sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, October 21, 2019

Thoughts

Extreme Confusion and Self Loathing

(link) You can't make this up. Always, a brand of menstrual products, has been forced to scrub the “woman” symbol off their packaging in response to a coordinated effort by transgender activists to punish the brand for “discrimination” against transgender individuals.

I don't know why these companies continually cave to the freaks and misfits, but they certainly do.

It doesn't matter how hard they transition, male DNA remains male DNA and female DNA remains female DNA. Smearing lipstick on a guy doesn't make him a woman. 

I realize that the tranny lobby would like to have their own custom DNA, but it's a 'pipe dream'. They can bugger themselves to death if they want to, and I don't care if they do. But it won't change biology and changing the packaging of female menstrual products won't do anything to make them feel better about themselves.

Antidote

I have to counter the insanity of humans with the total cuteness of fawns hanging out at the White Wolf Mine. This little white tail fawn is about a month old.


Adventures in Kurdistan

I've been listening to a throng of people in the pay of the Military Industrial Complex whining about Syria and the Syrian Kurds. Let me frame it this way. They feel that it’s okay for American troops to occupy forcibly and over their objection, the territory of a sovereign nation with whom we are NOT at war. 

They are advocating not just American Imperialism, but Imperialism by presidential fiat! We allied with the Syrian Kurds to win back predominately Kurdish cities in Syria. We did not ally with them to fight the Turks in their continuing fight to wrestle territory away from Turkey, our NATO ally, (and Syria) to creat a Greater Kurdistan. The Kurds understood that. 

Their position endangers not only the lives of US servicemen in Syria, but the 3-5,000 American servicemen in Incirlik and Zamir, Turkey, who would logically and easily come under attack with we went to war with Turkey. They would have American forces deployed in Syria in penny-packets and sandwiched between the Turkish Army, Turkish militias (who are barely controlled by Ankara), Kurdish militias, Assad’s Syrian forces, and Iranian Shiite militiamen (who hate Americans). What could possibly go wrong? 

They have yet to define a critical American national interest that justifies putting Americans in harm’s way on the ground in Syria. It is that type of thinking that has gotten us into numerous unending wars in Southwest Asia at the cost of thousands of American lives and done nothing but destabilize the region and get ten of thousands of inhabitants killed. 

They have not addressed the problem of Turkey seizing the American nuclear arsenal at Incirlik and becoming a de facto nuclear power and the issues that would raise in the Middle East. No one wants to discuss that possibility.

Mail

Fredd said - I was wondering what happened to the Epstein thing. Of course the lead investigator died (of natural causes at age 50), because when you start poking into stuff like that (Vince Foster), the malfeasants of the matter will call in some chits, and you are gone.

We have been a banana republic for quite some time, now.
I'm tired of 'civilization'. It's way over rated, Fredd. The Clinton Dead Pool may soon include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). It may go down as a suicide since Hillary denounced her as a Russian spy.
I think that it's only the Clintons who can take out an insurance policy with the corrupt FBI. It wouldn't be seemly for Gabbard to do so.

raven - Thanks for the Mexico info- it is hard for a normal guy working a normal job to really get a sense of the utter jungleness of it all. Mao was right. Power comes from the barrel of a gun. And that is why they want to take them away.
Firearms and ammunition in the hands of trained people is our only hedge against tyranny. Even if they are never used in that way, there remains the potential. And it keeps the communists and traitors up at night.
Fredd weighs in again - Mao was right about a lot of things, and unfortunately Mao was not exactly a glass half full thinker. Quite the opposite. And now we have Mao's evil twin Xi calling the shots in China. Literally.
Mousey Tongue died but left a legacy of despots.
Jules - Tail-lights? Cos you might miss the backend of a great big horse... I bet you’ll see those twinkles on the wrong kinda tails sometime soon.
Police horses clop through traffic and I guess that drunks hit them from time to time. It would be nice if the elk up here at the White Wolf Mine wore lighting at night.
Camperfixer - "Detective Who Led Epstein Investigation Died After “Brief Illness” At 50"
He lived a full life. Two score and ten. That's actually a long life for a Clinton/Epstein associated person.
Uh huh...[All we hear from the MSM is: "Nothing to see here folks, move along...go back to watching the Kardashian's and yelling "IMPEACH TRUMP" at your screen.]

Another one added to the Clinton hit list...that's somewhere around 54 (that we know of). Reminds me the scene in the movie Dave:

Bob Alexander: I'm going to kill him.
Alan Reed: You can't kill a President.
Bob Alexander: He's not a President. He's an ordinary person. I can kill an ordinary person.
Alan Reed: Bob.
Bob Alexander: I can kill a hundred ordinary people.

Anyone with two operating brain cells sees the smoke/fire scenario operating yet NOTHING happens. Forget to pay your parking tickets and the SWAT team shows up at 3:00AM. But for murder...ahh...not so much. Enough to drive an "ordinary person" nuts. [As I comment from an undisclosed semi off-the-grid location in case I type in the wrong trigger keyword.]
If you're elite, you can kill whoever you want to. If you're not, jaywalking can get you killed if Hillary or a Kennedy is on the highway and nothing will happen.
Fredd and Camperfixer obsess on the movie DAVE, which was good but not nearly as good as Wag the Dog.
Fredd - I loved that movie ("Dave"). I think Bob Alexander should run for president. Oh, that's right...
Camperfixer - Seriously great lines from that one...but they were supposed to be fiction. Now we are hearing things massively worse from the Lefty morons.
Bob Alexander: This is mine, Alan. All mine. I made him, I built him. And no Boy Scout is going to come in here and take it away from me, just because he happens to be Vice President of the United States.
Or this classic (said with total disdain):
Bob Alexander: What do you think you're doing?
Dave: What? Oh, you mean the press conference. I had a couple of ideas that I wanted to share with the country.
Bob Alexander: Share? Share? You don't call a press conference. I call a press conference. You're nothing. Do you understand? You're nobody.
Dave: I'm not nobody.
Bob Alexander: You're LINT! You're a FLEA! You're a BLIP!
Dave: Well... maybe I am. But you're fired.
Seems Trump does this regularly (the firing part). Gotta love it!
Conrad Brean: 54, 40 or fight. What does that mean?...Remember the Maine...Tippecanoe and Tyler, too...They're war slogans Mr. Motss. We remember the slogans, we can't even remember the fucking wars. Y'know why? Cause its show business. That's why I'm here. Naked girl, covered in Napalm. Five marines Raising the Flag, Mount Suribachi. V for Victory, Y'remember the picture, fifty years from now, they'll have forgotten the war. Gulf War? Smart bomb, falling down a chimney. Twenty five hundred missions a day, 100 days, one video of one bomb Mr. Motss. The American people bought that war.
----------------
Brean: Let me ask you a simple question: Why do people go to war? 
CIA Agent Charlie Young: I'll play your silly game. 
Brean: Okay. Why do people go to war? 
Young: To ensure their way of life. 
Brean: Would you go to war to do that? 
Young: I have. 
Brean: And if you went to war again, who would it be against? Your ability to fight a two-ocean war against who? Who? Sweden and Togo? That time is passed. It's over. The war of the future is nuclear terrorism, and it'll be against a small group of dissidents who, unbeknownst perhaps to their own government, have... blah blah blah. To go to that war, you have to be prepared, you gotta be alert, the public has gotta be alert. Because that is the war of the future, and if you're not gearing up to fight that war, then eventually the axe will fall, and you're gonna be out on the street. You can call this a drill, you can call this job security, you can call it anything you like. But I got one for you: You said go to war to preserve your way of life? Well, Chuck, this is your way of life. And if your spy satellites don't see nothin', if there ain't no war, then you can go home and prematurely take up golf, my friend. 'Cause there ain't no war but ours. 
Woodsterman and RHT447 weigh the merits of lighted horses
Woodsterman - That's what happens when you feed your horse too many light bulbs.
RHT447 - So, when they pull back on the reins, do the brake lights come on?

