Nel's New Day

October 22, 2017

Generals, ‘Adults in the Room,’ Go to War

Filed under: War — trp2011 @ 7:33 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Generals! Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) loves them. Since his inauguration, he’s fired lots of people–James Comey, Sean Spicer, Anthony Saramucci, Reince Priebus, Sebastian Gorka, and even his beloved Keith Schiller. But the generals have stayed. DDT campaigned on opposition to a big military presence abroad, but now he’s handed over his entire foreign policy to them and the Pentagon unless he’s trying to undo something like the Iran or Paris agreement.

Who are DDT’s generals?

Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Secretary of Defense, once said about the Taliban, “It’s quite fun to shoot them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.” He also told soldiers in Iraq, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Mattis defended himself after bombing a wedding party by saying, “How many people go to the middle of the desert… to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization?” He was “retired” from his command five months early when he wanted to take out an Iranian oil refinery that would have set off another war. Mattis promoted John Kelly to brigadier general in Iraq, but Kelly never fought in Afghanistan.

DDT has given Mattis unprecedented authority to set troop levels and launch airstrikes around the world—and Congress doesn’t stop DDT.

Gen. H.R. McMaster, now national security adviser, “liberated” Tal Afar (Iraq) only to have it overcome by sectarian violence a year later and one of the first Iraqi cities that ISIS took. He considers the war in the Middle East “generational” (aka unending). He’s willing to start a “preventive” war against North Korea, just as George W. Bush against Iraq.

Gen. John Kelly was seen as a force for good when he became chief of staff, restraining much of DDT’s impulsivity except for his offensive tweets—until the past week when he decided to defend his boss with a collection of lies and smears. After DDT faced criticism for his offensive remarks to the widow of fallen Sgt. La David Johnson in Niger, Kelly came to a press conference to give his side. It wasn’t pretty, especially when he called a black U.S. representative from Florida, Frederica Wilson, an empty barrel—insinuating that she was too loud and too stupid to have a role in the government.

Even worse, Kelly blatantly lied about his experience with Wilson at the dedication of a new FBI field office in Miami. He claimed that she bragged about getting the funding at the ceremony, but the building was funded before she was elected. Kelly’s speech was wrong about a fallen FBI agents’ name and his length of service, and he quoted the price of the building at $20 million instead of its cost of $194 million. A video of the event shows Wilson talking about getting the building named for two killed FBI agents and gave credit to two Republican members of Congress for their participation.  She also asked law-enforcement officials to stand so “we can applaud you and what you do” before she said,

Kelly said that he was “stunned” and “heart-broken” that the “empty barrel” would listen in on a “sacred” conversation between the president and the widow. Wilson was with Myeishia Johnson because she is a family friend, and Kelly obviously heard the conversation because he knew what was said. Like DDT who failed to use the name of Johnson’s widow, Kelly never named Rep. Wilson while he was sneering at her.

In his speech, Kelly attacked Gold Family Khizr and Ghazala Khan for appearing at the Democratic convention. Yet he ignored DDT’s attacks on that Gold Family and DDT’s comment about Sen. John McCain that he “prefers people who aren’t captured.” Kelly lamented that people no longer “honor” women while defending a sexual predatory. His anger about politicizing the war dead ignored DDT’s initiation of the political involvement of the subject after a simple question about the mission itself.

Presented with the truth about Kelly’s false statements about Wilson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that people should not disagree with a “four-star Marine general.”

Kelly’s background:

  • While in charge of the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility, he undermined President Obama’s attempts to close the facility.
  • He opposed and publicly criticized the integration of women into military ground combat units, arguing it would lead to lower standards.
  • He defended “enhanced interrogation techniques” (aka torture) such as waterboarding and rectal feeding and dismissed the criticisms of human rights groups as “foolishness.”
  • He testified in support of an officer caught urinating on Talibani corpses.
  • He supports the imprisonment of terror suspects without trial.
  • He supports the war on drugs and opposes legalization or decriminalization of any drugs, including marijuana.
  • Kelly says that the military men and women are the best one percent that this nation produces.
  • While head of the Department of Homeland Security, he ordered immigration officials to portray undocumented immigrants swept up in mass raids as criminals to support the claims of raids motivated by public safety concerns.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is supporting DDT’s three hawks in declaring war in Niger. He explained that counterterrorism will move to “status-based targeting,” meaning that “lethal force” can be used even if “they don’t have to present an immediate threat.” Decision-making will also be done in the field instead of the White House, according to Graham. Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plan a public hearing the evening of October 30 to gin up people in the U.S. for DDT’s war.

