Trump’s Immigration Ban is Code for Coming War

Trump immigration war middle east

President Trump’s despicable immigration ban against seven Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa presents have clear evidence — in case any of you had doubts — that Trump has found common ground with the nutty neocon wing of the Establishment.

I think that Trump still has barriers to cross in solidifying his relationship with the Deep State, but they at least agree on oil extraction through bombs.

Look at the seven countries on Trump’s ban. Don’t they look familiar?

  • Iran.
  • Iraq.
  • Libya.
  • Somalia.
  • Syria.
  • Sudan.
  • Yemen.

Now recall what former NATO General Wesley Clark said about a Joint Chiefs member who shared America’s 2001 aspirations to invade the following seven Muslim countries:

  • Iran.
  • Iraq.
  • Lebanon.
  • Libya.
  • Somalia.
  • Sudan.
  • Syria.

Does the picture look sharper now?

Lebanon is the only country on the 2001 invasion checklist that’s not on Trump’s immigration ban.

While Gen. Clarke didn’t mention Yemen as an invasion target back then, the US military is currently helping Saudi Arabia fight rebels who seek to topple a Yemeni regime that’s friendly to the West.

All countries on Trump’s list either have or are suspected of possessing significant oil reserves.

The lists’ similarities seem to have a common mama: Project for a New American Century (PNAC) — a neocon think tank where nearly a dozen of its supporters served the Presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan and both Bushes in executive-level positions.

We’re talking about Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Cheney’s Chief of Staff “Scooter” Libby as examples. All of them served under Bush The Second’s administration. Many of PNAC’s principal supporters have ties to the oil industry.

Let’s quickly run through some background before we make an important point about 2017.

In its 2000 publication “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” [pdf download] PNAC outlines basic principles for global American dominance through military strength.

Like increases in post-Cold War military spending.

Regime change in nations not on friendly terms with the US.

Improving the ability to fight multiple wars.

“Homeland Security” overhaul.

Leveraging America’s position as the sole uncontested superpower to change targeted theaters of engagement to a more desired political and moral state.

On that last point, keep in mind the Soviet Union imploded at that time, Russia was trying to regain it’s footing and China was significantly weaker.

I don’t believe Bush The Second invented the Axis of Evil phrase of his infamous State of the Union speech — it came from page four of PNAC’s report.

Wolfowitz also seemed to be quoting the same report when you read Gen. Clarke’s recollection of a conversation about Iraq he had with the former Deputy Defense Secretary:

But one thing we did learn [from the first Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran [sic], Iraq — before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.

A portion of Wolfowitz’ dreams came true — the US invaded Iraq later.

Cheney, an oil executive, is known for his love of the slick stuff. His remarks about the Middle East just over a year before he became Vice President of the US seem ominous today:

Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.

Back to that important point. Give Trump’s list more thought and a startling revelation hits you: the US military has been following the neocon invasion checklist by executing regime change operations in these nations for years, regardless of the political party in office.

Take another look at the nations on Trump’s immigration ban list.

Iran — Bush The Second considered an invasion, supposedly over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. The convenient rise of Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria under President Barack Obama’s watch threatened the Iranian regime’s existence and Iranian military to take action. Washington shed no tears over the heavy military losses suffered by Iran. Trump has already indicated that he wants to reopen the Iran file to address the nuclear deal reached with Obama’s administration.

Iraq — invaded by the, and then ISIL was allowed to incubate and break out during the Obama years. The US is now back in Iraq to stabilize matters.

Libya — invaded by the US NATO, and is now a failed state. ISIL has moved in, which has reengaged the US military.

Somalia — American troops are actively engaged.

Sudan — US troops have quietly moved in.

Syria — I’ve written about this numerous times. Regime change has been a top-of-mind US priority. But even when it appeared that Team Obama was sincere in discussing a political solution to the embattled country’s civil war, the US military sabotaged those plans.

And as mentioned earlier, the US military is currently engaged in Yemen.

So, is Trump’s list simply an ID of immigration ban targets?

Looks more like a pre-war hitlist to me.

America’s interest in the Middle East have been centered on chasing oil and fighting terrorism — with much of the latter representing a direct result of US policy failures.

Trump shares a similarity with other establishment candidates in the way they support mass invasion tours of the Middle East and Africa. Trump presents a huge difference in the way he openly uses domestic bigotry in pursuit of future bloody conflicts overseas.

