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09 June 2015

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Ex-PFC Chuck

"Is Obama deliberately misleading us all."

Is the pope Caatholic?

Imagine

OT (sorry): Israel has exploded 20+ conventional/radiation "dirty bombs" in the desert outside Dimona inside a shopping-center mockup etc., from 2010-2014.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.660067

The cover story is "we wanted to see how bad it would get if someone did this to us".

Could this be an offensive test?
Upon reflection, I am not so much concerned about testing low-level medical 99mTc bombs as I am about Israel's neutron bomb capability. If this radiation test went unreported for five years, could there be other, neutron bomb tests, which have gone unreported?

jerseycityjoan

From the Hill article: "The U.S. has resisted directly training or equipping Sunni forces out of concern it could undermine Baghdad, which views the Sunni population with mistrust, and worsen sectarian tensions."

If we are going to fall in line with the central government and do nothing, then there really doesn't seem to be any point to our being there.

I get the impression that the Baghdad-Shia portions of the country feel they safe from ISIL. I do not know why. But as long as they make keeping their own Sunnis in check their chief consideration, the US and Iraq will never agree and we will unable to do much good.

Funny how our "power" does so little to help us at times.

Jack

Sir

Do you think Assad will survive another year? It looks like the Syrian army have suffered some serious defeats recently and are on their heels.

turcopolier

Jack

The USA, Saudi Arabia the Gulfie pukes, Turkey, Jordan and Israel have all massed support for medievalist head choppers. that has had an effect after a long and gallant resistance. How much longer the Syrian Government will last depends on whether or not sane Turks will back the AKP down and how much support Hizbullah and the Iranians will provide. pl

tv

"Is Obama deliberately misleading us all?"
Obama.....mislead?
WHEN has he ever NOT misled or outright lied?
"You can keep our doctor, period."

tv

ISIL has no Air Force, the only armor is what they've taken from the Iraqi cowards and their infantry are barely if at all trained.
They have a few Generals from Saddam's regime, but these are not Generals likely to go down in history for strategic brilliance.
The USAF Chief just said that it could take up to 7 years to conquer ISIL.
Doing what?
Flying balsa wood models?
Saudis, Jordanians have significant air and ground forces (a lot more than ISIL, at least).
The King of Jordan roared and threatened after the execution of his pilot by ISIL.
What happened?
ISIL advanced.

turcopolier

tv
"these are not Generals likely to go down in history for strategic brilliance" How the f--k would you know, genius? We defeated the Germans and they WERE some of the most brilliant generals in history. pl

oofda

Imagine- these Israeli tests were accomplished with so-called 'dirty bombs'- these consist of radioactive material with conventional explosives. They were not nuclear or neutron bombs. These were no neutron bomb tests- neutron bombs are thermonuclear weapons (Hydrogen bombs) and would have been detected.
After 9/11 many national security services became concerned about the threat of dirty bombs- which seemed more probable to occur than nuclear bombs. There were many national and international initiatives taken to reduce that threat and determine the potential effects.

A. Pols

I can envision the wailing and gnashing of teeth from our side after Assad is gone and replaced by....Well you know what.
Among all the recriminations, there will be lots of finger pointing and denials that anyone could have foreseen such an ugly outcome..

Valissa

Looks like there is a plan to establish a new military base in Anbar. I wonder where this will be relative to Al Asad air base. Also, does 'establish' mean building a new base (doesn't the US already have lots of bases in Iraq?) or something else, such as re-purposing an existing base?

U.S. Adding Military Advisers in Iraq to Reclaim Ramadi, Officials Say http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/world/middleeast/us-adding-military-advisers-to-reclaim-iraqi-city-officials-say.html?_r=0
In a major shift of strategy in Iraq, the Obama administration is planning to establish a new military base in Anbar Province and send hundreds of additional American military trainers to help Iraqi forces retake the city of Ramadi and repel the Islamic State.

Although a final decision by the White House has yet to be announced, the plan follows months of behind-the-scenes debate about what strategy the American-led coalition should pursue in Iraq. It represents a detour from longstanding plans to recapture Mosul this year. Mosul is the capital of Nineveh Province in northern Iraq, which was taken by Islamic State militants last year.

But the fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State last month effectively settled the administration debate, at least for the time being. American officials said Anbar is now expected to become the focus of a long campaign that will seek to regain Mosul at a later stage, probably not until 2016.

mbrenner

The NYT reports a White House program involving substantial expansion of US military advisers at Anbar bases, an accelerated recruitment program, direct supply to the Sunni tribals and Ramadi designated the primary target. No final decision on American Special Forces, helicopter gunships or on the ground spotters.

