BREAKING NEWS: At least 28 dead in two explosions after suicide bomber targets American Airlines check-in desk at Brussels Airport as SECOND attack hits Metro station near EU headquarters
·At least 13 people killed after two explosions struck near the American Airlines check-in desk at 8am (7am GMT)
·Reports of a firefight between police and attackers seconds before they shouted ‘in Arabic’ and detonated bombs
·Terrified passengers covered in blood ran for their lives after explosion sent ‘shockwaves’ through terminal building
·Another blast killed 15 at a Metro station near EU headquarters in Maelbeek area of central Brussels just after 9am
·Two suspects arrested a mile from train station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flood the streets
·Comes a day after Belgium minister warned of revenge strikes after arrest of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam
When our prizzy can take a moment from dancing with his compadre Raul, I wonder if the phrase “acceptable casualties” will come out of his mouth again, or if he only uses that for victims of Islamic madmen slaughtered here?
So, over the past three days I’ve had to rebut some pretty stretched logic, repeatedly, so screw it, here’s my take on the South Carolina (SC) bit:
First, history lessons, the colloquial “Confederate Flag” is not, nor has ever, represented the Confederate States of America (CSA), in fact it was proposed as a replacement for the Stars and Bars and rejected. The battle flag, that saw use from the Battle of Manassas onward as the CSA battle standard, was the Southern Cross, the colloquial modern day “Confederate flag”. There is a large difference between battle standards and national flags, battle standards allow you to find, follow or recover position with the rest of your group, which is the reason it replaced the Stars and Bars on the battle field, as the original CSA flag, the Stars and Bars, looked too much like Union colors, which caused confusion within the ranks during pitched battles.
Why did the Southern Cross become the colloquial “Confederate flag”? The answer is a combination of general ignorance, which is on rampant display currently in both social and corporate media, and it’s adoption by a number of less than savory groups in the South, from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), directly after the war, to the Democratic Dixiecrats, who tried to make sure that the mistakes of the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case, Plessy v Ferguson, remained the norm in the 1940s. Arguing that the Southern Cross doesn’t have negative connotations is as equally ignorant as arguing that the Southern Cross is indeed the national flag of the Confederacy, but we’ll get back to that.
While the Dixiecrats effectively lost their push to make sure that “separate, but equal” from Plessy v Ferguson remained in effect, effectively co-mingled property segregation, their remnants were successful in 1962 of getting the Southern Cross flag flown over the capitol dome of the SC Statehouse. It would remain there for just shy of forty years. In 2000 it was removed, under a compromise, and place next to the Confederate monument; the compromise itself required a two-thirds majority to remove it from grounds. Keep in mind, this is a battle standard, not a national flag, not put in place to honor the individuals concerned with the monument. The flag is not lowered while the United States national flag flies at half-staff, which is nothing short of atrocious.
Make no mistake, the Southern Cross has very negative post-war historical connotations. I’ve seen it repeatedly stated that this is about “heritage” the past few days, but if that were true, there’d be no issue with removing the battle standard and instead putting one of the actual three CSA national flags in it’s place: none of which have an iota on the Southern Cross for negative impact, even with fighting a war partly about slavery. Personally, I’d say the Blood-Stained Banner, the last of the three, is quite likely the most accurate as it was the flag under which the Confederacy lost and was one of the flags surrendered at Appomattox. While both the Stainless and Bloodied Banners bear the Southern cross, they are not the Southern Cross which was adopted by a multitude of blatantly racist groups for more than 150 years of American history. Though, I doubt the multitude of people on the other side arguing racism would see a difference, so the actual Stars and Bars might be a better choice to fly.
This is a State decision, regardless of how much anyone argues it: it’s statute, SC will do as it does. However, let’s not pretend there aren’t better options than the hyperbole of either side of either restoring it to the State capitol statehouse or the absolute removal of a historical remembrance, from State grounds or personal property. This particular flag that is being argued over, is not a part of the war memorial, but added to the lower State grounds to remove it from the dome.
Personally? Replace it with the Stars and Bars, solves most of the issues on both sides. The actual one, not the one that talking heads keep claiming is the CSA battle standard. Plessy vs Ferguson might be one of the worst decisions in the history of any non-tyranical, statutorily guided nation in the history of human kind. I hope the members of the Justice Brown SCOTUS are turning in their graves.
“Guam–the only occupied U.S. territory in the Pacific–was the first island to be invaded by the Japanese and the last to be liberated by the United States.”
The only occupied US territory in the Pacific? If you’re looking for civilian US territorial populations during WWII, why not mention the Philippines? I notice it is mentioned only in passing, which suggests some ignorance of Philippine history, especially during the time period being discussed. The Philippine islands were attacked at virtually the same time as Guam, ironically in the midst of seeking their independence from the United States, and weren’t liberated from Japanese forces until March of 1945, almost a year after the liberation of Guam. The Philippines may have departed as a US territory in 1946, but let’s not pretend that they weren’t one and that we didn’t lose American and Filipino lives over that area to make a facile appeal to emotion case that purposely or ignorantly devalues lives lost.
Philippine (civ/mil) and United States military deaths were between half a million and a million and a half, by most estimates. Guam losses were between one to two thousand dead, with the census at the time placing the population at 20,000; while “10%” might be statistically correct if we assume the most extreme estimations, it is absolutely feckless to insinuate that our honored dead matter more or less than some other grouping of our dead, only relative to the landmass on which they are killed or that their impending status as a non-territorial organism of the United States somehow made their lives worth less.
“The United States, however, continuously disregards Guam’s sacrifices….not only did the act fail to provide meaningful citizenship rights, it explicitly stated that the president could still dispose of Guam’s land for military purposes at will.“
The Organic Act and subsequent Acts until 1952 gave the exact same citizen rights as other territories enjoy to this day. Here on Guam individuals have all the benefits of being an American citizen, except for voting for President; the population of which could move towards becoming an associated free state, like Micronesia, an incorporated territory or remain an unincorporated territory. The 14th Amendment assures individuals of citizenship rights in territories, and the Organic Act incorporated Guam as a territory, rather than a military rule. It is well within the power of the people of Guam to incorporate, move for independence or remain, if that is their wish. The fact that author implies they are simply being stripped of their due rights is blatant victimization, as though they had no say in their relation to the United States. This is vaguely ironic to put forward; especially given the absence of nearly any mention of the Philippines, a now independent self-governing body that peacefully achieved that independence, directly after WWII, from the U.S. and then booted the remaining U.S. military out 1991.
