aloha-state oddball gets dems to reckon with war & peace

Tulsi Gabbard ~ candidate for u.s. president

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by Andrew O’Hehir

salon.com

June 27, 2019

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Tulsi Gabbard is not going to be the Democratic nominee, let alone the next president. But the congresswoman from Hawaii, who is an outlier among the two dozen Democrats running for president and something of a pariah in her own party, made a case for herself in Miami on Wednesday night. She was there to talk about American imperialism and the doctrine of endless war, a topic nearly everyone else in both political parties is eager to avoid.

Sometimes marginal, no-hope candidates are just dead weight…

But sometimes they serve as prophets without honor, pushing neglected issues to the forefront or forcing a political party to confront its blind spots and internal contradictions. Consider the roles played by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Democratic campaigns of yesteryear…

Like many of those people, Gabbard is perceived as something of a weirdo, especially by other Democrats. That’s not entirely wrong — but it’s also a defensive reaction. She projects a disconcerting vibe of self-possession, or even zealotry, that makes her seem to be living on her own planet. Social media wags suggested during Wednesday night’s debate that Gabbard resembles one of the robotic hosts on “Westworld,” whose programming is starting to glitch out. That’s cruel and unfair, but it captures something.

I’ve heard Gabbard described as a cult leader, a grifter, an anti-feminist or misogynist woman, an apologist for war criminals and a hopelessly naive nutjob. She has certainly had a peculiar life history and a peculiar political career: She used to be a right-wing eccentric who opposed abortion and LGBTQ rights, and is now something of a left-wing eccentric. She represents a state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that remains largely disconnected from political discourse on the U.S. mainland. She is the first Samoan-American ever elected to Congress, and also the first Hindu. (She has no South Asian ancestry: Her mother, a white woman from Indiana, is a Hindu convert.)

But those facts and those characterizations need to be balanced against the fact that Gabbard is also a major in the Army National Guard who served two tours of duty in the Middle East, the first of those in Iraq during 2004 and 2005, when the U.S. occupation was rapidly falling apart.

In other words, no matter what the other candidates on the debate stage thought of Gabbard, they all got out of her way while she tore apart Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who was making some incoherent chickenhawk case for staying in Afghanistan till doomsday — and appeared not to understand the difference between al-Qaida and the Taliban:

Ryan attempted to strike back after the debate, attacking Gabbard for her 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the damage was done. Ryan had no chance before that moment, and has less than none now. (As far as the Assad meeting goes, no doubt it was a political error — but Gabbard’s point, which was that any peace agreement in Syria required engaging with his regime, has been borne out as 100% correct.)

There was a huge spike in search traffic for Gabbard’s name after the debate, probably because most viewers had no idea who she was. She also won an “instant poll” conducted late on Wednesday night by the Drudge Report, a data point that is meaningless in terms of the Democratic race, but still tells us something.

That something might be that Gabbard is a creature of the intersectional zone where the anti-imperialist far left meets the isolationist far right, along the lines of Glenn Greenwald’s appearances on Tucker Carlson’s show. But it’s actually bigger than that: It’s the fact that Americans across the ideological spectrum do not want “regime-change wars,” to use Gabbard’s phrase, and are at least dimly uncomfortable with our nation’s global reputation as a blundering, untrustworthy imperial superpower.

Donald Trump exploited those facts in 2016 to make Hillary Clinton look (with some justification) like an old-line war hawk. His own understanding of foreign policy was and remains an incoherent blend of contradictory fantasy worlds — on one hand, America First isolationism; on the other, unquestioned global dominance — but he had enough sense of the public mood not to give Mike Pompeo and John Bolton the war they wanted with Iran.

