“Stopping Russia Starts in Syria” Anne-Marie Slaughter

"The US, together with as many countries as will cooperate, could use force to eliminate Syria’s fixed-wing aircraft as a first step toward enforcing Resolution 2139. “Aerial bombardment” would still likely continue via helicopter, but such a strike would announce immediately that the game has changed. After the strike, the US, France, and Britain should ask for the Security Council’s approval of the action taken, as they did after NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999. 

Equally important, shots fired by the US in Syria will echo loudly in Russia. The great irony is that Putin is now seeking to do in Ukraine exactly what Assad has done so successfully: portray a legitimate political opposition as a gang of thugs and terrorists, while relying on provocations and lies to turn non-violent protest into violent attacks that then justify an armed response."  Anne-Marie Slaughter


Slaughter? This woman is aptly named although I understand she experienced a name change somewhere along the way.  She took control of the "New America Foundation" last fall.  Now she is emeritus at Princeton.  You Princetonians can explain to me how a 55 year old woman can be emeritus.

Her basic idea is that the US should bomb Syria's fixed wing air force out of existence AND THEN go to the UN for approval.  She thinks that would start the ball rolling for a rebel victory in Syria and that all right thinking people should welcome that, especially I suppose the religious fanatics in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who are funding and more or less equipping the Islamist fighters.  The fanatic supporters would do more but they have always been organizationally challenged and usually will not listen to foreign hired help.

She also believes that this ferocity on our part would frighten the Russians into accepting our dictum everywhere.  My, my,  I have seen her occasionally on Zakariah's Sunday festival of mutual admiration.  I find her obvious self love and pomposity to be quite a "turn-off."  She always has a smug little smile and seems to me to suffer from always having been one of the pretty AND smart girls in the class, school, sorority, etc.  A lot of young men and a good many older ones as well cannot resist such creatures and find themselves nodding uncontrollably while saying in Bill Cosby's words, "I loves Mozart."

Her preposterous "proposal" should be seen as satire of actual strategic thought,  I am tempted to compare this to Dean Swift's "Modest Proposal…" but that would be giving her far too much credit.

She and all the other  R2P ladies and male hangers-on continue to see the world as a school yard where the naughty must be taught to do better by whatever means prove necessay.

This frame of mind betrays an inability to see other places and people as they are rather than how they can be described in a graduate school seminar. 

The Russians are damned tough people.  They will not be cowed.  They will simply be irritated and angered.

Her arrival at "New America…" undoubtedly indicates a new phase in her progress toward the Secretary of State's office or the chair of the National Security Adviser.

God help us all.  pl



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54 Responses to “Stopping Russia Starts in Syria” Anne-Marie Slaughter

  1. Alba Etie says:

    This could well be one of the cohorts that HRC takes to the Whitehouse should she run & win in 2016 . Sen Paul is looking better & better …

  2. Petrous says:

    Col. Lang
    Impeccable appraisal of the person and the policy she preaches. How do so many of these non-thinkers rise to the top occupying nearly every niche where foreign policy is made (using the term made loosely).!

  3. Fred says:

    I see the “New America Foundation” has a board of directors with a combined experience on active duty defending the United States of – Zero. I’m sure that’s equal to the number of times Ms. Slaughter asked anyone to enlist and risk their lives in defense of her principles. I’m sure they are all skilled in spitting out ‘thank you for your service’. Just the kind of woman for a “New America”, which apparently consists of just NYC and D.C. I defended the old one, which included places like Des Moines and Billings and every little Podunk town in the republic. Too bad these rich people don’t have the courage to go see what the rest of the United States is actually like.

