I have something useful to do and will be back in a couple of days.  pl

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26 Responses to Break

  1. ToivoS says:

    I take it this an ot. Here’s a hoot I just saw on Israeli times.
    Netanyahu warned Syrian President Bashar Assad … that Israel will depart from the policy of non-intervention it has maintained throughout the six years of the civil war to date if Assad “invites Iranian forces to establish themselves in Syria via an agreement of any kind.”
    This is in an article describing Russia’s briefing of the Israeli government on the ongoing talks going on in Sochi and Asana.

  2. turcopolier says:

    Toivo S
    Israel’s claims of non-intervention in Syria are a farce. pl

  3. Peter VE says:

    I hope this isn’t a post by the Borg setting us up for radio silence….

  4. Walrus says:

    Advising President Trump perhaps?

  5. DH says:

    Building a chipmunk condo?
    Informal poll…will some form of tax reform get to Trump’s desk?

  6. ked says:

    I too will seek something useful to do.
    Take your time – it’s the Holiday Season!
    thanks, Col Lang.

  7. Bill H says:

    Do not ever think that what you do here is not useful. Perhaps I am reading an unintended implication and you have something ELSE useful to do? Look forward to seeing you back.

  8. Dubhaltach says:

    While not chickenfeed I suspect that one billion American dollars (see Miteb bin Abdullah pays $1bn) isn’t all that much to somebody who was considered to be a contender for the Saudi kingship with all the opportunities for feathering his nest that being nearly the top dog in that massively corrupt society involved. I find myself wondering if dispappointment amongst Saudi subjects that notoriously corrupt people got off with what seems to be a slap on the wrist will destabilise the Wahabbi regime.

  9. confusedponderer says:

    re: “Israel’s claims of non-intervention in Syria are a farce. pl ”
    Indeed, and the Israelis are pretty open about that.
    To quote Avigdor Liberman:
    “You have to understand the context; if we strike, there is a real reason for it. We have no interest in intervening in the civil war in Syria, either in favor or against Assad. We do not want to clash with the Russians. Our main issue is with the transfer of advanced weaponry from Syria to Lebanon, and so whenever we detect an attempt to smuggle weapons, we will act to prevent it. We will not compromise on this issue”, Avigdor Liberman said in March 2017.[5]
    Or listen to Netanayahu:
    “We blocked the border not only in Egypt but in the Golan Heights,” he said, according to an account from Haaretz newspaper. “We built the wall because there was a problem with ISIS and Iran trying to build a terror front there. I told [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, when we see them transferring weapons to Hezbollah, we will hurt them. We did it dozens of times.” ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State militant group.
    It’s not quite the first time that Israel has acknowledged carrying out military actions in Syria. In late June, Israel announced that it had struck three Syrian army targets in the Golan Heights after errant fire landed in Israeli-controlled territory.
    IMO bombing something/someone in Syria ‘a dozen times’ isn’t exactly a non-intervention.
    And as Lieberman said rather clearly the Israelis are going mad over alleged transfer of advanced weaponry from Syria to Lebanon – that is, from Iran -> Iraq -> Syria to Lebanon.
    It’s is about Israeli fear of a ‘shia land corridor’ between Iran and Lebanon, and transfer of weapons to Hezbollah over that route.
    Even without such ‘advanced weaponry’ Hezbollah was rather a hassle for Israel during the last conflict. With the ‘strategic depth’ of a ‘shia land corridor’ it would be only harder to fight them the next time.

  10. FourthAndLong says:
    Someone thinks China should send 30,000 troops into North Korea.
    Really puzzling to me how that would be possible without a general surrender.

  11. Thomas says:

    What it got was the Bedu’s Amir back.

