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Friday, October 02, 2015

The arrogance of the inept

America's empire-builders are receiving a humiliating lesson in the limits of human power:
Fourteen years after we invaded Afghanistan, Afghan troops are once again fighting Taliban forces for control of Kunduz. Only 10,000 U.S. troops still in that ravaged country prevent the Taliban’s triumphal return to power.

A dozen years after George W. Bush invaded Iraq, ISIS occupies its second city, Mosul, controls its largest province, Anbar, and holds Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, as Baghdad turns away from us — to Tehran.

The cost to Iraqis of their “liberation”? A hundred thousand dead, half a million widows and fatherless children, millions gone from the country and, still, unending war.

How has Libya fared since we “liberated” that land? A failed state, it is torn apart by a civil war between an Islamist “Libya Dawn” in Tripoli and a Tobruk regime backed by Egypt’s dictator.

Then there is Yemen. Since March, when Houthi rebels chased a Saudi sock puppet from power, Riyadh, backed by U.S. ordinance and intel, has been bombing that poorest of nations in the Arab world.

Five thousand are dead and 25,000 wounded since March. And as the 25 million Yemeni depend on imports for food, which have been largely cut off, what is happening is described by one U.N. official as a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

“Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years,” said the international head of the Red Cross on his return.

On Monday, the wedding party of a Houthi fighter was struck by air-launched missiles with 130 guests dead. Did we help to produce that?

What does Putin see as the ideological root of these disasters?

“After the end of the Cold War, a single center of domination emerged in the world, and then those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think they were strong and exceptional, they knew better.”

Then, adopting policies “based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity,” this “single center of domination,” the United States, began to export “so-called democratic” revolutions.
How did it all turn out? Says Putin:

“An aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions. … Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.”
The arrogant neocons who "create events" would do well to understand that when you've reached the point that a Russian autocrat looks preferable to neutrals and Americans alike, you should stop digging and reassess your assumptions.

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85 Comments:

Blogger SirThermite (VFM #0025) October 02, 2015 3:17 PM  

Damn

Blogger professorastro October 02, 2015 3:18 PM  

There has to be another word for these people than neocons. The dominos that the Obama administration have caused to fall make Kristol and Wolfowitz look like pikers.

Blogger James Oakes October 02, 2015 3:20 PM  

Here's the transcript of Putin's Sept 29 interview to Charlie Rose:

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50380

Read it and imagine any Western leader giving such an interview to the media of a hostile country.

Imagine Obama speaking at length to the Russian or Chinese press.

Ha ha!

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 02, 2015 3:35 PM  

Wake me when the word "legitimacy" is being used about America's state institutions

Blogger YIH October 02, 2015 3:36 PM  

Syria and the Bizarre Need to Take Sides
The hunt for the elusive “moderate” opposition has been driven by the weird desire to find some faction in the civil war that the U.S. can support without openly endorsing jihadists. While interventionists imagined that the U.S. automatically had “allies” in Syria that it needed to aid, the reality was that there was never any side in the war that the U.S. could justifiably support that had any chance of prevailing over the other forces. Instead of taking the lack of obvious allies as a warning to stay out entirely, the U.S. keeps trying to find a way to take sides.
Fighting two sides (Assad and 'ISIS') at once - that didn't work out too well for Germany did it?
Oh, and it gets worse; Guess what The Lizard Queen wants? A 'no-fly zone' in Syria.
Oh that's just freakin' brilliant isn't it?

Blogger Daithi Dubh October 02, 2015 3:44 PM  

Limits? What limits? We're the Masters of the Universe!

Blogger JartStar October 02, 2015 4:05 PM  

He certainly seems to understand 4G warfare:

VLADIMIR PUTIN: That’s right, that’s how it is. We provide, as I have said twice during our interview and can repeat again, we provide assistance to legitimate Syrian authorities. Moreover, I strongly believe that by acting otherwise, acting to destroy the legitimate bodies of power we would create a situation that we are witnessing today in other countries of the region or in other regions of the world, for instance, in Libya, where all state institutions have completely disintegrated.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing a similar situation in Iraq. There is no other way to settle the Syrian conflict other than by strengthening the existing legitimate government agencies, support them in their fight against terrorism and, of course, at the same time encourage them to start a positive dialogue with the “healthy” part of the opposition and launch political transformations.

Blogger Salt October 02, 2015 4:12 PM  

So many heads should be on pikes, scattered about DC.

