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28 March 2020

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Timothy Hagios

One theory of Trump's psychology is that due to his need to dominate, he surrounds himself with incompetent clowns in order to make himself the adult in the room by default. That would seem to explain why he keeps hiring psychotic neocons whom he later ends up firing. On the plus side, he at least seems to have the sense to overrule the worst of their advice. Of course, their success rate with him is still to high for comfort.

Serge

How does this jive with the US handover of the Qayyyarah base, Al Qaim earlier this month, planned pullout from K1 later this year?

The Twisted Genius

Serge,

Pulling out of those outlying bases to more defensible positions is a necessary prelude to a wide offensive against a sizable portion of the Iraqi military. Our troops would be vulnerable if left there. A planned pullout doesn't mean squat if a wider offensive plan is implemented.

Fred

Well this 'bombshell' reporting is conveniently timed for blunting news coverage of orders from the 1) Governor of Florida ordering quarentine for New Yorker's fleeing the plauged city run by that de Blasio guy who just a month ago said go out and enjoy yourselves;
2) and the Governor of Rhode Island ordering up her state's guard to close to state border to their fellow American's from the City of New York.
3) Then there is the economic de-mobilzation in Michigan, Washington, California and elsewhere which is doing such wonders to the US economy. I believe the President just excoriated GM, which conveniently threw their junior medical partner's CEO under the bus to save "It takes a women" Mary Berra ($22million/year) so some unnamed political party might have a woman not named Hilary available in 6 months or 4 years, election and Coronona 2 October Surprise!(again) don't go their way.

Obviously this is just the time for Trump to rally Americans to stay home and watch your life savings get pissed away due to state governments ordering you to not work, run your business or exercise your rights under that piece of paper which expressly forbids the Federal and State governments from doing crap like this (you know, the one that was writen by those dead white guys), get the bill for Big Business bailout2, and oh, go to war on behalf of which 'fff'n country a world away against a nation that isn't an existential threat to anyone right now?

I fully believe the NYT; it's not like the were wrong with Russia!, Stormy Daniels, Covington's brave Indian Warrior, Hunter (where is he by the way and aren't you glad Ukraine got that $400,000,000?) Biden, Christine -believe all women unless they acuse governers in VA or VP Biden of sexual assault - Ford, and of course Communist China is going to save us from that virus that really - trust us - didn't originate there. So a report we are going to war against Iran/ISIS/Drugs/The Boogey Man is certainly to be believed.

(NYT)"The Pentagon directive and General White’s response — both classified internal military communications ...."
Are those classified like those FBI 302s that Surprise! Nobody can find and where are the indictments?
(TTG)"News reports that SecDef Esper has approved the new campaign or at least the planning for it."
Planning, isn't that what planners do anyway? Send it up to the War College and let's see what LTC VIndman comes up with, just to put icing on the yellow cake.

Can somebody at the NYT find the surely they can't be classified CDC response plan, NYC response plan, State of NY, WA, MI, CA pandemic health emergency plans? Asking for some random guy on the internet since nobodyelse on earth wants to know what those career professionals in those governments have been doing for decades. Oh, BTW, is any of that hurricane relief supplies illegally sequested in Puerto Rico in use anywhere or of use now and which prison are those corruprt (guess the party) elected/appointed officials that hid/stole that crap in or did they get let out for humanitarian reasons, becuase like, the virus.

TTG, I agree with you whole heartedly on the rat bastards of the Borg. Trump should fire a few of them, I suggest starting with Esper. Why weren't both those hospital ships available, or were they called up weeks ago? And while I'm at it where are the other ships with major surgical wards, (all those LPH's or whatever we designate them now) at and why aren't they of use of easing non-Covid health care load? Take the Marine battalion off and put the medics on. Don't tell me the Warsaw Pact is coming through the Fulda Gap, NoKo is crossing the 38th parallel? A couple hundred flag officers and what's the fleet doing? Beside LGBTQ+++++ training and running into each other, and oh, liberty call in Vietnam with a major infectious disease runing rampant in Asia? Whose running the Pacific Fleet now, even Admiral Kimmel wouldn't do anything that stupid.

restless94110

Two things: What does You bet you life me stinkah mean and what movie did Abbot or Costello say that unintelligible line in?

And two, Trump doesn't desperately need anything least of all praise and attention. You must know by now that the Pentagon goes one way and the President and others go another. You saw it with Kerry's cease fire. You see it all the time. Trump knows this. How is it that you do not?

Claiming that Trump is a simpleton? That's not only untrue, it's a cheap shot.

The Twisted Genius

Restless94110,

It's from "Pardon my Sarong." Watch the video clip and you'll understand. Trump said before the nation that he will not help governors unless they express proper appreciation of him. I don't think Trump's a simpleton at all. He's the craftiest and most skilled conman on the world stage today. And it's time to pin the actions of the Trump administration, good and bad, on Trump. It's been his for three plus years.

Yeah, Right

Fred: "Obviously this is just the time for Trump to rally Americans to stay home and watch your life savings get pissed away"

I believe you will find that 40% of Americans do not even have life savings to piss away.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

You should have ended your wide ranging rant with, "Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?" I hope you feel better now.

