In the comments on this post, WE WIN? LOOKS LIKE WE DID, a couple of issues came up that I will address here.
Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul Did Not Like The Briefing. So?
What is the issue here? Well, this story puts things in perspective, Mike Lee: Soleimani Strike a ‘Big Victory’ for Safety of American People (breitbart.com). Senator Rand Paul, of course, is dead set against war, Rand Paul: ‘You’d Have to Be Brain-Dead’ to Believe Killing Soleimani will Bring Iran to Negotiating Table (nationalreview.com).
So why didn’t Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul like the briefing they got from the Trump administration on the drone killing of Qasem Soleimani?
- Mike Lee Slams ‘Un-American’ Iran Intel Briefing, Calls on Congress To Rein In Administration (nationalreview.com)
- GOP’s Mike Lee and Rand Paul rebuke Trump administration for “worst military briefing” ever on Iran (salon.com)
- Rand Paul, Mike Lee rip administration over ‘insulting and demeaning’ Iran briefing (thehill.com)
Were Lee and Paul saying that the Trump administration should not have killed Qasem Soleimani? Not really. Look at what those two are complaining about. They wanted to debate the briefers about where the president’s war powers end and Congress’ begin. That is, Lee wanted to know how the Trump’s administration would respond if Iran did this or that. They also, Lee in particular, wanted more access to the intelligence.
Lee and Paul want more Congressional control with respect to when America goes to war. Were the briefers the appropriate people to debate congressmen about the separation of powers between the President and Congress? Nope.
Our Constitution says the President makes war, and Congress declares war. If Congress is unhappy with the President making war, Congress can defund his warfare and impeach him if they are really unhappy.
What about the material included in the briefing. Vice President Mike Pence came out and said that giving Congress more information could compromise sources and methods, Pence defends withholding Soleimani intel amid Lee, Paul criticism (thehill.com). Why? Doesn’t everyone know Congress cannot be trusted to keep a secret?
Did President Barack Obama Fund Iranian Terrorism?
Yes. To suggest otherwise is actually silly, but the crony capitalist news media is playing its usual word games. See Media ‘Fact-Checks’ Trump’s Claim That Obama Sent Iran Money, Gets Facts Wrong (dailywire.com).
Here are some articles that describe how the Obama administration sent money to Iran.
- Nuclear Deal Sends $150 Billion to Iran-Mostly Truth! (truthorfiction.com)
- Lawmakers alarmed over Iranian nuclear windfall (usatoday.com)
- Major beneficiaries of the Iran deal: The IRGC and Hezbollah (brookings.edu)
- Iran’s $300 Billion Shakedown (foreignpolicy.com)
What about that cargo plane full of money? Well, Google seems to have buried that one. So I had to use bing.com.
- Fact-check: Handel claims Obama flew $2 billion to Iran, admitted it is being used to fund terrorism (politifact.com)
- Confirmed: Obama’s $1.7B Tribute to Iran Was Paid in Cash to Circumvent Sanctions (breitbart.com)
- Obama-era cash traced to Iran-backed terrorists (washingtontimes.com)
- US sent plane with $400 million in cash to Iran (cnn.com)
- Iran May Have Received as Much as $33.6 Billion in Cash, Gold Payments From U.S. (freebeacon.com)
How much money? That seems to be a bit hazy. Why pallets of cash? Why not just a bank transfer? Think about that.
Interesting statement you made about the USA, Russia, Iran, etc. etc.
“We are fighting with each other over nostalgic mirages and utopian dreams while the alligators smile reptilian smiles and the whisper of chomp, chomp, chomp slowly gets louder and louder.”
As a former serviceman, perhaps you might give me your personal opinion. If you were in active service right now, which political leader would you choose. Trump, Obama, Clinton or Bush Jr in a presidential role as your commander in chief?
And would it be a reasonable question to ask as long as we (USA politicians, Trump lovers or haters) are fighting verbally with each other to surmise if what we are fighting over is the cause of Trumps actions directing the armed forces based on his three years in office.
Or perhaps loser politicians and news media are constantly fighting over their lost nostalgic mirages and utopian dreams that never materialized in the 18 years they were in power?
I seem to remember Bush Jr ordering USA troops to drive vehicles without any roadside bomb protection. And send 14O thousand USA troops to walk around in hostile areas being targets of terrorists snipers and people who willingly blew themselves up because they believe if they kill an infidel they would be rewarded in paradise
I seem to remember Obama reducing the military budget that resulted in Army maintenance personnel robbing parts from broken down planes because of budget constraints..
