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28 July 2017


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Not surprising; that fellow, Pollack, of "The Coming Storm" fame, repackaged himself as an Iran-analyst - never having been to Iran, not knowing Persian, and not being able to comprehend - for religious as well as ideological reasons - that country.

Yet he was influential in forming US policy under Obama.


At least he didn't call Kushner & Bannon consumate professionals, while using criticality in a sentence.

Larry Kart

Many thanks for this. How common is it in your experience for a weasel like Harvey to get as far as he did where he did for as long as he did?


This is up from yesterday on Harvey's dismissal: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/27/derek-harvey-trump-middle-east-adviser-dismissed-241037

Here is a revealing quote from the article: "Harvey was viewed as one of Trump’s more hawkish foreign policy advisers—particularly on Iran, whose leadership he has studied closely and which he recommends confronting more aggressively. He has also been a staunch critic of the Iran nuclear deal.... Many military officials consider him the government’s most knowledgeable source on the Sunni insurgency in Iraq and Syria."


Larry Kart

This level of self-promotion is unusual in one so specialized. pl

Old Microbiologist

I have seen the equivalent in the science arena. I know of at least 2 biodefense scientists who were so bad at getting funding for projects they were moved over to management positions. This is what happens with permanent GS civilians. You can't fire them so you move them to relatively harmless positions such as program managers or outreach program people. After 9/11 Congress in their wisdom decided we needed yet another mother of all government agencies and created the Department of Homeland Security. However, they failed to create any permanent GS slots to put into this agency. So, every government agency was required to move authorized/obligated positions over to DHS and this would include any personnel currently holding those slots. No one would ever give up good and productive people so all the dregs were moved over to DHS. This might help explain why DHS has been so screwed up from the get go. As you might expect these 2 scientists were moved over to senior positions and eventually slimed their way to the top and became SES scientific managers and ultimately heads of programs. Kissing ass works well for a lot of people especially when the ass you are kissing is more incompetent that you are. This might explain why the DHS biodefense programs are so screwed up. One of them is now over at FDA working hard to screw that agency up and the other went over to DHHS (NIH) where they are working hard to screw that up as well. A few very rare people went over to DHS who were good and did it voluntarily but they eventually regretted it having to work for these former loser scientists.There are no smiling faces at DHS.

WG McCreedy


Ishmael Zechariah

I might be becoming a conspiracy nut in my old age. Could it be that this fellow was promoted and placed as part of an infiltration operation? There are so many claims on his vita which could have been verified with minimal effort. Were these not checked? Could it be that they were checked and the discrepancies were being used for control?
In a similar vein how can the entire US Senate minus 2 vote for a sanctions proposal which is patently and demonstrably based on false premises?

Ishmael Zechariah


Legend in his own mind. How many more like him are influencing/making foreign policy decisions? Scary.

Nice take down pl.


Farsi? How would that have happened?

When playing back-gammon as it is played in the region? I joke, of course. But I remember playing the game (known in the area as Nard(y)) All numbers (combinations) of dice were called out loud in Farsi. Everybody in Caucasus pretty much knew counting to six in Farsi plus some additional (proprietary)names of numbers' combinations. Sadly, I forgot that--I don't play backgammon in its "westernized" configuration--the board has to be done in a specific way. But, probably, would recall numbers and titles given couple of games with native speakers pretty fast.

The Beaver

committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland
Yep, Troia who went MIA since 1985 after marrying a rich banker and became more or less a socialite only to resurface in 2006.
Envoy Jason Greenblatt who couldn't do much last WE about the hot spot of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and Bibi had to remove his electronic gear to "control the Arab Muslims". Jared would have loved to accompany him on that school trip but he was busy on the Hill.

The Beaver

This may be a good read:

When it comes to Iran, Harvey has articulated a tough line, but there is a fair amount of bipartisan support for this in Washington. When he turns his attention to other issues, however, Harvey offers a curious set of dubious assertions and contradictory claims, wrapped up in a troubling lack of knowledge about the region for which he is now primarily responsible. Needless to say, this combination is bad for U.S.-Middle East policy.


Hope someone at the White House reads this. It is delicious.


No wonder policy is so screwed up when "weasels" like this one get up to positions of influence.


The Board must be of hard wood ( specific species) and the dice must be small ( like 1/4 in) made of tusk, so one can hear an specific sound of rolling dice. The board is called Takhteh ( board made of wood) Nard


Reminds of that other paragon of ME knowledge Larry Franklin.


Breaking: Trump's fired Priebus, hired John Kelly as Chief of Staff.

“My hunch is that Reince Priebus will be gone by the end of August along with Sean Spicer and most of their RNC team of White House leakers.” ~ Conservative Treehouse, July 23rd

Sounds like Trump's trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. If you don't get with the Trump program, you're put out to pasture.

Fellow Traveler

Reince Priebus out, another General in.

"WASHINGTON — Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff who failed to impose order on a chaos-wracked West Wing, was pushed out on Friday after a stormy six-month tenure, and President Trump replaced him with John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security and retired four-star Marine genera"


And the bulk was staffed up with any college republican that could fog a mirror. Got to deal with a few of those while developing a bio-particle detector. Basic science seemed to be missing on their resumes. But Moore's law seemed to apply to everything!


Nobody in the White House will read this, or anything else. They are too busy watching TV. Of course, the old Greeks had a story about somebody who flew too close to the sun.


Got to admire the defensive/defiant tone of the resignation letter, here's a thought: it was an honor and a privledge to serve, God bless America... IMO 'nuff said

Peter in Toronto

How does does one receive neo-con patronage in the first place? Do you have to marry into the tribe?

Seems like a profitable thing to do and it gets you into places well beyond any formal education or qualifications or merit, it seems.

I have to look into this.


Peter in Toronto

They have had an active recruitment program for at least fifty years. The Wohlstetters pitched me in my Pentagon offices. pl


It is also known as Shesh-Besh (the game--six-five) and every move of the essentially checker has to be loud and fixated in the own nest. Drinking tea from armuda glass is desirable;) You got it right about dice known as zary. It is a ritual of an incredible delight and power.


Babak Makkinejad

I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian.
The expeession "losing at Love's Nard" is well-known in Persian. (In Love, one wins by losing; as I am sure you know.)

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