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14 October 2019


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Biden seems to have forgotten that Syria before the externally sponsored uprising was fully controlled by the government headed by Assad. From the same debate, per the WAPO transcript:
"BIDEN: I would not have withdrawn the troops and I would not have withdrawn the additional thousand troops who are in Iraq, which are in retreat now, being fired on by Assad's people. "

So he would have ignored the Iraqi government, with which we did not have a status of forces agreeement to keep troops in place, and he now says the Syrians are attacking our soldiers who are leaving. Biden is not only a liar but a fool too.


Ciekawy. Ja dawno sam sie uczylem; moja nieposluszna zona jest (zawodowa) Polka.

I speak Polish with a Russian accent and Russian with a Polish accent, to the point where people ask whether my father was the Pole or the Russian.

I am unpopular, everywhere I go. ;)

different clue

Semi-irrelevant but . . . . this comment about Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner made me think of a stanza I imagined for a poem I hope someone writes, to be called Rhyme of the Ancient Codewriter.

Data, data, every where
and all the brains did shrink.
Data, data every where
nor any thought to think.

different clue

It may be my irony-defficiency, but they seemed to be very openly and seriously Genghis Khan-nostalgiac.

Theodore Buila

Small question: Are the Kurds mercenaries albeit our mercenaries/on the books since the 1980s?


Interesting piece by the pro Israel Indyk that is a litany of failures in the ME that he attributes to Trump, not the Israel cabal in his adm. But the Kushner-Greenblatt duo does get a ripping. Not a Trump fan but perhaps his shuffling Israel Palestine off on his Zios has actually done us a favor since it has turned everything into a smashed kitty's paw.

Disaster in the Desert
Why Trump’s Middle East Plan Can’t Work
By Martin Indyk



''Biden is not only a liar but a fool too''

Never Biden.


Does anyone know the name of the guy (gal) who sold Hunter all that coke and what federal prison are they doing time in? Or wasn't testifying against them part of the arrangement for getting that discharge from the Navy?

The Twisted Genius

Theodore, absolutely not. The Rojava Kurds have been fighting the jihadis for their lives for years. The fact that US forces came to their aid does not make the Kurds mercenaries. Did the fact that France came to our aid in the Revolutionary War make Washington's Army a mercenary army?

The Twisted Genius

Different clue, of course they are. I wouldn't expect anything else. He was brutal, but that was the norm for the time and region. My ancestors took part in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The Teutonic Knight crusaders were defeated, captured and many were killed on the spot by the combined Polish-Lithuanian army. A family legend holds that my ancestors rode with the Lipka Tatar light cavalry... those dreaded Tatars. I am openly and seriously nostalgic for those ancestors and their Lipka Tatar comrades in arms.


Biden is also dirty. ...always as been.

DC’s Atlantic Council Raked in Funding from Hunter Biden’s Corruption-Stained Ukrainian Employer While Courting His VP Father



Trump is a very interesting guy. He makes perfect sense on Syria. He does finesse the fact that we did betray the Kurds, but *he* didn't betray the Kurds, and if the Kurds were listening, they realized a long time ago that this was a guy who didn't really want anything to do with them.

Go ahead, say he couldn't build a hotel in Kurdistan, or a golf course, but don't say that to anyone except the people who voted for him and see what their response is.

And another thing. Let's compare Trump with Woodrow Wilson. It's like comparing Ghandi with Satan. Wilson was the real thing, an out and out racist, a liar, a fool, and a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac. As Presidents go Trump is nearer the median.

I would never vote for him, but to get me to vote, someone will have to pass the "We came, we saw, he died... giggle, giggle" test, and so far I don't think any of the Democrats do, except Gabbard, who unfortunately seems to be something of a space shot.

The Twisted Genius

Elora, "Black Hawk Down" depicted Rangers and Delta. Both those units are commandos and considered special operations forces. Colonel Lang and I were not in those units. We are Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, the quiet professionals, men totally different from mere commandos.


Re: music
No one has mentioned the Ken Burns series "Country Music".
I think it is superb. Not going to attempt a review, but . . .
I had never seen Hank Williams moving, and I was really missing something!
I watched it free online, on an excellent sound system.


Graham Fuller summarizes the Syria situation.
I would appreciating hearing
from our host about Fuller's view on Turkey/Erdogan.
Fuller seems not to be concerned about any desire by Erdogan
to expand his borders.
Fuller confirms a point I attempted to make last week:
Russia is successfully working to regain its former centuries old role in the Middle East in general—a position which briefly collapsed twenty years ago with the end of the USSR. Russia’s agenda is above all driven by its strong opposition to any further US attempts at engineering regime change by coup against any and all governments globally that the US does not like. Remember that US intervention in Syria has not been sanctioned by international law, whereas both Russia and Iran were both formally invited to come in and assist the legally recognized Syrian government.

