Where are we bound ?

I watched the Sunday Talk Shows this morning and nothing was reassuring. Then I read the column from Richard Fernandez.

It makes sense. I have believed for some time that we are headed for a revolution. Maybe not an old fashioned bloody revolution but something is coming.

The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.

Obama’s quiet because the war is not going well … One of our most gifted generals predicts the conflict will last “10 to 20 years.” And now comes news that the Pentagon is investigating whether intelligence assessments of ISIS have been manipulated for political reasons.

His column today suggests that the Ship of State is drifting. He quotes Niall Ferguson’s article in the Wall Street Journal.

I have spent much of the past seven years trying to work out what Barack Obama’s strategy for the United States truly is. For much of his presidency, as a distinguished general once remarked to me about the commander in chief’s strategy, “we had to infer it from speeches.”

At first, I assumed that the strategy was simply not to be like his predecessor—an approach that was not altogether unreasonable, given the errors of the Bush administration in Iraq and the resulting public disillusionment. I read Mr. Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech—with its Quran quotes and its promise of “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”—as simply the manifesto of the Anti-Bush.

Fernandez adds a few items.

Things are now so bad the media are now actually talking about the possibility of accidentally stumbling into World War 3. Not seriously yet, but for the first time since 1989 it has become plausible. Fear has made a comeback with the headlines full of stories about the expanding conflict in the Middle, possible civil strife in Turkey, millions of Middle Easterners landing on Europe’s shores, Russian tanks in Eastern Europe and Syra, and a possible collision between China’s fortified islands and the US Navy.

Two suicide bombers infiltrated a peace demonstration in Turkey and blew themselves up.

At least 95 people have been killed and around 250 wounded in the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history after two explosions targeted a peace rally in the centre of the capital.

Twin explosions outside Ankara’s main train station on Saturday morning targeted hundreds of people who had gathered to protest against violence between authorities and the Kurdish militant group, the PKK.

Last week Turkey shot down a Russian plane.

It comes amid heightening tensions between Putin and the West just days after another Russian bomber violated Turkish airspace.

F-16 fighters were scrambled after a MIG-29 twin-engined jet locked radar on Turkish planes near the town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province close to the border with Syria.

Turkish jets then escorted the Soviet-era aircraft back into Syrian airspace.

The incursion followed nearly a week of Russia’s devastating bombing campaign in Syria after President Vladimir Putin declared war on Islamic State (ISIS).

Note that both these stories are in British newspapers but are rare or not found in US papers. At least the New York Times called Obama’s strategy in Syria, “incoherent. “

the White House on Friday unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk.

The Pentagon will stop putting rebel fighters through training in neighboring countries, a program that was designed to ensure that fighters were properly vetted before they could get their hands on American weapons and ammunition. The new plan will simply funnel weapons through rebel leaders who are already in the fight and appear to be making some headway.

What is going on ?

It’s possible events have taken the world beyond anybody’s control, with bad actors still rushing into the fray expecting restraint only to find none and in their surprise becoming engaged beyond their limit. What is certain is a growing number of observers are slowly becoming aware of the rising wind, growing in fury all the time. Ferguson still thinks the system can ride it out. He says if “this president has sown the wind. His successor will reap the whirlwind.” But the necessary question is “how big is this whirlwind”? Otherwise the successor will be in for it.

That is question no one has an answer to.

We are headed into uncharted territory and no one knows where this will end. Meanwhile, the Kardashian generation is ready for another left wing movie that contains little truth in spite of its title.

The film is not so much about Bush’s tarnished record and his uncertain number of days served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. Those issues are revisited, of course. But the movie instead focuses on the poignant personal stories of Rather, Mapes and others involved in the 2004 news broadcast. And the film shines an unflatteringly bright light on news media ownership in the Era of Corporate Media Consolidation.

The Huffington Post is preparing its readers for their version of truth.

Flash forward to the Sept. 8, 2004 60 Minutes II report on Bush and the Guard. The report included some memos that added to the overwhelming evidence that Bush had simply walked away from his sworn duties and responsibilities to the Guard in 1972. The memos were immediately attacked as forgeries, first by right-wing bloggers.

