Who is Althouse? * View only LAW posts * Contribute * Use my Amazon Portal
The phone line will come back on quietly. It's too useful to the Russians as a means of getting intel on where and who we are going to strike...Posturing by Putin and the NYT
Trump fell under the influence of the war party who never stop to think of consequences. Bombing in Syria was a spasm and not a strategy.
So calling Putin evil, saying they hacked our elections, and calling our president a stooge of Putin *didn't* hurt US-Russia relations?
Trump will have more flexibility after the election.
Jack Wayne: "Bombing in Syria was a spasm and not a strategy."There is no way for you to know that. Nor should you if it is, in fact, a strategy.Note: I am not suggesting that it is a strategy and I am not assessing possible strategies.
The bombing in Syria was a promise that the Trump administration will honor its word and commitments. it was a signal to the world, at least those who have been ignoring Nikki Haley, that the fecklessness of the Obama administration has ended.The strategy was the US is back and playtime is over.
Trump No Longer In Bed With Putin"Eating crackers is one thing. Launching Tomahawks is something else," Putin said to an impromptu press gathering outside the Kremlin yesterday. "I'm angry, I'm hurt, frankly I feel like I've been pissed on by prostitutes in a fancy hotel room," he added shaking his head before climbing into a waiting limosine.
Lance: "Trump will have more flexibility after the election"I wonder who will "relay this information to Vladimir."LOLWho can forget that warm loving touch obambi layed on Medvedev. It was quite romantic the way obambi pledged his increased flexibility to his boyfriend in the Kremlin.
Well, the Russians may have reason to be ticked off, but so does the rest of the world.The Russians co-signed as guarantors in a 9/14/2013 treaty with the US that Syria would eliminate all chemical weapons in its arsenal. Well, clearly, that wasn't the case.If the Russians lied to us and had no intention of keeping the treaty, then, yes, they had to know that when the US found out there would be consequences (even under Obama, I think there would have been consequences). If the Syrians lied to the Russians (which I think is a possibility) & kept chemical weapons stores, then the Russians failed in their job as guarantors. Either way, to think that the US could or would role over & play dead after having been so publicly lied to would be a bad bet on their part.Do I think that 59 cruise missiles can possibly tip the balance towards "good" in Syria, whatever the hell that is? No. But, to smack Syria around by blowing up military assets (with warning!) after it clearly violated a treaty against murdering its own people with universally banned weapons just isn't that controversial of an act.
That's Trump, spiting the hand that feeds him. As usual.
So calling Putin evil, saying they hacked our elections, and calling our president a stooge of Putin *didn't* hurt US-Russia relations?The Russians know whom to take seriously and whom to disregard.
The Toothless Revolutionary said...That's Trump, spiting the handThink about that for a while.
TTR: "That's Trump, spiting the hand that feeds him. As usual."But sometimes it works in your favor! Of course, we will need a bit of clarity on what form the "feeding" takes.We are, after all, discussing a President who is pursuing policies across the board which degrade Russias leverage economically and militarily.
This is the tricky question for people advocating non-intervention in Syria:Assad is a Russian and Iranian client. Russia has been intervening to support him, and they have a lot of interests in the area. Iran has been supporting him, and they're trying to be a regional power.The price of nonintervention is that Russia and Iran have a lot of influence in the area for the indefinite future. The best case scenario for America would be1) Russia kept out2) Iran contained3) No interventionI think it's becoming clear that all three aren't possible at the same time. Obama's foreign policy seemed to be aimed towards accepting / encouraging Iran to be a major regional power. So Obama's policy wasNo intervention + de facto alliance with Iran = Russians out.But I think it's clear that that was just a fantasy. We don't have enough common interests. Iran wants to increase its influence by changing the current order; we want to preserve our influence by keeping it the same.It's not at all clear what Trump wants.
Like the Turkey shoot down of their hostile aircraft, they will get over it.
Wait, I was told by MSNBC that Trump was Putin's puppet.....
"The Russians co-signed as guarantors in a 9/14/2013 treaty with the US that Syria would eliminate all chemical weapons in its arsenal. Well, clearly, that wasn't the case."It is not at all "clearly the case." We still don't know who used the Sarin gas. I came across this sharp jab in the eye of the New York Times on their jaw-droppingly imbecilic explanation for why Assad would--against all sense--use Sarin gas on Syrians.
The Drill SGT asserts: The phone line will come back on quietly. It's too useful to the Russians as a means of getting intel on where and who we are going to strike...Posturing by Putin and the NYTPrecisely. Face-saving maneuvers.
"So calling Putin evil, saying they hacked our elections, and calling our president a stooge of Putin *didn't* hurt US-Russia relations?"Not nearly as much as attacking that airfield and saying that Russia may have been complicit in the nerve gas attack. Trump apparently had his eyes opened to what Putin really is. It's ever so much worse because with all the praise Trump piled on Putin for all those years, now Putin may be feeling spurned, lost some face. Putin may have thought he would have a malleable guy in the Presidency, just give him a few compliments and Trump fell right into his hands. I'm glad Trump changed his tune, for a wag the dog reason or because Trump had an epiphany of what kind of leader Putin really is. Who knows which one is the truth, probably some of each.
Bob Boyd: "...eating crackers..." Thread-winner!My sense is, Putin is playing to his base. Trump humiliated him, both in smacking his client right under Putin's vaunted air defense umbrella; and in reminding the world that Putin's client had tricked Putin, or colluded with him, to violate the Super Great Deal that Obama and Kerry told us, and the world, had totally solved the chem war threat.So we will see some chest-beating. And maybe we will see some back-channel spitefulness and brush-back pitches. It's the majors.So far, on optics anyway, Trump won this round.
Or, rather, not at all "clearly not the case!"
We are, after all, discussing a President who is pursuing policies across the board which degrade Russias leverage economically and militarily.It's possible. But since Republican blunders are usually muted and not evident until they blow up just as the guy's leaving office, I'll probably wait at least a year to see how this whole anti-Russia thing plays out.
