by Barry Hastings
Don’t think for a minute the Russian people and government were happy with any fact or nuance of the crash of the Soviet Empire. The Russian government, Tsars (and Tsarinas), Trotsky, Stalin, all the murdering, enslaving, bullying trash following, have been cut from exactly the same cloth. The masses of people have been stupefied by centuries of bad government, and brutally effective internal security forces.
Add a repressively conservative religious hierarchy, holding on to religious rites and beliefs dating to the darkest dark ages, they know only servility, doubt, and the vodka bottle. (I’m not sayin’ we’re much better, tho, these days). They have a huge, and growing military establishment — big, and good enough to pick on everyone in the region at the same time. I know that, because they’re doin’ it every day.
If you find yourself burdened with cares from every direction, you can count on it, John Boner will pull a Boehner. He’s meddling in U.S. foreign policy, using Benjamin Netanyahu as a political tool in the GOP war on Obama. Aunt Netty, concerned for Israel’s safety (who can blame him), helps himself (by being a tough guy) in upcoming elections there. Reports late last week indicate he improved his position (a bit) in Israeli political polling.
He should understand he’s going to pay for this, one way or another. As for Boehner, he should concentrate on getting some discipline ‘mongst his cohort (and gettin’ somethin’ done for the country). I don’t think he can do it. (And he should be shot for risking an alliance critical to survival of Israel, and to any hope for mid-east stability).
(A brief aside) you can clearly see the fear of Hillary Clinton across and amongst the whole, narrow spect(er)rum of the pathetic, chinless leadership, nay, the membership, of the GOP. It’s so obvious they know she’ll kick their asses.
History shows us many powerful women in both government and military leadership. Boudicca to Margaret Thatcher, Catherine the Great to Golda Meir. And some great military leaders as well (above, plus Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I). My guess is Hillary has a pretty good idea of what it will take to meet our responsibilities at home, and abroad, successfully. She’s tough as nails – nobody’s “patsy.” I look forward to the contest confidently. They think some of what’s thrown at her now, will stick during her whole eight years as chief executive. Idiots.
Alabama will always be in the first line of resistance to any kind of change in any matter. With Mississippi and Missouri, they’re close now to being as ignorantly self-destructive as their forefathers in 1860. “Ah’m agin ‘it” looks as stupid in print as it sounds when spoken. I can’t, for the life of me, figure why Americans in any way financially support most of the old Secesh South. And while there’s really not much of the American dream left, the (unimproved) south is the armpit of the philosophical West. So add Arizona to them, give us Virginia.
A recent report in the Military Times shows a steep decline in military morale (that ain’t gonna’ go away). The report surveyed 2300 active-duty troops, and found, “significantly lower overall job satisfaction, diminished respect for superiors, and declining interest in re-enlistment over the past five years.”
Among specific complaints is dissatisfaction with pay, ’09, 87% said good; ’14, 44% said good. Rating of officers in ’09, 78% said good; ’14, 49% said good. In addition, only 36% feel they’re equipped with best materiel, and only 27% believe leadership has their best interests at heart. This is not a contented army.
In another survey by the Pew Research Center, MT found 51% of Americans say the CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation’ measures were justified. (I knew we had a lot of sick pups, but Jesus H. Christ, this is disgusting.) Only 29% said bluntly, CIA was wrong. Fully 56% said they believed torture yielded helpful intelligence (despite half-a-dozen official reports saying otherwise). By 43% to 42% Americans voted against release of Senate Report on CIA torture/imprisonment. What a sad place America’s becoming.
And here’s another interesting tidbit, that may help further explain Iran’s hostility toward us (U.S.). A recent National Public Radio report states Iran has 3.5 million citizens addicted to Opium-based drugs shipped-in across her border with Afghanistan. Given the CIA’s past record of transporting opium out of Vietnam, it made me wonder if they’re doing the same thing, now, from a better grow area. Heroin is a great source of launderable $$ for “black” ops. Last time, it was coming here.
Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO military forces in Europe, has warned member states to be prepared for a large-scale Russian assault on an east-European member state in the near future. He said such an action will be designed to catch the alliance “off-guard”. Bradshaw’s warning is the, “most strident yet,” by any NATO spokesman, according to Financial Times. In course of his statement, Bradshaw hinted the possibility of nuclear confrontation.
The possibility/likelihood of such an assault is the primary reason for NATO’s current formation of a rapid-reaction force made up of troops from across the alliance spectrum. Russia organized 25,000 soldiers in Belarus, and in the Kaliningrad enclave, in 2013 to practice warfare against a NATO state; and another “snap” exercise the same year, in her Eastern Military District, involving 160,000 soldiers with full combat equipment.
Saying the sequester effects on our military budget must be removed, Henry Kissinger noted national defense requires, “a strategy-driven budget, not a budget-driven strategy.