Send me a message. 9 May, 2016


At some point I should call a halt to SST.  I have been at this for 11 years with help from my friends.  I am 76 at the end of the month and that might be a good place to end.  I am involved in building an extension on my outdoor kitchen and that takes time and effort.  Feel free to send me a birthday present.  The Paypal button is on the site.  pl

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69 Responses to Send me a message. 9 May, 2016

  1. Farooq says:

    Thank you for being such a great teacher to all of us. I hope you will reconsider your decision but it is understandable if you decide to end this blog. I have utmost respect and affection for you that will always remain with me.

  2. YT says:

    Good lord!, Col.
    Where shall I – an amateur & ignoramus – learn about ragheads [& their ceaseless conflicts] than from this table ronde?
    Where shall the esteemed experts here gather henceforth?
    Please do reconsider & postpone putting a premature end to this Correspondence of the Wise & Learned.
    P.S.: Your contemporaries Stephen F. Cohen, Noam Chomsky, etc. are still working tirelessly, yes?

  3. Fred says:

    I’d send you a birthday present from Paris but figure a coins might be more appreciated.

  4. steveg says:

    Col Lang
    To paraphrase John McEnroe
    “You can’t be serious.”
    An important voice such as yours
    should not be silenced. To all our
    regrets you will be missed.

  5. dws says:

    Happy Birthday to come, Pat. A pleasure to donate. (Sorry if this message got doubled. Browser problems.)

  6. LeeG says:

    Bon voyage and thanks for the blog.

  7. Larry Kart says:

    Hey, I’m 74 in the middle of this month. Present for you is on the way.
    But if you do call a halt to SST, you and it will be missed.

  8. SmoothieX12 says:

    Happy Birthday, Colonel. And a good rest, you certainly deserved it and you (and SST) will be missed greatly. All the best.

  9. Jackrabbit says:

    I’m relatively new but I appreciate SST. It would be a shame to lose it.
    I didn’t know it was 11 years. I plan to take some time to rummage through what came before.
    Happy birthday!

  10. Amir says:

    I appreciate your blog. It is a great alternative source of information that even H’s a particular non-journalistic perspective. One can find a greater context. I understand that you are 74 years young but it is scientically PROVEN that those that remain active with their mind and body and maintain their social circle, retain a much much better mental and physical health status. You have you real life friends, intellectual and physical activity (kitchen making). You and we need the virtual equivalents of your intellectual output.
    There might be some hesitance to associate yourself with other independent sources but please consider this, without necessarily endorsing them.

  11. Old Microbiologist says:

    While I fully understand your decision I am sorry it comes to pass. We will miss you as there are very few places available with this level of insight. Perhaps someone (younger and time to kill) will take this over? Best regards to you and kudos for what you have brought to the web.

  12. Jag Pop says:

    Bon Voyage
    Wait! I haven’t been banned yet.
    (or have I?)
    This has been a regular stop – a very regular stop – in my “channel surfing”, so to speak.
    How about recommendations for alternatives from the group? Where does everyone else surf?
    Thanks in advance
    Mother Jones
    Rolling Stone Magazine
    Defense One

  13. turcopolier says:

    I haven’t made a decision yet. I will think about it until the end of the month. I have been to the edge before pl

  14. bth says:

    Col. I think you should keep going with the site. Plain and simple. Your providing insight to millions of people that otherwise would just be swept along by propaganda from any number of sources. There as aspects of this discourse that are necessary for a strong republic to function which may not be fully appreciated by non-American readers. Lastly I would just point out that Ben Franklin kept going until 84 years of age.

  15. Kyle Pearson says:

    I do hope you’ll pass this along to a worthy successor, Sir.
    This is a unique place, fecund with knowledge and experience that few other public places in the world can offer.
    You have done the whole world a great service by keeping this place going, and given moderate humanists everywhere a lot of hope and knowledge that has done all of us great good.
    I, like many here, would be devastated to see it suddenly disappear.

  16. dmr says:

    Dear Colonel Lang- For goodness sake do please reconsider your decision! Your site is more valuable than any other on the internet. To say it would sorely missed would be an understatement.

