Pushing for a third Iraq war – TTG

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"WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of American combat in Iraq, issuing a directive last week to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that has threatened more attacks against American troops. 
But the United States’ top commander in Iraq has warned that such a campaign could be bloody and counterproductive and risks war with Iran. In a blunt memo last week, the commander, Lt. Gen. Robert P. White, wrote that a new military campaign would also require thousands more American troops be sent to Iraq and divert resources from what has been the primary American military mission there: training Iraqi troops to combat the Islamic State."

"The Pentagon directive and General White’s response — both classified internal military communications — were described by several American officials with direct knowledge of their contents. The exchange comes amid a simmering fight inside the Trump administration over policy toward Iran and the course of America’s war in Iraq, which began just over 17 years ago. Some top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, have been pushing for aggressive new action against Iran and its proxy forces — and see an opportunity to try to destroy Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq as leaders in Iran are distracted by the pandemic crisis in their country."  (NYT)

————

Just what we and everyone in the region needs… another Iraq war. Al Masdar News reports that SecDef Esper has approved the new campaign or at least the planning for it. My fear is that Pompeo, O’brien and all the other neocon rat bastards have cracked the code on getting Trump to go along with this madness by lavishing him with the praise and adoration he so desperately desires. It reminds me of an old Abbott and Costello skit. “You bet you life me stinkah.”

TTG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5MmxybEBM8 (You bet you life me stinkah.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/world/middleeast/pentagon-iran-iraq-militias-coronavirus.html

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-military-ordered-to-plan-for-major-escalation-with-iran-in-iraq-report/

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42 Responses to Pushing for a third Iraq war – TTG

  1. Avatar Timothy Hagios says:

    One theory of Trump’s psychology is that due to his need to dominate, he surrounds himself with incompetent clowns in order to make himself the adult in the room by default. That would seem to explain why he keeps hiring psychotic neocons whom he later ends up firing. On the plus side, he at least seems to have the sense to overrule the worst of their advice. Of course, their success rate with him is still to high for comfort.

  2. Avatar Serge says:

    How does this jive with the US handover of the Qayyyarah base, Al Qaim earlier this month, planned pullout from K1 later this year?

  3. Serge,
    Pulling out of those outlying bases to more defensible positions is a necessary prelude to a wide offensive against a sizable portion of the Iraqi military. Our troops would be vulnerable if left there. A planned pullout doesn’t mean squat if a wider offensive plan is implemented.

