April 8, 2017

"Too Many of Trump’s Liberal Critics Are Praising His Strike on Syria."

According to Joan Walsh at The Nation.

She's fareeking out.
On CNN’s New Day Thursday, global analyst Fareed Zakaria declared, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night. To his credit, Zakaria has previously called Trump a “bullshit artist” and said, “He has gotten the presidency by bullshitting.” But Zakaria apparently thinks firing missiles make one presidential. On MSNBC, Nicholas Kristof, an aggressive Trump critic, said he “did the right thing” by bombing Syria. Anchor Brian Williams, whose 11th Hour has regularly been critical of Trump, repeatedly called the missiles “beautiful,” to a noisy backlash on Twitter....

Any liberal who praises these missile strikes has to account for what comes next....

It was disappointing to see Hillary Clinton say Wednesday afternoon that she thought air strikes on Syrian airfields were an appropriate response to the chemical-weapon attack. She was always more hawkish than I wished, and that shows it. But it’s wrong to insist she’d have done the “same thing” as Trump. Clinton’s secretary of state wouldn’t likely have told Assad we were no longer concerned about removing him; if she did fire missiles at Syrian airfields, she would have done so with a clearer notion of what comes next. Trump appears to be clueless....
Yes, in the imaginary world where Hillary is President, she does the same thing as Trump, but differently. She's so disappointing, and yet so superior to Trump.

It's so difficult for Joan. She doesn't know which way to tsk.

193 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

"She doesn't know which way to tsk."

Beautiful line.

I am Laslo.

tcrosse said...

Hillary would have bombed them, but she would have done so with sensitivity to the needs of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.

who-knew said...

"if she did fire missiles at Syrian airfields, she would have done so with a clearer notion of what comes next. Trump appears to be clueless...." How true, just look at how well thought out her Libyan adventure and it's aftermath were planned out. Do these people even listen to themselves?

Sebastian said...

This is fun.

Lefty heads spin: Some liberal commentators approve, OMG! Hill is the same but also different! Trump responds to war crime but is clueless!

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Yes, in the imaginary world where Hillary is President, she does the same thing as Trump, but differently. She's so disappointing, and yet so superior to Trump."

Actually, Althouse, you aren't familiar w/ the facts she's stating, or you're blocked from understanding the tick tock.

Reread the part re Rex. Then, search the tubes if Walsh's quick recap re Rex's greenlight isn't enough to bring you up to speed. Then, realize that you're absurd to suggest that HRC would have also given the go light.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Supposedly not being tough enough re penalties is one thing.

Publicly giving a greenlight is way beyond that.

Duh.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, the penalty thing re's the red line.

rhhardin said...

Derb says we've elected a fourteen year old girl.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Not to mention DJT's repeated excuse making and for Putin's totalitarianism.


Maybe this and the greenlight for Assad are all part of the art of the deal, where DJT wanted to setup an opportunity to launch missiles at Syria.

It worked!

J. Farmer said...

Hillary was advocating an even stupider, more reckless policy. She was calling for a no-fly zone, which would have brought the US directly in confrontation with Russia. As I said in a previous comment, Trump was an unknown quantity, while Hillary was guaranteed to escalate the war in Syria and take a more confrontation stance towards Russia. Both unbelievably dumb and counterproductive policies.

AReasonableMan said...

I think I went out with this girl's mother.

Yancey Ward said...

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a thing. I actually agree with a lot of Walsh's column but, unlike Walsh, I don't start out wanting Assad removed from power, nor do I even believe he dropped chemical weapons in this case.

It has been a sick kind of amusement for me watching the left trying to square this circle the last two days.

dreams said...

Joan Walsh is pretty damn dumb even for a liberal.

Lance said...

The similarities between Trump's attack on Shayrat and Clinton's attack on Al-Shifa are striking.

mockturtle said...

It's so difficult for Joan. She doesn't know which way to tsk.

:-D Bravo!

mockturtle said...

Lance quips: The similarities between Trump's attack on Shayrat and Clinton's attack on Al-Shifa are striking.

[Emphasis mine] Good one, Lance! ;-)

Inga said...

Liberals need to hold their fire for a while and see how his plays out. I doubt this "one off" attack is going to accomplish anything except maybe as a message to Putin that Trump has his number and the love affair is over. Also it can be a warning to Assad not to use nerve gas. Too bad the barrel bombs kill as many children, more actually. Clinton advocates a higher level of involvement, but that may happen any way now under Trump too. We'll see.

whitney said...

As Secretary of State, Clinton always had a plan for what comes next right?

Drago said...

Inga: "Liberals need to hold their fire for a while and see how his plays out."

LOL

Too late.

Far, far too late.

Drago said...

3rdgrader: "Maybe this and the greenlight for Assad are all part of the art of the deal, where DJT wanted to setup an opportunity to launch missiles at Syria.

It worked!"

Hilarious.

Trump is completely incompetent yet bends world leaders to his will! But he is incompetent!

3rdGrader, why not just cut out the foreplay and proceed directly to screaming --our fake narratives and memes are all colliding like matter/anti-matter and it's scaring me and my fellow lefties!!!--

Drago said...

Lance: "The similarities between Trump's attack on Shayrat and Clinton's attack on Al-Shifa are striking"

Except for all the differences, which are far more "striking-er".

But, true, if you purposely ignore all the differences it is possible to construct an alternate reality where what remains can be labeled similar.

Inga said...

The Alt Righters beat the liberals to it. They denounce Trump and call him a cuckservative! So there! Oh and Kuschner is an "enemy".

Inga said...

Trump has Kuschner and the Generals. He isn't scary incompetent now because he has them to guide and advise him instead of Bannon. Hallelujah!

traditionalguy said...

The response in real time was Patton like audacity. And that is what separates the men from the bullshitters, which Fareed focused on. But Fareed is a man. Women will wait and wait to see what really happens next as the world turns during the days of our lives.

And that speedy response time also is what separates DJT from the 535 Congress people. They need 6 to 9 months, minimum, to collect "contributions" from donors and talk on TV interviews, before doing any thing that is needed.

Tsk, tsk. After being Hitler, and then being promoted to incompetent, DJT is now an FDR like figure, and the liberals are all in therapy.

Michael K said...

The lefties all seem to be running around headless.

I am not enthusiastic about the Syrian attacks but hope there is some deeper meaning while I doubt there is.

walter said...

Blogger 3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...
you're absurd to suggest that HRC would have also given the go light.
--
Ah..so she approves but wouldn't do it herself? Hmmm...

Ken B said...

Great tag line.

On what basis but prejudice can Walsh assert that Trump appears to be "clueless" about what to do next? She a time traveler from the future? If anything the Haley comments about having a public debate at the UN rather than a secret one suggest just the opposite.

dreams said...

A lot of these liberals are probably praising his strikes because of their shared guilt in the charade that Obama, John Kerry and not to forget the other liar Susan Rice had forced Syria to get rid of nerve gas.

stever said...

What kind of "tsk" would bombing an aspirin factory get?

Drago said...

Inga: "The Alt Righters beat the liberals to it."

Wow, so your new position is the liberals are as crazy as the righties but that liberals are so stupid it takes them longer to get there.

Fantastic!

J. Farmer said...

@Lance:

The similarities between Trump's attack on Shayrat and Clinton's attack on Al-Shifa are striking.

Care to expound on that? Al-Shifa was much less defendable than Shayrat. It was dumb retaliation for the embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Clintonite Richard Clarke ran to the press justifying the attack based on the premise that the facility was producing chemical weapons for bin Laden. The evidence for tenuous at best, but by the time the smoked clear, nobody cared. After all, what does the American political establishment care about destroying a pharmaceutical company (Sudan's primary source for anti-malaria medication) in a poor African country that most Americans couldn't find on a map.

As much as I disagree with the decision to attack Syria, it can at least be argued on infinitely stronger grounds than the Al-Shifa bombing.

Lem said...

there ought to be a word for when whatever someone like Trump does proves that his election was the correct choice.

dreams said...

The strike was a really good thing because it showed not only the world but the America people including the Obama voters what a failure and a fool Obama truly was and that there is now a new sheriff in town. Our country and our allies can feel more reassured that America will no longer lead from behind.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Thread winner:

tcrosse said...
Hillary would have bombed them, but she would have done so with sensitivity to the needs of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.

4/8/17, 12:20 PM

Joan Walsh appears to be in some sort of stupidity contest with Sally Kohn.

J. Farmer said...

@dreams:

The strike was a really good thing because it showed not only the world but the America people including the Obama voters what a failure and a fool Obama truly was and that there is now a new sheriff in town. Our country and our allies can feel more reassured that America will no longer lead from behind.

Ah, the "credibility" argument that never dies. Obama's failures in Syria were is decision to intervene in the first place, and the calls from his right was that he was not intervening enough. I disagreed with pretty much everything Obama did vis-à-vis Syria, but his resistance to calls to become more directly involved the conflict was not one of them.

Can anyone who favors attacking the Syrian government please answer a simple question: what's the likely outcome for Syria once the government falls? You think the violent sunni salafists who are largely funding the insurgency against the government are going to lay down their arms and hold a constitutional convention?

Drago said...

exiled: "Joan Walsh appears to be in some sort of stupidity contest with Sally Kohn"

Now wait a just a minute. Joan is hampered by her conscious effort to force all "facts" into her leftist box which often makes her look moronic.

Sally is simply moronic.

Big difference.

dreams said...

