Beat Navy! Beat Russia! Beat everyone!


(Pompaeus as Plebian)

" CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday Russia has no plans to leave Syria and will continue to try to meddle in U.S. affairs to "stick it to America."

He reiterated his belief that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election and described the U.S.-Russia relationship as "complicated."

"I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that's something that's useful," he said

Pompeo also said he has seen only minimal evidence that Russia has pursued a serious strategy against Islamic State of Iraq and Syrica (ISIS) militants in Syria. He said any suggestion that Russia has been a U.S. ally in Syria is not borne out by what's happening on the ground."   CBS News


Oh my!  Minimal evidence of Russia fighting IS in Syria?  Even CIA must know better than that.  This utterance at an Aspen Institute "fight rally" indicates to me that this fellow has a completely closed mind on the subject of Russia and undoubtedly Iran as well.  Clapper and Brennan expressed similar sentiments at the same meeting.  The great minds have met!  Clapper cannot keep himself from saying "Soviet" occasionally when what should be said is "Russia."  He was always a blockheaded group think schemer, so one should not be surprised.    As for Brennan it is easy to see Torquemada's spirit lurking behind the ruddy complexion and scowl.

When I was teaching at USMA (West Point) Pompeo's alma mater, I endured on a yearly basis the frenetic activities of the cadets as they prepared themselves emotionally for the annual titanic struggle against the USNA (Annapolis) football team.  There were rallies, building defacements with giant painted slogans "Beat Navy!"   There was a kidnapping of the Billy Goat which was USNA's mascot.  I seem to remember that some boy was dismissed for that caper. Good.

During one of these magic periods of anticipatory ecstasy, the Soviet military attaché came to visit.  He was the guest of the Russian language group in the Foreign Languages department.  I taught in the department and for some reason they asked me to the small dinner given for this general of the Red Army. 

We dined in the cadet mess where all the young ladies and gentlemen were fed together at one sitting.  This was in a cavernous space where centuries of re-modeling had freakishly produced an elevated platform between two buttresses  This was 20 feet or so above the floor on which the corps ate.  I think this place was called "the poop deck."  There was space  up there for a table that would seat ten or twelve while white jacketed waiters scurried around looking anxious overthe state of the napery, etc.  One could look over the stone rail at the masses below. 

During the dinner, various cadet cheerleaders were allowed upstairs in our sacred space to lead the corps in cheers against the US Navy (the navy undergrad school really)  The guest finally asked what all the noise was about.  I told him and he asked to lead the US Corps of Cadets in a cheer.  He took his place at the microphone where the cadets could see him, the very incarnation of the devil, and began. 

"Beat Navy!"  The kiddies cheered lustily.

"Beat Air Force!"  The cheering was more restrained.

"Beat Army!  Beat Everybody!"  After a moment's silence the kids began to boo him.  Since I was not an alumnus of this place I thought it was funny.

Former cadet Pompeo says that he has seen minimal evidence of Russia fighting IS?   Oh my!  Robert Fisk of the Independent has now reported (see link below) that he recently sat in a meeting in the dust bowl desert south of Raqqa, but hard by, in which SAA, and the YPG/SDF coordinated their joint fight against IS (ISIS).  A Russian Army colonel who called himself Yevgenii sat in the their midst as a full participant.  There were no Americans present.

The Soviet general took a great interest in what I was doing at WP.  IMO their biographic file on me started that evening.

Pompeo has a record of pompous (a sad linguistic joke) bellicosity.  He seems to desire enemies everywhere.  Perhaps someone should tell him that grown ups don't act like that.  pl

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Intelligence, Iran, Politics, Russia, Syria. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Beat Navy! Beat Russia! Beat everyone!

  1. Prem says:

    It’s a blatant lie. Pompeo must know it (if he really believes this, then we are in a hell of a mess).
    But he knows that virtually nobody in the “newspapers of record” will call out the lie. The alternative reality will be believed by most westerners who follow such things (a small minority).

  2. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    Sometimes I wonder if all these political appointees to high office in our federal government look themselves in the mirror and listen to what they say?
    Either they have drunk the kool-aid so much that they have become completely delusional and not know it or like Baghdad Bob they spout the currently accepted groupthink while they know that many must be laughing at them derisively.