  4. Avatar Fred says:

    Well this ‘bombshell’ reporting is conveniently timed for blunting news coverage of orders from the 1) Governor of Florida ordering quarentine for New Yorker’s fleeing the plauged city run by that de Blasio guy who just a month ago said go out and enjoy yourselves;
    2) and the Governor of Rhode Island ordering up her state’s guard to close to state border to their fellow American’s from the City of New York.
    3) Then there is the economic de-mobilzation in Michigan, Washington, California and elsewhere which is doing such wonders to the US economy. I believe the President just excoriated GM, which conveniently threw their junior medical partner’s CEO under the bus to save “It takes a women” Mary Berra ($22million/year) so some unnamed political party might have a woman not named Hilary available in 6 months or 4 years, election and Coronona 2 October Surprise!(again) don’t go their way.
    Obviously this is just the time for Trump to rally Americans to stay home and watch your life savings get pissed away due to state governments ordering you to not work, run your business or exercise your rights under that piece of paper which expressly forbids the Federal and State governments from doing crap like this (you know, the one that was writen by those dead white guys), get the bill for Big Business bailout2, and oh, go to war on behalf of which ‘fff’n country a world away against a nation that isn’t an existential threat to anyone right now?
    I fully believe the NYT; it’s not like the were wrong with Russia!, Stormy Daniels, Covington’s brave Indian Warrior, Hunter (where is he by the way and aren’t you glad Ukraine got that $400,000,000?) Biden, Christine -believe all women unless they acuse governers in VA or VP Biden of sexual assault – Ford, and of course Communist China is going to save us from that virus that really – trust us – didn’t originate there. So a report we are going to war against Iran/ISIS/Drugs/The Boogey Man is certainly to be believed.
    (NYT)”The Pentagon directive and General White’s response — both classified internal military communications ….”
    Are those classified like those FBI 302s that Surprise! Nobody can find and where are the indictments?
    (TTG)”News reports that SecDef Esper has approved the new campaign or at least the planning for it.”
    Planning, isn’t that what planners do anyway? Send it up to the War College and let’s see what LTC VIndman comes up with, just to put icing on the yellow cake.
    Can somebody at the NYT find the surely they can’t be classified CDC response plan, NYC response plan, State of NY, WA, MI, CA pandemic health emergency plans? Asking for some random guy on the internet since nobodyelse on earth wants to know what those career professionals in those governments have been doing for decades. Oh, BTW, is any of that hurricane relief supplies illegally sequested in Puerto Rico in use anywhere or of use now and which prison are those corruprt (guess the party) elected/appointed officials that hid/stole that crap in or did they get let out for humanitarian reasons, becuase like, the virus.
    TTG, I agree with you whole heartedly on the rat bastards of the Borg. Trump should fire a few of them, I suggest starting with Esper. Why weren’t both those hospital ships available, or were they called up weeks ago? And while I’m at it where are the other ships with major surgical wards, (all those LPH’s or whatever we designate them now) at and why aren’t they of use of easing non-Covid health care load? Take the Marine battalion off and put the medics on. Don’t tell me the Warsaw Pact is coming through the Fulda Gap, NoKo is crossing the 38th parallel? A couple hundred flag officers and what’s the fleet doing? Beside LGBTQ+++++ training and running into each other, and oh, liberty call in Vietnam with a major infectious disease runing rampant in Asia? Whose running the Pacific Fleet now, even Admiral Kimmel wouldn’t do anything that stupid.

  5. Two things: What does You bet you life me stinkah mean and what movie did Abbot or Costello say that unintelligible line in?
    And two, Trump doesn’t desperately need anything least of all praise and attention. You must know by now that the Pentagon goes one way and the President and others go another. You saw it with Kerry’s cease fire. You see it all the time. Trump knows this. How is it that you do not?
    Claiming that Trump is a simpleton? That’s not only untrue, it’s a cheap shot.

  6. Restless94110,
    It’s from “Pardon my Sarong.” Watch the video clip and you’ll understand. Trump said before the nation that he will not help governors unless they express proper appreciation of him. I don’t think Trump’s a simpleton at all. He’s the craftiest and most skilled conman on the world stage today. And it’s time to pin the actions of the Trump administration, good and bad, on Trump. It’s been his for three plus years.

  7. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    Fred: “Obviously this is just the time for Trump to rally Americans to stay home and watch your life savings get pissed away”
    I believe you will find that 40% of Americans do not even have life savings to piss away.

  8. Fred,
    You should have ended your wide ranging rant with, “Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” I hope you feel better now.
    On those hospital ships, I too always wondered why it took so long to refit them every time we needed them. I guess keeping them at near 100% standby is just too expensive and too impractical. All those amphibious ships don’t have many medical ward beds, from 12 to 45 on the newest LHA. Using them would require disembarking the jarheads and their gear.

  9. Avatar Fred says:

    Yeah, Right,
    I guess the Obama economic recovery wasn’t so great after all. How many of that 40% are retirees and how many have years to work ahead before reaching that age?
    TTG,
    You still believe anonymous reports from the NYT? As to LHAs disembark the jarheads and move them to NYC. The symbolism my help stem some panic. There’s lots of non-surgical care they can provide.

  10. Avatar Leith says:

    Over 50 years ago I spent a miserable time aboard the USS Sanctuary before being evacked further to a hospital in Japan. At that time the hospital ships were commanded and crewed by the Navy. But I think now that the Comfort and the Mercy are USNS ships and not USS, which means except for medical staff the ship’s crew is typically civilian. Was there any balking by the civil service or any delay in corralling contract sailors to sail those ships?

