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15 July 2015

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MRW

Good article.

Abu Sinan

Thanks so much for the cogent article.

William R. Cumming

Great post and great questions. Perhaps I am completely mistaken but is not US FP in both Cuba and Iran based on the "hope" that generations born in those countries after 1959 and 1979 will not view the USA as a direct threat or the Great Satan?

IMO that "hope" is not documented on current facts but as ALWAYS COULD BE WRONG!

Babak Makkinejad

Dr. Brenner:

1. Yes but there are self-imposed limits in US cooperation with Iran. Ask yourself: "What does US have that Iran wants and is not illegal, under US Law, to be given to Iran?"

2. This is an ill-posed question: Kerry went to Riyadh and asked the Gulfies not to fund ISIS and assorted Jihadists last December, they told him what he wanted to hear and then proceeded to do exactly that. Is US going to sanction the central banks of US allies in the Persian Gulf? I do not think so.

3. The United States electorate largely supports these policies; I do not see any calls in US Congress for bombing of UAE - even though her populations was celebrating 9/11/2001 attacks on US.

4. Again, will the United States sanction central banks of Gulfies or put them on terrorism list? Never.

5. The threat to US is drift towards totalitarianism and erosion of liberty as a consequences of blow back.

6. Where is any US President going to find a reality-based national security staff when dealing with Middle East, or Ukraine? On SST? Can any government in the United States find alternatives to the Borg, even if the desire for it was there?

I think in general your questions blames the US Government and implicitly absolves the US (or EU) Electorate.

I have raised this question multiple times before: "Where is the Electorate in all of this?"

Jack

I am in agreement with Babak that the only reason the Borg exists is because the American people allows it.

The bottom line IMO is that the majority of Americans support the neocon vision of foreign policy. That's why the duopoly nominate only Borgistas.

I also agree with Babak that the US is well on its way to a totalitarian state with the rhetoric and facade of a republic.

LeaNder

Babak, strictly I am in the process of trying to understand vaguely related to your first contribution withot a number.

Trying to understand what? To what extend Germany, so don't blame the EU Electorate more generally may do something sinister while the EU is sure to collapse soon anyway. We were on the road there, to the extend I understand a friend of our dear Michael, already in 2000 and 2008 in a way confirmed this, but ultimately 2009/10 did.

As I am sure you'll understand, I won't come back to revise all my misunderstandings in the above context. ...

Apart from that, I like your question six best. Maybe since, I wouldn't have dared to ask my questions around vague mental meanderings around it in my mind. Surely not out of fear to be considered anti-American, but vaguely: Apart from Kerry and figurehead Nuland, who is actually in charge? If we leave out the ones that will remain there over the diverse elections in the foreign office.

Anyway, to what extend can single appointed people change long-term foreign policy, and what influence have specific people in this context? Other then what I hope we see here, a slight attempt at long-term chance.

Besides, good questions ;)

turcopolier

LeAnder

"Apart from Kerry and figurehead Nuland, who is actually in charge? If we leave out the ones that will remain there over the diverse elections in the foreign office. Anyway, to what extend can single appointed people change long-term foreign policy?" Nuland is NOT a "figurehead." She represents the influence of Ziocon membership in Obama's Democratic Party coalition. He has focused on wrestling Bibi over the ME and control of his (Obama's) foreign policy in the media and Congress. To be free to do that he has been willing to let the Ziocons toy with their fantasy role playing jeux in eastern Europe. Whether he will pull them back from having us drift into war with Russia remains to be seen. The existence of men like Breedlove in high command and the composition of the incoming JCS is concerning as it indicates that Obama has not exerted himself enough in these matters. His growing obsession with his negritude is a distraction from the world's business. In the end the president controls foreign policy, only he. The Congress has an inherently weak "hand" in this. Read the constitution. The US constitution is not an empty shell. In olden times (20 years ago) the permanent staff of the ministries had a great deal of influence. This was based in great experience and the generally high esteem in whch the foreign policy intelligentsia held them. That is all gone. That kind of people were forced into retirement and replaced with the Children's Crusade in the Foreign and Civil services. This was done in reverence for making the government into a job's program for women, gays and other groups. Feel free not to believe me. pl

am

"His growing obsession with his negritude is a distraction from the world's business. In the end the president controls foreign policy, only he"

I am not sure he is concerned with one half of his genesis. Family history doesn't exactly connect to AA complaints, does it? I am aware it is a sensitive issue in the US.

