September 14, 2016

"In private, [John Kerry] has conceded to aides and friends that he believes [the deal with Russia on Syria] will not work."

From paragraph 8 of a NYT article titled "Details of Syria Pact Widen Rift Between John Kerry and Pentagon."

58 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Why are we involved in this civil war again? What are our goals? Shouldn't they be to have a peaceful and constructive relationship with whatever government emerges from within Syria? Or are we getting back into the cold war with Russia?

tim in vermont said...

Not to mention, continuing the war started in Iraq. Obama discarded the Powell doctrine of "You broke it, you bought it" regarding the Middle East. I thought that was settled policy ratified by two elections.

Sebastian said...

"In private, [John Kerry] has conceded to aides and friends that he believes [the deal with Russia on Syria] will not work." In public he'll just keep lying, until the humiliating failure is plain for all to see.

CJinPA said...

This is the stage in a presidential administration when key figures are more concerned with settling scores than most anything else. If having this leaked undermines the deal he just negotiated, it's a price Kerry is willing to pay.

Curious George said...

Now the truth. He leaked this so that if goes bad, he's covered. If it goes well, he never said it. John Kerry is a piece of shit.

Darrell said...

Kerry's not in jail yet? Surprising.

CJinPA said...

Why are we involved in this civil war again?

Something something Aleppo.

Darrell said...

Can you channel $ millions to your daughter from the State Dept.? I guess so. And hwat about the $6 billion Hillary "lost"? Should we even raise an eyebrow about that?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Kerry's not in jail yet? Surprising.

Like Illary, he's a powerful Democrat.

The purpose of government is to serve them, not us.

Hagar said...

Not only will the deal not work, but the U.S. is seen around the world as being outmaneuvered and outgunned by Russia. This is not going to be good for anybody.

MayBee said...

I remember when Obama said Putin would soon leave Syria because getting involved the way he was, wasn't good for Russia.
Do you guys remember that?

Hagar said...

Putin is not leaving Syria. He has finally got Russia an opening to the Mediterranean, and he is not giving it up voluntarily.

MayBee said...

But Obama said.....

lemondog said...

Kerry = A**hole

But Obama said.....

tim in vermont said...

Well we have a choice, oppose an expansionist empire in Russia and mean it, or try to live peacefully with it. Since we lack the will to oppose it in any meaningful way, my suggestion is that we not risk one single American youngster in what is sure to be a wasted cause. And let's stop dropping bombs on people who will, quite naturally, want revenge. Islam may provide a framework for channeling vengeful feelings, but Western bombs sow the seeds.

Brando said...

Anyone thinking teaming up with Putin in the Middle East is a good idea should have their head examined. When has teaming up with Russia not backfired on us?

mockturtle said...

Now the truth. He leaked this so that if goes bad, he's covered. If it goes well, he never said it. John Kerry is a piece of shit.

Exactly! He's covered either way.

mockturtle said...

When has teaming up with Russia not backfired on us?

WWII?

lemondog said...

Count down to Friday, January 20, 2017 (Washington DC, District of Columbia time)

tim in vermont said...

Since we are mostly powerless to protect the Middle Eastern sources of oil in the long run, maybe we should, you know, continue fracking, and build Keystone XL, so that we are not so vulnerable to supply interruptions that war will start to seem like a viable option. I call planning like this "Waging Peace."

I don't think the Saudis believe we can save them, which is why they are selling their oil, for the same reason a farmer will log his land before selling it, the House of Saud is not going to leave money on the table when they are driven from power.

mockturtle said...

Well said, tim in vermont!

Robert Cook said...

"Why are we involved in this civil war again?"

Why? It's been our project all along!

Robert Cook said...

"Well we have a choice, oppose an expansionist empire in Russia and mean it, or try to live peacefully with it."

What about the expansionist American empire? That's the more dangerous entity.

Robert Cook said...

"Anyone thinking teaming up with Putin in the Middle East is a good idea should have their head examined. When has teaming up with Russia not backfired on us?"