  11. Avatar elaine says:

    I watched a 2 part story on the BBC today. It was intended to pull at your heart strings & it did. Basically it was told from the vantage point of an Iraqi policeman. He wants so much to believe conditions are improving yet daily he contends with so much sorrow ppl abandoning their kids because they can’t support them, ppl begging for help due to an inability to survive with war injuries, tales of ppl scrounging for food in rubbish bins. One person even alleged tales of cannibalism.
    The Iraqi cop kept saying sectarianism no longer exists; if that
    were true it’d be a new beginning. I don’t understand what exactly the Iranians want.

  12. Avatar LondonBob says:

    Seen a fair number of zionists saying with low oil prices and folks distracted this a good time for a war, for them.
    Can’t imagine putting people infected with any kind of flu in a tightly contained area like one of those ships is a good idea, high viral load. In the Spanish flu epidemic they realised this was a terrible mistake and they ended up putting patients in open air tents around Boston where the outcomes were a lot better than in the ships.

  13. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    TTG: “Using them would require disembarking the jarheads and their gear.”
    Not meaning to be pedantic, but isn’t “Rapid Disembarkation” supposed to be a Marine speciality?
    Just run the LHA up the nearest beach and tell the Marines to go at it….. then sail it back to harbour and load it up with medics.

  14. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    Fred: “How many of that 40% are retirees and how many have years to work ahead before reaching that age?”
    I do not have the article to hand, but my recollection is that this was a reference to the “working poor” in the USA i.e. those who were in employment but who would be unable to muster some nominated amount ($1,000?) at short notice.
    In other words, the percentage of US workers who are living from paycheck to paycheck.
    The amount of money may be wrong – it may have been less, unlikely to be more – but the 40% figure stuck in my mind.
    I’m curious how long Trump has to be in power before you stop blaming Obama. Trump only gets two terms, after all, and he is nearing the end of one of them. So are you saying he simply can’t Make America Great Again?

  15. Avatar d74 says:

    I am in no way a supporter of war or warlike operations against Iran, Iraq or anywhere else. I hope Trump will stop this madness in time.
    However, for a military leader on the ground to say that he is opposed to an operation because it will be bloody is surprising. It is as if he is saying that the operation he is asking for is impossible because it will stain his pants with blood. Or that seeing wounded people makes him faint. Or that he can’t stand the sight of an exploding Abrams tank. And so on.
    That’s extremely weak. And worrying about the intellectual value of the US command.
    There are other arguments, far more admissible.
    A leader has the power to say no. He can protest, alert public opinion and do whatever it takes to get stupid orders reported. (And, of course, execute them when they have become firm.) Or he can take back his freedom by resigning.
    A leader also has some political latitude. He could advance political arguments, for example that it’s a war for the benefit of Israel, with the political cost being borne by the USA alone.
    Let us remember General Bradley’s assessment of the Korean War, “A bad war, in the wrong place, against the wrong enemy. “(I disagree, but that’s another discussion…)
    But I guess the Pentagon blog publicly discussing internal stuff is supposed to be a warning to Iran. Talk for the sake of not acting. It’s lousy if the war’s justified. Lousy if it isn’t.

  16. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    “Leaks” like this are usually arranged by the military to head off policy they disagree with but cannot oppose openly.

  17. I have a question. Will this be the Third Iraq War or a continuation of the Second?
    Also, Elaine asked “What is Iran doing?”. The more/only pertinent question is, what is the U.S. doing?
    WPFIII

