US policy in Islamdom is a chaos. Part 1


The accompanying map does not include India as a  country deeply affected by Islam and Islamicate civilization.  IMO that is a defect.  The terms "Islam," Islamdom," and "Islamicate Civilization." were clarified by the great historian of Islam, Marshell Hodgson.

This is my editorial opinion.


 Syria.  The US persists in its nonsensical policy of regime change in Syria.  McGurk, the State Department lead in Syrian affairs is evidently one of the leaders of this foolishness.  The Syrian Government's forces have regained control of most of the country with the help of their Russian, Iranian, Hizbullah, Palestinian and Christian militia allies.   In spite of this the US MSM studiously ignores the efforts of the SAA and allies (R+6).  They are simply never mentioned.  They have been edited out of the US narrative.  Whether DJT has a side agreement with Putin over Syria seems not to affect the MSM narrative at all.  McGurk's statement that the Syrian government would not be allowed into Raqqa City is an announcement of an extra-legal interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign UN member state.  Do we intend to hold Raqqa forever and to what purpose?

Iraq.  In Iraq we have for the moment abandoned the interests of the KRG in its evident desire for independence from Baghdad.  We have done this in spite of outrage expressed by our foreign policy mentors in Israel.  The Israelis are, of course, the chief sponsors of Kurdish statehood.   The Israelis follow a consistent pattern of policy of disrupting surrounding states with a view to reducing them to pastoral rug bazaars.  Our loyalty to the Baghdad government is amusing because it is virtually inevitable that the Shia run government of Iraq will eventually align itself with Iran and ask the US to withdraw from the country.

Iran.  DJT's decision to stop certifying Iranian compliance with JCPOA is merely a reflection of Zionist influence over the president and the hyper-belligerent attitudes of Mattis, and McMaster.  They are revealed as more neocon than the organizational neocons and largely in league with them.  US abandonment of JCPOA will lead to direct policy conflicts with major European allies and the loss of business for American companies like Boeing.   In the end this direction may lead to a US-Iran War as a culmination of Israeli machinations in Washington.

Saudi Arabia.  Trump prostrated himself and his country before the Saudis and the leaders of the Islamic World.  The Saudis expect that this was more than a symbolic and empty gesture.  Saudi Arabia is a weak state in actual capabilities in the world  It is a state that the US will not need much longer as a source of petroleum.  The feebleness of the Saudi government is demonstrated by the ineffectual nature of its war in Yemen,  This genocide is being aided and abetted by the US government as part of its cartoon-like conception of basic social and political structures in Islamdom.  The Saudi government grows ever weaker as   a result of this war and decline in its monetized assets because of a growing surplus of petroleum in the world.  The Saudi princelings are not worth the effort being put into keeping them happy.

 Qatar.  US military operations in the ME are centered around the command and control facility at Al-Obeid in Qatar as well as the air base itself.  The air base is useful but is only one of many used by the US in the ME.  By siding with the Saudis DJT has de-stabilized the US relationsip with Qatar and is driving the Qataris in the direction of an pro-Iranian stance.  Would the US fight to keep al-Obeid?  The Saudis won't do it for the US.

Afghanistan.  DJT made a bad decision in deciding to persist in fighting to establish a coherent government in the country.  The aggressive and successful efforts of the taliban in the last week demonstrate the weakness of a government that has a negligible GDP and no ability to fund its own armed forces.  The defeat of that government is a certainty  when the US eventually withdraws it forces.  The various Afghan peoples are inherently unsuitable material for the formation of a coherent state.  DJT's flawed decision was based on the advice of his national security team.  McMaster, Mattis and Dunford are too powerful.  The US government is inherently a civilian government.  There are too many military men at the top just now.

Try to think past the MIC cult belief and the absurd conception of a US Deep State.

To be continued …

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Iran, Iraq, Media, Middle East, Palestine, Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

134 Responses to US policy in Islamdom is a chaos. Part 1

  1. ashpool says:

    Both M K Bhadrakumar at Indian Punchline and T Meissan at are of the opinion that the DJT line on Iran needs to be taken’ with a pinch of salt’.
    And their arguments are reasoned; not like the MSM rubbish that we are supposed to read.
    Thank you Sir for your work on this indespensable blog.

  2. “Try to think past the MIC cult belief and the absurd conception of a US Deep State.”
    That’s going to be really hard. The notion that the US is the only country in the world WITHOUT a Deep State, still less a military-industrial complex we were warned against by a sitting US President sixty years ago, is rather challenging.
    However, the rest of the recap is spot on.

  3. turcopolier says:

    ” … the only country in the world WITHOUT a Deep State, still less a military-industrial complex” you should get out more, go to family picnics, love someone. Does Canada have a Deep State and an MIC? Eisenhower was in many ways an odd man. Marshall should have gotten rid of him before D-Day. pl

  4. kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang, as ever, you are spot on with your policy review, after this I wonder if you will receive your next pension check.
    thank you and have a great one

  5. turcopolier says:

    a country of laws remember? It would take a long involved legal process to do that. This is not Lyttenburgh’s beloved USSR. Much easier to throw me off the internet. pl

  6. b says:

    As the White House press secretary yesterday said:
    “if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that’s something highly inappropriate.”
    So whatever the Junta generals in the White House do or say, even when they openly lie, it is “highly inappropriate” to question them.
    The next step then is to question if “highly inappropriate” content should be condoned on the internets. It should, maybe, be cut off and prohibited? Together with fake-news and “Russian influence”?

  7. kooshy says:

    of course I know sir, and you know I am kidding

  8. turcopolier says:

    So,you question John Kelly’s motives. Why am I not surprised? pl

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran does not have a deep state, that was quite evident that a man fighting in Syria proceeded to organize the sacking of Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the Saudi Consulate in Mashad – embarrassing and harming the state.

  10. Ramojus says:

    Eisenhower was in many ways an odd man. Marshall should have gotten rid of him before D-Day. pl
    I would be most interested in hearing more detail regarding this subject. Perhaps a separate post in the near future Colonel? Or, a recommended biography on Ike?

  11. Swamp Yankee says:

    Colonel Lang,
    I was very curious to see if you could expand on your comment re: Marshall and Eisenhower. I would love to hear your views on the matter more fully. Thank you.
    Swamp Yankee

  12. Tel says:

    “The Saudi princelings are not worth the effort being put into keeping them happy.”
    Agree, but not only is the USA eager to sell them weapons, Russia also wants to ship their wares, knowing perfectly well what that kit will be used for. Money talks, and the arms trade is amoral.
    Q: What do you sell to the man who already has everything?
    A: A gun, so he can keep everything he has.
    Q: What do you sell to the man who already has everything and a gun?
    A: A bigger gun, because you just sold some more guns to the other guys down the road… and if you hadn’t done that, well, someone else would do.

  13. FourthAndLong says:

    za big thinker.

  14. Anna says:

    An interesting angle on the French deciders: “A closer look at the Sarkozy and Lafarge cases,” by Serge Marchand:
    “The quantity of cement that Lafarge produced at Jalabiyeh and sent back to the jihadists is equal to what the German Reich used to build the Seigfried line. … In 2013, Daesh had still not taken the form of an unrecognized State. The jihadists were divided and dispersed in many groups. However, their military operations were under the de facto coordination of the Nato Land Forces (LandCom) Command Centre at Izmir (Turkey). This meant that they could benefit from advice of Nato engineers to build these installations. Laurent Fabius was evidently an actor in this operation.”
    More on Fabius:
    “Laurent Fabius is a French Socialist politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 17 July 1984 to 20 March 1986. His mandate had three milestones:
    1. he didn’t want to negotiate with President Assad to defeat what became ISIL,
    2. he supported Syrian rebel groups, and
    3. he reckoned that “Al-Nosra was doing a good job”.
    Fabius parents were from Ashkenazi Jewish families who converted to Catholicism”

  15. r whitman says:

    It is interesting to note that none of the Generals mentioned have ever won a war. The last US General to do that was Norman Schwartzkopf.

