Failure of US Weapons in Saudi Arabia

The US government is reporting that the recent attack on the Saudi oil refinery was due to a missile launched from inside Iran.

Yemen is claiming that the attack was conducted by them utilizing 10 drones.

Here’s the biggest problem with all the claims. No matter which way you view it, this indicates an absolute failure of US weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.

If the attack was conducted by drone, it’s somewhat more understandable, as drones can fly much lower than missiles. The distance would also be far shorter from Yemen to the refinery. However, there was still quite some distance for them to travel and there were ten of them. For an effective defensive weapons system, they should have been detected at some point and defended against.

If the attack was a missile from Iran, then the picture worsens greatly. A missile launched from Iran to the refinery would have had to travel at least 300 miles before reaching the target.

Nowhere have we seen/heard reports that any defense was mounted, let alone successful at bringing down any offensive weaponry. So the attack came as a complete surprise with no prior detection. The US State Dept is now claiming that the missile was detected by US satellite. However, the defensive weapons systems being sold to other countries allegedly link to satellite systems to make them more effective.

Make no mistake about it, the countries to whom the US sells weapons at costs of billions of dollars per year to them are watching this. They do not like what they see. They are now realizing how ineffective US weaponry truly is, leaving them largely defenseless. Offensive weapons are somewhat effective, yet the Patriot missile system and F35 fighter jet are plagued with problems. The Osprey has seen numerous catastrophic failures and requires massive amounts of maintenance, costing far more than it should for repairs.

The only advantage US weapons have in battle conditions is by sheer number. So, if a country is going to rely on number of weapons deployed, wouldn’t they buy less expensive weaponry in an effort to field as many weapons as possible?

Absolute numbers of weapons are a truly poor choice in either offensive or defensive tactics. If one accurate weapon can maneuver past or defeat ten inaccurate weapons, that is far more effective. This can be compared to a boxer throwing wild punches blindly, never landing a blow competing against an opponent who throws one or two targeted punches and knocking the wild boxer unconscious.

If a weapon fails to even detect a threat and respond, you may as well not have any weapons at all. This makes US weapons a bad deal for purchasing countries.

One reason other countries purchase US weapons is because they are subsidized, making them seem like a good deal. The more failures our weapons demonstrate, the worse that deal becomes, even if obtained for “free”. (Just pay shipping and handling!)

I have explained in previous articles that US weapons are sold to other countries at a net loss, even as they are portrayed as profitable. We give tens of billions of dollars a year in “aid” to other countries. Many times, those countries use a portion of that money to purchase weapons from US companies. As an example, we give $3.8 billion per year to Israel. Maybe they buy $2 billion a year in weapons. That’s already a net loss. However, when they receive the money, they receive it from the US government, in other words, the taxpayer. When they purchase the weapons, they purchase from a private US corporation. The country loses money, the corporation profits. Then the corporation is given tax breaks. Then the corporation gets paid for US military contracts. Then the weapons sold are transported by US military transport, with US military security escort. Every step of this process is a subsidy to corporate contractors which we pay for. Not to mention the fact that oil purchases from Saudi Arabia also serves as a war subsidy all by itself.

For weapons that fail.

Yes, we have the largest military budget in the world. Yes, we have forces in more locations than any other country. Yes, we once had the most advanced military technology but that is no longer true. Other countries have developed more effective, more accurate military technologies at lower cost as a direct result of the threat posed to them by the US. Now they are selling their weapons at lower cost to even more countries in competition with the US, while maintaining a faster delivery time. Meanwhile they are not incurring massive debt in the process.

Even less advanced weaponry has proven effective against US weaponry. IED’s and homemade RPG’s have been highly effective against US weapons in the Middle East, drones have been taken down by hand held weapons. While we remain engaged in conflicts we are repeatedly told would last only weeks, still going on 18 years later.

And we have not confronted an adversary with the capabilities and experience that Iran has.

These recent events, combined with the knowledge gained from observation of US conflicts are going to be influencing the future purchase of US weapons by other countries. Even the subsidies may prove to be ineffective in placing any trust in the capabilities of our technology. They are fully aware that our technology is so insufficient that we must also commit human ground forces. Yet our forces are growing weary and thin while our citizens are objecting to our involvement in conflicts that have nothing to do with us. We are objecting to the cost on all levels, especially monetarily and emotionally.

The time for diplomacy is now. Stop the arms sales. Stop the warmonger rhetoric. Stop the subsidies. Sit down and start talking. Openly, publicly. Find solutions that do not include destruction and killing.

Chronic Anxiety

In many ways, I think it should be obvious that I put every effort into being brave, even objective. I place a lot of effort into examining and researching the topics I cover here. Many of my articles are the final result of prior drafts, revisions, fact checking. Yet still presented in an accessible form that almost anyone can understand.

I know that in some cases where I try to be objective, I come across as far more biased. That’s because I must continually confront blatant, mindless, brainwashed bias. As I have said many times, the cult mindset. I never hide the fact that I am a Progressive, yet find being such to be the most objective and truthful way to be. After all, in many cases it involves standing for policies which do not benefit me directly. Though I try and express how issues which may not seem to affect us always do in some ways.

I have explained how universal healthcare benefits the economy, while our current system damages the entire economy. I have done the same with “free” college and capital gains. I could go on but that’s a short list of examples. In all, I show how capitalism and elitism consistently do more damage than good to our society.

