Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Possibility for War in 2017?

Do you expect a big(ger) war in 2017?

I honestly cannot tell for sure with all the election nonsense if we're actually preparing for that or just threatening something stupid for the purposes of an election.

I also cannot tell how far we can push an election narrative of Russian 'disruption' of our election, 'holocaust' in Syria, and the rest without it being incredibly jarring/too much to just walk away from that once the election is over.

I don't want to debate the election.  I think it's over and Clinton will win.  What I'd like to gauge is whether the group thinks we are headed for a bigger war?  Is it with Russia?

Put my mind at ease.

PF Khans


  1. Of course, the press will provide you no reliable guideposts.

    Recently a liberal news aggregator (RSN) ran a piece by Andrew Bacevich ("What We Talk About When We Don't Want to Talk about Nuclear War") prefaced by an intro by Nick Turse. Turse totally misrepresented the more considered source piece by Bacevich.

    But how many people do you think will take the extra time to read the longer article? No time, so we read the precis. Try this one for yourself. I was shocked at the disparity.

    Bacevich actually says, at least Trump has stated he will not be the first to go for the nuclear option; Mrs. Clinton declined to even address the question, a lawyerly ruse which I find galling.

    What We Talk About When We Don't Want to Talk about Nuclear War

    . . . we hear what we want to hear.

  2. The upshot to your question is, if Clinton wins, you may "expect a big(ger) war in 2017". Certainly, no draw down. That is her track record, and the records of those with whom she allies.

    She will not say otherwise. The proof is in the pudding.

    As to why people cannot hear this, I have no answer. Perhaps it is because we believe that Democrats want to help people. However historically-speaking, Republicans tend to be non-interventionist. (Oh, except for that one terrible, horrible gaffe made my GWB, but that, too, was so conventionally American emotionality.)

    1. I don't know if it's Democrat/Republican, but I do think that Americans don't think war costs anything or is dangerous. That's a lack of experience and misinformation. History is unkind to such nations.

    2. I can't dig it up because I'm on my phone, Lisa, but I read a piece recently that made a good point the Trump's "no first strike" pledge was as boneheaded as all the other Trump stuff.

      Point being the if you're using your nukes for "deterrence" you keep your options wide open so as to maximize the uncertainty and reduce the degree to which a potential enemy can calculate the egreat of a first strike. That's why historically no nuclear powers have done this.

      Trump, whose idea of politics is grabbin'em by the pussy, has no clue of this.

  3. H.R.Clinton is a bit on the hawkish side, but warmongering takes its time, and opportunities. She wouldn't do anything in the first ~100 days when she's taking control of the administration, and likely nothing in the first year. The exception would be an unusual not expectable 'opportunity', such as Iran invading Qatar, PRC enacting a naval blockade of Taiwan or something like that.

    She's a patient, calculating type of politician and a networker. You could expect her to build a multinational coalition for any deliberate aggressions, and that takes time after the disillusionments with GWB's great power games.
    Bys the time she's done preparing for going to war, you folks may support it after months if not years of propaganda.

    There are a couple places that could flare up regardless of U.S. policies and politics:

    (1) Turkey attacking Assad (Erdogan gets away with everything because Turkey is indispensable for the West geostrategically speaking - but Putin would be furious and not back down)

    (2) Oman civil war (would be handled by Saudi-Arabia)

    (3) Civil war in Kenya (would be handled by the British, I think)

    (4) Civil war in famine-stricken Ethiopia (would be ignored, I think)

    (5) All-out civil war in Nigeria

    (6) Kashmir local war (limited by both nuclear powers to the region)

    (7) Central Asian wars with (pseudo-)jihadists (would see Russian intervention)

    (8) Putin going after Ukraine for real, with airpower and assault on Kiev (NATO would be loud, but would not move - it's way too close to Moscow, Russians would go apeshit crazy if the West intervened)

    (9) Russian invasion of Belarus if there's a revolt (same)

    Most places that Americans traditionally pay attention to would likely remain peaceful or are in fames already. Another reason to not expect HRC go to (another) war in 2017.

    She will be tempted to play strong forceful leader to make up for her lacking manliness, and may cave to demands for more bombing of Daesh including some more SF forward observer teams on the ground, though. Her "surge".

    1. S O,

      Your Kenyan/Ethiopian/Nigerian nexus are good guesses, or what's an AFRICOM for?

