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 51 
 on: February 26, 2017, 09:22:12 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/25/us/politics/trump-press-conflict.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

 52 
 on: February 26, 2017, 09:18:20 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/25/us/ice-immigrant-deportations-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

 53 
 on: February 26, 2017, 09:16:36 AM 
Started by HUSS - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Two POTH (NYTimes) articles I posted this morning raise some very important questions.

For us here, listing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization has been a simple and obvious call, but the consequences from blow back in the Muslim world may be something we have not fully considered. 

Similar issues in the McMaster-Trump article.

 54 
 on: February 26, 2017, 09:13:24 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog


WASHINGTON — As commander of an armored cavalry troop, H. R. McMaster fought in the largest tank battle of the Persian Gulf war, earning a Silver Star in the process. Afterward, the young captain reflected on how different his experience had been from the accounts he had read about Vietnam.

So when he arrived at the University of North Carolina for graduate studies in fall 1992, questions swirled through his head: How had Vietnam become an American war? Why did American troops die without a clear idea of their mission? “I began to seek answers to those questions,” he later wrote.

The result was a dissertation that turned into a book that would become, for a whole generation of military officers, a must-read autopsy of a war gone wrong. Now, as a three-star general and President Trump’s national security adviser, General McMaster will have the opportunity to put the lessons of that book to the test inside the White House as he serves a mercurial commander in chief with neither political nor military experience.

The book, “Dereliction of Duty,” published in 1997, highlighted the consequences of the military not giving candid advice to a president. General McMaster concluded that during Vietnam, officers on the Joint Chiefs of Staff “failed to confront the president with their objections” to a strategy they thought would fail. Twenty years later, the book serves as a guidepost to how he views his role as the coordinator of the president’s foreign policy team.
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“It’s a history, but he obviously draws conclusions about the need for what you might term brutally forthright assessments by military and indeed also by civilian leaders,” David H. Petraeus, the retired Army general and a patron of General McMaster, said in an interview. “That’s a hugely important takeaway. He has a record of being quite forthright.”

In his first week on the job, General McMaster has already shown an independence familiar to past colleagues. He has begun moving to revise an organizational order issued last month that seemed to downgrade the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence, and he told an all-hands staff meeting that he did not consider the term “radical Islamic terrorism” helpful, even as the president insists on using it.

But those are relatively small matters compared to what may come. Already, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general, has led the president to put aside his desire to reinstitute torture in interrogations of terrorism suspects, at least by the military. Mr. Trump places great faith in the generals he has surrounded himself with, but he and General McMaster had never met until a week ago, and the book’s reputation may set a hard-to-meet standard for the general.

“The difficulty is that Trump has a lot of crazy ideas in his head — like we should steal Iraq’s oil or we should kill the relatives of terrorists or we need to ban Muslims from coming here,” said Max Boot, a military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations. “And I’m sure someone like McMaster, like Mattis, understands how crackpot these ideas are.

“So can you say to the president, ‘Hey, Sir, you’re full” of it? Mr. Boot continued. “Or do you have to sugarcoat it and handle him with kid gloves? I suspect it’s the latter, and that’s not been H. R.’s approach. We’ll see if Trump is man enough to take it.”

The book is central to General McMaster’s identity and career. As he embarked on graduate studies after the gulf war, he approached his adviser, Richard H. Kohn, a professor who specialized in civil-military relations, and said he wanted to explore the role of the Joint Chiefs during Vietnam.
Photo
From right, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Gen. William Westmoreland and Gen. Earle Wheeler in July 1967, during the Vietnam War. General McMaster’s book became a must-read autopsy of how the war went wrong. Credit Associated Press

Using newly declassified records, General McMaster came to a conclusion that upended the conventional wisdom within the military that it had been betrayed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and undercut by antiwar protesters and never given the chance to win the war.

General McMaster concluded that the chiefs had been absorbed by the parochial interests of their different services and had never adequately pressed their opposition to the gradual escalation strategy favored by Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara.

After finishing the dissertation, he published it as a book while still a major. It quickly became a sensation. Mr. Petraeus recalled bringing it to the attention of Gen. Hugh H. Shelton after the general took over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1997. General Shelton made it required reading for all of the chiefs and combatant commanders. “It is a valuable resource for leaders of any organization,” he later wrote in his memoirs.
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Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who served in the Army, said officers of his age all read it. “We took the analysis to heart,” he said. Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and a Vietnam veteran, called it “one of the very important books that anyone aspiring to leadership should read.”

