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Trump Presidency

praktik

TRIBE Member
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Special K

TRIBE Member
They are really funny to laugh at though I will say that

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praktik

TRIBE Member
Antifa are communist scum.

Oooh commies! Sometimes people forget, but the current alt-right is really just re-baked 1950s John Birch Society shit in a modern wrapper. I know this all feels new and exciting to people reading the thrilling posts on 4-chan or various subreddits, but all that's old is new again, believe me.

The anti-communism is a bit of a giveaway, but the JBS were also anti-"globalist" before this was even a term, particularly scared of China (they were founded and named after "the first US casualty in the war against Communism" - John Birch was a US soldier killed in China in 1946), and obsessed with the percieved loss of American "values", particularly christian ones. If there was a protest over "obscene art", chances are it would be organized by committed lunatics in the JBS rank and file.

Now pretty much everything they worried about is what the Alt Right worries about. Don't believe me? Check this out - still passed around in right wing conspiracy circles actually:

The Communist Takeover Of America - 45 Declared Goals

This was written by Cleon Skousen, big man in the JBS and incidentally one of the big influences on Glenn Beck.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
‘The Planes Have Destroyed Us’
America says its airstrikes are helping liberate Iraqis from the Islamic State. Residents of Mosul give a very different account.

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MOSUL, Iraq — Our pickup was inching along, weaving past craters in a road that brief eruptions of rain had turned into mud and streams of residents trying to escape the fighting, into the city’s western neighborhoods. Two local men then hopped in the truck, guiding us away from snipers ahead and to the neighborhood of al-Jadida. We descended from the truck into a street that was chillingly calm, and largely intact, but for the bullet marks pocking the walls.

The thud of explosives and the crack of rifles sounded only blocks away, as Iraqi Security Forces traded machine gun and artillery fire with Islamic State militants. One resident of the town, Samir Saleh, guided us deeper into his neighborhood. After a hasty walk past piles of rubble and burned-out cars, we reached a street where almost every house had been smashed. It was as though a wrecking ball had rolled down the street. Shattered concrete spilled out from the row of structures on either side and collapsed roofs sloped down to the ground, crushing vehicles parked on the street under them. The homes had been destroyed, Saleh said, by airstrikes.

Air power has been instrumental in the fight against the Islamic State since the war began in the summer of 2014. A U.S.-led coalition of 13 countries, along with Iraqi military forces, has tried to cripple the Islamic State’s operations and fighting abilities from the sky. The intensity of the air campaign has grown dramatically since military operations to oust Islamic State fighters from Mosul began in October.

These airstrikes have been a key reason that the Islamic State has lost over 50,000 square kilometers of territory in Syria and Iraq over the past three years, leaving the jihadi group holding on to less than 7 percent of Iraqi territory, according to the U.S. Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve media office. But these strikes are emerging as a double-edged sword, threatening to embitter Iraqi civilians and undermine the very gains they have enabled.

“If they stopped the airstrikes, that would be better,” said Ghania Hassan, a resident of the al-Jadida neighborhood. “The coalition has destroyed us.”

Hassan has good reason to hate the coalition airstrikes. On March 2, Islamic State militants barged into her home at 5 a.m. and took her and others to another home, where she was packed in with what she believes were well over 100 others in the basement. This may have been an attempt to use the civilians as human shields.

In the basement, Hassan and the group listened to Islamic State fighters firing machine guns nearby. She said that the owner of the house, a man named Abu Imad Ayad, knew his home might be struck by airplanes because of the Islamic State fighters firing all around it, and that he and his son climbed to the roof and tried to signal to the air force not to fire on them.

But at 11 a.m., a missile screeched in and the house crumbled on top of her.

She said God is the only reason she survived.

“They went up to the roof and were saying, ‘Don’t shoot.’ Then the house fell, and both died,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.

Hassan said neighbors pulled her out — and would eventually excavate 56 bodies from the rubble. She maintains that it wasn’t just one missile, but several, that fell on the homes of al-Jadida. “House upon house fell,” she said.

Airwars, an organization that tracks the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, has cataloged between 1,308 and 2,435 claims of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes in Mosul in March alone, with between 156 and 355 of those killed being noncombatants. The most prominent of these is an alleged U.S. airstrike on March 17 that may have killed more than 200 people, which would be the highest civilian death toll from a single strike since the air war against the Islamic State began. But the real scope of the destruction and death wrought by coalition airstrikes remains unclear — and may be larger than the West yet understands.

The testimonies of Hassan and other neighbors about the March 17 airstrike in al-Jadida don’t always line up with the details of the incident frequently reported in Western media and are sometimes inconsistent with one another. There are regular disagreements on when airstrikes occurred, the extent of the bombardments, and whether Islamic State fighters were present at the scene of the attacks. But residents of al-Jadida agree on one basic point: that a series of airstrikes struck their town over several days — not one single strike, as official reports state — claiming hundreds of civilian lives.

Those testimonies are difficult to corroborate because it’s still dangerous to conduct any firsthand investigation. Though the frontline has since moved farther into the city, the neighborhood is not completely secure. Islamic State militants and Iraqi soldiers were still exchanging fire around the strike site when Foreign Policy visited, and unexploded ordnance lay under the twisted rebar and concrete.