On those hospital ships, I too always wondered why it took so long to refit them every time we needed them. I guess keeping them at near 100% standby is just too expensive and too impractical. All those amphibious ships don't have many medical ward beds, from 12 to 45 on the newest LHA. Using them would require disembarking the jarheads and their gear.

Fred

Yeah, Right,

I guess the Obama economic recovery wasn't so great after all. How many of that 40% are retirees and how many have years to work ahead before reaching that age?

TTG,

You still believe anonymous reports from the NYT? As to LHAs disembark the jarheads and move them to NYC. The symbolism my help stem some panic. There's lots of non-surgical care they can provide.

Leith

Over 50 years ago I spent a miserable time aboard the USS Sanctuary before being evacked further to a hospital in Japan. At that time the hospital ships were commanded and crewed by the Navy. But I think now that the Comfort and the Mercy are USNS ships and not USS, which means except for medical staff the ship's crew is typically civilian. Was there any balking by the civil service or any delay in corralling contract sailors to sail those ships?

elaine

I watched a 2 part story on the BBC today. It was intended to pull at your heart strings & it did. Basically it was told from the vantage point of an Iraqi policeman. He wants so much to believe conditions are improving yet daily he contends with so much sorrow ppl abandoning their kids because they can't support them, ppl begging for help due to an inability to survive with war injuries, tales of ppl scrounging for food in rubbish bins. One person even alleged tales of cannibalism.

The Iraqi cop kept saying sectarianism no longer exists; if that
were true it'd be a new beginning. I don't understand what exactly the Iranians want.

LondonBob

Seen a fair number of zionists saying with low oil prices and folks distracted this a good time for a war, for them.

Can't imagine putting people infected with any kind of flu in a tightly contained area like one of those ships is a good idea, high viral load. In the Spanish flu epidemic they realised this was a terrible mistake and they ended up putting patients in open air tents around Boston where the outcomes were a lot better than in the ships.

Yeah, Right

TTG: "Using them would require disembarking the jarheads and their gear."

Not meaning to be pedantic, but isn't "Rapid Disembarkation" supposed to be a Marine speciality?

Just run the LHA up the nearest beach and tell the Marines to go at it..... then sail it back to harbour and load it up with medics.

Yeah, Right

Fred: "How many of that 40% are retirees and how many have years to work ahead before reaching that age?"

I do not have the article to hand, but my recollection is that this was a reference to the "working poor" in the USA i.e. those who were in employment but who would be unable to muster some nominated amount ($1,000?) at short notice.

In other words, the percentage of US workers who are living from paycheck to paycheck.

The amount of money may be wrong - it may have been less, unlikely to be more - but the 40% figure stuck in my mind.

I'm curious how long Trump has to be in power before you stop blaming Obama. Trump only gets two terms, after all, and he is nearing the end of one of them. So are you saying he simply can't Make America Great Again?

d74

I am in no way a supporter of war or warlike operations against Iran, Iraq or anywhere else. I hope Trump will stop this madness in time.

However, for a military leader on the ground to say that he is opposed to an operation because it will be bloody is surprising. It is as if he is saying that the operation he is asking for is impossible because it will stain his pants with blood. Or that seeing wounded people makes him faint. Or that he can't stand the sight of an exploding Abrams tank. And so on.

That's extremely weak. And worrying about the intellectual value of the US command.

There are other arguments, far more admissible.
A leader has the power to say no. He can protest, alert public opinion and do whatever it takes to get stupid orders reported. (And, of course, execute them when they have become firm.) Or he can take back his freedom by resigning.

A leader also has some political latitude. He could advance political arguments, for example that it's a war for the benefit of Israel, with the political cost being borne by the USA alone.
Let us remember General Bradley's assessment of the Korean War, "A bad war, in the wrong place, against the wrong enemy. "(I disagree, but that's another discussion...)

But I guess the Pentagon blog publicly discussing internal stuff is supposed to be a warning to Iran. Talk for the sake of not acting. It's lousy if the war's justified. Lousy if it isn't.

turcopolier

TTG

"Leaks" like this are usually arranged by the military to head off policy they disagree with but cannot oppose openly.

William Fitzgerald

I have a question. Will this be the Third Iraq War or a continuation of the Second?

Also, Elaine asked "What is Iran doing?". The more/only pertinent question is, what is the U.S. doing?

WPFIII

Fred

yeah, Right,

I don't blame Obama, I blame the policies his administration put in place, the reporting of the press, and the individuals who chose not to be responsible for their own conduct. Here's an 18 month old example of what your are saying from CNBC.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/09/shutdown-highlights-that-4-in-5-us-workers-live-paycheck-to-paycheck.html

"CareerBuilder reports that nearly 10 percent of Americans with salaries of $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck as well." Where are they and what are they spending money on might be worth an investigative reproter check into, don't you think?
"More than 50 percent of respondents say that they save less than $100 per month. And a comparable 2017 survey from GOBankingRates found that 61 percent of Americans don’t have enough money in an emergency fund to cover six months’ worth of expenses."

