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06 May 2016


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General Michael Jackson at Skopje telling the perfumed Prince Wesley Clark, "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you."


Why are all the Breedlove's and Scaparotti's so ready to take a shot at the Russians?

Barrel rolls over recon planes, flyby's of ships in the Baltic, 'provocative' and unprofessional behavior, an the draft dodging Trump thinking that 'at some point you have to shoot'

I really don't understand the rush to get a war started, especially with the sad state of NATO forces.

robt willmann

The impressive photograph ... Canis lupus? Maybe not; the head is broad and the snout is not elongated.


AZ weather needs to make up it's mind. 100 degrees yesterday and today it's 72.


Tyler, can I ask u some questions about the Dexters? Can u pls email me at [email protected] if u have some time.


Open Thread - 6 May instead of April.

Babak Makkinejad


Dr. Lisa Anderson on the Middle East



The white-washing begins. See http://www.wsj.com/articles/for-syria-rebels-an-agonizing-choice-1462479800

Is this "Plan B"?



About the rush.


If that article is genuine at all, I hope that Othman character takes his wive's advice and stops.


So the Palmyra concert went off without a hitch.


I wonder if Obama will counter with a concert by Pussy Riot?



I think they are sending in the plan FB (Facebook) since that's where I found this one:


Tidewater to LeaNder,

I didn't get to Berlin but a few years back. I am very curious about Berlin in the 80's. Several times you have mentioned things which make me think you might have lived there and observed the city, possibly, even the Kreuzberg, during the time when it now seems that "Berlin in the Eighties" was becoming the new "Paris in the Twenties."

For example, I note that (David) Bowie now appears to have been trasmogrified into a Hemingway/Gertrude Stein "figure." I am not particularly into music, and I was surprised to find that Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" might be a work of art comparable to say The Sun Also Rises , something that epitomizes the spirit of the times and all that, there and then. Also, apparently, where Bowie lived in Kreuzberg has become a kind of shrine, comparable, say, to Morrison's grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. And indeed, when one finally begins to focus on their work, such as Bowie's "Heroes", you can see why. That concert at the Zoo Station is said to be what brought down the Wall!?

People, and some movies, have caught my attention. Do you know of, or possibly knew, people who might even have known something about, say, Uschi Obermaier, Dieter Bockhorn, Kommune 1, the film "Das Wilde Leben", or Christiane F. "Wir Kinde vom Bahnhof Zoo." I admit that this may seem or sound just a bit quaint, since these are all datedly famous and I suppose a bit passe. I am particularly interested in the Bahnhof Zoo station scene.

But specifically: Did you ever hear of a 'squat'--a commune that was in a train station, possibly not U Bahn, possibly S Bahn, which may have been called "Ku Kuks", or something that sounds like that; this place was not all that far from the Wall or the Tiergarten? I have looked up the meaning of KU KUKs in German and wonder if that rings a bell as to some off- beat meaning. Also: did you ever hear the term "one of us" used widely among the "Alternativ" in Berlin? "Unser mit uns"? A politician's slogan in the 80's?

Just asking.

By the way, thank you and Babak for your response to my question about the anger of American women. I happen to think something big is going to happen in the US this election. Long story, but I was 'chewed out', as they say, by a soccer mom, in one of the fancy supermarkets here in the Ville, when the cashier asked me how my day had gone, and the conversation swerved off into a political discussion. The soccer mom next to me in line with her daughter was rather rough with the child trying to get at me to make her point clear, which was already not only clear but UXB. I had spoken with some equanimity about Trump, by the way. Frankly, I see a news story. This was in a way funny; but I have been thinking about it since...

Fortunately I was able to baffle her for critical moments by raising both hands palms up, as in equipoise, then lowering one, slightly, and raising the other one, then frowning at each one, then murmuring in a scholarly way "Yes, yes, I do understand, mumble, there seems to be a, uh , how should I describe my sense of it, dare I say, an angst abroad in the land, mumble, seemingly one might think a profound mumble need for AH change, yes CHANGE, the rights of so many now disadvantaged mumble mumble... So surely you see!!!?"

She indicated she didn't see. It was clear she had reached major scene-making launch velocity. Anger issues, they call this nowadays?

Fortunately, just then there came the moment when the little card machine whatsamajigger said the cashier's attention was needed, so I was able to turn and say:"You need to push that button, man!"

The last thing he called at me, a humorous reminder of his earlier opinion, in response to my little wave from a safe distance and a pleasant "Nice to chat" goodbye, was (appallingly loud) "Hillary is a LIAR!!"

The good thing about all this is that anything could happen in that posh-market and noone would pay any attention at all.

By the way, I know your fair city, and I think it is one of the bestest in the whole wide world. I was at a christening party for the grandchild of my friend the Cossack and was searching about for something to say to the much younger guests of her daughter. Turns out one of the guests was from the hospital here and was talking about a very dear friend who was a medical professional from your city who had studied here. I mentioned that a comparison could be made with C-Ville--low mountains, university, etc., and this led to a spririted conversation...



Fred- IMO the R+6 have figured out the Syrian situation and her enmies plans so well, that on fly the can accept the end to hostilities, or restart the hostilities without any effect in their overall goals, which is, to get raid of the takfiries and keep the western hegemonic designs off of, what Babak calls, overall control of the Syria. So, one day, easily they accept session of hostilities, and as easy they continue going after the western unicorns whom they call the terrorist, without any change or interruption to their overall goals/ plans.

