War’s Illusions, Delusions…and Reality

WARPerpetual war, invisible to most, was a constant background to George Orwell’s “1984”, the prescient if misdated prophecy of the future of America. No sooner than the Iraqi and Afghan wars have wound down, our President is guns ablaze to replace those costly and bloody exercises with a new one in Syria.

A coach, they say in sports, is a guy glad to give your life for his team; we should characterize our Presidents as folk glad to give our and other’s lives and treasure, for their political gain. Since 1900, if you examine the list of America’s wars, our military has been killing people, mostly foreigners, during some 105 of the last 113 years, not including short term fighting lasting less than a year. Since America has the luxury of doing its fighting mostly in other people’s lands, Americans tend to pay limited attention.

The politicians who run the U.S. government benefit from that; President Dwight Eisenhower, the retired general of WWII explicitly warned us in his farewell speech of January, 1961. Thousands upon thousands of dead are testimony to our failure to heed his warning. However, most were foreigners, so few Americans have been concerned. Maybe a few mothers who ended motherhood with a gold star flag to display in their front window in place of a living son…  And a lot of foreign mothers we never heard from.

But Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” received billions in government business at taxpayer expense and politicians received contributions and other support. Everybody was happy, right? Even the dead; none of them have ever complained.

It’s all so easy, especially when it’s all off shore. And we are responsible; we elect and re-elect the men and women who sustain it. One reason it has been easy, is that we have not faced the reality of the wars we have perpetrated. Out of sight, out of mind, no? Easy to brush off in our peaceful neighborhoods. And our politicians and their indentured media work hard to be sure we aren’t disturbed by the realities of what we have wrought.

So here is a little lesson on the reality of war, if you have the integrity to face what your representatives do, plus a strong stomach. Several of our generals have annoyed various Presidents by not sufficiently hiding these facts from American voters when said Presidents wanted them hidden while also sending newsfolk onto battlefields. A bit tricky, that. Not all liberal newsfolk stick to the party line after tripping over the corpses of women and children long enough. Even generals become tired of it.

So, what is war in reality? War is very simple: Carl von Clausewitz wrote perhaps the best known definition. “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” And so it is. In a nutshell, after you have failed to persuade, blackmail or intimidate your chosen victim into accepting your terms, you simply destroy his property and kill his people until he either succumbs or is destroyed. That is war. All else, is propaganda.

War is not more popular than it is seen to be only because it is risky; those reliant on war too often end by destroying themselves. History is full of that. War mongering is ultimately a form of hubris. A primary reason for that is financial; war is ridiculous from a financial standpoint now that capturing an enemy’s gold mines or farms or shipping business is no longer an issue. Where, now that the money for Social Security, Obamacare, Medicare et al must be conjured out of the air, will the President find the funding for his war?

The United States has accomplished no honest goals via warmaking since the Korean ‘Police Action’ unless you see the relief of Kuwait as worthy. And that was nominal at best. But the billions have been duly wasted, the cemeteries have been duly filled, the politicians’ contributions duly received and the hapless folk victimized, duly interred quietly in far places where they don’t disturb American voters.

But President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry and ‘Defense’ Secretary Hagel, the four horsemen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who opposed President Bush’s plan to get tough with Assad, are baying after killing Syrians, who already seem to be accomplishing that well enough on their own. What gain will result? It will “send a Message.” Or more recently, it will help kick Assad out in favor of the rebels, who seem to be running around attacking Christians and otherwise, behaving pretty much as does Assad. But Obama has no war at the moment, that seems to leave him feeling naked or at least, somehow inadequate. He has killed more Afghans and Americans in Afghanistan tham Bush but he’s behind because of Iraq, which was Bush, not him. Guess he has to catch up somehow… And all he needs to do, is give orders and go play golf. Others do the dying, elsewhere

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About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much)
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Foriegn Policy, Iraq, Politics, Syria, War. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to War’s Illusions, Delusions…and Reality

  1. NEO says:

    A whole lot of truth in here, Jack

    • How would you know? You enjoy the benefits of the military service of others without ever contributing yourself? How would you know anything about it?

