Thursday, March 23, 2017

Things keep getting more distressing

So as London recovers from yet another terrorist attack, the flames of anti-Islamic fervor are being stoked again by a culpable media.  Repeated air strikes though by a combination of US-led forces and Russian forces against ISIS has done little to quell terrorism in the West.  Despite the lack of of success of eliminating, or at least reducing, the threat from radical Muslim terrorists the latest attack in London is sure to have the hawks ready for more blood.

The terrorist attack in London comes amidst the go ahead for Brexit, along the French getting ready to elect a new president (and for now it still looks like it will be Le Pen) and an increasingly tumultuous White House administration.  The attack will give even more ammunition towards the isolationist tendencies of the three nations.

But even if terrorism is no longer the incentive du jour, Mr. Trump continues to agitate North Korea, China and Iran. 

North Korea threatens US with "Merciless Attacks"

US Bomber warned by Chinese officials

US Carrier on station in Persian Gulf, first time in 3 months!

Unlike the Global War on Terror, which is dragging nearly into its second decade, these nations not possess conventional militaries but in the case of North Korea and China, nuclear weapons as well!   

Mr. Trump in particular but many of his advisors in general seem to be hellbent on showing their strength by attacking some foreign power.  Compounding this pugilistic attitude is the defection of pretty much all of the senior and middle level diplomats at the State Department upon the election of Mr. Trump.  The current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has no former experience as a diplomat.  He has been remarkably silent on matters and seems to be content with allowing Mr. Trump to set the tone of international affairs via the President's Twitter account.

Even as a young officer during the Reagan build-up, it never felt like we were as close to a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union as we do now with either North Korea or China.  It does not seem the White House is going to settle down any time soon and Trump haters are becoming more desperate each day (not to mention their numbers are increasing).  At this point, if we can make it through the summer without starting a war with someone, that may be the most we can hope for.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Big Bird, School Lunches and Foal Eagle

The Donald, aka President Trump, is not even 100 days into his Presidency and it has been wholly unwatchable.  The Trump Administration has self-inflicted multiple wounds to itself and seems unable to successfully vet candidates.

Yesterday Mr. Trump decided to slay Big Bird (PBS), Lake Wobegone (NPR), the California Zephyr (AMTRAK), Meals on Wheels, and school lunches all in one mighty swoop!  The collective swooning of the left was nearly matched by the head-shaking and second guessing of the more moderate right who are beginning to question whether the new President is ever slowed down by thought.

Mr. Trump is keeping good to his campaign promise of reforming government but now even some of his fans are beginning to wonder what exactly that is going to look like once he gets done.  He is incasing spending on the military (+10%) and the VA (+6%) as well as DHS (for building the wall, now at taxpayer expense instead of Mexico's).

The US seems to be transforming under Mr. Trump into an isolationist, fortified nation with a large military.  The obvious question is after years of globalization, can the US really survive as a continent on to itself?

Whilst the mainstream media continues to publish every salacious detail of the Trump Administration's faults, the public remains largely in the dark on several items that should gravely concern all of us.

Foal Eagle is an annual FTX (field exercise, as opposed to table top or command post exercise) conducting between US and South Korean forces.  This year, in addition to the normal rotation of troops and equipment into South Korea, Mr. Trump has added drones, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), as well as a huge increase in Special Forces.  Some have conjectured that this may be in preparation for taking out Kim Jun Un (other kidnapping or assassinating).  These same fringe strategist feel this may be so Mr. Trump can prove just how tough he is.

What makes this a little more believable is Mr. Trump's statement that he may just go ahead and blow up the Russian spy ship that has been patrolling the eastern seaboard for the last few weeks!  It isn't that the Russian ship poses a threat, in fact the US Navy has publicly stated that the spy ship is unable to detect any information about US submarine operations.  So why does Mr. Trump want to blow it up?  To prove he isn't weak!

Going back to Korea, if Mr. Trump tries some heavy-handed overthrow of the North Korean government (and assuming is doesn't result in North Korea launching a nuclear counter-attack), we are left with two big questions.  One, what does China do?  Two, what does Russia do?

By all means, be pissed off about the demise of public broadcasting or sloop joe's but don't lose sight of the fact something far worse may be right around the corner.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

More invasive TSA searches

TSA announces a more invasive, process to streamline pat-downs via

So TSA still is only looking in one direction...what happens when a terrorist group decides to attack the airport instead of the airplane?  Just a few months ago, someone ran amok in an airport brandishing a machete.  TSA has no impact on this atrack.