Wednesday, April 12, 2017

You know you're in trouble when . . .

When, that is, you pay close attention to a press conference after the foreign ministers of two major nuclear powers hold a meeting in Moscow.

To be interested in what government officials say is not a sign that world affairs are humming along as they should under the firm hand of rational, normal human beings. It bespeaks a concern that something is unbalanced and that irrational or illegitimate force is a possibility in the near term. At least in my view. What strikes me as "must watch" isn't what anyone else should go along with.

I have these thoughts about what I saw:

  1. U.S. Secretary of State, Tillerson came across as an arrogant man, a classic example of America, the arbiter of the fate of mankind, the Dudley Do-Right before whom the waves must part.

    We've got conclusive evidence that Bashar al-Assad planned, directed, and executed the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria and that Assad has a history of such awful behavior. Even criminal prosecution for war crimes is being considered. The days of Bashar al-Assad and the Assad family are limited.

    Awareness of or concern for what might follow after successful completion of Job Number One = zero. Assad did it, he's trash, he's toast, sauve qi peut, bichez.

    And, yes, K-Mart shoppers, Russia did decide to stick its fingers into the giant fur ball, maelstrom, NASCAR pileup, cat fight, and National Organization of Wymen convention that is American presidential politics. For which, mind you, further sanctions against Russia would be warranted.

    They are evil geniuses and they provided crucial evidence of Hillary's health problems and grotesque corruption in the form of laughable "speaking fees" and "contributions" to the Clinton Foundation. No one in West Virginia had any clue beforehand that Bill'swife (with a sidekick with disturbing Saudi Arabian connections) wanted a war on coal. And no one else had figured out that she was lying through her teeth about the loss of at least three fine Americans in Benghazi and that she had cackled with delight over the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

    No sociopathy here.

  2. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, by way of stark contrast, came across as a sensible and healthy individual not at all arrogant. He is fully committed to an investigation of recent events in Syria rather than going off halfcocked a la You Know Who.

    "Ready, aim, fire" as opposed to "fire."

    He noted the Syrian request for an investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with approval.

    Mr. Lavrov also noted the history of the U.S. over many years of being fixated on regime change. E.g., Serbia (with U.S. bombing of a TV station and other civilian targets and the Chinese embassy), Libya, and Iraq, I think he mentioned. He sensibly argued that what takes place in Syria should be determined by democratic means whereby the people of Syria can determine what they want.

    The matter of regime change should be considered in the light of what has happened when that approach was implemented before.

The press conference:

As various commenters around the web have asked, What happened to improving relations with Russia and abandoning moronic ideas about playing God in Syria?

A tragedy is about to unfold with this degree of American arrogance and deceit at work.


Minor edit 4/13/17.


Beachcomber556 said...

SOSDD. If the dirty rat bastards who start wars had to be the ones bleeding and dying we would have far fewer.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry guy, arrogance and deceit? No. RexT is a straight shooter. Tell it like it is, bark off. Don't like it? Your problem, not mine, or anyone else's. If I had a nickel for every time I was told 'the colonel won't like that'...

Unknown said...

Sorry, I'm not getting arrogance and deceit from Rex T. Be sure you're not imputing things from the interpreter's take that the speaker didn't say. Sounds to me like a bark off guy. I've been accused of the same by people that wanted to kiss off the piper. My job was to explain to them that that wasn't going to happen.

Col. B. Bunny said...

Beachcomber, there is much sanctimony about what "we" need to do to right all wrongs in Syria. This by-no-means slam dunk version of events that Assad used CW is the occasion for many crocodile tears. How 'orrid. Yet we have aligned ourselves with al-Qaida and ISIS in their war against Assad with the result that over 400,000 Syrian civilians have been killed. Our "war against ISIS" in Syria was nothing more than a pretend war, which included dropping leaflets on oil trucks that we were about to attack. U.S. aircraft would return to base without ever having received authorization to attack. Need I say that there was no paucity of targets.

American troops are again being committed to ground operations in Syria against jihadis whom we've supported. The CIA has supported the YPG which has clashed with al-Nusra which has been supported by DOD. Not one American soldier should have to risk life and limb in this confused state. And "confused" is only the half of it.

Col. B. Bunny said...

js allison, I had a very good impression of Tillerson when he was being considered for approval. However, I stick by my point about arrogance now. Anyone who takes the position that the U.S. will not countenance the continuation in power of Assad or the Assad family is beyond arrogant. There is no legal basis for our involvement in Syria and the personal opinions of DJT and RT are irrelevant. Yet there he sits saying what the US will or will not tolerate despite there being no legal justification for any US action. Who the heck do we think we are?

As for deceit, there is no way that anyone can say what happened at Khan Sheikhoun. There is confusion on the point of what agent might have been used and one of the public faces of the people supposedly on the ground, the defrocked Dr. Islam, strenuously and inaccurately proclaimed that it was sarin. The behavior of the White Helmet guys and the photos of the supposed victims belie the use of sarin.

The town is in the hands of the jihadi fanatics and no independent, let alone competent technical, analysts have had access to the site. The hole in the asphalt where the supposed munition struck can only have been caused by a high explosive charge. The only charge necessary to dispense a chemical agent that does not required mechanical dispersal is one sufficiently strong to split the casing of the container. It does not have to be strong enough to blow a hole in the asphalt. It is well established that too large a charge will consume the sarin.

Too, there is no photo of any other part of the supposed munition other than the tube pictured in the crater. I have the tail fin of a mortar shell on my desk, which is all that remained after its detonation outside my team house in the Mekong Delta in 1969. Thus, it can be seen that projectiles are not consumed in their entirety. No evidence has been produced that matches rocket or bomb parts from the site of the explosion with any munition known to be in the SAAF inventory.

There are many reasons to be cautious about this incident in its initial stages, not least of which is the demonstrated falsity of the charge that Assad was guilty of the 2013 Ghouta incident.

For Tillerson to take the position that it has been conclusively shown that Assad is to blame is blatant dishonesty. He is determined to blame Assad. The evidence is immaterial. At least one document is appearing on the web today that purports to be an official analysis of the incident, which document is manifestly suspicious for its lack of markings and other evidence of origin. I haven't read it but I can guarantee it will be conclusory and an insult to my alleged intelligence.