"As for the clincher about Trump being a Moscow run Manchurian candidate, I would suggest that Morell might have been a top analyst at the Agency but he never acquired or ran an actual spy in his life so his comments about The Donald having been recruited by Putin should be taken for what they are worth, which is precisely nothing. Indeed, as I have noted, calling someone an “unwitting agent” is itself meaningless as it implies being somehow recruited to engage in espionage but without realizing it and without being actually called upon to do anything. I would doubt that many real CIA Operations Officers would agree with Morell’s glib assessment or use such an expression. Trump for all his failings is presumably patriotic and no fool. He just might understand that dealing with a powerful foreign leader who is not completely to one’s liking just might be better than nuclear war. Perhaps Morell and Clinton should consider that option.
Michael Morell is, in fact, a product of Washington groupthink and a major beneficiary of Establishment politics, the very tradition that Hillary Clinton represents." Phil Geraldi
Geraldi is a friend and I assure you that, unlike Morell, he has recruited and run many foreign assets (agents).
The most recent film production of Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is a very nearly perfect depiction of the result of the process by which political creatures like the character Percy Alleline and jumped up pretty boy types in expensive suits like Morell rise to run once mighty agencies of the secret information trade.
The vicious but smooth people who rise in such circumstances are always present in every large organization but in the intelligence business more is at stake than money. The IC sometimes fails? Yes, it does and when that happens the cause is often the "leadership" of people like Tenet and Morell.
I expect that Morell will be right at the top in the first H. Clinton Administration. pl
Michael Morell was interviewed last night on Charlie Rose. My take away: He really
wants Assad gone & thinks this can be done while preserving Syria’s basic institutions. He wants Russia & Iran to pay a big price for propping up Assad.
He wants to destroy everything Assad owns & only stops short of assassination.
Apparently he surmises anyone not on board with his ideas is motivated by fear of
“the browning of America”, which he appears to be most proud. I thought he was a little scary, maybe real scary & too pie-in-the sky for me. My personal suggestion:
His whiteness do a tour of grunt duty in the region.
The guy is a psychopath and a moron.
He wants to kill Russians and Iranians in Syria to “make them pay a price”? And those people can’t pay back?
He wants to kill Assad’s guards and destroy his plane and helicopter (Assad doesn’t have such) to teach him a lesson and to seek a political compromise?
If he would know anything about people he would know that Assad would not and can not “seek a compromise” (=giving Syria to Jihadis) because of attacks on his surroundings (like the attack on his inner circle in 2012). It is a sign of primitive and racist thinking to suggest the otherwise.
How could they let such a guy to the top of the CIA?
I described the process. pl
If you think that’s stupid, he was only warming up:
‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton?
“We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria, we need to make the Russians pay a price,” he continued.
When asked if that meant killing Russians and Iranians, Morell fully agreed, qualifying the answer with “covertly.”
“Tell the world about it, right?” he went on. “You don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this,’ but you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”
I remember a retired employee of MI6 saying it was bad practice to kill members of opposing intelligence services because it made the members of your service too vulnerable.
The man has no experience in the field and was never trained for it. He is a “silly savage” typical of the “perfumed princes” of the court as Hackworth called them. pl
now you see it:
now you don’t
Now that he is “prostituting” himself to be in HRC’s cabinet.
I guess we will see covert CIA killings like in South America using “contractors”
Guys like this dude is why the Borg Queen needs to be defeated in November. Nothing else really matters. We can’t afford under any circumstance an administration that will escalate a conflict with Russia into a nuclear exchange. The Borg Queen brings far too much risk in creating situations that lead to nukes. She can’t be trusted with the button.
Clinton’s emails: “…the risk of the names of CIA personnel being revealed in this way is “theoretical and probably remains so at this time.” Clinton has endangered the lives of the CIA agents; some informants perhaps paid with their lives for Madame Secretary conveniences. Sounds like a treason. The sycophantic Morell is particularly disgusting because he should know the drill.
Along with Clinton, Morell was one of the most vicious accusers of Edward Snowden: http://www.inquisitr.com/3280941/edward-snowden-reacts-to-fbi-recommendation-that-hillary-clinton-should-not-be-charged/
“My take away: He really wants Assad gone & thinks this can be done while preserving Syria’s basic institutions. He wants Russia & Iran to pay a big price for propping up Assad.”
Our generous tolerance of leaders, elected and appointed, acting stupidly grows steadily and is now a fact of Washington life. But now we have moved beyond that in allowing senior Intelligence officials and Generals on active duty to shoot their mouths off on sensitive matters of national policy at will. I am aware that Morrell is ‘EX’; however, Brennan and his predecessors have done the same. Not to speak of Petraeus, McChrystal, Breedlove, et al. This strikes me as exceedingly dangerous practice. Obama’s timidity emboldened many to violate every boundary that used to be sacrosanct. As a consequence, new norms have been established that will make it doubly difficult for any President to restore the sane status quo ante – most certainly not the two current aspirants.
