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08 September 2013


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"John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, whose biography he wrote."

A marvelous volume. (As with Douglas Southall Freeman's biography of Lee, it's important to read the unabridged version to get the true flavor of the book.)


Apparently the attack is part of campaign of revenge for the alleged gas attack.


"Some have suggested that taking the town was needed in order to link to opposition resistance efforts in the nearby Qalamoon region. Jabhat al-Nusra’s official account, however, referred to the attack as part of the “Eye-for-an-Eye” revenge campaign, initially declared after the chemical weapons attacks in the Ghouta."

Medicine Man

I'll say a prayer for them, Col., for what its worth from a befuddled agnostic like me.

Thank you for your efforts.


Sir, you have my deepest sympathies. Let us keep working for the day when our political leaders are not so careless with the lives of our young people.


Naw... I was thinking about practicality of excommunication threats as a potential diplomatic force in the modern world, when the warmongers are "nominally" Catholic. Even if the potentially excommunicated leader is not really much of a Catholic, it might have made it difficult for largely Catholic populations to deal with them as if nothing took place (during World War II, had Pope Pius XII excommunicated Hitler for his warmongering ways, could Hungarians, Slovaks, Croats, and Italians, for examples, have been so friendly with Hitler?) On the other hand, if Pope Francis were to threaten to excommunicate, say, Kerry today, would anybody even care?


I'd certainly agree that up until the Munich Agreement a majority of the British people were in favour of appeasement. But this was only possible because of a massive press campaign by Joseph Ball, Chamberlain's press secretary. and the newspaper proprietors, to back Chamberlain and successfully suppress many of the true facts of Nazi Germany.

The turning point was the Bridgwater Bye Election. Bridgwater is a remote rural constituency. Following some Machiavellian plotting by anti-appeasement activists, a bye election was provoked and, rather than what had happened traditionally, the anti-appeasement vote being split between Liberals, Labour and Communists - all three stood down their candidates and stood behind a single non-partisan Popular Front candidate. The many anti-appeasement Tories voted for him, too.

It is probably unique in British history in being a bye election fought almost entirely on foreign policy. (George Galloway's victory in Bradford recently is similar). The level of popular involvement in canvassing and getting out the vote is also extraordinary - all classes, all political parties being involved.

It marked the beginning of the end of Chamberlain.



Every single member of congress has either admitted to or will not deny if asked, that their phones are ringing off the hook with constituents which are vehemently opposed to military action in Syria.

Yet, despite this, many of them simply ignore this fact, while others such as Feinstein insist that those opposed to a military engagement would reverse their feelings, "if they only knew what she did".

Obama and his rat pack of warmongering profiteers insist we must act on Syria because our credibility is at stake. The tragedy is that our entire system will have suffered a catastrophic failure if they are permitted to proceed with impunity.


Andrew Bacewich when asked by a listener at Boston university on when the use of force by the united states is justified @56 min on:


"I think as a general rule ... I would be reluctant, as a matter of policy, to specify one, two, six, nine criteria that somehow would be the gates that you have to pass through in order to to use force."

Point is, that us precisely what Obama did when he had his arbitrary line drawn - people like Kerry, and powers and Rice and Bandar walked through the gates. With such policy, war becomes a mere reflex. The stupidity here is that the red line indeed limits Obama freedom of manoeuvre to avoid war. War as reflex was one of the things that caused WW-I.

Bacewich continues: My general approach would be to advocate using force only as a last resort.

Contrast that with Madeleine 'It's worth it' Albright when she reportedly said to Colin Powell: 'What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?'

Use of force today is for DC (and the Israelis for that matter) a tool of choice, a quick fix. Call it the 'morning after pill' of international politics.

The cheerful enthusiasm for using force aside, it unmasks clearly that the illusions about the efficacy of using force are prevalent in DC at the very least since Clinton. The ever more frequent use of force indicates that a reassessment hasn't yet started.

This time the 'surgical' use of force is to fix yet another political problem in Damascus - a regime supporting the hated enemy Iran. There is nothing surgical about the blast radius of a tomahawk warhead.

The more I read of and listen to Bacewich, the more impressed I become. Here's a treasure.


Latest spin words heard in Australia from the WH: "this is a precisely targeted, limited, consequential action".

What happens when Iran, Syria, Russia and China also engage in "precisely targeted, limited, consequential" actions in response? If they do, I hope they use exactly the same words in justification? Is there nobody in Washington who understands The Golden Rule?


Do we know what we are though? How do you understand your own assumptions unless you're exposed to something else, some alien way of thinking?