  3. Bandolero says:

    Dear Colonel,
    how many of such types are there in the US security burocracy?
    I just read an opinion from former USD-I Michael G. Vickers (now on BAE’s board) which left me almost speechless in his clarity. Quote:
    “Iran has supported a Houthi takeover in Yemen, deposing a key U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, and exerted its influence over the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad. The civil war in Syria represented our primary opportunity to roll back Iranian power in the Middle East and to sever its primary supply line to Hezbollah. We are squandering that opportunity.”
    Source: Michael G. Vickers in Wapo, 23/7/2017: The Trump administration should not give up on removing Assad in Syria
    War as opportunity, more war for more opportunity and ending war as squandering an opportunity, that’s what the view seems to be. Couple that with total ignorance for facts, eg that US/-Saudi-backed-backed President Hadi & Gen Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar in Yemen partnered with Al Qaeda, while Salehs US/EU-backed Republican guards & ISF faught against Al Qaeda together with the Houthis. After I read that opinion, I was just happy Michael G. Vickers is now a former USD-I.

  4. turcopolier says:

    IMO you cannot overestimate the effect of the long term baleful effect of the ant-Russia school at Garmisch and the spread of the effect of the influence of the opinions of its graduates. I don’t know if Pompeo took Russian as a language at WP. All cadets were required to take a language. If it was Russian, That faculty in the language department were all Russophobes and led on by an aged White Russian civilian permanent type who foamed at the mouth at the word, Bolshevik.” The head of the Russian language group was an immigrant Siberian colonel who had grown up in Shanghai where his father was an inspector in the Chinese customs. He didn’t like the modern Russians much either. pl

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    I think you’re a wee bit too pessimistic. One of these fools was interviewed by Tucker Carlson recently. The same lie was repeated there. Tucker asked what, then, were all the Russian and Syrian sorties targeting. The answer? Women, children and hospitals. Tucker could barely restrain a grin. Why, Tucker asked, would the Russians spend their time and resources killing women and children and blowing up hospitals? That’s just what they do for fun, was pretty much the reply. Tucker shrugged, chuckled and mockingly dismissed the answer as ridiculous.
    The intelligence community is beginning to appear to be headed by people with an 8 year old comic book enthusiast’s view of the world. How embarrassing for those who work diligently and honorably within the agencies. Surprising that none of them have subverted their command and contacted the Trump team directly with some reality in hand.
    The IC already totally damaged its integrity.Maybe if they hadn’t pulled this same level of nonsense in the build up to the Iraq war, citizens would be conned this time. Trump supporters are just digging in deeper as a result of such obvious BS. The people believing them are people that just hate Trump (see Trump derangement syndrome). However, these are very much the same people that opposed the Iraq war and remember vividly the lies that led up to it. So it won’t take too much more silliness to cause their consciences to take over and reject the whole thing. I guess the Americans stink at “influence ops” compared to the Russians.

  6. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Your mention of the types who used to teach Russian at West Point makes me wonder about one thing.
    When “the Saker” started his blog, he pointed out that he came out of the sort of anti-Bolshevik Russians that you mentioned, but these people are, even if they hate communists, are Russian nationalists, even ultranationalists–like the Saker, like Solzhenitsyn, and are presumably big fans of Putin and what he represents. They certainly would not confuse today’s Russia with USSR. (On the other hand, I wonder people like Brzezinski ever saw a “Bolshevik” independent of “the Russian”–but that’s a different perspective that long predates the Cold War.)
    Curious how the dynamics between them–both Russian nationalists who were anti-communists, but now back to being Russian nationalists, and anti-Russians who always hated Russians, whether communist or not–and people like Pompeo–the Cold War holdovers–have been evolving.

  7. sid_finster says:

    Is it not abundantly obvious that Pompeo (or anyone else from the Borg, Deep State whatever you want to call it) will do whatever they can to avoid following any orders to disengage in Syria?
    As I said earlier, expect one or more of the following:
    1. Funneling arms and largesse through Israel or some gulfie despot.
    2. More anonymous leaks intended to bring down Trump or at least keep him distracted and always on the defensive.
    3. False flag.
    4. Simply ignoring orders, secure in the knowledge that if caught, DC will treat them not as persons guilty of insubordination, but as martyrs.

  8. Willybilly says:

    Mike G. Vickers was instrumental in the planning phase of the covert ops against Syria Iran & Hizbullah…. He won’t let go… While Hizbullah this July singlehandedly rolled back Al-Nusra is Qalamoun mountains in one week… Now they are ready to defeat Daesh as well in the Qaa mountains and valleys… clearing the whole mountain ranges between Lebanon and Syria in a flash….but the MSM is blind to that smashing victory…

  9. Anna says:

    Not everything is lost:
    “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence:” From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes. … The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.”

