freedom, in other words, an invite; America’s allies where pranging our phones warning of a genocide concerning Libya, not exactly an invite but no one saw the Libyans who got hold of Gadhafi complaining about our ‘intervention,’ instead happy they achieved their goal ridding their country of a tyrannical dictator. Let’s be abundantly clear, what happened in Benghazi was carried out by a group of terrorists who either had a different vision of Libya post Gadhafi or were taking advantage of the interim status of the country to do what they do best carry out collective revenge on the great satan west, America or just sow outright chaos; a situation that would not have gone as tragically as it did, as referenced in the opening, if the personnel there had been more attuned to security. Guaranteed had the Europeans been the one to take the lead, stop the genocide they saw coming progressives and mainstream media would finally have agreed on something, how hypocritical and weak we were for not helping, for throwing ourselves in all these other places but not to them. Guaranteed is if we were not in Niger, Somalia, North Africa and they deteriorated into terrorist dens, before or after one of them managed a 9/11 type attack, as we saw more and more refugees piling in describing terrorist dangers or full scale war their government, their people against terrorists, the question will be, why didn’t we, why didn’t our leaders do something? They would be harping on our moral repugnance for not helping, for failing in humanitarian efforts; the classic modern day damned if we do, damned if we don’t scenario. And if progressive type scrutinizers of past interventions in countries such as Somalia are anywhere close to right throwing past interferences, attempts at regime change before they were truly ready at American leaders’ feet don’t we garner an obligation to in essence clean up our mess, aren’t we then burdened with the responsibility to mitigate problems arising from our own actions? Triple the importance if history proves them right a second time and American leader interventions in the Middle East really did give rise to ISIS, other offshoot terror groups, created ideal conditions for them to gain strength and recruit members; proof you can’t have it both ways. Isn’t their (progressives, anti-war perspective holding persons) message simultaneously don’t do this ever in the future that way again and adequately handle the ramifications of what you’ve done; if that’s their stance, no question we should be in Africa doing precisely what we are doing and more. Reminiscent of an older segment Kulinski did showing local dictator response to ISIS, to launch their own military and weaponry at the terrorist network, how good he thought that was, seeing it as the alternative to our involvement which in his mind makes us a bigger target; the glaring problem with his solution pontificated 2015, that only works where the seated regime is not the thing needing to be fought against e.g. Iraq, Syria, Libya or when the terrorists aren’t who’s running things like in Afghanistan, the eventual vacuum terrorists filled in Syria hello. It only works if the government can fight the terrorists creeping in, can muster the manpower, resources and has the knowledge about terrorism as it currently manifests to correctly put those tools to use. The African governments spoke of don’t have that’s why they called us, they desperately need to be taught to avoid the outcome befalling the Nigerian school girls returned only after negotiations with the terror group, some who’ve still never returned after 4 years, dubious videos showing others declaring their happiness to be with the terrorists. Or the second group of Nigerian girls taken February 2018 returned a month later with a dire warning, not to put their girls back in school; progressives keep asking if it’s worth it for America’s military, it’s leaders to keep sticking its nose in other people’s/countries affairs which is the wrong question, the right question is do we want Somalia to get worse, do we want Niger to turn into another Somalia, do we want what happened to Nigerian school girls to happen to all girls in African countries across the continent, do we want their governments to opt to ban female education on the realistic premise of their own safety, as opposed to negotiating with terrorists, raising ransoms and doling out precious dollars to search and rescue, as if parents aren’t fearful enough they’ll refuse to send them even under government penalty. Or do we want to reinforce the humanitarian, hand up not hand out organization efforts to educate the world’s girls, let them aspire to be the next doctors, lawyers, entrepreneur solving their own country’s problems so we don’t need to? Do we want developing world nations to naturally evolve into democracies allied with Europe and the U.S. or do we want them succumbing radicalization, greater oppression of women due to said radicalization, greater criminalization of the LGBT community while they’re at it, setting girls, women on fire for adultery, daring to elope with a boyfriend, things documented in other countries because they need the protecting from more powerful threats, see joining the best way to save lives? Interesting when being a smaller nation and needing the help of military knowledge to improve your own military standing, from the biggest military power in the world perfectly willing to give it, and face threats staring you down became a national shame, became something to be derided; interesting is why we think doing something to help the African continent fight a common threat to all peaceful persons worldwide, fight the spread of terrorism the larger majority wants no part of became the wrong course because of the cost in building a singular base and the roads to make it functional. They should be happy we are attempting positive steps to scale back our tendency to insert ourselves into the world’s business perhaps make up for past interventions in effected countries western colonial pillaging a dark part of Africa’s tragic history. Plus good news for his crowd and their way of seeing foreign policy in the region, military decision makers are looking into decreasing the number of American troops in Africa despite the base lending credence to we were there to provide support, guidance, build the base, turn over operations and pull back, not feel the military industrial complex, not give it an excuse to siphon more money from American tax payers. Whether that’s good for the given African countries or the African continent as a whole sadly reviving darker history seems to be on no one’s mind.