So in a sense Gabbard just did the Democratic Party a huge favor by exposing one of its worst internal failings. No one besides her in the 2020 field is likely to talk about war-and-peace issues unless they have to — and as Tim Ryan made clear, whenever they do it’s likely to go south fast. But if the Aloha State oddball’s moment of internet fame compels the party to confront the fact that the old foreign-policy orthodoxy of soft-focus imperialism and ever-widening secret war is massively unpopular, morally bankrupt and financially ruinous — and that there’s no way to create a more just world without changing that — she may have done more for human history than anyone else on that stage.

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Andrew O’Hehir is executive editor of Salon.

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https://www.salon.com/2019/06/27/tulsi-gabbards-date-with-history-can-aloha-state-oddball-lead-dems-to-reckon-with-war-and-peace

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humpty dumpty sitting on the wall

u.s. president

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Why Trump Decided Not to Attack Iran

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by Larry Seligman & Robbie Gramer

https://foreignpolicy.com

June 21, 2019

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The U.S. and Iranian governments moved to de-escalate tensions recently after the two nations reached the brink of war, with President Donald Trump confirming that U.S. forces were “cocked & loaded” to retaliate against Tehran’s downing of a U.S. military drone.

Trump called off the planned attacks on three separate sites in Iran just 10 minutes before go time, after learning that the strikes would kill 150 people, the president said in a tweet Friday morning.  “Not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” Trump wrote. “I am in no hurry.”

The crisis underscores how Trump’s hard-line approach to Iran is butting up against his goal of extricating the United States from costly conflicts in the Middle East. On the one hand, the Trump administration resurrected America’s confrontation with Iran and raised the specter of war by withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, alienating European allies that support it, and pushing Iran into a corner with crippling sanctions. On the other hand, Trump, a longtime critic of the Iraq War, has vowed to draw down the United States’ costly and decades-long involvement in conflicts in the Middle East.

Fred Fleitz, a former advisor to John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, told Foreign Policy that he believes that by holding off on strikes for now Trump is “creating every opportunity for a peaceful resolution.”

“This is a president who was elected to get us out of war,” Fleitz said. “He doesn’t want war with Iran.”

The internal debate leading up to the aborted strikes reflects a national security team torn in opposite directions, as hard-liners like Bolton reportedly push for action and military advisors urge caution. Trump’s last-minute decision to abort the strikes appears to be a clear defeat for the administration’s hawks, particularly Bolton.

The decision on whether to strike Iran reportedly came down to a debate between Trump and Bolton, with officials such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, and incoming acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper playing the role of “swing votes.”

“The president has maximalist objectives, and he’s not prepared to pay a maximum price,” said Suzanne Maloney, an expert on Iran at the Brookings Institution.

She also said the crisis could drag on as the United States keeps its chokehold on the Iranian economy with crippling sanctions. “The Iranians don’t simply want to avoid a military strike. What they want to do is deter the president from imposing economic pressure,” she said. “That’s their end goal, and they haven’t achieved their end goal at the moment.”

The last-minute stand-down came amid disputed reports of diplomatic outreach between Washington and Tehran to avert war. Iranian officials told Reuters that Trump sent a message to Tehran through Oman on Thursday night saying he wanted to begin talks and avoid conflict. But another Iranian government spokesperson denied the report as “absurd,” and a senior U.S. administration official told the Washington Post that it was “a complete lie and propaganda from Iran.”

Pompeo, a staunch Iran hawk, has left open the prospect for talks with Iran in recent weeks, even as he condemned it for allegedly orchestrating a series of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz. “Our policy remains an economic and diplomatic effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table at the right time, to encourage a comprehensive deal that addresses the broad range of threats,” Pompeo told reporters on June 13 after two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were targeted. The Trump administration blamed Iran for the attacks, an assertion backed up by some U.S. allies, while Iran denied any involvement.

In a sign Tehran is also moving to de-escalate, Iranian officials told Reuters that they had refrained from shooting down a manned military plane accompanying the RQ-4 Global Hawk downed on Thursday. Downing a manned aircraft—reportedly a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that carries a crew of nine and costs more than $250 million—would have been a dramatic escalation that crossed the red line Trump has set for taking military action against the regime: a dead American.