Blogger Daniel October 02, 2015 4:18 PM  

They weren't using them anyway, Salt. I doubt they'd be missed.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau October 02, 2015 4:25 PM  

The folks over there don't want Democracy nor Communism We should have learned from Soviet after action reports from Afghanistan in "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" where the Commissars could not understand why he people rejected Marxist Leninism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They are even less enamored of Western Liberal Democracy.

Blogger Sam Lively October 02, 2015 4:52 PM  

@ 3 - James Oakes
"Time and again, with perseverance worthy of a better cause"

Putin nails the diagnosis of what ails American foreign policy makers.

Blogger Chris Mallory October 02, 2015 4:58 PM  

@2
NeoCons all the way down.

The NeoCons have held power since the regime of Bush the First.

Blogger Doom October 02, 2015 5:02 PM  

Is this the same Putin who wanted to expand Russia through invasion and provoking "nationals" the way Hitler did, and is now in Syria? Look. Shut up. Or at least don't pick an under-the-skin twin to US policies as your spokesman.

Blogger hadley October 02, 2015 5:12 PM  

Fifteen years. Has it really been that long?

I was following David Horowitz at his Front Page Mag website as he battled for free speech on campus.

And then 9/11 came.

Horowitz flipped like a switch. Everything was all about going to war with Muslim countries to turn them into Democracies.

Those crazy 60s radical Trotskyite blinders of his went back on and he (and all his neocon buddies) suddenly knew how to Save the World, how to Bring Light Unto The Nations ... with a bullet.

After a month or two, it was clear he and his friends loved wallowing in their mutual insanity, so I left.

Fifteen years ago. Wow.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 5:15 PM  

@10 " where the Commissars could not understand why he people rejected Marxist Leninism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat."

I can explain it in two words: The Shahada.

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 5:24 PM  

Gee, if I were a Jihadist commander in Syria, and I saw the US following current policies, what would I do?

Maybe invent a moderate force, that is well-positioned to extract money and materiel from the Americans, centered well away from my actual area of control, and use it both for resupply and for recruitment. It's a good place to send some of your less dedicated folks, and gosh golly gee, how did those rocket launchers and mines end up in ISIS hands? We'll never know.

In the meantime, Russia is sending a very clear message to every state in the region. "We will help you maintain order and stability. The Americans will undercut you and fund armed insurgents."

Good luck getting winning the hearts and minds of the leaders, and hence followers, of the various factions in the middle-east. Russia wants peace and plenty. America wants civil war. It's no wonder we can only account for "4 or 5" moderate soldiers we've trained and supplied.

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 5:27 PM  

@Doom
How dare Putin counter our moves in Ukraine!?!? He's not allowed to counter our color-coded revolution!
He's the new Hitler!!!!!!11

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 5:30 PM  

No-fly zones only work if you can enforce them. And you can only enforce them if the opponent is not capable of responding. Are you willing to shoot down Russian jets? Starting WWIII? If not, and we hope not, please don't say this kind of stupid thing. Russia is not Iraq.

Blogger S1AL October 02, 2015 5:35 PM  

It's funny, historically, that the United States has every necessary ingredient to be a world-spanning empire except for the desire to actually be an empire. So instead what was once the greatest nation on earth resorts to failed interventionism. We'd be better off actually acting like an empire.

Blogger YIH October 02, 2015 5:38 PM  

@15 Emmanuel Mateo-Morales:
I can explain it in two words: The Shahada.
Not to mention the fact that quite a few Soviet troops came home as junkies.

Blogger Quadko October 02, 2015 5:40 PM  

Democracy is a tool or process. Freedom is the ideal.

To worship process or hand out tools accomplishes nothing. To strive toward the goal or ideal is everything.

And American leaders for long time now have been all about the tools and processes.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 5:41 PM  

@20

I wish we were. The idea of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the other Godless Nordic Nations (except for Greenland) that the left like to fawn over being brutally taken over and subjugated is funnily cathartic. I just hope we wouldn't take Japan.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 5:43 PM  

@21

"And American leaders for long time now have been all about the tools and processes."

Nigga please, they ARE tools... though I'm not sure about processes.

Blogger YIH October 02, 2015 5:47 PM  

#foreignpolicy

Blogger James Oakes October 02, 2015 5:54 PM  

@JartStar

To me, the best part of the interview is this exchange:

CHARLIE ROSE: Russia has military presence on the borders with Ukraine, and some argue that there have been Russian troops in Ukraine itself.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Do you have a military presence in Europe?

