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15 July 2008


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Maureen Lang

I seem to detect a subtle note of irony & perhaps sarcasm in the above post, Pat. Indeed, McCain could use a few lessons from someone in the usage of "The Google"...

Speaking of sarcasm-worthy events, did you catch any of Doug Feith's appearance before the HJC today? Chairman Jerry Nadler described Feith as a ME expert in his introduction, which caused guffaws around the breakfast table here:

House Judiciary Cmte. Hearing on Detainee Interrogation Policy (July 15, 2008)


'Boravia' and 'Mohemia', Sir? Certainly you mean Bohemia and Ruritania.

rc thweatt


Mad Dogs

McSame has this thing about mice: "Cindy, what if it bites me?"

Dave of Maryland

and where where, as in, and where where smart alecks write articles.

You have captured Mr. John perfectly! Well done.

farmer Don

Since todays Post is about someone who is out of touch, may I ask, what is Tony Blair actually doing in the middle East? Time Mag.had a huge write up on the man and his mission a month or so ago.

Robert in SB

its "the google" according to president Bush. Why are you giving aid and comfort to our enemies, weakening the resolve of our allies and warping the minds of our little childrens by disputing anything that the commander in chief says? -okay, I totally stole that from Stephen Colbert...
Mr. Lang, your mastery of the wikiality of it all is spot on.


Simpletons indeed see things in their own narrow way. One bit of advice "John" imparted to Obama: "..you had better listen to General 'Another Six Months' Petraeus.." Aha,Petraeus is the Messiah.

Who needs the SecDef, JCS and every other swinging dick in the Pentagon now that the Messiah mans the LP.


Oh my, Col. Lang. Now that's a broadside. I don't know whether you intended it or not but you got a pretty hearty guffaw out of me. All three times I read it.

However since I have yet to solve the mystery of your objet d'arts in "Numisatics" at The Athenaeum - with the aid of the google, the internets and the underground tubes - my laughter at what you said also points toward me.


Oh my God! If Czechoslovakia doesn't exist anymore, how can we protect it from the Iranians and the Sunnis they support? Maybe we'll have to protect Ceylon or Siam instead!

Actually, McCain may be aspiring to levels of reality creation well beyond what Bush ever dared. Imagine justifying Defense budgets solely on threats from non-existent countries and terror groups. How hard could it be? You only have to convince a few talking heads and media executives...

Leila Abu-Saba

The young hipsters call it "teh Google," mocking people who can't spell but post anyway. (I can indeed spell but I'm a fast and sloppy typist and often write teh or THe)

This McCain internet tubes buzz made me think of you in particular, Colonel Lang, although there are many people over the age of 65 who blog, surf, comment, text, and edit Wikipedia. Thanks for the laugh.

I really don't take age as an excuse for McCain's ignorance. He just doesn't use the technology and doesn't care to learn. He may even have dyslexia or some other processing issue that makes computer use excruciating for him. I would feel sorry for him but OTOH he has so many other defects of character that I just can't. His wife is also a piece of work.


I got a chuckle out of this, too, even though I had to assume that John McCain was once again strutting his foreign policy experience.

I could probably forgive his not remembering that Czechoslovakia is no longer a country. I can't even spell it without looking it up. Not knowing who the Shiites and Sunnis are is a bit more problematic, though. One could even say it's "symptomatic".

Maureen Lang

Don't feel too badly, taters, re: the "Numismatics" mystery object over @ The Athenaeum. After searching all over "The Google" & other sources myself, I can only go back to my original thought, that it's some kind of civil war era secret services medal. Eventually Pat will have mercy on us & reveal what it is, so we can say "D'Oh!" in unison...

Doran Williams

On the other hand, if anyone does argue with John, he can just have that person arrested and indefinitely detained by the military, according to the US Fourth Court of Appeals.


One interesting thing about the missile defense just occurred to me.
There's a technical reason why the facilities are being put in Poland and CZ. The system needs to be put in place to intercept the missiles on their way down. CZ and PL are good places to intercept missiles aimed at Germany.
Strategically, the defense system is supposed to protect against nuclear blackmail of Europe by Iran. (Hey, someone in a relevant part of the US gov't told me this, for the sake of argument I'm accepting it.)
But what about Slovakia? Or for that matter, Romania or Bulgaria or Greece? These are all EU and NATO members. These are all easier to hit that Germany, being a thousand km or so closer to Iran, give or take. Do they figure the Iranians wouldn't bother threatening them? Or do they just figure no one would really care if Sofia or Bucharest got nuked?


John McCain is aware of all international traditions.

I don't so much care whether he gets the name of the country or its leadership right, as I worry that his thinking and policy does not reflect changes in the world over the past 30 years.

Next thihng we know, he'll be prepping for his summit with the Great Khan.

