December 19, 2016

"Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at an Ankara art exhibit on Monday evening by a lone Turkish gunman shouting 'God is great!' and 'don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!'..."

"The assassination... came after days of protests by Turks angry over Russia’s support for Syria’s government in the conflict and the Russian role in the killings and destruction in Aleppo, the northern Syrian city."
The envoy, Andrey G. Karlov, was shot from behind and immediately fell to the floor while speaking at an exhibition [at] the Contemporary Arts Center in the Cankaya area of Ankara.

The gunman, wearing a dark suit and tie, was seen in video footage of the assault shouting in Arabic: “God is great! Those who pledged allegiance to Muhammad for jihad. God is great!”

102 comments:

Brando said...

Well this is getting a little too Franz Ferdinandy. If Putin sends Erdogan an ultimatum, look out.

Michael K said...

RoP just demonstrating its peaceful nature.

Geoff Matthews said...

That could have been OUR ambassador. Why didn't we get involved more in Syria?

eric said...

This story is another reason why I hate our news media.

I've seen the video. It's pretty clear this guy was just standing back there. Looks like he was providing security. Hence the suit.

But all I've heard is an official statement saying he was off duty.

Not, he is a security officer, or police officer, or military officer, who was off duty. Just that he was off duty with no context.

Ugh.

Ambrose said...

Obama may have done it for the wrong reasons, but keeping the US out of the Syrian civil war was not all bad.

Scratchy said...

If it was me, the gunman's complete family would be hanging the public square by their feet, and baseball bats rented for the crowd.

But then I am very peaceful. I must know the real answer would be to nuke Mecca and Medina.

gspencer said...

"Why, yes, Islam is a religion of peace. Why do you ask?"

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe Putin wanted it to happen.

He's devious, you know.

Not much happens without Putin being involved.

It will be harder for Americans to dump on Russia today.

Mac McConnell said...

Who is behind this? ;-)
CIA
Putin
ISIS
Kurds
Israel
Iran
China
Turkey

Ambrose said...

@eric - Good point. I watched the video and was wondering how the shooter was able to get behind the speaking ambassador.

Scratchy said...

Ambrose said......keeping the US out of the Syrian civil war was not all bad.

Good advice for WW1 and WW2 also, maybe?

rehajm said...

Officials in the Obama administration are working to determine the motivation of the attack.

Balfegor said...

Re: Ambrose:

Obama may have done it for the wrong reasons, but keeping the US out of the Syrian civil war was not all bad.

I would not characterise us as "out" of the Syrian civil war. We're heavily involved, what with the CIA training "moderate" rebels, and our bombing campaigns, and our "red lines" and "Assad must go" and all that. That's definitely not keeping out.

We're just totally ineffectual is all, so it's easy to forget how we've tried to involve ourselves.

After all, training rebels and bombing the countryside are both clearly acts of war. We didn't even try to pretend we weren't training rebels! The overheated rhetoric, I grant, is not quite the same thing -- more on the order of North Korea threatening to turn Seoul into a sea of flame, when no one actually thinks they will.

Scratchy said...

I think Obama just retaliated for the hacking.

Quaestor said...

Obama may have done it for the wrong reasons, but keeping the US out of the Syrian civil war was not all bad.

[Ahem!] Perhaps not provoking it in the first place would have been a better idea (See Clinton, Hillary R "The Arab Spring")

The killer gave the ISIS salute, thus signifying his loyalty to the so-called caliphate. Now we cannot intervene in Syria without becoming the de facto ally of the worst elements in the region.

Thank you President Obama for your brilliant foreign policy. Your place in history is assured.

Gabriel said...

@Brando:Well this is getting a little too Franz Ferdinandy.

My first thought. Turkey is part of NATO but what is that worth these days? There's a sense in which the US is "between" Presidents; might Russia, which has historically had designs on Turkey, think they have a window to exploit? Could Russia even beat Turkey, regardless of NATO?

Lots of potential for things to go wrong.

Freeman Hunt said...

How long until an article pops up about this being caused by Trump? Rhetoric or something.

Balfegor said...

Re: Geoff Matthews:

That could have been OUR ambassador. Why didn't we get involved more in Syria?

We did! Our rebels are apparently the ones who are getting wiped out Aleppo. Um, Jabhat al-Nusra, I guess?

Two Department of Defense officials told The Daily Beast that they are not eager to support the rebels in the city of Aleppo because they’re seen as being affiliated with al Qaeda in Syria, or Jabhat al Nusra. The CIA, which supports those rebel groups, rejects that claim, saying alliances of convenience in the face of a mounting Russian-led offensive have created marriages of battlefield necessity, not ideology.

