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15 December 2015

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rjj

That's his role in the Political Panto.

confusedponderer

alba etie,
"All We now are actually seeing a course correction in USG foreign policy away from the neocon crazies in foreign policy"

Indeed? So far, US foreign policy has been run (by the likes of Nuland) on tram lines (with goals being set by bipartisan consensus: The US is hegemon and must not allow the rise of a peer competitor - Hostlity towards Russia - NATO expansion is good - Hostility to China - Regime change is a suitable surrogate for policy - let's do cyber war, space war and missile defence because we can - Assad must go - Ghaddafi must go - Putin must go - Kiev must be ours - The Ayatollahs must go - etc pp.).

In this environment, Nuland doesn't need anybody to tell her what to do. In fact, this is, however baleful it is in its consequences given the wrongheadedness of the conseted upon ideas, a lot like Auftragstaktik, with the Auftrag being described by the consensus view on a given issue. Alas, only with sane goals or a sane consensus that approach would be an asset.

Unless the President intervenes and utters guidance it goes on like that, without debate or any need for guidance. And the more unimaginative the American aparachik, the more doctrinaire his or her adherence to the consensus. It's after all 'doing it by the book'.

So I don't know whether his change of course is for real, or not. Change in such an environment cetainly only comes when the president wills it. I do not know that from what Obama sais.

Even if willing, a president will need to overcome deeply entrenched institutional resistance by his cabinet members, burrowed nuts like Nuland, Farkas - or the nuts at places like NED, IRI and so forth who independently pursue the assumed consensus goals.

Also, there is the amount of effort needed to accomplish a change of course - or more precisely, a change of consensus - given that the US has 'boilerplated' it and printed it into the hive minds - Peace with Iran? Didn't we all agree that they must be destroyed?

This must be overcome by persuasion, seduction or pressure - and it isn't easily done. Case in point would be Obama trying to get the Iran deal done - he bypassed State and left it to the NSC, probably because the project would have swamped Kerry and prevented him from doing much else.

So, one hopes ... and I believe it when I see it.

LeaNder

Hmmm? Neurological abnormalities? Based on gait?

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h6141

Which magazine, J? Is "Borghese magazine" a neologism for the older neocon mag?

Slate:
"For Bloem and his co-authors (all “movement disorder enthusiasts,” as he puts it), the video, and others in which Putin walks the same way, set off alarm bells since “unilaterally reduced arm swing” can be a sign of several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Videos of the 1970s English soccer star Ray Kennedy’s arm movements, for instance, show early stages of what turned out to be Parkinson’s. Old films of Adolf Hitler have also convinced many neurologists that he was in the early stages of the disease. (This is actually referred to in an episode of the new Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, which shows a fictional aging Hitler with his hand in his pocket to hide signs of the disease.)"

LeaNder

fasteddies, "his lighter than air six shooters"?

cynic

Here's a lovely photograph of Lavrov and Putin's expressions. They're not buying whatever Kerry is selling.
http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/12/key-statements-following-meeting.html

Russell

I found this also important:
https://www.rt.com/news/326014-putin-kerry-lavrov-talks/

"Kerry also said that Moscow and Washington have found “common ground” on which opposition groups should participate in the Syrian peace talks."

However, since "common ground" is in quotes, the list does not seem to be final, at least from Russia's point of view.

YT

"These are not the Assads you're looking for..."

The Beaver

TTG,

Watch how high and close to the inner sanctum, Nuland will be, should HRC become the next POTUS?
Together with Dennis Ross who will be back on Pennsylvania Avenue and Jeffrey Feltman either at Foggy Bottom or Ambassador at the UN Mission at Turtle Bay, troubles will be all over the place in the ME, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.

Chris Chuba

I would like to think that repeating something that makes sense will eventually persuade someone to accept reality. In this case, 'since you think Assad will lose the election anyway then why not let him participate?'