  18. Avatar Fred says:

    yeah, Right,
    I don’t blame Obama, I blame the policies his administration put in place, the reporting of the press, and the individuals who chose not to be responsible for their own conduct. Here’s an 18 month old example of what your are saying from CNBC.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/09/shutdown-highlights-that-4-in-5-us-workers-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html
    “CareerBuilder reports that nearly 10 percent of Americans with salaries of $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck as well.” Where are they and what are they spending money on might be worth an investigative reproter check into, don’t you think?
    “More than 50 percent of respondents say that they save less than $100 per month. And a comparable 2017 survey from GOBankingRates found that 61 percent of Americans don’t have enough money in an emergency fund to cover six months’ worth of expenses.”
    That’s referencing a report from 2 years prior to the article. It’s like two minutes of research on google. THere’s also a helpful “how to stop living paycheck to paycheck” article in Forbes from 2017.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashford/2017/08/30/paycheck/#5eb60d4a4b54
    This happens every downturn, not just the one that will get blamed on Trump or the ones that happened under Obama. This particular one is due to state and local governments forbidding people to go to work. The financial problems from lack of revenue and cash on hand won’t appear until May or June and the trillion plus pork package passed by congress is not likely to help many of the small businesses or poor people and it certanly won’t if governments insist on mandatory business closures ‘for your own good’. But it will go a good long way to restructing the economy into the communist style centralized control the left has longed for since the 30’s.

  19. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    TTG
    Can the US realistically “destroy an Iranian-backed militia group” without going to war with the Iraqi army as a whole? I have the impression that the militia groups are deeply rooted in both the military and political infrastructure of Iraq and that it would be next to impossible to effectively separate one from the other. The latest retaliation (for the attack on Camp Taji) does not provide an encouraging precedent; three Iraqi soldiers, two police officers, and a civilian worker were killed at Karbala civilian airport. The Iraqi army condemned the action as “treacherous”.
    “The Resistance”, as it is known, is pursuing a campaign of harassment which seems to be designed to trigger an overreaction by the US. I think a severe overreaction has tremendous potential to turn into a crisis analogous to Suez. This may in fact be exactly what Iran and its allies want. In this case, the powers waiting in the wings to condemn such an action are Russia and China.
    After the Iraqi president nominated al-Zurfi as PM-designate I expected the neocons to be placated. The guy is a dual US national who was part of Bremmer’s CPA for goodness sake. Who knows what power plays are going on in Trump’s administration. Over the coming months it looks like the economy will be further trashed by the (over)reaction to the virus. This is starting to look like the wrong kind of war to unite the nation behind the POTUS. Might a good old fashioned foreign war look more attractive, as November looms?

  20. Avatar ked says:

    More than a few in the second circle surrounding Trump are sophisticated in manipulation. It’s a skill that is specific to the character of each target & issue. The attraction of power is a great motivator – it can overcome the stress of acting so close to the flame.
    Trump (& his inner family circle) is wide-open for a mission to launch a war.
    – he is already intoxicated w/ the prestige of being a War President.
    – he is biased toward any action that is promised to prove his superiority over Obama (& to a lesser extent W & Lincoln).
    – his most reliable & sizable political support is among Christian Evangelicals, who support war when it is offered to them in faith.
    – our prez elections are increasingly driven by October Surprises as a victory technique. this appeals to many of the professional political consulting sector as well as our Reality TV / Conspiracy fixated polity.
    – the US has allies who desire it to conduct war that is in their national interest.
    – the US has adversaries who also desire it to conduct war that is in their national interest.
    – the interests against a More Perfect ME War is weak & fractured. for many, there is no interest. for many, there is no life-experience of distinction between war & peace.
    – War has proven to be a decent business in the short & long term.
    I’d give More War at least a 50/50 chance.

  21. Avatar John says:

    Didn’t the great recession begin when Bush was still president/ Wasn’t the original TARP passed while Bush was still president? I am not carrying water for Obama, but how does what happened over three years ago have to do with a stock market panic resulting from the outbreak of a pandemic? Trump wants to blame someone. He always wants to blame someone. Better to OODA. That would be nice for a change. Those who do not care who gets the credit can accomplish much. The most effective way to run for re-election during a crisis is to do your best to deal with the crisis.

  22. Barbara Ann,
    What we call the Iranian backed militias are the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an integral part of the Iraqi Armed Forces, much like a National Guard. They are largely responsible for fighting and defeating the IS jihadis in Iraq. Initially falling under the Ministry of the Interior, they were formally integrated into the Armed Forces in December 2016. Any plan to wage war against the PMF is a plan to wage war against the state of Iraq. The government of Iraq wants us out. We (the neocons, Israel Firsters and Christian Fundamentalists) want to stay and are willing to do a regime change to do so. It is idiocy of the first order.