Well, in any event, some people in our government evidently think we've been backing the Al Qaeda terrorists, so maybe that means we're safe from terrorist assassination plots for the moment? Maybe the bear will eat us last?

Anyhow, it's not that we're not involved, it's that we've apparently made a total hash of our involvement.

Freeman Hunt said...

Putin is the new Cheney in the imagination of the American left. Remember how Cheney was supposed to be the evil architect of all terrible things?

Rocketeer said...

Putin is on Halliburton's board, you know

Alex said...

Brawndo... it's what plants crave.

JAORE said...

It wasn't terrorism. It was Art Gallery Violence.

Geez, ya Islamophobic bastads....

traditionalguy said...

Was there another Egyptian video about Islam? Everyone agrees that is what causes Ambassador assassinations.

We need to think about who would do this as a trigger to tempt Putin into a cruel attack. Our CIA would do anything to try to block a Russo-American Alliance.

And while we are at it, somebody hire another carefully vetted Secret Service Team for DJT. It was a Turkish policeman guarding the Russian who did this one. I suggest this duty be assigned to the strongest Trump loyalist there is: Kellyann Conway.

Trumpit said...

If I had been Obama, I would have moved heaven and earth, and U.S. troops to stop the Syrian Civil war. I know how awful civil wars are from reading history. Instead, we let the Russians and other monsters prop up Assad by wholesale killing of civilians. Shame on Obama; shame on the U.S. and the world community.

Chris said...

RoP is not violent at all. This was art. Performance art. If you cannot appreciate that ISIS is good at art, that is not ISIS's problem.

madAsHell said...

Well this is getting a little too Franz Ferdinand.

Agreed. The Russians have been looking for a warm water port since Peter, the Great.

traditionalguy said...

Does the CIA say this was a disturbed guy called Lee Harvey Muhammed acting alone.

Chuck said...

I'm still wondering about the 37% of self-identified "Republicans" who hold positive views of Vladimir Putin, in the era of Trump.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/gop-russia-putin-support-232714

Other polls have shown different, but similar results. I think that among self-identified "Trump supporters," the Putin positives are even higher. But polling for positive views of "Russia," there are lower numbers (as well as more even numbers, between Republicans, and Democrats).

Darrell said...


Drive a Muslim to work tomorrow. Someone might give them the stink eye.

Darrell said...

Drive Chuck to work tomorrow. I'm giving him the stink eye.

Lyle Smith said...

They're reporting the assassin was a Turkish security officer. Lots of Sunni Turks support the Sunni rebels fighting Assad and Putin. This guy sounds like one such Turk.

Brando said...

"Lots of potential for things to go wrong."

Yep--though I have to admit I'd laugh if the Germans reacted to this by immediately invading France to get back Alsace Lorraine.

"Agreed. The Russians have been looking for a warm water port since Peter, the Great."

The Russians have no permanent allies or enemies, only permanent interests. America keeps thinking we can charm them, but their eyes remain on the prize.

"If I had been Obama, I would have moved heaven and earth, and U.S. troops to stop the Syrian Civil war. I know how awful civil wars are from reading history. Instead, we let the Russians and other monsters prop up Assad by wholesale killing of civilians. Shame on Obama; shame on the U.S. and the world community."

Gotta disagree, not because what's happening there isn't appalling but because it's hard to imagine our involvement making things better. Bad as it is, it could always be worse--picture a steady stream of American war dead and wounded coming back while we get sucked into the mess. Sometimes we have to stay out of messes where we cannot improve them.

Balfegor said...

re: traditionalguy:

We need to think about who would do this as a trigger to tempt Putin into a cruel attack. Our CIA would do anything to try to block a Russo-American Alliance.

Ehhh, look. The Russians are not our friends. We may have common interests from time to time, as I believe we ought to have had in Syria, but they want to destabilise the existing international order, particularly as it relates to their former servitor states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The post-Cold War international order is, after all, structured to our benefit and their detriment, since Capitalism won and Communism lost.

We want to keep Russia weak, and cut off from her former empire, to prevent her re-emergence as a rival Great Power. If she were to reclaim her empire, who knows how the international system might change to our detriment? It's bad enough with China on the move.

Brando said...

"Does the CIA say this was a disturbed guy called Lee Harvey Muhammed acting alone. "

We'll know for sure if the left blames a right wing culture of hate for the murder.

Brando said...

"Ehhh, look. The Russians are not our friends. We may have common interests from time to time, as I believe we ought to have had in Syria, but they want to destabilise the existing international order, particularly as it relates to their former servitor states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The post-Cold War international order is, after all, structured to our benefit and their detriment, since Capitalism won and Communism lost."

