Home Topics in Depth Foreign Affairs The CIA vs the DoD: The Battle for Syria

  • bemildred (2260 posts)
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    The CIA vs the DoD: The Battle for Syria

    Marko Marjanovic recently published a fascinating aricle in Checkpoint Asia titled The US Is Now Fighting for AND Against Virtually Every Side in Syria’s 4-Sided Civil War.

    Taken all together the US is now pursuing three separate wars in Syria against three of the four sides involved (ISIS, government, and rebels), as well as on the behalf of three of the four sides (rebels, Kurds, and government).

    • From the Kurds’ point of view the US is providing them with support against ISIS but is also providing their Islamist rebel enemies with huge quantities of arms and training.
    • From the rebels’ point of view the US is arming them and backing them diplomatically but also periodically bombing the leaders of its most effective fighting group, Jabhat al-Nusra.
    • From the government’s point of view the US is arming the Islamist rebellion against it but has also shared useful intelligence with it and has killed off some of its enemies in ISIS and al-Qaeda.
    • From the point of view of ISIS the US is bombing them and boosting their enemies but has also in the past helped arm them by equipping FSA groups which shared trenches and supplies with ISIS.

    In other words five years into the Syrian Civil War, the US is a former or present friend and enemy of every single side in that complex war. A better argument for the immediate and permanent US cessation of its sadistic enterprise in Syria could hardly be imagined.

    ===

    The neocons have totally dominated US foreign policy since George W. Bush’s administration and their beginnings date back to George H. W. Bush’s administration. Essentially the neocons are the old Cold Warriors who had a multi-decade plan for crippling Russia and remaking the Middle East. They fell out of favor briefly while Bill Clinton pursued his peace dividend and attempted to use America’s military to intervene in humanitarian crises, but that approach was abandoned once the Black-Hawk was downed over Mogadishu. It is also not clear if there was ever much support for Clinton’s policy of humanitarian intervention within the Deep State. With W.’s election the neocons gained full control of US foreign policy and when 9/11 happened they wasted no time in launching their plan to remake the middle east into action.

    The other competing ideology within the Deep State is that of the paleocons. The paleocons are essentially non-interventionists when it comes to foreign policy. Their main concern is protecting America from terror attacks, and they see the destabilization of the Middle East as counterproductive to that aim. Furthermore, they don’t see Russia as a serious threat to American interests; instead they see Russia as a potential ally in the war against terror. Pat Buchanan has long been the face of the paleocon movement. He described it thus, “We are old church and old right, anti-imperialist and anti-interventionist, disbelievers in Pax Americana”. Furthermore Buchanan described neoconservativism as “a globalist, interventionist, open borders ideology.”

    https://www.boredomandgomorrah.com/index.php/2017/01/08/the-cia-vs-the-dod-the-battle-for-syria/

    Jefferson23, Bearian, PADemD and 9 others7wo7rees, Downwinder, arendt, Peace Patriot, leveymg, broiles, ozoneman, em77, jwirr like this
    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.

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  • 3 months ago #9
    • FanBoy (7113 posts)
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      1. like the rothschilds, the new arms vendors make money on both or all sides

      in a conflict

      nothing to do with terror — its about money and land and overturning the table cause chaos is better than stability for the big boys (not for the peons)

      may they rot in hell forever

    • jwirr (2959 posts)
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      2. Didn't poppy bush give arms to both Iraq and Iran? This whole mess started

      that way.

      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        3. Divide and rule imperialism we got from the British.

        The Bush clique has been around for a while, I haven’t studied them much. Fanboy has a post on Baker here somewhere today.

        Poppy is CIA, but apparently not Brennan CIA. The pro-Israeli types don’t like Poppy or Baker, or the paleocons, and they love the Neocons.

        I think the reason it gets so weird is it it’s really about turf wars and monkey politics.

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • jwirr (2959 posts)
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          4. The divide between poppy and the Brennan group is probably religion. Poppy and

          his crew were purely out for the oil. Brennan and them today are trying to create the end of the world so that Jesus can return. As if they could stop Him if they wanted to. I actually prefer the bushies.

          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            5. That works, I've seen it framed as high church vs low church too.

            Meyssan at Volairenet see it like that, but he’s European and I read he lives in Damascus.