  17. turcopolier says:

    “… would be devastated to see it suddenly disappear” I have tried looking for a successor without success. Your best ally in keeping this going is the woman I have lived with for 53 years. pl

  18. Booby says:

    Happy Birthday Col.
    I used to start my day with the WSJ & a pot of black coffee. Now I start the day with SST & coffee. I fear I’ll have severe withdrawals without the morning SST. I really appreciate the knowledge that you & your contributors have shared. I can’t imagine being at the mercy of the MSM for my news.
    If you do decide to take a break, keep your light sabre at your side. We’ll need all of the Jedi to defeat the Borg.
    Semper Fi,

  19. Patrick Armstrong says:

    Humph! Why not let it run itself? You have a number of self-starters contributing to it.Just go on cruise control and occasionally say something. Kitchen extensions are transitory, thoughts are forever. (Or something pseudo-wise like that.)

  20. johnf says:

    Don’t you dare retire. You keep me sane. Which isn’t saying much.

  21. turcopolier says:

    Patrick Armstrong
    Perhaps my military formation is showing but I think someone must be in over all control. pl

  22. rjj says:

    stop indulging and enabling that crap about getting old.

  23. rjj says:

    sorry about that if you were giving him a dose of “Here, honeydear, smoke the whole pack!”

  24. Barish says:

    Even though I am a latecomer, I also very much appreciate your input and insight. That of the last few months alone has already been invaluable, also for someone not part of the “Republic”.
    While I hope that the ship shall run itself, or be run by someone else should you decide to take leave, it naturally remains your decision to make.
    At any rate, doğum günün kutlu olsun. Mögen es noch 76 Jahre mehr werden!

  25. Fredw says:

    I hope not. For purely selfish reasons. This is practically the only place that I find an appropriate level of skepticism about the “official story”. I don’t always agree or even sympathize with your posters, but it is very important to me to get a realistic account of the Ukrainians, the Turks, the Syrian rebels, and the Russians. SST serves me well for that.

  26. Young old 65-85 and old old 85+?
    74 in August!

  27. kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang happy birthdays and hope you will continue on with SST and your healthy life for many more years to come.

  28. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    The Ziocons and the Borg will celebrate the end of this site. They have been trying all these years w/out success. Don’t do it.
    Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  29. Colonel Lang,
    I don’t think that is to do with your ‘military formation’.
    Not long ago, ‘different clue’ commented on the sense that, as it were, what had seemed like stable ice floes were breaking up (I may have got the formulation wrong, but I think that was the sense.)
    In this situation, the kind of exchanges which SST provide – which cross all kinds of boundaries, including those of nationality, religion, and ethnicity, and also, critically, between military people and civilians, are indispensable. Of their nature, these exchanges can easily degenerate into abuse and incivility.
    The fact that this has happened so rarely on SST is in my view essentially due to the fact that almost all of those participating, even if they might strongly disagree with you on specific issues, have immense respect for your hardly very common mixture of immense experience and varied learning.

  30. pj says:

    A world without SST, would be a world without one of the vital forums for challenging groupthink and manufactured consensus. I hope you find a replacement(s).
    Happy Birthday.

  31. Nightsticker says:

    Col Lang,
    Happy Birthday.
    My experience is that you will
    be healthier and happier and more
    complete if you stay involved.
    SST permits you to still influence events
    without having to deal with fools or make
    a long commute.
    Just for fun I have set forth below
    a poem by Po Chu-I (from around 850 AD)
    “Lined coat, warm cap and easy felt slippers,
    In the little tower, at the low window, sitting over the
    sunken brazier.
    Body at rest, heart at peace; no need to rise early.
    I wonder if the courtiers at the Western Capital know of
    these things, or not?”
    USMC 65-72
    FBI 72-96

  32. turcopolier says:

    I was never good with fools and that grows worse as I sit huddled by the brazier. pl

  33. WILL says:

    Thanks for reminding me (sigh). I”ll be 66 this Sunday. I guess sarted reading the blog around 2006 or so. That’s when you were my age now or so. I truly have learned much from the Col. and the correspondents. It has also piqued my interest in the War of Secession. Hope the Confederates with the Khedive book is coming along. Look forward to reading or listening to it.