  12. Keith Harbaugh says:

    With all the oh-so-serious news floating around
    (including the serious threat of NoKo’s ICBMs),
    and wondering who’s going to get sacked next over “sexual harassment”,
    just want to share something more on the fun side:
    “Today, The Musical” .
    Watch the back-stage staff have some fun!
    Can people laugh about sex?
    Looks to me like many of the feminists are more sensitive about sex than
    the Puritans and Calvinists, not to mention the Victorians.
    BTW, note the attire and poses at 2:18:
    Can it be that some of the ladies of “Today” may have encouraged Lauer?
    Until it became advantageous to play the victim?
    Note the joshing good humor of the sketch with Matt Lauer at 4:50
    Can feminists not see the humor in this?

  13. Imagine says:

    NYT trial balloon says Kelly to replace Sec. Tillerson with CIA Mike Pompeo, and give the CIA job to Tom Cotton. In which case it’s pretty much Game Over.
    And here I thought Trump was the President. How real is this? Implications?

  14. Laura says:

    Well, well, well….if true and the musical chairs continue, Tillerson will be replaced by Pompeo and Cotton will become CIA Director. “Release the dogs of war” in the ME.

  15. The Beaver says:

    Can this really happen with what we know about the rendition programs and what have you in post -2002/2003 Afghanistan and Iraq:
    Amyntor declined to discuss the proposals, but a lawyer for the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the type of contract being contemplated would be legal “with direction and control by the proper government authority.”
    Another proposal presented to US officials would allow individuals affiliated with the company to help capture wanted terrorists on behalf of the United States. In keeping with that proposal, people close to the company are tracking two specific suspects in a Middle Eastern country, the sources said, for possible “rendition” to the United States.

    The pitch to the Trump administration began in the summer, according to the former intelligence official familiar with it. It involved at least three components: collecting intelligence on terrorists using “a network of assets in a denied area” (meaning spies in hostile countries), an online propaganda operation to counter Islamic extremism, and the rendition plan.
    With the rumours about the changing of guards both at Langley and Foggy Bottom, one wonders whether USAID will be back in the picture with State Department as a cover for those ops.

  16. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Several times in the past Col. Lang has chided me and others for suggesting that business interests are a major driver of U.S. foreign policy presuming, I think, that we thought that the government coordinated various actions it undertook with specific business executives. I can’t speak for other targets of the colonel’s needles, but I never thought it was that direct. Rather it was a general support of specific industries that were regarded as strategic, especially finance and natural resources, in the latter case especially oil and gas.
    Yesterday the economist and economic historian Michael Hudson posted an essay entitled Monetary Imperialism describing how this is accomplished in the finance sector, and it tangentially touches on the oil industry as well. Hudson’s essay covers this far better than I ever could and is important for anyone who wishes to better understand U.S. history since early in the 20th century. Below is a teaser quote:

    After the U.S. quadrupled its grain export prices shortly after the 1971 gold suspension, the oil-exporting countries quadrupled their oil prices. I was informed at a White House meeting that U.S. diplomats had let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries know that they could charge as much as they wanted for their oil, but that the United States would treat it as an act of war not to keep their oil proceeds in U.S. dollar assets.
    This was the point at which the international financial system became explicitly extractive. But it took until 2009, for the first attempt to withdraw from this system to occur. A conference was convened at Yekaterinburg, Russia, by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The alliance comprised Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. U.S. officials asked to attend as observers, but their request was rejected.
    The U.S. response has been to extend the new Cold War into the financial sector, rewriting the rules of international finance to benefit the United States and its satellites – and to deter countries from seeking to break free from America’s financial free ride.
    I also recommend Hudson’s recent book, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy
    (Apologies if this is redundant, but Something appeared wrong with my first attempt at posting it.)

  17. turcopolier says:

    My SWAG is that DJT traded (shopped) Tillerson’s head to McCain in return for McCain’s vote on the tax bill. pl

  18. Imagine says:

    “The [Emergency Committee for Israel, led by William Kristol] group paid $960,250 to Cotton’s campaign, soon after which he lead the writing of an open-letter, signed by 47 Republicans, stating that a GOP White House would not adhere to any accords with Iran.”
    “The political action committee run by John Bolton…spent at least $825,000 to support Mr. Cotton”
    The Koch Network Was The Top Spender In Support Of Tom Cotton’s Campaign, Spending $8.1 Million On Ads.

