Open Thread – 24 February 2018

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72 Responses to Open Thread – 24 February 2018

  1. Fred says:

    It appears Hollywood is now gunning for the NRA. The Hollywood elite did know how to protect Harvey Weinstein for 20 years and get rich doing it, I’m sure they know what is best for all the rest of us. Meanwhile the latest (it’s only been a week afterall.) news out of Broward County is that Sheriff cover-up had four officers who did not try and stop the shooter, not just one. On a note of Goodnews! The blaming the members of the NRA to distract attention from the cowardice and incompetence of he and his officers seems to be working.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/23/politics/parkland-school-shooting-broward-deputies/index.html
    “When Coral Springs police officers arrived …. many officers were surprised to find not only that …. the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered,”

  2. Vetssc17 says:

    In regards to post: Cowardice and Neglect of Duty.
    Problem Not the Troops but the leaders-in the Parkland case the Sheriff not the Deputies are at fault. However moral cowardice is rife in American Leadership.
    NOTE: pl service Honorable. But this is a systems problem and a personnel problem.
    Some judge the deputies – there were 4 who did not enter – harshly.
    I myself judge leaders harshly not troops.
    Why yes I am a Veteran. Who else would I be?
    When it’s one it’s a coward.
    When it’s all 4 deputies present it’s the leadership.
    My main point is there’s a lot of that going around; our precious military leadership rife with moral cowards and backbiters who are false, faithless and allegiant only to their own interests. We’re as infected with social justice and moral cowardice that infects the troops as deeply as this blighted Sheriff Israel infected his deputies.
    Let’s begin with Broward county.
    That county had policies since 2011 to prevent Laws from being enforced.
    They were investigated and warned in depth in 2013 after Trayvon Martin shooting.
    Here are the policies and note the first source is Progressive, after following is indeed the Conservative Tree House however they put the work in and it’s documented. The point of the policies was to stop the “schools to prison pipeline” and it worked.
    Progressive source: note Scott Israel is the Sheriff.
    http://prospect.org/article/reversing-broward-countys-school-prison-pipeline
    The conservative warnings about that school system in 2013.
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/19/school-shooting-was-outcome-of-broward-county-school-board-policy-now-local-and-national-politicians-weaponize-kids-for-ideological-intents/
    And now our precious military leadership. With their strange concept of “lawful orders” allowing them to pass responsibility onto the lowest ranking man/fall guy. >They suggest that prisoners shouldn’t have been taken and deny that was their meaning when the prisoners are shot…just as at Abu Gharib the orders to hurt the prisoners were questioned by SGT Grainer and affirmed by superiors -but Grainer was the lowest ranking man and the leaders as usual escape for the moment by the ‘lawful orders’ clause.
    Review – if a superior gives an ‘unlawful order’ and the subordinate carries it out then the subordinate is at fault and pays the price. A perfectly legal exception to the Chain of Command and responsibility. It’s all quite legal. But what is also “legal” is any suggestion of a superior is an order.
    What to do?
    What to do is NOTHING and someone else will act.
    The Leavenworth 10. 10 imprisoned for Lawful Orders but Superiors walked.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/03/26/members-leavenworth-10-languish-in-military-prison-while-gitmo-detainees-freed.html
    Absolutely the worst yet most typical of our actual leadership – Corey Clagett.
    He followed orders but they were ‘unlawful’ so his entire chain of command walked, even got their precious 20.
    He got 20 years. Even Obama couldn’t stand that one and pardoned him.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/18/leavenworth-10-soldier-rebuilds-life-after-serving-time-for-infamous-iron-triangle-murders.html
    You see you can’t fool the Troops. You can fool the outside world, you can certainly tell the politicians anything they want to hear…but we The Troops see the Truth.
    Now the above may not apply to you or how some ran their unit.
    It certainly however applies to the institution and the Marines are not immune either – see Haditha 7.
    Peer conflict should be interesting. Or War in America. There will you see be no lawyers or FOBs to hide behind. Just the Troops and their “Leaders.”
    Others may return now to the ritual of denunciation.
    Others may even denounce me – but you should know that just raises standing in the Wolf Pack.
    I don’t blame the Troops or the Deputies however- just the leadership.
    Good day and as your service was honorable so I respect it – but the denunciations have for too long only been one way.
    Cheers,
    vetssc17

  3. JJackson says:

    What, if anything, should we deduce from the deployment of a couple SU-57s to Syria. Nothing ongoing would seem to need them unless Russia anticipates the need to deny Syrian air space to some other party, which begs the question who? Turkey, Israel or US/NATO?

