Open Thread – TTG


We’re not lacking for news, but I figured an open thread would provide a good respite while El Jefe mends. My younger son is an unbelievable coder. He’s also a metal head who often plays poker with a Richmond-based metal band. Sunday, he introduced me to a metal band that truly moved me.The Hu is a Mongolian heavy metal band using traditional Mongolian musical instruments and throat singing in their art. Enjoy.

This entry was posted in Open Thread, TTG. Bookmark the permalink.

138 Responses to Open Thread – TTG

  1. Peteschmell says:

    Story from personal life helps with explaining the general structure of the thinking of that particular story teller. That knowledge allows the overall communication to become faster and more efficient.

  2. anon says:

    For me personally the highlight of this year has been the awarding of the Nobel peace prize to……
    The Nobel Peace Prize 2019 was awarded to Abiy Ahmed Ali “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. ”
    The awarding of the peacec prize to past president B.Obama has come full circle.What a fantastic outcome.Hopefully this will usher in the possibility of peace in the middle east.Obama’s visit to Ethiopia,his address to the oau,the first for a us president,his meeting with an elderly woman called Gifty
    These important events are threads in a larger tapestry and will bring about change in the future

  3. Diana C says:

    Music is the way to bridge the gap between generations. Thank you for posting this. I’m sending a link to each of my sons.
    My older son was of the Iron Maiden generation. I think he’ll be the one who likes this more.
    I was trying to teach a small class of ninth graders, mostly boys, who were considered to be “remedial.” Of course I knew that in that particular district where I was teaching, the administration divided students by “advanced” (meaning the children of the wealthier people and the ones who ran the district, the city council, etc., and the “average,” who were the children of average, tax-paying middle class parents, and the “remedial,” who were from the poorer classes with single mothers, dead-beat dads, etc.
    Their means of dividing had nothing to do with academic ability. Never, never, let your children or grandchildren be caught up in a school system like that.
    Anyway, I thought those “remedial” ninth grade boys might really like Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I was reading it with them, when finally one of them perked up and claimed it was written by Iron Maiden. I promised them that if they stayed with me and finished reading, I would let them play the Iron Maiden version.
    If you look at Iron Maiden’s logo, it is really an image of “The Nightmare Life in Death,” from Coleridge’s poem. And later I listened to more of their music closely and discovered that they used many classic English poems as inspiration for the music.
    My younger son was from the more angst ridden Nirvana generation. I then had to learn to like that sort of music; and I began to like it also.
    Thank you for posting.

  4. JP Billen says:

    Thanks Diana for the poetry link. I’ll have to root through some old youtube versions of Iron Maiden to see if I can ID the various poets. Did they ever put John Donne to music?
    As for throat singing? It has to be a bit more pleasant than watching Sean Spicer dancing with the stars.

  5. anonymous says:

    Good choice! an openly pro-Nazi Mongolian band… ever heard of the Hitler pictures in cafes there?
    Just sayin’

  6. Stan says:

    Anyone interested in Mongolian history, culture, arts, battle equipment, and really amazing yurts, among a multitude of other finely portrayed details, will probably enjoy the made-for-TV series called Marco Polo. Interesting and entertaining 1-hour segments were made for 2 years for a total of about 25 episodes. I find it extremely well crafted / authentic feel, amazing attention to details of every aspect, and well filmed & acted, and accurate. Lots of Mongolian heavy metal and other variations of their unique vocal sounds. Exotic and wonderfully made, highly recommended! (Viewer Warning: Possibly too visually stimulating for recent eye surgery.)

  7. CK says:

    Godwin’s law violated in just 5 comments.

  8. Leith says:

    TTG, have you seen this article re pending changes to the qual course for Army SF? Comments, good or bad?

  9. Peter AU 1 says:

    You might like this. Bull catching and mustering with chopper, buggies and bikes.

  10. Factotum says:

    Struck by the role of Ortrud in Wagner’s Lohengrin and the recent Project Veritas confirmation of what has long been obvious at CNN.
    One man Zucker, like Ortrud, solely with a vengeful personal vendetta will use everything in the power of his media empire to bring down another man, in this case Trump.
    Plus c’est la change, plus c’est la meme chose. Art imitating life; life imitating art.

  11. Dabbler says:

    Godwin’s law

  12. Diana C says:

    Done comes from the Metaphysical period of poetry during the Restoration in England. His meditation that contains the popular phrase “for whom the bell tolls” would, I think be hard to put to music. Most metaphysical poems, which were usually quite short–the one I recall just from memory right now was a simple comparison of his love and himself as being part of a compass, with his love being the point of the compass and he bing the part that circles around. (I’m talking of course about the compasses we used in geometry class.) So, yes, that idea might make a good love song.
    Iron Maiden were taking from the Romantic period of Coleridge and Wordsworth.
    Actually several of Iron Maiden’s songs were also based on other Romantic Period poems.
    When Simon and Garfunkel were popular, I noticed that some of their songs were obviously taken from many of the poems that were featured in Ninth Grade literature text books. They must have been in school at one point and studying from those texts. Think about the song “Richard Cory” with is almost word for word in places based on the poem.

  13. Factotum says:

    A kick of a movie about the Beatles music – “Yesterday”, if you have not yet seen it.
    A few moments to ponder – is the Beatles music lost to new generations to the point of not even existing? What would our lives be like had they not arrived on the music scene. Was their popular appeal powerful only in contrast to the popular music that preceded them. Or does it stand alone as important music on its own, regardless of contrast or context .

  14. Dabbler says:

    Godwin’s law INVOKED… Sorry

  15. Diana C says:

    To be precise, you probably should have written, “in just the fifth” comment. I was a little disconcerted that you might have felt I was referring to Hitler somehow.

  16. CK says:

    Apologies to you, Anonymous (aren’t they always) was the invoker/violator.
    And HU, specifically is the most popular download from Amazon. Watch it with the closed captions on.

  17. Terry says:

    I’d prefer to just enjoy them – but here is a variety of opinions from people in the region on the band.
    3 million people with a large territory next to a crowded nation of a billion people are likely to have some strong feelings about preserving their culture.

  18. turcopolier says:

    Leith, SF training has changed a lot over the years. I’m sure my course was very different from Colonel Lang’s. It’s also human nature to claim things were a lot tougher back in my day. All old timers do this. The real question is quality being sacrificed for quantity. The gist of this article seems to be that some training is being transferred to post-graduation when the new SF troops are in their teams. This is not a new approach. Our advisors always told us our real training will begin once we arrived in our teams. And they were right. Time and experience is what develops an SF soldier. Language training was not a graduation requirement when I went through. Once I was on my team in the 10th, we went through Polish language training as a team at Fort Devens. The same was true of a lot of skill training like winter, alpine and urban guerrilla operations. It would be silly to try to move skill training like that to Fort Bragg as a prerequisite for graduation.