  4. Castellio says:

    I read the article when it came out. I was blown away by its naivete.
    This paragraph, in particular, indicates both stunning moral immaturity and contemporary historical ignorance: “Putting force on the table in resolving the Ukraine crisis, even force used in Syria, is particularly important because economic pressure on Russia, as critical as it is in the Western portfolio of responses, can create a perverse incentive for Putin. As the Russian ruble falls and foreign investment dries up, the Russian population will become restive, giving him even more reason to distract them with patriotic spectacles welcoming still more “Russians” back to the motherland.””
    She clearly, I mean clearly, has not walked the many neighborhoods of any large Russian city and talked to people there. They came out of the 90’s (following the disastrous Yelstin years) needing a lot more than “patriotic speeches”, and they put their heads down and worked on it. It’s not just Putin rebuilding Russia, it’s a collective action, and they are succeeding at it in all fields.
    The Putin-Medvedev alliance is not decorative, it is not icing on a cake: its a functioning long term committment that represents different Russian interests in a collaborative relationship that has proven itself in practical ways. Nor is it shaken now.
    The Colonel calls the Russians a “damned tough” people. He is right. I would add, and I don’t do this thoughtlessly, and smart.
    Let me put the nub of the matter very simply, the nub of which Slaughter and the rest of the official intelligentsia of the US seem entirely clueless: the great majority of the Russian people admire Putin not due to any fantasies he weaves, but due to the conservative realism of his outlook.
    The US can fight Russian conservative realism if it insists; but its not to the advantage of either country, neither short term nor long term.

  5. Tyler says:

    That this woman is in charge of anything shows that we are a fundamentally unserious people.

  6. walrus says:

    There is a solution to this mess, but a full blown American Military coup to root out these animals is not likely. Oh for a Zhukov and Batitsjy.

  7. oofda says:

    Good comment, Castellio, on the economic issues. Remember that neither the USA nor the EU now have the ability nor the will to tackle Ukraine’s economic problems, which are indeed very deep.
    And Colonel, you have done a service in outlining this woman’s naïveté, which makes one wonder how she got to her position as head of the “New America Foundation” and becoming an emeritus at Princeon.
    She IS correct in saying that “shots fired in Syria will echo loudly in Moscow.” The problem is what will lead Moscow- and others to do. She really has not given that much thought.
    Note: Having seen her in the environs of DC, I am not to quick to ascribe her to membership in the “smart AND pretty girls in the class”.

  8. seydlitz89 says:

    Col. Lang-
    Amazing. How could we have ever gotten to this point? The country that represented the perspective/notion that won the Cold War . . . because in the end it was our vision that won it, in Prague, in Leipzig, in Warsaw, in Dresden, in Ost Berlin . . . Moscow . . .

  9. turcopolier says:

    She exhibits the syndrome. pl

  10. tv says:

    How about those college coeds playing at State Dept. “spokespersons” and diplomacy by tweet?

  11. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Alba Ebie wrote:
    ‘Sen Paul is looking better & better …’
    I guess you didn’t notice his little genuflecting in front of BiBi tour.
    Guy is all hat and no cattle.

  12. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Should we put Cliven Bundy in charge? Wasn’t he your ‘patriot of the week’ last week? Who is it going to be this week?

  13. JohnH says:

    Slaughter was not just a professor at the Woodrow Wilson school. She was the dean. She was responsible for training future generations of foreign policy bots.
    It’s how Washington’s delusion leaders perpetuate themselves…

  14. robt willmann says:

    Notice that Ms. Slaughter, a name probably not on her birth certificate, speaks of getting to Russia through zapping Syria, and does not mention an earlier reason to militarily attack Syria: to get to Iran through Syria. Not one word about Iran in her venomous little screed.
    She says, “In Ukraine, Putin would be happy to turn a peaceful opposition’s ouster of a corrupt government into a civil war”. So, snipers murdering both police and protesters which agitated and inflamed more violence in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government is “peaceful”? This woman is said to be a lawyer, but obviously one who has not been around a courtroom in the presence of a jury very much, if ever. If you tell blatant falsehoods like that to a jury, the six or twelve citizens of the community will deliver a verdict against you so emphatically your head will spin.
    She has also been involved in so-called “international law”, Wikipedia says. For the U.S. to bomb the Syrian Air Force, an act of war, and then after that is done go to the U.N. “security” council to try to get that extensive act of violence approved retroactively is “international law”? That would be a fun legal system, would it not?
    Hillary Clinton put her in the State Department as “Director of Policy Planning” in 2009. She returned to Princeton in 2011, because if she would be away longer she would lose her tenure status there. But never fear, she remains a “consultant” to the State Department.
    Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, unless she would have such an obvious medical condition that it would not likely be politically tolerated. Ms. Slaughter, an apt name indeed, will be standing nearby.