"So far, on optics anyway, Trump won this round."So, mounting illegal attacks against another country is just a matter of two world leaders trying to one-up each other mano a mano? And this is okay?We all lose!
Or you could blame Jared and the Generals.
The biggest weakness in the American position is that we really don't want to intervene. We're overstretched in the region, and there's no appetite for another long war in the Middle East. If Trump is wise, he'll take that as a given and try to work within the constraints that imposes. No chemical weapons seems like a very minor line to draw in a conflict that's become so large. But it's an expressed American commitment, and we already have a deal in place that's supposed to guarantee that Assad doesn't have any chemical weapons. So I think you've got to hold that line or accept that you don't have any influence at all -- that nobody considers a promise to you to be binding.
If President Trump is able to resist the pressure from those who want US involvement in the Syrian Civil War, whether hey have a plan or not, then he should do just fine.If the whole point of the exercise clearly was, "we wanted to punish the use of chemical weapons, we did it, it's done and we're not choosing sides in your civil war",then the deal is done and breast-beating about it is futile.
Hate to keep harping on this but it's part of the Sunni/Shiite balance of power. Just as in the 'good old days' [sarc] when we were arming both Shiite Iran and [at that time] Sunni Iraq. With the risk of sounding Islamophobic, I would like to see both the US and Russia stay the hell out of the ME but we can't just abandon Israel, either. Most of the terror attacks in the ME are Muslim against Muslim. This conflict is centuries [actually, millennia] old and there's little we--or the Russians--can do to stop it.It would be ideal if both the US and Russia could join forces against ISIS. But after ISIS, what would be next? This ideology isn't going away.
"Bombing in Syria was a spasm and not a strategy."Hopefully, it was neither. More like a "thinking of you" card.
Robert Cook: "...And this is okay?"Time will tell. This is one move in a much bigger game, that has been going on for a very long time, and isn't going to stop.I can't yet assess if the chem war attack was (a) real and done by Assad (b) real but a false-flag op (c) fake. My assumption for now continues to be (a). Apparently it was the assumption of Trump and his team as well. Unanimously. (Not that that matters, see how everybody, including the Brits and others, jumped off the cliff in 2003 against Saddam).On the assumption that the chem attack was real, Assad knew or should have known that he was testing his luck with the world. Most of whose players he knew pretty well. He knew Putin would do nothing. He knew the UN would bleat and moan and do nothing. Ditto the Europeans.The one main guy whose response he did not know much about, was Trump.Well, now he knows. Trump now lives in Assad's head, rent free. In a yuuuuge corner suite.Is that "right"? Is that "smart"? Time will tell.
This is fun.Lefty heads spin: DJT puts ties with Russia at risk! Anti-Russia thing will blow up! Illegal attacks! O followed Constitution! DJT has no strategy!
TTR: "It's possible. But since Republican blunders are usually muted and not evident until they blow up just as the guy's leaving office, I'll probably wait at least a year to see how this whole anti-Russia thing plays out"A prudent policy indeed. When it comes to geo-political maneuvering with the occasional military move to buttress policy/strategy we often do not know the true outcome until much later.Of course, the world is chock full of Ingas as well who start from a position of profound ignorance yet fancy themselves the next Clausewitz because they read some thread on DemocratUnderground or Talking Points Memo.
@Owen at 12:19PMUntil it is proven Assad is behind the chemical attack, the default assumption must be he didn't do it. As you point out, Assad certainly knew this action would draw outrage from the West. Assad is winning the war against the rebels and he had no sensible reason to destroy his own almost assured victory and invite just such an action by the west as has happened.I assume, until it is proven otherwise, that this is a false flag attack by anti-Assad rebels.
I've read that there are some Alt Righters out there that are pushing the idea that the nerve gas attack was "fake". These are the same people who also claimed Sandy Hook was fake. One just has to wonder how they can truly believe these types of things are fake, that they never really happened with all the video coverage.
Zach: "It's not at all clear what Trump wants."This is the key point made thus far and without access to that information no one is in a position to question the objective(s) or tactics to be employed to achieve the objective(s).Did Trump "win" this "round"?I don't know.What can be stated is that Trump has thrown many parties, almost all our strategic opponents, into a frenzy of uncertainty. The Disruption strategy in play.What I found MOST interesting about the strike was the timing of the strike, the fact the Trump ordered it, then sat down to dinner with Xi and then during a casual stroll Trump informed Xi about the strike.Which was then followed by a discussion about China must do to rein in NKorea or else the US might just be willing to "go it alone".Can you imagine the conversations the Chinese aides and tacticians were having on Xi's trip home? What I would give to listen in on that!
Inga: "I've read that there are some Alt Righters out there that are pushing the idea that the nerve gas attack was "fake"."Gee, thanks for the update on that. We certainly know that is Lawrence O'Donnells and many on the lefts take as well.I'll go out on a limb here and recommend that if you want to understand what is going on that you only study the actions and tactics of Assad, Russia, Hezbollah, the Iranians as well as ISIS and Assads non-ISIS/Hezbollah opposition.But knowing you, I'm sure you'll find some bizarre website where you will glean all of the "insight" you can handle.
Cookie: "I assume, until it is proven otherwise, that this is a false flag attack by anti-Assad rebels."The World Trembles.
Zach: "It's not at all clear what Trump wants."The base bombed into rubble suggests otherwise. Don't use chemical weapons, period.Oh, and the next round will level the presidential palace.Make it personal, and it's amazing how it changes their thinking.As for anything else, it's clearer that the Mullahs in Iran need to be destroyed. How to do that, however, is the problem.
@ CookI can see your point, but on the other hand, Trump essentially said, 'We just have to live with the fact Assad rules Syria. We don't want to go in there, fighting ISIS is our priority and Assad is fighting ISIS.' It's conceivable Assad interpreted that as Trump saying he would continue Obama's hands off precedent, which included acceptance of Assad's Sarin gas attack in 2013.
