General David Petraeus recently had the opportunity to present his views on the ongoing Syria war, and his remarks were nothing, if not controversial.  Here is a fair summary of his take on Syria:

Syria is ruled by a coalition of ill-repute, made up of Bashar Assad, the Iranian Quds Brigade, Hezbollah and Putin.  The involvement of Russia has turned the Syrian war into a battle of international consequence.  Syria is in the process of breaking up, and there is probably nothing anyone can do at this point to stop that from happening.  The vast majority of Sunni Arabs, as well as the Syrian Kurds, will never submit to Damascus rule, so long as Bashar Assad is in power. 

The United States, as the indispensable global power, still the sole world superpower in every respect, must take the lead in bringing the Syria war to an end.  That means that the United States must support the creation of a safe-zone for refugees to remain inside Syrian territory or in a neighboring state.  Turkey has nicely filled this role through its invasion, which will soon spread further south and encompass an area large enough for such a safe zone.  But that is not enough.  The United States must impose a no-fly zone over Syrian territory.  It is costly, but can be done.  The United States successfully established two no-fly zones over Iraq from the end of the first Gulf War through to the 2003 invasion.  The Kurds in the north and the marsh Arabs in the south were protected.  But that, too, is not enough.  The Syrian Air Force must be grounded, and that can be accomplished by American sea-launch and air-launch cruise missiles strikes.  At minimum, the Syrian Air Force runways can be cratered.

And the Syrian rebels must be armed with shoulder-held anti-tank and some anti-aircraft weapons.  Perhaps Arab Special Forces from neighboring countries can manage and supervise these weapons deliveries.

Yes, this is complicated by the presence of the Russian military forces in Syria, but not to worry.  Putin always stops, the moment he runs up against any immovable object.  The actions proposed show appropriate firmness.  They are not provocations.


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  1. jld says:

    A bit too late to start WWWIII before tuesday, so what’s next?
    The most worrying is that that kind of idiot truly believe the “official” propaganda.

  2. plantman says:

    When did Gen Petraeus become a policymaker? Did I miss the election or something?
    You really have to wonder what he was thinking about when he made these unfortunate remarks which place him firmly at the extreme end of the foreign policy spectrum.
    And wasn’t it Petraeus who led the charge with Hillary for that other great military triumph in Libya?
    Where, I wonder, are the military leaders who ascribe to a more restrained and rational approach to foreign policy? Have they all retired already or have they been muzzled by the neocon powerbrokers who seem to have infected every part of the decision-making apparatus?
    One thing is certain, if Petraeus and his ilk are advising the Queen Mother (Hillary) then we’re all goners for sure.

  3. Fred says:

    It seems that not only will we face a potential WWII by engaging in Syria but apparently some of the neocon Navy brass want to take on Iran at the same time:

  4. b says:

    Petraeus first somewhat important job in Iraq was to build the Iraqi policy. He mightily screwed up and everything fell apart afte a few month. It had to be restarted from zero by the folks cleaning up after him. But he has been promoted ever since. Incompetence wins!
    He knows nothing about Syria. Just consider this nonsense: “The vast majority of Sunni Arabs … will never submit to Damascus rule, so long as Bashar Assad is in power.”
    Fact: The vast majority of Sunni Arabs support Damascus rule, so long as Bashar Assad is in power.
    The guy is a lunatic known-nothing.

  5. turcopolier says:

    He is a “perfumed prince” in Hackworth’s phrase. He is a Byzantine court general. pl

  6. OIFVet says:

    The man is a raving lunatic. He can best serve America by saving the “appropriate firmness” for his mistress.

  7. The Beaver says:

    They must have passed the words the Neocon retired Generals and the israelis:
    Bad bad Shi’a 🙁 and some journos are even talking about how bad the PMU are in Iraq – yep Shi’a militia trained by those bad Iranians w/o realising that Hashd or PMU consists of Sunnis, Shi’a, Christians, Assyrians and other minorities

  8. Claim A: Damascus is too weak to reassert control over the country.
    Claim B: We must arm the rebels with advanced weaponry and attack the Syrian Army on their behalf, lest Damascus reassert control over the country.
    To me, the scariest thing is just how many people do not understand that A and B are contradictory statements.

  9. oofda says:

    And to top it off, he wants to proliferate MANPADs. Does he understand or comprehend what we have been doing the past couple decades in limiting MANPADs? He is either incompetent or nuts. Or both.