I seem to remember Clinton and Obama not sending USA troops to defend our Embassy being attacked.
I seem to remember captured US sailors kneeling down while Iranians pointed guns at them.
Perhaps I’m too nostalgic?
Regards and goodwill blogging.
I served under several of those presidents, but the one that I thought was the best statesman and military commander of the modern era was actually President George HW Bush . . . . but maybe I’m just being nostalgic too.
I agree that he knew better than to believe that usa troops could change the mid east tribal and religious culture and did not make the mistake his son made.
Frankly, the reason might have been that he actually experienced being in the service during a war.
Regards and goodwill blogging .
Here’s and interesting question to ponder I was reflecting upon the other day… what presidents, present or past, killed another human being at their own hand? If we presume having used a weapon we should include killing by airplane (perhaps H.W. Bush on a strafing or bombing run) or by some other conveyance (Kennedy’s PT boat torpedoing another ship). I am unsure if Gen. Grant killed anyone.. Lincoln in the Illinois Blackhawk Indian War? Can we actually determine if Washington killed anyone? Did Teddy in the Spanish American War?
Hmm.. interesting… try this…
I’m not understanding what having the actual experience of killing someone could or should be a qualification or consideration, or a prerequisite for a President.
Granted, in history many leaders gained status by engaging and winning wars or battles.
In my eyes, I prefer to esteem someone as a leader who has experience preventing wars. For example, during King Solomon’s 40-year reign Israel was at peace the entire time. He promoted trading with his neighbors as an incentive to remain at peace and prevent wars.
Seems Trump is using trade agreements as incentives for similar reasons?
Are you implying our leaders need to obtain experience killing someone in our contemporary times to gain status in the eyes of voters?
If so, I have seen a number of photos of Hillary Clinton giving Trump deadly stares during their debates. Does that qualify for a woman President?
Regards and goodwill blogging
Well, I wasn’t suggesting any “presidential requirement”… but rather an off-the-cuff observation. But yes… if you have killed another human being up front and personal, either out of anger, defense, or military obligation, it can affect and possibly filter any decision having to be made while president. When a person kills from 30,000 feet or in a drone trailer from 10,000 miles away.. some folks find that distance palatable, others do not. But when you take a life face-to-face… the parameters can very very different.
General Grant led troops in battle, bloody battles. Because the South had good generals, Grant had to win the war by paying for each victory in blood. His losses were horrific, but he “won”. His victories were not pyrrhic victories because in the calculus of the day his losses were “sustainable” (Don’t greenies love that word?).
My point? Every military commander, even if he never pulls the trigger personally must shoulder responsibility for the dead, and commanders most likely shoulder responsibility for the dead that trouble us most, our own.
That might be your point.. to which I agree. But was not my point in my observation. It’s a big difference killing someone face-to-face than by proxy or physical distance.
Why you are killing someone probably matters more.
Depends on context. Seems to me “Thou shalt not kill.” (or some derivative currently being bantered about these days) should make a difference. But humans always find a way and a justification to kill each other. Here’s strictly my own perception of all this “authorized” killing.. and I am not a super religious fellow although I acknowledge religion.
There’s enough fear and guilt in the world as it is.. a lot of it is misguided religious conviction. But be that as it may, I do not like when our own government assigns fear toward single person as uses that as a motivation for support to kill them. I never liked the image of Obama, et al sitting around the situation room and watching Bin Laden being offed by the Seal Team. That pic should never have been made public. In fact… Bin Laden should never have been killed. I dislike that image of our country. Grab him, try him in the courts.. then lock him up forever to rot. But for a national cheering when he was killed is not America. We should never fear a single man like that.
Al Rewari should never have been droned. Make an effort to grab him or have CIA fabricate some sting to discredit him among his peers… send in a Seal Team.. whatever. Seems we prefer to justify killing… assassination… the people we fear rather than trying to bring them to justice. Drones make this easy now.
Trump killing Salami is the same thing. We could have offed this guy in any number of ways, or minimized his effect. This could have even been done low-profile. But to jump up and down in celebration over fearing another human being to the point we have to kill him is just not what America is about. You have some people supporting this because we are administering some kind of retribution for the deaths of a number of Americans. Is that who we are? There are those who support the idea that he was planning “imminent” attacks. Well.. now we are hip deep yet again trying to interpret a pile of Trumpian garbage to determine if he actually gave any thought about killing him beyond his own bias.
