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11 December 2014


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War College theses are the opinion of students, not the US Army or government. Cambodia? We bombed enemy logistical and headquarters in eastern Cambodia where there were hardly any civilians out in the jungle. we crossed the border to clear out the same stuff in raiding and then in a major ground raid. I am supposed to apologize for that? Vietnam? There was a war on against the communist takeover of the country. A great many Vietnamese opposed that. Hundreds of thousands of them fought against that and when the US Congress caused their defeat, they fled. What have Russia and China to do with this? The WOT? What? You think we provoked AQ into attacking us? How? It appears to me that you have a deep bias against the US and accept any sort of leftist argument and claim against us. From what you say you come from a family that is even more like that. you remind me of a now deceased German woman immigrant to the US, who while well employed by the US government used to claim that the US started the Cold War because the nice Soviets, scarred by war would not have done that. pl


"clandestine case officer in the counter-proliferation branch"

Thanks, that's exactly what I tried to express with the wrong choice of words.

"She never had anything to do with what?"

I am aware she wasn't involved in the Bush administration's "psychops", If I may?

William's reply above puzzled me too.

Maybe I didn't express myself well. But I actually followed US politics closely at the time, and doubt I misread. Judith Miller? To choose one of the journalistic servants more randomly. Scooter Libby? Media manipulations? Liars or simply ideologues and true believers?

"You will have stories to cover — Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work — to life.”



"clandestine case officer in the counter-proliferation branch" This was/is an honorable task in pursuit of restriction of nuclear weapon ownership. pl


Ok, now I understand, why this can easily be misunderstood. This wasn't meant as a generalization but of a description of the occasional fact. And it is not a matter of elite or non-elite upbringings. I am not a child of fortune.

I've known only a few soldiers in my life, admittedly. Some even were friends at one point in my life.

"Duty ends when one is summoned to do something illegal, immoral or unethical."

From the top of my head: there are ethics and there is reality; there are people with spine and such without; better knowledge of events unfolding (of the law?)no doubt is useful to help oneself and others, it also may occasionally leave some prey to unfortunate circumstances.

Even the brightest can find themselves on the horns of a dilemma occasionally.


Ok, I wasn't aware of the facts from "had inquired only once" on.

Or at least, I wasn't aware of the "550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium" and the news genesis in 2008. I guess that was when I had lost interest in Iraqi WMDs? ...


You sure have more knowledge about why something like that needed to be kept secret so long. That's not the only field where my limited brain power leave me, by the way, I miss the basic natural science knowledge too that may have helped me to store correctly that it always was about yellowcake uranium powder and not about yellowcake uranium and what exactly powder means in the Uranium context. I do not call myself a nitwit for no reason. ;)

you will be relieved, I'll shut up again. Take care.


You **don't** understand the words. In this context, 'vizier' refers to Cheney. Brush up on Ottoman history. If I'd said 'consigliere', would you think I was talking about Italians?



Quite humorous a prick of a econ professor teaching negotiations and taking his theory to the out bounds of limitations. He's really teaching college kids to act like used car salesman. It reminds me of "Glengarry Glen Ross ". I can't wait for the law of unintended consequences to kick into gear. The comments section is rather illuminating.



I am not speaking of all human beings but Americans. It is certainly a different culture than yours and produces a different government.

"there clearly are a lot of people that prefer to think and act according to what they are told, because they feel that their higher ups may well know, why they told them to do what they did..."

This seems to be a very German idea, it is certainly not an American one.


Col Lang

On the beach here in Fl till New Year.
Have only an iPhone; hate the damn thing.
Following SST every day.
Agree with your post on Torture 110%!
Civil suits may turn out to be a powerful
tool for justice.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96



Thank you, but I wasnt fishing for compliments so much as mocking LeAnder. i cant recall her displaying the intellectual rigor to be able to hang with me in an argument- a lowly common soldier.



Will comment when Im not on my phone.



The cult of credentialism.

Charles I

check this out:


Just like covert ops, these guys pick sides and "tribes" - cartels - and the profits and blowback begin to flow. Where it transmutes from crime to Deep State and back again, or vice versa, is now immaterial, but no-one, asdie from the tiniest minnow, within the Venn diagram of conflicting jurisdictions where the plots and money intersect is ever prosecuted



I agree with what the good Colonel says here. There was no Dak To, Khe, or Tet in Iraq or Afghanistan. That doesn't mean Anbar or Paktia were picnic resorts, but there is no comparison to what Vietnam was.

For better and worst, these were different wars.


" If I'd said 'consigliere', would you think I was talking about Italians?"

I simply didn't wanted to know why you use of exactly why you use the term in this context. And I have no doubt, you figured this. ;)

OK, Ottoman history is quite a bit of European history, not only history of the ME. It's sad that it could have been a bridge to the ME, where historically it also was part of historically. Same for the Ukraine, which also could be such a bridge. Isn't it? wazir - vizier and choices.

Ok, strictly I promised to shut up.


WRC, Have you read the portrait of Richard Cheney on the New Yorker?

Lemann, Nicholas (May 7, 2001). "The Quiet Man". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on September 18, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2006. (thanks to Wikipedia)

Not available online anymore for non-subscribers, but well worth reading.


So far I am disappointed by Tom Engelhardt's book, you seemed to recommend indirectly. I actually was from early on.


Fred, no harm intended. You probably know a lot more about the military and quite possibly based on that a German soldier or former soldier (I am excluding the times up to 1945, or almost ...) may be closer to you than a German civilian.

If humans were so vastly different on basic levels like living, surviving, feeding themselves and their families, we wouldn't be able to read each others novels. Apparently we are hindered much by the different cultural frames. Literature is one of my fields. On a basic human level we apparently easily understand each other beyond national frontiers or ideologies.

Two of my closer family members died in WWII. to pick out the soldiers. They were cousins and close friends. One joined the Nazi navy in the hope to ultimately follow his cousin to the US. He died in 1941 in Norway. His cousin died fighting for the US in the Pacific theater. I guess, had you been on his side you wouldn't have had much time to talk about his "very Germanness". Or you think that would have been of importance in the larger context?

Charles I

What on earth is going on at Harvard?!!


In her article, “The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law,” in the December 15 edition of The New Yorker, Harvard law school professor Jeannie Suk writes: “About a dozen new teachers of criminal law at multiple institutions have told me that they are not including rape law in their courses, arguing that it’s not worth the risk of discomfort by students.”

My very first first year crim law class was on mens rea and actus reus. Critical fundamentals of criminal law.

The delightful example of judicial error cited to illustrate the different elements of an offense was that of a drunken fellow convicted of rape after having sex with a dead body he found in a ditch after a party - he thought she was just passed out.

Turns out at that point in law one couldn't rape a corpse and the facts could only sustain a charge of offering an indignity to dead body.

Good old Barney, R.I.P, had our attention.

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