The President has indicated oncetwicethree times that America should’ve taken Iraq’s oil after the last invasion. He’s also mentioned taking Libya’s oil.

The third time Trump talked about stealing oil made me feel certain that another invasion is coming:

If we kept [Iraq’s] oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil, but, OK, maybe we’ll have another chance …

song currently stuck in my head: “crawl” – gabriel garzón montano

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Sunday Smack: Will Black Lives Matter Movement Wither Under Trump?

black lives matter trump

This week’s Sunday Smack concerns the Black Lives Matter movement in a Trump world.

In September 2015, historian Victor Davis Hanson placed the BLM on death watch, and predicted its end to occur one year later:

But like all the other past racially chauvinistic movements, “Black Lives Matter” will fail to convince anyone outside a small subset of African-American urban youth to embrace its ideology and advocacy. A year from now it will become another artifact like [the 1990s slogan “It’s a black thing.”

Arrgh … I’m not supposed to inject my opinion in Sunday Smack — and I won’t. I’ll simply say that I never thought “It’s a black thing” was a movement …

It's a black thing bart simpson

Anyway, Hanson cites racial chauvinism and reasoning based on lies as a few of the reasons for why BLM isn’t long for this world.

The movement still exists — one year and four months after Hanson’s prediction.

However, President Donald Trump’s pre-election promises of “law and order” to predominantly White audiences make me think that he plans to aggressively suppress thoughts that differ from his — with BLM representing a prime elimination target.

And that thought brings up my Sunday Smack:

What will the Black Lives Matter movement look like during the Trump administration?

song currently stuck in my head: “garra” – claudia

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Clinton Global Initiative Shutdown — Post-Election Reminder for Party Cleansing

Bill and Hillary

The latest news about the Clinton Global Initiative formally filing its intent with New York State to shut down and lay-off 22 employees reminds me of what I said in my last piece — the Party of No Guts will have to exorcise the demons of its past to regain relevance among voters.

CGI would have a problem staying afloat going forward since donations to the organization have been slowing down to droplets lately.

These two events, along with the infamous 12-page memo that was written by CGI co-founder Doug Band and published by the Washington Post, say plenty about the Clintons’ appearance of pay-to-play [neologism alert] shadiness.

It’s not like corporations and foreign governments are willing to have their names attached to a nonprofit entity that solicited for both the organization AND personal revenue for a former US President!

You simply have to read Band’s memo [grab the attachment] to get the grimy details behind what he called “Clinton, Inc.” Band explained that he not only solicited CGI donations from corporations, foreign governments and other large institutions, but he also collected millions of dollars in personal business revenue for President Clinton in the form of high-ticket speaking engagements, board appointments and consulting agreements.

Band summarizes:

Of [President Bill Clinton’s] current 4 arrangements, we secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships. Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.

Many of those “arrangements” coincided with donations made to the Clinton Foundation.

The evidence points to an appearance of geopolitical payola.

Could you run an organization this way without being placed under investigation for at least the appearance of wrongdoing?

Some media organizations only focused on the “spoiled brat” comment that Band made about Chelsea Clinton, known as “cvc” in his follow-up email, but the 12-page memo is the star of this show.

None of this news reflected well on Secretary Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate last year.

Yeah, I’m sure you’ll say the appearance of pay-to-play isn’t  exclusive to the Clintons or their close circle of PoNGs friends.

I wouldn’t disagree with you. These are simply current casualties of the digital dragnet …

But this line of reasoning sidesteps the question that comes from the Wikileaks email drama: how can the PoNGs regain relevance?

Wait for the scandal winds to shift towards the other side of the aisle?

Still sounds like sidestepping.

Hope for a huge halo effect from anti-Trump fears and donations?

A likely outcome, but the option still looks like dancing to me.

How about this idea: the PoNGs should stop acting like the trickle-down party with blue filters …

song currently stuck in my head: “mommy, what’s a record?” – kerri chandler

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President Obama Drops Bomb on Team Clinton and DNC: Emails Were Not Hacked

President Obama final press conference dnc email

President Obama dropped a bomb on his way out the White House — besides the one he left, B2-style, with a suspected Islamic State camp in Libya.

The President indicated during his final White House press conference that the Democratic National Committee emails — a flashpoint of last year’s election scandals — were leaked.

Not hacked. Leaked.