Drago, I don't know or care what O' Donnell thinks, but I doubt you are right, as you are often wrong. I mentioned it not as a piece of news but to showcase how nutty Alt Righters are. They've called Jared Kuschner an enemy of the people and they've called Trump a cuckservative. This is all good news to us on the left.
I'm giving Cookie a hard time but really, skepticism is not inappropriate.In fact, I would say that our intel better stiffen up because if I were part of an anti-Assad faction and I wanted to discredit him and possibly get him removed, I would get my grubby little murderous but Inga-approved muslim hands on a portable Sarin bomb and simply wait for Assad forces to bomb an area and then explode my bomb and blame it on Assad and then,....just sit back for the US to do my work for me.
Zach: "It's not at all clear what Trump wants."The base bombed into rubble suggests otherwise. Don't use chemical weapons, period.Yeah, but what does he want out of this? Assad gone? Putin out of the Middle East? Everything as it was, just no chemical weapons? Is he going to keep any of the Obama-era movement toward Iran, or was that just a brain fart that future presidents aren't bound by?Trump needs to figure out his desired end state, and take actions consistent with that.
Is there any evidence that Assad has denied the chemical attack?
"In fact, I would say that our intel better stiffen up because if I were part of an anti-Assad faction and I wanted to discredit him and possibly get him removed, I would get my grubby little murderous but Inga-approved muslim hands on a portable Sarin bomb and simply wait for Assad forces to bomb an area and then explode my bomb and blame it on Assad and then,....just sit back for the US to do my work for me."This is exactly what I fear - getting sucked into a civil war where there is no good side.mockturtle wrote:"But after ISIS, what would be next? This ideology isn't going away."Exactly. Power vacuums in the Middle East have a tendency to be filled by those who might be even worse than the original shitbag.Gee, perhaps I need to start reading Alex Jones or someone like that. According to Inga, he's really got his finger on the pulse of US conservativism.*eyeroll*
Inga making the case for her own bigotry, hypocrisy, and willful ignorance.Better a know it all than a know-nothing.Did you look up the meaning of 'additional' yet, Frau Inga?
Taken in isolation, I think an airstrike following a chemical weapons attack could be a good move.Regardless of whether we should intervene in Syria or not, getting rid of chemical weapons is a promise that Syria made to the US, with Russia as the guarantor. Maybe that was a bad deal by Obama -- things got a lot worse in a hurry after he made it. But it was a deal, and it has to be honored.Coming this early in Trump's presidency, it's quite possible that the chemical attack was made with the partial goal of figuring out whether Trump was willing to hold the line on that deal or let it go unenforced.Again, though, Trump has to figure out what he wants. Good actions can still lead to ruin if they're not coordinated toward a reasonable goal. Unreasonable goals like allying with Iran will lead to ruin even if the day to day actions are flawless.
The thing that ticks the Libtards off the most is that this blows the whole Russian/Trump election collusion out of the water.Poor Larry O'Donnell has been reduced to supposing that the whole thing is some Putin plot.There is no greater distance in the universe than the distance between the perceived and actual intelligence of a Libtard.Libtards are known for considering the lies that support their narratives to be sacraments. I am unsure as to how they deal with the unrecoverable destruction of a narrative. Do they double down on the narrative with even more fantastic lies or does it disappear from history like a Stalin purge history?
Scott Adams has it right again. Even if this was a false flag operation by very skilled moderate rebels, they have set the stage for DJT to win by what he did about it and the way he did it. If any proof comes out that the moderate rebels did it to themselves, then even if believed, that changes nothing. Trump's leadership has been proven in spades.NB: Trump ended his speech last night with ,"...God bless America AND THE WORLD." And then he Tweets congratulations to the Military, "...for representing the United States AND THE WORLD..."So, DJT is willing to be President of the USA and President of the World, too.
You can try to deny the Alt Right played a huge role in getting Trump to into the Presidency. They backed him wholeheartedly and he ate it up. Now they have denounced him and call him a "cuckservative" and Jared an "enemy". The center of influence has shifted dramatically away from Bannon and the At Righters, which is a very good thing. Trump would never have had much of a chance to be viewed as having some legitimacy from those on the left had Bannon and the Alt Right continued to have so much influence over Trump. It was a sight to see reading all the many denouncements from the Alt Right yesterday.If Trump can continue to put his trust in the saner elements in the White House and stay away from being Putin's buddy, we all will be better served. Half the country saw Trump as someone who had no capacity to be POTUS, he can change this if he's smart.
Inga: "You can try to deny the Alt Right played a huge role in getting Trump to into the Presidency."LOLUnless the entire midwest turned into the "Alt Right" (whatever that means today) your assertion is as meaningless as all your others and is particularly meaningless in terms of the political situation as it exists today.Once again, I realize that you spend hours feverishly poring over lefty sites to get your "perspective", but your time would be much better spent reading "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright as well as "The Way of The Strangers, Encounters with the Islamic State" by Graeme Wood.But again, knowing you, you'll just dial up Media Matters.To each his/her/xe's own I suppose.
@Inga:The center of influence has shifted dramatically away from Bannon and the At Righters, which is a very good thing.Why? As someone who is prepared to identify with the alt-right, I can assure you that an American president who was more concerned about the American border and the American nation is far preferable to one whose energies are devoted to trying to solve a fractious sectarian conflict involving dozens of different actors whose dynamics we have a tenuous understanding of at best.It should show how far the rot goes that the only time Trump has been able to garner broad support from the political establishment by needlessly attacking another country. The establishment's enthusiasm for military adventurism has been a disaster, and it was something Trump vowed to take on. Trump was absolutely right when he said that attacking Assad was dumb, even if his 36-year-old real estate developer son-in-law disagrees. Kushner was a life-long Democrat until about two minutes ago and is well on board with the globalist agenda. Why him being Trump's primary adviser is a good thing is totally beyond me.
