Open Thread – 16 June 2016

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128 Responses to Open Thread – 16 June 2016

  1. Joe100 says:

    Bizarre proposed Ukraine operation shortly after the MH-17 shoot down by Australia and the Dutch (if real)..
    You could not make this stuff up
    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=15859#more-15859

  2. What’s the thinking on Syria? Pivots and decision points are in the air.
    We have Turkey pulling support for rebels that threaten Assad’s capacity to quash an autonomous Syrian Kurdistan. The Sultan has realized he’s made a long list of enemies – Russia, Iran, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Kurds, the US, and the EU. Meanwhile, Russia has resumed bombing around Aleppo as Kerry fulminates about their favourite fundies being promoted to their sky virgin loft. Shortly prior, the Russian, Iranian, and Syrian defence ministers met to discuss The Plan. The Russian MOD’s assessment of the talks was brief. It’s possible Iran is having a big ‘What’s the plan?’ moment with Putin, being especially suspicious of talks between Russia and the West. Russian media has been murmuring lately that the pro-Assad ground forces have insufficient clout to take Raqqa or achieve the total victory preferred by Iran.
    My belief is that the Russians started talking to the US because (a) they want to force the US to walk back on its grand isolation ploy (b) expose the fact the US cannot produce moderate head choppers they are prepared to showcase before the world, and (c) avoid a quagmire by keeping diplomatic options open. Whatever the case, current pro-Assad ground forces lack the strength to make significant gains in short order unless this Turkey business turns out to be a game changer. There’s no sign of the US backing down or Russia abandoning support for Assad, so we could be settling in for a Long War now that the SAA has reached the end of its logistical tether.

  3. YT says:

    http://m.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/05/22/up-close-on-venezuela-crisis.html
    http://m.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/06/12/venezuela-struggle-survive.html
    Lisa Sullivan has been in Latin America since ’77 & talks about the plight of the locals.
    (If I were y’all, I’d pray that they resolve their crises soonest before they all start flocking to the US of A…)

  4. Jack says:

    Brexit is heating up in the UK. A member of Parliament was shot and stabbed to death.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/16/labour-mp-jo-cox-shot-in-west-yorkshire
    This is undoubtedly a tragedy. My point is addressed to those promoting the evisceration of the 2nd amendment to our Constitution. Don’t they have gun control in the UK?

  5. Jack says:

    The NY Times has a story that the Orlando shooter posted to Facebook during the attack. He also took time to change out the magazine. A question to those more knowledgeable about such stressful situations. Why didn’t anyone attempt to jump him or throw bottles or other objects or in general attack him back, even if they were unarmed? Clearly if people were packing in the situation could have been different.

  6. LeaNder says:

    Israel seems to have amended its law on terrorism, if I got news correctly today.
    This would be a bit off topic on our recent treads on events in and around Orlando, but it is well written.
    Here is an article by Allison Deger on Mondoweiss:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/attacker-understand-violence/#comment-843233
    Family of Tel Aviv attacker tries to understand how star pupil turned to violence
    When Mohammed Makhamri was shown a picture of his son Khaled being arrested in Tel Aviv last Wednesday at an outdoor shopping center after an attack that killed four, he recognized him instantly even though the beard was gone.

    In retrospect, Mohammed could see a shift brewing in Khaled. The pieces did not fall into place until it was too late. Khaled had taken a semester off of school, telling his family he needed “room to breathe.”

    The possibility that Khaled’s family would face home demolition was presumably not a surprise to him. When he was seven years old a relative living in the building next door killed an Israeli during the second Intifada. Afterwords the Israeli military razed the building leaving 28 people homeless, “most of them children” said Mohammed.

  7. doug says:

    My estimate of the Orlando jihadi has evolved. Earlier I thought that there was some confluence between the killer as a conflicted gay that sought salvation through his deadly actions. I’m shifting to the belief that it is more likely it was a strategic decision long planned in conjunction with an Isis contact.
    It provides the perceived benefits of targeting a despised group that reflects Isis’s world view and is likely seen as an appropriate target of the corrupted West by a large segment of Muslims. This would aid in their struggling recruitment.
    It aligns with his family’s beliefs.
    It aligns with his, now disclosed, media blitz getting his “message” out midway through his bloody endeavor.
    It aligns with his wife’s actions who would otherwise not exactly find their excursions to gay bars understandable.
    There have been no reported instances of him actually hooking up with someone in the gay community and only limited approaches to individuals. The social media presence would make sense if his goal was understanding his target and finding the softest, most attractive time and place.
    I am not so sure the shooter wasn’t also a repressed gay but if he had jihadi contacts it seems that the strategic aspect of this would be rather appealing.

  8. LeaNder says:

    Recently I listened to a talk by Bruce Sterling. Don’t recall it verbatim, but apparently someone in Italy told him, he doesn’t understand US panic concerning Trump. After all, why shouldn’t they have their version of Berlusconi.
    Maybe the message reached Trump, Politico reports:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/06/report-after-election-trump-considering-media-company-launch-224423
    Does Donald Trump want to create a Trump News Network?
    *******
    this was the speech, but it’s long, and please don’t ask me, where it was:
    https://soundcloud.com/officialsxsw/closing-remarks-bruce-sterling-sxsw-interactive-2016

  9. BabelFish says:

    Reading T. J. Stiles 2015 biography of George Armstrong Custer, which was awarded a Pulitzer. If you know American history, you know how the story ends.
    I didn’t realize how much time he spent on McClelland’s staff. Or that spent much of the Peninsular Campaign aloft in observation balloons. Great personal bravery plus a strong penchant for self-promotion, which was bested by McClelland’s staff in puffing up Little Mac.