In Obama’s words:

… I haven’t commented on WikiLeaks generally. The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked.

HACKED means someone broke into your computer to extract information, and likely had to defeat your computer’s defensive processes first.

LEAKED means someone with authorized access to your computer released information.

There’s no doubt that President Obama — one of the most articulate Presidents in US history — knows the difference between those two words.

The emails known for forcing the resignations of senior DNC officials and arguably grounding the Presidential ambitions of the Deep State’s Most Favored Candidate were leaked.

My guess is that the former President’s disclosure was motivated by finally being tired of covering for the DNC and desiring Progressives to remember him as one of them  …
Combine this development with the US intelligence community’s assessment that the controversial DNC emails are authentic and you have an ugly picture if what the Democratic Party has now become.

Or perhaps you now see what they have been for decades.

This isn’t a party-bashing piece.

Well — at least it’s not a piece with an unproductive purpose.

If the Democratic Party — better known in my world as the Party of No Guts — ever envisions a return to the Relevance Column, facing hard facts about its internal corrosion is a first step to rehabilitation …

song currently stuck in my head: “power” – jmsn

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Reduce Stress — Stop Making Celebrities Your Spokespersons

steve harvey donald trump meeting reaction
After meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and pleading through the media to give the new leader of the free world a chance to make life better for the Black community, media star Steve Harvey made many of you more pissed when news arrived that he’ll work with Trump-picked HUD Secretary Ben Carson to improve inner cities.

So, why are you so mad and I’m not?

Simple answer, in the form of a question — why did you make Steve Harvey your spokesperson?

Some of you will say “Nah, that’s not me.”

But I’ve heard too many of you wonder when [insert random celeb name] will take a stand on [insert crise du moment], only to be let down by the most capitulating or unenlightened statements ever to come from someone who wears $3,000 jeans.

Here’s a different and perhaps better question: HOW did you make any of these celebs your mouthpiece?

Because they’re on TV enough times? Sold enough albums? Received enough money from “arrogant” Hollywood to black-up and shine for the big screen?

Sure, I understand the importance of art and creatives during good and especially troubling times.

But too many of you think “creative,” “socially aware” and “moving units” are interchangeable terms.

The reason you’re pissed about people like Harvey and I’m not is because I don’t expect these Hollywood-types to speak for me.

Counting on spokesperson celebrities, who happen to share the same challenge as politicians in the way public opinion governs their employment, is like you buying a lottery ticket — wishing for Harry Belafonte but ignoring the chance that the numbers you’re holding aren’t even close.

I don’t have much else to say on the Harvey-Trump story until I see what their policy thoughts are — assuming anything will be presented at all.

Meanwhile, perhaps it’s time to place better bets or adjust expectations?

song currently stuck in my head: “chicango (chicago land)” – billy wooten

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Sunday Smack: What Should Trump Do About Syria?

donald trump syria
This week’s Sunday Smack asks:

What should Donald Trump do about Syria’s civil war?

Arm the rebels? Hasn’t worked so far.

Invade Syria?

Work with Russia to rid Syria of jihadist groups?

Stop providing weapons and non-lethal aid to the Syrian battlefield, and then encourage all other outside nations to do the same?

Disengage from Syria altogether?

Any other ideas?

song currently stuck in my head: “freedom to love (atjazz astro mix)” – incognito

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If Donald Trump Was an Adult, This is How He Would Have Handled the John Lewis Situation

donald trump john lewis atlanta

Let’s deal with an important point straightaway — is Congressman John Lewis completely right about announcing his plans to sit out of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration?

Well, sure. Like it or not, this is America.

Folks can wear “All Lives Matter” T-shirts, drink corn liquor by an open fire and swear that the last US President was born in Muslim-saturated Africa just as much as Lewis can decide to chill at home near his fireplace on inauguration day.

Even declared moral convictions — regardless of what I think about them — which prohibit others from watching Trump take the Presidential oath of office fall within their right to do so.

But presenting the “Trump Presidency is illegitimate because of Russia’s interference” story — in the absence of verifiable evidence — as a reason for sitting out of the inauguration is a thought not rooted in facts.

But — the Congressman may have seen data unavailable to me. I’ll save that point for another day.

But Trump’s barrage of insults aimed at Lewis’ leadership over the “crime-infested” Fifth Congressional District is confusing, needlessly vindictive as well as indicative of how Trump doesn’t have a clue about the power of the office he’s going to assume.