It looks like a one-off that sets some boundaries. Trump, Tillerson, McMaster, and Mattis wanted to assert that there are some things up with which we will not put. I'm fine with the idea that bombing civilians with sarin meets the standard. I'm also guessing that our national intel, when its attention was redirected from Americans' phone calls, was able to determine which country's air force dropped the gas bomb/s. None of those decision makers seems to have any plan to go in and "fix" Syria because down that road lies folly. (See "Wars, Vietnam and Iraq.")The strike also serves as an effective warning to Putin, whose Crimean aggression and Syrian "oversight" deserve pushback from the international community, and to Xi, whose hands-off North Korea policy needs to be held to account, and soon.
Inga: "Trump apparently had his eyes opened to what Putin really is."More likely that you had your eyes opened to what Trump really is."
Robert Cook said...@Owen at 12:19PM.I assume, until it is proven otherwise, that this is a false flag attack by anti-Assad rebels.4/8/17, 12:24 PM Inga said...I've read that there are some Alt Righters out there that are pushing the idea that the nerve gas attack was "fake". 4/8/17, 12:27 PMRobert, meet Inga. Inga, meet Robert.
Farmer,Our world is a small planet. Try as the Alt Right might, we are a global power and with that comes responsibility. I'm not going to say your viewpoint is wrong, you're entitled to it, however the America First mentality fell apart pretty quickly, didn't it? Was it realistic? Bannon was against the attack because he said it violated the America First policy, but he was overruled. It's obvious Trump was very affected by what he saw and his own humanity trumped the America First ideology, which gives me hope.
@Crazy Jane:I'm also guessing that our national intel, when its attention was redirected from Americans' phone calls, was able to determine which country's air force dropped the gas bomb/s. That's one huge assumption right there, especially given the intelligence community's ignoble history of getting things dead wrong. When the consequence of their assessment is attacking another country, we should be doubly skeptical. 'The strike also serves as an effective warning to Putin, whose Crimean aggression and Syrian "oversight" deserve pushback from the international community, and to Xi, whose hands-off North Korea policy needs to be held to account, and soon.The strike will have exactly zero effect on Russia and China's foreign policy decisions. Russian aggression in Crimea could have been easily avoided by not supporting a violent coup against the pro-Russian elected government of Ukraine.
Bad Lt.Alt Lefters and Alt Righters are the extremes, IMO. I think it's safer and saner to stay more towards the middle. I like Cook, but I don't share many of his views.
Inga: "Trump apparently had his eyes opened to what Putin really is.""More likely that you had your eyes opened to what Trump really is."You are partially right. I saw some humanity in Trump and that did soften me up a bit.
@Inga:It's obvious Trump was very affected by what he saw and his own humanity trumped the America First ideology, which gives me hope.Oh, please. Thousands of people are dying in the South Sudanese Civil War. Do we need intervene there out of humanity? Over 1,500 people (20 times as many who died in the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack) were killed in the Sinai insurgency last year and over 200 killed so far this year. Do we need to intervene there out of humanity? Over 25,000 people died in the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan just last year. Should ramp that war back up out of humanity?Conventional military force in Syria has killed over 400,000 people since 2011. Is dying by nerve gas really that much worse than being blown to pieces, having half your body burned off, or suffocating in the rubble of a destroyed building?
@Inga:I think it's safer and saner to stay more towards the middle."The middle" is another word for the status quo. The "saner" middle is exactly what opened the floodgates to exporting jobs abroad and importing cheap labor at home. If you happen to be in the elite circles that benefits from such policies, great. If you are one of the poor hoi polloi who has seen your livelihood stripped away, your wages depressed, and your living standards fall, the "saner" middle seems like a pretty insane place. Especially for a country that considers itself a republic.
@RC,It is not at all "clearly the case." We still don't know who used the Sarin gas.So far, at least 72 Syrians have died from the Sarin attack. That's 72 civilians, not out in the open, but hiding from from what they expected to be a conventional bombing attack.Making Sarin is quite easy. "Weaponizing" Sarin so that it can be effectively delivered & spread by a bomb or a shell is a whole other level of technological sophistication. To give an example, in 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult released Sarin in five stations in the Tokyo metro. Even under such crowded & closed-in quarters, they only succeeded in killing twelve people. Why so few? Because they had no way of effectively "spreading" i.e. weaponizing the Sarin. That so many people were killed "in the open" points to a technological sophistication possessed only by the Syrians or Russians. This sort of damage was done by a chemical munition, not a home brew.
Even the reliably leftist Snopes.com will not support Inga on that Leninist claim.Too bad, Inga. You need to stop talking to Abby Someone.
Drago said..."I'm giving Cookie a hard time but really, skepticism is not inappropriate.In fact, I would say that our intel better stiffen up because if I were part of an anti-Assad faction and I wanted to discredit him and possibly get him removed, I would get my grubby little murderous but Inga-approved muslim hands on a portable Sarin bomb and simply wait for Assad forces to bomb an area and then explode my bomb and blame it on Assad and then,....just sit back for the US to do my work for me."Reason and experience tell me that the one with the capability is most likely the culprit.
@YoungHegelian:That so many people were killed "in the open" points to a technological sophistication possessed only by the Syrians or Russians. This sort of damage was done by a chemical munition, not a home brew.The official claim from the Syria government was that they bombed a chemical weapons factory and that the gas was spread that way. I have no clue if this is true or not, but it is a plausible counterexample. Khan Shaykhun is under the control Tahrir al-Sham, which is basically Al Qaeda in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also noted that the bombing was carried out by Sukhoi Su-22, which supposedly cannot deliver chemical-filled munitions, though I have no clue if the latter claim is true.
"Unlike other image macros of its ilk, this one did replicate a seemingly documented quote, one recorded in an article published by the Daily Beast. On 22 August 2016, writer Ronald Radosh recounted a conversation he reportedly had with Bannon at a party he attended in 2013:[…] we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.Shocked, I asked him what he meant.“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press."
