• Iraq War 3.0, the War to End All Wars, is Over

    January 2, 2018

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Trump



    America’s serial wars in Iraq are ending with a whimper, not a bang. And in the oddest of ironies, it may be President Donald Trump, feared as a war monger, the fifth president to make war in Iraq, who has more or less accidentally ended up presiding over the end.

    Here’s how we ended up where we are, and how a quarter century of American conflict in Iraq created the post-Vietnam template for forever war we’ll be using in the next fight.


    Iraq War 1.0+ The Good War

    The end of the Soviet Union transitioned the Middle East from a Cold War battleground to an exclusive American sphere of influence. George H. W. Bush exploited the new status in 1991 by launching Iraq War 1.0, Desert Storm, reversing decades of U.S. support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

    Prior to the ‘Storm, the U.S. supplied weapons to Iraq, including the chemicals Saddam used to gas his own people. The American goal was more to bleed the Iranians, then at war with Iraq, than anything else, but the upshot was helping Saddam stay in power. The more significant change in policy Iraq War 1.0 brought was reversing America’s post-Vietnam reluctance to make war on a large scale. “The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the Arabian Peninsula. By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all,” the elder Bush said, in what the New York Times called “a spontaneous burst of pride.” There was even a victory parade with tanks and attack helicopters staged in Washington. America was back!

    Bill Clinton took office and kept the fires burning, literally, inside Iraq, in what might be called Iraq War 1.5. Clinton, following the brush back pitch of the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia, decided maybe some Vietnam-era reluctance to send in troops wasn’t all that bad an idea, and instead embarked on an aerial campaign, with U.S. imposed no-fly zones, over Iraq. By the time Clinton’s tenure in the White House ended, America was bombing Iraq on average three times a week. In 1999, the U.S. dropped about $1 billion worth of ordnance, scaling up to $1.4 billion in the year ending around the time George W. Bush took office. It would be that Bush, in the hysteria following the 9/11 attacks, who would shift the previous years of war on Iraq into something that would change the balance of power in the Middle East: Iraq War 2.0, full-on regime change.


    Iraq War 2.0, The Bad One

    On the flimsiest excuse, non-existent weapons of mass destruction, fueled by the media and America’s own jihadistic blood thirst, George W. Bush invaded a nation to change its government to one preferred by the United States.

    Though often presented as a stand-alone adventure, Bush’s invasion was consistent with the broader post-WWII American Empire policy that fueled incursions in South East Asia and coups across South America when Washington decided a government needed to be changed to something more Empire-friendly. Many believe Iraq was only the first of Bush’s planned regime changes, his war cabinet having their eye on Syria, Lebanon, perhaps even Iran. After a heady start with the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 (“shock and awe”) Bush declared victory for the first time — Mission Accomplished! — only to see the war drag on past his own time in office.

    It is a type of macabre parlor game to pick the moment when things might have been turned around in Iraq, when chaos and disaster might have been averted. Over drinks in some Georgetown salon it might be agreed the tipping point was the decision to disband the Iraqi military, police, and civil service in 2003. Others might point to the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari Golden Mosque, which drove the next decade of Sunni-Shia fighting. The American military insists they had a chance right up through the Surge in 2008, the State Department imagines it almost turned the corner with reconstruction in 2010, and Republican revisionists prefer to mark the last chance to fix things as the day before Obama’s decision to withdraw American combat troops in 2011.


    Iraq War 3.0, Made in America, Fought in Iraq

    Who now remembers President Obama declaring pseudo-victory in Iraq in 2011, praising American troops for coming home with their “heads held high”? He seemed then to be washing his hands forever of the pile of sticky brown sand that was Bush’s Iraq, the better to concentrate on a new Surge in Afghanistan. Trillions had been spent, untold lives lost or ruined, but the U.S. was to move on and not look back. So much for Pax Americana in the Middle East, but at least it was all over.

    Until Obama went back. Obama turned a purported humanitarian mission in August 2014 to save the Yazidi people few Americans had ever heard of from destruction at the hands of Islamic State into a full-scale bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq. A coalition of 73 nations and organizations (including Chad and Ireland, the vestigial list is still online) was formed to help, even though no one ever heard of them again absent a few bombing runs by the Brits. It was as if the events of 2003-2011 had never happened; Barack Obama stepped to the edge of the Iraq abyss, peered over, and shrugged his shoulders.

    The Iraq of 2014 was all Made in America, and due to low oil prices, much of it was also paid for by America, via subsidies and foreign aid to replace the petroleum revenues that never came.

    The gleefully corrupt Baghdad authorities of 2014 held little control over most of the nation; vast areas were occupied by Islamic State, itself more or less welcomed by Iraqi Sunnis as protection against the genocide they feared at the hands of the Iranian puppet Shia central government. That government had been installed by Iran out of the mess of the 2010 elections the U.S. held in hopes of legitimizing its tail-tucked exit from Iraq. The Sunnis were vulnerable because the American Surge of 2008 had betrayed them, coercing the tribes into ratting out al Qaeda with the promise of a role in governing a new Iraq that never happened once the Iranian-backed Shia Prime Minister al-Maliki took power.

