I am going to withhold comment on the developing situation until I hear what BHO says. pl
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- Fourth and Long on “It’s 7 a.m. in Tel Aviv after a night of protests. Here’s what you need to know about Israel’s political crisis” – TTG
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- “It’s 7 a.m. in Tel Aviv after a night of protests. Here’s what you need to know about Israel’s political crisis” – TTG
- Russia to base nuclear warheads in Belarus… so what? – TTG
- “Drone strike kills US contractor in Syria; US retaliates” – TTG
- “Ukrainian troops impress US trainers as they rapidly get up to speed on Patriot missile system” – TTG
- “Russia hauls 1950s-era tanks out of storage to join battlefield” – TTG
- “Terran 1 | Good Luck, Have Fun” – TTG
- ISW take on the Xi – Putin meeting – TTG
- Russian defensive lines: screwing the pooch once again – TTG
- “ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin over Ukraine war crimes” – TTG
- How the JDAM-ER will be employed – TTG
Intercepts caught Assad rejecting requests to use chemical weapons, German paper says
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/09/09/201515/intercepts-caught-assad-rejecting.html#.Ui9fST-uqIx#storylink=cpy
Some comic relief from the Obots on the alleged left, although it’s anything but a laughable situation:
I said at the outset of Obamas Presidency that I labelled him a narcissist to the point of being a sociopath, although of course I am not a trained psychiatrist.
One of the consequences of this state is the capability to do monumentally stupid things of the “How could anyone possibly be so stupid?” category.
I therefore believe a strike on Syria, ordered personally by Obama for his own gratification, is still possible
We shall shortly find out if Obama is a true believer or if he is simply trapped in a snare of his own making.
Obama wants Snowden back.
Obama threatens “force” in Syria.
Putin: Bad idea.
Obama reduces “force” threat.
Putin: Offers to collect Assad’s chemical weapons with UN.
Obama/Kerry plunge for this lifeline.
Putin cancels UN meeting on this offer.
Putin sits in Kremlin, drinks vodka and pulls Obama’s chain.
Executive decision making from a community organizer and part-time lecturer.
mmph! Good thing I wasn’t drinking a cup of coffee when I watched that one.
This is what we get when we elect a spineless individual. Anyone else after seeing a CW attack on innocent civilians would have launched against both sides two weeks ago and this would all be in the past. Not Barry drag it out till he sees a face saving outcome…..This has already bit him in the rear and will bite there again.
Michelle Obama Opposes Syria Strike, Obama Says
I await your comments.
We will clearly see if regime change is still the intent of the US government or if Russia saved the President’s ass from his Red Line debacle. This sure feels like a cold war moment. Has any adviser point blank told the President:
1) The Shiites (Iran and Hezbollah), Christians, Kurds and Alawites will defend themselves from a Sunni Jihad till the end of time,
2) Russia has security treaties with Syria and Iran, and
3) Attacking Syria can quickly and easily escalate into WWIII unless the civil war is quarantined?
MM: That depends on the wording of any UN resolution. Kerry’s bad faith was made manifest when he chirped that the Syrians bear the “burden of proof” regarding the destruction of their chemical weapons. Like Saddam, this is clearly a burden they cannot meet.
This Op-Ed from Rep. Alan Grayson is particularly devastating to Kerry et al’s credibility. See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/07/opinion/on-syria-vote-trust-but-verify.html?_r=0
A series of leaks this afternoon already have given away the story line:
1) Things have unfolded to the US advantage according to an ultra-sophisticated plan that has been in the design stage for months (even before the chemical attack)
2) America firmness has been the key to inflecting Russian attitudes and to get Assad to bend the knee.
3)The US, and Obama personally always prefers peace to war; therefore we will pursue this possible opening vigorously – but also rigorously to ensure that there are no escape hatches
4)America will emerge from this crisis with credibility enhanced.
5)Little will be said about a resolution of the civil war itself – except that the international community must and should unite to address a human tragedy. Success in dealing with the chemical arms issue holds out hope that it will be able to do so. He looks forward to working with other world leaders in pursuit of a solution.
6)God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
*If you believe this rendition of recent history, you doubtless see Zero Dark Thirty as the Gospel Truth and John Wayne movies as documentaries of the Old West
He will warn against the dangers of peace.