After reading both Geraldi and Col. Lang’s Artists vs Bureaucrats I went to my files to find my fallout maps to re-check how far my cabin is from significant radiation plumes. [Note to self: get the maps updated.] Wonder what the shelf life of MREs is? … Then next time I’m up, check the lining of my cistern, lay in a truckload of furnace coal and fill the woodshed with seasoned maple. And I’m not being snarky or facetious.
Morell’s performance on Rose’s show was flat out bizarre – and so far no one I’ve seen in MSM has evinced any understanding what the actions he proposes imply. If, as seems likely, Morell and his ilk will form Hillary’s inner circle we’d best all check our worst-case arrangements.
“Trump for all his failings is presumably patriotic and no fool.”
Not a fan of either Hillary or Morell, but this assumes facts not in evidence.
“The man has no experience in the field and was never trained for it. He is a “silly savage” typical of the “perfumed princes” of the court as Hackworth called them. pl”
It seems these days that’s most all we have, eh?
The devolution of political process sort of leads that way.
I’m no randian by any means, but there are always kernels of truth to be found
in odd places and one analysis of what went on in “Atlas Shrugged” was the following quote…
“aristocracy of pull: a new group of powerful men who have reached their status not by means of talent or initiative, but by means of political connections.”
Sooo, Kerry, HRC, and so many others, not to mention what you, Colonel, referred to as “The Children’s Crusade”. Think Samantha Power. Where do these people come from? Is there some academy where non critical thinking is taught?
I am profoundly discouraged and pessimistic about all this and have the sense we are going to come a cropper before it all ends…
There is an unclosed b (bold) html tag probably just before “Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad” so please delete it The i html tags look ok though.
Please delete this comment – I don’t have an email address so only way to communicate
In election years like this this kind of behavior is fully expected and normal with behind sniffers like this guy. He simply believes Hilly&Billy will win and he is doing everything to land a job with HillyBilly admin. 50 other old never been wrong Repos just wrote an open letter to us the Americans begging us not to vote for Trump since unlike them and Hilly, he will make mistakes. X CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden was on Clintion News and was telling Wolf B. We are asking not to vote for Trump but that doesn’t mean we are supporting Hillary!!! I guess Wolffy forgot to ask the General if in that case the good general is going to vote for Jill Stien.
This is off topic, but there is interesting development re the battle for Aleppo: hhttp://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950518001118
“… the warships of the western states, specially the US, deployed in the Mediterranean Sea send intelligence to Jeish al-Fatah militants in Syria.”
“The vicious but smooth people who rise …” I have had to work with a few in private industry and suffer under a few in academia.
There are CIA staff – US civil service people, and then there are foreign agents of the CIA, recruited foreign citizen assets. These last are not US citizens and are not US government employees. They are expendable like rounds of ammunition. Do you understand the difference? It is a critical difference. This difference exists in ALL intelligence services worthy of the name. pl
While I agree completely with the assessment of Morrell, it begs the question of who is in Trump’s camp as possible candidates for the Intelligence jobs in a Trump Administration. I’ve looked around and beside General Flynn, I can’t find any possibilities.
Trump is not going to win and so the issue is unimportant. pl
All… In case you want to view the Morell appearance on Charlie Rose here’s the link… I was able to download it, all 405mb, and you may be able to too (I have a need to store such things away as exemplars of our time.)
Morell wants to create a “desert” and call it peace.
Northern Alliance members equivalent ? Dearlove, Scarlett, in France, Germany, Italy cf Snowden revelations.
I remember one of the charges leveled at Cheney and Libby was the “politisation ” of the IC (culturally and administratively). Doesn’t the IC, by allowing the Flynns and Morells of their milieu, making such unguarded remarks in a politically charged environment degrade their community to further “politisation” ?
Flynn has said some pretty hairy things re Syria. And he was touted as a Trump Nat. Sec. Adviser/ VP nominee.
(Actually I checked, he’s with Trump and the majority of SSTers re Russia…….)
The Borg exists everywhere even in the IC.
Hans: This is from 2014
I believe Gilbert & Sullivan described Morell and his ilk to a T in the “HMS Pinafore”- “Stick to your desks and never to to sea, and you may be Ruler of Queen’s Navy!” Somehow there is a rule of bureaucracies that too ofte those who have minimal experience in the field get to the top.
Re: “and so far no one I’ve seen in MSM has evinced any understanding what the actions he proposes imply.”