    Initially off to the side of the 2014-era Sunni-Shia struggle but soon drawn in by Islamic State’s territorial gains were the Iraqi Kurds, forever promised a homeland whenever the U.S. needed them and then denied that homeland when the U.S. did not need them to oppose Saddam in Iraq War 1.0, help stabilize liberated Iraq in War 2.0, or defeat Islamic State in Iraq War 3.0.


    We Won! Sort of.

    Obama’s, and now Trump’s, Iraq War 3.0 strategy was medieval, brutal in its simplicity: kill people until there was literally no Islamic State left inside Iraq. Then allow the Iranians and Shia Iraqis to do whatever they pleased in the aftermath.

    The United Nations said earlier this month it was appalled by a mass execution of Sunni prisoners in Iraq and called for an immediate halt. There was no response from the United States. As in Iraq War 1.0, when the U.S. abandoned the Kurds and their desire for a homeland, and stood back while Saddam crushed a Shia uprising the U.S. had helped provoke, internal Iraqi affairs were just too messy to be of lasting concern; that was one of the big takeaways from Iraq War 2.0 and all that failed nation building. Do what we’re good at, killing, and then walk away.

    The outcome of Iraq War 3.0 was never really in doubt, only how long it might take. With the semi-allied forces of the United States, Iran, the Kurds, and local Shia militias directed against them, Islamic State could never hold territory in what was a struggle of attrition.

    This was finally a war the U.S. knew how to fight, with none of that tricky counterinsurgency stuff. Retaking Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul were the same set-piece battle the American army first fought in Vicksburg in 1863. City after Sunni city were ground into little Stalingrads by air power and artillery (since 2014, the United States spent more than $14 billion on its air campaign against Islamic State) before being turned over to the Shia militias for the ethnic cleansing of renegade Sunni elements. There are no practical plans by the Iraqi government to rebuild what was destroyed. This time, unlike in Iraq War 2.0, there will be no billions of U.S. tax dollars allotted to the task.

    The end of War 3.0 came almost silently. There was no “Mission Accomplished” moment. No parades in Washington, no toppling of giant Saddam statues in Baghdad. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi simply on December 9, 2017 declared the war which essentially started in 1991 over. It barely made the news, and passed without comment by President Trump. What used to matter a lot in the end did not matter at all.


    The Price We Paid in Iraq

    Tweetable version: The last quarter century of Iraq Wars (from Desert Storm 1991 to the present) thrust the region into chaos while progressively erasing American dominance. Iran is picking up the pieces. As long as the U.S. insists on not opening diplomatic relations with Tehran, it will have no way short of war to exert any influence, a very weak position. Other nation-states in the Middle East will move to diversify their international relationships (think Russia and China) knowing this. Regional politics, not American interests, will drive events.

    After five administrations and 26 years the price the United States paid for what will have to pass as a victory conclusion is high. Some 4,500 American dead, millions killed on the Iraqi side, and $7.9 trillion taxpayer dollars spent.

    The U.S. sacrificed long-term allies the Kurds and their dreams of a homeland to avoid a rift with Baghdad; the dead-end of the Kurdish independence referendum vote this autumn just created a handy date for historians to cite, because the Kurds were really done the day their usefulness in fighting Islamic State wrapped up. Where once pundits wondered how the U.S. would chose a side when the Turks and Kurds went to war both armed with American weapons, it appears the U.S. could care less about what either does over the disputed borderlands they both crave.

    The big winner of America’s Iraq War is Iran. In 2017, Iran has no enemies on either major border (Afghanistan, to the east, thanks again to the United States, is unlikely to reconstitute as a national-level threat in anyone’s lifetime) and Iraq is now somewhere between a vassal state and a neutered puppet of Tehran.

    About their rivals in Saudi Arabia, again there is only good news for Iran. With the Sunnis in Iraq hanging on with the vitality of an abused shelter dog (and Iranian-supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apparently to remain in power), Saudi influence is on the wane. In the broader regional picture, unlike the Saudi monarchs, Iran’s leaders do not rule in fear of an Islamic revolution. They already had one. With its victory in Iraq, stake in Syria, and friends in Lebanon, Iran has pieced together a land corridor to the Mediterranean at very low cost. If it was a stock, you’d want to buy Iran in 2018.


    The War to Make All Wars

    Going forward, Trump is unlikely to pull many troops out of Iraq, having seen the political price Obama paid for doing so in 2011. The troops will stay to block the worst of any really ugly Shia reprisals against the Sunnis, and to referee among the many disparate groups (Peshmerga, Yazidi, Turkmen, the Orwellian-named/Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, along with animated militias and factions of all flavors) who the U.S. armed willy-nilly to defeat ISIS.

    The U.S. put a lot of weapons on to the battlefield and a reckoning is feared. The armed groups mostly set aside differences dating from Biblical times to fight ISIS, but with that behind them, about all they still have in common is mutual distrust. There is zero chance of any national cohesion, and zero chance of any meaningful power-sharing by Baghdad. U.S. goals include keeping a lid on things so no one back home starts looking for someone to blame in the next election cycle, wondering what went wrong, “Who lost Iraq?” and asking what we should be doing about it. How well the U.S. will do at keeping things in line, and the long term effects of so many disparate, heavily-armed groups rocketing around greater Mesopotamia, will need to be seen.