  34. HankP says:

    Col. Lang –
    I find your posts here to be very interesting and your knowledge about intelligence matters even more so. But I don’t want you to persist if you think the time is right for you to ease up and free up some personal time for things you enjoy. Maybe post one weekly summary rather than daily items and see how that goes?

  35. Old Microbiologist says:

    Consortium, Moon over Alabama, RT, Russia Insider, the Saker, Naked Caputalism just to name some of what I read daily.

  36. The Porkchop Express says:

    Col. Lang
    I’ve been reading your blog for going on eight years now. And while I’m sure you have your own reasons for doing so, I was legitimately distressed by the possibility of a non SST world. I don’t comment often–indeed I only started last year as I recall–but I have read it daily (or almost). I’ve read it while in the US, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan, and other places I’ve traveled–even on Easter Island! In fact, a group of us Americans in Beirut would often debate points made here on SST over (usually multiple) Almazas and always had our eyes out for your various holiday themed recipes–for some reason it just became a part of how we discussed the blog.
    While I understand everyone has their own set of demands, prior engagements, personal desires, and well deserved time off–I really do hope you reconsider, even if it is on a much more limited basis. Sane analysis, sage guidance and genuine wisdom from those with far more years of experience (you’ll be 44 years older than I) is truly a wonderful thing. And something I have appreciated immensely and really learned from since I began reading.
    Hope you have a happy birthday and my sincere gratitude for all these years of enlightenment.

  37. Matthew says:

    DH: Well said.

  38. SmoothieX12 says:

    You beat me to it;-)

  39. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Happy birthday, colonel.
    For years, your site has been absolutely invaluable as a source of insights that is not wrapped up in the language of political propaganda (or PR or whatever), a refreshing reminder of the way things should be. I realize that this is a great favor that you are doing for us and that you will have to bring it to an end one of these days, but I will be happy to have had this learning experience.

  40. Nightsticker,
    I’m going to keep that poem. Not only is it full of truth, but it has inspired me to build a small fire pit in the backyard. Little beats gazing at a small campfire under the night sky.

  41. Tom says:

    Happy birthday!!! I don´t think I can find words enough to appreciate your site. And I really do mean it! I look at it every day and it reminds me of the words of Bernard Shaw: „Beware of old men, they have nothing to lose“. That is true wisdom.

  42. pl,
    There’s a lot of satisfaction in building something with your hands. I’ve always known that. The many building projects I’ve undertaken since my retirement have brought me tremendous joy and peace of mind. You’ll enjoy your extended outdoor kitchen for many years. My brother told me that our 86 year old father insisted on singlehandedly preparing a roast lamb dinner for Easter. Even though he’s given up carrying his own canoe down to the fishing pond and stacking a full cord of firewood in a day, he’s still quite the master in the kitchen.

  43. Nightsticker says:

    As I remember, it is titled “At Ease”
    it,along with many others, is in the
    Whaley translation of PO.
    Better than tracers against a night sky? 🙂

  44. Midan says:

    I agree with the people here who would miss your unique blend of experience, insight and information. The Western world is blinded by poor journalism and weak analysis, I visit this site to find better, thank you Colonel and thank you contributors.
    I guess you will know in your heart when the time is right, best of luck making a decision, it won’t be easy to let this gem go.

  45. Midan says:

    I just wanted to say that I value the insights, analysis and information given on this site by you Colonel and other posters. Thank you all.
    The Western media can shape our reality by poor journalism and weak analysis, thankfully many blogs and sites challenge the dominant narratives.
    I guess you will know in your heart, when it is time to stop. I wish the best of intentions with your decision making. It would hard to lose this gem from the world if some safe hands couldn’t be found

  46. Bobo says:

    “Those that know, do.Those that understand, Teach.” Aristotle
    I come here to learn. I have learned but know I need to learn more.
    Happy forthcoming Birthday. Take your time or take a break but no more as we need more. Selfish maybe but down deep we all need more.