It may not appear to some that I have researched subjects for the fact that I generally intentionally omit sources. I have said since early on in this blog that this is on purpose. When providing sources, I have watched too many other writers spend more time defending sources or comments which divert to attack the source material. I leave it to the reader to do their own research. I will continue moving forward.

Where my own research comes in, sometimes it is also difficult to name my sources because I have studied (formally and informally) numerous subjects for at least 30 years. Economics, marketing, psychology, government, business. On top of being a nurse in my 25th year. When writers name specific sources, it often means they are regurgitating material which is not their own. We see reports of reports of reports based on opinions. My content is nearly all original. So, my source is myself based on years of observation. I give plenty of methods where the reader can observe and verify the accuracy of those observations.

To the same end, I also frame many things in the form of questions. Thus encouraging readers to think for themselves, realize what questions they have not been asking. Realize what questions too few people have been asking, no matter how obvious the questions should be. How this is most horribly true with corporate media. For a good example of how I frame issues as questions, see my recent piece on gun rights, hereThe “sources” who always object to you asking questions are the very sources who should always be questioned most. The “sources” who claim to be above questioning are the sources who should be silenced entirely. The “sources” who claim you are not allowed to see/hear evidence or cannot explain their own positions in their own words should be shamed into silencing themselves.

With all the conflict going on, all the fake news, all the propaganda, all the obvious questions never voiced, all the effort of taking complex subjects and explaining them in simple terms, many times this kind of writing becomes stressful. Toss in being a prison nurse, a father with shared custody of my teenage daughter, being single while in an exclusive relationship while maintaining my mundane life.

Of late, my biggest stress tends to be coming not from the right but from the center-left, the Fauxgressives content with platitudes of universal healthcare while ignoring the risk of war with a nuclear power. not concerned in the least with sanctions killing tens of thousands in other countries thanks to their economic structure. Not giving a damn that the goal is selling off Venezuela’s resources to the highest corporate bidder in the US. Willing to completely forget being themselves called “Russian trolls” by their anointed godhead. I have not forgotten, never will forget and have been waiting for a nonexistent apology for 2 1/2 years now.Completely willing to ignore election fraud by the DNC and what that means, while still insisting this to be a “democracy”. Thinking one person or small group of people asking for their hard-earned money is a substitute for completely eliminating corporate money from our electoral and legislative systems. The best these cultists can offer is “nobody’s perfect” or asking what cult I follow.

Fuck every damn one of you, I follow the cult of rational, critical thought, holding elected officials to account and not bowing down to your cult which is buried within another cult and all of you together are willing to sacrifice the entire planet for your own greed.

That is where it all comes together. You criticize other parties, other candidates for their greed and warmongering, while you seek your own gains and ignore millions of deaths, blindly deny the very real risk of complete obliteration of the planet, just as long as you get your piece of the pie. You behave with arrogance and petulance and outright hatred of anyone who refuses to join your cult.

Go ahead, slap each other on the backs and revel in your empty, meaningless, mindless, gutless, heartless insults. Tell yourselves you are somehow different from the very ones you claim to oppose. Greed and arrogance are greed and arrogance, no matter how you look at it. How do you really think you are different from warmongers when you are willing to ignore that your god is promoting the same wars? How do you think you are different from other cults when you make excuses, close your eyes and chant endlessly in hopes of drowning out the cries of reason? How do you think you oppose capitalists when your god walks in their path, himself worshiping at their feet in their temples and congregations?

Yes, thanks to the Fauxgressives who worship themselves, I now have chronic anxiety. Trump, our government in general, our intelligence agencies, MSM, gun nuts and bigots cause me enough stress. I only gain some hope from discussion and camaraderie with those who can see clearly, think rationally, question the narrative and stand independently.

You who worship false gods do none of that. You do not offer hope but diminish hope, strip it away and continue the same cycle which has demoralized this country. You literally worship yourselves.

Hate me. Unfollow me. Ignore me. Attack me. I refuse to drink the blood of the innocent from your chalice. I refuse to willfully pave my streets with the bodies of children in other countries. I will always stand by my values, no matter how you sell your souls for a false pittance.

This is the last chance, make no mistake about it. There are no more chances for incremental “progress”, for party loyalty, false narratives, sheep herding candidates, nationalism, cheering or ignoring wars, blaming “the other”.

I am your “other” and I am not going away or joining you. You will not destroy me or beat me down. You are too weak an adversary and you know your weakness. You can join ME and actually move left or you can stay in the middle and claim it is left. This anxiety discomforts me but will never break me. It takes nothing to break the followers of false gods because you are already broken, shattered, scattered pieces propping each other up.

Handing Trump Victories

This is a follow up to my previous article, here: https://medium.com/@russellmeyers_35963/if-you-support-trump-policies-you-support-trump-own-it-2d11506f9203

Some people still aren’t getting my point. Caitlin Johnstone said much of the same thing in her most recent article as I write this, to be found here: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/how-the-question-who-benefits-from-this-can-change-your-life-5bb175779afb

Of course, she and I have been saying this. Over and over, again and again. Millions of actual Progressives have been saying this over and over, again and again. I am sick of repeating it but here it is again- Both major parties are on the same side and it is not your side.

I really don’t care how much the Democrats claim to oppose Trump when they confirm his appointees, surrender to his aggression or rabidly vote in favor of his policies. I don’t care how much you want to scream, “Anyone but Trump” when you actively vote for people who endorse the most damaging thing about Trump- his policies.

