Jonas’ Political Impacts

       With this being my second post about Hillary Clinton this week, I would like to take this time to mention I do not hate the Democratic Party (I think both parties are garbage). While I do identify with conservative Republican stances on things like big government, I do find myself in line with liberal democratic positions on issues such as marriage equality. . . That said let’s start this post.

January 18th – 21st was undoubtedly one of the worst weeks of the Hillary campaign; Ol’ Bernie killed her in the polls, and the IG found some awesome emails on her server. Media organizations from the “Fair and Balanced” FoxNews to the liberal sympathizer MSNBC all had extensive coverage of ‘emailgate’ making it more and more difficult for her supporters to defend her actions (though some still try) and spin these revelations into something positive. Jonas may just be her saving grace.

With Washington D.C. essentially closed for business, the state department has informed federal courts they will need until January 29th to make up the three days worth of missed work. Should the federal courts grant the State Departments’ extension request, the February 29th deadline for reporting an additional 7,000+ Hillary emails will be pushed. Now, I am not a math genius but I sure as heck know that three days worth of work does not take 30 days to make-up (then again it is the federal government). What I do know is that this extension will magically move the State Department’s reporting date to after the Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primaries, and the South Carolina Primaries.

Jonas and Jonas’s related events are also taking up just about every minute of local, regional, and national news coverage. In the last two days, there have been little to no mention of Hillary Clinton or her emails. The DrudgeReport’s homepage has replaced all Hillary stories with items related to Jonas. It seems the Hillary Campaign and the State Department found just the excuse they needed get this little email headache off the map for just long enough to find a new strategy to attack it or ignore it.

It’s not all good for Hillary though; this little winter storm will likely give Republican candidates like Chris Christie and Donald Trump to show their leadership as Jonas buries their states under snow. Chris Christy has already capitalized on the situation by suspending his campaign to conduct his gubernatorial duties (as he rightfully should). However, I have yet to see anything from the Donald, though I am sure his campaign is coming up with some way to show he can handle an emergency. Bernie Sanders will likely have nothing to gain from the storm. But as I write this I just received a report from the Associated Press that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is mulling a run for president. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him using the storm to his advantage as well.

Safe Guarding Secrets, a Double Standard.

General Petraeus is making news once again as the Pentagon decides whether or not to retroactively demote the former Commander of International Security Assistance Forces Afghanistan and Multi-National Forces Iraq for failing to safe guard national secrets.   The Department of Defense (DoD) is stating the renowned general shared classified information with his biographer/mistress and left classified information in an unsecured loose leaf notebook in his home. Here’s my issue with the DoD even considering demoting the man who is said to have saved the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan:

  1. General Petraeus has already been charged, pled guilty, and punished for the aforementioned charges. Why is he still being punished for this? Why does Double Jeopardy not apply to military personnel?
  2. The DoD has yet to begin the trial for Army deserter Bo Bergdal for abandoning his post, but are looking to continue the punishment of a man who gave the majority if his life to serving his nation.
  3. The DoJ has yet to charge Hillary Clinton for the same crime. While I cannot speak to the level of classified information General Petraeus was charged with failing to safe guard. Yesterday (January 20th, 2016) the Inspector General confirmed Mrs. Clinton had Top Secret Special Access Program (SAP) information on her unsecured personal email server. These programs are of the HIGHEST classification in the United States Government, secrets which undoubtedly pose a grave danger to US national security if it falls into the wrong hands.

There is no doubt in my mind this continued attack of the fine general is politically motivated. Though I do not condone the acts of General Patraues and was glad to see him punished for his actions, this witch hunt needs to stop.   The only way we should accept General Patraues’ demotion is if Hillary Clinton is charged and tried for her similar (likely worse) actions.

Trumps Dangerous Rhetoric

Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made headlines once again recently with his call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.   A statement that has drawn attention from the right, left, and center of the political spectrum and continued to keep his campaign in the spotlight. This is not the first time Mr. Trump has made headlines with his straightforward politically incorrect statements. If we recall a few months ago, Mr. Trump referred to illegal aliens as rapists and murders and once again when his strategy to defeat ISIS included bombing the hell out of them. 

 

As a registered republican, Mr. Trumps continued off-the-cuff remarks angers and embarrasses me. It is to the point I am ashamed to call myself a Republican, siding instead with Independent. My question to the RNC is when will Mr. Trumps words become too much? Sure Mr. Trump may be saying what is in the back of the minds of some Americans, but his words are typical of those heard in bars and pubs of ignorant individuals. His defenders will say he is only saying what is on the minds of the majority of Americans. This may be possible, but what he fails to understand is his words are not Presidential and trample the constitution. When will his supports realize that Mr. Trumps tough Rhetoric is similar to those of fascism and can be compared to those of one Adolf Hitler? At some point people must see that Mr. Trump is not the crazy uncle at a party whose words are bluntly true and come out unfiltered, but a candidate for President of the United States, the office of which is one of the most highly regarded and respected by the international community. Electing Mr. Trump or even his win of the Republican nomination would make a mockery of the Republican party, the Office of the President, and the United States.