            I agree about the Bushs, and you can call the Neocons dogmatists or true believers or ideologues and that works for me. “The ends justify the means, any means.”

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            6. Found Meyssan, I'd be interested to know what you think

            Bemildred: Note the date. Meyssan is not the only guy I have seen mention high church and low church with regard to this issue, the paleocon-neocon split; he mentions Phillips’ “Cousins Wars” book too: https://www.amazon.com/Cousins-Wars-Religion-Politics-Anglo-America/dp/0465013708

            United States – reformation or fracture?
            by Thierry Meyssan

            During the year of the US electoral campaign that we have just weathered, the rhetoric has profoundly changed, and an unexpected rift has appeared between the two camps. If, in the beginning, the candidates spoke about subjects which were genuinely political (such as the sharing of wealth or national security), today they are mostly talking about sex and money. It is this dialogue, and not the political questions, which has caused the explosion of the Republican party – whose main leaders have withdrawn their support from their candidate – and which is recomposing the political chess-board, awakening an ancient cleavage of civilisation. On one side, Mrs. Clinton is working to appear politically correct, while on the other, «The Donald» is blowing the hypocrisy of the ex-«First Lady» to smithereens.

            On one side, Hillary Clinton promises male / female equality – although she has never hesitated to attack and defile the women who revealed that they had slept with her husband – and that she is presenting herself not for her personal qualities, but as the wife of an ex-President, and that she accuses Donald Trump of misogyny because he does not hide his appreciation of the female gender. On the other, Donald Trump denounces the privatisation of the State and the racketing of foreign personalities by the Clinton Foundation to obtain appointments with the State Department – the creation of ObamaCare not in the interest of citizens, but for the profit of medical insurance companies – and goes as far as to question the honesty of the electoral system.

            I am perfectly aware that the way in which Donald Trump expresses himself may encourage racism, but I do not believe for a second that this question is at the heart of the electoral debate, despite the hype from the pro-Clinton medias. It is not without interest that, during the Lewinsky affair, President Bill Clinton apologised to the Nation and convened a number of preachers to pray for his salvation. But when he was accused of similar misconduct by an audio recording, Donald Trump simply apologised to the people he had upset without making any appeal to members of the clergy. The currrent divide re-awakens the revolt of Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran values against those of the Calvinists, mainly represented in the USA by the Presbyterians, the Baptists and the Methodists.

            While the two candidates were raised in the Puritan tradition (Clinton as a Methodist and Trump as a Presbyterian), Mrs. Clinton has returned to the religion of her father, and participates today in a prayer group composed of the army chiefs of staff, The Family, while Mr. Trump practises a more interior form of spirituality and rarely goes to church. Of course, no-one is locked into the systems in which they were raised, but when people act without thinking, they unconsciously reproduce these systems. The question of the religious environment of the candidates may therefore be important.

            http://www.voltairenet.org/article193847.html

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
            • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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              12. Mr. Trump practises a more interior form of spirituality and rarely goes to

              church?   Do you have a link?

              I haven’t seen a sign of any particular spirituality in anything that Trump has said or done.  What is the factual support for that statement?

               

              No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
              • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                14. I think that is sarcasm.

                It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
                • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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                  25. I hope so.

                  No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
            • jwirr (2959 posts)
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              20. Wow. That is one powerful explaination of our entire history and it origin. He

              does not divide the bushies and the Clintons like it did but I have often used the Calvinist ideals to explain why Rs and some Democrats are against welfare (they think God is punishing the poor and disabled with poverty particularly in southern states) so I had an inkling that was what we were doing. I really like the last part of the article because – he says no matter who is elected the country is going to get rid of this puritan streak finally.

              He wrote this before Trump was elected but Trump also comes from the Calvinist religion (but does not attend all the time) so we are still dealing with the same line of thought – but it is also why he is unpopular. Helps us see where he is coming from. We also need to remember and look into the ideas that were behind the Covenanters in Scotland. They talked the talk but I don’t think they were very good at walking it.

              I am Lutheran so it is fairly easy for  me to see this argument – my church thinks it aught to keep its nose out of politics. We also see the difference of putting the Table of the Law in the church instead of the Cross – Old vs New Testament. The same difference as demanding total obedience to the Law and teaching love and forgiveness – there are only two ways to go and our country has chosen the former.

              • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                21. Yeah, that's why I think it's interesting.

                I come from those roots too, WASP as can be, and I know what he is talking about quite well. Bannon comes to mind here too, talking about Christian values..

                But it’s all meta too, it informs the discussion but does not determine events. People can and do rationalize whatever they want.

                I’ve been struggling to figure out Trump in the same way you describe, the high church low church conflict, Meyssan represents him as high church, which fits what we see, but his origins are not high church, he is rather an apostate protestant, as Meyssan notes, and yet other people have represented him as Calvinist all the way.  Lakoff I think that was.

                And Calvinism is populist and political.

                Anyway, I’m waiting for Trump to do something to disambiguate what we are dealing with in Trump, new church, old church, or don’t give a shit. He’s surrounded himself with a lot of people who profess, and a lot of others who clearly believe mainly in money.

                And I think it is a very important question.

                It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
              • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                22. Apostates can make good reformers, so I'm keeping an open mind.

                It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
              • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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                27. Except, the Methodists are a socially very conscious group.

                John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was an Episcopalian who went out and preached to and cared for the poor.  The original idea of Methodism was that it was a religion for the poor.  And Methodists emphasize helping the poor.  McGovern was a Methodist.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McGovern

                (McGovern’s father was a Methodist minister.)

                George McGovern, the United States senator who won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972 as an opponent of the war in Vietnam and a champion of liberal causes, and who was then trounced by President Richard M. Nixon in the general election, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90.

                . . . .

                He never retreated from those ideals, however, insisting on a strong, “progressive” federal government to protect the vulnerable and expand economic opportunity, while asserting that history would prove him correct in his opposing not only what he called “the tragically mistaken American war in Vietnam” but also the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

                . . . .

                Mr. McGovern resented that characterization mightily. “I always thought of myself as a good old South Dakota boy who grew up here on the prairie,” he said in an interview for this obituary in 2005 in his home in Mitchell. “My dad was a Methodist minister. I went off to war. I have been married to the same woman forever. I’m what a normal, healthy, ideal American should be like.

                “But we probably didn’t work enough on cultivating that image,” he added, referring to his presidential campaign organization. “We were more interested in ending the war in Vietnam and getting people out of poverty and being fair to women and minorities and saving the environment.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/us/politics/george-mcgovern-a-democratic-presidential-nominee-and-liberal-stalwart-dies-at-90.html

                McGovern’s campaign for president was the first one I really worked on.  Sadly, Nixon won.  But McGovern was right on all the issues.  Methodists now include some very conservative churches.  But traditionally, Methodists are very active on social issues — very liberal.

                No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
                • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                  28. I was raised Methodist, for a while.

                  My Mother adopted the local Methodist church when we moved to Los Angeles. At 16 I briefly considered the Methodist ministry at the urging of the youth pastor. :-)

                  Most of the rest of the family runs evangelical/Baptist.

                  And you are right. There are many, many protestant sects, and a lot of them did not stick with Calvinist views, and some new variations of the money is God’s blessing idea have evoived here. It’s a very popular idea. Rich people like it because it means they have God’s imprimatur, and poor people like it because it means prayer might work.

                  The church I grew up in was like you say. Mainstream and socially conscious. Some of the Methodists were smack in the middle of the abolition fight. And in the South they were on the other side.

                  Having been exposed to the more paternalistic branches of Protestant religion, I know they are there. Some of them are my relatives. But it’s messy, and I think Meyssan simplifies it too much, being European like I said, and he’s French, and how he was raised may have some relevance too.

                  I voted for McGovern, still have the pin. I’d do it again.

                  It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
                • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                  29. And to be fair, we considered Presbyterians to be kind of high church.

                  More so than we were. Which fits Trump well enough.

                  And Clinton tries to look socially conscious, like a good Methodist.

                  My Father started out Lutheran, later was reformed Catholic, but he never discussed it with us, my mother ran our religious lives.

                  It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
                • jwirr (2959 posts)
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                  33. I agree and the problem is that almost all denominations have two groups – the

                  conservatives and the liberals. Even the Lutherans have that so I cannot talk about that. What this really started about is that what has been going on since Jimmy Carter has often been about end times and the rw way of interpreting their faith. I for one do not want to get into a huge fight over which churches are the better ones. I just wanted to suggest that there is a line of religion now that is playing a big part in government and influences us along religious the route we have taken since the 90s. And it is destroying the USA.