Topics




A modern take on tail lights. Brig, would cows respect those horses...or not? LSP, did that Arab girl who did you wrong have that sort of gear? If so, maybe she was justified in jilting you?

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Washington Standard - Detective Who Led Epstein Investigation Died After “Brief Illness” At 50

Charming China

Headline: 'Think of your family': China threatens European citizens over Xinjiang protests
Two days after Abdujelil Emet sat in the public gallery of Germany’s parliament during a hearing on human rights, he received a phone call from his sister for the first time in three years. But the call from Xinjiang, in western China, was anything but a joyous family chat. It was made at the direction of Chinese security officers, part of a campaign by Beijing to silence criticism of policies that have seen more than a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities detained in internment camps.
China's solution for dealing with indigenous Muslims inside of China is simply to put them into labor camps if they step out of line in the smallest degree. I think that they're considering that solution for Hong Kong as well since that 'province' is stepping out of line these days. Beijing is stuck internationally with the Hong Kong Basic Law until 2047 (one country, two systems) and I'm sure that Beijing is weighing its options on whether it's better to turn Hong Kong into a giant gulag or not. Clearly, the Hong Kong situation will be embarrassing during the 2022 Olympics in Big China if they're not able to figure something humane out. Boycotts are not off the table and neither are protests in Olympic venues.

China stands alone in its charming solutions to political problems. Muslims don't tend to be very charming either, so you can argue that China is finding a "way forward". Deporting all of the Uighurs would be possible for China if anybody else wanted them. But as we've learned with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other sand nations, they don't want Muslim refugees, and will not take them. Maybe Germany will take a few million unhappy Chinese/Muslim people? And with no BREXIT, they could move on to the UK if they don't like Germany.

Historical Thailand

There is always a desire to build a time machine in syfi art that will take you back in time, to a better place.

The shark tooth dinosaurs ran Thailand in the past. The climate was different then, and I think that people can lay all that at the feet of the Siamraptor. The climate changed and they all died off. 

In its prime some 115 million years ago, Siamraptor would have been roughly the size of a Greyhound bus at nearly 30-feet long and tipping the scales at over 3.5 tons. Its jagged teeth measured up to 8 inches each, perfect for munching on a menu of fleshy primeval creatures. If they had become vegans, who knows what paradise of perfect weather would have awaited them.

Columbus Day


Mail

Mexico

WSF - Mexico! Thank you, but I will keep my memories from the 60's and never set foot in the place.
It was fun - once. Not anymore.
Paul L. Quandt - Your sermonette makes me think of that " obsolete " document which begins " When in the course..."
We may have to revisit all of that, should the communists take power in America. Not today though. Thank you, President Trump.
Jim, on courageous politicians - I see that ol' AMLO decided that turning that guy loose was the proper course of action. If the border's not controlled something similar happening in LA or elsewhere is a matter of time. Governor Newsome will undoubtedly show the same level of courage as the authorities below the border.
We are truly living in The City of Brass
joetote - I'd like your thoughts on what Jim refers to above.

Jim mentions the fact that it's only a matter of time before these things start happening in LA and elsewhere here in the states.

Seeing as there have been many reports of not only the Cartels crossing the border and causing trouble, but in fact the Mexican military taking action within our borders without retribution, can't one argue that we are already being invaded by them?

Newsome and these other sanctuary idiots have already opened the door but worse, we do not respond when they cross the border. Can I assume the Border Patrol and military have their hands tied as to taking action when provoked by what in effect are invaders?
I have two thoughts on open borders. It's true the the drugs and illegal aliens can cross, but so can the cartels with really good quality US and foreign made, military grade weapons for sale. Of course, there are hundreds of tunnels under the border so even with the big beautiful wall, high value items can still make it through. So when it comes to Second Amendment issues, the cartels can supply better firearms than you can buy over the counter at the local gun store. The Democrat morons don't get it, but who would expect them to? For every bolt action firearm that Beto's Monkeys would seize, a hundred M-4's with suppressors would come north across the open border that he yearns for. Squad Automatic Weapons and M-60s are readily available in cartel inventories. They also have an ample supply of M-2's. 
When I lived in a very affluent neighborhood in SoCal, I had Hollywood celebs living there, and other notables  There were three homes used by cartels to move drugs (up) and money (south) within a quarter of a mile. I knew about them because knowing that sort of thing is what I do. (I have very few skill sets but that's one of them) Try as I would, I couldn't get the locals or USGOV to do anything about it. This is after I got out of the law enforcement biz and moved onto other rackets. Nobody did anything. I provided timely, accurate, fully vetted, information and - nothing. So I just said to myself, "self, time for me to go." Then the Mohammedans built a mosque down the street and I said, "time to get serious about this." Now I live at the White Wolf Mine, an hour's drive from the nearest store.
Once you really understand how cartels move money and drugs, it's even more disconcerting and even more pervasive than you or anyone would think.  I've discussed that process at length on this blog over the past decade or so that it's been up and running. Suffice to say, it can be stopped, but it requires the will to stop it. Cartels are not as organized as most people think. They exist to fix the price of street drugs primarily. That's why when the local police seize twenty tons in Los Angeles, the price remains the same. No impact on price, or volume available on the street. 
The cross-border drug business is not an invasion now. It's American infrastructure. And anyone who would tell you differently is a liar or a fool.
RHT447 - I recall an incident many years back that involved an incursion into U.S. territory involving Black SUV's and some of our folks taking small arms fire. Someone at the time lamented words to the effect of "What ever should we do?". My suggestion was to try pulling the trigger on an M-1 Abrams main gun, and further that SUV parts raining down on the Mexican side might make the point rather well. But, that's just me.
The US continually walks a straight razor when it comes to Mexican sovereignty. The Mexicans aren't a vassal state of America, and we could conquer Mexico before lunch militarily. But then you get into a 'broke it/bought it' scenario. The narcos are painfully aware of what an American military occupation of someplace like Sinaloa would look like and that it wouldn't go down well for them. But full disclosure, it would take more than just Sinaloa. All of Mexico is in the same boat, and it's all corrupt and US narcodollars made it so. I know that a lot of Americans don't agree with that, but it is our insatiable desire for more drugs that has created this situation. Our moral rot. They're just the pusher. Which means that a solution would require Americans to abjure drugs (hahaha).
Fredd said - "Justice in Mexico?" What a headline. Why not "Sumo wrestlers crash Weight Watchers Meeting," or maybe "Quasimoto a Finalist at the Miss World Competition."

