A renewed SST on July 5th


I will begin posting my own articles on that day.  There will be clarified rules about posts, comments, and trollcontrols.  pl

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82 Responses to A renewed SST on July 5th

  1. Larry M. says:

    Col. Lang,
    thank you so much. This is what I have been hoping for. SST has been my favourite blog for more than ten years. After your earlier announcement, I had begun having withdrawal symptoms.

  2. Matthew says:

    Col: Great news. Any chance either you or one of your Turkish readers would like to post anything about current affairs in Turkey? SST’s insights into “hard-hearted empathy” are really valuable.

  3. iowa steve says:

    Thanks. I was feeling the void.

  4. MasterSlacker says:

    Thank you Colonel. Good news for those of us outside the purview of crappy commenters. My hope is you gain the control that you need to keep this site under your management.
    Kind Regards.

  5. Haralambos says:

    This is good news, indeed–icing on our Independence Day celebrations.

  6. michael mccarthy says:

    Welcome back.

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    Col. Lang,
    Excellent news, I wish you well. I did conduct some (limited) research into the WordPress platform so please let me if this would be of interest & I’ll email you. The following aspects looked attractive, considering the issues with trolling you have described:

    • Ability to limit comments to registered users only
    • User registration can include email/phone confirmations
    • Spam filter
    • Ability to import a blog from Typepad – for $49 someone will even do it for you

    Disclaimer: I am not associated with WordPress or the above mentioned import service in any way, WordPress just looks like it has better anti troll/spam capability to me.

  8. aleksandar says:

    “Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé”

  9. JohnA says:

    Rules are hard things (and time-consuming) to make up.
    You’re quite a guy, Pat! A diehard!
    All the best!

  10. Tigermoth says:

    Good news. Have a good holiday.

  11. David E. Solomon says:

    We wall all be extreme glad to have you back, Colonel.

  12. Charles Michael says:

    Very good news, many thanks.

  13. ann says:

    I agree with Larry M. I was having withdrawal. Good luck with the trolls.

  14. Sherry Long De Mandel says:

    Great news! Looking forward to July 5th.
    Sherry De Mandel

  15. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Great news!

  16. LeeG says:

    All right. Much appreciated.

  17. petrous says:

    Great news indeed! Thank you.

  18. different clue says:

    Thank you for this.
    If it ends up being zero comments permitted, at least when the post is from you, that is better than no SST at all. As long as you decide to try modified comment permission under new controls, I will try to keep my comments ( if any) within the spirit of the new rules.
    Don’t let the dead cats bounce you down.

  19. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    One of the Anonymous tribe remarked here that I lack humor, that I am like a “granite wall.” I can only thank he, it, she for the description. I have tried to guard the sanctity of my sensitive soul from public display. However, I should say to Anonymous-X and all of you that A-X and or all may find vicious, personally and deliberately denigrating troll attacks (however sophisticated) to be humorous but I do not. pl

  20. VietnamVet says:

    Great news. Thanks

  21. DavidKNZ says:

    As a retired army officer, I have found Col Langs blog an oasis of sanity amidst the moral desert of crazed militarism. In his own way he is showing real leadership. I salute him for it. And for his decision to keep flying the flag of sanity even in the face of those who know of nothing but destruction. Kudos

  22. georgeg says:

    Welcome news! Knowledge helps maintain my sanity…..

  23. turcopolier says:

    Thank you, brother. pl

  24. MRW says:


  25. optimax says:

    Col. You’re humor must have flown over their heads. I’ve always appreciated it.

  26. David says:

    Excellent news, Thank you sir.

  27. J to the C says:

    Thank you sir.

  28. tpcelt says:

    Missed you already. Glad you’ll be back.

  29. William RAISER says:

    Good news to start the day. I appreciate your insights on what’s happening in the Middle East. You provide a depth of knowledge, insight and analysis that I don’t find anywhere else.

  30. steve g says:

    Col Lang:
    Roger that. We all hear you 5 by 5!!