  19. Imagine says:

    “10 frightening facts about Tom Cotton:
    1. He penned an underhanded letter to the leaders of Iran that sparked the trending hashtag #47Traitors. …
    2. Senator Cotton said the only problem he has with Guantanamo Bay prison is that “there are too many empty beds.” Ignoring waterboarding, indefinite detention, forced feeding and other torturous acts, Tom Cotton insists that the US should be “proud” of how it treats the “savages” detained in Gitmo. …
    3. He has compared the negotiations of the UN Security Council (P5+1) with Iran to the “appeasement of Nazi Germany.” This accusation is ridiculous. Rouhani’s Iran is not Hitler’s Germany. Despite Cotton’s claims that “there are nothing but hardliners in Tehran,” Rouhani is a reformist, someone we need to work with to defeat ISIL. …
    4. He thinks the use of killer drones should be expanded. Killer drones have resulted in thousands of civilian deaths in countries we’re not even at war with, like Pakistan and Yemen …
    5. He claims that “bombing makes us safer.” While in some masochistic, twisted logic that might make sense in the short term, historically speaking US military intervention has led to more extremism–– as with the formation of ISIS after the invasion of Iraq ––and turned local populations against the United States. …
    6. He uses fear-mongering to call for a crackdown on immigrants and a clampdown on the Mexican border. … He’s made the wild accusation that Hezbollah is collaborating with locals in Mexico to “cross our borders and attack us here.” … Be afraid, says Cotton, very afraid–so I can keep feeding the national security state!
    7. He received $700,000 for his senate campaign from the Emergency Committee for Israel.That’s correct — $700,000! [ed.: actually $960,000] Such an exorbitant amount of money ensures that Cotton is one of the most pro-Israel senators in Congress. During the 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza, when over 500 Palestinian were killed, Cotton called the Israeli defense force “the most moral, humanitarian fighting force in the world.” …
    8. As an Army Lieutenant in 2006, Cotton called for the prosecution of two New York Times journalists for espionage. …
    9. He thinks food-stamp recipients are “addicts.” … This is coming from the senator of Arkansas, which ranked number one in the number of residents who suffer from food insecurity. … Cotton is actually voting against the interests of the people he is supposed to represent. If he’s concerned that the system is “riddled with fraud and abuse,” an audit of the Pentagon should be at the top of his to-do list.
    10. He has opposed legislation to expand women’s rights. … ”

  20. turcopolier says:

    my list of individual or farmed trolls includes; richardstevenhack. pacifica advocate, james, john t, sid finster, outthere and a few more. All are banned. These people employ the standard troll methodology of insinuation into a modicum of trust and then personal attacks designed to; undermine, diminish, create distrust and divide. A typical example would be attacks on me for having had the temerity to say North Koreans are full of parasites. “Nightsoil” is historically and widely used? You think I did not know that you wormy (figurative) little creeps? pl

  21. The Beaver says:

    Looks like Lt Gen Flynn has started singing to the special Counsel’s team
    Will Jared be next ?

  22. LG says:

    col, if you find the time pl see this excellent documentary on the defense of deir ezzor air field by captain ghalib and his soldiers. english subtitles available too although the protagonist speaks enlgish quite well in much of the film

  23. Mark Logan says:

    Naming the successors is a bit of a giveaway on the intentions, is it not? I wonder what Bannon thinks of this. Bannon strikes me as a “strangle the beast” sort, and I’ll speculate he is willing to go along with a re-neoconning of State to get that. He was sucking up to the Zionists a week or so ago:
    Have the Borgian neos considered the strangling of Big Government also means the strangulation of Big Military? If so they will decline this bait.

  24. different clue says:

    Colonel Lang,
    After the way Trump insulted Senator McCain back during the primaries I would have thought that the Senator would spend his remaining time and health in the Senate teaching Trump that ” Revenge is a dish best served over and over and over again.”
    Would McCain have considered Tillerson such a threat to McCain’s desire for more wars, especially against Iran; that he would tolerate doing a deal with the Trumpster in order to get Tillerson gone?

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