      • Jack Curtis says:

        Now that is an assumption a bit risky to make, considering the sheer amount of American military activity over the past century and those before it. Somebody had to be there, doing that and the life expectancy stats make it likely quite a lot of them are still around, no? Been there, done that. Learned a lot more from history than from that. But how I have come by my opinions is a change of subject: Do you disagree with those opinions? If so, you are welcome, especially if you explain why. It’s important, I think, to learn all we may of these things….

      • Because NEO admits he did not go to Vietnam because he was scared. This is natural, Vietnam was scary, but some people went anyway.

        Neo is a product of fear, he is afraid of everything, and does not like himself for it, but that’s his burden to bear.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Thanks. I’m not sure that its the sort of truth that make us free, though…

  2. James Teague says:

    Your article seems to be written to support the last paragraph about the drumbeats to teach Syria a lesson. We need a moderate sustainable regime with which we can hold reasonable discussions, Absent that there is certainly no good reason to jump in. Current Al Qaeda groups hold substantial power, bully or kill their less bloodthirsty Sunnis, destroy Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Copt… John Kerry and John McCain are lying about the “moderate Free Syrian Army” and the Al Qaeda power position in Syria.

    We opened Pandora’s box by encouraging “Arab Springs” with a naive hope that democracy would be encouraged. That worked out well witness Libya and Egypt today. Nobody wants to hear about the 3000 plus killed in Nigeria, the 4000 plus killed in th last 5 months in Iraq, thousands in Afghanistan including women, children beheaded. Just read an Indian woman doing medical work was shot because she told the truth about the Taliban. When radical Sunnis funded by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and others are done with their Muslim heretics what do you think they will turn to?

    Your article is written as if the US was aggressively seeking Germans (so we could spend more on weapons) to destroy Europe twice, or Russia to use their North Korean minions to pour down through the penninsula to stare down the throat of a Japan we were still trying to repair after WWII. I know there are some pretty interesting conspiracy theories about Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor and the Japanese (we needed an excuse to help Churchill more so write off those airfields and battleship sailors in the name of the greater good. Helped spend us out of the depression that government interference had prolonged.). In both of these situations our isolationism had left us woefully unprepared to stop the agressors.

    Surely you would call WWII a just war on our part. Do you think Fortress America is a better plan? Perhaps you would agree to Korea as just too. Maybe you should talk to the South Korean survivors or even the North Korean survivors who escaped. Don’t try it with their pop singers though unless you like machine gun percussion sections. Take out WWII and the Korean war and that reduces your wartimes for military industrial purposes.
    I served during Vietnam at an airbase in the December bombing of North Vietnam. While the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong did do terrible things to the populace, it all might have been avoided if we had not tried to pick up where the French failed. France was wrong after WWII to try empires again. France was our “friend” and we were afraid of monolithic Reds, but managed a different tactic with Tito and Yugoslavia for awhile until he died. Perhaps (we’ll never know) Uncle Ho could have been a counterbalance to China. We didn’t have a political plan that made sense here.

    Kuwait only made some sense again for our allies oil based needs. We needed our allies and they needed oil access so we drive back Iraq and save the Saudi/Kuwait money. But we also kept some of Europe warm and nominally our friends. It certainly was not about the ideal of democracy or people: witness the slaughter of the Kurds and Shiites that was allowed afterwards. I do think there is nothing wrong with doing things that are for our country’s down to earth practical benefit.

    The only vaild reason to go into Irag II was if we really thought Osama was there. We didn’t really think that, used other justifications and again no sustainable end game in place. Democracy building in this location was a wild crazy idea. Sorry George.
    Afghanistan was justifiable to get Osama who attacked us in many places. We bungled here by not paying attention to the prize and again no sustainable end game in place. Yay we got him later. The Taliban are one faction in a long line of historical bloodthirsty warlords. These happen to justify their slaughter with a vision of religion that all must adhere to or die. No compromise.

    Your quote on politics extended by war is correct. It is the European, Asian, Russian, Muslim view, but not usually the US view. Poltics is doing things that will keep our institutions and way of life strong, because we like how we are living. We have all sorts of feel good, short term reasons to justify this. They miss the real point on purpose sometimes. We don’t have that much of an attention span or an appreciation of history implications and we pay sorely because of that. Churchill told Roosevelt as much when Roosevelt thought he could smooze Stalin. That worked out well didn’t it. Millions in Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Rummania, Bulgaria, Cuba, Peru, and by extension then to millions in China.