The Iran Deal’s potenial Sectarian Conflict

While I am a supporter of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the United States and its allies should be weary of the potential the deal and realize it has the potential to spark a sectarian conflict within the Middle East. It is not a secret that the deal will lift sanctions against the economically stricken Iran allowing them to once again become a participant in the global economy. It is also not a secret the Saudi’s are opposed to the deal. The two Islamic nations have been bitter rivals for decades, fighting proxy wars in areas throughout the Middle East (most recently Yemen, Iraq, and Syria) and vying for influence in the region. While Iran has supported groups such as Hezbollah, the 14 February Youth Coalition, and is the accused “puppet master” for the Iraqi Government. The Saudi’s have been accused of supporting Islamic militant groups of their own, most notably the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), though there is no hard evidence to support these claims there is evidence that Saudi millionaires continue to funnel money to the terror group.

As of now the only thing hindering Iran’s continued support to militant groups on multiple fronts is a lack of funding. However as sanctions are lifted on Iran, its economic situation will improve allowing the support for Shia militant groups to grow, particularly to those groups in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. To counter this, the Saudi’s will more than likely increase funding to groups of their own all the while causing Saudi millionaires to increase funding to groups pushing the Sunni agenda. As funding begins to grow, so will the fighting. More money, more weapons, and more fighters will be brought to the battle grounds thus increasing violence overall. Though I do not think these two nations will conduct full scale military operations against one another, the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen will not end anytime soon, rather they will likely grow. Sunni’s and Shia’s will flock to the conflict areas to fight, terrorist attacks in Middle Eastern nations will increase, and both Sunni and Shia holy sites will come under heavy fire all under the guise of defending their version of Islam.

The lowering of the flag

President Obama has caught a lot of flak this week for failing to immediately order the national colors be lowered in remberance of the servicemen who were killed in Chattanooga.  What’s more is when he did order the flag to be lowered it seemed as if he were pressured by Speaker of the House John Banor after he indicated the flag will be lowered over the Capitol.

Here are my thoughts on this manufactured issue.  As a service memeber, even the same branch as the four slain in Tennessee, I oppose lowering the flag for my brothers in arms. It is not that I do not feel they are worthy of this great honor, rather I feel it is greater honor to continue to fly the flag high.  Rather than acknowledging this act of terrorism by displaying to the world that our nation is in mourning, the flag should continue to fly high in defiance of extremist ideals.  We must show the world and those who wish to do us harm that they may be able to kill or maim these men who served as a symbol of American freedom but they cannot kill or maim America as a whole.

Why I like the Iran Deal.

I am not one that has supported President Obama’s Foreign Policy, especially in the Middle East.   However, I feel credit should be given to the president and Secretary Kerry for the highly controversial nuclear deal with Iran. Merriam-Webster’s defines diplomacy as: 1. the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations 2: skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility. By this definition the deal struck by not only the United States but all the other nations involved is one of the finest examples of diplomacy in decades.

While those who oppose the deal, such as Senator and Presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declare the deal a “historic mistake” and stating Iran can still obtain a nuclear weapon with this deal, I would argue against these comments. For nearly 40 years Iran has been the subject of tough sanctions by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union. While these sanctions were justified for Iranian actions, sanctions have not been successful in preventing Iran from obtain the technology and materials to build a nuclear weapons. While Iran has claimed they do not wish to build nuclear weapons nor have one, I have no doubts they have the capability to build one if they do not have it already. Under sanctions Iran has continued to update its military arsenal (though not as much as without sanctions) and support terrorism throughout the Middle East. Where Sanctions have been successful is hindering the Iranian economic growth; but, they have done little to restrain their ability to build a nuclear weapon as evident by their current arsenal of 20,000+ centrifuges. These sanctions seem to have the reverse affect, they not only were damning to Iranian government but also to the Iranian populace helping spread anti-western and anti-Israeli sentiment, supporting the Iranian regime’s anti-western rhetoric. Sanctions are clearly not working.

In the deal recently struck these sanction will be removed from Iran, decrease Iran’s uranium stockpile, dwindle the number of centrifuges to just below 7,000 and allow inspectors to essentially keep Iran check its nuclear program. Iran can of course hide things from inspectors but would that make us worse off than we already are? Currently no inspectors are authorized to enter Iran so not having a deal would not only prevent inspectors from entering Iran but would also allow them to keep their uranium stock pile and 20,000 centrifuges. Further with this deal, the Iranian populace will be opened to the western world, enabling new technologies, social media, and other western influence to enter the country. While it will not happen overnight, this would allow western influence into the country ideally reducing the anti-western sentiment and exposing the populace to democratic ideals and opinions. So while the deal may not be ideal for all parties involved, including the Iranians, it is at least a step in the right direction.

For those opposed to the deal I would ask what the alternative is. War? Referring to Webster’s definition again, diplomacy is used to prevent war and that is what the Obama administration has done. Should war be the alternative, who is going to fight the war? The same men and women who have fought for the last 15+ years in Iraq and Afghanistan? Our men and women in uniform will undoubtedly answer our nations call to arms, but is it necessary? Will it be the Israelis do it? What would happen after a war with Iran? Would the United States once again lead the charge in rebuilding nation? We have all seen how well that has worked for us so far.

The United States should always lead the way by conducting itself as the President and the Secretary of State have just done. They have found a way to curb Iran’s nuclear program without sending its sons and daughters into a hostile environment. The President and Secretary of State should be applauded for making this deal; instead they are berated from all sides of the isle. This should in no way be mistaken for appeasement or weakness on the side of the President, in fact it is the opposite, diplomacy is the tougher course of action. Lastly ask yourself which is the decision is better for the country, one that attempts to mend ties and restrain a sworn enemy or one that would likely end with thousands of flag draped caskets being sent home?