  31. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Greatly relieved to see this news, Col.

  32. S.E. says:

    Great news! Been following SST for 10 years, and it has changed my way of seeing the world.

  33. Great news. SST is an essential sort of information asset. I’ve been lurking, not commenting as it would have been superfluous. But I read all the time and depend on you for your insights(which I trust) and on your chosen flock of fellow veterans, who I can also trust because you vouch for them. It’s heroic what you do. Keep at it.

  34. LeaNder says:

    two points:
    1) “Trolling”, in whatever variance, to a large extend is a side effect of visibility. A part of the world out there? Flame wars on Usenet? For how much longer did it accompany political discussions? I somehow doubt it is easy to control considering a multitude of tools out there to duck, dive and weave. At least not with the more intend variance. I only recall distinctively one seemingly obvious hate flame directed at Pat. Admittedly baffled me. But yes, I have no idea if he only let it surface for us to see.
    2) Concerning registration. It surely is a helpful feature on Typepad. BUT: Admittedly, I also appreciate the feature on blogger to log in anonymously. To the extend it is used by bloggers, I check once in a while. Notice I am none of the Anonymous’es in this specific comment section. … Apparently Lennard and Urs appreciate the feature too.
    More randomly picked. Admittedly not read. But considering his offered troll categories or their respective psychological sub-layers of his twelve trolls: Some feel familiar. Could be parts of me, seriously. 😉
    Here are even more categories for you. Some trigger more distinct memories:

  35. Bill H says:

    I agree with optimax. You most certainly have a sense of humor. Like you, I do not find trolls amusing.
    I am more than glad you are staying with us, and am hoping that you will find a way to keep the non-troll comments active. Conversations tend to be more interesting than monologues, although it depends on the writer.
    I will read you, and look forward to new posts, comments allowed or not.

  36. Barbara Ann says:

    If one hate flame got through I imagine many 000’s more were (& are) filtered out for our benefit. I dread to think what effect the aggregate inferno has had on our most gracious host.
    There is an inevitable trade-off; registered users with a ‘real’ email address & phone number are harder to set up & thus easier to ban persistently. But of course such users are rather less than anonymous – although ‘real’ email addresses & phone numbers are not impossible to come by for those keen enough to preserve their anonymity. Still, SST’s readership are likely more keen on anonymity than the average blog reader.
    Bruce Schneier recently posted a piece on commenting policy & his personal stance on anonymity on his blog. It is rather less political in nature than SST, so less a target for trolls perhaps.

  37. dorothy108 says:

    I am just so glad you have decided to give SST and your readers another chance to learn from you. Frankly, at this point, your site is the only place I trust for truth. The rest is dross. The MSM has become a rooting section for hatred. Having had a list in another field for 14 years, I know only too well how hard and just plain time consuming, it is to keep a site going. The more attention you get the more dross, the more reading. This reader is so grateful. Thank you for all you do for us.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Of course you are right, but you were always the wittiest commenter on SST. And yet, how long since you made your last joke? And that has nothing to do with the passing of EuclidCreek. It is way before, you soured because of the political polarization.
    I observe things that are absent and I’m trying to warn Col. Lang not to wrestle in the comment section. He is comfortable listening and talking to people, that is in his nature, dealing in person with some of the worst (and some of the best) sort of people around the world was once his routine. But from now on internal american affairs will be interfering with his desire to keep SST mainly about foreign matters. He already tried to block discussion about internal politics and failed because he cannot restrain himself from telling things for what they are. The fact is, your country is really going nuts and there are real problems brewing with dissent. I would plead with him to focus on the main text of the post, delete all the comments he wants, but not to wrestle inside the comment section. But I’m an outsider. If you americans cannot spot the problem, no warnings I can make that will be heard.
    By the way, Col. Lang discarded a springbreak congratulatory comment I wrote to the Lemur. I thought that was the funniest comment I ever wrote on SST, with three different funny matters discussed over the last year, including, ahem, hominid interbreeding! Unfortunatelly there were serious grammar errors on it and it went straight to the trash bin. Because of that, my Lemuralia feast was a lone affair trying to remember the dreadful thing to keep away from the sound of banging metal. For that alone Col. Lang deserved being called a granite wall of humorlessness. It was tongue in cheek, but at the wrong time, as I usually am. What can I do, that is a brazilian thing!
    So, keeping restlessness in check and the brewing problems with dissent, instead of tiredness with trolls. That’s how I see the predicament.
    The good thing is you and I know quite well what it is to be the target of Col. Lang’s fury. Have to have the thickest skin and let the great man vent to his heart content. Fire and brimstone, that is our lot.

