The level of comment lately has been declining.  Some of you are obvious propagandists.   Some people write childish nonsense that sounds like a college seminar.  "Are nuclear weapon not useless?, etc."  "Saudi Arabia feels secure from an iranian nuclear capability behind American guarantees."  Does anyone really think such guarantees are worth much in the actual event?  Then, there are the merely argumentative with nothing better to do than sound off from "the home."  And, then of course there are the left and right ideologues.  I must say that the right wing ideologues are more scatologically offensive up front.  The lefties write off line to to discuss my advanced age and senility after their rejection.  This is an interesting contrast.

Then, there are the the merely anti-American.

Further nonsense will not be posted as comment.  pl 

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42 Responses to Comments

  1. Ken Hoop says:
    Can an ex Reagan cabinent
    man be anti-American? If not, let’s admit the truth about our government.

  2. MS2 says:

    Rather than scat or backstabbing I will just try to ask more clearly, “to your face”, whether people here can describe a scenario where nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran leads to anything other than stasis.
    If stasis is not good enough, and preserving a “balance of power” means preserving the ability to asymmetrically threaten regime change, then this is an important point. I am not claiming that such an asymmetry is immoral, only that it would be a strange sort of balance of power.
    I don’t think that this is nonsense, though I respect that you have full control over your own site and make the calls here.

  3. frank durkee says:

    Thank you.
    Frank Durkee

  4. shepherd says:

    I rarely comment because I have not much to add, but if most people are like me, they do find the propagandists interesting. I don’t read SST for them, but I enjoy seeing their thinking exposed. That said, it’s probably exasperating to deal with them.

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    I will accept that as reasoned. I have never claimed to seek “justice” here. I think that unattainable, although I applaud your aspiration in that direction however unattainable.
    This would not be stasis, because Iran’s power would be irreversibly strengthened. We do not seek this. We seek a peace in which Israel continues to exist in the long run. pl

  6. Patrick Lang says:

    I have not time and world enough. pl

  7. B. D. Warbucks says:

    Your blog, your rules.
    Besides, the propagandists are not coy in their entreaties. It is a crime.
    Stay hard.

  8. Rider says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    I am relying on you for an answer based on your expertise in military and Civil War history.
    I have been reading, “Vietnam’s Forgotten Army
    Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN” by Andrew Wiest, foreword by Jim Webb. As you may know it is the story of two young ARVN officers, Pham Van Dinh and Tran Ngoc Hue. They had been friends in the military academy but their lives took radically different directions in the war, with Dinh eventually defecting.
    BTW, this book was given to me by my son’s Vietnamese father-in-law, who had been a chopper pilot in the VN Air Force before escaping.
    Here’s my question. I apologize for my ignorance, but were there generals in our Civil War who had been close friends at West Point but who found themselves on opposite sides in the war? I just can’t help wondering.
    Thanks for any assistance.
    John W. Baker

  9. GulfCoastPirate says:

    P. Lang wrote:
    ‘This would not be stasis, because Iran’s power would be irreversibly strengthened. We do not seek this. We seek a peace in which Israel continues to exist in the long run.’
    It’s been an interesting blog lately. I don’t come around as much as I used to because I don’t really know what is acceptable opinion and what isn’t. I’m not an ex-government guy with your range of experience in governmental affairs. I’m a businessman who studied economics and physics so I have just a simple question about your statement above.
    What happens if our perceived enemies seek a world in which Isreal doesn’t exist on what they consider to be their territory? I don’t see any posssible way we can outlast their intransigence at this point without bankrupting ourselves in the process. A bankruptcy that would mean the end of the republic as we have known it all our lives.
    Have you looked at the federal budget lately? SS/Medicare are financed with dedicated taxes and currently run a surplus. When Obama took out cuts for military/security related items and interest on the previously accumulated debt he proposed cuts on about 500 billion of spending. This with a budget deficit of well over a trillion. If we were to cut ALL government other than military/security we wouldn’t come close to balancing the budget. That’s with totally abolishing SS/Medicare and the dedicated taxes that finance them; in fact, our budget situation would look worse if that were to occur.
    For how long do you think the American people can continue to keep this up? We’ve spend our money, our children’s money, our grandchildren’s money and even the so-called Republican alternative budget from Rep. Ryan does’t predict a balanced budget for decades. Do we really have a right to do this to our descendants in pursuit of a illusory goal in which, by all accumulated data available, the situation is getting worse instead of better? And after all these expenditures we aren’t even close to getting our perceived enemies to accept what you state is the goal.
    I won’t even go into how the decline of the middle class (which resulted in the current economic problems) can be traced back to increasing military expenditures in the Middle East.
    No offense, but I’m not sure there is enough money to achieve your goal. There may never be enough.