Still, while praising General McMaster, Eliot A. Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said it may not have made a difference had the Joint Chiefs been more outspoken with Johnson. “It’s not like the president didn’t know they wanted to do more and do it quickly,” he said. “And it’s not like they really had a better idea for winning the war, other than using more violence right away.”

Others said General McMaster’s book had been misread. The shorthand is that generals should have “stood up to Johnson” or even stopped him somehow. Among those who think that is a misinterpretation is Mr. Kohn, General McMaster’s graduate adviser. “McMaster’s book neither says nor implies that the chiefs should have obstructed U.S. policy in Vietnam,” other than by candidly presenting their views, he wrote in the Naval War College Review in 2002.

Peter D. Feaver, a specialist in civil-military issues at Duke University and a national security aide to President George W. Bush, even coined the term “McMasterism” to describe the common overstatement of his thesis.

“They read McMaster’s book as supporting this defend-against-the-civilians role, but his actual argument is more subtle,” Mr. Feaver said. As a result, he added, the misinterpretation may haunt General McMaster. “McMaster’s challenge is that some may hold him to this inappropriate standard, and then he will be open to even more criticism if he disappoints,” he said.

Mr. Cohen agreed that General McMaster would now be held to an impossibly high bar. “This book will hang over him being national security adviser,” he said. “He has to be very aware that he now represents integrity and a forthrightness about speaking truth to power.”

This is not the first administration to find itself absorbed by a book on Vietnam. When President Barack Obama contemplated sending more troops to Afghanistan, he and his staff read “Lessons in Disaster,” by Gordon M. Goldstein, an account of McGeorge Bundy, the national security adviser to Johnson. The book found that Johnson had failed to question the underlying domino theory that the fall of one country to communism would lead to others.

Whether Mr. Trump has read or will read “Dereliction of Duty” and, if so, what lessons he will draw remain to be seen. “This will really be a test of Trump as commander in chief,” Mr. Goldstein said in an interview. “Can he absorb and benefit from the advice of a strong adviser who probably doesn’t share many of his biases?”

He added: “This is why this movie’s going to be really fascinating to watch. I don’t think we know how that conflict is going to be resolved.”

 55 
 on: February 26, 2017, 09:07:29 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
CAIRO — In Morocco, it would tip a delicate political balance. In Jordan, it could prevent American diplomats from meeting with opposition leaders. In Tunisia, it could make criminals of a political party seen as a model of democracy after the Arab Spring.

Of all the initiatives of the Trump administration that have set the Arab world on edge, none has as much potential to disrupt the internal politics of American partners in the region as the proposal to criminalize the Muslim Brotherhood, the pre-eminent Islamist movement with millions of followers.

“The impact would be great,” said Issandr El Amrani, an analyst with the International Crisis Group based in Morocco, where a Brotherhood-linked party won the last election in October. “It could destabilize countries where anti-Islamist forces would be encouraged to double down. It would increase polarization.”

At issue is a proposal floated by Trump aides that the 89-year-old Brotherhood be designated as a foreign terrorist entity. The scope of any designation remains unclear, but its potential reach is vast: Founded in Egypt, the Brotherhood has evolved into a loose network that spans about two dozen countries. It has officially forsworn violence.

For President Trump, the designation debate is an election promise made good. He has made no bones about taking an approach to the Middle East that is narrowly focused on counterterrorism, and that plays to domestic supporters who view all Islamist movements — or even all Muslims — as potentially hostile.

In much of the Middle East, though, the rapid pace and embattled rollouts of Mr. Trump’s early orders have induced anxiety. Now many are following the potential indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a harbinger of things to come.

“The Obama administration moved us away from the ‘clash of civilizations’ narrative,” said Emad Shahin, a dissident Egyptian academic who lectures at Georgetown University. “Trump is taking us deeper into it.”

Not all are unhappy about the move to list the Brotherhood.

One leader the designation would surely delight is President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, the former general who has led a harsh crackdown on the Brotherhood since the military ousted a Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi, as president in 2013. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also would support it.

But in countries where Brotherhood-linked parties are prominent in Parliament or are in power, experts say a sweeping indictment could have serious implications for domestic politics, American diplomacy and the broader fight against Islamist extremism.

In Jordan, a crucial ally in the fight against jihadist groups, Islamists constitute a small but significant bloc in the Parliament. Tunisia’s Ennahda party, which has won wide praise for its democratic engagement and moderate stance since 2011, might be shunned. The prime minister of Morocco, technically, could be considered a criminal.

“You would throw many babies out with the bath water,” said Gerald M. Feierstein, a former United States ambassador to Yemen, now at the Middle East Institute in Washington.

