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24 September 2013


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And: And it was totally insincere. If not, the Bahraini "royals" should be nervous.

David Habakkuk

In a discussion we had on this blog a bit over a year ago about the sentences on the ‘Pussy Riot’ girls, ‘Basilisk’ quoted – in relation to Putin – some remarks of the dissident Russian writer Felix Svetov about ‘Chekists’: ‘When the snow is falling,’ Svetov said, ‘they will calmly tell you the sun is shining.’

A quick Google search revealed that Svetov was a Russian Jewish-Christian: an interesting group which includes two of the greatest of modern Russian poets, Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak.

I do wonder, if one could bring back Svetov from the dead, whether he would think that the true spirit of the Cheka was better represented by what Putin has had to say about Syria, or by this speech by Obama.


These people are pervert. They cooked the disaster, they allowed shipment of weaponry to the fanatics, the gave 'go ahead' to the false flag operation and now are hiding behind the "care for the children". Are we going to see more of that bullshit for every public cover up of the insane destructive power games played by the primitives these losers do service?

The beaver

Hilary leaving Powers or Rice in her administration ?

Colonel, you are funny. She will send them packing in no time.
Don't know much about Slaughter to comment.


If it turns out that Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar...or the United States was behind the chemical weapons attack, who will Obama bomb?

Oh, I know, chemical weapons use doesn't count when you bomb other people. It only matters when you gas your own. Now there is a real humanitarian!


"It was very much an R2P talk. Looking at Ambassador Powers seated at Kerry's side I wondered if she and Susan Rice wrote this diatribe."

Couldn't help think the same thing.

It's insane as far as international politics are concerned. Won't work if put into action, which, unfortunately, it is not unlikely to be, since Rice, Powers and Slaughter apparently now are in legacy building mode, and their time in office is finite.

Wrecking Libya and getting Qathafi killed was not enough. They need something grander. Like wrecking Baathist Syria and getting Assad killed. In the name of humanitarianism.

They'll be telling Obama that the humanitarian intervention in Syria - and regime change there - will be his legacy. True enough - since he is head of government that will at least factually be correct. He is responsible under command authority.

I wonder if they'll succeed persuading Obama beyond talking him into holding that silly speech. To me Obama seemed genuinely reluctant to bomb Syria. Influence of Hagel and Dempsey? Will it last?

But it's Rice's, Powers' and Slaughter's thinking put into policy. They are apparently determined to prove they are right with R2P being the model for better, softer and more moral interventions and will try to generate, by hook or by crook, a precedent for their vision of how to engage the world - the Syrians be damned, just like the Libyans before them.

There is a word for that in German, 'Selbstverwirklichung', or self-actualisation.

The horror. Another lot of murderous loons on a self righteous rampage.


President Obama doesn’t appear to have had an easy relationship with his mother (it’s generally not a good sign when Sonny fails to show up at the deathbed) and he has been chided for not having more women in his inner circle of advisers.

HRC has many excellent qualities, but she has rarely met a war she didn’t like and she was known to be hawkish on Syria while in the Administration. She also supported the Libya invasion. Rice and Power both owe their present prominence to their closeness to Obama and I expect Clinton will have her own candidates for their current positions, but it’s always possible she might ask one of them to stay on for a bit. Don’t know if Power will want to work for the woman she once called a monster. Slaughter was a Clinton appointee to State and there’s probably a job for her if she wants one.

Otherwise, yeah, it's definitely a Power speech, in every sense.

I have no idea what he means by being "powerless" in the face of Srebenica. NATO bombed the Serbs back into the Stone Age, no?

William R. Cumming

Always remember it is a second term. But not a brave one IMO. Why not give the nation a choice in the next election. The USA intervenes only when the UN approves or NOT? If the former is the choice then revise the UN Charter to deal with genocide and war crimes. Just remember the shoe may well fit the USA!