I wonder if the good Morell understands what the actions he proposes imply. IMO these folks are all betting that Putin is going to blink at some point. They have never experienced an adversary who will hit back hard, nor had to face any personal accountability. Things might change this time around; the reports of the Putin-tayyip meeting are interesting.
BTW, in addition to the tasks you describe, perhaps you should check the manufacture date of your ammo, and add a couple cases of re-loadable .308(if you can find them) just in case. Useful stuff.
I’m so old I can remember when a presidential candidate who was criticized by a top CIA buffoon would have been cheered by liberals.
Speaking of “Washington groupthink…”
Then you’d better brace yourself for the great unwinding. The breakdown will get nasty, quick, as it feeds on itself (The Trigger Effect). When mega-titan multi-billionaires like Carl Icahn say– as he did on CNBC today– that it is “extremely important for this country that Trump wins”, I think it’d be a good idea to pay attention. Or when the late Barton Biggs (d. 2012), chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley and Wall Street legend, advised in his book “Wealth, War and Wisdom” (Wiley, 2008) in his outlook for the economic future, that people should consider moving to less populous areas with arable land and “assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure”, that you factor this into your thinking.
Off topic maybe but things sometimes get out of hand: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-turkistan-islamic-party-fighters-in.html
Apparently Salafism is being exported to Central Asia with some degree of success. Soon we will have Asian-looking Jihadists committing Paris-, Brussel-, Nice-, Charleroi-, San Bernardino- and Orlando-like attacks.
Thank you, House of Al Saud.
One of the signs of a decaying civilization is a marked turn of elite behavior toward decadence,impulsivity, hubris, and generally pathological behaviour. Viewed through this lens, offshoring the jobs of the working class and describing the death of 500 thousand Iraqi kids as ‘worth it’ derives from the same poisoned chalice.
Those of us outside the US (even conservatives such as myself) thought at the very least a ‘liberal’ president such as Obama presented himself to be would at the very least introduce an equilibrium to the way the US conceived of politics in the post-Soviet world. This has proved to be false. Indeed, Obama has demonstrated that there is direct correspondence between liberalism as a theory (from Hobbes to Rawls) and a permanent policy of global dissolution and destruction.
“So long as western people imagine that there only exists a single type of humanity, that there is only one ‘civilization’, at different stages of development, no mutual understanding will be possible. The truth is that there are many civilizations, developing along very different lines, and that, among these, that of the modern West is strangely exceptional, as some of its characteristics show.
But most extraordinary of all is perhaps the claim to set up this abnormal civilization as the very type of all civilization, to regard it as ‘the civilization’ par excellence, and even as the only one that deserves the name.
Extraordinary too -and also complementary to this illusion- is the belief in ‘progress’, considered no less absolutely, and naturally identified -at heart- with this material development that absorbs the entire activity of the modern West.
It’s curious to note how promptly and successfully certain ideas come to spread and impose themselves, provided of course that they correspond to the general tendencies of the particular environment and epoch; it is so with these ideas of ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’, which so many people willingly believe universal and necessary, whereas in reality they have been quite recently invented, and even today, three quarters of mankind persist either in being ignorant of them or in considering them quite negligible.
Moreover we cannot help noticing that, like all propagandists, the apostles of tolerance, truth to tell, are very often the most intolerant of men [Most Western leaders]. This is what has in fact happened, and it is strangely ironical : those who wished to overthrow all dogma have created for their own use, we will not say a new dogma, but a caricature of dogma, which they have succeeded in imposing on the western world in general; in this way there have been established, under the pretext of “freedom of thought,” the most chimerical beliefs that have ever been seen at any time, under the form of these different idols, of which we have just singled out some of the more important.” – René Guénon
“that you factor this into your thinking” Isn’t it clear that I have? pl
As you know, one must spend a lot of time at Hqs, if one wishes to go to the top. pl
I was depressed when I read your definitive statement– about Trump not winning– given your reputation of making spot on prognostications.
It’s unreal the forces against Trump. WP/NYT/CNN/ et al. is 24/7 calumny against Trump. Yesterday China was again attacking Trump. We’ve had over two dozen leaders of countries attacking Trump (Hollande last week). British Parliament voted on weather to ban Trump from the UK. The globalist elites have reached psychotic levels in opposing Trump. And what makes it all so disturbing is that what Trump has suggested is not outrageous. Stop illegal immigration. Put a moratorium on immigration from countries with a lot of jihadi activity. Bring back manufacturing to the U.S. and make trade advantageous to the U.S. Reassess the role of NATO. Stop starting neocon wars and end regime-change nonsense. Cooperate and get along with Russia. Revise the tax policy to make it hospitable for business growth.