Absolutely pulling out of the Iran deal is madness because it was working, they were abiding by its parameters and it was thus achieving its goal: keeping one of the most volatile regions in the world from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. Unequivocally it was insane to have a politician saying bomb, bomb, Iran almost to the tune of a Beach Boy’s song even if it was 11 years ago and supposed to be a joke, because both actions undermine the ability to come back to the table and address the problems in the original draft to praise them for following it so well and saying ok now we need you to do this and this or that and in return you get more sanctions relief, more economic opportunities, more normalizing of relations with the U.S., the western world. It makes America, a country they were repeatedly told by extreme internal factions not to trust, look precisely like something they can’t put the smallest piece of faith in, should never enter into a deal with 100 years in the future; however, has anyone looked for, does anyone wedded to the idea of regime change at all costs know the signs the country is naturally ready for a change in leadership meaning kind of governance, not singularly name of the ruling person or group faction? Seems like a valid question we should answer, but then for progressives to out themselves proclaiming our newest strategy is a bad one too that doesn’t involve war, doesn’t involve troops, doesn’t involve CIA toppling of elected leaders summoning specters of our darker past, but where it arguably should have started: convincing the Iranian people democracy is better for them would, ease their economic and other problems in the long run; shouting that too is bad because it hasn’t worked yet to date (there is that age old saying timing is everything maybe the time is now) doesn’t make sense either and leaves the Iranian citizenry, especially the youth forever in oppression, which begets terrorism turning the region into more of a powder keg than currently exists, so much for pacifism. Taking apart Saudi Arabia, Yemen and why we support the former despite their assault on the latter boils down to we must have allies in the region, even distasteful ones, even the lesser of 2 evils; along those same lines it seems the definition of futility not to give credit where credit is due to the advancements in equality, however seemingly small, they are making an effort to implement, allowing women to learn to drive for example a milestone for the Islamic country. Crucial, if you don’t, they have no peaceful, non-conflict, absent bloodshed impetus to change their behavior, allow more freedoms to their citizens, for people hell bent on being pacifists, constantly decrying war in the post 9/11 era it stands out as a pretty big detail to overlook; neither does praise and acknowledgement need to be exaggerated and profuse to have the desired effect, generate a tentative working respect on which 2 countries can grudgingly work together toward a common interest. Too hold up side by side our strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia ‘where we sell them weapons including those prohibited by international law, rules of engagement i.e. barrel bombs’ with the iconic classic TV description of how exactly America got caught up in WWI from the West Wing spelling out succinctly that a war that spread across major entities on the known globe started because the death of Franz Ferdinand the Austro-Hungarian emperor’s nephew by a Serbian nationalist group The Black Hand touched off armed conflict when various members of existing alliances mandated they respond by declaring war on the others, sound familiar; sure we can have intellectual conversations all day about shouldn’t we know better by now, shouldn’t we have avoided a repeat of such disastrous, devastating history, but it doesn’t change where we are, it doesn’t change our need for allies in an area not having any to spare. Direct parallels to be drawn between that explanation of WWI and America’s, mystifying to progressives, picking sides in Yemen’s conflict, aside from the only sane explanation of the fighting between Saudi Arabia and Yemen being an age old Sunni-Shia (2 factions of Islam) tug of war between sects who loath each other; the Shia minority of Houthi rebels is backed primarily by who, Iran the most unstable entity in the region, versus American allies also siding with the deposed Sunni president, who was allied with the United States, Egypt, Turkey and, the understandably in this situation, detested Saudi Arabia already longstanding U.S. allies. The question then being why wouldn’t we back Saudi Arabia our ally circa 2015 when the war started, Egypt suffering its own stability woes in its bid for democracy, Turkey having elected the recognized even then pugnacious president Erdoğan who has since slowly moved the country toward a dictatorship, contrasted to the current president of the gulf state, the most forward thinking ruler they’ve ever had, who signed the decree allowing women to drive brought to power that same year; logical next question marking the title of the Secular Talk video announcing Yemen’s collapse, the Saudi’s first bombing, who exactly is ‘playing village idiot’ American leaders circa the Obama era or ‘left wing’ anti-war progressives, to say nothing of this isn’t a game and those clutching to the moral and strategic high ground perhaps should be more careful with their words, metaphors. Not mentioned and unknown is why and how the president was deposed, was it following the Libya framework citizens rising up against a dictatorial, autocratic tendency leader or something else; a minority faction of the religion seeking/demanding equal representation or something else? Claims officials here don’t fathom how deep the Sunni-Shia rift goes, how many eons it spans are doubtlessly close to 100% accurate yet it assumes U.S. involvement sought a solution period, let alone a permanent solution to the Yemen conflict as opposed to the much more short term, deemed necessary need to put a check on Iran, a backup plan, insurance policy in case the later finalized deal still under negotiation didn’t go through, not taking effect until July 2015 war breaking out in March, leverage in case they broke it once signed. Circling