“Guam’s veterans receive inadequate medical services and communities adjacent to military bases generally obtain the least investment of any community under the U.S. flag.“
As the U.S. Naval hospital on Guam cares of retirees, active duty and more, while also working with Guam Memorial Hospital to take on emergency care of the local population, when and where they can, I’d love to see some backing of this statement that actually makes a legitimate comparison to contiguous US services offered to my fellow veterans, much less citizens surrounding those bases.
“Now, a proposed military buildup is opening old wounds as it aims to bring 35,000 additional military personnel to Guam and take up 2,500 more acres of land.“
The author is overshooting that number by 30,000 additional military personnel. Only 5,000 Marines and their families are planned to be moved to Guam. The 2,500 acres are on Northwest Field, which is military land already. The effects of that are the installation of a range and possible impacts to the Ritidian Wildlife Refuge, near it, which is a separate argument based on environmentalism.
If the author wants to make the case that US territories, or even specifically Guam, as Puerto Rico has had a number of votes on the matter, should be encouraged to vote on their status as a territory? That’s fine, I’m all for it. However, the author chose not to bother actually examine history, because it would have been inconvenient to an appeal to emotion fallacy she wished to propagate. The author appears to seek value and devaluing the lives of US military, citizens and territorial citizens lost and impacted by the war, based on where they were lost, to further add emotional emphasis to that fallacy. That includes the lives of a great number of people on this island and even my own family members, who fought through this island chain to push the Japanese back from US territory.
TL;DR The author should be ashamed. The Huffington Post should have invested at least an iota of effort in fact checking.
The contents of this rebuttal are the personal views of the poster, not the views of the Government of Guam, United States Government, military or any of its components.
Nothing says thank you for your sacrifices and service like making service members spend more money, especially if they’re overseas. That’s right, as a reward to service members, within weeks of Memorial Day remembrance of our fallen, the Senate Armed Services Committee has decided to propose every service member spend more money for less return, in the name of “savings” that are minimal at best, at the behest of the Executive branch.
If you’re unfamiliar with the commissary and exchange systems, the US military maintains a series of stores on virtually every base, both in the continental United States and at bases overseas. These stores ensure that service members can get food at a rational price, which is handled by base commissaries. You can think of the base or post exchange, commonly called the BX or PX, as the base Walmart selling consumer goods. There’s a running joke that the only savings you can get in an AAFES, the Army/Air Force BX, is not going…which should give you some indication of what increasing removal of subsidies for shipping and further press for profit margin in the exchange system has already been doing. The sole benefit to the exchange is now the fact that it is tax free; it is almost invariably cheaper, even with overseas shipping, to order goods from Amazon, Home Depot, or Lowes.
What has Congress done? Well, the basic exchange and commissary system used to work like this: the government purchased, shipped and then sold goods at just above their net price to service members. Over the last fifty years or so, due to complaints from domestic and foreign businesses surrounding bases about being undercut and not getting “their fair share” of money from military members, the individuals on this same commission decided to get things changed so that there was a significant profit margin in these systems. This raised costs for service members, which in turn required increasing pay to make up for the deficit. The only benefit that remained at that point was not having to pay taxes, which quite often does not balance out. That’s important to remember, because every time we’ve adjusted this system, we’ve hosed service members for a few years and then wound up paying them more to compensate, because no one is going to willingly do 4 years, much less 20, while having their family live off of ramen noodles like starving college students.
What is Congress doing? There’s been a consistent and increasing push to privatize the commissary and exchange systems. Since they haven’t been able to pull this off, they’ve effectively aimed towards removing the primary stumbling blocks to the objective of privatization: the subsidies that pay for shipping goods. The effect of this is that service members outside the United States, Hawaii and Alaska included, will see prices for anything from fresh produce to dog food skyrocket. Fresh produce, sensitive electronics and other products requiring temperature control will quite likely simply stop being available.
This means that service members overseas could quite likely be looking forward to being dependent on local stores for access to goods, as they will be able to undercut base prices. Furthermore, this becomes an operational hazard if natural disaster or conventional conflict breaks out. For example, Guam, Okinawa and Japan see regular typhoons through most of the year and service members would be largely reliant on local markets to secure goods at a reasonable rate. The Senate committee would cut $322M/year from the budget by removing these subsidies, but will economically see more cost in having to adjust COLA and even basic pay to make up for the impacts to service members. In other words, the country will save nothing, destabilize its overseas operations reliability and effectively make the lives of service members hell for at least a few years. This also doesn’t simply affect active duty members, but also family members of the fallen, retirees and medical retirees that have earned their benefits through service.
Keep in mind, this is the same government that approves of spending $50,000/yr on investigating if sea monkeys’ churning water changes how the ocean flows. Happy Memorial Day.
Imagine that you are witnessing a trial for public endangerment and a parole violation; the suspect is a prior convicted murderer and is a capable gunsmith, who killed his prior victims with a very specific and unique type of firearm. As part of his plea deal during the last set of murders he committed, the suspect agreed to give up his weapons not already seized or destroyed, all ammo and any facilities or utilities used in the production of weapons. Under this agreement, scheduled followups are made to check that he had indeed removed his arms and capability of creating more.
Through a grueling process over the course of a decade, the authorities have been witness to the suspects attempting to hide information and materials related to the violation his plea agreement. Recently, a family member has come forward and confirmed that not only is the suspect hiding ordnance he was supposed to have gotten rid of, but is reacquiring the items necessary to create more.
Under the premise that the man is a possible threat to the public safety, the authorities secure a search warrant and force entry into the house, leading to conflict with the suspect. Inside the house the authorities find weapons, ammunition and gunsmithing utilities the individual was supposed to have removed and actively hid from inspection; they find limited evidence to indicate that he has actively created or attempted to create additional ordnance in the meanwhile. Fearing the weapons might pose danger to their agents and the public, the authorities use controlled detonations to destroy the evidence. It sounds like a straight forward case, but the argument put forward by the defense has a very strange twist, they argue that the suspect is innocent. They base this on the fact that there were no new firearms or munitions, even though the evidence itself, outside of pictures, is destroyed. The logical disjunction from the charges and basis for the original warrant is staggering: welcome to Von Clausewitz post-2003 Iraq politics.
