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28 June 2017

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Seacoaster

Agreed. He is the rare (unique in the 21st century US?) general about whom one only hears praise and testaments to his character. I met him briefly overseas a while back, and thanked him for his (again, unique) courage on the infantrywomen debacle. He laughed and said, "I was all alone on that one."

Harlan Easley

I would say our economic leadership was ceded to China during the 1990's by us signing the WTO Treaty and China allowed entry into the WTO in the early 2000's. Just the raw facts of 1/3 of our manufacturing base disappearing in a decade is devastating. Technological leadership follows economic leadership. China proved over a decade ago they could knock out our satellites. This is out of my realm and I'm speculating but I wouldn't be surprised in a conventional war near their homeland they would wipe us out. Of course, I think the possibility of conventional war between Great Powers is pretty much extinct. I don't see how it doesn't go nuclear fairly quickly.

ked

Indeed, as having once been a professional used car salesman, I too take umbrage! Nothing makes one a skilled negotiator / reader of the human animal like lotsa ups-at-bat selling cars.
Trump would never cut it (unless his Dad owned the dealership, & I've seen how those kinda operations can turn out... not pretty, not much fun). He's a hackneyed caricature of a salesman, in-line w/ Col Lang's assessment... if his mouth (or fingers, at 4AM) are moving, he's secure in his being a clever manipulator of others. Whether he can recognize an untruth or not is an open question - which means it really doesn't matter what he says or thinks. Ignore him - except maybe when your life or that of your loved ones is at stake.
If we are so lucky, power vested in the Executive Office will be greatly diminished by his attempts to run the nation like a gang runs a rough neighborhood.

walrus

sir, I don't think you parse Col. Langs "I am familiar" the same way I do.

ked

"That takes skill."
I completely disagree. Those you name were lightweights formed by decades of a degraded political system. Real talent left politics for finance or entertainment. The hack / statesman ratio has gone to heck. Chauncey Gardiner coulda won.

Cortes

His series of stories (based on his experience with the Gordon Highlanders) in three volumes of which the first is "The General Danced At Dawn" featuring among others "the dirtiest soldier in the world " in post WWII Palestine are excellent also.

Keith Harbaugh

Two articles in Tuesday's Politico are interesting and relevant to this blog:

“Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran”
As the new administration conducts a routine review of its Iran policy, senior officials are hinting that they're open to toppling the country's clerical regime.
By Michael Crowley
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/25/trump-iran-foreign-policy-regime-change-239930

“The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who speaks regularly with White House officials about foreign policy. “I don’t see how anyone can say America can be safe as long as you have in power a theocratic despotism,” he added.

Cotton advocated a combination of economic, diplomatic and covert actions to pressure Tehran’s government and “support internal domestic dissent” in the country. He noted that Iran has numerous minority ethnic groups, including Arabs, Turkmen and Balochs who “aren’t enthusiastic about living in a Persian Shiite despotism.”

...

The case for political subversion in Iran has also been pressed to the White House by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a hawkish Washington think tank that strenuously opposed Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and which has close ties to many key Trump officials.

Soon after Trump’s inauguration, FDD’s CEO, Mark Dubowitz, submitted a seven-page Iran policy memo to Trump’s National Security Council. The memo — which was circulated inside the Trump White House and recently obtained by POLITICO — included a discussion of ways to foment popular unrest with the goal of establishing a “free and democratic” Iran.

“Iran is susceptible to a strategy of coerced democratization because it lacks popular support and relies on fear to sustain its power,” the memo argued. “The very structure of the regime invites instability, crisis and possibly collapse.”

===============================

“Intelligence officials worry State Dept. going easy on Russian diplomats”
Lawmakers have also voiced concern that State is not preparing to crack down on diplomats’ illicit travel inside the U.S.
By Ali Watkins
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/23/state-department-russian-diplomats-illicit-travel-239915

[I]ntelligence officials say the State Department has shown little appetite for actively cracking down on Russian personnel, fearing backlash from Moscow.

With the departure of former Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama’s State Department ranks, there was guarded optimism among the intelligence community that new leadership might be more willing to crack down where Kerry — hopeful for counterterrorism cooperation with the Russians — wouldn’t. But Tillerson’s comments and State’s apparent lack of interest in enforcing the travel restrictions has effectively muted that.

For years, there has been tangible frustration among intelligence officials and even some foreign service officers at the Obama administration’s reluctance to undertake aggressive counterespionage methods at home, especially as the Kremlin aggressively goes after U.S. diplomats based in Russia. In a well-publicized incident last year, Russia’s internal security agency, the FSB, beat up a CIA officer returning to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, hurting him so badly he was immediately flown from the country for medical treatment.

aleksandar

Electricity.
Achilles' heel of modern society.No need to nuke and kill, just blow up each power plant.
Think how the US ( and not only ) can cope with such a problem.

James Doleman

Fair enough. Must have misunderstood.

turcopolier

james Doleman

I made it very clear previously that I did not support Trump for election, did not vote for him but you insist that I support him. you are done here. pl

wisedupearly

Borg speak for war.

Lars

It is a dismal situation when the biggest threat to the republic can be found in the Oval Office. The big question is how to remedy this without doing too much harm to that republic? For quite some time, I have felt that the Trump presidency would falter. He is a problem, as is many of his minions. The scary part has to do with his ego, his self-centered focus and the fanatical devotion of many of his cultists.

