Friday, June 17, 2016

Some ideas cannot be killed and yet are too stupid to die.

Apparently there's a nutty little cluster of fuck buried in the U.S. State Department (from CNN via Pierce):
"More than 50 State Department officials signed an internal memo protesting U.S. policy in Syria, calling for targeted U.S. military strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and urging regime change as the only way to defeat ISIS.
The cable says that U.S. policy in the Middle East has been "overwhelmed" by the continuing violence in Syria. It calls for a "judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process."

The memo calls on the U.S. to create a stronger partnership with moderate rebel forces to battle both Assad's forces and ISIS, which would change the tide of the conflict against the regime and "increase the chances for peace by sending a clear signal to the regime and its backers that there will be no military solution to the conflict."

It also warns that as the regime "continues to bomb and starve" Syria's Sunni population, the U.S. will lose potential allies among Syria's Sunni population to fight ISIS. Moreover, it says, U.S. failure to stop the regime's abuses "undermines both morally and materially the unity of the anti-Daesh coalition" and "will only bolster the ideological appeal of groups such as Daesh, even as they endure tactical setbacks on the battlefield."
It''s hard to tell where to start with this ridiculous level of horseshit.

Maybe here: "judicious use of standoff and air weapons"..? Judicious? How the holy fuck do you use a cruise missile "judiciously"? Tack a get-well card to the nose? Ensure that it has a jihadi-seeking sensor in the guidance package? Who the hell thinks this? State has seen a damn sight of war since 2001. It's been fifteen years of nonstop bombing and shelling and killing-wogs-in-kinetic-ways in the Middle East. Have these people learned nothing from all that so-far-prodigiously-unproductive bombing, shelling, and killing..?


If you can show me a "judicious" way of throwing high explosive long distances I will carry your rucksack from here to the Halls ofMontezuma and kiss your ass when we get there. about this one; "moderate rebel forces"? Moderate based on what metric? 50% less headcutting? 100% How many of their raggedy-ass "fighters" have read Atlas Shrugged? Where are these paragons of virtue? Can anybody find me someone, anyone, who is "moderate" in the damn cesspit of ruin and merciless hatred that used to be "Syria"? Can anybody tell me why I should trust ANYone there to tell the truth about their "moderation"? I mean, any State Middle East hand to believes any local between the strandline of the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf who boasts of their "moderate" credentials should have their fucking head examined.

According to CNN, "The 51 officials who signed the memo are mostly from the rank and file of the department, many of them career officers in the foreign service who have been involved in Syria policy over the past several years either in Washington or overseas." which, frankly, tells me a hell of a lot about why our "Syria policy" has been as fucked up as a football bat.

One thing I will give the last Adminstration credit for; in general it has resisted sticking this country's head further into the Middle Eastern tarbaby. I have often wondered why it has insisted in sticking to the ones it is already attached to. But this idiotic memo is perhaps a good reminder of why it's so hard to stop being stupid.

Because there's always people in critical positions who think that their contrarian idea is contrary because it's too clever for everyone else to recognize how clever it is and not because everyone else realizes it's completely moronic.


  1. And here I always thought that diplomats carried out the art of conducting negotiations between nations. Since when did banging war drums start being a diplomatic function??? Wasn't it common knowledge of the men and women of America that only arms dealers and generals were warmongers?

    These 51 FSOs are definitely not diplomats even though they work at the State Department. They are neocons. Or even worse they are in the lap of AIPAC and Netanyahu.

    There has been a lot of talk about the purge of the old-time professional Arabists from the State Department. Not sure when or how that happened. Was it Bill Kristol, aka Mr NeoCon, who managed to get rid of them? Or was it Kissinger as some others claim? The 51 need to be purged from State. Unfortunately that will not happen. But at the least they should not be put in positions of policymaking - and never be allowed to recruit or recommend new hires.

    Put an Admiral or General in as the new Secretary of State and maybe he can square that place away.

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  3. Only yesterday I wrote that Daesh is losing anyway, and in fact they've been losing ground for about 15 months or so already. The Kurds kicked their ass and have almost cut off Daesh from Turkey (their only not decidedly hostile neighbour) while the Assad regime has made territorial progress as well, despite their main effort around Aleppo against the failing relatively Western-friendly (not "moderate" - no civil war party is ever "moderate") rebels.

    So since these 51 signed an obvious lie I think we can deduce that they're warmongers who want violence regardless of the situation. Well, either that or some extreme hatred of Assad, but I doubt the latter because the U.S. was very much capable of tolerating Assad jr until the Syrian civil war began.
    I doubt that lobby influence (AIPAC/Netanjahu) is the cause. Lobbyists prefer to keep secret who on the inside is helping them. They don't want to announce it with a signed letter.

  4. S O -

    I am sure that a few of the 51 are genuine bleeding heart R2P'ers. But I stand by my suspicions that the instigators and most signatories were influenced by foreign powers.

    Of course you are right that lobbyists don't want to show their hand. But that does not mean they didn't influence the thinking behind it, even if they did not specifically initiate the letter.

  5. This has nothing to do with actual policy. It is simply a way to put one's resume forward for the next administration.

    The tell is that the cable was leaked publicly.

  6. National Public Radio's "On Point" did a segment on the infamous 51. But their three talking-head guests were all for it: David Sanger from the NYTimes who if I recall back in the day was more pro bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran than Bibi and McCain; Frederic Hof who I guess is more of a neo-lib than a neocon but still believes military intervention is the answer; third was Margaret Brennan of the tight red dress on the CBS morning show.

  7. Ael: IMO this is just as likely an attempt by a marginalized group to pressure the Administration and their superiors at State.

    You pretty much have to be 1) bone-stupid, or 2) pushing the "more rubble less trouble" agenda to say this. The past 15 years have given the lie to the latter, but that doesn't matter to the True Believers.

    What does matter is that their narrative has been repeatedly exposed as nonsense to anyone paying attention. So at this point their only hope is to try and reach clueless goobers NOT paying attention; the American Public.

  8. Great article at War on the Rocks re this subject. The author has slyly titled it "Speaking Nonsense to Power".