Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Little Satan Factor

Despite that Waltsheimer"s thing filled up with paper with writing on all it - the Great/Little Satan alliance hook up is still off the hook as indicated by the cat who would be 45 on his recent day glo world trip!

This part of his foreign trip matters much more to the Governor than either the British or the Polish visits. Americans by and large like both Britain and Poland but they don’t think about them very much, and they don’t think of either country as requiring a lot of help from Great Satan — though most Americans would be ready to stand by either of these countries should trouble come.
Little Satan is a different critter!! 
 Large numbers of Americans perceive that Little Satan is in more danger than either Britain or Poland, and that Great Satan is the only real friend Little Satan has. They also think that Little Satan’s most bitter enemies are also deadly enemies of Great Satan. After the Iraq and Afghanistan wars there is not a lot of American appetite for launching new wars in the Middle East, but if anything that heightens the degree to which many people want the government to support what they see as the one real ally we have there.
Sounds odd, but it is very true: Little Satan is as American as apple pie.  

The 'Satanic Reality' is gothicly gamed by the fact that Little Satan is right smack dab in the middle of the Arab world - and by any measure of measurement - economic, political, social, or cultural - she is success thriving amid misery. Without oil, without a large pop, without friendly homies on her borders, without vast real estate, and without Suez Canal, she magically provides her citizens with a way of life far more better than what is found in Palestine, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, or Egypt.

  Loving Little Satan is an abiding feature of American public opinion. Because the American people are YaY!-Little Satan, the American government is YaY! Little Satan. And because Americans so hotly dig Little Satan's action in her forever quest Peace Battles with Araby, Great Satan's Policy is committed to defending Little Satan's democracy - nothing magic really - just like Philippines, SoKo or Taiwan.  

Great Satan's birthright as a nation of immigrants that magically created the first modern 'democrazy' are sweetly mirrored imaged in Little Satan (Canada and Australia could say this too).


A tolerant, egalitarian society with a penchant for periodic, transparent elections, a free uncensored press, a nat'l treasury under public scrutiny, a military under civie control, an independent judiciary under elected gov oversight and the ability to enforce Writ of State.

Just like Great Satan!
"This is why they call Israel the Little Satan, to distinguish it clearly from the country that has always been and will always be the Great Satan - the United States of America."


Monday, July 30, 2012

Accidental War

18 April 1987 

On that crazy day, the Sinbad's of Persia actually drew beads and fired on the Great Satan and her navy.

Big mistake. Sparking a naval brawl that raged for 12 hours, Great Satan annihilated over 1.2 billion bucks worth of offshore oil platforms (they were also dual functioning as Revo Guard seaborne missile silos in the Gulf oil tanker war) and pretty much made the term 'Iranian Navy' truly past tense for like a decade. Ken Pollack's "Persian Puzzle" reads like a movie
"The Iranian Navy came out to fight. Light attack, F 4 Phantoms, even Iran's
largest warships sortied from Bandar Abbas to take on the American Forces. The
Iranian missile boat Joshan started the battle by firing an antiship missile at
an American cruiser (it missed) and was immediately sunk in a hail of missiles
and gunfire.
Iranian small boats and a pair of F 4's also tried to strike various American ships in the Gulf, and several of the boats were sunk or damaged as were both F-4s. The Iranian frigate Sahand fired on planes from the USS Enterprise, which was providing air support. Enterprise's air wing immediately put two Harpoon missiles and four laser guided bombs into the Sahand, sinking her. Finally, in a remarkable act of stupidity, the Iranians also sent out the frigate Sabalan, sister ship to the Sahand, late in the day, and it two fired three missiles at a passing American A-6 Intruder. The Intruder promptly put a 500 pound laser guided bomb neatly down Sabalan's smokestack."
The 18 April 1987 Persian Navy Annihilation Day is in the Great Satan's textbooks at Annapolis - the Naval Academy - as one of the top greatest victories ever won at sea by the Americans. 

Somewhere after Midway, Leyte Gulf and the Battle of the Atlantic.

18 April is actually a state secret, hidden from Preacher Command"s very own people to this very day. 

Could an accident deliver a literally killer redux? 
U.S. military planners do worry about the proliferation of small Iranian naval vessels and mini-subs in the Persian Gulf, and it’s the danger of an unplanned or accidental clash involving those forces and the American fleet that holds the greatest danger of a military confrontation between the two states. And, a July 16 incident involving a small boat manned by fisherman from India that was fired on by U.S. forces puts an exclamation point to worries about an escalation leading to war.

Great Satan has dispatched a third aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf area early so it would arrive before one of two carriers currently in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea rotates out. The deployment tops off what has been a steady buildup of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf since January, which has included doubling the number of minesweepers in the region, and deploying mine-detecting helicopters. Earlier this month, the United States also dispatched the USS Ponce, a refurbished naval vessel designed to serve as a floating forward base for military operations, including the ability to create an at-sea barracks for hundreds of Special Operations forces at a later date.

 Perhaps the Pentagon is being forthright when it says that it warned the Indian vessel, but the fact that the ship either didn’t notice or didn’t heed the warning suggests that an Iranian naval ship might just as easily mistake U.S. intentions and ignore warnings. If that occurred and an Iranian commander or IRGC official took it upon himself to retaliate, a regrettable incident could easily escalate to all-out war. Equally plausible, imagine what might happen in the current climate if the IRGC navy seized a small American naval vessel and captured U.S. sailors, as it did in 2007 when 15 British naval personnel were taken prisoner at sea by Iran.

A perfect setting for a U.S.-Iran clash, though certainly unintended, might be the scheduled September naval exercises in the Persian Gulf. From September 16-27, twenty nations will conduct region-wide mine sweeping exercises as a show of force in response to recent threats by Iran to shut down the Straits of Hormuz. The exercise, according to a statement released by Centcom, will focus on “the international strategic waterways of the Middle East, including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.”