    2. AFRICOM is serving the bureaucracy's self-interest, giving it more tickets for officers and a perspective towards more prestige, opportunity etc.

  4. If it does happen I would guesstimate not in Syria or Iran or the Ukraine, or even the South China Sea. So no big war. More of the same using proxies.

    Unless of course, Kim Il-sung's little grandson finally goes batshit bonkers and launches on Seoul or Tokyo. I would define that as big.

    Or if this current thing in Yemen turns out to be more than a couple of individual batshit missileers. That could drag in Iran.

    I do wonder what would happen if Raul decides to accept Russian BMs like his older brother. Hopefully that can be negotiated away.

    But then there is always 'bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran John McCain and his henchman Lindsey. So there is always a chance. Are other countries as bipolar as the USA?

    1. Pakistan is obsessed that the Indians want to attack it.
      North Korea is generally paranoid, hence the deterrence strategy of being armed and crazy.
      China has some sick popular jingoism.
      Eritrea's dictator is paranoid.
      Erdogan is a bit paranoid and thinks he's on a mission from god and his nation at the same time.
      Poland's ruling clique is in sum leaning at least as much to conspiracy theories as Trump.

      There's plenty potential for people in power acting crazy and unpredictably.

    2. Agreed S.O.

      But if you know they are crazy and paranoid like NK you might be able to figure out a way to keep them from exploding.

      The nations I worry about are the split personalities - like my country, the Iranians maybe? cuba? and yes probably Turkey. I don't know anything re Poland currently, we need better news sources here. Nothing is ever covered except election BS and hollywood romances. No reporters anymore, just hacks waiting for some PR hack or spinmeister to give them a story so that the paper or TV station does not have to spend money and resources getting real news.

      Do you have a recommendation for an European paper published in English language that covers world news, and does not have stories on Brangelina or Hillatrump phenomenons? I used to go to BBC, but now can only find online the BBC American version, gahhhh! I get enough of that with my morning coffe with the telly.

    3. I don't think NK is crazy at all. They only behave crazy.

      Look at it from a 1992 perspective; their military unable to match the South Korean one (and increasingly hopeless in regard to air war and night combat), their great power allies became questionable.
      They went for ballistic missiles that scared the West so much in 1991, they went for nukes (the ultimate scare of the West), they behaved 'crazy' to make their deterrence with nukes believable.

      It makes perfect sense form a deterrence policy point of view. NK isn't crazy; it's probably the most impressively rational country in regard to defence policy.

    4. About news sources; BC used to be good, but not any more.

      Maybe DW suits you, though it provides the German view, with emphasis on what we care about (no Kardashians):

      Also, Spiegel Online is popular with English readers:

  5. Thanks folks, so do people think that Clinton is serious about the 'no fly zone' in Syria or believes that such a maneuver will not actually cause a war?
    I also am seeing lists that assumes that America is playing something of a static/stabilizing role, but I'm not sure if that's holding.
    In the lead up to the current Kashmir crisis, the US has been punishing Pakistan (withholding military aid) and rewarding India (with increased opportunity in Afghanistan). I'm not saying that we are responsible for the current instability, but to point out that I don't think we're helping things.
    In fact, we are probably making it less stable in the short term.
    I'm also not sure the domestic political environment seeks stability on the world stage.

    1. I think Clinton - like pretty much everyone in the U.S. foreign policy biz- was looking for some sort of option other than "Well, Bob, Syria is pretty much fucked so we're just gonna sit back an see who emerges from the bloodbath..." because you'd have lost your hearing from the wingnuts squeeeeeing about Butcher Clinton letting ISIS loose.

      I suspect a Clinton Administration will continue Obama's policy; do as little as possible but just enough to dodge the "soft on terror" accusations.

      That's stupid, but since Dubya rammed out national dick into the Iraq meatgrinder we are pretty much fucked in the Middle East ourselves.

    2. This "we need to do something" attitude is a big part of the problem.

    3. I couldn't agree more. That idiot attitude has been a problem in D.C. for generations; Bachevich hammered on that in his Washington Rules.

      I think the problem is that the attitude is so fucking deeply ingrained in the U.S. geopolitical "establishment". I hate the "both sides do it" meme, but in this case, yes; both Left and Right (or the degree to which there's a "left" that has political influence in D.C.) by into the idea the "war works". If I were to agree with PFK on the topic of his post my big problem with Clinton is that she buys that as much as any other bog-standard Washington insider.