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: The US tactical nuclear weapons are in Europe, let us not forget this. Does it mean that the US has occupied Germany or that the US never stopped the occupation after World War II and only transformed the occupation troops into the NATO forces? That is one way of seeing it, but we do not say that. And if we keep our troops on our territory on the border with some state, you see it is a crime?


"But we do not say that". Oh, not, of course we don't. I didn't say it, did I?

Blogger James Oakes October 02, 2015 6:01 PM  

@ Doom

Actually, Putin answered your comment in the interview...


VLADIMIR PUTIN: [...]. Here is what I believe is completely unacceptable for us. Addressing issues, including controversial ones, as well as domestic issues of the former Soviet Republics through the so-called coloured revolutions, through coups and unconstitutional means of toppling the current government. That is absolutely unacceptable. Our partners in the United States are not trying to hide the fact that they supported those opposed to President Yanukovych. [...].

CHARLIE ROSE: Doyou respect the sovereignty of Ukraine?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Certainly. However, we would like other countries to respect the sovereignty of other states, including Ukraine, too. Respecting the sovereignty means preventing coups, unconstitutional actions and illegitimate overthrowing of the legitimate government. All these things should be totally prevented.

CHARLIE ROSE: How does the renewal of the legitimate power take place in your judgment? How will that come about? And what role will Russia play?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: At no time in the past, now or in the future has or will Russia take any part in actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government. I'm talking about something else right now – when someone does this, the outcome is very negative. Libya's state is disintegrated, Iraq's territory is flooded with terrorists, it looks like the scenario will be the same for Syria, and you know what the situation is in Afghanistan. What happened in Ukraine? The coup d'état in Ukraine has led to a civil war, because, yes, let's say, many Ukrainians no longer trusted President Yanukovych. However, they should have legitimately come to the polls and voted for another head of state instead of staging a coup d'état. And after the coup d'état took place, someone supported it, someone was satisfied with it, while others were not. And those who did not like it were treated from the position of force. And that led to a civil war.


As the old Latin American wag has it:

"Why has the U. S. never experienced a coup?"

"Because there's no American embassy in Washington".

Blogger Tim_W_Burke October 02, 2015 6:05 PM  

@8 & @9

So many cells in a supermax prison needing heat from fat asses.
The neocons were definitely thinking with those.

Blogger Anthony October 02, 2015 6:10 PM  

Hadley @14 - Horowitz and the other neoconservatives *always* believed that Democracy could be established at the point of a gun. But before 9/11, they had some really useful critiques about the welfare state and crime and other domestic policies. They won some of those battles - welfare reform in '95, crime control Giuliani-style, etc., and lost some (education is still essentially unchanged since the 80s), and were already becoming irrelevant in domestic policy when 9/11 happened.

Blogger HardReturn¶ October 02, 2015 6:12 PM  

The Moguls come, the Moguls go… the British come, the British go… the Russians come, the Russians go… the Americans come, the Americans go… [insert next empire's name here]
That whole "graveyard of empires" cliche was supposed to be done. This time it was supposed to be different. This time it was "rat hole of empires."

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 6:27 PM  

Alexander came, and the Pashtun chiefs are still buggering boys. Some things are forever.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 6:27 PM  

As the old Latin American wag has it:

"Why has the U. S. never experienced a coup?"

"Because there's no American embassy in Washington".

I don't get it.

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 6:35 PM  

@31
Because coups start from the American Embassy

Blogger bw October 02, 2015 6:50 PM  

The arrogant neocons

NeoCohens

Blogger chris October 02, 2015 6:53 PM  

@2
There has to be another word for these people than neocons. The dominos that the Obama administration have caused to fall make Kristol and Wolfowitz look like pikers.

Yeah. Bush was a patriot, for all his faults. Rice could do realpolitik if she had to.

The current regime cannot do realpolitik, need instructions not to piss in a boot, and are anti-patriotic. I prefer to call them traitors.

Blogger Bluntobj Winz October 02, 2015 6:53 PM  

I read a news blurb today about Franklin Graham and a quote from him in regard to his statement to stop all immigration of muslims into the US.

In response to pressure to modify his comments, he said "I don't care. What I said was true."

I don't do the televangilism thing, but it's refreshing to see the message worming its way into christian consciousness.

Blogger Dexter October 02, 2015 7:14 PM  

Chaos and destruction IS THE PLAN.

The US Middle East strategy since 2001 has been "52 pickup".