  39. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Off topic:
    If it took ten minutes to neutralize a single shooter at the GOP baseball practice in (your home town, Colonel!),
    what would have happened if a well-trained and well-armed team
    had been trying to kill ALL the congressmen there?
    With cross-fire, maybe grenades, maybe Claymores https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M18_Claymore_mine (remember them?), etc.
    Would North Korea, to give an example,
    try such methods if the U.S. were to bomb them?
    I bet they would.
    Sounds like a real problem to me.
    Would like to add further my opinion that, for me,
    comments are a key part of the value of this blog.
    Sure, I don’t agree with them all,
    but they give me insight different points of view.
    And I really am unclear on the difference between “a troll” and somebody merely expressing an unwelcome opinion.
    The definition of “troll”, as I understand it, is
    someone expressing an opinion merely to get a reaction.
    But by that definition, to identify “a troll” you need to understand the trollers motivation.
    I know of no certain way to do that.

  40. johnT says:


  41. dbk says:

    Another faithful and frequent reader here. Many thanks for your decision to return to SST in July. Your analyses of the situation in the ME and insights regarding politics in Washington are invaluable.

  42. Heros says:

    Just as with fake accusations of rape (think of the Duke Lacrosse scandal) or fake acts of anti-semitism (think of recent string of bomb threats to synagogues by a dual citizen israeli living in Israel) fake accusations of “Trolling” are in fact worse than the trolling itself and should be dealt with with at least the same measures.
    Usually it is the first person who calls “troll” in a comment who is in fact the troll him/herself. Just because a commenter has an opinion differing from those of the offended trolled/triggered reader does not mean that adhominems like “you are a just a troll” are justified.
    The problem today, as evidenced by this ongoing Trump witch hunt and all mass hysteria about Putin and “Russian Aggression”, is that the objective truth is hidden under layers of propaganda. Some people are far more comfortable wrapping themselves in the propaganda than they are in seeking the truth. So when someone makes a post that contradicts their chosen propaganda, even if it is backed by legitimate links to articles stating facts, they immediately cry “troll” and unleash ad hominems, non sequiturs and refuse to engage the target of their “troll” accusations in an honest debate.
    It is these people who interrupt the discussion and destroy whatever harmony exists in the comment section.
    For this reason I would suggest that the only person who should be allowed to make accusations of “troll” should be Pat Lang or his chosen moderators. Anyone else making these kind of hateful accusations should be the target of the banning.
    It is far easier to skip a comment from someone who you don’t agree with than to have to parse an entire string of swearwords and ad hominems.

  43. LeaNder says:

    Barbara, it feels I recall both article and context without looking it up now.
    If one hate flame got through I imagine many 000’s more were (& are) filtered out for our benefit.
    I understand where you’re heading. … at least I hope, I do. You are trying to be helpful/protective. I neglected that strain in myself lately a bit.
    Yes that would be one of the tools available. … Considering how long Typepad is around, I simply cannot believe Pat couldn’t have chosen such a setting for his blog for much longer now.
    Look, I am babbling. No doubt an interesting topic, touching on others.
    Sorry, I should let you know immediately at the moment I am in the mood to start a dual flame war against Windows (maybe not quite? Definitively a Windows Pro next time. At the moment I am told I would loose my warranty). Maybe more seriously against the laptop brand, their config log-loop wizards and/or their hotline technicians (never, never again!!!!…)
    But be glad, this central issue keeps my comment relatively short. One issue solved, without their help, two more to go. F**king batteries that “cannot be disassembled”. The latest craze, mania whatever you prefer.
    Don’t misunderstand. Simply in a flame war mood.