The fact that the “memos” could be shown to have been created on Microsoft Word, a word processing program that did not exist in 1972, has no influence on HuffPo’s breathless review of the movie. Are these people ready for what is coming or will it be a complete surprise ?

49 thoughts on “Where are we bound ?”

  1. He is not a bad man. That’s why he has problems with the Saudis and their wants.

    It’s the Qataries and the Saudis that got the US to go along, willingly for sure, with their plan to lose Assad and put a pipeline through Syria and Turky. Willingly because this would seriously impact the Russian monopoly on supplying gas to Europe and further the aim to separate Europe from Russia. This because Russia and Europe peacefully trading together threatens US dominance.

    Assad was, perhaps one of the few people in the area, who has a multi religion fairly normal society. Kicking the human and letting in the monsters sticks in Obama’s throat, although it’s what the plan requires. Vlad is kicking over the board, probably to Obama’s secret delight.

    It ain’t at all simple Mike K, but you will find a way.

  2. Clinton’s foreign policy was rubbish, and he was a lawyer too. So was O’s first Sec of State, Mrs Slick Willie.

    On t’other hand, the dreadful W was no lawyer. Nixon was a lawyer but had the wit to hire Kissinger.

    Reagan seemed to have a brilliantly simple foreign policy: end the Cold War. It turned out that he not only ended it, but actually won it. But ending it seems to have been his policy. And to think that the left sneered that he was too dim to be President.

    Anyway, my assessment so far is that O has proved himself to be as bad a President as W, and he still has more than a year available in which to prove himself substantially worse.

    If only the Republicans hadn’t chosen McCain. If only Ross Perot hadn’t stood against Bush the Elder. If only. Count your lucky stars that the present rulers of China and Russia are sane.

  3. Michael Kennedy:
    “The Huffington Post is preparing its readers for their version of truth.”

    And, quoting Ferguson:
    “At first, I assumed that the strategy was simply not to be like his predecessor—an approach that was not altogether unreasonable, given the errors of the Bush administration in Iraq and the resulting public disillusionment.”

    Setbacks, some devastating, and missteps, some egregious, have normally been stumbling blocks on the road to victory throughout our nation’s history. After all, we are imperfect, the contest is long and hard, and the enemy competes to win, too.

    That trend continued with the Iraq intervention. Until President Obama altered course then withdrew the American-led peace operations from Iraq, neither the setbacks nor missteps on our road to victory with Iraq were especially devastating or egregious in historic context.

    As such, was the “resulting public disillusionment” induced by the actual “errors of the Bush administration in Iraq”? Or was the “resulting public disillusionment” a product manufactured from “their [Huffington Post et al] version of truth” that they succeeded in making prevalent in the zeitgeist?

    I repeat this point from comments at a prior Mike K post: In order for our nation to begin to correct course, it is necessary to correct the false narrative of Operation Iraqi Freedom at the premise level of the zeitgeist.

    I encourage the Chicago Boyz community to move proactively and reactively to set the record straight in the zeitgeist with the dispositive law and policy, fact basis of President Bush’s decision for Operation Iraqi Freedom drawn from the primary sources of the mission. Excerpt from the preface:

    Because OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] was epochal, the prevalent misrepresentation of the grounds for OIF, such as “invading Iraq was based on cooked up intelligence”, has corrupted American politics and undermined our national interests. Competitors like Russia understand stigmatizing the paradigm of OIF discredits the fundamental principles of American leadership in the mission, which subverts the premise of American leadership of the free world. Therefore, although President Obama withdrew the US-led peace operations from Iraq in 2011, setting the record straight remains vital because judgement of OIF in the zeitgeist continues to bear underlying influence on American affairs.

  4. “one of the few people in the area, who has a multi religion fairly normal society.”

    Yes, 200,000 deaths is only “breaking a few eggs to make an omelet.”

  5. Jay Cost, for whom I have a lot of regard, has weighed in.

    Beltway grandees are perpetually shocked and dismayed by the Tea Party “radicals” who are upsetting age-old governing norms. They are right about one thing: The Tea Party is an existential challenge to the established order. Whereas conservative think tanks have long been the lonely, ignored voices in Washington railing against measures like the farm bill or the Export-Import Bank, they now have a sizable cadre of conservative allies in government, especially in the House, demanding change.