    Is there then by your reasoning no reason to resist? Better Red than Dead I guess or the current equivalent: Muslims just want peace.
    Here is the radical Muslim peace: There is no God but Allah and get your burqah on you infidel.

    Throwing Tomahawks all over the world is not smart. We need a strategic unified long term plan to stop the massive coming evil. Resisting Hitler/Stalin/Mao sized evil is just. Who is developing the next massive evil takeover? Think about it.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      The article is aimed at Syria, in the light of recent events and American history, which is aggressive and Imperious. Americans mostly remain unaware of what their government does in the world but when it impacts them at home. They readily commit war without understanding what they do, as it is almost always others who pay the bitter price. The article does not address more than that. Can there be for instance, a just war? That’s another article or maybe, a book. Self-defense is just; but it must be defined… Here, the subject is Syria and American warmaking. There is no justification that I can see for an American attack there, no moral or legal goal available and ignoring those, no likely pragmatic goal either. Nor is there any way to finance it but printing fiat money. which simply poisons the economy and the years following.

      • James Teague says:

        You did finally get to Syria in your article and I agreed with that part and your reply now. We need a plan for the future when the jihadist victors have cut the throats of the last Muslim heretic and are then free to concentrate all of their attention on us. What then, their cities and countries or our cities and land? This will come. Are we preparing? They are.

      • Jack Curtis says:

        I share your view of the Islamist mindset; I can’t see far enough ahead to predict the arrival of their general supremacy. All the Moslem societies of which I read much seem pestered by fundamentalists to varying degrees; none seem about to fall to them, even Egypt/Syria/Yeman/Nigeria/Somalia etc. Their societies are all riven by first, the bloody intra-Islamic hostilities, then by the rejection of fundamentalism common to the usually majority Moslems who just refuse to return to the 7th century to live. For a fundamentalist, that’s an awfully thick forest to cut through. We will see…

  3. the unit says:

    Even reading comments at CNN sometimes shows a little common sense. I give credit to one who posted there this morning…
    “LibertarianTexan
    Let’s assess this potential military involvement in Syria objectively:
    Pros:
    Stop Syrians from gassing each other,
    Cons:
    Potentially lose American lives because there is no way this conflict will stop without boots on the ground.
    Kill Syrians with bombs instead of gas.
    Spend money we don’t have when we are already $17 trillion in debt.
    Help Al Qaeda.
    Unconstitutionally instigate military action in a conflict that has no threat to the US.
    Continue crony corporatism with defense contractors.
    Hmmmm. This is tough.”
    Sounds about right to me.

  4. Like most of your posts, this is honestly shallow and poorly thought out. Consider your opening sentence…

    “Perpetual war, invisible to most, was a constant background to George Orwell’s “1984″, the prescient if misdated prophecy of the future of America.”

    This is…just bad reasoning. And you know it is bad, because you, yourself said so. You stated,

    “So, what is war in reality? War is very simple: Carl von Clausewitz wrote perhaps the best known definition. “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” And so it is.”

    The problem most have is not actually reading Clausewitz, and not understanding what they do read. The famous axiom which is hardly profound, it was tossed off as something of an aside, because no one at the time would have been surprised by it. Anyone familiar with politics, war, and the conjunction of the two would recognize this, though too many use it as evidence of profound thinking, when it is anything but.

    The Westphalian system being what it is, conflict and politics have been a constant reality, and strategic movement, application, positioning, even messaging, is just part of the landscape. Consider the history of the US before WWII, constant conflict. Consider the history of France post WWII, the often japed cowards have been involved in conflict after conflict. The same with the UK.

    The reality is conflict is part of life, not modern life, but just life in general. Your comment “The United States has accomplished no honest goals via warmaking since the Korean ‘Police Action’ unless you see the relief of Kuwait as worthy” is complete balderdash. The US has accomplished a great deal, and also made a great many mistakes, and many of these have involved the wise, and unwise use of military strength, which does not mean an automatic resort to force. Sometimes it is the position of pieces. Sometimes limited strikes. Sometimes unlimited strikes. The spectrum of force application is broad and the military fills many roles within this spectrum.

