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04 April 2016

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ex-PFC Chuck

Chas Freeman has a piece up at Consortium News about the USA's foreign policy dysfunction. Very much worth the read. Here's an excerpt:

"With so many people now on the NSC staff, there are now a hundred frogs in a hundred wells, each evaluating what is happening in the world by the little bit of reality it perceives. There is no effective process that synergizes a comprehensive appreciation of trends, events, and their causes from these fragmentary views.

"This decision-making structure makes strategic reasoning next to impossible. It all but guarantees that the response to any stimulus will be narrowly tactical. It focuses the government on the buzz du jour in Washington, not what is important to the long-term wellbeing of the United States. And it makes its decisions mainly by reference to their impact at home, not abroad. Not incidentally, this system also removes foreign policy from the congressional oversight that the Constitution prescribes. As such, it adds to the rancor in relations between the executive and legislative branches of the federal establishment."

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/05/killing-the-us-republic-and-empire/

Related is a Counterpunch piece by John McMurtry about why the Borg is so freaked out about Donald Trump.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/05/why-the-establishment-hates-trump/

alba etie

Col Lang
Where I was born in Nacadoghches, Texas is Heaven on Earth in the Spring when the red bud , dogwood & magnolia bloom . It is a verdant paradise from early march to early May usually .

Fred

Matthew,

Since this blizzard is being put out by those who won't fight for their principles let me paraphrase the old truth: Don't believe the yellow snow.

Fred

Chuck,

Interesting reading from Chas Freeman:
"From the National Security Adviser on down, NSC staff members are not confirmed by the Senate. They are immune from congressional or public oversight ... but seek to direct policy and to carry out diplomatic and military policy functions on their own."

Poul

What to do in a post-IS world? Paul Pillar looks at how one secures the victory.

http://www.nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/isis-losing-now-comes-the-hard-part-15686

Ulenspiegel

"This is not to disparage the Red Army it was a solid tactical victory. "

I would say it was a clear operational success, it was the first time the Red Army was able to stop a German operation in summer time with all its implications for 1944.

However, the tactical pereformance was not impressive, despite a clear numerical advantage of 2:1 the Red Army still lost 4 soldiers for each German soldiers, and 6 tanks for each German tank, that was not sustainable and no improvement from earlier years.

(The higher Soviet losses in 1941/42 were due to a large number of POWs as result of German operational success, not of better German tactical performance.)

cynic

That's certainly a consideration which the relevant authorities should have investigated; but they are remiss. Certainly something like that happened in China recently, and again in Taiwan. Some people judged responsible may have been shot. Is there any concern that other big buildings in New York might collapse for slight reasons? If the Mafia have developed some means of turning rubble into dust as it falls and leaving a pool of molten metal that is hot for a long time, I wonder why they would have bothered, and why they don't seem to be using these inventions elsewhere. People who get so lucky as to have terrorists or the Mafia demolish buildings which they were soon going to have to pay for themselves to be demolished, and then be able to claim two insurance payouts might also be invited to share the secrets of their good fortune with judicial authorities. Not in this case however. Nothing to see here, move along, just believe what TV tells you!

Trey N

I have not come across Harper's book, but I'll keep an eye out for it now (lots of used bookstores here in Austin).

I have a history degree, but to me the "mainstream history" in many/most cases is the equivalent of the "lamestream media." For instance, I just love how throughout "known" history rivers and oceans are considered highways of travel and commerce, but they were insuperable barriers to ancient/prehistoric/primitive/whatever/man....

The Sitchen/Velikovsky/Rohl school of ideas still intrigues me (Rohl is especially good at pointing out common-sense observations that just destroy the accepted ancient Egyptian chronology, which thereby also takes down the rest of the standard Mediterranean world time-line).

Christopher Knight has written a couple of books, Uriel's Machine and Civilization One, that contain some very interesting data and theories (esp Civ One).

There may be a lot of sand to sift through with off-mainstream authors, but there are definitely nuggets of gold worth the effort. All one needs is a healthy curiosity, an open mind, a healthy sense of skepticism, and a good amount of just plain old common sense.

Trey N

I thought Frank Zappa said "Don't eat the yellow snow"

Fred

Yes, but since the borg blizzard is all about bad ideas.

bth

Was USS Liberty an event so extraordinary as to be considered an outlier in relations between Israel and the US at the time or was it part of a broader pattern? There is also the nuclear materials diversions during the period which again is rarely discussed in public.

