Donald Trump Needs a Dog

March 13, 2017

Barack Obama era national security acolytes, now serving under Donald Trump, are not doing much to help with or clarify American foreign policy or national security futures.

The Ummah provides the best example.

Just days after the Trump inauguration, the newly minted CIA director, Michael Pompeo, flew off to Saudi Arabia to present Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, with a medal for “counterterrorism” efforts (sic). Saudi Arabia is America’s most generous arms customer, indeed the largest buyer worldwide.

The ties that bind America to Arabia are first pecuniary and then political.

Yes, the same Saudi Arabia that produced the 9/11 terrorists, the same House of Saud that finances and arms global Sunni jihad and terror in the Levant and North Africa, and the same Arabia that exports the worst kind of Islamic irredentist theology to the rest of the world gets another azimuth kiss from an American Intelligence nabob.

Irony here is beyond satire. The medal in question is named after George Tenet. Tenet is the CIA director who, with Colin Powell’s help, fabricated the fake intelligence that gave America the ongoing 30 year religious war in Iraq; a war we might add, that reversed the sectarian power poles in Iraq from Sunni to Shia.

A White House that claims that America is not at war with Isalm, now doubles down with Saudi Sunnis against Shia Yeminis in another proxy religious war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has long denied complicity with Islamism, Sunni terrorism, or wars motivated by a 1400 year old religious schism. Now Riyadh has a CIA medal provided by team Trump to prove it.

Meanwhile over at the National Security Council, newly christened director, H.R McMaster, is apparently laying down a companion party line about Islam with White House staff. General McMaster cautions that terms like “radical Islamic terror” are not helpful. According to the General, “terror is not Islamic.”

Like many millennial era flags, the new national security advisor seems to have succumbed to the Obama thought police. Surely not all Islamists are terrorists, but virtually all terrorists these days are Muslims, Mohammedans who kill in the name of their god, their prophet, and Islam – the “religion of peace.”

“Allah hu akbar” is what an Islamist chants at a beheading, bombing, and other sanguinary rituals. Links between terror and Islam are more real than any links between US Army generals and analytical theology.

Who is McMaster to pontificate on what is or is not Islamic? The national security advisor is not an imam, ayatollah, prophet, priest, or religious scholar. Based on recent sermons, he’s not much of a historian either.

Over at the Department of Defense, another scholarly warrior seems to be confused about real threats too. The new Secretary of Defense, like Obama era staffers, shoots from the hip at the “Russian” chimera and personalizes the assessment with trash talk about Vladimir Putin.

At confirmation, General James Mattis rose to every leading question from John McCain, the Senate’s most notorious Kremlin baiter. Mattis swallowed McCain’s practiced political demagoguery hook, line, and sinker.

Mattis also failed to distinguish between a threat that actually kills Americans today and a threat that might. Worse still, General Mattis’ sweeping indictments of “Russians” fails to distinguish between a proud nation and a regime that doesn’t fit the globalist EU/imperial NATO business plan.

NATO began as an allied mutual security pact and the EU began as a modest economic condominium. Both institutions have strayed far from original designs and the world is not safer place because of it. Brussels is now populated by political autocrats and imperial janissaries. Hat tip to a Turk or Ottoman model.

If sweeping vile assessments of Muslims are unacceptable, why is sweeping slander about Israelis or Russians allowed?  Is selective bigotry at the Pentagon now a military virtue?

Indeed, after leaving the military, Mattis claimed that Israeli “settlements” and “apartheid” made his job at CENTCOM more difficult. The general’s also says that there was “a price to be paid” for backing Israel, a sneer that is vintage David Petraeus.

General Mattis claims that “Russia needs to prove itself.” In contrast, apparently, no Islamic country, especially Palestinians and allied Arabs, need to prove anything to America, the world, or the new Secretary of Defense.

The sad truth of the European Union and NATO today is a tragic combination official Islamic tolerance and official indifference to parallel anti-Semitism. The western migration of fascist Islam comes again at the expense of European Jews. The worst history is often invisible to historians.

Mattis also gave the Senate a selective recap of Russia/American relations as a closer to his testimony. The self- described student of military history failed to mention the last world war where, without Russian sacrifice, the battle with secular fascism would not have been won. The United States lost less than half a million casualties in WWII. Russia lost more than 20 million souls.

Witty caricature accepting that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it but suggesting that those who do learn must submit to others repeating history

Now that Europe and America are confronted with fascism again, this time religious, General Mattis and other Obama holdovers are still confused or mute about who or what is a genuine threat in the 21st Century.

The best guarantors of civil and human rights are independent, democratic nation states with common cultural and civic values. Monoculture anywhere has always been the enemy of liberty and true diversity everywhere.

All globalist or utopian schemes, now including the EU, have been failures. General Mattis is wrong about NATO too. Sort of nuclear Armageddon, NATO provides little stability for the Mideast, Africa, or anyplace beyond Europe for that matter.

Mattis seems to have misread the Brexit and Frexit graffiti now defacing the walls of the European Union.

Candidate Trump ran on a tougher line with Islamists and a softer line with the Kremlin. Such policies are heresy for the establishment, right and left, in Washington. Any diminution of the Russian threat is a clear and present danger to the DOD budget and legions of Intelligence and defense industry federal contractors.

No big Russian threat, no big funding.

Obama era rear echelon warriors have yet to get the message from Trump or appreciate the angst of “deplorables” in the heartland. Maybe the new commander-in-chief needs to speak louder – or carry a bigger stick

President Trump has few friends in the media, few friends among Obama holdovers, and fewer friends or loyalists midst permanent or deep state government bureaucrats inside the Beltway. Washington D.C. and the surrounding suburbs voted for Hillary Clinton by a margin of nine to one. Those votes, like California, were votes for a deep state where change is either “progressive” – or anathema.

And those who claim that establishment apparatchiks, including the Pentagon, are “non-partisan” are delusional. The only currency in the nation’s capital is politics. The most lucrative politics are found now in the defense and Intelligence bowels of the permanent state.

Obama era military relics are no exceptions to partisanship. Outsiders, critics, and reformers are not welcome in Washington, especially at the Pentagon. National security and Intelligence Community leaks now underwrite the anti-democratic, anti-Trump resistance on a daily basis.