  4. J says:

    Colonel,
    I wonder if Larry will ever start another blog, his old blog stirred up the dust at times. LOL.

  5. JPB says:

    Imagery of Russia’s newest 5th generation SU-57 fighter at Hmeimim Airbase in Syria. Apparently the Russian Air Force wants some testing done under combat conditions? Or perhaps they are sending a message to the Israeli Air Force or the US?
    https://twitter.com/warsmonitoring/status/967405598613622787
    The SU-57, aka the T-50, is the first Russian aircraft to incorparate major stealth technology. It is also claimed to match or the F22, or better it, in supermaneuverability, supercruise capability, and advanced avionics.

  6. EEngineer says:

    Is it just me or does the general level of anxiety seem to be ramping up? The Turkish Navy threatens Greek and Italian drilling ships, the US Navy is making noise about boarding North Korean ships at sea, and the Israelis are contesting Lebanese off shore platforms. All of the is against the backdrop of the Saudi stalemate in Yemen, (haven’t heard much about that lately), Syrian advances in regaining their sovereignty, and a world stock market bubble ready to pop. It’s like there’s a plan to burn it all down. Or is it a collective “struggle session” madness by the Borg to keep keep unrealistic dreams and fantasies alive by just going “all-in” against any and all not towing the line?

  7. Huckleberry says:

    Huckleberry endorses ZMan, who posts from Lagos-on-the-Potomac, and suggests you all give him an read, or better yet, a listen. This week’s episode is one of his best:
    http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=13001

  8. Huckleberry says:

    And, of course, everyone should be listening to these old talks by Jonathan Bowden:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3EYBmQws5w

  9. They also deployed eight other aircraft – four SU-35 multi-role fighters and four SU-25 attack aircraft and – significantly – an A-50U Airborne Early Warning and Control plane, an equivalent of an AWACS aircraft, making two of those in country
    I don’t know if there was any aircraft rotation back to Russia to offset this increase in area force, but if there wasn’t it seems Russia is concerned about an increased possibility of air (and ground) combat – which means Turkey, Israel or the US.

  10. Just watched this and highly recommend it to everyone here:
    Syria’s shifting sands: RT’s Peter Lavelle interviews Alastair Crooke
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuTlEHiYLAU
    Crooke makes a number of interesting points about the sea change in Syria’s military relations with Israel after the shoot down of the Israeli jet, whether Turkey will indeed try to take Manbij, and US relations with Iran.

  11. A Chinese research team has come up with a novel design for an ultra-fast plane they say will be able to take dozens of people and tonnes of cargo from Beijing to New York in about two hours.

    Comment: This is just a wind tunnel model, not a working vehicle. However, China seems to have a lead in practical niche technologies, such as quantum computing. The world might be an interesting place if young students of science start saying that they would rather study in China than the USA.

  12. Mark Logan says:

    Washington state news:
    The WA legislature and Senate simultaneously voted themselves exempt from the Public records act, on a Friday afternoon, without debate, and no doubt shortly before sprinting for their cars…
    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/without-debate-state-senate-approves-open-records-bill-that-keeps-many-lawmakers-records-closed/
    Slimy as this may be…strike that…IS, I dunno, is this really a slippery slope? They used to do their dirty work over the phone and in smoke-filled rooms. I would guess someday we may all come to view emails as something more like private conversations than we currently do. Making ALL of one’s emails a public record is but a habit, but as long as they are preserved for subpoenas I view this superior to the old ways. It may even encourage the dumber scoundrels to be careless and thereby easier to nail.
    Nonetheless, doing it this way without a public debates does not serve the public.
    now.

  13. Peter VE says:

    Another shocker.

  14. luke8929 says:

    An article by someone who claims to know what happened when the Russian contractors/syrians attempted to move into Al Tanf area in eastern Syria. That’s a lot of firepower, Artillery, Reaper drones, F-15’s B-52’s, A-10’s Apaches, the US would appear to be serious about staying, interesting read, not too long.
    https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.ca/2018/02/more-about-that-russian-mercenary.html

  15. VietnamVet says:

    All,
    “Homeland”, the TV show, has a problem. Reality has overtaken the script writers. One instance on the show, the FBI beat up the local cops for allowing an internet dissident to escape.
    In Broward County the police and security guards didn’t do their jobs. The shooter got through all the local checks because the establishment simply doesn’t care for the little people. They are there to be exploited. Ill, go die. Homeless, shit on the street. No one is paid enough run towards firefights in the Lunchroom. Humans die for their families and home. Americans, after 17 years, have had too much war and looting. Society is breaking down.

  16. Oilman2 says:

    Maybe they would study in China, but learning mandarin is a very long process compared to learning english. And the Chinese are not particularly fond of westerners, and never have been.