Blogger Hunsdon October 02, 2015 7:44 PM  

@26

James Oakes: I like that.

@13

Doom: Peddle that somewhere else. Red State, Little Green Footballs, the WSJ.

Blogger Giuseppe The Kurgan October 02, 2015 7:54 PM  

Exactly right.
And I for one would honest to God live in Russia long before i would choose to live in America. And yes, I have been in both countries.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus October 02, 2015 8:20 PM  

Oh, and get this - now McCain wants to supply SAMs to the "rebels" so they can shoot down Russian planes.

Blogger James Dixon October 02, 2015 8:20 PM  

> Limits? What limits? We're the Masters of the Universe!

Wait a minute. Does this mean Obama is He-Man?

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus October 02, 2015 8:22 PM  

Does this mean Obama is He-Man?

Nope. The Sorceress.

Blogger The Other Robot October 02, 2015 8:30 PM  

McCain wants to supply SAMs to the "rebels" so they can shoot down Russian planes.

Isn't that what we did in Afghanistan with the Russians?

Why do I get the feeling that US policy in the ME has been designed to help one small country there.

Blogger Unknown October 02, 2015 8:40 PM  

It's pretty bad when the Russian dictator looks like a pro-American good-guy compared to the Bush/Clintoon/Shrub/0bammy regime.

Blogger Hammerli280 October 02, 2015 8:52 PM  

I think there's a lot of knee-jerk thinking going on in Washington - on both sides.

Putin's interest is obvious. He wants to move Russia up as a Great Power. And Russia has dreamed of controlling the Dardanelles for centuries. Having Syria as a client again would help squeeze Turkey.

American interests are less clear. To a degree, leadership must be continually exercised if it is to be maintained - the Peloponnesian War has its origins in the failure of Sparta to exercise leadership in the Persian Wars, leading to the rise of Athenian power. And Russian access to the Med gives them a way to cut off the Suez Canal. On the other hand, letting Russia take on ISIS may be a more economical option than doint it ourselves.

Hovering over everything is Obama's hatred of the United States, and the GOP's reflexive support of Israel. I'm not sure anybody is minding the store.

Blogger Mint October 02, 2015 8:54 PM  

United States of America is not the police of the world but acts like one, spending billion dollars meddling with everyone business. Why? To bring justice? To spread democrazy?

Nobody like meddlers. Here, the picture of USA troops in the Middle East sends message to every Muslim in my country. It is not a message of peace or justice.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 8:55 PM  

@32

I got ya.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 9:00 PM  

"Nobody like meddlers..."

Except when the meddlers are conveniently on your side and their interests either overlap with yours or they're fighting for your interests. :P

Seriously, this comment is as stupid and hypocritical as movie makers bemoaning the online community as a bunch of basement dwelling porn addicts when they don't like something yet praising that very same online community when they're eating the movie makers' shit like it was Jesus flavored.

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 9:04 PM  

Russia is claiming to have destroyed an ISIS command center and training camp in today's air strikes, and that reports of civilian casualties were "prepared in advance"."
Russia Today

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 02, 2015 9:09 PM  

@49

Yep. The Russians sure don't fuck around with any humanitarian rules of engagement.

Blogger Ragin' Dave October 02, 2015 9:15 PM  

I know this won't make me popular, but...

People forget - We had Iraq won. Our troops could walk down a market street in Fallujah without body armor.

Fallujah today is an ISIS stronghold.

We had Qaddafi voluntarily giving up his WMD's. Amazing what can happen when Saddam Hussein gets pulled from a hidey-hole and publicly tried and executed.

We were winning in Afghanistan. WERE. Past tense.

Leadership counts. Leadership of the military counts. Having a Commander in Chief who actually wants his military to win counts. And having a President who actually wants America to win counts.

We haven't had any of those things since January 2009. And it shows.

Now, thanks to the Marxist Messiah being in control for two terms, and his sweet deal giving Iran everything it wants, I fully expect a large US city to be vaporized and turned into a mushroom cloud within my lifetime. And since it's a good bet that those large cities voted en masse for their Communist Christ, I'm really finding myself having a hard time giving a shit about it. But it's going to happen one way or another, because of who we put in charge. That bullet has already been fired. We just have to wait for it to hit.

Blogger Giuseppe The Kurgan October 02, 2015 9:25 PM  

OT: Vox...according to the NYT you're not a modern man:
11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

Enjoying Larry's fisking quite a lot, mostly because on 4 occasions out of 11 so far he wrote pretty much the thoughts in my brain. Except with better grammar of course.