Donald Trump is trying to reform or change a federal autocracy that is populated with Clinton and Obama loyalists. For those weaned on the nanny state, reform is just a turd in the establishment punchbowl.

Willingness to serve in government should never be confused with loyalty, especially inside the Beltway. Harry Truman said it best. If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

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Images:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6PK36yXMAA-VYQ.jpg

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/02/08/Pompeo%20Saudi.jpg

http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/philosophy/history/learning_from_history.html

 

 

 


FIRST BLOOD; MIKE FLYNN

February 16, 2017

“…never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” – John Donne

Trump haters have drawn first blood. Michael Flynn was the first casualty. General Flynn could come back into the fold at some later date. Exile, followed by reprieve might be something Donald Trump would do.

Alas, for the moment, the President doesn’t look like he can take a punch. The entire “sanctions” kerfuffle, conversations with the Russian ambassador, is inside baseball stuff.  Nobody cares much about sanctions, Beltway candor or character anyway.

If every lawyer/politician in DC was fired for mendacity, Washington would be a ghost town.

Flynn was outed by a rabid press corps with a seditious agenda. Trump has been blooded. Sadly, Trump didn’t cut his losses. Like the man he replaced, the President simply folded like a cheap tent.

Adding insult to injury, Flynn, like Steve Bannon, is probably anathema to every Obama era hack hired by Trump to date. The establishment has no taste for parvenus.

Mike Flynn, of course, had his share of baggage, but if the truth be told, he was low hanging fruit, an exposed position that the new Commander-in-Chief chose not to defend. The tone is set at the top.

You can fib to anyone in D.C., but the home office. Being called to account for candor by the Washington Post or CNN is a little like getting a chastity pitch from one of Marion Barry’s hookers.

The so called “trust” issue is a hoot too. No soldier was more loyal to Trump in 2016. Indeed, Flynn was one of a precious few prominent Intelligence officials or flag officers, active or retired, to make Trump possible.

Fibbing is a venial sin. Support for Donald Trump is literally a mortal sin.

Flynn knows that the real threat isn’t Russia. Flynn knows that Islamism is the real danger. Flynn knows that Israel is our only reliable ally in a very nasty neighborhood. Flynn knows where the bodies are buried in a bloated and hostile US national security establishment, DOD and the Intelligence Community in particular.

Flynn knows too that the national security community has unsheathed the long knives. Leaked intelligence is a two way street. Oddly enough, Trump doesn’t seem to realize that he too, like Flynn, is on the regime change hit list after just a few weeks in office.

Political pathology at Intelligence agencies like CIA is not confined to domestic machinations.

Shortly after his anointment, Mike Pompeo rushed off to Saudi Arabia to give Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, an award for “counter terrorism.”  Ironically, the award is named after former CIA director George Tennent who you may recall was the author of the fake intelligence that underwrote two fake wars in Iraq.

If CIA can honor the ideological authors of 9/11 with a medal, the revised edition of Mein Kampf should be in the mix for a 2017 Pulitzer Prize.

Clinton, Bush, and Obama have had a quarter century to pack Washington sinecures with like-minded drones. Politically correct, largely liberal, District of Columbia zombies and media partisans will not go quietly into the night.

To such, Flynn was as dangerous as he was expendable. Indeed, the general is now an ugly precedent too, a loyal chump hung out to dry by Trump era Intelligence leakers.

Adding insult to bizarre injury, we now hear that David Petraeus is a candidate to replace Flynn. You might recall that Petraeus was the Obama flag who had a yen for bimbo subordinates. Before that, he was the intellectual godfather of three decades of losing strategy in the Ummah. Petraeus still believes that the global Muslim jihad is a basket of unrelated local insurgencies.

If any name says more of the same, it is General David Petraeus.

Back on team Trump, Steve Bannon is probably next on the hit list. If the new President is naive enough to expect a partisan CIA or FBI to be honest brokers in any leak investigations, he needs to go back to selling condos.

By any measure Donald Trump is an odd duck; not a lawyer, not a politician, and, apparently, not very savvy about the flora and fauna that breeds in the Washington swamp.

The General Flynn fiasco was never about Putin, Russians, sanctions, trust, or candor. The Flynn hit is merely the specter of Trump’s future.

Flynn, like Trump, was in the crosshairs from the very beginning because neither one of them wears a fuchsia pantsuit. The President won a hard election and now loses an easy round one to seditious Beltway louts who know how to hit below the belt. Hard to believe that even a novice CEO can be that naïve.

If any moron at NSA or CIA can drop a dime to the Washington Post and get someone fired, team Trump is in for a thrashing.

Looming hazards to Trump are not so much his rubber knees or glass jaw as it is his future as a populist. The people are a fickle bunch. Early events suggest that Trump might not have anybody’s back but his own.

If loyalty is not a two-way street, then all bets on Donald Trump, or real change in the nation’s capital, are off

*

For a more detailed analysis of the Flynn affair see Eli Hunt at https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-14/the-political-assassination-of-michael-flynn

 

 

 

 

 

 


A TALE OF TWO COUPS

January 27, 2017

Moscow 1991 and Washington 2017

The other day I received an email from a schoolgirl in Moscow; New Year’s salutations, thanks for a gift, and a request that read:

“Get your troops out of Poland; love, your Russky niece.”

I laughed about her presumption about my influence on US troop movements. At the same time, I couldn’t help but think of her mother, Tatyana Arkadyevna Malkina, “the girlfriend of Russian democracy.” Apparently, true grit is genetic, that rare courage of a few to speak truth to power.

Malkina was the sole journalist who, at age 24, had the courage to defy the Kremlin establishment, recidivist coup plotters who would have undone the Russian elections, that “revolution without guns” in 1991; those Gorbachev, then Yeltsin, reforms. The ancien regime, totalitarian Communists, were humiliated by a girl who had the courage to face down the old guard and ask:  “Could you please say whether or not you understand that last night you carried out a coup d’etat?”

Faced with an accusation of sedition and treason, the coup plotters slunk back into the dustbin of history. The long dark night of totalitarian Communism was over in Russia.

Since 1991, Tanya Malkina pursued a distinguished career in Russian arts and letters, reporting on social issues, editing a culture magazine, and hosting a thoughtful TV weekly.