back around to the allies issue in the most disputed portions of the region, isn’t that why people looking at the sudden U.S. joining of a multiple Middle Eastern country blockade of their fellow neighbor Qatar were panicked, because they are one of the few non-terroristic, stable countries surrounding the area; well before we get into the Trump family corruption, the realistic likelihood Jared Kushner and his ilk persuaded the president’s ultimate action based on the rejection of a deal that would have made the presidential son in law a lot of money, bailed him out of his ill-fated 666 5th Avenue bad real-estate venture? Wasn’t that the issue on our side of the world at G7 economic summit hosted in Canada earlier this year starting with him, our president, asking Russia be invited back returning it to the G8 never mind they were expelled from the gathering due to their illegal annexation of Crimea, trading barbs on trade with each country toward calling Canada a national security threat to invoke trade sanctions on a plethora of goods; magnified even greater by president Trump’s comments, performance in Helsinki when he stated he said he didn’t see why it would be Russia hacking our election information, openly criticizing our intelligence community on a foreign stage, next to a foreign leader, both raising serious questions about will president Trump honor our strategic alliances. If Russia were to pull another unilateral move like he did when snatching Crimea, exampled one of the smaller balletic states, would he abide by NATO’s article 5 and initiate the appropriate action to defend them according to our treaties; separating from arguably the worst case scenario, reread the last sections of paragraph 2 and think isn’t one of the biggest stated problems concerning president Trump the damage he’s doing to American allies long term, nearly 100 year old western alliances meant to stave off world war III? What might have happened had he torn up the agreement with South Korea for trade, cooperative military exercises on the peninsula complaining about the cost (he sounds like a progressive there) vital nation in keeping the global peace, if then economic advisor Gary Cohn hadn’t snatched a letter dissolving the agreement off his desk; an agreement every learned mind, military operative and foreign policy analyst says is worth it regardless whether we had to pay 10 times as much for it, it’s realistically that important. Damage we aren’t able to yet see but that can and will well outlast his presidency one or two terms, damage it will take decades to repair if it can be fully repaired at all; again you can’t have it both ways, you either want him to abide by our existing alliances as presented in the corresponding documents or you don’t, we would say renegotiate but we’ve seen what happens when he tries, usually making things worse and accomplishing nothing. So predicating the following on the assertion we want him to abide by established treaties, doesn’t that apply exceedingly more so to allies in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia and the standard fact we don’t control what they do with the weapons we give them; us reneging on treaties, agreements has profoundly negative consequences. Wasn’t it Mr. progressive Kyle Kulinski who said backing out of the Iran deal emboldened hardliners in the country, hardliners who told the sitting president not to make a deal, we wouldn’t hold up our end; in the near future doubtlessly endangering his presidency, him someone who possessed at least a tiny modicum of reason about what was best for his country. Lining up all the relevant videos given here across the 3 years, thus it wouldn’t have been a good idea to back out of Saudi Arabia’s agreement, Iran watching closely any more than it was a good idea to reference the Libya model when talking to North Korea; the latter their words not mine. What are the consequences of similarly angering Saudi Arabia and do we need another country angry enough at us to resort to violence in some form when they’ve previously threatened to carry out a 9/11-eque attack on Canada, though dead kids in Yemen seems a good cause; to that point breaking publically Spain just agreed to back out of a deal with who, Saudi Arabia (did anyone know they had signed a deal with them?) 3 guesses on doing what, thinking behind why and the first 2 don’t count; selling them what, weapons to stave off any migrants from that area beseeching them on their boarders. Surprise, surprise it was initially crickets from the Kulinski foreign policy, geo-politics peanut gallery; appallingly disingenuous on a level they normally assign to the mainstream media Secular Talk above the rest of the tightknit, few deemed independent media outlets, shows/personalities made it seem as if the United States were the only western country selling the Saudi’s weapons when talking about the deal president Trump signed earlier this year, not true, not true by a long shot. Not only did Spain sign their deal around the same time as America, so Canada did too in that identical timeframe, Britain leaders were internally mulling over their weapon sales to the Arab nation 2 years ago; most he ever said was he was tired of everyone, the international community, giving Saudi Arabia a pass relating it far more to human rights abuses, the absurdity of them being put on the UN human rights counsel contrasted to the oppression of their people by ruling royals, the hypocrisy of legally letting women drive, putting those mechanisms in place then jailing the activists who fought for it, not weapons sales. It took CNN coverage of a civilian bombing in Yemen for him to casually mention the U.S. allies also supplying weapons to the Saudi’s, then not bothering to list even one by name, a mere one sentence choosing to focus on only our involvement, that the weapon pieces shown are ours; a video for all it’s horror, children bearing the scars of being wounded from shrapnel generated by bombing, hits on schools, hospitals, homes with no safe place to hide, a school bus hit on a field trip, a boy who lost his leg, that chronicles as if the title should be ‘war is bad.’ A fact Americans are intimately familiar with seeing the state of some of our returning soldiers, the ones who return at all; why progressives, young people can’t stand it demanding we get out, not grasping the magnitude of what that means fully. Owning up in brutal honesty, yes, pieces show the munitions were ours products of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, but what can’t be easily determined via video is when the military parts were sold to them, part of which arms shipment, in what year, you may be able to approximate how old it was based on specific features, unique design but it could be from something sold to them years before. Both companies based in the U.S. true, but exceedingly plausible have contracts with Europe, China, Canada, 2 out of 3 places selling weapons to the Arab nation. Oh and Spain announced it’s withdraw from a deal to sell them armaments but it was pretty much an empty gesture because there are contracts in place that must be honored, can’t simplistically be canceled; unclear where Britain’s decision came out on the sales debate reported 2 years ago, and even if we, America, did stop selling them arms, there is nothing to say we could convince our allies to follow, especially in the Trump era assuming a midterm victory or no. Establishing we sold them something at some point during the last decade, 2, maybe even 3 tell us Mr. Kulinski what is to stop them from having reverse engineered ours into something of their own to use, stop them from doing that once we end giving them weapons and convince our western allies to do the same; on that note, does anyone know what if any kind of stockpile they currently own, how long they could potentially continue bombarding Yemen with accumulated armaments, do we have the vaguest estimation on how many more conventional weapons they own and could also use garnered from who knows where and god only knows how old? We’re guessing U.S. leaders know, progressives doling out commentary don’t; going back to those outlawed barrel bombs momentarily, if they are ours why weren’t they destroyed when we agreed to international resolutions banning their use and are we the only ones supplying them, informed guess says like the other western arms deals, probably not. Yes we understand this is American news commentary and he focuses on things ‘mainstream media’ doesn’t cover, yet for someone who is constantly doing segments on Israel what they are doing to the Palestinians, covers Saudi Arabia and the Arab states whether it’s jailing of people under morality laws, arrests for atheism, executions for similar beliefs, covers essentially the world how did he miss this; or is it because there are a limited number of his videos on YouTube free sans a subscription to him, the network he’s associated with the blog author missed it? Either way, never thought through is if we stop selling them armaments what’s to prevent U.S./western enemies from doing so to spite us or because it makes good profit sense, who says they don’t currently possess older armaments from previous conflicts of the past, a land minds from WWI still going off, land minds littering Cambodia and Laos kind of thing; Israel was cooperating with a British charity removing land minds from the holy sight of Jesus’ baptism last year around Easter so the faithful could visit safely both it a surrounding historical churches untouchable for decades throwback from the Arab Israeli war approaching 100 years ago. For that matter who’s to say Saudi Arabia hasn’t already amassed the latter; harsh as it is, whether we, America, all American allies stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia or not their war with Yemen will continue. Disbanding arms sales to Saudi Arabia won’t end their blockade of Yemen causing the secondary death via starvation and cholera outbreak, shortages of medicine to treat the disease or end the conditions causing it, bring food to the malnourished near death or doctors to oversee treatment; ceasing our arms sales to Saudi Arabia won’t get the humanitarian aid countries are willing to send to the people who need it minus a blockade, were it to be miraculously or through negotiations lifted battling ruined infrastructure. Is it reprehensible to discover secretary of state Mike Pompeo refused to cancel planned sales of weapons to the gulf state despite the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, knowing full well what they intend to do with the artillery, the civilian targets previously listed they are purposely, according to progressives and mainstream media, hitting to virtually annihilate so called rebels for the love of the gargantuan sums of money the United States was to be paid for the latest round of arms; hands down yes, but is it at all surprising? For all the defense of our interventions around the world, in the Middle East, blog and author maintain perhaps just enough, but enough, objectivity to acknowledge a growing disconnect between objectives back home and on the ground. Elaborating on statements from paragraph 2 yes there are people here at home who want war and regime change to their own ends, people who see nothing but dollar signs when faced with war, seek to profit all they can from it and yes Americans should rise up against it as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes of All In suggests; major caution before broadening these findings out to the last 18 years, while it has long been theory we went into Iraq for oil, there is little proof, while defense contractors did make a gratuitous amount off of ‘work’ done there that amounted to pillaging, we’ve covered the chicken or the egg nature of that and there are conflicting narratives on who knew what about real time happenings half a world away from here at home. Pompeo’s blatant motivations by far worse, at the same time isn’t that why both you Kulinski and the mainstream media were upset at his choosing for the position secretary of state, why you talked about how bad he would be in the job echoing all the Trump administration appointees, nominees, an administration housing borderline criminals, grifers, self-serving, greedy, incompetent persons and little else; missing is any reference to Bush 41, Bush 43 or Obama doing similar deals with the conflicts faced in their administrations isolating it totally to the Trump era. Solution to that, protests, voting, the sunshine of investigative reporting journalism; coupled with the sad comprehension profiteers will always profiteer off of something, usually something very bad because it is more lucrative. Larger solutions to America’s Middle East conundrum, changing our involvement to an increasingly positive force, re-watch video after paragraph 2 talking about indefinite occupation and mainstream media’s yawns, one of the