Merkel vs Trump


Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel has questioned whether America is still a reliable ally because of the Trump administration’s stance on global warming and free trade.  Merkel contends that Trump’s failure to immediately accept the Paris Climate Agreement that the Obama administration negotiated along with Trump daring to point out the world leading trade surplus the German’s enjoy at the expense of the rest of the world are cause enough to question American reliability.

American hesitancy to endorse European led Climate agreements are nothing new.  In fact it is par for the course that the Europeans are way out in front of all other nations in trying to regulate climate change prevention policies.  US reluctance is also the norm, case in point, the US never voted on the forerunner to the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocols, because the Clinton administration did not want to suffer the embarrassment of a lopsided vote against it in the senate.  It was such a crushing defeat that this latest European initiative was specifically designed to bypass the American Senate.  Using a familiar tactic in the European Union of bypassing national legislative bodies (in other words bypassing democracy) the Paris Agreement was labeled an “executive agreement” and not a treaty  so as not to require a vote in the US Senate.  This in spite of the fact that the agreement will act similarly to a treaty.

Germany should be hesitant of questioning American reliability because as noted above when dealing with climate change initiatives the US has been reliably skeptic on the issue for decades.  To act as if this is something new is absurd.  Trump should also point out that Germany is the country that has been unreliable in living up to its treaty obligations with regards to defense spending and NATO.  In fact, one could easily argue that Russian aggression in Europe is a direct result of the embarrassing European wide military disarmament that has gone on for years now.  To be blunt it is German unreliability on national security issues and German selfishness with their obscene trade surplus with the rest of the world that is the problem.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-provokes-merkel-to-reveal-her-true-intention-of-dominating-europe-2017-05-30?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Significant drop in illegal immigration is the Trump administration’s biggest accomplishment in first 100 days.


While his administration has struggled with repealing Obamacare and fumbled with travel bans they are having a major impact in reigning in illegal immigration.  The LA Times has reported that since Trump has taken office illegal crossings are down an impressive 40%.  This is notable since Trump has yet to even break ground on his wall.  Oddly enough, it seems that when you actually enforce the laws currently on the books and let illegals know they are not welcome that it actually does deter people from coming.  What a novel idea!  However, the biggest news out of this is that it illuminates how utterly incompetent all the previous administrations have been since Eisenhower.  This is especially true of Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama.  All of whom failed miserably to secure the southern border in the modern era.  I would argue that because of this failure all three former presidents should be publicly censured by congress, have their retirement pay forfeited to pay for Trump’s wall, and have their presidential libraries closed as punishment for letting us be overrun.

 

Southwest Border Crossings Drop To Lowest … – latimes.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Drastic Defense Cuts


Today Russia has alerted over 150,000 soldiers to test their readiness to invade the Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War rages on supported by Russia killing tens of thousands.  Iran , once again supported by Russia, is racing to build nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel from the map.  The US is committed by treaty to defend South Korea against the nuclear armed North Korea, which just so happen to share the world’s most heavily armed border in the world with over 1.2 million on either side of the border ready to kill each other.  The US is also obligated by treaty to defend Japan and all its territory.  Recently the Chinese have begun laying claim to Japanese territory.  To intimidate the Japanese and America the Chinese have routinely in the last year sent ships and planes to continuously provoke the Japanese.  The exact same has happened with the Philippines, which just so happens to have a treaty with the US.

None of the above even mentions the ongoing battle with islamic extremists around the globe.  On top of all this current Sec. Def. Hagel has admitted that the US stands to lose military dominance if investments aren’t made to ensure continued US technological advantages.  However in spite of everything I just listed, what can only be described as a world spinning out of control, this administration has decided to make drastic cuts to the American military.  In essence we are communicating are lack of resolve and weakness to our many adversaries around the globe.  Unfortunately for us and the world as a whole they are listening.

America Is No Longer A Superpower


When I first started writing this article I wrote the title as a question.  Upon further reflection I came to the easy decision that there really wasn’t any question about it and that I should write it as a statement instead to better reflect reality.  As our fearless leaders in Washington both republican and democrat debate whether or not we should launch military strikes against Syria I think it is time to acknowledge that our days of being a Superpower have passed.  Yes, we do still have the world’s most powerful military by far but that fact doesn’t look so powerful when you begin to realize that for us to use this military we have to borrow the money, mostly from China.  Can you really claim to be a real Superpower when you are dependent on rival regimes to finance your mighty military?  To me the answer is obvious and has been since the Great Recession began.  The sad fact of the matter is that we are now dependent on borrowed money from rival foreign powers to do anything militarily.  What happens when our interests don’t align with the people that are lending us the money?

 

Big 3 All Gain Market Share For The First Time In Over 20 Yrs.


Are the US auto makers on the come back trail?  It is a question worth asking with today’s announcement that all three have gained market share for the first time in over 20 years.  Even though I supported the bailout I still would not say that this is proof positive that it was worth it but I would say that this is a big step in the right direction.  There is no doubt that the Big 3 automakers are making better product than they have made in a long time.  The real question is can they sustain this new-found momentum and build on it or will this be a small blip in the near continuous 30 year plus fall in market share?  The one thing that does give hope is that these numbers are not skewed by the Japanese Tsunami that put a terrible dent in the Japanese auto manufacturers numbers.  Rather the Japanese manufacturers have already had their expected big recoveries and so we can say that it appears the Detroit 3 actually earned this.  Here is to hoping that this represents a new renaissance in American auto manufacturing.

http://www.autoblog.com/2013/05/01/detroit-automakers-gain-market-share-simultaneously-for-first-ti/#aol-comments

North Korean Nuclear Missles And Obama’s Missile Defense Policy


"President Obama campaigned on gutting America’s missile defense, and he has kept his promise."