      But...short of blowing the entire damn political edifice up and starting over I don't know how you "fix" that. And blowing things up often, OFTEN ends badly in the near- or medium-term, as the Russians and French could tell you about their revolutions...

    4. I remember that "We need to do something" was actually one of my earliest blog posts:

  6. PFK -

    A coalition NFZ over Aleppo City IMHO would be un-doable and unworkable. Hopefully JCS will help her understand that. Is she serious? I would guess she wants to give some aid and stability to the women and children in Aleppo City, despite all this alt-right election garbage that she is deliberately provoking war.

    Read an article recently, but sorry cannot remember where. That stated NFZ's and or "Safe Zone's" for civilians are unworkable. They recounted how it did not work for NATO in Srebenica, did not work for US/UK/French in southern Iraqi Shia NFZ back in 92, did not work for the French in the Rwanda Hutu/Tutsi bloodbath. The only success they could point to was the 92 NFZ in northern Iraq and that was because Peshmerga ground forces were given arms and training an organization even before the NFZ was established.

    There is no sane group in Aleppo City to enforce a Safe Zone on the ground, except perhaps the Kurds in the Sheikh Mahsoud neighborhood of the city. And that is an extremely small part. So far Assad has left them alone for the most part although they claim some of his allies are as bad as the Nusra Front.

    1. Mike,

      I agree that any sort of NFZ is impossible short of war, but I am also unaware of a Presidential candidate who has become less bellicose after assuming office. Generally speaking, I expect the most peace-oriented a President will be is on day 1, and Clinton II is going in with the express intention of doing this NFZ.
      It sounds like you think that your expectation is that Hillary will be talked out of what she has been threatening to do this entire campaign once she's in office. Is that correct? Do you have a precedent for this?

  7. PFKhans –

    Here are my thoughts:

    1] I did not say an NFZ is impossible short of war. It could be done with the right diplomacy. Perhaps my use of the term “un-doable” was uncalled for. What I was trying to get across was that an NFZ would not work unless we had troops or proxy troops on the ground under that air umbrella. We have no such options in the City of Aleppo. So what would happen is that Assad’s army and his Hezbollah and Iranian Quds Force allies would use artillery, mortars, and surface to surface rockets instead of airstrikes to level the city until resistance ceases; or they could stop all bombardment and tighten their siege until all within starve to death. So an NFZ would be useless in this case is my opinion.

    2] Why would anybody think that Hillary or any other presidential candidate is “bellicose” for showing concern over the battered, maimed and hungry women and children of Aleppo City? Hasn’t Pope Francis showed the same concern and continuously begged for a cease fire? And although Patriarch Kiril of the Russian Orthodox Church and Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini of Iran may never say it out loud I bet that as leaders of great religions they have the same moral anxiety about those women and children. Britain and France are also demanding No Fly Zones. Boris Johnson, Britain’s new Foreign Minister and Trump’s favorite Englishman, is said to be in a state of Russophobic hysteria calling for Brits to picket London’s Russian embassy. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has called for even stronger action than an NFZ. While some people may say a VP has no real power, I would opine that a VP to a 70 year old fat man who will not release his medical records may end up as President very quickly.

    3] There are over three months to go before the US presidential inauguration on 20 January. There is plenty of time for Assad and Putin to step up the action and beat the city into submission before then. I wonder if the poor citizens of Aleppo are already eating rats and shoe leather? By this time next month they may be eating their dead. Or conversely there is plenty of time for Obama to pull a diplomatic rabbit out of his hat. Or if it lasts longer than the 20th of January, Hillary and her new Secretary of State could negotiate a truce.

    4} I believe if progress is to be made diplomatically then we have to negotiate directly with Iran, not Russia. Iran may not even want to negotiate with us over Syria. But if they do then we will have to give up a lot in those negotiations. Syria was the only country that supported Iran during the war with Sadaam Hussein. That was only 28 years ago and all the senior Iranian leadership today were involved in that in one way or another. They will never give up their only ally in the middle east no matter what Putin does. Russia’s interests in Syria are completely different than Iran’s. We are trying to bargain with the wrong man. It is like asking a Toyota salesman to give you a good discount on a new Volkswagon.