Blogger Danby October 02, 2015 9:28 PM  

@50 Ragin Dave
The point is that nobody in America gives a single desultory drug-addled fuck about Fallujah. the whole problem was going in in the first place. We don't win the military war. We lose the moral war. The neocons took advantage of 9/11 to prosecute a war Americans did not want and by-and-large did not support. So long as it was a matter of troop engagement, we were unstoppable. When it became a matter of legitimacy, there was no path to victory. The locals, with some exceptions, did not want us there, did not want a secular liberal democracy, and resented the hell out of us.

In straight numbers, ISIS is more popular in Iraq than the US ever was. That should tell you a lot about Arabs, and something important about going into foreign countries and fixing them.

Blogger Robert What? October 02, 2015 9:56 PM  

Neo-Conservatives are (largly) Jewish Trotskyites following Trotsky's vision of permanent revolution, permanent war. So far they have fooled the majority of the American population by adding the word "conservative" to their name.

Blogger Mint October 02, 2015 9:57 PM  

@47

Why is it hypocritical? Have I ever stated any praise for any effort of USA trying to meddle ehm....fix Indonesia?

Blogger bob k. mando October 02, 2015 10:53 PM  

you remember when the Ukraine situation broke wide open?

you remember all the idiotic stunts Obama kept pulling, provoking Putin?

you remember how people were wondering if Obama was trying to start a nuclear exchange?

you remember how i pointed out that
IF Obama is acting as a controlled, FALSE opposition
THEN all of the brinksmanship between the US and Russia is just a puppet show?

and that IF Obama is now exercising his "After election I have more flexibility" as *he made a point of saying on a public stage*

THEN almost all of the dunderheaded actions Obama is taking ( at least foreign policy wise ) should best be viewed as Putin directed fuckups, in order to CREATE THE PRETEXT for Russian intervention.

yeah.

Putin's speech nails Obama to the wall on all of the "human rights" concerns that the Left thinks the US should wage war for ...

my hypothesis looks like it's holding up.

tell me, IF Obama is *not* Russian controlled, THEN how would his foreign policy actions differ?

OpenID Steve October 02, 2015 11:04 PM  

The Russians sure don't fuck around with any humanitarian rules of engagement.

Lets hope the moslems don't stop using their children as shields.

Blogger CM October 02, 2015 11:18 PM  

OT, in connection to SJWAL, an apology done right.

Blogger Ragin' Dave October 02, 2015 11:39 PM  

@52 Danby - Of course they "love" ISIS. If they don't, they get their heads hacked off. Or their children crucified (if they're lucky) or cooked and fed to them (if they're not lucky). They either "love" ISIS, or they die.

Obama surrendered and ran away like the gutless little bitch that he is. ISIS moved in. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Blogger Doc Rampage October 03, 2015 12:27 AM  

You are conflating two entirely different things. Bush was arguably a neocon intending to export democracy, but Obama was most certainly not. Every one of Obama's actions have been to support Islamic radicals. The problems you mention (except possibly for Afghanistan) are due to Obama's treachery more than to the resistance of the enemy.

Obama is not a neocon. He has no interest in exporting democracy. He is anti-American. His purpose is to weaken America and empower Americas enemies.

You can hardly blame the neocons for the fact that someone diametrically opposed to their purposes took over the situation and destroyed all their work. That doesn't prove that their work could not have succeeded if they had been able to finish it. I mean, they could not have succeeded, but you can't use the results of six years with a treasonous president to prove it. It's like a doctor telling a man that he has less than six months to live due to cancer, and then when the man dies in a car accident the next day, the doctor saying, "See? I was right."

Blogger ScuzzaMan October 03, 2015 12:31 AM  

bob k msndo

there are no mistakes being made in Syria. The chaos and endless war that Buchanan warn about are not accidental nor incidental. They are not unintended consequences of strategic mis-steps or tactical errors. As the long known and utterly unavoidable results of our choices, they are in fact the conscious and deliberate objectives, which those choices are intended to produce.

Far from being indicative of ignorance or stupidity, the selection of a course of action that actually produces the desired results is a sign of competence.

True, it is a ruthlessly evil competence, but that's the point. The problem with the "mistakes were made" school of imperial apologetics is that people continue to believe in the good intentions of our rulers and so they (the people) will not revolt. Only when we accept that our political system is thoroughly corrupt and corrupting will we set ourselves to oppose and destroy it.
Until then, we will be the stupid snd ignorant, actively supporting those who are destroying us, perpetuating the system that is lethally hostile to us, to our civilisation, and ro our progeny; cooperating in our own enskavement.