  15. Yours In Peace....R.L.Kirtley says:

    In My Rage, I Realize That My Education And 71 Years Of Living Still Do Not Give Me The Ability To Express My Utter Contempt For This Woman And Her Kind!…….”Where’s My Whiskey?”

  16. Tyler says:

    Go long rope, torches, and pitchforks.

  17. confusedponderer says:

    You’d probably have to massacre a whole lot of people whose primary crime would be to be for being unsuited for government. For effect, it would need to be as bad as Stalin’s purges.
    Except for their crime they are probably completely representatives for the average college and university educated upper class American.
    The problem is one of education, not one of individual people. As with America’s economic lunacies, this rot comes right out of US universities.
    If anything, the electorate is even less educated or interested in the rest of the world (ROW) and the ways of the world than Powers and her ilk. They, by and large, have shown little compunction whatsoever to subject people and places they can’t find on a map to aerial bombardment and use of military force in general.
    ROW, by the way, is a handy little acronym I first saw in a US publication two decades ago. It meant at the time everything not American and Russian.
    Powers can find these places and people on a map but that does little to dampen her enthusiasm to inflict violence to … do what?
    Rescue people by bombing them? Burning the village to save it? If she thinks that that massive bombardment plan for Syria cooked up for the White House would only hit Assad’s government she must be on opium. But, alas, just as with the Iraq sanctions, that’s be worth it? Because America has a responsibility to protect? Just with the regime changing in Ukraine and the colour coded trail that led there? Please.
    If it wasn’t for that fluke in Libya, which in its current outcome has clearly served nobody and for which I for the life of me still can’t find a rational rationale, this is about nothing but expanding US influence.
    I wonder who many of the nuts in the Obama team are disciples of Brezinski, and try to play on his Grand Chessboard. All these people, R2Pers, neo-liberals and neocons are American empire builders all the same. They differ only in flavour and which particular form of aggression or violence they want to employ for their utopian ends. And as Ms. Slaughter shows, the D hawks are every bit as rabid and bloodthirsty as the Cheneyites.
    Who was the last US president who didn’t kill half a million people at a minimum?

  18. Will says:

    After 60 years of Zionist propaganda most Americans believe Syria is the enemy. There has been a constant barrage of propaganda through the Mainstream media (the pressitude), film, TV, magazines, radio, entertainment- you name it.
    Witness this exchange on Facebook.
    YYYT So somebody explain it to me again why the secular regime in Syria is our enemy and the Al-Kaida flying club is our friend?
    Like · · Promote · Share
    XXXXX Cause they hate Americans
    54 minutes ago · LikeReply
    YYYY And what is your source? The Israeli controlled press. Have you ever met any Syrians?

  19. turcopolier says:

    “Who was the last US president who didn’t kill half a million people at a minimum?” It is unlike you to resort to hyperbole of this kind. pl

  20. William Herschel says:

    The thing that, to me, is truly impressive is the extent to which Ukraine has brought the CIA assets in the media, academia, etc. into the open. It’s like turning on the light in the kitchen and seeing the cockroaches scurrying for cover.
    Putin has turned their latest adventure on its ear. Naughty, naughty Putin.
    I have called all this win-win for the neo-con/CIA axis. Perhaps they don’t see it that way. Did Slaughter question Obama’s manhood?

  21. William Herschel says:

    One other thing. Apparently, the United States has a supply route through Russian for its forces in Afghanistan. I suspect that Putin would keep that open right up to the moment when those forces attacked Russia. He undoubtedly correctly perceives the adventure in Afghanistan as weakening the US, particularly given we are doing nothing there to interdict the opiate trade.