If you only oppose the name and nothing else, you have absolutely no right to call yourself anything but a Trump supporter in disguise. You are not Progressive, you are not liberal. You are a Republican. You are even more damaging than Trump or Republicans because at least they are out in the open about who they are and what they stand for. Stop lying about it. You don’t care what atrocities are committed. You only care that they are committed by a pretty face with nice words.

If you actually oppose his policies yet remain blind to the fact that centrist Democrats have done all in their power to not only surrender to Trump but empower him even more, then you are just as damaging. You’re not paying attention to anything but what color suit or dress someone is wearing. You are willing to don pink pussy hats, break down in tears, scream at the top of your lungs and act offended/victimized by every tweet while you help them and him along every step of the way.

You may be even worse because you are willing to actively push for war with nuclear powers to vindicate your “poor me” attitude. You are perfectly willing to ignore the fact that the US has a first strike policy.

You paid no attention or just did not care that the 2016 DNC Convention was more militaristic than the RNC Convention. It was filled with uniforms and talk of “a strong defense” , followed by Russia, Russia, Russia and military budget increase after increase. Every penny handed to Trump, whom they claim they fear will start more wars. Yet as long as the Dems vote for it, it must be good, right?

What has been happening here is that the Dems have handed Trump an unending series of gifts. You have to be completely unconscious to think that the Mueller report or his testimony was a win for anyone BUT Trump. Even neoliberal pundits admit it was a complete disaster. Each time they have approved his policies or nominees, he has won. Each time they have caved in, he has won. He will be announcing this through 2020, pointing out that he has accomplished things and Democrats were too weak to stand up to him. Every word of it will be accurate. He doesn’t need to lie about that. Yes, he lies about the results but so do the Dems. If they tell the same lies, you play right along. No matter the results, his support gets stronger with each victory handed to him wrapped in gold foil, served on a silver platter by the Dems crawling on their knees and you behind them, kissing their asses.

Jimmy Dore has said on numerous occasions, “People would rather vote for a Republican who says they are a Republican instead of a Republican who claims to be a Democrat.”

If you want change, then that change begins with YOU. If you trust corporate warmongering Wall Street whores to change anything, you’re not paying attention at all and never have. It’s time to start. Not tomorrow, not after the next election. Now.

“Resistance” my ass.

Let me repeat what I have said uncounted times. If you are not part of the solution, then YOU are the problem.

The Path To World Peace Is In The Collapse of The US Economy

The surest path to world peace lies in the collapse of the US economy.

I know, many people do not want to hear this. Many will vehemently deny it. I already expect personal attacks and “America, love it or leave it” responses by people who will not even read this far. They won’t go any further than the title. That doesn’t change the truth.

Of course, there will be the QAnon/Trump devotees who will claim that this is all part of the plan. There’s no need to dignify such ignorance with a response.

Am I saying that if/when this occurs that there would be absolutely no armed conflicts anywhere on the planet? No, I’m sure there would be. However, the duration and scale would be decreased dramatically.

Think back, look back at world history since WWII. Can you name an armed conflict, any armed conflict in which the US was not involved as a major influence? Anywhere? Even if you can, place it in perspective of all the conflicts in which we have been involved. Look at every single potential for armed conflict right now and name one which we are not actively inciting that conflict to elevate further.

Our military budget was just increased again, by $22 billion to an official $738 billion. As I’ve written before, that does not include funding for the VA, upgrading nukes, NSA, CIA or FBI. When you add those to the military budget, we spend more on “defense” than every other country on earth, combined.

This all comes as our economy is retracting and our national debt accounts for over 1/3 of all global national debt. China has surpassed the US as the largest consumer economy, greatest number of Fortune 500 companies and a higher number of top ten global banks.

How many armed conflicts is China involved in as a major player? None.

Many Americans are oblivious to the fact that we are currently bombing 7 countries and have been for years. They can name two countries we are bombing at most. We drop at least 121 bombs a day at an average cost of $80,000 each.

This week it made the news that the House of Representatives have asked the military to account for how many foreign military bases the US has and justify the need for that many. However, that doesn’t mean much when they do this after handing the military an increased budget and we spend $130 billion a year, every year, on upgrading nuclear weapons. That’s not even included in the military budget. How about they ask why we need so many nuclear weapons? Wouldn’t 50 be enough? Or 20? Why the hell do we have 6800?!!!! (Personally I think they should be eradicated completely.)

The obvious problem with wars has to do with the fact that they cost money. Lots of money. Sure, a limited number of people make profits from warfare but the money still has to come from somewhere. Right now, the US is printing money wildly, which dilutes the value of each dollar in circulation. Right now, we have a trade deficit with nearly every country we trade with. Right now, we owe money to many countries through US Treasury bonds. Right now, the value of the dollar is propped up by the petrodollar system.

Right now other countries are selling off US Treasury bonds. Right now China has stopped buying oil from us and has decreased purchases of major crops. Right now, other countries are having economic issues which preclude buying US Treasuries. Right now numerous countries have started buying gold because they find the dollar too insecure. Right now the petrodollar system is collapsing as country after country is trading oil in other currencies, largely in Chinese yuan. Right now one country after another is turning away from buying weapons which leave them dependent on the US. They are opting for Russian and Chinese arms which cost less yet perform far better than ours.

So the question becomes how the US can afford to fund another war, or even the ones we are currently in? How long can this continue before the dollar is devalued and we see double to triple digit inflation?