“With the U.S. drone in the region, there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was quoted as saying by Iranian media. (According to the U.S. Navy, the P-8 has a crew of nine; this discrepancy is likely a mistake.) “This plane also entered our airspace, and we could have shot it down, but we did not.”

The very fact that the drone—and potentially the P-8—got close enough to Iranian air defenses to get shot down indicates that U.S. military commanders were preparing for the possibility of an attack, said Robert Pape, a professor at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs.

“Updating an attack plan doesn’t mean you are going to attack,” Pape cautioned. “But this is happening in the middle of a crisis where the use of force is [on the table]. This cauldron is brewed for miscalculation.”

It also indicates that the range of Iranian air defenses is greater than the U.S. military anticipated. Commanders in the region may now ask for additional electronic warfare assets to suppress hostile air defenses, said Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners.

The incident “suggests there will need to be a rethink of operating airborne surveillance systems within range of Iranian air defenses, as well as broader questions about survivability of these sorts of platforms in contested environments,” Callan said.

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editor

Rawclyde

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fading away on the chapel floor

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https://www.brutworld.com/brut-products/brut-classic-splash-on

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request to extend stay

from Rawclyde!

The purpose of the proposed extension is to obtain a small studio or rabbit hole for rent & settle at last here in Yuma, be it the will of God.  I’ve saved up enough carrots to do this, thanks to earlier extensions.  Now I can find a rental ~ the present season being “perfect” for this action.  But here’s a wrench perhaps tossed into the works ~ I’m requesting a 4-day pass first.

You see, I had a doctor’s appointment to which to go in Prescott, but the VA cancelled it & sent me a notice that they did so.  I’ve got to never-the-less take 4 days off the chapel floor before hopping forward ~ for health reasons & to organize my gazelle ambition.  So I am requesting this pass & an extension.

My purpose in coming to the mission this time around was to cease paying my entire social-security check each month to a landlord in Prescott & instead contribute to a charity & save carrots for a hightail hop in Yuma where it is cheaper.to.live...So.far.so.good……………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………….

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https://buglercigarette.com/gate/

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return

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https://www.dickies.com

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Back At The Ranch

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road

http://www.roadmood.com

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campsites

http://www.tallstorycampsites.com

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ghost town

https://ghostowncalledlove.wordpress.com

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newspaper office

Old Timer Chronicle I

Old Timer Chronicle II

Old Timer Chronicle III

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code room

https://rawclydescoderoom.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-unhappy-fate-of-old-rhino-hate

https://rawclydescoderoom.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/ode-to-el-cajon-boulevard

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Where’d Dat Waskly Wabbit Go?

Albuquerque

http://www.abqheadinghome.org

Philadelphia

http://www.sundaybreakfast.org

Yuma

https://crossroadsmission.org

Prescott

https://www.usvetsinc.org/prescott

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Hello & Good-bye

by Cloyd Campfire

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Walkin’

Sleep deprived

Down a canyon

Rocks big as skyscrapers

Giant faces peering down

Painted by man in the moon Indians

& the ancient code of

Exhaustion

Walkin’

On the empty highway

The first week of  Spring

Tumbling down Oak Creek

The only thing alive

Is me

And the ghosts

They are saying

Something I don’t understand

Until a milk bottle

Come floatin’ across the pavement

Right at me

I stop it stop

We look at each other

I say, “What are you?”

Then, then it keeps going

T’is the most gourmet skunk

I’ve ever come across

Big pink eyes full of what I will never know

A silver toupee atop the head

Not to mention a tail

So beautiful it only come out

Under a full moon

The little critter leaves me with a little whiff of

gorgeous perfume

~

Copyright Clyde Collins 2016

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Waskly Wabbit on the Twail

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The sun was a
hollerin’ hot
jalopeno pepper in
the sky

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Ahhhhhhh, the sky
all that blue
all it
did was fry

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Fry my brain in my
head and
all the bramble
all around

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Was thick as
sauce
spilled across
every inch of ground

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The little pack
upon my back
was
a weary load

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For all I owned
was in it
upon
this weary road

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Ohhhhhhh, this road
made
of dust
and dirt

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Thru the bramble
it done ramble
n’ all
it did was hurt

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It hurt
my eyes
it hurt
my feet

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It even hurt
my younger
brother
Pete

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Who in San Diego
miles away
was sipping from
a tall cool glass

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When for
what seemed
no reason at all he
exclaimed, “Ouch! Alas!”