  10. Enrico Malatesta says:

    This very blog offered evidence of this group-think with a link to Lt. Col. Peters’ foaming mouth interview with Tucker Carlson earlier this month:

  11. bluetonga says:

    Well one should hope that Pompeo knows he is outrightly lying here, otherwise one should really worry about the basic capability of the CIA to understand what is going on, and this in my opinion would be much more of a problem for the coming events. Do not expect perspective from the blind man.
    Yet, on the other hand, I find it quite disturbing that the head of one the most prestigious intelligence service in the world feels ok with misleading both the (observant) media and public in such a shameless way. This is truly outrageous, and the fact that no one in the MSM feels compelled to react tells a lot about the ongoing decline of American values.

  12. wisedupearly says:

    your description of the USMA event is a priceless teaching moment. I wonder if the Soviet attache caught your amusement. Mostly likely he did.
    The bad teacher and the bad teaching system fall back on reflex group think. The attache probably got a lot of mileage back home out of his “teaching moment” at USMA.
    Trigger a reaction and then slowly lead them to the edge of the pit and watch how many jump right in.
    A good teacher is more along the lines of a good conductor, one who nurtures individual talents while looking for harmony.
    A good leader is a good conductor who writes his own score that encompasses all the players.

  13. Eliot says:

    “Tucker shrugged, chuckled and mockingly dismissed the answer as ridiculous.”
    That’s beautiful, their performance has devolved into strident self parody.
    Could it get more ridiculous?
    – Eliot

  14. Yeah, Right says:

    Interesting – and quite off-hand – conversation in the Fisk piece where it is mentioned that there is an equivalent Kurd/Russia/Syria deconfliction centre inside Afrin.
    Is there any current R+6 campaign in or near the Afrin area?

  15. Sam Peralta says:

    The continuing campaign against POTUS by Brennan & Clapper.
    Does this campaign of vilification of a POTUS by former top intel officials from a previous administration have parallels in history?

  16. Anna says:

    ” but these people are, even if they hate communists, are Russian nationalists…”
    Very simple: Hating the Cheney-Bush policies does not make an American citizen into anti-American.

  17. Anna says:

    As a commentary to your post:
    “In the most vocal opposition to president Donald Trump yet, former CIA Director John Brennan said that if the White House tries to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, government officials should refuse to follow the president orders, as they would be – in his view – “inconsistent” with the duties of the executive branch. “I think it’s the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out. I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future,” Brennan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum, effectively calling for a coup against the president should Trump give the order to fire Mueller.”
    Looks and sounds like a proclamation for a coup d’etat. Where is Pompeo?

  18. Prem says:

    Yes, Tucker has been on a roll recently, but he’s a lone voice at Fox and Fox doesn’t have the power to frame the narrative in the way that the NYT or WaPo have.
    There are honourable exceptions in the MSM – Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn, Peter Hitchens. But one suspects that they are tolerated because they have limited reach.

  19. VietnamVet says:

    Fees for service and campaign contributions are powerful incentives for the recipient to internalize the beliefs of the paymaster. The Iraq invasion was crazy. I blamed the GOP in 2003. The Ukraine Coup showed that the Democrats are just as bad. My current repulsion is no doubt due to the restart of the Cold War after being drafted into the first one. I cannot come up with any good reasons for political appointees in the intelligence community to ignore reality of the consequences of a war with Iran and Russia. Is the corruption, greed and risk of financial collapse so great that the American Empire is hell-bent on starting a world war that will annihilate mankind? It is insane that the only one holding things back from the abyss is a very imperfect Donald J Trump who is under relentless attack by the media and globalists.

  20. Cortes says:

    Fascinating. Thank you for the background information.
    On “Russiagate”, the recent article by Alexander Mercouris about Jared Kushner’s ?depositon? On contacts with the forces of darkness/Russia may be of interest:

  21. LindaL says:

    Is that you? Nice photo

  22. mike says:

    Plebes, or Cadets if you prefer, are basically just kids as you mention. I spent 15 years as enlisted and seven as an officer. Never saw a food fight during those first 15. Only later in O-clubs and O-messes did i ever witness flying mashed potatoes. And those were thrown by Lieutenants and Ensigns not by Plebes. Even saw a drunken Major join in once. Mostly prevalent in aviation units but occasionally in ground units if the Colonel did not keep a strong hand on the young’uns. Guess I expected too much, maybe I should have joined in?
    I agree Pompeo is an ass. How does a California boy get elected to Congress in Kansas? But in any case he is Trump’s man. So perhaps the WH probably cleared his statements?

