Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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The Iraqi War and The Amateur President. Did You Forget Already?

When we invaded Iraq, it was not, as the Repubs are currently trying to convince us, that everyone believed they had WMD. Some Washington politicians may have believed it. Bill Clinton may have believed it (but, interestingly, not enough to take us to war over it). Hillary Clinton may have believed it, (or was just stupid enough to believe inaccurate intelligence). All the Repubs may have believed it. But the millions who protested, round the world, for months before the invasion didn’t believe it, mainly because it seemed ever so convenient that right after 9/11 Bush came to the miraculous conclusion that Iraq was such an imminent threat and needed to be invaded immediately. Not a peep out of him before 9/11 though.

No one I know believed it. We all thought it was to avenge his father, whom Saddam allegedly threatened to kill. I’m not sure if I’ve stopped believing that yet, but, moving on…

The issue about Saddam Hussein being such a horrible mass murderer, killer of his people, etc, didn’t seem to be as much of an problem for Bush’s daddy, G.H.W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan during the time he was actually gassing the Kurds, in 1983. The video of Donald Rumsfeld visiting and shaking hands with Saddam in 1983 is HERE Yes, this video was taken when we were supplying weapons to Saddam, which is the exact time he was actually gassing the Kurds. Seems like brutally killing your own people was not such a problem at the time, ay?

Most people I knew said the same thing: Saddam, badass that he was, at least kept the Middle East in check. Iran was not the powerhouse they are today because Saddam crushed them during their war. Libya, Syria and Yemen were not nearly so powerful when Saddam was in power, since he had the 4th largest army in the world and the largest, by far, in the Middle East. It was the invasion of Iraq, and subsequent imbecilic disbanding of their army by Paul Brenner (Bush’s man in Iraq), which caused an enormous power vacuum, creating what was then known at the Insurgency, which was made up of the officers of the Iraqi army, who revolted against the regime that Bush had put into place. That group of people, those exact people, are now senior members of ISIS. That, my friends, is where ISIS came from, and no place else.

Remember John McCain running around the country telling anyone who’d listen that “the surge worked”. He was referring to the military surge that he championed and which drove the insurgency out of Iraq, mainly into Syria, where they formed ISIS. (The meaning of the letters of ISIS are Islamic State In Syria).

Yes, the current ISIS threat which Repubs are desperately trying to blame on Obama for pulling out of Iraq too early was formed by those military leaders who were fired by Paul Brenner and run out of Iraq by John McCain’s “surge”. That was the genesis of ISIS.

Folks, don’t let the Repubs selective memories persuade you differently. Remember how the country and the world reacted to our invasion of Iraq and how horribly botched it was. Remember the world-wide protests, the Million Fist March in Washington. Remember that we lost over 4000 soldiers and $2 Trillion, turning the surplus economy that Bush inherited into the worst recession in 50 years and two wars that he left for the next President to figure out.

Remember the bumbling Vice President who, to this day, denies that he said Saddam definitely had WMD, even when confronted with the video tape of him saying exactly that. Here is a very enlightening video that I’m sure not a single Repub will watch.

Don’t let them distort the truth. Don’t let this horrible, horrible family and their advisors take back the Whitehouse and put us back in the same ditch we’ve spent the last seven years digging out of. Don’t vote for anyone, Repub or Democrat, who doesn’t have the courage to say that Iraq was one of the biggest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of the country, and that, if he could do it over, would not.

They are relying on our stupidity being as profound as theirs. Please don’t make that true.
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Do These Terrorists Groups Have Us Figured Out?

If you were a terrorist-a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist-and you lived in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya or any of a number of other countries in the middle east, and you wanted to kill Americans, what would be the best way to do so?

You could attempt to cross the Atlantic, by either hijacking planes, surreptitiously obtaining visas and coming over legally or, as Repubs like to shit their pants about, come over the Mexican border to kill us all.

There is another way though. A much simpler, cheaper way, where you don’t have to fight the Americans on their home turf, against their natural home-court advantage. That way is to get them to come to you.

You could commit atrocities, like flying airplane into buildings, or beheading people on TV. You could start rumors about “suitcase nuclear weapons” and other WMD, to scare the shit out of those wealthy but cowardly Americans, forcing them to spend trillions of dollars shipping military personnel and equipment to YOUR country, inevitably leaving some of it there after they’re done, so you can fight them again, years later, with their own shit.

You could have your warlords convince us that, for a few million dollars, they would support us, thereby causing us to spend billions in cash to win “hearts and minds” (as we’ve done in Iraq and Afghanistan) of the local population, while also enriching your coffers.