  44. Turcopolier Sir,
    Whilst very much on the Left of the political spectrum, SST is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in unbiased and critical analysis of what’s happen in the ME & geopolitics in general – with so much of the MSM corrupted it would be a sad loss indeed if SST were to cease.

  45. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I am greatly looking forward to the new, improved SST. Thank you!

  46. plantman says:

    That is good news.
    I wonder if you would address this question in the future.
    The SAA has cut a swath to the Syria-Iraq border which blocks US plans to consolidate east Syria from the al tanf region up-along the Euphrates to the Turkish border.
    So what happens now?
    Will Mattis have to charge northward thru SAA lines?
    We seem to be getting closer to a possible confrontation between the US-backed militia at al Tanf (which includes US special forces I believe) and Russia.

  47. John Wesley says:

    Glad you are sticking with us. The comments from other readers are often useless, but then one in ten provides some context or insight that is enlightening. I would not mind if you disallowed comments.
    I have been a fan since I first saw you on PBS during the Iraq invasion. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War, and I have come to despise the whiteboard warriors who think they know how we should operate in foreign places without ever having carried a weapon. I do not always agree with you, but I read you regularly. We would have missed you, but I suspect you would have missed us, too.

  48. Swamp Yankee says:

    Yeah, I agree — I’ve always greatly enjoyed your humor, Col. Lang — words like “wry” and “subtle” come to mind. The trolls, on the other hand, think they’re funny, but are in fact just humorless and tedious.
    I’m very glad to hear the news that SST in some form will be back. Enjoy this beautiful time of year!
    Thanks for your hard work,
    Swamp Yankee

  49. Jackrabbit says:

    Glad to see you back pl

  50. smoke says:

    What a relief! The one place, in all the clamour around contemporary events, where I turn to restore a sense of balance and sanity.
    And the one place one can find any sort of clarity about activities and conflagration in the ME, when everything from the mainstream makes little sense – their trigger phrases, straw men, Manichean theater, and appeals to emotion, without enough facts or explanation to make any sense of it.
    Finally, gave up and cancelled my NYT this week. I couldn’t take another day of the front page crowded with villainies of Trump, his associates, and Russia, when there are real, newsworthy developments happening in US and around the world. I have thought that the NYT front page was useful for monitoring an Establishment agenda, and the inside pages still had some real reporting. But seven months of no apparent agenda except Trump and Russia was enough – no more. I’d like to support good journalism, but it is becoming so hard to find.
    Happy to support this site, its weary, insightful professor, and thoughtful, informed correspondents for as long as it will be.

  51. turcopolier says:

    swamp yankee
    Perhaps it is the ancestral, Jungian, New Englander in me. If you look at the painting on my FB page you will see a Chickadee. Bob Sawyer, the artist, said that is what it represented. pl

  52. mauisurfer says:

    Russians are saying that MAYBE they killed al Baghdadi in Raqqa.
    Remarkable if true.
    USA military is saying they had no information that he was in Raqqa.
    USA spends a lot more on SIGINT than Russia does.

  53. Colonel – “Smoke” above says it all. Same here.
    While it’s still possible to put in a query, there’s a loose end I was waiting to see tidied up from some time back. How’s that roof holding up?