But there is another striking feature of Russian diplomacy: it also seeks to maintain working ties with all, repeat all, players in the Middle East including seemingly incompatible ones: good ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen, the US, etc. At the same time the US has refused to maintain any such comprehensive working ties across the region with forces it does not like. Hence it refuses to talk with key players like Iran, Syria and Hizballah or countenance a Russian role there. That kind of US posture has above all “served Putin” who has emerged as a master of regional diplomacy and compromise.

a worthy read here:


I still have my Hank Williams ep bought as a sixteen year old, my second record purchase from memory.

Ishmael Zechariah

My favorite soprano:

Classical Turkish music:

An old folk tune w/ a newer interpretation:

Proof that Trump is doing the right thing:

Ishmael Zechariah


Long alleged Valerie Jarrent and Ben Rhodes did not want a "Black Hawk Down" incident so close to Obama's 2012 re-election.

Hence, he went MIA during the Benghazi slaughter and did nothing, according to Trey Gowdy's investigation. Gowdy found nothing because there was nothing to find. Other than where was Obama during those long hours and who exactly was in the room calling the shots that night.

This is what Biden calls not even a smidgen of a scandal.

English Outsider

When I read your comment I fetched down an old childrens book, Der Zug in die Freiheit, Nelly Däs. As a child she'd been one of the lucky ones - got out and fetched up in what was to be West Germany. It got me looking at the history of the German settler communities in Russia.



I had no idea there were so many, and such a persecuted history. The deportations to Siberia, the treks across half a continent in front of the advancing Red Army in the Second World War, the forced returns afterwards - if the settlers had known all that was in store for their descendants I reckon they'd have stayed home.



From what I understood their final resting place was still in ME neighborhood.


I.Z. that reminds me .... is there any more of this music on YouTube? I don't know what the search terms would be.



Russia maintaining good ties with everybody in the middle east.ha ha very funny.

republican president reagan....south africa vs Angola et all = regime change.
republican president trump.....Israel vs syria et all = regime change.

The usual masters of the universe playbook.sanctions,cut bank credit,business as usual.Well times have changed.

Diana C

Like it very much.....

Having taught teenagers so long, I began to see that the brans of teenagers had changed over my career. The ninth grade students I taught when I first began teaching in 1974 were, think, far more advanced than the brains of ninth graders when I retired from teaching a while back.

Witnessing the effect on thinking skills, knowledge stored in brains, of the computer revolution, I decided without any hesitation never to carry a cell phone unless it was a prepaid phone I could take along on a long trip in a car to use for emergencies. I've kept to that rule.

And except for thing like this blog, where I might find information that comes from experience and knowledge, I don't use the internet. I've never joined Facebook, Twitter, or anything like those platforms. The early version of something like Facebook was MySpace. I can't tell you how much trouble that caused among teenagers.

I just never wanted to part of any sort of Matrix or a Borg Collective.

scott s.

The author makes some valid points, but like many things there are details which might reduce the impact of his argument. I think SecNav Welles is under-appreciated as part of the Lincoln administration. In the case of monitors, placing Fox as the point-man was either shrewd or good fortune. Certainly Ericsson was an innovator and also a capable industrialist. With Lincoln and the country "sold" on monitors, Welles created what may have been the first program management office which was responsive directly to Fox and not "big navy" (Chief Engineer and Chief Constructor). Unfortunately, what Ericsson could do with what was really a prototype couldn't be ramped up into series production, nor did the design translate easily into other classes with different mission requirements. In particular, the river monitor program has to be considered an abject failure. The coastal monitors didn't fare much better.

In the biggest test of the concept (Charleston) monitors proved unequal to the task. And Monitor itself was lost at sea.

An aspect of procurement until after WWII was the presence of gov't owned and managed shipbuilding yards. Consider the Monadnock built at Boston Navy Yard which might be considered the response of Chief Constructor Lenthall and Chief Engineer Isherwood to the monitor concept. Note also the Navy's ordnance was produced at Washington Navy Yard gun factory (now the home of Naval Sea Systems Command). (It's also next door to the Washington Nationals and should be jumping next week.)


Sounds close to Rebetiko. The Music of the Greek refugees from Turkey.

Otherwise great comment by IZ. Poetry no doubt mattered for musicians, but so did folk tunes.

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