I only half-listened, but I seem to recall Obama proclaiming that the future of Syria "of course" was up to the Syrians, yet in the next sentence listing at least a half dozen US qualifications that the Syrians must meet.

Aren't Syrian elections scheduled for next year? The jockeying to delay, impede, or postpone those elections should get underway soon.

About Obama cashing in after he leaves office: If Bill Clinton is his role model--at least in terms of post-presidential wealth creation--he'll never live up to that standard with, as you say Colonel, his "hectoring" tone. I would add the term "dour".

Bubba could charm talk money out of Scrooge. An Obama speech is like a root canal.


This sounds just like a Hollywood movie script; in that vein here’s a few takes on “The King’s Speech”:

“The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st.”….. “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution…”(the UN) -- to continue to keep secret the name of the individual you claim ordered the attack; to keep secret the name of the officer allegedly acknowledging the order to carry out the attack; to keep secret the name of the Syrian Army unit that allegedly carried out the attack; By keeping the signals intelligence and other ‘evidence’ you claim proves Assad’s regime is responsible you, Barrack Obama, are shielding war criminals. Isn’t that against the UN charter?

"...sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit one murder." Nice CYA on drones, torture, Gitmo and the NSA spying. It's necessary drone killing, outsourced torture, Gitmo is still a go and spying on Americans is even more necessary that before (Just look at the polling for approval on Obama’s proposed Syrian war). Yet worry not, the sovereignty of the US will still be a shield for Obama when a drone attack kills innocent bystanders, it’s those other members of the UN whose sovereignty will not be respected. Attacks upon them will be based of course on the moral suasion from advisors such as Ambassador Powers or National Security Advisor Rice and the ‘evidence’ they present within the confines of the Star Chamber. Such evidence is far to importance to stand the clear light of day - especially to be seen and thought over by American citizens. (Who can trust those voters anyway. Just look at the polling for approval on Obama’s proposed Syrian war)

“Peaceful movements have too often been answered by violence from those resisting change and from extremists trying to hijack change. Nowhere have we seen these trends converge more powerfully than in…" {The West Bank and Gaza Strip.} “There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter. In the face of such carnage, many retreated to their sectarian identities….”
Meanwhile the US uses its position on the UN Security Council to ……? End construction on territory occupied after the 1967 war - in violation of the UN Charter? End the blockade? Show what's actually going on there on the CBS/NBC/ABC/FOX evening news? Of course we do.....


Apparently, what "should have been done" was to wipe out the Serbian minority in Bosnia. I don't speak of this facetiously: among some of the early R2P types I used to know, some were talking seriously about a need for driving out the ethnic Serbs in Bosnia, especially after Srebnica, as a de facto punishment. I don't think it occurred to them the absurdity of what they were suggesting: ethnic cleansing at gunpoint in the name of human rights. Yet, this would become reality when the Croats reconquered ethnic Serb enclaves in Croatia and indeed did expel their inhabitants, with much loss of life.


Not in 1995 in response to Srbrenica. It was four years later apropos Kosovo.


Is BSHO becoming irrelevant right before our eyes? Nobody is playing attention to anything he says or does and the madness of the next process to replace him is in full swing. BTW, IMHO, Hillary is making a mistake appearing as a sure thing so early.


High school level hypocrisy. Not only that if flies in the face of the reality that for some issues there is no solution. Nor does it deal with the problem of evil.

Obama and the R2P crowd should meditate on The Brothers Karamazov:

"’They burn villages, murder, rape women and children, they nail their prisoners to the fences by the ears, leave them so till morning, and in the morning they hang them—all sorts of things you can’t imagine. People talked sometimes of bestial cruelty, but that’s a great injustice and insult to the beast; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that’s all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it. These (men) took pleasure in torturing children, too; cutting the unborn child from the mother’s womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers’ eyes. Doing it before the mother’s eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. Here is another scene that I thought very interesting. Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arm, a circle of invading (men) around her. They planned a diversion; they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed, the baby laughs. At that moment a (man) points a pistol four inches from the baby’s face. The baby laughs with glee, hold out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby’s face and blows out its brains. Artistic wasn’t it?