Pic - "Sea Legs"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

BdAy WoW!!

WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. 

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers.

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t) 

Oh snap = - hold up!! Those crazy cool council cats blew the lid off one of the most best kept secret since the 3rd Reich"s experimental rocketry chiz at Penemunde... me ver  own joyeuex anniversaire!
I still remember the first time I encountered Courtney’s writing. Up until then, I never thought of English as a foreign language!

But I’ll tell you what attracted me…it wasn’t her unique style, entertaining though that was. It was the heart and unique spirit behind it. I always see it there, and it makes what Courtney writes have a special flavor. It’s truly a pleasure to have her as part of our group, and simply put, I’m really glad she’s here.

Well, Courts, this has been an interesting year for you, and in some ways, a challenging one, I know. But through it all, you’ve stuck with it and continued to turn out work in your own inimitable style. Integrity rocks, even if it isn’t always easy. And you know what? Corny and cliched as it may sound, I have tremendous respect for you for walking that path.

Have an absolutely fabulous birthday…many more.

Thanks you guys!! mWaH

Anywrought - the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners


Friday, July 27, 2012


Is UN past it"s expiration date?
What exactly is the United Nations and, for that matter, why is there still a United Nations at all? How has it managed to survive over time, from 1945 down to the present—given its long record of underperformance, frequent outright failure, and even more frequent irrelevance?

On the United Nations’ core issues—collective peace and security, development, and universal human values and rights—its record is mediocre, unless one counts sheer institutional persistence as enough. And that record is particularly poor concerning the issue from which the collective sprang in 1945: international peace and security through the collective itself. Why, then, has not the ruthless evolutionary logic of history pruned it as a failed institutional sapling in a relentlessly competitive forest, as the League was pruned?

The United Nations consists of deep contradictions. More exactly, the United Nations consists of antinomies—profound, connected opposites that are “baked into” the institution’s structure, history, incentives, and motivations. The United Nations is an independent institution with independent global claims to govern; the United Nations is a mere instrumentality of the member states. The United Nations is an institution based around the sovereign equality of states participating in a universal institution; the United Nations is committed to certain values and yet, at least in principle, there are standards to be met by states as a condition of joining and participating.

The United Nations is the talking shop of the nations; the United Nations is a genuinely shared society of the world and not just the meeting ground of states’ politics. The United Nations is merely the humble servant of its states-party; the United Nations is an independent governmental actor directly representing the “peoples” of the world. The secretary-general is merely the ministerial servant of the member states of the United Nations; the secretary-general is something approaching, albeit weakly, the “president” of the world. The United Nations is about global governance; yet it is said to be governance without a global government.

The rhetoric that surrounds the United Nations, the rhetoric that gives us the persistent ideal of “The Parliament of Man,” has this constant and peculiar trope. It is always looking beyond the dismal present day of the United Nations to the glorious transcendental future of global governance, always on offer, but always on offer tomorrow. Call it “UN platonism.” Or maybe call it—the non-falsifiable idea of the United Nations. It amounts to an infatuation with “global governance” as an ideal platonic form.

Future possibilities hold the present hostage, and so every failure must finally be excused. No matter what the question, the answer is somehow always a greater and deeper commitment to the United Nations. It has to be reckoned a non-falsifiable faith, not a reasoned judgment.

Pic - " Living with the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drone Age

Since technology and 44"s penchant for upping the panty ante on deploying those naughty hottie Drones Gone Wild - it may be semi sorta safe to LOL out loud that Great Satan hath entered the Drone Age!
An unprecedentedly aggressive campaign of targeted assassinations via drones and special operations. It amounts to the same whack-a-mole tactics that alienate the locals; it just employs a far smaller hammer.

This assassination-heavy approach kills several expensive “birds” with one stone:

- It suppresses the whole Guantanamo debate -- as in, no prisoners, no problems.
- It sidelines the Army and Marine Corps’ shift to counterinsurgency, thus mindlessly reliving the post-Vietnam error of discarding hard-won lessons learned.
- It disavows any ideological (read: nation-building) ownership of the subsequent Arab Spring.
- And it signals to allies the world over that Great Satan will no longer be the “first to fight” when it comes to regional crises -- aka “leading from behind.”

Zooming out to l"pic L'grand  - it could mean -
- “Lead from behind” when events clearly demand a Western-led international intervention, thus allowing troop reductions among the now less-needed Army and Marines.
- Near-bootless interventions driven by special operators and drones on the hunt for bad actors, but only when it comes to combating transnational terrorism in general, which also contributes to U.S. ground troop cuts.
- A cyber-intensive approach to Iran that helps justify, along with Chinese hacking, the Pentagon’s newest war-fighting command.
- And a “strategic pivot” to East Asia -- where old Air Force and Navy platforms, not to mention Ronald Reagan’s old “Star Wars” programs, go to retire on lavish government pensions -- to keep the “Big War” services reasonably happy.

Pic - "Drones Futur and au courant"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Autocrazies Grand Strategy

As best understood, something something "Grand Strategy" is kinda like the "purposeful hook up of all instruments of power available to a security community"

Or perhaps more betterly sync"d as the famous "Indirect Approach" cat on the other side of the hill sagely sayeth 
The role of grand strategy – higher strategy – is to co-ordinate and direct all the resources of a nation, or band of nations, towards the attainment of the political object of the war – the goal defined by fundamental policy.
Grand strategy should both calculate and develop the economic resources and man-power of nations in order to sustain the fighting services. Also the moral resources – for to foster the people's willing spirit is often as important as to possess the more concrete forms of power. Grand strategy, too, should regulate the distribution of power between the several services, and between the services and industry. Moreover, fighting power is but one of the instruments of grand strategy – which should take account of and apply the power of financial pressure, and, not least of ethical pressure, to weaken the opponent's will. 

