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Tuesday, 20 October 2015


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Hello David,
We discussed briefly the issue with Richard not so long ago.
Obviously, the Obama's administration was caught by surprise and now its helpless reaction and resentments trigger nothing but the laughter. They had dramatically underestimated Russia, and turned out to be wrong.
Yet again - the Syrian and Ukrainian situations appear to be the same. However when Poroshenko kills unarmed women and children - it's ok and it isn't worth the West to be concerned.

Why does anyone think that by doing regime change on a brutal tyrant and getting something worse is a bad thing? Apart from the short-sighted to the point of not being able to see further than the end of your nose observation that the immediate effect is worse?

John was a bad king. Later came Edward the second who was worse. So are you saying that we should have lingered on John for fear of the future coming of Edward the second? Wouldn't we have been better pressing the fast forward button through all the kings and queens of England, doing regime change every year, until we got to where we are today? Given we have the hindsight, of course. But that hindsight applied to others 1,000 years behind us is just and worthy: Why let them suffer the ups and downs of regime change by violence for a thousand years, when we can fast forward them so it only takes a hundred years? After all, with our hindsight, and them being human like us, we know their future because it's our past. Letting them linger on their Johns and Edward the seconds seems immoral when we have the knowledge and power to speed them past these monsters. And not in our interests, due to the danger they pose to us when our neighbours are ruled by their king Johns and Edward the seconds.

And weren't you the one for a "trash and dash" foreign policy for troublesome tyrants a while back, on a self-interest basis? Well now you can add moral to that policy too.


Sexy Alexey, Привет, товарищ!

I'm afraid the Rooskie bear has fallen for, well, the bear trap I suppose!

Every TOW missile and suicide bomber in the Levant is going to be headed for the Ivans lurking in Latakia. And Dim Dave and Ol' Big Ears ain't gonna stop them, not after what you did to Ukraine (gone quiet there, hasn't it? Appears Vlad can't chew gum and fart at the same time).

Enjoy your false dawn. Let's wait to see what happens next.


Napoleon is said to have remarked that he wanted lucky generals. Putin is lucky - just look at his opponents! Obama, busy destroying America and The Dumpy One, destroying the EU.

I really hope Lawrence is wrong on this Alexey, but I strongly suspect that he is right. How long do you think it will be before the Islamic lunatics start waging jihad on Mother Russia again?

Lawrence, I can hardly beleive you personally and the Western politicians are so worrying about Russia's wellfare and security that you are telling us about the "big mistake". Not in the last degree it convinces me - the Putin's decision on Syria is timely and right.
The only big mistake was kindling the mid-east up, made by US in 2010.
Richard, they would have began it even if Putin hadn't started the campaign. That was the matter of time only. Several thousand Russian cirizens and those of former soviet republics (they are visa-free category) fight at the ISIL side.
Moreover, since Russia is highly oil-depended, being left aside from the Middle-East means loosing ing medium-time perspective. Do not forget, by the way, that Turkey has been purchasing cheep oil from ISIL, which directly afffects current prices. However, this is not the main matter.

Foreign policy isn't one of my greater interests, but I'll offer a few observations that probably represent the majority opinion in America. One is that there is simply no desire for more war. Since 2003 we've spent $2 Trillion, about 5000 lives and a much larger number of injured for what? For the most part to destabilize the MENA region, strengthen Iran and create more enemies.

Another is that this seems to be a repeat of the Vietnam War that was also a loss and destabilized that region, especially Cambodia, and resulted in millions of deaths.

If you have a military strategy that's better than Obama's please spell it out in detail, David.

Obama has no military strategy. He has ignored his top military and intelligence people. He has done so for 4 years. His strategy is to retreat after causing chaos leaving the Middle East in flames and Europe about to be over run with Islam. There is a new Axis of Evil--Russia, Syria and Iran.

I am rather pressed for time so just a few remarks in response to the thread above.

Bob, your description of Obama's ME policy is not accurate. He has chosen to send Israel, the only democracy in the area, into the diplomatic freezer and if I was an Israeli I would now put no faith in the USA coming to my assistance. Second, he has abandoned various small allies in the area and moved to drop Saudi Arabia, an unpleasant country but one which hitherto has made no threats to anyone. Instead he has thrown his weight behind moves destined to give Iran both wealth and space for manoeuvre. In particular, Iran is desperate to link up *physically* with Hezbollah in Lebanon so that at long last Iran can strike at Israel across a border. Working together with Iraq - from which Obama scuttled - the Iranians can use disputed Syrian territory to reach Lebanon. Hezbollah will be armed like never before.

Alexey, I don't quite know how to tell you this but your country, under Putin's leadership, is driving fast up a dead-end street! The oil market has crashed and all of Putin's dreams based on endless wealth have ceased to exist. Of course, he will continue, and you will continue to see and hear and read nothing but total 'bullshit' from your state-owned media. But gradually, inexorably, prices will go up, salaries will go down, businesses will fail and money will become very, very tight. Read this:

Lawrence, whilst I admire your historical knowledge I fail to see any connection to current affairs in the ME. And yes, when dealing with a hostile state run on normal governmental rules then, assuming the danger *to us* is real, I do advocate "trash and dash" rather than invasion and attempting to teach them democracy in side two years!