The popular argument, flying in the face of empirical evidence from over a decade of conflict, has been that no WMDs, general term, were found or used in Iraq, by either Iraqi forces or insurgents. The oft quoted pretext for war or the search warrant, in the earlier analogy, is put before the UN by President Bush on Sept 12, 2002. Let’s take a recent example of this type of defense citing the Bush speech, in a response to the New York Times article covering the massive amounts of chemical weapons, a WMD, found in Iraq over the last decade:
But on Septmeber 12, 2002, President Bush described a different threat while making the case for the 2003 Iraq invasion: “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” The Times’ investigation doesn’t mention any findings of biological weapons.
He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”
According to the investigation, the chemical weapons discovered by U.S. soldiers after the 2003 invasion were all manufactured before 1991.
Directly addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Bush continued, “We have been more than patient. We have tried sanctions. We have tried the carrot of ‘oil for food’ and the stick of coalition military strikes. But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction.”
It doesn’t take a logician to recognize the obvious red herring: the expansion and improvement of a facility does not equate to the actual production of arms, any more than our fictitious suspect having ownership of an ammo press means that ammo had been and continued to be produced. Another common usage of red herring is purposeful contextual misrepresentation. Miss Schulberg is purposely leaving out the next reason for invasion, specifically stripping it of context to continue the ”production” red herring.
Miss Schulberg’s version in No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade :
“…He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”…”
Direct from the speech:
“United Nations inspections also reveal that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard, and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”
I’ve italicized the portion of the sentence that Miss Schulberg has misrepresented to make a point: this is feckless, purposely misleading politics posing as pseudo-journalism. Miss Schulberg is in no way unique, articles from Salon and other outlets have spoken in the affirmative that there were no WMDs, sometimes while actually including bits about WMD encounters, for virtually the entirety of the occupation and afterward. There has been regular media-Alzheimers, on all sides, for the past decade concerning the fact that there was plenty of documentation that Iraq had continued its development, while under sanction and inspections, into these weapons or that even before the New York Times piece, estimates on destroyed weapons caches put the numbers from five hundred weapons to well into the thousands.
The repeated assertion that the weapons were of pre-1991 manufacture is also entirely conjecture, especially given the documentation supporting the continued study of these weapons, due in large part that the evidence was purposely destroyed because of the threat it posed to allied troops. More importantly, it’s an inane case to forward due to the fact that the mere possession of these purposely hidden items vindicated the reasoning for invasion. It also raises the specter of what would have occurred as Saddam’s grip over the region continued to wane if we had not invaded.
President Bush’s rational for invasion was typically simple: Hussein had agreed to disarm and prove that he had disarmed, while removing his capability to rearm in the future. Hussein had proven with the invasion of Kuwait that he was willing to make unprovoked attacks in blitzkrieg fashion on his neighbors when the opportunity was presented. Hussein had made multiple agreements concerning human rights inside Iraq, then broke them. Iraq agreed not to sponsor terror, yet continued to hunt down and assassinate it’s dissenters and attempted to assassinate President Bush Sr, to which President Clinton made Tomahawk strikes against Iraq in response. After the defection of General Kamel al-Majid to Jordon, the Iraqi government admitted that they had retained a large bioweapons package from anthrax to botulin in violation of the agreed terms; these weapons were never accounted for. Iraq retained a large stockpile of chemical weapons, beyond their declared and then destroyed stockpile, which the New York Times account continues to show recent evidence of and examples of insurgents now using the weapons. President Bush pointed out that it had been four years since UN inspectors had been ejected from the country, “The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.”
The questions these journalists should be asking is why the administrations involved ignored almost three thousand years of military maxim to create a quagmire, with further bungling down the line, after a successful surge strategy mopped up the majority of the original strategic error. They should be asking why the Bush administration failed to defend themselves, outside the 2006 Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, that WMDs had indeed been found along with materials and research for making any number of CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) weapons in the future. Of course, given articles like Miss Schulberg there is more empirical evidence that the media simply wouldn’t allow that message to go forward leading to the populace believing largely that there was no vindication for the invasion.
To conclude, the vast majority pretense presented in the case for invasion has been vindicated. However, the populace has been spun to believe that these are not the things we went to find after years of “journalism” by those like Miss Schulberg, regardless of political stripe. The press, instead of asking pertinent questions on policy and execution thereof, attempted to force creation of non-legislated mob based policy: to the dishonor of this nation, they succeeded. I’ll leave you with a little more of President Bush’s speech.
“If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi’a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans and others — again as required by Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues as required by the Security Council resolutions.
If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis — a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections.”
We’ve been babysitting Ebola’s two schweet pups since mid-February. They WERE supposed to go to Guam with him first of May…but…they didn’t, thanks to our miserable casa de major dad luck and general government inefficiency. It hasn’t been a picnic. We TRIED the Caesar Milan, holistic, peace love and happiness route, and NONE of it worked.
Since his eldest and our eldest HATE each other, we have spent these past 8+ months (after two dog fights that cost $1300+ to stitch up the participants) living in shifts, with a 4 ft cage in our bedroom and one in the livingroom. Our day starts about 5:30 a.m., with me on the couch after letting our guys out. Get up about 7:30, feed our guys, get them OUTSIDE. While they’re OUTSIDE, I let HIS guys out of the cage in our bedroom and into the cage in the LR. Then OUR guys can come IN and go straight into being locked in our bedroom (and DON’T they appreciate that) for the next 1 1/2 hours while the granddogs eat, stretch their legs and do dog things. Then THEY get locked up again, and our guys, frantic by now, get let out. It’s lather, rinse, repeat all day. We can’t go out at night, because everybody has to eat and stretch their legs, too. So IF we went out for an adult time, we’d still have to stay up another hour at least when we got home, to let the grandkids out. Not fair to them otherwise.
Our two month granddog babysitting has stretched to the start of its 9th month. “HOW could that BE?” any sane person would ask. Welp, here’s a rundown of just our day YESTERDAY, TRYING to get puppies to their Daddy.