Exactly. We don't have to love or hate Russia, just accept what they are and what drives them. And their interests may collide with ours.

Hagar said...

Putin cannot be friends with both Turkey and Iran for long. Those two are also looking to recover their old empires and it is largely the same territories.

The "civil war" in Syria has so many sides to it that the Syrians have trouble telling who is who or what, and yes, it does look like "we" are supporting people there we should not be supporting anywhere.

Balfegor said...

Re: Brando:

Gotta disagree, not because what's happening there isn't appalling but because it's hard to imagine our involvement making things better.

I do think that if we had not involved ourselves, things would have been better, since -- all things being equal -- our intervention was on the side of the likely losers and has probably prolonged the misery. But even if we had kept our noses out, our sort-of allies in the Middle East have put a lot of money into the rebels, so the war would probably have dragged on quite a while.

If one cares about lives lost and cities destroyed, the best thing, frankly, would have been for the rebellion to get crushed immediately, as rebellions were in the days of Hafez al-Assad, and for the dictatorship to regain control swiftly. But we in the US have done our best to draw the bloodshed out, in the false hope that our gentle rebels might triumph over Assad.

Brando said...

"I do think that if we had not involved ourselves, things would have been better, since -- all things being equal -- our intervention was on the side of the likely losers and has probably prolonged the misery. But even if we had kept our noses out, our sort-of allies in the Middle East have put a lot of money into the rebels, so the war would probably have dragged on quite a while."

Yeah, I think we should not have gotten involved there at all. Maybe provide some humanitarian support in a safe zone, but nothing more.

My problem with Obama's "red line" was not that he didn't follow through, but that he made the bluff in the first place. It just seems we never learn our lesson that sometimes others can work out their messes without us jumping in.

Sebastian said...

O to Islam: cut it out.

eric said...

Blogger Chuck said...
I'm still wondering about the 37% of self-identified "Republicans" who hold positive views of Vladimir Putin, in the era of Trump.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/gop-russia-putin-support-232714

Other polls have shown different, but similar results. I think that among self-identified "Trump supporters," the Putin positives are even higher. But polling for positive views of "Russia," there are lower numbers (as well as more even numbers, between Republicans, and Democrats).


The purpose of polls is to push fake news.

Polls are garbage. They have every incentive to get a presidential election correct and still get it wrong.

What's the incentive to get these stats right?

We would all do well to ignore polls and Pollsters. The Pollsters, Democrats and Media all work together to spin a narrative.

My favorite example of this is marijuana in Colorado. The kids in Colorado have been taking a self reported poll for years. Do you smoke marijuana, or have you used drugs, however it's worded, and the percent who anonymously admit to it hasn't changed since before the state laws changed. Even though it's always been illegal for kids to smoke now as it was then.

Then "poll" is used as evidence that changing state law in regards to marijuana hasn't caused more children to smoke.

Then, you look at the number of kids punished with suspension and expulsion for mairjuana use and it's skyrocketed.

Gee, I wonder why the difference in the numbers.

Scott said...

Well, that tears it. All accounts suggest the shooter is a 22 year old policeman from Ankara, so a official member of the Turkish state versus Ataturk-on-the-street.

Shooting was caught on live TV and streamed worldwide. So, yeah, this one has legs.

Turks are claiming 'nefarious foreign sources linked with Gulen' (the rival of PM Erdogan who fled the country and is living in Pennsylvania). Totally predictable since he's their Emmanuel Goldstein figure. Russians are blaming the CIA and Nato secret services (ditto).

First off, consequences. This is a slap in the face to Putin and will provoke a response of some sort. Assassination of an ambassador, particularly by a member of the host country government is a big deal and an arguable act of war. Expect Putin to milk this for all he can with concessions from Turkey.

If things do devolve into a shooting war, we have a legal obligation to jump in on Turkey;s side (NATO treaty). So this could be a rerun of 1914 all over again.

As to who is responsible, that's a good question. All we can say is that the shooter used jihadi language and called it punishment for Aleppo and that this was a suicide mission. Also there was no visible security from the Russian embassy, which may or may not be relevant. So far so good, which leaves a bunch of possibilities.

Al-Qaeda/Jabal-al Nusra/ISIS jihadi or 'lone wolf' affiliated with same. Religious motivation.
Supporter of other Syrian rebel group. Revenge for Aleppo.
Kurdish supporter. Payback to Ankara for the suppression of the Kurds, or looking to get a Russian/Turkish war going to benefit the dream of an independent Kurdistan.
Russian false flag. Sacrifice the ambassador (and WHY did they have him here when relations were so poor and conditions so bad in the country?) to put pressure on the Turks.
Turkish government hit job. Payback to the Russians for their meddling in Syria (which Turkey views its rightful place to meddle in). Either directly, or posting a known jihadist to the security detail of the day and stepping back.