  47. hans says:

    Col. Lang – the first time I saw you on CNN I was struck by your commentary and immediately decided that you had wisdom and experience and I needed to pay attention. I would do periodic searches to see where you were going to appear and what you were writing. That led me to SST soon enough and SST has been my morning reading ever since and I have learned much.
    There are irreplaceable men. And you are one of those too rare men.

  48. Ingolf says:

    Colonel, I’d hate to see you pack it in. Nowhere matches SST. Your posts would be enough by themselves but what’s truly unique is the band you’ve drawn to you and the quality of the conversation. It’s civil, genuinely truth seeking, often eloquent and surprising. Without the discipline you provide, however, I suspect entropy would eventually set in, even here and even with such quality participants.
    You’ve no doubt considered all the alternatives. Still, FWIW, a couple of thoughts. The ideal would of course be for things to simply carry on as is. Whenever you do decide to step back, however, could it perhaps be done as a staged process? As HankP said, maybe gradually cut down on your posts and see if others here can step up and fill some of the gap. As for the threads, providing we all know Jovian bolts of intervention may descend from the skies at any moment, that would probably do the trick. And, to save you reading all of them, I’m sure there are trusted and judicious committee members who could keep you informed of any irritations or (God forbid) insurrections.
    Anyway, thank you for all you’ve done and happy birthday.

  49. VietnamVet says:

    I remember seeing you on NewsHour and finding this web site about the same time. It seems like a few days ago. I am 72. SST challenges my thinking. Its loss would be dreadful.

  50. Petrous says:

    Best wishes for your birthday.
    Re retiring from the blog:
    Without your insights, analysis and opinions many of us would feel rudderless when it comes to near and middle eastern affairs , not to say anything about Russia and Eastern European affairs.
    It is my hope that you would consider keeping SST active , albeit at a pace more to your current liking. I can not heap enough praise on you & this blog. It has been a guiding light for me because of your input and because so many bright minds have coalesced around it attracted by its no nonsense approach and top notch analysis. Straight talk is so hard to come by! This is one place where there is nothing but.
    Thank you.

  51. Jack says:

    Best wishes and Many Happy Returns.
    As has been documented many times at SST, the American people are subject to relentless IO. The groupthink that permeates the political-media complex and their sense of “rightness” leads to policies detrimental to the nation. The only reason why some of us can see through the fog is because of you. When SST goes away we’ll once again be continually bamboozled by our elites.
    Sir, thanks for shining the spotlight to allow us to see more clearly.

  52. David says:

    Best wishes on your birthday.
    I hope you will continue to keep SST going

  53. Kyle Pearson says:

    >>>In this situation, the kind of exchanges which SST provide – which cross all kinds of boundaries, including those of nationality, religion, and ethnicity, and also, critically, between military people and civilians, are indispensable. Of their nature, these exchanges can easily degenerate into abuse and incivility.
    I’m a “radically moderate internationalist”, so to speak, and this is one of the few places i can come to where i see sane people from all over contributing respectfully, without fear, and without late-term paranoid hyperlexia.

  54. Valissa says:

    An early Happy Birthday to you Prof Lang! I love this blog and hope you keep it going. Your work here is much appreciated and valued by many! If you are busy with other projects or need a bit of a break, perhaps some of the others who post here can fill in for you.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    I do not think that I could have arrived at the ideas of the Persistence of the Past and the Seljuk Transcendence had I not been a guest at this forum.
    Nor should I think I would have been able to make precise objections to the entire drug/dope head culture.
    And like many others, I have learnt from yourself, your colleagues as well as the other commentators.
    Thank you.

  56. Mark Gaughan says:

    Happy Birthday Pat!