  16. ISL says:

    Dear Colonel,
    Will the Kurds be in part 2? They seem about ready to be F-ed again. McGurk clearly had a sip of the koolaid….The SDF will cede territory – why take on a fight they will lose? They had best be nimble if there is to be any negotiating value….
    I have heard that Turkey has started attempting to damage control (to allah) their spawn in Idlib so they cannot make it back to cause mayhem at home.
    Re: Abrogating the Iran deal, the main problem IMO, is that it shows the US is not agreement capable. The ramifications of that will be wide and deep.
    I hope it does not lead to war that (IMO) will allow to China leap frog the US economy. The implications are scary, but I can easily imagine micro assassin drones (that cannot be easily traced back to their origin) to truly mess with US politics. It also will greatly accelerate the One Belt One Road integration, which already is moving at breakneck speed (and largely ignored in the West).

  17. Bandolero says:

    You asked” “Do we intend to hold Raqqa forever and to what purpose?” Let me try to answer.
    Raqqa is famous for making the best falafel of the world. Since the US is dominated by a powerful falafel lobby it’s only natural that the US wants to protect that treasury of global cuisine forever.
    But there is a little problem with the famous falafel city of Raqqa: it’s landlocked and surrounded by the forces of the vicious “dictators” Assad, Erdogan, Abadi and Khamenei. So the only way for the US to hold the famous falafel city of Raqqa against the immenent attacks of these falafel hating dicators is to fight free a land corridor currently occupied by forces of dicator Assad and his buddies Khamenei and Putin from Raqqa to the US base in Tanf, which is just a little bit less than 200 miles south of Raqqa and close to the border of Jordan. After a short fight against the small forces of Assad, Khamenei and Putin the way would be free for the US to build a highway and a high speed railway from Jordan to Raqqa to please world’s falafel lovers, and to supply US troops protecting Raqqa. I could not imagine any better place where the US could build a highway and a high speed railway, if not from Jordan to Raqqa.
    That is because having Jordan as a start point for a US LOC to the world’s falafel capital of Raqqa would also give the US troops in Jordan a sense. What, if not for saving the start point of an LOC to the world’s capital of falafel cuisine Raqqa could be the purpose of US troops in Jordan?
    Yes, I know, some people say it’s all about resources, but I doubt the famous Jordan sands and rocks are worth the US military efforts there. I think it’s all senseless if it’s not all about falafel.

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    These ARE the interests of the United States, as defined by her representative government and, furthermore, are filly endorsed by her allies in UK and in EU.

  19. mike says:

    Good points all. Your last point about DJT’s flawed decision being based on too many military men at the top of the government is true. But it is also undeniably true that it was Trump who put them there, another flawed decision on his part IMO.
    Just out of curiosity, when and where did McGurk make such a statement regarding Raqqa? Source? I’m not a fan of McGurk, it was his statements against the KRG Referendum that emboldened Baghdad and the Hashd al-Shaabi to react in Kirkuk. But I would like to read the full statement.
    By the way, at the risk of being labelled another dippelscheisser, I need to clarify that McGurk is the Presidential Special Envoy for the Global anti-Daesh Coalition whether they (Daeshis) are in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the Maghreb, Afghanistan or wherever – not just Syria.

  20. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,
    Is it possible for the US political system to extricate itself from its ME policy dogma which is clearly destructive to US national interests?

  21. Yeah, Right says:

    In fairness to b, he didn’t say that he “questions John Kelly’s motives”.
    What he pointed out was that Kelly’s own spokesman said that nobody is entitled to question the General’s motives.
    That’s an altogether different proposition, and a highly offensive one.

  22. res says:

    Can you include Bahrain in part 2? Even it is part of Saudi in effect….

  23. Grazhdanochka says:

    Respectfully I would suggest that many mistake the development and manifestation of Organisational Culture and shared Interests with more Hollywood-esque conspiratorial Agendas…
    Many I do not think quite consider how many such Organisations Develop a Culture unconciously and all to naturally.
    If I may let us start with an Organisation – Eg: Professional Military but many types.
    Those whom choose this Occupation will often likely be those predisposed to it (Belief System, Family History, Personal Interests). Coming in to an organisation with their own World View, they have passed the first form of Selection that takes place – Application.
    Here on out they are subject to further Environmental Influences – Training, Co Workers, Management, Situational/Experience..
    Those whom carry on with this Career likely will be selected for Promotion in part by certain measure of conforming to the Beliefs and Notions expected or acceptance by ones Peers and Superiors.
    As often occurs they subsequently either carry on their Career in Management often practicing a similar form of Selection upon new Candidates conciously or not…
    If they do not do this often they may indeed take their new found Qualifications and Experience and use it in another Sector (Eg: Media, Educational Institutions, Think Tanks)
    Subsequently they can pass on the Institutional Culture and Experience to Audiences whom are still considering that first Stage of Selection – Application or not.
    It becomes Cyclic – The Consumers of this Media or Education and somewhat screened by willing consumption to become future Applicants and the Process repeats itself.
    That these Worlds Interconnect (Between say Media and Industry ‘Professionals’ and Political Advocates) confuses many People to think there is some greater conspiracy at place when simple shared Cycles of Production and Consumption of Information and Culture.
    I apologize if my Wording is not as clear as I would like..

  24. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    “Eisenhower was in many ways an odd man. Marshall should have gotten rid of him before D-Day.”

    I hope someday you write about why you make this statement, and also who you suggest Roosevelt and Churchill should have put in command of Overlord in his stead.
    Thank you for this concise situation assessment.

  25. aleksandar says:

    There is no ” Junta” in WH, and I’m quite sure, these generals have different point of view about the current situation.

  26. Lars says:

    I think we would be in a much better shape if Eisenhower’s farewell speech had been taken more seriously than it was. He also made some very wise decisions in 1956 regarding Egypt and Hungary.
    Those who DJT calls “his” generals may have entered government service with stellar reputations. I doubt they will leave with them intact. The military is trained to do certain things and running a government is not one of them. Historically, when they tried, it did not end well and it may not here either.
    The Middle East has been a hot spot for thousands of years and is likely to remain so. It would appear that a realistic containment policy is the best we can hope for. But when you mix ideology with ignorance, you will not get it.

  27. turcopolier says:

    There was an understanding between Marshall and FDR that Marshall would go to England and replace Eisenhower for Overlord while Eisenhower became chief of staff of the US Army. FDR reneged on this understanding on the basis that he could not cope with the war if Marshall were not at his side in Washington. Eisenhower was a very lucky man. Marshall had fired Leonard Gerow over Gerow’s perfomance in Pearl Harbor Day as head of the operations section in the Army General Staff. Eisenhower was one of his deputies and Marshall gave him Gerow’s job. A few month’s later someone had to be sent to England to head a planning staff and Eisenhower got the job. His presence in the European Theater and familiarity with the British and Free French led to him being appointed by Marshall to head Torch and so forth. He played little role in commanding the expeditionary forces in Europe. His staff gave the army group commanders and the air forces their guidance. Eisenhower’s role was largely that of a coordinator among the allies. In addition to that his publicly well known affair with Kay Summersby, his British Army driver was a matter of public scandal and a violation of the Articles of War.. Everyone in the SHAEF staff knew about it. It could hardly be missed when people came to his office and found her sitting next to his desk knitting. This liaison became a crisis for him after he used his authority as theater commander to make KS a temporary wartime AUS officer in the grade of captain. Marshall considered sacking for that but this was after the decision was made to leave him in command of Overlord and to do so would have looked petty. pl

  28. turcopolier says:

    I suppose b had in mind a figurative rather than a literal use of the word “junta.” pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    IMO there would have to be some sort of catastrophe that provided a catharsis so profound that basic assumptions had to be re-examined. pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    Yeah, Right
    It is true that b did not say that he questioned Kelly’s motives, He merely did so. pl

  31. turcopolier says:

    We seem to have a lot of Russians here lately and I have found them to be worthwhile contributors even if I disagree with them at times. I would like to make it clear that I think the anti-Russian bias in the US MSM and government bureaucracy is a bad thing. US actions in Syria have been abominably stupid and would have resulted in one or more jihadi caliphates in Syria if it had not been for the intervention of the Russians. This intervention has been most skillful and I congratulate them for it. pl

  32. Kerim says:

    This will just be further confirmation that this committee is in collusion with those dastardly roooshians.
    The Russians are not coming, they’re already here…

  33. turcopolier says:

    That is really funny since i have been criticized for being anti-Russian. Sounds like you are a supporter of the rebels. pl

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    To cause the Protestant Christians to question their 500-year (unrequited) romance with Israel?
    Not going to happen.