Mexico is essentially a failed state, but it exports a bunch of stuff to the U.S., namely drugs, terrorists and sex traffic. There is no hope for that country, whose corruption goes back 100's of years, as compared to our corruption which came to a head when Barack Obama took the Oval Office. 

That, and they hate our guts, and have since the first shots were fired quarreling over Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, parts of California and a few other disputes over the centuries. Nobody in Mexico; nobody in government, in the narco business or the general public, NOBODY in Mexico wants anything good to happen to the U.S. Nobody.
The US is their market for drugs (above), for produce (and Mexico is an agricultural country), and their guarantor of security (Monroe Doctrine).  They hate us and they can't survive without us. 
Back when I was running and gunning heavy in Mexico, I leaned on the Mexican Navy to put a torpedo into a drug submarine that was making the run between Mexican and US waters. The submarine was crewed partially by Russian mercenaries, and ran Sinaloa cartel loads. It had to snorkel most of the way because it was in ill repair and would have been an easy target. But they didn't do it because they feared narco-retaliation. I blaggarded them for cowards, but they explained patiently that their families were targeted if they did anything like that. Horrible place to live, Fredd. 
bobbookworm - Janet Napolitano, the former Dem governor of AZ, was a real 'close' buddy of Fox. Ya gotta' wonder how her retirement fund did in those years.
I don't know whether she was on the payroll or not. And you know that I'd paint a scarlet letter on her if I knew that she was.  
Fox signed the peace treaty with the Zapatistas in my office in Santa Ana, CA. It was done with very little fanfare, no media present. I think that it was 2001. Vincente Fox was banging Miss Mexico, Jacqueline Bracamontes, at the time and she was along for the signing. You can't fault his taste in women. Fox was first and foremost a horn dog. His wife, Martha, handled most of the corruption. In that he was an old time Mexican politician, and possibly the last one to occupy the Presidential Palace. Just because Fox schmoozed did not mean that there was a pay off.
Beans indicts - Lack of overt corruptness in Mexico is the rare exception to the constant overt corruptness exhibited in Mexico since, well, it's founding.

Let's recap. 

Texas formed due to Mexican corruptness.

California formed due to Mexican corruptness.

Black Jack Pershing got to play with planes and horses while taking care of Mexican corruptness.

Whole movie and tv franchises made tons of money dealing with a character fighting Mexican corruptness, Zorro by name...

Seriously. Mexico has been a 'failed' state since for ever. Anyone who believes otherwise is bordering on delusional.

As to McRaven, he's hitched his wagon to the Hillary/Obama/Soros train. So he's hoping and praying that the deep state wheels don't come off. The rest of us are hoping that he'll go down with the whole lot of them.

Mayhaps the God-Emperor (as seem in Italy, no, really - here's a link https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-warhammer-statue-italy-god-emperor-warrior-twitter-parade-a8787116.html ) and his forces will finally use the sledge-o-matic against the deep state derps. We hope. 
There is supposed to be a third Siccario movie in the works. The first two played like documentaries. You could include US politicians in it. Maybe AOC could play herself?
LSP - Serious question, do you see a solution to the narco problem? I know, the Wall, more power to it, but beyond that. Just asking and expecting "no."

That said, couldn't we simply take them all out, with "extreme prejudice"? How long would the op take, a few days, a week? I know it won't happen but curious about the hypothetical.
I discussed that above. It would require the American people to give up hard drugs. Maybe if Jesus were to return and kick ass? Other than that, I don't see a solution that is in the slightest way meaningful. 
Ed - Thanks for the McRaven info.
That explains that.
As an aside, when I read Seven Days in May as a Kid, it took seven days.
This coup is on 3 years already.
The plotters and traitors thought it would be easy. Fortunately for us there were a few patriot in the mix, particularly at NSA, who called them on it. We owe debts of gratitude to them. And now that I'm back, we can work on the Chrome project.
LindaGI feel for the leaders; but good on Trump for messing with the media.
I wasn't aware just how messed up Mexico is. I hope we can control that - or stop it from coming here.
Too late, Linda. It's here. It's just not so readily seen as it is in Mexico.
Old NFOMexico is... Mexico. Not much else to say. We could have ended the 'war on drugs' a long time ago, but the will of Congress et al to actually DO it has been sadly lacking. Those plans have been sitting on the shelf since the late 70s. G7 at Camp David? Oh hell yes. Limited media, no way for the protesters to get there, etc. :-)
Yes, there are advantages to Camp David. And President Trump can commute on Marine One.
DanMexico is a FAILED STATE....and has been for decades. The truly terrifying thought is the commie left in America is working VERY HARD to IMPORT those people and that mentality to America in vast quantities. As for the "War On Drugs".... lets call it what it REALLY is. The War On Freedom. Because that is the real motivation behind all the preening and posturing. It's just another excuse to trash the Constitution and rape the corpse of The Bill Of Rights. 
My take on the "war on drugs" is that it's window dressing for people, who don't care much about it. Propping up Mexico/Colombia, etc. was always more important from a geopolitical perspective than limiting the supply of narcotics at home.

G-7 Summit


Camperfixer - G7 and Camp David...This is the President putting them all on notice that he's in charge...total boss move (besides it only makes strategic sense). And by all appearances he's just getting rolling. He's somewhere in the vicinity of five steps ahead of his opponents...who in their self-important arrogance believe they are playing him. Trump is selling the Dem's the rope they will all hang themselves.
Yes, I've noticed that President Trump plays chess and his enemies, including Hillary (The anointed one who had the election stolen...) play checkers.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Sermonette

Justice in Mexico
raven observed - Maybe you can shed some light on this- The web has reports el Chapo's son was arrested by the Federales, and the cartel essentially had a street riot with machine guns -and the feds got worried and released him? Bad ju-ju if the cartel has veto power over the gov. Means they ARE the gov, in all the important areas.
The cartels have run Mexico since the days of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. It didn't happen overnight, but in the model before Amado Carrillo, each state in Mexico had an army general who oversaw the state for the PRI Party. They each received the tax/mordida/bribes for allowing drugs to flow through the state and they spread the juice. For the past thirty years it became even more institutionalized.