  19. turcopolier says:

    Leith, that response is from me, TTG, not Colonel Lang. I just forgot to switch over to my account before I posted it.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Richard Feynman would be proud. Floreat Tuva.

  21. Terry says:

    Also – this photo essay on Tsagaan Khass is interesting. I didn’t find any outright links to The Hu –

  22. Fred says:

    Here’s something for your musical pleasure. Best listened too five miles offshore as you put the lines in the water or in the cool evening breeze at sunset with a cold beer and friends waiting for the fish to fry.

  23. JP Billen says:

    I like Donne’s metaphors. And who could not admire a former soldier & ladies man turned priest and poet? I would have thought that some of the lyrics in his “Batter My Heart” would work well in rock music:
    But it might be slammed banned from the Westminster pulpit?

  24. Sbin says:

    Enjoyed the Hu and habe added to spotify
    A Moari band while more standard instruments has a interesting video

  25. leith says:

    Thanks. Although I’m not SF I agree.

  26. jjc says:

    A predecessor to Hu was a band named Yhatka, which toured North America a few times. The one time I saw them, a member of the famous Tuvan throat singing ensemble Huun Huun Tuur was aboard. Wonderful exotic sounds. Why do we fight? So much to share and enjoy.

  27. DH says:

    So, this SHOULDN’T be the Trump/Paul campaign song?
    Thanks, TTG, for the introduction. Puts me in mind of Dropkick Murphy’s Shipping up to Boston.

  28. CK says:

    So very much good music from so many places.
    Once upon a time 44 years ago in a country far away I heard something like this:

  29. Diana C says:

    Very interesting!

  30. Diana C says:

    Thank you for this. That is one of Done’s that was not in any of my texts.
    I like it much.
    Remember that “Israel” means something like ‘wrestles with God.” That is why God gave that name to Jacob after the angels on the ladder episode.
    God wants us to ‘wrestle” and question Him. No better way to really get to know Him. If the Westminster pulpit would not like that writing, perhaps they should go back and read Genesis.

  31. Diana C says:

    Well, as I remember Genghis Khan is supposed to have more descendants on earth than any other well-known historical character. I think he purposely attempted to make that true.
    My mother’s ancesters entered Russia under Catherine the Great and then later my father’s under Alexander I.
    The very first of those German farmers who came to farm the Volga Valley had to do as the setters in our West had to do: break the root-bound soil and plant trees. They lived in dug-outs until they could bring in wood after getting the soil finally ready for planting. They finally turned the Volga Valley and the steppes above the Black Sea into a “bread basket” and Russia was a big exporter of grain, food.
    But pertinent to this thread is the fact that some of their very early villages were destroyed and people were slaughtered by raiding Mongols.
    They were called kulaks during the Communist Revolution. Their farms were taken for the factory farming and communal farming experiments which failed and created two devastating famines. Some of my Grandparents’ relative who didn’t get out were sent to suffer in Siberia.

  32. Diana C says:

    I did watch it. I don’t take the Hitler garb really seriously. I know that Metal-type bands love to shock; so I just liked very much the posing. I loved the horse and the bikes.

  33. Fred says:

    I stumbled upon that album in a thrift store a few years ago. I think it’s the soundtrack for a play that was popular in NC at the time.

  34. JP Billen says:

    I’m sure the Anglican hierarchy love Donne’s writing. Although raised Catholic in England he became an Anglican priest, or is pastor or cleric a better word? What I meant was they may not like his words in a rock song.

  35. Fred, thanks for that. It left me smiling. Last time I was at my father’s place in Freyburg, my brothers were planning on taking him out for blues fishing. Seems they’ll (the blues) will be heading south soon. My father’s just a couple of months shy of 90.

  36. Thanks to all for the wide array of music. My girlfriend in high school introduced me to the Ramayana monkey chant. Pretty wild since she and her brother were classical violin players. Sonja was also a ballerina. She did an interpretive dance for me to the monkey chant. Man, oh man!

  37. turcopolier says:

    Yes. You are right. Officers were trained separately in 1964. it was assumed that you could do all the hard physical stuff and iif it showed up in training that you could not they did not graduate you. You were trained in the same training detachments with a lot of foreign officers, Italian from the Alpinii, Iranians, Vietnamese. I served with some of them in VN. It was very intense and most of it in the field. I am in the process of clearing and publishing my memoir, “Tattoo” and there is a chapter in it titled “Aaron Bank’s Children” which we really were in this days. IMO he would not have liked what SF has largely become. They are more like the Rangers than he had in mind, He wanted the OSS to be-reborn, thinking soldiers, “the quiet professionals.” Our sergeants were better men and better leaders than most of those in the “big army.” We relished being hated by “the big army.” We got all the tough jobs because nobody else including CIA could do them.

  38. Fred says:

    Better take him fish’n one more time. Give him my regards when you do.

  39. Diana C says:

    I have heard many rock songs sung by Christian groups. But, I think you are right. They don’t have the same feeling of somber piety that might sound better in Westminster.

  40. Diana C says:

    I am getting old, and I no longer have young men (sons) in my home to keep me familiar with new bands.
    Thanks for the link.

  41. Diana C says:

    It’s been a nice day of music today on the blog. Thanks for this.

  42. Dan says:

    The Beatles still have a place, they were a great band and innovators, but at the time they were the best and most popular of something like 100 known bands. Now we have access to 100 new albums per week and great musicians from every nook and cranny can be heard. Multiple generations standing on successive shoulders since the Beatles’ time do detract from their stature in the longrun. Sgt. Peppers was a wild statement in 1967, now pretty ho-hum in comparison.

  43. Dan says:

    Metal has more than its fair share of serious, uncompromising musicians and has produced a lot of the most interesting music over the past 20 or so years. The best stuff was coming out of Scandanavia for much of this century, some of the songs made by bands like Emperor and Opeth would have impressed Beethoven.

  44. Our 1982 class was still officers only. That aspect changed some time after that. We had 4 training teams. My team had 2 Malaysian scout-trackers, a Tunisian and a Spaniard. We had a research paper and oral defense of the paper in addition to all the field training. Our training was intense, probably more physical than yours, but not stupidly physical. This was a reaction to the “Katie Elder” affair when a female captain went through the course and wasn’t awarded a GB. She took the Army to court and got the certificate by court order. It was a omen of things to come. The SF pre-selection course is something new and it is basically an extended physical fitness test. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with SF.