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It was
a
hurtful
road

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Upon
which
nobody
rode

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Good for nothin’
except
to
be cussed

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For not a track
fer days
had been layed in
its dust

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And where it
led
I
could not trust

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For up its spine
the weeds
higher n’ higher
thrust

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As
mile after mile
I
trudged along

~

Full of wonder
at how
I up n’ done gone
wrong…

~

Rawclyde

!

http://deepdesertbluesii.yolasite.com

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Spring Arrives

goddess of spring

~

2008

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Stephanie was quite a gal, cute as a button, and verily verily efficient. And she didn’t like unions. That’s all I knew about her ~ that she didn’t like unions & she was the deputy boss.

One late afternoon, I think it was Wednesday, March 26th, 2008 (five days into spring according to the calendar) I was sitting next to her desk in her office that had no window. Stephanie’s office was so small it must had been at one time a closet. I wanted to get her a window ~ or a technicolor photo from a calendar of a hawk perched on the end of a busted tree branch surrounded by blue blue sky. I had this color photo hanging on my side of the room back at the Veterans Integration Center (VIC). The bird was a pretty impressive hawk. I wanted to frame it & hang it in Stephanie’s office & declare, “There ~ now you got a window.” But I never did. Instead, all I did was bring in a doctor’s note in my futile attempt to get out of doing extra hours.

Now I was sitting in her office, watching the deputy boss who didn’t like unions toss this note aside. There sat I, watching this note glide through the air like a trapeze artist missing the trapeze. It landed fatally injured in the unwanted-doctor-notes pile on the corner of Stephanie’s desk.

“You can still work extra-hours on a split shift according to this note,” said Stephanie. And there it went ~ flying threw the air.

“Yes, but but…”

“If that’s not the case, you’ll have to have the doctor clarify what he means,” said Stephanie. Ye olde run-around.

“But, Stephanie…”

“We have a new worker starting tomorrow, Clyde. And 4 more next week. So maybe you won’t be getting any more extra hours for a while. You made an agreement.”

“But, but, what about tomorrow morning?”

“You’ll have to come in.”

“Can’t the new guy do it?”

With eyes cast down studying something lying dead on the corner of her desk, Stephanie slowly, solomnly, shook her head.

“Well, then, I have to qwit,” gritted I ~ and sprang to my feet, a new-found slave to the Season of Spring. There was no turning back. I had just made the announcement. I had just made the commitment. I was quitting ~ and now I was totally abducted by the totalitarian mother of seasons. Yes! The heavenly half-naked she-bitch of Spring had me by the neck, captured in the crook of her slender arm. She was pulling me away. The rest of the conversation didn’t matter ~ it just didn’t matter.

Stephanie leaped from behind her desk. She scurried after me as I was whisked out of her office. Cheek to cheek with the warm breast of Mother Spring was I.

Yes! Yes! The goddess Spring transformationed into a gorgeous giantess of sunshine, rain, & bloom. She picked me up like a babe, swaddled me in her refulgent arms & carried me away. Scurrying after us, Stephanie called out, “We have an exit procedure!”

I peered back at my darlin’ deputy-boss, who appeared to be, now, a midget. I replied, “I’m sure you dooooooo!!!”

~

from

Going To Prescott

by Cloyd Campfire

http://bakdezerttrail.yolasite.com

~

goddess of spring

~

photos

La Esmeralda

http://la-esmeralda.deviantart.com

~

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