The good news is that many of the GOP Senators now neither revere, nor fear him and, like with Nixon before him, some of them will confront him and tell him that he is fired. That would be the easiest and least damaging way out.

Bill Herschel

I currently am living in fear of finishing the series. That's for giving me hope.

Bill Herschel

Trump is "visiting" Macron on the 14th of July, which is apparently also the anniversary of the U.S.' entry into WWI. Why?

I can tell you why. He is going to prevent a repeat of the Dominique de Villepin episode, namely when de Villepin voted against Bush's war in Iraq in the Security Council.

Chemical Weapons = WMD

Assad = Hussein

Trump and whatever is behind him wants a united front for the hot war he intends to start when the next false flag chemical weapons event occurs. Like Bush, things are not going well for Trump domestically, and as Commander in Chief saving the lives of Syrias babies, his popularity will rise like a meteor.

For me, this is like watching a car crash in slow motion. I implore anyone on this blog with power to try to prevent this.

WWIII? It will never happen. The Russians will not permit it to happen. But the horror in the Middle East will be prolonged by decades.

I hope that Macron can stand up to Trump. I don't know. But Trump won the South Carolina primary after trampling all over the Bush Heritage. Why can't South Carolinians and other Americans stand up one more time. I pray they do.

BraveNewWorld

There will be no observers sent for the same reason no inspectors were sent to Shayrat Air Base to look for signs of chemical weapons after the Khan Sheikhoun incident even though they were invited. The lesson of Iraq is you don't send inspectors unless you know they will find evidence of wrong doing. Other wise people start asking questions that don't advance the mission.

https://tcf.org/content/commentary/havent-chemical-weapons-inspectors-gone-syrias-shayrat-air-base/

Thirdeye

Bit of logrolling coming out of Washington after the Russian response. They now say a chemical attack is not imminent and claim credit for that. Cover a retreat by taking credit for solving a problem that never existed in the first place. And the MSM are supine enough to not point out that obvious fact.

Yeah, Right

Gee, and the Beltway insiders were so outraged at the mere suspicion of foreign interfere in US internal affairs.

But making a "case for political subversion" of a foreign country via a "strategy of coerced democratization"? Apparently that's all the rage in thinktankland.

And in the halls of power too, with Sen Cotton advocating "a combination of economic, diplomatic and covert actions" against a foreign country.

Would be interesting to read what he has said about claims that Russia recently dished up some of the USA's own medicine......


Bandit

I think many people lose site of protecting the rights given us in the Constitution. Most citizens could not quote one word from this historical document, and only vaguely remember that their rights are enshrined therein.

Bandit

This is a repeat of what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently Libya. Winning wars was never the goal; fragmentation is, so the country can no longer remain a threat to Israel or US exploitation. Seen from that perspective, it has been a pretty successful plan, except when it isn't in view of the reorganization that has taken place in Iran after the overthrow of the shaw.

turcopolier

bravenewworld

I see that you do not understand that one of my roles is to pose the "thesis" to which you are supposed to respond with the "antithesis." you are fulfilling your role. pl

Greco

Failure in Reaganism how? Reagan drew the Cold War to an end, a process which GHWB ultimately oversaw with the fall of the SU. Communism today is a shell of the force it once was that threatened to dominate the world. Reagan was, above almost anything else, an anti-communist. Reagan did score a major success, at least to that extent.

When you say Reaganism, do you mean more specifically American exceptionalism?

Greco

Also Yugoslavia (i.e, Balkanization) and the Soviet Union (CIS, Ukraine, Georgia, and Baltics). The goal is to weaken these states, to turn them into vassal/client states, and to encircle Russia, a former world power that is looking now to reestablish itself (and for good reason they choose to do so). The goal is also to cut off China, at least on their own terms, from access to Europe and Africa via the Middle East (e.g., the Shanghai Co-operation).

The grand design is to checkmate Russia and China, hence the course the US has followed in the quarter of a century up until now. A course GHWB signalled when he spoke of the "big idea," a "New World Order" that was "coming into view."

I don't know if I'd call it exploitation (a Marxist notion). One could argue that, but I argue there is a desire for the house of Saud, hardliners in Israel, European royals/nobles, and an amalgamous Western establishment (made up of leaders in academia, business, and government) to become an unchallengable force in the world where upon they can determine the fate of human destiny. This desire is mostly being brought about on the back of American interventionism. It is not an accident the US has found itself in the Middle East. It is not to divert attention away from some sort of failure (at least that's not the primary motivating factor). This is an agenda, and if the UN charter is anything to go by, it's not a fundamentally American agenda.

Trump, for all his faults, signalled a change from Globalism and a return to Americanism. To illustrate this point, just recently the Czech Republic is now reviewing a bill in support of gun rights. It looks like us bitter clingers were onto something and there are signs that it's starting to go global.

Bill H

Like the guy in the asylum wearing clothespins on his ears to keep the zebras away. When told that there are no zebras on the North American continent he replies, "See, it works."

drifter

Seymour Hersh has been interviewed by Ken Klippenstein at AlterNet regarding the Die Welt article. Hersh comes across as level-headed and adds interesting detail and context to his original expose. He is also asked about Bellingcat.
http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/seymour-hersh-syria-bombshell

Dante Alighieri

The theorists of the lesser evil always wake up realizing that the lesser evil is an evil nonetheless.

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