Let's talk about the recent presidents of Mexico: In the case of President Vincent Fox Quesada, formerly an executive for Coca Cola, his wife, Marta Shagun (and her children) handled the bag for the cartel money. You could say that he made a token effort to distance himself. In essence, Fox and his family "licensed" certain states in Mexico to certain cartels in exchange for a fixed amount. There were some ripples with the Zapatista revolution in Chiapas (left over from the Zedillo presidency), etc. but it was managed.

President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa took a different approach to the situation, selling the licenses to deal in narcotics more than once (selling the same horse several times to different buyers). This led to a massive drug war since each cartel felt that it had the rights to the states that it bought. During this administration the Catholic Church in the diocese of Morelia (Michoacan) created its own cartel, Los Cabelleros Templarios, which dealt primarily in methamphetamine. The Archbishop took his cut. 

President Enrique Peña Nieto administered the country in a free-for-all that had begun during the Calderon administration, and his mismanagement led to the election of the Communist Party (PRD) and  President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (called AMLO). AMLO ran on a platform of non-interference with the narcos. (One country, two leaders) He fueled his candidacy with hatred toward the USA, and he won. But he faced President Trump and President Trump can crush the Mexican economy with a tweet, so he changed his policy to one of cooperation with the US, and that led to the arrest of Chapito. And the release of Chapito, as we've seen in the news.

Mexico has been a narco state for decades. The presidents of Mexico have been bought (wholly owned subsidiaries) of the drug interests. That's just how it is. And 'justice' is what the cartels say that it is.

It's interesting that the Democrat Party is calling for a wall to be built between Turkey and Syria to protect the Kurds. It would be interesting if they behaved that way toward the US southern border.

War, Drugs, and Power
WSF saidSpeaking of endless wars, how about the war on drugs? On one hand we deplore, and spends vast sums fighting opioids, while helping those responsible for much of the world's raw supply. That is a racket, IMO!
Yes, that is interesting isn't it? The trade in white powder at the pinnacles of power is a place where governments and organized crime collide in unusual patterns. We can discuss it endlessly, but the US has openly supported a number of opium growing countries/regimes including Laos, and more recently the Kurds and Afghanis.
Kle wrote - The Dems are always going on about how they're against War and Nation Building and Open-Ended Military Commitments and Mission Creep. They should be out dancing in the streets because Trump pulled us out of the moronic no-win situation in Syria, but they're all a bunch of hypocrite fanatics.
The Beltway bandits don't care which facet of the deep state that you favor, so long as you support war and profit for them (at the expense of all involved). I found (retired Admiral) Bill McRaven's negative comments about President Trump to be interesting. Now is as good of a time to share it as any. McRaven is a close friend of John Brennan, former Director of Central Intelligence and deep state maven. McRaven, who is as ambitious as Lucifer, has been meeting with the king makers for a run on the Democrat ticket in 2024. He can speak, he's not a fool, and it's likely too late for him to throw in for 2020, but you'll be seeing his name more frequently as an opponent of President Trump.

The Military Industrial Complex will back McRaven, a Democrat, because they don't want anyone standing in the way of more wars in the future the way that President Trump has. 

It's a wicked game, my friends. And it's very difficult to find good guys. I'm as patriotic as anyone in this nation, but my loyalty is to the Constitution. And there are a lot of enemies, both foreign and domestic.

G-7 and Camp David
President Trump announced Saturday night that his administration would no longer consider his personal resort in Doral, Florida to host the 2020 G7 summit in Miami, and suggested he might consider Camp David. 
"Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020," the president tweeted. "We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!"
Nobody likes to hold meetings at Camp David, MD. It's cramped, the accommodations are not luxurious and the media has a 1.5 hour ride on a bus in - and - out each day. It's one of those locations that are secure, but aren't any fun. And the entourages of the leaders of the G-7 and the leaders themselves prefer comfort. The food is not going to be exotic and interesting...it's one of those F-U moves that the president can pull. And the media won't be dining on premises. They will have to pack a sack lunch.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Fishwrap Friday


Your Sunday Sermonette message comes early this week.
Passing - Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a sharecropper's son and one of seven children, is dead at age 68. So I guess we'll never know where that $1.4 billion that was earmarked to improve Baltimore ended up. Trudeau is going out trick-or-treating as Cummings this Halloween, but I don't judge.

Treacherous - Former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is remembered in office as the man who cultivated the 'whistle blower' by providing him false details of President Trump's phone call with the Ukranian president. He'll end up in a hole near Cummings eventually.

Good old Shep - Known as the "Mississippi Queen" at Fox News, vanished into the ether with millions in his pocket. It's never good news when the US Attorney General drops by to visit your boss. One can only wonder what mischief Shep was up to. But it's good that he's off the Fox line-up. He always gave me the creeps.

Hong Kong - The NBA's love affair with China may be one positive thing to come out of the dust up in Hong Kong. I'm sure that there will be more to come as people pick sides in that situation. One thing is sure. There are a lot more US flags at a demonstration in Hong Kong than there are at a Democrat Party debate.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) - May be more unlikeable than Hillary Clinton. Clearly she offers resets of her life (also called lies) more than Hillary did, which is nothing short of remarkable. It would be very interesting if Hillary became her running mate, but we're not good enough to get that sort of gift for Christmas. I had thought that maybe one of the Squad would join her in the race, but they backed a different communist - an old white male, part of the patriarchy they despise. 

Syrian Kurds - The Beltway bandits are still spreading a lot of money in Congress to try and get the US in the middle of the Syrian civil war. The map, left, is from the Washington Times and shows the distribution of Kurds in the Middle East. Do you find this the least bit instructive? Keep in mind that the US Military is present in Iraq, supporting the Iraqi Kurds there. And since when was it America's role to interpose itself in worthless and endless civil wars.

Defense spending is sometimes referred to as 'welfare for the middle class'. I'm not going to debate the merits of that financial distribution here on Fishwrap Friday. But never forget that war is a racket.

Taxes - I just wrote a property tax check for the first half of 2020. How exciting. But I don't live in San Francisco or DC and there is a lot to be thankful for. If there is poop on my driveway, it was left by a deer or an elk.

Family Values - One of the most contentious parts of any family is where all of the children and in-laws will line up for the holidays. Some of those negotiations remain underway, but I think that we will have at least two of the four children (and 5 grandkids) up at the White Wolf Mine for Thanksgiving. Christmas is a different matter and I have no idea how that will work. I may get the other two here if there is snow? Or I may go to them? Or none of the above. I'm positive that I'm not the only one with "home for the holidays" discussions ongoing. 

And with the holiday season looming, I'm trying to figure out how to balance my so-called business and travel in light of those obligations.

Follow the Money


Mail:

Fredd said - Mao's , uh, er, I mean Xi's latest threat to the HK protestors: there's going to be 'crushed bodies and broken bones.' 