  45. J says:

    Some good news it appears the Pentagon is moving our nukes out of Turkey. Bad news IMHO where they’re being relocated to. I can understand why they’re being moved where they’re going , however I think we’re setting ourselves up down the road.

  46. J, where are they being relocated to? We already have them in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands. Is it Poland? That would be a foolish move.

  47. optimax says:

    I’m old fashion and like it when musicians have a sense of humor and enjoy playing. That’s what made the Beatles great and these icons of jazz.

  48. down_in_front says:

    The Waterboys recorded an album titled An Appointment with Mr. Yeats.
    Yeats lyrics perhaps slightly abridged.
    This one is called September 1913

  49. optimax says:

    Not all the music back then was good, but can’t stop laughing.

  50. Jack says:

    Thanks for the link to The Hu Band. While I’m too old to have listened to much heavy metal, that was very well done. The imagery and lyrics and the sound with the throat singing evoked a feeling of the time of Genghiz.
    Some years back I went to a performance of this band performing Tuvan throat singing.
    When I was a young lad however, it was the era of swing and bop and the big bands.

  51. Jack says:

    Another music video. Louis Armstrong & Danny Kaye.

  52. Adrestia says:

    The Joint Special Forces University published this document last week. My impression is that when reading between the lines the references to nuclear war are not accidental (IMO also with regard to Israel, India/Pakistan) a warning from a (group of) serving officers that IW has gone too far and should be scaled down immediately.
    IMO governments are also affected by trends and follow these because they seem acceptable. For examples, today I read that Abu Dhabi has a military base in Somaliland. Dubai is very involved in Lybia. Are they so under the influence of Eric Prince (or similar types/companies) who sell IW expertise to others.
    What is your opinion on this publication and its implicit contents?
    Tickling the Dragon’s Tail: The Destabilizing Effects of an Irregular Warfare Critical Mass
    The IW Demon Core is a metaphor used to describe the danger associated with the current uncontrolled and prolific use of IW as a tactic and strategy of global actors. The core represents a large subcritical mass of global state and non-state IW actors. The core mass of actors exists within an enabling contemporary operating environment. Structural factors such as globalization, complexity, increased population, and the information age have contributed to the formation of the mass. Furthermore, state nuclear and conventional warfare hegemony has increased asymmetry and decreased the ability of actors to compete conventionally. The result of this has been the emergence of IW as a prominent strategy by global actors.
    The cumulative effect of the returning energy is to push the entire IW core toward criticality and an uncontrolled IW reaction. The result of the IW reaction is a negative effect, one which will destabilize domestic and international systems, disrupt and destroy societies, and lead to global entropy.
    The danger is that this mass of actors will continue to feed a self-propagating chain reaction of IW activ-mass, and reflective lenses have diffused the power, capacity, and capability to conduct IW to a condition has the potential to irrevocably change the global peace and security status quo.
    First, the international community must remove reflective lenses in order to reduce the risk of the core going critical.
    Second, the international community must act as if the IW mass has already gone critical, and add control rods in an attempt to absorb current IW activities and slow the process of encouraging these activities.
    Finally, the international community must build shielding material to protect against the harmful disruptive effect of IW.
    It is important that global actors recognize that the danger from IW is potentially as high as the danger from conventional and nuclear warfare. The effects, initially less visible, more difficult to discern, and slower to manifest, will yield a significant amount of net negative energy on the global community. If stability is an objective of global actors, then IW de-escalation through counter-promotion, counter-proliferation, and counter-promulgation must be holistically undertaken along with strategies to reduce conventional, nuclear, cyber, and other disruptive competition. IW must not be casually used as a convenient outlet
    for competition below the threshold of war, because the potential damage of unlimited IW is significant and lasting.

  53. CK says:

    Always a pleasure.

  54. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    One report has them being sited in Romania, although Romania was denying this.

  55. Martin Oline says:

    Here is an interesting read about a famous naval engagement in the Civil War and government procurement thrown in for free.

  56. JohninMK says:

    They have to be returned to the US to be upgraded.

  57. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    How about some more music? Blossom Dearie & friends live on French TV in 1965:

  58. Morongobill says:

    Poland would be an unimaginable provocation. But who knows when the neocons get involved.

  59. Morongobill says:

    Great news about the memoirs, Colonel.

  60. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    17th century sacred music of Charpentier. Jordi Savall leading.

  61. RickK says:

    Which metal band are you refering to from Richmond? There are a few good ones from there.Thanks!RickK

  62. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Great stuff! Movie sequence – G. Miller, Tex Beinecke & close harmony, amazing tap dancing…

  63. DH says:

    You’re welcome, Diana. Not so new really 🙂 I tend to find stuff ten to fifteen years post. Here’s fun one by the same band:
    And here is another one that came to mind (main lyric, “how you treat the weak is your true nature calling”:

  64. Fred says:

    “…published this document last week. ”
    That has been in circulation for more than a year.
    Abu Dhabi, Libya, Eric Prince, nuclear weapons … Oooo the scary, just in time for halloween. Or to borrow LTC Marsh’s phrase “a metaphorical critical mass”; In this case a critical mass of mumbo jumbo. Eric Prince is of course not under the influence of Abu Dhabi’s money, that couldn’t be possible. As to the document I’m sure it justifies an authoritarian state because one’s political opponents can easily be labeled IW actors who are opposed to your country. See the SPLC, the ACLU, the anti-defemation league and other practictioners of labeling “hate speech” and “symbols of oppression” currently active in support of America’s left.

  65. Fred says:

    Interesting though the authors left out the strategic mistake of witholding cotton from the world market in an effort to drive intervention, it drove alternative sourcing instead. The CSS Virginia should have made for the merchant ships and ignored the Monitor, however it was under powered and probably could not have made it back up river. As to procurement, the word “drone” appears nowhere in the article. I think the Houthi’s showed what open sourcing and creativity can do.
    As a side note here’s a write up on the CSS Albemarle replica in North Carolina. The original was sunk by William Cushing’s raid.

  66. artemesia says:

    I am getting old as well, but I hope I live long enough to see the day when “Hitler,” “Nazi” and the like are not used as cuss-words and means of shaming and shutting down, but in the same category as Napoleon or Caesar or even the Mongols, and the history that those cuss-words signify is told more objectively.