  17. Kooshy says:

    Fred, IMO, actually HOLLYWOOD is more responsible for violence specially among the youth, than anybody else. For many years, they have promoted and sold violence for profit, as a form of entertainment to our young ones. According to B movie producers I know, low budget (B) movies with sex, valance and fiction are more assured to succeed and profit. Those are the ones mostly sold to teens.

  18. dilbert dogbert says:

    I have missed a whole bunch of memos about Geo. Soros. Maybe someone can inform me why the Missouri republican party blames Soros for the governor’s problems.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/02/23/why-george-soros-gets-blamed-for-eric-grietenss-troubles-and-other-conservative-gripes/?utm_term=.103e2dc4e9cf
    Thanks in advance.

  19. Following from that link you give is this:-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEdn1Km734M
    – an interview with Peter Lavelle. From around 20 minutes he gives what is stated to be a Russian perspective on the Steele dossier.

  20. Leaky Ranger says:

    Schiff’s rebuttal memo to the Nunes memo is out and the Steele Dossier never looked more credible
    https://www.vox.com/world/2018/2/24/17048936/democrat-rebuttal-nunes-schiff-memo

  21. Re the Lavelle interview – Just before his comments on the Steele material, Lavelle’s brief take on the Russian-EU-Ukrainian pre-coup trade negotiations (or non-negotiations as far as Russia was concerned) is in line with that of Sakwa’s.
    That gives him, at least in my eyes, some credibility. Other than that I know little of Lavelle. Is he well regarded?

  22. blowback says:

    Reuters reports that the UNSC resolution passed Saturday demanded “a 30-day truce across the country to allow aid access and medical evacuations”. The resolution itself refers to “a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria”.
    To me that means that for the next thirty days
    1. Erdogan has to stop his attack on Afrin;
    2. Israel can’t bomb any targets around Damascus or supply artillery support for the terrorists next to the Israeli border;
    3. The United States must allow access to the Rukban refugee camp next to the al Tanf outpost – this is explicitly mentioned in the resolution – perhaps the Russians should send in an aid convoy.
    A UN press release including the full text of the resolution at the bottom of the document can be found here:
    https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sc13221.doc.htm

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree. Ban TV and movie violence for 40 years and watch the positive results.
    But many Americans are daft, they take the political ideas and ideals of the 18-th century as though the intervening 300 years have been irrelevant.
    Tyler, Fred, and Eric Newhill are good examples.

  24. Sid_finster says:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/419699-trump-syria-isis-ghouta/
    Admittedly, we’ve been through this several times before.

  25. fanto says:

    V V at 15
    I agree with you, the society is not doing well as a whole. Reminds me of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. (not my discovery – this is an old observation). What is so laughable is the statement that the bad guy with a gun can be stopped by a good guy with a gun – now we hear , there were four good guys with guns and they did not stop the one bad guy. I don´t know if you as a V V endorse the gun for everyone, maybe as a veteran you had enough of this. I do understand the (very likely obsolete) idea that armed citizen are less likely to be subdued by a ´bad´ government. So good citizen may stop bad government – but will they have the courage? Or will they do what the four good guys have done in Parkland? (if that story is true, I almost must doubt anything which comes in the media).

  26. Poul says:

    Much ado about the Egyptian-Israeli gas deal.
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/02/egypt-gas-deal-israel-public-anger-sisi.html
    Economically it’s a one-off of no long-term relevance for the relations between the two countries. I would guess that there is money ending up in the pockets of the Egyptian army.
    For a real comparison of the twocountries economic ties. Israel and Lithuania are of similar importance for Egypt.
    In 2016 Egypt exported for 50.9 mio. dollars goods and services to Israel and imported 40.1 mio. dollars worth from Israel.
    In comparison Egypt imported for 64.8 mio from Lithuania, exports was 10.2 mio.
    The interesting bit is what impact the gas deal will have on the proposed joint gas line for Cyprus-Israel to Greece. Even with 2 billion Euros in free taxpayer money from the EU it’s the most expensive export route.
    Unless gas prices will increase with 40-60% by 2025 as the planners assume only gas volume can make the line marginally profitable. The price increases are doubtful giving that the EU assumes a reduced demand for gas because of an increase in wind and solar power. So selling off gas to Egypt could affect the implementation of the Cyprus-Israel gas line deal.

  27. Not In Istanbul says:

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6f9bkl
    Purported footage of the gunning down of those Russian contractors. Moscow has been very mum, but as other commenters have reported the movement of new aircraft seems to be geared towards more air-to-air than anything else. Whether it is signaling or something else, that remains to be seen.

