Sunni Muslims

Marines In 43 Countries, And Military In 100 Or More Other Nations: Absolutely Crazy And Self Defeating!

The tragic events in Niger, where four Special Forces troops were ambushed and killed by terrorist forces, has revealed a secret that even members of Congress on the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate were not aware of.

We have been engaged in operations in that central African nation and others on that continent, beyond those in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Central Asia, and also in Latin America and in South and East Asia.

In other words, we now know we have US Marines in 43 nations, at least, and military presence and possibly more, in at least 100 other nations.

This means we are having influence in three of every four nations of the world, all with the goal of protecting American national security and defenses in an age of world wide terrorism by Al Qaeda, ISIS (ISIL), Boko Haram, Al-Shabab, and other similar terrorist groups.

So besides the issues of Russia, China, Iran, North Vietnam, and the Middle East morass, including Syria and Iraq, we have to be concerned about insurgency in the Philippines; about pending warfare in Iraq of not just Shiite and Sunni Muslims but also the Kurdish minority; and danger of a Spanish Civil War of Catalonia (its capital in Barcelona) and the Spanish Central government; and instability in Eastern Europe in nations once thought to be finally democratic, but instead becoming extremist right wing, including Hungary, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic

At least 43 American military have died under the watch of Donald Trump, and over 10,000 civilians have been killed due to our troops.

This policy of American engagement all over the world is absolutely crazy and self defeating, and only enriches military contractors, while sacrificing lives of our young men and women.

It is a self defeating situation, in which the wealthy benefit, and the rest of us are victims, in one way or another.

Hillary Clinton Seems To Be Planning To Ask Joe Biden To Be Her Secretary Of State! If So, Fantastic Move!

Politico reports that Hillary Clinton is planning to ask Vice President Joe Biden to be her Secretary of State!

If the news is true, that would be a fantastic beginning to a Hillary Clinton Presidency!

This author and blogger has proposed this in the past, and it would be great news if it turned out to be reality.

Joe Biden is the absolutely best person to head our foreign policy in the next four years.

Joe Biden has a record of enough caution in his views on foreign affairs that it would help allay fears on the left of the Democratic Party that Hillary Clinton would be prone to engage us in foreign interventions, due to the image, much of it unwarranted, that she is a “hawk”.

Joe Biden knows all world leaders, and he knows how to get along with everyone, and move them toward his ideas, even including Republicans on Capitol Hill, who genuinely like him and had him as their liaison to President Obama during the last eight years, due to Biden’s well known ability to “schmooze” in a way unique to American politics.

Joe Biden has been right much of the time, including his suggestion years ago that Iraq should probably be three nations, each with its own religious sect and nationality—the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds. That is still the ultimately best solution for that battle torn nation, once ISIL (ISIS) is destroyed.

Joe Biden has 44 years in government, and was head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and no one past or present, has the depth of experience and knowledge that this man has.

Even though Joe Biden will be 74 next month, he still has loads of energy, enthusiasm, stamina, and motivation to serve his nation, and he is a true jewel who should be utilized in our next President’s administration.

The report on Hillary Clinton planning to ask Joe Biden to join her cabinet is a true sign of her wisdom and genius in running a sane, sensible foreign policy in the future!

Run, Joe, Run! Arguments For Joe Biden To Announce For President!

The death of Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, on May 30, seemed to clinch that Joe Biden would NOT run for President, and would decide to spend more time with his family 18 months from now, when his Vice Presidency comes to an end.

Being that he will be 74 by Election Day in 2016, it would seem to make sense that it would be time for Joe to “hang up his cleats”, and end his brilliant 44 year public career.

But now, the hints are strong that Joe Biden will NOT give up on being President, as it is said that his dying son urged him to go for what he has wanted all of his life.

It seems likely now that Joe Biden might announce his candidacy in August, and he seems to have strong support and a “Draft Biden” movement is actively recruiting suppoort.

It might seem surprising that after the loss of his beloved son, that Joe would decide to run, but one must understand that politics is his lifeblood!

One has a feeling that if he decides not to run, that he might still seek a role in the next Democratic administration, most likely that of good friend Hillary Clinton.