                  • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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                    34. I agree with you on that.

                    No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
                    • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                      36. Me too.

                      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            7. I think it really is about authoritarian vs laissez faire.

            And that split cuts across just about everything. There are always the people who want meticulous application of the rules, they see the rules as a weapon for control; and then there are the people who think the rules are a tool and should serve us, so they should be applied when they work, but exceptions are not unusual, people are more important, etc. And the authoritarian types see that as chaos, whatever you want, and sloppy and unprofessional, etc.

            And that’s assuming it’s not just turf wars and monkey politics. With 17 intelligence agencies, there is bound to be lots of empire building and all that goes with it, so you always have to allow for some of that.

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • leveymg (2036 posts)
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      8. It may be an imperfect heuristic, but at least the Deep State divide explains

      the bipolar schizophrenia of US policy in Syria.  If I have to choose, the Paleos seem a lot less likely to end up blowing the world to pieces.  The Neos clearly do not have a viable vision of a survivable world.   Let us hope there is some alternative outside this conservative paradigm ready to emerge.

      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        10. It seems unlikely to me that Trump will fix what ails us.

        The hope is that he won’t make things worse as fast. Similar to how I view Obama, as a restraint on bad policy, but not a remedy.

        Trump could be a remedy, but I have to see it, I can’t convince myself. He’s my age, and he’s never shown a lick of civic spirit in the past, and his public persona is “new money”, exhibitionist.

        And in any case, the system itself is corrupt, and does not want to be fixed.

        But he does seem to recognize that we are not going to own the whole planet outright and complete, a welcome step. And he prides himself on negotiation, also a welcome change of viewpoint.

         

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • The Crone (2793 posts)
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          32. Share your viewpoint but

          Wouldn’t explain said viewpoint as concisely as you did. It was good to read.

          "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            35. Practice.

            Used to do some technical writing.

            Greetings.

            It’s a very twisted situation.

            .

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        15. Of course the other point of view is that if he crashes the government

        right away, quickly enough, there may yet remain some shreds of a functioning ecosystem for us to live an unhealthy life in here.

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • leveymg (2036 posts)
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          16. He is as unlikely to "fix" the system as to crash it. Like the British civil

          service, the spook-military industrial complex is permanent, and has long been transnational.  Trump is from an older Mob organization that has been at times useful and still has power.  The Mob has controlled Presidents and FBI Directors, but never to my knowledge attempted to directly challenge modern organized crime organizations.

          Obama, unlike several of his predecessors, survived to be a two-term President because he didn’t attempt to challenge the SMIC, but let its own cross-cutting internal contradictions in Syria bleed out to a chaotic end.

          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            17. I didn't mean he would do it intentionally.

            I mean he will do such a shitty job as to crash it right away, he may not have any choice about that actually, but it’s not the sort of thing you can predict precisely because it depends on what people will do. All these people  talking about the vulnerabilities and age of our infrastructure and our precarious economic position are not just blowing smoke.

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
            • leveymg (2036 posts)
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              23. It wouldn't take much to set off another run on The Street.

              A sovereign wealth fund cashing in all its chips would probably do it.  Or an electromagnetic pulse in Mahwah, NJ.  Either could be done by a nod from the King in Riyadh.

            • The Crone (2793 posts)
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              47. Plus our entire society, with

              Its total dependence on computer systems, satellite-dependent phone systems, apps, etc means we all are just one good strong blast of Electromagnetic-Pulsed Energy away from total chaos and Stone Age lifestyle.

              Such a Pulse could occur from any of a number of enemy states deciding to fry our equipment, or through a solar-instigated pulse.

              The sun’s massive solar flash in 1859, a year before Lincoln’s Presidency, knocked out the nation’s ability to send telegrams. One or two wire operators sitting on top of equipment were fried. (At their remote posts on the Great Plains.) Such an event, should it occur today, would bring “Western modern civilization” to a halt. It would be a worldwide calamity, with only very remote societies and people like The Amish  able to continue with their lives.

              "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
              • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                48. It's not robust.

                And those computers are one of the weaker spots. I’m a software engineer, 20 years, and I have always considered that putting little battery operated computers in everything was a bad idea. Who is not sick of resetting their clocks? How much time and money do people waste just getting their computers to WORK?