Peter said...

"Why, yes, Islam is a religion of peace. Why do you ask?"

This was an act of Islamophobia. Why else do you think Putin paid the assassin to shout "Allahu akbar!"?

Mac McConnell said...

All we really know for now is that the shooter spent more on his gum than that ill fitting suit.

Mac McConnell said...

"his Gun"

mockturtle said...

We and Russia have a common enemy: Islamic terrorists. In WWII it was Hitler's Germany. There are times when we should team up with people we don't entirely trust because the alternatives are even worse.

Regarding Aleppo: We started this crap by supporting the 'moderate rebels', who happen to include Al Qaeda and ISIS [or, As BO insists, ISIL] against the government of Syria. So Russia comes in to help Assad defeat them and we cry foul. This is the same old kind of shit we've been pulling for decades.

I read this morning that the 'rebels' used a 7-year old girl suicide bomber in a police station in Damascus. They had her walk into the police station and ask to use the bathroom and them remotely detonated the suicide vest. These are the people we are supporting. :-(

Real American said...

Clearly, Turkey needs more stringent gun control laws.

Mac McConnell said...

This could just be a false flag operation by Erdogan to continue his purge. Sort of like the fake coup.

rhhardin said...

A flexible diplomat.

Real American said...

Obama immediately declared that all Islamic terrorists should "cut it out."

Mac McConnell said...

The fake coup with help of Putin, notice Turkey has been very chummy with Russia since the "coup".

Brando said...

"Clearly, Turkey needs more stringent gun control laws."

No, they just need to close the gun show loophole that this security guard obviously used to buy his assault rifle even though it appears to be a handgun.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
It will be harder for Americans to dump on Russia today.


Not for me it won't. They are fucking morons.

campy said...

Can we impeach Trump for this today, or do we have to wait until Jan. 20?

Quaestor said...

All we really know for now is that the shooter spent more on his gum than that ill-fitting suit.

You missed a comedic typo opportunity.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Ann Althouse said...
It will be harder for Americans to dump on Russia today.

Not for me it won't. They are fucking morons.

12/19/16, 2:25 PM
-----------------------------
Morons?
The Americans or the Russians

Quaestor said...

Not for me it won't. They are fucking morons.

Go ahead and make an ass of yourself. At this point why break a perfect record?

AReasonableMan said...

LarsPorsena said...
The Americans or the Russians


I am tempted, but I meant the Russians. Their country is an economic basket case and they are picking fights all over the globe. They are the frozen tundra version of Cuba.

AReasonableMan said...

Quaestor said...
At this point why break a perfect record?


I am flattered but I will never match your performance. I am just a humble student at the feet of a master.

Quaestor said...

They are the frozen tundra version of Cuba.

I resent that remark. Let me state this for the record: Barack Hussein Obama has no beard.

Alex said...

AReasonableMan said...
Ann Althouse said...
It will be harder for Americans to dump on Russia today.

Not for me it won't. They are fucking morons.


Wow. Just wow. You really are a nasty man.

JML said...

Brando said...
"Ehhh, look. The Russians are not our friends..." Didn't Adams say something like there was no real friendships between nations -- only mutual interests. For example, look at Israel -- I think we have no better partner in the region to advance our interests, but that doesn't mean they won't strafe one of ships or we won't ship them the advance missile they need. Maybe not the best analogy, but I'm on vacation and don't want to think too deep.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Chuck said...
I'm still wondering about the 37% of self-identified "Republicans" who hold positive views of Vladimir Putin, in the era of Trump.


Okay, we have Chuck! Who else wants to rush into this before we know what's going on? Who else wants to kill some Russians? Chuck, are you going yourself, or are you sending people to kill Russians for you?

At the present time Turkey has a war guarantee from NATO ensuring that we will drop nuclear warheads on Moscow if Russia goes too far. Question, what is too far? Question, isn't that Trump stupid for wanting to slap some sense into NATO? Stupid Trump! Not like Chuck! Chuck is smart! Chuck wants to be right!

Quaestor said...

They are fucking morons... Their country is an economic basket case and they are picking fights all over the globe.

A typical leftist description of the United States, is it not? The only difference is the adversaire du jour, which is now Russia. It's the same old same old with progressives, only the nouns change.

AReasonableMan said...

Alex said...
Wow. Just wow.


They slaughter thousands of civilians. Their ally gasses his own people and they are the good guys? Grow some morality buddy.

Drago said...