Tyler

Max,

I don't need an excuse to avoid the Appalachian Trail beyond the fact that people just tend to -vanish- on that thing and the powers that be don't really seem to care. I'd rather hike the Arizona Trail personally.

Tyler

Annamaria,

To be fair, I too am a specialist in women's underwear, mainly in the extrication and removal section.

BraveNewWorld

“Over 125 investigations into Israeli Espionage in America… stopped due to political pressure.”…FBI Counter Intel Officer John Cole.

http://mycatbirdseat.com/2011/06/phil-giraldi-spills-the-beans-on-israeli-espionage-in-america/

So feel good about this.

"Once the first F-35Is arrive here in December, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will begin installing a tailor-made C4 system on top of the central avionics embedded in the joint strike fighter."

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2016/04/04/israel-seeks-greater-autonomy-f-35-fighter-force/82619792/

Neil R

Uhlenspiegel:

"I would say it was a clear operational success, it was the first time the Red Army was able to stop a German operation in summer time with all its implications for 1944."

And you ought to label it as a strategic success. After the battle, the Ostheer no longer had the initiative in the east. Guderian knew this was likely even before the final decision to go ahead with the Zitadelle. Even if the Ostheer were able to eliminate the salient, so what? The standard of "success" was a decisive victory on the scale of Fall Blau leaving the Red Army incapable of decisive action at least until the end of 1943. It's not just the destruction of armored vehicles that mattered. More importantly the Panzerwaffe lost almost irreplaceable veteran manpower.


"However, the tactical pereformance was not impressive, despite a clear numerical advantage of 2:1 the Red Army still lost 4 soldiers for each German soldiers, and 6 tanks for each German tank, that was not sustainable and no improvement from earlier years.
(The higher Soviet losses in 1941/42 were due to a large number of POWs as result of German operational success, not of better German tactical performance.)"

So the POWs didn't count as "losses"? What is combat? Is it only to kill or destroy quantifiable number of men, combat vehicles, weapons systems? Or is it possible that in combat one must break the will of the enemy to stop him from continuing to fight? I hardly think a Soviet general would've thought that his people were doing just great tactically but were losing at the operational level (There were exceptions like the 62nd Army at Stalingrad obviously). In fact one could make a case that the opposite held true until 1943. How good was the German performance at the operational level during the Winter offensive of 1941 and Operation Uranus? Yet I'm sure people at armor schools around the world still study the 11th Panzer's defense at the Chir River in Dec. 1942.

Fred

Well here's something you don't see every day:

http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20160325/west-haven-i-95-billboard-on-uss-liberty-is-anti-israel-critics-charge

Trey N

“Over 125 investigations into Israeli Espionage in America… stopped due to political pressure.”

It's much worse than just that (as infuriating as that is):

http://www.unz.com/jpetras/the-rise-of-the-jewish-policy-elite-meritocracy-myth-and-power/

Ulenspiegel

OK, I should have given the definitions first. :-)

For the estimation of tactical success the numbers for KIA and WIA are compared, the sum of KIA, WIA and POW are a rough metrics of operational success at least as long as both sides show the same tendency to give up. Usually only break-throughs that could be exploited by larger formations led to high numbers of POW.

The ratio of KIA+WIA did not change very much between 1941-1944, the high Soviet losses in 1941/42 were caused by POW, who were captured in the Kesselschlachten. At Stalingrad 1942/43 and when Heeresgruppe Mitte was destroyed in 1944 we saw this on the other side, while the KIA+WIA was still in the 1:3 range.

Hope my arguments become somewhat clearer.

cynic

An excellent article. I was just about to post it myself as a description of the ramifications of the Borg!

different clue

Cynic,

I was only thinking of the Mafia families skimming so much money off the price of the buildings as to leave the buyer with a cheap crappy building which would fall right down when hit by a very big very fast plane. I was thinking of the Mafia families not caring what might or might not happen with the building years after being built so long as they walked off with their lion's share of the money spent on building it.

So in a sense, it would be a "no conspiracy needed" theory of why the building fell straight down so impressively.

Just as if the Three Gorges Dam suddenly collapses and sends all that water down the Yangtze River, no conspiracy need be invoked. Just Cheap Commie Crap Construction.

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