  35. jonst says:

    With due respect r whitman (or Don Draper) it is more than “{interesting) to note your dead on observation. It is the first step in ‘recovery’. These guys have lost, at worst, stalemated, at best. This has to color their views.

  36. james oneill says:

    heartening to read a rational assessment of mcmaster and mattis views … MSM has conferred them with sainthood and aura of the chivalry attributed to arthur’s knights of the round table ….

  37. turcopolier says:

    Arms sales to SA are about profits and commissions (kickbacks)and not about military capability. pl

  38. turcopolier says:

    r whitman
    I am by experience an intelligence guy. i don’t like making policy recommendations although i manage to overcome that aversion occasionally as in SST wargames where the policy suggested should be deducible to you all. As to what should be US policy in the ME, you should look to do a back azimuth and understand that we should stop doing what we are doing now. pl

  39. Morongobill says:

    Great information regarding Marshall and Ike. Brings to mind a back and forth between Ike and another famous general, regarding their service together in the Phillippines. Macarthur said Ike was the best clerk he ever had, Ike responded with that he studied dramatics for 7 years under Macarthur.

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Eisenhower’s lasting legacy has been Iran.

  41. turcopolier says:

    Swamp Yankee and Ramojus
    I presume that you read my response to expfcchuck. What more can I say about this? I was raised by a man who had served for 34 years as both enlisted and officer. He possessed a wealth of “tribal” information about the personalities and methods of operation of just about all those who became senior army generals in WW2. he had known many of them as much junior in the long inter-war years. He knew Macarthur in the Philippines when Macarthur was field marshal of the Commonwealth’s army. He knew GM when he was was deputy commander of the 15th Infantry Regiment at Tienjin. He did not like Marshall whom he thought to be a prig. He thought Eisenhower a mediocrity who did not like the profession that childhood penury had forced him into at West Point. He worshiped Macarthur. This was a point of contention between us. My father knew the lore. the story of FDR’s decision to leave Eisenhower in charge of Overlord is contained in several biographies of Marshall. you will have to look for it, but the wiki on Marshall says “It was assumed that Marshall would become the Supreme Commander of Operation Overlord, but Roosevelt selected Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. While Marshall enjoyed considerable success in working with Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he refused to lobby for the position. President Roosevelt didn’t want to lose his presence in the states. He told Marshall, “I didn’t feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington.”[45] When rumors circulated that the top job would go to Marshall, many critics viewed the transfer as a demotion for Marshall, since he would leave his position as Chief of Staff of the Army and lose his seat on the Combined Chiefs of Staff.[46]. I would recommend “The War Between the Generals” as an in depth look at some of the relationships. The book is based on interviews with the Headquarters Commandant of SHAEF. My father knew him as well. pl

  42. Annem says:

    A coherent Afghan state has never been and is ever likely to be in our lifetimes a centralized state along the model of Middle Eastern dictatorships. Its governments ruled best when they ruled least, allowing the diverse peoples and their regions do their own thing to the extent possible. Of course, this left the country more vulnerable to the machinations of its imperial neighbors.
    In any case, change/modernization worked out best by attraction rather than compulsion. New ways of being and doing started in the elite areas of the capital and perhaps other large cities and were then adopted by others who saw their benefits. This was true in everything from electrification to women’s education. Those that did not want such change ignored it until pressure from below forced leaders to adapt.
    Their first revolution occurred when the king forgot this sage approach and the subsequent communist government only made it worse, guaranteeing a popular political, social and cultural revolt. Now a government composed of regional warlords who continue to enrich themselves on a war economy pretend to fight off the Taliban and their assorted allies. In addition, the Afghan war has had its worst blow-back not in the West, but in neighboring Pakistan, when the ultraconservatives gave gain sway over much of the culture.
    IRAQ AND IRAN: We cannot assume that the future Iraq will simply be an Iranian satellite. The Shia body politic in Iraq includes blocs that are NOT pro-Iranian as is the clerical establishment. Arabism has a strong pull and al Abadi and his deputy, Ayad Allawi are in this camp. There has been outreach to the Saudis, with Muqtadar al Sadr visiting that country and the Saudis opening an embassy for the first time since the overthrow of Saddam. One barrier, of course, is the hateful anti-Shia rhetoric and actions coming from the Gulf states. Whether the US continues to have a role in Iraq will depend in part on our policies in the region and how we handle ourselves and respect the goals of the government. Our opposition to the Kurdish referendum was no doubt well-received in Baghdad. If we continue to challenge the Syrian regime, this will embolden the Iranians to up IRCG and related PMUs presence in both countries. That is why the Deir ez Zor eastern oil fields and Bukamal as so important.

  43. turcopolier says:

    the US Army ran both Germany and Japan quite successfully after WW2. USMC ran Haiti and Nicaragua well. these latter two places only fell apart after they left. pl

  44. Eric Newhill says:

    Sadly the US policy in relationship to the world of Islam is, indeed, in tatters. The destruction of the secular regimes in Iraq, Libya and [attempted] of Syria make no sense to me at all. It seems like everything we do there furthers jihad or Iranian influence. If one were to conflate outcome with intent, one would have to conclude that the US govt is, simultaneously, secretly an agent of the jihadis and Iranians. I think there has been some truth to the former in the past few years.
    Regarding Iran, while not secular, it is at least an established culture as opposed to another belligerent tribe with a flag. I would think that the US could someday put aside the embarrassment of the 79 revolution and work with Iran. As Col Lang notes, the Saudis necessity is waning due to the abundance of alternative sources of oil. However, Iran, for its part, continues to scuttle such a possibility by dogmatically threatening to destroy Israel and with all the “Death to America” rhetoric.
    This voting citizen would be happy if we left all the baksheesh, backstabbing, tribal vendetta, extremism and ruthless I win/you lose deal making behind and left the region to its fate. Clearly our think tanks and CIA, etc. are not up to the task of navigating through all of that. Maybe no one is. Somehow we need to get Saudi and Israeli money out of DC.
    What stands out as exceptionally weird to me (in a sea of weirdness) is that the Saudis and Gulfies aren’t better advisors to the US govt. For example, why didn’t the Saudis advise that taking out Saddam’s govt would result in expanded Iranian influence? Why didn’t the Israelis see that? How is it in either group’s best interest to have expanded Iranian influence?
    What a mess.

  45. marku52 says:

    Brilliant analysis. That’s what I keep coming here for. It’s mind blowing that so many allegedly competent people can keep disfunctional policy going on for failure after failure without ever correcting. One assumption might be that no one is really running the show. That seemed to be the case when the Pentagon’s rebels got into a shooting match with the CIA’s rebels in Syria.
    It is my understanding that in the Pacific theater, Admiral King had a penchant for sleeping with the wives of his subordinates. That seems more reprehensible, as it puts the woman in a position not to say no.