    5] As far as talking her out of it after she is in office: Why not before? Why would she not be already coordinating with Obama and his thoughts on the issue? Or if she wins on November 8th, why would she not immediately start talking with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Obama's NSC and Kerry's State Department to solicit advice and opinions while she still has over two months before becoming President?

    1. Mike,

      1) I think undoable is very appropriate. The Syrians, Russians, and Iranians have made it pretty clear that they'll fight the USA if they decide to occupy parts of Syria. Starting a NFZ seems impossible to achieve without escalating to regime change and regime change seems impossible to contemplate without considering Russian escalation to ours. That suggests war in 2017-18.

      2) I would think that she is bellicose because using military force in a country without their permission and without UN approval is generally considering aggression. She has advocated this position for over a year, her likely picks for SECDEF have approved 'expanded' roles for the US military, and she's made it pretty clear that she thinks she can 'do' something (something violent) to resolve the violence in Aleppo. The Pope hasn't called out the Vatican guard or threatened to do so. Hillary has been threatening to intervene in the civil war as have her allies and likely political appointees.

      3) That's a really fair point. I hope they figure something out for the sake of everyone in Syria.

      4) As long as we're not fighting to force Assad out, particularly without a necessary declaration of war, I don't have a real issue. Talking with Iran seems like a smart course of action, but it isn't something that Clinton II has brought up. She thinks she can solve this with American air power.

      5) I am not sure I understand your thoughts here. You think that Hillary Clinton has been lying to the public about wanting to be more aggressive in Syria? She's actually far more moderate and reasonable? That is certainly possible, but it isn't really evidence of this. It's more of a hope.

      PF Khans

  8. There's no way I or anyone else here can "put your mind at ease" on the prospects for a big/conventional war within a year. Who in '49 predicted Korea? Or in '89 the Second Gulf War? All the areas Sven listed are potential crises points, and I can think of several in this hemisphere, as well.

    Now...if this concern is not for war per se but fear of the warmongering Hitlery Clinton I CAN say confidently that the chances are not substantially increased and are, in fact, significantly lower than would be the case if Il

  9. (con't - sorry, phone issues...) Douche were to be elected. Because...

    1. Clinton (for all that she has been more hawkish than I'd like) has been no more so than Obama, whose eight years have been relatively free of large wars other than the leftovers of his predecessor. Libya was idiotic, but the sort of "OMG we must manage this crisis!" kind of stupid the Great Powers indulge in (see Lebanon 1983...)

    2. And speaking of that predecessor...a large percentage of Drumpf's foreign policy team is composed of people associated with said predecessor who, in the manner of the Bourbons, seem to have learned nothing as forgotten nothing.

    So...could there be a war in Kashmir? Sure? Will it be because of a Clinton 45? No.

    1. Chief,

      What evidence do you have that Clinton is less hawkish than Obama? Libya is reportedly Clinton's brainchild, and she was hawkish on Iraq and Iran and Syria. She still is hawkish and in contravention of Obama on Syria.

      2. Trump isn't going to be President so I'm not interested in a debate over his foreign policy nonsense. He would be a terrible president. Period.
      I'm concerned that the likes of Michael Morell are backing Hillary and she has plenty of neocon support for her candidacy.

      PF Khans

    2. Because she has been a fairly integral part of the Obama Administration foreign policy. That policy has been fairly moderate. There is no evidence other than speculation that Clinton is "hawkish". Her statements on Syria have been right in line with Obama's with the exception of the goofy NFZ, which, as I discuss, is more than likely a "well, here's us "doing something" line thrown out to placate the nutballs.

      I'm not happy with Clinton's pallsy-ness with people like Morell or (worse, IMO) Hank Fucking Kissinger. But that is less than indicative of whether she would start a major war. I loathed Dick Cheney for his role in the Nixon era as well as his involvement in Iran-Contra but I would never have pegged him as a guy who would have ginned up an aggressive war based completely on utter bullshit. Extrapolating geopolitical positions from mere association is a mug's game.

      And neocons? Names, please.

    3. Chief,

      I can understand the desire for Clinton's stated positions to be 'this is where she is lying,' but it isn't a clear thing to me that this is one of those cases. I hope it is, but I cannot be sure for two specific reasons:
      a) President's since W at least have gotten more hawkish, not less, after getting in office. Why won't she feel as though she needs to keep 'doing things'? As an alternative example of this, you've expressed a belief that Trump will carry out illegal measures to handle Muslims in America, but I know others who say that's all talk. Can you explain why you expect one and not the other? Could not they both be lying or both be telling the truth?

