A brief roundup today, of the most pressing threats in our headlines through the lens of some of my most inspiring, favorite quotes.
Happy Martin Luther King Day to TAT readers,
Today will be easier on your time for reading than some of last week’s long epic pieces. Even the length of last week’s long articles, were just enough to scratch the surface of the subject matter covered. I’ll try to make this week a bit easier, on your time and patience.
The world is full of crisis on this holiday, so I will try and cover just the salient points about a handful of the most pressing threats. I have zero doubt that if MLK had survived, his legacy would have simply grown, along with attention to real American values and morality, so often missing in today’s world.
I have a handful of quotes that I live by and which have become my “go to” advice in tough times. Today, I will add one of these as the preface to each section. One of those quotes is an MLK quote which has always been at or near the top of my list. It is especially of value in 2024 America and the world. I have vowed to no longer fear public retribution for speaking the truth, morally. The quote is below:
For many reasons, some professional and some family tradition, I have long abstained from taking strong public stances on a handful of issues. Much of the Midwest, where I hail from is the same or at least was in my youth. We are under threat from so many vectors these days, that there is no longer any option but for all of us to engage in the bedrock of our freedom, open, honest and truthful discussion, in the public square. In my lifetime, MLK was a generational icon who embodied this approach and rightfully so.
When I began TAT, after allowing my security clearance to expire and retire to the public sector, the quote above was one of my primary motivating inspirations. It was also echoed by another favorite quote from another minority that has long suffered the burden of simply living his life as a Jew, Elie Wiesel.
Putin and Stalin’s second genocide against Ukraine.
First of all, I have a terrific source for the truth about the war that Ukraine is fighting, for their survival and the survival of their identity and culture. Yes, this means that Putin’s war is genocidal in nature, both in actual terms of war crimes and also in the war crime of cultural genocide.
The source is the ISW/ Institute for the Study of War which has among their Board, Fellows, Staff and leadership, some of the biggest and respected names in the field. Their work is the best you will find on different conflicts. I encourage reading the link to their site regularly for the details.
On a related note, and an area of expertise that I see as a partial void in most analysis is the look at influence operations in a variety of forms. The depth and breadth of adversarial influence or what some term, “malign influence” is staggering and an area that the US and NATO are mostly incompetent at, operationally.
To this I will add that Russia influence is pervasive in the Western world. There is little to no defense from our national security communities. There is also no hope that they will become competent prior to our election in November. This is a most dangerous issue. So long as the GOP and Russia continue to synchronize messaging, the potential for another Trump administration should terrify any truly patriotic American. Trump’s presidency is a “hail Mary” for Putin, in order to relieve the pressure on the Russian Army being overwhelmingly slaughtered in Ukraine.
Putin has gotten his way with the western world for the past several years and this is just an extension of what the Soviets did before him. The seeds planted by Soviet “Active Measures” during the Cold War have grown and matured into a potentially decisive threat. A key component of Active Measures is “reflexive control” or in lay terms, the ability to trigger predictable responses in audiences based on years of conditioning. Yes, see this as “Pavlov’s dog” on steroids and international.
Today’s reflexive control over western audiences has been “conditioned” into audiences with thirty years or more, of programming from Western, far-right groups and political movements. In the US, FOX News is a perfect example of the conditioning of the GOP audiences.
I’ve written often on this topic so will not write another long segment today. For those interested, here are a couple of links for background information:
The US National Security Community has left us a critical vulnerability in US national security. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Three dangerously related national security threats, 1. Putin's genocide, 2. Iran and Hamas' attempts at genocide and 3. the distraction Putin desires from western support for Ukraine. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Protecting our nation from Mis and Disinformation, requires true expertise at Ethical Influence (truthaboutthreats.com)
The US National Security Community has left us a critical vulnerability in US national security. (truthaboutthreats.com)
As it pertains to our November elections, Russian reflexive control is now more ingrained than during the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. This presents the most acute threat to western liberal democracy in half a century.
The war in Israel and Gaza
Since the war began after the barbarian attack by Hamas, an Iranian proxy terrorist group, the war of influence has also been one of the most intense in the Middle East. Propagandists for the Axis of evil that includes from my original analysis on Oct 9th, China, Russia, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and the right-wing extremist government of Israel/ Bibi Netanyahu’s administration and other lesser players have had the majority control over news and narratives.
Even some of the most respected western news agencies like the BBC, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to the pressure for Israel to stop their just war against terrorist barbarians, trained, equipped and supplied by Iran and Russia. TAT is but one entity speaking up against their support for Hamas propaganda via the Gaza, Hamas controlled Health Ministry. Even the UN has been caught lying and supporting the propaganda of Hamas.
I have written the long, in-depth articles below over the course of the first several weeks of the war, as an effort to combat the propaganda of the media. The situation in Gaza is still intense but Israel has showed some signs over the past week or so of transitioning to a less intense form of combat, now that thousands of Hamas fighters have been killed, much of their tunnel system destroyed or compromised and other elements of their ability to wage war, significantly diminished.