  46. Lars says:

    Both in Germany, where the US Army (mainly) governed a section of the country they quickly created a civil society that could take over. As did the French and the British. The Soviets went in another direction.
    The same was done in Japan. I referred to where the military controlled the government and had no plan to turn it over to civilians and there are plenty of examples of that and it was not sustainable for very long. Eventually the military officers had to give up power.

  47. Kooshy says:

    I got your point, but don’t you think, it’s too much blood and effort for just the F ing flafel. Here in Westwood next to UCLA one can get a great falafel, with hookah and Arabic music, on top of that, if you are a good returning customer you may get a free mezze. All this without dropping a single bomb.

  48. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    It is true that the Baptists and many Pentacostal denominations are strong supporters of Israel. That is not true of most mainstream Protestant churches. The Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Methodists, and Lutherans have been accused by AIPAC lobbyists of harboring contempt for Israel and seeking a pan-Arab agenda.
    US Presbyterians support the Palestinian BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement:
    The AJC claims that the United Church of Christ demonizes Israel:
    The United Methodist Church has publicly opposed Israeli “military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a “Greater Israel” that includes the occupied territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surroundings.” And they have urged the US to end military aid and to redistribute the large amount of aid now given to Israel to support economic development efforts of NGOs throughout the region, including those within Palestinian communities.
    The champion of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, turned on the Jews and wrote tracts against them when he failed to convert them.
    With all due respect, your views on all Protestant denominations is not based on facts. It would be just as ridiculous if someone claimed that the Nizari Ismailis, Ghulats, Zaidiyyah, Alevis, and mainstream Iranian Shia all held to the same theology.

  49. r whitman says:

    I agree with you on stopping what we are doing now. I have no clue of what the USA should do in the future. It was and is my intention to listen to other members of SST. Perhaps they have some valid ideas.

  50. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are wrong about Arabism; the real and substantive division is the one between the Seljuk Muslims and the Other Muslims. The kind of political posture that you envision is neither concievable nor practical; what possible cohesiveness could thre be between the Sunni bedu who wishes to raze Kerbala to the ground and the Najafi sheikh who will die to stop that?

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You are proposing that the major source of culture and civilization of Islam – including Sufi Islam – be cutoff from the rest of Muslim world for the convenience of the United States (behind whose policies are religious sentiments of Jews and Protestant Christians).
    I do not think that posture can endure.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The US posture against Iran is impractical, it is akin to China trying to forge a military-political alliance by recruiting Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, and Romania againt the Frech Republic, the core state of Western Civilization; as ludicrous and as likely to succeed.

  53. Swamp Yankee says:

    Thank you very much for your informative answers, both to ExPFCChuck and to Ramojus and myself. I had known about Marshall’s desire to command Overlord, and FDR’s decision to keep Gen. Marshall in Washington; but the major source I’d read on this was by none other than David Eisenhower, so obviously not an unbiased font of information. I certainly had not realized how flagrant the liaison with Summersby was. Thanks in addition for passing along your Father’s views of the major figures of the time, as well as the further reading recommendations. Exactly the type of insight that has made me a daily visitor to SST for over a decade.
    Thanks again,
    Swamp Yankee
    p.s. A brilliant day up here, within a mile of your Alden forbears’ graves.

  54. Lars – you and I have done this one already, surely? “The Middle East has been a hot spot for thousands of years and is likely to remain so. It would appear that a realistic containment policy is the best we can hope for” That’s much the same as you said before.
    I remember a General saying the same sort of thing after Serbia. Something like “Oh, they’re always fighting in the Balkans. Been at it for ever. Nothing much we can do about it.” That “Look no hands” saintly and resigned take is what we always seem to do after we’ve screwed someplace up.
    Hot spot my foot. Syria was a country with a future before we came along. After we’ve poured Lord knows how much weaponry and Jihadis into it, and left millions dead or displaced, we’re now just going to say “They’re always at it. Nothing much to be done.”
    Well there is something to be done. The Russians, for all their faults, seem to be a damn sight better at stopping the killing than we are at starting it. Get the hell out and leave them to it.
    I very much hope you’re not one of those who’d like to see the killing continue just to conform to Israeli/neocon policy.

  55. Christian Chuba says:

    Islamification of Africa
    The national review posted an article (of all places) regarding the harm being caused by the Saudis and Gulf states in Africa …
    Here is the synopsis, Catholics and Muslims coexist in Africa for hundreds of years, the Saudis fund NGO’s that send in firebrand Wahhabist missionaries that poison the waters, then the shooting starts. This is the tangible harm of having target fixation on Iran. We send troops into Africa to clean up after the Saudis rather than try to do the things we regularly do against Iran, sanctions, bad mouth them at the U.N, etc. to stop the flow of funds. Ah .. but we are going to spend resources to hare the Yemenis who have never harmed us. This is so twisted, it makes me ill.
    ISIS and MSM
    According to the MSM, Trump has defeated ISIS. There is no mention of the positive role of Russia and Iran. This is not an issue of fairness but rather distortion. By not acknowledging this, it will encourage us to embrace strategies to create ISIS 2.0. ISIS is just going underground again in Syria / Iraq, just like they did after ‘the surge’. R+6 can keep them stomped out unless our brilliant policy makers decide to water that plant.

  56. kooshy says:

    Colonel Lang, I am just guessing here, if I am wrong please correct me, IMO, after WWII all US military personnel as a military cause were/are trained to view USSR and now by inheritance Russia as enemy. And I believe this same mindset is now true with regard to Iran, specially ever since the hostage crises. Additionally, this same cause/view/ bias has been successfully transferred to the rest of the population in this country via US media in direction of long-term national foreign policy makers.

  57. Bill Herschel says:

    Well, you do say,
    “DJT’s flawed decision was based on the advice of his national security team. McMaster, Mattis and Dunford are too powerful. The US government is inherently a civilian government. There are too many military men at the top just now.”
    It all revolves around “just now”. I sincerely doubt that Nobel Peace Laureat Obama came up with the idea of adding 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Yet he did do that.
    Just now has been going on for a very, very long time. You don’t get to a “defense” budget of $600 billion overnight. “Defense”?

  58. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    BHO was rolled by another group of genrals the COINies, but there were not so many in the WH itself. pl

  59. turcopolier says:

    In Germany the “quickly” was four or five years. pl

  60. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Then you tell me why USA has initiated and suported the State of Israel to the hilt – against all her enemies, domestic or foreign – and at a no inconsiderale cost to herself for over 60 years?

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In regards to your enumeration of various sects; they have one thing in common which is that they are Partisans of Ali.
    Now I ask, why are Partisans of Ali enemies of the Western Fortress; whose political agenda is set by the polities that are dominated by Protestanism?
    For it is clear that neither Orthodox Greece nor Catholic Itaky shared that agenda.

  62. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Only dogged religious sentiment can explain this, in my opinion.

  63. Lars – using my legendary IT skills – it’s called grabbing the nearest passing child – and after more confusion and swearing than the Olympian members of the Colonel’s Committee would consider fit for these august pages, I found that earlier comment:-
    “Lars said…
    There have been fighting over that patch of real estate for at least 10 000 years. Is there anything different with the current action? I know the actors have changed over the centuries, but have that made a difference?
    Is a containment policy possible and just let them wear themselves out?
    Reply 09 March 2017 at 06:18 PM”
    That’s what I found, after all that cussing. You wouldn’t happen to be a prog, would you? Terrible question to ask but there are a couple of giveaways:-
    1. Supporting neon foreign policy and
    2. Mechanically repeating the same assertion in the face of contrary evidence.
    If all this is just coincidence and you’re not a prog then please accept my apologies. If you are and if you are also, as I believe, a fellow European, then may I make the friendly suggestion that we Europeans have quite enough to get on with destroying our own countries without destroying those of others as an encore.