  10. TR says:

    You’re getting crotchety, Pat, and you need to get out more after we all shovel out. I have Bourbon if you run low.

  11. Patrick Lang says:

    I don’t care if you ever come back.
    US policy is to support the existence of Israel. What more is there to say?

  12. Patrick Lang says:

    I have to dig out tomorrow to get to the state store. pl

  13. Patrick Lang says:

    Ah, sanity. pl

  14. Fred Strack says:

    Harper has some very good points in his comments on the post “Iran is defiant” and “More on Iran”
    I think his comment about US defense spending: “The U.S. defense budget is equal to the rest of the world, combined…”; should give others pause.
    US government spending in WWII was roughly 43% of GDP(or more depending on whose numbers you use). The US has not even tried to get fully engaged in a true war effort.
    Underwear bombers and box cutters creating fear in ‘the home of the brave’? Blame the pandering politicians, media blow hards and the public that keeps them all employed, directly or indirectly.
    Readers get straight answers here (even though we might not like them) and few out of D.C. Hopefully more readers will start checking their emotions before getting on-line and start putting in some effort to actually think strategically about a subject few of us have professional training or experience in.

  15. Stanley Henning says:

    These really are times that try men’s souls. I feel overwhelmed by the current state of affairs. I’m afraid for America by what I’m seeing – dissatisfaction with the President and leaning toward know nothing and do nothing constructive “conservatives” while neither party appears really to want to work together for the sake of our sick and languishing country. Within all this seems to lie an ignorant and harmful adherence to ideology rather than true cooperative problem solving in the midst of adversity. If this trend continues then America really will slide into the realm of irrelevance.

  16. peg says:

    i hardly ever comment, but i come here to learn from you, Col Lang. you always have a perspective that no one else has.

  17. Hell, I’m just amazed at your stamina in running this site!
    One quibble: Can we have more bikini clad vixens and less Rothko, please?

  18. GulfCoastLaddie says:

    What more is there to say?
    I suppose you’ll have to ask the Chinese. When/If they decide we won’t be supporting the Israelis any longer then we’ll have to change policy. Someone, somewhere, has to produce something that will pay the bills.
    I’m sorry if I personally, or the particular question, bothers you. I simply thought you may have some insight into how government types think. Or if the idea that complete intransigence on the part of our perceived enemies is even discussed as a possibility. Societies have to produce enough of a surplus to support the type of military expenditures necessary to implement their policies. We no longer do that. Where does that leave our policy?

  19. confusedponderer says:

    I find the conclusion that, since US policy is to support Israel, this will probably reflect itself in an according policy choice inescapable.
    Israel receives US support – arms, money, political. Obama’s efforts to promote some dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians doesn’t mean that this is going to change. The US will continue to support pro-Israeli policies for the time being.
    Whether that’s good or bad or affordable for America is irrelevant. It simply is. In all its simplicity that is a very important thing to understand.
    I am quite grateful for the Col. to spell it out with such clarity: Iran going nuclear would change the regional balance of power. That leaves two choices, acceptance or war. He changed my mind with that.
    The US are thanks to their basing and their involvement in Iran and Afghanistan now a strong regional power in the region. Their influence will be relatively limited by a nuclear Iran, as will be the US ability to exert military pressure on Iran and its allies. That is probably not desirable for those US strategists who see the US as a global power or Hegemon.
    Israel national security doctrine apparently relies on military dominance as a means to act with impunity and impose their will on their neighbours. That ability will also be reduced if not offset by a nuclear Iran. That is the real threat for the Israeli hawks, not Israel’s destruction – but the devaluation of their entire security strategy. If Israel accepted a nuclear Iran they would be forced to, horrors, deal and compromise with their neighbours – and that would mean giving up things they get away with now – no more settlements and creeping territorial expansion, serious negotiations with Syrians and Palestinians and all that. The idea behind it’s current posture of dominance is precisely not having to do that at all (cost).
    For Netanyahu and his crowd that must be tantamount to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State. To them this is a zero sum game in which they will have less if they accept Iran as a nuclear power. The current and possible future Israeli governments will not accept that. Their supporters in the US will fight to the death to avoid it from happening.
    It really boils down whether the big boys will, accept Iran’s ascendancy into the nuclear club. The alignment of interests suggests to me that the global power advocates and the zionist crowd will ally to lobby for military action against Iran. With US support for Israel being a given, it is likely that the US policy choice will reflect that support of Israel.
    It is not about what Iran is entitled to under international law, the NPT or what is just or legal among sovereign nations. The Iranians playing their clever games are flirting with doom. There are strong currents lobbying for war, and they might get their way if Iran continues to enable them.