Somehow, the thought of Joe and Hillary openly setting out to destroy each other seems unlikely, just as Bernie Sanders has been very careful in his criticism. This is NOT the Republican Party, where everyone has knives out to destroy all opponents. A race of Hillary, Joe and Bernie could be the most civil race imaginable, and do a lot of good for the nation, setting a standard of decent behavior while seeking the Presidency. This is something everyone who has any intelligence and class should wish for and want!

And as much as Hillary has great experiences, and Bernie has great principles and decency, who can argue that Joe is not even better qualified, and has a genuineness, an authenticity that cannot be matched by any other candidate?

After all, Joe has had 44 years of experience, unmatched by ANYONE! He knows how to get along with the opposition, and is well liked and respected by Republicans who may disagree on policy, but really admire the guy! He has been invaluable as Vice President, and has great impact on policy. He is seen as the second most influential Vice President in American history, after Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just voiced the thought of how great a guy Joe is, how it is not possible for anyone not to like and admire him, even if totally disagreeing on policy! And remember that Graham is a potential Presidential opponent!

Joe is a very talented leader who led on the fight against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987, causing Anthony Kennedy to be on the Court and be involved in the gay rights and gay marriage cases, which Bork would never have supported. And Biden came out for gay marriage before Barack Obama, pushing him into support that might not have happened otherwise!

Joe is often right on foreign affairs, and told us ten years ago that Iraq should be three nations–Kurds, Shiite, and Sunni areas, and he has been proved right on that.

Joe is perceptive, visionary, and as a person, he is lovable, really caring about people, always ready with a big smile and a kind word! It recently came out that Joe encouraged a young man years ago who had trouble with stuttering, as Joe did when he was young, and now that man is telling all of us the impact Joe had on his life, giving him encouragement, and has published the handwritten letter Joe sent him a long time ago that changed his life! This is very inspirational stuff, no question about it, as Joe is very SPECIAL!

Sure, he has faults, such as sometimes “stupid” statements and too much “hands on” with women in public situations, but the important point is that there is no hint that he is anything but loyal to his wife, Dr Jill Biden. And no one is more devoted to his family, including his children and grandchildren.

No one who meets Joe has ever seen him as other than a “good guy”, and he has the enthusiasm about public affairs and public policy of a Hubert H. Humphrey!

His age is not a factor if we are considering so many others in both parties who are in their 70s or near 70, as Hillary Clinton is, for example.

There is no good argument for Joe against running, and if he loses the nomination, he will be gracious in defeat, and willing to help the next President at, who knows, maybe being Secretary of State or some other important position, as hie knowledge base and his experience make him useful into the future.

Joe Biden is not the past; he is the present and the future, and let us wish good luck in his likely quest for the Presidency, and whatever happens, he will have given it a “good fight”!

Barack Obama And Religious Extremism: Totally Accurate Statement, So Why The Outcry?

President Barack Obama spoke up on Thursday at the Annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on the dangers of religious extremism, promotion of one’s own faith as the only true faith, and legitimizing bloodshed and violence in the name of one’s God.

This was in reaction to the horrors that have been perpetrated by ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, including beheadings of Americans, British, and Japanese hostages; and the even more horrific act of taking a Jordanian pilot, captured while attacking ISIL targets, and setting him on fire, causing him to be burned to death.

What Obama said was that any religion that endorses or promotes such bloodshed and violence should be condemned, and he reminded our nation, much of it totally unaware of our history, that we had seen the lynching, butchering, and setting on fire of a few thousand African American men and boys in the American South and Midwest over a period of more than a hundred years of Jim Crow segregation in the 19th and 20th century and Ku Klux Klan influence; had also experienced nearly 250 years of slavery, which included similar mistreatment; and that world wide, there had been the Christian war on Islam during the Crusades; and the Catholic Church Inquisition of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

Obama did not specifically mention the horrible persecution of Jews by Christians over two millenniums, and not just the Catholic Church, but also Protestant groups, including Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church; or the mass murder of Catholics vs Protestants in Northern Ireland, as recently as the period of the Irish Republican Army between 1969 and 1998.

