In an earlier posting about “operators” (special forces/CIA) in Libya,[stderr] I posted a picture that I had saved from early in the rebellion there.
… Xi and Putin are trying to achieve a political solution to a political problem. I’m terrified that the US will do something stupid because it’s not the power sitting at the head of the Grownup Table. Actually, the US is mysteriously absent from the Grownup Table. Oh, look, over there in the corner, wearing the “dunce” hat, it’s America!
I know it’s all the fashion, in some circles, to belittle the “mainstream media” for being hard on Donald Trump – but I think the media ought to be more direct and less cautious in its wording.
One of the crucial failures of leadership during the Vietnam War was the way the pentagon managed to reduce a complex political/military/logistical situation down to a discussion about head-count. That allowed the military to focus discussion about the war into a question of head-count: how many dead Vietcong heads did you collect today? How many shiny new American heads did you ship over? How many came back?
Today is the day when the nation pauses to say stupid things about the victims of its pointless imperial wars. A small minority of them, actually.
My dad once told me (I was complaining about ageing) that it’s normal to experience a culture-shift as the people who lived through a time with you start to die off, and things that were facts of your life are now unusual and alien to them. For example, I grew up when there were still Horn and Hardart automats: places you could buy food from big slot machines, sort of a primordial form of fast food.
When I read some of this stuff, I wind up sitting and scratching my head, missing my lead foil-lined hat. Conspiracy theorists and fake news make it hard to know what’s what, sometimes, and you can’t tell if you’re looking at a story or disinformation to create a story. Or, are you looking at disinformation intended to obscure a story?
I don’t think the word “strategy” works for the US’ policy in Syria, unless there is some secret deep master plan, it’s just the futile thrashing of an imperial power that has failed to learn that military ‘solutions’ are not always efficient, hardly ever clean, and always expensive.
I’m not fond of the “Putin is a chessmaster” meme.
I am, however, willing to say he’s nobody to piss off; it’s just not a good idea to mess with someone whose idea of subtle revenge is to poison an enemy with Polonium-209. Putin doesn’t just say “fuck you” – he says “fuck you” and he means it.
The US cruise missile strikes on Syrian aircraft in revetments destroyed about 20% of the aircraft.