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16 February 2016

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Swami

Finally, a rational response! Thanks, pl.

I agree with you about Rand Paul and Kasich--it is indeed unfortunate that our political climate is such that reasonable people don't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Swami

Sad to hear about the decline in the Inn. Been there often (> 10 years ago) and really enjoyed the food and service every time. Couldn't afford the rooms though so stayed at a little B&B about a block away.

Jackrabbit

"Last summer" is notably vague.

From ZeroHedge: "This dynamic [the rescue of Syria] began back in June [2015] when Iran’s most powerful general vowed to “surprise the world” with his next move in Syria. Just weeks later, he was in Moscow (in violation of a UN travel ban) hatching a plan with Putin to launch an all-out invasion on behalf of Assad ..."

The Russians/Iranians/Syrians knew, independent of any Western-supplied info - that the gains made by FSA, al Nusra, threatened the viability of the Assad-led Syrian state.

Its difficult to say if a no-fly-zone/bombing was necessary. But clearly it WAS necessary for Russian air support to turn the tide.

Trey N

"A no-fly zone is today simply a euphemism for a US bombing campaign
[is] plain nonsense."

Really? Since that is exactly what happened in Libya in 2011?

William R. Cumming

Spending federal dollars on PROPAGAND a crime!

Jackrabbit

Vote third-party. Any vote for a major-party establishment candidate is a vote for the Borg.

William R. Cumming

Who is the most expert in the Obama Administration on Russia?

China?

MENA?

IMO here is the key expertise of each of the 2016 candidates left standing?

HRC--Self dealing!

Bernie Sanders--Posturing as an unabridged liberal!

Donald Trump--Understand the Limousine Liberals!

Ted Cruz--How a defective legal system can be politically manipulated!

Marco Rubio--Speaking Spanish!

George Bush--Spending contributors moolah!

John Kasich--The Congressional Budget Office!

The Good Doctor--M.D. Pediactric Neuro surgery!

Could be wrong as always!

Origin

"PTs: The CIA & CENTCOM have each empowered armed groups that directly oppose the other’s reasons for being on the ground. = Sheer hubris."

Yes, there seems to be a severe disconnect among the US policy making minds. However, the result of the operation of the multiple minds is the implementation of the continuing and eternal, effective U.S. strategy--Chaos that destabilizes the world.

It would seem that instead of constantly creating chaos, there would somewhere be a group of dissenters who can propose some strategy that seeks some type of benign stability.

rg

Interesting interpretation of the Syria situation:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article190282.html

turcopolier

LJ et al

Neither TTG nor I think so. The US Army obeys however reluctantly the policy of the CinC. Obama favors the Turks and to have GBs assisting at Azaz would be in contradiction of his policy. The situation is much more ambiguous east of Jarabulus where the dissonance in Obama's policy is in full view. pl

Thomas

"The CIA & CENTCOM have each empowered armed groups that directly oppose the other’s reasons for being on the ground."

"I wonder if anyone really understands what's going on."

A bureaucratic proxy war showing the fissures of the Two Americas. On one side the Liver Lovers Legion supported by the civilian side of government seeking to destroy the evil tyrant du jour that the Exceptional Elite needs removed on their way to Borgian Nirvana versus the people living on the land wanting no part of The Domination Dream supported by the rational and honorable professionals who understand the world for the way it is and that Borgian Nirvana is actually a pathway to true hell on earth.

turcopolier

Swami

"Finally a rational response" I have warned you and all others about ad hominem attacks. Goodbye. pl

Thomas

William,

"Spending federal dollars on PROPAGAND a crime!"

To which a Borgist will reply "What are you going to do about it bitch?" laughing all the way to the Bank. Lawlessness in government has been running rampant for 15+ years now with no correction in sight.

fjdixon

Kaisich ... unimpressive?

Why with such extensive FP knowledge demonstrated at the last GOP ‘debate’ (cluster cage fight with rabid audience) how could one be unimpressed?

KASICH: First of all — yes. First of all, look, we have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don’t have to declare an enemy rattle a sword or threaten, but we need to make it clear what we expect. No. 1 is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. They deserve it. There will be no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Yes, let’s arm the oligarch controlled brigades of the ‘national guard’ so they are well prepared to fight over the last bare bones of the Ukraine. Last year it was announced that the US would train newly formed ‘national guard’ brigades over period of two weeks. A week an a half later it was announced in NYT that “an elite brigade” of national guard unit was being send into the Donbass region. Uh Huh ...

KASICH: Secondly, an attack on NATO, trumped up on any excuse of Russian-speaking people, either in the NATO countries or in Finland or Sweden, is going to be an attack on us. And look, I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again.