  23. d74,
    Any military leader who pushes to start a war for the sake of the glorious fight should be treated to a spirited blanket party and drummed out of the Service. He may personally be thrilled by the fight, but to seek an unnecessary war to satisfy his personal desire is abominable. Such a creature is not a military leader.

  24. Avatar anon says:

    Twisted genius.
    Look at it from the Iranian side.Why allow iraq to recover and pose a threat to Iran.By continually undermining iraq and balancing that with appeasing the usa every now and then they keep the overall balance of power tilted there way.That option changed with the assassination of Suleiman.Iran will need to retreat from iraq.

  25. Avatar BillWade says:

    Maybe something like doing a Noriega on Maduro would be more to the CINC’s liking, they just slapped a 15Mil bounty on his head. When he retires to Mar A Lago, there’d be no shortage of Venezuelan and Cuban big shots to keep him company. Can it be done quick and easy? Not sure myself.
    We’re getting too soft. 100 years ago we did bank runs and bank robberies. Now we do toilet paper runs and toilet paper muggings of old ladies.

  26. Avatar d74 says:

    TTG:
    I’m sorry, I misspoke. I’ll have to get a new translator.

  27. Avatar elaine says:

    We only have 750 U.S. troops in Iraq, hardly a massive presence.
    Supposedly they’re there to train & assist the Iraqi military &
    police.
    If the Iranian presence is there to snuff out jihadis what’s the
    problem? What’s Esper’s rational? What am I not grasping here?

  28. Avatar elaine says:

    just reread the almasdar link so guess I kinda understand Esper’s rational if it’s based on solid intel. How many Iranian backed
    troops are in Iraq? How does the Iraqi government feel about a
    massive Iranian troop build up? Have they weighed in? Could this
    result in a rekindling of the ole Iraq Iran war? Is sovereignty
    important to these ppl?
    Is Iran telling Iraq, Together we can drive the infidel army out?
    Or is Iran wanting to conquer Iraq? This is difficult to penetrate
    for my inexperienced brain.

  29. Avatar GeneO says:

    Elaine – OSINT says about 150,000 Iraqi PMF. But not all of those are supported by Iran. And some of those Iranian supported groups are in Syria. A small percentage are Sunni.
    With Covid19 hitting Iraq (42 dead) and the first Syrian confirmed dead from the virus, it is time we got out of there and brought the troops home. It is starting to spread in the ME. Deaths in Qatar where many USAF & USN are. There are also many cases popping up in Kuwait, KSA, and the UAE. Bring our people home.

  30. Avatar Yeah, Right says:

    “How many Iranian backed troops are in Iraq?”
    This trope of “Iran-backed troops” is getting kind of old, don’t you think?
    It is like calling the German 1st Panzerdivision a bunch of “US-backed troops”, or a bunch of Aussie infantrymen “US-backed troops”.
    These are Iraqi troops – militia in the Iraqi armed forces – and should be regarded as such. The “Iran-backed” label is cheap propaganda that is used in a way that would never be applied to allies of the United States even though it would be equally-applicable.

  31. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG et al
    In the American system of government, active duty military people counsel the president/CinC on policy from a military view of the consequences of action, but they are not free to oppose that policy once the president has decided. This is because we accept the principle of control of the government by elected citizens. Nevertheless, the clear consequences of policies urged upon the president by hyper-nationalist swine are so bad that resort is made to informing the media of what is being contemplated. It is difficult to blame military leaders for that lapse from tradition.