Implicit in the account is the rejection of any plan that accords the Shiite militias a central role in the operation - although this is not specified. Apparently, these terms was dictated to al-Abadi in Bavaria - us or the Iranians. Us means airpower (balsa wood or otherwise), new arms shipments, a reconstituted IRA free of ties to Riyadh that includes large numbers of Sunnis supplemented by Sunni tribal units who would be American advised. Petraeus redux

Mosul pushed back to 2016; Raqqua to....?

tv

Thanks for acknowledging my genius.
You comparing the Wehrmacht to the Iraqi army?

bth

Four hundred more Americans on the way to Anbar. Why are we doing this if we want the Shia militias to stay at least in Iraq and not go wandering off to Syria? A conceivable alternate strategy might be to get the heck out of Anbar. I guess I don't see the strategy in stuffing a base with troops surrounded by thousands of very hostile enemies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/world/middleeast/us-adding-military-advisers-to-reclaim-iraqi-city-officials-say.html?action=Click&contentCollection=BreakingNews&contentID=35648382&pgtype=Homepage&_r=0

Amir

President Hopey-Changy's ACA is not healthCARE reform but health insurance reform. As they say in Flemish "Promise a lot, give a little, keep us fools happy for ever".

turcopolier

TV

In the last year of the Iran/Iraq War the Iraqi forces conducted and sustained several multi-division operations in which they successfully maneuvered at leas 100,000 men and several thousand tanks. APCs, self-propelled artillery pieces. In all those they defeated the Iranians. How do I know that? I was there and watched it up close. I have written of this extensively here. I guess it was below your genius to read or attempt to understand the material. The fact that the US defeated the Iraqi forces handily later was the result of our sanctions and Saddam's mistrust and destruction of his own forces. You should talk to the IDF General Staff rather than your usual contacts at the Foreign Ministry. I am not responsible for your ignorance or that of all the people who have been fed that crap by Israeli and Iranian IO. pl

turcopolier

Amir

ACA is better than nothing if you are poor and have cancer. pl

different clue

oofda,

Are we sure that neutron bombs are thermonuclear weapons? An H bomb is a big big thing. I thought neutron bombs were tiniest possible strictly fissile charges somehow designed to emit the most possible neutrons and the least possible heat/light/big blast. The point was to get the chain reaction just fast enough that most of the nucleii fissed to release neutrons but as many neutrons as possible were then allowed to escape to "zap" the target with neutrons. Have I been wrong all along about this?

different clue

PL,

Is there any hope that Russia and maybe even China will take this seriously enough to give Assad enough concentrated help and support fast enough to prevent the SAR forces from being eroded and weakened to a point of no recovery? At least long enough for counter-Erdogists to force a change in Turkish government policy of support to ISIS and etc.?

Amir

True. Health insurance is now not only for healthy people. But as you stated in previous posts, this can be improved. A simple measure would be to allow the Federal Government of USA to negotiated bulk prices of medication with pharmaceutical companies. In some cases, the price of those medication would be 10% of what Medicare is charged for.

Obviously, there is always a starting point and the road is long.

Interested in prices in Belgium: http://www.bcfi.be/GGR/Index.cfm?ggrWelk=MAIN

Bill H

A reply wich was more polite than was, perhaps, deserved. Are you mellowing, colonel?

confusedponderer

PL
"ACA is better than nothing if you are poor and have cancer."

I have always felt that way, too, and never understood why Republican voters as far as health care is concerned have voted so much against their rational self interest.

The Republican adage that government programs are per se dysfunctional is a sorry excuse of not wanting to try to begin with, a message driven as much by driven by donor interests as it is driven by their harebrained understanding of what government should do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-watchman_state

Healthcare in the US is so profitable as a business that it has become untenable for the population at large. That health care bills eat up a live's savings over treatment of cancer or something like that, plunging a family into poverty is hardly a desirable outcome.

My uncle just succumbed to cancer after chemo and radiation therapy, and, thank God, he was well treated, and when he died, he just fell asleep. It is indeed fortunate that his widow didn't need to sell the house they built to cover treatment cost.

"Get Sick, Get Out"
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1416947

"In recent years, there has been national alarm about the rising rate of home foreclosures, which now strike one in every 92 households in America and which contribute to even broader macroeconomic effects. The "standard account" of home foreclosure attributes this spike to loose lending practices, irresponsible borrowers, a flat real estate market, and rising interest rates. Based on our study of homeowners going through foreclosures in four states, we find that the standard account fails to represent the facts and thus makes a poor guide for policy. In contrast, we find that half of all foreclosures have medical causes, and we estimate that medical crises put 1.5 million Americans in jeopardy of losing their homes last year.