  10. The Beaver says:

    For TTG
    you may be interested : Jack Murphy

  11. richard rogers says:

    Petraeus comes across as completely incompetent in this book on the surge in Afghanistan:
    The author fully dissects the silliness of Petraeus’ COIN plan in Helmand and Kandahar.
    A good book all around.

  12. VietnamVet says:

    Harper; Thanks.
    General (Ret) David Petraeus as much as anyone reflects the thinking and planning that led to the current mini world war ongoing in Syria and Iraq. That he has not slunk into obscurity after his misdemeanor slap on the wrist tells us more than anything what to expect in a Clinton Administration. But, first we must get through election day unscathed. Hopefully the NBC’s report on a Russian cyber-attack was just fearmongering. We shall see if we wake up on the November 9th with electricity, the internet and Donald Trump as President elect.
    The Middle East wars will escalate unless the Western elite accepts that Wall Street’s hegemony is over. We live in a multi-polar world. The USA will be very lucky if remains united. The rift between the deplorables and coastal cosmopolitans is about to erupt into violence. In the 2016 election, we are witnessing the dirt that each side throws at the other. To survive this, the restoration of sovereign democracy and the rule of law is required.

  13. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, but those perfumed generals were also quite destructive to the Byzantine State on many occasions; poor counsel, intrigue etc.

  14. Jay says:

    The man is certifiable…

  15. turcopolier says:

    yes. I am familiar with the history of the Byzantine Empire. pl

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    On Bad Shia:
    Foreign Country President: We could use US assistance to build a rail road from Ebeyond to Incourt.
    US Ambassador: That could be arranged. But could Your Excellency please tell me if there are any Shia Muslims in your country?
    Foreign Country President (puzzled): Shia Muslims? Who are they? In fact, we have no Muslims in our country.
    US Ambassador: Ah, but that is too bad. Sorry we cannot help you with that road.
    Foreign Country President (puzzled even more): But why?
    US Ambassador: Well, Your Excellency, if you had Shia Muslims, we could give you money, training, equipment to fight them. We would hire the Chinese to build that railroad under Global War on Terrorism.
    Foreign Country President: Why Chinese?
    US Ambassador: Well, we exported all of our industries so that we can wage this war – among them, rail-road building.
    Foreign Country President: OK, then where do I get some Shia Muslims?
    US Ambassador: You have to contact the Iranians; they are all Shia Muslims.
    Foreign Country President: Can you please take the trouble of putting me in touch with someone Iranians that could help in this matter?
    US Ambassador: Sorry Your Excellency. That request exceeds what my government has authorized me to do.
    Foreign Country President: But then we are stuck. We cannot get help if we do not have any Shia Muslims.
    US Ambassador: You might contact the Chinese Ambassador, his government has good relations with Iranians and I am certain he could help. Especially once you let it be known that we would be hiring them to build that railroad.
    Foreign Country President: I think we will take your advice; thank you very much.
    US Ambassador: Not at all Your Excellency, America is always ready to help.

  17. Brunswick says:

    There is no money in anti-war, anti R2P, “commonsense” FP.
    The Borgist NeoCon’s on the other hand have no shortage of job opportunities at Lobbying Firms, Think Tanks, PMC’s, US Media Conglomerates, and Corporate Board positions, no matter how many wars they have lost.
    If being wrong mattered, David Brooks et. Al wouldn’t have had jobs for the last 30 years.

  18. Anna says:

    meanwhile, in Eastern Europe the things are getting peachy. The oh-so-sensitive Anti-Defamation League and the Lobby at large see nothing wrong in the celebration of the famous Nazi-collaborator Bandera in the “liberated” Ukraine and the rise of antisemitism there: “The Social-Nationalist party chose as its logo an amended version of the Wolfsangel, a symbol used by many SS divisions on the Eastern front during the war who in 2004 a celebration of the OUN-UPA, stated in 2004, that ‘’they fought against the Muscovite, Germans, Jews and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state.’’
    What the US “deciders” have been thinking while enabling this near the Russian borders?