  10. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Harry Turtledove, in his alternative history novels, portrays Custer as far more competent than the usual historical depictions, and Turtledove does his homework quite rigorously. Custer may have been an insufferable megalomaniac (he is that too in the novels), but he was still something special.

  11. Jack,
    You have to remember that this occurred at two in the morning in a Florida nightclub celebrating Latin night. I don’t imagine many of the clientele being in any condition to throw bottles or attack someone with any degree of effectiveness. The jihadi asshole chose his target well.

  12. Chris Chuba says:

    Wargame: How President Hillary Clinton could trigger a nuclear war with Russia
    Since the subject of ‘nuclear codes’ was mentioned by Hillary Clinton in her foreign policy speech, here is a scenario where she, and NOT Donald Trump, escalates a situation into a nuclear war with Russia. I’m not saying it is going to happen but I came up with a scenario that I believe is not totally ridiculous. If people disagree with me, no offense taken, comments are welcome …
    1. President Hillary Clinton orders a no fly zone over Syria.
    2. Russians successfully counter it with better than expected performance of their S400’s.
    3. Enraged by downing of U.S. aircraft, Hillary, at the suggestion of the newly appointed Gen. Breedlove, approves a plan to have U.S. troops back a land attack on Crimea while launching a naval missile attack on Sevastopol. After all, it’s not really Russian territory and they believe it will force them to leave Syria.
    4. The Russians decide to make the U.S. experience war in their own backyard thinking that it will make them re-consider their campaign. They launch a cruise missile attack on a U.S. military base in San Diego with conventional warheads.
    5. President Clinton is faced with a choice, either pursue a cease fire or to escalate even more. She is advised that a nuclear first strike will eliminate a Russian response. She is told that we know where all their submarines are. She sees this as a choice between being a one term President or being remembered as the one who eliminated the Russian menace. She orders the attack …
    Some additional info, a paper from members of the Council on Foreign Relations claimed that we had nuclear primacy in 2006
    https://www.dartmouth.edu/~dpress/docs/Press_US_Nuclear_Primacy_CS.pdf
    Also, the “Russian Insider” claims that Russia has been shooting down U.S. drones over Crimea recently. If true then we don’t see Crimea as the same way the Russians do.

  13. Fred says:

    A nice vocal performance to give you confidence in the future; straight from Detroit:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpE1Pa8vvI

  14. Will Reks says:

    Jack,
    Someone who actually promotes evisceration of the 2nd Amendment is probably better suited to answer this but I will offer up an answer in case you were sincerely looking for one.
    I don’t know the particulars about the UK’s gun control laws. There about 50-60 gun-related homicides every year in the UK. I don’t think any type of gun control will make that number zero so I think we are agreed that it is a total failure in the UK.

  15. dbk says:

    I have been mulling over the timing of the release of the fact that HC’s private e-mail server was hacked.
    Any chance it might be connected to the Russian President’s reaction to negotiations reportedly ongoing between Victoria Nuland / Nicos Anastasiades et al. re: the “withdrawal” of Turkish troops from Cyprus and their replacement with (Turkish) NATO forces? Turning 37% of Cyprus into a surrogate U.S. military base cannot have pleased the Russian leader. Just a thought.

  16. P.L. and ALL? Any links to analysis of the Clinton Global Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative?

  17. Jack says:

    I would appreciate it if our British correspondents David Habakkuk, LondonBob, et al would share their views on the tragic murder of parliamentarian Jo Cox and the consequences for the Brexit referendum.
    It seemed from the recent polls that Leave was edging ahead and Cameron, Osborne and others leading the Remain campaign were under pressure. This tragedy could possibly shift sentiment dramatically. Will Jo Cox be the martyr for Remain and the larger EU project?

  18. bth says:

    There is an excellent series on YouTube on the WWI called The Great War series by historian Indy Neidell. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUcyEsEjhPEDf69RRVhRh4A
    I highly recommend it. He follows the war with an episode per week (roughly 100 years back) which makes for a fascinating flow.

  19. Looks like there is a serious infestation of “Assad must go” true believers at the State Department. These are mid level career diplomats rather than think tank appointees. The neocon sickness runs deep. I wish I had more faith in Trump to be able to do something about this. Unfortunately, I think he would be destroyed soon after his inauguration.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/world/middleeast/syria-assad-obama-airstrikes-diplomats-memo.html?_r=0

  20. alba etie says:

    All
    Richard Armitage has endorsed Clinton – that does it I am for certain writing in Sanders on my ballot now !

  21. Swerv21 says:

    Chas freeman has a piece in the national interest
    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/what-america-keeps-getting-wrong-the-middle-east-16573?page=show
    For review and comment.

  22. Castellio says:

    I wish more people were aware of just how “saturated” the neocon presence is within mid-level as well as upper level federal bureaucracies.

  23. rjj says:

    How does The Brown Lady define “diplomats.”
    ” More than 50 State Department diplomats” out of how many “rank and file” ???
    50+ does not seem like a surprisingly large number of toadys + advantage seekers.
    but this is (as usual) pure ignosticism (sic) on my part.

  24. Jack says:

    Fred
    If they turn out worse than Boomers we’ll be happy we ain’t here to see that! That’s gonna be some achievement though.

  25. optimax says:

    Babelfish, khc,
    If you’re interested in the plains indians fight with the US a highly entertaining and well researched book is “The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend.” Much of it is based on the long lost autobiography of Red Cloud, who was a brilliant Oglala Sioux chief and tactician that successfully fought the US army from 1866 to 1868. Red Cloud is best known for what has rightfully been changed from the Fetterman Massacre to the Fetterman Battle. It’s a mostly forgotten but important piece of American history.