I don't think Trump will get sucked into the Syria mess, I think this is a one-off.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Our (i.e., libtards') fake narratives and memes are all flopping around like orbital changes sans transitional locations and it's scaring me and my fellow lefties like spontaneously formed photons moving through the vacuum energy of space because now we know the cons are Hartree-y!11!!!1!!11!!!!!11111!

[I improvised a bit. You didn't quite express my POV.]


BTW, I can't decide if Althouse went w/ the tougher lift by pretending to not notice the Rex stuff re the greenlight re the theory she concocted here (i.e. HRC=DJT). Or, would it have been harder for her to spin this attack into her theory that DJT is great because he does nothing (i.e. the negative of doing stuff)?

I dunno.

Drago said...

3rdGrade: "Our (i.e., libtards') fake narratives and memes are all flopping around like orbital changes sans transitional locations and it's scaring me and my fellow lefties like spontaneously formed photons moving through the vacuum energy of space because now we know the cons are Hartree-y!11!!!1!!11!!!!!11111!"

By George I think he's got it!

Lem said...

Acquiescing to actions based on the likability of the actor goes out the window with Trump. Maybe it's just what we needed.

Inga said...

I see some potential that Trump could actually become Presidential. If he stays away from the Twitter rants, stops listening to the Bannon contingent and continues letting the Kuschners and the saner elements guide and moderate him, as well as staying far away from being Putin's best buddy.

Also I hope that after all these investigations are over, it's proven he didn't collude with Russia to affect the election. I think Trump is easily influenced and had some very shady people advising him, but he is an adult and should've known better than to surround himself with people who may have done something criminal. For the sake of the country, I hope he takes this chance to prove he can be a decent President.

Quaestor said...

Trump appears to be clueless....

Appear to be... appears? It's Walsh who is clueless.

It is a foolish mistake to assume because Trump hasn't told you his strategy that he doesn't have one. No successful commander tells his enemy beforehand what his next move will be — and make no mistake, Joan Walsh is his enemy. What she knows or thinks she knows she will reveal to Putin and Assad. Why should Trump run that risk? Therefore he speaks from behind the presidential lectern and leaves without answering a single question.

Walsh thinks Hillary Clinton would promise regime change in Syria, a goal Walsh would approve. If Trump proposed regime change Walsh would condemn him and his plans as foolish and perhaps an example of collusion with Russia.

Clinton loves to topple foreign autocrats. She's done it before and she loved the thrill it gave her almost as much as she loves the thrill of that sultry houri who follows her everywhere. That the death of Ghaddafi converted neutral territory in the Great Jihad into a forward base of ISIS chagrins Mizz Hillary not at all. All she wants is the thrill again, consequences be damned.

Trump probably has no interest in toppling Assad. So far all he has said and done implies Assad can keep his miserable throne as long as he eschews the poison gas. Assad can win without gassing his foes. Putin should tell him so.

J. Farmer said...

@dreams:

I don't think Trump will get sucked into the Syria mess, I think this is a one-off.

We are already "sucked into the Syria mess." There are hundreds of US troops in the country, and we've been bombing them for over two years now. It was announced last month that 400 more troops were being sent. The Shayrat bombing was the first attack directly on Assad's forces, and you can bet that the people who have been pushing for us to escalate our actions in Syria will not be placated by this limited action.

The usual suspects, Graham and McCain, are all ga-ga over the airstrike and astoundingly called today for sending 5,000-7,000 troops to Syria to attack Assad. That is absolute madness.

J. Farmer said...

@Inga:

Just out of curiosity, what do you find so appealing about Jared Kushner versus Steve Bannon?

Hari said...

Projection: "Trump appears to be clueless"

See also Dunning–Kruger effect

Drago said...

3rdgrader: "...the Rex stuff re the greenlight..."

This does seem to be one of the brand new fallback positions of the crazy left given the muddle and disintegration of their other positions.

Can't wait to see the new theories the lefties come up with by tomorrow! Ought to be good for a laugh or two, and laughter is the best medicine.

dreams said...

"Also I hope that after all these investigations are over, it's proven he didn't collude with Russia to affect the election."

If the crooked Dems and the crooked liberal media had any evidence of Russia collusion, we would have seen it by now.

William said...

What happens next? Assad stops using chemical weapons to kill babies. He kills babies in a kinder, gentler, more civilized way. That's not a giant step forward in terms of humanity but consider this: it's not a giant step backwards such as was the use of chemical weapons.....My first guess was that Joan Walsh always tsks left, but, in reality, she's a multi-tsker.........Is there really some ideal, perfect blend of diplomacy, sanctions, and bombing that will lead to a just and enduring peace in the Mideast and does anyone seriously think that Bush, Obama, Clinton or Trump know that secret formula. So long as the Mideast produces leaders like Assad, Saddam, Qaddafi, the various Iranian holy men, et al ad infinitum, the Mideast will continue in its wretchedness. It's not us. It's them.

dreams said...

I'm thankful and reassured that Trump is no Obama.

Drago said...

William: ".Is there really some ideal, perfect blend of diplomacy, sanctions, and bombing that will lead to a just and enduring peace in the Mideast and does anyone seriously think that Bush, Obama, Clinton or Trump know that secret formula."

I'm afraid there is no instance in human history where "enduring peace" came about from anything than 1 side losing, and losing completely.

If this sounds disheartening, it is. But it is also true.

William said...

I recently read the Wedgewood book, "The Thirty Years War". At the first peace conference none of the participants could agree on what the issues were and who was entitled to participate in the peace conference, and so the war went on for another ten years.

Hari said...

"Trump appears to be clueless" Interesting that she wrote "appears" clueless rather than "is" clueless.

The Left's worst nightmare is that Trump turns out to be neither Hitler nor incompetent, but rather someone competent (or worse, highly competent) with whom they simply disagree. Then what?

Quaestor said...

Inga wrote: ...but [Trump] is an adult and should've known better than to surround himself with people who may have done something criminal.

Inga means Trump shouldn't follow the Obama example. If Obama has just fired Lois Lerner, who waged economic warfare on Obama critics using the IRS.. and Eric Holder, who armed Mexican drug gangs who in turn killed American DEA agents using those arms... and Jonathan Gruber, who lied to "stupid" Americans about Obamacare... and Hillary Clinton who violated national security laws and used her office to extract bribes from foreign potentates and sold American uranium to Vladimir Putin... and Loretta Lynch who conspired with Bill Clinton to make sure Hillary wasn't indicted... and Susan Rice who used the NSA to spy on Clinton's political opponents and violated national security law by unmasking American citizens... and a many others, then, perhaps then, Barack Hussein Obama mightn't be the worst President of the United States.

Inga said...

"Just out of curiosity, what do you find so appealing about Jared Kushner versus Steve Bannon?"

Farmer,
Bannon is an isolationist.. A self proclaimed Leninist who wants to burn it all down. I think he doesn't represent America's core values. I don't want my country torn down and replaced with Bannon's world. He's a dark character that creeps me out. I think his time in the White House is coming to an end.

Kuschner seems saner, less extreme. More aware that we live in the world and aren't an island unto ourselves. He seems to have the instinct to listen to the less extreme elements that surround Trump.

Quaestor said...

I'm afraid there is no instance in human history where "enduring peace" came about from anything than 1 side losing, and losing completely.

Yeah. We've heard nary a peep about that Carthage problem in what... 24 centuries?

J. Farmer said...

@Inga:

Bannon is an isolationist.

Quote one thing Steve Bannon has ever said that you consider indicative of him being an isolationist.

"I think he doesn't represent America's core values."

Importing cheap labor and reckless foreign interventionism are "America's core values?" See, I would think it was just the opposite. Hamilton favored restricting immigration. Washington cautioned against dangerous foreign entanglements, especially in Europe. I don't really see how returning to those wise, cautious words is a betrayal of "America's core values."

Hari said...

Appearing to be competent requires that you announce your complete strategy in advance--where the redlines are, when and whether you intend to invade, and when you intend to pull out.

Being competent requires maintaining an element of surprise, even if that means appearing to be clueless.

traditionalguy said...

The Opposition Party Media is thrilled to repeat over and over that DJT told his movement that he wanted to avoid a wasteful Middle Eastern War, but now he seems intent on winning one there.

What Nobody mentions is that in his next sentence in all those speeches he said he would have to go in and Wipe Out the ISIS thrill murderers.

Well Syria just proved it wants one big Thrill Murderer after another. So wiped out they will all be.

The insanity is ISLAM. The Sunni and the Shia are all Thrill Murderers. And that is why Thrill Murderer Obama wanted them imported into the USA.

mockturtle said...

Drago observes: I'm afraid there is no instance in human history where "enduring peace" came about from anything than 1 side losing, and losing completely.

If this sounds disheartening, it is. But it is also true.


Any long-standing peace could be accomplished only by a one-world dictatorship. The Pax Romana was an enforced peace. Peace at the point of the sword is peace in name only. Frankly, I'd rather risk war.

J. Farmer said...

@traditionalguy:

The insanity is ISLAM. The Sunni and the Shia are all Thrill Murderers. And that is why Thrill Murderer Obama wanted them imported into the USA.

How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7.

Inga said...

"How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7."

Farmer,

I doubt they can explain that one.

cubanbob said...

Trump probably has no interest in toppling Assad. So far all he has said and done implies Assad can keep his miserable throne as long as he eschews the poison gas. Assad can win without gassing his foes. Putin should tell him so."

I would say you are 95% correct.

mockturtle said...

J Farmer asks: How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7.

Could be because Indonesia is a police state.

Achilles said...

There are no good answers in this situation. What Trump did may be one of the least bad answers.