  19. Chris Chuba says:

    He is ignoring the fact that northern Syria is harboring the largest known concentration of Al Qaeda in the world and that the rebels we are supporting have been joined at the hip with them since their successful conquest of the Idlib province in 2015. This was before the Russian intervention so no one can play the ‘Russians forced the rebel’s hand’ card.
    For him or any senior level, policy, wannabe maker to suggest a plan for Syria and not address the Sunni, Jihadist dominated aspect to this rebel faction is inexcusable. I thought we declared war against Al Qaeda, so for anyone to suggest a policy that would give them material aid must be breaking some of the various laws and resolutions associated with that action. Maybe someone, possibly even the Russians, should start suing the State Dept. (the Borg) for these violations. At the very least it would force them to publicly defend the indefensible rather than hide behind a compliant media.

  20. Castellio says:

    They are well aware that Claim A is untrue.
    Claim B derives from what they know to be true: more arms and military support is needed to overthrow the Syrian government, which is supported by the majority of the population.
    So the contradiction you identify derives from the lie. They are aware of the lie, but they hope you won’t notice, or if you do, they trust your opinion is isolated and irrelevant.

  21. F-35 says:

    Did the four-star lunatic ask himself one important question? Like “what happens if Russians don’t stop and keep flying”? The whole notion of creating no-fly zone in Syria is based on a flimsy presumption that Russians are cowards. What if they are not? Then obviously America will have to back down and will end up looking even more foolish than it is now.

  22. F-35 says:

    Why would ADL be nervous? Jews own Ukraine. All of the oligarchs, President, Premier-Minister are Jewish. Crosses and swastikas are a redirection – they are there to simply keep peasants preoccupied with a completely inconsequential stuff, while the country is being robbed blind.

  23. charly says:

    Vast majority live under Damascus rule and the people seems to be moving to it. It is a bit to nebulous to say they like it but the same can be said about the US and Clinton or Trump

  24. charly says:

    After blowing up the Syrian Airforce. That makes no sense.

  25. FND says:

    This is the guy that invited the Kagans (Fred and his wife Kimberly) to Afghanistan for a year to study the Afghan war and “advise” him. They had access to all information including classified intelligence reports.

  26. Swamp Yankee says:

    If memory is correct, this reminds me of the exchange in October, 1962, when Kennedy (John) asked, I believe it was Gen. Curtis LeMay, what the Soviets would do in response to a US bombing raid on their facilities in Cuba that he (Lemay) was advocating. “Nothing,” replied LeMay. “Nothing,” responds LeMay. “Nothing? General, I can assure you that they’re not going to do nothing,” Kennedy replies. I believe this account comes from RFK’s “13 Days”, so take that for what it’s worth (n.b. I’m not a big Kennedy fan in general, just think they’re right here; like Harvard, the closer you live to them, the less you think of them). The point is, relying on the Russians simply not responding seems ludicrous and divorced from reality to me, both then and now.

  27. I see three possibilities. Petraeus is either mad as a hatter, thick as a post, or auditioning for a role in the new administration’s presumably neo-con oriented foreign policy crew. The last seems likely.

  28. Ghostship says:

    Apparently the jihadists are now prepared to let anyone under 14 or over 55 leave East Aleppo for $300. I’m sure that with a decent negotiator that $300 fee could be extended to people of all ages. Perhaps someone could start a crowd-funding scheme to pay the jihadists to let everyone who wants to leave do so. If there really are only 40,000 people left in East Aleppo and about 9,000 of those are jihadists, then the total sum that would need to be raised would be less that $10 millon. Perhaps the Clinton Foundation might care to contribute as they could easily afford to pick up the entire bill.

  29. Bill H says:

    Petraeus Told us exactly who he is when he wrote an op-ed in 2004 in the New York Times essentially advocating the reelection of George W. Bush.

  30. Old Microbiologist says:

    I have been keeping my eye on him and the other political cronies of the neocon Borgist elements. Soon after he was “punished” for giving away classified documents he was posted to Kosovo. https://inserbia.info/today/2015/02/former-cia-chief-controls-most-of-the-media-in-serbia-report/
    That is a strange place to end up but it shows the longer game plans the US has for regions which show any kind of support to Russia at all. Here in Hungary we have been subjected to visits from Nuland and McCain ad nauseum. The US is trying very hard to push forward the creation of yet another version of Kosovo with the desire to create the Republic of Srpska out of Bosnian territory. Of note, ISIS and Al Qaddafi both have active training camps in Bosnia, with US and Saudi support.