  32. Avatar VietnamVet says:

    Our basic failing is thinking everything is the same when it’s not. NY State vehicles are being pulled over out-of-state. In two weeks, the list will include CA, DC, FL, MD, LA, IL and WA. The USA did not conquer Iraq. It overthrew the Ba’ath Party, destroyed the Iraqi Army and left a decade later to return and fight the Sunni ISIS revolt. Now it wants a third war against veteran Iraqi government Shiite militia, a former ally that it fought alongside. Incredibly stupid is too mild a term.
    DOD has stopped all military movement. On the USS Theodore Roosevelt 23 sailors have tested positive for coronavirus several days ago. The carrier is returning to port and all 5000 sailors will be tested. The virus is highly contagious and around 40% of the infected are asymptomatic. In NY State 15% are so sick they must be hospitalized. The armed forces will be hard pressed to test and quarantine all of the sick sailors, soldiers and marines to halt the epidemic and keep the rest of the troops uninfected. Not to mention all the military contractors in country on base. In WWII combat, the USA causality rate was 26.3%. Mankind and all the nations of the world are at war but the enemy is invisible. Sanctioning medical supplies and the continued regime change campaigns to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Iran at a time of a global pandemic is evil.
    It will be months, if ever, before the USA will be able to fight another overseas war.

  33. Avatar Fred says:

    VV,
    ” NY State vehicles are being pulled over out-of-state.”
    The OK Boomers are not being pulled out of said vehicles and haulled off to jail. In Florida they are being given orders to go self quarantine, which they damn well should have done by staying in NY state. The same outrage from Cuomo and de Blasio is only a few days after tellling everyone (de Blasio) to go out and enjoy themselves downtown.
    “Sanctioning medical supplies…”
    Allowing a few million possibly infectous but assyptomatic people to go overseas,, withholding information, sending false information, sending defective medical devices, sanctioning needed medical supplies and engaging in a propaganda campaign against the West, that’s what Communist China is doing. Yes it is evil.

  34. Avatar Tidewater says:

    Vietnam Vet,
    Thank you for that. And I agree with you and TTG and all who think that this idea of some sort of ‘surge’ against Kataib Hezbollah, even while the pandemic threat still remains essentially a mystery –for example, how many variants of the coronavirus are out there?–is reckless and incredibly stupid. I would like to add that the USS Ronald Reagan, the Nimitz class carrier home-ported at Yokusuka, Japan is also under quarantine. In fact, the whole base has been locked down. And besides the problem of testing thousands of crew members, there is also the troubling question of cleansing the ship of COVID-19. That the virus might find a home not only in a ship, but also in an airplane, is causing concern in the Air Mobility Command. Recently, a contractor was air-lifted out of Camp Lemmonier, the drone base near Djibouti, to Germany, after falling ill. He did, in fact, have the virus, and now there is an ongoing discussion of how to protect the pilots and crews of the AMC. A lot of infected planes could become a real problem. It is a surprising fact that the US Navy moves thousands of sailors, not just by ship, but by airplane.
    If there is a significant escalation of the conflict in Iraq, materiel and troops will have to be moved, surely by ship, to reinforce. One is reminded that in WWI there were remarkably low figures for American deaths in battle at sea; I think less than 1500. But there were 5,027 deaths in troop transports of army, navy, and marine personnel who were caught up in epidemics on board what came to be called “the Death ships.” I think it is reasonable to assume that hundreds or even thousands of troops on board transports could still be at risk for onboard epidemics, even today. A few days ago the disease was spreading at an exponential rate on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which will now be docked at Guam for at least a month. Comments by crew members were strikingly pessimistic. And I think cleansing the ship is going to be a nightmare.
    The elements of the 82nd Airborne recently moved into the Mespot theater, are also under lockdown. This is a rapid reaction team of some 1700 troops, I think, now actually pinned down for at least two months.
    It is now impossible–or at least most unwise–for American forces to do what they were ostensibly sent to Iraq for, to train Iraqi government soldiers. How can you train somebody when you can’t get within 24 feet of them, the new guide-lines? This virus could rip through an American unit in four or five days, and as the need builds to airlift the critical cases out to well-established medical centers, as at Landstuhl, something that has been routine for years becomes problematic when there is the question of one infection leading rapidly to another, with planes and finally bases and hospitals forced into quarantine and cleansing, and the virus then spreading into the community at large, with a general breakdown ensuing and a rising death rate. One notes that a prominent German finance minister of the German state of Hesse, Thomas Schaefer, has just committed suicide.
    So I think one good reason for the pullback of American troops is simply that now it has become necessary to see what happens next. How long will it take for the virus to go away? Bearing in mind that the 1918 influenza went around twice, my guess is that the coronavirus will dissipate in the heat of late June or early July. But it will come back in October with a vengeance, and there will be a long deadly winter such as we have never seen.
    I also think that this pandemic will change the United States Navy forever.