    U.S. troops perma-stationed in Iraq will also be a handy bulwark against whatever happens next in Syria. In addition, Israel is likely to near-demand the United States garrison parts of western Iraq as a buffer against expanding Iranian power, and to keep Jordan from overreacting to the increased Iranian influence.

    Iran has already passively agreed to most of this. It has little to gain from a fight over some desert real estate that it would probably lose to the Americans anyway, when their prize is the rest of Iraq. And if any of this does presage some future U.S. conflict with an Iran that has gotten “too powerful,” then we shall have witnessed a true ironic tragedy and a historic waste of American blood and resources.


    Empire

    In the longer view, the Iraq Wars will be seen as a turning point in the American Empire. They began in 1991 as a war for oil, the battle to keep the pipelines in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia open to the United States’ hungry mouth. They ended in 2017 when Persian Gulf oil is no longer a centerpiece of American foreign policy. When oil no longer really mattered, Iraq no longer really mattered.

    More significantly, the Iraq Wars created the template for decades of conflict to come. Iraq was the first forever war. It began in 1991 with the goal of protecting oil. The point of it all then shape-shifted effortlessly to containing Saddam via air power to removing weapons of mass destruction to freeing Iraq from an evil dictator to destroying al Qaeda to destroying Islamic State to something something buttress against Iran. Over the years the media dutifully advised the American people what the new point of it all was, reporting the changes as it might report the new trends in fashion — for fall, it’s shorter hemlines, no more al Qaeda, and anti-ISIS, ladies!

    The Iraq Wars changed the way we look at conflict. There would never again be a need for a formal declaration of war, such decisions now clearly were within the president’s whims and ordinations. He could ramp things up, or slow things down, as his mind, goals, temperament, and often domestic political needs, required. The media would play along, happily adopting neutral terms like “regime change” to replace naughty ones like “overthrow.” Americans were trained by movies and NFL halftime salutes to accept a steady but agreeably low rate of casualties on our side, heroes all, and be hardened to the point of uncaring about the millions of souls taken as “collateral damage” from the other. Everyone we kill is a terrorist, the proof being that we killed them. Play a loud noise long enough and you stop hearing it.


    The mistakes of the first try at a forever war, Vietnam, were fixed: no draft, no high body counts for Americans, no combative media looking for atrocities, no anguish by the president over a dirty but necessary job, no clear statement of what victory looks like to muddle things. For all but the most special occasions the blather about democracy and freeing the oppressed was dropped.

    More insidiously, killing became mechanical, nearly sterile from our point of view (remember the war porn images of missiles blasting through windows in Iraq War 1.0? The hi-tech magic of drone kills, video game death dispensed from thousands of miles away?) Our atrocities — Abu Ghraib is the best known, but there are more — were ritualistically labeled the work of a few bad apples (“This is not who we are as Americans.”) Meanwhile, the other side’s atrocities were evil genius, fanaticism, campaigns of horror. How many YouTube beheading videos were Americans shown until we all agreed the president could fight ISIS forever?

    Without the Iraq Wars there would be no multi-generational war in Afghanistan, and no chance of one in Syria. The United States currently has military operations underway in Cameroon, Chad, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Uganda, and Yemen. Any one will do of course, as the answer to one last question: where will America fight its next forever war, the lessons of Iraq well-learned, the presidents ready?




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    Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...

      1

      America’s next forever war may already be occurring in the homeland. Pumped up and angry American warrior vets have found the only work available- policing.

      01/2/18 6:52 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      JP,

      Yes, SWATing at anything that flies.

      01/2/18 7:59 AM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...

      3

      PVB,
      HNY.
      jim hruska

      01/2/18 8:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      4

      Just in time for the NEXT war…. Here’sssssssss IRAN!!!!!

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42539445

      PS.
      Where’s all that outrage?
      Where’s all the screaming about the lack of support these people are getting?
      Where’s the “Special ” UN vote against the government there?
      Where’s all the “celebrities” with money, poems and twitter attacks?

      Guess all of that would cause a question of credibility… After that “historic” Iran deal.

      M

      01/2/18 8:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Peace may be at hand in Iraq and Syria | Phil Ebersole's Blog said...

      5

      […] Iraq War 3.0, the War to End All Wars, Is Over by Peter Van Buren for  We Meant Well. […]

      01/2/18 10:02 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      6

      Mitch- if Samantha Power were still at the UN she’d be demanding NATO bomb Iran -you know the old R2P ruse. The clerics are killing peacefully protesting youth we have to remove the government.

      01/2/18 10:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Joe said...