Tanya later married an American. She now has two children, two cats, and a vintage tortoise. Although Malkina was once a fixture of the Yeltsin, then Putin, press entourage; she has never been a knee-jerk echo of Kremlin cant nor any party line.

Hot flashes of deja vu

The events of 1991 and Malkina’s brass got me to thinking about American coup plotting in Washington circa 2016; the efforts of Beltway establishment totalitarians to cook the primaries, undo an election, and discredit a new president; all under a smoke screen of dissent and fake news.

The parallels between Moscow in 1991 and Washington in 2016 are a tale of two coups, the first a clear failure and the latter still playing out.

Alas, the Trump revolution has no “girl friend of American democracy.” Not yet anyway.

The feminist American left now whines and protests in Washington, captive to a bimbo’s tantrum over a flawed heroine who lost badly in November. Sexist hysteria, hypocrisy, childish pique, misandry, and sour grapes are now regularly conflated with principled dissent. Geriatric Hollywood matrons like Madonna Ciccone say they are thinking about “blowing up the White House.”

Secret Service supervisor Kerry O’Grady says that she will “not take a bullet” for President Trump. Apparently no one at CIA and the Secret Service has heard of the Hatch Act.

Hysteria indeed! American feminists have few adult profiles in courage like Malkina today.

And the CIA, unlike the late KGB, also stages public rebukes to the new POTUS and erstwhile notions of American democracy. For good or ill, Russian intelligence operatives at home, unlike their American counterparts, seem to be under civilian control.

Ironically, some of the best political analysis on these matters comes out of the Kremlin these days. Sergei Lavrov, contrasted with John Kerry, seems to know the difference between an Islamic terrorist and a freedom fighter. And Vladimir Putin is perceptive enough to observe that Obama’s political party, and an American press corps that calls itself “democratic,” is giving democracy a bad name.

And when Obama’s intelligence sycophants are called out by Donald Trump for partisanship during the recent primaries and the election, CIA Director John Brennan plays the victim, openly attacking the president-elect before and after the inauguration. Prior to the election, Brennan’s colleagues, James Clapper (DCI), Michael Morrel (CIA), and Michael Hayden (NSA) were all on the hustings for Hillary Clinton right up to her November defeat.

Clearly, CIA is signaling the 15 other intelligence satraps, that the “dump Trump” campaign should continue into 2017. Brennan has cooked the books on the Islamic threat for eight years. Small wonder that he seeks to torpedo the realpolitik of Mike Flynn and Donald Trump.

CIA partisans, unlike Caesar’s wife, are not above reproach.

Washington, DC voted for Clinton in November by wide margins. A demographic of hostile federal apparatchiks, including intelligence officers and FBI agents, are digging in as Donald Trump takes office.

Beltway national security nabobs, inveterate regime change aficionados, are now on the wrong side of world history. With any luck, the coup plotters are also on the wrong side of Donald Trump – and in the crosshairs.

If the president intends to drain the swamp, he could do worse than start with sedition in the intelligence community and the Justice Department. The first great political struggle of 2017 may be with a partisan, DC based 5th column inside the Beltway.

The loser’s revolt is not confined to the intelligence community. State Department and Department of Defense fixers have done their level best to paint Trump into a corner at the UN and in Eastern Europe. That UN vote against Israel and those 11th hour tank deployments to Poland come to mind.

I do not have an answer for Malkina’s daughter, Agatha in Moscow, or her prescient observation about the stupidity of US tanks in Poland. Was it my choice to make, I would send troops to Chicago, Illinois or Langley, Virginia sooner than send them to the Russian frontier.

After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, John Kennedy is alleged to have expressed a desire to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces.” After Kennedy was assassinated, such sentiments were seconded by Harry Truman. Indeed, Truman expressed profound regret about the rogue agency he had created. The Truman warning, like later Eisenhower cautions, were early symptoms of national “security” corruption, clandestine cowboys, and regime change fiascos.

The Chicago threat is existential, especially to black Americans. Pervasive sedition in the American intelligence community may be existential too, especially to democracy in America.  The Russian threat, at best, is a ploy to ignore the Islamist threat; Putin, on his worst day, is a US DOD budget emolument.

Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Truman must be rolling in their graves today. Trump haters, coup vultures, have come home to roost inside the Beltway.

As new American policy unfolds in 2017, let’s hope that Trump has adults calling domestic and foreign policy shots. Withal, we might hope that America finds its own girlfriend of democracy too.

Sooner is better.

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The “girlfriend of Russian democracy,” circa 1991, can be seen in action at:

http://www.politforums.net/eng/other/1375981611_0.html

 

Tags: Donald trump, CIA, Intelligence Community, coup plots, Hatch Act, Secret Service, Madonna Ciccone,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fake News & Fake Intelligence

December 24, 2016

Fact and belief are often very different things. With fact, a thing is or it is not, a fairly simple binary calculation. An assertion might be a fact and at the same time not necessarily true. Belief is an amphibian, a sinister specter, often festooned with weeds and barnacles. Indeed, beliefs are scientific, seasonal, ethnic, sexual, political, theological, philosophical, and historical; just to name a few of the veritable infinity of adjectival consorts.

Truth is, as artists well know, part tart and part goddess, ephemera often bought and sold if the price is right. Indeed, she’s more than a bit of an oxymoron too, emphasis on the last two syllables.

The gap between fact and fiction might be narrowed by time, but history and conventional wisdom are selective too, frequently a world apart from reality. The conventional wisdom is often neither true nor wise.

Most arbiters of truth or reality are self-anointed.

Mark Zuckerberg is a modern example, the poster child for millennial vacuity and the nerd generation. The CEO of Facebook, infant terrible of herd exploitation, is about to appoint a posse of thought police to monitor and censor “fake news” on internet.

If you are devotee of Facebook news, you might have the civic awareness and attention span of a gerbil. Still, Zuckerberg is a good modern example of how digital wealth gets confused with maturity or wisdom.

Having Zuckerberg, or any cyber cohort, as a digital news cop is a little like appointing Bill Clinton as scoutmaster for a Girl Scout troop. Clinton and Zuckerberg are indeed soulmates. Just as Clinton uses political position for personal gain and exploitive sex, Zuckerberg exploits and monetizes personal data – and in turn uses gullible adolescents of all ages.