It is easy to be an idiot and mess it up. Obama and Bush both took turns.

Trump seems to be riding the rail. He is going to have to make several least bad choices for years to clean up after the Clintonbushobama team.

Achilles said...

4/8/17, 2:20 PM
Blogger J. Farmer said...

"How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7."

Because when they throw a gay person off a roof or a mob burns a Christian family out of it's house it isn't reported as a murder.

I also like how you cherry pick your countries and your statistics. Are you going to discuss the effects of Chicago or the border on the us murder rate?

Achilles said...

Blogger Inga said...

"Farmer,

I doubt they can explain that one."

It wasn't particularly hard. But you are dumb so....

It is still a point of fact that the majority of Muslims in the world have participated in the elimination of one or more minority groups from their society. Also known as genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Drago said...

mockturtle: "J Farmer asks: How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7.

Could be because Indonesia is a police state"

Correct.

The oppression of the 89/90% muslim nation against all minorities and the immediate "justice" "system" ensure no one gets too far out of line.

Christians in particular are persecuted and oppressed (or, as Inga would say, lovingly muslim-y embraced) and dare not lift their heads too far up lest those heads get cut off.

But it's cute that Farmer buys into police state statistics. I guess Farmer believes that there are no gays in Iran 'cuz the Iranian government tells us so!

Inga, don't open the following link, you won't like the evil anti-islamic message contained therein where islamic oppression is discussed. I know how deeply, deeply, deeply opposed you are to discussing islamic oppression of others.

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/indonesia/

dreams said...

This guy thinks Trump was right in what he did.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/04/blues-for-brooke-baldwin.php

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Because when they throw a gay person off a roof or a mob burns a Christian family out of it's house it isn't reported as a murder.

Any evidence to back up that claim?

I also like how you cherry pick your countries and your statistics.

The commenter said "The Sunni and the Shia are all Thrill Murderers," so I chose the country with the most Muslims and looked at the per capita murder rate. That's salient, not cherry picked. If his statement was at all true, we should expect a lot of murders in a country with over 200 million Muslims. Would it have been better to choose Bangladesh (2.8)? Or Jordan (2.0)? Or Egypt (3.4)? The countries with the worst homicide rates are Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

Are you going to discuss the effects of Chicago or the border on the us murder rate?

Nice try, but I never tire of telling my foreign friends that the US murder rate is heavily skewed by black men, who are 6.5% of the population but commit around 50% of the homicides.

Inga said...

It's funny to see two Trumpists, Achilles and Farmer, who are on both ends of an extremist point of view.

traditionalguy said...

@J Farmer... As for Indonesia, the infidels there are all dead and the Shia sect never got there from Persia. But they are still trying hard to finish off the Three Headed idol worshiping Sect calling itself Christian.

Night Owl said...

"It's so difficult for Joan. She doesn't know which way to tsk."

I love that line. It so succinctly summarizes the situation.

It's like after Trump's surprisingly --to them-- competent performance at the state of the union speech. They get startled by a reality that differs from their expectations, and in that moment of confusion we get an honest response and they praise Trump. But the moment will pass. By Monday they will be back to their regularly-scheduled programming.

(An aside: This an edited version. My original comment contained quite a number of cliches such as "knocked off balance" and "at-odds", etc. I made an effort!)

Inga said...

Trump only acted in a competant way because he finally listened to good advice from sane people, Instead of the Svengali Bannon..

Michael K said...

So long as the Mideast produces leaders like Assad, Saddam, Qaddafi, the various Iranian holy men, et al ad infinitum, the Mideast will continue in its wretchedness. It's not us. It's them.

Yes. Spengler (David Goldman) has a theory, with some history to support it, that wars are decided when one antagonist loses 30% of its military age males. I suspect that will be the story with Islam although the Iranian people, if they could get rid of the imams, might turn out to be rational like they were under the Shah.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

But it's cute that Farmer buys into police state statistics. I guess Farmer believes that there are no gays in Iran 'cuz the Iranian government tells us so!

I actually used to live in southeast Asia and spent quite a bit of time in Java and Sumatra and Bali. Yes, there is widespread corruption among the police force without a doubt. The police in Thailand, where I lived, were probably even more corrupt. And I would describe neither Thailand nor Indonesia as a "police state." Here is Freedom House's report on Indonesia if you want actual data.

Michael K said...

"he finally listened to good advice from sane people, Instead of the Svengali Bannon.."

Inga has now decided that Bannon and not Putin is the Svengali.

Robert Cook said...

These guys just prove again they're prostitutes.

AprilApple said...

To Inga and her ilk - America's core values are Clinton family corruption, and Obama sending 400 million on secret pallets to Iran.

AprilApple said...

That's who we are.

AprilApple said...

I'm not a particular Bannon fan, but the fact that he drives all the right people bat shit crazy-- I say we keep him.

Michael K said...

Thailand's biggest problem is the south where the Muslims are getting more aggressive.

Indonesia is starting to get infected by jihadls from the ME.

Read "Accidental Guerilla," by Kilcullen. He started in Indonesia with the Australian forces.

My review of it from 2009.

J. Farmer said...

@traditionalguy:

@J Farmer... As for Indonesia, the infidels there are all dead and the Shia sect never got there from Persia. But they are still trying hard to finish off the Three Headed idol worshiping Sect calling itself Christian.

There are over 5,000,000 Hindus and Buddhists living in Indonesia. There are over 25,000,000 Christians. Yes, there are isolated attacks against minority religious groups, but that's a byproduct of sectarianism and is a problem across the globe.

@Inga:

It's funny to see two Trumpists, Achilles and Farmer, who are on both ends of an extremist point of view.

Name a position I have you consider "extremist."

AprilApple said...

Speaking of bat crap crazy:

Lawrence O’Donnell: What if Putin and Trump arranged the Syria bombing to distract from Russiagate?

What, like, if, man!


An alternate theory via McKay Coppins: Despite the many approving noises about isolationism that he made as a candidate, Trump is a Jacksonian. He’s impulsive and obsessed with projecting strength, especially in contrast to Barack Obama. When the opportunity to enforce Obama’s "red line" presented himself, he couldn’t resist. Occam’s Razor.

Drago said...

Michael K: "Inga has now decided that Bannon and not Putin is the Svengali."

Inga doesn't decide anything. She simply repeats what she hears from the lefty fever swamps and, not surprisingly, fever swamps are not exactly intellectually rigorous or consistent.

Inga said...

Michael, I always referred to Bannon as the Svengali, Putin was the boyfriend.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Thailand's biggest problem is the south where the Muslims are getting more aggressive.

The south Thailand insurgency is certainly a problem. I used to travel through that the area between Thailand and Malaysia and am quite familiar with the troubles there, though I would not describe that as Thailand's biggest problem by a mile. It's biggest problem is that it is two different countries enclosed in the same border. Central Thailand, where wealth and political power is centralized, despite the people of Isan in the northeast, who they see as dumb and backwards. Isan is linguistically and culturally more close to Laos than it is to central Thailand. The changing of the name from Siam to Thailand was, in fact, a blatant form of natioanlism by a leader enthralled by Hitler. Efforts at Thaification in the mid-20th century helped somewhat (mostly by creating a cult of personality around the king), but the factions still exist to this day.

Inga said...

And Drago just needs attention, inserting himself in every conversation, between two other people.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Michael K,
"I suspect that will be the story with Islam although the Iranian people, if they could get rid of the imams, might turn out to be rational"

They don't have the tribalism that causes the problems with the Arabs.

stever said...

"It's funny to see two Trumpists, Achilles and Farmer, who are on both ends of an extremist point of view."

Thus you prove stupidity of your shallow generalizations. Reality isn't two dimensional.

Inga said...

Stever, you prove yourself to be a very poor observer and probably a dim bulb. I never claimed reality was't merely two dimensional, you failed to see the truth of my observation because you were thinking one dimensionally.

Inga said...

"One-Dimensional Thinking is a way of thinking that involves viewing something in terms of a single linear factor or scale. One-dimensional thinking can involve numbers, like a student's GPA, or a qualitative spectrum, like Liberal/Conservative in politics. One-dimensional thinking can become problematic or harmful when it is applied to things that are more complex and have multiple factors, or things that cannot be captured accurately on a simple scale."

harrogate said...

As a liberal, the main consolation I took from election night was some version of, well, unlike Clinton, Trump might actually tell the neocons to go fuck themselves. Didn't take long for me to realize I was wrong about that. Apparently Trump is gonna follow the same blind path that the rest of them have been following.

Humperdink said...

AprilApple said: "I'm not a particular Bannon fan, but the fact that he drives all the right people bat shit crazy-- I say we keep him."

And by extension, the president. Trump has all the right enemies.

Michael K said...

Yes, there are isolated attacks against minority religious groups, but that's a byproduct of sectarianism and is a problem across the globe.

Indonesia did itself no good by expelling so many Chinese. Anti-Chinese terrorism and government oppression has hurt that country badly. In Malaya, the Chinese were the communists but I don't think that was true in Indonesia.

antiphone said...

I'm not a particular Bannon fan, but the fact that he drives all the right people bat shit crazy-- I say we keep him.


Misery loves company. Our "national conversation" is driven by exactly this kind of attitude, really unhappy people who see current events as nothing more than an opportunity to make other people unhappy.Sad!

harrogate said...

antiphone,

That's well said.

buwaya said...

Inga was right the first time.