  23. Yeah, Right says:

    Sam, Brennan’s quoted comments to Blitzer are self-contradictory.
    Brennan: “I think it’s the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out. I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future,”
    Well, if we are talking about “executive branch officials” then this suggestion is going to be “partisan”, precisely because that executive branch is owned by the Republican party.
    Coz’ the Republican candidate… you know… kinda won.
    But it gets worse.
    Brennan: “If Mueller is fired, I hope our elected reps will stand up and say enough is enough.”
    I don’t know if anyone ever pointed this out to Brennan, but the “executive branch” of Federal service is typically “appointed”, not “elected”.
    Apparently Brennan wants every branch of Federal service to rise up against the Tyrant Trump. With pitchforks, I would assume.

  24. Balint Somkuti, PhD says:

    Yes. Dismissed and popular (or percievedly popular) generals often resisted “official” power or even conspired to overthrow it, see Wallenstein in 17 century. or the renessaince age when central power and its institutions were not fully developed, not to mention late roman republican or late imperial age romans in the antiquity.

  25. turcopolier says:

    You never confessed to having been an officer before! Got out at 22, eh? The entire 2,000 members of the USCC were present at dinner when the Soviet general led his cheer. This would be all four classes, not just plebes (freshmen). They were still kids. They don’t start to grow up until graduation. pl

  26. turcopolier says:

    That is Pompaeus as a plebe. I looked better as a cadet. pl

  27. All,
    I would strongly recommend anyone who can find the time to read the full transcripts both of Brennan and Clapper’s exchanges with Wolf Blitzer, and of Pompeo’s exchanges with Bret Stephens.
    (See .)
    The media coverage does not do justice to gems like this summary from the current CIA director of what his agency has discovered about the threat from Russia:
    ‘I hearken back to something called the Gerasimov doctrine from the early 70s, he’s now the head of the – I’m a Cold War guy, forgive me if I mention Soviet Union. He’s now the head of the Russian army and his idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot or with firing very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic, and that’s what’s happened. What changes is the costs; to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, their news outlets, and through other soft means; has just really been lowered, right. It used to be it was expensive to run an ad on a television station now you simply go online and propagate your message. And so they have they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems, and into our culture to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.’
    As General Gerasimov was born in 1955, it is clear that he has to be one of the great strategic geniuses of history. Perhaps in some respects he is rather behind Alexander, who conquered the Persian Empire at twenty-six. But if indeed his ‘doctrine’ dates from the ‘early 70s’, by the age of twenty he must have worked out, decades before it could be implemented, the key elements of the new strategy which it seems poses as great a threat to the West as Warsaw Pact tank armies ever did, if not greater.
    And indeed, one might argue that the degree of strategic foresight imputed to him by the CIA gives Gerasimov a claim to be Alexander’s superior. Clearly the GRU had not only closely followed the early developments in packet networking and packet switching in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in the ‘Fifties and ‘Sixties, and Gerasimov was the man who understood the possibilities these opened up, decades before anyone in the West did.
    (See .)
    And Pompeo has now made clear to me what was actually going on, when in December 1988 the late Georgi Arbatov told a gathering of American scientists that ‘Our major secret weapon is to deprive you of an enemy.’
    (See .)
    Behind the scenes, Gerasimov’s men had grasped that tank armies were of quite secondary relevance, and control of Eastern Europe worse than useless, in achieving the ‘grand design’ of destroying the United States, the idea of freedom, etc etc.
    And already, it would seem likely, not only were the full potentialities of modern ‘information technology’ anticipated, but the new generation who would exploit it were being identified and prepared. In this kind of fighting, Gerasimov appears to have realised early, women could really be more than a match for men. So, behind the scenes, Maria Zakharova, then just turned 13, and Margarita Simonyan, who was eight, were already being groomed for stardom.
    (See ; .)
    Really, I do not see how people like Brennan, Clapper, and Pompeo can be expected to cope with the threat posed by a strategic genius like Gerasimov. As for the notion that the likes of John Kirby or Mark Toner – or indeed Marie Harf of Heather Nauert – are a match for Zakharova, or Blitzer and Stephens for Simonyan: it is like watching the Polish Army trying to fight the Wehrmacht.
    The conclusion would seem inescapable. As with Alexander, faced with Gerasimov the only prudent course is to accept the futility of resistance and make the best terms possible for a strategically inferior power.
    Meanwhile, it would seem time for TTG to realise that, if you are Lithuanian, neither fight nor flight will help you. You may think you are safe in the United States, and that the likes of Brennan, Clapper and Pompeo offer protection, but the long arm of the Kremlin will get you in the end.
    Or perhaps I should write, the long arms of Vernadskovo Prospekt 100.
    (See .)