In this respect, Facebook is no different than Nielsen, the   National Security Agency, or the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). All three are accomplished data miners, albeit for different ends. Truth or verifiable fact in those venues, if anything, is probably an afterthought.

Nielsen Creates Truth

Nielsen Holdings PLC is a global data mining corporation that has been in business since 1923. Its signature survey is in-home monitoring of television viewing habits. TV content, programming, and advertising dollars are a of function of Nielsen ratings and statistics.

Well north of eighty percent all domestic purchasing decisions are made by American women who watch television or use TV as a surrogate for child care.

Nielsen is in the business of both monitoring and creating truth in the American marketplace.  All so-called “Nielsen families” are aggressively recruited “volunteers,” a demographic that has been led to believe that their household habits and tastes might be typical – or trend setters.

The Nielsen monitoring pitch appeals to a passive, vain feminine demographic, all of whom volunteer, with incentives, to provide Luxemburg corporate snoops with a veritable gold mine of personal and family behavioral data. Nielsen data is ubiquitous in entertainment, politics, marketing, advertising, retail, and manufacturing.

How volunteer victims, monitored electronically, became a “typical” demographic is a question seldom asked or answered by statisticians. More to the point, the personal is not just political, as Ms. Hamish likes to say, but monitoring female behavior in American homes and numb nut behavior on the Internet is also very lucrative for admen and madmen alike. The emphasis here again is on the second syllable. Hype is still a boys club.

Think of all the fake news embedded in daily the drumbeat of advertising and the daily orgy of vacuous TV News and amusements. Calling TV content “art” is a little like calling Hip Hop and Rap music.

You can hardly scratch the surface of the daytime digital wasteland. Fake news and vulgar memes are created daily on an industrial scale with the assistance of data conglomerates like Nielsen and now internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Data isn’t truth either.  Most truth is too painful. The data mining and communication industries cook the books and clueless demographics every day of the week. Fake news today is just another part of the mindless media mix.

The Intelligence Community and “Meta Data”

The federal government and the Intelligence Community are Johnny-come-latelies to data mining on an industrial scale. You would have thought that someone in those 16 federal Intelligence agencies would have noticed those Nielsen families, those Orwellian patriots who volunteer year after year to have their homes and habits monitored.

Wiretap warrants are not required for passive volunteers.

Nielsen and NSA are similar to the extent that they both monitor behavior to recognize and exploit patterns. Industry does it for profit while government does it in the name of security. Both offer no assurances for privacy other than “trust us.”

Nielsen is different from NSA to the extent that commercially profiled demographics get feedback in the form of advertisements and content.

If you believe in permanent erections, believe face cream will make you beautiful, believe a diet will make you a size 2, and believe Bart Simpson or the Kardashians are solid role models for your kids; then you should thank every Nielsen family that you know.

Nielsen creates statistical truth and television remixes those numbers into American culture, such that it is.

Ironically, while consumers seem to trust Nielsen implicitly, citizens have a very different take on Big Brother and the federal Intelligence Community. Trust in God is a much better bet these days than trust in Charlie Rose, Martin Baron, Arthur Sulzberger, or James Clapper.

DCI Clapper likes to call terrorists “nefarious characters.” Household snooping is “meta-data,” an attempt to put lipstick on the state surveillance pig.

Peeping Toms and fake news makers are brothers by the same mother.

The 2016 primaries, the election, and the run up to the Electoral College are all examples of fake news gone awry; all characterized by near universal media and Intelligence ridicule and contempt for the Republican candidate. Pundits and polls were unanimous in predicting that Donald Trump should lose by a landslide. The vast majority of the gainsaying and polling “data” turned out to be wrong.

Hard to believe that what passed for reporting and analysis in 2016 wasn’t a political flash mob, engineered “fake news” on an epic scale.

For American journalists, 1984 seems to be the future.

Adding insult to injury, Clinton Inc., the American media, the Intelligence Community, and team Obama now double-down, claiming that Russian meddling was the reason for the Clinton defeat.  Adolescent pique and lame excuses seem to be the exit strategy for James Clapper and a flailing, if not failing, Barack Obama.

Former Director of CIA, Michael Morell, Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi cut-out, appeared on public television no fewer than ten times to vilify the Republican candidate. The former director of NSA and DCI, James Clapper, played similar roles in the campaign season. Clapper resigned after Trump won, but the demonization of Trump and the Russians continues unabated.

The Russians Are Not Coming

Russians are now sucked into the tawdry post-election recriminations inside the Beltway. Washington political, academic, and media elites, right and left, bereft of any adult capability for reflection, are desperately seeking excuses for failure. Russians in general and Vladimir Putin in particular are convenient scapegoats.

Fake news threads associated with the DNC email leak are probably designed to do three things: divert attention from the Hillary nomination fixers, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Trump win, and queer the prospects of improving relations with Russia.

Putin’s mortal sin seems to be that he thinks that Trump will be a better Commander-in-Chief than Obama or Clinton. Such a claim is not much of a stretch, yet still heresy to the American left and social globalists everywhere.

Putin’s venial sins are legend also. Two stand out.

After the Beslan massacre, the Russian 9/11, the FSB went after Chechen terrorists with a vengeance. In less than two years, Shamil Baseyev was cornered and executed on the crapper, literally in a porta-potty. Only one of Basayev’s colleagues lived long enough to get life in prison. Nobody calls Chechen Islamists “freedom fighters” any more.

Osama bin Laden was at large for ten years before Uncle Sam brought him to justice. Al Qaeda and ISIS are still in business.

Another Putin sin is Syria. NATO has been mucking in the Levant for decades now, five times as long as it took to win WWII on two fronts. In the last couple of years, Russia did more to defeat terror in the Levant than Brussels and Washington have done in 30 years.

Aleppo and Syria are not Benghazi and Libya redux. Thanks to the Kremlin.

The fake news campaign against Russia and Trump persists nevertheless, a tactic pregnant with domestic and foreign policy blowback. Fake news and fake Intelligence are now fast friends. If 16 Intelligence agencies cannot deny hackers or interference, what does that say about the competence, or impartiality, of Clapper’s legions?