  26. rjj says:

    you have seen this? it is slightly more demanding, but much less trying.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/NationalWWIMuseum

  27. Castellio says:

    Good question. Other than “brand creation” what is going on, really?

  28. johnf says:

    Erdogan no longer seems to be one of the “Assad Must Go” crowd. He’s too worried about an independent Kurdish State.
    “Turkey may soften stance on Assad exit as Kurdish gains force shift
    Turkey’s determination to prevent an autonomous Kurdish region emerging in northern Syria could see it ease up on demands for President Bashar al-Assad’s immediate exit, as it overhauls a foreign policy that has left it more isolated than influential.
    Days after taking office last month, new Prime Minister Binali Yildirim – a close ally of President Tayyip Erdogan – said Turkey needed to “increase its friends and decrease its enemies”, in what appeared a tacit admission that his predecessor’s policies had left the NATO member sidelined.”
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-turkey-relations-idUKKCN0Z0296
    This could also explain the sudden collapse of the Latakia front.

  29. johnf says:

    If this Turkish shift is true, it could lead to massive realignments on the ground:
    Peto Lucem Retweeted
    A.J ‏@aj_observations 12h12 hours ago
    Massive #Syria-n Army gains in #Latakia will free up thousands of #SAA/#NDF for other fronts in #Syria. This will be bad news for Al #Nusra.
    https://twitter.com/PetoLucem

  30. Henshaw says:

    This internal memo by 51 State Dept employees criticizing the Administration policy on Syria is a stunner. These people are supposed to be the best and the brightest, but their analysis and recommendations wouldn’t be out of place coming from a second-rate, Gulf-funded think-tank.
    It appears that the events of the last four years have rolled off their analytical faculties like water off a duck’s back. In their minds, there are significant numbers of moderate rebels, just waiting to be given the chance to lead Syria into a neoliberal nirvana. Yeah, sure. I’m still waiting for them to name these moderate groups.
    It would appear these masters of the foreign policy universe have learned nothing by watching the way the thousand or so revel groups have continuously mixed, merged and separated to advance their own objectives. That they still espouse the idea that Assad’s departure would improve the situation when all the evidence of recent years suggests that it would probably open the way for endless inter-rebel warfare, definitely destroy the possibility of a secular state, and open the way for large-scale ethnic cleansing, means that they either are impervious to reality, or doggedly pushing someone else’s agenda.
    They are as much of a danger to the USA as they are to Syria. The US Government doesn’t pay rebels and revolutionaries to work against US interests- why does it pay this bunch of true believers to do the same thing?

  31. jjackson says:

    There is no hard information on which to comment at the moment. What we know is that a woman was killed in the street. What is not clear is why or even if the perp. knew she was an MP. The media know they have a big story but nothing to print so are wasting their air time and column inches with tweets of condolence and not very informative eye witness accounts. The politicians are all getting camera time but I keep getting flashbacks to this old ‘Not the nine o’clock news’ sketch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T17VzztS60M

  32. Chris Chuba says:

    That would have led to a hot war with Russia.
    I know that the Australian PM is a deranged anti-Putin loon but could he possibly be so oblivious to the consequences of such an action? IF it was real and if someone like McCain was President instead of Obama, hmm….

  33. It might by at Kerry’s behest

  34. rjj says:

    Don’t remember seeing this Jack Matlock interview here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATUDIMVBXTo
    It would not work as fiction.

  35. James Loughton says:

    Evidently Bernie will stay in until the convention. He consistently polls better than Hillary in a match up against Trump. Hillary clearly deserves to be indicted, but I think the fix is in.

  36. jonst says:

    Have you ever been in a bar fight? Heck, have you ever been in, or witnessed, a fight scene where liquor had been flowing in abundance right before the crap hit the fan? You can get pretty sober and pretty deadly, pretty quickly. This is not offered to blame or find shortcoming in any of the victims or participants. It IS to say people can get pretty effective and creative–I know–in situations like that. I simply don’t know what happened here.

  37. rjj says:

    link to the attention grabbing anecdote in the Matlock interview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATUDIMVBXTo&feature=youtu.be&t=1157

  38. morgan says:

    Custer’s “more competent” resulted in the Little Big Horn massacre.

  39. morgan says:

    The Fetterman Massacre took place a few miles north of where I was born and grew up.

  40. raven says:

    BIRSTALL, England — The suspect in the killing of a member of Parliament on a street in northern England on Thursday has a history of ties with a neo-Nazi organization in the United States, and in 1999, he purchased books from the group on how to make a gun and improvised explosives, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
    The law center, which is based in Alabama and tracks extremist groups, released receipts Thursday night showing that the suspect, Thomas Mair, 52, had paid $620 for materials from National Vanguard Books, the publishing imprint of the neo-Nazi organization, called the National Alliance. The materials included a set of publications — including “Chemistry of Powder and Explosives” and “Improvised Munitions Handbook” — purchased in 1999.

  41. DC says:

    I agree. An Ivy League education has officially become a danger to the country. All that studying and allegiance to ideology rather than realism is next to worthless at the Department of State (hopefully DoD would never, ever have them).

  42. Fred says:

    Rave,
    Well if the SPLC said so it must be true. Obviously in the land of the gunpowder plot no one would know how to actually make gunpowder, or zip guns, but of course Americans are somehow to blame.