    “Batter my heart” was my morning prayer for many years. Reflecting back, I wish I had chosen something less punishing to the human spirit. “I am betrothed unto your enemy” — probably would have been cast out by the gurus of Self Affirmation.

  67. RickK, I don’t remember the name. I’ll have to ask my son. I usually only listen to metal in his car as we go to ZZQ for amazing barbeque. I listen to “Siriusly Sinatra” regularly on the drive down to Richmond.

  68. oldman22 says:

    Apologies for the length of this post.
    At the debate last night:
    > GABBARD: Well, first of all, we’ve got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we’ve been waging in Syria.
    > Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war.
    > Not only that, but the New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war.
    > As president, I will end these regime change wars by doing two things — ending the draconian sanctions that are really a modern-day siege the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen, that have caused tens of thousands of Syrian civilians to die and to starve, and I would make sure that we stop supporting terrorists like Al Qaida in Syria who have been the ground force in this ongoing regime change war.
    > BUTTIGIEG: Well, respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence
    > GABBARD: Yeah, absolutely. So, really, what you’re saying, Mayor Pete, is that you would continue to support having U.S. troops in Syria for an indefinite period of time to continue this regime change war that has caused so many refugees to flee Syria, that you would continue to have our country involved in a war that has undermined our national security, you would continue this policy of the U.S. actually providing arms in support to terrorist groups in Syria, like Al Qaida, HTS, al-Nusra and others, because they are the ones who have been the ground force in this regime change war? That’s really what you’re saying?
    > COOPER: Mayor Pete — Mayor Buttigieg?
    > BUTTIGIEG: No, you can embrace — or you can put an end to endless war without embracing Donald Trump’s policy, as you’re doing.
    > GABBARD: Will you end the regime change war, is the question.
    > BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing…
    > GABBARD: What is an endless war if it’s not a regime change war?
    > COOPER: Allow him to respond. Please allow him to respond.
    > BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing — or what we were doing in Syria was keeping our word. Part of what makes it possible for the United States to get people to put their lives on the line to back us up is the idea that we will back them up, too.
    Biden spoke at Harvard in 2917, here is video and transcript highlight
    > “What my constant cry was is that our biggest problem is our allies. Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends. And I have a great relationship with Erdogan [whom] I just spent a lot of time with. The Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?
    > “They poured hundreds and millions of dollars and tens and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. Now you think I’m exaggerating. Take a look: Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden, everybody is awakened because … [IS] which was al-Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in … eastern Syria, worked with al-Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now, all of a sudden, I don’t want to be too facetious, but they have seen the Lord! Now … the president’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization. So what do we have for the first time?”
    Gareth Porter wrote about usa aid to terrorists, including TOW missibles, including Biden’s speech at Harvard .
    > As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between “relatively moderate” groups and the al Nusra Front.
    The USA tow missiles were of course the reason that Assad begged Putin for help.
    > The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies—Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama Administration official involved in Middle East issues.
    > Obama refused to provide arms to the opposition, but he agreed to provide covert U.S. logistical help in carrying out a campaign of military assistance to arm opposition groups. CIA involvement in the arming of anti-Assad forces began with arranging for the shipment of weapons from the stocks of the Gaddafi regime that had been stored in Benghazi. CIA-controlled firms shipped the weapons from the military port of Benghazi to two small ports in Syria using former U.S. military personnel to manage the logistics, as investigative reporter Sy Hersh detailed in 2014. The funding for the program came mainly from the Saudis.
    > A declassified October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo. That suggests a total payload of up to 250 tons of weapons per shipment. Even if the CIA had organized only one shipment per month, the arms shipments would have totaled 2,750 tons of arms bound ultimately for Syria from October 2011 through August 2012. More likely it was a multiple of that figure.
    > The CIA’s covert arms shipments from Libya came to an abrupt halt in September 2012 when Libyan militants attacked and burned the embassy annex in Benghazi that had been used to support the operation. By then, however, a much larger channel for arming anti-government forces was opening up. The CIA put the Saudis in touch with a senior Croatian official who had offered to sell large quantities of arms left over from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. And the CIA helped them shop for weapons from arms dealers and governments in several other former Soviet bloc countries.
    > Flush with weapons acquired from both the CIA Libya program and from the Croatians, the Saudis and Qataris dramatically increased the number of flights by military cargo planes to Turkey in December 2012 and continued that intensive pace for the next two and a half months. The New York Times reported a total 160 such flights through mid-March 2013. The most common cargo plane in use in the Gulf, the Ilyushin IL-76, can carry roughly 50 tons of cargo on a flight, which would indicate that as much as 8,000 tons of weapons poured across the Turkish border into Syria just in late 2012 and in 2013.
    > One U.S. official called the new level of arms deliveries to Syrian rebels a “cataract of weaponry.” And a year-long investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed that the Saudis were intent on building up a powerful conventional army in Syria. The “end-use certificate” for weapons purchased from an arms company in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 2013 includes 500 Soviet-designed PG-7VR rocket launchers that can penetrate even heavily-armored tanks, along with two million rounds; 50 Konkurs anti-tank missile launchers and 500 missiles, 50 anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles, 10,000 fragmentation rounds for OG-7 rocket launchers capable of piercing heavy body armor; four truck-mounted BM-21 GRAD multiple rocket launchers, each of which fires 40 rockets at a time with a range of 12 to 19 miles, along with 20,000 GRAD rockets.
    > The end user document for another Saudi order from the same Serbian company listed 300 tanks, 2,000 RPG launchers, and 16,500 other rocket launchers, one million rounds for ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, and 315 million cartridges for various other guns.
    > Those two purchases were only a fraction of the totality of the arms obtained by the Saudis over the next few years from eight Balkan nations. Investigators found that the Saudis made their biggest arms deals with former Soviet bloc states in 2015, and that the weapons included many that had just come off factory production lines. Nearly 40 percent of the arms the Saudis purchased from those countries, moreover, still had not been delivered by early 2017. So the Saudis had already contracted for enough weaponry to keep a large-scale conventional war in Syria going for several more years.
    > By far the most consequential single Saudi arms purchase was not from the Balkans, however, but from the United States. It was the December 2013 U.S. sale of 15,000 TOW anti-tank missiles to the Saudis at a cost of about $1 billion—the result of Obama’s decision earlier that year to reverse his ban on lethal assistance to anti-Assad armed groups. The Saudis had agreed, moreover, that those anti-tank missiles would be doled out to Syrian groups only at U.S. discretion. The TOW missiles began to arrive in Syria in 2014 and soon had a major impact on the military balance.
    > This flood of weapons into Syria, along with the entry of 20,000 foreign fighters into the country—primarily through Turkey—largely defined the nature of the conflict. These armaments helped make al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al Nusra Front (now renamed Tahrir al-Sham or Levant Liberation Organization) and its close allies by far the most powerful anti-Assad forces in Syria—and gave rise to the Islamic State.