Partisans at NSA and CIA might be the best things to happen to Chekist spies since fur hats and vodka.

Withal, Russia is a better ally to Syria than the US ever will be to the Kurds. For good or ill, the Russian president can make a decision, act, and stand by allies long enough to succeed.

Putin seems to be an effective action hero who swings a big stick whilst critics like Barack Obama, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the Clintons seem to be a cabal of vindictive losers, fey wannabees who suffer from terminal political penis envy.

The real threat to the integrity of the American political system is a mirror. Sadly, political reflection, right and left, apparently died with Pat Moynihan.

Media hostility to a reform minded presidential candidate is predictable, given the social globalist cast of American journalism. However, the open hostility of Intelligence Community leaders to an incoming president is unprecedented and seditious in ways that should be obvious by now. American Intelligence is too big and, arguably, now out of control.

If America continues to tolerate partisans on the taxpayer dime, especially in the Intelligence Community; “crooked” Washington will surely breed more of them.


Previously published at American Thinker

Tags: James Clapper, Vladimir Putin, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, DNI, CIA, NSA, FSB, and US Intelligence Community

Images:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/Pietro_Liberi_-_Time_Being_Overcome_by_Truth_-_WGA12980.jpg/800px-Pietro_Liberi_-_Time_Being_Overcome_by_Truth_-_WGA12980.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b7/FSB.svg/150px-FSB.svg.png

 


Twerking at the Pentagon

December 11, 2016

Call it karma, but the 2015 Super Bowl was a tribute to the virtues of modesty, experience, and ultimately, poetic justice.  The Carolina Panthers were led by an obnoxious bore that never missed an opportunity all season to twerk like a teen on the playing field or gloat like a fool at interviews.

The Denver Broncos, in contrast, were led by a mature and modest adult on the cusp of retirement. On Super Bowl Sunday, the old man from Colorado wiped the gridiron with Carolina. Lessons in humility continue today, the Panthers are last in their division in the 2016 season.

Presumption comes before the fall in sport and war. Trash talking never won a real fight in the real world. Adult leadership always matters.

Success in sports, business, statecraft, and war is a function of quiet confidence. Gloating motivates the competition. An overestimate is a no-lose hedge. An underestimate is a fatal flaw. And if you’re in it to spin it, you are probably not going to win it.

At the moment, team America is losing five hot wars and one cold war, all in slow motion.

Somehow, such ground truth is lost on the virtual generation of politicians, diplomats, and generals. Indeed, if you follow the national security monologue today, you would be led to believe that spin, propaganda, public relations, and bombast are substitutes for actual success.

Resume and political twerking seem to be the new measures of accomplishment for national security professionals.

America might be bleeding, yet generals, for example, wear so much fruit salad camouflage than no one notices the hemorrhaging. Indeed, ignoring deficits and defeat is now a DOD meme. The Pentagon is a bull pen for oft promoted and often decorated underachievers.

Contemporary operational art, if it can be called that, is to do just enough to keep Muslim small wars going but never enough to win.

The only true victors in the matrix of military mediocracy seem to be Beltway bandits and the chaps who make and sell gadgets, bombs, and bullets to DOD.  Dwight Eisenhower is probably spinning in his grave today. Hot “long wars” and long cold wars are good news for the military/industrial complex. Not so much for the taxpayer or true security.

Few, at this point, can argue that Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, or Yemen are better off after American meddling. Let’s review the bidding.

Eastern Europe

The Clinton era campaign to dismantle Yugoslavia is still playing out. Civil war in the Balkans began with agitation in Muslim Kosovo which quickly escalated to other Yugoslav provinces. Pushback from Christian Serbs degenerated into a sectarian blood bath. The EU and America sided with Muslim factions, bombed Serbia into a cease fire, and the rest is history. EU and NATO helped to create two radical Islamic sanctuaries in the heart of Europe, ignoring the toxic record of Muslim fascism in Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina.

When an objective history of 20th Century Balkans is written, Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina will not be in the win column.

It’s probably no accident that the EU sought to dismember a former Soviet client state whilst the USSR itself was racked by political revolution.  NATO and the EU filled the Warsaw Pact vacuum by pulling former Moscow satellites into the Brussels orbit. Absent the Warsaw Pact buffer, Russia found itself with both the EU and NATO as hostile neighbors.

The Cold War with the Soviet Union, and now Russia, was never far removed the turmoil in the Balkans. Say what you will about Vladimir Putin, but he has stabilized Rodina within. His pushback in Georgia and Ukraine is understandable too from a Russian security perspective. Surely, no rational Kremlin leader could let the naval and nuclear weapons at Sevastopol fall into the hands of neo-Nazi crazies in Kiev.

These days, it’s probably not difficult for the average Russian to believe that the Kremlin is the ultimate regime change target for Brussels and Washington.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan began as another proxy war with the Soviets; an early clandestine success that morphed into a nasty guerilla war with the locals. The Kremlin was prudent enough to cut its losses in 1989. When the Russians departed, the Americans stepped in for a quarter century of humiliations. The Taliban (nee Mujahedeen ) now have a secure theocratic naro-state in most of the countryside. Sovereign Afghanistan barely exists outside of Kabul.

The Afghan War used to be known as the “war of necessity’ when bin Laden was alive. The 9/11 mastermind is dead now for five years, but al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS still flourish and one of the three is likely to eventually seize Afghanistan.

When Afghanistan succumbs, whither nuclear Pakistan?

Iraq

At the beginning of the Obama administration, Iraq was known as the “war of choice,” implying that America didn’t need to be there. After the initial Schwarzkopf  blitz of 2003, America is still in Iraq, albeit with fewer allies. Indeed, America, a “coalition of one,” is currently fighting its third Iraq war in 13 years. Iraq is now the DOD poster child for battle fatigue and mission creep. No end in sight for either.

Having reversed the sectarian poles, Sunni to Shia, and cashiered Sadam Hussein’s army; America now finds itself as a proxy ally to Shia Iran, mired in a ground war with a growing Sunni Islamic State.

Former Bath Party soldiers fight for the Levant jihad. After rearming Shia Iran by “deal”, America now sides with a Persian client state that one day may be the Shia counterpart of Sunni ISIS. Yes, Iraq and Iran used to be irreconcilable enemies. Naive American policy blunders gifted Baghdad to the ayatollahs.