  22. charly says:

    It is not Zionist propaganda that makes Syria an enemy of the US. It is the US that did that completely on its own. Syria was one of the few capitalistic countries allied with the USSR and they did that before the US and Israel were really good buddies

  23. jon says:

    Slaughter’s recommendation is absurd and counterproductive. I’m sure that Putin sees no parallels between himself and Syria; Assad’s fate foes not threaten Putin in the least.
    If Assad was to fall, then Russia’s Syrian naval base might be at risk. If anything, that makes the seizure of the Crimea much more important. Russia might decide that it would be worth the costs to reinforce that position, and to ensure that the Ukraine remains a buffer between the West and Russia.
    The play for the US would be to assure Russia that its Syrian base was safe, if they stop destabilizing the Ukraine. From this you could negotiate a climb down from the Syrian civil war, and find a space for the rebels in future political life and a broadening of the government.
    Slaughter’s suggestion that the US seeks UN Security Council approval, following a bombing of Syria, is ridiculous. Neither Russia nor China would be likely to sign on to that.

  24. SamuelBurke says:

    Watching Tony Blair this morning is depressing as hell. Does anyone think these guys ought to get interrogated properly by someone in the Press. The narrative they pitch is ideologically driven and tries to fly in the face of the facts that have refuted almost every premise of their strategy. They just drag society along into these governances of theirs.
    Our Press sucks.

  25. William Herschel says:

    “The Press” are employees and servants of large organizations whose inner workings and agendas are not obvious or accessible to the public. That is what makes blogs so enormously important.
    Can anyone name the Foreign Affairs Editor of the New York Times? Does anyone know the first thing about him? I know from an article by their “Ombudswoman” that he vehemently defends the Times’ coverage of Ukraine.

  26. jamzo says:

    ms slaughter is firmly connected
    2002-2009..dean of the Woodrow Wilson School,
    2007-2008..visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Affairs.
    2009-2011.. Director of Policy Planning, US State Dept.
    first from wikipedia page on anne.marie slaughter
    “In late 2005, over 100 Princeton students and faculty signed an open letter to Slaughter and Princeton president Shirley Tilghman criticizing the University in general and the Woodrow Wilson School in particular of biasing selection of invited speakers in favor of those supportive of the Bush administration.[6] Slaughter responded to these claims by pointing to the dozens of public lectures by independent academics, journalists, and other analysts that the Wilson School hosts each academic year.[7] Others noted that, with Bush’s Republican Party controlling the Presidency and both houses of Congress, many of the most influential people in the federal government, and in the international relations apparatus in particular, were necessarily administration supporters. ”
    second from same wikipedia page
    “On January 23, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the appointment of Slaughter as the new Director of Policy Planning under the Obama administration.[1] Slaughter was the first woman to hold this position.
    At the State Department, Slaughter was chief architect of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review whose first iteration was released in December 2010.[9][10] The QDDR provided a blueprint for elevating development as a pillar of American foreign policy and leading through civilian power. Commenting upon the skepticism that often greets such reports, and reiterating Secretary Clinton’s strong desire that the QDDR become an essential part of the State Department policy process, Slaughter said: “I’m pretty sure you’re thinking, ‘I’ve heard this before,’ [a big plan to change the way a government agency works] But this is different.”[10] Slaughter received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for exceptional leadership and professional competence, the highest honor conferred by the State Department. She also received a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Agency for International Development for her outstanding contribution to development policy.
    In February 2011, at the conclusion of her two-year public service leave, Slaughter returned to Princeton University. She remains a consultant for the State Department.[11] She has written that she came “home not only because of Princeton’s rules (after two years of leave, you lose your tenure), but also because of my desire to be with my family and my conclusion that juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible.”[12]”

  27. Thomas says:

    The Neos have done nothing but lose for the past 13 years. Wealth and power from their backers has staved off their comeuppance, so far.
    The Ukie A team capture just goes to show the incompetence of the advisors let alone the Kievan Junta’s command quality.