  43. hemeantwell says:

    Your fairly plausible scenario sickeningly reminds me of the scene in the movie Failsafe when the Herman Kahn figure, played by Walter Matthau, argues that the B-58s headed towards Russia should not be recalled because the Russians will recognize that they cannot all be stopped and will surrender. One of the generals fires back, “That’s hogwash, the best defense is a good offense, and they’ll act accordingly.”
    NATO’s hope to generate cracks in Putin’s government, to appeal to the material interests of some of the oligarchs to end Russia’s foreign policy independence, are the most dangerous strategic “game” under way today. It’s truly dismaying how ignorant nominally informed people are of this. Trying to discuss it leads only to an exercise of their tolerance of “another [ridiculous] opinion,” not their intellect. Instead, they open up the NYTimes, with its drip, drip, drip of anti-Russian attacks, ranging from backing Assad to athlete doping. Case close.

  44. Fred says:

    Jack,
    We at least the Boomers haven’t completely bankrupted the Republic or started a nuclear war; but give them time, they are still young enough.

  45. Fred says:

    TTG,
    This was even faster than GWB’s Iraq war IO campaign. Since we’ve already heard that Mateen pledged to ISIS but also Hezbollah (not sure how much traction the latter is actually getting) I’m sure we’ll see some more “slam dunk” evidence about how “regime change” is essential in Syria.

  46. bth says:

    Thanks. Looks good. Hope to visit there someday.

  47. SmoothieX12 says:

    The paper you presented is almost 10 years old. There is no US primacy in nuclear weapons vis-a-vis Russia. Currently Russia is capable to provide, with 100% guarantee, otvetno-vstrechnyi (head on-response) strike. Russia’s counter-force capabilities are as good, if not better, than those of US. With completion of all 8 Borei-class (project 955) SSBNs, a naval deterrent component becomes extremely difficult to detect and track. Boreis are arguably the most silent subs in the world today and represent an immense challenge to ASW forces. So are cruise missile carrying SSGNs and SSKs. If to imagine (God forbids) that HRC becomes POTUS it will be up to US top military brass to tell the actual state of the affairs to her. Will they have enough balls to contradict her and her’s “experts” on the issue? I don’t know–what I observed for years and write about constantly does not inspire me–current US “elites”, even some top military, continue to live in parallel universe of military-political “assessment” of Russia. That is very worrisome.

  48. rjj says:

    “Dozens of Diplomats…” seems to be getting a lot of push in print. how about The TeeVee?
    https://news.google.com/news/rtc?ncl=d8_4LORKHabyDfMCXFDWikHtirVhM&authuser=0&topic=h

  49. optimax says:

    Both Fetterman and Custer under estimated the tactical ability of the Plains Indians. When the Indians beat the army it was called a massacre, when the army won it was called a battle. It was a war for land and a way of life on both sides.

  50. Should HRC become our next President how will she handle holdovers from the Obama Administration?
    IMO when WJC became President he favored those he had worked with before becoming President [especially if from Arkansas] as opposed to picking appointees on merit and competence.
    It is well documented that not really expecting to win the Presidency WJC’s White House Personnel Office and his administration in general had A DISASTEROUS FIRST YEAR–January 20th, 1993–January 20th, 1994.
    His wife HRC would not seem to have that excuse if elected.

  51. pj says:

    TTG, Do you have a link to the actual memo? I couldn’t find one in the NY Times article. TIA

  52. MRW says:

    How else is Israel going to get its land–Eratz Israel–all the way to the Euphrates unless Syria is destabilized or knocked out?

  53. MRW says:

    I wish I had more faith in Trump to be able to do something about this.
    Not with his son-in-law running the show.

  54. turcopolier says:

    optimax
    “When the Indians beat the army it was called a massacre, when the army won it was called a battle” Political BS. The Custer disaster is universally referred to by historians as the “Battle of the Little Big Horn.” At the same time the “Sand Creek Massacre” which the Colorado volunteers undoubtedly “won” is so described. pl

  55. MRW says:

    There have been no reported instances of him actually hooking up with someone in the gay community.
    A patron of Pulse said in an interview on BBC (NPR segment) that he’s seen the shooter at Pulse over 12 times in three years, but that the shooter was unappealing and couldn’t seem to connect with those he tried to hook up with. when questioned further, he told the BBC reporter that he’d definitely seen the shooter try.
    They didn’t find anything on his computer that would suggest an ISIS connection.

  56. Fred says:

    jonst,
    The last one to make the national news was the biker shootings in Waco which has disappeared off the MSM radar. Of course that’s not the kind of place guys like Mateen would try to shoot up.

  57. pj,
    This story was based on a draft of the memo leaked to the NYT. USAToday said the final memo was classified. I don’t think the NYT released or ever will release the draft memo. Depends on what they promised to the leaker/source.

  58. Tyler says:

    Jonst,
    Have you ever tried fighting back with your pants around your ankles?
    I’m opening myself up here to “lol how do u know” charges but the debauchery at a large gay bar at about 2 am is absolutely bacchalian in ways most straights cannot imagine.

  59. David Lentini says:

    I’ve see many interesting questions about what really happened. Memoryholeblog has some good posts here:
    https://memoryholeblog.com/

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I thought it was a colossal failure of the NATO states, an unbelievably stupid set of actions, that caused the President of the Russian Federation, a man who on numerous occasions had indicated his desire for better relations with NATO states, to publicly remind NATO that the Russian Federation is capable of incinerating them in case of war.
    And yet no one is fired or removed from their position in NATO states; they are still marching as though they can, in principle, fight a war against Russia and go unscathed.

