sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wars and Rumors of Wars

The War on Weather

The war on the weather has taken more dramatic moves this week as Barack has ordered that the CIA's international focus give precedence to the weather. It's a real head-scratcher, folks. Hopefully by November 9th, that sort of foolishness will be relegated to the back-burner.

I can't help but think that the long monsoon that Texas has gone through this summer  (as a result of LSP's congregation of farmers praying for rain), must have something to do with it.
(Scientific American) President Obama moved toward solidifying his climate change legacy this week by requiring federal defense and intelligence agencies to consider the effects of a warming planet on national security in the policies, plans and doctrines they develop. 
The executive order, issued yesterday, comes in the form of a presidential memorandum requiring 20 federal agencies to collaborate to make sure decisionmakers have the best available information on climate change impacts and their potential threats to national security (E&ENews PM, Sept. 21). The agencies are as varied as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which gather scientific observations on climate, and the CIA, the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense, which analyze intelligence and develop national security policy. 
The FBI is exempt from those orders, apparently, because they have their hands full cleaning up after Hillary Clinton, which is akin to a toxic spill all on its own.

I had dinner with friends last night who asked me if I had anything good to say about Barack. I couldn't find a single thing. 

Thoughts on Syria and the Middle East

The situation in the Middle East is very complicated, made more so by the number of major players (the Russians, Turks and Americans) all of which have their own agendas. The locals, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel have their agendas as well and as one would expect, NONE of those agendas match.

A Clinton presidency would be the same as the Obama presidency - years of bleak, muddled thinking. A Trump presidency would have a different mandate from voters - but the form that will take in terms of real political change in the Middle East eludes me (I confess). The Obama Years have broken the machine and I don't know that even an energetic Trump Administration working non-stop for four years can repair the damage of the Obama regime.

Iranian President Rouhani said on 27 September that Iran would continue to back Syria in its fight against “terrorism” and in establishing security in the region. Last week, on the 22d, Major General Safavi of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said that Russian airstrikes against Aleppo were based on information provided by IRGC advisors, Lebanese Hizballah and the Syrian Arab Army.

Lebanese Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah commented that there was no possible political solution for Syria as the conflict was getting more complicated in the aftermath of the collapse of the US-Russian ceasefire agreement.

News services reported that Syrian ground forces launched multiple local offensives against Syrian rebel-held enclaves in Aleppo. The main action, however, was the bombing campaign.

As has become customary, President Rouhani put the context for Iranian support for Syria in its largest regional setting. Iran sees itself as acting as the guardian of regional security.

General Safavi is the military advisor and aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. He speaks with the authority of the Supreme Leader. His comment is the first recent update on the information exchange among the supporters of the Syrian government. 

The Russians announced last year that they intended to establish an intelligence exchange mechanism with Iran. Safavi confirmed that it is operational and effective, but hinted at a closer relationship than actually is known to exist.

Nasrallah’s statements are almost always insightful as well as blunt. His message is twofold. First, the situation is too complicated to consider all the variables and to accommodate all the players in a ceasefire agreement. His statement implies that no political solution is reachable until the situation simplifies. That judgment begets his second point: that there is only a military solution.

Comments: Putting US troops into this sewer makes no sense to me. We will lose more good young men and in the end will have nothing to show for it. I've seen a lot of small wars in my time, and a few big wars. And I ask myself, what all of that blood and treasure, dumped into places like Syria and Iraq have accomplished. I end up with the depressing sum of "next to nothing".







13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout -- the hardy congregations in LSPland are doing their bit in the War on Weather!

    As for Syria, totally agree.

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    1. Your aggressive prayer tactics have turned Texas from a desert to a rain forrest. My personal thought it that it's had the side benefit of providing world class fishing - well done!

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  2. Absolutely agree about Syria. Especially since we're headed out to San Diego in a few weeks to watch Son#2 graduate as a US Marine (fingers crossed). I'd rather the new POTUS not sacrifice him quite so quickly in a mess that apocalyptic.

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    1. In order to justify a war, the children of members of the legislature and the executive branch should serve in the infantry right there at the front. Let's see if they re-think that one or if they are willing to sacrifice their own posterity for the sake of political expediency or hubris.

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    2. +1
      The question is could they hack it physically? If not, kindly Army NCOs can find something for them to do.

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    3. They would need strenuous training. I'm sure that soft Chelsea could have some steel up her backbone with time. The same with the Obama daughters. I think that the Trump sons are active enough that it wouldn't be as difficult for them.

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  3. I agree that sending troops to the festering pus hole that is the Middle East has no value, if we don't establish rules of engagement that takes and controls land and natural resources (oil).

    Those rules of engagement also have to include destroying any and all opposition from anybody to our goals, in any manner necessary.

    Other than these strategic goals being ferociously met, no possible gains can be made otherwise.

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    1. The Post 9/11 war on terror saw Congress set up rules to deal with the rendition and interrogation of terrorists. The CIA followed those rules with oversight. And then after all was secure, they tried to prosecute the case officers who used the authorized active measures.

      My point is that no military service member can be sure that the rules won't be changed after the fact to make "in any manner necessary" the predicate for a prosecution.

      I'm paranoid, but have experience in these government flip/flops and none of them can be trusted.

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    2. We would be better off hiring Russians or Chinese to do our dirty work because they won't be treated the same way as Americans would treat their own.

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    3. Sure, why not hire Russian and Chinese mercenaries; they would lay down their lives for pennies on the dollar. Let's sign 'em up.

      We'd get a lot of 'bang for the buck.' So to speak.

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    4. That was my suggestion to MexGov people who wanted to wipe out the cartels. I said -- the downside is that you have a different organized crime group in place when you're finished, but it would work. Americans would be prosecuted back home for not coddling the cartels. From a legal standpoint, it has to be Chinks or Ruskies.

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  4. I can just imagine the white papers from the CIA on the War on Weather: "Because of global warming, Afghanistan had a bumper crop of poppies and is expected to flood the market with cheap heroin, thus destabilizing Chinese trafficking. Therefore, we must engage in aggressive anti-weather propaganda to counter the Afghan threat."

    On Syria, I thought Hillary said that we would push ISIS out of Syria by the end of the year. Are you implying that she could possibly be wrong?

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    1. Since Hillary lies about EVERYTHING, you can take the odds to the bank that ISIS won't be out of Syria by the end of the year. The US footprint there is continually shrinking anyway. Ask Vladimir if you want a more accurate prediction. Or maybe it depends on the weather.

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