The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq provided an opportunity for the kind of executive twerking that minimizes Muslim imperialism to this day. Team Obama mocked ISIS as the “junior varsity.” What the president failed to say was more telling.

Presumably, the Muslim “varsity” is the larger global jihad. According to intelligence estimates, ISIS alone now has a presence in 40 states and attracts recruits from 90 countries, including America.  And ISIS is just one of dozens of global jihadist armies, Sunni and Shia, with similar religious/political agendas. Islamist foot soldiers are supported directly or indirectly by both Arabs and Persians.

The blow back from three American campaigns in Iraq is now threefold:  ISIS, a Shite Iraq, and a new vassal state for Iran.

The quagmire in Baghdad is starting to make ten years in Saigon look like money well spent.

Syria

Hard as it is to imagine, Syria is a bigger mess than Iraq, although it’s difficult to believe that either state will survive in its present configuration. Syria is the exemplar of “humanitarian” folly, although Libya might be close second.

The Syrian campaign began as another anti- regime fiasco, underwritten by the simplistic belief that democracy is the default setting for failed Muslim states. Sovereign failure and collapse, alas, is engineered by sponsored assassinations, coups, civil wars, or “humanitarian” interventions.

The decades old campaign to unseat Bashir Assad has now degenerated into another proxy war with the Kremlin. In this case, Moscow has the moral high ground. Unlike American, the Russian intervention in Syria is at the request of the host. The Kremlin is actually defending, not destroying, Syrian sovereignty.

Indeed, the Russian Air Force, Kurd, and Persian militias seem to be winning in the north. If Aleppo falls, Russia and Iran will have scored a major victory over the Sunni jihad in Syria. If and when the Russian led coalition drives ISIS back into Turkey, expect John Kerry and Ash Carter to be the first to take a bow.

The valiant Kurds, unfortunately, are unlikely to benefit from any al Nusra/ISIS defeat in Syria.

The Kurds are the largest, if not only, demographic of genuine Muslim “moderates” in the world. Caught between duplicitous Turks and feckless Americans, the Kurdish quest for a national sovereignty is likely to be kicked to the curb by a US defense establishment that prefers to pander to Ottoman theocrats in Ankara.

The Kurd quandary is just a facet of the larger dilemma that dogs US foreign/military policy in the Ummah. Few if any Arab, Persian, or Muslim factions trust the White House or the Pentagon after decades of spastic policy.

Libya

Libya is another tragic case of regime change folly embellished with callous adolescent taunts. Once the most affluent nation in North Africa, Libya is now reduced to barbaric free fall and religious civil war. The ISIS “junior varsity” has more than a toehold in yet another failed Muslim state with oil wealth. Mission creep proceeds apace in North Africa too. US air strikes have begun in Libya – again.

With Libya, gloating reaches new juvenile lows. Mrs. Clinton twerked: “We came, we saw, he died,” after the sponsored Gadhafi kill. Clearly, the US State Department was driving the Libya putsch.

Mrs. Clinton was cackling an artless replay of Julius Ceasar’s cryptic report (47 BC) to the Roman senate: “Veni, vidi, vinci; I came, I saw, I conquered. The very phrase has come to mean quick, successful victory. The American sponsored implosion in Libya is neither.

Subsequent to the Libyan collapse, which included the assassination of the US ambassador, the then Secretary of State concluded: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Assessing the post-Gadhafi meltdown in North Africa; President Obama trash-talked the misadventure as North African “tribalism;” indeed calling erstwhile prosperous Libya, another “shit show.”

Vulgarity is often the lingua fanca for national security amateurs, as when State Department official Victoria Nuland chortled “fuck NATO” because some Europeans failed to endorse the US sponsored coup in Ukraine fast enough.

Yemen

The war in Yemen is another proxy fight, Saudi Arabia against Iran, Persian against Arab, and Sunni against Shia. In this case, America and England side with the Sunni. The wealthiest Muslim nation in Africa is trying to bomb the poorest Muslim nation back to the Stone Age.

Unaided, it would be impossible for the corrupt Emirates or a theocratic Saudi Arabia to fight their way out of a harem. The Saudi free-fire zone in Yemen is impossible without British and American weapons and munitions. Any moral argument about “indiscriminate” Russian bombing in Syria is undermined by the Saudi/American/British aerial blitz in Yemen.

A casual observer would be hard pressed not to see the Yemen and Mosul, Iraq fronts as distractions, if not diversions, from humiliations in Syria and Libya.  Lame ducks, seeking legacy, often morph into black swans.

As we speak, the American navy is exchanging missiles with Shia gunners in Yemen. American and Iranian flotillas are doing a martial pas de deux at Bab al Mandeb, a maritime standoff that could go hot with a single stray round.

Cold War with Russia

Just as the Shia/Sunni rift underwrites much of the mayhem in Muslim small wars, civil and sectarian; the proxy war between America and Russia compounds Ummah instability. Kremlin bashing now seems to be a staple for both American political parties. Even Hillary Clinton was fond of Anti-Putin twerking with Pussy Riot

Much Russophobia is also a diversion too – or whistling in the dark. Picking a fight with Moscow, whilst Muslim small wars abide, is a just twitch short of strategic insanity. Making matters worse, the trash talkers now accuse the Kremlin of meddling in American elections.

If the Russian FSB is capable of tampering with American elections, then the problem is the FBI and the National Security Agency, not Vladimir Putin. Russian and American Intelligence operatives do pretty much the same things, all of which are probably illegal somewhere. The difference between the two is that the Kremlin doesn’t seem to confuse effective tradecraft with adolescent loose talk.

If there’s a legitimate threat to the integrity of American elections from Intelligence operatives, the immediate danger comes from partisan American, not Russian, officials. Michael Morrel, former deputy at CIA, and Michael Hayden, former director at NSA, take a bow here.

And if America is as weak and vulnerable as officials like Morrel and DNI Jim Clapper claim; what does that say about the 17 plus Intelligence agencies and the myriad of DOD agencies that are supposed to provide security?  The problem with national defense may be the same as the problem with domestic social programs. Spending has been divorced from results – and solutions.