  61. robt willmann says:

    WRC,
    Charles Ortel, who has worked on this for a little over a year, has posted some of his findings and exhibits on his website–
    http://www.charlesortel.com
    Here is an interview he did about a month ago with a radio station in Chicago about the Clinton Foundation and the associated organizations (it starts at 1 min. 32 sec. in)–
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Q-Rc4Nr_A
    The reason Charles Ortel has not been asked to be on the Sunday morning television “talk shows” or on TV networks generally is that he understands financial statements and reports and “finance”, and has had a lot of practical experience, including at the old Dillon, Read & Co. He has found incriminating information on the Clintons from publicly filed documents and financial reports. One does not even need a subpoena to get the basic information for a legal case.
    Some State laws can also apply to foundations and charities, in addition to federal laws. To the extent that any State criminal laws apply, a State Attorney General or local District Attorney, as authorized in a State, could bring criminal charges based on probable cause about the Clinton foundation and activities related to it, independent of the federal Justice Department.
    My opinion has been that the best way to proceed against the conduct of the Clintons with a clean, easily understood case is on the subject of the Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, and associated and related organizations, both as to the content of their required public filings, their lack of required audits, and the money trail.

  62. LeaNder says:

    BNW, a nutshell response, and strictly I prefer a slight distance to both the intrinsics of the topic and its activists … but I still occasionally check friends’ struggle. … Maybe I don’t want to devote my diminishing life wholly on the topic?
    No doubt interesting. Let’s see, if the sentences are abandoned at one point in time, after the attention dust settled, since after all no: “need to implement this [deterrent] power”.

  63. shepherd says:

    Wikipedia carries a list of massacres on both sides:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_massacre

  64. LondonBob says:

    I doubt it will have any effect, looks like the lone actions of a deranged individual. Of course we have seen the reaction to such events in the States, and there was a quick attempt to politicise the event and try to blame the Leave campaign, but there has been a strong push back against that since.
    https://ig.ft.com/sites/brexit-polling/
    The momentum is all with Leave, I expect things will get back on track after this tragic hiatus. Maggie Thatcher had the Conservative Party conference continue on the next day after the Brighton bombing, despite colleagues, friends and loved ones dead or in hospital. Things must go on.

  65. LeaNder says:

    Joe, CC, James Brown, no doubt may have larger matters in mind, and they may be purely Australian, or “national interest” but it no doubt could be different if I venture beyond the frame. …
    Take a look at his introduction on Amazon, in case you are interested. Cheaper then a subscription.
    Ultimately it is not important, why the plans weren’t implemented or who managed to apply the “brakes”. Thankfully the plans remained plans.
    A variation on a known theme:
    “In 2014, according to Brown, Abbott “calculated that the best way to encourage the United States to retain an active role in world affairs was for Australia to lead by example: as an ally encouraging, reassuring, and perhaps even occasionally shaming the US into taking action.”

  66. Peter says:

    “After all it’s not really Russian territory…”
    Just one small point: I’m not sure if you were suggesting that’s how HC thinks, or if you actually think that Crimea is not really Russian territory, but it most certainly is. I could see HC ignoring the referendum vote, but I would imagine most people on this forum are well aware that Crimea is definitely Russian territory.

  67. Jack says:

    Fred
    If the Borg Queen ascends the throne she could give a nuclear attack a go, since she’s firmly in the exceptional nation woman mindset. Like her pal Ms. Albright.
    And the Boomers for all intents and purposes have already bankrupted the Republic especially when you take into account all the unfunded contingent liabilities across the economy. They’ve promoted the free lunch theory to its logical conclusion pretty hard. They’re just a recession or two away from Havenstein territory. When one sees negative yields on 30yr Swiss bonds and a negative yield on 10yr Bunds for the first time since the 20s we know we are already in cloud cuckoo land.

  68. Tab says:

    I told my wife that if Hillary win’s the election, the ONLY thing that stands between a nuclear holocaust is an American military officer who disobeys orders.

  69. Ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Re: “Unfortunately, I think he would be destroyed soon after his inauguration.”
    If not before.

  70. rjj says:

    Was your link a response to TTG’s link to the 51 “diplomats” ? Wonder if the New World Orderlies have a Freeman portrait on display as reminder of the employment prospects of those who overthink the national interest stuff.

  71. Fred says:

    MRW,
    “They didn’t find anything on his computer that would suggest an ISIS connection.”
    Just who is “They”? Night club patrons, BBC reporters?

  72. morgan says:

    Fetterman was contemptuous of the Indians [He boasted that with 80 men he could ride through the whole Indisn nation.] and disobeyed orders resulting in his slaughter. Custer did have prior experience fighting the Indians but divided his forces at Little Big Horn. I’m sure Col. Lang can inform all what such a decision can lead to.

  73. Babak Makkinejad says:

    As I said before, his remedies are fantasies.
    Strange, coming from an experienced diplomat like him.

  74. SmoothieX12 says:

    >they are still marching as though they can, in principle, fight a war against Russia and go unscathed.
    They literally bought their own propaganda. In the end, Obama, when he stated that Russia doesn’t make anything, believed in it–that’s scary. Those people exist on some parallel plane of consciousness or a wishful thinking. They do believe that thoughts can form a reality.

  75. Fred says:

    This should go over well. Restoring history rather than erasing it:
    https://www.rt.com/politics/346805-st-pete-lawmaker-asks-russian/

  76. turcopolier says:

    morgan
    Custer divided his small force into three parts in the face of an enemy of unknown strength who would probably be better armed than his men. He then sought to “surround” the unknown force. What could go wrong? “Curly’ the Crow scout told him before the attack, “too many Yellow Hair, too many.” pl

  77. MRW says:

    Just who is “They”? Night club patrons, BBC reporters?
    FBI.