  20. N. M. Salamon says:

    Off Topic, re MSM and reality:
    Colonel, please excuse the diversion!
    In the last blog Charles I and myself disagreed on MSM {USA] and reality. Please note the disparity in the WSJ USA and European Editions today: . Illuminating the problem Government policy anjd its echo chamber, the MSM, misleading the USA public.

  21. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Here is wiki:
    Longstreet introduced Grant to his fourth cousin, Julia Dent, and the couple eventually married. Longstreet would serve as Grant’s “best man” at the wedding
    James [Longstreet] was a poor student academically and a disciplinary problem at West Point, ranking 54th out of 56 cadets when he graduated in 1842. He was popular with his classmates, however, and befriended a number of men who would become prominent during the Civil War, including George Henry Thomas, William S. Rosecrans, John Pope, D.H. Hill, Lafayette McLaws, George Pickett, John Bell “Sam” Hood, and his closest friend, Ulysses S. Grant of the class of 1843.

  22. YT says:

    Cold War Zoomie,
    Re: Can we have more bikini clad vixens
    Col., sir,
    Sorry for lack of intelligent comment. I need ta stop readin’ & thinkin’ so much & start livin’ a lil’ more. Bikini clad vixen with heels to match sittin’ on my lap would be good for starters. Now that’ll really make me feel ALIVE.

  23. Harper says:

    Toleration for the propagandists seems to run well beyond toleration for Rothko versus vixens. The site is a gold mine and is quietly read by many active duty military, intelligence and “contractors” who rely on it for a sanity clause in an environment generally over-saturated with shallow propaganda. Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC-ML, it dumbs down discourse, and this site is a welcome haven. Col. Lang, use your best judgment, as you have so far, and keep the site going.

  24. confusedponderer says:

    As for the relevance of the question whether the US can afford being a super power in the Middle East or can afford supporting Israel or afford a war with Iran – Michelle Bachmann just a couple of days ago said this:
    I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States … if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel.
    Does that sound as if she and like minded Americans concern themselves with questions about fiscal fiscal conservatism or doability on these questions? Not in the slightest.
    And do they fear regional war over Iran’s nuclear weapons? Not at all. To the contrary, if anything, the prospect of war in the Middle East makes them all excited about the rapture.

  25. Nancy K says:

    Civility seems dead in the US. What happened to the time when 2 sides could discuss rationally, maybe not agree but discuss.
    I love your site Col. Lang, and I find that I get insight into areas I have little or no knowledge of. Being from California, I most likely am one of the leftists, however when I read something that you write I ponder it deeply.
    I may not always agree with you but I acknowledge that you know much more about the matter than I do, that is why I read your blog daily.
    Thanks for putting up with all of us.

  26. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Opps…I forgot…speaking of Grant…I believe he helped Longstreet get a couple of government gigs after the military struggle that occurred during mid 19th century American history. Plus Grant was instrumental in finally getting Ole Pete a pardon.
    And here is a bit about Grant’s wife via the gospel according to Wiki:
    “Born Julia Boggs Dent at White Haven plantation west of St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Colonel Frederick Dent, a slaveholding planter and merchant, and Ellen Wrenshall-Dent…
    Grant proposed several times before Julia finally accepted. When she did, they were sitting on the front steps of her beloved childhood home, a picturesque plantation called White Haven…”
    Thus endeth Wiki quote.
    Her beloved childhood home? Picturesque Plantation? Grant’s wife? Good grief, reads like a scene out of Gone with the Wind.
    Actually, Grant bought a slave but when the couple were getting ready to move, Grant freed him. So…good Lord…give the man his due.
    “One of the individuals who worked with
    Grant was William Jones, a mulatto, about 35
    years old in 1859. Grant purchased William Jones
    from Frederick Dent. When and why Grant purchased
    him is unknown at present, the only known
    record of his existence being the manumission
    paper Grant filed in St. Louis Circuit Court on
    March 29, 1859. ”