  57. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Col Lang,
    Your health and sanity obviously come before blogging.
    With regards to my own sanity (or what passes for it on an average day), I owe you a profound debt. After all, like everyone else who reads here, I inhabit a world infested by ‘bullshit’. Specifically, ‘bullshit’ in the Frankfurter meaning — people who talk about things they don’t actually understand, and make alarmingly misleading statements on topics or policies, thereby making the world more dangerous than it ought to be.
    Your ability to cut through ‘bullshit’ is, in my view, unsurpassed.
    I hope that, if nothing else, you feel vindicated.
    My own view is that if Clapper sabotaged you out of the government, he made his own karma: he now has little credibility; you have tons. As events have played out and your predictions have been confirmed over time, the credibility has accumulated in your favor. This has made SST even more valuable as time has passed, and certainly the past few years that I have been reading it.
    Looking back over the past couple of years, I realize that:
    (1) If not for SST, I’d have been persuaded that Assad had gassed his own people. Heaven only knows the lethal consequences of that kind of ‘bullshit’. I’m convinced that SST helped put the brakes on what would otherwise have been a disaster for the US. I know that other blogs linked to this SST, and I believe that as more people were exposed to the possibility the US was being ‘pwned’, rational thinking started to gain traction.
    (2) If not for SST, I’d have thought that the Ukrainian ‘revolutionaries’ were high-minded idealists tired of being crushed by the weight of corruption and oppression — a description made to evoke my American do-gooderism and prompt a credulous soul like myself to ask no further questions about what might actually be going on. Unfortunately, that short description of the Ukraine fails to include other factors like: Victoria Nuland, neo-Nazi’s, or the Russian history in the Crimea, all of which I first read about at SST.
    (3) Although I still don’t grasp the full implications of the young jihadis living in the EU and elsewhere, SST has opened that can of worms in a context that emphasizes culture and provides some historical context. That is no small thing.
    (4) If not for SST, I’d have been susceptible to Clinton’s claims that the FBI investigation is no big deal, and is simply one more political skirmish brought about by people who despise the Clintons. Nevertheless, why on earth a woman planning to run for President would have someone host a ‘private’ server is, to put it politely, baffling (!) The entire US press corps should have been reading SST if only to vaccinate themselves against the amount of bullshit surrounding the Clinton email confusion.
    I believe that your health is your highest priority, but I also think that those of us who are sick to death of lies layered on lies are very much in need of SST, or something like it. This would be true in any historical period, but I believe that ‘bullshit’ is one of the key problems of our era, and it is delegitimizing government-by-think-tank on a daily basis. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that we are watching a political season where ‘outsiders’ have far more legitimacy than ‘insiders’: the ‘outsiders’ are perceived as either avoiding bullshit (Sanders), or else as using it for fun and profit (Trump).
    IIRC, Yves Smith (the pen name of Susan Webber, who started and operates was so overwhelmed a few years back that she had to either quit blogging, or get help she could trust. Fortunately, she was able to find a reliable assistant and delegate some posts and topics. If there is any chance you might be able to do something similar, it would be a godsend to those of us who are otherwise helpless in the maw of disinformation, political infighting, think tanks funded by ‘philanthropy’. We’re awash in dangerous bullshit, and SST has been a godsend.
    Finally —
    Happy birthday.
    If I had a magical powers, I’d gift you a group of responsible colleagues who could help you keep SST operating as a beacon of light for us all.

  58. turcopolier says:

    Fairness and/or “justice” are commodities in short supply at the best of times. I am reminded of the story told me by Colonel Herbert Dillard at VMI. He had been a cadet when John Archer Lejeune was superintendent. Faced wit a report of failure of performance that he thought unfair, he asked to see Lejeune. After listening Lejeune rose to his feet and said, “You have been here three years and we have not yet taught you that there is no justice? We have failed you.” The foolishness and injustice of Clapper was not a surprise. His justification for relieving me was that my subordinates feared me, especially the women. pl

  59. Valissa says:

    +100… great comment! Ditto on items 1, 2 & 3 for me… very well said.

  60. Nancy K says:

    Col Lang, Happy Birthday, I set a small present also. I so understand if you choose to end SST however I so hope you continue. SST is one of the first things I read on line in the am, and I view it as the most informational. I may not always agree with you politically, as I am left leaning, however your voice, your opinion is one of the few I trust. Thank you for SST and for the time and energy you put into it.