  69. Adrestia, I have to agree with Fred that this is a “metaphorical critical mass.” I was disappointed by the author’s description of Russian and Iranian IW as opposed to US IW. This was probably a required writing project by the author prior to its publication by the JSWU. I’d rather see a few more historical studies of IW before we dive into theories and proscriptions. For instance, how about a study of Ukraine from the breakup of the USSR to today. I’d like to know how the US spent 5 billion dollars over 20 years and ended up with the mess we have today. How that interplayed with Russia’s actions would be a great read.

  70. prawnik says:

    Czy Pan zna polski?

  71. oldman22 says:

    from the debate (transcript available on bloomber and wapo)
    And with regard to regime change in Syria, that has not been the policy we change the regime. It has been to make sure that the regime did not wipe out hundreds of thousands of innocent people between there and the Iraqi border. And lastly, and I apologize for going on, but lastly, what is happening in Iraq is going to — I mean, excuse me, in Afghanistan, as well as all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS that’s going to come here. They are going to, in fact, damage the United States of America. That’s why we got involved in the first place and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians.

  72. Prawnik, tak.
    Remember this is me, TTG, talking and not Colonel Lang. I learned Polish in SF and used it extensively as an Army case officer in Europe. I had two agents who thought I might be SB. I had trouble proving I was an American. Even the Germans I met thought I was Polish because my German had a heavy Polish accent. It’s a shame I’ve forgotten so much since then.

  73. Stephanie says:

    A no-fly zone in Syria:
    “Russian military aircraft and air defense systems ensured the creation of a no-fly zone in areas occupied by Russian and Syrian military personnel in the north of the Arab Republic.
    Подробнее на:

  74. Fred says:

    Biden seems to have forgotten that Syria before the externally sponsored uprising was fully controlled by the government headed by Assad. From the same debate, per the WAPO transcript:
    “BIDEN: I would not have withdrawn the troops and I would not have withdrawn the additional thousand troops who are in Iraq, which are in retreat now, being fired on by Assad’s people. ”
    So he would have ignored the Iraqi government, with which we did not have a status of forces agreeement to keep troops in place, and he now says the Syrians are attacking our soldiers who are leaving. Biden is not only a liar but a fool too.

  75. prawnik says:

    Ciekawy. Ja dawno sam sie uczylem; moja nieposluszna zona jest (zawodowa) Polka.
    I speak Polish with a Russian accent and Russian with a Polish accent, to the point where people ask whether my father was the Pole or the Russian.
    I am unpopular, everywhere I go. 😉

  76. different clue says:

    Semi-irrelevant but . . . . this comment about Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner made me think of a stanza I imagined for a poem I hope someone writes, to be called Rhyme of the Ancient Codewriter.
    Data, data, every where
    and all the brains did shrink.
    Data, data every where
    nor any thought to think.

  77. different clue says:

    It may be my irony-defficiency, but they seemed to be very openly and seriously Genghis Khan-nostalgiac.

  78. Theodore Buila says:

    Small question: Are the Kurds mercenaries albeit our mercenaries/on the books since the 1980s?

  79. catherine says:

    Interesting piece by the pro Israel Indyk that is a litany of failures in the ME that he attributes to Trump, not the Israel cabal in his adm. But the Kushner-Greenblatt duo does get a ripping. Not a Trump fan but perhaps his shuffling Israel Palestine off on his Zios has actually done us a favor since it has turned everything into a smashed kitty’s paw.
    Disaster in the Desert
    Why Trump’s Middle East Plan Can’t Work
    By Martin Indyk

  80. catherine says:

    ”Biden is not only a liar but a fool too”
    Never Biden.

  81. Fred says:

    Does anyone know the name of the guy (gal) who sold Hunter all that coke and what federal prison are they doing time in? Or wasn’t testifying against them part of the arrangement for getting that discharge from the Navy?

  82. Theodore, absolutely not. The Rojava Kurds have been fighting the jihadis for their lives for years. The fact that US forces came to their aid does not make the Kurds mercenaries. Did the fact that France came to our aid in the Revolutionary War make Washington’s Army a mercenary army?

  83. Different clue, of course they are. I wouldn’t expect anything else. He was brutal, but that was the norm for the time and region. My ancestors took part in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The Teutonic Knight crusaders were defeated, captured and many were killed on the spot by the combined Polish-Lithuanian army. A family legend holds that my ancestors rode with the Lipka Tatar light cavalry… those dreaded Tatars. I am openly and seriously nostalgic for those ancestors and their Lipka Tatar comrades in arms.

  84. catherine says:

    Biden is also dirty. …always as been.
    DC’s Atlantic Council Raked in Funding from Hunter Biden’s Corruption-Stained Ukrainian Employer While Courting His VP Father

  85. Stephanie says:

    Trump is a very interesting guy. He makes perfect sense on Syria. He does finesse the fact that we did betray the Kurds, but *he* didn’t betray the Kurds, and if the Kurds were listening, they realized a long time ago that this was a guy who didn’t really want anything to do with them.
    Go ahead, say he couldn’t build a hotel in Kurdistan, or a golf course, but don’t say that to anyone except the people who voted for him and see what their response is.
    And another thing. Let’s compare Trump with Woodrow Wilson. It’s like comparing Ghandi with Satan. Wilson was the real thing, an out and out racist, a liar, a fool, and a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac. As Presidents go Trump is nearer the median.
    I would never vote for him, but to get me to vote, someone will have to pass the “We came, we saw, he died… giggle, giggle” test, and so far I don’t think any of the Democrats do, except Gabbard, who unfortunately seems to be something of a space shot.

  86. Elora, “Black Hawk Down” depicted Rangers and Delta. Both those units are commandos and considered special operations forces. Colonel Lang and I were not in those units. We are Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, the quiet professionals, men totally different from mere commandos.

  87. oldman22 says:

    Re: music
    No one has mentioned the Ken Burns series “Country Music”.
    I think it is superb. Not going to attempt a review, but . . .
    I had never seen Hank Williams moving, and I was really missing something!
    I watched it free online, on an excellent sound system.

