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26 January 2020


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HK Leo Strauss

With Iran and her allies holding the figurative Trump Card on escalation, will they ramp up the pressure to topple him? They could end up with a Dem who couldn’t afford to “lose” Syria or Iraq.

Laura Wilson

Thank you for your continuing focus on the ME. We seem to be blind to the implications and need knowledgeable input.


I submit to you, Colonel, that the biggest threat to Trump is a Bernie/Tulsi ticket. Bernie is leading in the Iowa and NH polls, and the recent spat with Warren (in my opinion) leaves Bernie with no viable choice for VP other than Tulsi.


Thank you Colonel; I have been waiting for your take on this.
And thank you for opening the comments again. If there is a problem with my post, please point them out to me.

And i agree. This may well be a fatal mistake of his.

And while i have thought Trump to be the lesser evil compared to Clinton, i am now at a point where i seriously fear what his ignorance and slavery to the neocon doctrine may bring the world in 4 more years.

Still, immigration is another important issue, but besides much talk and showmastery, he has not really changed anything substantial in this regard; Nothing that could seriously change the course.

So he stripped himself of any true argument to vote for him, besides for ultra neocons and ultra fundemental evangelical christians. And even they dont seem to trust in his intentions.

And China? He may have changed some small to medium problems for the better, but nothing is changed in the overall trend of the US continuing to loose while China emerges as the next global superpower.

It may have been slowed for some years; It may even have been accelerated, now that China has been waken up to the extend of the threat posed by the US.

North Korea? They surely will never denuclearize. Even less after how Trump showed the world how he treats international law and even allies.

With Trump its all photo ops and showmanship. And while he senses what issues are important, it is worth a damn if he butchers the execution, or values photo ops more than substantial progress.

Not that i would see a democratic alternative. No. But at least now everyone who wants to know can see, that he is neither one.

4 years ago, democracy was corrupted, but at least there was someone who presented himself as an alternative to that rotten establishment.
Now, even that small ray of light is as dark as it gets.
And that is the saddest thing. What worth is democracy, when one does not even have a true alternative, besides Tulsi on endless wars, and Bernie for the socialist ;) ?

I just have watched again the Ken Burns documentary of the civil war. I know it is not perfect (Though i love Shelby Foote's parts), but the sense of the divided 2 Americas there, is still the same today. Today, America seems to break apart culturally, socially and economically on the fault lines that have sucked it into the civil war over 150 years ago.

And just like with seeing no real way out politically, i sadly can see no way to heal and unite this country, as it never was truly united after the civil war, if not ever before. As you Colonel said some weeks ago, the US were never a nation.

And looking at other countries, only a major national crisis may change this.
A most sad realization. But this hold true also for other western countries, including my own.

An even worse decade seems to be ahead.



The economy is actually quite good and he is NOT "a dictator." Dictators are not put on trial by the legislature. He is extremely ignorant and suffers from a life in which only money mattered.


Once Bernie wins the nomination, it's going to be escalation time. Trump stands no chance if things get hot with Iran. He didn't win by enough to sacrifice the antiwar vote.

Barbara Ann


Judging by what just happened at the embassy in Baghdad, the intentions of the Iraqi electorate would seem to be a more pressing concern.


Planned parenthood for palestinians party also known as the "pee pee" party is full stream ahead.


I’m starting to think that Trumps weakness is believing that everyone and everything has a monetary price. I think perhaps his dealings with China may reinforce his perception, as, also, his alleged success in bullying the Europeans over Iran - with the threat of tariffs on European car imports. His almost weekly references to Iraqi and Syrian oil, allies “not paying their way”, financial threats to the Iraq Government, all suggest a fixation on finance that has served him well in business.

The trouble is that one day President Trump is going to discover there is something money can’t buy, to the detriment of America.



Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo have got themselves in a no-win situation. NATO cannot occupy both Syria and Iraq, illegally. There are way too few troops. The bases in these nations are sitting ducks for the next precision ballistic missile attack. Any buildup would be contested. Ground travel curtailed. A Peace Treaty and Withdrawal is the only safe way out.

Donald Trump is blessed with his opponents. Democrats who restarted the Cold War with Russia in 2014 are now using it to justify his Impeachment. If leaders cannot see reality clearly, they will keep making incredibly stupid mistakes. If Joe Biden is his opponent, I can’t vote for either. Both spread chaos.

My subconscious is again acting out. The mini-WWIII with Iran could shut off Middle Eastern oil at any time. The Fed is back to injecting digital money into the market. China has quarantined 44 million people. Global trade is fragile. Today there are four cases of Wuhan Coronavirus in the USA. If confirmed that the virus is contagious without symptoms and an infected person transmits the virus to 2 to 3 people and with a 3% mortality rate and a higher 15% rate for the infirmed, the resupply trip to Safeway this summer could be both futile and dangerous.