I would like some Congress critter to ask Rice, Powers, Kerry, Obama, or Clap, if Bander Bush has ever threatened the U.S. with terrorist attacks, as he did Putin.
As you said, you are not a trained psychiatrist and you do tend to use the word narcissist liberally. Probably most politicians are narcissists, that being said there is no reason to believe that President Obama is a sociopath or that he will strike Syria for his own gratification. I agree neither he nor his administration has handled this situation well and his leadership skills are lacking, however to imply that he has personality disorders is a bit over the top and would enjoy bombing and as a result killing others for his own gratification is over the top.
I’ll bet on the snare.
How much “under the rose” stuff happened in this would be interesting to know, but it might be one of those “50 year” deals.
I think he took a big risk but got what he needed to get. Assad needed to declare victory or at least have plausible deniability, and that also involved somebody else proposing the deal.
May he be more careful with “lines”, assuming he regrets this one.
I’m still hoping for “kick the can down the road” . . .
It is fascinating to see the Russian approach to handling the Gas issue – either Obama was so smart as to cause this to arise or the Russians are smart – actually, both sides may be smart. We need to get out of the poison gas crap and move on!
There is a logical contradiction between the assertion that it is essential to keep the threat of military action viable – yet, Obama proposes postponing the Congressional votes that would confirm and validate it.
Why? he’d lose the vote. Better to weaken the threat by a non-vote than cripple it by a rejection.
Well save the date: we agree on something.
Sir, that was one hilarious/painful youtube video. Makes you laugh and want to cry at the same time. 😛
I hope everyone who supported Obama’s message of hope with teary eyes will watch this and take a lesson for next time.
I assume from the absence of a reaction post that the President of the United States has caused Col. Lang to sigh heavily and drift off to sleep.
I’ve been right with you in your appraisal of the likely psychological make-up of President Obama all along, even though you had a tough sell early on with others who frequent this site. Subsequent behaviors exhibited by President Obama have, to my mind at least, only tended to support your sense of the man.
There is nothing more dangerous and unpredictable than a cornered narcissist, as their whole self-image comes under attack; they love to be the one in command, the smartest guy in the room. The immediate impulse to lash out cannot be discounted out of hand, no matter the strength of the rationale for a reappraisal of their position, since logic may not govern a malignant narcissist’s actions. Pray that in this instance it does, both in the immediate future, as well as in the more distant future, when the desire to avenge the wounded ego may achieve expression in a most unexpected and unlooked for way. Petulant, unstatesmanlike behavior we have already seen in his refusal at the G20 meeting to seriously engage with President Putin. But surprise, surprise, that same President Putin may have given him a way to walk his rash “red line” pronouncement back. Yet don’t expect gratitude from a narcissist. Rather, expect abiding hatred. And when, as narcissists in positions of power so often do, they have surrounded themselves with sycophants, this situation remains fraught.
Narcissistic personality is common to all politicians. More so for one without the familial network and wealth that typically eases rise to the highest office in the world
Sociopathy is a different animal. It’s a mania. What has Obama done that supports that assertion. Note that Obamacare doesn’t count.
I’d say Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer tick off both items.
PL! Waiting for you but in the meantime most analysis indicate a confused message from the President who obviously is well out of his depth!
Russia has no security treaty with Iran; she has no strategic level of cooperation with Iran, and she is no friend of Iran.
The mistake here I believe is putting too much focus on the individual politicians psychology rather than the systemic issues that really drive events. Whatever Obama (or Bush’s or … ) personality, we have a governing system that is in thrall to military action rather than diplomacy, in thrall to Israeli interests and designed to shortsightedly protect a small class of corporate elite rather than aim for global development and shared sustainability.
Col Lang’s comments a few threads ago about the belief system of our “leaders” was particularly helpful – seeing these “leaders” as sociopaths misses the point in most cases.