Residents of the town, however, are still adamant that official reports are not telling the full truth about their ordeal.

“For 12 days, the [military ground] operations were not moving forward and the planes struck for 12 days on these homes,” said Bashar Abu Ammar, an al-Jadida resident sitting beside Hassan, referring to the street full of homes that had been destroyed.

Abu Ammar said the strikes occurred before and after the oft-cited strike on March 17.

He also claimed that the strikes became more intense, less accurate, and much more deadly when the Iraqi forces entered the neighborhood, and residents found themselves on the frontline.

“Before, it was good,” he said. “They used to strike precisely. That was before the army came. The army arrives in a neighborhood, stays for three or four days, and everyone around them suffers.”

The confusion about the number, and identities, of people killed in the strike, or series of strikes, in al-Jadida was only compounded when Iraqi military authorities banned journalists from entering western Mosul after news of the deaths became a scandal. Since March 23, when news began to emerge of massive civilian deaths due to airstrikes, foreign reporters have been halted at checkpoints outside the city’s west and prohibited from embedding with Iraqi forces on the frontlines, while only days earlier they had easily traveled with Iraqi forces.

And while the massive loss of civilian lives in al-Jadida has drawn international media attention, the issue of innocent deaths caused by airstrikes in the anti-Islamic State war may go far beyond one neighborhood.

Chris Woods, the director of Airwars, said there have been so many coalition airstrikes since the Islamic State’s takeover of large swathes of Iraq in 2014 that few have ever been appropriately inspected.

“Two-thirds of all incidents [of alleged civilian deaths] have not been assessed yet,” Woods said. “No matter how many resources the coalition puts into [investigating claims of civilian deaths], they don’t seem to be able to keep up.”

The United States and its 12 coalition allies have also paid very little money to the families of civilians killed in their air war against the Islamic State.

“Last I checked, the U.S. has not paid out any compensation,” Woods said. “When they do pay, in the form of solatia [condolence payments to civilian fatalities in military operations], it’s not an acceptance of guilt,” he said, referring to past payments the U.S. military has made to innocent victims of American force, like in Afghanistan. But even with such solatia payments, the United States admits no wrongdoing. “The U.S. would argue that all civilians whom they have killed were done so lawfully.”

However, Woods said that because of the international stir caused by the mass fatalities in the March airstrikes in al-Jadida, payments and admission of guilt by the U.S. military may be forthcoming. But the beneficiaries may have to be patient.

“My guess is that compensation will be paid out,” he said. “The problem is that many of those killed have families still in ISIS territory. It’s difficult to pay because ISIS can steal the money or victimize the family” who receives the payment.

U.S. Central Command’s Operation Inherent Resolve media office told Foreign Policy in an email that one solatia payment has been made in Iraq.

Solatia payments, the media office wrote, “are not intended to serve as compensation for the loss or injury” of civilians. The statement added that the coalition publishes a monthly press brief with civilian casualty assessments, which it says is an admission that the coalition is responsible for the unintentional civilian deaths.

However, “it is not admission of wrong-doing,” the email said.

Some human rights activists have raised concerns that changes in December to how the United States conducts airstrikes have increased the danger to civilians. At that time, a directive issued by Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the anti-Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, delegated responsibility for calling in airstrikes, as well as artillery, to American battlefield-level advisors close to the frontlines. This has removed the circuitous route of airstrike approval requests that go through a “strike cell” in Baghdad and made them easier to call in.

But Michael Knights, an Iraq military specialist at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, made the case that restrictive rules of engagement cost more lives than they have saved.

“In adopting these rules, Iraq and the coalition [have] ended up not liberating areas where ISIS kills military-age males,” Knights said. “Do you count those deaths? Are we really focused on saving lives here, or are we more focused on avoiding liability?”

Iraqi officers declined to address civilian casualties caused by airstrikes. Lt. Gen. Faris Hassan Al Zireg Falah said that he and his colleagues cannot comment until the results of a joint Iraqi-coalition investigation on the al-Jadida strikes are released.

But al-Jadida residents are not so reticent. They describe an air war that is increasingly leaving them with few options for survival.

“The army treated those escaping the neighborhood well,” said Rayed Najem Abdullah, a neighbor sitting with Hassan. “But you know what? The planes have destroyed us.”
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Kasich’s Dangerous, Unthinking Hawkishness
Posted on April 28, 2017, 12:29 PM Daniel Larison
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However bad Trump’s North Korea policy may be, John Kasich wants to remind you that his would be worse:

“The North Korean top leadership has to go and there are ways in which that can be achieved,” Kasich said. “But you have to have very good intelligence. You have to have an ability to do things very quickly. And, you know, I think that is not beyond our capability to achieve that.”