    But that is hardly the end of the story. Conservatives are increasingly skeptical of all politicians. Taken together, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina have zero years of service in public office, yet together draw nearly 52 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of Republican primary polls. This is also a challenge to the established order, for we normally leave public questions of politics and economics—the very sort that presidents decide on a daily basis—to the politicians and their expert advisers.

    I highly recommend his book on the Democrats.

  6. My gut feeling is we will see the first combat use of nuclear weapons since 1945, under Obama’s Nobel watch.
    Israel will delay as long as possible, under the hope they may get some US support after the elections. Conversely, her enemies know this may be the best chance they ever get, so will act as soon as they can. Russian air defense systems and combat aircraft are on the board now.
    We have forced Israel into corner, with no way out.
    As S.B. has noted, they may well take the entire Ummah with them,i.e., if they are going to go, go for broke.
    In that case, if they have any capacity, they have probably targeted DC as well, for insurance purposes.
    They are not going to let the modern barbarians over-run them- after seeing the atrocities performed on the helpless by the R.of P., what do they have to lose?
    Surrender is not an option.

  7. Obama was able to negotiate a nuclear agreement with an enemy, but somehow he was unable to negotiate a status of forces agreement with an ally?

  8. Strauss and Howe posit that after an unraveling comes a crisis. Based on their timetable we are just about done unraveling and are about to enter a crisis. They state that the crisis will be so deep that many will question the nation’s ability to survive, the Revolution, Civil War, Depression/World War II. Let’s see, 1929+80=2009. Not bad. 1941+80=2021. 2022 promises to be a pretty tough year. Too bad I won’t last that long.

  9. “we will see the first combat use of nuclear weapons since 1945”

    I am very worried about this. I think Iran probably has a small store of nukes now and the “agreement” was merely to validate that. Israel probably has much better sources of intelligence than we do and Obama doesn’t want to hear any bad news anyway.

    I also agree that, perhaps as a second strike, they may take out most of the Arabs although the Saudis might be secretly allying themselves with Israel.

    I doubt Obama or his compliant CIA knows anything as we are no longer trustworthy. Nobody will tell us anything as China and Russia will know it by the next day.

    I wonder if there are any serious Democrats left ? Certainly not Biden. Who ? Somebody like Sam Nunn ? Where is he ? The Obama Sec Def ? Another professor. Maybe realistic ?

    Carter was a supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as an advocate of preventive wars against North Korea and Iran.

    Richard Fernandez notes that our retreat from Afghanistan is irreversible as we have shut down the logistics to support them. The final retreat may resemble Vietnam in 1975. Tehran is now openly supplying the Taliban to aid in our humiliation.

  10. Jennifer Dyer, who is generally measured and cautious in her analyses, had this to say about how Russian involvement in Syria is likely to restrict severely Israel’s military options:

    There’s some time left, if not much, because Russia and Iran still don’t have that “shut down” threat available for the more southerly approach (i.e., through or near central/southern Iraq, not using Syrian air space at all).
    Another option is shifting yet more of any strike package against Iran to other forces besides the IAF strike-fighters. I assume the Israelis have been gradually doing that already, in their planning over the last decade.
    Unfortunately, losing a robust strike-fighter option – i.e., not getting the F-15s in there in multiple waves – does mean accepting a reduction in the overall destructive effect of a strike campaign. I believe this would mean, specifically, not inflicting as much damage on less-hardened targets like the showcase facilities at Natanz and Esfahan, which are the best suited to tactical air strikes.
    Shifting to other forces could also, of course, mean having to contemplate more seriously than ever before the option of using nuclear warheads.
    I’ve ultimately disagreed with the conclusion of John Bosma, in his August article on this topic, that Israel has to be driven by the targeting problem itself to use nukes. But having the tactical-air option effectively closed off may drive Israel to do it anyway. This is the level of strategic seriousness to which Russia’s move into Syria and Iraq rises.

    It’s worth reading her entire post, which is sobering.

  11. “This is the level of strategic seriousness to which Russia’s move into Syria and Iraq rises.”

    Yes. I have two questions I don’t know the answer to.

    One- does Israel have cruise missiles ?

    These seem to be fifteen years old. Are there newer ones ?