That's referencing a report from 2 years prior to the article. It's like two minutes of research on google. THere's also a helpful "how to stop living paycheck to paycheck" article in Forbes from 2017.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashford/2017/08/30/paycheck/#5eb60d4a4b54
This happens every downturn, not just the one that will get blamed on Trump or the ones that happened under Obama. This particular one is due to state and local governments forbidding people to go to work. The financial problems from lack of revenue and cash on hand won't appear until May or June and the trillion plus pork package passed by congress is not likely to help many of the small businesses or poor people and it certanly won't if governments insist on mandatory business closures 'for your own good'. But it will go a good long way to restructing the economy into the communist style centralized control the left has longed for since the 30's.

Barbara Ann

TTG

Can the US realistically "destroy an Iranian-backed militia group" without going to war with the Iraqi army as a whole? I have the impression that the militia groups are deeply rooted in both the military and political infrastructure of Iraq and that it would be next to impossible to effectively separate one from the other. The latest retaliation (for the attack on Camp Taji) does not provide an encouraging precedent; three Iraqi soldiers, two police officers, and a civilian worker were killed at Karbala civilian airport. The Iraqi army condemned the action as "treacherous".

"The Resistance", as it is known, is pursuing a campaign of harassment which seems to be designed to trigger an overreaction by the US. I think a severe overreaction has tremendous potential to turn into a crisis analogous to Suez. This may in fact be exactly what Iran and its allies want. In this case, the powers waiting in the wings to condemn such an action are Russia and China.

After the Iraqi president nominated al-Zurfi as PM-designate I expected the neocons to be placated. The guy is a dual US national who was part of Bremmer's CPA for goodness sake. Who knows what power plays are going on in Trump's administration. Over the coming months it looks like the economy will be further trashed by the (over)reaction to the virus. This is starting to look like the wrong kind of war to unite the nation behind the POTUS. Might a good old fashioned foreign war look more attractive, as November looms?

ked

More than a few in the second circle surrounding Trump are sophisticated in manipulation. It’s a skill that is specific to the character of each target & issue. The attraction of power is a great motivator - it can overcome the stress of acting so close to the flame.
Trump (& his inner family circle) is wide-open for a mission to launch a war.
- he is already intoxicated w/ the prestige of being a War President.
- he is biased toward any action that is promised to prove his superiority over Obama (& to a lesser extent W & Lincoln).
- his most reliable & sizable political support is among Christian Evangelicals, who support war when it is offered to them in faith.
- our prez elections are increasingly driven by October Surprises as a victory technique. this appeals to many of the professional political consulting sector as well as our Reality TV / Conspiracy fixated polity.
- the US has allies who desire it to conduct war that is in their national interest.
- the US has adversaries who also desire it to conduct war that is in their national interest.
- the interests against a More Perfect ME War is weak & fractured. for many, there is no interest. for many, there is no life-experience of distinction between war & peace.
- War has proven to be a decent business in the short & long term.

I’d give More War at least a 50/50 chance.

John

Didn't the great recession begin when Bush was still president/ Wasn't the original TARP passed while Bush was still president? I am not carrying water for Obama, but how does what happened over three years ago have to do with a stock market panic resulting from the outbreak of a pandemic? Trump wants to blame someone. He always wants to blame someone. Better to OODA. That would be nice for a change. Those who do not care who gets the credit can accomplish much. The most effective way to run for re-election during a crisis is to do your best to deal with the crisis.

The Twisted Genius

Barbara Ann,

What we call the Iranian backed militias are the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an integral part of the Iraqi Armed Forces, much like a National Guard. They are largely responsible for fighting and defeating the IS jihadis in Iraq. Initially falling under the Ministry of the Interior, they were formally integrated into the Armed Forces in December 2016. Any plan to wage war against the PMF is a plan to wage war against the state of Iraq. The government of Iraq wants us out. We (the neocons, Israel Firsters and Christian Fundamentalists) want to stay and are willing to do a regime change to do so. It is idiocy of the first order.

The Twisted Genius

d74,

Any military leader who pushes to start a war for the sake of the glorious fight should be treated to a spirited blanket party and drummed out of the Service. He may personally be thrilled by the fight, but to seek an unnecessary war to satisfy his personal desire is abominable. Such a creature is not a military leader.

anon

Twisted genius.

Look at it from the Iranian side.Why allow iraq to recover and pose a threat to Iran.By continually undermining iraq and balancing that with appeasing the usa every now and then they keep the overall balance of power tilted there way.That option changed with the assassination of Suleiman.Iran will need to retreat from iraq.

BillWade

Maybe something like doing a Noriega on Maduro would be more to the CINC's liking, they just slapped a 15Mil bounty on his head. When he retires to Mar A Lago, there'd be no shortage of Venezuelan and Cuban big shots to keep him company. Can it be done quick and easy? Not sure myself.

We're getting too soft. 100 years ago we did bank runs and bank robberies. Now we do toilet paper runs and toilet paper muggings of old ladies.

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