Patience, its much too early to say whether anything is wrong or right, and it takes a long time for much of the necessary information to get to us groundlings, if it ever does. In Syria this includes all aspects of who did what and why, or even when. This is an even bigger war of lies than usual, and this one is so complex the liars themselves are confused.

And then there are events. What seemed brilliant this week may not by next Friday. How many times have we seen such things recently? Only distant hindsight is accurate, and often not even that.

You should extend this to the economy, which is what really matters. Wait six months, or better a year, and even better two. Some things are looking good post-November, unlike say Jan 2016, but one swallow doesnt make a spring.

Inga said...

"Misery loves company. Our "national conversation" is driven by exactly this kind of attitude, really unhappy people who see current events as nothing more than an opportunity to make other people unhappy.Sad!"

True! It reminds me of the "burn it all down" mentality. Why si misery so attractive to these people?

antiphone said...

Patience, its much too early to say whether anything is wrong or right, and it takes a long time for much of the necessary information to get to us groundlings, if it ever does.


What ever happened to the "moral clarity" of our crusade?

Michael K said...

"Why si misery so attractive to these people?"

Why are Democrats on a suicide mission ? That's the question that puzzles me.

harrogate said...

We still have poison water in Flint, Michigan, and we don't give a flying rat's ass about it.


Let's be refreshingly honest and spare ourselves the human rights and values talk.

antiphone said...

Why are Democrats on a suicide mission ? That's the question that puzzles me.


What is this, concern trolling?

Inga said...


"What ever happened to the "moral clarity" of our crusade?"

Nothing is ever truly clear, especially morals.


"Why are Democrats on a suicide mission ? That's the question that puzzles me."

Not me. I want this country and the Democratic Party to survive. I think everyone is in flux.

Humperdink said...

antiphone whined: " ......this kind of attitude, really unhappy people who see current events as nothing more than an opportunity to make other people unhappy.Sad!"

Suck it up, buttercup. To quote the former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner: "We won, you lost".

antiphone said...

Suck it up, buttercup. To quote the former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner: "We won, you lost".

Enjoy your shit sandwich. Schadenfreude!

M Jordan said...

"Fareeking." Nice.

Roy Lofquist said...

"There is a well-worn Chinese proverb that you must kill a chicken to scare the monkeys (杀鸡儆猴). Regulators commonly follow this proverb with a highly publicized prosecution meant to send a message to others to reform."

http://www.chinaaccountingblog.com/weblog/killing-a-chicken-to-scare-.html

Just saying.

Robert Cook said...

Blogger harrogate said...
"As a liberal, the main consolation I took from election night was some version of, well, unlike Clinton, Trump might actually tell the neocons to go fuck themselves. Didn't take long for me to realize I was wrong about that. Apparently Trump is gonna follow the same blind path that the rest of them have been following."

They made him understand he'd better get with the program or they'd "take care of him," (one way or another).

Michael K said...

"Why are Democrats on a suicide mission ? That's the question that puzzles me."

Not me. I want this country and the Democratic Party to survive. I think everyone is in flux.


I would like to see the party survive but it has to regain its sanity. So far the base and the donor class seem both to be losing it.

I haven't figured out Soros' motives. Maybe he thinks he can make money on chaos. I can't figure out why he funds crazy outfits like "Black Lives Matter."

Tom Steyer may want to be governor of California. He's not doing a very good job of it.

The crony capitalists like Immelt made billions off Obama and the Democrats with the global warming scam.

The Hollywood crowd is just crazy.

Drago said...

Inga: "And Drago just needs attention, inserting himself in every conversation, between two other people"

Inga takes a brief timeout from inserting herself into every conversation to complain that others might be inserting themselves into many conversations.

Unexpectedly.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"antiphons,

That's well said."

Not to mention that, even being generous and assuming it's a joke, it just makes the person saying this the butt.......

buwaya said...

PB&J,
Have a care. Come the revolution, the day of the deplorables, when the vigorous barbarians from the hinterlands enter effete Seattle, they will give the place over to Laslo, the natural proconsul of that city.

Inga said...

"PB&J,
Have a care. Come the revolution, the day of the deplorables, when the vigorous barbarians from the hinterlands enter effete Seattle, they will give the place over to Laslo, the natural proconsul of that city."

Yikes, knowing Laslo's penchant for anal sex, I'd say everyone in Seattle better watch their asses.

antiphone said...

Not to mention that, even being generous and assuming it's a joke, it just makes the person saying this the butt.......


I get that the misspelling thing is intentional but the new algorithms are still a little buggy, eh?

Laslo Spatula said...

Inga said...
"Yikes, knowing Laslo's penchant for anal sex, I'd say everyone in Seattle better watch their asses."

I don't get it: you casually mention anal sex one or two hundred times, and then everyone thinks you have an obsession.

I am Laslo.

buwaya said...

Inga, given what Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was already up to, that aspect of Laslo would be the least of it.

Inga said...

Sorry Laslo,
Please don't feature me in one of your scenarios.

Michael K said...

"Sorry Laslo,
Please don't feature me in one of your scenarios."

Better to stay out and remain anonymous.

Michael K said...

I wonder if Israel slip streamed in behind Trump to do some work on Hezbollah?

A series of explosions were heard at a military compound belonging to Lebanese terror group Hezbollah near the Syrian capital of Damascus, local media reported in the early morning hours of Thursday.

According to local media, an “unidentified attack” was also reported against Hezbollah forces and Syrian government troops in a suburb of Daraa in southern Syria, in the Syrian Golan Heights. Reports in the Hebrew-language media said the attack was a battle between rebel fighters and Syrian and Hezbollah forces.

The incidents were first reported by Sky News Arabic.

The explosions near the Syrian capital, according to the reports, took place in the mountainous Qalamoun area.

The incidents come two days after what is believed to have been a chemical attack by Syrian forces on Syrian civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, where at least 70 people were killed, including over 20 children.


Hmmm.

antiphone said...

The Hollywood crowd is just crazy.

Word!

Seinfeld was in its third season when the deal was struck, and hadn’t yet become the top-rated show on TV. It didn’t even crack the Nielson Top 30 until Season 4. But years later, when the hit show sold into syndication, Bannon became a very rich man. “We calculated what it would get us if it made it to syndication,” Bannon later told Bloomberg News. “We were wrong by a factor of five.”

In the years since, Bannon’s used his Seinfeld royalties to fund a number of his pet projects, including a slew of truly awful right-wing documentaries and the publication of the controversial Clinton-bashing tome Clinton Cash.

walter said...

Inga,
Don't tempt him.
..or distract him from addressing Special Ed of Seattle. There must be a barrista character to comment..maybe a coffee enema angle..

Humperdink said...

antiphone responded: "Enjoy your shit sandwich. Schadenfreude!"

Aww, poor baby.

Humperdink said...

You must be new around here antiphone, you should use more profanity and use all CAPS.

mockturtle said...

About 75% of Syrians are Sunni and virtually all of the refugees. Assad is, of course, Shiite. Sunnis consider Shiites infidels. There is that.

Michael K said...

"the publication of the controversial and true Clinton-bashing tome Clinton Cash."

FIFY

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Howard said...

Where is all this Bannon hate coming from?

Here's a little pop quiz for you students.

In this image, who is the only person in the room who was a fully qualified Surface Warfare Office in the U.S. Navy who undoubtedly an expert on Tomahawk missiles?

http://imgur.com/a/L9t9A

Drago said...

Jim Howard: "In this image, who is the only person in the room who was a fully qualified Surface Warfare Office in the U.S. Navy who undoubtedly an expert on Tomahawk missiles?"

Who cares?

It's the Tomahawk experts on the Mission Planning teams in the Pentagon, 6th Fleet and subordinate staffs and Shipboard officers and technicians that have to do their job.

I'm sure McMaster has the requisite qualifications as a Senior Officer and is well aware of all capabilities and risks associated with key weapons systems but that does not necessarily make him a T-LAM "expert", assuming we are using the same definition of "expert".

My definition is one that would include capabilities for target/weapons load analysis, attack profile, weapons programming, etc.

Achilles said...

Indonesia the Muslim women's paradise!

FGM in indonesia accounts for half of 200 million girls and women that have undergone FGM.

"Half of girls under 11 years old in Indonesia are circumcised, according to the latest finding by UNICEF, raising awareness and calls for bans on female genital mutilation (FGM) practices in the world'€™s most populous Muslim majority country."

But they have a low murder rate! And the attacks on Christians are "isolated."

Angel-Dyne said...

mockturtle:

OT, but I saw saw this today and thought you'd get a larf out of it.

mockturtle said...

OT, but I saw saw this today and thought you'd get a larf out of it.

Yep. I did, albeit a sardonic one.

Achilles said...

Indonesia the Christian Paradise! No seriously you guys keep defending the peaceful religion of Islam.

More than 1000 christian churches shuttered since 2006.

"Since the passage of a “religious harmony” law in 2006 that requires minority religious groups to collect signatures from the local majority group before building houses of worship, the situation in some parts of the archipelago has taken a turn for the worse."

"More than 1,000 Indonesian Christian churches have been shuttered since 2006. “It shows the failures of the religious harmony regulation,” Harsono said. “It discriminates [against] minorities, thus making way for the majority, mostly Muslim hard-liners in Indonesia, to pressure the government to close down churches. If the government refuses, they will take the discriminatory law into their own hands.”"

Drago said...

Achilles: ""More than 1,000 Indonesian Christian churches have been shuttered since 2006"

Well yeah, but it's not like the muslims have shuttered 1,100 churches. So it's all good.

Why, it's a virtual personal religious liberty PARADISE!!