There's my lovable potentate, wearing his jack boots on his sleeve. And how exactly is Hong Kong going to compromise with this? "Chairman Xi, with all due respect, we will only accept slightly crushed bodies and mildly broken bones."
I don't know it will all fall out. Clearly, China can lay waste to Hong Kong and the money can flee, leaving them a husk with a bunch of miserable, impoverished, starving people who can be incorporated into the communist hive/collective. I don't think that the worker's paradise holds much appeal for the people of HK.  
What Xi doesn't fully appreciate is the level of international backlash that China will experience. I'm confident that will happen. And Xi will be baffled.  
The Hong Kong Basic Law (the cannon of One Party, Two Systems) can be violated with a Red  Chinese invasion but is that the karma that China wants?
Old NFOStay safe and stay under the radar

WSF - +1
China is losing patience with the protests, but it can get much worse for the Chinese as well. Martial law and the murder of a million people would play well in the Politburo, but not elsewhere. Stalin said that one death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. He was right, of course. He and Mao collectively accounted for 100 million deaths. But by so doing, China would reveal itself for what it is. No more global markets for them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

News and Views

Regular blogging should resume next week. For now, the mail.

LindaG - No help here. America is falling apart because too many people under 40 don't appreciate true freedom.
Yes. Many of them are victims of a weak or even sinister education. Many have been brainwashed by the corrupt, lying mainstream media. But keep in mind that President Trump beat Hillary Clinton and it wasn't a cliffhanger in the Electoral College. There is hope.
WSF - No reasoned answer from me. My response would be no intervention - their country, their problem. Sanctions yes! Anything that weakens communist China is in our best interest.
We're already tariffing China and we're in trade negotiations. Hong Kong is a distraction in that effort for both great powers. China blames the US for the unhappiness of the HK people, but they are blind to the truth that not everyone wants to be the slave of Chinese overlords.
Beans - They are going to be non-existent soon. And we'll sit back and do nothing because too many Dems and Repubs in Congress are being paid by the ChiComs.
The PRC is cheap in many ways but it spends lavishly on K Street lobbyists.
In a fair and just world, we'd be standing back, waiting to see if any Americans need rescuing by US Marines.
Sort of a "Wind and the Lion" scenario?
But, well, it's not our fight. 

I can see protecting Taiwan, as we do have interests there. Same with Singapore. But HK? Sorry to say, as much as I'd love to see us save them, I don't know how without going to full war with the ChiComs.

Sanctions, trade war, that sort of thing, as WSF said above, yes, very much so. Choke those SOBs until they can't swallow a single grain of rice. Choke that country until the country erupts in civil war and rightly breaks up into 2-4 separate nations.

Hong Kong could have stayed with Britain a lot longer, but they screwed that up, didn't they? And, seriously, they (the HKers) trusted the ChiComs to follow an agreement? The ChiComs? Oh, puleeze.  

Sorry, as Pinochet would say, the only good Commie is a dead commie. And these people trusted commies to keep their words. Ooops.

What's that phrase, "Not my monkeys, not my Circus."

This would be somewhat the equivalent of ComChina coming to the aid of Portland if we had to take over that failed city-state.

Let them live or die on the vine. Maybe some clandestine 3rd party help not linkable back to the US, but other than that, nope.
I see the scenario through a slightly different prism, however, I can't guess how it will all turn out. There is one play that I'm directly involved with that might bring about a win-win, but as this insurrection deepens, that may not be possible.
Paul L. Quandt - The alternative to not fighting the ChiComs now is seeing them roll over us ( U.S. ) a few years down the road. However, I'm not sure that we can take them on at the same time as dealing with our domestic communists.
A shooting war with Communist China is a zero sum game at this point. It's interesting because the topic on the street in Beijing is 'the coming war with America'. That's not the topic on the street in any US city including DC. Sure there were people like John Bolton, who wanted to see a nuclear war, toe-to-toe with the Ruskies and Chinese, but that's insanity. You have to be a denizen of the Beltway to be that sort of crazy.
Fredd said about Mousey Tongue - Although Mao Tse Tung is no longer calling the shots in China, his protege's are still keeping the revolution alive. Does anyone think that Mao would have come to some sort of compromise with these guys? Not on your life. And Xi is a chip off the ol' block. I fear that Hong Kong will probably suffer the fate that many cities did when under seige: a blockade, and 8 million people there depend on things coming in to sustain them. When those are denied, then what?

Yes, bad things are coming to Hong Kong going forward.
The worst thing for Hong Kong would be that the PRC would walk away. Face and national policy both don't allow that, but Hong Kong is not self-sustaining at the moment. There are big economic problems there, which are part of the reason for the rioting. The deep dissatisfaction comes with a growing group of very poor people who have no way out of the hole they're in.  
When the British handed over HK, it was on the order of 20 or 30% of the PRC's GDP. Now it's something like 2%. Times changed and HK was unable to pivot toward viability. 
LSP - Hong Kong? What's that? We're too busy on Orange Man Bad and they're obviously colonial oppressors. Just look at all those US flags.
The HK people were angry at the British and now they'd do anything to get them back. Interesting how that works.
Ed - All commies, foreign and domestic, hate our flag, eh?
They hate the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God.  The coastal elites would nuke everyone in fly-over country if they thought that they could get away with it. If Hillary was elected in 2020, you know she'd try.
Jim - It appears to me the interesting times in Hong Kong are about to get more interesting.
One thing is certain, Beijing has a tiger by the tail. They don't want to hold on but really don't want to let go. The population is galvanizing behind the resistance and the resistance can put millions of people on the street to show support for the movement.
raven - "Don't fight the way your enemy fights best". In this case, on a battlefield defined as an island- 
Why assume this is limited to Hong Kong? 
Taiwan is watching these developments very closely as is Macao. And as are all of the nations that signed onto the Belt Road Project. It's very disturbing to Beijing.
Why wouldn't the Hong Kong rebels try to establish a wider field of conflict to bring the pain closer to home for the PRC- aka Beijing, the relatives of officials, etc. The island is ideal for the old "first with the most" N.B. Forest concentration of force idea, but the hornets nest can pop up anywhere. And the Chinese are no different than us, in that they have not had an existential fight in a long time. They may have taken for granted the same thing we have, that wars are fought on others territories, and there is no domestic kinetic price to pay. 

The PRC needs to be very careful what they unleash. It does not take a lot of dedicated levers to destabilize a nation dependent of modern infrastructure.
China has always been ripe for balkanization. I could go deeper with this, but suffice that the different provinces in China only cooperate with Bejing to the extent that they are forced to.  I've written about this in the past. It's an embarrassment to the central government, but it's a fact. 
Old NFO wishes - Can we trade 'em California, Oregon, and Washington for Hong Kong??? Please???
And Austin, TX. Make sure to throw that in the deal.
Paul L. Quandt responds to Old NFO - I think that you are wishing to throw out the baby with the bath water. Not everyone in those states are the evil forces which you rightly dislike.
Yes indeed. I lived in CA until just last year when I made a CALEXIT.
Mike_C - Hahaha! Only if you mean Washington DC. I'd offer Manhattan NYFC and Los Angeles County (Chicoms already own the port, I think) as well. But not CA, OR and WA.