    Two What is the mission of Israeli missile submarines ? These subs are very quiet and can stay submerged for a week.

    various sources have alleged that upon their arrival in Israel, the submarines were fitted with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

    That is one answer.

    We may learn more the hard way. Does Obama have a death wish ?

  12. A class I taught last year had no idea who Freud was. My friends say, all to the better. But some societies (ones that don’t defend nor reproduce themselves or ones that sacrifice their children as suicide bombers and fear/hate fecund women) seem self-driven toward death. “Let us choose life” the Puritan governor closed his sermon, but we are a long way from that time and sometimes I fear, from that choice I’m pretty sure the greenies (ironically) choose the other path.

  13. Mike,

    If Israel has ballistic missiles on their subs, there is another option I read about that the US Navy was considering for deep bunker busting a decade ago. Remove the third stage from a Trident missile, replace it and the warhead with a bunker buster warhead. Launch from close in first stage takes it up about 20-30 miles, the it noses over and the second stage fires as it acquires the target. That velocity will allow it to penetrate very deeply before the warhead goes off.

  14. “I have noted what you believe is normal. Thank you for openly confirming my opinion of you.”

    A babe in the woods. You actually believe your own propaganda.

    The world is a complicated place, with a mass of conflicting agendas. To see it in black and white, is to be blind to most of it’s nuance.

    Assad is and was a demonstrably better, more humane leader, than any of the leaders of the various countries surrounding him, with the possible exception of Lebanon. The massive propaganda effort to say he bombs his own people is to ignore the civil war in progress. A civil war started by the Qataries and backed by your own government.

  15. “If Israel has ballistic missiles on their subs, there is another option I read about that the US Navy was considering for deep bunker busting a decade ago. Remove the third stage from a Trident missile, replace it and the warhead with a bunker buster warhead. Launch from close in first stage takes it up about 20-30 miles, the it noses over and the second stage fires as it acquires the target. That velocity will allow it to penetrate very deeply before the warhead goes off.”

    S300s are made for this. They shoot down planes to. There are S400s and even S500s, although they are still being developed.

    It’s much easier fighting against poorly equipped opponents who lose their air power right away. All the US has fought for long time. The game is changing, like any good game.

  16. Assad is and was a demonstrably better, more humane leader, than any of the leaders of the various countries surrounding him, with the possible exception of Lebanon. The massive propaganda effort to say he bombs his own people is to ignore the civil war in progress. A civil war started by the Qataries and backed by your own government.

    I think we have a winner.

  17. Jonathan, the internet is the natural home for these people. That’s one reason why I make no effort to hide my identity. Also, of course, I am retired and not subject to intimidation for my opinions.

    At one time, I used to read leftists blogs and comment on a couple that were reasonable in outlook. For example, I followed Kevin Drum from his own blog to Washington Monthly and then to Mother Jones. Kevin and I agree on little but I respect his opinions and honesty.

    One example: Kevin researched the Bush TANG AWOL story early in 2004 and concluded it was not true. That was six months before the famous face plant by Dan Rather.

    However, leftist blogs got pretty nasty after 2004 and both of the blogs where Kevin wrote blocked me from commenting. At one point, a series of commenters at Wash Monthly went to my blog and read my posts on my ideas for health care reform. They are linked here. They were enraged that I did not support single payer and especially because I provided my reasons. The single payer thing is a fixation for the left and they will not admit that it won’t work. The NHS is drowning in deficits.

    Obamacare is worse but by that time I had quit trying to communicate with them. I still respect Kevin and am concerned that he has been treated this year for a malignancy, probably Hodgkins Disease. I can’t communicate to convey my good wishes. It’s a shame that the left has cut itself off from rational discussion. I still look at Huffington Post and comment occasionally but they are beyond help.

    The foreign policy issues are well discussed by Michael Totten and Richard Fernandez, both of whom I read every day.

    The local troll seems to wish to see his opinions on screen and pretends to an expertise that he shows no evidence of. The supercilious manner is an affectation of the left and seems to be a part of the pathology. I see it a few other places, as well. National Review’s comments, for example, are just about unreadable for left wing trolls.

    We should be grateful for the fact they we have only one or two.