It is really hard to argue against this logic, especially when the Russians have air bases in Syria and we don't. It looks like Putin/Lavrov will have to repeat this a few more times. Kerry's statement still keeps a little ambiguity but the facts on the ground will eventually prevail.

BrotherJoe

Didn't the US also agree that there would be no further eastward expansion of NATO? How did that work out?

turcopolier

TTG

Perhaps the Borgists believe that the Chihuahua phantom alliance of Sunni warriors is actually real and will give the Borgists leverage to obtain Russian acquiescence to a delayed betrayal of Assad. pl

steve

Slap Obama silly and give Putin the peace prize.

Matthew

J: And Victoria Nuland looked so sad....

steve

I would assume, perhaps naively, that at some point the weight of reality can effectively intrude even into the minds of Obama's foreign policy circles.

Kooshy

yea I forgot that maybe Putin was saying

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, bakers man,
bake me a cake as fast as you can

Tyler

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when President Trump and President Putin meet for the first time. Pretty sure the two men would understand each other quite well.

Kooshy

How could that be, with this bunch that are running for the office and have any chance to get elected?, whom are the only game in town, don’t you pay attention to what they say? Forget the course correction we be lucky if they don’t get us to a war with Russia.

The Twisted Genius

pl,

So far, more countries have denied being part of this phantom alliance than have claimed to be part of it. Did the Chihuahua make this up on the fly?

steve

Yes, I don't pay detailed attention to the day to day mouthings of the candidates, but I believe Hillary also supports a no fly zone--at least last week she did.

William Fitzgerald

TTG,

I think that the leaves in the bottom of the teacup have been shifting over the past week or so. The various forms of the "Assad must go" rhetoric have, I think, been dampened down considerably. Now, with Kerry's statement, they seem to be disappearing. Better late than never.

WPFIII

oofda

J- it is worse- Trump had no idea what the nuclear triad is-- and he wants to have his finger on the button. Astounding!!

Valissa

"Even if willing, a president will need to overcome deeply entrenched institutional resistance by his cabinet members... and I believe it when I see it"

I was going to say something similar, so thanks for saving me the trouble!

Even Dr. Brenner in his recent HuffPo piece on Syria reiterated the "Assad must go" theme with NO caveats. So this belief must be stuck quite deep in the Borg mindset and I don't think it will be easily dislodged.

Perhaps as the R+6 continue to have successes the Borg will be forced to acquiesce, but as of now I do not trust anything Kerry and especially Kerry/Nuland on anything they might say. And I'm quite sure the Russians don't trust them either given recent history. I am reminded of the old Native American quote "white man speak with forked tongue" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forked_tongue

J

From what I have gathered, Nuland's 'baggage' as it's referred to, is at least one set of her grandparents were Russian Jews who emigrated to the U.S., which they probably carried encased prejudices against Russians, and since I am assuming that most probability those 'if' they were prejudicial against Russians, those prejudices were carried over to Nuland as she grew up. Nuland majored in Russian studies, and worked under Strobe Talbot when he was the Ambassador to Russia. She most probably has a somewhat good command of the Russian language, but from what I can see her view of the Russian psyche and what makes them tick, her view is extremely skewed in the negative. Alas she'll never understand Putin, and why he does what he does. Putin is a nationalist, whose mindset are nationalist goals for the Russian Federation (I.e. protection, etc.)

'If' HC is elected President, I hope she doesn't once again employ Nuland state department/diplomatic wise, instead have those around her who understand what makes the Russians tick in dealings with the Russians, and do what they do, and why they do it.

TTG,

Cold empathy isn't that the correct term in such dealings, which makes GB's have the successes that they do with their dealings with the locals.

Fred

WPFIII,

Nothing like two jihadis owing allegiance to al-Baghdadi not Assad shooting up an office in California to change the minds of civil servants and their bosses. All the other facts coming out in that regard puts a spotlight on the failed policies of the administration.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

A Man's Man:

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/g2446/vladimir-putin-photos/

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