Sunday, August 7, 2016

Has Hillary Clinton Opposed Military Intervention in the Middle East by the US at Any Time?.

     As far as I am aware, since 1992, there is no record that Hillary Clinton opposed a US military intervention in Muslim nations at any time.  In other words, every time that a military intervention went forward in support of one Muslim faction or another, Hillary Clinton supported it, either informally as First Lady, or with votes as a Senator, or creating policy as Secretary of State. Likely there were other proposed interventions that did not go forward; but if they did Clinton was always on the Hawk side, and never a Dove, at least as far as my limited research shows. 
      The military operations in question are listed below. I'm not saying that all of these operations were bad, although most of them were, in my personal opinion at least, and in particular I do not agree with invading Iraq to save the world from nonexistent nuclear weapons, nor invading Libya and Syria in order to improve the neighborhoods for the inhabitants.  I did not approve of bombing Serbians in the former Yugoslavia, despite the violation of human rights in that area.  In all, reliable estimates are that the US has invested over 6 trillion dollars on warfare involving Muslim countries, resulting in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and hundreds of thousands more refugees and permanent maimings. 
      Perhaps it should not be perplexing that people in the region don't actually adore Americans the way we think we should be adored, and perhaps our failure to balance the budget more often can be understood in the context of blowing 6 trillion dollars.  But that is actually a side issue.  
      Donald Trump is the candidate that appears to be the most physically scary and angry, and perhaps he comes across as the greatest Hawk against Muslim nations. 
     However, it is the more pleasant and affable former Secretary of State who has the most consistent record of advocating American intervention in Muslim conflicts, all for the noblest of reasons, no doubt.  
      Only third party candidates Governor Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green) favor curtailing our military operations in the Middle East.  
     Am I wrong?   If so, I respectfully request that my readers might provide a link to a source that shows which of these 19 or so Military Operations were opposed by Hillary Clinton.  
 Partial List of Military Operations in the Middle East and Europe since 1992

1. 1992–95 – Somalia: Operation Restore Hope.
2.  1993–95 – Bosnia: Operation Deny Flight.
3.  1995 – Bosnia: Operation Deliberate Force.
4.  1996 – Kuwait: Operation Desert Strike,  Air Strikes.
6.  1996 – Bosnia: Operation Joint Guard under the Dayton agreement.
7.  1998 – Iraq: Operation Desert Fox, bombing campaign.
8.  1998 – Afghanistan and Sudan: Operation Infinite Reach. cruise missile attack versus terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and a chemical factory in Sudan.
9.  2001–2014 –Operation Enduring Freedom. Invasion of Afghanistan, "combat action in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters."
10.00  2003–2011 –Operation Iraqi Freedom, March 20, 2003, "to disarm Iraq in pursuit of peace, stability, and security both in the Gulf region and in the United States."
11.  2004–present: U.S  drone strikes in Northwest Pakistan
12.  2010–present –  U.S  drone strikes on al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab positions in Yemen.
13.  2010–11 – Operation New Dawn, replacing  "Operation Iraqi Freedom" .
15.  2011 –Operation Odyssey Dawn, United States and coalition bombings of Libyan forces.
15.  2011 – Operation Neptune Spear, killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.
16.  2011 – Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants in Somalia
17.  2014–present – American intervention in Iraq: Hundreds of U.S. troops deployed to protect American assets in Iraq and to advise Iraqi and Kurdish fighters.  Airstrikes against Islamic State-aligned forces throughout northern Iraq.
18.  2014–present – American aircraft bomb Islamic State positions in Syria. Airstrikes on al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front and Khorasan positions.
19.  2014–present – Intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant: attacks on ISIL and al-Nusra Front positions in Iraq and Syria.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Suicide Squad is Awesome--One of DC's Best

I loved DC comics as a kid, and was thrilled when they made a movie out of Superman. Making a long story short, Christopher Reeve was a good Superman and a great Clark Kent, but the plots always sucked.  Ditto for Batman.  I've been waiting for years for DC to make a good movie.  Suicide Squad is the most original to date.

     Suicide Squad is about bad guys who are coerced into forming a team to fight an evil metahuman (please, not mutant, okay?) with astonishing evil powers.  I won't tell you who the nemesis is, because that might be a bit of a plot spoiler.  Let's just say that everyone in the movie is bad (even Batman who makes a cameo appearance), but some are really bad, and others are really really bad.  

    Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is sensational.  Very very demented, yet sexy, funny, scary and romantic all in the same package.  She kind of reminds of girls I went to school with at Berea High, who were very beautiful, smart and talented, but they just wanted to be naughty.   Well, Harley wants to be beyond naughty, and utterly capable of killing in order to amuse herself. Also great is Deadshot (Will Smith) an evil assassin who hates Batman.  I also hate the movie Batman, so it is easy for me to sympathize.  Deadshot is witty and clever, and gravitates to (almost) being a leader of the criminal team.  There are another half dozen members on the team with special talents combined with appalling criminal records.
Margot Robbie is an evil genius with incredible combat skills, sexappeal and comic timing.  I understand most guys who have a date with her wind up dead or in the Hospital, but if I'm offered a dinner invitation I will accept.  

Will Smith and Margot Robbie are the most memorable characters, and the Suicide Squad is the best movie team DC Comics has ever produced.  

The plot is a bit disjointed and I didn't follow all of the twists and turns.  For example at one point everyone ends up at a secret Government headquarters, and I had no idea how they got there or why.   I'll have to see the movie again to figure it out.  

Despite such flaws, the movie is great because it breaks old stale DC formulas that, frankly, have begun to stink.  It's fresh exciting, different and suspenseful because we don't know what is going to happen next.   

This is not a good movie to take your young boyscout or girlscout to see, but High School kids and above will love it. If you like superhero movies, and you want to see something different, this is one of the best movies.