  78. SmoothieX12 says:

    >is an American military officer who disobeys orders.
    I know some American officers, decent, honorable men (one is also a stunningly beautiful woman–former officer). Let’s hope. Russia, certainly, will not start nuclear exchange.

  79. optimax says:

    Col that’s true. Thanks for the correction.

  80. The Beaver says:

    On the lighter and funnier side of things:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf6w8aYFwwI
    A kid having fun at the expense of the politicos du jour

  81. different clue says:

    jonst,
    I have lived a sheltered life and have had no experience with “fight bars” versus “gay bars”. I have had a little experience
    with university town “student and academic bars”. So I can only speak of what I might imagine.
    The regular attendees of “fight bars” (if such things really exist) are probably pretty practiced in close-quarters fighting and sobering-up real quick to be able to fight in close quarters. I somehow can’t imagine regular fighting practice and recreational fighting taking place as a matter of course in “gay bars”. So these targeted people would have been very untrained in close quarter fighting and very unused to being second-nature vigilant to the sudden emergence of a close-quarters fighting or other danger situation. And if they had been using awareness-impairing drugs other than alcohol, they might have been pre-rendered even more helpless.
    ( One hopes that “student and academic bars” would be a little bit able to defend themselves against sudden shooters.)

  82. different clue says:

    MRW,
    One wonders if he was really trying or just pretending to try in order to provide cover for his case-the-join presence in a gay club.

  83. MRW says:

    Swerv21,
    Excellent speech! Wish someone would video these things.
    Babak Makkinejad said in reply to Swerv21…
    As I said before, his remedies are fantasies.
    Strange, coming from an experienced diplomat like him.

    Couldn’t disagree more. Freeman is indicting the decades of our misadventures and faulty thinking for what we’ve now got. He’s talking to our people, not theirs. He says it all with this sentence: “All these blunders have been compounded by the consistent substitution of military tactics for strategy.” It’s this lack of strategic thinking that the Colonel scorns when he calls Obama’s so-called national security advisors the Children’s Crusade.

  84. MRW says:

    Yesterday on BBC.

  85. Fred says:

    Tyler,
    When the gay bar is also an under 18 dance club that is half lesbian there is probably far less than belly slapp’n though still plenty of last call drinking and who knows what pharmaceuticals.

  86. Fred says:

    MRW,
    well I’m glad to see they got that report out – to the BBC – without delay. Sounds like absolute BS to me in a crime investigation (three day turn around) but it sure fits the narrative of it ain’t terrorism.

  87. MRW says:

    Further, WRC, Clinton either abandoned–or was not told about–the presidential habit of inviting non-govrnment experts to Camp David for the weekend with his full cabinet to hear 20-min presentations (with 40 min Q&A) of opposing views when the issue was a matter of an important national decision or interest.
    This helped prevent the logjam of “trusted’ advisors, like a singular Ben Rhodes or Valerie Jarrett, controlling the President’s thoughts and agenda.

  88. Fred says:

    Ex-PFC Chuck,
    The Clinton corruption machine is already in action. They have all the establishment of both parties behind them this time around.

  89. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Do not feel too bad about : “another [ridiculous] opinion,” bit.
    I have been told: “another ridiculous opinion from a Third-Worlder…”

  90. morgan says:

    Col. Lang, memory fails me but wasn’t Custer in some kind of hot water with his superiors before the force left Ft. Robinson for the summer campaign of 1876? I seem to recall that some attributed his rash plan at the Little Big Horn as an opportunity, in his mind, to score a big victory and get back in the good graces of his superiors. An interesting sidelight to the Fetterman affair was that Fetterman’s commander, Col. Carrington, after his wife died, married the widow of a junior officer–Lt. Grummond–killed with Fetterman’s force.

  91. Tyler says:

    This was trumpeted all over the news when it broke, and the revelation of forgery was stuffed under a rug.
    On a macro perspective, it goes to show that the reigning secular orthodoxy has to invent narratives and pretend the past was what it was not in order to attempt to create legitimacy. Hate hoaxes, historical hoaxes, etc. (Credit to Sailer)
    Also, you see so much time and effort in trying to “debunk” Christianity but never Islam. Wonder (((why)))?
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-unbelievable-tale-of-jesus-wife/485573/

  92. MRW says:

    They “needed” Islam, Tyler: read the long but fascinating “The “Green Peril”: Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat.” August, 1992, by Leon Hadar.
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-177.html
    Then read Freeman’s recent piece, linked to above.

  93. MRW says:

    Also, it’s a matter of who will print what. You don’t see Freeman on the op-ed page of the NYT.

  94. Thomas says:

    “They do believe that thoughts can form a reality.”
    When Sultan Recep was visiting China last year he gave an interview with their English language news program Dialogue. Most of it was standard boilerplate stuff until the end when he sent a message to the Big O about saying something doesn’t make it happen and others can act too.
    His Refugee Gambit commenced shortly afterwards.

  95. MRW says:

    Ever been to a gay club? I have in NYC. Admittedly, an exclusive supper club kind of thing on the Upper eastside. There was no writhing and grinding in the aisles. Four of us were straight. The other three gay. (Birthday party.) No one anticipated that we would attempt to hook-up with anyone, and a discreet raised palm and slight shake of the head signaled not interested, which was honored. From the periphery, the dance floor was a pounding testosterone tsunami. If you were looking for available signs of ingress and egress, or the best spot to gun ‘em all down, no one would have paid you the slightest attention.
    If it’s true that the shooter was there over a three-year period, he had more than a strategic interest in sacrificing his life for ISIS, which was barely an acronym three years ago. The fact that he was seen trying to hook up with other patrons is telling. Besides, what a great cover to tell Daddy in case the ex-wife spilled the beans.