  31. Peter Reichard says:

    The rehabilitation of Petraeus began with a high priced sinecure provided to him by Henry Kravis of KKR. Kravis, his wife Marie-Josee of the Hudson Institute and the General all attended the uber elite Bilderberg Conference in 2013. Since no more than about sixty Americans are allowed entry each year the fact that Petraeus was reinvited after his apparent fall from grace means that he is really still a major player behind the scenes. Now an adviser to Hillary let us hope he is not brought back into a position of power in her administration.

  32. Anna says:

    Next step in the “humanitarian” mission in Syria: https://www.rt.com/news/365533-syria-raqqa-rebels-us/
    “Syrian rebels start campaign to retake ISIS ‘capital’ Raqqa with US air cover”
    “Several hundred US Special Forces operatives were sent into Syria earlier this year to “advise and assist” the SDF. The United States considers the YPG the most effective force against IS, but Turkey has repeatedly said it will not accept a role for the Kurds in the liberation of Raqqa. Ankara, a key US ally in the region, regards the Syrian Kurds as terrorists allied with Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey. “Our hope is that the Turkish state will not interfere in the internal affairs of Syria,” an unidentified SDF official declared at Sunday’s press conference.”

  33. norlurking says:

    He is another example of American exceptionalism…….truly disgusting person…

  34. “The Russians always stop”
    What if they don’t???????????????

  35. Ghostship says:

    He might be although I haven’t seen any real evidence so far, such as putting his underpants on his head, sticking a pencil up either nostril and saying “wibble, wibble, wibble”. On the over hand, from the evidence in that single articles, it’s fairly save to say that he really is a classic moron.
    Where does he think all these aircraft are going to fly from? NATO airbases in south eastern Europe? Has either Russia or Syria attacked NATO? No. Is there an UNSC resolution allowing the creation of an NFZ in Syria? No. Will there ever be? No. Do Cyprus, Greece, Turkey or Italy want to get into a real war with Russia just to advance the United States’s geopolitical ambitions? No. So, I expect and hope that the European NATO members will sit this one out as neutrals. Oh, and good luck trying to run the whole shabang out of RAF Akrotiri if the UK will allow it.
    That leaves naval air power so perhaps the USN will use their carrier battle groups. Fortunately for the world most seem to be unfit for service, so that leaves at most two CBGs that could be deployed. How effective would they be at the end of such a long logistics tail (because the European NATO partners are neutrals). Actually, how long would they last?
    So far, Putin’s most effective weapons have probably been a fax machine and a packet of A4 paper, oh, and the Hague Convention of 1907, or whatever the modern equivalent is.
    Just who wants to be a belligerent in World War III when the United States is the aggressor?

  36. LeaNder says:

    The US is trying very hard to push forward the creation of yet another version of Kosovo with the desire to create the Republic of Srpska out of Bosnian territory.
    Further info? Have not paid much attention on the Balkan region lately.
    The larger problems seem to be unemployment, poverty and privatization resulting in the usual asset stripping instead of investment: see 2014 protests.
    But the KKK activities surely are interesting. …
    it shows the longer game plans the US has for regions which show any kind of support to Russia at all.
    Does it?
    The “Europe Magazine” on our public channels just had one feature about how ‘Russian propaganda’ influence public opinion in the Czech Republic. Only got a glimpse, while getting a coffee on Czech opinion polls. Russian Propaganda: Older media theme over here in Germany. … complex 😉
    Seems it was based on research done by the Prague Security Studies Institute, but they may be looking at the larger Central and Eastern European (CEE) context:

  37. LeaNder says:

    Sorry, KKR …

  38. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I just ran across a provocative piece by F. William Engdahl at New Eastern Outlook that purports to connect hidden dots between the HRC scandals and policies, recent events. etc. in the Middle East and North Africa. The tl/dr is an assertion that Huma Abedin is a Muslim Brotherhood mole. I don’t know much more about Engdahl than what’s in his Wikepedia entry. The NEO is put out by the St. Petersburg-based Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Any thoughts on the credibility of Engdahl on this?

  39. Harry says:

    He is a Narses -look up Belisarius. He dumpsters his loyalty and had been rewarded for that. Competency is by the by.
    It’s one of the symptoms of declining empires .

  40. mike allen says:

    Or perhaps go 50/50 with the Trump Foundation?

