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Saturday, 31 August 2013


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Is he buying time so that someone or other can report that, after all, it's not clear whodunnit?

Ahoy Duffers!

A California congressman told a group of DREAM Act-eligible students that he understands what it’s like to be an immigrant because he was born in Arkansas.

The land of fruits and nuts has got to keep 'im 'cause we've revoked his papers!

So a vacillating and/or duplicitous (history to decide) leader of the UK opposition party, and a bunch of idle Etonian beach bums who couldn't be arsed to make it back in time for a vote in the House of Commons, have de facto changed the American Constitution. As Paddy Pantsdown said, "No future American President will now be able to go to war without gaining consent from Congress". Hey JK, you just kissed goodbye to the Republic - say hello to Parliamentary Democracy! Did that just happen?

Two points: -

One: Who could ever again say that Britain is America's poodle? Britain didn't just extract some grubby trifling political favour, nor did it add an amendment to the constitution - which would have been some achievement - we actually swapped out the whole thang, lock-stock-and-barrel, for another one! And by accident! Now that we know we can make such far reaching change to our closest buddy by accident, I wonder if someone might try doing it deliberately? Not a new trick, of course, Maggie knew how to do it. Hardly the actions of a "poodle" though, are they?

Two: Instead of being inferred to by the Secretary of State as the enemy of "America's oldest ally" yesterday, we have been referred to by the President as "America's closest ally" today! Well I'm glad it's that way round.

You're very wise to make no forecasts. Be like judging what happens next in a non-linear equation in chaos phase.


Has Cameron lead Miliband and Farage into the mother of ambushes?

By recalling parliament in a rush, and presenting scant, under-sexed-up evidence, when it appears there was better evidence to be had (and maybe there's even better evidence to be had that he knows about and we don't yet), he's flustered his opponents and steered them into an anti-action stance.

When the full evidence is served up, the British general public might change their minds and turn pro-action. All the MP's will be back from hols, firing on all cylinders, and wanting to ape the public's new mood. The new American Parliamentary Democracy will probably go for action, and shower compliments on loyal, "Brave Dave" and the wonders of the British system. Then "Brave Dave" calls for another vote in Parliament again. Who won't vote for "Brave Dave" then?

And Miliband and Farage will be left high and dry, looking like a pair of "beer-drinking-surrender-monkeys".

"Brave Dave" will be the man who courageously and wisely divined the way forward, snatched the special relationship back out of the hands of the Frogs (yes, yes, yes) - and changed the American Constitution by shear righteousness, into the bargain.

That isn't a forecast, btw. But if it happened, after what's happened, I wouldn't be surprised.


So a vacillating and/or duplicitous (history to decide) leader of the UK opposition party, and a bunch of idle Etonian beach bums who couldn't be arsed to make it back in time for a vote in the House of Commons, have de facto changed the American Constitution.

Well SoD, if anything, your bunch of idle Etonians will have (we'll have to wait a bit but) prodded our idle Harvardidians toward remembering there was such a document.

If that does turn out to be the case, and sticks, drinks all round!

(I just woke from a nap SoD, it a minute of four to disengage our earlier exchange [+ disremember the link from above] to not simply blunder as my country's pols regularly do.) Dread thought - a simple citizen emulating what passes for all our pols "as usual" rather than "as traditionally done" - Brave Dave may deserve both a Knighthood and The Presidential Medal of Freedom!

A bit cynical I know but US State has usually favoured strong leaders in the Third World - be they ever so brutal and corrupt, just so long as they are biddable. Could it be that State would secretly like Assad to win - but dare not say so (Iran, Ruskies, dead civilians etc). So the message is 'get on with it Assad before domestic politics and left-leaning meeja force us to act'.

So, a deeper game of realpolitik afoot or I am wrong yet again.

Being an optimist, I am quite cheered by the events of this week. We might, just might, have disentangled ourselves from yet another American war. Even better, from a Franco-American war. Let's just make the arrangement permanent - no American wars, no French wars. If I was Cameron, I would be telling the Americans that we are taking back control of Ascension Island and its airfield before he bans us from it to aid his Argentine friends.

I think, SoD, you are in danger of tripping over your own Machiavellian cloak. In my view neither Obama or Cameron are capable of even the lowest form sophisticated and subtle 'real-politik'. Dave in his Etonian arrogance thought it would be a breeze and his prat fall was just enough to warn Obama to have a care.

Of course, there is some potential humour in the situation because if Congress chickens out that will leave President Hollande leading the charge like a bold French cuirassier - until he glances over his shoulder and sees he is all alone!

Rogerh, I think the US realizes that a "long, slow burn" war, without chemicals because they could bring a victory for one side or other, is a tremendous outcome for the US.

When Islamists / Jihadists stopped targeting Israel and started targeting America, the US's whole "proxy and diversion" Israel strategy ceased to function. A bit like the IRA when they stopped targeting Loyalists in Northern Ireland and started targeting mainland Britain; big problem for London, big problem for the US.