  96. MRW says:

    robt willmann said in reply to William R. Cumming…
    Charles Ortel is who I linked to.

  97. Castellio says:

    Okay, but what are the action items actually to be inferred from these words:
    “The limited normalization of Iranian relations with the West, including the United States, is an inevitability. The strategies of our Arab partners in the region need to anticipate and hedge against this. And we need to prepare them to do so.”

  98. turcopolier says:

    All
    I am fascinated by press references to finding the guilty alligator. Does this have something to do with anthropomorphic Disney animations of animals? IMO the parents should get as much money from Disney for punitive damages as possible. pl

  99. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yup.
    Add “incoherence” to “fantasy” – like the TV series “The Lost”.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The victims in that bar evidently were not the “Beer and Pretzel” crowd of hockey games.

  101. doug says:

    I’m reminded of a painfully lonely, kid in college. He was petrified of women but yet was desperate to find a girlfriend. He gave off such dreadful “vibes” that they largely steered clear and he developed a “all women are evil,” and that collectively they just hated him. To the point we were concerned he might strike out at some woman should he become fixated on one or possibly become suicidal. School authorities were advised.
    So perhaps he had unrequited gay inclinations that just festered. His father was certainly no help and he was clearly religious having gone to KSA twice in recent years. Odd that he would text his wife during the melee and ask if she heard the news. Also odd that he/she would exchange “I love you” texts.
    He clearly had long standing hatred of US ME policy. Reacting in school so strongly anti-US when the 9-11 attacks occurred is quite remarkable. At the time the US ME involvement was much smaller outside of the Iraq no-fly/sanctions.
    I’m curious as to how his parents came immigrate. Did his parents have some involvement in “Charlie’s War” before coming to America.

  102. optimax says:

    Col
    The Ahabs think it’s justice to execute an animal that kills a human as if it is imbued with our sense of morality. Disney didn’t post warning signs and needs to pay.

  103. different clue says:

    Jack,
    What are the unfunded contingent liabilities of which you speak?

  104. different clue says:

    All or anyone,
    Someone I know is going to Kuwait for about 6 months. He might get some restful interludes in Kuwait City. He likes and enjoys good food in good restaurants. Does anyone here know and care to mention what restaurant(s) in Kuwait City would be good to go to and worth having gone to?

  105. Les says:

    There are reports of his sexual advances getting rejected.
    Some admit to having a continuing dialog with him over the gay dating app, but no one claims to have a sexual relationship. Maybe he’s among the dead.
    On the other hand, he was trying to get into the police force for nearly eight years and showed frustration that he couldn’t get in because of prior investigations. He also blamed it on the treatment of Muslims.
    Targeting the club looks like a personal thing. Maybe the wife had role in encouraging him to act upon it as in the San Bernardino massacre.

  106. Chris Chuba says:

    Jack, my response is partly directed at other replies along the same lines, so don’t take this personally.
    I have read/heard lots of stories of mass shootings where people didn’t try to attack the gunman/gunmen, Sandy Hook and San Bernardino, Columbine comes to mind. So I would not attribute this response to be unique because it was a gay bar.
    Common responses seem to be to play dead and hope the gunman is going to leave. Hey, it sort of makes sense. If you rush the gunman you give him a 100% reason to shoot you and subconsciously you expect a rational bad guy to leave the scene of a crime. I am not saying that this is wise or the best response I am just thinking out loud as to why this is so common.
    It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback but this is a life and death situation that is suddenly thrown in your face for the very first time and the shock of it must be overwhelming. Who knows, maybe there are some environmental factors that contribute to this. For example, what happens if someone gets shot and the bullet hits a bone in an especially painful manner and they start screaming their head off, that would add even more to your confusion. I have never been in any situation where someone has been shot so I do not know what it is like.

  107. kodlu says:

    Do you have a source for this “withdrawal” plan?

  108. Chris Chuba says:

    “After all [Crimea] it’s not really Russian territory…”
    Peter, wars start when sides miscalculate how the other will respond, so I was strictly referring to the difference between how the Neocons and the Russians see Crimea. What I believe is irrelevant.
    IMO the Neocons genuinely believe that Crimea is just conquered territory that Russia would yield it as they would a Poland. However, I believe that the Russians would view an attack on Sevastopol at the same level as an attack on St. Petersburg or Volgagrad. It would be unforgivable. This lack of understanding by the Neocons is extremely dangerous.
    Nuclear primacy
    Smoothie, yes this paper is 10yrs old https://www.dartmouth.edu/~dpress/docs/Press_US_Nuclear_Primacy_CS.pdf
    whether it ever was accurate is now is irrelevant, the question is, did the Neocons believe it was true. Do some still believe it or that we are on the verge of having it again with some updates and more ABMs. If so then a Neocon President would be very tempted if put in a stressful situation, or at least I would put this at a definite non-zero probability.
    I did find the paper a fascinating read. It basically said that the number of missiles was irrelevant. Because of financial constraints, the Russians at that time, kept almost all of their submarines in port, so they might only have 1 or 2 at sea and this paper claimed we could track them. That the Russian air bases and ICBM’s silos were known and their track based mobile systems were easy to spot. That their radar had blind spots and would have problems detecting submarine based launches at some points and we could use our stealth fighters and bombers armed with Nukes to take out their Nukes first. I am not a weapons expert but it did make me wonder why we are rushing to build ABM’s and upgrade our nuclear arsenal. We clearly have deterrence in abundance. I do NOT believe that we are planning genocide but it is good to be king.
    The Russians do have a formidable force, one of their subs can launch over 100 warheads, only a lunatic would take that chance. I wouldn’t trust Hillary with that kind of power.