No time for more - see you later.

@ David

That was not a description of Obama's policy, merely reflections on what the electorate will support at this time.

@ whitewall

Yes, yes, Obama is the Devil incarnate and everything he does is evil unless he takes time out to be stupid. Pull yourself together.

@ Bob

Obama's policy is about as good as anyone could devise.

The Islamist nutters of both Sunni and Shia persuasions have stopped attacking us and left our shores to go kill each other in the desert.

And now Putin and his rent-a-mob of "soldiers on vacation" have left our Ukrainian friends alone to go join the same self-extermination camp.

And all that hasn't added 1 cent or marine's bones to the 2 plus 5000.

I don't know if Ol' Big Ears is a lucky general or a good one, but with results like that, I don't much care.


I didn't know we had any Ukrainian friends. I would rather we didn't have any. I think that Napoleon probably thought that generals not only needed good luck, they also had to know how to utilise it. I can see no signs The Won has the faintest idea of what he is doing. If the American voters are saying no more war, I am with them.

Bob ole buddy, I'm thoroughly pulled together. Obama and his ilk are a breed I know right down to their DNA.

@ SoD

Honestly I have no idea whether it's luck or sense either, and I've read that our military planners in the Pentagon are far from agreement on a course of action. (Btw, I always suspend judgement on news stories.) In either case it's amusing to read armchair generals who know so much better.

" either case it's amusing to read armchair generals who know so much better."

You wanna stick around D&N then, there's a fair old dollop or two of that here!


Armchair cpls!

Alexey, read and inwardly digest: -

Especially the bit where it says "It's like the Stingers in Afghanistan".


Dammit, BOE, you nicked my line!

Bob, you will not need to hang around this particular street corner for too long before your genial host, er, that's me, by the way, informs you that I once reached the dizzy heights of Corporal (substantive, mind!) and that it only took me nine years! Before you snigger allow me to remind you, as I constantly remind all those retired senior officers who read this blog that 20th century history teaches us that you ignore ex-Corporals at your peril!

Anyway, I haven't time to add anything of substance to this thread because I have just got in from watching the 'simulcast' of 'Henry V' by the RSC. I shall toss and turn all night trying to work out why it was so awful!

David...lemme guess, it was because you weren't running the production?

Darling, how did you guess?

Who played Henry? I can't find any info on this. But then I am not looking that hard, when I know you know the answer.
Thank you, kind sir

I've just watched the penultimate episode in series 5 of Game of Thrones and it was awesome. Shakespeare schwakespeare, you wanna get a few more beheadings, dragons, and gang bangs into the plot, spice things up a little. I'll be lying awake wondering wtf I'm gonna do when I've watched the last one. I'll feel like Jaime with his right arm cut off. That'll be 50 hours in the last 6 weeks, and every minute utterly enthralling. I can honestly say I have never been so entertained for such a sustained period of time by television theatre in my life.


Lawrence, the "suppliers" had forgotten that Russian can also supply something, and I suggest them to recall it as soon as possible since US and its allies undertake combat operations all around the world. It does not appear a good idea to boast.
David I do admit you are right in many regards, but should Russia discard its ambitions in the Mid-East? It sounds completely ridiculous. On the conrary Russia must tighten pressure on turks and saudis, what Putin is doing now. Otherwise the dead-end street will turn out to be even shorter.

"since US and its allies undertake combat operations all around the world."

You're missing the point that Bob and I are making: Due to Ol' Big Ears and Dim Dave's strategy and policy, these operations are all being conducted by proxies. Proxies, I might add, who we don't mind dying in large numbers because if they weren't fighting our enemy, they'd be fighting us.

If Putin can maintain an air gap between his Syrian garrison and the Hairies suicide bombers and TOW missile operators, then all good for him. Excellent in fact, because the proxy war of Russia and the West will be to the destruction of the Sunni and Shia Islamists.

But you have set me thinking. Perhaps Vlad and Ol' Big Ears are quietly talking on this one? You know, something like "Hey Vlad, quit Ukraine and we'll let you get a piece of ME. Get Assad all tooled up, and we'll do the same for the rebels, and we'll let the barbarians slaughter each other. TOW's are fair game, but no Stingers, or whatever your equivalent is. You get to pretend to your public you're a bit of a smart arse and standing up to America, and we take a bit of a hit on the PR (hopefully none of the public read D&N), but that's a fair deal in exchange for you out of Ukraine and grinding the Hairies into the sand.


But even if it's as it appears, your Rooskie boots are closer to the action than ours are today. If the Hairies with TOW's is scary for you, just imagine the Ukies with Javelin.

So it's kinda win-win from our point of view.


I do agree it's a kind of win-win. However, the speach is not just about abandoning Ukraine but about mutual cease of actions there. I don't think it's good idea to supply them the "javs". It would be a stake rising which would inevitably play against the ukies, whose main concern now is to overcome the winter. All in all under no circumstances Ukriane will be no a West's associate, unless the latter is up to finace 38 million poors on a permanent basis.
Therefore I think something different is the matter of the deal.

Dear Miss Red, my 'review' is published above and, alas, Mr. Alex Hassell does not come well out of it. But he should worry given that I foresee a long and fruitful career playing sundry 'hunks' on TV and film - watch out Hollywood!

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