This Minority Report article... Syrian Children Kidnapped By Rebels Identified As Gas Victims By Obama Administration (Video)


Certainly jibes alot with Mother Agnes' account...




Freeman's prose is much underapprecieated. "Lee's Lieutenants" is a marvelous book as well. pl

William Fitzgerald

Pat Lang,

I concur with your comment on "Lee's Lieutenants". The ultimate account of the rise, reign, decline and end of the Army of Northern Virginia.

As I see it, Zakaria's somewhat bizarre panel was not tasked with exploring the merits of the administration's policy but, rather, to discuss how to carry it out, given the participants' "been there, done something like that" CVs.

One of the group posed the dilemma as being that of two choices, support the insurgents or do nothing. Supporting the Syrian government has never been and will never be mentioned but it would have been my choice from the start.



I think it makes a mockery out of everything when Pelosi, Biden, et al support abortion with every fiber in their body and then get up to take Communion.

It certainly would put some starch back into the faith versus Cardinal Dolan exhorting the priests to badger the layity about supporting the amnesty treason. The Catholic Church in America has been justifying taking money from the government for so long it has become an organ of that same government that is now hostile to it.

Watching it twist itself into knots in order to justify its actions in order to keep the cash flowing is pretty sad.


Tariq Aziz, Hussien's former deputy, is a Christian.


Charles I

and adopted by the Rusian Ambassador to Canada as well.

Charles I

If the word "credibility" was uttered Sunday, it was about Iran implicitly or explicitly


At some point in my distant youth, I read a collection of articles written by men recounting their war experiences. One that I particularly liked was Winston Churchill's account of his participation in the last great cavalry charge.


"Using his mother's influence, Churchill got himself assigned to Kitchener's army in Egypt. While fighting against the Dervishes he took part in the last great cavalry charge in English history - at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898."

I believe that the collection was "Men at War", compiled by Ernest Hemingway:


I thought that when Time Magazine choose their Man of the Century that it would surely be Winston Churchill. I was wrong.


Charles I

I have also read it alleged, in a cite that I
I can't find just now that he was involved in gassing tribal enemies of the nascent House of al-
Saud in the 1920's.

“I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.”

Writing as president of the Air Council, 1919.


Babak Makkinejad

Thnak you, I did not know that.

Babak Makkinejad

Your last sentence has a useful suggestion but is not going far enough, in my opinion.

I think what is needed is an international Peace/Cease Fire conference covering the entire Middle East - including Palestine, Levant, Kurds, Afghanistan.


He recommended it, but to the best of my knowledge it was never carried out because ordinary air power proved to be amply devastating against tribal irregulars.


The only instance I know where gas was used against tribal rebels was in Spain's war against the Riffian tribes in thetime immediately after WW-I.


The Italians used gas in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War.



More from Andrew Bacewich in this post from TomDispatch:


It is to be recalled - sadly - that Mr. Bacewich, like bth, lost a son in the conflict in Iraq. War fever, conjured up yet again using all the propagandistic tricks we have seen before, has lost all credibility with Mr. Bacewich; he sees it clearly for what it is, and dares to name it. What next? Are we to be treated to Jenkins' ear, pickled in a jar, as a pretext for war?

I would like to be able to pay no attention to the MSM, but revolting a spectacle as it may be to see all of the old neo-con warhorses being limped out to blather their arguments in favor of the therapeutic value of war - you know, lancing some purported boil or some such image - I am constrained to view this dismaying panoply as a weather vane pointing toward the corrupted state of the Republic's political discourse. Or rather, it's lack of political discourse, since the cards are all stacked against a clear-eyed assessment of the true national interest, as Mr. Bacewich laments in his post linked above.

I can only hope that Mr. Habakkukk's sense that a moment of turning away from the old received "wisdom" is at hand comes to pass here in the US. The auspices are not favorable, I fear, as the dead hand of the Washington Consensus still grasps the tiller of the Ship of State. We may need to endure one more disaster before the moment arrives in this Republic.


My understanding is that Churchill brought possible use of gas warfare up again during World War II. He was persuaded out of it because his generals told him that Britain didn't have practical means of delivering gas bombs to German cities effectively (and a good thing too, since Germany had developed nerve gas during 1930s, which probably would have been used in retaliation.)


Of course nobody understands the old Golden Rule in Washington. As far as Washingtonians are concerned, we are vice-gerents of God, or supreme human morality, or whatever it is that they believe gave them the power to decide what's right. How dare these foreign moral savages talk back to us?

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