  28. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg says:

    That could go sideways in a hurry

  29. Fred says:

    Leaky,
    I really like the style of “Dictator-for-Life” Zack Beauchamp of VOX. True he didn’t explain how or why the Steele dossier was ‘corroborated’ independently. I wonder why would the FBI spend hours ‘corroborating’ the thing if it wasn’t used, other than to bill some fraudulent OT hours, but then I’m not a dictator or a hack at VOX? The footnotes are great too. Did anyone at the Committee ask how much Fusion GPS was paid directly or indirectly by the US Government? Or is that in memo footnote #28, the one of many that’s redacted?
    I appreciate Congressman Schiff’s point about Bruce Ohr. “Well respected career professional…” he, like Bruce, leaves out that Bruce’s wife worked for the same firm that paid Christopher Steele. For that stuff that didn’t need to be paid for, because the FBI already had it. Can any of the lawyers out there say if falsifying a federal conflict of interest for is important? I would think that’s a felony. I sure hope somebody can explain that to the minority member of the committee.
    More important is the Congressman’s first point:
    “In fact, the DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in thier duty had they not sought….”
    Sounds good, so when did they warn both of the candidates that the Russians were trying to plant “operatives” within the campaign staffs so as to interfere with the election? Sounds like they were remiss in that duty to warn – kind of like the FBI agents who failed to warn the police in Florida about a potential high school shooter – you know the one who just killed 17 people. I wonder if they’ll get their names redacted from the record? They should call somebody in Washington for a favor, isn’t that how it’s done amongst “well respected career professionals”? Thanks FBI, way to go.

  30. Adrestia says:

    I agree that the A50 is the most significant. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Su-57 will be used to warn off US aircraft in eastern Syria.
    The other aircraft are probably replacements. The Russian area has grown but mainly in maintenance and cargo-areas. The northwest platform is used for the combat aircraft and has been increased by a small platform on the opposite site of the runway which can by used by about 4 aircraft.

  31. turcopolier says:

    fanto
    I understand from this that you, too, would not have risked your precious ass to try tp save these kids. And you think that because VV is a veteran he has probably become a coward as well. you don’t think armed resistance to tyranny is a viable concept. you would have made a fine Tory and not much use at places like Concord and King’s Mountain. pl

  32. NancyK says:

    In many ways I agree with you, we don’t have cable and for the most part watch nonviolent movies and play no video games.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Babak
    Which post 18th Century political ideas and ideals do you think are worth emulating? pl

  34. Leaky Ranger says:

    Fred, if you don’t like Vox, here’s national security focused, and very staid, Lawfare

    The document is devastating because the core claim of ranking Democrat Adam Schiff and his colleagues is that the House intelligence committee majority left out key facts from its analysis in such fashion as to effectively lie about the FBI’s FISA application against former Trump adviser Carter Page in the fall of 2016. The supposedly left-out facts constitute the body of the Demo. And if the Democrats are being even generally accurate as to the material that the majority omitted from the original memo, then there is little left of the original document. Entitled “Correcting the Record—the Russia Investigations,” the document thus raises serious questions, certainly not for the first time, about whether Chairman Nunes and his colleagues are acting in good faith.

    https://lawfareblog.com/takeaways-house-intelligence-democrats-memo

  35. Eric Newhill says:

    Babak,
    How do you justify Islam and sharia, etc. Is it not the product of ancient thinking? And the associated violence? I did not realize that Hollywood has such a large impact on the Islamic world.
    I am honored that you class me in with Fred and Tyler. Who can stop us? A bunch of disarmed tansgendered Californians?

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    A negative one, that Men cannot be free. Another negative one, that Free Markets destroy human substance, if left free. That the City of Man is a monstrosity and the City of God unreachable. That Constituional Orders are un-natural and have to be constantly maintained.

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Islamic Tradition suffers, as you have correctly observed, from the dead weight of its historical roots. But, in this case, the history is 1400 years and in case of the United States not more than 300.