The only defense thread with a plus vector is funding, especially in the “wilderness of mirrors,” the Intelligence Community. National security today, for both political parties, is more business than security.

The more America spends on Intelligence, the less the White House seems to know about threats. Bigger Intelligence has never been better, especially if the need is objective analysis. The best technical Intelligence collection in the world is now undone by cooked books and asserted conclusions, especially specious analysis about Russia or Islam.

Much of the associated political twerking is a toxic remix mandated by Beltway thought police.  The worst invective is now reserved for “Russians,” when we actually mean the Putin administration. No such blanket bias is permissible for Arabs, Persians, or Muslims where the preferred terms for culprits are undifferentiated euphemisms such as “criminals, radicals, or extremists”.

Or to borrow a gem from DNI James Clapper, Muslim shock troops and terrorists are called “nefarious characters.”  If you listen to the Orwellian verbiage approved by fiat for America’s Muslim wars, you might believe that race, country of origin, and political theology had nothing to do with the ongoing Muslim jihad or the larger “clash of civilizations.”

The Russian Shibboleth

The specter of the Russian bear haunts those many inconclusive Muslim wars. From Afghanistan in 1978 to Syria today, the perception of the Kremlin as a manipulator of dark forces continues to haunt the American foreign/military policy establishment. It’s as if all the baggage of the Comintern , the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact, and the Cold War were still with us.

Blatant contradictions abound. American foreign policy assumes that Putin’s Russia is Stalin’s Soviet Union. With Islam, a culture barely altered in 1400 years, we assume democracy follows autocracy. In fact, theocracy is the default setting for a metastasizing Ummah. And Russians, since Yeltsin, are models of tolerance and democracy when compared to recidivist Persians and Arabs.

After the Ayatollah’s revolution in 1979, the vector of Shia and Sunni political cultures is race to the barbaric bottom, or the 7th Century, whichever comes first.

Russophobia is now aggravated by Pentagon generals with political agendas. NATO and CJCS brass provide two recent examples.

Former NATO Supreme Allied commander, Philip Breedlove, USAF, was exposed, thru hacked emails, beating the drums for confrontation with Russia. At the JCS, Army Chief of Staff, Mark Milley engaged in similar chest thumping, claiming that Russia was “an existential threat,” a menace that the US Army would “destroy.”

Breedlove and Milley should be careful about what they wish for. Some sense of history might help. The Soviet’s did most of the fighting and took most of the casualties in the last European war. Today, Russians are no longer dependent on the largesse of Lend-Lease. And the Kremlin still has the home field advantage.

Russia isn’t Panama and the Russian Army isn’t anybody’s “junior varsity.” A cynic might conclude that the Kremlin shibboleth is not as critical to US national security as it is for DOD budgets and federal spending.

Efforts to separate Russia from Europe are not in the best interests of Europe or America in any future. Playing a highly personalized version of nuclear “chicken” with Vladimir Putin is not much of a game plan either.

Russians were an indispensable ally for the defeat of 20th Century secular fascism in WW II. Russia may have to play a similar role if 21st Century Islamofascism is ever to be beaten. Unfortunately, the kind of spin and twerking that characterizes State Department rhetoric has migrated to the Department of Defense.

Alas, trash talk and adolescent posturing doesn’t win cold or hot wars. American politicians and generals who can’t acknowledge failure are unlikely to recognize success in any case.

Martial malarkey is especially ironic because DOD is clearly subordinate to the cookie pushers at Foggy Bottom these days. Recall that the former CJCS, another Army general, Martin Dempsey, testified that he didn’t send help to Benghazi because Hillary Clinton at the State Department didn’t ask him for help.

Girls and gays with guns in the ranks is one thing. Girly men on the E Ring is another problem altogether. The mufti militia at the Pentagon needs to think long and hard about getting back to what real warriors do best.

        

                                                                            What Is To Be Done?

 

Stand Up or Stand Down

The bell whether event of the 20th Century was the 1979 religious coup in Iran, the significance of which was largely lost or ignored by most observers under the smoke screen of the hostage crisis and Carter/Reagan era bumbling. The truth about the ayatollahs is that they played America then as well as they played team Obama more recently in 2016.

The advent of Persian theocracy was seismic for two reasons. Religious rule was legitimized in an erstwhile secular state and theocracy in Tehran, rule by clerics, provided both a role model and spark to the fire that still rages in the Sunni world today. Indeed, if you consult narratives for the period, theocracy and the Shia /Sunni rift are largely ignored. The headlong civic plunge backwards is still called, ironically, a “Jasmine Revolution” or an “Arab Spring.”

Alas, the subtext of the global jihad is religious war, an imperial campaign that targets non-Muslim infidels and apostate secular Muslims alike. Now that Shia and Sunni nuclear weapons are part of the equation, Koranic prophesy about Armageddon becomes more relevant to true believers.

Indeed, the “great game” in the Mideast and North Africa is not between East and West; the true nexus of jihad is the antipathy between Arabs and Persians, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Washington has inserted itself on the median strip between these 1400 year old religious road warriors. Before the Shia/Sunni rift is resolved, something more than American naiveté might become road kill.

The rationale for war is often the same as the rationale for the death penalty. Some miscreants are so evil; killing is the only sensible solution. America needs to acknowledge the primal threat of Shia and Sunni Islamism or stand down.  Half-measures and futile appeasements are variants of a death wish actualized in slow motion.

America will not defeat Islamism alone either. A bloated NATO has done little or nothing to restrain the jihad. Indeed, the one unique European policy response to the Ummah hemorrhage is “open borders.” Who in their right mind believes that the answer to jihad and terror in Europe, or America, is more Muslims?

Non-contiguous Islamic nations do not accept Muslim refugees or migrants for good and prudent reasons. Only infidel morons invite ideological, religious, or kinetic threats into the homeland?

Pay and Play

America must insist that Muslims fight and finance their own wars, rescue their own refugees/migrants, and reform a toxic religio/political ideology tomorrow, if not sooner. If the Ummah is content to succumb to Shia and Sunni fundamentalist theocracy, so be it. A unified Muslim threat simplifies the targeting problem for any future “coalitions” that will have to deal with Islamism.