The bigger question is, who is going to loan us money to wage more wars when they don’t trust us to pay them back what we already owe? Who is going to loan us money when we are threatening basically every country in existence with either war or economic sanctions? Is it likely they will loan us money they don’t trust will be repaid just so we don’t attack them in some way? Or is it more likely they will band together to defend themselves from us?

One economist after another is expecting a recession in the near future. Other, more realistic economists who are not tied to WAR Street say that we are already in a recession and have been for some time. Some state that we have never recovered from the 2008 recession and for many this is true. Wages have never recovered for sure. If wages don’t recover, there is no way that the general economy does. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Many try and downplay how bad the next recession or stage of the current recession will be. I am expecting the worst recession in US history because of the combination of influences.

Ultimately what we can expect is that the economy will falter. This will finally lead to the absolute necessity to rein in military spending. As the US curtails military aggression and arming/funding proxy wars, we will see peace slowly return, along with diplomacy to many countries and regions that have not known these things for many years. There is no doubt that our warmongers will attempt to incite more conflict along the way but be rebuffed and rejected by nations seeking a different path forward.

In the short term, none of this will be good news for the domestic US. The oligarchs will try and continue the same processes, followed by trying to strip the country bare for their own greed. In the long run, we will change as a country. We will see peace, see that we do not need to spend our money or sacrifice military lives to achieve that peace. Some will claim we helped bring that peace into being. Those are the dangerous ones whom we must educate, that the militarism was never necessary. Keep them out of power, remove them from the media.

The economy will recover over time but not for a long while. By the time it does, we will have found a dedication to build rather than destroy, to lean on one another and to demand a government that supports people over the profits of the rich.

It’s not going to be easy but this is the future our country has created. We have to deal with it.

Trump’s Parade

Democrats and neoliberal media are having a meltdown over Trump’s military parade. I’m a veteran and don’t GAF.

You think there is something wrong with this? Yeah, I do. Along with a lot more in this country.

I think it’s wrong when military recruiters show up at high schools. Especially when they show up at a hell of a lot more schools in low income minority-majority neighborhoods than high income white-majority neighborhoods, where they are virtually absent.

I think it’s wrong that ROTC is a thing in public schools at all. And I went through ROTC in high school.

I think it’s wrong when we have military “patriotic” displays at sporting events, paid for with your tax dollars, whether you support it or not, whether you attend sporting events or not.

I think it’s wrong when “news” (sic) media channels host advertising for military contractors.

I think it’s wrong when those same “news” outlets have “experts” from weapons manufacturers and “intelligence” (propaganda factory) agencies, with every single one of them trying to get you to support the next war and the one after that, the one after that, the one after that….

I think it’s wrong when Brian Williams refers to “the beauty of our weapons”.

I think it’s wrong when veterans have a medical system separate and apart from non-military civilians.

I think it’s wrong when I tell people I am a veteran and they thank me for my service. I rarely get that kind of response when I tell them I am a nurse or a Progressive writer.

I do more to fight for their rights, freedom and welfare now as a writer than I did as a veteran!!!!!

I think it’s wrong when we have multiple holidays worshiping the military.

I think it’s wrong when most of the history taught in schools has more to do with warfare than any other, more important part of our history. Always portraying the US as the world hero and any opponent as nothing short of demonic.

I think it’s wrong that you don’t hear a damn word from “The Resistance” opposing military buildup along the Russian border, the South China Sea, off the coast of North Korea, in 50 African nations, threatening Venezuela.

I think it’s wrong that there are slave markets in the streets of Libya thanks to US “humanitarian intervention”.

I think it’s wrong that we are bombing 7 countries right this minute, some of whom we have been bombing for 16 and 18 years.

I think it’s wrong that the number of countries we are bombing expanded from 2 countries to 7 under a “Nobel Peace Prize Winner” and the Secretary of State that became the DNC nominee.

I think it’s wrong when Democrats and the media talk about “Russian aggression” yet cannot point to a single aggressive military act by Russia.

I think it’s wrong that we have 1600+ military bases globally while calling any other nation “aggressive”.

I think it’s wrong that social support programs are gutted while our “defense” budget will be increased by another $33–50 BILLION this year. That’s just for the Pentagon. I’ve written extensively that this does not include upgrading nukes, CIA, NSA, FBI or VA funding. When you add all of that to the official Pentagon budget, we spend more on “defense” than every other country on earth COMBINED. Even though nobody has threatened us.

I think it’s wrong that every politician that receives military contractor “donations” advocates for a “strong defense”. Really? When do we consider our “defense” to be strong enough? Where is the cutoff for this?

I think it is wrong that it is legal for military contractors to “donate” money to political campaigns when that very money came from taxpayers pockets.

I think it’s wrong that we are threatening Iran due to an attack on two Japanese ships, with no evidence Iran did anything and while the Japanese prime minister was in Iran on a diplomatic mission. Have you heard “The Resistance” speak out against any aggression toward Iran?

I think it’s wrong that we give nearly $4 billion a year to Israel while they slaughter Palestinians.

I think it’s wrong that we are buying oil from Saudi Arabia, helping to fund their genocide of Yemeni people.

I think it’s wrong that we have no arms embargo against Israel or Saudi Arabia.

I think it’s wrong that too many Americans are brainwashed enough to believe anything at all about Russiagate.