“President Obama campaigned on gutting America’s missile defense, and he has kept his promise.”

Word accidentally leaked out today that the pentagon secretly assumed that North Korea does in fact have the capability of putting a nuke on a missile.  This flies in the face of the myriad of statements by  defense officials in the past that routinely dismissed the idea that North Korea had developed nuclear capable missiles.  To say that this a complete game changer for America’s policy towards the rogue state is an understatement because now there is the very real possibility that North Korea could lob a missile to the west coast of the United States.  Sadly, it also shows how little trust you can put in our elected officials.  Remember, many of these same democrats running the pentagon and the Obama administration have been telling us for years that missile defense was a uneeded waste of tax payer dollars.  I have no doubt that our missile defense programs have been executed in a completely inefficient fashion because that is par for the course for the pentagon because politicians secretly like it that way.  Unfortunately just because it was developed in a wasteful manner does not mean it was not needed.

To be frank the Obama administration has done such a bad job of handling America’s missile defense that it has had to overrule its own reverse of the Bush administrations’ missile defense policy.  Read this excerpt from a piece from www.forbes.com .

“The U.S. could have already had those 14 more interceptors in place, along with another 10 in Europe next year.  The Bush administration deployed the first ground-based interceptor (GBI) in 2004, and had planned to deploy a total of 54. In 2009, Obama pulled the plug on that plan, and cut GBI deployment to just 30.”

To say that the Obama administration is incompetent on missile defense would be an understatement.  The fact of the matter is that he and his administration are down right dangerous.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/03/24/obamas-north-korean-and-iranian-missile-defense-trajectories-course-corrections-russian-re-set-dud/

Ground-based
Interceptor about to be emplaced in a silo, Fort Greely …

The Iraq War 10 Years On Was It Worth It?


We are finishing up our look back on the Iraq War by attempting to answer the all important question of was the war worth it.  As you might have been thinking that is a pretty tough question to answer and because of that I think the only real way to try to answer that is to take emotion out of the equation and try analyze the facts as best as possible.  To accomplish this we need to not only look at this as Americans but also as Iraqis, and then again as Shia Iraqis, as Kurdish Iraqis, and finally as Sunni Iraqis because in the end it is their country.  So to accomplish this I will try to weigh the pros and cons from each group.

The Shia Iraqis

Considering that the Shia Iraqis probably took quite a beating during the war some might think that they would not think it worth it.  However, one must also remember that the Shia were persecuted in Iraq by Saddam prior to the war.  Also important to note is that as the largest group of people in Iraq they now control their own fate politically.  Although recent polling shows right now that Shia Iraqis feel worse off I think there is a reasonable chance that will change IF Iraq can stabilize in the near future.

The Kurds

The Kurdish people probably suffered the least from the war almost setting up a state within a state.  I am sure they are disappointed because they are still a part of Iraq but I am also sure that they are thankful to no longer having Saddam shooting chemical weapons at them either.

The Sunnis

The Sunnis without  a doubt have lost the most.  Saddam was a Sunni so they have gone from running the government to becoming junior partners in government to people they used to persecute.  You can imagine that they don’t like this and to them I would believe they do not think the war was worth it.

The Americans

For Americans the war has been bitterly divisive.  When the invasion was launched 10 years ago I remember polls showing support for the war around 70%.  Of course that would have been based on the false assumption that Iraq held stockpiles of wmd.  Couple that with gross incompetence of the nation’s senior defense officials like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the many generals who failed miserably in Iraq and your left with the idea that even if you thought the war was still justified because Saddam was gone you can’t excuse gross negligence/complete incompetence/near criminal misconduct with how the war was ran.  Having said all of that I do believe that in spite of everything I just said as bad as the war was for everybody involved the sanctions put on Iraq after the first Gulf War killed far more Iraqis than the war did.  Estimates are between 1-2 million Iraqis died from the sanctions, so you could probably say comfortably that the sanctions killed at least 1 million more people than the war did.

Surprisingly my own personal opinion about the war has changed just in the last week because of the research I did for this series.  Before I started this series I was convinced the war was a complete waste based on bad intelligence or maybe even outright lies about wmd etc..  While I am still shocked and dismayed by the incompetence of our so-called leaders about the handling of the war I can say definitively that something had to be done about Iraq and the sanctions put in place after the first Gulf War.  To be blunt we were butchering Iraqis literally by the thousands each year just so we could feel safe that Saddam wasn’t rearming.  This was wrong period and the situation had to be changed.  Does that mean there should have been an invasion?  I don’t know, you would like to think that during the 90’s upon realizing what the sanctions were doing to ordinary Iraqis a real effort would have been made to get rid of Saddam by all means necessary to include war if necessary.  To think that we launched the Kosovo campaign in the late 90’s to try to stop a genocide from being committed by Milosevic when we really needed to have been trying to stop a genocide in Iraq from being committed in our names makes me cringe.  As bad as the war was at least it ended the even worse sanctions.

The Cold Hard Truth

190,000 Iraqis killed in the war

4488 American soldiers killed in the war

3400 American civilian contractors killed in the war

2.2 trillion dollars spent on the war

Things To Consider

1-2 million Iraqis killed because of sanctions prior to the war

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/how-do-iraqis-view-the-effects-of-the-iraq-war/

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/03/15/study-iraq-war-cost-190k-lives-22-trillion.html?comp=1198882887570&rank=9

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1169290/