"What will Barack Obama do? This is the question posed by everyone. What will he do in Iraq? What will he do in Syria? How does he intend to address Russian-Iranian opposition? How will he wage a war that requires Sunnis in Iraq to be ground soldiers, when they are asking for clarity "before" and not "after" military action? How will he reassure his partners in the alliance that he is truly serious on Syria?
The US president may decide in the end that this is not his war, and that it is best to return to his country to fortify it against terrorism, and let ISIS unleash itself on everyone until it commits suicide or until it is slayed eventually. This is perhaps the course he might choose if it appears to him that all those who want him to fight their wars on their behalf will meet his war with ingratitude and petulance."
Someone wrote to ask how he/she/it might customize the little colored square thingies that appear next to your comments. I asked Typepad. They say that if you have a Typepad account then the picture you have on your Typepad page will automatically appear chez nous. Other than that, no chance. Some hilarious possibilities exist. pl
"A Palestinian-American teenager allegedly beaten while in Israeli police custody in East Jerusalem is to be held under house arrest for nine days, a judge has ruled.
Tariq Khdair, 15, from Florida, is to remain in the Jerusalem area of Beit Hanina during the investigation.
Mobile phone footage appears to show two Israeli policemen repeatedly punching him in the head." BBC
This Floridian is being held in house arrest as a suspect in a case of supposed violence against Israeli police. He is an Americn kid, born in Florida who was in Jerusalem visiting his dying grandmother. He IS NOT a dual national. His parents seek competent medical attention for his injuries. Obama should order USAF medical evacuation of this boy and his parents to US medical facilities in Europe where his government can be assured of his safety. The Israeli government should be informed of what they can do with their house arrest order.
Tell the US government what should be done to make this right.
A lot of people are confused as to how someone like Bergdahl was promoted to sergeant (E-5) . He was generally thought by his comrades to be a loser as a soldier. He was thought by men in his platoon (44 men) and company (150 0dd men) to be self-obssessed, infantile, etc. As opposed to statements by enlisted men, statements or reports by commissiond officers about him cannot be relied on for verisimilitude. Officers are creatures wedded to career and are not inclined to write bad things about their men lest it reflect on them as well.
It is the policy of the US armed forces to promote people held as prisoners of war at the time their contemporaries are promoted without other considerations. This is a good policy and intended to avoid penalizing career people who otherwise would fall so far behind their contemporaries that they would have no choice but to leave the armed forces. pl
Contrary to Michael Rubin's suggestion in "Commentary" I was not among Sy Hersh's sources for his excellent LRB story on Syria and gas. I am, however, pleased to know that the Ziocons still care about me. pl
Lately there has been a spate of attempted comments in which the venting of anti-american spite and expression of unsupported speculation about various "conspiracies" involving the Kennedy murder has occurred. If I think you are just "running your mouth" your comment will be deleted. pl
I think it is time for me to make another appeal for contributions from those of you who wish to see SST continue. This site takes up at least two hours a day of my time. I could quote my consulting rate to you but that would not be in the style of this blog. Think of this appeal as something like the appeals made by PBS for money. There is a button for contributions on SST. Thanks in advance. pl
I have been preoccupied the last ten days with the illness and treatment of one of my dogs, my Norwich Terrier bitch Lola. She had suffered from something called primary hyper parathyroidism. This elevates blood calcium to abnormal levels. She had surgery last week and an offending growth was removed. So far the medicos have not been able to stabilize her calcium levels. We have had to take her back to the hospital several times. I ask your indulgence for my lack of attention at present. That's not Lola but it one fine looking Shepherd. pl
I had a good Schwinn bike when I was a boy. I believe it was the "Traveler" model as in the picture). It was made in Europe. It had a European profile, four speeds, hand brakes, high handle bars and a neat little generator run headlight. I rode it back and forth to school in the LA area. This was in the early '50s.
I want to buy a bicycle to ride around Alexandria for exercise. Any recommendations? I don't want something clunky. pl
I am seeking the medals of my uncle John Henry Lang, CWO, US Navy. they disappeared after his death in California in 1970. They would include the Navy Cross with Gold Star (second award) and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum (Japan - awarded in 1928). They are most likely engraved. They should be in a museum, preferably the US Navy Museum. pl
Once again. Attitude, surliness, offensive language and bad manners in general will get you kicked out of SST. I own this place and run it to my satisfaction. You can disagree with me but you had better be polite about it. pl
Weather was marginally passable today, so I cooked a well marbled rib eye and also a filet from Crabill's in Toms Brook. Both were about inch and a half. Blazing hot grill (500 degrees). Rubbed with English dry mustard and lots of Montreal. Ten minutes cooking time. Perfect medium rare. Amen. pl
Our friend and fellow committeeman, Basilisk suffered a heart attack Christmas night and is in hospital. He was catheterized and received a stent in a cardiac artery. He is feeling much better and might go home this afternoon. We all wish him a quick recovery. pl
I have it on good authority that this is the day the world ends, so don't worry about those Christmas credit card bills, and forget the fiscal cliff. On the other hand, we are five or so hours into this day on the East Coast of the United States (did the Maya use Greenwich time?) and I think we're still here.
Just in case it's all over I might as well publish this little story over on the Athenaeum. It does, after all have a perfectly appropriate name. Read A Car for the End of the World