answers we are going to have to swallow if we ever want to see an end to ‘endless wars’ is a peace keeping contingent of military stationed in these regions whose job it is to uphold democracy, provide a presence that says to terrorists no, you will not set up you caliphate here. Maybe that’s a little more what ‘neocon war hawk’ Lindsey Graham had in mind when asked, while running for president in 2016, how he would get the U.S. out of Iraq and said succinctly you don’t; regardless his motivations, he’s stumbled onto the truth. Potential use for those 900 military bases Secular Talk’s host is always asking why we need, why we pay so much to maintain independent it is the U.S. military staffing those bases representing a continuation of American diplomacy around the world; key redundancy he should be thankful we have with a wreck it Ralph incarnate president Donald Trump destroying post WWII alliances via consistent cold shoulders and antagonism, making the entire globe nervous with his cozying up to dictators usually rightfully shunned, his endless rhetoric with them and other world leaders announcing his button, controlling nuclear codes, is bigger than Kin Jung Un’s, promising fire and fury like the world has never seen if the reclusive country, if he continued with nuclear threats, nuclear materials we couldn’t prove definitively he had. Trump who abruptly announced to press we were canceling South Korean planned joint military exercises while military personnel told them no it’s business as usual; it’s the military around the world reassuring world entities there is someone besides wholesale crazy, wholesale ignorant running things, an essential we got this to the western world. How quickly we forget there are U.S. troops on the DMZ of the Korean peninsula goal: maintained peace on the peninsula, it’s just no one’s died there in actual conflict so we forget they exist, troops are in Poland as part of cold weather training and efforts to curb Russian aggression, stationed in Norway to enforce the broader on the Norwegian side a message to, Russia, air force pilots sent to Bulgaria and Estonia as part of NATO alliance reinforcement, national guard personnel are in Ukraine for training and joint military initiatives. And these where just the ones as of 2017 virtually holdover operations, deployments, exercises from the Obama administration; Kulinski fond of rattling off how many bases we have worldwide, how much they cost but leaves off what they do and why, the ‘maintenance’ they continually perform toward global peace. Bulgaria and Estonia likely targets if Russia decides to pull another Crimea incident, dido Poland who has seen these conditions before scarily raising the specter of 1930’s Germany/Europe running up to the holocaust. Does he really think we/America’s leaders called up Norway and said can we bring troops there to enforce your boarder against Russia—prove it; no they likely asked us reiterating earlier points on why other western, more progressive nations have, can have such small militaries, because we consistently have their backs, we are who they call when they need help—oh.
Finally pushing back against our ‘endless wars’ from an economic standpoint, Mr. Kulinski’s habit of covering domestic news stories on education, the ongoing flint water crisis, our D+ infrastructure rating, the Medicare for all, single payer healthcare the majority of the American people say they want conservative republican politicians insist we can’t pay for, the entitlement/social safety net programs said political representatives constantly want to cut, social security’s insolvency they regularly prang the panic button about firstly, social security is not insolvent as progressives, Kulinski himself repeatedly points out even after the projected date said programs will no longer be capable of paying out 100% of their benefits for decades out they will be able to render 95, 85 and 75% of those monies. News at 11:00, we can do all of the above necessary things at home and meet our foreign obligations pertaining to the conflicts we’ve engaged in, the current political administration inherited from previous administrations, meet global responsibilities to mitigate terrorist proliferation, most effectively in the advisory and support roles we’ve assumed in Niger, Somalia. Blog and author have said it time and time again to the point regular readers are probably bored, the chief reason Flint Michigan doesn’t have clean water, other areas across the country are grappling with suddenly found lead levels is 1. No one was testing for it until Flint was exposed and 2. Is, short answer, local citizens elected a business man mayor and a conservative republican governor both of whom oversaw the switch of Flint from a perfectly clean, functional water source to a dirtier, potentially dangerous water source then, knowing about lead probabilities, didn’t insist neutralizing agents that do exist be added; longer answer, a lack of political will to remove all lead piping, older lead products beyond paint systematically spanning the nearly 50 years since we discovered its fully devastating effect and took the steps to enact a ban going forward. The primary reason Detroit schools are in such disarray to the level of condemnable buildings, freezing cold with not heat, classes missing teachers, who have students stepping up to teach, is corruption down and dirty; people lining their pockets with monies meant to provide supplies to students, using education funds meant to build and upkeep schools for other city and state functions on top of republican agendas that devalue education to keep their electorate perpetually dumbed down, easy to manipulate and themselves in power. Elsewhere nationwide, cordoning off the reality most teachers strikes transpired in republican controlled red states, there is the strong likelihood citizens right up to those in their local community had no idea how bad things had gotten for teachers, some schools, school districts unless they are an educator, a facet of school staff or have a child currently enrolled in k-12 attending school in the hardest hit areas, until pictures began being posted on social media, national media began covering teachers stories freely showcasing exactly why they were striking— dilapidated buildings, falling apart, old textbooks, detailed descriptions of making seating for students because there were no chairs or they were unusable, carrying their own cleaning supplies to keep