  28. Tyler says:

    I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the kerfluffle about the sanctity of the hashtag statement from the State Department.

  29. Tyler says:

    I’ll have you know the Patriot of the Week vote is a sacred trust and not something I’ll disclose to the likes of you, thank you very much sirrah.

  30. Tyler says:

    The Chosen just won’t stop until we’re at war with the world again.
    Maybe they can charge the ashes interest.

  31. Tyler says:

    GCP’s ideal leader is a transgendered, biracial, pansexual, illegal alien reformist jew with a major in Muslim Skateboarding and Pre-Columbian Transgender Art.

  32. confusedponderer says:

    Yes, my apologies. I was quite grumpy this morning.
    But the death toll of US foreign policy of the last two decades is simply appalling.
    And as far as the US public is concerned, these deaths just happened, as if the US didn’t contribute anything to them.
    Worse than that alone, though hawkish policy may not work well (and arguably it hasn’t in the past), it is the sort of policy that works best at the ballot box, and in the US it is carried by a bipartisan consensus.

  33. Fred says:

    “The US, together with as many countries as will cooperate, could use force to eliminate Syria’s fixed-wing aircraft as a first step toward enforcing Resolution 2139. …. After the strike, the US, France, and Britain should ask for the Security Council’s approval of the action taken…”
    Just which members of the JCS does she think will go along with such a blatantly illegal order? I wonder what they think of all the ‘on to Moscow’ talk out of the intelligentsia?

  34. turcopolier says:

    Other than Dempsey I have no faith in them. My dad told me that “when you are tempted to trust a general officer remember how he became one.” He had served 32 years from trooper in the cavalry to lieutenant colonel. pl

  35. JohnH says:

    From the NY Times editorial board page bio of the Foreign Affairs editor:
    “Carol Giacomo, a former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington, covered foreign policy for the international wire service for more than two decades before joining The Times editorial board in August 2007. In her previous position, she traveled over 1 million miles to more than 100 countries with eight secretaries of state and various other senior U.S. officials.”
    Thoroughly embedded…

  36. Imagine says:

    Not going to happen. They’re ready for you.
    Remember the Agonizer device in Star Trek’s “Mirror, Mirror”? This is a truck-mounted version. Makes anyone who is not an infant and not physically constrained, drop whatever they’re doing and run away.
    What could possibly go wrong?
    A senior official decided not to deploy it in Iraq because “it might end up being used for torture” [by whom, unspecified]. Allegedly Sec. USAF Wynne wisely refused to deploy it on the battlefield, saying “to avoid vilification in the world press, it should be used on crowds in the US first.”[sic]
    to show their enthusiastic dream, this promo video demo’s long-range deployment against those pesky Peace Demonstrators:
    Cheney would be proud.
    just remember, what can be done for you, can be done to you.

  37. The Twisted Genius says:

    An old master sergeant told me pretty much the same thing when I was a young lieutenant in the 25th Division. Nevertheless, I had great admiration for Arthur E. Brown who got his first star as ADC for maneuver. I spoke with him at least weekly when I ran the RECONDO School. He was also one of the first to visit me at Tripler AMC after I decided to take a 200 foot helo rappel with a 150 foot rope. I had a lot of faith in him. General Willard Scott, the Division Commander, was no slouch either. I have fond memories of those hollow Army days.