Lewis is a national hero who risked his life to make America live up to its promise of equality and justice. He’s one of our wise elders as well.

Those of you who are down with identifying anyone over 60 years old as glue factory candidates will miss this point — if Lewis walked off a subway train, stormed over to me and then began to lecture about something I supposedly did wrong, I would take my tongue-lashing. And take some notes.

I may not have agreed with the Congressman, but he’s earned that level respect from me.

But Trump’s childish insistence on having the last word in any exchange of opinions caused him lose even more juice with the African American community just now — as well as blow a big opportunity to build a bridge between his Presidency and yet another community which progressively resents him.

Instead of sending a stream of tweets to insult Lewis’ Congressional district, Trump could have pursued a more mature and Presidential route by calling Lewis.

Yup, Lewis deserves a phone call. From Trump. With no intermediaries involved.

During the call, Trump could have said something like: “I really want to see you at the inauguration, Congressman. But of course I’ll have to accept your decision not to come. In any case, let’s schedule a meeting where we can develop some tangible solutions to help your district and allow the success of those solutions to become a boilerplate for addressing community challenges across the country.”

I can’t imagine Lewis refusing that offer.

The Fifth Congressional District — Lewis’ legislative jurisdiction which includes the city of Atlanta and some nearby suburbs — has problems neither he nor we can ignore.

Like a notable education achievement gap.

High crime.

One of the highest Gini Coefficients among large US cities.

An African American unemployment rate that flirts with recession territory, if Black Atlantans were viewed as a nation.

And a high child poverty rate among African Americans. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 80% of Atlanta’s Black children live in communities with high concentrations of poverty.

I imagine that Lewis would be keen to partner with Trump to improve these numbers.

Of course Trump’s myopic “win this deal” mentality will not permit him to make such a call, even if American society wins in the end.

You can also imagine peter metering, bully tweeting and narrow-minded deal-seeking will be Trump’s approach to dealing with other nations.

And these character flaws are additional reasons why Trump will not have a steady four years in office …

song currently stuck in my head: “what you gonna do after the party” – willie hutch

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Sunday Smack: Who Cares if Russia Hacked the Truth?

russia hacked us elections wikileaks
The US Office of National Intelligence ’s report of Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections [pdf] published three sentences that will serve as this week’s Sunday Smack.

The first sentence offers no surprise:

We assess with high confidence that the [Russia Main Intelligence Agency] relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.

I won’t spend much time telling you about how the report is full of assertions and not much evidence — I already covered that area and Sunday Smack is one of the few moments in mentalunrest where I try to not inject my opinions.

You’ll find the next sentence interesting since a reference is made regarding WikiLeaks’ credibility:

Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.

The third sentence could blow some minds:

Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

“ … did not contain any evident forgeries.”

Given that no one has yet proved the Wikileaks emails from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to be fake, the Office of National Intelligence provided yet another data point regarding the emails’  authenticity.

This includes those damaging excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to the bankers who supported her over the years …

Clinton’s admission that she’s out of touch with ordinary Americans …

Clinton’s staff acknowledgement that she’s out of touch and the DNC’s rollout of the disastrous Pied Piper strategy …

The DNC’s tilting of the primary campaign to mitigate candidate Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning in favor of Clinton …

Clinton’s support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership …

Team Clinton testing the idea of branding Obama as a cocaine head during the 2008 Democratic primary season …

Clinton requires 11 people and several rounds of discussions to send one tweet …

And so much more. All true.

And that brings up my Sunday Smack to you:

Is the supposed authenticity of the Wikileaks emails regarding Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party less, equally or more important than the accusation that Russia hacked the DNC?

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts about this …

song currently stuck in my head: “ashes to oceans” – dj shadow feat. matthew halsall

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Despite “Intelligence Report,” Still No Proof of Russia Hacking US Elections

Voting

Since the debate about Russia hacking and influencing the US Presidential elections to favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton has reached deeper levels of crazy with the US intelligence community’s release of a damning report, allow me to share a crazy story of my own.

Let’s say authorities have accused your hypothetical child of stealing underwear from a department store.

The authorities then proceed by telling you their opinion.

“We think your child is stealing panties from Sears.” 

You know your child is not a Goody Two-Shoes, but you also don’t see enough evidence to believe theft was involved.