their classroom and classrooms in their hallway clean for want of a janitor, the limited days a week the district can afford to pay him to work, digging into their own already shallow pockets for supplies, working in excess of 3 jobs to pay their basic bills; proof they (states, cities, municipalities) had the money all along manifest when school staff strikes were resolved with negotiated pay increases and resource allotments for student materials, additional school counselors/teachers aids, also meaning they could have prevented the strikes, education interruption for students if they had done that in the first place. We don’t have a national infrastructure plan because politicians hide behind budget constraints to avoid creating one, largely because they have no idea how, they scorn and disdain FDR like programs that put electricity in the Tennessee valley and parts of the south, built bridges, roads, public buildings, drastically upgraded existing structures; might wanna try that again since America is looking way too much like a 1930’s redux. They deride every one of Johnson’s great society creations as molding helpless, lazy citizens expecting the government to support them rather than supporting themselves regardless how many times data shows social welfare program recipients are working, are getting childcare subsidies so they can hold a job, if not working are past retirement age, sick, formally classified disabled by the social security administration, are students or are looking for employment. Derisions that continue despite additional data exposing minimum wage workers can’t afford a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in any of the all 50 states, a whopping 40 plus percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency, harrowing healthcare stories, the woman whose leg got trapped between a subway car and the platform bloodied, bone exposed through the skin and begging the crowd not to call an ambulance asking if they knew how much it costs, wailing it’s $3,000 and she can’t afford that, but these people don’t need help, they shouldn’t utilize government programs specifically designed for people in their situation. Or, the ever fallen back on refrain ‘persons working minimum wage need to raise their skills if they want a raise in pay’ ignoring the scams of for profit colleges, the astronomical cost of student loan debt and the toll it takes on economic stability of young people post college graduation, the component this blog never lets readers forget, that sans internships and pre searching for degree field related employment adjacent job experience in the direction you want to go, your degree becomes a worthless piece of paper, the impossibility for those wanting to return to school, families/individuals so poor post-secondary education was never an option. Wholly sidestepping the increased jobs numbers pointing to a good economy that president Trump won’t stop bragging about are low wage jobs in fast food, retail and related fields; while republicans are screaming get a job, advice to millennials is get more jobs and our nations teachers are an example of working many and getting nowhere. At a certain point we have to place some of the responsibility/blame on the American people, smart thing to do in the subway platform situation isn’t just reign in what’s probably a private ambulance’s costs, properly regulate entities attached to healthcare independent Medicare for all, saying you can’t price gouge because of the essential service you provide; it’s to fix, redesign platforms to remove gaps people, their limbs can be trapped in. But coal workers facing the death of their industry and the devastating health effects associated with it where it still exists, those who can go on working already trained and conditioned for underground work, who would be ideal to rebuild our crumbling subways, commuter train tracks exc. told Bernie Sanders at a town hall, when offered retaining, said they would rather be doing coal. Covered too was the Pennsylvania man being retained in middle age as an electrician tearing up at having to start over at 54, oblivious to he was in one of the rare pockets of function job training/retaining that would lead to actual solid paying, semi-stable employment; not to mention, whatever his prior career he was still healthy enough to work in a partially labor intensive job, good enough with his hands he can feasibly do the work well, not everyone can. An older man well into his retirement visiting the abandoned steel plant he worked at for at least 3 decades tearing up reminiscing though it had been closed for equally as many years in that capacity, but they refurbished it into a recycling center unlike a town still in morning for a textile mill 14 years later replaced with nothing. As stated at first use, who calls it that and why are you morning what was instead of finding a new use for something, new revenue for your area, especially knowing how many years it has been? Towns that look like rundown once picturesque versions blending Norman Rockwell and Mayberry who want it to stay the way it was, who want the federal government to bring back what was, not deal with what is; most glaring example coal versus clean energy, somewhere still calling it a textile mill versus a Chinese business man who took a car manufacturing plant and repurposed it to make exclusive auto glass rehiring some of those same fired workers when the plant closed, the Phoenix Arizona businessman who invested in abandoned factories refurbishing them to what was needed to aid his local economy, what this blog said about how it should be standard practice for those filing business licenses and looking for land, building space to be presented abandoned properties available for purchase possibly at a reduced price if you put a functioning business in it or on it for X number of years. For all the talk of automation, automation stealing jobs, the jobs it has indeed evaporated there is the bicycle maker who blended automation and his human workforce to hire more people and bring back jobs from overseas. Towns residents fail to realize aren’t growing, aren’t drawing people or businesses to them, the people despite being an idyllic example of simple apple pie, best of American life, who live there are routinely born there and die there; for all it’s purported positives as a place quiet, peaceful homage to America’s past to raise your kids, people aren’t flocking to them to do so. Towns