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28 July 2017


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Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang had predicted this months ago.



Yes, it is typical of how the nouveau riche NY City people behave. The older the money, the more hidden the gutter snipe behavior. there will be more like this. pl


I think the word for six is the same in both Russian and in Persian.

It is Shest' in Russian and Shesh both in Farsi, Azeri and Turkic.

Peter in Toronto

No kidding... Can I press you for an anecdote?


Col, he speaks elementary Farsi, so he is an Iranian menace expert.


Col. Harvey's autobiography and it's improbable wanderings in exotic lands seeking hidden wisdom reminds me a lot of another charlatan who went far, namely, L.Ron Hubbard.


"President Donald Trump said his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military, announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning, came “after consultation with my generals and military experts.” It’s becoming clearer and clearer that he was lying.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was on vacation when the decision was announced, and privately opposed the move. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Dunford, said Thursday that the military wouldn’t implement the ban absent a formal, non-tweeted order from the commander in chief.

And then there were the remarkable remarks that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made during a luncheon at the National Press Club.

During the lunch, Milley told reporters that he found out about the ban "the same way everybody else did — on the news." At the time, he was holding a glass of wine:"



Update: the blue ticks on twitter are reporting Trump 'sources' associated with Preibus are saying Trump is moving toward an independent whitehouse detached from the GOP.


In hindsight it was a big mistake for Trump to think he could work with the GOP establishment. Better to rely on business, the military and other outsiders for his staff.

Sessions to DHS and a new AG in? Given the suggestion of a new AG generates such hysteria it would be a wise move.

Eric Newhill

Brings back memories. The hard wood board inlaid with ivory and mother of pearl and the little ivory dice vigorously thrown and ricocheting wildly. The smacking of the chips on the table; even harder when you "hit" the opponent's piece or make a "dur" in a strategic slot.

We called the game "tobli", but we always counted in a mix of Persian, Arabic and a salting of Turkish. There were also proclamations that would be shouted; usually when misfortune befell one's opponent. "Gehleh"! (sometimes pronounced "Gallah") when his piece had been hit and then couldn't get back on the board.

6 and five was "shesh/besh". 4 and 2 was "juward/du", But 1 and 2 was "eekie beer", 1 and 1 was "hap yeck"......

It was said that the game of tobli would reveal a man's character and that it was a microcosm of life.

Old Microbiologist

But, they probably did have PHD's but ended up doing nothing later. I agree with you about that. The same things happened over at DTRA, where I have never seen such incompetence. I also ran into similar ignorance with DoS people involved in the BWPPP (counter proliferation program funded under the Nunn-Luger Act). They thought all the former Soviet field labs doing agricultural disease surveillance were bioweapons labs. The labs wer set up to monitor endemic zoonotic disease like anthrax and plague which are relatively common. For years they wanted to get their hands on the "weapon" strains and the local guys figured out pretty quickly how to game it for never ending funding on the promise the strains would be sent "real soon". I can't blame them for that. But I can blame these "geniuses" managing these projects for being incompetent.

Old Microbiologist

American policy in regards to everything is easily understood by one basic concept. Follow the money.


Peter in Toronto

As I said the Wohlstetters (Albert and Roberta) came to my office at the direction of "Paul" to explain to me the esoteric meaning of Plato's Republic and other texts. Roberta laid out a series of books on my coffee table, all written by their friends (Wizards of Armageddon). I argued with them about the meaning of several of Plato's dialogues and after a while she picked up her books and they left. I had failed the test. Ten years ago I gave a talk at the Miller Center at U Va and at the after event lunch a former colleage of theirs at the U. of Chicago said that they had been doing that there for a very long time. pl

Philippe T.

...although Persian is a so beautiful language and so easy to learn (a very logic grammar). Engels (in a letter to Marx) wrote that it could become a "langue universelle toute trouvée" (in French in the text) :

"Since I am in any case tied up with the eastern mummery for some weeks, I have made use of the opportunity to learn Persian. I am put off Arabic, partly by my inborn hatred of Semitic languages, partly by the impossibility of getting anywhere, without considerable expenditure of time, in so extensive a language — one which has 4,000 roots and goes back over 2,000-3,000 years. By comparison, Persian is absolute child’s play. Were it not for that damned Arabic alphabet in which every half dozen letters looks like every other half dozen and the vowels are not written, I would undertake to learn the entire grammar within 48 hours. This for the better encouragement of Pieper should he feel the urge to imitate me in this poor joke. I have set myself a maximum of three weeks for Persian, so if he stakes two months on it he'll best me anyway. What a pity Weitling can’t speak Persian; he would then have his langue universelle toute trouvie [universal language ready-made] since it is, to my knowledge, the only language where ‘me’ and ‘to me’ are never at odds, the dative and accusative always being the same."
Source : http://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/marx/works/1853/letters/53_06_06.htm
Best regards, and sorry for this near-out-of-the-topic precision, PhT

Babak Makkinejad

Funny - "Shest" mean thumb in Persian. Or Sixty - depending on the accent of the local dialect.