In the same way that Venezuela is a workers and living PARADISE!!

Oh, the wonderful things this new western leftist/islamist coalition can bring! If only we let it!

Inga and her pals have "been over to the future, and it works!!"

sodal ye said...

"How do you explain the fact that Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country with a population of about 250,000,000, has a per capita murder rate of of 0.5 per 100,000 residents? America's is 3.9. The Netherlands is 0.7."

Spend three months travelling the crescent from Dili to Medan last year. Possibly my favourite country in my travels so far. It was so upbeat I even came to love the 5:00 a.m. call to prayer. If I had to rate people on a happiness scale, the Indonesians would be at the top. But I guess anybody would be happy with 27% debt to GDP.

Jim Howard said...

Drago, as a retired military officer I feel pretty good about someone with real understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the weapons platforms in use their with the President to be really comforting.

Having been a fairly high level staff officer at one time, I can tell that what the worker bee experts tell the General is often not what the Big Man wants to hear, in which case the General sugar coats his answer so as to please the Big Man.

And of course some Presidents just think they know more about everything than anybody else, or if they don't, their Harvard/Yale 28 year old lawyer/whiz kid does.

Besides those quibbles, why all the Bannon hate?

Achilles said...

Drago said...

Well yeah, but it's not like the muslims have shuttered 1,100 churches. So it's all good.

Remember they are "isolated attacks" by a "tiny minority" of Muslims. It is only the "hardliners."

The only "extremists" are people like us who call this out. If we would just shut up and let the left import more muslims into the US we would all be fine. The attacks would be "Isolated." FGM would only be a problem if we bring it up. And about that 19th amendment the woman is just going to have to have her "husband" there to help her vote.

sodal ye said...


"More than 1,000 Indonesian Christian churches have been shuttered since 2006"

However they've spent 40 years painstakingly restoring the largest Buddhist temple in the world outside of Jogja and have an active Hindu population in central Bali.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

But they have a low murder rate! And attacks on Christian are isolated.

I get the sarcasm, but as usual you're missing the point of my original comment and who was directed at.

@traditionalguy wrote: "The Sunni and the Shia are all thrill murderers." That is a statement of nonsense, and I pointed out that if Muslims were ipso facto prone to murder, you wouldn't expect the most populous Muslim country with more than 200,000,000 Muslims to have a low murder rate. That is one statement of empirical fact about one aspect of the society. I said nothing about the other issues Indonesia suffers, though I did link to a Freedom House report that thoroughly lists all of Indonesia's problems with civil and political rights.

I don't believe in religion, and I've written in this space many times that Islam has unique problems because the Quran is as much a political book as it is a religious one--laying out numerous provisions for how civil society should be managed. Therefore, it, unlike Christianity, for example, is nowhere near as amenable to secularization and a separation of church and state. I have also said that the best way to protect ourselves from Muslim terror is to tighten our border. I'm fine with a "Muslim ban," though I'd prefer a total moratorium on immigration save a few special cases.

Guildofcannonballs said...

OUT OF CONTROL
Ike Turner: Why I Beat Tina
Spin’s classic interview with Ike Turner isn’t just full of his pathetic excuses for his abuse of Tina Turner but is also an unflinching portrait of a man consumed by bitterness as Tina’s star rises.
SPIN MAGAZINE
07.12.15 11:00 PM ET
The Daily Beast is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Spin magazine by publishing two classic interviews.
Editor’s note from Bob Guccione Jr., founder of Spin:

exhelodrvr1 said...

"I don't get it: you casually mention anal sex one or two hundred times, and then everyone thinks you have an obsession."

It doesn't matter how many hilarious posts you've written. You bleep one goat, and now you're Laslo the goat bleeper!

Guildofcannonballs said...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/13/ike-turner-why-i-beat-tina.html

Bunch of jackass' here don't understand why fucking Marion Barry was cool, EVEN THOUGH THE BILL KRISTOL WEEKLY STANDARD VIA MATT LABASH told you so.

Very good writing, that.

But beneath all you fucks I guess, as am I. I blame me, with reason and un too.

Guildofcannonballs said...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/a-rakes-progress/article/241747

UN FUCK YOURSELF NOW/

Guildofcannonballs said...

"In most conceptions of Washington, D.C.,"

This is a higher degree of writing than I possess.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/a-rakes-progress/article/241747

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Why are Democrats on a suicide mission ? That's the question that puzzles me.


What is this, concern trolling?"

Sheer delight is often accompanied by a sense of baffled wonder. Sort of like when the alarm goes off and I realize, yet again, that Hilary Clinton will never be President.

Bob Loblaw said...

Ah, the "credibility" argument that never dies. Obama's failures in Syria were is decision to intervene in the first place, and the calls from his right was that he was not intervening enough. I disagreed with pretty much everything Obama did vis-à-vis Syria, but his resistance to calls to become more directly involved the conflict was not one of them.

If he didn't want to get involved in Syria he shouldn't have nattered on about red lines. When Assad called his bluff he looked like an idiot who could safely be ignored in the future.

I'm not a fan of this missile strike, and I'm even less of a fan of American troops on the ground (which I don't think Trump will do, but we'll see). But people in power shouldn't be be making threats they doesn't intend to follow through on. That's how you get wars nobody actually wanted.

n.n said...

Liberals don't what is worse, Obama forcing global CAIR, opening abortion fields, his choice to carry out elective regime changes in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc., or the coverups for nearly two centuries of Democratic social justice adventurism and modern liberal indulgence of [class] diversity, anti-nativism, wars of aggression, and selective-child. Hate Loves Aborton

Earnest Prole said...

Joan Walsh is the Queen Tool.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Have a care. Come the revolution, the day of the deplorables, when the vigorous barbarians from the hinterlands enter effete Seattle, they will give the place over to Laslo, the natural proconsul of that city."

I spend less than 10% of my time in that city. In fact I'm on deplorable turf more than I'm not.

Anywho, I don't have a sense of the Laslo phenom, I skip those comments. I don't have a problem w/ homos and trannies and I grew up w/ so-called shock entertainment. I'll take a look when Mock gets all riled up by this or that Laslo comment, but it never fits the hype, from my POV, imho.

Quaestor said...

Assad is, of course, Shiite. Sunnis consider Shiites infidels. There is that.

Assad and his entire clan are Alawites. A branch of Twelver Shi'a, granted, but Iranian Twelvers consider them suspect, possibly heretical. The mullahs of Tehran would see both ISIS and Assad toppled if they had their druthers.

J. Farmer said...

@Bob Loblaw:

If he didn't want to get involved in Syria he shouldn't have nattered on about red lines. When Assad called his bluff he looked like an idiot who could safely be ignored in the future.

Agreed, but the notion that Obama's failure to enforce "red lines" would encourage more bad actors I think is fundamentally flawed. Fear of American attack is not what constrains country's deployment of military force.

I'm not a fan of this missile strike, and I'm even less of a fan of American troops on the ground (which I don't think Trump will do, but we'll see).

You mean more troops on the ground. There are already hundreds of US troops in Syria, and all the usual suspects are calling for more. That's why this "limited strike" is such a dangerous precedent. Calls for even more attacks against the Syrian government are already mounting. I can only hope that they will be ignored.

grackle said...

I doubt this "one off" attack is going to accomplish anything …

What has Trump accomplished? What’s the goal? What’s the end game? What comes next? What’s the policy?

I believe if the questioners would think real hard they could come with the answers themselves but I’m always happy to help out.

What’s accomplished: Assad has had a warning. Assad deserves to know what will happen next time he uses gas.

What comes next: One of two things: Either Assad stops gassing folks or Assad’s air force is going to disappear in a cloud of dust.

What’s the goal/end game/next/policy: The goal is to save some folks from being gassed. Same for the end game and policy.

There, now. All questions answered but for the life of me I cannot understand why such obvious answers evaded the questioners.

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

Assume, for a minute, that you're right. What if Assad continues using chemical weapons? More bombing of government forces. Assume we do. If the US continues to attack Syrian state forces, then eventually they will be weakened enough to fall to insurgent forces. In that case, what does the US do once the Syrian state is up for grabs and the current batch of salafist jihadis start vying for control over Syria? Who do we bomb then?

This is precisely why trying to operate on some principle of "we'll attack Assad in reprisal of using chemical weapons" can so easily become a slippery slope in which a horrific situation becomes a nightmare situation. The best outcome the US can hope for is for Assad to defeat the rebels.

Paul said...

@J. Farmer...

You 'assume'. Assume is to make an ass out of U and me. Remember that.

Assad does not want ISIS to come and kill him. Thus he will not weaken himself spending time gassing his own people forcing us to bomb him more. He is not suicidal.

He got Trumps message. He knows that, unlike Obama, Trump will retaliate for any atrocity he does to his own people.

walter said...

Any "whst ifs" should include NO response.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just to say: I am glad you're here J Farmer.
I don't always agree with you but you make your points and work on good arguments. Appreciated.

Gospace said...

Quaestor said...
I'm afraid there is no instance in human history where "enduring peace" came about from anything than 1 side losing, and losing completely.

Yeah. We've heard nary a peep about that Carthage problem in what... 24 centuries?


Whenever I hear the idiotic statement that war never solves anything, rather then bring up WWII, I ask, "What do the Carthaginians think about that?"

walter said...

But really..if Trump did nothing?

J. Farmer said...

@Paul:

You 'assume'. Assume is to make an ass out of U and me. Remember that.

Yes, that's a very familiar cliche, but it does not obviate the need for people to consider the logical conclusion of their positions.