The initial momentum toward such a designation appears to have slowed. A leaked assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency said isolating the Brotherhood would serve only to empower jihadist groups; some experts doubt that a broad designation would pass legal muster.

But the very fact that the ban is under consideration by Mr. Trump’s aides is being taken as an ominous sign in a region where religion and politics are carefully, and often precariously, balanced.

The proposed designation has also reaffirmed Mr. Trump’s apparent embrace of Mr. Sisi, who has weathered a barrage of international criticism for his country’s dismal human rights record in recent years. Mr. Trump has hailed him as a “fantastic guy” with whom he shares “good chemistry.”

Since an initial meeting at the United Nations in September, the two leaders have spoken several times by phone — Mr. Sisi was the first foreign leader to congratulate Mr. Trump on his victory in November — and now a visit to Washington by Mr. Sisi is under preparation.

Egypt wants the United States to resume a military financing program, frozen by President Barack Obama in 2015, that helps it make billions of dollars in purchases of big-ticket weapons like F-16 warplanes and M1A1 Abrams tanks.

More than anything, though, a handshake in the White House for Mr. Sisi would offer a stamp of legitimacy to a leader who had been kept at arm’s length by Mr. Obama.

Tens of thousands of Mr. Sisi’s opponents languish in Egyptian prisons, human rights workers are routinely harassed, and his security forces have faced accusations of extrajudicial killings.

To some, it suggests Mr. Trump is set to take an approach in the Middle East that will not just tolerate strongmen and monarchs but also actively seek to embrace them — a throwback that evokes American alignment with autocrats like the shah of Iran in decades past.

“It’s easy to say you will stand by your friends,” said Mr. Feierstein at the Middle East Institute. “But authoritarian regimes are always brittle, always fragile. We thought we would stand by the shah of Iran until the day he got on an airplane and left the country. Now what do we have to show for it? We have 40 years of not being able to have a relationship with Iran.”

Brotherhood officials insist that the Trump administration has gotten it wrong. In a letter smuggled from the high-security Egyptian prison where he is being held, the Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad admitted that his party had made serious mistakes during its yearlong stint in power in Egypt from 2012 to 2013. Citing the “hard-learned lessons of the Arab Spring,” he said the Brotherhood had failed to heed loud opposition from millions of Egyptians who disliked Mr. Morsi’s actions.

But, he insisted, the movement renounced bloodshed. “Our flaws are many,” he wrote. “Violence is not one.”

In other places, the reality can be harder to pin down. By nature secretive, the Brotherhood takes different forms around the world. In some places, its members have condoned or committed violent acts. Its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, carries out suicide bombings; in Egypt, angry young supporters have been accused of attacking Mr. Sisi’s security forces.

But that does not make terrorists of the many millions of people who support the Brotherhood’s political ideology across many countries.

One route for the Trump administration could be to narrowly designate specific Brotherhood branches as terrorists, said Mokhtar Awad, an expert on the group. But it would be better still, he argued, to “engage in a battle of ideas.”

The debate could prove an early lesson for the administration in doing business in the Middle East, which has long resisted broad-brush prescriptions. Unpalatable as its ideas may be to Trump officials, the Brotherhood may become just one of many factors they will be forced to grapple with.

“We engage with the Brotherhood knowing they are problematic actors, but they are also a reality,” said Michael Wahid Hanna of the Century Foundation. “And the alternative — ignoring or repressing them — leads to a very bad place.”
Correction: February 20, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated the year that President Barack Obama froze Egypt’s military financing program. It was 2015, not 2013.

 56 
 on: February 26, 2017, 08:58:07 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Untold Story of the Vengeful Japanese Attack After the Doolittle Raid
When the U.S. responded to Pearl Harbor with a surprise bombing of Tokyo, the Imperial Army took out its fury on the Chinese people

image: http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/44/96/4496ecfa-b30c-4a81-a78d-b00f319a49da/planes.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg
Planes Preparing
The flight deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet, some 800 miles off Tokyo Japan, where it shows some of 16 Billy Mitchell (B-25) Bombers, under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle, just before they were guided off flight deck for historic raid on Tokyo, April of 1942. (Bettmann/Corbis)
By James M. Scott
smithsonian.com
April 15, 2015


At midday on April 18, 1942, 16 U.S. Army bombers, under the command of daredevil pilot Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, thundered into the skies over Tokyo and other key Japanese industrial cities in a surprise raid designed to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the 80 volunteer raiders, who lifted off that morning from the carrier Hornet, the mission was one-way. After attacking Japan, most of the aircrews flew on to Free China, where low on fuel, the men either bailed out or crash-landed along the coast and were rescued by local villagers, guerrillas and missionaries.