  109. Tonight [June 19th] TV’s 60 Minutes spend more time and effort on the 28 pp of the 9/11 Commission Report still classified.

  110. Three former SECDEFs have openly admitted NSC staff “tampering” outside of the Chain of Command had a largely negative influence on DoD and its components. My understanding is the NSC staff now numbers between 600-800. A bill looks likely to cap NSC staffing at 300. Active duty military on NSC staff number about 200.
    Should the NSC staffing be capped by statute? And what is the impact of this current staffing and perhaps capping it now?

  111. I will be off-blog between July 9th and the election! Except perhaps for OPEN Thread posts.
    But over time I will weigh in on how each Presidential candidate, of the Major Parties, might win despite polls. And yes here a fuzzy headed liberal that some friends label a Libertarian. CATO Institute does some excellent work IMO.
    So step by step the candidates now being the DONALD and HRC here is my first step for both.
    For the DONALD: Call the bluffing of the current Senate membership by calling for a vote on President Obama’s current SCOTUS nominee.
    For HRC: Promise all President Obama political appointees that except for cause [off-duty conduct?] they will retain their jobs for up to one year post January 20th, 2017.

  112. bth says:

    Air Force’s Lockheed Martin contractor has lost 100,000 waste fraud and abuse case files going back as far as 2004. http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/database-corruption-erases-100000-air-force-investigation-records/

  113. Jack says:

    An interesting quote in this story on the firing of Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
    “..reports swirled by midday that it was Trump’s adult children who forced the issue, including Ivanka – who feared that Lewandowski was trying to marginalize her husband Jared Kushner’s role as a trusted campaign adviser on Israel and Middle East issues.
    CNN correspondent Dana Bash wrote on Twitter about rumors that ‘the person who convinced Trump to fire Corey is Ivanka – who met with her dad and said get rid of him or she can no longer help.’ ”
    Is this how the ziocons compromise Trump? Use his Jewish son-in-law.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3650660/Trump-campaign-manager-Corey-Lewandowski-steps-Republican-s-White-House-bid-moves-high-stakes-general-election-phase.html

  114. While the Republican nomination may prove to be FOOLS GOLD real gold necessary to win the Presidency. Only question is who owns the elected President?
    And what about the VISION THING? IMO neither HRC or the Donald has much vision! Could be wrong of course!

  115. Fred says:

    Jack,
    That’s sure what someone wants American’s to believe. Whether it is true is another matter entirely.

  116. doug says:

    MSN has a new report out stating that the FBI has investigated the people claiming to have had gay interactions with the jihadi and have found nothing that corroborates any actual occurrences.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fbi-investigators-say-they-have-found-no-evidence-that-orlando-shooter-had-gay-lovers/ar-AAhyHLa
    But investigators do not consider the man’s account credible, according to one senior law enforcement official with access to the investigation.
    In seeking to verify the reports, federal agents have culled Mateen’s electronic devices, including a laptop computer and cellphone, as well as electronic communications of those who made the claims, law enforcement officials said.

  117. rjj says:

    It’s-news-if-you-think-of-it-as-news stories such as “FLASH! media inanist (sic) tweets on swirling reports of rumors that [fill in the blank]!!!” should probably be tossed into the “Caitlin Jenner’s Tits” dumpster.

  118. rjj says:

    wRT above: SCROLL!
    clarity of expression reflects clarity of thought.

  119. bth says:

    Here is an article that would suggest a change in diplomats from Iran foretells a change in Iran’s position with regard to Syria.
    http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/403603/Are-changes-under-way-in-Iran-s-Syrian-policy-without-Amir-Abdollahian
    Here is another that denies that.
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/06/iran-syria-policy-foreign-ministry-changes-abdollahian-ansar.html
    This op-ed suggests that Iran may have agreed to a Russian plan for a post Assad government with a larger role for parliament and a smaller presidential role.
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/22062016-irans-new-flexibility-on-syria-oped/
    This article which seems to have partially overlapping content with the above articles suggests that there is internal disagreement within Iran’s government on Syria and that Soleimani has re-shifted from Iraq back to Syria and will try to reinvigorate the Aleppo operation.
    http://atimes.com/2016/06/tehran-changes-horse-midstream-in-syria/
    Whatever the case, there seems to be more diplomatic activity underway than is publicly acknowledged.

  120. rjj says:

    PL: in case you haven’t seen it, here is more on your earlier topic of “Breedlove’s Bellicosity” (03/2015 thread). It comes from one of b’s people.
    https://theintercept.com/2016/07/01/nato-general-emails/ FIRST PARA ….

    RETIRED U.S. AIR FORCE Gen. Philip Breedlove, until recently the supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, plotted in private to overcome President Barack Obama’s reluctance to escalate military tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine in 2014, according to apparently hacked emails from Breedlove’s Gmail account that were posted on a new website called DC Leaks.

  121. More how can Trump win? Adopt the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as the base line foreign policy guidance for the U.S. together with EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN.
    How can HRC win the Presidency? Explain the Dennis Thatcher role WJC will adopt–seen but not heard!

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