My “prognostication” is not the result of any warmth I feel for HC. I simply think that the weight of the forces acting against him is such that his chance of election is small and declining. His own entrepreneurial business way of acting and speaking adds to that. IMO only some deus ex machina launched from inside HC or at HC by WikiLeaks is likely to change the direction this election is trending. pl
A report of the ‘Charlie Rose’ interview on the left-wing Canadian site ‘Global Research’ includes transcripts of extensive amounts of it.
(See http://www.globalresearch.ca/has-the-cias-plot-to-covertly-kill-russians-in-syria-come-to-pass/5540330 .)
With reference to the suggestion that the U.S. should go about killing Russians and Iranians ‘covertly’, which ‘Ghostship’ quoted.
Questioning Morrell about the supply of weapons to the ‘moderate opposition’ (LOL!) in pursuit of this strategy, Rose asks: ‘What is it they want that they don’t have?’ And Morrell answers: ‘ You know, Dave Petraeus could tell you exactly what they want.’
Is this man crazy? If they ‘know it’ in Moscow that the CIA is funnelling arms to jihadists with the intention of killing them – or even if they don’t, and want to spread disinformation to the effect that jihadist terrorism is all really an American plot – all they have to do when their people are killed is link to Morrell’s interview.
What this imbecile appears to believe is that the old ‘Cold War’ narratives are immutable. They are not. He really is courting a dramatic reversal, ending up with something like this:
‘As Putin’s brave boys flew in low to attack the jihadists, they were shot out of the sky by ToW missiles supplied by the Saudis … with the connivance of General Petraeus (how much did the Saudis pay him?) And they were doing “high-fives” in the CIA and State Department.’
Col: It is a funny thing. Every election is a change election. But when any real change is proposed people don’t like it. Wasn’t 2008 the Hope and Change election?
Your “prognostication” would seem to be product of the thought process of a professional intelligence officer- which you were for so many years. Access the facts without slanting them, and dispassionately provide the results.
And to FrancisF- Trump has indeed, expressed outrageous suggestions; among them, allowing Japan, the ROK, and Saudi Arabia to have nuclear weapons, suggesting that the United States use nuclear weapons, ordering the U.S. military to commit war crimes, and finally advocating the assassination of the elected President of the United States. And there are more. Those are serious enough to question his competency and are beyond outrageous.
The signals being sent about what is planned for Assad as soon as Clinton takes power are clear. Morell is just the latest to broadcast this shock and awe agenda to the public and more importantly to Putin and the Iranians.
Obama is trying to pad his legacy by offering Putin one final chance to help end this part of the Syrian conflict by easing Assad out with a transition government agreement that the rebels can accept and there is only a short timeframe left to get this done. The Clintonite transition has already begun and her minions are already widely spread throughout the government and because many of the most hawkish neocons are in her camp there will be little if any resistance to this new Syria policy.
These Clintonites may seem somewhat deranged and they are but they know that Putin is not going to risk the total destruction of Russia to protect Assad and a few foreign bases. There may be some instances of resistance by Russian forces but I doubt they will escalate beyond loud voices and public condemnation.
They have no judgment.
I share your sentiment. We face only one existential threat. And that is climbing the escalation ladder with Russia to a nuclear exchange. The risk of that threat rises dramatically if the Borg Queen gets elected. Not only will the ziocons return back to power they’ll be coming back with a vengeance. It will not be very long until their “Assad must go” program gets launched, coupled with renewed escalation in Ukraine. Putin will be put to the test as he’ll be dealing with a completely irrational US administration oblivious about actual risks as they have drunk so deeply the kool-aid of American Exceptionalism. We’ll move towards a more virulent Cold War unlike the earlier one which brought us to the brink as reflected in the writings of William Polk who had a ringside seat.
Col. Lang is correct. Never have we seen in recent memory when all the forces of incumbent power are arrayed against a presidential candidate. It is unprecedented when the big money and the establishments of both major parties are unified in their vilification of a candidate. And the major media are actively campaigning against a candidate. That is all the resources of the most powerful forces in our society pulling out all the stops to destroy Trump. They’ll stop at nothing including rigging the election if they can.
In re accessing information, I am trying to figure out the Syria/Russia/Iran/Turkey phenomenon but don’ have enough data yet. pl
Thank you .
This was also mentioned in the last two weeks (IIRC) on some of the Twitter accounts of Leith Abou Fadel( Al-Masdar news) and Hassan Ridha. They are good sources of what is happening in Syria/Iraq.
It was inevitable; the decay of Soviet institutions, repression of political dissent, and the absence of any alternatives.
Putin knows all of these, I should think, and thus his farsighted policies in Syria, in Iran, and even in Turkey where he is not permitting rancor to stand in the way of strategic interests of the Russian Federation.
Things would get ugly when, in due course, Arab pirates re-infest the Mediterranean Sea. It is only a matter of time; in my view.