Its becoming more and more clear that these people want us to fight them. They continually do things that any rational person would agree practically forces us to fight them, to spend our money and risk our lives to ostensibly stop them from doing the exact things that they do to lure us over there. But they never stop. They never stop suckering us into these wars to force us to come to them, to their turf, to fight them in the mountains and deserts where they’ve been fighting for centuries. By doing so, they win.

The Afghans believe that they have won both wars-one with Russia and one with the US, because they stood up to us and outlasted us. And didn’t they? Is there anything different in Afghanistan as a result of the Russians invading Afghanistan and fighting for 10 years from 1979 to 1989? Is there anything different about Afghanistan after fighting us from 2002 to today? Has either “superpower” been able to effectuate any permanent, positive change there?

They are still there. We’re not. To them that’s a victory. They’ve defeated the two greatest superpowers the world has ever known by outlasting them.

How different do you think it will be this time fighting ISIS? Do we expect that we will capture all the members of ISIS, kill or imprison them, restore Syria and Iraq to democracy and go home?

Or will be just keep going to them, forever led by this idiotic belief that we can rid the world of terrorism, like the stupid kid who gets taunted into an alley, only to get his ass kicked for having done so. They keep luring us in, promising us glory and the chance to save the world, and we keep falling for it.

During the Vietnam war there was an oft-repeated slogan that went: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”
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Repubs spend more money creating veterans than taking care of them

Interesting little tidbit in the news today:

The congressional committee investigating Benghazi, (yes, still), is asking for a budget of $3.3 million, whereas the committee investigating the deficiencies in the VA is only asking for $3 million. Not a very big deal, but it does make one wonder why is costs less money to investigate one of the largest government agencies on the face of the earth, responsible for the health care of millions of veterans, than it does to investigate what has turned out to be a simple, though tragic, attack on an American Embassy (and one of over 15 such attacks in the last 30 years).

Could it be that everyone in Congress knows that the VA is not under the President’s domain as much as it is under Congress’ watch (only Congress can appropriate funds for it) and that it is not controlled by the military (it has a separate cabinet-level administrator) and so does not come under the President’s direct control in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief?

Could it also be that they know that these problems are endemic to the VA and are the result of years of Congressional neglect, spanning the last 5 or 6 Presidents?

Well, who knows? The Repub controlled congress is spending more investigating this attack, not because it’s the first time an American got killed at a US embassy, but because Susan Rice didn’t say the exact words that they would have preferred on some Sunday morning talk shows.

Yet Veterans, (you know, the ones who used to be the “troops” that the Repubs used to admonish us to “support” during the Iraq deception, err, war), are not worthy of nearly as much attention as far as these decepticons are concerned. Apparently, once you’re no longer an active “troop”, (the correct word is soldier. A troop is a small cavalry unit, subordinate to a squadron) your importance to these ersatz patriots diminishes rapidly.

There is a genuine scandal in the way Veterans have been treated in this country for decades, but since the Repubs know they can’t really pin it on Obama or Hillary, they’ve just put it on the back burner for now, while they wait for some other windmills at which to tilt.

“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”…John McCain

2014-Russia invades Ukraine. Sen. John McCain, responding to suggestions that President Barack Obama is not reacting strongly enough, said, “This is the ultimate result of a feckless foreign policy where nobody believes in America’s strength anymore.”

2008-Russia invades Georgia.  Sen. John McCain, responding to suggestions that President George Bush was not reacting strongly enough, said “The time now is for the United States of America to act united on behalf of the people of the country of Georgia, and not do a lot of partisan sniping.”

You can’t make this stuff up folks…

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We Don’t Want to Look Weak! So Let’s Kill Somebody!

When I hear the chants from members of both parties that doing nothing in Syria will make us look weak, I can’t help but wonder what country they’re talking about. We are in a conflict of one sort or the other virtually all the time-every two years at least.

I’m still on the fence regarding the complex issue of what to do with Syria. But anyone who suggests that the primary justification for killing people in a country most Americans can’t find on a map is to show our strength, is just manipulating our macho-man cowboy insecurities for their own political benefit. Ooooh, we don’t want to look weak, so let’s kill somebody!

One question to ask yourself is, since no other country is expected to intervene every time there is a conflict somewhere in the world, do those countries look weak? Do Russia, China, Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, India, Pakistan, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Peru et al appear to be weak because they don’t continually send troops and supplies around the world to support this or that dictator or militant group? How the hell can an entire country with the power and heft of the United States look weak just because they prefer to not kill people who’ve never hurt them?