He knows that, unlike Obama, Trump will retaliate for any atrocity he does to his own people.

First, why is gassing 80 people more of an atrocity than killing a hundred thousand?

Second, the Obama administration helped to train, fund, and equip the forces that are attacking Assad. The Obama administration was also mum as the GCC continued to fund and encourage the Sunni insurgency against Assad. Obama dropped bombs on seven countries during his presidency, including dropping over 25,000 bombs in 2016 alone. The notion that the previous administration was reluctant to use force is absurd.

It's a relatively easy calculus to make. Yes, the deployment of chemical weapons against a population is a horrible situation. The Assad government collapsing and radical sunni jihadist rushing in to fill the vacuum is a far worse scenario than not punishing Assad for a chemical attack that has had almost no significant effect on the dynamics of the conflict.

@HoodlumDoodlum:

I don't always agree with you but you make your points and work on good arguments. Appreciated.

Thank you for the kind words. Appreciated in return.

Che Dolf said...

"CNN anchor Jake Tapper has now deleted a tweet where he advised his followers to seek expertise on Syria from a 7-year-old living in Turkey." - link

Tapper's archived tweet.

We're supposed to believe the little girl who has trouble reading her scripted responses in a CNN interview is the author of this Twitter account.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Farmer - don't worry too much about Assad will use that much Sarin on his people. Pat of the reason that Trump's response was so fast was to send a message to not do it again. Sure, Trump bluffs, but not this early in his Administration. Originally, I was going to say that Assad would run out of airfields before Trump ran out of cruise misses, but the next response could come from a different direction - maybe stealth bombers. So, maybe the more accurate statement is that Assad is going to run out of airfield before Trump runs out of 1,000 lb bombs.

Bruce Hayden said...

"First, why is gassing 80 people more of an atrocity than killing a hundred thousand?"

It probably isn't. But it is more visible, more a transgression of world standards. And, the US had drawn a line publicly on the use of chemical weapons. It is significant that Obama was the one to draw the line, but never to enforce it. Trump showed that there is a new sheriff in town, willing and able to shoot first and ask questions later.

My theory is that the message wasn't primarily aimed at Assad, but rather at Russia and, pointedly, China. Assad's airfield was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Assume, for a minute, that you're right. What if Assad continues using chemical weapons? More bombing of government forces. Assume we do. If the US continues to attack Syrian state forces, then eventually they will be weakened enough to fall to insurgent forces. In that case, what does the US do once the Syrian state is up for grabs and the current batch of salafist jihadis start vying for control over Syria? Who do we bomb then?"

You are looking at this the wrong way. You are seemingly assuming that Assad is crazy, dumb, and suicidal. Crazy maybe, but no evidence that he is either dumb or suicdal. Rather, he is literally and figuratively fighting for his life right now. With Trump as CinC, gassing his people and losing airfields is completely on Assad right now. He knows that, and, maybe more importantly, so do the Russians.

roesch/voltaire said...

This is a good example of Kabuki theater-- calling ahead of time to warn the Russians and Syrians and then leaving the air strip in tack, because it can easily be repaired. The Syrian planes are flying today and Trump is called presidential in all good theatre but no real script for the next scene .

Robert Cook said...

"You are looking at this the wrong way. You are seemingly assuming that Assad is crazy, dumb, and suicidal. Crazy maybe, but no evidence that he is either dumb or suicdal. Rather, he is literally and figuratively fighting for his life right now. With Trump as CinC, gassing his people and losing airfields is completely on Assad right now. He knows that, and, maybe more importantly, so do the Russians."

Still no proof Assad did it. Assad is winning the conflict with the rebels. It's they who are fighting for their lives and they with the motive to do this. It's incredible how credulous everyone remains, despite our recent history replete with lies and propaganda.

Daniel Jackson said...

Bruce Hayden said: "You are looking at this the wrong way. You are seemingly assuming that Assad is crazy, dumb, and suicidal. Crazy maybe, but no evidence that he is either dumb or suicdal. Rather, he is literally and figuratively fighting for his life right now. With Trump as CinC, gassing his people and losing airfields is completely on Assad right now. He knows that, and, maybe more importantly, so do the Russians."

And so does everyone in the Middle East, especially in Israel.

For quite some time now, Iranians have been shooting at, boarding, and capturing US Assets in the Gulf. US did squat. Only recently have any warning shots been fired at Iranian vessels. The US Navy has stood mute there and in other theaters about the globe.

Not any more.

THAT is the so-called endgame. The Russians bragged that ONLY 29 missiles reached the airfield doing "minimal" damage. That gives the Americans an RBI of less than fifty percent against the Russians fielding capability.

To argue that this volley will escalate into war is fatuous--there is already war in the region that is spilling over into the EU.

Sadly, words are just that.

As to who will replace Assad; that is the wrong question. The question is How To Get Rid of the dumb-fuck and those who support him. He and his family have been at the root of the regional problems since the French cleared out in 1946.

Enough is enough.

grackle said...

In that case, what does the US do once the Syrian state is up for grabs and the current batch of salafist jihadis start vying for control over Syria? Who do we bomb then?

Once” the Syrian state is “up for grabs?” Don’t look now but the “Syrian state” is ALREADY up for grabs and has been for years.

Who do we bomb then? Why, we bomb anyone who uses gas. Otherwise we allow the assholes to murder each other until some asshole faction wins the civil war. Then we deal with that particular group of victorious assholes in a manner planned and advised by the US military, the cabinet and public opinion. For the life of me I cannot understand why this is so difficult to understand.

The best outcome the US can hope for is for Assad to defeat the rebels.

History has proven that an “outcome” in the Middle East is very hard to predict and very hard to turn to America’s advantage. Years ago when all this started THAT crop of “rebels” was a group we might have been able to support – but Obama chose not to do that.

This current group of “rebels” looks just like ISIS to me. In fact I don’t see any group in this civil war that’s worth support but Trump has info we do not so I would not be surprised if Trump picked some faction or another to support.

J. Farmer said...

@Bruce Hayden:

Trump showed that there is a new sheriff in town, willing and able to shoot first and ask questions later.

That's very reckless.

You are seemingly assuming that Assad is crazy, dumb, and suicidal.

I assume no such thing.

Rather, he is literally and figuratively fighting for his life right now.

Which is why it is very foolish for the US to weaken Syria's military capabilities, even on a small scale and especially to achieve something as strategically useless to the US as sending a message.

With Trump as CinC, gassing his people and losing airfields is completely on Assad right now.

Assad did not lose "airfields." The missile attacks on the Al Shayrat air base primarily targeted planes, fuel depots, and storage facilities. The runways were not targeted and have since been used to launch conventional air assaults, including on Khan Sheikhoun.

@Daniel Jackson:

To argue that this volley will escalate into war is fatuous--there is already war in the region that is spilling over into the EU.

I don't know who is arguing that it "will escalate" but that it's a dangerous step towards escalating the war. We have already been bombing Syria for two years now, plus training, arming, and funding rebel fighters, along with the Gulf Arab states, thus ensuring that the civil war will rage on. This is the first attack directly on Assad's forces and is a dangerous step in the wrong direction.

The question is How To Get Rid of the dumb-fuck and those who support him.

Right. The Taliban in Afghanistan, Hussein in Iraq, Qadaffi in Libya. Maybe asking "what comes next" is not such a "wrong question." In fact, it is the most salient question.

He and his family have been at the root of the regional problems since the French cleared out in 1946.

I am not sure how you have come to that calculus. Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, and Iran have all played a more significant role in the region than Syria. I think the root of the regional problems are more likely traced to 1919 and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The borders that were drawn over the carcass of that empire have proven very unstable, as they enclose competing nationalities. Fromkin's A Peace to End All Peace, I think, makes this case quite well.

JAORE said...

"First, why is gassing 80 people more of an atrocity than killing a hundred thousand?"

"It probably isn't. But it is more visible, more a transgression of world standards. "

Bingo. That is why Hiroshima is such a turning point in world history and the fire bombing of Dresden is just a historical note. I suspect more may have died in Dresden(too lazy to look it up).

I would add that the message was not just to Assad and Putin. It was to a little fat guy in North Korea.

Unknown said...

Of course they are delighted. All the swamp creatures suddenly realized that he might be one of them.

J. Farmer said...

@JAORE:

Bingo. That is why Hiroshima is such a turning point in world history and the fire bombing of Dresden is just a historical note.

The "turning point" was because the atomic bombings represented a vast increase in the destructive power of military capabilities. It was also a brand new weapon.

I suspect more may have died in Dresden(too lazy to look it up).

No. Approximately 25,000 people died in the Dresden raid. Over 100,000 were killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, the Dresden raid required over 1,000 heavy bombers and thousands of tons of bombs.

Michael K said...

"That is why Hiroshima is such a turning point in world history "

No, I think it was because it was a new technology and mysterious and scary.

Japan had a nuclear weapon program going on and Hirohito was told that the Americans could not have enough Uranium for a second bomb. That was one reason he did not surrender and, of course, the Army was adamant against surrender. The bomb that really ended the war was Nagasaki. When the second bomb went off the Japanese believed we had solved the Uranium problem and could have many more such bombs and gave up.

However, the Japanese physicists were right. We did only have one Uranium bomb. Nagasaki was the Plutonium bomb and they had not anticipated that.

Michael K said...

Rather, he is literally and figuratively fighting for his life right now.

Which is why it is very foolish for the US to weaken Syria's military capabilities, even on a small scale and especially to achieve something as strategically useless to the US as sending a message.