We’ve had over two dozen leaders of countries attacking Trump (Hollande last week)
The issue of scale matters her. Hollande is a prick and coward and, realistically, a geopolitical midget. It is one thing to be assaulted by China (she matters, a great deal), totally another by some second derivative. Russia, on the other hand, tacitly supports Trump.
Yes, the neocons have decided that if they keep increasing the pressure on Russia they will eventually back down. But at some point that will not be the case. You can only retreat so far, and at some point a line must be drawn. I reckon we are pretty close to that line.
The Russians are planning a permanent presence in Syria:
PeterM: Risk “the total destruction of Russia to protect Assad”?
Have you actually read the Colonel’s posts about Russia’s nuclear deterrent? This “increase the pain until Russia gives up” strategy requires Russian cooperation with their own humiliation.
PeteM: Sorry, but I meant to address my comment to the Clintonites, not you.
A side issue, but IMO the relatively crude and in some instances poorly cast and oddly re-jiggered (Guilliam is now gay?) film version of “TTSS” is nowhere near the more expansive and readily available 1979 BBC-TV version, with Alec Guinness as Smiley and a similarly flawless cast all the way down. The TV Alleline (Michael Aldridge) is a superb empty-headed stuffed shirt, and Bernard Hepton, for another, is Toby Esterhase to the life. Further, the TV version benefited from having much more space to work with.
Putin will be put to the test as he’ll be dealing with a completely irrational US administration oblivious about actual risks as they have drunk so deeply the kool-aid of American Exceptionalism.
Large part of this exceptionalism is based on a belief in the ability of NATO to win combined arms conventional war near Russia’s border. On the theater such as Ukraine. Obviously the realities of this conventional war are beyond the grasp of current US “elites”. I omit here a possible escalation towards nuclear threshold (that is a separate topic in itself) but Russia, actually, is prepared to fight conventionally, it is just that such people like Morell didn’t get the memo. As I stated not for once that I am more worried about US escalating to nuclear than about Russia. There are number of reasons for that.
Despite of 911,Iraq , Afghanistan , etc. they deeply believe and don’t want to let go of the”end of history” BS. Well IMO the world can’t wait for them to join it.
I prefer the recent film. Gary Oldman makes a marvelous Smiley IMO. I would agree that making Guillam queer (evidently a recently rehabilitated term as in LGBTQ) was a dumb thing to do and I am surprised that LeCarre who was a producer for the film allowed it. In “Smiley’s People” Guillem is station commander in Paris with a French wife and new baby. One of the odd things in the film was the peculiar architecture of the Circus with a building within a building. pl
It really is very useful to have someone like ‘PeteM’ commenting on this site. Otherwise one might forget how stupid the ‘Brezhnevite Borgists’ actually are (not that it is was easy to retain any shreds of illusions, after the Morrell interview.)
For ‘long-in-the-tooth’ Europeans like me, the events of August 1914 echo on.
The world then was fully of people who believed that the ‘knew’ how their adversaries would react.
Scott Adams who forecast Trump’s nomination last summer, believes like you that only a “deux ex machina” can prevent the victory of the Borg Queen in November.
“They have never experienced an adversary who will hit back hard, nor had to face any personal accountability.”
This, I believe, is an underappreciated factor in why these people (Washington creatures and their ilk) behave like they do. In my experience with the species, it’s apparent that very few of them have ever played any sport at a highly competitive level, thus learning the sting and humility of defeat and the fleeting thrill of real victory, and they certainly have never faced life-and-death scenarios in combat, as the Col. and some of the commentators on this committee have. At very least, I doubt many, if any at all, have had their asses kicked in a simple fist fight, especially one which they started. To have that experience is to gain a lifetime’s worth of humility in a few minutes.
I believe lack of such experiences contributes mightily to the “school-yard” mentality that they bring to adulthood and politics, something that the Col. has described here before, in reference to the Children’s Crusade (Powers, et al.), and their mad desire to confront perceived “bullies” now that they have an actual army at their disposal. Yes, the country is run by petulant children. God help us all.
In 1991, the Peace of Yalta died.
By 1914, the Peace of Vienna had died.
By 2008, the economic foundations of the post WWII died as well.
By 1899, the economic arrangements of Europe had become dysfunctional.
We are not metaphorically in the pre-1914 world, rather, we are in an analogous situation.
I do not think they are intellectuals at all, I doubt that they care one whit about the arguments of Francis Fukuyama – I doubt that they even read.
Rather, I think, they are informed by the Ethos of the Godfather movies – they live in that world: “Make them an offer that they cannot refuse” and, like (Lost) Children, they expect to win at Zero-Costs to themselves.
It is liked what Zarif said a few months ago; “Gentlemen, we are not going to commit suicide to convenience you.”
I do not think this is specifically a US issue, it seems to be (NATO) alliance-wide.