Fine. You object to his military parade? Then don’t tune in. Leave the corporate stations with no views at all. Leave the National Mall empty. Don’t mention it, don’t make it trend, don’t increase traffic and views regarding it. Don’t talk about it. Ignore it.

On the other hand, this would be the perfect opportunity to raise your voices and hold anti-war marches nationally. Are YOU going to do that?

Didn’t think so. If the same parade had been held by Obama or Hillary, would you object? Didn’t think so. So STFU. Your objection is false, empty and useless. You just want a warmonger that uses prettier words.

America Has No Enemies, Meeting With Foreign Leaders Is Not Treason

I see a lot of people sharing articles from clickbait farms and neoliberal propaganda warmonger sites about Trump meeting with Kim Jong Un. In the last few days, the same sites and people were sharing stuff about Trump shaking hands with Vladimir Putin.

In every case, the claim or implication is that Trump is committing treason.

First, consider what the Constitution considers treason. For any person to be guilty of treason means that Congress has formally declared war against another country. The guilty party then must be offering aid in some form to that country. Congress has not declared war against any country as of this time. Treason is not a charge which can be applied retroactively.

What you need to be paying attention to is what the “Resistance” suggests regarding any path to peace or diplomacy with alleged “enemies”. Because when you look at things from that perspective, they have nothing. Not one word about ending a single conflict, reducing tensions with other nations, bringing troops home from conflict zones, cutting military spending or US military presence anywhere in the world.

Does this mean I trust Trump? Absolutely not. North Korea has described Trump and his testosterone-drunken team as “gangsters”. In multiple cases there are convincing cases that he plans to make personal financial gains from any so-called “peace efforts” he has engaged in. Has the “Resistance” stepped in to prevent his profit motive? Have they devised stipulations that include peace but eliminate his opportunity to make a profit? Taken part in the peace process to make it more equitable and convince other countries that we are indeed not a threat to them?

No, they haven’t. Because we are a threat. In some way we are a genuine, very real threat to every nation, every person on earth in numerous ways at all times.

Some people discuss sanctions in ways that illustrate the fact that they have no understanding of how sanctions work. I’ve written about how sanctions work and how damaging they are many times. Sanctions kill human beings in targeted countries. Do you consider it peaceful when a person starves to death or dies from lack of medical treatment, rather than being shot or bombed? Dying slowly and painfully from preventable conditions imposed on your country is peaceful? In addition, sanctions do extensive damage to countries considered our allies. Sanctions reduce sales between countries, meaning allied countries may have to find alternative sources to buy products (like oil or grain) they once bought at more reasonable prices from the now-sanctioned nation. Or they lose sales to the now-sanctioned nation, which can and has destroyed entire industries in allied nations. How is that being helpful or a friend to our own allies?

Russia is no threat to us. I’ve written extensively on that subject. What is a threat to us is our continued threat against Russia, including our sanctions on our own allies.

North Korea is no threat to us. They have never threatened the US and their only threats involving any countries are solely in self defense.

Iran is no threat to us. Nobody claims they have missiles or weaponry of any kind that could reach the continental US. They have not invaded another country for over 200 years. They are not against Jews, they host the second largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel. They have synagogues older than the founding of the US and the Jewish population worships their faith openly.

Venezuela is no threat to us. That’s it, they’re no threat to us. Period.

China is no military threat to us. Unless we give them reason to be and even then it will likely only be in that region, where our military has no business in the first place.

Other countries hacking our elections are not a threat. It is a rationale to move to systems which are not online. You know, like paper ballots?

Other countries hacking our electrical grid are not a threat. It is a rationale to move to systems which are not online. You know, like we had for decades? There is literally no reason for our electric plants to be online in the first place. Who the fuck ever thought that was a good idea?!!!

When Trump threatens other countries, the “Resistance” and media have nothing to say in opposition. No more than there was any opposition or objection when Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama expanded bombing from 2 countries to 7 countries, largely with Hillary’s help as SoS. Nobody who supported Hillary said anything when she threatened to use “political, economic and military force” in response to alleged electronic warfare.

I understand you hate Trump. I agree. There is much about him which earns that sentiment. However, international conflict at this point is not about him. This is about you. To oppose Trump does not mean you should support tensions with other countries which may lead to even more wars. You cannot personally object to the ridiculously large military and “defense” budget while endorsing the same sentiments and paranoia which capitalize (literally) on the basis for that budget. You cannot blame Trump for this. If you want to blame someone for the next war, look in the mirror. Yes, he is a threat but so are you. If he leaves office without starting another war, then you will still be here. Your hate and fear will still be here. The defense budget will not decrease as long as you keep cowering in terror based on nothing.

We have many things to fear in this country. Let me repeat that. We have many things to fear IN this country. Not a damn one of those things can be solved with missiles, bombs, invading other countries, arming oligarchs conducting genocide. None of those problems can be solved by spending the entire federal budget on weaponry. None of that makes us safer. None of that improves international relations. None of that improves access to healthcare, improves wages, helps the homeless, improves education, decreases racism/sexism/religious prejudice. None of that does anything about censorship and in fact is the basis for much of our censorship.

Either you are for peace or you are for conflict and war.You are for the US being the good guys or the US being the global bully. There is no middle ground on this. Nobody has threatened us. If we have enemies, we created those enemies and we are creating more daily. No more excuses. What is YOUR choice on this?

I am for peace.

US Militarism And TDS

Some people still have some concept that I am in some way a Trump supporter or apologist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read more of my writing and that becomes very evident.