  41. Babak Makkinejad says:

    US policymakers ejected Iranians out of Bosnia – yet again adjudicating among the sects of an alien religion.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    One could ponder the situation in which Russia would not retaliate in Syria. But that only brings forward the final reckoning as the Russian Federation will be forced into a corner, sooner rather than later, that retaliation will become the only course of action.
    As I stated before, they can retaliate in their Near-Abroad – especially where significant Russian people reside. They could emasculate the 3 Baltic republics in a shorter time than NATO states could react.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think that scenario would leave US occupying parts of Southern Iran for decades – sort of like Israel in Lebanon; all the while waging a guerrilla war against Iranians.

  44. morongobill says:

    This is really starting to shape up to a brawl. You have the bully who has feasted for years on a string of tomato cans and this time he may be picking on the wrong dude. You’ve all seen it, I’m sure. The big mouth who’s used to intimidating or beating up defenseless or weaker opponents running into a quiet man who just wants to be left alone. He tries to talk his way out of the fight, but at some point he figures out that this guy is going to try to beat the living Hell out of me, and it is on. Out of nowhere, a devastating string of blows(at a time of his choosing)and the bully is down, and scared to get up.
    Hopefully, everyone here knows that Putin is a judo expert and a former streetfighter. He believes in getting in the first punch, actually many, to win the fight.
    Sorry for introducing such a lowbrow analogy into the foreign policy discussion.

  45. Peter Reichard,
    ‘let us hope he is not brought back into a position of power in her administration.’
    We may certainly hope that. But it would, I think, be unwise to be unduly optimistic on the point, and also there seems every reason to fear that even if Petraeus does not get to exercise significant influence, many of those who do will have views not so far from his.
    Back in March 2014 – to quote the ‘Washington Post’ report from the time – Hillary Clinton ‘compared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine to actions taken by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler outside Germany in the run-up to World War II.’
    If indeed Petraeus suggested that Putin always stops the moment he runs up against an immovable object – and I have not yet had time to watch the video – he is expressing the same delusional mindset.
    The assumption is that the fact that the Russians would never tolerate Sevastopol becoming a NATO naval base indicates that they are itching to send the tanks rolling towards Kiev, Riga etc.
    As it happens, it patently was an ‘existential’ matter for the Russians to prevent the whole of Ukraine becoming part of NATO. Likewise, it is an ‘existential’ matter for them to ‘contain’, and insofar as is possible ‘roll back’, the explosive spread of jihadism for which people like David Petraeus and Hillary Clinton – as also Tony Blair and David Cameron – have a not entirely trivial share of responsibility.
    It is out of this fundamental inability to understand what is driving Putin’s policy which is shared by Hillary and most of those likely to advise her that the danger of really serious miscalculation on the American side comes.
    And this is a central reason why many people who find all kinds of aspects of Donald Trump deeply unappealing think that, in relation to this election, it is a case of ‘better the devil you don’t know.’

  46. robt willmann says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    I do not know about Engdahl and what his sources of information are. But the volume of e-mails said to be on the laptop — 650,000 — is of course intriguing. I still have the opinion I expressed earlier that both Weiner and Huma Abedin were using the laptop. They separated on 29 August, just two months ago–
    A few days ago, on 3 November, the State Department released some e-mails, and one, from August 2010 between Hillary Clinton and Abedin, has the astonishing information that Huma was going to send a secure cell phone to Hillary from Washington DC by Federal Express (!) and then Hillary asks whether one of Weiner’s “trusted aides” could deliver it–
    According to the Washington Post in a March 2016 article, the total number of e-mails on Hillary’s private e-mail server was 62,320 and that the address she used while secretary of state was hdr22@clintonemail.com. She had delivered to the State Department in December 2014 paper printouts of around 30,000 e-mails, and she deleted around 32,000 so-called personal e-mails.
    650,000 minus 62,320 equals 587,680, which means that there are allegedly over a half million more e-mails on the Weiner/Abedin laptop than were on Hillary’s private server, if the laptop contained all of them that were on the server. But what the evidence is, if any, that there was a total of 62,320 e-mails on her server, and not more, is unknown. I have wondered what the proof is that the total on her server was around 62,000; I have yet to read what it is.
    In my opinion, it is possible that both Abedin and Weiner were informants for persons outside the U.S. government, including foreigners, but a lot of things possibly could have gone on in that game.

  47. gowithit says:

    Naw, Trump has more pictures of himself to buy with that foundation $.