More seriously, I wish the people of Hong Kong all the best, but they, for the most part, are NOT like us. While the HK Chinese are often entrepreneural go-getters, they also tend to be loud, grasping, rude, and ill mannered by Western norms. There is a reason the Chinese diaspora are often hated in Southeast Asia. The "Overseas Chinese" themselves will tell you that it's because the natives are lazy and ignorant as well as fundamentally stupid, and the hatred is entirely borne of jealousy. I am not entirely certain it is the case that the natives are always to blame and the Overseas Chinese always the unfairly maligned "good guys". Intelligence and hard work certainly are huge contributors to the success of Overseas Chinese in SE Asia, but nepotism and an overarching sense of cultural superiority are also at play.

A while back I semi-facetiously suggested granting visas to any HK citizen who wanted to emigrate to the US, on the basis of them being political refugees credibly threatened with death. Those with over, say $500k USD in transferable assets get to live wherever they want (and can afford). The remainder must move to a specific set of cities [1] for at least 5 years, or until they have paid a certain amount in federal taxes (amount to be determined). 

Yes, I claimed that the HK man on the street is not necessarily a great fit for the US, but he is an infinitely better prospect than many of those being imported from MENA, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America. Also, removing the human capital from HK (or rather facilitating its self-removal) will torque off the Chicoms and remove much of the value of their prize. And granting them refugee status will further reveal the hypocrisy of our internal enemies and traitors (as well as upsetting a number of sincere and genuine, but misguided persons).

[1] My personal list of destination cities would include: Detroit; Baltimore; Camden, NJ; Flint, MI; St Louis; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee; Cleveland.
I continue to endorse your immigration plan. But if they were all offered Memphis, they'd move to Germantown, which is adjacent and very nice... 
Larry - Los Angeles County (Chicoms already own the port, I think)

Not any more. The Bad Orange Man forced them to sell it last year following a review.
Yes, exactly.
Camperfixer - Guessin' the protestors aren't too worried about their "social standing" points level. Bravery comes in many forms.

Brings to mind this admonition from our Declaration: 

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Our Forefathers left England for a reason...yet it appears far too many on the Left demand a return to that level of government oppression. Not happening on my watch, and I believe the rats are running scared, as they should be.
They wear masks for the most part, but most of the key violent players are from the lowest rung on the social scale anyway and have little to lose. 
Kle - I have sympathy for the HK-ers, but I see no positive outcome for them. Not a lot we can do to help either, outside of keeping pressure up on the Dollars side.

I mean, yes, we can do the whole strategic nuclear exchange thing, but I don't see much Human life in HK on the other side of it.
Odds on you're right, but I hold out some hope. Call me Polyana. There is a way forward for all concerned (The LL Plan) but I don't know if it will work.
Howard Brewi - This is a question rather than a comment but you seem to have the contacts that may answer it. Certain members of my family claim that Australian newse reports that we left behind 50 nucular weapons, airplanes and missles when we pulled back in Syria. 
No. We have forty nuclear weapons (tacitly declared nuclear weapons) at Incirlik Air Force Base (Turkish: İncirlik Hava Üssü) in Turkey. There are US, RAF and Turkish forces there.
Turkey is our NATO ally at present and we have basing agreements with them, with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, etc. The quality of our relationship with Turkey is in question and back when President Trump took office, they started with the "Death to America" chant and we tariffed them to the point where they said that they wanted to be friends. 
I have not seen anything in the normal news feeds I look at and it seems that if it were true the Democrats would be all over it. Supposedly the Rushians now control this material. I am not trolling you, just would like some explaination.
I hope that this helps. The Military Industrial Complex in the US wants another never-ending war in the Middle East. Putting us in the middle of a big civil war means that we'll spend billions and billions on it. Maybe trillions. It's how they make money and they buy a lot of influence in Congress. You're seeing their tantrum at being denied a war play out. War is a racket and a lot of people make a lot of money when the US invades a shit hole like Syria. It pits us against Turkey, Syria, Russia, Iran, and every terrorist group that lives in Syria. The Syrian Kurds are not particularly pro-USA, but they like our money and they're fierce fighters. The US never had nuclear weapons in Syria. We never have had an Air Force base in Syria to speak of.  Most US missions flew from Iraq, Turkey, Bahrain or from aircraft carriers in the Med, or the Red Sea. Sometimes they flew from Italy. The US does not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons officially. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hong Kong


I realize that it's a 45 minute video, and that it was a Bloomberg production, but all that notwithstanding, THIS is an excellent briefing on the situation in Hong Kong. Senator Ted Cruz has come and gone from Hong Kong as part of his Asian fact finding tour, having been rebuffed by the wooden headed Hong Kong governor (handicapped, being born without a personality, as she surely was). 

The question remains whether Hong Kong will survive. The Old Hong Kong vanished when the British handed it over to the People's Republic of China, but there were whispers of that Old Hong Kong remaining, until now. They're something less than whispers now. Maybe an off shore breeze that blows lightly in the morning hours?

When Western capital leaves, it will be just one more dismal land ruled by communists...maybe a Potemkin village will be erected to prove that people are happy in the new worker's paradise?


People ask me whether Hong Kong can be saved. The stock answer is that I don't know. Whenever you see two million people marching (out of a population of 7.3 million), you'd expect to see some part of the government consider compromise. But under a communist government, there is no room for compromise. The communists feel that if you put a lid on a boiling pot that you can hold it tight enough that steam won't escape. Or in the alternative, maybe you just massacre everyone? It's very depressing to witness.

Some of the people of Hong Kong look to the USA for a solution. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Opinions

I'm currently on the road so I'm going to offer a few thoughts as well as commenting on the mail.

Impeachment

The Democrats and people like Mitt Romney are shouting IMPEACH partly because they wish that they could remove President Trump from office and replace him with ....wait for it.... themselves. The Military Industrial Complex would like to get a reliable warmonger to keep us engaged in an endless war, the homosexuals would like somebody (other than the closeted Barack) to be their champion to make them feel good about sodomy, and the climate activists would like to see a totalitarian government that told them what they could eat and what they could throw in the trash, and would eliminate automobiles. 

One key element to impeachment and removal of President Trump is that they want to invalidate ALL of his judicial appointments. Keep an eye on that element.

The problem with impeachment, as I have stated here previously is that it's a trial and luminaries such as Barack Hussein Obama would be called to testify under oath. Maybe Tre Gowdy would act as Trump's defense counselor...and it would get ugly early, not for Trump, but for them. So the Democrats have to figure a way out of that. Presently, they are trying to change the rules, but that's likely beyond their reach. For now.


