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24 November 2014


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William R. Cumming

Hagel knows McCain well from their time in Senate! Cause and effect?

alba etie

I have had a working hypothesis that the Obama administration was actually trying to course correct from the neocons that still fester in the USG foreign policy structure. My hypothesis I thought could be supported by us not bombing Assad vis a vis the defeated AUMF back a year ago - the CW was always a canard in Syria. My hypothesis was also supported I thought by the slow motion training of the FSA and our not supporting the Erdogan no fly zone in Syria too . It always has been a neocon standing wish to remove Assad. Furthermore former ' federal government officials " retired here in Central Texas whose opinion I believe are credible have stated that the Panetta hatchet job in his book on the weak BHO was done to distance HRC from BHO should she run. Panetta has been mentioned as a possible running mate for HRC . ( I personally do not think MS Clinton will run in 2016 ) . The basis of the Panetta attack on BHO was because the administration did not work hard enough with Maliki to leave behind US military in Iraq . The same as now in Afghanistan . Panetta also said BHO was weak for not removing Assad . Now comes Secretary of Defense Hagel's apparent forced resignation by the Children Crusaders - and my theory on BHO course correction from the neocons may not survive if Ms Flournoy replaces Senator Hagel as Secretary of Defense. From all I can gather Ms Flournoy is 'neocon ' true believer wrapped in a R2P talking point .
We shall see -


This is a piece I put up a few hours ago at the end of a thread of comments before the last three posts had come to my attention. I think it is even more relevant here.
This is one more piece of relevance to the discussion here by Prof. and Col. Andrew Bacevich: www.tomdispatch.com/post/175926/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_daydream_believers/
The title is "Top Five Washington Assumptions on Mideast that Are not True."


These questions made me think of a beggar standing on the street corner with a bottle of wine in his front pocket and a syringe sticking out of his arm and i drive up and ask him if i give him twenty dollars will he promise to use it for food.

In the case above it is me who is the fool in the case below it is our Gov't passing out my tax dollars that is the fool.

If we provide them significant weaponry will they lose it again to IS? Will their rotten, grafting leaders continue to steal the troops' pay?


Here are Bacevich's five from my link above for those who have not had the time to read his piece:
Consider the following claims, each of which in Washington circles has attained quasi-canonical status.

* The presence of U.S. forces in the Islamic world contributes to regional stability and enhances American influence.

* The Persian Gulf constitutes a vital U.S. national security interest.

* Egypt and Saudi Arabia are valued and valuable American allies.

* The interests of the United States and Israel align.

* Terrorism poses an existential threat that the United States must defeat.

For decades now, the first four of these assertions have formed the foundation of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The events of 9/11 added the fifth, without in any way prompting a reconsideration of the first four. On each of these matters, no senior U.S. official (or anyone aspiring to a position of influence) will dare say otherwise, at least not on the record.


Think they (the Obama Admin.) might be looking for a Def. Secretary w/c they could control and mold from within. If that happens, then we will be in for 2 years of indecisiveness w/c has been the hallmark of the Obama Admin.

I cringe where ISIS will be after 2 years of this...


Here's another good article to add to the group: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175926/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_daydream_believers/#more from Andrew Bacevich.

William R. Cumming

I may be wrong, but I understand Hagel's resignation is conditioned on his serving as SECDEF until the next SECDEF confirmed by the full Senate. If so Hagel may serve out Obama's Presidency.

And for key National Security positions like the SECDEF service conditioned on the successor's confirmation and swearing in. This is a major CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT ISSUE!


Interesting article on IS tribal suppression. http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/11/24/4350530_islamic-state-toughens-tactics.html?sp=/99/102/111/&rh=1
Is it a sign of IS weakness that they haven't gained control of Ramadi?


@bth - "Is it a sign of IS weakness that they haven't gained control of Ramadi?"

I once claimed here that IS had taken Ramadi. That was based on Iraqi government side information that its security forces had withdrawn from Ramadi after some IS 4by4s showed up. The report was correct but that IS "attack" turned out to be a fake or an error and the next day the security forces were back in their place.

This time is different. IS is now some 30 meters away from the Anbar governate compound in Ramadi which is the last big place in Ramadi held by government forces. Heavy fighting is ongoing. People there raised high alarm today and requested air support, immediate resupply and additional forces. The place may or may not fall by tomorrow. If it does IS will have Ramadi.

Charles I

Things may be about to heat up on the Israeli border. UNDOF, the U.N Disengagement Observer Force in place since 1974 loses its mandate on Dec 31 this year. The

Its reports reveal that Israel has, in response to various apparently errant provocations from within Syria - by whomever,its never really considered exactly who they think shot at them - repeatedly shelled and attacked Syrian government forces and facilities in response, n/w/s that this is in effect fighting on the side of chaos and ISIS.


Charles I

p.sp to my earlier comment, even if the UNDOF mandate is renewed every six months as it has been to date, the Philippines announced the withdrawal of its 331 member contingent due to deteriorating security.

FB Ali

I don't think UNDOF has ever made any difference to how Israel chooses to act on the border. Its absence will not change the situation.

different clue

William R. Cumming,

Ahh yes! I will claim to have been thinking about that even though you have said it first. If there are enough Rs and Ds who together respect and support Hagel and like the job he has been doing, they can keep him there by rejecting every single SecDef nominee that Obama sends over. Every single one. Till the very last day.

Will Obama give them any of his beautiful money after he leaves office? No? Then why should they give Obama any of their beautiful support or cooperation in the meantime?

different clue

Charles I,

I used to "would-have-thought" that the Israelis are smart enough to know that any shell coming over from the Syrian side is a false-flag rebel shell designed to trigger lots of return shells onto SAA positions. Should I still think that?

If the Israelis are indeed smart enough to know that any shell coming over is indeed either entirely errant or is otherwise and more likely a false-flag rebel shell, then what or whose interest are they serving by shelling SAA positions in return for those few incoming shells?
Is Israel being pressured to do that by KSA or by neocons in American government in return for all the neocon support? Is Israel subject to some small measure of pressure and instruction at the margins in ways that will stay forever unknown to uncleared people like myself?

Or are the Revisionists shelling the SAA for the pure fun of it? Just like shelling and bombing non-Hezbollah territory in Lebanon for the sheer fun of it in 2006?

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