  48. Old Microbiologist says:

    al Qaeda, my Ipad has a mind of its own sometimes.
    The prssure is being applied to any former Soviet allied countries that dare to voice disagreement to US policies. The Balkans are ripe for continued unrest as nothing was really settled, merely pacified. But, I think that they are very tired of fighting. However, it wouldn’t take much to re-ignite things. I frequent Bosnia, Slovenia, and Croatia a lot as they are close and things are not all that forgiven there yet despite 25 years later. The recent immigration problems have escalated the separation of East Europe from West Europe. There are also extant problems remaining from poor decisions made after perestroika and later some very bad deals made as part of the enticement to join the EU. We see lots of produce, appliances,, cars, etc. made in Western Europe but nothing from here ends up there in return (other than things made here but attributed to Germany). What this does is makes this region simmer awaiting ignition. However, try as hard as they can they cannot get these stubborn Eastern Europeans to cooperate.
    Kosovo is an identical problem as Crimea yet because it was done by the US it is deemed okay. The missile bases in Tomania and radar installations in Spain and Poland are a nuisane at best but are a continued irritant to Russia. Serbia has been relatively loyal to Russia and Kosovo was a big FU to them over this. Syrpska is yet another irritant as is bringing Montenegro into NATO. The real problems will occur in the central Asian areas with Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Azaerbaijan who will receive whatever remains of ISIs and Al Qaeda after the Syrian game ends. Of course Iran will once again reappear as an existential threat as well and pressure will be appoied on all fronts. Perhaps if Trump wins this all can be cancelled but a lot of it is well on the way to fruition.

  49. Babak Makkinejad,
    At no point has there been any indication whatsoever that the Russians have been contemplating military intervention in the Baltics. And it would not be in their interest to do so.
    Currently, figures like General Petraeus are doing their level best to persuade much middle-of-the-road opinion here that their lords and masters are not focused on real threats – jihadists and mass migration – but are desperate to conjure up unreal spectres of attacks from Russia, and are willing to run risks of all-out war with that country for no good reason at all.
    It is not in the Russian interest to do anything that vindicates the ‘Cold War retro’ approach of so many in Western élites, at precisely the point when it is coming under serious political challenge.

  50. That is what I think will happen…………
    I am a Russian….. my grand father emigrated in 1908.
    True story….. an example of how Russians think…….
    In 7th grade, following my mis-spelling of “experience” in a spelling contest, a fellow student Robert Wadsworth (a WASP) took it upon him self to make my life miserable. His taunts, and provocations continued until one afternoon during my senior year in H.S. Previous attempts by father and friends to teach me to fight had no effect.
    Finally, I had enough. On the way home he challenged me, and I stood my ground. I started hitting him as taught. I kept hitting him. Each and every time he got up and came at me, I hit him until he went down. The police came, and told me to leave. I said “I’m not leaving, I’m not going anywhere. The only one leaving is him”. Then I started to convert his face into hamburger with my fists.
    Finally, he ran away.
    He never bothered me again.
    This is what I believe will be the fate of the US. They will go too far…. and it will be a fight to the finish…..
    A fight quite unlike anything the DOD has prepared for…….
    I’m thinking spetznaz attacks on the GRID, Gas pipelines, Oil pipelines, key bridges and tunnels, for starters……
    Then mass cruise missile attacks using micro nukes 1-5 Kt based upon cold fusion technologies against airbases, naval bases, army bases, bridges, tunnels, locks, dams
    While Anti-sub HK groups destroy the SSBNs using nuke torpedoes.
    FYI, I was Navy during 68-70

  51. mike allen says:

    True, and he also has all those foreign workers to pay off that are refurbishing his new Trump Hotel in DC. Might even get away with using Trump Foundation money since he will claim “restoration of a historical landmark”.

  52. charly says:

    Flipping a Nato state to become a Russia ally is a much better way for Russia to react and it is not like Eastern Europe loves Nato (except Poland)

  53. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think I did not express myself well.
    Russians can decide not to contest US & NATO & Gulfies in Syria – as General Petraeus states, but likely they would then retaliate elsewhere.
    As I said before, they do not need to send tanks into the Baltics, they can destabilize those 3 states to the point of dysfunction.
    The Cold War has started, the Barons in Europe bear much responsibility for it. What is not yet decided is if there would be a world in which 3 military-political alliances are slugging it out for supremacy; as George Orwell sketched out.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    With a little bit of effort, the Russian Federation can make the area in her European Near-Abroad ungovernable – like she has done with Ukraine.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The world has already experienced dangerous miscalculations by the NATO states; in Iraq, in Syria and in Libya.