As a single individual alone accomplishing it, it is rare (just as the opposite is true, extremely talented officers are also rare). However, in a case where the leadership of a Command is rotten, it is not rare at all.

Flynn at DIA IMO was a disaster. His "vision" behind reorganizing was to make DIA mostly an annex of J2 CENTOM. It was so disruptive and counter productive that he was replaced before the normal tour end. Harvey thrived on the CENTOM focused mission. Harvey was not the only questionable person that Flynn bumped up to the senior ranks.

So where did Flynn come from? He made his spurs working with General Petraeus. He bought into Petraeus's perpetual war, and hearts and minds COIN doctrine (with associated intelligence concept of the "human terrain"). In the end Petraeus also self destructed as a fraud and a very flawed officer.

In turn, Petraeus was a result of President Bush (2). A leader with incredibly poor judgement who brought together an incompetent circus of NeoCons (Chicken Hawks) to wage an unnecessary war in an incoherent manner.

Individual incompetence is rarely a path to senior position. But when the Command is rotten from the top down, it happens more frequently.


Babak Makkinejad

And I speak rudimentary Spanish and I am now the foremost expert on the politics of Spain as well as Hispano-american world.

Babak Makkinejad

Pretty good, thanks.

There is a saying in Arabic - "Arabi Kamel, Farsi Asal" - Arabic Perfect, Persian Honey.

Mark Chapman

Does everyone remember Michael "Heck of a Job, Brownie" D. Brown, the first-ever Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response? His Baptism by Mud in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Michael D. Brown's background experience for running a large casualty-management organization was as Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association.

To be fair, he was not so much a weasel as he had others do the promotion for him, which appears to have been based on doglike loyalty and nothing else. You'd be surprised how far that will take you - depending on the character of your leader - in quite a few organizations.


Oh good heavens. Is DH also an amoral libertine as well?


its amusing how Trump makes a mockery of all the Washington rituals. I think that's what drives the media nuts - he bypasses the established conventions of 'how things are done.'

Babak Makkinejad

Do you recall the esoteric meaning of the Republic that they mentioned?


that Milney didn't spill the wine deserves praise. Wine is there to be drunken, or to be used in cooking. I understand the decision on transgender to some point.

Still, what wonders me is that that the pentagon learns from such non-trivialities from the press and not from heir CiC. It suggests to me serious dysfunction in communication from the Whitehouse to the rest of the world. And it's not just that.


Sean 'The Notable' Spicer was a joke of a gvt speaker who, at least once, preferred to hide behind bushes to avoid talking to press. For one, Spicer should have known that speaking to the press was his darn job. Alas. As the saying goes, shit happens. Good for the US that that clown is out.

But who did Trump hire as a replacement? Scaramucchi. That man is, from what I read him say, hardly an improvement over Spicer. IMO the crazy nut man was simply replaced by a nutty crazy boy.

IMO Stephen Colbert had it quite right when he said it: Now that the mute man Sean Spicer is out as the non-speaking press speaker, who is now not-answering anybody's, my, yours and the presses load of questions? Scaramucci perhaps? Answer: Well, nobody, it seems.

So, in lack of communication from their CiC the pentagon is expected to ... hallucinate? sleep? dream? Perhaps look at Trump's tweets?

Well, maybe they should. Maybe Trump will one days tweet really secret and very important things to them that they may miss, like:

;( Nook NoKo ;O

Amusingly, as you posted in your VOX link DH, Trump said he had consulted the military on his transgender ban, but according to the military he didn't. Oh well. In Trumps own terms: Soooo sad ...



It was straight Leo Strauss/neocon stuff. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm

basically, according to this view the text has hidden meanings that are the opposite of the obvious. pl


I just read that Trump has fired his weirdly named staff chief Rience Priebus, by Twitter.

Usually, a firing of a staff chief is a personal thing, and the relationship is personal. So, unlike what could be seen in Trump's tv shows, a firing usually - it is after all about ending a contract - goes with a letter, in a bad case perhaps with a deliberate humiliation as in the case of Comey, or a personal talk - but firing by TWITTER, so to speak, en passant? Good grief.

That mess probably not just coincides with the appearance of the new man in the whitehouse - Scaramucchi.

After insulting Priebus, who got fired, Sacramucchi isn't done yet. After insulting Priebus, he has started to also insult Bannon recently - will he be twittered away, too?

The show hasn't ended et.

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