"In January 2016, for instance, Bannon was quoted by the Washington Post‘s referring to him as “virulently anti-establishment”:“We call ourselves ‘the Fight Club.’ You don’t come to us for warm and fuzzy,” said Stephen Bannon, Breitbart’s executive chairman and one of its guiding editorial spirits. He adds, “We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-’ the permanent political class. We say Paul Ryan was grown in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation.”In 2013, Bannon said that he didn’t believe that the United States had a functional conservative party:“We don’t believe there is a functional conservative party in this country and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that,” he told a gathering of conservatives in Washington, D.C. “It’s going to be an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment, and it’s going to continue to hammer this city, both the progressive left and the institutional Republican Party.”"
This sort of damage was done by a chemical munition, not a home brew.And one should add that the claim made by Russians and other Trump critics that the sarin was from a stockpile of nerve gas held by the rebels themselves that leaked when the stockpile was accidently hit by a bomb is a transparent lie.To start with "nerve gas" is not a gas, at least not at STP. It's an oily liquid. A few ounces of Sarin can kill a thousand people, but only if it is dispersed as an aerosol. That means one can't just fill an empty bomb canister, drop it on a town, and expect it to do more than soaking into the ground. Nor can mere explosives do the trick. Sarin is inflammable. When it burns the products are relatively harmless. To weaponize sarin or its derivatives the bomb or artillery shell must convert the thick liquid into a mist of tiny droplets without heating the deadly reagent to its kindling point. The German, who invented sarin and another deadly organophosphate called tabun, never quite figured out how to weaponize it before the war ended.
Inga has very selectively quoted from the Snopes page I linked to at 2:08 PM.Here's the link again, which I provide as evidence of just how mendacious our Inga can be when it suits her.
Yes, read the whole thing.
@Inga,…] we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.Considering that Lenin never called himself a Leninist, & the Commies after him called themselves Marxist-Leninists, I think what we've got here is Bannon knowing what buttons to push & then pushing them with a noted historian of the Far Left like Radosh."In January 2016, for instance, Bannon was quoted by the Washington Post‘s referring to him as “virulently anti-establishment”....In 2013, Bannon said that he didn’t believe that the United States had a functional conservative partyInga, how long have you been here? You know this is standard boilerplate for a sizable chunk of the American Right. This isn't even Alt-Right. This is what I call the "Permanently Pissed-Off" Branch of American Conservatism. It has it's mirror equivalency on the Left, of course.
I am not sure why everyone is trying so hard to make this tactical move by Trump into some grand strategy concerning Syria. A one-off missile strike is just that. It is a tactical move and in Syria has no greater impact than that. There are important differences between strategy and tactics we should all keep in mind.There IS a strategic component: how the rest of the world interprets Trump's decision making. As many have mentioned the bombing puts the world on notice that there is a different decision maker in the WH; it certainly underscores that we are not in bed with Putin ( although I suspect that much of the Russian complaint is part of the diplomatic "dance"). If Trump were really trying to make a major strategic change right now he would probably follow this up with some aggressive naval activity in the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan. That is where the future strategic problems are festering. The ME all be a mess if we continue our minimalist approach or make a bigger commitment (I prefer not). Rebuilding the Navy with the objective of being able to adequately patrol in the Pacific will be sufficient to gain China's attention.We "officially" have over 500 troops on the ground in Syria at the moment - Army Special Forces and Marines - as well as some kind of carrier battle group off the coast. I suspect the number of ground troops is much larger if the books were being kept honestly. Many of you are being naive that we are not directly involved in Syria although our primary objective there seems to be the destruction/control of ISIS and support of Iraq. It seems to me that the biggest strategic question to be addressed in the ME is IRAN. The status quo seems to rule there for now.One last thought: if you were Putin how would your calculations on Ukraine have been changed by Trump taking determined action in Syria? Remember that, in the final analysis, Russia's military is considerably weaker than the US/NATO. If you were Putin would you be bit more cautious than you were when dealing Obama or do you think you could still brazen it out? Discuss.
Inga: "Yes, read the whole thing"....she said after being exposed.
Standard boiler plate, huh? Pretty dark.
And what, dear Inga, is the money quote, the takeaway from that site you have quoted from at length? The one written larger than the others and in a bright red san serif font? I want you to quote it for the others to read.
khesanh0802: "I am not sure why everyone is trying so hard to make this tactical move by Trump into some grand strategy concerning Syria."I don't believe most people are.khesanh0802: "One last thought: if you were Putin how would your calculations on Ukraine have been changed by Trump taking determined action in Syria?"I don't see any direct connection between the limited strike in Syria and the "facts on the ground" situation in the Ukraine. I find your question oddly limiting. I would have asked a broader question about potential impacts anywhere on the globe.For instance, I believe that this strike might cause a bit of second guessing on the part of the Chineses as to whether or not the Trump admin would be willing to engage, in a limited way, NKorean activities.
Khesanh, I also think that the limited strike ought to be evaluated in the message, small and "early days" though it may be, the strike might have sent to our allies in Europe and elsewhere.We will see how events continue to unfold.
I am most interested in what the significance is of the changes in Inga's icon (or whatever you call the picture). There clearly must be some significance related to the content of her comments. The world awaits.
Inga: "Standard boiler plate, huh?"Redundant.
khesanh0802: "I am most interested in what the significance is of the changes in Inga's icon (or whatever you call the picture). There clearly must be some significance related to the content of her comments."I would surmise it has something to do with her claims of being a real Christian because she refusing to engage the reality of radical islam and her strong desire to bring millions of additional muslims to America so those muslims can MAGA by their usual tactics of blowing people up and cutting off heads (when they aren't busy with FGM and sex slavery and child marriages).