      As for neo-cons, she's got Robert Kagan - http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/us/politics/historians-critique-of-obama-foreign-policy-is-brought-alive-by-events-in-iraq.html?_r=0
      James Kirchick http://www.salon.com/2016/06/10/another_neocon_endorses_clinton_calling_her_2016s_real_conservative_and_the_candidate_of_the_status_quo/
      Max Boot http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-republicans-in-exile-20160508-story.html
      Eliot Cohen http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/trump-clinton-neoconservatives-220151

  10. PF Khans -

    I do agree with you that we should never be involved in combat without a declaration of war. Or at least not fighting for an extended period of time, any combat over say 48 or 96 hours should require a new authorization from a public Congressional vote on war.

    You are right that Clinton has not publicly brought up talking with Iran. But then neither has the United Nations who put together the Peace Talks and specifically left Iran out of the invitations to Geneva. And by the way neither has Obama and Britain and France brought up talking with Iran. I have only read of that from one person, an Iranian-American researcher and author by the name of Afshon Ostovar. He has a good article on that issue over at FP magazine and has written about it previously over at the WarOnTheRocks blog. Hopefully someone at the State Department is reading it. But even he says Iran may never agree to talk to the West on this issue, and will not go along with any solution to which Russia agrees. I hope someone in our State Department has read his article and is doing some serious thinking about it.

    On the rest we seem to agree to disagree. I do not believe Clinton is belligerent as you seem to think. Please remember the old American tradition of demonizing your political opponents using innuendo and false rumors during election years. Clinton is being depicted as a warmonger in order to suppress some who would otherwise vote for her. There is no way that Clinton or Obama or any sane American wants to physically occupy Syria. The only one who may is Trump who has been quoted as saying we should go in and "take their oil”. I guess a no-fly-zone (which I am against) could be considered an occupation of a country's airspace. But it is a long way from invading a country to steal their oil. And a no-fly-zone is certainly not a true occupation like both the Russians (and we) did back after WW2. The Obama administration has already backed off of regime change. I do not see Clinton doing anything in Syria except continuing to go after Daesh (aka ISIL or ISIS), al Quaeda, and Ahrar al Sham.

    Who are these likely picks for SECDEF you mention that approved 'expanded' roles for the US military? I have never heard or read of a statement by Clinton that she would do something violent to resolve the situation in Aleppo. Trump’s VP pick has said that as have Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. We must be reading or watching different news sources. Please give us some legitimate citations that Mrs Clinton and her allies or likely appointees have threatened to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Obama was probably intervening in that civil war using the CIA to fund the Free Syrian Army. But as I mentioned above I believe (or perhaps hope) he has already backed off that position. What benefit would Clinton have in reinstating it? Or expanding it if I am incorrect about Obama backing off?

    1. Mike,

      I agree with you that Trump has a dangerous...I mean it's not really a plan, it's more of a handful slogans, but it's not good. However, I don't think he's going to be President, so I don't really care what his nonsense 'plan' is.

      In any case, here's what worries me about Hillary:
      From the second Presidential debate, Clinton said this in response to leading question about holocausts in Syria:
      "So I, when I was secretary of state advocated, and I advocate today a no-fly and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution unless there is leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground. But I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided it is all in in Syria, and they’ve also decided who they want to see become President of the United States too and it's not me."

      Interestingly, from the wikileaks trove on Clinton's talks with Goldman Sachs shows she was aware in 2013 of the issues of a no-fly-zone but she still seems interested in one today. Or she's misleading the public multiple times for political benefit. https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/in-secret-goldman-sachs-speech-hillary-clinton-admitted-no-fly-zone-would-kill-a-lot-of-syrians/

      Lastly, Michele Flourney was supposedly a top-pick for Obama to replace Chuck Hagel as SECDEF and is a top pick for Hillary.
      Note, that this woman actually responds to the article and disputes the claims in the headline, but still outlines warlike activities against a sovereign government supported by a nuclear-armed world power as something she'd be in favor of.

      It took me 10 minutes to find this stuff. She's not hiding this. This is a stated position that is taking despite lots of her supporters, I'm sure, thinking less of this idea. I have no idea why she wants to do this, I'm not happy about it, but I'm left to either decide she is lying on this because ...it's what I want or that she isn't lying and I should get ready for some escalation in Syria or with Russia. Or maybe that the Russians can kill everyone they need to do before she gets in office.