  18. I should add that they are not uniquely left. I quit Ricochet because of some nasty exchanges over evolution.

  19. The S-300 and S-400 were exactly the kind of existing and emerging air defence threats that drove the DoD and a dozen allies to opt for stealth air forces. That’s why the F-35 pushes ahead, and why Israel wants a squadron.

  20. “We would get more trolls if we had more traffic.”

    Oh, I know and it is the price of something but more discussion would be nice.Some sites have more trolls but a certain level drives me away.

  21. @Jonathan – that is hilarious! Another view of trolls was by a blogger I came to know after his passing, but thanks to David Foster here , I did “meet” the late Carroll “Lex” LeFon at Neptunus Lex. I ask for Lex’s indulgence in posting a classic of his:
    How very troll
    By lex, on November 18th, 2006

    I think there’s money to be made – maybe even a book to be written – about the motivations people have for blogging and commenting on blogs. I have to admit that that I enjoy the pleasure of the well-turned phrase almost as much as I enjoy the thoughts of those who would use that construct as a for their own experiences. I write, others comment, we all learn a bit about the world around us – we see a single facet of reality through the prism of a different point of view.

    But only slightly different for the most part. The information/entertainment market has become so highly segmented that each of us has a place to go where we know that we’ll be welcome. We tend to congregate there, among others who are mostly like-minded. We are comfortable.
    But it’s the differences that make it fun, isn’t it?

    Well, yes. Up to a point.

    From time to time I’ve had the occasion to disagree with some of those who comment here – I don’t generally go other places looking for a fight – and a few of them are treasured friends even if I have never met them. They see the world in fundamentally different ways than I do, and yet we are able to speak to each other about foundational points of view without ever – or rarely, anyway – personalizing them. It starts I think with a presumption of good faith, that the other person honestly believes what he or she does about the topic at hand whether from experience, education or environment. Once we lay aside Type M argument – that is, where we question the arguer’s motivation for thinking as he does, rather than the idea he puts forward in itself – we can examine the notion against our own biases and experience. We can learn.

    Even if it means that we only learn that two well-intentioned people can look at the same set of facts or circumstances and often draw quite different conclusions. Which – although it may sound trite – is something worth knowing, I think. People talk admiringly about those who have the courage of their convictions, but you don’t have to travel far to meet people who are courageously convicted about quite lunatic things – any county mental health care unit should suffice.

    At some point we have to decide in order to act, realizing that inertia and inaction is a kind of decision in itself. But for true bravery show me the man that has the courage of his uncertainties.

    The man who knows that he does not know everything. Who isn’t entirely sure. Put another way, no truly great crime is possible absent absolute moral certitude. There would never have been a post-revolutionary Terror in France, the genocidal massacres of native Americans, the collectivization of Soviet peasantry, the Holocaust in Europe, the Killing Fields in Kampuchea without stone hearted men who knew – who absolutely knew – that they were doing the right thing, that previous morality, the things their parents taught them, the received wisdom of their civilizations was somehow superseded, anachronistic, bourgeois.

    Some of those people have the will to power and the means to acquire it. For a time, they make the streets run red until finally someone stops them. For the rest, there are now comments boxes in blog posts. As I mentioned over in comments over at FbL’s place after she got trolled, there is a kind of person who goes to bush league hockey games in order to get drunk and yell at referees. You’ll see them there, hear them there, wish that they or you were somewhere else. You wonder what the rest of their life is like, if that’s what qualifies as good fun on the weekend: Drunkenly shouting at bush league hockey refs.

    Some folks don’t like hockey. Some folks only hate.

    In my mind’s eye, I know the regulars here by what they love. CPT J is a warrior poet, his heart beats to the ancient rhythms. B2 and Sid saw the world as it once was, and think it still the best. Michelle likes a good sea story, Kris likes plane pr0n, Byron loves ships from the inside, Tim loves the whirl of the blades – prop or helo doesn’t matter – and the thrill of the hunt. Chap loves to think deep thoughts, while Skippy-san loves beer and (asian) women. Sim and Chris both like to fly, and they both love Oz, and who can blame them? unkawill loves heroes and the old ways, Brian and Nose like it when the pilots synch the props and remember fondly the stories of their youth. Subsunk loves the good fight and is a man after my own heart, FbL loves doing good, while AFSister likes to flirt but loves her boys. John Donovan loves him some guns, Buck still loves the Air Force even after all these years as Mark and Bill still love the Corps. Babs loves her young man Tim and would fight for him if it came to it and for my own part I’d never want to stand against her if it came to that, and there are many, many more and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but you get the point: I know you by what you love, and in a way I love you for it.