                It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
                • The Crone (2793 posts)
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                  49. Plus people in various industries

                  no longer know the basics about their jobs. That Jimmy Dore video where he starts in castigating various “journalists” at the Mainstream Media outlets who wondered how to do fact checking, as they didn’t know how to do it. Some asked their bosses if there were apps that would fact check for them… I’d be laughing if it wasn’t so tragic.

                  And so far, the local hospital’s computers have only screwed up appointment times for various tests I need to undergo. But it doesn’t leave me much confidence in having my med records “digitized.”

                  "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
                  • bemildred (2260 posts)
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                    50. Don't get me started on "health care". What a mess.

                    I have been a “caregiver”  a few times now, and what is clear is that it’s up to you to make sure your treatment is appropriate, all the providers just know their little area. And yet we are told that we could not possibly be smart enough to know what is right, and we must always do what the doctors say.

                    And then their is the “for profit” aspect of it.

                    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
          • The Crone (2793 posts)
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            39. I am probably in agreement with you,

            Except a few things you write seem ambiguous to me. When you state: The Mob has controlled Presidents and FBI Directors, but never to my knowledge attempted to directly challenge modern organized crime organizations. — what do you mean by “modern organized crime orgs”?

            And I am not sure it can be said that Syria has bled out to its chaotic end. I mean, with the drumbeats for a new Cold War, the Syrian War might be the instigating event for World War.

            "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
            • leveymg (2036 posts)
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              40. Unaccountable secret services are modern organized crime groups

              Or at least some elements often operate in that manner to evade oversight.  This is particularly the case when spy agencies like the CIA enlist and protect criminal groups or their finances become reliant on foreign funding for off-the-books clandestine activities.  Google “CIA Saudi Safari Club,”as an example.

              • The Crone (2793 posts)
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                41. That subject would be a great topic for an OP.

                Probably would involve a lot of work, but  if you should tackle it, then be sure and let me know by Pm’ing me.

                "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
    • Arctic Dave (891 posts)
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      9. Pat Buchanan?

      Fuck that guy. He is just trying to be the “good guy” in this fiasco they created.

    • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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      11. I just think we have no real policy in the Middle East other than to sell arms

      and to be surrogates for certain foreign powers.  It’s just a mess.  Our government does not know what it is doing.  That’s my opinion.  There is no clear direction.  Maybe the point is to keep the super violent busy killing each other and not us.

      No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        13. Well, yeah.

        But if you think of it as many competing policies, lots of little enterpreneurs each flogging their own paid-for policies, it reflects the level and sort of disfunctionality better. The problem is not neglect, it is too many cooks, and crooks, and none of them competent, up to the job, or even interested in the job.

        And of course, as you point out, the markups on weapons, the profits, are remarkable. Under dire threat, people cough up all they have. Prostitution is not the oldest profession, the protection racket is, extortion by violence and the threat of it.

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • jdpriestly (4513 posts)
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          24. It's cynical, but that's my view.

          No Truth!  No Trust!  Bernie or Bust!
          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            26. You can't be too cynical.

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • The Crone (2793 posts)
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          42. Only the Russians actually were invited

          Into Syria, by Assad, the twice elected President of the country. And many military analysts have publicly stated that Russia was about to embark on a military course inside of Syria that would have drastically damaged ISIS. But OUR military prevented that from happening. (Sometime back in Oct or November, this happened.)

          So it is not really true that none of the forces involved are competent or possess integrity.

          I’ll be back in a minute with my citation on this.

           

          Okay here it is – and the info contained is eye opening:

          https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/why-the-doomsday-clock-is-rreading-30-seconds-to-midnight/

          "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            43. That's one of the competing policies.

            The point, the problem, is that nobody is in control, some dip in the CIA wants to support ISIS, nobody stops them. Some other guy in the Pentagon wants to support somebody else, they can do that too. Some Congresspersons want to meddle in Foreign Affairs, they can too. And they all take money for it.

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • bemildred (2260 posts)
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      18. US special forces carry out secret ground raid against Isil in Syria, 'killing a

      Josie Ensor, Beirut
      9 January 2017 • 3:15pm

      US special forces carried out a secret raid in eastern Syria on Sunday, killing a number of fighters from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

      Commandos parachuted down from four Apache helicopters around 2.30pm on Sunday, according to local activists.