  54. turcopolier says:

    You have an attraction born of persistence. Spending more money doesn’t mean you are better at it. My experience in intelligence would indicate the opposite. pl

  55. turcopolier says:

    Ah! The house is a front gabled Craftsman bungalow (1913) with steep peaks and half a dozen small gables along the sides. We built a large expansion on the back 20 years back that matches the rest of the building. Jonquil yellow, dark green roof (40 years supposedly). We have spent a fair amount of money this spring on the place, French drains along one side, roof work on “valleys” and “boots” around protuberances, masonry around the chimneys. 2500 square feet. The interior is full of built in arts and crafts wood, mush of which we either had done or restored. The wood is mainly chestnut. there are two large metal gates that close off the back garden (maintained as rustic). The smaller is from about 1865 and the second from the 1880s (double) We bought these from architectural remnants merchants in Washington and Richmond. Very handsome, both sides of the house. We have a large stone flagged patio (three levels)with an outdoor kitchen; gas grill with rotisserie, side burner, bar sink and refrigerator. there is a Tiffany Studio mosaic enshrined out there (lit at night) (1895 maybe – Art Nouveau flowers) SWMBO bought it on the internet some years ago as wreckage from a house in Manhattan. Life ain’t bad. pl

  56. Colonel,
    Your description of the roofing work reminds me of a plumber I hired a few decades ago who would have been just the man for the job. His qualifications were 1. He was the only man I could find who understood lead work and 2. he was the son-in-law of a main contractor who used to put a lot of work my way. He exceeded my expectations in both respects and would have spent a happy few days on your roof. Or weeks, judging by the specification. I also as a young man lived in a house of the same period and spent a good deal of time stripping modern wallpaper away to reveal the original Art Nouveau wallpaper. Buildings in that style, though different in some respects I think from the equivalent American style, were the last here that combined really solid building with good looking design.
    Your account, both of the repairs and of the garden, is not one I shall draw to the family’s attention. It would almost certainly give them ideas.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Heavy rain last night and there was no leaking anywhere so one can rejoice. We also had a lot of painting of the interior and a little in the dining room due to the roof leak that we pursued with some success. Mr. Bob, a character who has painted and re-pained his way across the Rosemont neighborhood many times started with the idea of “a little here, a little there” and ended by painting nearly all the house. The house looks great after Mr. Bob’s attentions. pl

  58. Nancy K says:

    Colonel Lang, like everyone else I’m very glad you will continue with SST.

  59. mauisurfer says:

    I love craftsman homes.
    I have tried to build that way myself, it is not easy.
    Plumbers and electricians want to drill holes anywhere/everywhere and then cover up the mess with drywall.
    A man I worked for in DC owned the “Lafayette House” in Old Town, Arlington – that was a real piece of work. And his wife filled it with antiques.
    Have you ever seen it?

  60. dilbert dogbert says:

    I am jealous, jealous, jealous after reading the above. What a happy place. Live long and prosper.

  61. turcopolier says:

    Geography lesson: Arlington County, Virginia is an unincorporated political entity. So far as I know it contains no incorporated towns. Alexandria, Virginia is an independent incorporated city founded in 1745(?) Both are surrounded on the Virginia side of the Potomac by Fairfax County, Virginia which contains several incorporated towns among them Falls Church which was founded around 1665. So far as I can discern there is no “Old Town” in Arlington County. This house is not a pattern or “kit” Craftsman. It was carpenter built in 1913 according to the design ideas of the day on the site of what had been the development sales office for the “Rosemont” planned development just outside the limits of what is now called “Old Town, Alexandria after all the lots in “Rosemont” were sold. A man named Elliot who owned a store in Alexandria bought the lot, tore the sales shack down and built this place.. pl

  62. turcopolier says:

    Did you work for CIA? If not, how do you know there was one of their safe houses nearby? There is no Old Town, Arlington. The “Lafayette House” is now for sale for over 6 million. http://301saintasaph.mcenearney.com/ It is not an Arts and Crafts building. I pass it frequently on the way to my doctor’s office which is nearby. pl

  63. Swamp Yankee says:

    I suspect you’re right, Colonel. And chickadees I do believe are my favorite bird — they stay with us all winter, after all, and I have great fondness for them on that and other accounts. There’s a good reason both Massachusetts and Maine have the bold little creatures as our state birds.
    Thanks again for all your work here on SST.
    Swamp Yankee