"That is all gone. That kind of people were forced into retirement and replaced with the Children's Crusade in the Foreign and Civil services."

When and how? I doubt that happened under George Bush, or did it? Clinton? Hmm???

Well, this does not convince me. But I am open to look for statistical evidence, if there is any on forced retirement and recruitment numbers of women and gays and related programs.

Ok, I sure could never check numbers on gays, thus why should I try to check the rest?

I'll shut up again.

turcopolier

am

"I am not sure he is concerned with one half of his genesis." You are not an American and do not live here. What the hell do you know about anything in the American government? You don't think Obama cares about his supposed blackness? You clearly are not paying attention to what he says and does. Statistics? Ah, another social sciences fool. pl

Fred

am i.e. LeadNer jr.

"I'll shut up again"
thank goodness.

MRW

Hey am,

You're wondering about this? --> "That is all gone. That kind of people were forced into retirement and replaced with the Children's Crusade in the Foreign and Civil services."

Did you not hear President Obama, Ambassador Powell, and others, freak that Putin invaded Crimea? You remember that, don't you? President Obama and his minions screech that Putin violated international law by taking over Crimea?

Exactly what the Colonel is talking about. The long-time Arabists and Russian analysts, the good ones, the expert ones, were drummed out of the State Department by the neoconservatives in favor of whatever mediocre pro-Israel analyst showed up begging for a job at Friday night DC synagogue services. And they embarrassed the United States on the world stage with their ignorance on top of it, as much as the meritocracy likes to crow how smart they are.

Fact: When the Ukraine wrote its Constitution in 1992, it gave Crimea its effective independence with the Ukraine, and it granted Crimea the legal constitutional right to determine it’s own future and relationship with others, like Russia. This wasn’t a Russian edict. The Russians didn’t write it. The Ukrainians wrote it. They wrote that Crimea could decide who it was, what it wanted to be, and who it wanted to be associated with, without any interference from Kyev. Crimea exercised that constitutional right in 2014, and the Obama admin stamped its feet.

Not one single one of Obama’s advisors knew about the Ukrainian Constitution. Not one.

None of those West Wing-wannabees looked it up during their season close-up.

If they had a Stephen Cohen, Chas Freeman, or a Matt Crosston on their rolodex/contact app, they wouldn’t have made Americans look like ignorant fools. Or as if we have a hayseed for a prez with the judgment of a dead gnat.

William R. Cumming

IMO few Americans know enough or care enough about FP except for actual combat losses to want to learn more. Thus, the BORG is given free reighn!

JJackson

Aye, there's the rub.

It is often difficult to discuss anything relating to US bete noire States with Americans as they have an implanted US MSM 'history' which is impossible to overcome. PL linked to a 'News Night' on the Iran deal but, despite - as Dr. Brenner reminds us - Iran has not had any kind of meaningful atomic weapons program at least since 2003, everyone on the program repeatedly stated they wanted one and only US efforts were acting as a break. On repeated occasion (not on SST) I have seen confusion in US posters attitude to Iran due to the dating of US-Iranian history with the taking of Embassy hostages. The events of 1953, the role of the Shah/Savak and US sanctuary for the deposed dictator are not part of the zeitgeist.
This is interesting as a BBC take posted today.
'How Iran fell out with the West'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-33552911
My question is 'would this look odd to the American public if it was not on the BBC but appeared in one of the big US media sites'?

Mark Logan

am, (anybody)

What you are asking to be demonstrated by "statistics" isn't something which can be described by any statistical analysis I can think of. However, I believe I have a way to describe it (sort of) to people who have difficulty accepting the notion that we have a different sort of people advising our elected officials than we once had, at least for any who are open to the idea and not merely seeking to quibble. I have some sympathy for those who are having honest difficulty with this because it's not a simple thing to describe or for laymen such as us to grasp. "Outsiders", I guess.

Dennis Ross gathered together a batch of some old hands for CSPAN a couple years ago:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?305617-1/nixon-administration-middle-east-policy

Listen to those old guys, look at how they think, act, and approach "problems", and bear them in mind when watching our current crop, guys such as McFaul, our Ambassador to Russia, and Ford, our old Ambassador to Syria. Just about any of them will do, as there aren't very many who do not sound like them. The differences are striking even for a "newbie" such as myself. It's almost as if they are from a different planet.

Hope that helps.

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