    The question about what particular slice of this spectrum is necessary is a difficult one. Your motivation here seems purely anti-President. Were the situation reversed and the President would have never considered intervention, you would be opposing not intervening. Nevertheless, there is a question to be asked, but it is not one which has a good answer. President Clinton was accused to using the Balkans to hide from the Lewinsky scandal, but I thought it was a well run effort for a good cause. Grenada seemed less important. I also thought the no-fly zone over Iraq was well executed, it allowed the Kurds a level of autonomy.

    The problem comes when partisan politics trumps the consideration of national politics, which is what is happening. Whether or not Syria is a good or bad idea should be based on the full international implications, which I do not see happening at all, though I am not sure many could even evaluate or appreciate the international implications were they even to try.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      1. You seem to me gratuitously a bit snarky about it, 2. And you indulge in attribution to me of things I’ve not said and don’t believe,(a habit?), 3. But in general, I share many of your described views.

      Perhaps most important to me, is my view (which you may not share) that government inevitably fails to arrive at the common good by force of its political nature, which prevents that. It has occurred to me that a reason our species lacks a controlling top predator, is that we’re designed to perform the service ourselves… Whether or not so, we do that service admirably enough, seems to me.

      • You have a lot of views, but rarely do they have any basis in understanding the subject matter, or reality. You cover this with things like “In my opinion…” but in general your research is shoddy. No one calls you on it because you operate largely in an echo chamber filled with people who are even worse informed. The arguments you make are simply bad.

      • Jack Curtis says:

        Here, I see only ad hominem commentary..If my arguments are bad, something certainly possible, then one of your erudition should refute each appropriately, in detail to make the point factually conclusive to other readers. You may even make me a better columnist. Limiting your comments to unsupported generalizations though, while it is certainly your prerogative, is not very impressive.

        I note that both Norway and Australia have now elected conservative governments… That rational reaction to their public financial issues seems currently unavailable for the U.S. at this time, as neither of its two parties appear to fit the description, at least at the moment.

  5. The ultimate problem is that people speak without the slightest understanding of the subject matter, but speak anyway. The tendency towards self-regulation does not exist and as such people have neither the understanding, or the sense of shame that is associated with ignorance.

    Consider this post by Cultural Limits on the Constitution Club forum…

    http://constitutionclub.org/2013/09/03/just-in-case-you-were-wondering-its-still-amateur-hour/

    Cultural Limits is, honestly, something of a buffoon. Her comments are an embarrassment, and yet no one has the sense to notice or comment. From the article…

    “Oh, hey, great brilliant move. Two million Syrian refugees flooding into Jordan and Lebannon, and we train 50 guys, are sneaking them over the border into Syria to help out the rebels and somebody told The New York Times.”

    Well…..YEAH!!!! It’s called strategic communication, and it does not work unless there is…you know…communication. This was an intentional signal to not only Syria, but to Russia, to the West, to China, to everyone. It does not work unless they say it out loud. Whether or not the messaging is good or not is another story, but to pretend that this was some sort of leaked secret mission is honestly, idiocy, but CL does not seem to realize she is the buffoon, not the NYT.

    She continues…

    “Otherwise, not only will the opposition know where they are, THE CHANCES ARE DAMN GOOD THEY WILL HUNT DOWN THE TRAINEES AND KILL THEM.”

    If Assad’s forces had the ability or means to track down and kill rebel leaders, they would have done so already. The insinuation that these forces are somehow in jeopardy since Assad knows they are there is so, so, so stupid as to be laughable, but…she said it anyway. Why? Because she has NO idea what she is talking about…but that does not matter.

    This is Clausewitz. It is politics, it is military, it is messaging, it is all of the above, wrapped into a mélange that is what simply is, but no one seems to realize it. The same thing applies when forces are moved into areas, when forces are deployed who never fight, when diplomats are sent it, when the UN is sent in, etc… Welcome to the world, but learn about it before talking about it.

    The world is full of chess pieces, but most Americans can only play checkers, and poorly at that, but still insist that they have a voice that should be heard. There used to be a whole system, to include personal responsibility, that kept these voices from being heard, because they should not be, but now the internet has removed these impediments.

    NEO was too scared to go to Vietnam, but he insists he is involved with military associations, so he can speak intelligently, but he lacks knowledge of force boundaries (does not understand the COCOM concept), does not understand force structure, misuses terms he thinks convey expertise, and makes really, really, really, stupid mistakes, because no one corrects him. He lacks self-respect, so he speaks without concern.