As you probably know, I have, over the years, paid more than customary and normal attention to the situation of the so-called Iranian Nuclear file.
And what has always astonished me over the years, has been the depth of animus against Iran (and secondarily Shia) by the Europeans.
I could understand the animus of Americans, but for the life of me, I could not that of the Europeans – from the leaders down.
IMO, with the ziocons firmly in place in the Borg Queen’s administration we’ll have the perfect Dr. Strangelove situation for a miscalculation. David Habakkuk is spot on – the probability of the errors in judgment that was seen in 1914 rise significantly when the Borg Queen gets crowned as Imperator. There is a belief among the national security apparatchiks of the ziocon ilk that only if they can apply more force everything and everyone will bend to their hegemony. That is an immense flaw in their judgment.
The notion that analysts should refrain from speculation in the absence of adequate data is refreshingly retro.
Having said that, I’ll pass along some speculation from an admittedly uninformed source: the meeting was intended to insulate the clear divergence of interest/policy over Syria from long-term Russo-Turkey relations in the light of the two countries analogous strategic concerns arising from their alienation from the U.S. and Western security arrangements. Will it prove feasible? Speculations awaited.
Perfectly put, thank you, I had never expected this level of unity in Borg against a major party candidate. My observation was that in past they always were able to vet the(ier)candidates on both parties, before nomination. To me, the fact that this time they were not able to do so, is a sign of loosing thier total grip,to hold on power ? Hope so, for sake of all.
There is a possible “out” for Clinton – if not the ‘Clintonites.” If ISIL is rolled back to the point where Washington can declare success, that could provide political cover for temporizing on Syria.
That is, allow the ‘dynamic stalemate” to continue – thereby also satisfying Erdogan who could continue to back al-Nusra and friends while leaving ISIS pretty much to its fate. (And accept the increased risk of ISIS terrorist acts in Turkey as a consequence). Russia would be stymied and frustrated by the inability to mobilize enough force to overcome the significant reinforcement of men and equipment coming from, and through, Turkey.
Colonel your wish MAY just come true.
“Newly released Clinton emails shed light on relationship between State Dept. and Clinton Foundation.”
“No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts and Congress,” he said in a press release. “They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.”
In reply to David Habakkuk 10 August 2016 at 12:37 PM
No doubt SmoothieX12 can give you better information, and I, after all, am only a sample of one.
That being said there’s another similiarity to 1914 and that’s the amount of mindless flag-waving. Do you remember those old jerky newswreels of crowds in front of various royal residences going berserk with joy at the prospect of war?
One thing which is dissimilar is that I believe the Russian populace has a very clear idea of how appalling modern war is. I also think that in general Russians are very patriotic in a quiet “let’s get on with it” sort of way. In other words they’re both patriotic and aware in a way rarely now found in the West.
Furthermore based on my last trips to Russia (Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Volgograd (what used to be Stalingrad)) there’s a signifcant body of public opinion that believe war is inevitable and that Putin is in fact restraining them. Granted I’m a statistical sample of one and granted it was a few months ago but I did get meet a fairly large cross-section of people and my impression is that many in Russian believe war is inevitable. My further impression is that Putin is a moderating influence.
Final thought, and an unwelcome one for a Dane such as myself, no doubth you’re aware that pretty much the entire Baltic fleet’s command level officer corps was dismissed recently. It occurs to me that so drastic a shake-up is a further sign that the old ways and old days are gone. The Russian government as whole, not just Putin, is determined that its forces in the Baltic are to be well and truly _ready_.
Babak thank you for your comment, perhaps you believe europeans have more FP sovereignty, then I believe. Many years back I heard from a diplomat married to an Iranian that they were getting direct detailed instructions from US on what and how to negotiations on nuclear case back in early days.
I think I did not articulate myself well; the personal animus of Europeans astonished me – and still does.
The French, the Germans, the Austrians, the Hungarians, the English, the Italians, the Romanians all have experienced that; it is making no difference.
Many years ago, I used to listen to the LP of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, with an old lady who I had come to know as a student.
In August 1914, she had been a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and sung some of euphoric songs current then.
In 1917, she married a sergeant back on leave from France.
Another more casual contact from my student years was a Germanist, a Jewish refugee who had made it over from Prague just before the outbreak of war.
I vividly remember a claw of a hand, with two missing fingers, clutched around a pipe – a legacy of a very narrow escape when serving as ‘tail end Charlie’ in a Wellington bomber of no 311 squadron, the Czech bomber squadron in the RAF, flying against U-boats in the Atlantic.
As a result of that contact I later tried to make some sense of ‘The Last Days of Mankind’, the great drama of the First World War written by the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus.