  28. LondonBob says:

    Gerasimov was describing NATO military strategy when he utilised the term hybrid warfare. Are people engaged in propaganda when they accuse Russia of this or are they simply ignorant and have disappeared into their own make believe world?

  29. Vic says:

    I’m biased because of my service background, but IMO CIA can not do MILCAP analysis worth a darn.
    All IC agencies are not the same. Each is good at some things and does less well at others. CIA does well at Political and Economic intelligence but is poor at military intelligence (and all the associated sub-disciplines). The services (no surprise) do well at military intelligence with individual service agencies specializing in different sub-disciplines. When they try to do political analysis they really do a poor job.
    The press lumps all the IC together as sources of “The Truth”. Their reporting never distinguishes if an agency is capable of doing the type of analysis that the news source commented on (especially CIA).
    As for having “The Truth”, at the beginning of my career I was taught by the service intelligence school and latter by old experienced mentors that as an intelligence analyst that I was going to be wrong often. Trying to second guess an opponent is extremely difficult, doing it all the time is nearly impossible. Instead of knowing the “truth”, I was told that I would be dealing most all the time with varying degrees of “untruth”.
    Bottom line; take what IC sources say with a huge grain of salt. Question everything. Ignore opinions, speculation, rumor, editorial comments; demand facts and supporting evidence. In MSM facts have been in short supply recently.

  30. Bill H says:

    A minor correction, their roots don’t connect them. They are all one tree. The difference sounds minor, but it’s not. Aspen is a fascinating plant. One tree can cover more than an acre and have hundreds of upright trunks, and it is all one single organism.

  31. SmoothieX12 says:

    like Solzhenitsyn
    Solzhenitsyn was not Russian “nationalist”, nor is The Saker. Granted, the issue of Russian modern nationalism, that is good definition, hasn’t been produced yet. Having said all that, the trend is there–and it is that Russian real nationalism manifests itself in acceptance of the continuity of Russian history. As growing ever massive every Victory Day Immortal Regiment marches demonstrate–they are the new face of Russian nationalism. Solzhenitsyn was anti-communist and a mediocre writer who used mostly so called “pochevenichestvo” as the vehicle for his writing. He was a more promoted and decorated version of Victor Rezun (aka Suvorov). Modern Russian nationalism is easily traced in the works of such very influential and important thinkers as Natalya Narochnitskaya or late Vadim Kozhinov. In the end, the visit to Poklonnay Hill’s (Gora) Victory Park in Moscow may visually explain real modern Russian nationalism.

  32. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Well, one consequence of that is that the Cold War retreads can only be even more clueless than ever.
    Old Russian exiles at least knew Russia enough, and as long as they had the shared enemy in the Bolsheviks, their knowledge helped shape Western planning.
    Once “Russia” becomes the enemy, out go the old Russians. No more knowledge. Only prejudice and caricatures. I suppose we may well be there already.

  33. turcopolier says:

    In the 9 years I spent at DIA first as a colonel and then as an SES-4 we had excellent political and pol/mil analysts. People like Bill Porter, Linda Lau and Russ Wagenfeld come to mind. There were many more as well as the MILCAP and Technical Intelligence people. This was before the Clapper massacres began when he became Director. He, too, did not believe that political forecasting was possible. He was wrong. Were you in the air force? pl

  34. mike says:

    Colonel –
    Not commissioned. But they let us CWOs into the Officer’s clubs. Would have stayed for 40, but they only allow a few three and four stars do that. Plus I had treated my kids like a band of gypsies moving from base to base or back to Grandma’s when I was on an unaccompanied tour or on float, which is OK when they are young, but not when they are in High School.
    Looking at the Pompeo bio, he: was at the top of his WP class; patrolled the Berlin wall as a cavalry officer; and a prominent Tea Partier; and a rabid dog on Benghazi. No mention of who recommended him to Trump, but I would guess Pence or Ryan. Based on his Orange County CA background you have to wonder if he was one of Dana Rohrbacker’s boys?
    I still think the WH okayed his talk with TC.

  35. sid_finster says:

    I am certain that Israel is not. After their last encounter with Hezbullah, they shouldn’t be.

  36. JMH says:

    Yes but a lone voice in the marquis 8 pm time slot reaches many ears.