Ebola had called last Thursday to ask if we could get the dogs to him prior to the 25th, since the base pet lodge (where they do their quarantine) was closing for renovations. Being a holiday weekend, we can’t call OUR base vet ’til yesterday and they work miracles to get us in. Just before I leave work to help major dad wrangle doggies, I’m looking at Accuweather for P-cola and notice “Possible Direct Hurricane Strike for Hawaii This Weekend!” Just our luck. The dogs have to go through ~ and spend the night in ~ Honolulu. I shake it off and we get everyone to our precious base vets. Done. Every puppy certificate you’d need, we had in our hot little hands, along with an email that the admin girl had JUST found about that SAME pet lodge closing…on the 20th. W.T.F. (It did, however, also contain an alternate civilian kennel for arriving pets.) We hustle home in a state of semi-agitation, since I still had to fax ALL the paperwork to Guam Agri Dept AND the lodge, as it takes THEM up to 3 days from receiving it to send back an entry visa and the well dog is ONLY GOOD FOR TEN DAYS. (See where we’re going with times crunches here?) I’m looking for the fax number and BOOM. You have to fax well dog certs…AND the flight and kennel reservation info AT THE SAME TIME. Whichy I no have, because we don’t know squat about kennels until we can talk to Ebola…who is 9 hours behind the day ahead, time-wise. So asleep, after working swing shifts.
Being marginally efficient, I start making just-in-case plans for the drive to New Orleans Airport (United out of there has the most direct flight plan) with the dogs and their crates, which will require a minivan rental. Lock that sucker on for start of next week. Start double checking all the doggie info on United’s site, which is REALLY informative. Now, Achilles is a pretty little guy ~ only 68 pounds and small framed ~ but his ears sit up a country mile, so I want to make sure I have the regulations clear. We’ve got a hand-me-down crate in the garage that, while humongous, seems to be the only thing that’ll work for him, because his ears sit 33 in off the floor and this crate is 35 in. high. It’s like he’s going in the Presidential Suite. And then BOOM. That crate is known as a “700” and what ~ according to the chart ~ is the ONLY airplane United has that CAN’T carry a 700? A 737. I frantically zip over to the flight info for the NOLA departure. OF COURSE ~ it’s a 737 from NOLA to Houston. I call United’s PetSafe just to be sure. Awesome.
WhenEVER the dogs DO get to leave, we get to DRIVE them TO HOUSTON to catch the jet plane. Now we’re talking TWO DAYS, since it’s 525+ miles one way.
I think Ebola’s about coming out of his post-work coma and send him a FB message to call us. He does and that’s AFTER reading the copy of the pet lodge email, calling THEM, unloading with “WHY couldn’t you MENTION THAT TO ME when I talked to you two days ago?!?!” and hearing, “Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s just not going to take as long as we thought, so we just went ahead sooner…” We do a cursory search for the civilian kennel they’re shunting you over to, as Brat’s never heard of them. Of COURSE they require a bordatella vaccine of 6 months or less and OUR dogs ~ who were at the vets that very day ~ have a 7 month-old one. Just. Shoot. Me. Not to mention that their fees are significantly more and, as a civilian facility, they don’t have the liability for stuff that might happen to your precious pups, which is a legitimate concern, considering that dogs go missing in Guam on a regular basis and NOT because they slipped a leash or got out through the fence on their own, if you get my drift.
What a crap sandwich.
So, we wait. Can’t take them for the additional shot (w/ base vets closed Fri and Mon) until we know more about THAT kennel, if we even want to chance it, or if they’re not booked anyway. Will there be space on the plane once we have a date? Will minivan rental rates soar in the interim? Will Hawaii be cleaned up in time for their airport schedule to be back to normal? AND. Have to have enough time left on our 10 days certificate to wait the 3 WORKING days to get an answer back from Guam.
Or blow the whole thing off and do the drill around 10 November when base opens.
That’s a taste of what it means to be uno amigo de casa de major dad. If it’s not a disaster, you can’t POSSIBLY be talking about us.
In Leaked Tape, Hostile Obama Tries to Force PM to Accept Truce
US president markedly unfriendly, interrupted prime minister as he attempted to push unfavorable truce on Israel.
Damning evidence has emerged of US President Barack Obama’s dismissal of Israel’s position in favor of supporting the position of Hamas and its allies during ceasefire talks.
A “senior US official” leaked an audio recording of a telephone conversation between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Channel One. In it the 35-minute conversation, which took place on Sunday, the US President appears downright hostile at points, and even cuts off Netanyahu in the middle of his protestations over a one-sided truce proposal which would have seen Hamas receive all its key demands, but that Israel ultimately rejected.
Obama: I demand that Israel agrees to an immediate, unilateral ceasefire and halt all offensive activities – particularly airstrikes.
Netanyahu: What will Israel receive in return for a ceasefire?
Obama: I believe that Hamas will stop firing rockets – silence will be met with silence.
Netanyahu: Hamas violated all five previous ceasefires, it is a terrorist organization which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Obama: I repeat and expect Israel to unilaterally stop all its military activity. The pictures of destruction from Gaza distance the world from Israel’s position.
Netanyahu: Kerry’s proposal was completely unrealistic and gives Hamas the military and diplomatic advantage.
Obama: Within a week of the end of Israel’s military activities, Qatar and Turkey will begin negotiations with Hamas on the basis of the 2012 understanding [following the end of Operation Pillar of Defense – ed.], including Israel’s commitment to removing the siege and restrictions on Gaza,
Netanyahu: Qatar and Turkey are the biggest supporters of Hamas. It is impossible to rely on them to be fair mediators.
Obama: I trust Qatar and Turkey, and Israel is in no position to choose its mediators.
Netanyahu: I object, because Hamas is able to continue and to fire rockets and to use tunnels for terror attacks…
Obama – interrupts Netanyahu mid-sentence: The ball is in Israel’s court – it is obligated to end all military activities.
ths update: Whole lotta “It’s a fake! It’s a fake!” going around, with a healthy shake of “But…” on top. Could well be, as Allah speculates, SOMETHING got said, translated, re-translated and then again. I like that theory.
The inference that Senator Paul’s major foreign policy mistake is that he’s against non-Congress sanctioned engagements is ignorant; purposefully or otherwise. One need only read the differences between his 2013 Platform to Revitalize America and the 2014 version to watch him stumble left and right on that issue, military funding as well, which still doesn’t show the issue that is Paul’s primary foreign policy flaw.