Blogger The Other Robot October 03, 2015 12:48 AM  

And now they want to introduce UN Laws and Sharia compatible laws in US cities ...

Blogger Danby October 03, 2015 1:09 AM  


The point is, Ragin Dave, men are willing to kill and die for ISIS like they were not for the "liberal" "democracy" we set up for the natives.

I'm not talking poll results, but men putting their bodies on the line. That's what counts, that's what matters, and that's what ISIS has, and all our idealistic talk never did.

Yes, we did make life substantially better for most Iraqis. But THAT'S NOT WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO THEM. The thing about helping people out, is they often resent it.

As far as I'm concerned, we should take their fucking oil and leave them to continue killing each other and sodomizing goats in their desert shithole.
Strike that, reverse it.

OpenID RambleAround October 03, 2015 1:20 AM  

Mass exodus of not withstanding, it's in the west's best interests that the middle east is unstable

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 03, 2015 1:22 AM  

@61

Let them try.

Blogger justaguy October 03, 2015 3:56 AM  

#56 Steve , #49 "The Russians don't ... follow rules of engagement"...

That worked well for them last time in Afghanistan didn't it?

However, I would expect the Russians to do far better in the current ME war than we did because they are not blinded by neocon stupidity into the straightjacket of forcing 20th century democracy on a society not stable enough for it. The Russians are propping up one side that has strongman and a tribal loyal following. More than that, the Russians have the backing of the regional powerhouse Iran, who were a major combat opponent of the US when it was the US' war If the Russians are smart enough to tap into the tribal politics as well as the regional religious politics, they might be able to do a reasonable job and yes not following the US ROE that had more to do with the news cycle and domestic opposition than warfighting could be a big part of it.

The current brewing regional civil war might give a much better view of the effectiveness of 4G warfare with current modern weapons than the poor performance the US demonstrated. As one who doesn't think that 4GW is all that effective and is nothing different than that used for millennia (think Spain and the Romans et al.), the Russians may tap into one of the many strategies that have defeated such insurgencies throughout the centuries.



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Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 03, 2015 8:58 AM  

My WAG Russia secures an Alawite area dares Erkel to set up a no fly area over the Sunni areas and then gives Erkel the likes of ISIS as ISIS slaughters the moderate head choppers.

OpenID douzeper20 October 03, 2015 9:08 AM  

A few other major contributors to the current situation include the increasingly ludicrous roe that were imposed on our troops, as well as ignoring the necessity of a two generation occupation, and thus not taking steps to guarantee enfranchisement in the new setup, as we were planning to be gone in the short term.

Blogger freddie_mac October 03, 2015 9:23 AM  

@19 S1AL; @50 & @58 Ragin' Dave: absolutely.

We had imposed stability in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the main problem (even preceding Obama) was a lack of desire to see things through to the end. If we had actually wanted to succeed in the ME, we had to be willing to station large numbers of US troops for a minimum of 25yrs (no, "military trainers" don't count).

Think Germany, Japan, and South Korea ... leaders from older generations knew what it took to fight the war and win the peace. We might have a few of those guys today, but they're vastly outnumbered by the guys who think that we only need to lob a few SCUDs and then we can go home.

Blogger Ragin' Dave October 03, 2015 9:39 AM  

@62 Danby - they were willing to put their lives on the line before we left. Iraqi patrols were the ones who cleaned out Sadr City, not us. Iraqi patrols were the ones going after Iranian teams working in Iraq, not us. We provided support, they were the tip or the spear.

But they needed that support, even if it was just to stiffen the spine a bit.

I'm not even advocating going back into Iraq, mind you. I don't think they'd want us there again, not anymore. Obama and the Left have burned that bridge to the ground. But we had the war won, and we should have never surrendered and left. It's too late to do any real good, now that we've abandoned them, and they damn well know they were abandoned.

Blogger Were-Puppy October 03, 2015 10:31 AM  

@35 Bluntobj Winz
I read a news blurb today about Franklin Graham and a quote from him in regard to his statement to stop all immigration of muslims into the US.

In response to pressure to modify his comments, he said "I don't care. What I said was true."

I don't do the televangilism thing, but it's refreshing to see the message worming its way into christian consciousness.
---

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think he's a televangelist. I think he's more of something like a Christian Red Cross?

