Fate

Deep in the man sits fast his fate
To mould his fortunes, mean or great:
Unknown to Cromwell as to me
Was Cromwell’s measure or degree;
Unknown to him as to his horse,
If he than his groom be better or worse.
He works, plots, fights, in rude affairs,
With squires, lords, kings, his craft compares,
Till late he learned, through doubt and fear,
Broad England harbored not his peer:
Obeying time, the last to own
The Genius from its cloudy throne.
For the prevision is allied
Unto the thing so signified;
Or say, the foresight that awaits
Is the same Genius that creates.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882

Trump As CIC…

Donald Trump, greatly in need of shoring up his badly sagging poll numbers, has decided to pursue the oft traveled path of irrational nationalism, aggressive show of strength. He just bombed a Syrian air base (doing marginal damage as it was back operating in less than 24 hours), and now he is sending an American strike force to the Korean Peninsula.  His next move? Perhaps bombing targeted sites in North Korea.

It is becoming increasingly evident that Trump is an impulsive and dangerous man. He either is dangerously naïve or he simply thinks like a person born during the early to mid 20th century. Rather than respecting the sovereignty of nations Trump, like many of his predecessors, desires to judge solely based on western values and then dictate his expectations for their compliance. Failure to acquiesce presumably brings crushing military action that results in the USA left in the position of being able to dictate its desires, without further resistance. In other words force the interests of this nation upon another.

Our founders understood the dangers of becoming involved in foreign conflicts. Former United States Congressman Ron Paul sums it up quite aptly:

The Founding Fathers saw it otherwise. Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” How many times have we all heard these wise words without taking them to heart? How many champion Jefferson and the Constitution, but conveniently ignore both when it comes to American foreign policy? Washington similarly urged that the US must “Act for ourselves and not for others,” by forming an “American character wholly free of foreign attachments.” Since so many on Capitol Hill apparently now believe Washington was wrong, they should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit it next time his name is being celebrated.

The point here is, isn’t it time we start to allow other sovereign nations to determine there own interests and the form of governance they wish or willing to accept? Putting it as straight forward as possible the governing principle for the United States ought to be, the only justification for the use of force is in response to an act of aggression against our nation and its people. Clearly the military action taken against Syria falls far short of this principle.

Perhaps what is most confusing is the 180 degree reversal that Trump made last week regarding Syria and military action. Note also his views on Iraq and the removal of Saddam in 2003, interesting.

 

What we have is a POTUS with few if any core values. Given Trump’s impulsive and emotionally driven response to events he is a very dangerous man. One with the ability and power to be the spark to ignite WW III.

On a slightly different but somewhat related situation:

A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday, as concerns grow about North Korea’s advancing weapons program.

Earlier this month North Korea tested a liquid-fueled Scud missile which only traveled a fraction of its range.

The strike group, called Carl Vinson, includes an aircraft carrier and will make its way from Singapore toward the Korean peninsula, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

“We feel the increased presence is necessary,” the official said, citing North Korea’s worrisome behavior.

The news was first reported by Reuters.

In a statement late Saturday, the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet said the strike group had been directed to sail north, but it did not specify the destination. The military vessels will operate in the Western Pacific rather than making previously planned port visits to Australia, it added.

This year North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, have repeatedly indicated an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea’s founding president and celebrated annually as “the Day of the Sun.”

Earlier this week U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Florida, where Trump pressed his counterpart to do more to curb North Korea’s nuclear program.

Trump’s national security aides have completed a review of U.S. options to try to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. These include economic and military measures but lean more toward sanctions and increased pressure on Beijing to rein in its reclusive neighbor.

Although the option of pre-emptive military strikes on North Korea is not off the table, the review prioritizes less-risky steps and de-emphasizes direct military action.  (Full story BELOW THE FOLD)

Haley Puts World On Notice…

The United States took a very measured step last night. We are prepared to do more, but we hope that will not be necessary. 

Nikki Haley US Ambassador to United Nations

Trump apparently has not learned from the mistakes of the past. In 2013 Trump was solidly against military action in Syria. He was right then, now, as POTUS, he is wrong for striking a sovereign nation that had not engaged in aggression against the USA.

Our aggression against Iraq in 2003 based on false claims Saddam had weapons of mass destruction  has turned out very badly for the region and the world. Whether we want to accept it or not ISIS is a result of that ill-advised invasion, and, the continued destruction and loss of life has continued. With no end in sight. This should have taught us that we have no business meddling in the affairs of Middle Eastern nations.

Yet Trump, needing to distract from his less than mediocre performance since taking office chose to reverse his position on Syria and strike, an unprovoked act of aggression against a sovereign nation that had not attacked us. Certainly the MIC (military industrial complex) that President Eisenhower warned us of in 1961 is happy with Trump’s decision. It keeps the military doing what it is trained to do, reign down destruction, ad the money poring in to the industries that support war.

So Nikki has put the world community on notice that the USA is prepared to do more. All options are on the table (sabre rattling) and the neo con right is head over heels that we now have a Commander in Chief  willing to show strength. Hannity of Faux News says, as he puffs out his chest, America is Back. We have a sense this may not turn out well for anyone.

U.S. officials said a total 59 tomahawk missiles were launched from destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea over a half-hour span beginning at 7:36 p.m. ET on Thursday. The strikes were aimed at the Shayrat Air Base in Syria‘s Homs province, where an aircraft carrying the chemical weapons in Tuesday’s attack is believed to have taken off.

“The intent here wasn’t just to punish; it was deter future use,” retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, an ABC News contributor and the former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who turned down the role of national security adviser after Michael Flynn’s resignation, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday.

The Shayrat Air Base has been one of Russia’s main airfields in Syria, serving as a forward operating base for Russian attack helicopters to support Assad regime offensives in Homs province amid Syria’s ongoing conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States did not discuss the military strike with Russian President Vladimir Putin or political leadership in Moscow either before or after it occurred. But the U.S. military said it communicated with its Russian counterpart to minimize any chance of Russian causalities, particularly any Russians operating out of the targeted air base.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who blamed Syria’s leader for the chemical weapons attack, said on Thursday night that the airstrikes were in the “vital national security interest” of the United States.

More BELOW THE FOLD.

Economy Continues To Be Strong…

Overall things continue to improve. While presidents have little short-term influence over economic growth the policies and legislation they are responsible for do have a long-term effect. So, thank you President Obama for guiding us out of the worst economic mess since the Great Depression.

Hopefully Trump can oversee a continuation. We’ll have to wait and see.

https://www.bloomberg.com/api/embed/iframe?id=99395172-7362-494f-9abd-2f3c72f60e39

https://www.bloomberg.com/api/embed/iframe?id=fe0ac729-033c-4dc5-8e45-9e0dfa96d7a4

Find story BELOW THE FOLD.