    Silly, isn’t it? But there it is.

    So it may seem strange, for I pride myself on being open to heterodoxy in opinion, but when someone comes in hurling flame bombs and casting aspersions, picking apart spelling and questioning motivation, trotting out tired tropes as though it’s all fresh and new and unrebuttable and it all seems a part of some juvenile need to feel superior, then forgive me if I don’t sponsor it on my bandwidth – I am paying for this microphone, after all.

    We don’t do trolls here.

  22. Mike K Says:
    October 12th, 2015 at 10:12 am

    “we will see the first combat use of nuclear weapons since 1945”…

    I also agree that, perhaps as a second strike, they may take out most of the Arabs although the Saudis might be secretly allying themselves with Israel.

    If the decision is made to strike and destroy the entire Ummah there are a number of targets in Saudi Arabia that must be hit to accomplish the goal. Their destruction will have the same effect as the destruction of the local temple when a Mesopotamian city was captured. If the god cannot protect his own temple and holy sites, he ain’t much of a god. In addition to the Saudi CSS-2 MRBM missile force which by now may have nuclear warheads supplied by Pakistan; certain Saudi religious and cultural sites must be destroyed, preferably by a means that leaves the area uninhabitable for generations. As in ground bursts with suitably augmented nuclear warheads.

    >>>>”*Mecca centered on the Ka’aba
    *Medina centered on the Mosque of the Prophet Mohammed
    *the Plains of Arafat outside Mecca, the site of Mohammed’s final sermon.
    *the Plain of Mina outside of Mecca, where Muslim pilgrims camp, and cast stones at pillars representing Satan.”<<<<

    The destruction of these will impact 3 of the 5 Pillars of Islam: Prayer directed at Mecca, Ramadan [which must be declared from Mecca based on the sighting of a certain phase of the moon], and the Haj [which does not go well when the destination sites are glowing glass].

    In answer to another question, I have been given to understand that the POPEYE TURBO nuclear capable cruise missile has undergone ongoing improvements and is deployed on Israeli AIP submarines. Israeli submarines do NOT carry ballistic missiles. However, Israel does have a significant land based ballistic missile force, with the JERICHO II and III missiles capable of carrying out all the strikes needed throughout the Ummah, and acting as a countervalue deterrent to retaliation by other, hostile, nuclear powers.

  23. If the god cannot protect his own temple and holy sites, he ain’t much of a god.

    Maybe. Must I point out the people who decided otherwise?

  24. Defended Syrian air space does not limit Israeli options to strike Iran.

    Jordanian, Iraqi, Saudi and Turkish air space are good enough.

    The issue with the Russians in Syria is that they will send their Su-30 and Mig-29 after IAF tanker planes in Jordanian, Iraqi and Saudi Air Space when the IAF strike planes are flying back from Iran.

    That will require the IAF to take out the Russian planes on the ground first.

    Between the various MLRS based tactical ballistic missiles we have sold them (85km to 300 km range) and domestically produced IAF air launched stand off munitions and cruise missiles, this really does not represent an issue.

    Exhibit A: A battery of six MLRS launchers with the 85km GPS guided rockets can lay down 72 guided rockets with 200kg HE payloads each in under 90 seconds at 72 separate targets. No Russian air base or S-300, S-400 or S-500 SAM battery can live under that IDF artillery foot print save purely at Israel’s sufferance.

    However, people are forgetting Israel has a lot of options regards getting the Russians out of Syria.

    I’m just waiting for news of Russian freighters sunk by improvised sea mines “of undetermined origin” off of the Syrian ports.

  25. Trent,

    Israel isn’t going to attack Russian forces, nor is Russia going to attack Israel. Dyer’s point is that Russia appears to be assembling a centralized air-defense/battle-management network that will cover northern Israel, much of Jordan, most of Syria, Iraq, western Iran and the northern Persian Gulf. See the map here.