Furthermore, while the horizons of strategy is bounded by the war, grand strategy looks beyond the war to the subsequent peace. It should not only combine the various instruments, but so regulate their use as to avoid damage to the future state of peace – for its security and prosperity.

While much is made of Great Satan"s Grand Strategy and her supa sexyful collection of Hot! Democrazies - divine daemoneoconic avatars often caveat"d that uncool, unfun and unfree regimes may often often buddy up whene"er the need - or even opportunity arises.

Like on a Grand Strategical level mein schatze?

This rising concert – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela, among other states–shows increasing evidence that their foreign policies are aligned, which is not to say perfect or near-perfect alignment.

In foreign policy, the authoritarian axis follows several unifying principles that produce highly coordinated policies. In practice, these policies provide the foundation for a unified grand strategy against the West.

First, axis states routinely oppose and resist the policies and actions of the U.S., the United Nations, and its allies. No better examples exist than their policies toward Syria or Iran. They actively resist the West whenever it moves against or otherwise seeks to restrain other axis states. Attempts to impose sanctions, whether against Iran or Syria, generate sustained opposition from the axis.

 Second, the axis grand strategy aspires to undermine the values and influence of the West. Initially, its grand strategy organized opposition to U.S. policies, until President Putin redefined the axis grand strategy. Before a meeting in Moscow of Russian ambassadors, Putin pronounced in highly charged and provocative language the West’s decline. Warning that, “domestic socio-economic problems… are weakening the dominant role of the so-called historical West,” Putin’s strident words shifted the attack from the United States to a broad condemnation of the U.S. and the West.

This established the foundations for a more expansive grand strategy for the axis. The chairman of Russia’s Duma’s (parliament) International Affairs Committee, Aleksey Pushkov, joined the chorus, warning “we are in for a very hard year in Russia-U.S. relations.” It is time, he said, “to reset the reset.”

remarkable shift. Only several years ago, commentators hoped democracy would flower in Russia, Iran, and Syria – perhaps in China, too. Strategically, focusing on the West encourages states in the authoritarian axis to attack freedom and democracy, free markets, and human rights.

Third, the axis grand strategy, which is hostile to liberal political values, is dangerous precisely because it promotes and legitimizes authoritarianism. Such governments rightly fear that democracy, freedom, and liberty directly threaten their power. If this principle sounds counter-intuitive, recall that what all of these states share are highly repressive, authoritarian governments. These states also share, if we exclude China, totally dysfunctional command economies, which survive from revenues generated by oil and gas exports and military sales.

Fourth, the axis grand strategy, by actively opposing the West, seeks to encourage self-doubt, perhaps fear, in the West that it is, once again, under assault from authoritarianism. While it has been two decades since the West worried seriously about confrontation, the axis seeks to undermine the West’s confidence and sense of security by acting in unison to oppose, through overt and subtle means, the West’s values and policies. Regrettably, democracies are vulnerable when the public believes that some states conspire to undermine their values and institutions.

Fifth, the axis grand strategy works, aggressively when necessary, to protect its members. Directly put, the axis seeks to maintain the number of authoritarian states – at all costs. While we see more democracies today than at any time in history, the axis states likely understand how profoundly vulnerable they are to revolutions. Predictably, the axis grand strategy elevates the principle of preserving like-minded authoritarian states, while the West naturally wants to see more democracies.

Axis states may be optimistic that they can “grow” the number of authoritarian states – or at least maintain those already in the axis. The strategy of preventing the West from destroying authoritarian governments explains precisely why Russia, China, and Iran actively support Syria’s authoritarian government even when thousands of civilians are dying.

This logic works in the opposite direction. If the axis states can prevent the West from encouraging democratic opposition movements, say in Syria and Iran, the number of authoritarian states might increase. For example, without Russia’s political and economic support, Belarus likely would collapse and fall out of Moscow’s firm grip. If the axis could prevent the West from intervening in such states as Libya, where an opposition movement destroyed Libya’s authoritarian government, it could halt democratic revolutions.

Pic - "Autocrazies are the root of all of our problems. They are together and individually the major security threat to Great Satan, to their neighbors, and to the world."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Oh Snap!
"Grey Goose got the girl feeling loose - and imma wishing that i didn"t wear these shoes..."

Aside from the alcohol fueled ref to hoochiefication, artful balance and semi buzzed symmetry - the afore mentioned mentionable could be applied to ye olde Suriya al- Kubra  au courant!! 

Das uber shaky Alawicious illegit regime led byWookie sized Dr General President for Life Bashar Bay Bee is looking mighty wobbly as the self imposed civil war on non combatants and combatants alike rages on.

Syria has always been a creep show gov of sorts - hot for WMD, loving terrorists, control freaks, Body Part Collectors and readily embracing any and ev thing uncool, unfun and unfree.

Bashar used Syria as a rat line for hajies to hit the Land Atwixt the Two Rivers and wreak bloody murderous havoc that caused Great Satan to do the original Surge. High time Great Satan got some righteous payback and take Bashar out - all the way out.

And she is!!  
 “Now we’re ready to accelerate that.”

Getting  a target fix to annihilate, capture or render useless Syria"s WMD to seducing General"s to defect with all their units intact and sexing up the regime"s opposition militarily, diplomatically and future governancely - including flying judicial squads!

Realpolitk in action? 
Realpolitik is liberating Syria from the Assad autocracy, while the institution-based international system – most notably the United Nations – has largely failed, because it depends on agreement among the permanent members of the Security Council.

