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01 August 2015


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It seems to me considering our continuous blunders that US political elites and policy makers are clueless about the ME and its people. Wouldn't the best situation be in these circumstances for the US to stop meddling in the ME and let them sort out their affairs on their own?

I recognize the hubris of our political elites will not allow them to understand their own limitations. I recently saw an interview of Harald Malmgren who served 4 presidents. In his opinion we are where we are due to the changing character of the American people who now prefer a Nanny State. Consequently we are getting a state run by moneyed interests that use state power to reinforce their interests. He says that only groupthinkers are allowed in policy making circles and their faith-based beliefs trump any rational thinking. I suppose when the American people have been sufficiently screwed by their own "give me cheese" attitudes then there is an opportunity to get better political leaders.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

What do you think of the reports that the CIA is part of (possibly leading) the Jordan 'operations centre' that is arming and supporting (along with Israel) the rebels fighting the regime south of Damascus?


FB Ali

It would not surprise me at all. That is just the kind of whacky thing I have come to expect from them. pl



I think the wimpiness factor in the present generation is not to be underestimated. The Army can't get enough recruits this year? What a surprise! Now that the post 9/11 thing has worn off, soldiering doesn't appeal to the selfie generation? We should get out of the ME and let them fight it out. pl


"But but but we only bombed the Khorosan group, not Nusra. We see Nusra as our ally. Only the Khorosan groups is the alQaeda enemy."

Some folks obviously self-deceived themselves on such a fairy tale. The U.S. bombed Nusra (but only the Khorosan group of it!) some 5 times over the last year and expected them now to be an ally?

Isn't one general Allen responsible for the Syria issue? Will they hang him high?



You mean the current generation of political and educational leaders, whose chief accomplishments in their "coming of age" were dodging the draft and not inhaling, have managed, in less than a generation, to create a civil society that is anti-Christian, anti-male, pro-femenist, pro-LBGT and thoroughly against individual responsibility while simultaneously running the Republic into economic hock and destroying our international standing? Why #colormeshocked! (Aren't hash tags all we need to do to change society now a days?)

Richard Armstrong

Absolutely get out and supply all the belligerents with arms. As one begins to lose they get more arms and drone support. I'm serious. Duplicity can be very useful and not unknown in proxie wars.

AKs and RPGs are cheap and plentiful, drone warriors don't care, they just want to kill targets before they go home for dinner.

Ursa Maior


The former spokesperson of the FSA - Free Syrian ARmy on the hungarian border complaining about dogs and broken promisess by the west.

1. There are no official guard dogs as we have no border guards, yet. The dogs he speaks about are probably the local farmowners' dogs. How un-PC of them! Not liking the rubbish and feces left by these marvellous gentleman!

2. He also speaks of cruelty because they dont get democracy and human rights (as illegal immigrants)!? And that the 'West' have betrayed them.

This world has really gone mad.

Babak Makkinejad

These are all wars for the containment of Iran and will continue until either Iran is crushed or that US-EU policy is discarded.

And the longer these wars continue, the more entrenched ISIS will become and the more it will spread in the non-Seljuk parts of the World of Islam.

And perhaps it would the ascendancy of ISIS that would cause the re-think in US and Brussels - but may be not even then.



Jimmy Carter’s statement: “America no longer has functioning democracy” is the only explanation for the stupidity of sending sixty proxy fighters off on a crusade against the Syrian government and publicizing it. Washington DC is in a factional war with the group with the most money making policy for today which changes tomorrow. Damn the future. Screw the public interest.

This is worse than the Bay of Pigs. The proxy survivors fled to Syrian Kurdish territory that is being attacked by Turkey with American blessing in order to get access to their airbases to bomb the Islamic State. The President won’t get on TV and apologize for this gigantic SNAFU. No one will be fired. Israel will continue to support Islamists in Syria’s civil war to attrit Hezbollah. Bombing the Islamic State will continue to no effect. The most effective anti-ISIS militia is being degraded by Turkey. The wars will escalate, mistake upon mistake, until the world is in flames.


To be just a bit fair towards them, I can see how it would be difficult to decide to serve knowing that whatever you are asked to do, it is likely that it will not even remotely be something you might deem as protecting the country. Serving to further the policies this country has espoused over the last 14 years? Must be tough for recruiters.


ex-PFC Chuck

Or it could be that an awareness is trickling down to recent high school and college grads the late General Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket, especially when it's being continually instigated by the elites and the political class they control that has its collective head far up where the sun never shines. Those young men and women may beginning to realize that whereas the country gains nothing from their efforts, they're likely to lose lives, limbs and/or mental faculties.


Well said.