  64. turcopolier says:

    Gotta have the last word? OK. pl

  65. Degringolade says:

    If I could trouble you to dedicate some moments of your time sharing your thoughts about Afghanistan and the current plan to “offshore” that particular predicament to the Pentagon.
    I have been trying to make sense of the whole mess there. All that thinking has led to…..well, lets just say that I am more confused than when I started.
    Best Regards

  66. mac says:

    Thanks Colonel….
    The country never stops needing patriots.
    She’ll always need you.
    Take Care,

  67. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Nice rugs. Government money?

  68. turcopolier says:

    IMO my piece on 17 May dealing with Afghanistan suffices with the observation that DJT has given Mattis and the generals the power for his time in office. to continue indefinitely in Afghanistan with ever upward creeping numbers. US casualties will creep upward with the numbers. The Trumpies and Borgisits are all waiting for the Taliban to quit just as we waited for the Vietnamese communists to guit. The US public quit first there and that is what will happen in the ME and Afghanistan. Petraeus (America’s general)was on the Newshour and he startled even the crypto-Zionist neocon Judy Woodruff by saying that we should expect the US war in Afghanistan to last another 50 years or so. He justified that with the trite old neocon assertion that we have been in Korea since 1953 as well as Germany and Japan since 1945. This is nonsense of course. there has been no fighting in any of these places since the dates mentioned. As a small American child in Germany in 1947-49 I rode German streetcars to school everyday unescorted. This is not exactly like anywhere in the Borg Wars. pl

  69. FB Ali says:

    “The US public quit first there and that is what will happen in the ME and Afghanistan”
    Col Lang, as usual, you are quite right. I fully agree.

  70. LeaNder says:

    Heros, one of my worst exchange experiences around here, had to do with questioning whatever my at the time ‘verbal’ opponents considered “objective truth” … I am sure, they felt they followed their instincts on their specific images of the enemy. Edward Bernays was one of them, that I recall, but there is this distinct memory concerning the French Structuralists more collectively.
    [RIP Michael Bertram, Bruxelles] I recall a book around him that drew my attention, unfortunately I didn’t make a note. He was always surrounded by news paper clips and books. That was: Maybe at the late 80’s early to mid 90’s . And on a fast check it looked like an American critique on French Structuralism. More vague, but maybe true, from the perspective of alternative US approaches/methods, I was vaguely familiar with.
    “Witch hunt” asides. How would you establish “objective truth”?

  71. turcopolier says:

    So, you want to compare the Korean DMZ experience to Iraq or Afghanistan? pl

  72. optimax says:

    Col. Lang said he had to sift through 500 to 600 comments a day and from what I could tell posted maybe 10%. That’s too much shit for one man to shovel. There are too many morons posting on other sites that make them unworthy to read. Some sites have even eliminated their comment section. The commenters on ESESTEE are the best informed whom I still read and learn from. I do not comment on military affairs because I’m a civilian with only outside opinions of such things.
    America is on a downward course and I don’t see it turning around. Trump was suppose to stop it or at least slow it but his narcissistic fantasy land looks as if it will continue our countries downward spiral. I love this land ,some of the people and most of the dogs and hate to see it happen. The anti-Federalists who left the Constitutional Convention without signing it clearly saw the problems a strong central government created. They knew it would create a great nation with a large standing army that politicians would not be able to resist using in unnecessary wars. So here are.
    I have to set up my new computer and do some tech stuff I know nothing about but I will be back.

  73. raven says:

    Nope, just responding to this ” there has been no fighting in any of these places since the dates mentioned. ”

  74. turcopolier says:

    I take your point but would not call what goes on in the Korea DMZ to be “war.” pl

  75. raven says:

    And I take yours. When the Blue House Raiders came through our AO and we swept the mountains for a week and then Joe took the Pueblo it seemed like war. I’ve always been thankful it didn’t happen because we were dead meat if it had.

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