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26 June 2012


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The Twisted Genius

Dr. Brenner said, "With humility. Don’t just do something – think!" I suggest this should become the "grand strategy" of the U.S.


The plot thickens... Abu Ismail to form political party

Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who was disqualified from the presidential race, said he will start a political party in two months and anticipates that the party will object to the policies of President-elect Mohamed Morsy.

Abu Ismail told Al-Masry Al-Youm that his party will have a major effect on political life, adding that it will be strong from the beginning because he is working to establish a solid foundation for it.

...“The Egyptian street will not accept the Muslim Brotherhood backing off from demands to cancel the constitutional addendum. We will face the president and his group by going to the squares if they prove that they have made a deal with the military that involves closing their eyes to the supplement,” he said...


For those who can read French, Le Monde has a report about a summit of catholic aid organizations, during which a prelate living in Syria gave a summary of the situation.


Apparently the rumours of Christians being targeted by the rebels are basically fabricated and propagated by stooges of the regime, as well as by far-right elements in the West.

Here's hoping that's true - and will remain so.



The Assad government is the enemy of the Christians? I think not. Why would "far right elements in the West" care about this? The present government of syria has a long history of protecting minorities in Syria, especially the Christians. pl


Dr. Brenner,

RE: "we have limited understanding of the complex internal dynamics there"

This is BAD news.

I recall that McNamara wrote in his memoirs that even then they had little understanding of North Vietnam & what they wanted - apparently they only sent ONE "Christians-In-Action" agent.

To the detriment of ALL U.S. efforts....

Déjà vu?


I loved the first element of the "strategy", humility.

But the second, "think" gives me pause. It put me in mind of a scene from the old, old, TV sitcom the Honeymooners. Here is the exchange in question between husband and wife, Alice and Ralph:

Alice: So, what are ya gonna do NOW Ralph?

Ralph: Will ya leave me alone? I gotta get out of this. I gotta think, I gotta think.

Alice: (with the sarcasm dripping from mouth) No Ralph! Don't do that! Don't think Ralph, whatever you do, DON'T THINK........thinking gotta into this.

Ya really want DC thinking?


I think the prelate's point is not that Assad is an enemy of the Christians. Rather, Assad is trying to make people (esp. Westerners) believe that the rebels are. To this end, he incites some prominent minority leaders to propagate rumours of massacres by the rebels.

Of course the other possibility is that there might really be a significant anti-minorities component among the rebels. The prelate, and the journalist, assure us that any such element is currently marginal in the rebellion.

As for "far right elements in the West", there is a certain current in the European far right that is obsessed with portraying ordinary Muslims as savage Christian-slaughtering brutes. The article mentions one such individual who apparently impersonated a Catholic cardinal (!) to give credence to his rantings.



I think that is untrue. The rebels are a jihadi army in the process of creation. pl


If this is the case it is really bad news for the US and allot of our allies. What are they thinking supporting the FSA?

Medicine Man

I always find Dr. Brenner's additions educational and occasionally amusing as well. His "Don't just do something - think!" line is amusing if you imagine him shaking some DC bureaucrat by the shoulders while delivering it.

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