      7

      While the United States’ current “Forever Wars” may seem like a post-Vietnam innovation, the concept actually dates back to the closing days of the nineteenth century and the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War. Appropriately enough that conflict also marked the start of Marine General Smedley Butler’s thirty plus year career, which saw him serving in the Philippines, China, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Haiti and finally France. Besides winning the Medal of Honor twice (during the now forgotten “Banana Wars,” which were largely fought to protect the United Fruit Company’s business interests) Butler went on to write a little book called “War Is a Racket” that was first published in 1935. The opening lines of Butler’s book read:

      “WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

      “Little” wars that drag on forever can still make big money, along with making for good political theater and giving our military something to do. And some of them may even be justified as well. (For example, despite the absolute train wreck that Afghanistan has turned into, I think it’s hard to argue that it was unjust or unwise to use some force against the Taliban post 9/11.) So I don’t think our Forever Wars are going away any time soon – perhaps Lockheed Martin should be added to “Iran” as one of your stock picks for 2018?

      01/2/18 11:02 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      8

      Joe- the beribboned gangsters running the Pentagon shakedown racket are clever guys. We tax payers are forced to pay them protection money. If we don’t pay up? Well, let your imagination run wild. They’ll create bogey men coming to get us.

      01/2/18 12:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      9

      John.
      I know.

      But…. At least that would be something….

      I operate on the premise…. “No Response, is Still… A Response”.

      In this case…. They just don’t give a damn. After all…. If it was maneuvered correctly…. They would in up with a new government in Iran…. With no need to bomb it back to the stoneage.

      Which leads me to “Joe”.

      Joe, if you haven’t seen the “Audit” that is being conducted for the second time, on the Pentagon, (The first did not go so well, it was conducted on 9/10/2001)… Take a look at it…

      Something like 100 gazillion dollars are unaccounted for… (rough number, aka: HELL OF A LOT OF CASH) is missing….

      University of Michigan started it over public access information… Its kind of snowballed from there.

      M

      01/2/18 1:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      Who needs an audit? We are fing broke. Social Security and Medicare are just Ponzi schemes at this point. The country is at the point of the derivative disaster. All the crooks knew it was just a matter time the whole thing collapsed. But this time the government cant spend its way out.

      01/2/18 2:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      The only sure prediction is we will get it in the end.

      Speaking of: a Pennsylvania judicial panel sent a decision that an inmate who claimed a balloon full of synthetic marijuana in his rear end wasn’t his.

      The ruling last week came after Edwin Wylie-Biggs appealed the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s additional sentence for having the contraband material, arguing it didn’t have sufficient evidence.

      He was hit with an extra three to six years last April for the offense, on top of an existing prison term in Allegheny County, which was upheld in a trial court a month later, according to the five-page ruling.

      Butt butt, your honor…

      01/2/18 2:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      As the spokesman for Deep State, we are very concerned that the GOP tax cuts threaten the gravytrain we have been milking the dumbass taxpayers all these years. As such, we will take all steps necessary to protect our interests, as any parasite would do, short of killing its host.

      01/2/18 4:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      13

      Bauer.
      At least you got some of that right.
      Are you one of these????

      Tens of thousands of federal employees earn more money than any U.S. governor, according to a new report that reveals some eye-popping stats on government spending for the federal workforce.

      The 40-page report, titled “Mapping the Swamp” and released by government watchdog group OpenTheBooks, focused on the “size, scope and power” of the federal government — and found salary spending for high-paid employees on the rise. 

      “The number of highly compensated federal employees is growing,” the report said, describing six-figure salaries as increasingly common.

      According to the report, the number of federal employees making $200,000 or more increased by 165 percent between fiscal 2010 and 2016. Federal employees making $150,000 or more grew by 60 percent, with the number making more than $100,000 increasing by 37 percent in the same time period. 

      The group put its figures in context by comparing these plush payment packages with those of America’s governors. 

      “Nearly 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees who received more than $190,823 out-earned each of the 50 state governors,” the report said. 

      Currently, the top gubernatorial earners are Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who makes $190,823; Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who makes $187,500; and California Gov. Jerry Brown, who makes $182,971. The lowest-paid governor is Maine Gov. Paul LePage, making just $70,000, according to numbers from Ballotpedia.

      According to the “Mapping the Swamp” report, a total of 406,960 federal employees made six-figure incomes in fiscal 2016 – that’s roughly one in five federal employees.

      “There is a new ‘minimum wage’ for federal bureaucrats – at 78 departments and independent agencies, the average employee made $100,000 or more,” OpenTheBooks said in a statement.

      In fiscal 2016, the United States Postal Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs employed more than half of federal employees. USPS employed 32 percent of all disclosed federal employees, totaling 621,523 people on the payroll; and the VA employed the second-most employees with 372,614.

      The analysis is incomplete, however, as there are a number of federal employees who have not disclosed their salaries.

      “We found small and large agencies across the federal government gaming the system for personal gain – and it’s expensive for the taxpayer,” OpenTheBooks.com CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski said in a statement. “Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we’re still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts. It’s time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices.”

      The report said the federal government pays its disclosed workforce $1 million per minute and more than a half-billion dollars per day.

      Federal employees also are given considerable paid-time-off. According to the report, on average, federal employees are given 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days, and 20 vacation days per year.