One other thing. Coronavirus. He could emerge the Hero of Wuhan, like a modern Flashman, but there are many forces at play. Or I should say, there is *a* force at play going against his ability to do that.
A little history. I believe it was the first midterms of Obama's Presidency, the Ebola scare hit right before the election. Trump, yes Trump, screamed at the top of his lungs and I believe took out a full page ad in the newspapers that we should close the borders to all travelers from Africa. On the advise of the CDC, Obama refused to do this. The people, sensing that Obama was not interested in their welfare, elected a Republican Congress in a landslide. Trump basically was saying that Obama was soft on his birthplace, Africa.
Well, the shoe is on the other foot now. The force that is now in play, that was definitely not in play with Ebola, is money. The economic consequences of a serious epidemic, a bit or maybe a lot more intense than SARS, because that is what they're talking about, will wreak havoc on the world economy. Just start with China. However severe the disease is, the Chinese are going completely nuts about it. The second largest economy on earth.
Trump's tweets thus far do not mention coronavirus. Schiff exists, but the coronavirus doesn't. Eventually, he will have to say something, and it will be very hard for him to say anything except that health professionals are doing an incredibly good job... without going into the details of what that might mean. Sort of like saying we have the best military on earth and brushing off traumatic brain injuries to 34 service men and women as headaches. Because if he says anything that isn't happy talk, the markets, the rentiers, are not going to like it. Essentially, he can close the borders to illegal Latin Americans, but he can't tamper with China.
Viruses are spread by touching something with living virus on it and then touching your nose. We touch are noses countless times a day. Handwashing is the absolute key. True droplet spread--someone across the room sneezes and you inhale the droplets--is exceedingly rare.


Two Greek words: "hubris" and "nemesis" come to mind.

Patrick Armstrong

It's an old story. Mr X is elected POTUS; going to do this and that; something happens in the MENA. That's all anyone remembers.
Maybe time to kiss Israel goodbye, tell SA to sell in whatever currency it wants, and realise that oil producers have to sell the stuff -- it's no good to them in the ground.
The POTUS' can turn their attention to the looming Canada problem.


President Trump controls part of the White House -- definitely not the NSC -- and much of the Department of Commerce & Treasury. His hold elsewhere in the DC bureaucracy may be 5 - 15%. When the President decided to pull US troops out of Syria, his NSC Director flew to Egypt and Turkey to countermand the order. Facing the opposition of a united DC SWAMP, the President caved, and thereby delayed his formal impeachment by a year.

Going out on a limb, President Trump continues to play a very weak hand and may survive to fight another day. Fortunately for the US, his tax and regulatory policies, as well as his economic negotiations with China, Japan, Korea and Mexico seem to be on target and successful.


Patrick Armstrong

What is the "looming Canadian problem?"

Godfree Roberts

As Richard Nixon told a young Donald Rumsfeld when he asked about specializing in Latin America, "Nobody gives a shit about Latin America."

Nobody gives a shit about the Middle East.


Pre.DJT’s greatest risk is that he will come to be seen to ‘own’ any American casualties. Secretary of State Pompeo has had an exceptional week but what is to happen during the remaining 30 odd weeks prior to the election is not necessarily in his gift.
Very much appreciate a return of Comments Colonel, my thanks.


Off topic: the SAA has cut the M5 highway north of Maraat al-Numan and is blockading it. This will cut off Erdogan's resupply of his pet headchoppers. Will this be the beginning of the end for HTS and the TIP? Long way to go, but this is a good start.

Sooner or later Trump is going to have to let go of his blockade of the Baghdad-Damascus highway at al-Tanf.


We may yet see John McCains Revenge in the Senate Colonel, it only requires 4 Republican votes to move into Witnesses.


Iran Lawmaker Warns About Spread Of Coronavirus By Chinese Tourists

Significant part is that the legislator for a province where an annual festival is to take place, that attracts many Chinese tourists, is seeking to ban Chinese participation this year.

Gutsy move, to forego tourist revenue to protect the locals.


Carthage must be destroyed! I don't know if Trump is going to war with Iran willingly or with a Neocon gun to his head, but if he's impeached I expect Pence to go on a holy crusade.


Hassan Nasrallah said that as revenge for Soleimani the U.S. will be pushed from the region. This will be a campaign that will become increasingly deadly for U.S. troops as nearer election day comes.

The region includes Afghanistan. The new Quds force leader was previously responsible for Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

The Taliban brought down four helicopters this month. Today a U.S. communication plane crashed in Taliban held territory.

Trump has no idea what powers he unleashed.


UPDATE: @realDonaldTrump
"We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus. Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!"

That wasn't the song he was singing about Ebola, but nevermind. What counts is that "our experts" differ with "their experts" in Hong Kong, Mongolia, Malaysia, and North Korea, all of whom have closed their borders with China. North Korea in particular will take a big economic hit.



"The economic consequences of a serious epidemic"
And what is the economic impact of closing all air travel with China? What's the actual affect of a quarantine? "On the advise of the CDC, Obama refused to do this."

And just what are they advising Trump?


The Times of Israel is running this story.

"Islamic State announces ‘new phase’ of attacks mainly targeting Israel"


Every thing in me tells me this is disinformation to tie IS to the Shia or justify an expanded US presence in the region. Does any one have reason to believe this is possibly true?

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