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03 August 2015


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You encouraged me to look at the link on the "morning joe" website. Very disappointing. Haas and Joe's circus ring were not enlightening in the least as a matter of substance; but quite representative of what passes for thought in our national media. How long has this quackery been on display in our "news" programming -- 15 years? More? There seems to be no leadership, guts or determination left to show us the way.


Israel reminds me of the silly teenager who is so obsessed with sex that he jumps in bed with the wrong partner--obsessively. First, the Revisionists made their pact with the Christian Fundamentalists, knowing full well that their theology is premised on the extermination of most of the Jewish people in the final Battle of Armageddon. When asked about this seeming anomaly, Menachim Begin replied that he was well aware of the End Times theology of the Darbyites and related American Christian Fundies, but he was willing to take his chances in favor of short-term advantage. Now, Israel is apparently jumping in bed with the Saudis and the Salafists (Nusra Front fighters are getting medical care in Israel), including, ultimately, with ISIS, on the basis of the obsession with the Iran-Hezbollah-Assad triangle. Haass and Ross are going to have a harder and harder time rationalizing their actions and comments.

Obama today has issued orders, for the first time, approving military actions against Syrian Army and Air Force units that might interfere with US military operations in Syria. For the past two years, the Joint Chiefs, under Gen. Dempsey, have fought back against any direct US involvement in the ouster of Assad. That now seems to have been changed, and the consequences will be bad, bad, bad.


Iirc Haas recently interviewed Kerry on the Iran deal and Haas asked Kerry pretty much verbatim 'What is in for us?' and I couldn't help wondering who is us in that sentence.

Israel apparently, because it is blatantly obvious what is in for the US.

Dennis Ross, Israel's lawyer in US employ, notably referred to the Israelis as 'my people'? So he isn't alone in letting it slip past his tongue every once in a while?

PS: Can't find the link to the interview atm, will provide it when I find it.



So much German in this article. So, if I would leave out one letter in the name of Richard Nathan Haass, I probably would leave out an "a" instead of an "s" as for me that would make more sense.

Regarding the "junta of Alawi generals" I could imagine having DM Fahd Jassem al-Freij as president of Syria at some time in the future. He is a Sunni, and I'm quite sure he wouldn't be opposed by the Allawi and the Christians, but by the very same people who today make sectarian claims that the Syrian government shall be led by a Sunni. Too bad for people like Richard Hass if their sectarian prejudices are prove to be baseless.



He evidently spells his name "Haass." pl


His last name means hare.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

I stopped watching the Joe/Mika circus a while ago, once I started getting Al Jazeera English. The only time that show is interesting is when Mika's father shows up.

As for Haass, the less said the better.



I watch it to see what the Borg is up to. pl



I understand that the German authorities required the Jews to take family names in the e19th Century. Those who had none they wanted were given names by some bureaucrat. He looks a bit rabbity. pl

The Twisted Genius

SBJ and pl,

I still rely on free broadcast TV signals. A little antenna theory applied in the attic makes that possible. I remain blissfully free of cable TV and the 24/7 news channels. Colonel Lang, I am forever grateful that you take that one for team.


This practice was not only reserved for the Jewish population. The German occupying powers in Flanders, required that Flemish newborns also use German equivalents of their names e.g. Mauritz instead of French sounding Maurice.


My maternal ancestors had their surname changed from Mercier to Mercler. That was not that long ago after the Napoleonic wars after which the Rhineland was liberated from French occupation (which in many places had been progress).

It's a nationalist thing. It can go top down or bottom up.

In the US Germans were strongly 'encouraged' during WW-I to anglicise or de-germanise names and to stop speaking German, and many did. That repeated itself after WW-II.



If I was Elliot Abrams I would probably see the fact that Eisenhower (or Eisenhauer - scion of German immigrants after all) is regarded and regarded himself as an American as proof of the evils of assimilation. Oy wey, he became so American he forgot his German roots, and ended up fighting Germany!

On the other hand, in the case of one Donald Trump (paternal ancestors named Drumpf, hailing from Bavaria), is it not obvious that the man is American?


William R. Cumming

IMO Richard Haass is anything but a deep thinker. FOREIGN AFFAIRS magazine has also declined in its deep thinking.

The major threats to the USA today IMO are not nuclear arsenals but the financial system, refugee and internal displacement flows, religions, and largely ignorant USA leadership in almost all circles. And the destruction of a Uniformed Military with its exclusive focus on organized violence but a clear chain of command is not far behind.