  37. turcopolier says:

    mike I am waiting with interest to see how you answer LeaNder. Hey, CPOs/Sergeants major, CWOs and LTCs/colonels run the services while the generals/admirals politic. pl

  38. DH says:

    Nice misdirection, David. I think we both know Britain has it in the bag:

  39. DH says:

    Great story, Colonel. I’m reminded of when my Dad taught me 52 Pick-up. How did the rest of your table react?

  40. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Thanks for the elaboration, but I’m not talking about the real Russian nationalism, but the “nationalism” (perhaps not the most accurate term) of the old anti-Bolshevik exiles from Russia and their families (of whom Colonel Lang mentioned briefly, as dominating the Russian studies department at West Point). While the Saker is definitely not a “real” Russian nationalist (and technically not even a “Russian,” as I understand), he is definitely a part of this tribe.
    What struck me about the Saker, and this affirms the sense I had in the very limited interactions I had in the past with these folks, was that while they are virulently anti-Bolshevik, they definitely love “Russia” (even if of the old bygone variety that no longer exists, or may never even have existed.), and would never confound Putin’s government and the USSR the way many American holdovers from the Cold War would. The kind of close collaboration that existed between these tribes during the Cold War, it seems, can never reconstitute itself precisely because of this. On the other hand, the likes of Brzezinski and other anti-Russians from Central and Eastern Europe (who are not necessarily “anti-Bolshevik”) might continue on happily with the tribe that can’t tell between USSR and Russia–because these guys always hated the Russians for being Russians, whether they were Tsarists, Bolsheviks, or moderns. This change in balance of who is aligning with whom on Eastern European matters might be subtly shifting how “Russia” is being understood by Washington and other Western capitals. This is what I was wondering about.

  41. kao_hsien_chih says:

    In a sense, the same is true with any other analysis of “information,” even in civilian lines of work.
    The very first thing I learned in statistics was that we do statistics because we don’t know the truth, and the modus operandus of statistics is to minimize “errors,” i.e. we are trying to be “less wrong,” not necessarily to be “right,” and that some aspects of “wrongness” are less quantifiable than others. A lot of misdeeds have been done (I can obviously speak more about misdeeds in the civilian/academic side of things since I know nothing of government or military work “from the inside”) because of confusion over this.

  42. LondonBob says:

    Rand Paul the only Republican voting against him, I trust Rand. A worrying trend Trump appointing folks that don’t align with his views at all (except for Tillerson and Bannon). Now I am sure he has trouble finding people but it doesn’t appear he is really looking for them. Something is going wrong there.

  43. steve g says:

    That quote is from Judith Miller testimony about
    Scooter Libby. Looked it up. Sounded familiar.

  44. Mark Logan says:

    For everyone in the position of having to herd people the temptation to create a common foe is unfortunately strong. Everybody hates herding cats. Sheep are easier. Not sure we ever adopted the shunning of this habit as an American value myself. A worthy ideal in the minds of good thinkers, yes, but as general value? Respectfully, and sadly…no. Perhaps I missed the evidence.

  45. Ali Mirza says:

    It may be useful to consider the current views expressed by persons such as Mr Pompeo, Clapper et al in light of the following Army War College document:
    Came to it via an article by Nafeez Ahmed in Alternet:
    Excerpt from the latter link:
    Among the most dangerous drivers of this risk of civil unrest and mass destabilization, the document asserts, are different categories of fact. Apart from the obvious “fact-free,” which is defined as information that undermines “objective truth,” the other categories include actual truths that, however, are damaging to America’s global reputation.
    “Fact-inconvenient” information consists of the exposure of “details that, by implication, un­dermine legitimate authority and erode the relationships between governments and the governed”—in other words, facts that reveal how government policy is corrupt, incompetent or undemocratic.
    “Fact-perilous” information refers to basically to national security leaks from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning, “exposing highly clas­sified, sensitive, or proprietary information that can be used to accelerate a real loss of tactical, operational, or strategic advantage.”
    “Fact-toxic” information pertains to actual truths which, the document complains, are “exposed in the absence of context,” and therefore poison “important political discourse.” Such information is seen as being most potent in triggering outbreaks of civil unrest, because it:
    “… fatally weakens foundational security at an international, regional, national, or personal level. Indeed, fact-toxic exposures are those likeliest to trigger viral or contagious insecurity across or within borders and between or among peoples.”