Syria and the Kurds

Camperfixer - The rational among us know these are not people of character so we keep our distance, only entering the fray when necessary as an attempt to keep them in check. (cue the Gladiator "Strength & Honor" theme) It'll get more insane, on both continents.
You make some important points. The Syrian Kurds are politically Maoist and religiously Islamic (their own brand), their export crop is opium. None of those things are something that most Americans would find desirable in a 'friend'. They are allies of convenience. We send them weapons and they fight their traditional enemies (Turks, ISIS, and pretty much everybody else). Killing Kurds has been a sport in the Middle East for a long time. Saladin was a Kurd - but since then, they've been on the defensive. If the Turkish Army moves in a big way against Syria or the Kurds, there isn't much that anyone can do to stop it in the short term. The Kurds will give them a bloody nose, but that is not defeating them.  

Yet the collective lefty media loses it's mind when Trump says it's a no win for us so we're outta there. The same lefty's are silent about Biden, Kerry, and Pelosi's son's getting lucrative Ukraine oil jobs without an ounce of experience (while publicly stating how much they all hate big oil). Nothing these people say is worth the powder to blow them to Hell. This will get more interesting (to put it politely), the reversal-reversal flip-flop hypocrisy will abound. 

I agree we should leave these Middle East dirt spots to deal with each other as they have been since before Christ, yet being diligent to keep them off our soil.
America has a lot of traitors in its midst. Most of them are not seriously anti-American in the sense that Benedict Arnold became. They're Quislings of a different nature - self promoters at the expense of America. They are able to rationalize that stance.
Jim - I met a guy a few years back who had experience with the Iraqi Kurds. He said they were a rough bunch who made sure his back was covered.
The Kurds fight, and they individually understand what it takes to be a warrior. Those are all desirable traits and I don't want it said that I am in any way anti-Kurd. However in a geopolitical sense, Syria is a loser. The Kurds need to join together to try and carve out "Kurdistan", but at the moment the Syrian and Iraqi and Iranian Kurds are all at odds politically. Everyone wants to rule the world and be Khan of Kurdistan...old story.
Mike_C - I don't know what to think about the Kurds. Certain persons I tend to trust (and who have experience over there dealing with Iraqi Kurds) say that they are about the only group that is reasonably trustworthy and deal well with American directness and can-do (as opposed to the two hours oleaginously praising each others ancestors and pouring tea before getting anything done). But someone else says they are merely highly skilled at propagandizing the West, and are no less opportunistic and backstabbing than any other ME group. (All the photos of brave - and reasonably attractive - female Peshmerga fighters tends to make me believe the second person. It's no different than all the "Hot IDF Girl" photos out there.)
I thought that all of the IDF girls ARE hot. It's very disconcerting to think that they may not be. The same is naturally true of the Kurdish girls at the front. Propaganda works, or people wouldn't devote so much effort to promoting it. As I think most of us are aware, the Kurds (and the Americans, the Turks, the Iranians, the Jews, etc.) all have their own self interest at heart. 
Old NFO - Seems as though the Kurds want to eat their cake and have it, too (Ted Kaczinski's phrase here): U.S. forces protect them, but they need spend no effort whatsoever in getting along with anybody.

I say leave them to their own devices, see how things go.
The Syrian Kurds are a separate issue from the Iraqi Kurds. 
Dan's plan - No Americans on the ground in places like Syria. If we don't want to control a place 100% then get the hell out...we can kill all of them required remotely. Arm the Kurds and let the factions kill each other. That's what they do anyway....let just make the field level for the participants. GET OUR NUKES OUT OF TURKEY. Erdogan and his government are NOT our friends and NOT a reliable NATO partner. They are in it for themselves and nobody else.....and I have ZERO doubts they have plans to seize the nukes we have in their country when they think the time is right. 
The Turks under Ataturk made good decisions. Under Sultan Erdogan, they do not. By in large, Turks are not bad people, but as you suggest, they are not our friends. We find the basing agreements to our advantage and it provides an "island with a runway" in the Northern Middle East within easy striking distance of Russia, the Balkans, Iran, etc. I don't know that they are any more reliable of a NATO partner than, say Germany these days. That may possibly have something to do with the fact that there are more Turkish flags flying in Berlin and Frankfurt than there are German flags. And I'm not counting the million military age Mohammedans that they recently imported.

Hong Kong and China

LSP - A "Doctor Evil"? Someone skilled in irregular warfare, a figure of shadows with a fondness for trebuchets and undying scorn for the Red menace? Clearly a fantasy.

Next thing you know they'll be wheeling out homemade canons.
No, they'll use the RPG-7's that Taiwan provided to the rebels as soon as the PRC rolls in armor. I'm very very close to the situation in Hong Kong in ways that I'm not going to discus on this blog. Suffice to say that there is a way out for China and HK, but it's not a done deal. 
raven - The Hong Kong protests are a perfect example of what terrifies the elite surveillance state. I think the term is "crowd sourced"?  Without a "leader", someone to decapitate, all the tech in the world becomes useless. Like trying to kill an ant nest with a hammer. 
EXACTLY! The situation is one that the Red Chinese are very uncomfortable with. A popular movement (like the Tea Party in the US, recently, during the Obama regime) with no leader is frustrating to them. They are accustomed to terrifying the population but that's not working in HK. They've arrested most of the people who they consider to be ring leaders, but like the hydra's teeth, ten pop up for every person they imprison. As one would expect, they feel that the Americans are behind it because the HK protesters carry American flags. But it's not America, it's freedom. That's disturbing to the oligarchs in Beijing. 

Mike_C - Thanks for the observations on China viz Hong Kong. It had not occurred to me that PRC leadership could possibly think this is all due to a single shadowy mastermind (call him Anti-Soros), but clearly they live in a different headspace than I do. 
It's convenient to delude yourself that a mastermind is the source of all your trouble in HK rather than 90% of the population that is unhappy with you.
Then again many of my "fellow" Americans also live in a very different reality. Probably told this story before, but back in my college days (era of detente, mastodons roaming the earth) some dipstick woman asserted that if we "lay down in front of the Soviet tanks, what could they do?" and that was why we did not need a military. My response of "put them in gear" was not even understood by most of the scruffy lot standing about making mouth noises (debating would imply intellectual effort and ability that clearly was not present). An Armor guy tells me their term of art for this sort of thing is "a driver's engagement". Heh. Anyway, after someone explained the comment, the looks of shock, followed by disgust and hatred, I received were really something.
A Ghandi would not have survived the first tank had he risen in the Soviet Union. In fact, the reds would have wasted the gas. One bullet would be sufficient. Truth be told there were many Ghandis in the Soviet Union and they were killed or shipped off to the Gulag Archipelago to be worked to death. 
Old NFO - I'm not surprised the Chicoms are looking for that 'one' guy. They cannot believe that many people are, of their own free will, standing up to the BS they are trying to ram down their throats. And yes, they DO now realize how badly they've screwed up... Sigh...
Yes, the strange thing is that they know how out of touch they are with reality in so many ways. They send intelligent students to Satan's Vaticans (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc) and the students receive high marks and return. Many of those students live in Chinese Bubbles while away at school and they return being able to quote this or that without ever understanding America. Likewise, they can't comprehend nearly the entire population of Hong Kong wanting to opt out of Red China. How could anyone not love the Red Chinese?