      “If each employee used 13 sick days and took 20 vacation days in addition to the 10 federal holidays, it would cost taxpayers an estimated $22.6 billion annually,” the report said.

      M

      01/3/18 8:12 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      Mitch,

      We just wasted trillions in dumbass wars. The country is broke. What difference does it make?

      01/3/18 8:27 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      Megamillions 420,000,000
      Powerball. 430,000,000
      US treasury – 0

      01/3/18 8:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      16

      Bauer…
      So…. That’s a “Yes”, you are one of them.

      Which explains why you hate Trump so much… Your looking forward to your pay cut.

      M

      01/3/18 12:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      Newsflash: Statement from the Presidense of the dumbest country on the planet

      Crazy Mitch has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Mitch was a Russian bot who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.

      Now that he is on his own, Mitch is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Mitch had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Mitch doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.

      Mitch pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Mitch only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue.

      Mitch, go back to Russia. The presidense has spoken.

      01/3/18 2:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      18

      Bauer.

      Well…. Your correct on one thing….. I had nothing to do with electing Trump…. Didn’t even vote for him.

      Just have always had a problem…. Serious problem… With bullies and bigots.

      Oh… Russia was kind of fun. Moscow knows how to party.
      Ever been there???

      Or are you just watching Cannabis News Network ????

      M

      PS. At least this time you used some original thinking.
      Progress!!!!

      PS 2

      Were you in New York today?… Or the last few days ????

      Saw where someone tried to torch the Secret Service house at Killary’s place.
      Figured it had to be you…. You’ve made it pretty clear you just want the world to burn.

      M

      01/3/18 8:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      19

      Mitch,

      Me? I am just a WITNESS.

      01/3/18 9:18 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      20

      Bauer.

      You should probably stick with that policy.

      Trump will probably go to jail. So will Hillary, Bill, Wasserman, Biden, etc.

      Me… I’m going to stick with rasing cattle and sheep…. and trying to learn Russian and Chinese…. Rosetta stone doesn’t work worth a damn on those. Other languages were easy… Those two… Damn!!!
      Figure sooner or later going to need both.

      Russia has ideally placed themselves to replace the reserve currency of the planet with the Yuan… Rather than dollar. Both nations are on the US shit list… Either way the election had gone.

      Russia now has agreements with Venzeula, which has the largest oil reserves on the planet.
      With the oil comes coal and precious and semi-precious stones and Gems…
      Brilliant move on Putin’s part. … No so good for the US… 5 to 7 years… But… The “Petro-dollar” move was 18 months before expected.
      Going to be an interesting ride.

      Btw…. Little philosophy for you from EMS/first responders….

      “Do something…. Even if its WRONG!!!!…do something!!!!…. Far better than sitting around and doing nothing!!!”

      M

      01/3/18 9:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      Dirty Deedy 3.0

      HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu prosecutor’s office said it plans to try a federal agent a third time for the shooting death of a man in 2011.

      Agent Christopher Deedy appealed the attempt at a third trial, but the Hawaii Supreme Court denied him on Thursday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .

      Deedy’s attorney, Thomas Otake, plans to appeal the ruling again to a federal court or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

      City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said he is gratified that the state Supreme Court agrees there is legal and factual basis to allow another retrial.

      “We will be pursuing a manslaughter conviction,” Kaneshiro said. “Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa will handle the case.”

      Deedy is accused of shooting 23-year-old Kollin Elderts inside a McDonald’s restaurant after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical altercation.

      Deedy, based in Washington, D.C., was in Honolulu to provide security for a multinational conference. He had been on Oahu barely 12 hours and is accused of having been out drinking with friends before the shooting.

      Deedy testified in both trials that he shot Elderts to protect himself and others from assault at the hands of Elderts and the Kailua man’s friend, Shane Medeiros. He said he identified himself as a law enforcement officer before drawing his personal handgun and that he was not drunk.

      The prosecution said Deedy was drunk and that he did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer before firing his weapon.

      Deedy’s first Circuit Court trial in 2013 ended in a deadlocked jury. A second jury a year later acquitted Deedy of second-degree murder but remained deadlocked on the charges of reckless manslaughter and first-degree assault.

      Circuit Judge Karen Ahn, who presided over Deedy’s first two trials, ordered a third trial on the manslaughter and assault charge.

      ___

      01/4/18 7:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      22

      Bauer.

      Now your screwed…. Someone hacked your Intel chip set.
      They found and have published your evil “Deep State” plan.
      (Need to find out of Alyssa Milano has room under tiaras).

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-03/deep-states-plan-c-murder-donald-trump

      M

      PS. Sell your Underwater Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) stock now. US Navy let one get captured.

      M

      01/4/18 7:30 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      23

      Mitch,

      Do you really think Deep is scared of Demented? Now that Demented has outlived his usefulness in getting the tax cut passed, the Repugnicans will go along with the Dumbocrats in impeaching his ass after he is blamed for the 2018 fiasco.

      Besides, Deep has gotten everything it wanted in total surveilance after its successful Anthrax attack. Demented has done nothing about that, other than complain that Obama wiretapped him.

      01/4/18 8:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      24

      Bauer.