  46. turcopolier says:

    Ali Mirza
    This paper is not an official Strategic Studies Institute position paper. The SSI press chose to publish this but it is the private work of the authors. pl

  47. turcopolier says:

    What is “52 pickup?” The people at the table all thought it amusing as did the waiters. pl

  48. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Per Anna @ 24 July 2017 at 07:42 PM:
    “Hating the Clinton, Cheney-Bush, Obama policies does not make an American citizen into anti-American.
    Fixed it for ya.

  49. John_Frank says:

    On a related note, the House is now voting on the sanctions bill.
    As to the Russian portion, the Vivaldi Club posted the following analysis by Ivan Timofeev on how the Kremlin will feel obliged to respond:
    Compromise Impossible: What The Sanctions Bill Against Russia Means?
    As I observed elsewhere I think the Russia portion of the sanctions bill is rank political opportunism by Congress and a huge mistake. It is far better for the United States if Russia is a strategic partner, rather than a strategic competitor.
    However, that means we need to drop the idea that Russia is an existential threat to the survival of the United States. Of course, technically that is true, given the huge number of nuclear weapons both sides posses, but practically no sane Russian leader is ever going to want to launch a nuclear war, because it will mean the destruction of both countries.
    If the Kremlin concludes (presuming the bill is passed and signed into law, whether before or after a veto), that no compromise with the United States is possible, irrespective of what President Trump wants, then:

    In the final analysis, sanctions leave Russia the only alternative – to accept the US as a strategic and key challenge to its security. And if earlier such a position could be disputed, now it is receiving the most serious legitimacy by the hands of the congressmen. The irony is that sanctions threaten not only Russia’s security, but also the security of the US itself. The power and capabilities of Russia cannot be overestimated. But they should hardly be underestimated. And if earlier diplomats had a wide maneuver for cooperation where both sides benefited, now the space for such a maneuver is reliably concreted at the legislative level.
    For the sake of justice, it should be noted that the bill provides a softening of positions in the event that corresponds to the vital interests of the United States. The big question is whether Moscow cooperates if Washington has really vital problems.

    People can read Ivan Timofeev’s bio at the following link:
    P.S. According to Chad Pergram of FOX News:
    Hse ok’s Russia/Iran/North Korea sanctions bill. 419-3. 3 noes. All GOPers. Amash, DuncanTN, Massie
    House/Senate not in alignment on sanctions bill as North Korea was added to the House measure to sweeten the pot.
    P.P.S. As to the portions dealing with Iran and North Korea, IMV it is a mistake at this juncture for Congress to push ahead with sanctions legislation. Painful as it may be, better to build a broad consensus of nation states and then act.

  50. turcopolier says:

    ex-PFC Chuck
    How did you “fix it?” pl

  51. Larry Kart says:

    Holding a deck of cards, you ask someone if they want to play “52 pickup.” If they say, yes, you throw the whole deck on the floor and say “52 pickup.” It goes over great if you’re ten years old or so and haven’t encountered that bit of nonsense before.
    I assume that the person who mentioned “52 pickup” thought that the Soviet attache’s “Beat everybody!” was akin to, in that context, shouting “52 pickup” while throwing a whole deck on the floor. However, I would say that the attache’s act was a fair bit wittier.

  52. Chris Chuba says:

    LondonBob, I have been told that I get fixated on a topic. My current obsession is the ‘Information War’ and your link was like giving free Crystal Meth to an addict.
    I love the excerpt below …

    “… This is something the Russians seem to not understand. Let’s assume a Color Revolution can be orchestrated by a foreign country, as attack. It can only happen if there is discontentment with the regime/government/political structures. Can you imagine a Color Revolution being staged in solid democracies like, for example, Denmark? It’s possible to use minorities to cause turbulence but not to overthrow the government. Syria was a different case. North Africa too. “

    So what these people are basically saying is that the ability to create violence justifies the intervention that creates the violence. So it’s impossible to actually make a situation worse than it should be. I can’t believe that someone would write this without blushing.
    I can definitely believe that a person who thinks like this would hire snipers to shoot demonstrators and police in a place like say, Ukraine because hey, it won’t change anything unless it’s a tinderbox anyway, or to not end violence in exchange for early elections.

  53. Kooshy says:

    He must be very politically ambitious , if the only reason he moved to Kansas was to find a US congress seat he could fill. Is rear to see people move from SCA to Kansas.

  54. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    In the sense that President Clinton’s and President Obama’s policies were also causative factors for the decline of US-Russia relations. The implication I took from Anna’s comment was that she believed that the Bush 43 administration’s policies were primarily responsible.