The Ohioan said that, if he were president right now, “I’d be asking [military commanders] about it. Are you staging raids? Do you know how to land? Do you know how to get there? Are your helicopters going to work?”​

All that Kasich proves with this irresponsible rhetoric is that we should be very glad that he isn’t president. Leaving aside the fact that launching a raid to kill a foreign head of state would be illegal, there is no way that it would result in anything other than war with North Korea. If the attack “succeeded” and North Korea’s top leadership was “eradicated” as Kasich wants (an extremely unlikely outcome), the new leadership would have to retaliate and there would be a major war. If the attack failed or was only partially successful (much more likely), the surviving members would retaliate and there would be a major war. There is no scenario in which this buffoonish plan achieves Kasich’s goal without causing a war that would claim countless lives. It’s not news that Kasich is dangerously, unthinkingly hawkish on foreign policy, but it is useful to be reminded of his terrible judgment in case he ever wants to take another run at the White House.
 
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Special K

TRIBE Member
Imagine crowing about 'The West is The Best' when your people are the village idiots of Europe. Back in your squat you grey-faced peasant.

The best part about this post is that it comes from a pastey whitey from the mocked lands of obesity, alcoholism & ugliness. I hope for your sake you aren't a ginger at least.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a moneymaking success story


The Trumps have unprecedented conflicts of interest
During the campaign and for much of the transition, Trump liked to at least vaguely allude to the idea that as president, he would separate himself from his business empire and do something to provide the public with transparency on his taxes. Since winning, he’s made clear that’s not going to happen. The day-to-day management of the companies is in the hands of his two oldest sons, while his oldest daughter and her husband (both of whom run substantial businesses in their own right) serve as high-ranking officials in the White House.


But don’t just take my word for it. Multiple reports have found that no meaningful separation exists:

Beyond that, of course, there’s the fundamental reality that everyone knows Trump owns properties like the Trump National Golf Club or Trump Tower because they have his name slapped on them.


Trump is even profiting from his golfing weekends
To an extent, this allows Trump to simply funnel money directly into his own pockets. Like many previous presidents, he golfs. And like all presidents who golf, when he hits the green, he is accompanied by Secret Service agents. The agents use golf carts to get around the courses. And to get their hands on the golf carts, they need to rent them from the golf courses at which the president plays. All of this is fundamentally normal — except for the fact that Trump golfs at courses he owns. So when the Secret Service spends $35,000 on Mar-a-Lago golf cart rentals, it’s not just a normal security expense — Trump is personally profiting from his own protection.

The Secret Service has, similarly, paid $64,000 for “elevator services” in Trump Tower. This is a fairly normal kind of expense for the agency, paying a building money to defray the inconvenience of taking elevators offline so they can be inspected for security purposes. But, again, there is nothing normal about the president personally profiting from the security procedure.

When Trump’s sons fly around the world doing business deals, they too are protected by Secret Service agents whose bills the federal government covers — even if they are staying at Trump properties.

There is something grating about this, especially from a president who is making a big show of donating his salary to charity. Trump is directly pocketing what could easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in direct payments from the Treasury, while simultaneously claiming to be serving for free. What’s more troubling, however, is indirect financial entanglements into which we have little real visibility.

It’s now easy to funnel money into the first family’s pockets
Ivanka Trump, for example, was granted five trademarks by the Chinese government on the very same day she had dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Also on that day, Ivanka’s father decided to break his campaign pledge to officially designate China as a currency manipulator. That decision, by all accounts, reflected the growing clout inside the White House of National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and his key ally Jared Kushner, who happens to be Ivanka’s husband and in a position to directly gain or lose from China’s decisions regarding his wife’s trademark applications.

There’s of course no way to demonstrate a quid pro quo there, but the basic dynamics are clear.

Kushner emerged as a “shadow diplomat” smoothing over US-Mexico relations, according to a February 10 Washington Post article, and by April 10, the same journalists were reporting that he has “the freedom to act as a shadow secretary of state, setting up his own channels of communication with world leaders.”

Back in February, Bloomberg reported that “[a]s countries around the world figure out how to influence the new U.S. administration, China is going straight to the top: Trump’s immediate family.” Kushner and Ivanka Trump were guests of honor at a Chinese New Year celebration organized by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, and the trademark applications are just part of the overall package. China is on good terms with Trump’s family, and Trump’s family has helped keep China on good terms with the United States.

Similarly, Ivanka was closing business deals in Japan while simultaneously joining her father in meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Corruption changes policy, not always for the better
This same trend can easily point in darker directions. The Trump family has business interests in the Persian Gulf, and Trump’s foreign policy is moving the United States into much closer alignment with the Gulf monarchies, including deeper involvement in a disastrous war in Yemen and abandonment of any pretense of caring about human rights in Egypt.

Further from the center of media attention, an eye-opening report by Allan Nairn for the Intercept says that “[a]ssociates of Donald Trump in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country’s president.” The movement includes current and former army officers looking to evade accountability for past crimes during Indonesia’s period as a military dictatorship, but also “Hary Tanoe, Trump’s primary Indonesian business partner, who is building two Trump resorts, one in Bali and one outside Jakarta.”

In a normal administration, it would go without saying that American attitudes toward civil strife in Indonesia — no matter how misguided — were driven primarily by policy considerations and not by the president’s personal financial interests. With Trump, we have no such assurance.​
 
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