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30 September 2015

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VietnamVet

Colonel,

When I heard old man McCain’s outrage that Russia bombed Syrian Islamists rebels, I realized that all my rationalizations are hokum. This is a sad day. It is clear that the foreign policy of the United States of America is directed by out of touch believers of their own propaganda. There is more than a year till the next President is sworn in. Plenty of time for confusion, mistakes and heighten tensions. The Syrian Civil War is turning into a prelude to WW III much like the Spanish Civil War preceded WW II.

FB Ali

While Obama may be all that Dr Brenner suggests he is, I don't think the overall US (and Western) official reaction to Russia's military action in Syria should be written off as just dumb. I would suggest that the following motives/reasons could be behind it:

- It will expose the ineffectiveness of their intervention in Syria.

- It will establish Russia as a major player in the ME.

- It upends the only plan they had for a possible political "solution" to the conflict.

- It puts an end to the "moderate Syrian force" option - and its money-making potential ($500 million this year; $600 million requested for 2016).

- To mollify the Saudis, Turks, Israelis and Gulfies, whose apple cart has been seriously upset.

- To attempt to neutralise the neocons, political opponents, sundry lobbies etc who will use it to score PR points.

robt willmann

Here is the RAND Corporation report mentioned above on ISIS / Islamic State, entitled "The Islamic State We Knew"--

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1200/RR1267/RAND_RR1267.pdf

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1267.html

SAC Brat

I couldn't resist:

[Lecturing his Er-Heb recruits while Billy Fish translates:] "...When we're done with you, you'll be able to stand up and slaughter your foes like civilized men!..." Daniel Dravot, "The Man Who Would Be King"

Russian moves in Syria reminds me of another good movie quote:

"I feel reality impacting here." Pedro Carmichael, "Tune In Tomorrow"

I'm glad you're still posting, as your website is a North Star in the internet. Hang in there.

LeaNder

I was trying to be sarcastic, obviously it didn't work. ...

Amir

I complained to the FBI about the entourage of McCain. The latter has immunity but his staff does not. They are the go betweens of Jihadis. That would make them as much a focus of attention as it would have made me, if I was in contact with the liver-eaters. I don't make myself any illusions. McCain's staff is not going to be inhibited but at least it makes me feel good that some trail of paperwork is created and their actions documented. If people have additional ideas to harass the Salafi-lovers, just publish it in this forum.

Akira

Notice how the (increasingly unhinged) response from our foreign policy elites has been to desperately try and position themselves as if they are on some kind of "moral high ground" vs the "evil Putin". Almost no one outside of their closed off little world even understands the distinction between the "US Ally" (foreignpolicy.com) Jihadists that Putin is bombing and the Islamic State.

This is a narrative that has become completely sealed off from external reality, and as Boyd said: “All closed systems collapse.”

Patrick Bahzad

Leander,

At least you're self aware enough to recognize you have no clue about humane vs inhumane instruments of death. If you think barrel bombs belong into the first category, do a google search on "cluster bomb units", "fuel air explosives", " thermobaric" bombs or "dense inert metal explosives" - all of which very sophisticated weapons used by modern armies - and then come again to talk about that topic !

Tyler

Cocoa Messiah manages a hot war with Russia.

Earning that Noble Peace Prize.

Mongoose

This has become the only site, or rather one of the only sites, where one can vent spleen and realize that there are still some willing to think clearly on matters of US FP. My patience has metastasized to a resigned bittersweet pill of disbelief. Can these R2Pers and neocons truly believe their discourse? A rhetorical question of course--but where oh where have the Scoop Jackson's and the George Kennan's of the world gone? One can quibble about the particulars regarding Scoop or Kennan and others from that era concerning FP grand strategy and policies, etc., but they did have one thought at the forefront--US FP interests, short and longterm with a modicum of realism.

The good Colonel is too kind and narrow in his denunciation of the Polysci minions as the primary culprits of our current messes. These people are crouched in a circle **** that would make one laugh if it weren't so sad. They have fetishized their fetishes. I certainly can't claim a prophetic vision but I do remember thinking post-Soviet Union, circa 1991-92, that we collectively would one day look back "nostalgically" on the relative stability of the old "bi-polar" world circa 60s, 70s & 80s. We're now our own worst enemies.

turcopolier

Mongooe

I apologize for the inconvenience of my futile attempts at civility I know that is vanity but I was growed that way. pl

Akira

This is what Putin is doing on a strategic level by bombing the "US ally" Jihadists:


The M&M or Motherhood and Mismatch Strategy was conceived by the American strategist, Col. John R. Boyd. The basic goal of an M&M strategy is to build support for and attract the uncommitted to your cause by framing a “motherhood” position — i.e., a position no one can object to, like the mythical “motherhood, apple pie, and the American way” — and then inviting your opponent in to repeatedly attack it and, in so doing, smash himself to pieces at the mental and the even more decisive moral level of conflict. Self-destruction will happen inevitably, if you can successfully induce your adversary into attacking your motherhood position in a way that exposes mismatches among the three poles of his moral triangle, defined by (1) What your opponent says he is; (2) What he really is as defined by his actions; and (3) the World he has to deal with.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/11/05/how-obama-won/

The tactical reasons for the bombing are obvious enough, the Russians are focusing on the Jihadis who are threatenening to cut the M5 highway and those threatening to over run Latakia.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that EU states are as complicit as US - you cannot write this down on US FP solely.