Bannon should be no where near the President or the White House. I hope the romors are true and he's on his way out.http://www.businessinsider.com/book-steve-bannon-is-obsessed-with-the-fourth-turning-2017-2"This era of change is known as the Fourth Turning, and Bannon, like Strauss and Howe, believes we are in the midst of one right now.According to the book, the last two Fourth Turnings that America experienced were the Civil War and the Reconstruction, and then the Great Depression and World War II. Before that, it was the Revolutionary War.All these were marked by periods of dread and decay in which the American people were forced to unite to rebuild a new future, but only after a massive conflict in which many lives were lost. It all starts with a catalyst event, then there's a period of regeneracy, after that there is a defining climax in which a war for the old order is fought, and then finally there is a resolution in which a new world order is stabilized.This is where Bannon's obsession with this book should cause concern. He believes that, for the new world order to rise, there must be a massive reckoning. That we will soon reach our climax conflict. In the White House, he has shown that he is willing to advise Trump to enact policies that will disrupt our current order to bring about what he perceives as a necessary new one. He encourages breaking down political and economic alliances and turning away from traditional American principles to cause chaos.In that way, Bannon seems to be trying to bring about the Fourth Turning. Bannon has never been secretive about his desire to use Trump to bring about his vision of America. He told Vanity Fair last summer that Trump was a "blunt instrument for us ... I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.""
"... interested in what the significance is of the changes in Inga's icon (or whatever you call the picture). There clearly must be some significance related to the content of her comments."None whatsoever.
I wonder if Bannon wants to "fundamentally transform" the US?I have been reliably informed that to oppose "fundamentally transforming" the US is racist. Straight up.
Inga wrote: Pretty dark.The most generous thing one can conclude from your comments here, Inga, is that you don't know what dark is. Steven Bannon wasn't being dark. No, far from it. He was being candid. Sincere. Unaffected. He stated his beliefs as clearly.The dark one is you, dear Inga, your stupid angel avatar notwithstanding. You took Ron Radosh's report from a dinner party conversation, which may have been misunderstood or misheard by Radosh who is elderly and perhaps not as keen-eared as he once was, and repeated it here as a truth. You called Bannon a Leninist. I showed that to be unproven at best. You persisted with selective quotes, blithely ignoring the huge red UNPROVEN at the top of that Snopes.com page you lifted the quotes from. A person who repeats a canard as if it were fact is a rumormonger. A rumormonger who so indulges in order to damage another's reputation is a liar.Pretty dark, did you say? Pot, meet kettle.
"Is dying by nerve gas really that much worse than being blown to pieces, having half your body burned off, or suffocating in the rubble of a destroyed building?"No. Nerve agents are relatively painless. The person who can't breathe because of sarin can't breathe and it sucks. The person who inhaled superheated air and burned their lungs also can't breathe and they get a lot of pain to go with it.
"The official claim from the Syria government was that they bombed a chemical weapons factory and that the gas was spread that way. "It wouldn't really disperse properly is my understanding. The bombs that disperse chemical weapons are designed specifically for that purpose so the gas isn't changed by the explosion. It is also not easy to get coverage. Bombing a container of sarin gas and subjecting the material to massive heat and pressure would make a very small area mess.This seems extremely unlikely. It looked like the gas was spread over a significant area
Drago: Read the comments in this thread carefully. There is a lot of blending of strategic and tactical analysis. My point is that this was purely a tactical move as far as the ME is concerned. I did say that there was strategic message to the world in general: that,in essence,there is a new sheriff in town.The reason I chose Ukraine is because it is an area that it is clear that Putin, if given the right odds, might continue to "invade". The Syria strike does not change the facts on the ground, but it does change the assessment of the opposing commander. A bit like the command changes Lee faced during and after Gettysburg.China is a separate issue and though the Spraely's are an issue that do not clearly include the invasion of another country ( I know it is more complicated than that), I believe we have time to address China and the best way to do that is ensuring that the US naval force in the Pacific is adequate. As far as Nork is concerned, the best thing there would to be ring the place with land and sea based anti-missile defenses while they continue to starve to death. Like the So. China Sea it comes down to a question of adequate US naval forces to get the job done - as well as getting Japan and So. Korea up to speed. If nothing changes in the Med our Navy is spread too thin right now - and as I have noted in the past our preparedness in all armed forces is inadequate at the moment.We are going to have to be careful with the Chinese. By careful I mean that subtle messages will have a major impact and subtle messages may work best. (Never forget "face".) That's why I said dealing with China is a strategic issue rather than a tactical one. US Naval budgets and ship building will be closely watched by the Chinese. Right now the Chinese navy is no match for ours and increases in our capabilities will force the Chinese to decide where they want to invest and how hard they want to push on their borders. The situation is a bit analogous the Regan and Russia: does Chiina want to sacrifice civil advancement for military advancement? If they do, what's going to happen with those billions of people who have had their expectations raised over the last 25 years or so.
The bombs that disperse chemical weapons are designed specifically for that purpose so the gas isn't changed by the explosion.One slight correction, sarin is not a gas.
"He was being candid. Sincere. Unaffected. He stated his beliefs as clearly."Yes indeed he did and it is a dark, dystopian view of the world. He's as creepy as you often are.
@Inga Then it's merely your mood for the day? Damn! I hoped there was some hidden meaning you were testing us with..
There was already a proxy war going on in Syria between the United States and Russia, one of eight such wars happening simultaneously in that tiny country. So what does a little shooting do to change that condition? The last time the big guys got their hackles up, it was Putin pushing Obama's red line around.Most wars we fight now days involve using local fighters to do the fighting with outside support from larger countries and ideological causes. The problem is who among the locals are our friends and which ones are our allies? We never get it right, BTW.