AReasonableMan: "I am flattered but I will never match your performance. I am just a humble student at the feet of a master."

Well, you have much to be humble about.

David said...

The shooter didn't "look like" a terrorist. He was dressed like a Goldwater supporter from 1964 or a divinity student in a 60's civil rights protest.

cubanbob said...

AReasonableMan said...
Quaestor said...
At this point why break a perfect record?

I am flattered but I will never match your performance. I am just a humble student at the feet of a master.
12/19/16, 2:35 PM"

ALthough Quaestor is technically correct I do admit ARM has a great retort.

" AReasonableMan said...
Alex said...
Wow. Just wow.

They slaughter thousands of civilians. Their ally gasses his own people and they are the good guys? Grow some morality buddy."

So I gather your opinion of Bush/Cheney has moderated?

David said...

" I watched the video and was wondering how the shooter was able to get behind the speaking ambassador."

I imagine a lot of people are wondering the same thing.

Drago said...

Chuck: "I'm still wondering about the 37% of self-identified "Republicans" who hold positive views of Vladimir Putin, in the era of Trump."

This is typical of the fake news perpetrated by MSM and some "lifelong republicans".

Notice Chuck could not be bothered to post a link to the poll. So I googled it and it popped up (BTW, here it is: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ro9rimrce9/econTabReport.pdf

If you scroll down to the Putin Favorability question you will see that the poll utilizes a 5 point Likert scale and that's how you get to 37% favorability rating for Putin by self-identified republicans (5% Very, 32% Somewhat).

Now ask yourself the next obvious question: What, precisely, did these (37%-ers) find "favorable" about Putin?

You'll be asking yourself that all day because....drum roll.....it's not there.

And it's that question that is the real question.

For instance, what if a respondent was most concerned with ISIS and perhaps not fully up to speed on the nuanced specifics of what is happening on the ground in Syria and believes that Putin is killing ISIS members? That would yield a positive favorability response.

You can do this yourself all day.

Without the breakout of which policies/actions/traits/personality traits/etc have led to a favorable (or for that matter "unfavorable" rating), the poll is useless.

Which is the point as it clearly is designed to yield a result which can be bandied about the left, the leftist-aligned MSM and some "lifelong republicans".

Brando said...

"Didn't Adams say something like there was no real friendships between nations -- only mutual interests. For example, look at Israel -- I think we have no better partner in the region to advance our interests, but that doesn't mean they won't strafe one of ships or we won't ship them the advance missile they need. Maybe not the best analogy, but I'm on vacation and don't want to think too deep."

That's exactly right--I think it originated with a British statesman explaining why Britain could keep switching alliances to oppose Spanish expansion, then French expansion, and Russian expansion, then German expansion--all to maintain its own supply lines to its empire and keep any one power from dominating the continent. And that's why whenever they talk of adding more countries to our alliances or "having no daylight" between us and another country (even Israel) it's foolish. There are going to be times when that entangles us and we have to be very careful with our commitments (not to say we should have none, just that they can't be given out like some giggly schoolgirl accepting engagements from too many suitors...yeah my analogy machine isn't working so well today but you get the drift...)

Plus, our cheap guarantees can make our friends too eager to push into conflicts, knowing they can drag us in. Screw that noise!

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
Maybe Putin wanted it to happen.

He's devious, you know.

Not much happens without Putin being involved.

It will be harder for Americans to dump on Russia today.


What?!?!

An event which highlights Russia's genocidal co-dependency with the Assad regime? I find it interesting that the guy didn't shout, "Alahu Akhbar!" He shouted that his act was revenge for Aleppo.

This is what I don't get about the Trumpkin-heads. The Putin regime is bad. One of Obama's great failures was appreciating how bad Putin was and is. Obama's failure has resulted in an abject disaster in Syria. "We're from Russia and we're here to help. Right."

I can't think of anything you have written in the past year, Althouse, that is more confusingly wrong-headed than that little remark.

The Cracker Emcee said...


"Obama may have done it for the wrong reasons, but keeping the US out of the Syrian civil war was not all bad"

Absolutely. He clowned himself a bit with the 'red line" talk but ultimately he did the right thing (or did nothing at all). Drill, baby, drill, and leave these barbarians to it. As in Spain, there are no good guys in a Muzzie civil war.

Brando said...

"I can't think of anything you have written in the past year, Althouse, that is more confusingly wrong-headed than that little remark."

I'm guessing she just means that people usually become a bit subdued in criticizing another country when that country just underwent a tragedy (like ragging on China over their human rights abuses right after they have a deadly earthquake).