  27. WILL says:

    ” The lefties write off line to to discuss my advanced age and senility after their rejection. This is an interesting contrast.”
    To All
    Drink more wine, especialy Cabernet Sauvignon. A laser eye test in clinical trials reveals that the amyloid placques that cause Alzheimer’s show up in the retina 20 years ahead of being detected in the brain. The imbibing of C.S. wine retards them.
    IMHO the Col. retains his full brim & vigour.
    New Gadget Detects Alzheimer’s Early Signs

    Wikipedia Cabernet_Sauvignon

  28. wsam says:

    This site is great.
    I appreciate what I see as its insider/ outsider perspective.
    I would, however, like to read more about how Canada totally kicked butt and won the War of 1812.
    Just kidding!!
    (Though we did ‘win’, albeit in a very ambigious, unstatisfactory manner, or rather the British did — though their focus was elsewhere. Napoleon. Congress of Vienna).

  29. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Be honest now…are you talking about the image of the bikini clad woman that Col. Lang posted awhile back, whereupon the bikini depicted the Confederate flag? That is the only bikini clad woman that comes to mind, here at SST, anyway.
    But my God, have you checked out the progressive Huffington Post? The right side of the website looks like an entry into a topless bar – a progressive feminist oriented topless bar, mind you, but a topless bar nonetheless, and at some point, one says, “who cares?” Typically, when I visit the Huffington post, I click right, forgetting to read the progressive screeds on the left side.
    Anyway, if I recall, after looking at the photo at SST, I thought it was 1980, I was at gulf shores, getting’ drunk and listening to Skynard! Actually, I exaggerate, it was the Allman Bros. Probaby Perdido Bay. Anyway, the song Dreams comes to mind.
    But alas, at that time, I did like CCR — them Berkeley boys could flat out get it on with Down on the Bayou, no? The best of Berkeley and LSU…opps… Louisiana, all wrapped into one.
    Col. Lang:
    Due to your repeated references to Rothko, I have been mulling over his work a bit lately and, honestly, I believe that Rothko’s art may very well mirror certain aspects of the type of Zionism that has now prevailed. Imo, Rothko was a tragic hero and his art very well may contain a prophetic content — one that gives us an underlying assumption upon which further analysis rests.
    As a result, I am now at the point where I highly urge people to take his art seriously and, yes, particularly those who fancy “strategic intel analysis” (great government words!), particularly those who desire to defend the sovereign people (through the 10th Amendment?) and, not instead, represent special interest.
    When I say that Rotho’s artistic development may reflect the trajectory of certain types of Zionism, I am not talking about Buber’s Zionism or that of Judah Magnes. Neither of these men would have had the same as a Rothko chapel, something called the Buber chapel or the Magnes chapel that, in effects worship an ego that has rejected religion or, for Jungians, even the collective unconscious. And, let the record reflect, there are/were untold numbers of Zionists who fall into camps similar to Buber and Magnes. But, alas, not Goldberg and not the mediatrx of today’s Zionism — Ms. Caroline Glick.
    If I recall, in Rothko’s artistic development, this great tragic hero rejected orthodoxy only to replace it with his art. In some ways this reflects the history of Judaism and Zionism, as, if you rely on the wisdom of the Satmar and some of their analytical assumptions, the Jewish people embraced orthodoxy only to replace it with a type of nationalism and therefore have tried to go where no one has gone before without tragic results.
    At a certain level, Rothko does the same, as he heroically but tragically mixed up the idea of art (in this scenario, think Zionism) and religion and he paid a heavy price. His art has a unique brilliance as it goes into the abyss, and it may contain a prophetic message for those he loved.

  30. The Moar You Know says:

    Colonel: the de-evolution of discourse is a universal problem, sadly not one limited to your blog.
    I may be an unapologetic leftie, but a sane one. I would not insult you under any circumstances; you have “been there and done that”. I have not. I come here precisely because I need the viewpoint of someone with life experience such as yourself, because I don’t have it. I may not agree with your conclusions in the end, but please keep in mind that I respect those conclusions enough to seek them out in the first place.
    Anyone who insults you, toss ’em. You wouldn’t put up with it in your home, don’t put up with it here.

  31. Patrick Lang says:

    An interesting topic. I learned a lot about this when I was scheduled to be stationed in Ottawa as the DIA rep to the Ministry of Defense. It would have been interesting but I retrired instead to go into business. I’ll do a post on that. pl

  32. wsam says:

    I didn’t know you had been up in Ottawa. Second coldest capital city in the world after Ulan Bator in Mongolia.
    An interesting post would be on the differences between intelligence bureaucracies.
    Obviously you know what a big deal the War of 1812 is for Canadians.