Sen. Paul, like his father, has been talking about downgrading, severely, the American presence overseas, all the while using our “strike anywhere” capabilities and prior demobilizations as primary premises for that debate. Unfortunately for Paul, that argument is innately fallacious: fast response with sufficient military assets is directly linked to a logistical supply chain that would evaporate with the degradation of forward bases throughout the world, both on allied and US territories. Sen. Paul seems to forget that there is a necessary logistical supply chain allowing these activities to occur. A prime reference for this was the materiel movement issues in the early years of Afghanistan for resupply, as our limited basing and restrictive airspaces of neighboring countries not favorable to the US put significant squeeze on the ability to project power into the area in the short term. His continuing wish to “scale back”, seeming code for “largely remove”, foreign allied or “friendly” operations would exponentially compound the initial supply difficulties in Afghanistan to worldwide dilemma at a near exponential level, instead of a limited AOR issue.
The prior demobilizations, which Paul references repeatedly as a defense of his projected cuts, then oddly removed in 2014, resulted in training surges that left troops poorly fitted and prepared for mobilization in a conventional conflict. Spin up time was something the United States could afford when crossing international distances required quite a bit of time, like WWII and even into Vietnam. With increasing technological reliance, spin up time on the materiel end is increasing, rather than decreasing in time on the general scale; concurrent with troop and operator training. Scaling back on defense purchases would further increase both R&D and line production for the weapon systems, EO targeting, etc necessary for the modern warfighter. Sen. Paul also has a huge issue in that he tries to argue the military budget, ignoring that he calls for cuts in 2013 PRA, then argues for restoration of sequestered funds under the guise that they will now “keep the military complex of yesterday in check.” I’m personally left questioning how removing funds, then returning funds, keeps anything “in check”.
Statements like these would rapidly raise eyebrows with our Marines serving at embassies, as their sole detail is not simply to secure TS documents and HDs. The entire detail does not simply fall in for destruction or securing of classified materials. The reasoning is simple: if you’re under attack, collecting documents without overwatch gets everyone killed. To quote the MSESG Mission Statement:
” The primary mission of the Marine Security Guard (MSG) is to provide internal security at designated U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities in order to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to the national security of the United States. The secondary mission of the MSG is to provide protection for U.S. citizens and U.S government property located within designated U.S. diplomatic and consular premises during exigent circumstances (urgent temporary circumstances which require immediate aid or action).” http://www.mcesg.marines.mil/About/MCESGMission.aspx”
The inane exercise of cross-analyzing the US military budget against the Chinese and broadly declaring the US budget is six times the size shows a callous misunderstanding of military funding. A simple example is the fact that the Chinese can more cheaply produce arms, due to state manufacturing infrastructure and lower pay, while paying a 3M strong active military force far less per capita than the US due to lower standards of living. Further, and more disturbing, is the fact that he makes an apples to apples comparison based on gross expenditure, while the Chinese budget does not cover R&D, acquisitions, their 1M strong paramilitary units and other huge categories of military expenditure.
As for the WMD bit, we found plenty of things in Iraq, simply no nuclear material. That is readily glossed over along with little to no interdiction on routes into and out of Syria, which we know were being used both during and after the buildup by our forces.
There are considerable other issues in his 2013/2014 documents alone, on the foreign policy front, but I’ve typed too long for my comfort.
They take the wind data readings from all over the counrty, feed them into this program (updating HOURLY) and voila! You have a REAL TIME representation what’s happening over your head and where the clash of the fronts coming together actually occurs, instead of a vaguely drawn line drooping southward.
…Surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. These are near-term forecasts, revised once per hour. So what you’re seeing is a living portrait. (See the NDFD site for precise details; our timestamp shows time of download.) And for those of you chasing top wind speed, note that maximum speed may occur over lakes or just offshore.
We start off with Beau growling, snarling and lunging at their crate, as if their presence was THE single greatest surprise ever.
By the end of EVERY day, we’ve made ~ oh, shoot ~ sometimes LEAPS and BOUNDS of puppy peace progress. For instance: by the end of last evening, with only Beau on the barest minimum dosage of amitriptyline (cheap Prozac), I had NO muzzles on anyone. Dead dogs laying everywhere. Exiting politely through the patio door to go outside. A tiny flicker of hope in my bosom renewing yet again.
Everyone to OUR bedroom (Yes. FIVE dogs.) for seepy-time. Newbies together in the crate, ours OWNING the field…the floor…and our bed as usual. Snores ensue almost immediately.
This morning? Ozzie does his gentle morning shake, by tradition being the first to rise. Beau slides off the living room couch, where he wandered to sometime in the wee hours of the night. Cassie and ‘Chilles stir in the crate as Beau rounds the bedroom door…and we have an INSTANT case of:
“WHO the HELL are YOU??!!!“
Snarl. Snarl. Chomp. Chomp.
Grab him by the collar. Explain to his knucklehead they’ve been there for GOING ON TWO WEEKS NOW.
Park his ruffled ass on his palatial dog bed to get them safely out of the room.
Start the day.
ths update: So much for progress. It’s been a many stitches = many dollars day.
Five dogs, four different sized muzzles and NO one seems to think of theirs as a fashion statement.
Well, I take that back. Except Ozzie. He’ll wear anything.
On the upside, they’ve all been moving freely around the house for several extended periods today, as long as “freely” is defined as “wide circle around Beau”. We have strategically placed water bottles for face-blasts when eruptions occur. Thanks to the mesh-muzzles, it’s 90% sound and fury, vice immediate bloodbath.
…we are attempting to integrate Ebola’s two sweet puppies into our household for the 2 1/2 months while he’s in school, prior to LEAVING HIS MOMMY TO PCS TO GUAM FOR YEARS. (WWWAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! Of course, he’s THRILLED.)
It’s not going well, thanks to the general intransigence and overall surliness of two of OUR three cabal of ancient canines. (It just dawned on my math-challenged mind last night that Beau was NINE, not the seven I’ve been telling everyone. Katrina was in 2005, duh, ths.) They don’t brook intruders, however welcome, lightly, Cesar Millan and all the doogie advice online to the contrary and be damned.
As of yesterday, I have a bottle of Xanax for 3 of them, with enough pills lefover, I’m assured by the vet tech, for needy, anxious owners.
By this afternoon, I will also have three muzzles, so maybe we can have all five loose in the house at one time with a minimum of blood spilled, since the big crate the pups are in is just turning into a target at the moment.
Disney Shuts Down LucasArts, Cancels Star Wars 1313 And Star Wars: First Assault
Disney has laid off the staff of LucasArts and cancelled all current projects.