But none of this changes our situation vs. Russia. It wasn't long ago Republicans were (seemingly) united in getting after Obama for underestimating the geopolitical challenge (if not threat) that Russia posed. Now, because Trump can't seem to say one bad word about Putin, we're supposed to do an about-face on that? Ridiculous.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"One of Obama's great failures was appreciating how bad Putin was and is. Obama's failure has resulted in an abject disaster in Syria."

Oh, everyone knows. The question is, is it in America's interest to do anything about it? For once, Obama made the right call.

Drago said...

Chuck: "This is what I don't get about the Trumpkin-heads. The Putin regime is bad. One of Obama's great failures was appreciating how bad Putin was and is. Obama's failure has resulted in an abject disaster in Syria. "We're from Russia and we're here to help. Right."

Your buffoonish commentary is astonishing.

Stalin's regime was "bad" (you know, like 30 to 50 million murdered "bad"), but apparently, for some unknown reason, FDR and Churchill decided it was cool to ally with him over a more immediate threat.

I am quite sure this type of thinking befuddles you. I mean, Stalin was "bad" dude! Like really "bad"!

As for "We're from Russia and we're here to help. Right.", it is "right"....from Assads point of view. In fact, it couldn't have turned out more right for Assad.

So what we have here is Chuck being too dense to understand the underlying rationale behind answers in a useless poll and then using that to extrapolate to the wrong conclusions about the viewpoints of others.

And, once again, Chucks obtuseness somehow, magically, aligns PERFECTLY with whatever the dem talking points of the day happen to be.

You know, just like every other "lifelong republican".

Thanks Chuck!

tim in vermont said...


CIA just announced that they intercepted a "stand down" order from Putin. ... I kid, I kid.

Livermoron said...

ARM just listed the reasons he was pro-Iraq War. Being moral like he is and all.

AReasonableMan said...

Chuck said...
What?!?!

An event which highlights Russia's genocidal co-dependency with the Assad regime?


Of the various mania's that have overtaken the Althouse blog in recent years Putin idolatry is unquestionably the stupidest.

The saying 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' is not written in stone on a tablet handed down from God, it's just a saying, which some are are taking much, much too literally. Simply because you hate Obama with the fire of a thousand suns and Putin does too doesn't make cosying up to Putin a sensible geopolitical strategy. Putin is raping his country and setting it on an irreversible path of decline. Gaddafi's fate is too good for him.

Obama suckered Putin into Syria when he dismissed Russia as a regional power. What exactly is Russia's critical interests in Syria? It is the chest-beating of a psychopath, who needs to show that he is not the sad little leader a third rate dictatorship.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'm still wondering about the 37% of self-identified "Republicans" who hold positive views of Vladimir Putin, in the era of Trump."

-- Without seeing the questions, that poll is useless to me. For example, I think Putin is effective and a strong leader, and if asked, I would say as much. This does not mean I *like* what he's doing when leading, but I will bet you that if polled with questions that asked about those traits, I'd ping as "pro-Putin."

Matthew Sablan said...

"Then, you look at the number of kids punished with suspension and expulsion for mairjuana use and it's skyrocketed.

Gee, I wonder why the difference in the numbers."

-- The possibility is the number has stayed relatively steady, they just don't hide it as well. I don't think that's what's happening, but the possibility is there. That or teachers are more likely to discipline for it now as opposed to ignoring it/finding a non-disciplinary approach since it isn't as devastating a thing to have a kid get in trouble for as drug possession/use was before it was illegal.

Weak tea, but mattering on the actual numbers and other studies/research, there is a possibility.

Drago said...

ARM: "Of the various mania's that have overtaken the Althouse blog in recent years Putin idolatry is unquestionably the stupidest."

As this assertion is demonstrably wrong and dishonest the remainder of the comment Canberra safely discounted.


Drago said...

Canberra? Great idea auto-correct!

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
As this assertion is demonstrably wrong


So what are the even stupider manias that have overtaken the Althouse blog? Demonstrate away.

mockturtle said...

For those of who who say Obama did not get involved in the Syrian civil war: What universe are you living in? Even the NYT acknowledges that he did--and still is--supporting the 'moderate rebels'. Saudis/Obama arm rebels in Syria

Drago said...

ARM: "So what are the even stupider manias that have overtaken the Althouse blog? Demonstrate away."

As there has never been a Putin adoration mania on Althouse blog your entire rhetorical edifice built upon that assertion collapses.

What we have is a category error on your part, which, not surprisingly, is quite descriptive of all your postings.

No doubt you thought you were being clever with your rhetorical sleight of hand. And, I suppose it would seem to be.....to anyone in Junior High.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
As there has never been a Putin adoration mania on Althouse blog


Au contraire my dear friend. Putin idolization, Putin adoration, Putin veneration, Putin infatuation, Putin love or Putin passion, I don't care what you call but it's here all right. Right here in Althouse City!