Finland - 70K Russophone of population of 6M; Sweden no such number (interestingly in addition to Swedish Sweden has 5 other official languages representing minorities: Finnish, Meankieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish – no mention of Russian). So perhaps some speech writer provided a line of Reductio ad absurdum on the Russian claim of protecting Russian minorities. Usually when that is done there is an inflection of voice to indicate sarcasm and a giggle of laughter in recognition by the listeners. Nope, neither.
It is indeed a frightening situation when what would appear to be one of the more sane candidates can do no better.


Jackrabbit

"Interesting" as in disinformation, or as in 'just plain wrong'.

Babak Makkinejad

It could make sense if one assumes that he is running out the clock and that he is trying, at the same time, to mollify all the various domestic and foreign cats and dogs with their contradictory agendas.

jonst

SBJ wrote: " And yet, he has accomplished more good than his predecessor in both foreign and domestic policy". Ok, for the moment, lets leave domestic policy out of this. What good has he done in foreign policy other than getting OBL? Not a small thing, I grant you. But other than that? And setting the bar as surpassing his predecessor is a pretty low bar, is it not?

b

Well - Dempsey did sabotage Obama's plan to have the military train thousands of "moderate rebels".

While he is gone, people of his team are still in high positions. It was acknowledged that some 50 specfor are in Syria with the YPG. Only in the east?

I know, and have written, that the GB stuff is speculation. But it would not be the first time that the Pentagon is feuding with the CIA over some major Charlie Foxtrot and not completely in sync with the CinC.

I am sure you have some fine stories from your time in Vietnam and elsewhere that would confirm the above statement.

Sam

Col. Lang

I share your frustration with our politics and the lack of any serious candidates to vote for. Our country is deeply divided by identity politics into narrow groups for whom some specific policy stance outweighs everything else.

On the Democratic side:

Hillary is supported by those that want a women as President and highly partisan Democrats that believe only she can win in November. But, she's a neocon on foreign policy and a Wall St/Big Pharma/defense complex tool. She wants big government so that her financial promoters can benefit.

Sanders wants big government to finance all kinds of social spending and more regulations and taxes on business who are already uncompetitive with many other countries. The Millenial socialist idealists are flocking to him.

On the Republican side:

Trump is essentially supported by those who don't want any Mexican immigration. No one knows what he really believes as he has been all over the map. At one time he was pro-choice, now he's anti-abortion. He's against the ME interventions in Iraq & Syria but also against the Iran nuclear deal. At the same time he's for torture. At one time he claimed he was a liberal, now he says he's a conservative.

The evangelists support Cruz. Who knows if he's really eligible to run in the first place. He too wants big government to invade our bedrooms and whatever Netanyahu wants.

Those that want a neocon foreign policy have the choices of Jeb, Rubio, Kasich and Hillary. All of them believe in government intervention and spending in some way or another and a bigger surveillance and national security state.

So, who's a citizen that wants limited government as our founders intended with a non-interventionist foreign, domestic and economic policy supposed to vote for?

turcopolier

b

It would be one thing to take the personal and group risk involved in undercutting the president's policy in congress or in the media. That has been done before. but it would be quite another thing to simply defy him and engage in unauthorized warfare in opposition to his policy. I do not think the military would dare to attach GBs to the YPG forces to advise and assist their operations in the Azaz Pocket. I, personally, would like to see such assistance given but I do not think they would dare to do that. A captured soldier or dead man who showed up in Turkish possession would be evidence of this insubordination that would lead directly back to the perpetrators. Retribution would be massive. If as you think the JCS/SOCOM/CENTCOM have done this it would be a clear sign of the loosening of the actual control of the military by the elected government. As for your historical point, I am quite familiar with the history of US military special ops over the last 50 years having participated in a lot of it. The US military has always been very careful to stay within the bounds of presidential policy. pl

Jackrabbit

PS I believe it is the former.

SmoothieX12

Who is the most expert in the Obama Administration on Russia?
------------------------------------------------------------

Judging by the creator of the "Reset" button snafu, Michael McFaul, it is about this level of "competence" on Russia which is characteristic of most "Russian experts" both in Administration and media. I guess Vicki Nuland also "qualifies" as an "expert". Let's put it this way--US "elites" situational awareness re: Russia is about as good my grasp of the internal affairs of Madagascar. That's what happens when one studies Russia "through" Solzhenitsyn and Hollywood.

turcopolier

smoothiex12

I would appreciate it if you would stop putting this stuff "------------------------------------------------------------" in every comment. pl

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

I'm sure there's a cultural element to it. And as far as madman Shaakashvili, somehow he ended up in Ukrainian government. Any port in a storm for the Russia haters.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

The other view is that Scalia was a dangerous authoritarian who interpreted the Constitution in whatever way suited his "Federalist Society" agenda. He wasn't guided by the spirit of Cato the Elder, but rather Pindar of Athens. Either way, he was a divisive figure and besides, who dies in their sleep with a pillow over their face? Maybe leftists weren't the only people he had given offense.

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