      So…. The Anthrax thing was your ‘brain child’ ???
      Pretty sick.

      M

      PS.

      Trump’s usefulness isn’t done yet. His biggest contribution is that he’s broken the “two party” system.
      If Jill Stein survives her “Russian Collusion” investigation… She might actually have a chance in 2020.

      M

      01/4/18 11:39 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      25

      Deep Shit: Trump is right to demand an overhaul of the FBI, which botched or conspired to sabotage the anthrax “investigation.” Comey and Mueller are the usual suspects.

      01/4/18 2:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      26

      Russiagate: why the anthrax case matters
      In light of his poor handling of the anthrax case, one has to wonder: why is the media now celebrating Mueller’s appointment as special counsel for the Russia-Trump investigation? One doesn’t need to look far to find multiple parallels between the false WMD claims made by the Bush administration – which had their origins in the anthrax scare – and the media’s current obsession with finding evidence of Russian meddling in last year’s election. In both cases, the media fixated on questionable evidence and the creation of an artificial “bogeyman” to advance a deeper, more sinister agenda.

      Both the false WMD claims that led the U.S. into the Iraq War and the ongoing Russia scaremongering campaign have relied on a vague three-way connection between unrelated parties in order to shoehorn in a larger national security and foreign policy scheme. Under Bush, this was done by artificially connecting 9/11 to the anthrax attacks, and then to Saddam Hussein, creating a climate of fear. That same climate is being recreated now – only this time, the specter is Russia.

      Democrats and their allies are using a similar psychological warfare campaign to create a fictitious three-way connection between Trump, Russia and WikiLeaks in the public consciousness during a time of emotional trauma for Democratic voters. The larger theory posits that all three parties were colluding with each other to take down Hillary Clinton — even if no proof has been offered that Russia was WikiLeaks’ source.

      This narrative has been bolstered by the use of weaponized mainstream media terms like “fake news” and an increasingly prevalent McCarthy-esque mindset among Clinton voters who are quick to accuse their opponents of being Putin apologists. Even supporters of Bernie Sanders, who was running on the Democratic ticket just as Clinton was, have faced such accusations.

      Americans should not want a man who knew the Bush administration was trying to create a fictional connection between Hussein, anthrax and 9/11 to have the final verdict on another new three-way fiction: the conspiratorial web being woven between WikiLeaks, Trump and Russia.

      01/4/18 2:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      27

      Trumpie should fire Mueller and reopen the anthrax investigation. Hell, he can bust Obama on the Deep State coverup too:

      “Office of Management and Budget head Peter Orszag has told the intelligence committees Obama will veto the intelligence authorization because–among other reasons–it calls for re-examining the FBI’s conspiracy theory-as-investigation summary finding that Bruce Ivins acted alone.

      President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the next budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it calls for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, an administration official said.A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in an FBI probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

      01/4/18 2:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      28

      Bauer.

      Only question I have on the Anthrax is……

      Did you have direct involvement….. Or did you just give the formula to North Korea????

      M

      PS.

      Botched is an interesting word to use…. Considering no one is that incompetent….

      Unless they NEED to be seen that way.

      M

      01/4/18 3:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      29

      Mitch,

      I foolishly provided an investigative lead to the Deep State guys who wanted the anthrax case kept closed. FBI Agent Lambert had lots to tell, but no one apparently wanted to hear it.

      “Lambert, a former senior F.B.I. agent who ran the anthrax investigation for four years says that the bureau gathered “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins that remains secret. The former agent,who spent 24 years at the F.B.I., says he believes it is possible that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer, but he does not think prosecutors could have convicted him had he lived to face criminal charges.”

      In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee Mr. Lambert accused the bureau of trying “to railroad the prosecution of Ivins” and, after his suicide, creating “an elaborate perception management campaign” to bolster its claim that he was guilty. Mr. Lambert’s lawsuit accuses the bureau and the Justice Department of forcing his dismissal from a job as senior counterintelligence officer at the Energy Department’s lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in retaliation for his dissent on the anthrax case.

      01/4/18 4:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      30

      Bauer.

      Well, while your feeling foolish…. And looking for some interesting reading…and being deep state you’ll have access.

      Try reading through the un- Redacted testimony of the maintenance man from Tower One, NY city… On 9/11/2001.

      But… Only if you have the brass to read it all the way through.

      You should find it interesting to hear his recollections of the hundreds of explosions leading up to one Huge one.

      Then… Search what happened to that poor guy.

      Btw…. None of his Testimony made it to the final report… Neither did the firefighters arriving on scene… Or the law enforcement… They all saw the same thing.

      What is government capable of..?….. ????……

      M

      01/4/18 10:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      31

      Mitch,

      Follow the money. Who got RICH shorting the airline stocks when the towers crashed?

      01/5/18 11:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      32

      The International Organisation of Securities Commissions has stated that the financial manoeuvres that had taken place in the days prior to 9/11 amounted to several hundred million dollars, constituting

      “…the most important crime of insider trading ever committed”.
      Massive market irregularities in the days preceding the attacks delivered huge profits to ‘someone, somewhere’. However, tracing these profits to terrorist insiders has allegedly proved futile.