Staff were informed of the shutdown this morning, according to a reliable Kotaku source. Some 150 people were laid off, and both of the studio’s current projects—Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313—were cancelled. Disney will still use the LucasArts name to license games, but the studio is no more.
Publicly, Disney is saying their current games could be licensed out to a different publisher or developer, but according to our source, that’s unlikely. Our source says Lucas has pursued the option for “one or both games,” but nothing happened. “With the teams now basically being dispersed I think both games are effectively dead forever,” our source said.
A second source also told Kotaku this afternoon that the chances of Lucas licensing out 1313 are very slim. The odds are “effectively zero,” the source said.
Sheesh. I can hardly believe it myself. Lucas Arts has been almost as much a part of our lives as the Brat has. In the early 90’s, when he was a young lad and world famous Jedi, breaking into the online games to design starships, make custom skins for people and DOS bombing miscreants who cheated (not to mention win copious amounts of tournaments), the folks at Lucas Arts liked what his evil, creative, self-taught little brain could do, going so far as to offer him a spot at Skywalker Ranch for his freshman summer of college, if he [insert DUM DUM DUMMMM music] “kept his grades up”. If only he’d been a senior in high school instead of going into his sophmore year. So much for that carrot with his “oooh, something shiney/did-that-on-to-the-next-thing” personality, and any hopes we had of living off of our kid like any self-respecting Lohan or Jackson parent went ‘poof’.
My only consolation is that Ebola ~ never one to mince words ~ would have been canned the second he heard about JarJar Binks anyway, so it’s not like it would have been a long term thing.
So the subject of Rand Paul being the “front runner” for the distant 2016 GOP nomination came up today. I was asked why I wouldn’t vote for Rand Paul, even were he the GOP nominee. So let me explain my position:
Paul did what was right in the Senate concerning basic civil liberties protected under the Constitution. I respect him for it and supported him on it. Hell, I even watched the thing all day. The right continually bashes the left for voting for a man full of ideas that are not beneficial for the country. I don’t disagree with them. However, that is entirely hypocritical concerning Rand Paul and the Right’s current hardon for his doing the right thing on civil liberties with his filibuster. Simply put, one action does not make up for a laundry list of bad ideas. (That aside, McCain and little girl Graham can fuck themselves, I hope they lose their seats.)
The conservatives, many of my friends among them and myself, had a cardiac concerning the nomination of Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Why? Primarily due to his stand on Iran…which Rand Paul shares saying, “Our national security is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon.” So, everyone up in arms about Iran, but currently attempting to rub one out at the thought of a Paul Presidency? He’s his father with better PR on the matter. When one looks at his statements on Iran, he plays the card of being staunchly against the regime while at the same time being quietly fine with their having a nuclear weapon. In fact he put forward an amendment that stated the US would not enter into war with Iran, with the most inane reasoning ever. I love in the video he mentions that we’ve contained North Korea, but his own vague planning looks to remove the very troops that provide that containment.
Which brings us to an even scarier father/son passage of ideologies. Paul’s very own “Platform to Revitalize America” argues that the military should be downsized (page 28) through attrition and our presence overseas in our allied bases with the following, “The ability to utilize our immense air and sea power, to be anywhere in the world in a relatively short amount of time, no longer justifies our expanded presence on the ground throughout the world.” Which is the most self-contradictory bullshit in history or shows such an amazing ignorance of how we project power as to make Biden look a military genius. Our logistical structure, dependent on both our allies and our overseas bases, is the reason we *have* the capability to project a forward conventional force in a rapid method. Removing it means you no long have the ability to project and have completely lost the singular major asset the US holds against every conventional and unconventional force on the planet. But no, just like daddy, Rand will happily hand that away. However, it will again be through a more muted fashion than his father’s outright declaration of issuing an executive order to return all deployed and troops stationed over-seas back stateside.
If you remember back to Georgia conflict, Paul went against Rubio’s attempt to get Georgia speedily into NATO.
On the foreign policy front, Rand Paul *is* his father with a nice facade. His father and he alike learned the lessons of the last few Presidential bids.
In the same aforementioned document, he makes the same more guarded arguments his father has made against the fed and the institution of a flat-tax. A number of these ideas many conservatives can at least to some degree agree with. The point remains, it is the exact same thing his father has been saying for years with far better packaging and no nasty history to deal with. The Salon piece, I hate to say, probably expressed this best: “Until a few months ago, that is, Rand Paul sounded just like Ron Paul. Yet where Rand formerly avowed his agreement with his father on most issues, today he emphasizes their differences. It is a tinge of opportunism that has infuriated some early supporters, who feel he solicited their money and endorsements and then sold them out to smooth his way into the Senate. On the website of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, for instance, where the true libertarian faith is upheld, one downcast Paul fan expressed deep frustration over his support of Gitmo and military tribunals: –What good is it to win if you don’t stand for anything? This is very disappointing. Rand Paul deceived his supporters, and took money from them without telling them about his fundamental ideological differences with his more principled and honest father.–”
I could go further, but I’ll leave it at this for the moment: I will not vote for Paul, or by proxy, his son. I see little difference between the two than a more aesthetically pleasing packaging. Doing the right thing does not excuse your beliefs in other areas as a President.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg takes pointed questions from gun control detractors in Teaneck
Sen. Loretta Weinberg laid out the state legislature’s agenda for gun control at the Ethical Cultural Society of Bergen County Tuesday, asking for help from supporters and and taking pointed questions from detractors.
There are more than 20 gun control bills under consideration in the state legislature in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Their aim isn’t to take guns away, Weinberg said, but to regulate them given their ability to kill or injure people. Most of the legislation calls for more stringent training and licensing.
While opponents to any limited on Second Amendment rights are always vocal, Weinberg said two provisions should have broad support:
Banning anyone on the federal no-fly list from buying a gun, and requiring basic safety training for anyone buying a gun.
Oh, yeah. The FNFL has been a WEALTH source of accurate information since its inception.
I’d lay all my eggs in THAT basket.
ths note: There’s wealth of info in the comments, like links to gunshops like “The Bullet Hole”, which are associated with the NJ Second Amendment Society, comments from folks who were actually at old Loretta’s townhall (“I give Miss Weinberg credit for admitting that she has never used a gun and has probably never held one.” YEAH. THAT’S who’s legislating AWAY YOUR RIGHTS…) and some pretty pithy observations that go straight to the heart of all the Ban-Bunnies’ arguments:
Ironically, Adam Lanza had gun training and gun safety. What he didn’t have was a nut house to reside in. His gun training didn’t prevent his murders, a nut house would have.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — President Obama received a less than warm welcome and a warning upon arrival at the airport here on the second stop of his Iowa visit, which was aimed at recapturing some of the magic the state gave his run to the White House in 2008.