We didn’t have to off Noriega. We brought him here and he died in prison.
Honestly… nationally celebrating, hats & horns, taking political bows over killing another human being is a bit repulsive to me as an American. It implies that we feared someone so bad that it took precedent over bringing them to justice… or in the least not advertising the deed with a public harangue and photos. This has been done by any number of past presidents. That doesn’t make it right.
I think you have warfare mixed up with criminal justice. They killed the guy with a drone strike BECAUSE trying to arrest him would have gotten a bunch of people killed.
Iraq is not New York City. We don’t have 30,000 policemen there. We don’t even have 30,000 military troops there.
Uh huh. And what did we use before drones made it so easy? Point being, we chastise our soldiers who kill on a battlefield and “trophy” their kill in a photo… yet we celebrate a drone strike to the point of bragging about it… nationally.
Can we control whether people celebrate or how they celebrate?
Generally by not making a big issue about it and bragging about it and making further threats using it as some example.
Interesting how killing becomes easy to accept for those praising religion. But then again… the immoralities of Trump are widely accepted as well.
So, this is all about excuse to puff yourself up and look down upon others.
That guy Trump had killed was responsible for killing lots of people, he we caught him trying to kill more of our people. I have no regret he is dead. Because He made us in His image, God commands us to execute cold-blooded killers.
“God commands us to execute cold-blooded killers.”
That’s one reason I am not as religiously defined as I was once was when young. The justification and hypocrisy of it all. Not looking down at you for what you choose to believe.. as I certainly have no qualifications nor first hand knowledge of what happens when we die. But i read that and just shrug.. and think, that’s the reason the world is such a violent place. Islam has their own justification as well. As does the rest.
In other words, you have never examined the logic of the use of government force.
I at least know as much as you about it since we’ve both served. And if ordered to do so and I felt it was situationally legitimate I could have killed someone (and likely not get PTSD given I’ve been in other situations to know that). No question. I could do that even today to try and save the lives of others. But there’s ways the government can do it’s job.. the nasty parts… and limit the emphasis. For example… there was no reason to make such a big deal for Obama to meet Seal Team Six at the White House and make is a press event.. then all the nonsense afterwards about making a celebrity of the team member who pulled the trigger. Same goes for Trump celebrating his killing as a victory to make america great again. Nuts.
The problem with publicly lauding that Seal Team is that it got those men killed.
I’m not aware of that; don’t recall hearing anything about it. But.. yeah.. another drawback to doing a national “whoopee” when we kill someone.
Military victories can be costly, but losing is much worse. So people celebrate winning and not losing. Consider that article above.
If there is no reason to celebrate winning, there is no reason to make the effort. Of course, if you cannot stand Trump, then I suppose it is difficult to celebrate anything that looks like a win for him. However, if it is a win for our country, then we should celebrate no matter who is in charge.
One thing Trump can certainly be credited with… not having any semblance of a higher moral ground by which we can show the value of our American moral character and the success of our American democracy. His actions have done very well in fulfilling that American Exceptionalism; just go anywhere, do anything, kill anyone, and just try to stop us, mentality. You’ve probably long forgotten, it’s not so much the winning but rather how you play the game… or fought the battles, because the war you win will very likely lead to the next war… especially in the Middle East.
I’d not be too premature in celebrating Trump’s valiant defeat over a guy sitting in his car 30,000 feet below a robotic airplane with missiles that were fired from 10,000 miles away in a trailer. We haven’t heard from all the proxy groups yet. Seems even today some rockets landed on another military installation. Fortunately no casualties. But Iran’s piss-poor targeting and guidance technology isn’t going to be a reliable miss all the time.
When it comes to Trump I don’t see much reason to trust your judgment. TDS is what it is.
If H. Clinton had won, she would have gone on apology tours and fattened the Clinton Foundation with donations from foreign donors. That is, for the sake of money, she would have sold us out.
Trump seems doing an honorable job, and he is winning.
Thus, it seems the news media has taken an interest in Irag and Iran. I suppose that is progress of some sort. but the news media still enthralled to TDS. So it is a cinch their coverage is tainted with their own hatred of Donald Trump.
Could the next war be starting soon? As this post indicates, https://citizentom.com/2019/12/31/the-state-of-our-nations-social-fabric-in-2019-part-3/, the answer is yes. Will it be Trump’s fault? Doubt it.