      The US government’s 9/11 Commission Report stated that it found nothing irregular.

      01/5/18 11:47 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      33

      Bauer.

      DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Irregularities = Criminal.

      M

      01/5/18 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      34

      We have nothing to fear because we have a “very stable genius” to protect US.

      01/6/18 11:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      35

      Bauer.

      We have several very stable geniuses protecting the United States.

      They have names like Roberts, Thomas, Kagan, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor.

      You might have heard of them.

      They were VERY important before the age of “Social Media Justice “.

      They are called….

      The Supreme Court of the United States of America.

      M

      01/6/18 7:43 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      36

      Be VERY afraid

      USA Today: As tensions between North Korea and the U.S. rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a nuclear event.

      The agency scheduled a briefing Jan. 16 titled “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation,” where federal, state and local officials will detail what preparations have been made in case of such an event.

      “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” reads an excerpt from the CDC’s website detailing the briefing. “For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation.”

      DOCTOR: Get ‘as far away from the roof and the walls as possible’

      HOW TO:Survive a nuclear attack, according to Japanese manga

      The briefing includes experts in radiation studies and public health officials who will explain how the U.S. has prepared for a nuclear event.

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      The timing of the briefing arrives as Americans grow concerned over heated rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea. In October, a USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found 56% of Americas disapproved of President Donald Trump’s handling of North Korea. A December poll from YouGov found nearly half of Americans believe it’s very or fairly likely the U.S. will use military force against North Korea.

      Both polls came before the most recent spat between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: During his annual New Year’s Day speech, Kim said he had a nuclear button on his desk, with the U.S. mainland within the range of his weapons.

      01/7/18 9:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      37

      Where will America fight its next battle? The war on the Homefront?

      NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mysterious metal towers are popping up at local tunnels, and soon they’ll start appearing at bridges, too. Gamma rad detectors?

      But even people on the MTA board in charge of the towers can’t say why they’re being used or what’s in them, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports.

      Jose Lugo said the tall metal towers quickly appeared up after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel tolls booths came down.

      “We don’t really know what’s the purpose of this,” he told Carlin.

      It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So what are they exactly?

      The MTA’s man in charge of the bridges and tunnels, Cedrick Fulton, dodged Carlin’s questions Wednesday.

      “I said no comment,” he said.

      Some MTA board members, including New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, say they know too little about the towers – even with half the money already spent and some of the towers already up.

      “A lot of the board members felt they didn’t have all the details they would have wanted, myself included,” she said.

      Residents suspect there is much more going on in the towers than meets the eye and wonder if they’ll ever really know what’s going on inside of them.

      “I’m going to guess that it’s not just a decoration,” Alyssa Renkas, of the Upper West Side, said.

      “It’s a bit mind-boggling that the MTA is approving $100 million for what appears to us to be big, decorative pylons,” says John Kaehny, the leader of the watchdog group Reinvent Albany. “What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA.”

      CBS2 demanded answers from MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.

      Carlin: “Some of your own board members say they don’t know the specifics.”

      01/7/18 9:50 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      38

      Mitch: Scorned Democrats are madly rushing to buy the latest anti Trump tome. They may be incapable of discerning their anti trump obsession is now far more toxic and chronic than the target of their hatred.

      01/7/18 11:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      39

      What is the big deal with Trump crying Wolff? His supporters don’t care. It hasn’t changed anyone’s opinion about him. He is only making Wolff RICH.

      01/7/18 2:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      40

      John

      Boy Howdy… You got that right.

      Bauer.

      The CDC…. What??? You didn’t get invited to the conference???
      We did.

      The towers… They are a combination of stingray tech with radiation defection. No biggie.
      People should be happy the city/state is sooooooo on the ball.

      M

      PS.
      Remember when I said there are other things to pay attention to… Rather than Trump hate???

      This would be one of them.

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-07/global-debt-hits-record-233-trillion-16-trillion-9-months

      M

      01/7/18 7:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      41

      Bauer.

      Fair warning…. This one’s going to sting.

      You’ll just love who the Russian Woman lawyer really works for.

      Also…. It does make you wonder what really caught fire in up state New York…. Or… Maybe I should say… What got Burned to Ashes!!!

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-07/upcoming-oig-report-likely-trigger-second-special-counsel-comey-lynch-and-clinton

      M

      01/8/18 6:39 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      42

      Mitch,

      I hope they burn the War Witch.

      01/8/18 9:05 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      43

      Bauer.

      Admit it…. You only want to see her burn because she has as much dirt on you as she has everyone else in government.

      M

      01/8/18 12:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      44

      01/8/18 6:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      45

      Peter just retweeted John Cusack in apparent agreement with his antiOprah tweet. That would be the same Cusack who tweeted he thought Peter was insane.

      01/9/18 7:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      46

      Boomerang theory keeps returning. Inarticulate White guy replaced by articulate black guy, who is replaced by inarticulate white guy, who is replaced by articulate black woman…

      01/9/18 7:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      47

      I’m going to go with the same on twitter as Facebook….