That is the good news. The bad news, Bibi (Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing extremist administration is still in charge and provoking more war. They do this as a mechanism to stay in power, against the will of most Israeli citizens. As explained in an early article, Israel’s democracy is similar to ours but with far more parties. This requires a coalition government. The current extremist version of this coalition in one of the thorns that provoked anti-Israeli sentiment in Gaza and the West Bank. Most Israelis are ashamed of this government and had spent months in the streets protesting by the hundreds of thousands against Bibi and his administration of racist, ultra-religious extremists.
Bibi, like trump, is an indicted felon and a trump copycat in some respects. He appears to be extending all-out war in order to stay in power to save himself from prison. Some in his cabinet are former terrorists against the Palestinian people and other moral Israeli political parties. Yes, again like trump and MAGA.
Professionals in the IDF/ The Israel Defense forces should be left to the task of transitioning over time to a phase of war that allows both sides to find a workable arrangement without Hamas and Iran preventing resolution. This does not mean that conflict ceases but managing the conflict in a manner that accomplishes the desired objectives but does less harm to a manageable resolution is the answer. This will take months, maybe more.
The bottom line is: please continue to pray for peace but remain vigilant.
The last note on this topic is that Putin is still the instigator in regard to Israel and this includes his proxy Iran, continuing to provoke the Houthis in Yemen, to sustain their attacks on the west, hoping to draw us into a larger conflict. The benefits Putin directly and China indirectly. Putin is at his wits end to have enough tools, weapons and other logistics to wage his genocidal war against Ukraine. If he can provoke conflict elsewhere, it will divert the West’s ongoing supply of Ukraine with weapons and other critical support. Sadly, the Republican party continues to support Putin by denying funding to Ukraine. In my personal opinion, this is aiding and abetting the enemy.
Here are the links to the deep dive provided by my earlier articles and reporting.
Israel - by Paul Cobaugh - Truth About Threats
Let's unpack the complex, barbaric attack on Israel and those to blame. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Short Friday notes after yesterday's long report on Israel (truthaboutthreats.com)
A quick Sunday update regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Gaza (truthaboutthreats.com)
Three things about the war in Gaza that we all must understand. (truthaboutthreats.com)
5th in the series, Israel and Hamas updates. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Has all media, good and bad, forgotten how to report with facts and context? (truthaboutthreats.com)
Friday updates - by Paul Cobaugh - Truth About Threats
“If it bleeds, it leads” - by Paul Cobaugh (truthaboutthreats.com)
Mid-week, national security, news round-up (truthaboutthreats.com)
Cost - Benefit Analysis, the war in Gaza - by Paul Cobaugh (truthaboutthreats.com)
The road to hell, is paved with good intentions. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Mainstream news outlets are borderline antisemitic in their reporting about the war in Gaza. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Last but not least, a short update on the border, another topic previously covered in other articles from TAT.
The bottom line to the border issue is that this is all that today’s MAGA controlled Republican party has to work with for November. Their messaging has been utterly dishonest and much of it contrived. It is nothing but propaganda in my opinion. Here in Texas, we have a travesty at the border committed by Greg Abbott and his MAGA minions or the TX GOP. His Cruelty and political stunts are not only counterproductive but… cruel. Cruelty and unconstitutional acts are the antithesis of patriotism.
There are several reasons for the increase in the number of immigrants at our southern border and not one of the reasons will be positively impacted by the Republican legislation currently being worked on in Congress by the White Christian Nationalist, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson. This is all simply more MAGA incoherence and waste of money. Even worse is that that this is the excuse for them to deny funding to our allies fighting and dying in Ukraine, not just for their survival, but to stop a serial aggressor named Putin. The GOP has now, since trump’s infamous escalator ride been indirectly supporting Russia, not the US.
The only answer for the border is comprehensive immigration reform. Ironically, back when politics were not a freak show with clowns like trump, MTG, Boebert, Gaetz and the rest of the spineless GOP representatives that refuse to stand for truth, the Obama and Bush (W) recommendations for immigration reform were remarkably similar. Then it was Newt Gingrich and his moral majority (actually immoral minority) that imposed zero sum politics on our nation.
The reasons for mass global migration are numerous and have far more to do with Climate Change, war, organized crimes etc. than the ignorance the GOP is propagandizing. None of this can be fixed with a wall or other border measure. Such thinking is beyond ignorant and shows just how deeply the current GOP is compromised by “reflexive control.”
Well, this didn’t actually turn out to be very brief, but it covers what I consider the top three current threats with updates of importance.
Again, I wish everyone a reflective and happy MLK Day. Courage to publicly advocate for truth, American values and morality are the lessons of this prestigious American icon. Like all people, me included, MLK may have been occasionally a flawed human being, but his legacy is the epitome of what we should be as a nation and something we must all aspire to.
My very best for your week,