SubKommander Dred

'Boravia' and 'Mohemia', Sir? Certainly you mean Bohemia and Ruritania.

I thought they were called "Freedonia" and "Sylvania?" In fact, some time back they fought a big war, precipated by a diplomatic flap when President Rufus T. Firefly of Freedonia insulted Ambassador Trentino from Sylvania.

SubKommander Dred

SubKommander Dred

... that makes computer use excruciating for him.

Before LA-S's post appeared was sitting here laughing and starting to type "Faranjistan begins at Canada" but the shoulder pain from a long day's work at the computer made decide the heck with it and go to sleep.

Discomfort wouldn't have to be "excruciating"; unpleasant would be enough.

These young whippersnappers think they are so hep with their electronic whizbangery.

A few years back some youngish book columnist asked a major writer who had just been given a major prize what kind of word processor he used. The author said he used a pen. The journo was disappointed. He would have bought the same brand of computer, but a pen?

Now needs must go raid the poultry pen and cut me a couple of quills.


The whole missileshield project is truly a headscratcher. Its so illogical, it is more like abstract art inside politics, not military art at all. For some reason inscrutable, Dick and George want it there, stuck in the countryside in order to piss of the russians and play up to russian nationalism, giving them a symbol to rail against and feel big themselves. Eurasia will always be our enemies.

From over here in Europe, the first explanation is simply porkbarrel: It must be kept in a state of "progression" in order to justify the expenses wich otherwise could have been used to, y´know, CCTV the entire Afghan theatre. Or something *useful*.
Otherwise, a whole lot of workplaces disappear. The second is a memory of the Putin-Bush-Berlusconi alliance of 2001, after the meeting in Genova. Wich leads me to some dark thoughts about the illicit economy and its unquestionable presence in modern reality. Berlusconi just passed a law wich grants him immunity in all corruptionscandals, lol.

Which reminds me of a question i wish to ask the august personages in the virtual room: What exactly is the cost of the US nuclear arsenal and its remnants from the Cold War? Anyone have any links? There is so much in military procurement that is not rational (see the Merlin in britain, hoho!) and is controlled by branch-interests (F22s, anyone?), I just dont get it. I am looking forward to seeing Senator Obamas approach to the mil.ind. complex.

TR Stone

Wasn't one of those countries "Freedonia"?


Thank you very much, Maureen. Then truly at least I am in esteemed company.


McCain urgently needs to issue a statement about his future policy towards Berzerkistan, which I've been reading about a lot in the newspapers lately. Is its President Trff Bmzklfrpz an ally or a terrorist? And how does McCain intend to protect vital US strategic interests there, such as golf courses? Are they worth starting WWIII? The world is dying to know!

William R. Cumming

Would it not be interesting to be down the road a hundred years and pondering the history of NATO and of course the Czech and Slovak Republics. Ever wondered how many people are resident (not just citizens) in each. With reliance almost totally on military resources to stablize many parts of the world (remarkable isn't it how reliance on force is now the principal diplomatic weapon of choice even for the democracies) and perhaps its is time to off-load some US military policing responsibilities and rewrite history. Have the US pull out of NATO and let NATO add Russia on which it is already energy dependent and more so each day. Then of course the Pakistan NW territory and Afghanistan issues could be fully NATOized and the Russians could give NATO the benefit of their learning curve from 1979-89 in that country. or there is an alternative, give Iran the responsibility of policing south ASIA together with the good auspices of India. After all India is still one of the larger of the 80 Muslim populated nation states--even if a minority status in many. Basically, a division of world policing with the US taking the Western Hemisphere, NATO Europe west of the Urals and South Asia (perhaps India should be added to a revised NATO since they could be a big help in S.Asia, and finally of course let China and Japan police East Asia. Hey its a thought even if not a good one. But the world is an awfully big place. Oh yeah, the US has already started to worry about policing Africa so perhaps that is already in the US portfolio but hoping here perhaps not. Interesting how little foreign affairs and international law analysis of instances where nation-states (nominally) are unable to police their own internal georgraphic and political subunits that are now capable of inflicting real pain on the global system of nation-states and their relationships. And by the way if you have not guessed already this is a design to allow the next 50 years to restructure energy usage by the so-called Great Powers. Principally, the top ten economies now, or those that will be top ten by election in US of 2028.

Maureen Lang

Very welcome, taters. And as Spike Milligan once said on BBC radio's The Goon Show, "We're both highly esteemed & pressed."


SubKommander Dred,
while I personally witnessed the scene you described, my sources, two impeccable Gentlemen, Mr. Doyle and Mr. Hope, pre-date yours.

Maybe interesting to add, that according to Mr. Doyle, one if his acquaintances, Mr. Holmes, voiced concerns regarding current activities of a certain Mr. Moriarty in Washington D.C.

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