  38. jonst says:

    Agree with–general agreement, anyway–regards the tv/movie stimuli. It HAS to have some profound impact…absent my ability to demonstrate, scientifically, what that impact it. I take it (your assertion) as a matter of faith and I embrace it. But we both know the likelihood
    is……you finish the sentence.
    On the other, you wrote: “But many Americans are daft, they take the political ideas and ideals of the 18-th century as though the intervening 300 years have been irrelevant”.
    I strongly disagree with the idea that the Founding Fathers thought they were implementing the “…ideas and ideals of the 18th century…” I think they thought they were implementing ideas/concepts/laws that were eternal. They conceived the idea that a river, TO BE a river” it must be contained by banks. The river itself, and it banks, can and will change in “300 years”, but the concept of what MUST be, to make a river a river, does not change. IOW…you friggin need banks…or the river dissipates.
    They may have been wrong in their assumptions. I grant you that. I don’t think they were, but what the hell. And that primary assumption is man is flawed. Govts, therefore, are flawed. Best to make them weak as possible…*but no more so than that*. And they set up a Republic. Rejecting what might today be called, ‘pure democracy’. We, in the United States, in the name of a futile quest to assuage our ‘guilt’—or, if you like, to coin a popular phrase today, our privilege’ are aggressively working to destroy our Republic. And we are doing a damn good job of it. And we will sorely regret it when we are done. But I suspect I will be personally ‘done’ before then. So I sit and watch with awed unease as it all unfolds.

  39. Fred says:

    Babak,
    “…they take the political ideas and ideals of the 18-th century as though the intervening 300 years have been irrelevant.”
    Kneeling in submission is what the slaves of the Great King did. I think a few of us understand the great ideas that intervened in those centuries, like those of Marx, Lennin, and that fine French trained intellectual of Pol Pot’s glorious government, Brother #3; and those ideas are abominations that must be fought. Today, thanks to movements like OFA, “Never again” is nothing more than a slogan being chanted by Baby De-Ray while Boss Hogg explains why his deputies (who now deserve four times the armed security 3,000 students at Parkland High School deserved) did no wrong:
    http://cbs12.com/news/local/read-broward-sheriffs-response-to-lawmakers-reckless-letter-to-gov-scott
    Armed guards:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/parkland-shooting-officer-resigns-deputies-sent-to-protect-his-family-2018-2?r=DE&IR=T

  40. Fred says:

    Leaky,
    Democracy dies in darkness. Open televised hearings with no redactions. Let the defendants take the fifth, like members of Clinton and McCain’s staff did. What is the Democratic Party leadership afraid of?
    https://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bryan-pagliano-fifth-amendment-223796
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/22/mccain-associate-takes-fifth-on-trump-dossier-questions.html

  41. ISL says:

    On his show, cross talk, I have seen him vociferously object to the viewpoint of a guest, but still lets the guest clearly state their point of view – even when they refuse to back it up with evidence, and invites similar guests onto his show from time to time. Also, his show is not a shouting fest of slogans (with no information content), as has become popular in the US. He has his biases as everyone does, but is quite open about them. it also does a fairly decent job of characterizing the Russian strategic point of view in that it generally agrees with Russian actions.
    In contrast, US actions and the viewpoints spread on our media are typically different.
    I would say his work is worth your time to investigate as useful to yourself, in the same way I would recommend not wasting your time on Rachel Maddow.
    Reminds me of the palace court intrigues in the 1700s and 1800s in Europe.

  42. jld says:

    I rather think that Islamic Tradition suffers from EXPLICITELY recommending submission of non believers by war and similarly, punishment of faulty believers by barbarous means, amputation, lapidation and beheading for apostates.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Man as machine, society as Machine, both subject to mechanical forces of Newtonian physics was the backbone of that century. We now know better yet the tyranny of that century persists. How many times have you come across phrases such as “social forces” etc?

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The idea of “pursuit of happiness”, for example, is now invoked in pursuit of individual license which first harms that fool who invokes it, then his family and relatives, and then every one else. Paradoxically, we are in a situation that we have to take his or her liberty away in order to save him from the consequences of his own choices.

  45. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Babak,
    Well put. As Hobsbawm might have said, some people learn from history how to avoid mistakes of the past; many learn from history how to force the mistakes of the past on the present.
    Having said that, I think you’re not being fair to the Founders of US, who were not as sanguine about the City of Men as their European counterparts. Most of them knew how difficult it was to maintain a proper Constitutional Order were most were openly skeptical about how long their great experiment would last. Contrast that to the European thinkers many of whom naively believed that some enlightened despot could chain the unlightened masses to the idol of “Liberty(tm)” with sword point and mass murders and looked to the tyrants of Prussia and Russia who only gave them lip service for inspiration. A bit of caricature perhaps, but reliance on the magically enlightened despots as the solution to society’s problems did free them from having to think about actual governance, society, and other “complicated” concerns of practice and allowed them to concentrate on what their utopia should look like.
    If anything, many of the problems today come from the triuimph of the “European” way of thinking, that people could be forcibly (and easily) be “enlightened” through the gilded chains of “Freedom(tm).” We could probably use more of the pragmatic cynicism tempered by hope and faith that guided the US Founding Fathers.