It's possible the message was to the Norks or to China. I hope there was a strategic reason for the attack as I would not have done it if Syria was the reason.

Syria is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

It's possible the message was to the Norks or to China.

I have seen this point raised several times already in the comments, and I have not really engaged it. In fact, I don't really think I understand it. What, exactly, is the "message?" That the United States is willing to use force against governments it disagrees with? Who hasn't gotten that message? We have been in pretty much continual war for 16 years now. Since 2001, we have bombed eight countries and taken out the leadership of three countries. We intervened directly militarily in at least six countries in the 1990s.

Robert Cook said...

"It's possible the message was to the Norks or to China. I hope there was a strategic reason for the attack as I would not have done it if Syria was the reason."

There's no strategy and no message...except to signal to the deep state that Trump is ready to be a compliant boy and play ball with them.

Everyone speaks and acts as if it is a given that Assad deployed the Sarin gas...yet we still have no proof of this. This is another Gulf of Tonkin or Saddam-has-WMD lie-as-pretext to launch unilateral (and illegal) military action.

("Norks." Another example of dehumanizing language. Lovely. How convenient it sounds like "Orks.")

Robert Cook said...

From the great Chris Floyd @ http://www.chris-floyd.com/


"When we told you our boats were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, we were lying. When we told you Iraqis were throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, we were lying. When we blew up a medicine factory and told you it was bin Laden's headquarters, we were lying. When we told you Iraq had WMD, we were lying. When we told you Gadafy was feeding his troops Viagra so they could rape protestors, we were lying. But we swear to God we are telling the absolute truth this time. Why would we lie?"

mockturtle said...

As you know, Cookie, the first casualty of war is truth. I was just as skeptical as you about the gas attack and, having endured the colossal lies of the Vietnam era ["This is not an invasion of Cambodia" was a big one but there were so many. And daily.]. Unlike you, I do not believe nations can peacefully coexist indefinitely but I also know how much propaganda is involved in grooming us for military adventures.

Tatter said...

Really, the attack on Assad was a brilliant strategic strike on America's current, most dangerous enemy: the leftist media. Their audience has to now choose between trusting them, and trusting the organizations they spent the last eight years praising... particularly the UN, which has documented over 50 WMD strikes launched by Assad since 2013, while the media has pretended there were none, because Trustworthy Putin and The President Who Can Do No Wrong came to an agreement that disposed of all the WMDs.

The media has lost the integrity it didn't even know it still had, and soon the leftist echo chamber will disintigrate entirely, as its members struggle to find the answers the media can't give them.

No surprise, then, that the smarter rats are bailing out on the sinking ship.

Rusty said...

Bruce Hayden @ 5:27
I think Assad will ask for a sit down before that happens.

grackle said...

I believe there is a strong desire to force Trump deeper into the Middle East mess so they can start playing the Quagmire Card. It’s been on the back shelf during the Obama era but they’re aching to dust it off and use it on Trump. It’s one of their more treasured memes and I’m curious myself to see if it will work against Trump. Nothing else has but you never know.

I also suspect that Trump will send more troops to augment those already deployed by Obama. But if I were the eager beavers I wouldn’t be counting on a quagmire resulting from anything Trump does. This President does not seem overly fond of idiotic Rules of Engagement or cutting his military’s troop level recommendations in half as Obama did, in effect sabotaging his own military advisors’ plans.

Think instead back further in time – to the good old Storming Norman days. Back when America was greater than now … back when we had a POTUS who had the wisdom to fully implement his military leaders’ recommendations.

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

Think instead back further in time – to the good old Storming Norman days. Back when America was greater than now … back when we had a POTUS who had the wisdom to fully implement his military leaders’ recommendations.

This is spectacularly wrongheaded and also shows a rather callous regard for death and destruction. The Second World War was a war of industrialized nation-states pitting their military forces against each other. The conflicts in the middle east are not remotely comparable. For one, these conflicts are taking place within a countries borders. Second, they are largely fueled by asymmetric guerrilla war, which is not easily defeated by conventional military tactics. Troops levels or "rules of engagement" are not the decisive factor here. This is an oft repeated myth that basically implies that the US can (by virtue of its size, funds, and technological advancements) win any military engagement it involves itself in and any failure to do so can be put to a lack of resolve or leadership.

In December 2007, there were about 25,000 US troops in Afghanistan. By December 2009, the number was close to 70,000, and the situation continued to deteriorate. By August 2010, US troops totaled over 100,000 in Afghanistan before finally dwindling down after the bin Laden raid. The escalation of troops in Afghanistan to its highest level almost 10 years after the war started made little difference. Today, large chunks of Afghanistan remain under the control of the Taliban or the Islamic Jihad Union.

grackle said...

Farmer, I really do not take seriously statistic-filled rebuttals that do not include links to the stats. Do your homework and provide the links for the readers and I’ll get back to you afterward.

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

A timeline of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan since 2001

J. Farmer said...

p.s. That link could have been discovered with about two seconds of googling, but I suppose that would have deprived you of the opportunity to deliver your lecture.

Daniel Jackson said...

@ Mr. Farmer.

Sorry to get back to so late in the day. Time lag between France and the greater USA.

My calculus for the date 1946 refers to the end of the French Mandate and the beginning of a really sorry state of affairs occurring in this part of the Middle East. For a quite review, read these two Wikipedia articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Mandate_for_Syria_and_the_Lebanon
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria
and this one to reference the "source of authority" for France's nation building: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Remo_conference

Perhaps simplistically, I am suggesting that the "wars" in this region have been ongoing for the last three thousand (3,000) years; probably MORE than three thousand years. It comes and goes in cycles, like global warming. To argue that that the actions recently displayed by the Big Man of the USA COULD escalate to war is an obvious redundancy if not contradictory. There IS a war right now! What sort of war are you thinking of? A global one, perhaps.

Now to follow the thread of a New Sheriff in Town, our New Sheriff walks into the local roadhouse where the clients have been having their usual payday brawl. These are Big Boys and have been drinking all night feeling no pain.

BOOM, goes the Sheriff with a billy club on the bar door.

Or, maybe, as in the Good Old Days, he puts a round through the ceiling.

He has their attention.

What we know about the region is that the proliferation of normal weapons of mass destruction capable of firing chemical warheads with the express purpose of causing MASS murder is astounding. It is real.

Words of peace have lost their currency. Hezbollah and Hamas give a rat's ass for fancy logic and smooth talking hair tonic salesmen or saleswomen. With Syria ramping up its south front game for the Golan, and the two suicide teams ramping up their rocketry, at what point are you willing to gamble that gas payloads will NOT the neighboring cities, like Beirut, Amman, Tel Aviv, or Cairo, to name a few.

Sorry, I find the combined loss and displacement of life from this civil war to be unbelievable. The fact that this practice run was even conceived and executed is itself abhorrent.

A very solid win for Trump. To ask what's next is no longer part of the matrix.

Unfortunately, addressing the HOW question is another matter. I might suggest the thesis of Barrington Moore that the transition from an agrarian mode of production to an industrial mode with "democratic" institutions is a violent one that necessitates the bottom up rise of a strong bourgeois class. Basic Marxism.

[peers around] Don't see any on the horizon.

In short, it's already there at ever increasing rates.

Daniel Jackson said...

Sorry, I forgot the citation: https://www.amazon.com/Social-Origins-Dictatorship-Democracy-Peasant/dp/0807050733

Had to read this in gradual school. One of my top five. Skocpol is a hack by comparison.

J. Farmer said...

@Daniel Jackson:

My calculus for the date 1946 refers to the end of the French Mandate and the beginning of a really sorry state of affairs occurring in this part of the Middle East.

I understood the choice of dates, the part of your calculus I took issue with was the notion that "He and his family have been at the root of the regional problems." In what sense as the Assad family been "at the root of regional problems?"

Perhaps simplistically, I am suggesting that the "wars" in this region have been ongoing for the last three thousand (3,000) years;

Frankly, I do think that is extremely simplistic. The region has been home to urbanized civilization around the Tigris-Euphrates and the Nile for over 3,000 years, so given that humans have settled that region for that long it is not expect to see violence rise and fall. One could just as easily say in 1945 that the European region had seen ongoing wars for at least the last 2,000 years. So what?

To argue that that the actions recently displayed by the Big Man of the USA COULD escalate to war is an obvious redundancy if not contradictory.

The war neither threatens nor involves the United States, except to the degree that we choose to insert ourselves into it. For the past few years, we have been dropping bombs on Syria and arming, training, and funding insurgent forces. I think this is all folly, and I think expanding our attacks in Syria to include Assad's government is a dangerous escalation of an already foolish intervention.

...at what point are you willing to gamble that gas payloads will NOT the neighboring cities, like Beirut, Amman, Tel Aviv, or Cairo, to name a few.

Well, to begin with, all of those countries have militaries that are more than capable of defending themselves against a Syrian attack and could easily deliver retaliatory strikes against Syria if such an attack were to occur. Egypt, for example, is providing military assistance to Syria, so I think you seem to be a lot more afraid for Cairo than the Egyptians are.

grackle said...

That link could have been discovered with about two seconds of googling, but I suppose that would have deprived you of the opportunity to deliver your lecture.

Lecture? Most lectures are longer than 34 words and if it was so little trouble why not include it in the original comment? Readers have better things to do than try to figure out which website you get your stats from.

For one, these conflicts are taking place within a countries borders.

Conflicts are taking place all over the Middle East – NOT a single “countries borders[sic].”