How about WWII? Russia, after all, did the brute work of breaking the German army.What other instances of our teaming up with Russia can you point to, and how have they backfired on us?

khesanh0802 said...

@Robert Cook Come on, Robert . Where have we expanded our holdings? What countries have we absorbed lately? I know you'll have a smarty pants answer, but it's hard to compare our ineptness with Putin's absorption of Crimea and the eastern portion of the Ukraine. Putin has essentially established a beachhead in Syria, while we have been losing our grip in Afghanistan. Hell we'd probably be better of if we had the Teddy Roosevelt expansionist philosophy. At least then lives and treasure lost would have a clear purpose.

Obama couldn't run an empire if it were handed to him. Personally, I have my eye on Canada. I love the way they talk up there.

n.n said...

After Clinton's reset of the cold war, Obama backing a violent coup in Ukraine and directing military provocations on Russia's borders, why would cooperation in bad faith work? Russia is probably concerned about Obama, Clinton, and Kerry's progressive wars and global humanitarian disaster. Keep your enemies close and your "friends" closer.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Robert Cook Remember: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". That was Russia in WWII. You don't think Russia taking over eastern Europe and half of Germany was a "backfire"?

madAsHell said...

Does this mean that Kerry's daughter won't garner a lucrative NGO contract?

Brando said...

"How about WWII? Russia, after all, did the brute work of breaking the German army.What other instances of our teaming up with Russia can you point to, and how have they backfired on us?"

Khesanh0802 beat me to it--Russia took the brunt of the German fighting, but we ended up with a far more powerful and just as evil empire covering half of Europe and deep into Asia, eventually expanding its reach into Africa and South America and the Carribean--a far greater threat than even the Nazis were to us. Was that not a backfire?

tim in vermont said...

Cookie has a point here. Kerry now, as did Hillary before him, is continuing Bush's Iraq policy, which, as we know, she supported "with conviction." So much "conviction" that she continued the policy in Syria and Libya, even though this policy had been soundly rejected by the electorate.

Hagar said...

Historically, the Russian Empire has expanded with guns and the knout; the American with Coca-Cola and Mickey D's.
You really feel the Russian way is preferable, Cookie?

Just_Mike_S said...

...and yet another rationale for the long face.

Robert Cook said...

"Historically, the Russian Empire has expanded with guns and the knout; the American with Coca-Cola and Mickey D's."

Softened up by our military.

Do you really think we have not used violence around the world, either directly, as, recently in Iraq, or indirectly through proxies, to achieve our goals?

Decorated American General Smedley Butler put it succinctly back in 1935:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

Robert Cook said...

"...a far greater threat than even the Nazis were to us."

Absurd.

Brando said...

"Absurd."

Really? Did Hitler have the ability to wipe out all life on earth? Did Hitler have a larger military than ours, and the ability to spread his ideology around the globe? Did Hitler have the power to seriously project power into our hemisphere (beyond a few U-boats)? Was Hitler able to lord this over us for half a century?

And keep in mind Hitler at his height had to contend with a still formidable British empire and the Soviets. By 1945, all we had to help us oppose a much stronger Soviet Union was a crumbling, weakened British Empire and a shattered Europe.

Hitler took bigger risks than Stalin and his successors, but in many ways that made Hitler less threatening, as those risks led to his biggest blunders.

tim in vermont said...

So the new DNC leak indicates that the Democrats agree that Obama and Hillary founded ISIS (A little sarcastic hyperbole there but a kernel of truth.)

“Our invasion created the atmosphere for a Jordanian to start a Muslim sectarian war, which ultimately created ISIS,” Ryan says at the beginning of the e-mail.

He goes on to disclose that Zarqawi entered Iraq during the invasion to establish a religious caliphate for just Sunni Muslims and to start a sectarian war against Shias.

The Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Maliki and supported by the U.S. made the situation worse, because Maliki was discriminatory towards Sunnis and helped rally extremists to Zarqawi.

“Malaki’s prejudicial governing style worsened after U.S. troops left Iraq, helping quickly deteriorate the situation further,” Ryan concludes.