      PF Khans

    2. PF, Woodrow Wilson claimed he'd "keep us out of war" and FDR promised that no American boys would die for European disputes while working to help the Allies. Important safety tip; politicians run this sort of bullshit line all the time.

      I think the bottom line is that "why she "wants" to do this" is that she's getting pushed from the Right to "do something" and this seems like the least-dangerous "something". I think you're reading WAY too much into it beyond that.

      She's got enough diplomatic chops to know the realities of the Syrian tarbaby. You ain't gonna get recalled to the colors to fight in Syria. I promise.

    3. One other thing to consider, PF, is that while Trump may not become President, you'll note that he doesn't get much, or ANY, pushback on his nonsensical foreign policy "ideas" from the mainstream GOP. That's largely because his ideas ARE the mainstream GOP.

      A Pence Administration might be scarier than anything Clinton could come up with, because he'd be just as rampant on fighting a "war on terror" as Drumpf but more physically competent and engaged.

    4. Chief,

      Here's the thing about Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Nixon, and even George W, they all said 'peace, peace' and then executed war. I cannot think of a President who ran on 'war, war' and then executed peace. This frame of lying, particularly since the Cold War has almost exclusively run towards, your candidate will become more hawkish than they ran on. This historical reality seems likely to come into effect with Clinton.
      Not to mention that the reality is that:
      a) we have US military personnel in Syria right now
      b) we've already bombed Syrian military positions in Syria
      c) we're already arming Syrian rebels
      d) we're already training Syrians in camps setup outside Syria
      e) our allies already have military forces occupying parts of Syria
      f) the White House has blamed Russia for interfering our election and is threatening/planning a cyber attack in response
      Honestly, the horses are out of the barn here. Are we selling 'I can't believe it's not war!' to the American public? It would not take much to turn this from shit sandwich to larger shit sandwich. I do think that the two candidates would handle this in amazingly different and destructive ways. I think Trump would be liable to let a humanitarian disaster occur in Syria but somehow wind up back in Iraq with more troops than we should have there. I think Clinton is more likely to try and do some sort of JFK nonsense and threaten to destroy the world so 'we' can 'win' in Syria. Note, more likely doesn't mean will. Further note, Trump isn't going to be President so I'm not worried about his garbage, Clinton is much more likely to be CinC and so I just want to know what I'm getting into.

    5. That's...I don't know what to say, PF. That's some pretty huge leaps of logic there. See below for my observation on the Syrian NFZ...but to assume that because we're farkling about in Syria that a Clinton 45 would "threaten to destroy the world"? Ummm...how's that again..?

  11. As far as putting minds at ease about wars, here's an interesting piece of historial trivia:


    Tl:dr is that there's a strong possibility that the '67 Six Day War might have been, in large part, kicked off by Egyptian wing-wipers joyriding over Israel to make themselves feel better.

    So...COULD we see a conventional war in a Clinton 45 Administration? Sure. WILL we se ea war BECAUSE of Clinton? I think it's somewhere beyond "tail-chasing" and "completely irresponsible" to infer that. It'd be like claiming that electing Eisenhower meant war in Vietnam. It did, in the sense that Ike started the US advisory program, but to play connect-the-dots that way would be like crediting Franklin with the light bulb because of his experiments with electricity...

    1. At least one Israeli pilot buzzed at low altitude over an Egyptian airfield prior to the Six Days War, and after a discussion an Egyptian pilot proved he could do the same to the Israelis and so on.
      In that region, both sides seem to be at fault more or less for everything.

  12. Just a note; IMO the tell that the Clinton NFZ thing is a talking point intended to defuse rightwing accusations of being soft on Syria is her insistence that it would be "negotiated" with Russia. She may be a ruthless killer (hi, Lisa!) but she's no fool, and she knows perfectly well that the Russians won't do that.

    So it's not serious. It's just a "we MUST do something and this is it". I agree with Sven; that's not a smart way to do foreign policy. But that's the current "Washington Rules" and at the moment there's no choice but to play them.

    The better idea would be to change the rules...but it's like anything else; you don't get to change the rules unless you play the game, and you can't play the game unless you play by the existing rules. Pretty good catch, that Catch-22...

  13. related


    I was told this upturn was because of a mention in a presidential debate.