  64. kooshy says:

    With regard to US policy in Middle East specially toward Iran, IMO, all focus of US policy, clumsily has been to subdue, subvert and undo Iran’s revolution and its influence on greater MENA Islamdom.
    In that, admittedly so far all US policies have so far failed (except for the nuclear negotiations), but no one in government and media is willing to honestly question why and how this is possible. Interestingly these policy failures have happened at US own doings with hardly Iran engaging US in any direct or overt manner. Here is FM Zarif take of it in interview to Charlie Rose.

  65. Walker says:

    Colonel, b appears to me to be questioning Sarah Sanders’ statement implying that it’s wrong to disagree with “a four star general”. I share his concern about that

  66. Christian Chuba says:

    Our U.S. MSM is truly brain dead. They keep reporting about celebration in the streets of Raqqa after it was liberated.
    Yeah but the celebration reminds me of Berlin after it was liberated by the Red Army. All of it is being done by the soldiers. I haven’t seen one civilian in Raqqa. I’m not against the campaign to take Raqqa; just the mindless insistence on calling every SDF victory a ‘liberation’ while every Syrian army victory is referred to as a conquest.
    I do recall that after Aleppo ‘fell’, Palmyra ‘taken’, as well as Deir Ezzor, that I actually did see some footage of celebrating by civilians with Southfront or Al Masdar coverage.
    I found this lapse of analysis by our western MSM particularly jarring because it only requires a minimal amount of awareness to notice these things. Without the Fourth Estate, there is no possibility of the U.S. learning from our past or current mistakes. How will this madness end.

  67. Depends on what you call a “Deep State” and also depends on whether you can see deep enough into a country to identify it’s Deep State.
    The point is that there is always a group inside a power structure that is operating for its own interests and not the real interests of the power structure it is a part of.
    This is almost guaranteed due the human nature.
    In Iran’s case, it has often been charged that the IRGC operates for its own benefit, much like quasi-military formations in a country frequently do. Hitler had this problem with the Brown Shirts, resulting in his execution of some of the leaders after he came to power.

  68. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    I had a hunch I was missing something. This explains it all! Thank you!

  69. Dear Colonel, most of my family are either dead or not worth going to picnics with, so I’ll pass on your kindly advice.
    Does Canada have a Deep State and an MIC? I wouldn’t know about the MIC, not having read anything about it. I assume Canada has a defense industry of some sort and I assume that defense industry spends a lot of money influencing the Canadian military and the politicians that aware contracts. If they didn’t, that WOULD surprise me.
    As for a Canadian Deep State, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did have one. As I mentioned to Babak, it depends on how closely one can see into the power structure of a given country. But pretty much every country has a group somewhere who more or less loosely collude for their own interests.
    There is also the difference in definitions we both have on what constitutes a “Deep State”.
    I suspect you also make the mistake of assuming that when I say “Deep State”, I mean some Illuminati-like organization that literally controls everything. Well, no one is that powerful (probably including any Illuminati that might actually exist.)
    What matters is whether a group of people are mostly colluding together for their own interests as opposed to the rational interests of their country.
    How you can suggest that something like that can’t exist is a mystery to me, since it is obviously a known result of human behavior and human history going back thousands of year. There is ALWAYS a group colluding for their own interests.
    In fact, there are usually multiple groups doing so. Pepe Escobar likes to refer to them as the “Masters of the Universe”. He reported last year that one group of these “Masters” wanted to Trump to win, while others wanted Clinton to win. This doesn’t jibe with the notion of one all-consuming, all-powerful and coherent Deep State. But it jibes with reality.
    I recall reading a comment from a journalist many years ago. He was attending a business meeting of industry leaders of some sort. He asked them whether there was collusion and price-fixing in their industry. They freely admitted that was the case. He then asked them if they thought there was collusion among any officials in Washington. They said they didn’t believe that.
    His conclusion was that people are perfectly willing to accept collusion on their own level of society – but are AFRAID to believe there is similar conspiracy on the part of the people who rule them.
    I suggest you look to yourself for possible symptoms of this myopia.
    As for Eisenhower, he’s not the only one who has charged the existence of both the MIC and the Deep State. So far, your evidence against the existence of either has been your personal – i.e., anecdotal, i.e. worthless as evidence – experience in government service.
    Have you ever considered the possibility that you didn’t see any evidence of a Deep State because 1) you weren’t looking for it, and 2) you weren’t important enough to be admitted to it?
    As for the MIC, well, what part of the US war budget being 20 times higher than anyone else, not to mention crap like the F-35, isn’t evidence? We start wars because someone wants to burn up military hardware so tax dollars can be used to replace it, thus guaranteeing stock value. There may be other (bad) reasons for the wars, but from the MIC perspective that’s the only one that matters.
    I recall reading an article in an electronics journal where an electronics engineer recounted his experience with one government contractor. He analyzed the device the company was making and figured he could produce it with 100 employees for a cost of a few million dollars. The contractor was producing it with a thousand employees for several hundred million dollars. The contractor’s CEO told the engineer, “Who’s smarter?”
    And as long as you can bribe Congressmen, that’s how it goes. You think Congressmen are NOT being bribed by the defense industry to support not just certain contracts but also aspects of foreign policy that lead directly to war that will financially benefit the defense industry? Do you recall General Smedley Butler’s book “War is a Racket”? Has that changed since WWI?
    I can only suggest that any naivety in this discussion is on your part. My knowledge of human behavior does not allow me to ascribe to incompetence what can also clearly be seen as greed and power lust.

  70. All of which is fine until it comes down to bribing Congressmen…which we know happens.
    Self-interest is indeed at the core of this. But some people are pursuing their self-interest directly against the rational interests of the country. And they are doing so using illegal or questionably legal means.
    Arguments against “conspiracy theories” become ludicrous when they suggest there is NEVER any such as a “conspiracy.” Human history declares otherwise.

  71. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Thank you.
    I was aware FDR had the understanding with Marshall of which you write. The president’s problem was that he needed two Marshalls but had only one. The other side of that issue is, had FDR sent GCM to Europe, I can’t think of anyone who would have had the stature and force of personality to hold his own with the likes of MacArthur and Admiral King.
    One of history’s might-have-beens is how GCM would have handled Montgomery’s inability to get the job done on a timely basis in places like Caen, Falaise and the Scheldt in view of the British general’s popularity.
    Thanks again.

  72. sigh…
    Iran has NEVER threatened to “destroy Israel”. What they HAVE said and what is their official policy is that 1) they will accept whatever the Palestinians accept (even if they don’t agree with it), and 2) Israel as a Zionist state has no future – which it doesn’t.
    As for Israel’s influence on the Iraq war, the Leveretts have pointed out that Israel was initially in early 2002 in favor of the US attacking IRAN – NOT IRAQ. They only came on board with Iraq when the neocons convinced them that Iraq was going to be a “cakewalk” and that Iran would be next.
    You are correct that a priority should be on passing legislation that NO foreign money – especially from Saudi Arabia and Israel – should be allowed anywhere near any political organization or office in this country.

  73. Kerim says:

    I have a rebellious streak myself, so yes I have a fondness for rebels

  74. Yeah, Right says:

    I am going to be perfectly honest and say that I came away with a completely different understanding of what b was trying to convey.

  75. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    “The champion of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, turned on the Jews and wrote tracts against them when he failed to convert them.”

    If you ignore a few dated references to early 20th century ones Luther’s On Jews and their Lies almost reads as if it came from the pages of Mein Kampf. There’s a reason the reformist was one of the three figures Hitler regarded as mentors from German history. The other two were Frederick the Great and Richard Wagner.
    I write this as an erstwhile Lutheran. For some reason I don’t recall this screed being discussed during our confirmation classes.