Obama’s decision to leave Iraq without reforming the Iraqi government, destroying Zarqawi’s forces (that the President referred to “JV team”), or leaving a stable functioning army to fight rebels helped fueled the rise of ISIS and possibly the next war.

Dr Weevil said...

Sure sign of a geopolitical ignoramus: quoting Smedley Butler as an authority. We've been over this before in the comment section of this very site: Smedley Butler was a lunatic. And the fact that he was a decorated general is irrelevant: Curtis LeMay was a decorated general, but he was also George Wallace's running mate. For that matter, Ollie North was a decorated colonel (or maybe lieutenant Colonel), but few will take him as an authority on anything.

Robert Cook said...

"Smedley Butler was a lunatic."

Evidence?

Robert Cook said...

"Hitler took bigger risks than Stalin and his successors, but in many ways that made Hitler less threatening, as those risks led to his biggest blunders."

Hitler was also irrational. The Soviets were entirely rational, and certainly understood the devastating-unto-obliteration risks to them of a nuclear war. They were probably more prudent about avoiding such a possibility than was the US.

Dr Weevil said...

Don't play dumb with me: do your own research, and just read the fucking Wikipedia article, RC. We've been through this before just a few months ago, and it's obvious to anyone who knows anything about the guy beyond that single quotation that he was nutty as a fruitcake.

mockturtle said...

"How about WWII? Russia, after all, did the brute work of breaking the German army.What other instances of our teaming up with Russia can you point to, and how have they backfired on us?"

Khesanh0802 beat me to it--Russia took the brunt of the German fighting, but we ended up with a far more powerful and just as evil empire covering half of Europe and deep into Asia, eventually expanding its reach into Africa and South America and the Carribean--a far greater threat than even the Nazis were to us. Was that not a backfire?


At 8:53, I beat both of you to it.

Dr Weevil said...

I was thinking it might have been someone else, but it was in fact Robert Cook who made an ass of himself quoting Smedley Butler in this 2014 thread. Just Ctrl-F for 'Smedley' and start reading. Anyone else here find his argument there convincing? Don't all speak up at once!

mockturtle said...

Stalin killed more than Hitler. There is no way to defend one of these tyrants against the other. The issue is that Russia helped the Allies win and suffered more casualties than any other country in the war. Of course, it was Hitler's own idiotic military strategy that lost the war rather than the Allies winning it.

Then, as part of the treaty, the hapless Russian soldiers taken as prisoners were sent back to Russia to their slaughter, even though Ike and everyone else knew that would happen.

tim in vermont said...

Hitler was also irrational. The Soviets were entirely rational, and certainly understood the devastating-unto-obliteration risks to them of a nuclear war. They were probably more prudent about avoiding such a possibility than was the US.

No calumny against the Soviets will go unanswered by our Cookie! The Soviets spent those decades in fervent pursuit of peace only to be stymied at every turn in there quest for a worker's paradise on Earth by the Axis of Eeevul Washington, London, and Paris!

tim in vermont said...

What lost the Axis the war was a miscalculation in the amount of uranium needed to make a bomb. A blunder so obvious in retrospect, that some think it was made on purpose.

Robert Cook said...

Tim, you seem quite adept at inferring meaning not stated or suggested. To state the obvious reality that the Soviets were rational enough not to take actions that might have resulted in their own annihilation is hardly to suggest they were paragons of virtue, democratic practices or principles, or of "justice and freedom for all."

But then, neither have we ever been, although all too many among us are convinced this self-glorifying myth is a given fact, rather than merely a principle to which we sporadically aspire.

Brando said...

"Hitler was also irrational. The Soviets were entirely rational, and certainly understood the devastating-unto-obliteration risks to them of a nuclear war. They were probably more prudent about avoiding such a possibility than was the US."