  61. philippe says:

    I am a french regular lurker, since the years when the neo-cons crazies went in power. Sincerely, the reading of the analysis provided here were of great help to elaborate an heterodox – and sane – view on geopolitics.
    As many- too naive surely- I’ve have been lured with the Obama election, thinking that the “great country” would come back. How wrong…
    We, all of us, each side of the pond, have an historical duty. We know all how awful things can go, and the generation of ours fathers, and some of us had paid the ultimate price for that. No need to insist.
    The new and increasing danger of conflicts spinning out of control (ME, NATO/Russia, US China, …) make the need of informed, experienced, cool headed guys, of first importance.
    Colonel, as a one who have worked about 12/h day, 6 days/week for a citizen journalism non profit site, I guess I can understand the kind of fatigue you could feel. So, I will respect your decision, whatever it could be.
    But I would like to say that the world (nothing emphatic here, just a reality of some kind of collective conscience which live and elaborate here) needs this place.
    So, how to give you some relief, and maintain SST alive ? I have no response, but I guess, I hope, that you will find the right tuning.
    Anyway, whatever could be your choice… respect, Mister Lang.

  62. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to Colonel Lang,
    Happy birthday, sir! I think SST is the best thing on the internet and every now and then I wonder if it isn’t quite possibly far more important than we realize.
    Also, it’s the only blog I know of, if you contribute to it long enough, it’s nice how you get a free hand-grenade.

  63. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    I actually started chortling at this — as a woman, I am left to suspect that your *possibly ‘fearful’ underlings spent too many hours in academic seminars, and too little in the School of Hard Knocks.
    Having to write papers is not nearly as challenging as being lost in a city whose languages, foods, and customs are all baffling. The later experience is vastly more educational, and inures one to criticism. It would be unfortunate if your subordinates had lacked that kind of ‘broad education’ in their backgrounds.
    Lejeune sounds like an irascible, hard-hearted empath; in other words, a stellar man of sound judgement.
    * ‘possibly’ gives Clapper the benefit of the doubt, as a way of avoiding libel

  64. Chris Chuba says:

    Col, I didn’t know how you were able to keep up with all the moderation and your feedback, while not always pleasant, kept us focused and SST from becoming a ‘newsmax’ (I hope it would never get that bad but lack of moderation / feedback leads to deterioration). I too would like you to consider a reduced schedule, like posting weekly and only keeping comments open for a day or two after that. Be at peace with whatever you decide, you have done enough.
    Watching events unfold from now without seeing them analyzed at SST will be like a mini-diaspora, where I might see only a few sane posts intermingled with Borg narrative at other websites. I’ll miss the other members as well as your contributions.

  65. Henshaw says:

    Colonel Lang
    I’m a very recent visitor to your blog, but very glad i found it. I came for the coverage of Syria, but stayed for the insights on other issues, particularly the discussion of US domestic politics and the workings of the Administration. I thought that I had some understanding of the dysfunction at the heart of US politics, but SST has been an eye-opener.
    After 11 successful years, you’ve nothing left to prove. Also, beware of the addictive nature of running a successful enterprise- could you discipline yourself to only work on the blog three days a week?
    You’ll know when to make changes- but please, not too many changes before November. I’ve hit the Paypal button.

  66. turcopolier says:

    Clapper said that to my face so if he wants to sue me, let him do so. Lejeune by reputation and legend when I was at school fit the description of HHE. He influenced the culture of the place in the direction of USMC. After him there were always a certain number of VMI men going into the marines. Before him there only a few, like Chesty Puller. After him quite few. pl

  67. hemeantwell says:

    This blog is outstanding for allowing experts in military affairs who are critical of some US policies and yet are undoubtedly patriotic to discuss their views while the rest of us learn from them. Upstream in the thread some alternatives to SST have been suggested such as the Saker’s site or RT, but I think it’s often necessary to read them critically, sometimes very, while here I just don’t think I need to be so wary. Forwarding links to SST threads can be done without the qualifications that are sometimes necessary with those sites. I hope you continue, *especially* since there’s a good chance we’ll have a true neocon hawk for president, not just one susceptible to neoconning, and the need for good, credible criticism will be acute, possibly urgent.

  68. William says:

    Please reconsider. Best wishes from Oregon. William

  69. Linda Lau says:

    I really agree about it not running itself. I think that would be a disaster. I’m not denigrating your contributors, I just think it is so easy to go off course. Happy birthday from me as well and I feel your pain in terms of not being 20 anymore.

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