But after several "boots on the ground" failed wars in response, they've fumbled their way to a better place than even the "Israel as a proxy and buffer" strategy.

One: They've discovered that radical Islam is happier fighting itself than America - and needs little or no encouragement so to do. The benefit being that Israel isn't even a target in this new alignment, with all the attendant escalation risks and criticism by association that entails.

Two: Cruise missiles and drones can win a war; no boots on the ground required. Libya proved that. If anything it was over too quick, and freed all the Islamists to go and do more mischief. Luckily they've got a taste for killing each other, so they went to Syria.

Nice. Long may they stay there. That's the strategy.


That all sounds very neat and tidy, SoD, but then so did the Balkans in 1910-14!

Ya'll!!! I *rarely* declare a must-read - but when I do:

JK's linked piece was very good, and quite dismal. I do not know whether it is possible to keep clean hands in government, but staying out of this mess does seem the course most likely to incur the least guilt.

The thing that is eating away at me is that Kerry and the O'Af have to know even more than we do, and that's actually quite a lot, that these reports of gas are doubtful at best. So, why do they want to get us in there? Their voter base is pro-wimp. They are very unlikely to win over the Conservatives, although they may know so little about us that they would think we were suckers for any good blood and gore adventure. What I have seen in the past five years has not been clever Clinton-style manipulation. Rather, they go for strong-arm tactics and fraud. There's a bit of that "It's for the children," manipulation, but it is only a little. So, what are they really plotting?


I'm risking 'going out on a limb here' as in, I hardly know what/how the mindset works ...

Could be they "think" (but "thinking it thru" seems to add abit more than I'd give 'em credit for the ability) anyway 'they might think that using the Congressional Republicans to say "No!" combined with what happens (which will happen anyway) then they'll be able to say, "The eeeevil Republicans stopped our saving the children."

Happen to see any footage of the protests? Specifically outta DC? There were two sets of demonstrators - the larger consisting of mostly white Americans on the "No war" side - on the "Yes Mr. Prez, we want you to go to war" there stood not just a few (what I took to be) Muslims. At least their women were dressed in the uniform!

I am afraid I failed to make one thing clear. There are three broad categories of ways people come to oppose an armed conflict. We may have a conscience, or a strategy, or we may be a wimp. Obamanoids have little conscience, no more idea of strategy than a mole knows how to turn on a light, but boy o boy, do they go for wimpitude! There's a really stupid song about "Sensitive New Age Guys." The SNAGs do not even know it's a parody. American isolationism does not rise from our better natures. It is, rather, an attitude that says, "Let the hogs lie in their own shit. They like it that way. Leave them to it." Conscience, real scruple, is rare enough. When I have had it, it has usually been manipulated by evil men. Nowadays, I'll usually opt for strategy.

I think you were clear enough Michael, I have somewhat less of a tin ear when it comes to understanding Conservatives/Traditionalists.

Actually, your "opt[ing] for strategy" is more or less what I meant replying to SoD (yesterday[?]) via Sun Tzu's

Strategy without tactics is the slowest road to victory while tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Why not think in more original terms? Much cheaper than rockets, we could air-drop gas masks and gas-filtering cribs into the villages, and atropine injectors, too. That would show our opposition to the use of gas and bugs, and do little or nothing to bring down one despot in favor of raising up another. No, it would not save every life. However, it would save a few, and definitely produce a bit of cognitive dissonance among the people who believe that we seek to make Syria a colony. (After all, who wouldn't want to colonize a garden spot like Syria?)

What defines the Third World is the absence of a bourgeoisie, so they mostly understand all commerce as a sort of extortion, and can't really conceive of a commercial empire. "There must be some inequality, somewhere." (My idiot cousins from Bloomburg think like that. )Dropping masks instead of rockets would work something like the old saying: "Keep smiling; They'll always be wondering what you're up to." Doing something nice always confuses people who never think of doing ANYTHING nice.


A nice sentiment but they don't work that way over there. You'd be virtually guaranteeing the proliferation of CW.

You drop masks etc., the people collect them, the local/regional/national strong-man comes and takes them, doles them out to his family/tribe and ... 'since we've got all this protection and our enemies haven't, we may as well whip up a batch of something', visits local walmart.

Culturally the meme of 'inequality = unfairness' is a western one. There it is 'how it should be', the strong take from the weak. If you have nothing it's obviously because you're weak = worthless (and remember, mercy = weakness too).

As to your point previously regarding Kerry and the O knowing more. The recent announcement of sarin has me 'concerned'. How is that on-site UN inspectors hours later, and unprotected have no problems? How is it that experienced medics have doubts? That samples sent immediately to European Labs have yet to be reported on, on-site inspectors yet to report, and yet ... Kerry 'knows' unequivocally and ...'conveniently'? Just wondering.

If you're following the debate/evidence, it appears as if shells and a 'weird' Syrian (army) specific rocket may have been used in the area - but no definitive answer on whether it had CW or HE as a payload, or who fired it.

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