    Your comment, “But Obama has no war at the moment, that seems to leave him feeling naked or at least, somehow inadequate” is equally as asinine. There are conflicts going on all around the world. In Africa, in Asia, in South America, why would the President look for another? There are plenty. Simply put, there ARE wars going on all over the world, some the US is involved in, some they are not, you just either do not know about them or you failed to mention them, because you don’t really care about the conflicts, but about having something you can use politically. Why are you ignoring the rest of the globe? Why ignore the reality?

    Whether or not Syria is important is a debate, but you cannot wade into that debate without a full understanding of how the pieces are arranged, and you cannot keep playing checkers in a chess world.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      I believe that 18th and 19th century education produced a larger percentage of people with an understanding of these subjects (to which you refer) than we see now and that is I think, intended. The franchise was limited to those more likely to display the personal responsibility you mention and they were also more likely to have some education in the germane areas .We benefit from resulting technology but we pay in the expansion of the franchise to folk with decreasingly informed views of affairs, who must be pandered to by politicians in recognition of their numbers. It seems an inevitable process. The next stage may be peddled by the cognoscenti as beneficial rule of the ignorant by the wise, but as you said, there are as many wise fools as ignorant ones, if not more. Nor does wisdom allay venality or sociopathy.

      You mention the ignorance of columnists; it is true and I’m sure, applies as often to the Left as to the Right re political matters. We are not scholars and have space to fill. We work necessarily, with what comes to hand, of which the quality varies. But what political writers really write of, is human nature and it seems to me, that most are qualified observers of that never-ending circus. At any rate, when this writer goes off the track, you are welcome to point it out; I have not stopped learning yet. I assume, nor have you.

      • You are not a scholar because you choose not to be. You are not informed, because you choose not to be. All of it is choice, however.

      • Jack Curtis says:

        That I’m no scholar, I’ve said and it was indeed, a choice. That I may be uninformed, seems an opinion based upon your disagreement with my opinions. Your recent statements that social welfare policy worked in Europe generally and specifically in Scandinavia seems troubled by current events, that seem to fit my take on that area better than they fit your assertion. But whoever is closer to reality, our discussion will inform other readers. In these days of universal propaganda, that may be useful.

  6. Jan Eek says:

    I have been pondering for a couple of days if I bother to respond to your rambling. The last time I did that, you accused me of being “insulting”. I didn’t bother to answer, and I stay with my calling your writing rambling, because I mean it.

    But, this rambling needs a respons.

    We can discuss US foreign wars forever, but my reaction is one question and two statements.

    First, can I interpret your ” Been there, done that”, that you have actually been in a war? Walking through dead and mutilated people? I really need an answer to that.
    I have been there. That is all I can say, because my involvement is Classified.

    So, to me it seems like you are safe in your chair in the US and you have the rudeness to insult the families of US soldiers who died and is still being killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Your statement: ” However, most were foreigners, so few Americans have been concerned. Maybe a few mothers who ended motherhood with a gold star flag to display in their front window in place of a living son… ” is beyond belief. How can you say such a thing?

    Take the Vietnam war. I lived in the US for ten years, just outside a huge military base and I talked with a lot of the Nam Vets. You lost 58,220 (casualties) men and women in that conflict, and it was so unpopular among the US populace that when they were sent home, they were advised to wear civilian clothes. So, the American people were punishing the fighting men and not the administration who sent them to war. One point to you. BUT, what are you going to say to the families of the men and women who has been killed or maimed in these wars? Are you going to give them a “gold star flag to display in their front window ?” ….I can’t believe you wrote that. And you call me insulting??

    Iraq: “Here are indications of the lingering costs of 11 years of warfare. Nearly 130,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and vastly more have experienced brain injuries. Over 1,700 have undergone life-changing limb amputations. Over 50,000 have been wounded in action. As of Wednesday, 6,656 U.S. troops and Defense Department civilians have died.” See:

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/cost-of-war/

    So, about your President. Your writing about your own President is not only insulting, but it is also mostly incorrect. You may of course disagree with President Obama, but your consistent, condescending and rude writing about you President gives you no credit. You are not an Honourable Man.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      I have written a column about war, aimed at Syria and the desires of President Obama and the leaders of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to attack that country. So that it is not misunderstood, I view war as both natural for our species and utterly appalling. I see the Syrian example as a no-win exercise for the U.S. at a time when the resources to pursue a war policy are unavailable and must be in essence, stolen from American posterity. You are welcome to disagree.