They weren't entirely rational--though Hitler was far more irrational, Khruschev was a nut who consistently tried to test us with crises, ultimately resulting in his own downfall when the Cuban Missile Crisis backfired, and at any time these could have flared up into nuclear armaggedon. Besides, being rational does not equate to not being a threat. The Soviets constantly pushed where they saw weakness and tried to undermine and destroy us wherever they could. The fact that they didn't go completely nuts doesn't mean we had nothing to worry about with them. Just because it ultimately worked out doesn't mean you can downplay it now.

"At 8:53, I beat both of you to it."

Indeed you did.


"The issue is that Russia helped the Allies win and suffered more casualties than any other country in the war."

Not to mention there is no way Russia would have lifted a finger against Hitler if he didn't actually attack them. Their losses in that war are entirely on Stalin.

Brando said...

"To state the obvious reality that the Soviets were rational enough not to take actions that might have resulted in their own annihilation is hardly to suggest they were paragons of virtue, democratic practices or principles, or of "justice and freedom for all.""

That alone isn't what we took issue with--you suggested that the Soviets were more rational than we were, which is really not the case. And my issue with it is that the fact that the Soviets weren't plain crazy (as Hitler was) does not mean they were no threat. In many ways, it makes them a greater threat, as their calculation made them more formidable.

Brando said...

Imagine a more prudent Hitler, who never declared war on the U.S. and would not attack Russia until he had knocked out Britain and amassed a large enough force to ensure an invasion of Russia would be successful. That'd be a greater threat to us than a nut who believed he could take everyone on at once.

Robert Cook said...

"Don't play dumb with me: do your own research...."

That's not how it works, Boll. You make the claim that General Butler was a "lunatic." If you can't be bothered to present the evidence and/or argument to back up your insult, well...that says it all.

coupe said...

I don't understand modern warfare.

In the old days, you let the women and children flee. But the rag-heads use them for human shields.

That's not really a problem. But here's the deal, warriors don't need to have cease fires. They need unconditional surrender.

If the red cross complains, the standard answer is, all they have to do is surrender, and will let them live.

Short of that, I would bomb the shit out of them until they came out with white flags.

Dr Weevil said...

"That's not how it works", is it? How it works for you is you quote Smedley Butler once, I demonstrate at length that he was indeed a lunatic who simply made stuff up, and then you wait a couple of years and quote him again as if that had never happened. Are you unteachable? Apparently. People who continue to bring up arguments that have been exploded as if they are still valid are just stupid, boring trolls, who like to waste other people's time by asking them to do their (=the trolls') homework over and over.

The link to our previous argument is in my 1:30pm comment. Anyone else care to follow the link, read the comments, and weigh in? Was Smedley Butler a lunatic or not? It's really not too difficult to tell. Anyone? If no one weighs in, it's most likely because we all have a pretty good idea already who's likely to be right in an argument between Robert Cook and just about anyone else.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, you mean you believe your comments from that prior thread are meant to prove Butler was a lunatic? Hahaha! Oh, my. You have a rather liberal concept of what constitutes "proof."

Moreover, Butler's allegations--even if you think them crazy, despite your failure to make a convincing argument to that effect--do not in the least impeach his description of his actual 30 years of service in the military, and the ends to which he was used. History (including the present day) certainly ratifies Butler's claims.

Dr Weevil said...

My failure to convince you, Robert Cook, does not mean that I failed to make a convincing argument. It could just as easily mean that are unteachably stupid and/or politically bigoted. Let's see if anyone else cares enough to follow the link and offer an opinion as to who won that argument.

Joe said...

No Shit Sherlock.

The real solution is to just walk away and stop Syrians from emigrating.

mockturtle said...

The real solution is to just walk away and stop Syrians from emigrating.

Exactly! I was just reading this morning that immigrants in Europe are going on 'vacation' to their home countries, like Syria. So how dangerous are these places? Shit, I'd never let them back in! Shouldn't have let them in to begin with! And now POTUS wants to let in another 150K or so here. I hope that even Hillary wouldn't be that stupid.

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/09/muslim-migrants-in-germany-go-on-vacation-to-their-war-torn-homelands

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also WWII would not have happened but for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Talk about blowback!

Robert Cook said...

Back to the question as to 'why are we involved in this civil war'"?