Blogger Were-Puppy October 03, 2015 10:34 AM  

@43 Unknown
It's pretty bad when the Russian dictator looks like a pro-American good-guy compared to the Bush/Clintoon/Shrub/0bammy regime.
---

Yep. From the interview, I can respect that Putin has a clear vision for his country. And he also works in his countries national interest. If only we did that here in the US.

Blogger Were-Puppy October 03, 2015 10:37 AM  

@45 Mint

Nobody like meddlers. Here, the picture of USA troops in the Middle East sends message to every Muslim in my country. It is not a message of peace or justice.
---

Then tell the goddamn muslims in your country to stop meddling in the US.

Blogger justaguy October 03, 2015 11:34 AM  

I think that those who believe that the two conquered Muslim countries were pacified until Obama came and fouled it up are deluding themselves. The religious and tribal issues still existed and Iran/Pakis were still going to be inciting violence with their sponsored sides. In each case, we were intentionally ignoring more and more provocative actions by the regional power in efforts at keeping our idea of peace. We may have forced a short lull more because our opponents knew we would not stay long than anything else we did.

Strategically both efforts were doomed to fail once the strategy became to create first-world democracies and not to just give support to the Northern Alliance and any worthwhile strongman faction in Iraq. With large regional divergences in the populations of both areas and very strong regional powers used to playing the role of sponsors (remember the Pakis created and supported/do support the Taliban), I don't know in what muddled neocon mind how we ever thought there was a chance of success, at least not without a military 5-8 times as large and a willingness to use the tactics we used in Philippines or Haiti a century ago. Hell, Rumsfeld basically sacked the Army COS because he said that our military wasn’t large enough for the task of maintaining the peace and the COS was proved right…

Back before President Carter we knew how to choose a side and aid a strong-man leader. The Brits used to know this too, but seem to have forgotten also. Between Carter and Kilpatrick, we have lost that realist perspective necessary to be effective abroad. The US people are not ready to form up in legions and conquer the known world and then rule it with the iron fist of ancient Rome. Nor are we ready to let sponsored strongmen do what is necessary to maintain their power base. Russia and Iran are, so they have a very different strategy but possibly more successful strategy than ours. What remains to be seen is whether or not Russia is strong enough to make this strategy work against the coalition the Saudis are creating. Failure may come because the Russians are no longer strong enough to effectively use the strategy with their failing economy and the economic warfare aimed at Russia launched by the Saudis with oil prices.

Of course control of sponsors has always been a problem with this model, look at N. Korea. The strategic question is which strategy advances your civilization's interests more... But to most in the First World, national interest is no longer even a rational consideration.

Blogger Bluntobj Winz October 03, 2015 11:52 AM  

So overnight the USAF bombed a hospital in Afghanistan, killing 30 staff and patients, including 9 Doctors without Borders.

Which is perfect timing considering Power's tweet demanding Russia stop bombing civilians.

/thread

Blogger The Other Robot October 03, 2015 12:19 PM  

@76

RT Reports it as well

Blogger The Other Robot October 03, 2015 12:26 PM  

Is it a repeat of this earlier attack?

Blogger Doc Rampage October 04, 2015 12:00 AM  

justaguy: you may be right. Maybe it would have spiraled out of control anyway, but you can't prove that by the fact that it spiraled out of control after all troops were removed from Iraq and the US attacked the strongman leaders in other countries that were helping to keep the fanatics under control. My only point is that it isn't logical to point to the current problems and say it proves what a blunder Bush made, because all of his policies were reversed six years ago.

Blogger Tom Kratman October 04, 2015 12:54 AM  

More an illustration of the.limits of power when chained at the leg to idiots that do not understand how to use power or to a society that cannot face ugly reality. How much trouble were the Czechs, by the way, to Germany, after Lidice?

Blogger Tom Kratman October 04, 2015 12:54 AM  

More an illustration of the.limits of power when chained at the leg to idiots that do not understand how to use power or to a society that cannot face ugly reality. How much trouble were the Czechs, by the way, to Germany, after Lidice?

Blogger Mint October 04, 2015 1:00 AM  

What kind of men let other men interfere with his household unduly no matter how noble or how that other men interest overlap with his?

@74 Were-Puppy
I've just got back from church, I am not sure you still read the thread, anyway. What you are saying is like a neighbour being asked to stop interfering with your marriage (advising your wife on how to run your house etc etc), your kids dislike him as well and start to do some pranks, you are told by said neighbour to reign your kids first to not let them get the dog poop on his lawn.

