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08 April 2011


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Today is also the anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. Unfortunately few beyond our host in the D.C. region would be cognizant of that fact. The current US leadership certainly has little of the sense of honor or purpose of those who met at Appomattox.


Agree with Mike Brenner's comment re:the Egyptian military council. I don't think they are evil men. Some of them aren't even stupid. But definitely obtuse and used to giving orders and instant obedience.

Three points.

1) Bahrain is a small country and it does not take a large outside military force to control it. Egypt is quite large, densely populated and hard to control in the best of times. And its not like Egypt can hire foreign mercs to do their killing. The Saudi army now terrorizing Bahrain would be eaten alive in the Cairo slums.

2) Yemen is still out of control despite Saleh's obstinacy game and violence.

3) Some 20 officers (not soldiers, officers) deserted to join the protesters. This does not bode well for army morale if so many are willing to throw away their careers to make a statement.

God bless them for doing so. It will hopefully scare the generals out of giving shoot to kill orders.


Today is also the anniversary of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

And ironically enough, the beginning of the decline of the US Constitution. It is a strange world, we reside in.

A dram of malt.for General Lee and his boys!

Adam L. Silverman

PeterHug: that rehire is not necessary. Once the US military goes home the reporters won't stay as the Green Zone will be much less green and there will be better places for overseas assignments.

Patrick Lang


amen, brother. pl


Now Obama fears that the fracas and failure of US policy (not just his) that will follow US withdrawal will be blamed on him. Oh no! Not that!

Avoiding blame is the name of his game. It bears repeating that he believes in nothing other than the preservation of his own power as President.


Obama is going to lash out at someone or something pretty soon. Just my opinion. He needs some attention on the world stage and he isn't getting it at the moment.

different clue

Michael Brenner,

What else does Obama care about? Many threads ago someone said Obama wants to be a rich ex-President like Bill Clinton, not a modestly
comfortable ex-President like Jimmy Carter. Maybe Obama wants his daughters to marry rich bond traders and hedge funders like Chelsea Clinton did.

Redhand, I think Obama also believes in degrading and attriting Social Security and Medicare, and possibly privatising Medicare through the Ryan plan if he can get away with it. He would interpret re-election as our endorsement to do just that.


In this the Israelis and the AIPAC Fifth Column are strangely allied with the autocrats. Perhaps this is because the Zionists are actually a relic of the 19th Century.

But then, perhaps it's the result of three thousand years of every mega asshole marching through Israel trying to destroy the Jewish people and culture.

Never seems to work out in the end, does it? Think about it. Despite what the Pope wishes, do you really want to "piss into that wind?"

Patrick Lang


I don't quite understand the animus towards the present pope, Benedict the whatever. This man is basically a professor type afflicted with the common (and justified) German guilt about the Jews. He doesn't have a position on Israel other than a pastoral responsibility towards Christians there. The Vatican bureaucracy's position is the same one that they have had since Israel was created. Basically, they will waitr another century or two in order to see what will happen. They are not in a hurry and probably expect that Israel will eventually fall apart from emigration, the pressure of surroundin hostile populations, a lack of natural resources, etc.

If you have been watching "The Borgias" (most entertaining)yu can see cardinal birds and popes on display in their gaudiest form. Makes you understand what Luther and Calvin were talking about. pl


Col: the people who seemed most disappointed by the Modern Papacy seem to have little appreciation for the improvement since tdays of he Medici and Borgias. I refer to the opening chapter of William Manchester's "A World Lit Only by Fire."

The Church is a much better institution today.

BTW, last night, Morley Safer's "60 Minutes" lovefest on the Vatican Library was a joy to watch.

Medicine Man

"The Borgias" makes both the wife and I wish we have cable at the moment. It looks good.


Highlander, A country that considers this "police work" is not worth defending. See http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/israel-arrests-14-year-old-girl-among-600-700-arrested-so-far-in-the-west-bank-village-of-awarta.html

William R. Cumming

A close friend, Class of 1950 WP (Engineer Branch) says the halls around the SECDEF's office are filled with discussion of what boots on the ground in Libya would be needed to knock off MQ! Apparently GATES has NOT asked for such a review nor does it seem the President or Congress would be willing to allow this to happen. But hoping someone on the list would mention it if the debate moves into the SECDEF's office and out of the halls of the Pentagon.
One other knowledgable friend suggested a Marine Regimental size force with appropriate support.

William  R. Cumming

Matthew! The Vatican Library of course was started or at least enhanced by a gift from the Swedish Queen who became a nun in the 18th Century I believe.


WRC: Was this the queen tutored by Descartes?

bill roche

Pat: I have been searching for an appropriate thread to ask your opinion of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations". Maybe this is the thread? The tactical issues I see here are always interesting but don't we need to first agree on the strategic situation that we in the west find ourselves vis a vis Islam.

Patrick Lang

bill roche

"..the strategic situation that we in the west find ourselves in vis a vis Islam."

There is no strategic situation "vis a vis Islam" because Islam is not one thing as the bullshitters who want you to believe their fantasies try to tell you. The Muslims and Islam are not one thing. They are many, many things disunited by the lack of hierarchy in their religious culture and whatever effects that may have on their various governments. IMO opinion there is NO CHANCE that "the Muslims" will ever unite into a military power that existentially threatens the USA. IMO there is NO REALITY to the idea that "the Muslims" are infiltrating America to take it over from within. Are there groups of Muslims who might do bad things here? Yes, but we have very effective security services who are doing an excellent job against them.
The people who want you you to believe all this hogwash about the "Muslim Menace" are either acting in pursuit of the policy goals of a foreign power or are "useful idiots. "

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Roche: Huntington's Clash, in both the original article and in the later book, is a factual, conceptual, and theoretical mess. It is an argument in search of data. Data which will likely never be found. Huntington's conceptualizations of what constitutes a civilization have little empirical grounding: Israel is lumped in with the same grouping that includes Japan! That should tell you something. That he was able to get both published, amazing what a top spot at Harvard gets you, should also tell us something.

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