  88. oldman22 says:

    Graham Fuller summarizes the Syria situation.
    I would appreciating hearing
    from our host about Fuller’s view on Turkey/Erdogan.
    Fuller seems not to be concerned about any desire by Erdogan
    to expand his borders.
    Fuller confirms a point I attempted to make last week:
    Russia is successfully working to regain its former centuries old role in the Middle East in general—a position which briefly collapsed twenty years ago with the end of the USSR. Russia’s agenda is above all driven by its strong opposition to any further US attempts at engineering regime change by coup against any and all governments globally that the US does not like. Remember that US intervention in Syria has not been sanctioned by international law, whereas both Russia and Iran were both formally invited to come in and assist the legally recognized Syrian government.
    But there is another striking feature of Russian diplomacy: it also seeks to maintain working ties with all, repeat all, players in the Middle East including seemingly incompatible ones: good ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, the US, etc. At the same time the US has refused to maintain any such comprehensive working ties across the region with forces it does not like. Hence it refuses to talk with key players like Iran, Syria and Hizballah or countenance a Russian role there. That kind of US posture has above all “served Putin” who has emerged as a master of regional diplomacy and compromise.
    a worthy read here:

  89. Johnb says:

    I still have my Hank Williams ep bought as a sixteen year old, my second record purchase from memory.

  90. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    My favorite soprano:
    Classical Turkish music:
    An old folk tune w/ a newer interpretation:
    Proof that Trump is doing the right thing:
    Ishmael Zechariah

  91. Factotum says:

    Long alleged Valerie Jarrent and Ben Rhodes did not want a “Black Hawk Down” incident so close to Obama’s 2012 re-election.
    Hence, he went MIA during the Benghazi slaughter and did nothing, according to Trey Gowdy’s investigation. Gowdy found nothing because there was nothing to find. Other than where was Obama during those long hours and who exactly was in the room calling the shots that night.
    This is what Biden calls not even a smidgen of a scandal.

  92. When I read your comment I fetched down an old childrens book, Der Zug in die Freiheit, Nelly Däs. As a child she’d been one of the lucky ones – got out and fetched up in what was to be West Germany. It got me looking at the history of the German settler communities in Russia.
    I had no idea there were so many, and such a persecuted history. The deportations to Siberia, the treks across half a continent in front of the advancing Red Army in the Second World War, the forced returns afterwards – if the settlers had known all that was in store for their descendants I reckon they’d have stayed home.

  93. J says:

    From what I understood their final resting place was still in ME neighborhood.

  94. rjj says:

    I.Z. that reminds me …. is there any more of this music on YouTube? I don’t know what the search terms would be.

  95. anon says:

    Russia maintaining good ties with everybody in the middle east.ha ha very funny.
    republican president reagan….south africa vs Angola et all = regime change.
    republican president trump…..Israel vs syria et all = regime change.
    The usual masters of the universe playbook.sanctions,cut bank credit,business as usual.Well times have changed.

  96. Diana C says:

    Like it very much…..
    Having taught teenagers so long, I began to see that the brans of teenagers had changed over my career. The ninth grade students I taught when I first began teaching in 1974 were, think, far more advanced than the brains of ninth graders when I retired from teaching a while back.
    Witnessing the effect on thinking skills, knowledge stored in brains, of the computer revolution, I decided without any hesitation never to carry a cell phone unless it was a prepaid phone I could take along on a long trip in a car to use for emergencies. I’ve kept to that rule.
    And except for thing like this blog, where I might find information that comes from experience and knowledge, I don’t use the internet. I’ve never joined Facebook, Twitter, or anything like those platforms. The early version of something like Facebook was MySpace. I can’t tell you how much trouble that caused among teenagers.
    I just never wanted to part of any sort of Matrix or a Borg Collective.

  97. scott s. says:

    The author makes some valid points, but like many things there are details which might reduce the impact of his argument. I think SecNav Welles is under-appreciated as part of the Lincoln administration. In the case of monitors, placing Fox as the point-man was either shrewd or good fortune. Certainly Ericsson was an innovator and also a capable industrialist. With Lincoln and the country “sold” on monitors, Welles created what may have been the first program management office which was responsive directly to Fox and not “big navy” (Chief Engineer and Chief Constructor). Unfortunately, what Ericsson could do with what was really a prototype couldn’t be ramped up into series production, nor did the design translate easily into other classes with different mission requirements. In particular, the river monitor program has to be considered an abject failure. The coastal monitors didn’t fare much better.
    In the biggest test of the concept (Charleston) monitors proved unequal to the task. And Monitor itself was lost at sea.
    An aspect of procurement until after WWII was the presence of gov’t owned and managed shipbuilding yards. Consider the Monadnock built at Boston Navy Yard which might be considered the response of Chief Constructor Lenthall and Chief Engineer Isherwood to the monitor concept. Note also the Navy’s ordnance was produced at Washington Navy Yard gun factory (now the home of Naval Sea Systems Command). (It’s also next door to the Washington Nationals and should be jumping next week.)

  98. Vig says:

    Sounds close to Rebetiko. The Music of the Greek refugees from Turkey.
    Otherwise great comment by IZ. Poetry no doubt mattered for musicians, but so did folk tunes.

  99. prawnik says:

    I like the Old Time country gospel music or black gospel, mainly because it deals in fear, tension, stress, sin and salvation.
    Contemporary Christian Music (“CCM”) for the most part, doesn’t. It is competently played and produced, with no rough edges, but wven when they try to rock out, it’s got all the emotional depth of a Hallmark Greetings card.

  100. prawnik says:

    I am not really a metal fan, but if there ever were a non-classical genre where the people were in it for the music, it has to be metal.
    It’s not like they are in it to get girls.

  101. Well, you are totally lacking in “facts.” The entire 0300 exercise program, which was put in place after the debacle of the Achille Lauro, was specifically designed to respond to an incident like Benghazi. Obama and Clinton refused to activate this plan that night. Part of the reason is they didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that the CIA, via the base in Benghazi, was supplying arms to Syrian rebels, including folks with ties to Al Qaeda. You lack a lot of knowledge about the real facts. It was a scandal. Obama admin failed to act and left CIA contractors and the Ambassador exposed to risk that cost lives.

  102. Fred, is your “Bubbles” article ready for publishing or can you do it yourself?

  103. JamesT says:

    Both and are reporting that “the U.S. Armed Forces are not withdrawing from the eastern Euphrates River Valley region of Deir Ezzor or its plethora of oil fields”.
    So much for Presidential Authority.

  104. Factotum says:

    LJ, everything I know about Benghazi I got from NQ – did you misdirect your comments?
    Elora, you are right, The Black Hawk Down comparison was from the preface to a CNN report – so I guess that puts the entire allegation into the fake news dumper:
    October 26th, 2012
    01:28 AM ET
    Panetta on Benghazi attack: ‘Could not put forces at risk’
    By Chris Lawrence
    The U.S. military did not get involved during the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last month because officials did not have enough information about what was going on before the attack was over, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday.
    At a Pentagon news briefing, Panetta said there was no “real-time information” to be able to act on, even though the U.S. military was prepared to do so.
    “You don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on,” Panetta said. “(We) felt we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
    A defense official provided more context on Panetta’s comments about the decision-making involved in not sending U.S. troops to the consulate being attacked in Benghazi.
    He said there was a drone aloft but not directly over the area at the time the attack began.
    He said the drone was redirected and arrived in time to record some of the attack. But he described what the drone saw as “looking down, seeing a bunch of buildings and fires, a lot of chaos on the ground.”
    The real Benghazi lessons
    He said it was not enough to discern exactly what was happening.
    “We didn’t have good eyes on the situation. There were security forces there on the ground, but they’re in the middle of a firefight – not sending a Sitrep (Situational Report).
    The official could not reveal the specific reaction times for the military’s Fleet Anti Terrorism Security Teams, which are classified, but said “it would be physically impossible for them to get there in time to intervene in that attack from say, Rota, Spain.”
    He cited the time it takes just to get their transportation in the air. The official said “these situations normally deteriorate over time … but usually in a few days, not two hours.” He explained that even quick-reaction teams are often positioned for places where intelligence shows a “deteriorating situation” near an embassy.
    The official also provided context for Panetta’s and Gen. Martin Dempsey’s remarks about criticism on the response.
    “It’s not helpful to provide partial answers,” Dempsey said. And Panetta criticized what he called “Monday morning quarterbacking.”
    The defense official said it was directed at criticism coming from pundits and Capitol Hill.
    “In perfect hindsight, yes – we’d do it differently. But how it looks weeks later is not how it looked at the time.
    “You had the movie, the 9/11 anniversary and unrest in various countries in that region. All that factored into the decision to put troops on a heightened state of alert. But that doesn’t mean forces are positioned everywhere in the world, ready to run to the rescue. We’re not the fire department. And there was no actionable intelligence that Benghazi was going to be attacked on 9/11.”
    Next month, the Democratic-led Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a closed hearing in Washington to review the security situation and intelligence surrounding the Benghazi attack, according to a committee announcement released Thursday.
    The hearing, not open to the public, will review intelligence collection and threat reporting in Libya and other Middle East countries before the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission as well as what was known and who is responsible for the attack, among other issues.
    A number of government investigations continue into what happened on the attack.
    Doubts surface over e-mail on claim of responsibility for Benghazi attack

  105. Factotum says:

    Elora- avoiding a “Blackhawk Down” was part of the nationwide Benghazi Buzz – only Tommy Vietor refused to believe it.
    QUORA: What exactly was the Benghazi scandal, and why do people think Hillary was to blame for it?
    2 Answers
    Ted Brewster
    Ted Brewster, Ba Economics, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    Answered Feb 27, 2019 · Author has 5.3k answers and 571k answer views
    She was not directly to blame , although her department was involved in security decisions their
    He implication that the attack was based “on a hateful vide” was a complete LIE and she knew it. what we do know id that for the entire 13 hours of the attack and thru 254 hours “not one wheel of a US military asset turned in the direction of benghazi”.
    In other words, less than 2 months before the election , some foole decided that they could NOT risk a “black hawk down “ situation , no NO rescue effort was made ..those who ever though about it were told to stop……

  106. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for link but nothing new. all going to plan.Closing off the middle east oil fields will save the earth.Enough is enough.

  107. jdledell says:

    My son is married to a woman from Mongolia. They met will both were getting their Masters Degree at Keio Univeristy in Tokyo. Subsequently my wife and I have spent many months in Mongolia gettting to know the facinating country better. Most Mongolians do not revere Genghis Khan. He was just as ruthless with other Mongolian tribes as he was in his days of conquest of other countries. However, he is respected because when most people think of Mongolia, they only think the name Genghis Khan. Mongolians revere horses and it is the use of the military on horses that allowed Genghis Khan to win so many battles – soldiers on foot stood no chance.
    The Mongolian people are open, friendly and quite generous. This is because on land about the size of the U.S. about 75% of the 3 million people live in the capital of Ulan Bator that leaves about 700,000 people scattered across hundreds of thousands of square miles. Out side the capital there are literally no roads so you travel with 4 wheeel drive trucks by the sun or GPS. It is not unusual to drive hundreds of miles and not see a single human being or human structure. So when a Mongolian resident sees the dust kicked up by a traveling truck they rush out to greet the visitor and invite them for a meal. It might be weeks before they see another person outside their own family.
    I could tell many stories about this strange and wonderful land and it’s people. After spending many nights in a Yert in the middle of nowhere some day I should relate the story and pictures of my Mongolian relatives worrying about our western toilet needs bought a baby blue toilet and stuck out in a pasture over a hole they dug so we could be comfortable. It was an amazing sight seeing this baby blue toilet out on the prairie when there was nothing else around for 100 miles.
    Several nights we were entertained by men doing their throat singing to the sounds of a Morin Khuur, the two strin instrument you see in the video. It is an exotic experience to listen to those mournful sounds out in the middle of nowhere. Many thanks for bringing this obscure video to a wider audience.

  108. Jackrabbit says:

    My take:“>Trump, Turkey and the Syrian Kurds: What’s Really Going On
    The Turk-US tiff could well be arranged. US delayed a Turk incursion for many months. The timing – just as Idlib was close to falling – is suspicious.
    There are now reports that USA may seek to retain control of the oil fields.
    If Kurds won’t fight with SAA against former SDF comrades (backed by USA), then what has SAA gained except the responsibility of patrolling a long border? SAA would then face a choice: fight SDF for oil fields or fight for Idlib.
    Has Turkey kicked USA out or kicked SAA in the shins (hobbling their ability to fight)? SNA can redeploy to Idlib while Turkey pins down thousands of SAA troops at the northeastern border.

  109. Factotum says:

    Dedicated to Hawaiian Tulsi Gabbard when realizes she is a Republican: Somewhere Over the Rainbow and It’s a Wonderful World, sung by the master:

  110. Factotum, thanks for that masterpiece from IZ. I first heard that at a moment in my life that I really needed it. As far a s Tulsi goes, she is Bernie-type progressive. She is also a strong denouncer of all things neocon. That should be a tenet of both Republicans and Democrats. Unfortunately that not so… yet.