For better or worse, we are now witnessing something much different from institution-based multilateral foreign policy. We are facing the world of realpolitik, where different, and committed actors, inside and outside Syria, are playing by standards that liberal internationalists abhor. 

Great Satan be all acting covertly with hard-core regional allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar to support the Free Syrian Army on the ground. Action is directed not only against autocracy and arbitrary rule. (How could it be with Saudi and Qatari bedfellows?) Rather, the shared concern of this trio is countering Shia Iranian dominance, and such co-operation is persuasive, given Iran’s revanchist agenda.

The cumulative effect of such traditional intervention is now evident. While the Syrian military has been and remains formidable, the rebellion has been too widespread for the army to concentrate sufficient force in any single place. Events of the past week have been particularly dramatic, events suggesting that we are entering a fin de régime period.

A regime that was thought to be largely impregnable just six months ago now seems to be tottering hopelessly. 

Once the regime goes, the situation could become still more difficult. The UN will then have a role through the discovery and disposition of chemical weapons, disarmament, humanitarian aid for refugees, reconstruction, development, support for a pluralist political system and ensuring the former leadership cadres meet justice in The Hague. 
Wobble baby wobble baby wobble baby wobble

Pic - "The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria"

Monday, July 23, 2012

1 Trick Pony

Led by the overtly robust (n xtra girthy) creepy Body Part Collector General,  the resistance Posse of Allah  (seemingly way more adept at 'resisting' the legit gov of Lebanon than foreign bizzy bodies) has been engaging and indulging in a Forever War of sorts that has made the Posse  the most powerful source of militancy in the Middle East.

  Despite disastrous Divine Victories and Truthful Promises, the services rendered that the State has totally failed to do (usurped by the Posse), pioneering asymmetrical warfare, suicide bombing and terrorism - Hiz"B"Allah is a one trick pony.  
Using the 6th anniversary of his party’s disastrous 2006 war withLittle Satan , Hiz"B"Allah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah sought to reinforce the idea that Little Satan is still public enemy number one and convince us that the rapidly crumbling Syrian regime is made of up of stout-hearted fellows who have sacrificed much to help the Resistance and the wider Arab cause.

It is a narrative that is wearing thin in a speech that was once again riddled with statements that highlight the fact that the party is fundamentally at odds with Lebanon’s ambitions to achieve a full sense of statehood. That the occasion commemorated one of the most shameful and reckless acts of adventurism in our short history only added to the stench. 

It also reminded us that
Hiz"B"Allah is a one-trick pony. Everything the party preaches is seen through the lens of Little Satan skullduggery and the idea that if it weren’t for Hiz"B"Allah and its readiness to blow up anyone and everything at the drop of a hat we would be a nanosecond away from annihilation.

It has to do this because
Hiz"B"Allah offers little else. Its performance in government has been a disaster, and the reputation it cultivated as the party that gets things done has been dented. We can only dream of the day when Nasrallah tells us that he wants to use the party’s legendary efficiency to run the country and create prosperity. Instead, he can only remind us of his apocalyptic arsenal. Hiz"B"Allah is a party predicted on conflict and little else.

And now Nasrallah is forced to weave into this dogma his defense of a Syrian regime that has basically behaved like
Little Satan, or arguably even worse than Little Satan, toward its own people. Nasrallah has been put in the embarrassing position of watching his ally murder innocent men, women and children – essentially the oppressed that the party is committed to defending – and offer nothing but spin: These are the people that helped us fight the Zionist enemy. They are fighting a foreign-backed rebellion, so we must give them time. The litany of excuses is endless.

But one fact is inescapable: Damascus, in its supposedly noble dealings with
Hiz"B"Allah, has always undermined the authority of the Lebanese state. If we also consider Syria’s conduct during much of its three-decade presence in Lebanon between 1976 and 2005, there is little for which we should be thankful.

Nasrallah speaks of the Resistance’s ability to hit back at any
Little Satan threat but forgets that his party has no legitimate mandate to lead the country into a war. This is the capital difficulty with the party’s presence in the Lebanese political arena, and it is why we must never lose sight of the fact that, despite putting up a creditable performance against the strongest national army in the Middle East, the 2006 July War and the death and destruction that came with it was Hiz"B"Allah’s doing. If we are to commemorate that sad month, it must not just be to bask in Hiz"B"Allah’s smugness but to remember the loss of life and ensure that such a blunder, for that is what it was, must never happen again.

Nasrallah’s comments come on the back of a statement made on Monday by
Hiz"B"Allah MP Mohammad Raad, who admitted that his party “did not want a national defense strategy at the present time,” adding that Hiz"B"Allah was “still in the liberation stage and [would] have ample time to talk about a defense strategy after liberation.”
We have heard it all before. We heard it in 2000 when we were sold the idea of the Shebaa Farms, and we have heard it many times since. Nasrallah may be a canny politician—arguably Lebanon’s most skillful—but his party and what it stands for is a cancer (the prime minister’s words, no less) at the heart of Lebanon. Period.

Pic - "Coked Up Rocketeers!!"


Sunday, July 22, 2012


WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. 

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers.

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, July 20, 2012

Valkyrie Tag

Valkyrie is an ancient viking superstition. When brave Norsemen fell in battle (often raiding parties) these hotties with their mammoth shields would appear on winged horses and tote off the fallen to heathen heaven - Valhalla.

Despite oathbreaking, defacing images of gods and wickedness in general - all would be forgiven by success in combat - especially if the offender died a heroic saga inspiring death.

Claus Schenk was a real European blue blood aristocrat. Awarded nobility back in the Holy Roman Empire days ( funny though - HRE was a triple no go - it was neither Holy, Roman or an Empire) the family became von Staffenberg.