After seeing indescriminate killing but being uncertain of who actually used those weapons we should just indescriminately kill off a bunch of Syrians “… on both sides…” ? That’s an emotional response; and as I am rather certain CJCS General Dempsey pointed out any such order given with out the prior consent of the Congress is illegal. Unlike the guilty party in Syria we expect our armed forces to obey the law.
siun what thread was that? pl
” . . there is no reason to believe that President Obama is a sociopath . . . ”
Not necessarily. Recent research using MRIs and other means shows that the areas of sociopaths’ brains associated with empathy simply don’t fire when confronted with the sorts of stimuli that in normal people trigger this emotion. Furthermore these studies show that about 4% of the population consists of these hardwired (or is it unwired?) sociopaths, and that they are significantly over-represented in the cadres of people in senior leadership positions in all elements of society, but especially politics and corporate management. See “The Sociopath Next Door”, by Martha Stout.
As Yves Smith asks this morning at Naked Capitalism, “Why Does John Kerry Still Have a Job?”
Bandolero: Gee, I wish I had voted for her.
I think he stepped in it too.
His talk about “red lines” really boxed him in – politically speaking. It will be interesting to find out (if we find out) if it was circumstance that created the snare or if interested parties fashioned his loose talk into the rough outline of a false flag operation.
I don’t personally think he is a true believer, or a narcissist for that matter, but Matthew is correct above when he suggests that we watch closely to see how honestly the US approaches the Russian-sponsored disarmament.
It is possible that Kerry was playing the useful idiot for Obama. Judging from what Col. Lang and others here think of him, he may be a natural for the role.
Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry is worth an estimated $750 – $1200 million.
John Kerry is personally worth more than $320 millions.
Historically Tsarist Russia and Persia were often in conflict, as were Tsarist Russia and Turkey and Tsarist Russia and France. Times change, yesterday’s fanatical enemy is today’s useful neighbor. Iran China and Russia have many common interests and at least one common antagonist. It is probable that there is no specific written security treaty between Russia and Iran, there is obvious strategic level co-operation over the last two years. There is no need for “friendship” as nations, unlike their citizens, do not have friends but only current and future interests.
It would help in the practice of diplomacy for the American diplomats to remember that in re some of our “supposed” friends.
I wrote that after googling up the following headline:
“Iran and Russia sign agreement to coordinate security”
The proverb “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” sounds Persian but apparently entered the English language from India.
OK. Maybe the Winter Soldier bought his own boat. pl
You are reading too much into that.
“Training police forces and providing security in the region were among the main issues of the talks,” Mohammad-Najjar said, adding that various other issues such as the Caspian Sea, fighting organized crimes as well as human and drug trafficking were also discussed in the meeting.”
There is no cooperation between Iran and Russia beyond mundane issues such as above.
Yes, Russia and Iran will cooperate if and when a cow cosses the border between them – had there been a common border.
There has been zero strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia for years.
That has not changed over the last 2 years, to my knowledge.
There might be between China and Russia, however.
Russia is neither friend nor the enemy of Iran and likewise for Iran.
Russia is neither friend nor enemy of the United States, in my opinion.
and what, just vote for permanent war straight out?
” our national interest is threatened by a country who cannot harm us militarily” caught my ear
My opinion and yours differ on the strategic co-operation ( UN votes come to mind as does the work of the SCO and the obvious assistance with issues nuclear ). Through the Hu and Wen years and now with the Xi and Li leadership China and Russia have arranged and smoothed any obvious issues re borders and old antagonisms. China likewise has worked to help develop Iran’s oil and gas deposits since the USA corps are forbidden to be seen helping anything Iranian. I repeat my statement about nations and friends; at times of war nations actually can have allies and enemies otherwise it is just interests that move co-incidentally sometimes and at cross purposes other times. I don’t think that an analysis in “friends and enemies” terms really contributes to understanding national behaviours. ( I look at these sort of issues in “profit and loss/ who whom” terms and that too is probably blinkered just in a different direction.
I suspect that it does not bother Russia one little bit that Iran’s existence and Israel’s ownership keeps the USA deeply identified with the Crusader’s role in the middle east. Interests are what they are, the USA being seen as the cat’s-paw by some ( or the wagged dog if one prefers a Hollywoodism ) does not hurt the image of Iran, Russia or China nor their several and mutual interests in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and the South Pacific.
Siun, I invite you to study the behaviour of the former leader of the Australian Labor party, one Kevin Rudd, who has presided over the virtual destruction of his party at the Federal election last week, giving the conservative Party (quaintly named Liberal in Australia, but is nothing of the sort) a landslide victory.