Want to attack him for his economic policies? I’m right there with you. Immigration? Yes, he is monstrous. Sexism? I’ve referred to him having “tiny hand syndrome”. Racism? Absolutely.

Where international relations are concerned I will say he is an idiot with not the faintest clue what he is doing. He is the kind of person that personifies how many people in other countries view the US. Yes, he is what they think of when they think of Americans and how they have viewed us for decades. He is bellicose, arrogant and nothing short of a bully.

In other words, he illustrates what our government really is.

On the other hand, for all his threats and boasting, he is not as militaristic as his predecessors and opponents. Note that this in no way excuses the harm done by US sanctions, which I have explained in detail numerous times.

Consider the claims and criticisms of the corporate media and the “Resistance”.

With North Korea, they described the current administration as “gangsters”, as in mafia, organized crime. Yet still Trump has not used military force against them. When he temporarily suspended war games on the Korean border, instead of being praised, he was attacked. Ask yourself why? How well does intimidation work on other countries? How well does it work on you?

When he bombed Syria, he was praised. Brian Williams talked about the “beauty of our weapons”, citing it as a quote. Ask yourself, who pulls a quote like that out of their ass? I am a veteran and had never heard that quote in my life before that. Had you? I hope to never hear it again.

That attack happened with no investigation on the ground to verify facts and evidence. The following year almost the exact same thing happened, almost to the smallest detail.

In the first case, there was no investigation ever completed on the ground. Numerous sources stated what evidence was available did not fit. In the second case it was proven by the OPCW that no chemical weapon residue was found. The closest thing found were microscopic traces of chlorine in the soil, which was likely from destroyed PVC pipes or household chemicals, considering the concentration. Guess what? If you water your yard with municipally treated water, your soil has chlorine residue.

Yet Trump did warn Syria of the coming attacks and their locations.

When Trump made threats to invade Venezuela, the corporate media and the “Resistance” were largely silent. There was absolutely no sign of opposition. In fact, they almost daily portrayed false images of the conditions in Venezuela. Where hardships and even deaths have been occurring by the thousands, they never mention that this is due to the effects of US sanctions. They do not mention that the US and UK governments have seized assets that belong to the Venezuelan government and hence Venezuelan people. That’s as if I stole everything in your bank account and then portrayed you as a bad parent for not providing for your family. US sanctions have seized shipments already paid for of medications and medical supplies, then blocked further transactions of those items. How would you like it if that happened to your family?

Since Trump has backed away from any military threats against Venezuela, how much have you been hearing of the conditions in that country? Did you think they suddenly got better? Then why aren’t you hearing about it any more?

He has met with Vladimir Putin, talked with Putin on the phone and initially tried making peaceful overtures with Russia. For which he was viciously attacked and accused of treason. BTW, treason according to the US Constitution means giving aid to an enemy, which requires a formal Congressional declaration of war. So no, the claims of treason hold no water.

Yet the “Resistance” found no reason to call it treason when Hillary, with Mueller’s “intelligence” approval, sold 20% of uranium processing to a Russian company, Uranium One. They had no desire to call it treason when Bill made hundreds of thousands giving speeches to sell investments in Uranium One while Hillary was US Secretary of State. They did not choose to hold her to account when Uranium One resulted in lost uranium shipments, bribes, coercion and threats.

The media focuses on the trade war between the US and China, reports on near-confrontations between naval vessels yet conveniently fails to mention the largest buildup in history of US forces along the Russian border, Russian maritime routes and the South China Sea. There has been no military threat against any nation by Russia or China. So, one should be asking what our forces are doing there at all. The average American will not ask that question, even if they are aware of the situation. If the media reports on it, it portrays it as aggression by other countries, yet cannot explain what aggression.

The latest in this chain of events is Iran. Notice that while there were minor grumblings about him withdrawing from the JCPOA, there was no actual outcry. Why? There was no profit to be made. Then he threatened to attack Iran after an attack on ships that did not belong to the US and were not associated to the US in any way. They were both connected to Japan. Did Japan ask for US intervention? No, they did not. On the threats, there was not a single word of dissent spoken. Then he reversed course and chose to not attack. Suddenly, the media and the “Resistance” erupted like a volcano.

This is where I will once again, for the millionth time it seems, point out that the US media is deeply in bed with the Military Industrial Complex. Corporate media hosts advertising by military contractors like Boeing, Raytheon and Northrup. Know who pays for that advertising? You do, through your taxes. They have “experts” who work for military weapons contractors telling you why we need to invade, bomb, sell weapons (at a loss to the US taxpayer) to other countries. Why every country who succeeds at trade is a military threat. Why any country with a different, more Socialist, economic model is monstrous and also a threat to US national security. How we need to engage in “humanitarian intervention”. Because that has worked out so well in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Let’s do more of that, they say.

It does not even stop with overt militarism. When Trump blocked the release of the unredacted Mueller report, he was called a fascist, a tyrant, that he was hiding something. Then he did a complete 180 degree turn and directed Barr to release the entire report and all supporting evidence to the public. What did the media and the “Resistance” have to say? That he was a tyrant, that he was putting national security at risk.

So, the ultimate question here is really, what do YOU want? Do you WANT war with Russia? China? North Korea? Venezuela? Iran? Do you WANT the Mueller findings declassified and published for all to see? Do you WANT to keep increasing military spending? Or do you simply want every single thing that Trump does to be wrong, no matter what the cost?