  46. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am not sure why my observations have been misconstrued as a criticism of the framers of US Constituion. My point was that a lot has happened both in political theory as well as in political history since that time.

  47. fanto says:

    turcopolier at 32
    Sir, I would risk my “precious ass” – in the defence of what I believe in. I demonstrated this by risking my professional carrier and opposing an (american) boss who compared me to the “nazis”, I demonstrated it in physical fight with a man half my age (of course I lost a tooth and had mild concussion) – As far as my question to Viet Veteran is concerned – it was simply extrapolation of what what my old man was sick of – he was veteran of WW 1, and could not even enjoy the new years celebrtions with fireworks, because it reminded him too much of the front lines and he was in the trenches…
    I understand that some veterans became pacifist, that is all. I did not mean to offend Viet Veteran by any means and I am truly sorry if he was offended.

  48. jonst says:

    I think you misunderstand what was meant by the ‘pursuit of happiness’ but it is an ambiguous phrase.

  49. different clue says:

    ( This is a purely parenthetical little thought and concern) . . .
    I still wonder whether we should consider fellow committee-member confused ponderer as being the same person as before, or as a new person using the old name. I know a theory has been advanced explaining why this confused ponderer is a new person using the old name.
    But the fact that our host permits this confused ponderer to use the confused ponderer name here, and even replies to confused ponderer by that name here on these threads, makes me think that confused ponderer could be the same person as before.

  50. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    He has the same IP, the same name and the same e-mail address. pl

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Framers relied on common religious understandings on the difference between “freedom” and “license”. Since God is now persumed dead – or at least incapacitated – that common understanding no longer obtains.

  52. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    This is the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive. A battlefield victory for America but a strategic defeat. It proved that there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I showed up a year and half later in the 4th or 5th reconstitution of the 173rd Airborne. This was at the end of the draft army. Units were refusing to fight for nothing and President Nixon withdrew the army. As a direct result, the elite threw the losers in the trash. Obesity, drugs and dropouts are so bad today that only 25% of young American men and women are fit to serve in the military. Addiction and indebting the rest are money makers for the establishment.
    Rather than give up on a regional war, the USA is doubling down with a free fire zone in Eastern Syria. There is simply no way to be victorious supporting the Kurds in the middle of nowhere against Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey; not to the mention, the risk of nuclear war with Russia. This is insanity. The Kurds to survive and push out the Turks in Syria must at some point come to the realization that they have to ally with the Alawites, Shiites, Russians and secular Sunni Syrians; and get rid of the Americans and Israelis.
    Richard Milhous Nixon, for all his faults, would have avoided this trap.

  53. turcopolier says:

    VV
    “Units were refusing to fight for nothing” Did your unit refuse a combat order? The 173rd Airborne Brigade? Units were not “reconstituted” in Vietnam. They fought continuously with a constant flow of individual replacements. You volunteered for Jump School? Why did you do that? pl

  54. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    After nearly being destroyed in the battle of Hill 875 near Dak To in November 1967 the Brigade was redeployed to the coast and rebuilt with individual replacements and assigned to pacification duty. The company was a mess when I arrived June 1969 and almost barracks duty when I left a year later. I know only of two deaths while I was at LZ English; a gung-ho sergeant in a firefight and a fragged support driver. Most of the troops were medevacked from trench foot or bobby traps never to return. It was a wild west fort with company size deployments around the edges of the reservation. The airfield is still there on google maps. All the communists had to do is wait for us to leave to reenter the valley. Yes, I was a leg in an airborne unit. I never volunteered for jump school in Saigon although it was suggested and I would get jump pay. Yes, I lucky to be an airborne unit. Everyone followed orders. They were airborne. They were withdrawn a year later in 1971.
    This is all in retrospect.

  55. turcopolier says:

    All
    “Hill 875
    At 09:43 on 19 November, the three companies (330 men) of 2/503 moved into jumpoff positions from which to assault Hill 875. Charlie and Delta companies moved up the slope followed by two platoons of Alpha Company in the classic “two up one back” formation utilized since World War I. The Weapons Platoon of Alpha remained behind at the bottom of the hill to cut out a landing zone. Instead of a frontal assault with massed troops, the unit would have been better served by advancing small teams to develop possible North Vietnamese positions and then calling in air and artillery support.[29]
    At 10:30, as the Americans moved to within 300 meters of the crest, PAVN machine gunners opened fire on the advancing paratroopers. Then B-40 rockets and 57mm recoilless rifle fire were unleashed upon them. The paratroopers attempted to continue the advance, but the North Vietnamese, well concealed in interconnected bunkers and trenches, opened fire with small arms and grenades. The American advance was halted and the men went to ground, finding whatever cover they could. At 14:30 PAVN troops hidden at the bottom of the hill launched a massed assault on Alpha Company. Unknown to the Americans, they had walked into a carefully prepared ambush by the 2nd Battalion of the 174th PAVN Regiment.
    The men of Alpha Company retreated up the slope, lest they be cut off from their comrades and annihilated. They were closely followed by the North Vietnamese. All that prevented the company-strength North Vietnamese onslaught from overrunning the entire battalion was the heroic efforts of American paratroopers who stood their ground and died to buy time for their comrades.[30] Soon, U.S. air strikes and artillery fire were being called in, but they had little effect on the battle because of the dense foliage on the hillside. Resupply became a necessity because of high ammunition expenditures and lack of water, but it was also an impossibility. Six UH-1 helicopters were shot down or badly damaged that afternoon trying to get to 2/503.[31]
    At 18:58 one of the worst friendly fire incidents of the Vietnam War occurred when a Marine Corps fighter-bomber, flown by the Commanding Officer, a LTC, of a Marine Air Group from Chu Lai, dropped two 500-pound bombs into 2/503’s perimeter. One of the bombs exploded, a tree burst above the center of the position, where the combined command groups, the wounded, and the medics were all located. It killed 42 men outright and wounded 45 more, including the overall on-scene commander, Captain Harold Kaufman. 1Lt. Bartholomew O’Leary, Delta Company Commander, was seriously wounded. (Alpha company’s commander had been killed in the retreat up the slope).[32]
    The next morning, the three companies of 4/503 were chosen to set out and relieve the men on Hill 875. Because of intense PAVN sniper and mortar fire (and the terrain) it took until nightfall for the relief force to reach the beleaguered battalion. On the afternoon of 21 November, both battalions moved out to take the crest. During fierce, close-quarters fighting, some of the paratroopers made it into the PAVN trenchline but were ordered to pull back as darkness fell. At approximately 23:00, the 4th Division’s 1/12th Infantry was ordered to withdraw from an offensive operations in the southern Central Highlands and redeploy to Đắk Tô. In an almost flawless night-time air redeployment, the entire battalion redeployed and took up positions around the main fire support base at Đắk Tô in less than 12 hours.
    The following day was spent in launching airstrikes and a heavy artillery bombardment against the hilltop, totally denuding it of cover. On 23 November, the 2nd and 4th Battalions of the 503rd were ordered to renew their assault while the 1st Battalion of the 12th Infantry assaulted 875 from the south.[33] This time the Americans gained the crest, but the North Vietnamese had already abandoned their positions, leaving only a few dozen charred bodies and weapons.[34]
    The battle of Hill 875 had cost 2/503 87 killed, 130 wounded, and three missing. 4/503 suffered 28 killed 123 wounded, and four missing.[35] Combined with noncombatant losses, this represented one-fifth of the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s total strength.[36] For its combined actions during operations around Đắk Tô, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.” wiki

  56. turcopolier says:

    VV
    Ah, now I understand. You should have gone to jump school. you belong to “The Rock.” You are one of them still. You would have gone through the door at that high school. pl

  57. paul says:

    open thread so i guess share this,
    just got back from a panel discussion in my neighborhood by the “nuclear age peace foundation”
    it was really pathetic it was widely published in the neighborhood, and literally i was the only person their under 65 and i could count all the attendants on just my hands.
    i remember we had a similar panel back in the bush administration and the same chruch was packed to capacity.
    i cant figure out why my generation and younger really are not concerned with nuclear weapons.

  58. confusedponderer says:

    cd,
    re: I still wonder whether we should consider fellow committee-member confused ponderer as being the same person as before
    You should because I am. And, except for the scars, I by and large am who I was before of my accident, and looking at what I got I got away very well.
    The point is that in a hospital, without computer and an internet access it is hard impossible to post. That’s to explain my ~2 year silence.
    As for me replying to some of my older comments – that formulation is is technically correct, but practically it is more about afterthoughts, clarification or additional points. If I forgot something, I may reply to my post. Or not.
    Still, that doesn’t mean I am another person or two persons. Don’t interpret too much into that.

  59. dk says:

    Sir:
    Juan Cole reports that Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian church leaders have closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem because of recent Israeli policies directed against these churches
    https://www.juancole.com/2018/02/priests-sepulchre-christians.html
    Could their protests affect perceptions of our new policies regarding Jerusalem?

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They likely still care but feel powerless to do anything about it – certainly through such fora as you attended.
    And then there is this: the main concern of the so-called Tea Party was their pensions and other financial assets that they had acquired during their economic rocket ride – never having been burdened at their earl life with such things as College Debt or Job Insecurity.
    They demonstrated that, as an age cohort, that they did not care one whit about anyone else – Apres mois, le Deluge.
    Why would anyone else want to be associated with that crowd?

