In 2003, then Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, warned against the imminent invasion of Iraq led by the United States. In his warning, he stated that an invasion aimed at removing the regime of Saddam Hussein would only serve to destabilize the entire Middle East. Clearly, after 15 years of turmoil in the Middle East, what al-Faisal meant by “destabilize” was that Iran would no longer have the counter-weight of Saddam Hussein preventing it from creating a Shi’ite Crescent. This projection of power in the Middle East has stretched from Tehran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and across the Persian Gulf into Yemen. As a result of this Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states sought for ways to counter Iran’s expansion of influence in the region.
Part of the plan for countering this expansion called for the Gulf States to encourage confrontation with Iranian-allied entities in the Middle East. The opportunity to take out a major component of the Shi’ite Crescent came in 2011 when, as part of what was deemed the Arab Spring, public unrest in Syria began. Initially mimicking what was seen first in Tunisia and then later in Egypt, the unrest in Syria was a call by the people for more political autonomy within the country. Soon the protests were coopted by jihadists who spotted an opportunity to topple a secular regime and install an Islamist one in its wake. That is when the killing picked up pace. It is also when the Gulf states and many in the national security elite of the United States saw a chance to act.... [Read More]
Last night on the phone call, I tried to explain some theoretical physics that I heard while listening to the Joe Rogan podcast. Well needless to say, I didn’t do very well and I could literally hear the disappointment from Doc Lor. So below are a few links related to what I was trying to explain…and failing miserably.
Last night was probably the most excited I have been in my sport-life since the 1992 Dallas Cowboys destroyed the San Francisco 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl. (In those days, the NFC winner was the Super Bowl winner.) The Washington Nationals came from behind in dramatic fashion, late in the game of the National League Division Series elimination game. And the drama was at the expense of one Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw took the outcome of the game very bad. He takes full responsibility for the series loss based on the two pitches he threw that led to the tie in the top of the 8th inning. The Nationals–aside from their existence as the Expos–have never won a playoff series. In multiple times they were the favorite and ended up losing in an imploding fashion many times on their own home field. Last night they got to return the favor against a team, a man, that was the last to send the Nationals home earlier than they expected.... [Read More]
President Trump is in the process of being impeached in the House of Representatives on the grounds that he tried to elicit action of a foreign power to attack one of his potential political rivals in the 2020 election cycle. This information came to the public’s attention through a supposed whistleblower who was on a limited rotation from the CIA to the National Security Council. This individual was outed in a New York Times piece as an employee of the CIA, an organization that has had its own problems with whistleblowers going back to the early GW Bush years. The CIA is not a fan of whistleblowers. Given all of this, here is the question: If you were a CIA employee who was witness to nefarious, even maybe illegal, activity, what in recent history would lead you believe that you would be protected if you “blew the whistle”?
Here is a little background to this question. Whistleblowers are supposed to go through a certain process within their government organizations in order to be afforded certain legal protections. Sometime around 2003 or 2004, three very senior people at the National Security Agency did just that when they were blown off by superiors, demoted within the NSA, and finally hounded out of the agency. Some of them were arrested for divulging “classified” information when the NSA retroactively classified what was to that point unclassified and put them in jail. (Thomas Drake is whom I speak.) Several years later, Edward Snowden, having seen the treatment given to these heroes, decided to take a different path in getting his information out to the public. And then of course, there are the numerous, lesser known instances sprinkled in between.... [Read More]
As someone who has made a rather long journey from Neo-Con twenty-something who viewed the U.S. Intelligence Community through a rather distorted, yet romantic, lens to a radical Rothbardian libertarian, the headline should not be surprising. What is surprising is how brazen the U.S. Intelligence Community has become in making its feelings known about a large portion of the people of the various States. It is high time people start thinking in terms of dismantling this vicious machinery of soft despotism. But, in order to move in that direction, a brief list of its crimes might be in order.
There is no mistaken the attempt at reversing a presidential election that has been perpetrated at the hands of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Beginning in 2016–and possibly going back to late 2015–the U.S. Intelligence Community began a counterintelligence investigation into the presidential campaign of the out-of-power party based on the pretense of information about the in-power party’s candidate held by a foreign power. That pretense was actually the creation of the U.S. Intelligence Community via an intelligence asset named Mifsud. It was a classic dangle. In counterintelligence terminology, a dangle is where an operative or an asset offers some tidbit of information with the hope that the target takes the bait and allows access to the operative or the asset. This access allows for the counterintell operators to completely control or destroy the targeted entity. Mifsud is an intelligence asset of the United States.... [Read More]
While at National Review poking around for the sappy farewells and well-wishes to its most prominent Cuckservative, I came across a little diddy about Mayor Booty-grab’s plan to remake the Supreme Court. Apparently the plan is to expand the court to 5 Dems, 5 Reps, and then five chosen by the other ten. This plan on the face of it seems to be a “silver bullet” method of removing all partisanship from the high court, but I don’t think this will have any of the desired effects that either Booty-grab or Conservatives have in mind, in that Conservatives are likely to have their own complaints about the high court.
The writer who brought this to my attention–some three name person I have never heard of–voiced concern that this would shape the Court in the image of the two political parties. That is a valid concern, but one which I think is already a reality. Since the days of Bush the Younger, the environment in Washington D.C. pertaining to the courts were shaping up to be the party in control of the White House and the Senate dictated how the courts looked. This progressed (no pun here) to control of the Senate with filibuster-proof majorities. Then finally, and the way the Constitution was designed, a simple majority of 51. In short, long are the days when you could get a significant number of votes from the opposite party. Sure, Republicans play nice, but that is out of a mentality of Stockholm Syndrome. Democrats on the other hand are never going to allow reason to overcome what the party bosses dictate, just ask Miguel Estrada.... [Read More]
I have been kicking this thought around in my head for about a month. I have come to the conclusion that the reason why Trump won in 2016 had more to do with whom he ran against than anything else. Yes, Trump hit on issues that many Americans found important, most notably trade issues and immigration. Yes, Trump worked much harder than Hillary when it came to states like Wisconsin and Michigan. But it must also be acknowledged that his margin of victory in many states that have not gone Republican since at least 1992 was razor thin for Trump, Michigan especially.
No, the main reason why Trump won was because Hillary was hated that much by most everyone in the electorate. If the voter was a Republican, there is no need to explain that person’s vote. If the voter was a progressive, then the explanation of wanting payback for Bernie is very reasonable. The bulk of Democrat voters in these states that did not show up to vote for her, or outright voted for him, is a clear indicator.... [Read More]
The United States is embroiled in multiple military excursions across the Middle East and recently President Donald Trump has expressed his desire that two of those excursions be wound down. Of course, this is a reference to Trump’s suggestion that the United States get out of Afghanistan and end our limited military operations in Syria. These utterances were made a few weeks ago and there has been no action, so the question become, is President Trump serious about winding those two operations down?
Beginning with Afghanistan, it is important to do a very quick rehash of what this war is about. It was the response by the George W. Bush administration for the al Qa’ida inspired attacks on September 11, 2001. That really does not need to be covered. What is more pressing is that just a decade ago (yeah it doesn’t feel that long to me either) this war was called the “good war” by then presidential candidate, Senator Barrack Obama. Obama’s campaign positioned itself to end the operations in Iraq and focus on Afghanistan, where the real battle was since that is where 9/11 was planned (it wasn’t, that was Kuala Lumpur). This resulted in an additional 33,000 military personnel being shipped to Afghanistan to add to the numbers that were already there. By 2012, the Afghan Surge was ended and those troops were brought home. Did it accomplish anything?... [Read More]