Nothing is more useful for plutocracy than the sparkly distractions like gay rights and abortion. While the Decider was listening to God's words, the Citizen United legalized the buying of government and legislature and liberated the major war-profiteers, mega-polluters, and financial sector from any burdensome oversight. Meanwhile, the loudest defenders of Christian values have been found with their trousers down; the most "patriotic" think-tanks happened to be stuffed with Israel-firsters, and the alleged hawks of fiscal responsibility allowed tens of billions of dollars disappear in a thin air of Iraq War Lie, with no trace. Not a single war-monger has been punished, despite the open knowledge that the trillion-dollar invasion of Iraq was based on deception. Young American men and women lost their limbs, brains, and lives in the Middle East for the benefit of plutocracy. Hundreds of thousands of civilians (including thousands and thousands of babies and pregnant women) were killed in the Middle East. Yet, neither Bush nor Blair have been excommunicated for their crimes against humanity.

alba etie

I would agree with all of this in your above comments.


I joined the US Army because I wanted to be a soldier. It had nothing to do with the advantage of plutocrats. You demean my profession. pl

Bill H

I can relate. I wanted to serve in submarines. I was not waving any flags.


In Europe, we are experiencing at the time a large stream of refugees as a result of the various crises in Libya and Syria. What irks me about this is that the morons - and I mean the specifically regime change happy European and US governments - practically disown the consequences of their actions.

Here you have folks who, by arming from the outside opposition groups to destabilise a regime, and in the case of Libya, offering special forces and close air support, not only destabilised the regime but the entire country, turning both countries from merely unpeasant into chaotic hellholes that have jihadi headchopper types run amok.

When faced with the predictable stream of refugees from both places, these nations then discover their inner humanitarian and call for European burden sharing, are we not after all a community of values? Well, exclude the Brits, they have rediscovered the advantages of being an Island.

And why plan for this, never mind what the militaries warned of, was this not supposed to be a cakewalk in which the good guys would be greeted as liberators?

The US were bumbling idiots to bomb their way into Baghdad to redo the place in the US image, but those smug Euro liberals who disained that fools errant, learned nothing about why Iraq was a moronic idea to begin with. They apparently thought it dumb because of who was doing it. Surely their higher ideals and the display on the battle field of the holy of holies, the shrine of R2P, would make all the difference!

Well, that bright idea just cot carbombed in Libya and Syria by Jihadis. The problem and root of failure in Iraq, Libya and Syria is in the amount of social engineering necessary to achieve the stated goals. The neolibs and neocons both are afflicted with a preference for magical thinking.

No western power is willing to re-colonise these places to 'fix' them.

Incicentally, the only power willing to stay and do the 'fix' is the Jihadis, and we don't like their way of fixing because of their headchopping, implacable hostility to all things and people western and them being so prone to extreme violence.

I say - to create direct feedback and accountability - give the refugees to those countries who chose as policy that it was a noble and splendid idea to arm opposition groups in Libya and Syria, and double their quota if they actually directly intervened in those places.

That by itself should dampen enthusiasm for more of this.

Take Israel: Given that they support them, wouldn't they just love a number of Al Nusra refugees in their countries, surely it would not upset ethic Jewish dominance, would it? Won't the Saudis or Qataris also just love having these folks back so they can contribute to society? The Italians sure would love to get more of the folks they helped displace in Libya - out of deep humanitarian love of course - no? The Brits, for having gotten the chance to show off the Eurofighter 'in action' and field test Brimstone likewise deserve a share of the spoils. What about 150k Libyans for them? Oh I forgot, they closed the border to those.

Inexplicable why they would do that ... perhaps insuficient intra-European burden sharing, no doubt. Because from a humanitarian point of view - and because of our shared values - it is imperative that Latvia just must take its share of refugees that, among others, the UK, France or Italy have helped to create.

It was the moral thing to do, because they had that responsibility to protect.

Or perhaps it was all about outsized narcisist egos after all.



There are people who chose medicine because they wanted to be physicians. Are they demeaned by observations about the effects MedPharmaIns syndication has had on its practice?

Professions, vocations, and possibly even "work" are relics of a creed outworn. Since the Mammonist Reformation people aspire to careers.


Shame,shame implying intelligence to our young.



If the military services are just jobs programs, then it is illogical to fight. To have a career it is necessary to be alive. Why risk death when it would end your career? I have know people in the military who were merely careerists. In wartime they spend a great deal of energy on the job of staying out of combat. When the percentage of people in the military who are careerists as opposed to professionals reaches some critical mass all you civilians will have the defense your society will deserve, none. pl


We're doomed anyway, only uncertainties are rate and scale.


considerations of posterity is for antiquarians. self-sacrifice (the ultimate one, anyway) is definitely a bad career move.



OK. I think I will stop bothering with this. Doing this every day is tedious and evidently useless. pl


Watched a PBS program about refugees
pouring onto an island off the coast of
Italy and all the problems it was causing
the local population. A woman from Sweden,
possibly a NGO worker, exclaimed her
country would take 100,000 Syrians a year
for the next ? years. I wonder what her
countrymen think of this. I am sure they will
blend in seamlessly.

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