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in Althouse City!
With a capital "P"
That rhymes with "T"
And that stands for Pootin.

Drago said...

ARM: "Au contraire my dear friend. Putin idolization, Putin adoration, Putin veneration, Putin infatuation, Putin love or Putin passion, I don't care what you call but it's here all right. Right here in Althouse City"

Yes.

Of course.

And America, as obambi leaves office has NEVER been stronger or more respected around the world.

#ThingsTheLeftMustBelieve

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM said...Au contraire my dear friend. Putin idolization, Putin adoration, Putin veneration, Putin infatuation, Putin love or Putin passion,

Repub nominee for President: "Russia is the US' #1 geopolitical foe."
Dem nominee for President: "the 1980's called, and they want their foreign policy back!"
Media/smart set/ARM's peeps: "Oooh, sick burn, snap snap snap, you wiped the floor with him Barack!"

That was, what, 2012? So, so long ago. Now it's "the Right loves Putin soooo much, but we smart people hate him and know he's an evil menace. We're smart, never forget that."

Yeah. We've always been at war with East Asia.
Smaaaaaaht, wicked smaht.

Tarrou said...

I'm gonna take a different tack. How on god's green earth does someone shoot an ambassador in public, on camera, and have time for a soliloquy afterward? Where the hell is security? I thought only the US protected its ambassadors with wishful thinking and apologies. Looks to me like both Putin and the Turks have a lot of egg on their faces here. Simply appalling.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The pictures of the killing are unbelievable. Like, literally. I clicked through 3 articles to make sure it wasn't some sort of a performance (happening at an art gallery as it did).
The thumbnail makes the killer looks like a tall Fred Savage somehow.

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
"Russia is the US' #1 geopolitical foe."


I still think this is nonsense. Russia under Putin is primarily a danger to itself. China is obviously a vastly more competent foe.

The worry with Russia is who and what it takes down with it when it fails.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM said...I still think this is nonsense

Putinlover!
See?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Here's some of that sweet sweet context we stupid people on the right supposedly hate, ARM:

WashPo: Flashback - Obama's Debate Zinger on Romney's 1980's foreign pocliy

Romney went on CNN and said: “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.”

When challenged if Russia was a bigger foe than Iran, China or North Korea, Romney made clear he was talking about Russian behavior at the U.N. Security Council.

“I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world’s worst actors, of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough, but when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe.”


---

Moscow has rewarded these gifts with nothing but obstructionism at the United Nations on a whole raft of issues. It has continued to arm the regime of Syria’s vicious dictator and blocked multilateral efforts to stop the ongoing carnage there. Across the board, it has been a thorn in our side on questions vital to America’s national security. For three years, the sum total of President Obama’s policy toward Russia has been: ‘We give, Russia gets.


In other words....Romney agrees with you! China & other nations are more powerful and bigger threats in some ways, but Russia is the most oppositional to America & her interests w/r/t thwarting multinational efforts, inserting itself on the wrong side of violent conflicts, etc, and causing havoc & heartache & pain as it uses its dwindling world influence to cause chaos for little more than some stupid, macho-type pride.

But don't forget--Romney, he's a Republican, so the response was laughter & derision. So stupid, the Right, so very stupid. Putin Schmutin, what a joke!

I remember.

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" thinks China, the country that is restricting capital flight while trying to prop up its failing currency, is a global threat. Neato .

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
"AReasonableMan" thinks China, the country that is restricting capital flight while trying to prop up its failing currency, is a global threat. Neat .


Relative is a difficult concept, but stick with it I've got faith in you.

Birkel said...

I like your non-answer. Feeble suits you well.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Chuck,

Putin is raping his country and setting it on an irreversible path of decline. Gaddafi's fate is too good for him.


I disagree (to the extent that I think he's maximizing a weak hand), but if true, what patriotic American would object?


ARM,

"Russia is the US' #1 geopolitical foe."

I still think this is nonsense. Russia under Putin is primarily a danger to itself. China is obviously a vastly more competent foe.

I'm going to back off the harsh personal remarks, but you are seriously in error.

First, tell me how China has the ability to project power to someplace as far away as Syria, or take and hold adjoining ground of its neighbors to the extent of the Donbas region of Ukraine.

Second, please to describe the nuclear deterrent of China that is capable of striking CONUS. What, 20 ICBMs, and some on subs that we can kill anytime we like? Compare to the deliverable nuclear arsenal of Russia.

Third, compare the elements of incessant harassment and probing, for weakness in us and advantage to them, practiced globally by Russia and China.