That generosity shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking. American military authorities, cognizant that a raid on Tokyo would result in a vicious counterattack upon free China, saw the mission through regardless, even keeping the operation a secret from their Pacific theater allies. This chapter of the Doolittle Raid has largely gone unreported—until now.

Long-forgotten missionary records discovered in the archives of DePaul University for the first time shed important new light on the extent to which the Chinese suffered in the aftermath of the Doolittle raid.

In the moments after the attack on Tokyo, Japanese leaders fumed over the raid, which had revealed China’s coastal provinces as a dangerous blind spot in the defense of the homeland. American aircraft carriers not only could launch surprise attacks from the seas and land safely in China but could possibly even fly bombers directly from Chinese airfields to attack Japan. The Japanese military ordered an immediate campaign against strategically important airfields, issuing an operational plan in late April, just days after the Doolittle raid.

Survivor accounts point to an ulterior objective: to punish the Chinese allies of the United States forces, especially those towns where the American aviators had bailed out after the raid. At the time, Japanese forces occupied Manchuria as well as key coastal ports, railways and industrial and commercial centers in China.

image: http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//embedly/Unknown-7.jpeg.300x0_q85_upscale.jpg
Preview thumbnail for video 'Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated— and controversial—military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid.



Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

 57 
 on: February 26, 2017, 08:57:39 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Untold Story of the Vengeful Japanese Attack After the Doolittle Raid
When the U.S. responded to Pearl Harbor with a surprise bombing of Tokyo, the Imperial Army took out its fury on the Chinese people

image: http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/44/96/4496ecfa-b30c-4a81-a78d-b00f319a49da/planes.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg
Planes Preparing
The flight deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet, some 800 miles off Tokyo Japan, where it shows some of 16 Billy Mitchell (B-25) Bombers, under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle, just before they were guided off flight deck for historic raid on Tokyo, April of 1942. (Bettmann/Corbis)
By James M. Scott
smithsonian.com
April 15, 2015


At midday on April 18, 1942, 16 U.S. Army bombers, under the command of daredevil pilot Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, thundered into the skies over Tokyo and other key Japanese industrial cities in a surprise raid designed to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor. For the 80 volunteer raiders, who lifted off that morning from the carrier Hornet, the mission was one-way. After attacking Japan, most of the aircrews flew on to Free China, where low on fuel, the men either bailed out or crash-landed along the coast and were rescued by local villagers, guerrillas and missionaries.

That generosity shown by the Chinese would trigger a horrific retaliation by the Japanese that claimed an estimated quarter-million lives and would prompt comparisons to the 1937-38 Rape of Nanking. American military authorities, cognizant that a raid on Tokyo would result in a vicious counterattack upon free China, saw the mission through regardless, even keeping the operation a secret from their Pacific theater allies. This chapter of the Doolittle Raid has largely gone unreported—until now.

Long-forgotten missionary records discovered in the archives of DePaul University for the first time shed important new light on the extent to which the Chinese suffered in the aftermath of the Doolittle raid.

In the moments after the attack on Tokyo, Japanese leaders fumed over the raid, which had revealed China’s coastal provinces as a dangerous blind spot in the defense of the homeland. American aircraft carriers not only could launch surprise attacks from the seas and land safely in China but could possibly even fly bombers directly from Chinese airfields to attack Japan. The Japanese military ordered an immediate campaign against strategically important airfields, issuing an operational plan in late April, just days after the Doolittle raid.

Survivor accounts point to an ulterior objective: to punish the Chinese allies of the United States forces, especially those towns where the American aviators had bailed out after the raid. At the time, Japanese forces occupied Manchuria as well as key coastal ports, railways and industrial and commercial centers in China.

image: http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//embedly/Unknown-7.jpeg.300x0_q85_upscale.jpg
Preview thumbnail for video 'Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor

The dramatic account of one of America’s most celebrated— and controversial—military campaigns: the Doolittle Raid.



Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untold-story-vengeful-japanese-attack-doolittle-raid-180955001/

 58 
 on: February 26, 2017, 08:55:56 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/anwar-awlaki-underwear-bomber-abdulmutallab.html?mab-reward=A4&mi_u=49641193&mi_user_hash=3078d5304541fcf25f91a020d2d592195314580bc326e0a0e2928089&_r=0

 59 
 on: February 26, 2017, 08:43:18 AM 
Started by ccp - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Health Care a much better thread for that--  $10K per head?!?  DAMN!!! 

Please post it in Health Care.

 60 
 on: February 26, 2017, 08:40:14 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Doug:  As Deputy Chairman, he remains someone with whom we can paint the Dems.  evil

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