  61. different clue says:

    confusedponderer,
    ( reply to post 59)
    Thank you for replying to clear up my confusion as revealed in my comment. And thanks to our host as well for that. Since I am sometimes slow to get the clue, I can sometimes be swayed by a coherent-feeling theory which appears to explain things at every level.
    Everyone here missed you in your sudden absence and is happy to see you back and commenting.

  62. outthere says:

    William Polk explores America’s changing role in the world.
    Here is a long article on Polk’s recent 3 part lectures at Yale.
    There are links in the article to videos of the lectures.
    https://macmillan.yale.edu/news/william-polk-explores-americas-changing-role-world

  63. outthere says:

    Remember William Seward? I am sure our Col knows his “Reminiscences of a Wartime Statesman and Diplomat”.
    Yes of course he was Lincoln’s Secretary of State, and he almost died from knife wounds by the same conspirators who killed Lincoln, and his wife did die of shock from the horror of that attack.
    Here are a couple of quotes I would like to share:
    Who does not see, then, that every year hereafter, European commerce, European politics, European thoughts, and European activity, although actually gaining greater force and European connections, although actually becoming more intimate will nevertheless relatively sink in importance; while the Pacific Ocean, its shores, its islands, and the vast regions beyond, will become the chief theatre of events in the World’s great Hereafter? Who does not see that this movement must effect our own complete emancipation from what remains of European influence and prejudice, and in turn develop the American opinion and influence which shall remould constitutions, laws, and customs, in the land that is first greeted by the rising sun?
    (Speech in the United States Senate (29 July 1852)
    no man will ever be President of the United States who spells ‘negro’ with two gs.
    (in refutation of Stephen Douglas on the Senate floor)
    Love one another.
    (Last words, spoken to his daughter-in-law (10 October 1872)

  64. grand visor says:

    “When that happens the US will be in possession of a landlocked territory in eastern Syria that is inhabited by people who don’t like us very much even if necessity has made them our allies”
    Which people living on the globe do like Americans
    I think there time maybe running out
    however it might be Gotterdammerung
    or the “SAMSON OPTION”
    THE BAND TACKHEAD “I am scared of Americans”
    native american indians,afroamericans who is next Arabs russians chinese philipinos
    nay Europeans who will be turned to dust and a nuclear wasteland

  65. turcopolier says:

    grand visor
    Perhaps you meant “Grand Vizier?” Be afraid. Be very afraid. You must be new here to spout this mindless anti-American drivel. I have lived a long life and throughout it people like you have always hated the US. Ho. Hum. Are you a refugee from Moon of Alabama? pl

  66. turcopolier says:

    All
    Kushner’s reduction in access to collateral interim secret is significant. At that level of access he will be cleared to read the menu at the White House mess. If I am not mistaken commissioning as a second lieutenant requires a FINAL secret clearance. Evidently there are quite a few other WH staffers for whom the FBI is unable to recommend final clearances. I wonder what this does for Ivanka. Daddy can tell her anything he wishes but it is a big risk since she and hubby are so close to Natanyahu. pl

  67. Nancy K says:

    I’m sorry but blaming movies and TV and games seems so bogus, especially when it is adult watching this crap. Maybe parents should take some control over what their children view.

  68. Fred says:

    Nancy,
    “Maybe parents should take some control over what their children view.”
    I agree 100%. The same should go with social media use, especially phones and tablets.

  69. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Games are not to blame – TV and Movies are.

  70. Fred says:

    Col.,
    What is the likelyhood this is Kelly putting some professionalism into the staff by shooing the family out to greener pastures?

  71. Adrestia says:

    Today general elections in Italy. The 5-star movement will probably become the largest party.
    They are Eurosceptic and when in government may exit from the Euro-currency. Italy’s economy needs inflation to function. If Italy exits the Euro it will force a capital outflow out of the south of Europe to the north. This will create an instant crisis since undervalued German-Euro’s will become overvalued German-Euro’s and buying cars will become much more expensive. No need for Trump to impose import taxes.
    This doesn’t mean that they will form the next cabinet. IMO the following will happen:
    * interim government for some time when the M5S will try to get a majority coalition (which the traditional parties will not do).
    * a small majority government (like The Netherlands, UK etc) from centre left/centre right, who will continue the pro-Euro(pe) neoliberal policy
    * that centre government will fall (as governments tend to do in Italy) and in new elections populist/far right and left will get more votes
    No exit polls are available yet.

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