    If Russia does this it gains a great deal of leverage over the entire region at low cost. Putin is opportunistically filling a vacuum, making clear that he takes care of his allies, and making himself into the region’s power broker.

    Israel could still attack Iranian nuclear sites but it would be harder to do. Thus the suggestion that Israel might use other means, which might include nukes, in addition to aerial bombing.

    Israel is only going to use nukes as a last resort, just as it’s only going to attack Iran as a last resort. Attacking Iran is tremendously risky in any case, and using nukes is certain to be politically costly. But if nukes can get the job done it might be preferable to use them rather than have a direct confrontation with Russia.

    The idea that Israel is going to blow up Mecca or wherever is ludicrous. Israel would gain nothing by doing it and the Saudis are allies. However, a limited use of nuclear weapons by Israel against Iranian military/nuclear targets would probably enhance Israel’s deterrence for years.

  26. nuance

    The last supercilious word idiotic lefties use when no one is buying their bullshit. PenGun, “nuance” is what morons like Kerry and 0bama use to reject the reality that the world IS black and white. There are very, very few shades of grey. Your nihilistic viewpoints are edging us closer and closer to a major war than we’ve been in over 50 years. And DO NOT think that Israel cannot spoof those crappy Russian air defense systems. It was done once before in Syria just 4-5 years ago when they took out the reactor the Norks were building there, and again back in the 80’s when they wrecked the Syrian Air Force. The Russians have not tested an effective ABM defense yet. You cannot get one without extensive testing.

  27. Oh PenGun, you mistake me. I’m laughing at you because you’re insufficiently nuanced. That you’re too blockheaded to understand that is your problem. You’ve adopted an evil standard to judge an evil regime.

    The appropriate stand for the US has always been to create technology that make free men rich that dictatorships can’t adopt without destabilizing themselves and their non-adoption makes the same regimes non-viable. This is why I love Web 3.0 and the IoT. It soft kills Chinese Communism, among other things.

  28. “Prayer directed at Mecca”

    There is an amusing video done by Jesse Watters asking Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan where Mecca is located. He is as effective as O’Keefe but with much better humor.

    Israel may be getting tested as the present Palestinian offensive is going on. Somebody is encouraging Israeli Arabs, or at least it looks that way, to attack Jews suddenly and unexpectedly.

    The Arab in the video was “acting suspiciously” but was a legal resident, I think. This may be an attempt to destabilize the Israeli Arabs.

  29. Jonathan,

    Putin’s forces live in Syria based on Israel’s sufferance and nothing more.

    Everything in Damascus, Syria is under Israel’s Guided MLRS rocket 85km foot print from the Golan heights.

    See this tool:


    Any 3:00am morning the IDF can motor a half dozen or dozen MLRS onto Mt. Hermon and blast Russian positions with 72 to 144 rockets with less than the flight time’s warning.

    If the Israeli’s really want to be fancy, they can place high power microwave warheads into the GMLRS payload sections to make sure the planes and SAM’s have fried electronics as well as fragment/blast damage.

    Given an Israeli decision to strike Iran’s nukes, everything Russian in Syria will go down quickly and efficiently.

  30. Jonathan Says:
    October 13th, 2015 at 7:27 am

    An attack on the entire Ummah became more likely, if not mandatory, from the time that the United States withdrew as an ally of Israel.

    1) any lesser attack will trigger a conventional war with the entire Ummah taking part as they can.

    2) it must be assumed that such will be supported directly or otherwise, by Russia.

    3) the only way for Israel to survive such a war is with the support of the United States, if only to deter Russian participation above the level of logistics.

    4) even before the US-Iran nuclear alliance, the United States under Obama had functionally withdrawn any assurances of support of the continued existence of the State of Israel. The terms of the alliance now require the US to help defend Iran from any strikes on its nuclear program.

    5) what gamers call “victory conditions” and what a friendless Israel could consider survival will require the destruction of the entire Ummah as a coherent threat, and the ability to deter [countervalue deterrence as they do not have the ability to credibly threaten counterforce] attacks by Russia, the US, Europe, and far less likely China. It may not be ideal, but standing alone against the world clears the mind and limits the options.