  35. Avatar Vig says:

    The “Iran-backed” label is cheap propaganda that is used in a way that would never be applied to allies of the United States even though it would be equally-applicable.
    Posted by: Yeah, Right | 29 March 2020 at 05:15 PM
    Fred: (TTG)”News reports that SecDef Esper has approved the new campaign or at least the planning for it.”
    Planning, isn’t that what planners do anyway?

    Basically, I wish you the very best concerning your well-earned live savings. Besides this passage of your rant is more arbitrarily something I agree with.
    TTG, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the rat bastards of the Borg. Trump should fire a few of them, I suggest starting with Esper.
    Yes, yes, the Borg, the blob, it’s ME’rn vs Easterm European angles. Iran, urgent, for Trump too, at least he claimed it was already in his 2016 Foreign Policy speech. China too. Let’s leave out Russia here. That definitively may have been rhetorically (evil) elite occupied territory at the time.
    I does’nt feel that Esper belongs to the villains in this case. And no, I don’t have the least idea about him.
    What really fascinated me in this more interesting exchange was, why was Esper surfacing so frequently?
    ********
    Question: No doubt the basic theme that the NYT collective researched chooses to a recurring theme. Struggles in the administration. Even if we leave out the NYT’s and others focus on such matters earlier …
    What would be your chosen passage in the NYT article TTG linked to in his quote?

  36. Avatar Fred says:

    Vig,
    My life savings are doing quite nicely, thanks for the concern.

  37. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    @Tidewater
    Re the USS Theodore Roosevelt, I just came across this:

    “Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier [skipper of USS TR] wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”

    I’m sure they’ll go to war with the virus they have, if required to, but a war of choice under these conditions would be a brave call.
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Exclusive-Captain-of-aircraft-carrier-with-15167883.php

  38. Avatar Tidewater says:

    Barbara Ann,
    I thought Captain Crozier had fallen on his sword. But acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modley has now said that the Navy chiefs are not in disagreement with him.
    I think Navy construction battalions (CBs = ‘Seabees’, I am reminded) could throw up tent cities in the ‘pierside’ area that will work well. Or the Corps of Engineers. I looked at ‘images’ and there seems to be some green fields etc. near the piers. And there are other open areas on Guam for isolated tent facilities and field hospitals. And maybe take over a few hotels. Open air treatment on outdoor cots during the day, in front of isolation tents for the night, seems to have been successfully tried during the H1IN1 “Spanish” influenza in 1918.
    My suspicion was that the authorities were alarmed that the virus could spread into the general population of the island bastion and were actually going to be ruthless enough to let that crew stew in its own juice…
    This sensible response actually kinda cheered me up.
    What next?

  39. Fred,
    Thanks for your reply. In the clip Bud Abbott calls the tribal chief a Stinker, and then Lou Costello fools the chief into thinking Stinker is a term of respect. It is then when the Chief proudly proclaims: You bet you life. Me stinkah.
    And this reminds you of President Trump? For you, he is just some retarded fool who any moron can fool about anything?
    You also seem to think that a Federal leader giving the State leaders the responsibility to lead their states is some kind of defect. That is the United States form of government. I remain mystified by your comments.

  40. Fred,
    Correction. Lou Costello calls the chief a stinker. But Abbott tells the chief stinker is a term of respect. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen their movies.

  41. Restless,
    Fred is not equating Trump with anybody. I am equating Trump with that adulation seeking island chief. Stroking Trump’s ego seems to be the only way to convince him of anything. Other than that he relies on his own gut which has served his fairly well throughout his career.

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