By the way, (these men) are particularly found of sweets, they say.’

"Brother, what are you driving at?" asked Alyosha.

"I think if the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness."

Later Ivan puts the problem of evil more bluntly to his brother.

"Tell me yourself, I challenge you answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature that little child beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth."

different clue

I find it hard to read Obama sometimes. Yes . . . he is crafting the appearance of reluctance at wanting to bomb Syria just nowadays. But the ferocious persistence of his and Kerry's bomb-Syria rhetoric till Russia turned Kerry's blooper into a negotiating and de-chemweaponizing opportunity makes me think his personal desire to bomb Syria was very heartfelt.
I read that Obama himself ASKED AIPAC to lobby the House and Senate to vote "yes". I read in the same article (I can't remember where) that an "un-named Senate staffer" said this AIPAC lobbying effort was not as heavy and "real" as the efforts are for things AIPAC really wants. If that is true, that would re-inforce that it was Obama himself who wanted, really wanted . . . to bomb Syria; with a blame-sharing yes vote from Congress to provide some cover. (Just as the R2P Ladies would not be in government if Obama did not personally want them there).
If he doesn't now want to bomb Syria anymore, then something has changed his mind. If so, good.


Thank you for the correction, I was careless. I tend to think of it as delayed retribution for Srebenica....


Meanwhile the top headline at the NY Times web site reads: "At U.N., Obama Emphasizes Diplomacy on Iran and Syria."

These folks truly are out to lunch. Or maybe America's newspaper of record grovels before the big kid in the school yard, too.

Norbert M. Salamon

I missed President Roumani's speech .. anyone knows if there is a transcript?
Thank for assistance.
President Obama's speech [as I read the transcript] sounds like a lousy fairy tale based on some alternative reality, where Uncle Sam's land is dream.


Now that the US has admitted to its role in thwarting Iranian democracy in 1953 by fomenting a coup, the Iranians can admit to cutting a deal with the Reagan campaign in 1980 to hold onto the 52 American hostages until after the election thus guaranteeing a defeat for Jimmy Carter.


joe brand

The great thing about an Obama speech is that you can already guess what it will say and how it will be received, which allows anyone with sense to pre-ignore it.


Should we cut our military spending by 1/3 or 1/2 over the next 10 years?

That would be one way to limit our ability to do things abroad.

If the other First World countries we've been "guarding" for years: Israel, some of the Arab countries of the Middle East, South Korea, Japan, Europe -- increase their military in response, wouldn't that be a good thing for all?

And if they did not, it would be at their own risk.

We'd force the kids to grow up and we could retire and spend our money on ourselves.

Alba Etie

There were no clean hands in the former Yugoslavia disintegration in the 1990 's . I wonder if historians can tell us someday if the NATO intervention made matters better or worse.


Sorry Jersey Joan, I cant see any reason for Obama not to continue to be the world's policemen - afterall, the Fed still prints money - a trillion per year or 6% of GDP - so where is the 6% growth) to pay for it.

I was unfortunately subjected to a few minutes at the barber shop on the local news. "The US is not the world's policemen, but we have to police the world because of our exceptional nature." Egads.

Of course the local news did not show Brazil's speech immediately before: After Rousseff's bombshell (in essence the US is a rogue nation):


which the emperor blindly ignored, I suspect Obama's words of hubris, like morning mist, have already evaporated.

Has Obama killed the internet? I expect non-US (and US) company's and other country's will flee any US internet company / US-based server to protect sensitive information. Add Balkan-azation of the internet to the historical legacy.


JohnH, we live in a country where retired politicians rent themselves out to MEK. See http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/officials-diplomacy-outside.html

Consistency and moral clarity are as real as unicorns.


Norbert M. Salamon said...

"I missed President Roumani's speech .. anyone knows if there is a transcript?"

the video


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