  56. BraveNewWorld says:

    I read some of this one and another piece based on the same material a few days ago. They both come off as hysterical, racist, opportunist, politically inspired hit peaces.

  57. F-35 says:

    I personally believe that all this unhinged talk emanating from Washington is just empty bluster. Psy-op, if you will. Doesn’t hurt to talk tough, and it’s the cheapest way to prop USA’s sagging reputation up a little. If Hillary wins, all of her efforts in establishing no-fly zone in Syria will probably boil down to tabling some “angry” UNSC resolutions, which will be promptly vetoed by the Russians – and that will be it. She’ll be able to tell her Saudi handlers that she did all she could, and will refocus on the domestic issues (like recession, riots, 10 percent of GDP budget deficit, etc). In a couple years she’ll barely be able to walk and talk anyways, and all the decisions will be taken by the Deep State operatives.

  58. F-35 says:

    There is no corner large enough on this planet to place Russia in it. But I see your point, and Russians will definitely be counter-punching the enfeebled West where those punches are least expected.
    Opposite of being cornered, I can see Russia actually regaining a lot of geopolitical space for all kinds of maneuvering.
    Future events – such as Italy leaving Eurozone and maybe even EU, Gulf states unraveling due to low oil prices, Egypt breaking out of its borders into Sudan and Lybia, and many others – will make life for Moscow whole lot easier.
    Benefits for Russia are already accruing pretty fast. Turkey and Egypt are leaning to it. Moldova. Bulgaria. Even Philippines. India is courting it again. Indonesia wants to get closer. Japan is wobbling. And so for.
    That’s why the West is getting so hysterical. It’s losing its grasp, and will only get worse.

  59. The Beaver says:

    The fight for Raqqa is on since last night
    SDF will be doing all the ground fighting

  60. Thirdeye says:

    It seems like a speculative argument that is vulnerable to charges of cherry-picking and guilt by association over how it makes its case over what Abedin is all about. The MB can’t be thrilled about Abedin marrying a Jewish man and bearing a half-Jewish child. Maybe Jewish-by-the-father isn’t Jewish enough for some Jews, but it is probably Jewish enough for the MB.
    I prefer to stick with the simpler follow-the-money argument that establishes the Clinton connection to the Saudi financiers of Wahhabi terrorism through their Clinton Foundation bribes. That’s compromising enough.

  61. VietnamVet says:

    Dr. Oprisko
    My maternal grandparents immigrated from Sweden in 1914. My paternal grandmother’s ancestors came from Northern Germany in 1848 and my paternal grandfather’s family was here from England from before the Revolutionary War. This was normal for a kid in Seattle in the 1950s. The underlying agreement with Immigrants was if your family assimilated you would prosper and the ethnic conflicts of Europe would be washed away. This is the basic revolutionary force driving the 2016 election. The new American Elite have reneged on these basic promises. The toady Republican establishment candidates were rejected. Both parties rely on divisive ethnic identity politics to get votes. Globalist of all stripes are hell bent on once again starting a European War with Russia. Americans will not support World War III. The only way the Davos Men can seize Eurasia’s resources is through propaganda, lies and neo-Nazi/Jihadist proxy forces. If the West does not back down, this pretty much guarantees the destruction of the Northern Hemisphere. If history proves anything, it is that Russians will defend their homeland against western invasions.

  62. Mishkilji says:

    Until Dempsey took over Petraeus was the the smartest 4-star the Army could muster post-9/11, the problem was Petreaus is only half as smart as he thinks he is.
    What does all this say about the military’s ability to provide senior leadership that can inform civilian policymakers?

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Someday all the extant religions, countries, languages, cultures on this planet would be extinct and their remnants could be on display in those museums of the future.
    In that far off future, there would be glib men and women who would be expressing their heart-felt convictions that they would be avoiding all that had transpired to those before them -including us – that theirs would be a world of Perpetual Peace, with men informed by Reason, etc. – in which men are respected for the content of their character and their piety – in conformance to the “True Religion” of that far of day.
    This is just about the only hope that one steeped in human history – i.e. the March of Folly – can have.