Achilles said..."Is dying by nerve gas really that much worse than being blown to pieces, having half your body burned off, or suffocating in the rubble of a destroyed building?"No. Nerve agents are relatively painless. The person who can't breathe because of sarin can't breathe and it sucks. The person who inhaled superheated air and burned their lungs also can't breathe and they get a lot of pain to go with it.That's not the way I remember it. I was trained at the NATO NBC Staff Officer's Course and as I recall GB (aka Sarin), its primary mechanism is to fire all the nerve endings in your body, (or actually to eliminate the process that ends the firing of a nerve). You start losing fluids out of every orifice and mucous membrane (hence lungs). Twitching, blindness, tightness of chest, follows. pen-ultimately, you spasm and twitch on the ground, blind and in severe pain, THEN, you go unconscious, and die of suffocation (drowning). That's why it's called a NERVE AGENT!.It is absolutely not "going quiet into that good night" If you think otherwise, go sniff a full can of RAID.
Yes. Poison gas is the neatest way to suffocate vermin. Once they stop scrambling for air, it is over. No bloody mess to clean. You just remove the bodies, shave the heads for hair, and remove the gold teeth to be melted down and the bars of gold taken to your Swiss Bank to exchange for Swiss Gold Francs.Syrians are civilized, you see. And they know a good Final Solution method when they see one.
And I never get "allies" and "enemies" right!
The reason why Trump's strike against Assad's chemical weapons has so upset Putin is strategic, but it's not Trump's strategy that's upsetting. The reason why Putin has invested Russia in the survival of the Assad dictatorship is strategic, but it is neither new nor original. Putin is advancing a Russian imperialist strategy that hasn't changed since the days of Peter the Great. Russia wants Constantinople, which is currently held by the Turks. The Turks own it now, but they took it from the Byzantines who inherited it from the Romans who took it from the Macedonians who took it from the Magarans. Therefore someone may take it from Turks. Putin wants to be that someone. As an Orthodox Christian, he would love to reconsecrate Hagia Sophia. As a Russian patriot, he would love to give Russia a gateway into the Mediterranean. By establishing Syria as a de facto Russian colony (Even if he wins against all the opposition parties in Syria and against ISIS and the against mullahs of Tehran Assad will need Russian troops to survive.) Putin puts pressure on Erdogan, thus advancing the ancient Russian strategy.Caught between pressure from the West on the matter of his Islamism and anti-democratic tendencies, and pressure from the East on the matter of being a Sunni heretic, and pressure from Moscow on the matter of Constantinople Erdogan will seek an accommodation with one. Putin will sweeten the deal with oil, gas, and Russian troops to quell the Kurds, and thus gain control of the Bosphorus. That's the strategy that Trump has jeopardized.
He's as creepy as you often are.Coming from Inga "creepy" is high praise. Quaestor would rather be taken for a creep than a mendacious oaf.
So Questor, ya gonna wish me into the corn, speaking of stupid avatars, but in your case, fitting.
Allt he Russians I've talked to recently have been cordial.
Based on all military experience to date poison gases, even nerve gases, are just harassment weapons unless they can be dropped on a very large scale on a concenteated target, which hasnt really been done since WWI. As we see in this case a couple of aircraft sorties against an urban civilian population killed a few dozen people.The could probably have killed as many using 1-ton bombs instead. I suspect the Syrian regime was simply trying to start a panic with a little gas. Thats what Saddam Hussein seems to have done in 1991 to crush the Shiite rebellion. The Iraqis dropped quite a lot of several types on the Iranians but never (that I know of) enough at once to have a decisive effect on the battlefield besides adding to the attrition.
Say, what do you fellers think the chances are that Syria will use chemical weapons again?Slim to none.And Slim left town.
What does victory look like? What's the overarching strategy here?Victory looks like Syria not using chemical weapons.The strategy is to punch a bully in the nose when he fucks up.It's a little early but....so far, so good.
What does victory look like? What's the overarching strategy here?Victory looks like Syria not using chemical weapons.The strategy is to punch a bully in the nose when he fucks up.It's a little early but....so far, so good..What happened to last week's strategy?On Syria, Mr. Trump had mocked President Barack Obama for setting a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and urged him not to launch a punitive strike against Syria after Mr. Assad crossed it in 2013. That attack, with a death toll of 1,400, dwarfed last week’s toll of 84. And just days before last week’s attack, Mr. Tillerson indicated that Washington would accept Mr. Assad’s remaining in power.Indeed, critics, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, argued that Mr. Assad felt free to launch a chemical attack precisely because Mr. Trump’s administration had given him a green light.Russia, critics added, did not constrain Mr. Assad because it has had a blank check from an overly friendly Trump administration. And Mr. Trump’s efforts to bar Syrian refugees from the United States, they said, sent a signal that he did not care about them.
Victory is Syria settling down to peace under some non-insane ruler more or less acceptable to most of its neighbors. Or split into as many countries as required so each fits the requirements of the previous sentence.
Trump laid part of the blame for the chemical attack on former President Barack Obama, saying the deaths were a "consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution."Republicans, however, who controlled Congress then as they do now, were adamant that Obama should not act without their approval, Obama aides said. Trump also had called for Obama to get congressional approval before any attack on Syria.
Obama was a fool to declare a "red line" and then not enforce it.The Syrians and the Russians weren't too worried about it. I wonder why?I'm guessing they're worried now.I wonder if Iran is reconsidering what to do now that they know they won't be getting pallets of cash and the "don't do it but really just go right ahead" wink wink nudge nudge on their nuclear ambitions, like they got from the last administration. I bet they're just all confused.And hopefully China steps up their game with Fat Boy Kim. Brilliant that all of this went down while China was paying a neighborly call.
" Brilliant that all of this went down while China was paying a neighborly call."Never let a crisis go to waste!!
@Antiphone Could you cite your sources when you insert quotes? It helps on follow up. Thanks.Re your quotes: so it's Trump's fault that Obama made a threat of a red line and didn't follow through; and it's Trump's fault that Assad gassed his people when there was an agreement that he would turn over all his chemicals to the Russians; and its Trump's fault that Assad didn't gas enough people this time; and how did the raid change the US position on Assad retaining his position; and apparently Assad misread Trump's blank check; and Marco Rubio (who had his ass handed to him by Trump) is now the authority on how Assad reads Trump's position on refugees. Your quotation, to use one of favorite figures of speech, is a steaming pile of horse shit.
