Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen

middle eastKorea has a border with China which allowed soldiers and material to flow to N. Korea. Short of a war with China, N. Korea couldn’t be defeated in the Korean War.

Vietnam has a border with China; if the North had needed it, it might have received support from China. Vietnam has a more significant border with Laos. The Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos allowed N. Vietnam to support fighters in the south. Short of invasion of N. Vietnam, an independent S. Vietnam was doomed.

Afghanistan has borders with Pakistan, Iran, and former Soviet Republics to the North. Support for the Taliban from Pakistan was important for its success. American support for the Afghan Govt. came via a long road thru Pakistan. Had it been necessary, support for pro-Russian factions might have come from the north.

Iraq has borders with Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait and Iran. The American invasion was marshaled in Kuwait in part because Turkey was uncooperative. Iran supported the Shiite resistance and eventually came to dominate the government there.

Iran has borders with Afghanistan, Iraq and former Soviet Republics to the North. It is unlikely that an American invasion of Iran could be staged in Iraq or Afghanistan; it would likely have to come from the sea. As much support for Iran could come overland from Russia as Putin wished to provide.

Yemen has borders only with Saudi Arabia and Oman. How Iran supports the Yemeni insurgents (if it does) is unclear to me.  If it can’t be by land, it must be by air or by sea.

Posted in War | 2 Comments

An outline of conflict in the Middle East

No more than a sketch of history as I remember it.

  • Palestinians seek justice
  • CIA overthrows popular government of Iran, restoring monarchy.
  • Islamic revolution deposes Shah.
  • Hostage crisis aids election of Ronald Reagan
  • Eight lost years
  • Election of G.H.W Bush
  • Iraq invades Kuwait.
  • First Gulf War
  • Afghan war
  • Second Gulf War
  • Relations with Pakistan weaken.
  • Iraq’s museums looted
  • No WMDs found.
  • Short, inexpensive wars turn out to be long and expensive.
  • Election of Donald J. Trump who criticizes past policy, promises to end foreign wars.
  • Putin has Trump’s ear; NATO, Canada and European allies disparaged.
  • Rise and suppression of ISIS with help of Kurds.
  • America repudiates nuclear agreement with Iran
  • Saudis use American military as mercenaries
  • Assad and Russia triumph in Syria
  • Turks and Russians turn on Kurds abandoned again by the United States.
  • Taliban resurgent in Afghanistan
  • Iraq parliament votes to expel American Forces
  • Palestinians seek justice

Prospects for peace  and justice remain unchanged–poor at best.

Posted in Trump, War | Tagged | 1 Comment

President Trump’s biggest accomplishments of 2019

believe it



The White House • December 30, 2019

TOP 10: President Trump’s biggest accomplishments of 2019.

Here are things President Donald J. Trump claims to have done for the American people in 2019:

  1. The Trump Boom is going strong. The unemployment rate recently hit its lowest mark in 50 years. All told, since President Trump’s election, our economy has added more than 7 million jobs—over half a million in manufacturing alone.
  2. The stock market keeps breaking records: The Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit record closes again on Friday.
  3. The working class is thriving, as are previously forgotten communities. Wages are now rising the fastest for low-income workers, and poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans have reached all-time lows.
  4. Accountable government is back. Since taking office, President Trump has rolled back nearly 8 regulations for every new one, saving American taxpayers more than $50 billion in the process—with bigger savings still to come.
  5. Better trade deals are putting America back in the driver’s seat. Congress approved President Trump’s USMCA this month—a huge win for U.S. workers, farmers, and manufacturers that will create 176,000 new jobs.
  6. Trade with China in particular is about to get a whole lot fairer. As part of a historic “phase 1” deal, Beijing has agreed to structural reforms in its trade practices and to make substantial purchases of American agricultural products.
  7. Securing the border is paying off and making our country safer. President Trump struck new agreements with Mexico and Central American countries this year to help stop the flood of illegal immigration. Thanks to this swift action, border apprehensions fell by more than 70 percent from May to November.
  8. On health care, President Trump is fighting to give our patients the best system on Earth. While Democrats try to take away choice, the President’s focus on affordability led to the largest year-over-year drop in drug prices ever recorded.
  9. American interests are taking center stage abroad. In just one example: After years of not paying their fair share, NATO Allies will have increased defense spending by $130 billion by the end of next year.
  10. Our great military took out the world’s top terrorist in October. Our troops are now getting the support they deserve. President Trump recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2020 fiscal year, which includes the biggest pay raise for our military in a decade.

Which of these are factual, which of those are significant accomplishments, and which are attributable to the Trump Administration? Will the voters buy this bill of goods?


Posted in 2020, Health Care, Immigration, trade, Trump | 3 Comments

The NYS Presidential Campaign is starting soon.

Even though the April 28 New York State Presidential Primary Election seems far off,  at least two Presidential Campaigns have contacted chairs of the NY 23rd Democratic Committees seeking democrats to pass petitions to get their candidate on the Ballot. Each candidate needs to get 5000 signatures state-wide. Passing the petitions can start on Tuesday, December 31. Only registered NYS Democrats can sign them; a person can only sign one candidate’s petition.  The campaigns will tell you when they need the signed petitions back to them. You can get a list of democrats who live near you from your County Board of Elections. There is no cost if they send the lists to you digitally.

Early Voting Dates are Saturday April 18 to Sunday, April 26. Each county will determine their times for voting.