In WWII time Deutschland, Valkyrie was code for the Nazi party to maintain control of the Reich in the event of a catastrophic disaster that killed or incapacitated the leadership.
By summertime 1944, 3rd Reich was facing the horrible modern era manifestation of von Gneisenau and von Scharnhorst's ultimate nightmare - the multi front war. 

Allies had captured Rome and were grinding their way up the bloody Eyetye boot of Italy, Allies were fixing to bust out of the Normandy bocage and unleash Great Satan's panzer General Patton. And the largest defeat in modern history - the destruction of Armee Gruppe Centre saw the annihilation of 20 irreplacable German divisions in a massive Soviet blitz that drove Germany out of Russia and vaulted the Red Army right outside Warsaw.

Despite Allied claims that only unconditional surrender would satiate the Allied and Russian thirst for righteous payback, a clique of Wehrmacht officers plotted a coup d'tat' against 3rd Reich in an effort to spare Germany ultimate defeat and dismemberment using the contingency plan of 'Valkyrie'. 

Germany's armed forces had to swear a 'holy oath' - not to the state or nation or a constitution - but to der fuhrer personally. In order for the plot to work - der fuhrer had to be killed. Valkyrie also planned trying the wartime leaders of 3rd Reich for war and humanitarian crimes, working out reparations with the allies and bringing Germany back into the family of nations.

Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg was a panzer officer that had fought in Poland, France, Russia and with the famous 'Afrika Korps'

Suffering debilitating wounds from combat - losing an eye, a hand and three fingers, Claus and his co conspirators - facing the truth of the regime they so valiantly served - tried in their own way to rectify their sins - singular and collective. 

Valkyrie energized the evil leaders of 3rd Reich, anyone connected with the cats of the coup were ruthlessly hunted down, tormented and slain. The ground ran red with German blood. The regime was determined to fight to the last and like Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" heralded the final lo down ho down like Wagner's viking final, apocalyptic battle - "Gotterdammerung"

In the next 9 months Deutsche military fought until there was literally no country left to defend. The Third Reich - she died kicking and screaming, finally crashing down in an orgy of pulverized, burning cities and a river of blood — civilian and military, German and non-German. Military history knows no year quite like 1944 -45 and if lucky, will never see another.

Pic - "2 field marshals, 19 generals, 26 colonels, two ambassadors, seven diplomats, one minister, three secretaries of state, as well as the head of the Reich Police - all perished in the failed Coup d"etat of 20 July 1944".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Smart Power Objet d"Art

As best understood - "Smart Power" is a lot like "Soft Power" - an  approach that underscores the necessity of a fully crunk military, and by hap hap happy extension also invests heavily in alliances, partnerships, and institutions of all levels to expand American influence and establish the undeniable legitness of Great Satan"s actions, deign and hot! desires

Great Satan"s 3rd Madame Sec o" State - HRC - fires off a semi political electile dysfunction piece of sorts with an eye towards re election day that nonetheless has some vital meds for Great Satan Fans world wide -

Check it out, check it outers
Throughout history, the rise of new powers usually has played out in zero-sum terms. So it is not surprising that the emergence of countries such as China, India and Brazil has raised questions about the future of the global order that the United States, the United Kingdom and our allies have helped build and defend.

New powers are playing a greater role on the world stage. But this is not 1912, when friction between a declining Britain and a rising Germany set the stage for global conflict. It is 2012, and a strong America is working with new powers and partners to update an international system designed to prevent global conflict and promote global prosperity.

 So the geometry of global power is becoming more distributed and diffuse even as the challenges we face become more complex and cross-cutting. That means that building coalitions for common action is becoming both more complicated and more crucial.

 Still, amidst all this change, two constants remain. First, as the world becomes ever more interconnected and interdependent, a just, open and sustainable international order is required to promote global peace and prosperity. And second, that order depends on American economic, military and diplomatic leadership, which has underwritten global peace and prosperity for decades.

A zero-sum approach will only lead to negative-sum results. So we need to find areas where we can work together and strengthen diplomatic mechanisms that build trust and help manage our differences.

 Our aim is to embed expanding bilateral relationships in a robust international order: to strengthen and mature effective regional and global institutions that can mobilise common action and settle disputes peacefully; to build consensus around rules and norms that help manage relations between peoples, markets and nations; and to establish security arrangements that provide stability and build trust.

And the daemoneoconic money shot!  
As we do this, there are universal principles that undergird the international order and must be defended: fundamental freedoms and universal human rights; an open, free, transparent and fair economic system; the peaceful resolution of disputes; and respect for the territorial integrity of states. These are norms that benefit everyone and that help all people and nations live and trade in peace.

The international system based on these prin­ciples helped fuel, not foil, the rise of emerging powers such as China and India. Those nations have benefited from the security it provides, the markets it opens and the trust it fosters. As a consequence, they have a stake in the success of that system. And as their power and capacity grow, they will rightly face increasing expectations – from the world to shoulder a share of common challenges abroad and from their own people to solve problems at home.

By the same token, it is also no coincidence that many of our closest allies are countries that embrace pluralism and tolerance, equal rights and equal opportunities. These are not western values, they are universal values. So, it is in our interest to help those who have been historically excluded to become full participants in the economic and political lives of their countries. And it is in our interest to support citizens working for democratic change, whether they are in Tunis or Rangoon. Otherwise, we will keep facing the same cycles of conflict and volatility.

In particular, empowering women and girls around the world is crucial to seizing long-term opportunities for promoting peace, democracy and sustainable development. We know that when women have the opportunity to contribute, they can drive social, political and economic progress not just for themselves, but for entire societies. 