  76. kooshy says:

    The huge misunderstanding in the west is, that like you, majority people think this is about being “pro-Iran” or not. Is not about being pro Iran. Rather is about Shia minority common security need (against majority) that is what pulls everybody together. To understand better, just look at Bahrain, Yemen, and Lebanon before Hizbollah. Minority jews from all over the world pull together to support the state of Israel, do you think Shia are different? or should be?

  77. Castellio says:

    Poland is more Catholic than Italy, and it is on the “other side”. France has a much stronger presence of Catholics over Protestants, as does, for that matter, Canada, and they too are on the other side. I could go on but its rather useless, no only will you find a way to wave aside any inconsistencies, you will never consider whether you are using the wrong sociological factors much too broadly for your interpretations.
    To defend and support your habit of relying on generalizations and nominal concepts, you quote Confucious’s preference for clear language. However, I sincerely doubt if he meant by that the most sweeping generalization.
    In your exchange with Mike, he is the one presenting contemporary historical conditions and references that dispute your claim. You are relying on the (faulty) framework you impose. (I imagine you’ve read the Myth of the Framework by Popper.)
    Do know that I generally gain from reading your posts, and have learned how to factor in your weaknesses with your strengths, as the majority of readers here do with us all.

  78. turcopolier says:

    these rebels tried to create an Islamist theocracy You are for that? pl

  79. turcopolier says:

    This WH says a lot of stupid things, but as I am not “progressive,” I prefer it to the alternative. pl

  80. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Colonel Lang wrote:

    DJT’s flawed decision was based on
    the advice of his national security team.

    Colonel, I believe you are completely and totally wrong in that assessment.
    To explain why, let me recall some facts which I believe are indisputable:

    1. The MSM looks for any excuse to criticize Trump.
    2. As an example from the past of how the MSM works, let us recall GWB and Hurricane Katrina. The MSM and the Dems never missed a chance to fault GWB for the conditions resulting from Katrina. It was all GWB’s fault!
      And opinion polls showed such blaming had a significant effect on the public’s opinion of GWB.
      (BTW, an interesting comparison is how the MSM
      let BHO off the hook for the Chinese hacking of the OPM, even though
      the line of culpability for that incident led more directly to BHO
      than the Katrina problems did to GWB.)
    3. Let us also note how major parts of the MSM, certainly WaPo, have consistently claimed that our continued war in Afghanistan is necessary (so they say) to prevent further terrorist attacks on the U.S.
    4. Let us also note that over the past few years, when terrorism has struck the U.S. (the Boston marathon, the Fort Hood shooting, the Santa Barbara shooting, the various knifing attacks accompanied by a shout of “Allahu Akbar”, and so on), the MSM has not tried to link this to Afghanistan.

    Now let us suppose that DJT had made the decision to pull out of Afghanistan, and to let other forces determine its future.
    (Which is, BTW, my preferred Afghan policy.)
    Thereafter, just as the MSM laid all the problems of Katrina at the doorstep of GWB,
    they would blame all future incidents of terrorism on Trump, and his decision to pull out of Afghanistan.
    You can easily imagine the words that would flow:
    “Trump didn’t do enough to protect the U.S.”
    And if, by some chance, a major attack was made on the U.S.,
    how easy it would be for them to suggest that our pullout from Afghanistan was a significant factor.
    And just how, Colonel, could Trump protect himself from such attacks?
    Well, anyhow, that’s how I read the current situation and what would happen if Trump had pulled out.
    And I think all that is sufficiently obvious that Trump sees the same thing.
    So he made his decision simply to forestall those problems.
    If that was his reasoning, he could hardly come out and explain it publically.
    So he said all the things he did, essentially as a cover story.
    And as to WaPo? They surely don’t want to be blamed for all the negative consequences of our remaining in Afghanistan forever.
    So they happily play the blame game, and blame the generals for the decision.
    That’s my theory, anyhow.

  81. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Have it your way, it all geoplotics. Poland is a pathetic case of the bootlicker.

  82. Christian Chuba,
    “the Saudis fund NGO’s that send in firebrand Wahhabist missionaries that poison the waters, then the shooting starts”
    This is not the only problem we in the US have with Islamdom, but I do see this as a major problem that we should address. Our current policies only exacerbate the situation. I recommend we concentrate our efforts on depriving the Wahhabis of the ability to spread their version of Islam throughout the world. Let our “much vaunted” cyber warriors drain their coffers, sabotage their communications programs and harass every Wahhabi effort to spread their ideas. At the same time we should support mosques and NGOs other than the Wahhabis throughout the world by quietly providing and steering resources their way. I first pushed this idea when the Wahhabis latched onto the Tuaregs dream of Azawad and brought hell to Mali. Timbuktu should be a place of historic wonders and music festivals, not Wahhabi jihadists.

  83. VietnamVet says:

    SST adds priceless information every day.
    Middle East policy is baffling for the simple reason, American foreign policy is influenced by Israel and the Gulf Monarchies to the determinant of its national interests. The media hides this. All the money spent on the military is pointless since without conscription there is not enough men and woman to conquer and hold territory. Desert Storm was just the first battle. The Iraq War continues today, a quarter century later, with American troops and contractors still in combat there. My personal take, having only lived outside of the USA in SE Asia, is that ethnic and religious rifts are being exploited by the rich, so they can make more money. The end game doesn’t look very promising for America; bankruptcy, withdrawal and secession at home or a nuclear holocaust.
    Donald Trump is the reincarnation of Boris Yeltsin. He serves the same purpose; facilitating the oligarchs looting of North America.

  84. turcopolier says:

    It doesn’t matter who will be the “China Hands” of Afghanistan and be blamed. We are still going to lose. Afghanistan will remain what it is. pl

  85. Babak Makkinejad says:

    North European Protestanism split into a Rational Religion crowd and an Old Testament Crowd. The first one seems to have died out, the second is still around. This second one is responsible, in a major way. For the Fortress West ME policy.

  86. Annem says:

    I am not proposing anything! I am simply observing the dynamics thus far with no concern for the US or its policies.

  87. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You cannot beat something with nothing; you will need either to recruit Ikhwan or the Shia Doctors.

  88. Annem says:

    “In the West is, that like you, the majority of people think it is about being ‘pro-Iran’ or not. I was simply commenting on the original message by pl.

  89. Annem says:

    Could you explain your reference to “Seljuk Muslims?”

  90. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Nah, the guy was a well-conected anarchistic fool, supported by equally foolish and undisciplined men. We have so many… e

  91. Babak Makkinejad says:

    He is saying Shia are illegitimate to operate and cooperate on basis of common religiosity and common threats. For 2 reasons: it is verbotten, per the diktats of their poli sci, to have religious based politics and, furthermore, that Shia are enemied of Israel, their religious darling. When it comes to their own Puritan-inspired politics, they cannot see it.

  92. These figures may give a rough framework:-
    According to a 2012 review by the National Council of Churches, the five largest denominations are:[18]
    The Catholic Church, 68,202,492 members
    The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,136,044 members
    The United Methodist Church, 7,679,850 members
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,157,238 members
    The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I would like to pose the following question to the Committee:
    If the state of Israel had not existed, would US be in the same situation as she is today in ME?

  94. Apologies for the split comment. The figures do support the view that there remains a substantial Christian Zionist voting bloc. In England the Evangelical wing of the C of E was I believe associated with early support for Christian Zionism, though since Zionism did not become a force until Herzl’s time that is perhaps irrelevant.

  95. Castellio says:

    It actually won’t surprise you, my friend, that I don’t want it all my way.
    I want you to integrate “bootlicking” and other current and operative concepts (however ignoble and pathetic) into your statements on the Israeli-American relationship, or Islamic-West relations, for the sake of historical accuracy.