mirroring ones shown in video all over the nation who lack diversity, forward thinking, technological advancements, education for their kids readying them for better jobs/jobs of the future, towns all that look like they are caught in a 50’s to 80’s time warp while we’ve literally changed centuries; we already covered the small Maryland town who wouldn’t recognize a Muslim now broaden that out to would an LGBT person feel welcome in such towns when one drive-in wouldn’t air the new incarnation of Beauty and the Beast because it featured a gay character? Important when millennials and gen Z age persons identify far more as gender fluid than exclusively hetero or homosexual; blog and author regularly covering tiny towns’ strange laws on dancing, on normal clothing you can wear in public, when the religious conservative, blue haired lady contingent is after decades overruled, schools get caught using policies on hair and clothing deemed ‘acceptable’ at school to discriminate against children of color, ethnicities, operating on blatant, unproven stereotypes about girls, stereotypes about the types of clothes you wear and what it says about you character, not about how hot or cold you keep your building or how difficult it is to focus on learning when too hot or cold, when you have a natural body temperature at the extreme end of either, you learn better when comfortable clothes are too tight, cumbersome or itchy. Speaking of millennials in late 2016 Brendan Gauthier wrote the above linked article for Salon.com “Hey, Ohio! Make me, a millennial, want to move to you” yes breaking down Clinton’s problems in 2016 but simultaneously explaining why millennials are coalesced in select parts of the country, typically on the costs, namely a lack of career opportunities commiserate with paying down their student loan debt that just aren’t in swing states, noting they aren’t going to pick a city then try to make it work; additionally there isn’t the culture, the pursuance of curiosity, innovation, community like them that makes it worth the hassle to try someplace new versus known hubs. Chris Mathews said during 2016 no more flyover country rattling off the expanded technology in bullet trains and the like we should invest in making it much easier for citizens to traverse all their United States; the other half of that is 2 fold, making flyover country a place people want to first visit then live, making it livable-y attractive also needs to answer several things it currently doesn’t, what to do about the vast acers of farmland feeding the world, grazing land producing the meats in our supermarkets, then convincing flyover country residents of what will draw people, commerce, business and thriving metropolitanism to them, easier said than done. Since the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the piled on conflict in of Syria, our bombings in countries like Pakistan, Yemen, our actives in Africa there has been an all-consuming misconception that if we weren’t fighting so many wars the money would be there, not the infinitely more truthful statement largely republican politicians, who would quite frankly rather chew off an arm than invest in Medicare for all, shore up social security forget admitting their insolvency panicking is inaccurately misleading, increase social welfare programs like food stamps, affordable housing, community mental health services, will conversely just find new ways, new old ways to waste money. The presidential coins no one wanted, the vacant, unused government buildings being maintained for no reason, much more of no reason than those 900 military bases, the presidential portraits eligible to persons who didn’t finish their term in whatever appointed office they held, the 1 million and change dollars spent on muffins/breakfast items by congress during a lone fiscal year. Back in the earmark days, which didn’t go away until 2011 (who says they won’t come back noting Trump is in office) the monies spent on a teapot museum for one congress person’s local area, how long it took to ban basically congressional insider trading, using the information garnered from their holding political office to buy and trade stock to their benefit, only banned in 2012; a story from earlier in the year 2018 detailing bad bookkeeping that lost hundreds of millions of dollars at the pentagon slated for construction projects. Or the new controversial VA hospital controversial because it cost an eye popping 2 billion dollars when it shouldn’t have cost more than about $400 million, 1.5 billion over budget, opening delayed by at least 4 years and the original prospectus commissioned in 2004; veterans impressed with the spinal cord unit but that humongous price tag is likewise without its missing piece, a PTSD wing it was supposed to have forcing the old one to stay open syphoning still added monies from taxpayers and the VA. Realities having less to do with the ballooning number of injured soldiers coming back from ‘illegal, offensive wars against countries that didn’t attack us,’ our leaders practicing naked imperialism no one will call them out on and chalked up to plain mismanagement, giving incomplete designs and submitting ones that could never be built for the allocated funds, project manager 1 passing the buck saying if it was beyond 2 ½ years I wasn’t here and a coordinator who tried to get it off the ground for 12 years now retired and whistleblowing to press cost information was hidden from her asserting money broke the project, a project meant to provide care to veterans. Returning to Washington officials who screwed up the project, the VA example should concurrently provide insight into those defense contractors hired to rebuild Iraq, rebuild Afghanistan, people put in charge who don’t know what they are doing or who are using their position to their own ends alone here’s how you get the situation that develops; the question is what do we do about it minus never putting America’s government in that position? Assuming talking points ascribing the detriments of social welfare on society don’t work, they’ll use their old fallback saying any extra money the country might have generated via stopping foreign conflicts should be spent paying down the national debt; it also wrongly asserts that government money spent badly was done recklessly, maliciously on the government end instead of being the best of intentions put into the wrong local hands. take initiatives to give rural, isolated areas and