As in the war on Iraq, the reason may be “follow the oil.” In late 2016, the discovery of large crude oil deposits in Niger led to an interest building a pipeline to send the oil to Nigeria and then export it. The oil in Nigeria is owned by Western corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron with Shell providing a private militia of over 1,200 soldiers. After the destruction of Libya, Nigeria became the top oil-producing African country, supplying one-fifth of the U.S. needs. Although one reason for putting Niger on the travel ban was the terrorist group, Boko Haram, it is mostly confined to Nigeria and Cameroon with a small part in southeastern Niger–not in Chad. Nigeria’s local government officials tend to support the Boko Haram.

DDT has a double reason for a war: he can take over the oil production, and he might decrease his disapproval rating, growing every week. Attacking North Korea and/or Iran would be dangerous because they would fight back. Niger has a corrupt leader, and the people are extremely poor with an annual $415 income. DDT is already getting ready for war by signing an executive order to drastically expand his ability to call back any retired service members to service. The Air Force is recalling at least 1,000 retired pilots per year to active duty.

The movement toward war was set into action on September 24 when DDT put Chad onto his travel ban for harboring terrorists although it was fighting them. By the beginning of October, Chad began pulling out its 2,000 well-trained forces out of Niger. On October 4, an under-armed U.S. military force with no air cover was sent into an ambush. Four people died, and DDT plans to declare war.

On her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow drew lines between these recent events—not as a causal conspiracy theory but with attention to the timing of what has happened. Critics from both sides of the political spectra criticized her, one person saying that Chad was fighting Boko Hiram and not ISIS. Fox network complained about the media “putting in their own theories.” Yet both groups are tangentially linked. Maddows’ two show segments on the issue are here.

DDT loves power, and he gets it from being “commander in chief.” Last month he called for a Fourth of July parade filled with military hardware to show the nation’s “military might” to “top” the one he saw in France on Bastille Day.

The three generals in traditionally civilian positions want war and secrecy, and they achieve their goal by creating a massive fear of foreign terrorism. They control the military and the war policy, making sure that DDT follows their orders to increase the defense expenditures at the cost of people in the United States. DDT the bully finds his generals “sacred” and thinks that the war will make him more popular the way it seemed to do for George W. Bush—briefly. The United States, run by “adults” and permanently at war.

As DDT’s distraction of smearing Wilson in his tweets—the most recent one today—continues, watch for the saber-rattling of his generals and GOP congressional hawks.

October 21, 2017

DDT: Week Thirty-nine – Lack of Character

Today ends National Character Week. A resolution from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) included the statement that “The … integrity of our people … defines the soul of our Nation.” DDT began the week with a collection of lies and character assassinations in covering for the loss of four soldiers in the disastrous operation in Niger. Asked about the background for the deaths, DDT made the despicable statement that Barack Obama and “most” other presidents don’t both to call families of U.S. soldiers killed in the line of duty and then lied when he said he called every family. Since then, the White House frantically sent  letters.

Criticized for telling the widow that her husband “must’ve known what he signed up for,” DDT lied about having made that statement despite witnesses. DDT then politicized the situation by exploiting Chief of Staff John Kelly’s having lost his son in combat in 2010, despite Kelly’s past refusal to talk about his son. Reporters asked about the missing $25,000 that he has promised some families but not others with little satisfaction.

Other questions were left unanswered such as why the mission was considered safe but failed so miserably and why the body of Sgt. La David Johnson was left behind for two days and discovered by Nigerian troops a mile away from the ambush. No one satisfactorily answered the question about DDT putting Chad on the travel ban, an act that may have caused the mission’s failure because well-trained Chad soldiers left Niger. Fighting between Chad’s armed forces and Boko Haram dates back to 2015. During the peak of the conflict Chad stationed 2,000 troops in Niger to counter the militant group.  Another question about Niger is whether U.S. troops pursued ISIS members across the Mali border without approval.

The lack of integrity and “character” continued when Chief of Staff John Kelly lied in defense of DDT and smeared Rep. Frederica Wilson about her comments at the dedication of a new FBI building in Miramar (FL).

DDT’s leadership failures since his inauguration started with his authorization of a late January mission in Yemen where Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens died and refuses to take responsibility for his actions. This week, he defined his presidency by saying about other failures, “And I’m not going to blame myself.” DDT blames the GOP Congress, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Jeff Sessions, John McCain, Bob Corker, the press, and a host of others. That is DDT’s “character.”

Phil Mudd, former Deputy Director of the CIA’s CounterTerrorist Center and the FBI’s National Security Branch, talked about DDT’s claiming himself the victim, beginning with the day after his inauguration when DDT stood before stars for intelligence officers killed in the line of duty and talked about the size of his inauguration crowd. “Nine months later,” Mudd said, “this guy has the empathy of a cockroach.” San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovitch said, “This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others.”

When the Benghazi victims came home (left) and when the Niger victims arrived (right).