  96. MRW says:

    OT but should be of interest:
    “Again, Gov’t Forces Discover Israeli Arms at ISIL Positions in Eastern Syria”

  97. Lemur says:

    Popper is considered a shallow thinker. I’ve read his key works, including the Open Society and Its Enemies. It’s very clear he played fast and loose with Hegel and Plato. And he flipped out when people like Thomas S. Kuhn looked at the actual mechanisms of change within the scientific continuum and found Popper’s abstract notions didn’t measure up to the historical record.
    When you bore right down his philosophy, he had very little to say. For example, he says in the end irrationalism and rationalism are equally irrational, therefore we should choose to be rational. This is the kind of ‘deep thinking’ scattered all through the book.
    Basically, what “Sir” Karl did was hide out at the University of New Zealand (now the U of Christchurch) during WWII writing generalized screeds indicting Western civilization for Hitler and Stalin. I’m inclined to think the real ‘mythic framework’ here is the Jewish persecution complex. It’s also interesting Popper’s co-ethnic George Soros named one of his many interfering NGOs after the ‘open society’ concept.
    But I do agree with Mike for the record. We don’t need to name drop Popper to resolve our disputes, however.

  98. Lemur says:

    We’re not going to throw great European figures under the bus just because Hitler (who, reportedly, was a prolific reader) may have come in contact with their ideas.
    It’s all part of a pathology of obsessively parsing our past for proto-Nazi impulses, and it has to end or it will end us. The reality is from Cicero to Kant influential Western figures have issued sharp criticisms of the Jews. Most ascendant civilizations have a very clear idea of who they are, and who they are not. Distributed throughout European lands, Jews provided a handy foil for drawing such a dialectical distinction. The chaos of the 20th century, a product of dissolution, does not invalidate apriori how our historical forbears thought about themselves.
    Also, the hysterical connections made between Hitler and these figures is often grossly over stated, as the journalist Jonathan Carr pointed out in his book The Wagner Clan.

  99. LondonBob says:

    Luther was originally philo-semitic but then he actually read a copy of the Talmud and changed his opinions. That said Jesus’ opinion of rabbinical Judaism is made perfectly clear repeatedly in the New Testament when he condemns the pharisees (rabbis) and their scribes (talmud). As you say neither of these are explained today which is a shame as it whitewashes Rabbinical Judaism whilst falsely condemning Christianity. Christian Zionism is instead promoted, a heresy that begun with the writing and promotion of the Scofield bible, purportedly under the supervision of Mr Samuel Untermeyer.
    The Church of England continues to be mildly critical of Israel, so I assume their offshoot the Episcopalians is too.

  100. LondonBob says:

    Of course the early Christians were ferociously persecuted so perhaps this helped colour their attitudes somewhat. Indeed the leading figures in shaping the early Church – Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Chrysostom, Cyril – had much stronger opinions than Luther. These early Church fathers did not attempt to convert Jews, but regarded them as members of an essentially alien group against whom Christians should define themselves, just as Jews defined themselves in contrast to gentiles. Constantine the Great, the emperor who in 313 issued the edict legalizing Christianity throughout the empire, was so hostile to Jewish power and influence that a good case can be made that his Christianity, at least in part, was a means of promoting anti-Jewish policies. Of course one must note that these attitudes were not unique to Christians but shared widely amongst the differing groups and sects of the Roman Empire. As Cicero noted “See how unanimously they stick together, how influential they are in politics.”
    Of course paradoxically the Nazis despised Christianity for its universalism and assimilationist attitudes.

  101. MRW says:

    No. Not at all.

  102. elkern says:

    RSH –
    The big flaw in your “Deep State” theory is the implication that it is singular and monolithic. I would heartily agree with the your statement that “There is ALWAYS a group colluding for their own interests”, if you had pluralized it to “groups”. Every sufficiently large organization (ie, Nation-States) has multiple power-centers which compete, cooperate, and screw up in different times & different ways.
    I consider Eisenhower’s warning about the Military-Industrial [-Congressional] complex to be spot-on, but it’s a “complex”, not a “conspiracy”. It is a phenomenon which emerges from the uncontrolled way our elections are funded and the (huge?) profits from military contracts.
    Likewise, the trend of Israelocentric (sp?)influence on US foreign & military policy is mostly possible because of the effect of campaign donations on elections (especially primaries).
    Every system has flaws, and the low viscosity of money causes it to flow toward the leaky parts.

  103. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have a theory – albeit rough on the edges – what is your?

  104. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The dynamics?
    Which part of a religious war you fail to grasp?

  105. kooshy says:

    I can assure you, there would not be a single Shia Arab out there, including Hassan Nasrallah and Nori Al Maliki that is pro Persian or Pro Iran, if it wasn’t for the common threat against Shia minority by the Sunni majority and their gulf Arab petrodollar coffers which brings in the support and interests of the west. That common threat against the Shia minority as can be seen in Bahrain, in Yemen in Syria and elsewhere is what makes all this Shia Arab find a common security cause and unification with Iran. That was the security architecture that Ayatollah Khomeini geniusly designed and implemented which has elevated and safeguarded Iran’s security ever since.

  106. Eric Newhill says:

    Seriously? You sound like you’ve been hitting the hookah with Juan Cole. How come with you it’s always America the bad guy and all the other world players (e.g. Kim Jung Un, The Islamic Govt of Iran, etc) are all innocent victims? Just because the US arguably has a destructive mess of policy as relates to Muslims, doesn’t make any of the Muslims into good guys. Iran regularly issues all kinds of threats to Israel and to various Sunnis. The threats are returned, of course. Arguing who started it is a fools errand at this point. The climate of tension and hostility exist. Period. Your going to call me a racist or something, but you are not comprehending the middle-eastern mind, which is quite different from your own.
    Yes I agree that the US posture toward Iran is impossible and stupid.
    yes. I know what US policy intends to do re; Iran. However, US actions have exactly the opposite effect and the results are highly predictable to the point that I am baffled that our policy makers can’t see it. Lots of people said that the result of removing Saddam’s Baathist party would result in a Shia controlled Iraq and a closer relationship w/ Iran. I even said that before it happened. It was also clear that going after Assad would result in an reinforcing of the bonds of the so called “shia crescent”. This ain’t rocket science. Our policy makers are very stupid, very delusional or clever by half (probably all of the above).

  107. LeaNder says:

    Entertaining, Bandolero,;)
    On the other hand wasn’t there this historical/mythical link to Raqqa which surfaced in ISIS propaganda?
    Maybe Kooshy remembers, at least if I am not completely misguided by ill-aligned data stored on my synapses.

  108. LeaNder says:

    mike, the “dippel” connects to the dialect variant “schisser”, which no doubt is a Scheißer or shitter in heigh German. Since the diphthong just as the long vowel cannot be followed by double “ss”.
    I misspelled the variant I am familiar with Dipfelesch”ie”ßer, based on that I surely would understand the Swizz or Austrian variants, if I encountered them.
    This is vaguely with English Outsider in mind, who claims to have been tortures by the German spelling reform. Actually I was too, but I wasn’t alone in matters:
    I read your response on the Kurdish desire in Iraq. Didn’t feel like responding there. The latest news in Europe concerning more autonomous rights, mind you no independent statehood, come from Italy.

  109. LeaNder says:

    I agree, that usage stuck out.

  110. Castellio says:

    I’m sorry that mentioning Popper makes you jump. For the record, I’m not a great fan of his (nor Kuhn) and if push comes to shove, in all that group arguing at that time, my preferred thinker is Peter Munz.
    I was, specifically, trying to point to a reference to the push and pull between facts and framework, so that an historical framework would not deny/hide the facts changing the historical condition. That simple.

  111. Castellio says:

    In a place like Somalia you’ve written off the Sufi tradition?