Therefore, you ask for proof.

Instead of presenting proof, the authorities and the store manager presume you’re either too intellectually lazy or stubborn to absorb “facts.” 

Therefore, they speak louder and slower …

WETHINKYOURCHILDSTOLEPANTIESFROMSEARS.”

But no proof is in the blend.

The accusation is a serious one with large implications.

Which is why you continue to ask for evidence.

The authorities still don’t present proof — they pull together friends from the media to make an announcement …
WETHINKYOURCHILDSTOLEPANTIESFROMSEARS.”

With nary proof in sight.
Soon, the authorities announce that they’ve completed a report that proves your child is a drawers snatcher.

Guess what the report says?

WETHINKYOURCHILDSTOLEPANTIESFROMSEARS.” 

No proof though.

And that’s  the problem with the US intelligence community’s latest findings about Russia’s hacking activities.

Sure, Russia is highly capable of hacking the Democratic National Committee’s servers.

I also believe that Russia is capable of hacking parts of the US government.

But you can’t make the “Russia hacked the election” story a fact just by repeating the same accusation every day.

Using a report to moan about how Moscow-based RT has a smart digital strategy with a larger social media reach than its Western news counterparts does not constitute proof.

Nor does presenting facts about RT’s  deeds that were compiled during President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign — four years prior to Trump’s election.

And yes, there are serious implications connected with a confirmed Russia cyber attack. In March 2016, NATO reminded the public that it considers hacking against a NATO member nation an act of war worthy of a conventional weapons response.

I don’t know about you, but I still have memories of America going to war with Iraq over WMD intelligence tales that weren’t true.

Plus the same group of spies who have a history of running drugsguns and prostitutes worldwide — in addition to owning a long history of assassinations, spying on allies and executing regime change operations — expects the public to believe an accusation that has no supporting evidence.

So … damn right … give me proof of Russia’s involvement …

song currently stuck in my head: “between us 2” – josef leimberg 

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WordCraft: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson Another Brooklyn Book Review

BK’s NOTE: With only two exceptions, I read all the books shortlisted as 2016 National Book Award Finalists prior to the November 16 ceremony, but I never posted my thoughts about them. I intend to do that with a series of posts in the coming days.

On a different planet, we could have been Lois Lane or Tarzan’s Jane or Mary Tyler Moore or Marlo Thomas. We could have thrown our hats up, twirled and smiled. We could have made it after all. We watched the shows. We knew the songs. We sang along when Mary was big-eyed and awed by Minneapolis. We dreamed with Marlo or someday hitting the big time. We took off with the Flying Nun.

But we were young. And we were on earth, heading home to Brooklyn.

Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award-nominated novel, Another Brooklyn, slowly — and through a beautifully poetic flow — removes the false cloak of invincibility, lifelong friendships and presumed limitless possibilities that surrounded four teenaged girls in pre-gentrifed Bushwick Brooklyn during the 1970s, revealing a Brooklyn of drug abuse, racial tensions, sexual predators, lost lives and souls every bit as broken as the neighborhood residents’ dreams.

The narrator, August, is one of the invincible young quartet who later became an anthropologist who focuses on death-related rituals. She suffered two wartime losses as a child — her uncle on a Viet Nam battlefield, and then her Mother, who began to see and hear her brother’s ghost.

Another Brooklyn’s compact package has made more than one person rifle through its pages and walk away with the simple conclusion that the book is not a happy one.

But Woodson gave us much more than that.

We came by way of our mothers’s memories.

The book is rich with poetic detail about the four girls’ family lives — important artifacts to fully understand why they were drawn to each other so early and easily — as well as what would eventually become their future as friends.

Little pieces of Brooklyn began to fall away. Revealing us.

I thought about offering a story breakdown but that wouldn’t be fair to your reading experience …

 Woodson ingeniously constructed concurrent retrospective lenses for August’s narration — the viewpoint of young August who found nostalgic beauty in most of the events she experienced, and another as an adult who can now see these events in horrifying detail.

Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi, the four of us sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn, as though it was a bag of stones we passed among ourselves saying, Here, help me carry this.

 

And through subtle turns of metaphor, the book reconstructs much of August’s past — in multiple iterations at times — to progressively break our hearts with each chapter read.

I know now that tragic isn’t the moment. It is the memory.

One of the best books I read in 2016 …

song currently stuck in my head: “

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