The Twisted Genius


I don't know whether this is just more grifter bluster by the gifted conman or an indication that he would actually be willing to pull the trigger if his manhood is challenged. I hope it's the former.

I would think that most in the military would give their potential adversary an angry finger while also giving a slight smile of admiration in these situations. Like you said, it's what we do. Years ago, my SF team was training with the Austrian Army Mountain Guide School. We wore Austrian uniforms and used Austrian equipment. One day we saw another team similarly dressed and equipped on the next ridge over. Our instructor told us they were a Russian Spetsnaz team. I waved a ski pole and received a wave back from the Russians. The neutral Austrians made sure we never met. I doubt we would have come to blows if we did meet.


Same thing in Oregon. Seasonal 60s with showers and then record high temps for a few days. Probably another year of uncomfortable records.


US military admits troops are operating inside Yemen to combat al-Qaida


Lets just say I am some what sceptical that it is AQ they are fighting. Feels more like young prince dip sh__ started a dumb war, KSA and friends have been getting it handed to them and now the US has to bail them out.


Here's a topic for discussion. A group at the War College suggests turning COIN operations over to the Guard:

William R. Cumming

The heavy set man next to Trump on MSM news photos and events is Dr. Samuel Clovis, PhD, retired USAF Colonel and defeated candidate for Congress in 2014 in Iowa.


token burly guy.


thanks, Babak, highly interesting.

Ok, lapse, followed by babbling. I'll shut up again after.

I wondered about the accent of the last questioner. But was also highly pleased about her answer, not least how she put Russia into the larger context of her talk.

As nitwit in politics, both (question and answer) triggered more vaguely admittedly my puzzlement about why "the West"--I suppose that's the way it is spoken about now--pretty arbitrarily, it felt at the time, decided that Milošević could never be a partner in talks. It seemed to somewhat be an exception to the more general rule at the time.

Assad? Same reigning rule? Is he going to die in a cell too at some point in the future?


For whom it may be of interest: following the Russian orchestra's display in Palmyra a couple days ago, a Syrian concert was held last night under the title bawaba ash-shams, "Gate of the Sun". Full recording found here:


English translation of introductions to the orchestras and choirs included.

Babak Makkinejad

The message of that concert is clear; it weaves a thread of continuity visually and musically from the Civitas of Antiquity and its urbane culture to contemporary world of Syria and Russia.

That is: R+6 are on the side of civilization and culture with its ancient roots in the Near East while their enemies and adversaries are just Barbarians.

Max H

John Kerry Tells College Grads To Prepare For A ‘Borderless World’


"Secretary of State John Kerry took a shot at Donald Trump during his Friday commencement speech at Northeastern University, by saying no wall is big enough to keep dangerous terrorists out of the United States."

Related to this:
More Americans view themselves more as global citizens than citizen of their own country. And the majority of Americans wants to accept refugees and Syrian refugees. And a super-majority wants immigration from other countries. http://www.globescan.com/images/images/pressreleases/BBC2016-Identity/BBC_GlobeScan_Identity_Season_Press_Release_April%2026.pdf

NB: my views are in line with Teump on these issues.


"the cashier asked me how my day had gone ..."

I was pretty bad while in the US at giving the expected response to whatever variant of "how are you". ;) But I appreciated the friendly service admittedly. It got a lot better over here too, by now.

I have been pondering how a close study of one specific angle of the US Zeitgeist is relating to what we see now too, vaguely alluding to your larger context here.


Concerning Berlin: Yes, I lived in Kreuzberg, but a lot earlier. You must be alluding to the SPONTI scene (the less orthodox descendants, the unorganized left, symbolic by their Tunix congresses), surfacing in the alternative scene about a century later.

In my times I admittedly hated both Berlin winters, wet cold is worse then dry cold, and the domination of the university by the respective political groups and ideologies post APO split up:

They dominated every every class with their respective cadres and ringleaders. ... Except maybe for the more ivory tower scientists that had survived De-Nazification.

I asked someone more familiar with Berlin, who surely has a much more profound knowledge of the Berlin's "Szene", or alternative scene, then me. While, what you write triggers certain reminiscences, nothing really fits. 'Communes' really were only the more spectacular propaganda "face" of a more general trend of sharing a flat. Made sense, made living more cheap.

In any case, the more specific question you ask triggers rather vague memories of the specific Berlin "Szene" insider, there may have been something like that concerning an S-Bahn station. But he lived in Charlottenburg*. The S-Bahn was owned by East Germany, as I seem to recall. Some apparently did not use it for that reason, that is something I remember. Felt pretty silly then, especially if there wasn't a better connection available. It was mostly pretty empty.

* Ironically enough, your "Ku Kuks" triggers memories of my 'local boozer' in Kreuzberg, but the name was different, although vaguely similar. Not a bird Kuckuk=cuckoo, but a biblical prophet.

Berlin Westend may have been occupied by squatters at one point in time. Checking the insider's pretty vague memories.


You got that?

"about a century later."

odd mistake. A decade later. I lived there in the early 70s, the first Tunix (do nothing, "Tue nichts" I somewhat assume really, simply enjoy yourself?) was I think in 1981.

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