  55. Anna says:

    “On the other hand, the likes of Brzezinski and other anti-Russians from Central and Eastern Europe (who are not necessarily “anti-Bolshevik”) might continue on happily with the tribe that can’t tell between USSR and Russia–because these guys always hated the Russians for being Russians, whether they were Tsarists, Bolsheviks, or moderns.”
    It is not generally known that some of the most prominent persons in Russian history had rather complicated genealogy. Nabokov (writer, who believed that Russian culture was finished with the victory of bolsheviks) was more German by blood than Russian, and yet he belonged to a family of the outstanding Russian statesmen and he himself became the glory of Russian literary language. Rachmaninoff (composer) and Akhmatova (poetess) both had a good admixture of Tatar blood; Shostakovich (composer) was of Polish ancestry; Levitan (painter) of Jewish; Florensky (philosopher) of Armenian, and so on a so forth. Being Russian for them was to belong to Russian culture on the intimate level of the Russian language and Russian ideas as they were exemplified in the works by Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Dostoyevsky. It was Russian history – that is, the graves of the ancestors and the story of their victories and failures – that made people into loyal Russians. It is a shared memory, particularly an extremely painful memory of communal loss and suffering, that unites people. Even those who hated bolsheviks/soviets and left Russia, they still contributed money to the USSR during the WWII, because they still felt that the defense of Russian Motherland was the defense of their human essence.

  56. mike says:

    Colonel –
    I think Leander answered his own question with the link to Jon Davis view on military intelligence.
    BTW, I also met one or two Iron-Majors during my time. Rare, but perhaps the equivalent of the old British ‘Brigade Major’ that elaborated, allocated, and made sure of the implementation of the brigadier’s plan and intent. Do those billets still exist in the Brit Army?
    Or kind of like a really good XO on Navy ships – runs the ship, the crew, resupply, navigation, and much more while the Captain focuses on the big picture.

  57. mike says:

    Anna –
    You did not mention the heritage of one of the founders of Russian modern literature, Pushkin. His mother’s grandfather came from the area that is now known as Chad or possibly from Ethiopia, or Eritrea.
    Extremely hard to read in English though. I’ve got a copy of Larissa Volokhonsky’s translation of Pushkin’s works on hold at the local library. Larissa is the translator that made Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and “Hadji Murat” more eminently readable and less of a burden to us poor dumb English-only readers.

  58. Yeah, Right says:

    Maybe, but it requires that Kurdish guy to indulge in a non-sequitur.
    Here are his quotes:
    “all of us are fighting in one campaign against Daesh [Isis], and that is why we have this centre – and to avoid mistakes”
    “That [RuAF airstrikes] is why we set up our centre here 10 days ago,”
    “We talk everyday and we already have another centre at Afrin to coordinate the campaign. We have to make one force that fights together.”
    If there is any logic to that train of thought then he is suggesting that the centre in Afrin exists to coordinate with Russian air power and SAA ground troops.
    Or… maybe not. Maybe there is something wrong with Fisk’s command of Arabic, though that sounds equally far-fetched.

  59. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, Right
    Life is filled with non-sequiturs. Why are you surprised? pl

  60. turcopolier says:

    Leander is a she. She thinks you are a Soldier. She understands nothing of the structure of military forces in general or US military forces in particular. She knows nothing o military history. She thinks the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments within the Army’s 2nd Division won WW1. She has no idea what I am talking about, but she is a nice person. Brigade major? British Army brigades did not have a general staff so one man was designated to do all the operational staff work for the brigadier. pl

  61. confusedponderer says:

    … I post trying to kill the evil italic writing …
    What is being opened ought to be closed.

  62. Anna says:

    You are right. In my very sketchy overview I only mentioned the names of those who belonged to the second half of the 19th-beginning 20th century. Pushkin great-grandfather was from Abyssinia.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    How could Russia and US be strategic partners?
    What could be the objective of such a strategic partnership; keeping the non-Europenas down?
    You know; the Han, the Iraians, the Tamils & Telegu & Bengali

  64. DH says:

    Maybe they play it differently where you come from, but the method I know is to hold the deck in your hand and riffle it so the cards fly up and land everywhere.
    I think 52 is much easier on the tricked kid than the Russian’s deflation of the undergrads’ egos. But I guess it wasn’t all that bad, if everyone at the head table laughed.

  65. Yeah, Right says:

    I am not surprised, merely curious.
    I normally take the view that words are important i.e. if someone says *this* then they mean *this* and, therefore, what has been said is worth noting.
    But maybe not, and in my reply to Leander I acknowledged as much.
    Though in that case I fail to understand why Fisk thought it important to quote him.

Comments are closed.