If you merely want everything he does to be wrong and “Resistance” means risking or the actuality of global warfare, starving and killing people in other countries, all to vindicate your hatred of him, then you must ask yourself one last question.

Who is the REAL monster here?

Attacking Iran Would Not Be A Small Issue

This past week, Trump first called for a bomb strike on Iran. Then, when that strike was allegedly imminent, he called it off.

I am very happy he called it off. That strike would have, as others have stated, unleashed hell on earth. Iran has a large and experienced military and connections to numerous countries. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan.

I’ve pointed out on too many occasions to count the fact that most Americans are willfully ignorant of. That we are currently bombing 7 countries. This is not a new development, we have been bombing the same 7 countries for years. If you doubt me, do a web search of what countries we are bombing. The difference is that the countries we have been bombing for so long started off with military forces and capabilities far below that of Iran. In fact, in multiple cases, most notably Syria, Iran has been helping to combat the US-backed terrorist factions those countries have been contending with.

Many Americans want to claim that we have allies in the Middle East in the form of Israel and Saudi Arabia. There are a few big, big problems with that. Both of those countries buy their weapons from the US. Our weapons manufacturing capacity is at it’s limit. We have run out of bombs to drop on multiple occasions. Both of them gain the funds necessary to buy their weapons from the US. Saudi Arabia by oil sales, which Iran would block the shipment of if they were attacked. Israel is freely handed nearly $4 billion a year by the US. If we had an actual war with an actual opposing military, the US would have to stop handing out all that money. We are already responsible for over 1/3 of the global national debt and that amount keeps rising. So if they cannot buy weapons and/or we cannot produce enough weapons, any conflict with Iran would be over almost before it began. Iran produces weapons and buys weapons from Russia and China. We cannot stop that from happening. Russian and Chinese weapons manufacturing are nowhere near capacity.

For manpower and alliances in the immediate region, as I stated above, Iran has helped a number of countries in the Middle East. As those countries have been beating back terrorist groups, they have more manpower they could offer to help Iran. This is true even without leaving their own countries because US forces are in their countries or would attempt to occupy those countries in the event of conflict with Iran. All they have to do is evict our forces or turn on US forces in their countries. Not even kill anyone, just destroy our equipment and take our forces hostage. Think that can’t happen? Look at a map. Iraq and Afghanistan have been at war for nearly two decades because of American actions. Both countries have a majority that wants us gone. We have no forces in Pakistan and only a token illegal presence in Syria.

US forces are stretched to the point where we have had to send Coast Guard forces to other countries. That’s not the CG’s role. Their role is supposed to be guarding US waters. This, while we have yet to meet a maritime threat since WWII.

Trump has promoted the message that the US is a net oil exporter at this time. Note that precise wording. That we are a net oil exporter. That doesn’t mean we produce all the oil we need and more. Oil is one of our top three exports and top three imports. Now, consider that 2/3 of the world’s oil supply for export goes through the Strait of Hormuz, controlled by Iran. If they block oil transport, they bring most of the planet to a standstill. The US does not produce enough oil to meet our needs and that of other countries on a major scale. This would be even more true if major conflict erupted, meaning the military would requisition the remainder of our oil production.

That would open the door for Russia, the world’s third largest oil producer, to step in. It would also be a gain for Venezuela. Both would see massively increased oil and gas sales to other countries currently trading with Saudi Arabia, UAE and US.

Considering just how much the value of the US dollar is dependent on US and Saudi oil sales, military conflict with Iran would result in a massive decline in the value of the dollar in very short order.

Any conflict with Iran would result in the US even further threatening Russia and China, who trade with Iran. Especially China. It would at the very least offend and possibly anger the other nations that signed onto the JCPOA and have defended Iran’s compliance with that treaty, which the US has violated unilaterally. All these countries are not likely to simply accede to further threats and sanctions.

Even without military actions, US sanctions are actively resulting in loss of human lives in Iran (among other countries). Sanctions are acts of war. Sanctions kill. Sanctions also damage Iran’s trading partners economically. If you don’t understand all this and think sanctions are in any way peaceful, or that other countries go along with US sanctions without objection, do more research because it is something you do not understand.

Yes, Trump is extremely unstable. However, in this case the “Resistance” first criticized him for threatening Iran, while now criticizing him for not attacking Iran, no matter what dangers that action would result in.

Protecting “Our Way Of Life”?

In 2017, the Department of Defense released a revised mission statement which basically says the new role of the military is to preserve the American way of life. Not to defend against military threats. They were literally saying that our military is there to preserve the corporate profit system.

Think about this. Our military has not faced a single military threat in my lifetime. Not a single one. In the cases where our military has encountered an opposing military presence, it has been because of our presence in another country.

I’ve said many times that the draft is coming. Only this time, females as well as males can be drafted to combat roles. Consider the fact that we are bombing 7 countries and threatening 5 more militarily. Our direct military encounters with Russia and China become more frequent by the month and could be by the day, only we’re not allowed to hear about most encounters. Plus the fact that we are conducting aggressive cyber warfare against Russia.Though if you think we are not also conducting cyber warfare against China, you’re delusional. Plus we have combat troops in 50 of 54 African states.

Now we have the event regarding Iran, which I already wrote about and which I am guessing over 90% of Americans do not believe Iran is guilty of.