There is no real precedent in history for the role we play or the responsibility we have shouldered, and there is no alternative. That is what makes American leadership so exceptional, and it is why I am confident that we will continue to serve and defend a peaceful and prosperous global order for many years to come.

Pic - "Smart Power"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vilayat-e Faqih!

While the ancients often sagely sage Dr Kenan"s hot gossip tome "Sources of Soviet Conduct" helped to not misunderestimate last millennium's Cold War betwixt Soviet Union and her Warsaw Pact posse - reckon it's time to do up one on the  tolerance and gay free combat cleric Barbie haters of Preacher Command. 

A Source of Khomeinist Conduct? 

Vilayat-e Faqih!

The Persian Version of the ancient Deutsch "Führerprinzip" - the autocratical concept of one cat calling all the shots for an entire nation state and all her attendant peoples had to go up against an Iranian pop pop population that had a high degree of secular modernization in those wild wack Revolutionary days.

Prison, executions, torment and worse were the meds needed to swing Persia's body politic into the unfree and unfun "Khomeinist" way of thinking, living and of course - dying.
“It is an undeniable privilege of every man to prove himself right in the thesis that the world is his enemy,” Kennan wrote of Soviet leaders’ paranoia. “For if he reiterates it frequently enough and makes it the background of his conduct he is bound eventually to be right.” The observation applies equally well to Tehran, where paranoia and messianic fervor combine to create a dangerously neurotic leadership class.

Khomeinism is a self-reinforcing ideology: The disapproval of the international community and their own people’s discontent only affirm adherents in the rightness of their cause. The recent rise of Islamic radicalism, albeit of the Sunni variety, looks to Tehran like a new opportunity for resurrecting pan-Islamism.

It is this intersection of ideology and circumstance which explains the Iranians’ intransigence, and which renders Western attempts to reach a negotiated settlement to the nuclear crisis highly unlikely to succeed. Even if a particular actor within the Iranian regime were open to rapprochement, the system as a whole is designed to perpetuate existential enmity against the West. No Iranian leader can make nice with “global arrogance” after all the misery inflicted on Iranians in the name of defying it.

Permanent enmity against the West, the cornerstone of Khomeini and Shariati’s worldviews, is thus a basic condition of the regime’s existence. 

When Ahmadinejad claims that the “Imam of the Ages” directs the events of the Arab Spring against the “Satanic” West, he is dead-serious. When he denies the Holocaust, he is not merely expressing frustration with the lack of progress on the peace process; he means business. 

Yet such rhetoric—not to mention the cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Little Satan” regularly emanating from Tehran—has become a quotidian fact of life for most Western leaders. We either dismiss it as the inchoate rage of a mysterious land or else try to justify it as a reaction to legitimate postcolonial grievances.

Khomeinism shouldn’t be condescended to in this way. It is an alternative vision of the world that sees itself in competition with the liberal order led by Great Satan. 

If this fact has eluded us, especially during 44's era of “engagement”, it is because we have forgotten a lesson we mastered during the Cold War: namely, how to think and fight ideologically. We will not win the contest with Tehran if we insist on proposing economic and diplomatic solutions to what is fundamentally a moral and ideological problem. 

The Iranian regime is convinced—mistakenly—that the West is actively undermining Khomeinism as an ideology and a way of life. 

Woe unto to them once we actually set our minds to it.

Pic - "Americans have a fundamental strategic interest in seeing a change of leadership in Iran."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sino - Syrian Chiz

While lotsa ppl look at Commonwealth Russia to - you know - try something - to get the Syria's illegit Allawicious thuggocratic autocrazy regime in ye olde Suriya al- Kubra  to semi sorta straighten up, halt unacceptable behaviour and stop the killing machine, Collectivist China may actually have game in the skin...
In 2011, China ranked as Syria’s top trading partner, ahead of Russia. Exports totaling more than $2.4 billion included communications and electronic equipment, heavy machinery and other important goods. This growing trade was spurred by Assad’s inaugural visit to Beijing in 2004 and the subsequent creation of an influential Syrian-Chinese Business Council.

Perhaps more importantly, China has large stakes in Syria’s oil industry. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation holds shares in two of Syria’s largest oil firms and has signed multibillion-dollar deals to assist in exploration and development activities. Another PRC firm, Sinochem, owns a 50 percent stake in one of Syria’s largest oil fields. China has also stepped in as an buyer of Syrian crude in the aftermath of a European Union embargo in 2011.

To date, China has adopted a standoffish position, urging dialogue and "patience" even as the situation on the ground continues to worsen. This is regrettable but understandable. China opposes meddling in other states’ internal affairs on principle, arguing that sovereignty should be respected. It is also wary about upstaging Russia, with which Beijing is hoping to forge a closer strategic partnership.

Why would China do Syria?
Despite her current hands-off approach, there are reasons to believe that China may reconsider and use the influence it has at its disposal to facilitate stability in Syria.

First, China has interfered in other states’ domestic issues in the past. Its 2007 appeal to Sudan to admit United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur is one example. Another is its nudging of the Burmese junta toward reform. Indeed, China has already reached out to the Syrian opposition, hedging its risk that the current regime may collapse, and may intercede with Assad if it believes that doing so will help secure its trade and investments.

Second, China’s relations with Russia are not likely to be negatively impacted. The goal of an intervention would not be forceful regime change—which Moscow opposes—but rather better governance. China might, for instance, press Assad to carry out the terms of an agreement reached in Geneva recently, supported by Russia, that calls for an immediate ceasefire and an eventual political transition. Doing so would be in China's own interests and, provided it's done tactfully, would not offend Russia.

Third, taking an affirmative approach would benefit China’s standing in the Arab world. Arab states were dissatisfied with China’s veto of a strongly worded resolution related to Syria in the UN Security Council in February, and an intervention, however subtle, would help produce goodwill in the region. Needless to say, China would also improve its image as a “responsible stakeholder” in the West.