  33. Charles I says:

    All the Rothko’s you’ve posted, and the chapel you pictured some years ago seem unremittingly bleak to me, sure hope death is more or less than that.
    It certainly gives Sidney’s delightfully gloomy synthesis of art and Zionism some very somber prophetic content. Could it but be grasped by the Zionists might it represent their penultimate, or indeed the existential opportunity to achieve temporal grace in lieu of the dark spiritual state that Israel and Zionism seem bent on attaining.

  34. On anti-americanism and pro-americanism.
    The US is a frame of reference for the whole world. People (and peoples) identify with America, or take excemption to America. Often without thinking about the complexity of a large country.
    In Europe we have people idenfifying themselves strongly with US, while also intolerant of immigrants in a way which is uncommon in the US.
    Some are now very well informed about the US. Some should know better.
    It’s not easy, though. Certainly Americans don’t seem always to agree with each other about what is the essense of the US.
    The country has been a huge success in promoting the idea of America in the world. That’s bound to cause confusion. And speaker feedback.

  35. Got A Watch says:

    Col., it’s your Blog, and you are a gentleman of the old school. If they can’t make their point without being abusive, who cares what they have to say.
    I have little faith that the outcomes envisioned by the military planners will come to pass exactly as printed in ‘The Official War Plan’. Call me a cynic.
    Israel can strike Iran a few times, but can’t mount a sustained campaign of repeated strikes. The US will be blamed and involved, Iran will retaliate, the entire Middle East will be aflame, friendly Governments could fall etc, etc. A ground invasion of Iran is problematic, an air campaign probably can’t win a war on its own.
    Or maybe the Iranians will be stoic and take a sound thrashing without starting a war. Low odds there.
    The various arguments have been made here many times, nothing new I guess. I have stated before this is the longest delayed punch in history and Iran has the internet too. Maybe they are stupid enough to keep all their nuclear eggs in one basket, but I doubt it.
    Iran will lose of course, but victory is an elusive concept in The Middle East.
    The list of unknown long term consequences is err, unknown. I know that much. And they probably won’t be good. For anybody involved, or the rest of the world. The human condition. Sad. We are clever but not smart.

  36. N. M. Salamon says:

    To those interested:
    an intelligent analysis of China’s position vis-a-vis Iran USA stand-off:
    The author of this article has commented on this issue personally at an earlier posting here [anti USA/Isreal attack for economic reasons]

  37. optimax says:

    Col., This blog is an important part of my education. Most other blogs have devolved into left-right calling each other names. You keep it on topic are interested in thought not egoes, and that’s what the world needs.
    Catherine Deneuve, wow! Saw her in “Hustle” with Burt Reynolds the other night but she was wearing clothes. It’s a mid-seventies noirish mystery, despite being filmed in color. Pretty good. Joe Bob says check it out.

  38. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Hi Charles I
    I see Rothko as much of a hero. Sometimes I wish someone had intervened in his life. You know…save a brilliant friend who is going off a cliff.
    Not to peddle my stuff…well…why not:
    BTW, I greatly enjoy your comments. Just one man’s opinion, but I think you would make a very talented constitutional lawyer or the Canadian equivalent.

  39. Patrick Lang says:

    Look, They shot the shit out of us on all battlefields except New Orleans. And then their Indians murdered our prisoners. pl

  40. Stormcrow says:

    I hope this works.
    Meaning no disrespect, but I see the same blasted thing happening on comment pages pretty much across the Internet. News sites, blogs, web boards, you name it.
    The ONLY thing that seems to work is moderation. Active moderation, including a large well-advertised bitbucket for the disposal of obvious propaganda, provocation, and other forms of obnoxious nonsense.
    Blogs whose owners have been unwilling or unable to enforce standards of discourse seem to end up in one of two ways: with comment sections less inspiring than a view from the bottom of a septic tank, or closure of comments altogether.
    If you have to uncase your cluestick, I hope you’ll wield it more vigorously than many gentler souls have done in the past.
    Since their blogs no longer have open comments.

  41. Patrick Lang says:

    I will follow your advice. pl

  42. John Minnerath says:

    I’ll confess to not commenting often, I’ve been so busy I can’t even begin to keep up with things going on here.
    But, when I can spend a little time perusing the comments here, this is the place that makes me think.

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