Half of all respondents (49%) indicated that their foreclosure was caused in part by a medical problem, including illness or injuries (32%), unmanageable medical bills (23%), lost work due to a medical problem (27%), or caring for sick family members (14%). We also examined objective indicia of medical disruptions in the previous two years, including those respondents paying more than $2,000 of medical bills out of pocket (37%), those losing two or more weeks of work because of injury or illness (30%), those currently disabled and unable to work (8%), and those who used their home equity to pay medical bills (13%). Altogether, seven in ten respondents (69%) reported at least one of these factors."

I think it is in a very true sense healthier to see health care not as a for-profit business but as a basic service. Public healthcare can be handled both competitively and efficiently. We have something rather decently working in Germany.

But no, that is socialism. I think we are seing in this a de-solidarisation of society, in which everybody is on his own.

The Swiss have put the private insurance approach to a logical extreme since there are private health insurance models that use wearables to monitor customer behaviour (how much you move, heart rate, body temperature, sleep patterns etc pp), with customers competing, and personalise insurance fees accordingly - resulting in total surveillance under health and cost aspects, by a private party (because total surveillance is only bad if done by a government entity). Enter the premium optimised life!

The obvious if implicit conclusion from such proposals is of course that those who get sick, brought it on themselves through an unhealthy lifestyle (or poor breeding, but I digress). I presume it takes a calvinist to think up something like that and put predestination into health care.

David Habakkuk

All,

Off topic, but only slightly.

The declassified August 2012 DIA report anticipating the kind of successes of the 'Islamic State' in Syria and also Iraq which later materialised continues to make waves.

A follow up by Nafeez Ahmed to his 22 May report on the document contains discussions by Daniel Ellsberg, Coleen Rowley, Thomas Drake, and Alastair Crooke.

(See http://tinyurl.com/p873pj7 )

It has also made the mainstream in the UK, with a report by Seamus Milne in the 'Guardian'.

(See http://tinyurl.com/qfulh98 )

A common characteristic of these and other reports is that they take for granted that the analysis in the report was made by the DIA. If one does this, it is indeed natural to take it as clinching proof that the U.S. Government – and the British – continued to pursue the objective of destroying the Assad regime, in conscious foreknowledge that the likely result would be the creation of something like the kind of 'Islamic State' we have seen.

As Milne summarises the obvious reading of the report, it would seem to indicate that:

'A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren't only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of ''Islamic state'' – despite the ''grave danger'' to Iraq's unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.'

Putting the matter another way, all the talk about empowering 'moderate Islamists' was not self-deluding drivel, but conscious deception to mask a cynical Machiavellian strategy.

It is difficult not to think that this is precisely how the DIA analysis is being read in a wide variety of places, including Moscow and Tehran.

And it seems to me likely that in both places, and in others, it will be taken by those most hostile to the U.S. as proof that the 'conspiracy' rather than 'cock-up' view of American policy not just towards the Middle East but in other areas has been conclusively vindicated. Moreover, those with more sanguine views are likely to be, as it were, placed on the back foot.

The question whether the document necessarily means quite what it appears to mean, accordingly, is a matter of some significance.

When the paper was discussed on an earlier SST thread, if I recall rightly, it was suggested that it could have been an analysis by a foreign intelligence agency – perhaps Israeli – which was being circulated by the DIA.

If this was the case, its actual significance might be at least somewhat different from its apparent significance. Crucially, it might not actually be a comprehensive vindication of the 'conspiracy' theory.

As I have no experience whatsoever of DIA papers, and only a sketchy grasp of the context in which this analysis might have been circulated, I cannot judge. The views of others who are in a better position to form an informed opinion would be of interest.

alba etie

Col Lang
At the risk of being labeled a commie ( no I am not wearing the Che Guevera gimme cap dating from the 1970's- ) ; I believe if we took all of the several hundred dollars a month I am extorted to pay Humana plus the $ 3000 deductible I am responsible for and somehow gave that money directly to the health care providers it would be far better then the ACA . Perhaps Medicare E as in for everyone, but that is means tested , and rewarded for good decision with lower premiums by making good proactive health decisions(like kicking nicotine) . And add to Medicare E a mandatory national service program that would include the option to be trained as a nurse or other medically trained worker that could go out and help our citizens stay healthy . But again I am not wearing my Che Guevera gimme cap ... apologize for being off topic this thread...

turcopolier

AE

The question is whether or not we think poor people who can't manage their own lives successfully should be provided health care at the expense of the rest of us. I think they should be cared for. I would prefer a single payer system but the ACA (flawed as it is) is better than nothing or having them fill up hospital emergency rooms. pl

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