Great Satan should encourage China to see the benefits of doing more to solve the crisis in Syria. But Washington must tread carefully. With China’s leadership transition set to occur later this year, Beijing will be cautious about making decisions that appear to be the result of pressure from abroad. Washington should also distinguish between China’s government and its citizens, many of whom have gone online to speak out against their government's Syria policy.

How China uses its influence in Syria is an important indicator of the type of great power that the PRC aspires to be. It may will realize the normative, economic and political advantages of a strong, proactive approach. But if Beijing sits on the sidelines, doing nothing at all, the status quo will remain: 

Collectivist China is a lot like the Ottomans -  a power that is not quite ready for prime time. 

Pic - "Chinese Diplomacy and the U.N. Security Council"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Immoral Drones

Sad but true!!

Since 44 went all the way the counter terrorism way there are like sev metric tonnes of inappropriate boring assetted handwringing about the operational art of drones.

Quizes about the attorney specifics of using drones in nation/states of sorts that are not at war with Great Satan (or anyone else), the LOLable Sovereignity cry amdmidst cats that cannot appear to uphold Writ of State, the semi Rumsfeldian style rubic that drones violently anger certain excitable elements in predominantly you know what countries while cranking out more enemies than may be needed at the same incredible instant.

Oh snap!
 All of the concerns just listed either miss their mark and do not challenge the ethical obligation to employ UAVs in principle or else do not rise to the level needed to override the principles which form the basis of ethical obligation for UAV employment. Remotely controlled weapons systems are merely an extension of a long historical trajectory of removing a warrior ever farther from his foe for the warrior’s better protection. 

UAVs are only a difference in degree down this path; there is nothing about their remote use that puts them in a different ethical category.

An article of faith amidst the faithless for eons now about those naughty hottie Drones Gone Wild are any accidental  innocent civilian casualities they leave arranged around smoking craters
From the desolate tribal regions of Pakistan have come heartbreaking tales of families wiped out by mistake and of children as collateral damage in the campaign against Al Qaeda. And there are serious questions about whether American officials have understated civilian deaths. 

So it may be a surprise to find that some moral philosophers, political scientists and weapons specialists believe armed, unmanned aircraft offer marked moral advantages over almost any other tool of warfare.
A concentrated study of remotely piloted vehiclesconcluded that using them to go after terrorists not only was ethically permissible but also might be ethically obligatory, because of their advantages in identifying targets and striking with precision. 

Since drone operators can view a target for hours or days in advance of a strike, they can identify terrorists more accurately than ground troops or conventional pilots. They are able to time a strike when innocents are not nearby and can even divert a missile after firing if, say, a child wanders into range.

Clearly, those advantages have not always been used competently or humanely; like any other weapon, armed drones can be used recklessly or on the basis of flawed intelligence. If an operator targets the wrong house, innocents will die.

Moreover, any analysis of actual results from the Central Intelligence Agency’s strikes in Pakistan, which has become the world’s unwilling test ground for the new weapon, is hampered by secrecy and wildly varying casualty reports. But one rough comparison has found that even if the highest estimates of collateral deaths are accurate, the drones kill fewer civilians than other modes of warfare.

The real moral dilemma of course, is that vaporizing bad actor outers means their cell phones and laptops are vaporized too - no doubt denying Great Satan smoking hot gossip and actionable intell not unlike what Captain Liddel Hart termed the "other side of the hill."   

Plus, it’s a lot harder to capture a terrorist, keep them alive for interrogation, and figure out to do with them afterward than it is to kill by remote control thousands of miles from the battlefield.

Pic - "Drone employment is not only ethically permissible, but is, in fact, ethically obligatory."

Sunday, July 15, 2012


WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. 

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers.

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

Council Winners  

Non-Council Winners

 See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, July 13, 2012

After Bashar?

Suriya al- Kubra! 

Defections at the highest levels of Syria"s illegit Allawicious regime stir up some interesting gossip!

Last week's publicized defection of the Tlass family marked a potential turning point for Syria's al Assad regime.

The Tlass family formed the main pillar of Sunni support for the minority Alawite regime. The patriarch of the family, former Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass, had a strategic, brotherly bond with late Syrian President Hafez al Assad. The two military men served as members of the ruling Baath Party in Cairo from 1958 to 1961 when Syria and Egypt existed under the Nasserite vision of the United Arab Republic. The failure of that project brought them back home, where together they helped bring the Baath Party to power in 1963 and sustained a violent period of coups, purges and countercoups through the 1960s.

With Tlass standing quietly by his side, Hafez mounted a bloodless coup and appointed Tlass as his defense minister in 1970. Since then, Tlass has been the symbol of Syria's old guard regime. Without Tlass' godfather-like backing, it is questionable whether Bashar al Assad, then a political novice, would have been able to consolidate his grip over the regime in 2000 when his father passed away. Through the Tlass family's extensive military and business connections, the Sunni-Alawite bond endured for decades at the highest echelons of the regime.

But blood still runs thick in clan politics, and as Sunni blood was spilling into Syria's streets in the current uprising, the Tlass family likely felt growing pressure to side with its fellow Sunnis. Perhaps more critical, the Tlass family assessed it was time to make a move before it paid a price for its allegiance to the regime. Whatever the primary motivation of the decision, the Tlass' choice to break a decadeslong pact with the al Assad family has now increased pressure on other elite members of the military and business communities to pick a side.