In the meantime, military recruitment has not met quota for years. The military has been involuntarily extending enlistments of more skilled positions such as fighter pilots for longer than you know. Experienced military members are growing older and ready to retire. The military has been ejecting anyone who cannot be deployed, which number in the tens of thousands. Then there is Trump’s war on transgender military members.

So, we have people leaving the military and inadequate new recruits to replace them at a time while we have active aggression against numerous countries, increased international tensions and probable invasions or attacks on multiple opponents. Though this time those countries are not weak, relatively defenseless countries with no allies. Most of the countries we are now threatening have alliances with one another.

When I think of protecting my way of life, the key part of that includes keeping my daughter safe. I really don’t GAF how old my daughter is at any point in my life and hers, she is still my daughter and I will always want her to be safe.

There is absolutely no part of me that understands or can relate to parents who are okay with sending their children to invade foreign countries for their way of life. Especially when what that means right now is preserving low cost gasoline and high profits for corporations.

What “way of life” is being protected for the general public in America today? Lack of affordable medical care, overpriced medications, low wages, struggling to make ends meet, credit card bills, student loan debt, homeless on the streets, systemic racism, being literally terrified of our own police, censorship, mass surveillance, social and political divisiveness, religious prejudice, sexism, increasing age of retirement, reduction in pensions, impending collapse of the dollar? WTF are we “defending”?

Though all the above really means that we have a de facto draft in a form already and have had for many years. Young people see these things and some will join the military to mitigate the fears they have of a future where they face these exact problems. At least in the military they have medical care, an income from which they cannot be laid off, a roof over their heads and tuition assistance. The fact that they are willing to risk PTSD, disability and death tells you exactly how truly afraid they are of the future created for them. This is excruciatingly true for young people from disadvantaged and rural areas.

These are our children, you bastards!!!!

You can talk about preserving your way of life but if that means sacrificing the future for your children and probably risking an actual war with an actual military opponent with the capability to bring that war back to our shores, you have nothing you are preserving.

It’s time to start questioning just what the hell you think we are defending. Define it. Not for me, for yourself. Really think about it.

China Just Shut Down Any Possibility Of War With the US

This is the good news. China just shut down any possibility of war with the US.

In the ongoing trade war between the US and China, President Xi stood in front of a rare earth mineral mine a few days ago to give a speech. He did not say it but the location and timing are widely taken as an implication that should the US continue the trade war as it is going, China could well restrict or cease shipping rare earth minerals to the US.

What are rare earth minerals? What makes them important? Rare earth minerals are not all that rare as far as usage is concerned. They are vital components in modern electronics. From earbuds and headphones to cell phones, wind turbines, telecommunications equipment and satellite communications. They are also vital to modern military equipment such as targeting and guidance systems.

China holds the greatest reserve of rare earth minerals at 44 million tons. The next highest reserve equals half that amount at 22 million tons each, held by Brazil and Vietnam. Russia comes in third at 12 million tons. The US comes in seventh, at roughly 1.4 million tons.

Some claim that the US can develop our mining and refinement of rare earth minerals. Yet they are so valuable by weight that it would seem to me that capitalist investors would have been doing that already, should it be a realistic option. Which means that if that industry is developed, US taxpayers will be subsidizing corporate profits on yet another industry. Socialism for the rich, capitalism for we, the taxpayers.

Some sources claim we can develop equipment which doesn’t use rare earth minerals. Hmm. Once again, I’m guessing this is not a first best option or we would have been doing so. Why pay additional expenses for elements which are not necessary? It would be a definite possibility but also possible that would place the US at tremendous technological disadvantage. Our electronics could be less efficient, less accurate and slower. Cost could be either lower or higher, depending on the materials and technology used.

Obviously gold could replace some mineral components but not all. Using gold could increase cost of electronics higher, making US consumer electronics less competitive unless built for durability, which most modern electronics are not designed for.

Obviously it would be possible to purchase rare earth minerals from other countries that hold greater reserves than we do. However, if China chose to not sell to us, it would be well known by those countries, causing prices to skyrocket. Law of supply and demand. We won’t be buying them from Russia, even if we wanted to at this point.

Thus, should China choose to make such a decision it would leave the US at a distinct disadvantage militarily, technologically and possibly economically.

The only other option would be if all rare earth minerals were diverted to military use. That would leave us at even more disadvantage regarding technological trade, which is one of the most profitable trade items by weight and volume.

As far as blocking China’s access to the Android operating system and partnerships, the result is likely to be the same as sanctions on Russia had. They will accelerate development of their own technologies, spreading new operating systems to Asia and Europe, the largest foreign markets whom we trade with. Leaving Google in the dust. That would mean Google trading partners would no longer be paying Google for advertising to markets Android no longer had access to.

Like I said above, this is only accelerating the development of technologies which China has already been working on. They may contract with experts from other countries, including Europe, other Asian countries, India, Russia and American freelancers. Hey, capitalism is capitalism, right? Other countries pulling away from us and advancing beyond us is only a matter of time. Asia and Europe are already expanding 5G and green energy years ahead of the US. In teh case of China, you can blame Trump all you like but they began accelerating their technological development toward more independence from the US ever since Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” which continued on with the Hillary Clinton campaign (“We could rename the Pacific Ocean the American Sea.”) and the Trump campaign. No matter which one took office, they knew what was coming.

The ultimate fact is that any military confrontation with China will leave us at a disadvantage, first in the short term and possibly in the long term. It’s about time we started playing nice with the other kids on the playground.

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