Fourth, whose weaknesses make it more unstable and dangerous thereby, Russia or China?

China is worth watching, and dealing with/guarding against, but Russia is the present main problem.

That said, my analyst at the office says Russia is done pushing West, for now. Watch to the South-the Stans. I just don't know how they have kept peace with Iran this long.

AReasonableMan said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
I'm going to back off the harsh personal remarks, but you are seriously in error.


Before WW II the US was not a great military power. What it had was the greatest technology and manufacturing infrastructure in the world. China is not quite where the US was in 1938 but it is getting there. Russia has nothing going on. It is in precipitous decline in large part because of Putin's inept and corrupt leadership. Yes they have a lot legacy materiel and military competency but it is not sustainable because the economy is in ruins.

Dr Weevil said...

"Before WW II the US was not a great military power." Really? Just looking at sea-power between the world wars, the Washington Naval Treaty of 1923 set ratios of battleship tonnage between the five major powers at 5 for the U.S. and U.K., 3 for Japan, 1.7 for Italy and France. In other words, the U.S. was tied with Britain for largest navy in the world in the kind of ship thought to be most important then. Later treaties set tonnage for cruisers between the U.S., U.K., and Japan at 10:10:7, and then set equal tonnages for submarines. I don't know how many battleships the U.K. and Japan had to scrap to meet the new limits, but the U.S. had to scrap 15 old battleships and 2 new ones, and cancel 13 under construction. (All information from Wikipedia article 'Washington Naval Conference'.) Any lack of greatness in naval power between the wars was a result of treaty limitations voluntarily agreed to, and still left the U.S. tied with Britain for first place. No doubt the U.S.S.R. and then Nazi Germany would rate higher and the U.K. lower if we looked at army numbers, but someone else can take care of that.

Bad Lieutenant said...

ARM, you are a materialistic type and you only look to the material. What you ignore is the human factor. Before World War II, the United States had been a successful Naval power for well over a hundred years, competing at Sea with such minor opponents as the Royal Navy of Great Britain, and if you don't like them, there was France too.

It's more than the tonnage of steel a country puts out, however contaminated and impure. Far more important is the skill, the morale, the discipline, the institutional memory of fighting and winning at sea, even just existing at sea is a constant battle.

We've been operating aircraft carriers for almost a hundred years. The Chinese, less than ten. They just can't do what we can do. Nor can the Russians, but they're closer; their subs at least are peer competitors. Chinese Subs exist to serve as targets for real navies.

Put it another way, put our Sailors in the Chinese ships and the Chinese Sailors in our ships, and we'll kill them just the same.

Put it yet another way, the Chinese Navy would not stand a chance against the Japanese Navy.

Rusty said...

ARM said, "Before WW II the US was not a great military power."

Compared to who?
The Japanese?
Germany?
Keeping in mind up until Pearl Harbor the United States intention was to ride out the war in Europe on the sidelines. There was no need for a big military buildup. In comparison to what the Germans and the British could put in the air we lagged far behind. Troop comparisons were laughable. But our navy was first class. Otherwise the Japanese wouldn't have considered it a threat enough to try and take it out in one go.
A lot of historian like to say that Russia had the hardest time, Bullshit. They never had to leave their country. The United States fought two wars thousands of miles from her shores and not only provided material for our own troops but we outfitted allied nations as well. The logistics alone were nothing short of genius.


"
We've been operating aircraft carriers for almost a hundred years. The Chinese, less than ten. They just can't do what we can do. Nor can the Russians, but they're closer; their subs at least are peer competitors. Chinese Subs exist to serve as targets for real navies."

The learning curve for taking off and landing on an aircraft carrier is steep. there are going to be accidents. Neither the Chinese nor the Russian aircraft carriers currently have catapults. Consequently they can't deploy fully loaded aircraft. That limits them as far as range and staying power and their ability to defend their carrier. IOW. It's one thing to have an aircraft carrier and a whole other ballgame to use one effectively. I have no doubt that both Russia and China will master them but it will be a long hard slog. A decade or longer.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also, they may have cobbled together one jeep carrier from spare parts. Fine, baby steps.

Now build out a carrier battle group.

Now multiply by three because two is one and one is none.

Multiply by two because screwups.

Take off a digit because slave labor I guess.

Now create a sea control doctrine. Add a naval strategy. Mix until reason for China to have a carrier Navy exists.

Half-bake.
-----------
Serves 1-2 billion. Or does it?

Cost? Fixed and recurring?

Time?

Lives?

Used when and where?

(Until sunk by our subs which they have another hundred years to get right.)

Stick to butchering peasants, peasants.