      They set up roadblocks around the town of al-Kubar, between the Isil-held cities of Deir Ezzor and the group’s de facto capital Raqqa.

      At least 25 jihadists were killed in the two-hour operation, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/09/us-special-forces-carry-ground-raid-against-isil/

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • bemildred (2260 posts)
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      19. Russian Air Power Prevails over Syria

      by Vladimir Karnozov
      – January 9, 2017, 8:19 AM

      Russia has now flown more combat air sorties over Syria than the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) has flown over Syria and Iraq combined. The weight of Russian airpower has enabled the Assad regime to regain significant territory from Syrian opposition forces, including the second city of Aleppo. But the situation on the ground remains complicated, with Damascus opposing a Turkish-led offensive against Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) that is being quietly supported by Russia.

      On December 22, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian Aviation and Space Force (VKS) performed approximately 8,800 combat sorties for 71,000 air strikes, killed 35,000 gunmen and destroyed 1,500 vehicles and artillery pieces. Captured items included 488 tanks and armored vehicles, 475 rocket launchers and 410 mortars. Since the expedition group went in action in October 2015, it destroyed 725 terrorist training camps and 405 industrial facilities manufacturing explosives and munitions. Interestingly, VKS first deputy commander Lt. Gen. Pavel Kurachenko said that the total of combat sorties numbered more than 30,000. The difference might be explained by Kurachenko having included helicopter flights, which are often not counted by the defense ministry.

      In December, the Pentagon said that about 16,500 combat sorties had been flown during OIR, about two thirds in Iraq and the remainder in Syria.

      For public image reasons, VKS has not flown combat missions over Aleppo since October 2016, leaving the job of conducting air strikes on rebel positions in the city completely to the Syrian air force. Despite significant combat losses in 2016—including four MiG-21s, eight MiG-23BN/MLs, two Su-22M4s and two L-39s (as well as some helicopters)—the Syrian air force remains active with more than 100 serviceable jets. The Syrian platform of choice has been the Su-22M4 swing-wing strike fighter. Against heavily fortified positions and high-value targets in Aleppo, Syrian Su-22M4s have sometimes used 1,102-pound ODAB-500 vacuum bombs.

      http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-01-09/russian-air-power-prevails-over-syria

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • Jefferson23 (3068 posts)
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      30. Who does crazy better than us?

      It’s really a shame we can’t call 911.

      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        31. Nobody.

        Lots of people are crazier, but nobdy else brings the level of imaginative energy to it that we do.

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • westerebus (135 posts)
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      37. The other religious divide.

      Shia versus Sunni.

      The US has made commitments to the Saudi’s and kept those commitments. What is happening in Syria is a result of two opposing sects of the same religion ensnaring the major powers in a centuries old conflict.

      Consider that for the term of Reagan’s presidency, the US and its allies (Saudi) supported Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein in a war against Iran.

      His successor to the Oval Office, Bush the greater, destroyed the greater portion of the Iraqi military in Kuwait with its same allies.

      Mean while, the soviet army had fought unsuccessfully in Afghanistan against forces created by the US/Saudi alliance.

      Clinton’s no fly zone for Iraq and economic sanctions for Iran. The calm before the storm.

      9-11. The storm.

      Bush the lesser and his successor were all in on the “new map for the middle east”.  The balance of power shifted away form what was policy for a generation, to weighing options in opportunities on the edges of the conflict.

      Currently, the two states of Believers remain locked in combat and their useful allies provide cover and support.

      All King’s and all the King’s men…

      Pray to the same God, they expect to see again.

       

      • bemildred (2260 posts)
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        38. People who want to fight will find a reason to do it.

        As you point out, the dogma is a pretext for the monkey politics.

        I agree that the USA getting involved in the Middle East was a major FP blunder after WWII. But these are stupid people, they actually think they can rule the planet, all of it, that’s a good idea to them.

        It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
        • FanBoy (7113 posts)
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          45. "control" the planet. not necessarily rule formally, imo.

          • bemildred (2260 posts)
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            46. Somebody will come along and want to be King.

            But OK, mostly it’s the pretense of democratic rule these days, and the rule of money in the real world. One dollar, one vote.

            It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.