Take the Hungarians: they sold their sovereignty for the proverbial piece of bread (or silver) and now that the chicken have come home to roost (excuse me, I meant all those immigrants/emigrants/refugees) they are full of righteous indignation.


Fred

JerseyJeffersonian,

Not so much "slow to saddle" as careful strategic planning. I'm sure they are better prepared and equipped for long term operations than the MSM is going to let the public know about.

eakens

Perhaps France shouldn't cancel valuable contracts next time.

Babak Makkinejad

You cannot expect Mr. Obama and indeed all these assorted EU leaders to state: "Forgive me for I have sinned!"

That would not be politic.

Obama has expressed public contrition about past US foreign policy choices and has alluded to the need to go back to the principles of International Law and the Peace of Yalta (which is dead).

May be something can be achieved if he - and indeed US leaders - are sincere in resurrecting the Peace of Yalta.

Personally, I think the world has changed too much for that defunct peace to be revived; a new one has to be negotiated. I hope that would be the case but one has to wait and see if there is any movement in the direction of preparation of a new peace conference.

I think, also that what is the menace is the apparent belief among the NATO Alliance leaders that they can alter other countries at will - with just the right combination of Force and Persuasion.

I dissent from that view point.

US can take over Mexico rather quickly, I should think, but she does not have the power to alter Mexico in any substantial way - no matter how much money and effort is thrown into that project.

Egypt probably can take over Mombasa, but can never make into another Alexandria.

Historical record is quite clear: the birth of a new civilization requires barbarian invasions, and the upgrading of an existing one requires a persistent form of "Revolution from Above" - as witnessed in Turkey, Japan, and for the past 400 years, in Russia.

Mongoose

We could use more of your sort of vanity.

alba etie

Tyler
Do you really think we will have a hot war with Russia because of the Syrian Civil War ? This is not a rhetorical question - I hope we do not go to war with Russia .

alba etie

Col Lang
Sir - for the most part you are a fair and even handed referee / owner here at the SST committee. And we all learn here in a civil & thoughtful forum .

oofda

Colonel,
Correct, and reports are that the Russians (and Syrians) used 'iron bombs' in the first bombing raid. No PGMs.

shaun

So glad I can read this website. So sad so many here in the USA have so little information to understand the foreign policy situation the US is in today. Meanwhile a kind of fantasy land groupthink exists. The only reason I have a clue is I had some education in international relations, spent some time overseas, and have a clue. Funny to think Democrats support this kind of foreign policy, people like my family members. But if you talk to them about it they don't wanna hear it, they still think the democrats must have a better policy than the republicans. Oh well, whatever, it is fun to watch, the scary part is that this isn't a movie. And McCainis craZy for sure, I've visited his home there in Vietnam when I was picking up my son, the Ho Loa place etc. Its not a Hilton but its a hotel/long term residence, abut $100 a night. I stayed in the hotel thats there on top of it. he should be sent back there for a while, we think so....just kidding.

David

Does anyone in the entourage have the surname 'North'?

Cee

Mongoose,

The visual of what you said did make me laugh out loud. Based on what I watched today they seem to be out of Charmin too.

Cee

Patrick,

For people who don't know anything about the Chechens, I've told them to find a movie Three Days in September about the Beslan school massacre.

confusedponderer

The Russians have complained for years that, inexplicably, some rather nasty chechen figures have enjoyed residence in the US, and neocon tutelage.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/08/usa.russia

So apparently the answer to your rhetorical question is that these folks have always seen Jihadis as an expedient tool, against Russia, perhaps against China in the future, or against whoever else happens to have a Muslim minority that could be activated.

Mark Ames wrote the following interesting account of what living in independent Chechnya was like back when when it was independent and ruled by Islamists.

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/prisoners-of-the-caspian-part-two/

Reading it, one gets the impression that independent Chechnya was every bit as pleasant and safe a place as ISIS-land is today.

For the folks who effused about their struggle for freedom against the evil Russians their conduct didn't matter, just like to McCain today the conduct of the Jihadi liver-eater-brigade doesn't matter. What matters is who they're against.

If it is a government on DCs to-do list, that's just splendid and they get at least tactit tutelage, PR support or more if they're really useful. They become moderate Jihadis then, which is new-speak for really useful Jihadis.

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