Of course some of this is unintentional but still exists. And as for Climate Change IMO CO2 has climbed well beyond the disasterous 400 ppm!

Clearly the BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST have again led America astray. So we may well get DONALD THE BAVARIAN.


Donald's ancestors last name Drumpf apparently derives from Trumpf, which according to my lexicon of names in turn is derived from "trumpe", i.e. 'drum'.

Is that not quite fitting? Could anyone imagine the Donald play any other instrument?

Swami Bhut Jolokia

Someone has to do it, I guess. We thank you for your service.


Wasn't it the French during Napoleon? But the name Haass is older than that.

William R. Cumming

Thanks! I lived in Bavaria several years and when mentioning the WAR it was in fact the Thirty Years War Bavarians referring to not something more recent in time.

Babak Makkinejad

World War II never went through Bavaria; that is why the Bavarians still remained enamored of Herr Hitler etc. at least until 1980s.

Eric Dönges

World War II didn't go through Bavaria ? So Munich, Augsburg, Schweinfurt, etc. weren't bombed to smithereens but just suffered from lack of maintenance ?

And I'm sure you have a source for your claim that Bavarians remained Nazis right into the 1980s.

I would really, really like to know where you get your "information" about Germany, both historic and contemporary.


Col. slightly off subject but I was wondering if you were aware that the Kurdish-Turk pipeline was recently sabotaged and yesterday the head of maintenance, like his predecessor, was assassinated. Also there has been renewed fighting south of Kirkuk around the oil fields and Kurds are denying permanent IDP status for refugees trying to get to Kirkuk. Meanwhile ISIS is murdering taxi drivers in Mosul that are transporting those trying to get out. I might have rounded a few details but that is about the sum and substance. Looks to me like Turks and Iraqi government have found ways to open old fracture lines among the Kurds and anyone that can is going for the oil revenues or a piece of the pie. One might begin to wonder what the best US policy is toward Kurds and Turkey at this point given that they are generally the only groups that rarely shoot at us.

Babak Makkinejad

That was my impression...

My sources: my murdered German friend as well as reading...


Tell that to my father in law. I have at my right side a photo of him, in his US Army fatigues, holding the tail gun of the JU 87 sitting right behind him. In a field in Bavaria, 1945.


Herr Oberst,
Ja, genau! (yes, exactly)- he does look a bit like his name. Also spot-on description of Joe S as a "small-bore thinker". But it is fun to ponder the coffee spewing from the Borgists mouths when they heard him ask the question about Assad. And the response of the "junta of generals" to replace Assad sound like the response of his ilk to who would replace Saddam.

Babak Makkinejad

I stand by what I have said.

Rural Bavaria and its farmers never suffered the way Northern Germany did.

The war went through Hamburg and left a ruin, likewise for areas further East.


you will habe to change your mind about the idea of Bavaria having been spared the war.

That's nonsense, probably invective from a northerner.

Eric Dönges is quite right. When you say that Bavaria was only briefly engulfed in ground war and heavy ground fighting that is correct to a point, but pointless. It doesn't mean Bavaria was spared war. One thing Bavaria did benefit from was location adistance from allied bases early in the war, but that ceased to be a factor in the second half of the war as more modern, longer legged types entered service, and closer bases became available.

At that point, Allied air strikes certainly did target Bavarian cities a lot, and caused great devastation. Part of the British air war strategy was after all dehousing.


Look at the 1945 images of Würzburg of the other links.


Munich likeweise was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II — the city was hit by 71 air raids over a period of five years.


The USAAF had their Black Thursday with devastating losses when they bombed Schweinfurt in Bavaria.


And as for being spared ground war, that is relative in terms of severity. The US 42nd Infantry Division entered Schweinfurt on 11 April 1945 and conducted house-to-house fighting, a commonly rather destructive form of war.

My home town in western Germany likewise only saw relatively little ground combat, but was bombed plenty. A late aunt told me that when the city burned the asphalt on the streets melted and one had to take care for the shoes not to get stuck when racing for shelter.


The air war certainly had a quality of its own. Two good books on the subject are:

Max Hastings, "Bomber Command"
ISBN-13: 978-0760345207

Richard Overy, "Air War"
ISBN-13: 978-1574887167

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