      I realize the creators are laughing all the way to the bank… But they should have spent more time in sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc before creating those monsters.

      I mean… Peter has probably never even met Cusack.. Yet… There’s a fight brewing… An opening for an attack… Just insane.

      I’ve been told I have “very little political ‘filter’ “…… I’ve gone tons of filters compared to Facebook and Twitter… Put a keyboard and a few thousand miles between you and your intended target…

      And watch the “empowered” bullies..opps…meant people…. Become powerful.

      And…. Then comes SuperZuckerberg…. Up in the sky..its a bird, a plane…. A frog???… Nope…. A flying dog… High with his/her master on a magic powder that conveniently allows you to think that your going to be able to put the monster back in the box… Once you created it and unleashed it on the world.

      What’s that old story from the time before time…. What was her name…. Little super hottie that could have kept all the bad in a box… What the hell was her name…..

      Oh !!!!!!!….. That’s RIGHT!!!!!!!!

      Pandora…… As in Pandora’s Box.

      http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2018/01/04/mark-zuckerberg-resolves-to-fix-facebook-in-2018.html

      Love the part of the article about “destroying how society works,”

      M

      01/9/18 8:27 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      48

      Who is LIKE Facebook, and who can defeat it?

      Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

      Zuckerberg: Just ask.

      Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

      [Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

      Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.

      Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.

      Zuckerberg: They “trust me”

      Zuckerberg: Dumb f*cks.

      01/9/18 11:44 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      49

      Bauer.

      As Zuckerberg laughs all the way to the bank.

      Its kind of like a 6 year old who finds daddy’s gun…waving the thing around…..
      No understanding of what they hold… No Respect for what they hold…
      No understanding that they hold the Power of total destruction.

      And no training of how use or control it.

      Sooner or later…. The damn thing is going to go off….

      ( Bauer …. This is called a ‘Metaphor’ )

      M
      .

      01/9/18 5:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      50

      So you say we should get rid of guns. I read that on Facebook.

      01/9/18 8:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      51

      Bauer.

      When you come for mine….bring friends….. A LOT of them.

      M

      01/9/18 9:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      52

      One drone should do it.

      01/10/18 8:14 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      53

      The war on the Homefront:

      Here are the five metropolitan areas with the largest share of homes worth $1 million or more in 2017.

      San Francisco: 66 percent
      San Jose, California: 56.4 percent
      Los Angeles: 23.8 percent

      01/10/18 10:58 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      54

      USA still is exceptionally…stupid:

      A new survey from Research!America reveals 81 percent of Americans cannot name even a single living scientist.

      Yep, you read that right. Not. One.

      Of the paltry 19 percent who can actually recall a living scientist, 27 percent named Stephen Hawking, 19 percent named Neil deGrasse Tyson and 5 percent named Bill Nye.

      Jane Goodall — apparently the only living female scientist the American public can remember — was mentioned by 2 percent of those surveyed.

      01/10/18 4:00 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      55

      When the Roman Empire was imploding the seeds of the countering Holy Roman Empire were just starting to germinate. The Holy Roman Empire may now implode in such a manner that the any seeds of an alternative world may never have a chance to germinate. America has no viable plan B. It will stick with plan A of hegemonic militarism. Hubris demands it stay the course.

      01/10/18 9:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      56

      Donald Trump has a plan. And it ain’t good,

      “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

      01/11/18 4:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      57

      No Norwegian in his right mind would consider moving here.

      01/11/18 6:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      58

      Repugnicans want to make Amerika WHITE AGAIN?

      01/11/18 7:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      59

      For the shithole presidense who has shit for brains, it is not a surprise that he only talks shit. And it is telling that the Repugnicans eat this shit up.

      01/12/18 7:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      60

      The tv show presidense from Queens must think he is that other tv show guy from Queens. Wonder what mr presidense thinks about his shithole son-in-law?

      01/12/18 7:19 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      61

      Bauer -the Nordic countries are embarrassed now about their generosity and inclusiveness and concluding Somalians may not be a good fit. Their fallback plan is to focus only on the children via cultural assimilation at the youngest possible age. That too may turn out to be an embarrassment. It is demanding children accept the state as their new parents. The real deep states are in the Nordic countries. How else can they ensure a homogenous citizenship?

      01/12/18 8:48 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      62

      Bauer- a clarification. The parents in Nordic countries support the deep state idea and gladly turn over their children to a culturally biased educational system which they consider far superior to let’s say the culture and educational system of Chad. Somali parents most likely will resist if not openly resent surrendering their children to a foreign culture.

      01/12/18 9:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      63

      JP,

      Norway ain’t broke either.

      01/12/18 10:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      64

      So Trump wants to send all you BLACK People back to shithole AFRICA.

      01/12/18 11:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      65

      Trumpie gives pathological liars a bad name.

      01/12/18 1:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      66

      Best tweet of the day:

      bombing seven nations, occupying Afghanistan for 16 yrs, Gitmo still open, no one prosecuted for torture regime, militarized Africa…

      Saying the word “shithole” is making America look bad globally.

      01/12/18 11:01 PM | Comment Link

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