  38. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    A while back I too posted something regarding Sen. Paul in this vein, but it was at the end of a long, and likely dead thread. I repost my comment below:
    A bit off-thread, perhaps, but not very much so should one be interested in seeing an alteration in the dynamic between Israel and the US.
    I have noted several posters seemingly of the opinion that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky might be a change agent in this regard. But before putting down too much weight on that foot, you might wish to read and reflect upon this:
    Well, one might say, this was a position articulated in the heat of a campaign, and things get said in that context that often later fall by the wayside. Frankly, I don’t see this as anything other than obeisance, and heartfelt obeisance at that, to the interests of the Lobby. Consider this, too; in our current political system, with campaigning being a perennial state, particularly in the Senate where a) monetary requirements are enormous for electioneering, and b) where treaties (or in the case of Israel, sub rosa understandings functionally equivalent to treaties) are validated, this position is likely one that is considered and final.
    It would be a cardinal mistake to confuse the views of Rand Paul with those of his father, Ron Paul, merely because occasional flickers of libertarianism appear in Rand Paul’s words.
    Remember what we got when the nation swallowed the enticing “Hope & Change” meme. Combine the link in my prior post with the more recent one from Gulf Coast Pirate to inject a cautionary note, and then stop, look, listen. It gets real costly after the election when due diligence beforehand is not done.

  39. turcopolier says:

    There are exceptions but not many. Mostly they should have been Walmart managers. pl

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Why does not the German Government oppose vigorously such turns of events?
    Can Germany say “no”?
    If not, why have elections in Germany; would it not be more efficient to have a pro-consul rule Germany – appointed by US?
    In what manner is Germany a sovereign state?

  41. DC says:

    I haven’t followed the New American Foundation for many years, but around 2001-02 or so I was very impressed with the pragmatic style of Steve Clemons, who ran the blog The Washington Note and seemed (to be the outside observer) to be a spokesperson for the organization. Then, I was impressed with Clemons’s principled opposition to the wars in general, and the neoconservative movement in particular. Now, reading Slaughter, one would assume NAF has become yet another neocon mouthpiece in support of loony and expensive global positions. Steve must have gotten his butt kicked. I took a look at his bio and gathered he’s been significantly marginalized since the heyday of the early millenium. NAF used to have some really stimulating roundables, nonpartisan and diverse it its composition (which I enjoyed); but assuredly not any more. Thanks for pointing out that biased hacks are back at ruling the roost.

  42. Tyler says:

    A hyper tech gizmo that’s asking to be the target of concentrated small arms fire. I’m not concerned.

  43. Joe100 says:

    Col Lang –
    What about General Abrams? My father, who worked briefly for Abrams when he took over MAC-V, was not much of a fan of many of the flag rank around him, but as I recall spoke quite fondly of Abrams.

  44. turcopolier says:

    Abrams was an exception. pl

  45. turcopolier says:

    I heard Abrams discuss the poor leadership of many officers when I was a student at the Armed Forces Staff College just after VN. He was CoS then. He said that the morale situation then was so bad that the glass covering the portraits of former chiefs of staff that hung in a pentagon corridor was covered with dried spittle. He said that he was going to conduct himself in such a way that he could hope that soldiers would not want to spit on his portrait. pl

  46. Thanks PL for this posting and interesting comments!

  47. fanto says:

    “In what manner is Germany a sovereign state?”
    – Babak, Germany is not sovereign state since there is no peace treaty after WW2; there are some secret clauses that – according to musings in the blogs – there are red lines for any german chancellor which he/she has to sign under before taking the oath of office

  48. Ryan says:

    You may not be able to laugh at the stupidity at the State Dept., but you can laugh at this:

  49. Tyler says:

    Thank you, I needed that.

  50. YT says:

    RE: I find her obvious self love and pomposity to be quite a “turn-off”. She always has a smug little smile and seems to me to suffer from always having been one of the pretty AND smart girls in the class, school, sorority, etc. A lot of young men and a good many older ones as well cannot resist such creatures
    Thru-out her existence on this Rock, she had the enormous Fortune to avoid chancing upon Demons the likes of yours truly or Col. Lang…

  51. YT says:

    “It is of course true that saddam is a tyrant (his model, by the way, is obviously stalin, not hitler).
    So what?
    Mesopotamia has been ruled by tyrants since before history began, and it will be ruled by tyrants long after North America is once again tribal territories.
    The last President who tried to export democracy on American bayonets was woodrow wilson.
    That’s one of the reasons he counts as America’s worst President, ever.
    Very few people, in America or the rest of the world, wish to see us revive the practice.”
    Bill Lind
    Jan. 28th ’03

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