Greeting Air Force One as it touched down under sunny skies and sultry heat was a hand-painted banner draped across the top of an airplane hangar that reads, “Obama Welcome to SUX – We Did Build This.” “SUX” is the airport code for Sioux City.
FAU student threatens to kill professor and classmates
Associate Professor Stephen M. Kajiura was reviewing with his evolution class in GS 120 for a midterm when FAU student Jonatha Carr interrupted him: “How does evolution kill black people?” she asked. Kajiura attempted to explain that evolution doesn’t kill anyone.
Why is violence against women worse than violence against men?
As Ebola queried when he put this link up originally, can you IMAGINE what would have happened to the young (white, mind you) lad the woman in the video physically assaults during her unabated rampage through the class? She’s in his face over the desktop and winds up clocking him.
What if he’d shut her down and defended himself (possibly even restrained her until authorities arrived), as ~ in a normal society ~ he had every right to do? Would he have come out on the losing end?
I hope he presses charges, because there’s a damn fine chance Florida Atlantic will wash their hands quickly of this and she’ll be free to do it all over again, empowered by the experience. (Maybe next time with a weapon. I mean, a pen can go through someone’s skull just as easily as that hand of hers hit it.)
Yeah. Revolting organization with terrorist ties endorses tinfoil hat whackjob from Planet Ronulus who wants Imadinnerjacket to have the bomb, besides blaming America for everything since the War of the Roses.
Here’s a concept children: don’t vote for the old fraud.
[ths notes: this is unabridged/unedited (other than making the links live) for your comsumption and discussion, as sweet child, in an online fight-to-the-death with peer-group Ronulans, sent this along just as major dad and I were heading out for the morning. We haven’t had a chance to it its proper due. Oh, we DO love this wonderous kid of ours, who actually takes time to research and “think”.]
As much as I want to harp on multiple points outside of Foreign Policy, I’ll stick directly to what he’s actually said repeatedly strictly concerning foreign policy. I will analyze the initial individual policy and its subsequent impacts on (A) foreign relations/diplomacy, (B) trade, (C) logistics of military operations, (D) military operations and the continued ability towage force projected kinetic conventional and unconventional warfare in foreign and domestic defense of the United States, its territories, allies and assets.I will also investigate the historical fallaciousness Doctor Paul uses to legitimize his foreign policy decisions (ETC).
Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy thesis points:
I) Remove ALL troops from overseas. See also concerning historical accuracy of the overseas bases being the sole catalyst for Muslim terror operations.
III) (cont.) “If anybody dared touch us we could wipe any country off of theface of the earth within hours. And here we are, so intimidated and so insecure and we’re acting like such bullies that we have to attack third-world nations that have no military and have no weapon.”
IV) Illegality of conflicts outside of declared war hither to Constitutionality and his record on voting concerning “Unconstitutional” conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
REF: Here|| Attn: Sept 14, 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, AKA PUBLIC LAW 107–40 which passed Congress as a whole Sept 18th, 2001.
I) Doctor Paul has repeatedly said his first order of business in office, through executive powers will be to recall all troops from overseas. Closing all bases and additional quotes:
(I-a) “All those troops would spend their money here at home. And besides those troops overseas aggravate our enemies, motivate our enemies. I think it’s adanger to our national defense and we can save a lot of money cutting out the military expenditures that contribute nothing to our defense.” Here
(I-b) “..We have 12,000 diplomats, I’m suggesting that maybe we ought to use some of them. But just think of how we prevented a nuclear war with the Soviets when the Soviet missiles were put in Cuba. We didn’t say we’re going to attack you, Kennedy and Khrushchev talked and they made a deal: “You take your weapons out of Cuba, we’ll take them out of Turkey”. That’s the kind of talk that I want. I think the greatest danger now is for us to overreact, and this is what I’m fearful of. Iran doesn’t have a bomb, there’s no proof, there’s no new information, regardless of this recent report. And for us to overreact and talk about bombing Iran, that’s much more dangerous. We got the Libyans to get rid of their nuclear power and their nuclear weapons, and look at what happened to them. So we got to understand that…” Here
These two statements show both a complete misunderstanding of history, economics, as well as strategic and tactical asset with their combined logistics.
Foreign relations/Diplomacy: The US currently has military accords and agreements with an amazing assortment of countries to the point that we do not have the space to list them so I’ll use specific examples and broaden as our discourse continues.
Imagine, if you will, that the US abruptly within 90 days of an executive order(the necessary time before Congress can act, provided it is issued properly) severs all military alliances, accords and agreements with its allies and trade/military partners as Ron Paul has repeatedly announced he will do. 12,000 diplomats do no good if the US breaks its word to hundreds of countries, never mind all at once. The impact here should be blatantly obvious, but I’ll illuminate further on it shortly.
Trade: With the dissipation of Status of Forces agreements with key regional allies, for this example we will use South Korea, Japan, Australia and European Union member states. Our trade with South Korea alone is projected at $10.1b for FY2010 additional GDP for the US, so let us assume thisis the mean amount for these four adding to a grand total of $40.4b additional GDP for the US. Far below the reality though enough to make a point for this argument. We can assume that there will be immediate non-military repercussions from our allies for failing to uphold our end of the bargain. There is no way to guestimate, but it would be irrational not to think that our once-allies would react quickly where trade is concerned and cut ties as well as free trade agreements as there would be little other way to react. However, even were they to maintain some semblance of the trade status quo, we haven’t accounted for the repercussions of removing our ability to protect trade militarily.
Logistics of Military Operations: This portion needs to be said in order to understand the direct impact on US military capability to project and conduct kinetic operations (blow shit up, bang bang, I realize a lot of people don’t get this term as it has recently popped up to more politely explain we’re killing people directly with conventional weapons).