broadband; the problem wasn’t the government dared to bring high speed internet to places that didn’t/doesn’t have it, the problem was the money was given to the wrong people/wrong entity locally who didn’t know what needed to be bought, bought the wrong thing that sat in an office/warehouse unused. The Trump administration recently was caught taking funds from cancer research and sections of disaster relief to fund detention centers at the border erected to detain migrant families seeking asylum, to cage migrant children away from their parents; especially gratuitous after his shameful performance in Porto Rico and disclosed as hurricane Florence was bearing down on parts of the eastern seaboard, now promising aide to Indonesia after an earthquake triggered a tsunami washing away swaths of homes, cutting off power and water as people try to escape on evacuation planes, a volcano the latest calamity to devastate the town siting in the so called ring of fire earthquake zone. Certainly America should lend aide being the wealthiest nation on the globe and considering what the Indonesians effected never had now having even less, but America should first correct their horrid treatment of Porto Rico, a U.S. territory, minimum do both succinctly. Other sections of the federal budget that saw cuts favored for detention centers AIDS and HIV prevention, funds to mental health, mental health services geared toward substance abuse treatment, mitigation in the midst of the opioid crisis Demi Lovato’s recent, very public overdose, the death of Mac Miller, DJ Avicii, the latest information released on the death of Prince, head start proving even when the money is there those in charge will simply move it around to their priorities, priorities that almost always benefit them personally or, paralleling earmarks of old, are meant to be a bone thrown to their constituency to keep them in their job. Above just one example of what politicians do with money when it’s there, where they try to get it when it’s not; personally as a voter I would rather spend it trying to give less fortunate countries democracy, self-governing freedom than 99% of what they choose to spend it toward whether or not there is a war on. ‘Our offensive wars against countries that didn’t attack us’ has become a ready scapegoat for all the positive progressive policies we can’t get our politicians to sign onto, indicative of the forward thinking neither our politicians nor our collective selves can envision, the 30 year, 50 year plans countries like China have for their future, whereas we can’t get past the next election cycle every 4 or 8 years there is a changing of the guard and the goal of the new persons in power seems to be to undo what the last group did utterly unrepentant of if it was policies good for the citizens, preserving the planet or fulfilling our role as part of a collective humanity; realities Alexandria Ocasio Cortez unflinchingly told CNN’s Jake Tapper when posing the larger questions about what kind of country, what kind of people we want to be and based on the best answers to those questions what we do in the very near future for proceeding generations. Coming full circle at what point do we start asking critical questions of American voters chiefly why you keep voting against your own interests, why do you keep voting for republican governors, senate and house members, presidents forcing you to live in states that refused to expand Medicaid depriving you of healthcare, cheaper healthcare options, Florida’s waterways are swathed in red tide algae largely because governor Rick Scott has renounced environmental regulation in his state knowing full well the farm run off/industrial run off make the natural phenomenon several times worse costing the state crucial tourism dollars as beaches close because contact with the toxic algae nearly always result in sickness, the longer it drags on, the less likely they are to trust the safety of waterways. What Sam Brownback and Scott Walker have done to education alone in Kansas and Wisconsin 2 of the highest ranking school systems before conservatism and its minions high jacked the state, now 2 of the most troubled, Matt Bevin in Kentucky, Kentucky home of nonexistent voter fraud prevention champion Kris Kobach an epic fail and shame for the state; side note on Wisconsin, Wisconsin is the home of the Foxconn deal actually costing the state billions in taxpayer money for corporate welfare tax breaks to the foreign technology giant and not producing the jobs numbers they sold to the public it would. Farmers harmed by ongoing trade wars who stand behind Trump, them and similar voters who are or will be hoodwinked, pacified by the new NAFTA deal renamed the USMCA (the United States, Mexico, Canada agreement) which is basically NAFTA 2.0 with provisions forcing Canada to buy U.S. milk and dairy products despite the rest of the world’s trepidation about antibiotics in American milk and meat products or the imprudence of bullying an American ally on measures that will help few dairy farmers and doesn’t look much different than the original trilateral trade agreement. How about the Trump backer in West Virginia whose job alliance tried to block the building of natural gas plants bringing jobs to the state; understanding West Virginia is coal country starving for jobs, for innovations and has an accelerated number of sick citizens from coal ash pollutants or years of working in the coal mine if and when you were healthy. When do we confront people who don’t vote because they believe their vote doesn’t count, or don’t like the candidate turning it into a high school equivalent popularity, personality contest, voted most likely to succeed or prom king/queen or can greater effect change by not voting, (how a mystery), view abstaining as a form of protest; the 90,000 Michiganders who voted for everything on their 2016 ballot except the choice at the top of the ticket, president and vice president highlighted by Michael Moore. Since the aftermath, expounding on that in a recent town hall about how disheartened people were by president Obama’s pretense in drinking Flint’s hitherto unfixed water, feeling forgotten makes some doubtlessly want to shake the city’s inhabitants and shout you had a choice between sane and not, competent and not, functional and not, and when it came down to the wire, came crunch time you choked; how exactly are you better than the feckless, penny pinching leaders who got you into this mess?