As one astute observer of the Syrian conflict explained, the al Assad regime is like a melting block of ice. The Alawite core of the block is frozen intact because the minorities fear the consequences of losing power to a Sunni majority. We have not yet seen the mass defections and breakdown in command and control within the military that would suggest that large chunks of this block are breaking off. But the Sunni patronage networks around that core that keep the state machinery running are slowly starting to melt. The more this block melts, the more fragile it becomes and the more likely we are to see cracks form closer and closer to the center. At that point, the al Assad regime will become highly prone to a palace coup scenario.

The al Assad regime has not cracked yet, but this is a useful moment to step back and think seriously about the regional implications should Syria return to Sunni hands. In particular, we would like to examine what such a scenario would mean for Iran's position in the region.

Let's first recall why Syria is up for grabs. Human rights interests alone do not come close to explaining why this particular uprising has received a substantial amount of attention and foreign backing over the past year. The past decade enabled Iran to wrest Baghdad out of Sunni hands and bring Mesopotamia under Shiite control. There is little question now that Iraq, as fractured as it is, sits in the Iranian sphere of influence while Iraqi Sunnis have been pushed to the margins. Iran's gains in Baghdad shifted the regional balance of power, creating a Shiite crescent stretching from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean coast.

This disturbance in the regional balance of power has aggravated a number of regional stakeholders. With U.S. backing, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have banded together to lead a countercoalition to Iran. Iraq may have been reluctantly conceded to Iran, but the uprising in Syria offered a new opportunity to undercut Iran's Mediterranean outlet in the Levant. Saudi Arabia has been trying to manage simmering Shiite unrest on the Arabian Peninsula, while Turkey is looking to lay a Sunni foundation for its regional resurgence. As a result, increased amounts of money, supplies, weaponry, training and intelligence support have made their way to the Syrian rebels through covert channels. The hope was that a covert campaign would obviate the need for a costly foreign military intervention and lead to the collapse of the regime from within. In theory, the plan sounds reasonable. In practice, it's a lot more complicated.

A transition to Sunni rule in Syria is bound to be messy. Syria's Alawites have become well established in Damascus and in other key urban centers across the country. The heterodox community has also dominated the most elite units of the military, security and intelligence apparatus and will be carrying those skills with it should it be sidelined from power. Even though the Alawites and fellow minorities are outnumbered, it is unlikely that they will be easily pushed back to the hilly coastal lands of their forefathers in the northwest.

Instead, the Alawites, with Iranian backing, could be expected to mount a militant resistance against Turkish- and Arab-backed Sunnis. The Alawites, who currently dominate Syria's ruling Baath Party, observed the rapidity with which the (Sunni-dominated) Iraqi Baathist military crumbled after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the now marginalized status of Iraq's former Baathists. The Alawites will be fighting an existential crisis to avoid a similar fate in the face of a proxy war, while Iran will be reinforcing the Alawites to try to maintain a foothold in the region. This conflict will inevitably spill over into Lebanon, a state whose existence has been defined by this broader sectarian struggle and that will continue to serve as a battleground for proxy interests.

Transnational jihadists would also play a large role in a post-al Assad Syria. The Syrian rebellion contains a growing assortment of Sunni Islamists, Salafist jihadists and transnational al Qaeda-style jihadists. Foreign fighters belonging to the latter two categories are believed to be making their way into Syria from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

For many years, Syrian intelligence ran an elaborate jihadist supply chain, funneling militants into both Lebanon and Iraq to serve its foreign policy purposes. Saudi Arabia is now believed to be using those very same channels against Damascus to funnel militants into the Syrian theater. From past experience, Riyadh is wary of transnational jihadists' gaining ground in Syria and causing more problems down the line. But Saudi Arabia's concerns over Iran and its Shiite supporters appear to be outweighing those reservations. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has been promoting what it has defined as legitimate jihad against the Syrian regime and its Iranian and Shiite supporters.

The Saudis cannot wage their jihad and stem jihadism at the same time. Inserting religiously motivated fighters into a theater is the easy part; controlling them will be difficult, especially once common interests against Iran and the Shia dissolve into an ideologically driven agenda of transnational jihadism.

It is safe to assume that Syria, between the fall of the Alawite regime and the turbulent emergence of a new, Sunni-empowered regime, would experience an interregnum defined by considerable chaos. Amid the sectarian disorder, a generation would remain of battle-hardened and ideologically driven militants belonging to Sunni nationalist and transnational jihadist camps who in the past decade have fought against regimes in Baghdad and Damascus. These jihadists harbor expectations that they will be able to aid their struggling allies in Iraq if they gain enough operating space in Syria. Under these circumstances, it is easy to imagine a revived militant flow into Iraq, and this time under much looser control.

Thus, the regional campaign against Iran is unlikely to end in Syria. Should Sunnis gain the upper hand in Syria, the Shiite-led bloc in Lebanon (led by Hezbollah and its allies) will likely lose its dominant status. Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backing for Sunnis in the Levant and the rise of Islamists in the Arab states will be focused on creating a more formidable bulwark against Iran and its Arab Shiite allies.

The most important battleground to watch in this regard will be Iraq. There are a number of regional stakeholders who are not satisfied with Baghdad's Iranian-backed Shiite government. There also likely will be a healthy Sunni militant flow to draw from the Syrian crisis. These militants will not only need to be kept occupied so that they do not return home to cause trouble, but they can also serve a strategic purpose in reviving the campaign of marginalized Sunnis against Shiite domination. Iran may feel comfortable in Iraq now, but the domino effect from Syria could place Iran back on the defensive in Iraq, which has the potential to re-emerge as the main arena for the broader Arab Sunni versus Persian Shiite struggle for regional influence. These trends will take time to develop, and the pace of Sunni empowerment in Syria remains in question, especially as the Alawite core of the regime is so far enduring. That said, it doesn't hurt to look ahead.

By Reva Bhalla and Kamran Bokhari