And of course, in the Middle East, today, as shown by the setting on fire of a Jordanian who was Muslim, the old holy war of Shiite and Sunni Muslims continues unabated, as it has for 13 centuries; and there is also bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus in India; and turmoil in the Balkans, that led to mass murder by Christians against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

From what Obama reminded us of, plus the additional information provided here by the author, and well known to scholars, it is clear how devastating organized religion has been in its promotion of narrow mindedness and hate, and commitment to torture and extermination in the name of God, no matter which religion.

So Obama was offering a moral lesson, but yet the outcry by right wingers, who do not wish to be reminded of the sins of Christianity fanatics, and only wish to look at the Muslim fanatics today, and imagine that this is the whole story of religion in history, is very troubling. They fail to realize that many more Muslims have been killed by the barbarism of ISIL (ISIS), and their refusal to accept and recognize the history of Christianity as being just as full, historically, of violence and bloodshed, bodes ill for the future ability to understand and accept religious differences and promote religious tolerance!

The ISIL (ISIS) Threat To The Western World Is Real! Far Greater Than The Soviet Union During The Cold War!

The horrible news emerging that a Western journalist, who had been captured two years ago, has been beheaded, with the disgusting video broadcast with a threat to the United States and the Western world, is yet another alarm bell in the night, warning of the successful spread of the worst Islamic terrorist group in existence, ISIL, also known as ISIS.

This terrorist group has taken over portions of Iraq and Syria, and has declared a Caliphate. It has declared war on Shiite Muslims, including those in Iraq and, most notably in Iran, as well as against Christians, Jews, and all minority religious groups in the Fertile Crescent, and by implication against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni nations that oppose their wave of vicious terrorism. Even Al Qaeda, which brought about September 11, has denounced them and their tactics, including mass murder, rape of women, beheading of children, and destruction of mosques and historic sites.

This is organized insanity, with a threat to the United States and the Western world unmatched in danger since World War II and Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Those that would say the Soviet Union during the Cold War was an equal threat forget that Communism was not based on religion, and in fact, was atheistic, and that the Russians wanted to triumph, but were not suicidal as many of these Islamic terrorist are. So when they saw they could not win, despite much stress and tensions, they stepped back from the brink of destructive war, as in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Imagine that we could see the Cold War as not as dangerous as Islamic terrorism in the second decade of the 21st century, but this threat from ISIL (ISIS) requires that America do something they cannot imagine, after being sick of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is, the Western world must unite against this dire threat, and it will require military action, and it makes one wonder how we are going to afford it, and also deal with domestic needs!

It is enough to make one scream, that we cannot seem to avoid war and military operations overseas, and this author was opposed to the war in Vietnam, the war in Iraq, and had doubts about the war in Afghanistan, while supporting the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein.

But what choice do we have, as it is estimated that 100 Americans have gone over to fight for ISIL (ISIS), and maybe a thousand Europeans have done the same, and these trained terrorists can likely return to their home countries and wage war on Western civilization! The US and the European nations are in dire danger, with these terrorists ready to sacrifice themselves in their cause, reminding us of the Kamikaze pilots of Japan in the waning days of World War II!

So it will be necessary for President Obama to abandon his view that we can and must avoid conflict with ground troops in the Middle East, and accept the reality that this time, whatever the past criticisms, we MUST intervene with other nations and fight the ISIL (ISIS) group, as if we do not, there is more certainty of their infiltration of American and European nations to the detriment of all decent people!

The World In Chaos: Not Unlike Past History, So Keep Things In Perspective!

In the summer of 2014, the world seems in chaos, and for those of us who are alive, it seems as if these are the worst times in human history, but it is far from being so, and far from being unique!

Remember the Cold War Years of 1945-1991, when it often seemed as if nuclear war and total destruction would occur!

Ask those who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and Imperial Japan, and the total devastation of World War II, with the resultant mass loss of life!

Examine the turmoil and anarchy of World War I, and its dramatic effects on the world and America!

Study the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars during the quarter century from 1789-1815, and its effect on the nations of Europe and their colonies!

Investigate the turmoil of the wars between England and France, and the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants all over Europe in the year from 1500-1789!

Explore the Hundred Years War period, and the Crusades of the Medieval and Early Modern period of Europe and the Middle East!