Second, they are largely fueled by asymmetric guerrilla war, which is not easily defeated by conventional military tactics.

So what? Like I said before – if those assholes over there want to kill each other if I were Trump I would just sit back and enjoy the show. I have no desire at this time to “defeat” any of the groups currently fighting the civil war in Syria. Let them “defeat” each other, let a winner emerge and forge something resembling a stable government. Then we wait to see if that government will be hostile or friendly to America and deal with it appropriately.

Troops levels or "rules of engagement" are not the decisive factor here.

That’s a matter of opinion. A winning military needs enough troops to do the job, a truism that seems so elementary, so self-evident that I won’t waste time rebutting it. The readers are the best and final judge. You don’t want to hog-tie your troops, that is IF you are really want to win wars, which Obama seemed not to.

In December 2007, there were about 25,000 US troops in Afghanistan. … Today, large chunks of Afghanistan remain under the control of the Taliban or the Islamic Jihad Union.

Interesting link but what does it have to do with my comment? I’m discussing Trump’s actions in Syria, not Afghanistan. But since you have brought it up, here's an interesting article about the ROE in Afghanistan:

"The rules of engagement appear to be confused, contradictory and contrary to our national interest," he told me. "Our inability to use air power to directly to support Afghan forces is leading to a deterioration of the security situation that is dangerous to the future of Afghanistan and dangerous to our national security."

The quote is from David Sedney, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia between 2009 and 2013. Readers, I’m going to accept the informed opinion of an expert over the opinion of Farmer.

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

Lecture? Most lectures are longer than 34 words and if it was so little trouble why not include it in the original comment? Readers have better things to do than try to figure out which website you get your stats from.

"us troop levels afghanistan" is only four words, 30 less than it took you to ask me for the link, and you wouldn't have had to wait for me to read your request and provide the link. Not a major point. Just saying.

Conflicts are taking place all over the Middle East – NOT a single “countries borders[sic].”

With the exception of Saudi Arabia's stupid war against Yemen, the major conflicts taking place in the middle east are intra-state, and not inter-state (e.g. the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars). Neither Syria nor Iraq are being attacked by outside militaries but are fighting insurgencies from their own population. That's the point about within borders.

Like I said before – if those assholes over there want to kill each other if I were Trump I would just sit back and enjoy the show.

If you are for the US not being involved in middle east conflicts, then you and I are in complete agreement.

Interesting link but what does it have to do with my comment?

That there are much more significant questions to be asked beyond "rules of engagement." For example, here is Andrew Bracevich:

"Granted, Petraeus and O’Hanlon are on solid ground in noting that as the number of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan has decreased, so, too, has the number of air strikes targeting the Taliban. Back when more allied boots were on the ground, more allied planes were, of course, overhead. And yet the 100,000 close-air-support sorties flown between 2011 and 2015 -- that’s more than one sortie per Taliban fighter -- did not, alas, yield “some version of victory.” In short, we’ve already tried the Petraeus-O’Hanlon take-the-gloves-off approach to defeating the Taliban. It didn’t work. With the Afghanistan War’s 15th anniversary now just around the corner, to suggest that we can bomb our way to victory there is towering nonsense."

-Milestones (Or What Passes for Them in Washington)

Bacevich, a retired US Army Colonel who served from 1969 to 1992, holds a PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton and is a former professor at West Point and Johns Hopkins.

Readers, I’m going to accept the informed opinion of an expert over the opinion of Grackle.

Brandon Bowers said...

Hillary would've ordered the strike, pending polls of the public's feelings about the strike, and found a convenient YouTube content creator to blame if the post-strike polls were lower. Then she would've offered to replenish Syria's supply of chemicals after a purely coincidental donation to the Clinton Global Initiative. She does always have a plan.

grackle said...

That there are much more significant questions to be asked beyond "rules of engagement." For example, here is Andrew Bracevich:

"Granted, Petraeus and O’Hanlon are on solid ground in noting that as the number of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan … [etc., etc.] … to suggest that we can bomb our way to victory there is towering nonsense."


I’ve never suggested “we can bomb our way to victory” in Syria. Where did you ever get such an idea? However, I do believe Assad will stop gassing people unless he wants to wave good bye to his air force.

But if you insist – my view of Afghanistan is to keep enough troops there to ensure that terrorists – a la Osama and al Qaeda - are not allowed to set up bases for training and raids. As long as President Ashraf Ghani doesn’t cause mischief – leave him alone. Afghanistan has no strategic value. As much as possible leave the Afghanis alone in their miserable squalor and their sharia-imposed slavery.

And the Taliban has had the convenience of a half-hearted, compliant Obama seemingly in love with losing wars, who announces ahead of time he’s withdrawing, an idiotic ROE and US force levels that were much lower than was recommended to Obama. If I were the Taliban I would be happy beheading the occasional local heretic and not be wanting to bother US forces too much. Got a different POTUS now.

You seem to assume that I’m for a “surge” in Afghanistan(I’m not – yet) and that we should find it significant that according to one of your favorite websites a Petraeus-type surge has already been tried and failed in Afghanistan.

It’s a straw man argument but what the hell …

Yes, but has a surge been tried with an enthusiastic, openly pro-military POTUS? Has it been tried with different military advisors in the pentagon and in the field? Has it been tried with enough troops to get the job done? Has it been tried without ridiculous rules of engagement?

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

But if you insist – my view of Afghanistan is to keep enough troops there to ensure that terrorists – a la Osama and al Qaeda - are not allowed to set up bases for training and raids.

Raids of what? Training for what? The whole "al Qaeda training camp" issue is a total canard. Most of the planning for 9/11 happened inside the United States by Arabs who arrived here legally on visas. How does not having a training camp in Afghanistan prevent such an attack? An atrocity against the US could just as easily be planned and prepared from an apartment in Kuala Lumpur.

You seem to assume that I’m for a “surge” in Afghanistan(I’m not – yet) and that we should find it significant that according to one of your favorite websites a Petraeus-type surge has already been tried and failed in Afghanistan.

It's not one of my "favorite websites," but Andrew Bacevich is one of my favorite writers on these issues, and my ideas often align with his own.

Has it been tried with enough troops to get the job done? Has it been tried without ridiculous rules of engagement?

What does "get the job done" mean? The "ridiculous rules of engagement" as described by Sedney were put in place in 2015. They did not exist between 2011 and 2015, when a huge amount of air power was applied to Afghanistan, with little to show for it, as Colonel Bacevich described in his article.

grackle said...

Raids of what? Training for what? The whole "al Qaeda training camp" issue is a total canard. Most of the planning for 9/11 happened inside the United States by Arabs who arrived here legally on visas.

So … Osama in his headquarters from which he was protected by the Taliban and allowed to operate with safe haven in Afghanistan beginning around 1996 and through the years leading up to 9/11 had nothing to do with 9/11? This opinion flies in the face of the findings of the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission, multiple committees in Congress on both sides of the aisle and ALL of the intelligence agencies of the USA and several other nations. Interesting but … I find this opinion of Farmer’s highly implausible.

How does not having a training camp in Afghanistan prevent such an attack? An atrocity against the US could just as easily be planned and prepared from an apartment in Kuala Lumpur.

I suppose safe haven could be given to Osama-like actors in almost ANY of the fucked up majority-Muslim “nations” in the Middle East or elsewhere. But they take a risk if they do so. And that strategy did not seem to help Osama who was shot dead in an “apartment” in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

It's not one of my "favorite websites," but Andrew Bacevich is one of my favorite writers on these issues, and my ideas often align with his own.

Big difference … it is a website featuring his “favorite” writer whose views “align” with the commentor’s but for the website itself he is lukewarm. Readers, do you get the impression as I do that the commentor struggles to invent exquisite distinctions?

What does "get the job done" mean?

It means using enough troops to ensure the mission, whatever it might be, has a chance to be successful. Obama would dither for months over his military advisors’ recommendations and then when finally having made a decision, ignore their force level recommendations.

The "ridiculous rules of engagement" as described by Sedney were put in place in 2015. They did not exist between 2011 and 2015 when a huge amount of air power was applied to Afghanistan, with little to show for it, as Colonel Bacevich described in his article.

Readers, the reason there were no ROE in Afghanistan until 2015 is because Obama declared at the outset there would be no ground troops or no combat mission in Syria, which is discussed in this article in the Stars and Stripes.

Obama couldn’t formulate ROE for an area which he declared had “no combat mission.” That would have caused raised eyebrows even from his supporters. Up until 2015, as far as Obama was concerned, Afghanistan was not a combat theater. It was a lie, of course, but Obama was stuck with it. When first we practice to deceive …

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

Readers, do you get the impression as I do that the commentor struggles to invent exquisite distinctions?

No, it's actually quite simple. Let me try an example that you may find easier to comprehend. I used to read Christopher Hitchens every week in Slate, and he was the only thing in Slate. If I sent you a link to Hitchens article I liked, it would be fatuous to conclude that Slate was one of my "favorite websites."

Readers, the reason there were no ROE in Afghanistan until 2015 is because Obama declared at the outset there would be no ground troops or no combat mission in Syria, which is discussed in this article in the Stars and Stripes.

No, the reason things changed after 2015 is because NATO formally ended its combat mission in the country. The US negotiated and signed a separate bilateral security agreement in September of 2014 and NATO negotiated a status of forces agreement with the Afghan government. That is why the rules of engagement changed.

grackle said...

Oops. Correction:

… the reason there were no ROE in Afghanistan until 2015 is because Obama declared at the outset there would be no ground troops or no combat mission in Afghanistan.