      As to our President Obama, I see little difference between his actions and those of his predecessor, Mr. Bush. For the very public morass in which he now finds himself, I have referred to Barack Obama as a political amateur. You may not agree but I chose that word to mean what it says, not to be insulting. I don’t write to insult anyone, but nor do I candy-coat facts respecting political figures.

      My reference to Gold Star mothers, (a WWII reference) was sarcasm, intended to convey the fact that, in their convenient remoteness from wars, too many Americans ignore the costs paid by large numbers of people largely invisible to most of them. That insulation favors the support of more wars when the leaders wish it, something I deplore generally.

      Those are my opinions, with which you are welcome to disagree and when you do that, I hope you will display the courtesy of explanation as to why.

      And as you inquired, though it is not germane to any of those issues or to my evaluation of war really, I was conscripted into the Korean ‘Police Action’ and served, quite safely as it turned out, in a technical specialty as a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

      Re my honor, the code duello having been repealed, my response is limited to the observation that folks who impugn a writer’s honor based upon the information from which you did so, are generally allotted little respect for that action.

  7. Jan Eek says:

    OK. I should have known better….Ramble….You wre never a combat soldier, but a clerk. Puh…

    • Jack Curtis says:

      Mostly, when not digging holes in the ground, I taught the fundamentals of electronics in an Army Signal School; those were the things that I was ordered to do. I understand combat pretty well, and have never regretted my assignments. I’ve never understood the mindset of those who glorify the industrialized destruction of people who mostly cannot defend themselves.

      I perceive that you’re what is called on the Internet, a ‘troll.’ which is apparently, one who contributes unpleasantness rather than useful discussion via commenting. I can see where such migh, if not a physical coward, enjoy combat. You seem knowledgeable, literate and reasonably educated; I should think that you might present useful opinions on the political and economic subjects that come up here; such would be welcome whether or not agreeable with my opinions.

      If you don’t feel drawn toward such contributions however, I can’t assign any value to your observations; this site is for adults.t

  8. James Teague says:

    With Vietnam we saw some of the horrors on TV everynight. Not the same as being there, but horrifying. With 9/11 we saw the building destruction on our soil along with the people destruction done by our new enemies. Boston continued the dying on our soil. It’s baloney that it was our fault they attacked.

    The spatial separation of destruction from our consciences will continue to be decreased. More will be coming our way. When jihadists are no longer restrained by their internal divisions they will come. Why not pick off as many as we can in the passes of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali. If that keeps me from feeling hunted by terrorists every day, let the drones fire away.
    This isn’t random firing. Operators have been watching these guys do their bad stuff for months. Check out the Saudi funding too. Nail the madrassa sources.

    Syrians never hurt us though they did attack Israel. Israel could handle that. They don’t need our Tomahawks to chop wood into a mess. Al Qaeda and its jihadist offshoots are the enemy. Get them before they get us. Don’t get diverted or forget the goal. They do not forget irrational religious ideology.

    Want peace? Ok, talk softly, offer a carrot, carry a big stick, trust and verify everything.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      World peace may have to await more tinkering with our DNA, seems to me… Islam seems unlikely to last but it will be throwing off murderous terrorists while it does, and that’s likely to be a while, right?

      The issue that bothers me, is the nearly total ignoring of our absolute inability to finance anything resembling our recent military adventurism.

  9. James Teague says:

    John Kerry solved that without knowing what an opening he was tossing at Russia. We’ll get “peace of mind”, peace maker Russian fantasies, and face saving “this would never have happened if I hadn’t threatened Assad.” No one will look too closely at the barrels of chemicals. Everyone will forget about the barrels confiscated at the Turkish border and the unidentified equipment from Saudi Arabia. However, if gas appears again, Assad can say “I don’t have any so I told you so”, unless he dies first in the attack.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      That seems to cover it! I’ve no clue who’s going to run Syria nor whether it will lean toward Iran or tilt toward the Arabs but either way, I”ll bet it will be no friend of the U.s.

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