The US military is limited by its logistic resupply capability, meaning that we are essentially dependent on hundreds of camps, stations, air fields, ports and War Reserve Stocks(WRS) around the world in order to project deadly force. By this I mean that in order to conduct effective missions against both insurgent activity and conventional forces (IE China, Russia). We do not have any platform, short of thermonuclear tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that can strike targets reliably,much less in mass, without refueling and rearmament necessity not to mention forward operating maintenance. With a 90day limit before Congress can intervene concerning “President” Paul’s issued executive order the military will lose the majority of its assets in any local theater of operations. This is at the cost of trillions $US as the military will be forced to abandon gear on short notice and transport hundreds of thousands of troops through civilian means as military transport assets will bealmost assuredly locked up in transporting equipment rather than key personnel.
Military Operations: Assume now that the military is now inside of the Continental United States (CONUS). Our only military assets abroad are now strictly submarines, which we’ll cover later. We’ve established that short of ICBMs we’ve no way of responding militarily to any threat to ourselves outside of CONUS and its surrounding waters. More importantly we have no way to defend our allies in strategically important theaters of war.
Within five years, rest assured that South Korea will be annihilated by North Korea backed by China/Russia. We will likely also lose Taiwan and Japan to China within five years of the last US boot leaving foreign soil in the region.Chinese predation through the region, already increasing (I-c: below) as our military capabilities diminish under the current administration in the region, will continue to increase throughout the South Pacific. Given the event of conflict with China we can assume the loss of ALL trade from the West due to the ease of Chinese or even Russian interdiction on trade routes. We won’t be able to stop them concerning this as we’ll have absolutely no method of projecting firepower with our logistical supply line being non-existent past the Aleutian Straits in the North Pacific (NORPAC), the Hawaiian Islands in the Central Pacific with the South Pacific belonging almost uncontested to whoever wished to claim it. Guam as well as our other South Asian island chain territories will be cut off with absolutely no effort on the part of enemy conventional forces.
As for Europe keep in mind the Georgian–Ossetian conflict of 2008. Also recall that the EU’s military forces are almost solely dependent on the US for mass transport and “rapid” response to conflicts as well as the fact that Europe is almost completely dependent upon Russia for natural fuels. Now, the Georgian conflict came to a rapid conclusion because the Russians were flexing their muscle but we responded by rounding up military assets. Without US presence in the region do you seriously think for a second that Russia, especially given its current socio-economic issues, would hesitate for a moment to make a power grab against a neutered Western Europe?
Finally our lack of military assets concerning non-conventional forces: Ignore the early concept of direct conventional power grabs by Russia, China or anyother would-be world power in this rapid power paradigm shift thanks to Ron Pauls’ policy of military isolationism. Piracy, as evidenced with the increased last few years of piracy along the Somali coast, is already on the rise. Currently it is requiring a coalition force to even limit its already considerable effect. With our military essentially landlocked for all pertinent purposes we will no longer be able to stop nonconventional predation on US trade fleets, something that hasn’t happened since a decade after this great nation’s inception to the world stage. That means that “indigenous insurgent” Somalitype forces could feed on our tradeships along with essentially state sponsored profiteering of larger states. This alone, ignoring a direct military move against the US, would cripple the economy beyond repair in short order.
Further REF for Section I:
Fallacies and Word Play: Doctor Paul has made a number of unfortunate remarks to back his isolating the US and hamstringing the effectivenessof the Armed Services.
“All those troops would spend their money here at home. And besides those troops overseas aggravate our enemies, motivate our enemies. I think it’s adanger to our national defense and we can save a lot of money cutting out themilitary expenditures that contribute nothing to our defense.”
While no one would argue that if we could magically transport all our gear, goods and personnel back to CONUS in all brand new or revitalized bases to house said assets it would save money …the undertaking of such an effort IRL would be so costly even in a surplus economy that it would nearly be economically unfeasible. His assertion that the troops would be home spending money isn’t incorrect as much as it purposely ignores that the vast majority ofthose troops would be discharged due to the lack of housing these Brigades, Wings,etc. The amount of money required to revitalize and expand current bases, purchase old bases and revitalize them as well as build new bases to house the amountof troops, supplies, ordinance and tactical assets makes maintaining the current military numbers completely infeasible. That is even ignoring the costof bringing them home instead of the far lesser annual cost of maintaining existing offshore assets. This means that Paul is suggesting adding hundreds of thousands of veterans to an already dismal jobs market, raising unemployed numbers and likely costing more as troops cash in on their Post-9/11 and Montgomery GI bills in order to keep themselves and their families fed for at least a short while. There could not be worse doublespeak or economic naiveté than this statement displays. It’s all pretty until you actually start realizing the legitimate numbers involved. If you’d like I can easily do some gross estimates backed by current statistics.
As for a danger to our national defense, I think just the initial A-D of Section I readily displays what the true danger to national defense is: This policy.
Next: “..We have 12,000 diplomats, I’m suggesting that maybe we ought to use some of them. But just think of how we prevented a nuclear war with the Soviets when the Soviet missiles were put in Cuba. We didn’t say we’re going to attack you, Kennedy and Khrushchev talked and they made a deal: “You take your weapons out of Cuba, we’ll take them out of Turkey”. That’s the kind of talk that I want. I think the greatest danger now is for us to overreact, and this is what I’m fearful of. Iran doesn’t have a bomb, there’s no proof, there’s no new information, regardless of this recent report. And for us to overreact and talkabout bombing Iran, that’s much more dangerous. We got the Libyans to get rid of their nuclear power and their nuclear weapons, and look at what happened tothem. So we got to understand that…”
While I realize the first sentence of this statement can be attributed to hyperbole I find it morally repugnant coming from the “Moral Choice.” As for the Cuban Missile Crisis portion of the statement, I can’t get over how idiotic it is. We prevented nuclear war not through removing all military presence. President Kennedy activated the Air Force in such a way that an eighth or more of our strategic nuclear bombers were in the air at all times. He blockaded Cuba to keep further Russian assets from reaching Cuba and aiding in the rapid completion of the launch sites. Please explain where all of this is a slackening in strength? So, after this increase in responsive posture and DISPLAY of military might, Khrushchev calls Kennedy and backs down. It wasn’t Kennedy removing military armament. Actually, it should be noted that the government actually OFFERED to remove existing armaments in Turkey. That didn’t aid in the negotiations, in fact nothing but an aggressive posture did.
For a man that rides on both his military service and his supposed dedicated “veteran” following I, nor 99% of my active duty brethren I’ve spoken to on the subject, have never met, this is a large flaw.