  64. LeaNder says:

    US policymakers ejected Iranians out of Bosnia – yet again adjudicating among the sects of an alien religion.
    Babak, this was an interesting comment. Made me check the present state of matters on Bosnia on Wikipedia. Two categories not merged yet.
    a) the Bosnian mujahideen
    b) Bosnian fighters
    This doesn’t completely fit into my perception at the time. But I only got glimpses at the time. To the extend I caught it, assumption seemed that expats over here in Europe occasionally joined the fight. Saudis surfaced only as sponsors for Mosques after the war, to the extend I recall.
    I am only familiar with friends involved in humanitarian aid.
    This seems to be the source Wiki gives for Iranian weapon deliveries to Bosnia. Haven’t compared sources on the “foreign” versus “mujahideen” fighters on Iran. Supposing the sources in the Sunni section are the same: Den Haag.
    What was on your mind? Some type of non-alignment movement relations? European pressure connected with sanctions? …

  65. LeaNder says:

    Soon after he was “punished” for giving away classified documents he was posted to Kosovo.
    I thought he retired at that point with honors from the military, how can he be have been posted to Kosovo after retirement?
    And how are his activities for KKR related to the US military? Via the link you only suggest a link between KKR and the CIA.

  66. LeaNder says:

    (other than things made here but attributed to Germany).
    Could you specify?
    Seriously, I am interested in how this could be done under European law.

  67. turcopolier says:

    Once again, if you are “retired” from the US military you are still in the armed forces and can be recalled at any time until you die. Most people who have been in the US military are “former” rather than “retired.” pl

  68. Harper,
    Thx for the link and concise summary… Petreaus sounds like he is begging for a job in the coming HRC administration. Not sure what he’ll get, and if he gets naything of substance, how much that will reflect on US foreigne policy in the ME (Syria in particular), but i can see a few problems looming already on the horizon.
    Having a few Russians killed by a shadowy group of indirectly supported proxies surely is not an option that would be seriously considered by any responsible US leader. Right ?

  69. OIFVet says:

    The dominoes are falling!!! The dominoes are falling!!! The first round of the presidential election in Bulgaria was held yesterday, and the winner is the former chief of the BG Air Force, Gen. Rumen Radev. The polling shows that he should handily defeat his ruling party opponent in the run-off election next Sunday. Why is that important? First, Gen. Radev has completed US Air Force advanced courses, with outstanding fitness reports. Despite that, he campaigned on lifting the sanctions against Russia and ending the antagonistic policies and rhetoric instituted by the current President and the ruling party. Second, the Prime Minister has vowed to resign with his entire cabinet if Gen. Radev wins the election, which will remove the US-approved cabinet and particularly the handpicked foreign and defense ministers. Third, the voting result amount to a resounding rejection of the establishment and the status quo. Gen. Radev, while having been endorsed by the Socialists, is an independent candidate. Another independent candidate won 11% of the vote, and the combined nationalists/patriots parties gathered 15%. All told, about 60% of the votes were cast against the establishment, with the candidates of the ruling coalition gathering only 29% of the vote.
    The results sent such a jolt through the establishment that fear-mongering reached new heights today. If the ruling coalition is to be believed, a victory by Gen. Radev will result in BG exit from NATO, Russian divisions entering Bulgaria, and an apocalypse of untold proportions. I imagine there are contingency plans for a Color Revolution in some drawer somewhere, and that America for Bulgaria Foundation is busy drafting future grants with which to fuel the revolutionary fervor of the future occupants of the Megdan in front of the Presidency and Parliament (Bulgarian for Maidan).

  70. Smoke says:

    H/t G.B. Shaw? Thanks for the chuckle. A pleasant break from the too serious task of trying to fill in ballot and decipher the implications of numerous amendments and propositions.
    Unfortunately, polls indicate that the amendment taking away a little more democracy is going to pass. Thanks to millions spent on misleading promotion and advertising by the corporations, which placed it on the ballot to start.

  71. Valissa says:

    Thanks for the update on Bulgarian politics, much appreciated!

  72. charly says:

    “Gen. Radev will result in BG exit from NATO, Russian divisions entering Bulgaria, ”
    It is Bulgaria so is that seen as a bad thing?

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “The underlying agreement with Immigrants was if your family assimilated you would prosper and the ethnic conflicts of Europe would be washed away.”
    I think this is an eminently sensible and workable approach; anything else would only sow discord and malfeasance and hit one group against the other.

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