You know.. the thought crosses my mind with all the recent reporting of the recent ballistic missile attacks from Iran landing on U.S. installations in Iraq. The interviews with soldiers who lived through the attacks are indicating their bunkers were not structures safe enough to withstand a ballistic missile attack.. and… they didn’t have defensive weapons to shoot them down.
1. My first mental thought was “WTF. We’ve been in Iraq nearly two decades and there’s no damn bunkers there for our soldiers to take refuge from the well-known weaponry in the region.. and there’s no air defense system??” What have we been doing there all this time?” Rather reminds me of the Humvee fiasco when the Pentagon couldn’t send armor-up kits early in the war. Off the top of my head.. the Pentagon couldn’t get a couple bulldozers in there to dig some holes and build some basic underground fortified structures as bomb shelters? They needn’t take a direct hit but certainly something could have been built to offer general protection rather than our troops relying on Saddam-era above ground cement blocks. Jeez.
2. The inability to keep our troops stationed at these Iraq installations any sort of safe from Iran missiles should have been paramount in the mind of a President making a decision to off the most popular guy in the Iranian military and not taking into consideration the very plausible possibility that Iran would strike back using munitions we were unable to defend ourselves from?
Don’t give me this crap that Trump “won” a damn thing. He’s an impulsive nitwit.
Trump has been president for three years. His goal is to get our troops out of Iraq, not to fortify the place.
Mr. Read My Lips. Yeah, even the first Bush had a nickname. Still, we missed him after Slick Willie took over.
“I seem to remember Obama reducing the military budget that resulted in Army maintenance personnel robbing parts from broken down planes because of budget constraints.”
Now I really am feeling nostalgic SW. I wish I could tell you how many parts I robbed under all the Presidents I was privileged to serve under. I learned to fly on a nine cylinder radial engine jet trainer (the T-28 Trojan) that was being phased out, constantly robbing the dying birds to keeping the living alive one more flight. Every other flight we had a real life emergency. My second solo flight, I dead sticked in a plane with an engine on fire. (I think that it is still a mounted static display at an outlying field in Evergreen, Alabama).
My last flight in the Naval Reserves, the number four engine on the P-3 Orion (the best of constantly updated 1950s technology) I commanded flamed out on takeoff, and we had to abort. As an airline captain fairly recently my copilot told me that he commanded B-52s as a reservist (airplanes much older than he was). He related me that yes, due to an emergency, on occasion he had had to perform the dreaded seven engine landing. I think that I chuckled about that for the rest of our trip together.
Let’s keep things in some perspective my friend. We have a larger, more powerful military by far than the next ten largest militaries combined. If anything, it’s all due for an overhaul and a downsizing, but I doubt that the automatic cuts that took place under a Obama, a Republican compromise, although the wrong way to do it, really slipped our military’s hegemony that much.
Boy.. that was a bit of a flashback. I never flew those planes but guarded enough of them. In Iceland we had two Hughes’ F-102’s on alert that would scramble when the Norwegians picked up any Soviet Bears or Bisons heading down the slot to Cuba. More often than not the even then ancient 102’s seldom did a lot of actual intercepting given if they missed the intercept point they couldn’t catch the bombers. But the alert 102 pilots might take a few pics if you tossed them your 35mm as they headed to their planes. Their priority of course was to take pics for DOD.. but once that was done they could play a bit. The one alert I tossed my Minolta to the pilot on was not an intercept.. but he snapped a great pic of a T-28 flying off his wing on the return to base.
When the Norwegians picked up Soviet boomers heading down from Murmansk the Navy sent up a couple P-3’s to drop the buoys and track them. Interesting times.
Thanks for your comments and military service. I concur you know more than most people about what our serviceman experienced under the various hegemony of leadership and politicians over time.
In my opinion, and experience with police service, it is sad to understand in retrospect how much time, effort, dedication, service, blood, treasure, etc. has been expended ever since the beginning of time by good righteous people having to defend against evil hegemony in our world.
As King Solomon observed about the causes, man’s pursuit of short lived pleasures, a chase after the wind, rather than to wise up and discover the righteous paths that provide God’s more lasting pleasures of love, peace, and happiness in our lives.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
If Trump did the same things Obama DID, you would be howling your head off.
That is the problem with TDS. Its victims refuse to consider the alterative.
See my last comment reply to Tsalmon
In my opinion, TDS is the current fad of hegemony afflicting the USA. Or in other words, another sad foolish pursuit of chasing after the wind. instead of finding a wise alternatives I mentioned..
Regards and good will blogging.