If we are truly, as some are continually saying, the biggest, best, strongest country in the world, why do we have such an inferiority complex? Why do we have to be the bully who everyone is already afraid of, but constantly feel the need to beat someone up, just to remind them that we can?

Here is a list of wars and conflicts around the world that have involved the US in only the last 13 years. Read it and decide how weak we look to others around the world.

2000–2009
• 2000 – Nigeria. Special Forces troops are sent to Nigeria to lead a training mission in the county.
• 2000 – Yemen. On October 12, 2000, after the USS Cole attack in the port of Aden, Yemen, US military personnel were deployed to Aden
• 2000 – East Timor. On February 25, 2000, U.S. military personnel were deployed to support the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
• 2001 – War in Afghanistan. The War on Terrorism begins with Operation Enduring Freedom. On October 7, 2001, U.S. Armed Forces invade Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attacks and “begin combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters.
• 2002 – Yemen. On November 3, 2002, an American MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a car in Yemen killing Qaeda Salim Sinan al-Harethi, an al-Qaeda leader thought to be responsible for the USS Cole bombing.
• 2002 – Philippines. OEF-Philippines. January 2002 U.S. “combat-equipped and combat support forces” have been deployed to the Philippines to train with, assist and advise the Philippines’ Armed Forces in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities
• 2002 – Côte d’Ivoire. On September 25, 2002, in response to a rebellion in Côte d’Ivoire, U.S. military personnel went into Côte d’Ivoire to assist in the evacuation of American citizens from Bouake.
• 2003–2011 – War in Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom. March 20, 2003. The United States leads a coalition that includes Britain, Australia and Spain to invade Iraq with the stated goal being “to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States.
• 2003 – Liberia. Second Liberian Civil War. On June 9, 2003, President Bush reported that on June 8 he had sent about 35 U.S. Marines into Monrovia, Liberia, to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and to aid in any necessary evacuation from either Liberia or Mauritania
• 2003 – Georgia and Djibouti. “US combat equipped and support forces” had been deployed to Georgia and Djibouti to help in enhancing their “counterterrorist capabilities.
• 2004 – Haiti. 2004 Haïti rebellion occurs. The US first sent 55 combat equipped military personnel to augment the U.S. Embassy security forces there and to protect American citizens and property in light. Later 200 additional US combat-equipped, military personnel were sent to prepare the way for a UN Multinational Interim Force, MINUSTAH
• 2004 – War on Terrorism: U.S. military activities were underway in Georgia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Eritrea.
• 2004–present: Drone attacks in Pakistan
• 2005–06 – Pakistan. President Bush deploys troops from US Army Air Cav Brigades to far remote villages in the Kashmir mountain ranges of Pakistan .
• 2006 – Lebanon. U.S. Marine Detachment, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assists ground invasion by Israel and continued fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.
• 2007 – Somalia. Battle of Ras Kamboni. On January 8, 2007, while the conflict between the Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional Federal Government continues, an AC-130 gunship conducts an aerial strike on a suspected al-Qaeda operative, along with other Islamist fighters, on Badmadow Island near Ras Kamboni in southern Somalia.
• 2008 – South Ossetia, Georgia. helped to transport Georgian forces from Iraq during the conflict. In the past, the US has provided training and weapons to Georgia.

2010–present
• 2010-11 War in Iraq. Operation New Dawn. On February 17, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that as of September 1, 2010, the name “Operation Iraqi Freedom” would be replaced by “Operation New Dawn”. This coincides with the reduction of American troops to 50,000.
• 2011 – Libya. Operation Odyssey Dawn. Coalition forces enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 with bombings of Libyan forces.
• 2011 – War on Terrorism. Osama Bin Laden is killed by U.S. military forces in Pakistan as part of Operation Neptune Spear.
• 2011 – Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants begin in Somalia. This marks the 6th nation in which such strikes have been carried out, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
• 2011 – Uganda. US Combat troops sent in as advisers to Uganda.
• 2012 – Jordan. 150 US troops deployed to Jordan to help it contain the Syrian Civil War within Syria’s borders.
• 2012 – Turkey. 400 troops and two batteries of Patriot missiles sent to Turkey to prevent any missile strikes from Syria.
• 2012 – Chad. 50 U.S. troops have deployed to the African country of Chad to help evacuate U.S. citizens and embassy personnel from the neighboring Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui in the face of rebel advances toward the city.
• 2013 – Mali. US forces assisted the French in Operation Serval with air refueling and transport aircraft.
• 2013 – Somalia. US Air Force planes supported the French in the Bulo Marer hostage rescue attempt.

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