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25 April 2017


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Dave Schuler

I wish the front page posters here would comment on this article from France 24:

"France's foreign minister said Wednesday that chemical analysis of samples taken from a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria early April "bears the signature" of President Bashar Assad's government and shows it was responsible for the deadly assault.

According to Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, France came to this conclusion after comparing samples from a sarin attack in Syria from 2013 that matched. The findings came in a report published Wednesday."



As I wrote today I think the airborne option is too small and light. It risks a sudden reversal way out in the east. pl



I had a similar thought. Could this be a fire drill, loosely resembling the travel ban exercise a couple of months ago? All the Senators disappear for a day.



See commenter "pmr9"'s response to "marko" on the next thread.



Russia remembers Afghanistan and Putin is reluctant to embed Russian troops into another "quagmire".

Conversely, Russia has been able to observe the Western tendency to start eternal wars and misadventures, by any other name quagmires. Lavrov and Putin have become more overt in their denunciations, though not in actual combat. Could be a valid strategy to add just a bit of fuel to keep the Coalition in a state of quag without overinvesting. The only good Borg is a swamped Borg.

Would be nice to see a blocking maneuver in E and S Syria as well as elevated support in the Balkans and E Ukraine by the ME and Asian powers, increasing threat density and dispersion, if for no other reason than to save the west from itself.


Common sense would have Israel monitoring all cell phones of forces in the area, so person link doesn't necessarily follow. Although not ruled out.

Babak Makkinejad

We have already seen a blocking maneuver in Afghanistan; 200 soldiers killed in a few minutes in Balkh, in Afghanistan.


So far all the reports have been "big waste of time" "the speakers were SERIOUS""a big fat nothing new"




Edward Amame

One of the senators who went to the WH just called the WH classified briefing a "dog and pony" show. Sen Duckworth said the same team that briefed the senators went back to the Capitol to brief members of the House. Apparently our Idiot in Chief just wanted a photo op.



"Dog and Pony Show" is a term of art in the Washington briefing world. It has to do with how elaborate the briefing aids are rather than the content of the briefing. the term is value neutral on that. As to the briefers going to the House to brief, I do not think there is a chamber big enough in the WH compound to make it possible to brif all the members if the House of Representatives. pl

John Minnerath

Your opinion of President Trump is well known, so this comment comes as no surprise.
Senator Duckworth is a newly elected Democrat from a NW Chicago suburb, her comments should come as no surprise either.


Thanks for pointing that out, Fred. Interesting comment.

William R. Cumming

There will be no winner of any hostilities in the Korean Pennisula IMO!

different clue


Why would a decapitation strike on NorKor prevent the prepositioned artillery forces from shelling Seoul until the shells run out? Wouldn't all the artillery people be pre-instructed that if headquarters is "decapped" that all the shells should be fired off?


Imagine, are you referring to the Israeli claim of real-time intel of the "sarin" attack? I assume that's the case. I don't doubt they monitor cell phones but don't think it matters as Moshe Yaalon let slip, Daesh somehow managed to convey an apology for the inadvertent attack on the Golani patrol. Was it via a friendly phone call or through highly secure encrypted comms, does it matter?

Israelis are also wondering at the implications of the slip. The following is a translation of a MAKO article regarding Bogie's booboo;

Former Defense Minister: "Da'as once shot us in error and immediately apologized"
Is the verbal slap of former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon indicative of a direct connection between Da'ash and Israel?
Published 25/04/17 11:27

Last Saturday, former defense minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon participated in the cultural event in Afula. A Twitter tweet on Channel 10 quoted the former minister, who spoke about Syria-Israel relations and his words left many questions in the room: "We should not intervene in Syria, and Da'as once shot us in error and immediately apologized." , Which raises the puzzling question: Does Israel have a channel of communication to the murderous terror organization?


Ya'alon's comments apparently related to the incident last November - the Da'ash Force fired at an IDF force patrolling near the border in the southern Golan Heights. As a result of the incident, the IDF carried out attacks by means of an IAF aircraft on a facility belonging to the terrorist organization.

According to Ya'alon, Israel's policy toward the situation in Syria is neutral. Israel, like most of the Western world, considers the organization of the Islamic state operating in Syria and Iraq as a murderous terrorist group, and as such, any association with it is illegal. Publications from foreign sources think differently: Based on the former defense minister's slander, it appears that between Israel and the cell of the radical Islamic organization that is fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, there is an open channel of communication.

Despite the fact that the State of Israel is "neutral", it should be noted that only last month Israel exceptionally confirmed that it had carried out an attack in Syria, in which the IAF attacked a strategic weapons shipment destined for Hizbullah.

In Damascus, they were not surprised by Ya'alon's statement. According to the Syrian government, the Israeli attacks in Syria are carried out intentionally and beneficially to the front of the Islamic State Organization and other terrorist groups. "Israel helps the terrorist groups every time the Syrian army advances," Assad declared earlier this month, claiming that Israel was helping terrorist organizations in his country. "Israel attacks by various means and supports terror organizations in order to prevent them from losing control of the territory," added the Syrian leader.

Ya'alon himself refused to respond to or approve the statements."

Edward Amame

Col Lang,

What Jeff Merkley was, "We learned nothing you couldn't read in the newspaper." Bob Corker said "It was an OK briefing." Angus king said that "I, frankly, don't understand why it's not easier to bring four people here than it is to take 100 there." According to CNN, "afterward few said any new information emerged about the increasingly tense US standoff with Pyongyang." My understanding is that briefings like this happen in secure rooms on Capitol Hill all the time. So it does seem like a stunt IMO, but I'm probably making too big a deal about it.

Edward Amame

John Minnerath

I'd like to take back my use of the term, "Idiot in Chief." It was a poor choice. He is not that. But a showman he is and that's about all I think this was.

And Duckworth was not alone in her opinion that the event was mostly for show. It would seem to have been the consensus opinion of Dems and Angus King of Maine.

different clue

Edward Amame,

If the things the Senators learned in that briefing are the kinds of things they could learn from reading the newspaper . . . and they mean one of the MSM newspapers, then the question arises: are some of the things they learned things that are not actually true? And would the Senators know enough to know if they have been told things which are not actually true? If they compare these things to what they have read in the newspaper . . . including the not-actually-true things?

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