Learn about the wars of ancient times in the Roman Republic and Empire; the Greek City States and the conquests of Alexander the Great; and the Egyptian Empire!

When one has studied and reflected on the historical record, one realizes that human history has been one of constant crisis, chaos, and often anarchy, and no less now than before!

So we face the crisis between Russia and Ukraine; the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; the struggle for dominance in the Islamic world between Sunnis and Shiites; the nuclear threat of Iran; the Syrian Civil War; the Afghanistan War; the threat of Islamic extremism on nuclear power Pakistan; the disintegration of government and stability in Central America, leading to the migration of women and children to the American border in the American Southwest; the constant saber rattling of renegade North Korea; the growing influence and aggressiveness of China in its “neighborhood’; and the constant threat of terrorist acts anywhere and everywhere in the world of 2014!

No President can solve all of these problems, as no matter who resides in the White House, we are only able to do the best we can to react to events, as we do not shape them, but also with the need to recognize our limitations to shape the world in America’s image!

Foreign Policy And The Republican Party: Time For Jon Huntsman, NOT Rand Paul Nor Dick Cheney Viewpoint!

Foreign policy is tearing the Republican Party into factions, nothing really new, as the same situation arose in the time of World War II and the Cold War.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is calling for a return to military options in the Iraq mess, with much of the nation being take over by Sunni Muslims, establishing Sharia Law and slaughtering Shiite Muslims, and also endangering Iraq’s neighbors, including Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and alarming Shiite Iran.

This whole mess was caused by the US intervention in Iraq in 2003, based on false premises promoted by Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, who want a similar intervention now to overcome ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a group even rejected by Al Qaeda as too violent and extremist!

This is a nightmare in the making, and also threatens Israel, and is bound to lead to a wider war in the Middle East very soon, as it is believed ISIS is not content to gain control of Iraq.

So along comes Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, often called an isolationist, who is against any intervention in the Middle East, and blames the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney administration for the present mess, rather than Barack Obama for having withdrawn all military forces at the end of 2011. But Rand Paul is seen by many as having no clue to foreign policy issues.

So one might wonder: Where can Republicans turn to for a rational, reasonable, intelligent foreign policy, not based on the advice of neoconservatives and Dick Cheney, but also not isolationist like Rand Paul?

The answer is former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who has the ONLY extensive foreign policy experience of any potential GOP nominee for President in 2016. No one is paying attention, because Huntsman is seen as not conservative enough, not Tea Party backed, not sufficiently anti Obama.

The only hope for the Republicans in 2016, however, is for them to overcome their divisions, and unite around Jon Huntsman as the only legitimate nominee, who is sensible, sane, and also able to deal with “real world” situations in the world, without the extreme reaction of the neoconservatives and Dick Cheney, or the isolationism of Rand Paul!

But will the GOP be smart enough to realize this? The betting odds are, sadly for them, and for the nation, NO!

Joe Biden View Of Iraq Correct: Three States, Not One!

Vice President Joe Biden, as a US Senator and Presidential candidate in 2008, projected that the best future for Iraq was for the three warring, contending groups to become separate states, as the Iraq created by the British and French after World War I was unsustainable.

Biden was ridiculed and attacked for his statement and view, but it now looks more than ever, with sectarian violence among the Shiite and Sunni Muslims, along with the national ambitions of the Kurdish people in the Northern part of Iraq, that the best hope might well be a three state solution.

The only problem now is that extremist terrorist groups in Iraq and neighboring Syria, where a civil war has raged for more than three years, endangers not only such a scenario, but also the whole Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as American interests.

Since the Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam have been at war for more than a thousand years in the Middle East, the best that can be hoped for is such a three state solution, with the hope that the extremism and terrorism can be contained and lessened.

This is all the outgrowth of the unnecessary, unwise, inexcusable war initiated by the George W. Bush–Dick Cheney–Donald Rumsfeld administration on Saddam Hussein, who despite his horrible regime, was not a direct threat to the United States.

Now the Biden idea, with a quelling of the terrorism aspect, is the best hope for the future, so let us salute Joe Biden for, once again, more than one realizes, being perceptive in foreign policy.

We could do far worse than Joe Biden as our potential 45th President of the United States, as the man has great knowledge, vision, and perceptions that make sense in foreign policy!