    6) any attempt to destroy the Ummah must mean attacking the primary factor that links it together as an entity, Islam. The complex around Mecca is the linchpin. And any attempt to deal with the Ummah must also deal with Islamic nuclear threats.

    Saudi Arabia has purchased and based between 60-120 CSS-2 [also known as DF-3A, and the number purchased has been variously reported] MRBM’s maintained by Chinese “contractors” on Saudi soil. Specifically at Al Sulayyil Missile Base [20°43’07″N 45°35’01″E] and al-Joffer [100 km south of Riyadh]. Each base has concrete shelters, launch pads, and TEL’s. It is widely surmised that the reason the Saudi’s funded the Pakistani nuclear program was in return for a number of warheads compatible with the CSS-2’s to be delivered on demand. Given the current nature of the Middle East, if the Saudi’s have not called that in, they are dumb enough to deserve what will happen to them.

    The Saudi’s are going to be hit anyway.

    ErisGuy Says:
    October 13th, 2015 at 4:42 am

    Point noted. However, the cultures differ widely between the people of the Torah, and the Muslim world which is functionally tribal. And considering the suspected provenance of a certain Deity, the Mesopotamian example was not accidental.

  31. These are all seasons why I am worried about nuclear war before a new president takes office. If a Republican is elected, especially Trump, Iran might decide to go for the quick strike.

    Conversely, if by misfortune, a Democrat is elected, Israel might do so.

  32. The time between the US presidential election and inauguration seems like the time of most danger- the potentials will be known, yet the new President will yet have to take charge. This is also an ideal time for an “extension” of the existing regime, if there are unusual conditions either domestically or internationally.

  33. “the new President will yet have to take charge.”

    There was a bit of this in 2008 with the financial crisis. Bush, for example, could have done something about General Motors but deferred.

  34. “Putin’s forces live in Syria based on Israel’s sufferance and nothing more.”

    I am tired of pointing out that Israel is one, one SS18 Satan missile. Nothing left. Ten 10meg warheads with a CEP of about 100 meters on the latest ones. Ya think Obama would start WW3 over that?

    The crazy is getting thicker all the time.

  35. Pengun,

    I doubt the SS-18 would fire properly, they’d have to launch two or more to be sure it would work, and the warheads are not 10 MT each. Might be 200 KT each. A single 10 MT warhead might be able to be carried by a Satan. Also, you forget Israel does have missile defenses. Might not get all the warheads, but it would get a few.

    I see you are projecting again….

  36. Joe the reason the Minutemen missile became obsolete was the SS18.

    The Russians are very good at missiles, it’s how you get your guys to the International Space Station. Fantasizing about Russian incompetence is just funny.

  37. I note the Minuteman III is still in service.

    The SS-18 is a hypergolic liquid fueled missile that requires a LOT of maintenance to keep ready and even then has reliability problems. Those fuels are very corrosive and maintenance costs were the main reason the Titan II missiles were retired. The Russians are notorious for poor maintenance and quality control practices. They are getting ready to retire them and replace with the Sarmat, which also has had a troubled development program.

    I dismiss Russian military equipment for a damn good reason, because damn near all of it is decidedly inferior.

  38. “I dismiss Russian military equipment for a damn good reason,”

    Design, as long as it is simple, is excellent. It is construction that has been inferior and I don’t know how much better it is. Russians have always been good at thinking. That is why their hackers are so good.

    PenGun was promised there would be no math.

  39. “I dismiss Russian military equipment for a damn good reason, because damn near all of it is decidedly inferior.”

    ROTFLMFAO. Well we’ll see won’t we. Syria is going well so far for them. The stuff seems to work as well as the US stuff in the area.

    If Vlad kicks ISII out of Syria then helps Iraq finish them the US will look almost as dumb as that statement.

  40. “PenGun was promised there would be no math.”

    I did not see that. My sister has a Masters in Math. We have computers for da crunching of da numbers now, you know. ;)

  41. My sister has a Masters in Math.

    Interesting. I was not aware that trained abilities transferred automatically between members of the same generation. It seems that someone has made a massive breakthrough in Lysenko-ist Theory.

  42. “It seems that someone has made a massive breakthrough in Lysenko-ist Theory.”

    Very true. Amazing things still happen in this age of miracles.

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