In 1965, bloody coup de tat backed by CIA and US embassy took place in Indonesia, with more than 500.000 body count in the end. What did the Indonesians do to US that we deserve US fixin? We at that time just recently got our independence from a European country, Netherland. A baby.

I am pretty sure I got this link and this one from VD's book Irrational atheists, when he refutes Sam Harris's claim on the major cause of wars.

I will quote what Osama bin Laden said there:
Therefore, think about this very thoroughly, because a sensible person does not waste his children and his property in the interest of a gang in Washington. It is a disgrace for a person to be a member of an alliance, whose greatest leader does not care about the blood of the people and deliberately bombs villagers from the air. And I am one of the witnesses to this!Then come the Humvees, and when the crew realize that the casualties were children, they let American generosity pour out and give the relatives of the victims $100 for every child they killed. This is a sad fact.Is it possible to buy a sheep for $100 in Europe? This is what the lives of our innocent children are worth in the eyes of Washington and its allies! So, what do you think our reaction will be? If you had seen how your American allies and their helpers gathered thousands of Taliban in containers, cramming them in like sardines, then kept them imprisoned until they died or threw them into rivers, then you would have understood the bloody events of Madrid and London.When the United Nations initiated an investigations of the crimes of the north, the Bush administration put pressure on it and stopped the investigation. This is what American justice is like.In summary: We demand neither something unjust nor absurd; and it is certainly part of justice for you to stop your injustice and withdraw your soldiers.

_End quote_

It is in US interest to defend America, but whatever you are doing in middle east, spending money that could have better serve your own people, sending your best young men and soldiers, it is not for justice or peace. Those young men died for something in foreign soil defending who knows what.


Blogger James Dixon October 04, 2015 7:49 AM  

> Maybe it would have spiraled out of control anyway, but you can't prove that by the fact that it spiraled out of control after all troops were removed from Iraq...

Doc, Iraq was always going to spiral out of control as soon as our troops left. How long would you have argued for keeping our troops there? 20 years? 50 years? 100 years? How long is too long?

If I'd have been stupid enough to send our troops there in the first place (which I might have been, at least in Afghanistan) I'd have pulled everyone out the day after the elections were completed and told them that we wouldn't be as nice if we had to come back.

Blogger justaguy October 04, 2015 4:38 PM  

I can't prove an alternative history, only make suppositions and try to support them from analogy of other cases. My main point is that strategically there were three big issues we never addressed except by wishful thinking:

First and probably the biggest: Regional power brokers were not invested/allied with US cause. Pak. and Iran were actively against the US before we pulled troops out (although for the Pakis, it was their intell services, not openly their army.) With troops, supply and other support against our side from the largest power in the region pouring over the border, how could we win? You would have thought that the Army would have remembered SE Asia in the 1960s, but no, democracy=unicorns and rainbows danced all over the sky.

Second: No strongman with tribal/ethnic loyalty. The Brits used this successfully for a couple of centuries to subdue or maintain nominal control over areas hostile to Western control. I thought for a while that Rumsfeld planned this for Iraq and was overruled, but he never said as much and the evidence he planned it was thin. Again unicorns on democracy rainbows ruled.

Lastly the religious crusader vs muslim issue. We needed to address it.

These three concerns outweigh, I think, all of the many many missteps the out of their depth State Department rulers made (dismissing army, etc.). I think that any short pause was simply outwaiting us, as nothing from the regional powers showed that they were giving up and we certainly didn't indicate we would keep 40-50K+ troops there for a few decades even if that stood a chance of getting to a modern western democracy. Remember Egypt showed us what real democracy in ME becomes--a very Islamic government that is not for us or anything we value.

Now we may get a chance to see if the Russians are able to implement a similar policy of what I am suggesting we should have done. However, the Russians are nowhere near as strong as we are, and are on the opposite side with the Iranians vice the Saudis. The Saudis are currently implementing a good strategy aimed at the Russian economy with oil. I don't know how far/what plans they have to further engage in Iraq and Syria. The Saudis, as the other power broker, is engaging closer to home, but seem to have to make a devils bargain to engage farther afield.

OpenID ymarsakar October 10, 2015 11:15 PM  

With not a single mention of Hussein Obola in the article, it's now a contest of Bush II vs Putin, when in reality, it's the contest of Pro traitors in the US vs Putin.

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