Not only will you help the candidate to get on our ballot, you are promoting him or her, and informing the voters about the Presidential Primary.

If you are supporting Bernie Sanders, and are willing to pass petitions for him contact Emily Adans at

If you are supporting Amy Klobuchar, and are willing to pass petitions for mer contact  Bruce Levine at

If any one has information about who to contact for other candidates, please leave that information as a comment.

More information about the Presidential Primary will be coming soon.


Posted in 2020, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Semester with Snowflakes

This article was written by James Hatch, a retired servicemen, combat wounded veteran. It was originally published at Medium (
I would like to thank Comment-er D’Artagnan for bringing this article to our attention

In May of 2019, I was accepted to the Eli Whitney student program at Yale University. At 52, I am the oldest freshman in the class of 2023. Before I was accepted, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had seen the infamous YouTube video of students screaming at a faculty member. I had seen the news stories regarding the admissions scandal and that Yale was included in that unfortunate business. I had also heard the students at Yale referred to as “snowflakes” in various social media dumpsters and occasionally I’d seen references to Ivy League students as snowflakes in a few news sources.

I should give a bit of background information. I was an unimpressive and difficult student in public schools. I joined the military at 17 and spent close to 26 years in the US Navy. I was assigned, for 22 of those years to Naval Special Warfare Commands. I went through SEAL training twice, quit the first time and barely made it the second time. I did multiple deployments and was wounded in combat in 2009 on a mission to rescue an American hostage.

Every single day I went to work with much better humans than myself. I was brought to a higher level of existence because the standards were high and one needed to earn their slot, their membership in the unit. This wasn’t a one-time deal. Every time you showed up for work, you needed to prove your worth… read more

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I Yield Back My Time

This article was written and submitted by Lee Marcus of Arkport, Steuben County

bright daylight environment forest

Photo by Skitterphoto on

Inasmuch as one wonderful thing leads to its exact rotten opposite, November 8, 2016 was to blame. It was a gem of an autumn day. Cool air, brilliant sunshine, full fall-fabulous foliage. A friend and I decided to drive to Rochester and visit the grave of Susan B. Anthony. And so did several hundred others. The line to the grave was two hours long, but nobody seemed to mind. People smiling ear to ear, hugging, taking pictures. It was a sacred pilgrimage. We had all just voted for the first woman president, and that was going to change everything. EVERYTHING! It was the dawning of a common sense world. A practical, no-nonsense, kinder, gentler, America. And the rescue of democracy from the threat of …

Well, you know what happened. The shock of it. The say-it-isn’t-so of it. The Women’s March of it. The Allen-Town-Hall-in-a-mud-puddle of it. The DON’T-LOOK-AWAY-NOT-FOR-ONE-MOMENT of it. It’s that right there.

I get this way in an airplane. As soon as the movie’s over, I start. Gotta pay attention to every sound, every little bump and sway; strangle the armrests, keep an eye on the ground, and sweat. How else is this plane ever gonna land safely?

That’s me, since November 8, 2016. Well, People, you’re on your own now. I quit. I yield back my time. Check it out: I don’t know what You-Know-Who tweeted while we were sleeping. Joe Scarborough can rant until the cows come home, but I won’t hear him; I’d rather hang with the cows. I will miss Ms. Maddow and long for Ari Melber, but something had to be done. I knew it when my partner said I needed an intervention. He’s a resourceful man, and there’s no telling what he was up to. But when he said, “think of all the things you could be doing with your time,” well, I did. And by “time,” I believe he was taking the longer view. Not just this morning or this day, but this life. There’s only so much time, full stop.

So you’ll have to go on without me. Our cat has taken my place on the couch, and there’s no arguing with Sluggo. I am painting. Re-reading To Kill A Mockingbird. Playing the piano. Messing with words again. Walking in the woods. Cleaning the refrigerator. And making phone calls for the Mitrano campaign, so yes. I have some responsibility as a passenger on this plane. But I don’t have to land it. I yield back my time. To me!

Oh, by the way, I have concocted a plan that would kneecap racism and save our democracy. If you’re interested, write to me.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This Is What We Want

This article was written by Alex Andrasik from Yates County. It was first published on The Brackish Line at

PelosiProud to be a Democrat tonight.  Proud, for the first time in a minute, to be an American, too.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

As the dust clears and we all breathe in to consider what’s next, I’m seeing a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking of the whole impeachment process.  (Ugh, sports metaphor.)  People are wondering what political price we’ll pay for going through with this.  There’s fear that this will energize the Trump base more than it does ours.

I happen to be optimistic on that front.  A friend of mine said it well when she pointed out that Trump voters are Trump voters.  Trumpers gonna Trump.  There’s no turning them from the dark side at this point.  But there are a heck of a lot of Americans who might not identify as “political” but who feel like the rule of law is pretty important, when you get down to it.  This will play well with them.

Plus–can’t Democrats get energized too?  Why is it always about what energizes the Right, and only ever about what depresses and demoralizes the Left?  We don’t just lose in every situation, you know.

But I think we need to look past all that politics stuff.  This is about showing that actions have consequences.  This is about holding the line.

Regardless of whether it was “good” or “bad” politically, impeaching Donald Trump was the right thing to do.  And isn’t that what we’re always saying we want from our leaders?

Posted in Impeachment | Leave a comment