  111. Babak Makkinejad says:

    This irregular warfare already had been tried by European states in the Mediterranean sea as well the Caribbean sea and the Atlantic ocean, see Johnson’s History of Pirates first published in 1724.

  112. Babak Makkinejad says:

    US spent 50 billion on Syria. Gulfies, probaby another 70, 80 billion.

  113. fanto says:

    I could sing you a song about it, in C-Dur, not in A-moll…:) And I agree about the CMM; going to a funeral in Jamaica and listening to people, mourners singing a cappella was unforgettable experience.

  114. fanto says:

    An Armenian friend loaned me a book about the Armenians fate at the hands of Turks, and in it I remember the role of Kurds was mentioned, as “willing participants” in the slaughter. The town of Van used to be Armenian, IIRC. Unfortunately I do not remember the title of the book. Some Kurds have also made themselves very unpopular in Germany – family gangs and fights – also in Sweden, where a Kurd has attacked my nephew with a knife, injuring his shoulder joint so that the nephews career as a swimmer was over. They are no angels, as Trump mentioned (he was right on that, for a change).

  115. Fred says:

    Got delayed with family matters. I will have it finished mid-morning Friday.

  116. different clue says:

    Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I too think the changes are within the brain itself .. . neuroplastically re-wiring itself to engage with a “pressure-injection” digital stimulus environment.
    I once thought of a way to see how much long-focused-attention-span pain some of today’s digital kids can stand. Gather some kids around a very large stump. Show the kids a fifty dollar bill. Put a snail in the center of the stump. If any kid can sit there watching the snail till it reaches the edge of the stump, that kid gets the fifty dollars.

  117. oldman22 says:

    The State Department has just published the historical record of the USA coup of Iran, and Bacevich has just written a review of it.
    Highly recommended, many details and surprises(to me), far too much for me to restate.
    Read it here:

  118. oldman22 says:

    Pardon me, the Bacevich article is a year old, just new to me.

  119. CK says:

    The Union did have a friend in that war:
    1881 is a most interesting year in American Russian relations.

  120. j says:

    For your listening pleasure, here’s Tatar throat singing:

  121. j says:

    Here’s another one I think you’ll enjoy:
    Hassak – Аманат

  122. Factotum says:

    Biden for DNC nomination: yes
    Biden for POTUS: no

  123. prawnik says:

    Blues fishing? Naprawda? What kind of bait do you use if you want to catch the blues? Will whiskey do or do you need no money and a good woman, too?

  124. prawnik says:

    I thought that the Virginia was also top-heavy and not all that seaworthy, to boot.
    IIRC and FWIW, that is what sank the Monitor.
    For that matter, even if the Virginia were seaworthy, there was but one of it, and it was a one-off, built from a converted hulk. The North, by contrast, could build all the Monitors it wanted to.

  125. prawnik says:

    Something I mention to the hysterics who claim that Russia has ever always only been an enemy to the United States.

  126. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Several months ago, in a comment to one of Babelfish’s posts on aerospace,
    I expressed concern over the problems DOD and its contractors are having in building systems that work.
    Well, a recent Forbes article seems to exemplify these concerns:
    “The Most Expensive Ship In The World [the Ford, CVN-78] Is Broken.”
    Is the problem with DOD? Or its contractors? Or does it represent a broader failure in America? Or is it just the expected problems our systems have always had?
    Wiser people than I may know the answer to that.

  127. Fred says:

    Putting an experiemental launch system on a fleet carrier in the hopes it will work is just assinine. But it will make lots of money for the shipyard, designers and others associated with the program. A few flag officers should be forced into retirement and a few more tried for malfeasance. That might have some effect. But at least all the alphabet soup of diversity initiatives are being met.

  128. oldman22 says:

    There is a fascinating article in Wired that is from the book
    SANDWORM, by Andy Greenberg, to be published on November 5, 2019, by Doubleday
    It claims it was Russia that hacked the Korean Olympics, USA elections, and the Hillary emails. There is no mention of Postol or other analysts that have been discussed on this site.
    Here are a few quotes:
    When state-sponsored Russian hackers stole and leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016, we now know that the Kremlin likewise created diversions and cover stories. It invented a lone Romanian hacker named Guccifer 2.0 to take credit for the hacks; it also spread the rumors that a murdered DNC staffer named Seth Rich had leaked the emails from inside the organization—and it distributed many of the stolen documents through a fake whistle-blowing site called DCLeaks. Those deceptions became conspiracy theories, fanned by right-wing commentators and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
    Analysts at the security firm CrowdStrike would find other apparent Russian calling cards, elements that resembled a piece of Russian ransomware known as XData.
    two unnamed intelligence officials told The Washington Post that the Olympics cyberattack had been carried out by Russia and that it had sought to frame North Korea. The anonymous officials went further, blaming the attack specifically on Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU—the same agency that had masterminded the interference in the 2016 US election and the blackout attacks in Ukraine, and had unleashed NotPetya’s devastation.
    On July 13, 2018, special counsel Robert Mueller unsealed an indictment against 12 GRU hackers for engaging in election interference, laying out the evidence that they’d hacked the DNC and the Clinton campaign; the indictment even included details like the servers they’d used and the terms they’d typed into a search engine.
    Deep in the 29-page indictment, Matonis read a description of the alleged activities of one GRU hacker named Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev. Along with two other agents, Kovalev was named as a member of GRU Unit 74455, based in the northern Moscow suburb of Khimki in a 20-story building known as “the Tower.”
    The indictment stated that Unit 74455 had provided backend servers for the GRU’s intrusions into the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But more surprisingly, the indictment added that the group had “assisted in” the operation to leak the emails stolen in those operations. Unit 74455, the charges stated, had helped to set up and even Guccifer 2.0, the fake Romanian hacker persona that had claimed credit for the intrusions and given the Democrats’ stolen emails to WikiLeaks.

  129. fanto says:

    The history of German settlements in Russia goes back to their settlements in the marshes of Lower Saxony, later in the marshes of northern Poland around Danzig. Nice detailed story is in the book by Reuben Epp, “The Story of Low German and Plautdietsch” – Readers Press, 1993. Well written.

  130. J says:

    Here’s a Kazakh band Ulytau (great mountain) for your enjoyment:

  131. turcopolier says:

    E D Perhaps I have misjudged you. Perhaps you are a Guardia Civil asset.

  132. Factotum says:

    Is it 4:20 somewhere in your world, Elora?

Comments are closed.