DDT is bragging about the capture of Raqqa from ISIS, but the militants have dispersed without being crushed just as the Taliban and al Qaeda were 16 years ago. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi left with his fighters to set up control elsewhere. ISIS affiliates remain active in Libya, Mali, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Terrorists took control after 2001 because of bad leadership; the same thing can happen again.

DDT’s week has a number of other failures:

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that DDT can’t revoke a network’s license based on content, as he threatened.

DDT lacks proof that Iran is dealing with North Korea; he plans to “instruct” his intelligence agencies to go back to find the evidence that he wants.

The IRS plans to enforce the healthcare act by fining people without insurance, despite DDT’s false declaration that “Obamacare is dead.” The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, but DDT claimed,“‘Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore.” Perhaps he would like to call the current healthcare, suffering because he has badly sabotaged it, “Trumpcare.” Whatever healthcare is called, DDT’s “tweaks” is creating more uninsured: the percentage of uninsured U.S. adults has steadily grown since DDT’s inauguration to 12.3 percent, up 1.4 points since the end of 2016 and the highest recorded since the last quarter of 2014.

The CIA corrected DDT’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s lies about how the intelligence community determined that “Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” A CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani said the CIA concluded that Russia tried to influence the presidential election but they didn’t know whether it was successful. (Rumors suggest that Pompeo could become Secretary of State if Rex Tillerson were to quit.)

DDT’s nominee for drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), withdrew again after Washington Post and 60 Minutes reported about Marino’s championing a bill protecting pharmaceutical companies that flood the country with opioids. The law weakened DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies supplying doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. Marino, who received big contributions from the drug industry, had withdrawn from the nomination on May 4 until he was re-offered the job on September 2.

Summer Zervos, who accused DDT of sexual harassment, has subpoenaed all documents from his presidential campaign about sexual harassment and assault allegations to show how DDT tried to discredit her and the other accusers. DDT’s lawyers maintain that a president cannot be sued.

Seventeen states are suing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos because the her refusal to punish predatory career programs “leaves students vulnerable to exploitation and fraud.” DeVos overturned rules, repeatedly upheld by courts despite legal challenges by the for-profit college industry, that cut off federal financial aid funding to career college programs providing only low salaries for students with heavy debt. She is also being sued for rolling back the regulation allowing students to apply for loan forgiveness if they were defrauded by for-profit colleges and for her tougher standard of evidence in campus sexual assault cases.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii has blocked DDT’s third travel ban because it failed to show nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk. Maryland is also blocking the ban to people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen; the restrictions against North Korea and Venezuela remain because they were not part of the lawsuit.

Seattle and Portland (OR) can continue suing DDT for removing federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities despite DDT’s attempt to dismiss their lawsuit DDT is defending an almost identical lawsuit in a federal court in California.

Anti-pipeline protesters charged with felonies may use the “necessity” defense of confronting climate change as justification in court. They can call scientists as witnesses and give evidence of harms as justification to protect people for their violations of the law.

DDT’s pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio rules out punishment, but he keeps his criminal record, according to U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton.

Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) attempt to stabilize the healthcare market after DDT’s sabotage has faced six different positions from DDT. Two weeks ago, DDT asked Alexander for the deal, and the White House participated in the compromise. Within a day, DDT was against, for, against, for, and finally against the bipartisan agreement that attempts to undo the damage from DDT on the healthcare system. The goal of the bill is to reduce the inflated rates for policy premiums planned after DDT withdrew any subsidy payments to insurance companies.

Two former presidents—Barack Obama and George W. Bush—gave speeches last week about bigotry, divisiveness, partisan conflicts, “conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Bush attacked “nationalism distorted into nativism” and said the nation has “forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America.” President Obama said, “You can’t govern people if you win by dividing them.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that references about politicians sowing anger and division did not apply to DDT because President Obama and W. didn’t use his name.

DDT broke into his incessant tweets against black athletes with one accusing his FBI of treason: “Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?” His explanation for his tweets, including today’s continuation of “Crooked Hillary,” is that “you have to keep people interested.”

A Gallup poll shows that economic confidence dropped from 16 in March—two months after DDT’s inauguration—to a minus one, a drop of 17 points.

DDT’s defense of his disrespect in the Niger situation and Kelly’s smearing of a black female member of Congress shiny media pennies to distract people from the rapid movement of a budget through Congress that destroys the social welfare net—including Medicaid and Medicare—while adding $1.5 trillion to the debt. Republicans brag about how this legislation leads to massive tax cuts for large corporations and the wealthiest people in the nation. Always look under distractions—such as black athletes or a black congresswoman—to find the GOP’s frightening actions.

Craziest thing of the week? Donald Trump, Jr. posted this fake Time cover of his father despite the magazine’s demand that DDT stop putting out fake Time covers of him.

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily 60 Second News

Transformational News; What Works For Seven Future Generations Without Causing Harm?

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Central Oregon Coast NOW

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW)

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: