My Will Be Done….

Peaceable kingdom

There has been some perhaps idle speculation that perhaps Obama's mind has wandered from the business of foreign policy in the direction of his self image as a savior who will direct the United States in the direction of a general leftism.

His press conference today at the ASEAN leaders meeting should put an end to this line of musing.  In it, in addition to trashing ALL the Republican presidential candidates, he made it clear that he regards the effrontery of Russian assertiveness as something not to be endured.  The source of the madcap statements and agitation of those like Ashton Carter and General Breeedlove is made clear.   Obama is the source.

According to him a militarily dictated outcome is simply not possible in Syria.  The counsel of his R2P advisors came through clearly.  His vision of the world is evidently that of Hicks' "Peaceable Kingdom."  This would seem to be a vision in which the course of human history driven by age-old desire for group and individual dominance is at an end and a global Borgist peace is imposed through the superior moral clarity and threats of "the enlightened."

Obama said today that the present R+6 campaign is unimportant and that 75% of Syrian territory is still outside the control of the government.  Yes, but most of that is uninhabited.  He knows that.

It is clear to me now that that Obama is the Grand Master of the Borgist Order.



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123 Responses to My Will Be Done….

  1. Matthew says:

    Col: The full absurdity of the President’s statement about 75% of Syria being outside of Assad’s control is demonstrated by a demographic map of my state. Look how much of Texas lacks many Texans! See

  2. AEL says:

    It has been said that the Turks and Sauds regard the Americans as easy to manipulate. Is it possible that Obama finds it convenient to not openly breach with his erstwhile Turkish and Saudi allies. Hence, he sits on his ass, makes silly noises and awaits (inevitable) further developments.
    The Americans have a longstanding relationship with the Syrian Kurds and now watching the Kurds cooperate with the SAA suggests that there is a deeper game going on. (which could also explain some of the hyperventilating from Turkey and the KSA.

  3. Trey N says:

    And Emperor Obama, surrounded by his R2P children crusaders and other fawning members of the Borg hordes, stood majestically on the seashore and loudly commanded the tides not to roll in…
    …and by Jupiter, to the astonishment and utter dismay of all watching, the $&*@ waves of salt water continued to relentlessly rise around their ankles, then their knees, then their waists….
    We can only hope that every last one of the damn rascals will remain fixed in place until they are completely submerged and washed out to the depths of the bottomless abyss.

  4. turcopolier says:

    “there is a deeper game going on.” I don’t think so. IMO Obama is every bit as pretentious, shallow and stubborn as he appears. pl

  5. Croesus says:

    Syria question posed at ~20 min.

  6. Bill Herschel says:

    But uncomfortable, pl, uncomfortable. He is master of his material until he gets to Syria, and then you can see he is nervous. And he says things that are blatantly dishonest, “Russian troops in Syria.” That Russia has created a protected zone or some such for ISIS.
    He is reading a script. And what a falsehood laden script it is! As you point out.
    You are saying he is the dog. I sincerely believe he is one of many tails. If one reads Jeffrey Sachs article, one gets closer to the identity of the dog. But not all the way.
    “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

  7. SmoothieX12 says:

    It has been said that the Turks and Sauds regard the Americans as easy to manipulate.
    The tradition of bazaar in those places ( I was born there) has a term “sweet tongue”, it is akin to calling on the 65-year old woman as “hey, beauty” while trying to sell apricots or tomatoes to her. Anything goes as long as you get your “sale” (desirable) if you are a vendor. They also are a decent judges of human character–they have to be. And some of them, probably, read Alexis De Tocqueville. After all, observing W. fall for the most revolting flattery from madman Saakashvili in Tbilisi, I have to say-it works…for those who, well, have no “experience” . From Tripoli to Ashkhabad to Tashkent. Just add a bit of “sweet tongue” and voila’.
    P.S. Honest vendors will call 65-year old woman a “mother”, though, and a bargaining is very different business then.

  8. Jackrabbit says:

    Your aim is true pl.

  9. J says:

    Off topic, but something (irregularities) that is not being reported in the mainstream media is regarding the death of of SCOTUS Judge Scalia.
    There is too much ‘silence’ regarding his death.
    He was one of the most powerful men in the world and was a major stumbling block to those powers both internal and external who wish to control our U.S. and deviate U.S. away from our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    Too many inconsistencies on how the Scalia death was handled, and too much silence when pointed questions are asked. Who are the names (individuals) who made the decisions (no autoposy, etc.) from the local to the highest Federal Government levels. A lot of retired police and others are scratching their heads and are very concerned about SCOTUS Judge Scalia’s death.

  10. Swami Bhut Jolokia says:

    “IMO Obama is every bit as pretentious, shallow and stubborn as he appears”
    Perhaps he is. And yet, he has accomplished more good than his predecessor in both foreign and domestic policy.
    Do you really think any of the current aspirants (left and right) are going to do better than him?

  11. mbrenner says:

    “Obama is every bit as pretentious, shallow and stubborn as he appears.”
    Yes – it is striking how unchanged the man is from January 2009. It is extraordinary to observe an intelligent person (in IQ terms) speak at length in complete sentences for several minutes and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Obviously, his mind lacks a gyroscope or balance-wheel that orients it to reality since he gives every impression of truly believing that what he is saying is logical and accords with factual reality.
    Also noteworthy is that the phrasing, sequencing, and stresses are exactly those used in the MSM. That tells me that the White House has been in regular communication giving guidelines and instruction that obediently are accepted and observed (mainly for favor and approval as the Colonel correctly has said). Over the past year of two, there have appeared credible reports in books and serious journal articles describing how commonplace the practice has become with potent effect. In other words, what in the past happened on rare, exceptional circumstances now happens as a matter of course – without the justification of some national security emergency.

  12. plantman says:

    I don’t think Obama is reading from a script..
    I think he’s a true believer, a true Koolaid drinker.
    I find his comments very concerning.
    If he still thinks Syria will be a quagmire for Putin, than I suspect he has something up his sleeve to make it so….Perhaps luring Turkey into the fray to act as “replacement proxy” for the long-gone opposition.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I could have voted for Rand Paul. I suppose I could vote for John Kasich but the rest of them are ridiculous. Obama is, from my point of view, a foreign policy disaster. The decision to reinforce massively in Afghanistan and to pursue a COIN strategy there was directly influenced by a lot of hyper-ambitious generals whom he should have ignored. And then, his unrelenting hostility to Russia and energy in pressing the boundaries of NATO eastward imperils the world’s peace. Is it not clear that he let Nuland and company follow a policy in Ukraine that Russia had no choice by to see as hostile. Syria? Well, you know about that. pl

  14. Fred says:

    “he has accomplished more good than his predecessor in both foreign and domestic policy.”
    Yes, that’s why the job creation, take home pay are up and tax burden and personal debt down. Hallelujah! Why in Flint the water is clean and in Ferguson the respect for police and politicians never higher. While were at it lets mention the decline in violence in places like Chicago, why there’s only been 365 shootings so far this year (but ) confederate flags)(

  15. Babak Makkinejad says:

    His Iran policy was awful as well; he was marching to war in Spring of 2012.

  16. Will Reks says:

    Are Flint and Chicago not local and state issues? Seems like this is low-hanging fruit for you.

  17. James Loughton says:

    The lack of an autopsy does seem a bit unusual. My father died at the age of 88 here in San Antonio from congestive heart disease at home in my sister’s house. He had been bedridden for more than two years, and his room was filled with the appropriate medical equipment. I was present in another room when he passed away. My sister returned home within a few moments, and not knowing procedure, we called the police. They showed up and let us know that in our jurisdiction, any death that does not occur with a medical professional present requires an autopsy, with which we proceeded post haste. The Autopsy did not delay funeral plans. The tiny little West Texas town where Justice Scalia died may not have the same policy or resources that we did here.

  18. jld says:

    Oh! Obama does much better with the music

  19. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang: “It is clear to me now that that Obama is the Grand Master of the Borgist Order.”
    Unfortunately yes. I was afraid of this from the time shortly after he was elected.

  20. cynic says:

    With any luck, Obama’s nonsensical statements about achieving success in Syria because the terrorists control a lot of desert may be his ego-protecting exit strategy, enabling him to tip-toe away from the situation.
    Via the Saker and Russia Insider we learn that it was the ‘exceptional’ arrogance of the people around the White House in telling the Russians that an American bombing campaign ‘no-fly zone’ was about to be imposed on Syria to enable the terrorists to take Damascus in October which caused the Russians to intervene. A little discretion might have enabled them to achieve that objective, but as Tolkien pointed out, oft evil will doth evil action mar.
    “Last summer we were told by our Western partners that in October Damascus would fall to IS (ie. the Islamic State – AM).
    What they were planning to do next we don’t know. Probably, they would have ended up painting the extremists white and accepting them as a Sunni state straddling Iraq and Syria”. …
    What Yakovenko is therefore in effect saying is that the US was planning in the summer to start a bombing campaign to overthrow the government of Syria in the knowledge that this would result by October in the victory of the Islamic State and its capture of Damascus.
    Russia Insider has previously explained that it was to stop the US proclaiming a no-fly zone – i.e. commencing a bombing campaign aimed at overthrowing the Syrian government – that Russia intervened in Syria.
    The fact Yakovenko says the US told the Russians this would result in the Islamic State capturing Damascus by October explains why the Russians felt they had to act as they did.

  21. Croesus says:

    Just an opinion — I think the Saudis are holding hostage Arab investment in US stock market. If US administration fails to comply with Saudi wishes, they will cut the legs out from under US economy.
    Something similar was at the core of the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait: Iraq’s economy was straining under war debts and wanted help from fellow Arabs. Iraq’s only source of revenue was from oil; Kuwait had extensive investment income and did not need to rely on oil revenue. So Kuwait lowered the price of oil, further straining Iraq’s economy. Financial wars always precede and precipitate hot wars.
    As for Obama coordinating his talking points with MSM — well ya, that’s what they do. It happened in Jefferson’s era; the practice was elevated to a government bureaucracy in the Wilson administration to generate acquiescence to war; it gained full spectrum dominance in the run-up to WWII. The federal Committee on Public Information gave Hollywood its biggest financial boost at a critical time.
    There’s a company based in lovely Little Washington, VA called Applied Memetics whose business is to create a message and get all forms of media to echo it. Its bread-and-butter customers are US government agencies including DoD.

  22. turcopolier says:

    “There’s a company based in lovely Little Washington, VA called Applied Memetics whose business is to create a message and get all forms of media to echo it. Its bread-and-butter customers are US government agencies including DoD.” I wondered where the main contractor might be. Where is this company relative to the “Inn at Little Washington?” BTW, I occasionally have eaten at the inn and in my opinion both the service and the food have declined a lot in the last couple of years. I wonder if some government agency has made it into a proprietary. pl

  23. Mishkilji says:

    Too soon to make a judgment on Iran.

  24. ISL says:

    Croesus – with the Fed having pumped in trillions of dollars to buy toxic loans over the last few years, really? Let the bloody Sauds pull their cash, it will take the fed 1 microsecond to add it back.

  25. Croesus says:

    I’ll get back to you in about an hour. Right now I’m listening to Aaron Klein discuss the feasibility of the Fed employing negative interest rates.

  26. turcopolier says:

    This is an extremely serious charge. I have understood that the US Government stupidly came to accept the absence of living unicorns and had come to a massive self deception with regard to the malleability of non-IS jihadi groups, but this is the first I have heard of plausible evidence of Obamanite plotting to install an IS government in Damascus. We need to learn more of this claim. pl

  27. Croesus says:

    PS should have included the set-up to the Aaron Klein discussion — Bob Corker drawling from the chair of Senate Finance committee, to Janet Yellen: “The Fed is out ammunition …will it go to negative interest rates?”

  28. BB says:

    “I suppose I could vote for John Kasich but the rest of them are ridiculous.”
    Truly bizarre. Kasich is a stone-cold neocon who wants “to punch Putin and Russia in the face”. A guy who, with only a political background (and a bachelor’s in poli-sci from OH St.), made a ton of money as a manager at Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt and left us taxpayers the bill– essentially, WE subsidized the perfidious money-shifters like Kasich. Kasich has done a horrible job as governor and it’s only due to shale that Ohio’s economy is not in the toilet. Kasich has done nothing in his life but politics– even while still just a freshman in college (look at his picture with Nixon). There are only three people in the race who have done something other than politics and work shifting money: Sanders (teacher, carpenter, psychiatric aide), Carson (highly-accomplished surgeon), and Trump (a doer all of his life with a record of rebuilding messes:

  29. turcopolier says:

    Bless you. I guess you missed the “I suppose” part. I don’t like Kasich. I think he is a deceptive political gutter snipe, but in the absence of someone I would be happy to vote for I suppose I might vote for him, but since he will not be the
    Republican candidate, who cares? I spent several days with Kasich at a meeting and was severely unimpressed. But, what else is there on offer? Sanders is far too left for me however pleasant a man he seems to be. Trump knows nothing of government, nothing. Carson. He thinks the pyramids were built as grain storage. Rubio is the creature of Zionist interests. Cruz is, well, whatever he is I don’t want it. Bush should go back to his club and brood. pl

  30. Bill Herschel says:

    I just want to repeat this quote from John Harington who was born and died almost exactly contemporaneously with Shakespeare and is one of the few Elizabethans not to be claimed to have been Shakespeare. He invented the flush toilet.
    “Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.”
    I guess the first question is whether or not the statement is true. I think it is. The second question is much more complex. Suppose the Jeffrey Sachs article is true. Is it treasonous to promote “regime change” in Syria or Iraq or Libya on “moral” grounds, using clandestine means to destabilize a sovereign state, i.e. cooking the books to create the casus belli in which American lives will be lost? Well, that approach has prospered (figuratively speaking, it is not the usage of the word “prosper” in the quote, nor do I intend it to be).
    But not really today. Donald Trump called George Bush dishonest, stupid and incompetent. He said invading Iraq was an act of dishonesty. In fact, he essentially said Bush was guilty of treason. I think if you look at everything he says, you discover Trump is non-interventionist. You don’t make America great again by invading Syria. And the American public understands that and wants it:
    “At a rally Tuesday in North Augusta, S.C., across the Savannah River from Georgia, Mr. Trump called to the stage a man from the audience who had quieted a protester in the crowd.
    “I did two tours in Iraq,” the man said, as the crowd erupted in cheers and chants. “If it weren’t for Mr. Trump right here, I don’t think any of us would have the voice that we have.””
    Everything that prospers is not treason.

  31. Matthew says:

    Croesus: You might want to check your numbers. The Saudis are now borrowing, not investing.

  32. Matthew says:

    JL: The family can always request an autopsy. Many people do not have them because they have to pay for them and (frankly) the relatives are not really puzzled by a relative’s death.

  33. Matthew says:

    I used to think this inclination was motivated mostly by a desire for increased self-importance, but (sadly) money seems a big factor. The more interventionist America’s foreign policy, the more ex-officials can “monetize” their experience. See

  34. cynic says:

    Here’s the original newspaper article.
    The Russian Ambassador to Britain probably doesn’t often write articles for down-market newspapers. A senior diplomat must be well aware of the potential effect of his words, even when the important words are buried in flummery.
    ‘It came to the point when the Americans gave up on finding people they could trust among the rebel groups fighting the Syrian government. We were told by our British colleagues a few months ago that the situation in Syria was a complete mess. The situation was further complicated by the emergence of IS, an explosive mix of religious fanatics and the rump of the Iraqi Ba’athist regime, including Saddam Hussein’s officer corps.
    In the meantime the US assembled its anti-IS coalition of about 70 members, which delivered ineffective airstrikes at IS targets for more than a year before Russia had to intervene at the request of the Syrian government with its air force. Last summer we were told by our Western partners that in October Damascus would fall to IS. What they were planning to do next we don’t know. Probably, they would have ended up painting the extremists white and accepting them as a Sunni state straddling Iraq and Syria.
    In these circumstances Russia’s intervention was a critical game-changer, allowing the democratic Syrian opposition to reappropriate the cause of a democratic and secular Syria, which was hijacked by foreign terrorist groups.’

  35. Fred says:

    The current President is not concerned about violence in our inner cities? Didn’t the regional director of the EPA (Chicago) resign recently due to the is water quality issue? Should those things be and mostly remain local and state issues – absolutely. However over reach of federal power should be an election issue at the national level though.

  36. gemini33 says:

    Charles Lister is getting pretty worked up about the fractured policy.
    “Totally bizarre seeing U.S vetted & supported Jabhat al-Shamiya & Faylaq al-Sham being attacked by U.S vetted & supported SDF in N. #Aleppo.”
    “PT: It really cannot be said enough how catastrophic the policy disconnect between (1) CIA (2) CENTCOM & (3) Obama Admin has been on #Syria.”
    “PTs: The CIA & CENTCOM have each empowered armed groups that directly oppose the other’s reasons for being on the ground.
    = Sheer hubris.”
    Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of Lister but find it useful to watch what he’s talking about since he’s from the Qatar branch of Brookings.
    I wonder if anyone really understands what’s going on. Seems like a good way to unintentionally get into a really big war and clusterf…
    The sudden shift over the weekend during that Munich Conference was more than unsettling.

  37. rjj says:

    “Mr. Trump called to the stage a man from the audience who had quieted a protester in the crowd.
    Everything that prospers is not treason.” [end BH quote]
    Sometimes it is theater.

  38. Croesus says:

    there’s also the benefit of some beautiful rugs to accompany a 65-year old “sweet — mother” in her dotage.
    Paid too much for them? Well, they are beautiful. What price the pleasure of art?

  39. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You will have a field day with this –
    It was cancelled after the Russians moved in….

  40. cynic,
    ‘What Yakovenko is therefore in effect saying is that the US was planning in the summer to start a bombing campaign to overthrow the government of Syria in the knowledge that this would result by October in the victory of the Islamic State and its capture of Damascus.’
    This is the construction that Mercouris puts on the Ambassador’s remarks. It is not what the text of the article actually says.
    The interpretation Mercouris advances depends on two premises: 1. that the U.S. had a definite plan to create a ‘no-fly-zone’, rather than there being a chaotic muddle over policy, and 2. that, as he puts it, ”’no-fly” zone is today simply a euphemism for a US bombing campaign.’
    I would be interested in the views of others better informed than I, but the first proposition seems to me highly questionable, and the second plain nonsense.
    In fact, precisely who the ‘Western partners’ were who were supposed to have told Yakovenko that Damascus would fall to IS by October, and how precisely he thinks the remarks are to be interpreted, seems to me opaque.
    It could be that these were suggesting that this was an objective of Western policy, or that it was just something likely to happen, or even that it was likely to happen and they did not want it to happen. It seems likely enough that there are people in the U.S. military – and also the British and French – who could have made these remarks with precisely the reverse intent imputed by Mercouris.
    As it happens, since it put up the post by Mercouris, ‘Russia Insider’ has linked to a report in the ‘Daily Express’, in which a former Chief of the General Staff, Lord Dannatt, and a former Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, both strongly advocate cooperation with Russia over Syria.
    (See .)
    It you read the conclusion of Yakovenko’s article, it seems absolutely clear that he is continuing a long-standing Russian attempt to persuade the Western powers to face reality and recognise that in their own interests they should be cooperating in a ‘grand alliance’ to defeat jihadism. In this context, it seems questionable whether the accusation made in his remarks was as simple as Mercouris suggests.
    The intended audience may well be the very substantial body of opinion in the U.K. who think that Western policymakers, and most of the MSM, have, to use Putin’s memorable phrase, ‘mush for brains’.
    The extent of the change in climate here is evident in comments on articles on a wide range of newspapers. Those on the ‘Express’ article are a case in point.
    Unfortunately, as articles in the ‘Financial Times’ are behind a subscription wall, the full comedy which is unfolding is not easy to bring out.
    However, comments on an article just posted by the paper’s International Affairs Editor, David Gardner, under the title ‘Putin systematically eradicates the Syrian opposition’, are symptomatic. The ‘most recommended’ one concludes: ”’Mr Columnist’, are you a primary school dropout?’
    (See .)
    It is the fact that he and his subordinates will be reading this kind of thing on a daily basis that may provide an important part of the context for his remarks.

  41. SmoothieX12 says:

    Perhaps he is. And yet, he has accomplished more good than his predecessor in both foreign and domestic policy.
    Frankly, this is a bizarre statement. Very far from the reality.

  42. Fred says:

    “‘It came to the point when the Americans gave up on finding people they could trust among the rebel groups fighting the Syrian government. ”
    In other words reality is a bitch and the Obama administration should have recognized that three years and many dead Syrians ago. It would also be a reason that CJCS (Dempsey) was able to convince Obama not to go through with the full neocon plan in 2014. I hope General Dunford is as capable.

  43. Croesus says:

    Matthew, that makes the Saudis even more dangerous.
    From whom are they borrowing — Qatar? Kuwait? China? Israel? This time last year Yossi Alpher made the rounds in DC talking about his book, Periphery: Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies,
    and making it clear to his US audiences that Israel was in alliance with Saudi Arabia.
    nb. ZeroHedge posted this item about Japan’s experiment with negative interest rates

    As for Obama “reading from a script” — most lawyers will counsel their clients to Tell the truth! It’s hard to keep lies straight! The second best option is to stick to the carefully constructed script, which is what Obama does. So did Hillary — I forget which outlandish lie it was, maybe the one about the Iranian used car salesman who was going to kill the Saudi ambassador in a DC restaurant — in an unfiltered moment Hillary blurted, “Who writes this stuff!” Maybe the State Department gets help from Netanyahu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dept. of hasbara.
    Overall — If Mark Bruzonsky is to be believed, Obama made a Faustian pact in 2007 shortly after delivering an electrifying speech at a DNC convention.
    Reasonable to suppose that Michelle would not tolerate a Blue Dress scenario.
    This understanding influences my assessment of the tight rope the Obama walks.
    My belief is that the most pernicious office in the US government that does greatest harm to the economic and strategic interests of the American people and has the worst impact on sound foreign policy is in the Department of Treasury, where Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has accumulated both control over financial facilities of nations and international institutions and corporations, and the apparently unlimited ability to spy on them. Obama inherited that entity and has enhanced its powers.

  44. LJ says:

    b raises this question: Are Green Berets Leading The YPG In Taking The Azaz Pocket?

  45. The Beaver says:

    A very interesting view from the former UK Ambassador to Syria ( 2003-2006);
    “we should have backed off, we should have not tried to overthrow the regime.” Mr. Ford eloquently added that this policy has been “like a dog returning to vomit.”

  46. alba etie says:

    Col Lang
    How about about Senator Sanders ? To far left ?

  47. cynic says:

    I think that the Russians remember what happened following the imposition of ‘no-fly zones’ over Serbia/Bosnia and Libya, including what happened to their then rulers.It would be easy to predict the result if the same stunt was pulled in Syria, and the Americans were giving every indication that this was their intention. Happenstance, coincidence, enemy action.
    Pretending folly or incompetence to disguise knavery only works for a while. The Russian leadership has to treat the American leadership as if they were serious, and can’t join them in laughing off another wrecked country on the Israeli/American hit-list as just an unexpected accident for which those responsible must not be held accountable.
    Perhaps the Ambassador’s remarks merely assumed everyone recognised obvious uncontroversial common sense. If the American leadership does not recognise it, they may receive further shocks!
    I think you are correct in saying that many people are rejecting the nonsense spread by the mainstream media. It may not be co-incidence that apparently in Britain, Russia Today is said to be now second only to the BBC in the number of people who watch it.

  48. Swami says:

    Finally, a rational response! Thanks, pl.
    I agree with you about Rand Paul and Kasich–it is indeed unfortunate that our political climate is such that reasonable people don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.

  49. Swami says:

    Sad to hear about the decline in the Inn. Been there often (> 10 years ago) and really enjoyed the food and service every time. Couldn’t afford the rooms though so stayed at a little B&B about a block away.

  50. Jackrabbit says:

    “Last summer” is notably vague.
    From ZeroHedge: “This dynamic [the rescue of Syria] began back in June [2015] when Iran’s most powerful general vowed to “surprise the world” with his next move in Syria. Just weeks later, he was in Moscow (in violation of a UN travel ban) hatching a plan with Putin to launch an all-out invasion on behalf of Assad …”
    The Russians/Iranians/Syrians knew, independent of any Western-supplied info – that the gains made by FSA, al Nusra, threatened the viability of the Assad-led Syrian state.
    Its difficult to say if a no-fly-zone/bombing was necessary. But clearly it WAS necessary for Russian air support to turn the tide.

  51. Trey N says:

    “A no-fly zone is today simply a euphemism for a US bombing campaign
    [is] plain nonsense.”
    Really? Since that is exactly what happened in Libya in 2011?

  52. Spending federal dollars on PROPAGAND a crime!

  53. Jackrabbit says:

    Vote third-party. Any vote for a major-party establishment candidate is a vote for the Borg.

  54. Who is the most expert in the Obama Administration on Russia?
    IMO here is the key expertise of each of the 2016 candidates left standing?
    HRC–Self dealing!
    Bernie Sanders–Posturing as an unabridged liberal!
    Donald Trump–Understand the Limousine Liberals!
    Ted Cruz–How a defective legal system can be politically manipulated!
    Marco Rubio–Speaking Spanish!
    George Bush–Spending contributors moolah!
    John Kasich–The Congressional Budget Office!
    The Good Doctor–M.D. Pediactric Neuro surgery!
    Could be wrong as always!

  55. Origin says:

    “PTs: The CIA & CENTCOM have each empowered armed groups that directly oppose the other’s reasons for being on the ground. = Sheer hubris.”
    Yes, there seems to be a severe disconnect among the US policy making minds. However, the result of the operation of the multiple minds is the implementation of the continuing and eternal, effective U.S. strategy–Chaos that destabilizes the world.
    It would seem that instead of constantly creating chaos, there would somewhere be a group of dissenters who can propose some strategy that seeks some type of benign stability.

  56. rg says:

    Interesting interpretation of the Syria situation:

  57. turcopolier says:

    LJ et al
    Neither TTG nor I think so. The US Army obeys however reluctantly the policy of the CinC. Obama favors the Turks and to have GBs assisting at Azaz would be in contradiction of his policy. The situation is much more ambiguous east of Jarabulus where the dissonance in Obama’s policy is in full view. pl

  58. Thomas says:

    “The CIA & CENTCOM have each empowered armed groups that directly oppose the other’s reasons for being on the ground.”
    “I wonder if anyone really understands what’s going on.”
    A bureaucratic proxy war showing the fissures of the Two Americas. On one side the Liver Lovers Legion supported by the civilian side of government seeking to destroy the evil tyrant du jour that the Exceptional Elite needs removed on their way to Borgian Nirvana versus the people living on the land wanting no part of The Domination Dream supported by the rational and honorable professionals who understand the world for the way it is and that Borgian Nirvana is actually a pathway to true hell on earth.

  59. turcopolier says:

    “Finally a rational response” I have warned you and all others about ad hominem attacks. Goodbye. pl

  60. Thomas says:

    “Spending federal dollars on PROPAGAND a crime!”
    To which a Borgist will reply “What are you going to do about it bitch?” laughing all the way to the Bank. Lawlessness in government has been running rampant for 15+ years now with no correction in sight.

  61. fjdixon says:

    Kaisich … unimpressive?
    Why with such extensive FP knowledge demonstrated at the last GOP ‘debate’ (cluster cage fight with rabid audience) how could one be unimpressed?
    KASICH: First of all — yes. First of all, look, we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don’t have to declare an enemy rattle a sword or threaten, but we need to make it clear what we expect. No. 1 is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There will be no ifs, ands or buts about it.
    Yes, let’s arm the oligarch controlled brigades of the ‘national guard’ so they are well prepared to fight over the last bare bones of the Ukraine. Last year it was announced that the US would train newly formed ‘national guard’ brigades over period of two weeks. A week an a half later it was announced in NYT that “an elite brigade” of national guard unit was being send into the Donbass region. Uh Huh …
    KASICH: Secondly, an attack on NATO, trumped up on any excuse of Russian-speaking people, either in the NATO countries or in Finland or Sweden, is going to be an attack on us. And look, I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again.
    Finland – 70K Russophone of population of 6M; Sweden no such number (interestingly in addition to Swedish Sweden has 5 other official languages representing minorities: Finnish, Meankieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish – no mention of Russian). So perhaps some speech writer provided a line of Reductio ad absurdum on the Russian claim of protecting Russian minorities. Usually when that is done there is an inflection of voice to indicate sarcasm and a giggle of laughter in recognition by the listeners. Nope, neither.
    It is indeed a frightening situation when what would appear to be one of the more sane candidates can do no better.

  62. Jackrabbit says:

    “Interesting” as in disinformation, or as in ‘just plain wrong’.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It could make sense if one assumes that he is running out the clock and that he is trying, at the same time, to mollify all the various domestic and foreign cats and dogs with their contradictory agendas.

  64. jonst says:

    SBJ wrote: ” And yet, he has accomplished more good than his predecessor in both foreign and domestic policy”. Ok, for the moment, lets leave domestic policy out of this. What good has he done in foreign policy other than getting OBL? Not a small thing, I grant you. But other than that? And setting the bar as surpassing his predecessor is a pretty low bar, is it not?

  65. b says:

    Well – Dempsey did sabotage Obama’s plan to have the military train thousands of “moderate rebels”.
    While he is gone, people of his team are still in high positions. It was acknowledged that some 50 specfor are in Syria with the YPG. Only in the east?
    I know, and have written, that the GB stuff is speculation. But it would not be the first time that the Pentagon is feuding with the CIA over some major Charlie Foxtrot and not completely in sync with the CinC.
    I am sure you have some fine stories from your time in Vietnam and elsewhere that would confirm the above statement.

  66. Sam says:

    Col. Lang
    I share your frustration with our politics and the lack of any serious candidates to vote for. Our country is deeply divided by identity politics into narrow groups for whom some specific policy stance outweighs everything else.
    On the Democratic side:
    Hillary is supported by those that want a women as President and highly partisan Democrats that believe only she can win in November. But, she’s a neocon on foreign policy and a Wall St/Big Pharma/defense complex tool. She wants big government so that her financial promoters can benefit.
    Sanders wants big government to finance all kinds of social spending and more regulations and taxes on business who are already uncompetitive with many other countries. The Millenial socialist idealists are flocking to him.
    On the Republican side:
    Trump is essentially supported by those who don’t want any Mexican immigration. No one knows what he really believes as he has been all over the map. At one time he was pro-choice, now he’s anti-abortion. He’s against the ME interventions in Iraq & Syria but also against the Iran nuclear deal. At the same time he’s for torture. At one time he claimed he was a liberal, now he says he’s a conservative.
    The evangelists support Cruz. Who knows if he’s really eligible to run in the first place. He too wants big government to invade our bedrooms and whatever Netanyahu wants.
    Those that want a neocon foreign policy have the choices of Jeb, Rubio, Kasich and Hillary. All of them believe in government intervention and spending in some way or another and a bigger surveillance and national security state.
    So, who’s a citizen that wants limited government as our founders intended with a non-interventionist foreign, domestic and economic policy supposed to vote for?

  67. turcopolier says:

    It would be one thing to take the personal and group risk involved in undercutting the president’s policy in congress or in the media. That has been done before. but it would be quite another thing to simply defy him and engage in unauthorized warfare in opposition to his policy. I do not think the military would dare to attach GBs to the YPG forces to advise and assist their operations in the Azaz Pocket. I, personally, would like to see such assistance given but I do not think they would dare to do that. A captured soldier or dead man who showed up in Turkish possession would be evidence of this insubordination that would lead directly back to the perpetrators. Retribution would be massive. If as you think the JCS/SOCOM/CENTCOM have done this it would be a clear sign of the loosening of the actual control of the military by the elected government. As for your historical point, I am quite familiar with the history of US military special ops over the last 50 years having participated in a lot of it. The US military has always been very careful to stay within the bounds of presidential policy. pl

  68. Jackrabbit says:

    PS I believe it is the former.

  69. SmoothieX12 says:

    Who is the most expert in the Obama Administration on Russia?
    Judging by the creator of the “Reset” button snafu, Michael McFaul, it is about this level of “competence” on Russia which is characteristic of most “Russian experts” both in Administration and media. I guess Vicki Nuland also “qualifies” as an “expert”. Let’s put it this way–US “elites” situational awareness re: Russia is about as good my grasp of the internal affairs of Madagascar. That’s what happens when one studies Russia “through” Solzhenitsyn and Hollywood.

  70. turcopolier says:

    I would appreciate it if you would stop putting this stuff “————————————————————” in every comment. pl

  71. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    I’m sure there’s a cultural element to it. And as far as madman Shaakashvili, somehow he ended up in Ukrainian government. Any port in a storm for the Russia haters.

  72. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    The other view is that Scalia was a dangerous authoritarian who interpreted the Constitution in whatever way suited his “Federalist Society” agenda. He wasn’t guided by the spirit of Cato the Elder, but rather Pindar of Athens. Either way, he was a divisive figure and besides, who dies in their sleep with a pillow over their face? Maybe leftists weren’t the only people he had given offense.

  73. Fred says:

    Someone should really cut some civil service positions. I think that one in Italy ranks right up there. Imagine how much we’ll save if we left NATO. I bet we could pay for all that “free” college Bernie wants the tax payers to foot the bill for by doing so.

  74. Old Microbiologist says:

    The very characteristics of his halting speech patterns and complete inability to speak without a Teleprompter belie that he is always reading or being fed his speech in an ear piece. I do not think he is a genius nor does he have any idea what he is saying. I think this is the reason all school and college transcripts are state secrets. I think in many ways he is a similar to Reagan in his second term suffering terribly from Alzheimer’s. But, in Obama’s case he never was smart. Both Reagan and Obama were/are purely actors playing a role. Just my opinion but I cannot prove otherwise.

  75. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Yes, I remember seeing this during the time period that the Russians were engaged in “stealing” their own naval base. Judging by the evidence from this inconvenient little tidbit a logical question arises; who was the actual party plotting to steal the base, hmm?
    A party who was counting their chickens before they were hatched would be my surmise.

  76. robt willmann says:

    J, annamaria, Matthew, James Loughton,
    The odd conduct surrounding the death of Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia at an unknown time between Friday evening and Saturday rightfully “stunned” the former head of the Washington D.C. homicide division, William O. Ritchie, as reported by the Washington Post newspaper.
    Before looking at the twists, turns, and word-stretching that obviously went on to “legally justify” not doing an autopsy or a thorough inquest, here are a few articles about the situation.
    In these three, the first one quotes Mr. Ritchie, and the second one chronicles the bizarre events associated with another death in which the Justice of the Peace, Cinderela Guevara, was involved–
    The economist Robert Wenzel has pointed out some interesting things about the owner of the resort ranch, John Poindexter, apparently no relation to the John Poindexter of the Iran-Contra scandal and the proposed “Total Information Awareness” program of the Bush jr. administration. Mr. Wenzel is not some poor soul shuffling along the street muttering to himself. He is a realist about politics and gave a speech at the New York branch of the Not-Federal Reserve Bank after his anticipation of the 2008 financial mess. His note is here–
    The Houston Business Journal article cited starts here–
    The Texas Monthly Magazine article cited is here, and mentions the resort and describes how Mr. Poindexter tried to buy 46,000 acres of the Big Bend Ranch State Park from the State of Texas for $2 million, but disclosure in the Austin newspaper slowed it down–
    Described as a detail man who keeps to-do lists in his pocket, Mr. Poindexter, the owner of the resort, was said to be the captain of the Vietnam War combat unit, Alpha Troop, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, and he lobbied three presidents to award the Presidential Unit Citation for a fight “not recorded” during the Vietnam War. A “covert op”, perhaps?
    Now, on to the tap dancing about the so-called “investigation” of Scalia’s death.
    Because the county in that remote area of West Texas (most of it is remote) does not have more than 1 million people and does not have a “reputable medical school”, it does not have a medical examiner, and so a Justice of the Peace (JP) deals with instances of death. Chapter 49 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure governs “Inquests Upon Dead Bodies”, and Articles 49.01 through 49.24 concern duties of the Justices of the Peace. You can read all of Chapter 49 here–
    A JP has a lot of juice in these situations, and can order a court hearing and even empanel a jury in an inquest. Notice that Article 49.03 gives the JP independent power: “The powers granted and duties imposed on a justice of the peace under this article are independent of the powers and duties of a law enforcement agency investigating a death.”
    An inquest means “an investigation into the cause and circumstances of the death of a person, and a determination, made with or without a formal court hearing, as to whether the death was caused by an unlawful act or omission” Art. 49.01(2).
    A JP “shall conduct” an inquest in 8 instances. Look at Article 49.04(a)(2), (3), (4), and (6). Parts 3, 4, and 6 definitely apply, and maybe 2. The JP changed her position from a “heart attack” to “natural causes” probably to try to get around parts 2, 3, and 4, and not have an inquest at all (and also because a forensic pathologist friend of mine once said, “everyone dies of cardiac arrest; that doesn’t tell me anything!”). But they were trapped by part 6: “the person dies without having been attended by a physician.”
    So, the JP was supposed to do an inquest. But we are told that she did it by telephone, perhaps talking to the sheriff, a person(s) from the U.S. Marshals service, and possibly others.
    An inquest by telephone?
    Art. 49.05(b) says the JP may conduct an inquest: “(1) at the place where the death occurred; (2) where the body was found; or (3) at any other place determined to be reasonable by the justice”.
    Apparently, the “place” that was “reasonable” to conduct the inquest was with the JP in one location, talking on the phone, and the body, scene, and law enforcement somewhere else. But law enforcement “may not move the body or any part of the physical surroundings of the place of death without authorization from a justice of the peace”(Art. 49.05(e)).
    You can read Article 49.10 on autopsies and tests. Notice that even if the JP does not want to do an autopsy, the district attorney or county attorney for that area can direct the JP to order one (Art. 49.10(e)(3)). Where was the DA or County Attorney?
    A U.S. Supreme Court judge is found dead in the jurisdiction and the sheriff, U.S. Marshals, or others do not tell the DA? Or the DA finds out and does not get the word out immediately that no one touches anything or the body until forensic pathologists are there and an MRI is arranged, and if anyone fiddles with anything they will be charged with a crime, whether they are a federal employee or not?
    Even if the JP decides that a complete autopsy is unnecessary, “the justice may order a physician to take or remove from a body a sample of body fluids, tissues, or organs in order to determine the nature and cause of death” (Art. 49.10(i)). This also was not done, apparently. And the embalming basically wipes that out.
    Silence everywhere. Nothing on the television networks, except, who will replace him? will there be a filibuster? blah, blah blah. Nothing by the “investigative reporter” Bob Woodward. Nothing by the American Bar Association. Nothing by the other Supreme Court Judges. Nothing by Donald Trump. Nothing by the so-called “smart lawyer” Ted Cruz. Nothing by the Attorney General of the U.S., Loretta Lynch. Nothing by James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General (the number two person) and now FBI Director. And nothing by the U.S. Congress.
    Antonin Scalia, in legal work, demanded thoroughness.
    Who will speak for him now?

  77. Croesus says:

    Just heard on NPR on the car radio — Kerry will meet with Hollywood executives to discuss how Hollywood can help U.S. “get its message out.”

    William R. Cumming, you may be interested in Lynne Olson’s “Those Angry Days,” the story of FDR’s efforts beginning in 1940 to “educate” the American people on the urgency of going to war against Germany. I don’t recall if Olson discussed the propaganda campaign regarding Japan, and if it was quite so strident. (The 1940 date is a bit misleading: according to Olson, Hollywood began forming anti-German organizations, staging anti-German rallies and producing “kill the Hun” scripts and newsletters at least as early as 1935. )

  78. Croesus says:

    I never patronized either the Inn or the restaurant but did enjoy stopping to admire the well-maintained establishment with its flower-bedecked balconies on trips between Charlottesville and points NE. It was a bit out of the way but worth it to enjoy the ambience of a very small town. My understanding at the time was that dinners were booked many months in advance, that only one or two parties were seated on any evening, and that the menu was whatever the chef decided to serve, but it was superb.
    re Applied Memetics — on more closely studying my notes I think the situation is that the business location for the LLC is in Arlington, VA; a principal with the firm, Dan Gabriel, has an address in Little Washington. Gabriel volunteers his services to the Ted Cruz campaign:
    “a volunteer working in public relations for the Cruz campaign, Dan P. Gabriel, is a former CIA covert action officer and a founding partner of Applied Memetics, a company “focused solely on developing engineered influence for clients seeking to alter their tactical or strategic operational environments,”according to its webpage. The company specializes in propagating memes that ”can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus,” in other words Applied Memetics specializes in propaganda.”

  79. mlaw says:

    Many years ago when I asked my father how he had voted in the Nixon/Kennedy election of 1960, he told me that although he favored Nixon he was not much alarmed by the election Kennedy, but he had not voted for either because he was still on duty, at that time active reserve duty. I believe that he did not vote until 1964 when he was about 38 years old. He thought that unremarkable.
    Today, I am close to certain that the military has a political base. There is little doubt that the military had a say in how the Obama Administration dealt with Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the popular press included stories about Gen. Petreaus taking the helm and leading us to the sunlit uplands of victory everywhere.
    Many of your correspondents betray an incredibly accurate and objective view of warfare, but a very naive, and subjective view of negotiation. /do you think that secretary Kerry is unaware if the situation on the ground?

  80. turcopolier says:

    The military had nothing to do with the decision to go to war in Iraq. that was entirely a product of the Bush/Borg government. In fact the military was at cross purposes with the Rumsfeld command of the armed forces. Once the thing got started and blood had been spilt the various, often ignorant, interests of generals became a major factor in policy in Iraq usually to the detriment of the effort to pacify Iraq. In Afghanistan the plotting and persuading by Petraeus, Rodrigues and McChrystal played a major role in persuading Obama to reinforce in Afghanistan and pursue a COIN strategy. IMO these men acted from ambition rather than politics. pl

  81. turcopolier says:

    I have been at the Inn many times as well. On two occasions I rented the whole place for business retreats. It would be excessive to say that reservations were made months in advance. Weekends were the most heavily booked because the place has long been a trysting spot for couples. I have been there for dinner a number of times when the whole place was filled. pl

  82. Emad says:

    It’s bad policy to help the unicorns, and farcical to help the unicorns and the Kurds at the same time, but it’s better than supporting the unicorns only. In this sense, the dissonance in Obama’s policy is simply the middling foreign policy performance of an average intellect caught between the hammer of reality and the anvil of ambition.
    Obama’s heart is with the unicorns and he doesn’t want to rattle impudent local allies, so he has the CIA support the unicorns. On the other hand, regardless of why he has the DOD assist the Kurds, this assistance creates leverage for the U.S. against Russia that would’ve extended this kind of support to the “U.S. Kurds” as well, had it not been for the U.S. initial move.
    Also, Obama may find assisting both sides rational. After all they’re both expendable local allies, assets, dogs or some such; he hasn’t bet much on either, and is not being grilled on his wrong bets by Missus America. So he can bet on both sides and, Borgist-in-chief that he is, claim that the goal was for the winner to have won all along.

  83. turcopolier says:

    We are naïve about negotiations? How amusing! You display the frequent civilian condescension towards soldiers. Yes, I know, we must be limited or we would have dome something else in life. This is especially evident among lawyers like you. Because we do not wish to say openly that Kerry is a knave, liar and underhanded schemer, you think that means we do not know it? You think that when Lavrov talks to him they do not both know that Kerry is trying to make something out of nothing for his pathetic boss? As for what Kerry knows, it is probably limited to what the Obama group think allows itself to know and admit. pl

  84. turcopolier says:

    He is not capable of that level of sophistication and neither are his henchmen. pl

  85. turcopolier says:

    “Gabriel volunteers his services to the Ted Cruz campaign: “a volunteer working in public relations for the Cruz campaign, Dan P. Gabriel, is a former CIA covert action officer and a founding partner of Applied Memetics, a company “focused solely on developing engineered influence for clients seeking to alter their tactical or strategic operational environments,”according to its webpage. The company specializes in propagating memes that ”can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus,” in other words Applied Memetics specializes in propaganda.” ” It would be fair to wonder who or what really owns Applied Memetics. pl

  86. b et al.,
    I think many of you have a skewed view of how things work in the byzantine world of DC and the Pentagon. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve make a few expeditions into the bureaucratic jungle. I suggest reading the below articles on General Mike Nagata, the officer in charge of the ill-fated program to arm and train the Syrian unicorns. I have crossed paths with Mike several times over the years. I’m sure he doesn’t remember me. He is not some incompetent fool. He is a smart and accomplished officer, a former Special Forces ODA commander. He created the current coordination/liaison methodology used among military units and government agencies involved in special operations missions. But he spent ten years in one special mission unit which we often referred to as The Secret Army of Northern Virginia. He also spent a lot of time in the Pentagon and at Langeley. His “fault” lies in the time, effort and experience spent in learning how to successfully navigate the tracks of the bureaucratic jungle. That is time, effort and experience not spent in learning how and why terrorists, guerrillas and irregulars operate at the grazing fire level.
    Perhaps there are one or two battle scarred, ill-tempered, old centurions who have the emperor’s ear hidden somewhere in the deep recesses of the Pentagon, but I doubt it. Even if they were there, they would be spending their time trying to get back to their legions.
    My team sergeant had a different solution. “First thing we do after we get off the god d_mned DZ is put a god d_mned round through that god d_mned radio.”

  87. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    A link to the homepage of Applied Memetics LLC doesn’t disclose the principals, but some light is perhaps shed on the principles:
    If you scroll all of the way to the bottom of the homepage, and click on “About” some information may possibly be gleaned. Their blog section may also be worth a perusal. Not what you wished for, but something, hopefully.

  88. optimax says:

    Dan Gabriel is the one that retweeted the false information that Ben Carson had dropped out of the race at the Iowa primary.
    In a plea for money, Cruz said he would not take money from D.C. lobbyists and billionaires. The facts say otherwise.
    Makes you wonder about his true religion.

  89. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    While I generally value b´s input, I do not believe direct specops support for the Kurds in the Azaz theatre to be likely for the reasons already mentioned.
    I for one would guess that these were PKK commandos who received some new toys and some specific advice courtesy of some polite green men who were displeased about a certain air traffic incident.
    PKK`s hard core are some pretty tough mountains Guerilla fighters from a pretty martial culture, give them access to some tier 1 equipment, a 1-2 month special instruction course by the friendly neighborhood Speznaz and they will likely perform pretty well, since those are not civilians starting at zero. One should add that their opposition is not exactly top tier either.
    The broadcasted “absence” of actual speznaz from direct fighting would then become a direct message to Turkey as in “Dear Tayip, watch and see how properly equipped and trained Kurds operate. Unless you change course, your opportunities to observe such properly equipped and trained Kurds will soon increase exponentially. Love, Russia.”
    If Erdogan gets more paranoid and thinks the Americans want to screw him, well, even better.
    I would not discount the possiblity that the friendly neighborhood Speznaz equipped the Kurds with some tell tale US weaponry, because using Erdogans rampant (and by now not unjustified) paranoia against him while also sowing distrust between him and the US factions is cheap, usefull and hilarious.

  90. Fred says:

    ““First thing we do after we get off the god d_mned DZ is put a god d_mned round through that god d_mned radio.”
    I think Alan Farrell, whose presence on these pages I very much miss, wrote some fine lines of poetry expressing this same sentiment.

  91. Tyler says:

    This post was bait for all the President Gay Urkel true believers to come out and push their insane theories about how Obama is secretly pursuing 3D chess anti-Neocon policy.
    HA friggin HA.
    Trump is going to be your next president.

  92. LondonBob says:

    So Trump has said he is neutral on Israel-Palestine. Will announce foreign policy team in about a week. I always look at the people one surrounds oneself with, interesting to see who emerges.

  93. IMO you are correct since the DoJ has not prosecuted violations for a long time!

  94. BB says:

    Ted Cruz at the CNN town hall last night singled out John Bolton as someone he would tap as Secretary of State. Scary stuff.

  95. BB says:

    Anyone other than Trump for the GOP pick and you will lose battleground states like NH, PA, VA, WI, et al. Cruz or Rubio could not win them. With Trump, not only are battleground states winnable, but blue states like NY and NJ are in play. I’m afraid the GOP establishment would rather lose with a Rubio than win with Trump. It would have been the same if Rand Paul had won the primary. March 2 is when I re-register as independent.

  96. turcopolier says:

    Since Cruz is evidently a neocon with Wolsey as his foreign policy advisor this appointment would be consistent. pl

  97. The Beaver says:

    Colonel, Croesus et al:
    Dan Gabriel & Ted Cruz. He worked for Pat Buchanan before and the following ( a link from the above article is more edifying:

  98. SmoothieX12 says:

    “I’m sure there’s a cultural element to it.”
    War is a cultural affair. This cultural element is a defining factor across the whole spectrum of human activities. As per Saakashvili, he also ended up (at least for a while) as a Senior Statesman of Tuffts University’s School Of Law And Diplomacy. It seems that US “academe” tends to attract nutjobs and label them prophets in Russia’s case. Last three years were especially remarkable in this sense.

  99. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Not that is a usual way of payoff in US.

  100. Willmann,
    A Troop 1/11 ACR was in a hellacious fight in Mar ’70 near the Cambodian border. It was largely forgotten about. It came to my notice a couple of years ago, when A Troop was awarded the PUC. News about the 11th Armored Cav. Regt. always gets my attention.

  101. bth says:

    We need to be keeping an eye on developments in Iraq especially with regard to plans for Mosul. If Syria and Russia push on Raqqa it will be important not to let IS squeeze like a tube of toothpaste back over into Iraq.
    Kurds are asking about $81 million a month or roughly a billion USD for the enterprise. Iraq army moving toward a June 1 date but there is concern that they aren’t ready. Also where is the 101st going to send its men? Is it going to provide the helicopter support said to be needed for the Mosul operation and if so how much time is required to set up? Last would the Iraqi Army necessarily have to take Fallujah, Haditha, Hit before Mosul or would a two prong attack be possible, one from the coalition plus Kurds from north and east and one from the south and east by Iraq armed forces? The political landscape post conflict might be determined by this sequence of events.

  102. Jackrabbit says:

    Recently they have been trying to push the ‘Obama’s legacy!’ tripe to PROVE his good intentions.
    HA! +100

  103. Fred says:

    The Texas AG is hardly an Obama supporter. I’m sure he could figure out how to direct the county (or the hospital or the funeral home) to draw a blood or hair sample. As for presidential candidates I would expect the Senator from Texas has Mr. Paxton’s number. That said an 80 year old man having a heart attack does not sound all that unusual to me.

  104. Will says:

    “Within hours of the September 11 attacks, Woolsey appeared on television suggesting Iraqi complicity.[27] In September 2002, as Congress was deliberating authorizing President Bush to use force against Iraq, Woolsey told the Wall Street Journal that he believed that Iraq was also connected to the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.[28]”,_Jr.

  105. cynic says:

    Obama has a world wide ‘image problem’.
    Here’s an article under which Daniel Rich has posted a very amusing gif of a very angry Putin telling off Obama, who like a sulky child leaves the room and kicks the door.
    Here’s another of a Russian toy depicting Putin giving Obama a spanking.
    Day by day the world sees the Emperor wearing fewer clothes.

  106. Lefty says:

    Gabriel even sounds like a cover name, as in blow your propaganda meme horn.

  107. Thomas says:

    And it is unfortunate that the elected officials of government has become the protector of the predators.

  108. Thomas says:

    “…Hollywood began forming anti-German organizations, staging anti-German rallies and producing “kill the Hun” scripts and newsletters at least as early as 1935.”
    They were assisting their ideological comrades.

  109. Fred says:

    “The more ex-officials can “monetize” their experience.”
    I think that shows the lack of integrity “honor” to use the old phrase. Of course plenty in our norhernized Republic disparaged the Southern sense of honor for years. We see where this version is leading us.

  110. Thomas says:

    It is not the quality of the education on Russia, it is the gatekeepers making sure objective and competent people don’t get through or move very far in the hallowed halls if they do. It is the Borgian way.

  111. Larry Murphy says:

    Do you really believe what Trump says? You know on many topics what he’s saying now in Iowa and South Carolina is diametrically opposite to what he said not long ago.
    Who do you believe is the real Trump?
    How would you feel if he turned out to be like all the other politicians saying whatever it took to win the election and then turned around and did something else? Rallying the anti-immigration sentiment now and after the election did nothing. No deporting the illegals or build a wall on the Mexican border.

  112. cynic says:

    Despite the airs and graces he assumes, the world’s organization tree shows that Obama is merely a middle manager.

  113. mlaw says:

    This appears to violate the hosts rule against ad hominem attacks. That said, I have a thick skin , and its your shop.
    Would we expect that the knavish, lying, schemer, Kerry should publicly say; “you know, on second thought, we should never have tried to impose our western ideas on the greater middle east and maybe every once in awhile we should recognize that culture, even if we don’t like it isn’t going to change over night, and yes the Russians do have an legitimate interest that we have to accommodate”
    Should he say that? Should he also say that we have been pulling our punches in regard to ISIS oil sales through Turkey? Should he say that we know that the Russians are doing the hard work and that the regime clearly has enough support to survive?
    It seems that if he doesn’t say that, he is a schemer, when in fact he is a diplomat playing the cards that he has.

  114. turcopolier says:

    Do you think that we soldiers have not had to have a thick skin? IMO he is a knavish diplomat as he was a lying self centered man after VN when he lied about our behavior in service to self. It was oh, so easy to be with the scruffy long haired lefties then as it is for him to serve Obama now. pl

  115. optimax says:

    All of Ted Cruz’s foreign policy advisers are neocon bigwigs. Here is a list:
    Chad Sweet
    Victoria Coates
    James Woolsey
    Elliot Abrams
    John Bolton
    A short bio of each:

  116. rjj says:

    bigger problem: what if that abysmal [literally gazing into it] list is not perceived to be a problem?

  117. optimax says:

    Even though more people realize the stupidity of neocon (almost wrote neocohen)FP, the average person is unaware of their self-destructive influence. The SST community is an exception, thanks to the Col. and other informed people here.

  118. Tyler says:

    I feel Trump legitimately believes in what he says. He’s the only candidate that’s not going to start 7 wars in MENA for the Zionists on January 22nd, 2017.
    His fortunes rise and fall on the populous. I’d rather deal with one billionaire reliant on me than wonder about the hundred billionaire puppet masters that control another candidate.

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