  112. LeaNder says:

    IMO there would have to be some sort of catastrophe that provided a catharsis so profound that basic assumptions had to be re-examined. pl
    Worth repeating.
    if I may, I never tried, but for this nitwit “the Borg” if I were forced to try to define it, might circle around a ‘foreign polite society’ caught in some type of moment of inertia. Loads, and loads of accumulated expert wisdom that would take ages to sort out and/or to discard, on the other hand some type of urgency dictated by the real world out there.

  113. Annem says:

    Who is the “He” who is supposed to be saying these things? From my perspective, depending on the circumstances, communities, nations or their leaders cooperate on any layer of their identities, to include religion, religious sect, ethnicity, nation, region, or broader international coalitions or ideology. That is neither right nor wrong, simply a matter of human social organization that can be seen throughout history.

  114. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Sufi Tradition? It is foremost a Seljuk Tradition. You think Sufis came out of the barren lands of Arabia? You are truly clueless; go lookup major works of Sufi Muslims that expound the theoretical basis of Sufi approach to Islam – they are all in the form of Persian poetry – from Attar to Shabestari.

  115. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Then your perspective be wrong.

  116. Kooshy says:

    “probably all of the above” or tied up by Borg, without an option for any better choice.

  117. Croesus says:

    me too.
    wow Col., that’s a surprising statement.
    My first political memories are of my parents’ dislike for Ike.

  118. Croesus says:

    Polish Catholicism is entirely different from Italian Catholicism. I’ve been both — actually, if you factor in American Irish Catholicism, I’ve been all three. Italian Catholics are the best — most holy-joe pious, least likely to obey.

  119. Croesus says:

    Do you really think the Pole- or Italian- or Irishman- in- the- pew knows Popper from Kuhn from beeswax candles?

  120. Castellio says:

    You know I don’t think that.
    As replied to Lemur “I was, specifically, trying to point to a reference to the push and pull between facts and framework, so that an historical framework would not deny/hide the facts changing the historical condition. That simple.”
    And I was writing in response to Babak wrote, hardly launching an appeal to the Poles, Italians and Irish in their pews.

  121. Castellio says:

    Polish Catholicism is different from Italian Catholicism (although I think the word “entirely” is the wrong modifier for different), which is also different from American Irish Catholicism.
    Wasn’t that my point? That using the word Catholic to build a predictive historical framework doesn’t work – in fact – because of the differences being suppressed by a single concept?

  122. Castellio says:

    I don’t deny the roots, I do deny I’m clueless.
    Are you saying that post-Khomeini “Shia Doctors” are actually going to strengthen the Sufi traditions in East Africa?

  123. “Iran regularly issues all kinds of threats to Israel and to various Sunnis.”
    Citations, please. Preferably dated in a timeline. You can’t do it. Whereas Israel has been pushing the US for war with Iran since forever and explicitly saying so.
    “Your going to call me a racist or something, but you are not comprehending the middle-eastern mind, which is quite different from your own.”
    Whereas you are an expert in the “middle-eastern mind”? Based on what experience, education and training? The Colonel at least has all three.

  124. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I am saying that you have two choices – bad and worse.

  125. Kooshy says:

    It’s a westerner perception that Ahmadinjad wants to wipe Israel off the map or Iran is ready to nuke the Jews.
    I don’t blame them after all this has been a very successful misinformation by Israel and her western media lobby.
    It’s too expensive and too difficult to change that now.
    The closest thing to this perception of wiping out Israel I have ever heard is from SL ayatollah Khamenie, few years back after Iran was threaten by Israel to be attacked on nuclear sites, he said “ if Israel do this wrong we will level Tel Aviv and Hayfa to dust. IMO a weakend, laud and well behaved Israel is a Security intrest of Shia. Nutanyaho is certainly getting Israel there.

  126. Eric Newhill says:

    Nah. I know how this goes. I post something and then you attack the source, claim it’s a bad interpretation, justify it as response to a provocation, etc.
    My Middle Eastern family members and close friends of the family (Armenians, Lebanese, Chaldeans, Syrians) were always very concerned about me b/c I turned out blue eyes and fair skinned due to my mother’s genetic influence. They spent extra time trying to toughen my mind so that I wouldn’t be a bouncy overly optimistic soft minded American. They thought America was great and Americans wonderful people, but not realistic about life and not shrewd enough in business and other negotiations.
    You can also learn a lot about how people think by sitting around for hours, over the course of years, playing tabli/tabla (you call it backgammon), listening to the political talk of your elders as they drink arak and wine or Turkish coffee. You want to pick up some of the language because the really passionate stuff is discuss in the native tongue and it sounds, and is, serious. Religion is very important and worth fighting and dying for. Zero sum is considered good. Everything is to be haggled over. Injustices and slights are remembered for generations and curses are leveled at the offenders. Sticking together is critical. Secrets are to be kept from outsiders. Maybe I experienced a skewed sample, but those are a few of my take-aways.

  127. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Sounds authentically Levantine.

  128. Eric Newhill says:

    And the funding of various terrorist groups/anti-Israel groups by Iran? Those actions speak louder than words. I’m not taking sides here, but let’s be honest. Iran has sponsored Israel’s enemies.
    Again I don’t care who started what. Israel has a right to exist as much as any other country. Israel also has a right to defend itself. Furthermore, I don’t blame Israel for suckering and bribing the US into being its handmaiden in the MENA. If the US is stupid and corrupt enough to do it, then so be it (from the Israel standpoint).
    But please let’s not pretend that Iran hasn’t been behind a lot of problems for Israel’s security.

  129. different clue says:

    Babak Makkinejad,
    Parts of the situation might still be the same. UK would still have sought and received US assistance to remove Mossadegh and re-install the Shah. The KSA would still be coddled and humored and supported even in the face of its visible project to Wahhabify everything it could reach. Other parts might be very different.

  130. Eric Newhill says:

    My grandmother would normally have been relegated to the kitchen to keep the coffee brewing and to produce after dinner pastries and sweets. However, coming from a relatively cosmopolitan successful merchant family on the Syrian border – and being an extremely intelligent woman – she had learned to speak several languages with a high degree of fluency; a high form of Armenian, Turkish, Arabic and French. By the time I was born, her English was quite good too. She insisted I learn French. I still retain some ability. So she acted as interpreter for some of those who spoke Arabic only. My grandfather was of peasant stock. He spoke a pigeon Armenian/Turkish. Most of the Lebanese spoke some kind of Armenian and Arabic. The Syrians spoke Arabic and French. My father was a lawyer and he served the Detroit area Christian immigrants from the MENA. The Chaldeans all aspired to own “party shops” (basically convenience stores that sold beer and liquor). He helped them set up their businesses. He was like a god father to all these people. He was a master of the English language and spoke Armenian very well. It was a very interesting childhood. My blue blood mother increasingly retreated into the WASP country club crowd that she preferred. As their divorce commenced they each fought for the right to direct my development into their respective cultures.

  131. Castellio says:

    There would have been no invasion of Iraq in 2003, for one, but fundamental differences would have started much earlier…

  132. Kooshy says:

    Eric as I wrote, IMO a self behaved Israel can be of a long term Security intrest of Iran, for that reason I don’t think Iran intends or will wipe Israel off the map anytime soon. However Iran for her own security against Sunni majority, cannot accept Israel’ freedom of action or expansion against her Arab neighbors, IMO,
    that is the major point of conflict between Israel and Iran.
    Secondly I don’t think Hezbollah is a terrorist organization IMO they are a legal resistant, military political organization fighting for thier country much like IRA. As
    Said one man’ terrorist is another man’ freedom fighter.

  133. mike says:

    LeaNder –
    Somewhere in the far, far past, I also heard ‘doppelshisser’. Or maybe I am thinking of ‘doppelschritt’? ‘And also ‘trippelschritt’, but that can’t be right, can it? Must have been GI Germanglish slang from a caserne in Heidelberg maybe?

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