When in a programme I and a colleague produced back in 1986 we had Richard Perle on a satellite link from Washington, he seemed to me like some monstrous apparition out of that drama: a pasty-faced civilian militarist, all too happy to send other people’s children to fight in wars in which they had no intention that either they or their families should participate.
Reading the transcript of the Morrell interview, again I feel this could be something out of Kraus.
These people are purely and simply evil.
IMO, with the ziocons firmly in place in the Borg Queen’s administration we’ll have the perfect Dr. Strangelove situation for a miscalculation.
It is August, Olympics are in full swing and, unlike Colonel, I see a dire necessity for HRC to have an insurance with “We’re all Ukrainians now”. First attempt was yesterday at one of the check points in Crimea. This is just the start. Another matter that, unlike 2008, Russian Armed Forces do not need to demonstrate its capabilities as it was in 2008. This is the main difference with 2008. But war on Russia’s border is desperately needed and, sure as hell, all means will be used to initiate one. Today’s Putin warning, however, was pretty straight forward.
If this is all that easy I wonder why they didn’t do “risk a total war with Iran and Russia” before?
oops, sorry, my bad… here’s the right link
Granted I’m a statistical sample of one and granted it was a few months ago but I did get meet a fairly large cross-section of people and my impression is that many in Russian believe war is inevitable. My further impression is that Putin is a moderating influence.
You are a very astute statistical sample–sure as hell on the order of magnitude better than any collection of Western media “strategists” and pollsters. Your observations are absolutely correct. In fact, majority of Russians, including those in Moscow, accepted the fact that the war is inevitable. In large part it is built around a very different perspective on US trajectory as a state. I would say that this (Russian) perspective has merit. It is also correct that Putin is both moderating influence and a big time buyer of the time for Russia. I, however, wouldn’t read too much in Baltic Fleet’s Command removal–it is in general an attempt to deal with both incompetence and corruption at the top military-political levels. Consider recent “resignation” of Belyaminov as main customs officer of Russia plus arrests in the very top of Russia’s Investigative Committee–all no less (if not more) resonance cases than Baltic Fleet’s “purges”. One thing, however, in all that should not be lost here–unlike in Cold War 1.0, the events in Ukraine, for the first time, saw blood of civilian Russo-phones and ethnic Russian in Ukraine–this is a dramatic departure from what used to be a military-intelligence only issues. In other words, Russians saw themselves killed and there is no doubt whatsoever in Russia who is behind that. This is a change in paradigm. While there is no hostile attitude towards Americans in Russia (in fact, some large Russian cities have vibrant American diaspora), the hatred towards US as a state (government) is palpable. In other words–West in general has committed a cultural suicide in Russia.
As per this:
One thing which is dissimilar is that I believe the Russian populace has a very clear idea of how appalling modern war is. I also think that in general Russians are very patriotic in a quiet “let’s get on with it” sort of way
If you read War And Peace in parts related to the eve of Borodino Battle, Tosltoy writes about “warm light of patriotism”. No slogans, no screaming, no fanaticism. Exactly, “let’s just get on with it”. On the other hand, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky’s monologue to Pierre on the eve of Borodino should be a must read in some parts of Washington D.C. War And Peace was a part of mandatory curriculum in General Staff Academy in St. Petersburg during Czarist times, during Soviet times and now–it is a mandatory part of school curriculum. I doubt neocons read War And Peace ever.
We’re seeing different personalities here and it seems many of the hawks coming forward, especially Clinton, despise Obama’s moderate and accommodating approach to Syria. Putin outmaneuvered Obama on the Syrian WMD’s and Russia’s rescue of Assad by intervention was the final straw. Now they are maneuvering to apply the ‘what good is a military if you don’t use it’ mantra and the dangers of this plan are much greater now than they were earlier in the conflict.
I doubt Iran will do anything to compromise their new economic freedom and there is only one type of total war possible between Russia and the US and neither side will go there, it’s bad for business.
There is always the chance of mistakes and accidents but MAD has worked quite well for the last 65 years and it will probably continue to keep the nukes in their silos where they remain defensive weapons.
The US government/military has seen that it requires about twenty thousand troops, armor and air power to root out about five hundred entrenched Islamic State fighters from urban areas. This was evident in Tikrit, Ramadi, Falluja and elsewhere. In Syria I doubt they plan on drawing the needed troops from Hezbollah or the Iranian militias so that part of the war must be concluded so the hardened rebel forces can be redirected at the IS possibly along with some SAA forces, what’s left of them.
This may not work because the US never seemed to have much operational control of the so called moderate rebels and none with the more Islamist groups in the Army of Conquest so there may be more surprises coming.
Will we ever see the day when Charlie Rose can present a competent guest??? I would pay to see Colonel Lang pin his ears back…..