@Quaestor Interesting analysis. There is no question that Putin, like all the Czars before him, wants access to the Med. I am not sure that Russia is militarily strong enough to threaten to"overthrow" Erdogan and I don't think Russia is economically sound enough to tempt Turkey, but incentives and proximity may prove me wrong. Turkey is, of course, a NATO member as well. Syria may turn out to be as much a "tar baby" for Russia as for us and I don't think they have the resources to spare. The missile strike does indeed force Putin to do some recalculating.
khesanh0802:There is no question that Putin, like all the Czars before him, wants access to the Med.The Russians have had access to the Mediterranean since the early 1970s via their naval facilities in Tartus. This is part of the reason that Syria is a client state of Russia's. Russia also has access to Spain's port facilities in the enclave of Melilla near Morocco.
Somehow there has developed a sense that the Russians are look super-serious people with a wicked team of inhumanly well-trained super spies and assassins.In reality they aren't that smart. They create an environment where they can get stupid people to use brute force and torture and kill people. The downing of Malaysia flight 17 was a clumsy mistake. The idiot Russian speakers in Ukraine chatted about it in real time, unencrypted, in Russian until they realized that they had shot down a civilian plane. Putin says it was a plot by those clever Ukes.The current president of Ukraine, Petro Porochenko, is an oligarch. He is known as the "chocolate king" of Ukraine. Putin will not allow his chocolate in Russia becaue, he says, it poses a health hazard to the drunken Russians guzzling a liter of vodka each day. Something like that. Another plot by those clever Ukes.In a really choice bit of comic-opera foolishness, Russian-speaking "Ukrainian" protesters occupied the Kharkiv, Ukr. opera house because they thought it was the Kharkiv mayor's offices. Apparently they decided it must be the mayors office because it looked really fancy. Another clever Uke plot.
Antiphone Could you cite your sources when you insert quotes? It helps on follow up. Thanks.OK, it was lazy of me.HereOn Syria, Mr. Trump had mocked President Barack Obama for setting a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and urged him not to launch a punitive strike against Syria after Mr. Assad crossed it in 2013. That attack, with a death toll of 1,400, dwarfed last week’s toll of 84. And just days before last week’s attack, Mr. Tillerson indicated that Washington would accept Mr. Assad’s remaining in power.Indeed, critics, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, argued that Mr. Assad felt free to launch a chemical attack precisely because Mr. Trump’s administration had given him a green light.Russia, critics added, did not constrain Mr. Assad because it has had a blank check from an overly friendly Trump administration. And Mr. Trump’s efforts to bar Syrian refugees from the United States, they said, sent a signal that he did not care about them.And hereTrump laid part of the blame for the chemical attack on former President Barack Obama, saying the deaths were a "consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution."Republicans, however, who controlled Congress then as they do now, were adamant that Obama should not act without their approval, Obama aides said. Trump also had called for Obama to get congressional approval before any attack on Syria.
"Victory looks like Syria not using chemical weapons.The strategy is to punch a bully in the nose when he fucks up."Exactly right. Taking out the airfield was a quick measured response to the new top guy's authority, and was dealt with accordingly. Another gas attack, another airfield lost, and then, maybe the rest of the airfields if there is a third attack. The Russians (and thus Assad) will likely get less warning the second time, and maybe none the third. Except that there won't be a third. Assad needs his airfields more than we need our 1,000 lb bombs.
Now Russia has to live up to the bargain they made to rid Syria of WMDs or look complicit in the gassing.Putin does not have the men or material to double down and confront the US in the Med.Trump might be an asshole, but he isn't a stupid asshole.
J. Farmer It's a long way from the Black Sea to Tartus. Access to the Med is through the Bosphorus for Russia. That's a pretty restricted place to move a naval force through. The Black sea fleet is basically bottled up in the Black Sea. Tartus is a point of resupply and shore support with some repair facilities. I don't think it is comparable to our facility in Naples, but I imagine that's what Putin would like.From Wikipedia: "The Tartus facility can accommodate four medium-sized vessels only if both of its 100 m floating piers, inside of the northern breakwater, are operational. It is not capable of hosting any of the Russian Navy's current major warships which range in length from the 129 m Neustrashimyy class frigate through the 163 m Udaloy class destroyer, much less cruisers such as the 186.4 m Slava class and the 252 m Kirov class, or the 305 m Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier." For comparison, the US Sixth Fleet.
Russia and Turkey have been fighting, off and on, over the Bosphorus Strait since at least the 16th century.
@Rusty Yes, what's going to happen next with that agreement with the Russians to remove and destroy all Syria's chemical weapons? Another one of Obama and Kerry's harmful pieces of paper. Stay tuned.
I think they're going to discuss a political solution to their civil war.
@khesanh0802:J. Farmer It's a long way from the Black Sea to Tartus.Agreed, but Tartus is an extremely important facility for Russia, and it is the primary reason they are interested in seeing the survival of their client-state, Syria. I think the notion that Russia wants to "take" Constantinople from the Turks is absurd. And even if Russia had such desires, it has no conceivable means of achieving it in the short-term. The Soviets were major supporters of Turkish revolutionaries during the war for independence, and they maintained good relations throughout out the 1920s and early 1930s. When Stalin demanded bases on the Turkish Straits, he quickly pushed Turkey into the western security orbit. However, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian-Turkish relations have gone well. Even after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane near the Turkish-Syria border in 2015, the Russian response and reaction was relatively muted, and normalization continued by mid-2016.
@J Farmer Late comment!The Russkis have to be nice to the Turks if they ever want to get their Navy in and out of the Black Sea. It would be absolute insanity to piss off the Turks and have them close the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Tartus is a good base and I agree that Russia benefits from it, but it can not handle major repairs on Russia's most modern vessels. It does work as an effective thumb in the eye for us, but only until we decide to cripple it which we are unlikely to do.
Post a Comment