The Military Industrial Complex

WSF - Unemployment of those grown fat sucking the taxpayer tit may be President Trump's greatest accomplishment.
Don't count those blood suckers out. They have as many Republican allies as Democrat allies and they will not hesitate to work diligently to unseat a president who doesn't dance to their tune. One problem they have with President Trump is that he has SUPPORTED heavy military spending. It's just that they would really like to have a war with an ongoing need for more war machines and logistics.





Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Bear and Friends


Retrospective on Syria, Syrian Kurds, Turks, Russians, etc.

I wrote this piece for this blog last year (2018). Read it ...and weep (if you must)...on second thought, it's better if you don't weep.

“Let me write a bit about mission creep and how we arrived at where we are: US military forces had a specific, narrow mission which originally was to capture Raqqa. They accomplished that.

Capturing Raqqa expanded into ensuring the Islamic State was permanently defeated, which won't happen ideologically, but they can be denied territory and we did that.

Then the mission morphed into protecting the Kurds. 

That expanded into blocking the Iranians. 

Then came ensuring a government without Syrian President Assad; then staying until there was a political settlement and finally seeking a fundamental regime change but Assad can stay. 

The US has never had a strong rationale for involvement in Syria. The images of then Secretary of State Kerry fawning over Assad during the miserable years of obamanation were as unnatural as the US supporting soldiers and Marines in a completely land-locked enclave that is mostly desert. 

The US is not ceding Syria to anyone. It never had anything to cede. Despite dominating a third of Syria, the US has had no influence in Syria beyond the fight against the Islamic State. 

The other parties live in the region, except the Russians. The Russians have had ties to Syria since 1946. They have had a naval facility at Tartus since 1971 by invitation. The Russians, Iranians and Turks filled all available political space long before the first US soldier arrived.

The US could not protect the Kurds. The US backing of the Kurds could not prevent their loss of Afrin Canton to the Turks in two major operations. None of the major regional actors support the Kurds. Russia tried and failed to arrange for the Kurds to attend UN-backed or Russian-backed political meetings. 

Islamic State fighters remain in Syria and continue to relocate and reconstitute in many countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indian Kashmir. China is concerned about returning Uighur fighters. The US military success in Syria forced non-Syrian fighters to return to their homes, generating an Islamic State diaspora. Sorry China...no, not really.

The many Israeli air attacks against Iranians in Syria are a testament that the US military presence posed no significant obstacle to expansion of Iranian activities in Syria.

About Russia

The Russians have been a Syrian ally for 60 years. Their position has been strengthened because they did not have to fight the Islamic State. They added an airbase and signed a 99 year lease for the naval base. They used the civil war to field test their most modern weapons and all their field commanders. Most of that would not have been possible without the US effort that defeated the Islamic State. The Russians would have been required to commit far more forces than they have.

The Turks are the historic enemy of the Russians, Arabs and the Persians. The US intervention force distracted the Russians, Arabs and Iranians from that underlying fact. None of these parties will defend the Kurds, but they will now be able to focus on frustrating Turkish President Erdogan’s pretense to restore Ottoman dominance. 

The Kurds want to create a federal state. That won’t happen, but the US has empowered them. With better arms, training and experience, they are better equipped to negotiate an arrangement with the Syrian government and to resist the Turks. If the Turks attempt genocide, US airpower will remain in the region and on call.

The next order of business will be the re-emergence of the old hatred of the Turks. Russia, Syria and Iran eventually will induce Turkey to withdraw its forces back across the border. Turkey’s invasion of Syria; its support for Syrian Islamic extremist groups and its dalliances with Russia and China will diminish its stature in NATO. When there was an Islamist threat on NATO’s flank, the Turks sided with the Islamists.  (At present, Turkey is host to about forty American nuclear weapons that we can use to light up the sky if the need arises. So America has a use for that alliance for the time being.)

With no US forces in Syria, the US will have the opportunity to have a relationship with Syria. In many indirect and important ways, the US military presence saved the Assad government by enabling its allies. However, the government in Damascus will be looking for opportunities to balance its dependence on Russia and Iran. The Russians will always be amenable to letting the US shoulder the costs of Syrian reconstruction.

As for Iran, Syria is a secular state, the last of the Ba’athists – pan-Arab socialists. Iran’s relationship with Syria during peace time always has been uneasy, bordering on unnatural. Religion has almost nothing to do with the Syrian-Iranian relationship. It is based on the Syrian confrontation with Israel. The practices and beliefs of the Alawite sect in Syria border on heresy and apostasy for Sunni and Shia Muslims of strict observance. 

For years, Syria has allowed Iran to use Syria as the conduit for arms to Hizballah, enabling Hizballah to open the Lebanese front on Israel’s northern border. Tension between Hizballah and Israel is likely to increase and could lead to conflict, but the US presence in Syria has been tangential to that scenario, despite the best efforts of Prime Minister Netanyahu to draw the US into the larger Arab-Israeli confrontation.”

Russia-Russia-Russia


Communists, who loved the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, such as presidential aspirant, Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned there, don't like Russia. Why the change? Riddle me that one. In one case, it was atheist Great Russia, occupying captured lands and exercising collectivism that delivered huge misery to its people and to the revolutions that it supported. In the case of the Christian Russian Federation, there are elections, that are generally free and fair. It has a small GDP - smaller than Texas and is nine time zones in length and the place is frozen for 1/2 of the year. Its only export is oil, and that price floats, and involves US dollars (buying and selling currency). 

There is no evidence that I've seen that suggests that Russia influenced one single American vote in 2016. Bitter Hillary and the mainstream media suggests otherwise, but they do so without evidence. A lot of Russian people like Vladimir Putin. He is re-elected. Let's face it, he's a lot more likable than Hillary and has likely killed fewer people to retain power.

It's an old chart. The blue line would go off the top of the chart in 2019,
while at the same time the red Russian line would drop a bit.
America spends more on military hardware and manpower than the rest of the world combined. If the US couldn't beat Russia, it's clearly our own fault. Russia has been used by a brick bat to smack America with when it comes to budget time. The DC Beltway still uses them to threaten puppies and small children. 

Russia does have nuclear weapons and Texas doesn't have its own (more's the pity), but think about the obligations for territorial defense on the limited income that Russia enjoys from all sources.

The US has more to gain by working with the Russians on the international stage than bickering with them. The Donkeys and the mainstream media are pushing Russia into an axis with China, and while they may have some interests in common, I'd rather see Russia threatening China's northern flank. But that's just me.

The geopolitical problem children are China and Iran.