Mr. Rudds behaviour since hood winking the Australian people with his outward charm in 2007 was so bad towards his colleagues that they deposed him the following year. He then schemed and plotted his way back into the leadership Seven months ago. Kevin is a classic narcissist, there is no other word for it. He remains in the party and will not leave until someone can metaphorically drive a stake through his heart.
Individuals do matter some of the time.
There can be a third way. If United States is still a functioning democracy, a third way can emerge if there is enough clear and concise demand for it across the board.
Col Lang, It was in the comments on “U.S. intervention in Syria: War for virtue” in which you discussed the “city on the hill’ beliefs in play. I found that very helpful since we often miss that truly held belief aspect of the whole mess.
It’s so much easier but in the end so unhelpful I think to blame individual sociopathy or simple greed and miss both the wider systemic factors and the complex communal belief systems that drive these national policies and behaviors.
If Russia were interested in harming US, she could have elected to do nothing to stop the United States from entering another unwinnable war.
That Russia, in fact, has exerted so much effort to prevent another quagmire for and by the United States indicates that she is a friend of the United States.
And certainly not an enemy.
And no, Syria was not worth so much to Russia.
I believe it’s the system more than the man.
Mr. Obama is still quite a young man. There is not enough time in the day to learn the intricacies of economics, resource control, tribal histories on all continents, how deeply to bow to the Japanese emperor, and still run the country. So, he must constantly rely on advice from senior advisors, and respect the secret treaties/constraints that his predecessors have set up. Above all, he must live up to the dignity of the office.
When those senior advisors tell him that “acting Presidential” demands an attack, rather than taking four weeks for information-gathering and multiple projections on possibilities, then the echo-chamber tends to amplify one course of behavior. When those same advisors couple failure to act with non-survival, emotional flooding and tunnel vision set in. Taking one choice and running with it looks better than evaluating, which gets seen as dithering. So it’s systemic. Who’s giving bad advice?
There exists at least one top-secret agreement between the office of the President and Israel that Pres. Obama inherited from Nixon. Apparently, in order to ensure that Israel does not use its nuclear bombs, America is expected to go along with some things. Please remember that Pres. Obama was visited by a senior contingent from Israel at the start of this crisis. …When others with incomplete information see someone making decisions they wouldn’t make, they typically assume he is stupid, or evil, or crazy. All possible; but #4 often they lack key info pieces and would make that same decision if they knew.
Not to say people are not narcissistic. The shibboleths of narcissism are an inability to imagine others having complex minds with free will; and a magnification of one’s own importance/pain coupled with an inability to empathize with the pain of others. I believe narcissism is rampant in Congress, America, and Israel, IMHO. This is causing much suffering. Only the Pentagon has been able to imagine others being more than cardboard cutouts and being able to respond to America’s moves. Pentagon’s sadly the only adult in the room, it seems.
I believe the current situation is a problem best addressed by social work mechanisms. Treating narcissism involves opening the mind up to the possibility that other minds, other people are out there; they have feelings; and they deserve compassion. Hire America’s best social workers to sit down with the Congressmen and senior advisors.
Depends on when, where, and how much harm is in the Russian plans and at whom they will be addressed.
The USA continues to try to encircle Russia, Iran and China with military bases. The Sauds keep funding Chechen attacks ( Beslan my friend ); The Israelis keep trying to upset the Russian economic restructuring and supported active measures by Georgia against Russia. It is not necessarily the USA that is center in the plans here although as an American it is mandatory that we believe that we are the center of the universe.
Russia’s interests ran parallel to Kerry’s brain mouth disconnect so they used it. Not a sign that they are our bff. They didn’t prevent a quagmire as is obvious from today’s active media blitz and the terrorists refusal to agree to the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons.
At any time, any stone can be the most important stone on the board other times it is irrelevant. Syria is the current most talked about stone, it is not necessarily the most relevant.
I read somewhere a long time ago, that Kerry purchased a second set of medals. I would love to know the timing of the purchase if true. I think we can agree that he has learned how to: “ask a man to be” the first and “the last to die for a lie.”
The Winter Soldier bought an extra set of medals so that he could throw these duplicates away with his other Wintry friends. pl