Quite frankly, not only your reasoning is irrational, but dangerously irresponsible. Sounds like you have no idea in time of war how intrests coincide and conflict. IMO that is mistake American have made in all thier recent wars, or more simply said great miscalculation. Iraq is an example how coincidence of interests, of the Iraqis and Iranians dislodged AMERICAN military and financial power in that war. I guess you also “believe history has ended” with the AMERICAN century since you must believe that Russia is just a “regional middle power”.
IMO, Neoconic plans and mentality that you try to explaine with all kind of (already experienced) irational reasonings, after all may not end history to your liking, but very well may end this country and the rest of civilization as we know it.
Can we ever see the day when Charlie Rose poses a probing question or makes a penetrating comment?
I appreciate this subthread. It’s been years since I remembered to watch Charlie Rose.
Of course another possibility is that they actually want a rerun of World War 2. Maybe they think they can end up, like last time, with Europe and Russia devastated and the US coming out with minimal damage as the last man standing again. This makes some sense when you consider that the great financial Ponzi scheme is going to have to burst at some point. This way they can blame it on the war and also get capital flight to the US from the rest of the world. So everyone else takes the pain of the war and of the economic crash, but the US is insulated almost completely from the war and to a great extent from the economic crash.
I wonder if Putin has considered this scenario. I’d be amazed if he hadn’t. The question is, what can he do about it? The other obvious question is why would European ‘leaders’ go along with this plan?
I wonder if that’s why Russia has been reluctant to commit more forces to Syria? They think those forces might be needed to defend against a Ukrainian attack (with or without NATO backing) on Crimea. Or maybe a NATO attack on Kaliningrad?
How did the students handle the conversations; mostly in French?
I regret that my comments make you uncomfortable and confused but I’m just stating what I have seen and what I think the future is likely to bring.
There has been much fantasy and wishful thinking written about Syria, repeated claims of the immanent destruction of the rebels, the possibility of the US joining with Assad and Iran to fight IS and that Turkey will reverse its policy towards Assad and side with Russia is the latest wish that is fantasy.
Because history hasn’t ended Iraq has begged the US to return to protect their crumbling government and what remained of the country from the IS and that’s because Iran couldn’t manage to help them with that desperate task.
This coming year should be eventful and with Clinton being backed by the whole ruling class there is almost nothing to stop the march of history heading in the direction she, the neoliberal interventionists and the neocons direct it.
“repeated claims of the immanent destruction of the rebels” Mine? I think I have made it clear that I doubt existing R+6 forces have enough combat power to do that. what would be need to accomplish that would be three Russian MRDs and the “slice” of support troops to go with them. pl
I agree with all of that. Although the gritty filming and claustrophobic atmosphere of the BBC series was a bit more engaging than the stylized 60’s treatment of the film. With all respect to Alec Guiness, Oldham’s underplayed Smiley was incredible. Much more powerful. John Hurt’s small role as Control in contrast to the effete climbers he ran (and mocked) was great, and Colin Firth was just perfect as the manipulative Haydon. Likewise, Tom Hardy was a much more believable Ricki Tarr.
But they didn’t need to make Guillam gay, and it hurt the film. At that time, it would have been a dangerous, scandalous secret, and Guillam’s position in the story was enhanced because unlike every other character, including Smiley, he was unburdened by any exposure of that kind. He was the straight-man and had the most to lose by getting caught out helping Smiley.
But regarding Morrell, people like him, and Alleline, are found in every field and every organization. Ambitious, corporate knife-fighters. I despise them, which is why I’m an entrepreneur (unlike Trump) and no good in corporate life. I won’t kiss their asses, and ass-kissing is the coin of the realm. These people don’t bring anything of value, they could care less. They rarely have interest in the actual work they do. Instead they care about who has power, and whose ass they should kiss to get up the rungs. They ride those ponies as far as they go, while looking for the next host to hitch a ride on.
Morrell probably figured he was at a dead-end (not a Democrat ass-kisser?) and needed to make a bold move to vault to the next level. It is very transparent. But I don’t see anyone being all that impressed by it. He also is going nowhere. Why in the hell would Clinton put a loose cannon like him in any position? If he wanted to curry her favor, he would publicly join her team. His move makes a lot more sense if he is actually courting the neo-con side of the Republican party. Coming out against Trump is getting fashionable for establishment Republicans, and I see him making a name for himself in the long-ball game on their side.
Jim Rickards on why Trump is smarter than Morning Joe.
How did the students handle the conversations; mostly in French?
If you are talking about Czarist General Staff Academy officers who studied there–most spoke French. Most General Staff Academy graduates today, naturally, are more or less OK with English. As per Soviet/Russian school students–most density of French is located in first pages of War And Peace at Anna Pavlovna Sherer Soiree, all French conversations there are translated in the foot notes, so, no problem.