NATO “partners” too must pay their own way and fight as required or resign themselves to the tender mercies of a European caliphate. The EU is already on a slippery slope if Brexit is any clue. Crash Islamization just accelerates the slide.

Humanitarian Intervention?

Social democratic imperialism, or globalism, is the single political canard that underwrites most recent American and European foreign/military policy disasters. Alas, justifying violations of national sovereignty with good intentions is a little like trying to rationalize rape as speed dating.

Unsolicited intervention is usually propelled by special interests, hidden agendas, or colossal arrogance. Armed assault is a hermaphrodite too; an “intervention” for the aggressor is an invasion for the victim. Worst of all, “humanitarian” intervention, as justified by globalist polemicists like Samantha Powers at the UN, is often a euphemism for coercive “regime change.” There’s nothing legal, democratic, moral, or “humanitarian” about any sponsored coup, insurrection, sectarian or civil war.

Nations are sovereign or they are not.

Recent evidence is conclusive.  Regime change is an act of war sponsored by naive nitwits who have no intention of winning the fight or dealing with consequences of predictable chaos.

The Virtual Illusion

If the policy, plan, or strategy is hair brained, tactics and operational arts are unlikely to compensate. So it is with fifty years of Muslim small wars where much American “combat” is fought by arm chair warriors in air conditioned aircraft, “situation” rooms, Pentagon suites, or mobile trailers. We are told that the American President personally selects drone or cruise missile targets. Small wonder then that American tactics echo round the world before strategy can find its big boy pants.

Virtual warriors are not unlike video gamers, nerds far removed from the blood and guts, but dangerous nonetheless. There’s little evidence to date to suggest that air power alone wins any war, large or small.

Indeed, precision guided weapons had little to do with big kills. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Muamar Gadhafi were all killed the old fashioned way, with boots on the ground.  An airstrike, unfortunately, seldom provides an opportunity for gloating or twerking.

Body count is never as important as bodies that count.

The bin Laden execution has become such a staple for political demagogues that a generation of children might come to believe that the Saudi villain was shot by Foggy Bottom fairies, not a SEAL team. The American State Department is fond of taking bows for the achievements of others and equally adverse to accepting responsibilities for any failures.

New Alliances

If you compare religion, politics, culture, and praxis; there’s not much of a difference between the Islamic State, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. All lope off limbs or heads as public spectacle, each is the leg of a backward triumvirate metastasizing into the past in a quest for monolithic Islamic theocracy. Turkey is now a prime candidate to make the irredentist trio into a quartet.

When democratic socialists pander to clerical thugs; theocracy is validated. Freedom and democracy are suborned.

After 50 years of humiliations, if not defeat, the much vaunted NATO and the EU condominiums have proven to be paper tigers. Europeans, again taking cues from Berlin, believe that Islam will be appeased if Muslim migrants are pacified with open borders, subsidized hots, cots, and unlimited blond girl friends. Most Muslim immigrants and refugees are single males.

Here again, history is instructive. When secular fascism threatened the world in the 20th Century, most of Europe rolled over, north to south, like cheap tricks. There were a few noble exceptions at the margins in London and Moscow that made a difference. Now that religious fascism again stalks the continent, the usual European suspects again play the catamite.

There’s no chance that America alone saves Europe or the Ummah from their worst instincts. Defeating Islamofascism will require stout partners. Few social democracies in continental Europe are up for that challenge today. For too many Europeans, losing a war is the fastest way to end a war. Hat tip to Orwell.

If the conflict with Islamism is to be won, new thinking, less twerking, and new alliances are crucial. Any secular autocrat is a better ally than any Muslim theocrat. Russia and China are ruthless with home-grown Islamists. Moscow and Beijing have no illusions about the meaning of jihad and the threat posed by fascism, secular or religious, abroad or at home.

“Cowards die many times before their actual deaths.”

Julius Caesar

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See Something Say Something (about Benghazi)

January 23, 2016

Clandestine Intelligence agents meet with the press for one of three reasons: to betray, to leak in support of policy, or spin the narrative when policy fails. Hard to know what was in play the other day when the former CIA Benghazi station chief, cover name “Bob,” met with two Washington Post reporters, Adam Goldman and Greg Miller. When an administration yarn needs to be spun on the front page, there’s no better venue than the Washington Post.

For the record, the stated purpose of CIA meeting with the Post was to deny the Hollywood version of the Libya fiasco, a 15 February release called 13 Hours, the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Michael Bay, director. It is possible also, in fairness, to imagine that John Brennan’s CIA is slipstreaming with the Post and Mrs. Bill Clinton as she approaches her own trial by fire in the 2016 presidential primaries.

The Bay film was based on a book written by four GRS contract soldiers who served under euphemist Bob at the CIA Annex in Benghazi. The former special ops warriors said that CIA choked, Bob ordered a “stand down,” when Ambassador Chris Steven’s residence came under fire. CIA denied this to Post reporters. With Clintonian hair splitting, the agency may be correct,

There were not one, but two stand-down orders, maybe three. The first delayed the GRS team from rescuing the ambassador. A second probably came from a national authority, yet to be disclosed, that prevented American air or ground reinforcements from reaching the CIA Annex when it subsequently came under fire after the residence was abandoned.

When the US ambassador and three other dead were recovered, the body bags were extracted from Tripoli on a Libyan aircraft, not a USAF asset. The third stand down was more about humiliation than failure of national leadership.

No rescue for the ambassador, no reinforcements for the besieged CIA Annex, and no dignified removal of the dead and wounded. Brave men and women thrice betrayed by an administration that released the Taliban high command from Guantanamo in exchange for an American slacker now on trial for treason.  The Bowe Bergdahl deal with the Taliban was rationalized by the White House as a statement of American values (sic), “no man left behind”. Team Obama left more than its credibility in Libya.

Who, what, where, when, and why are the traditional elements of both exposition and fiction. Cinema is often a little of both. A filmed version of history is of necessity a distillation if not condensation. Bay’s Benghazi flic, 13 Hours,                       is all of these things and less. The “what, where, and when” are both good and dramatic, the “who and why” are a little limp. We still do not know what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, James Clapper, or Martin Dempsey were doing while an embassy residence and a CIA “black” facility in Libya were being sacked by Sunni jihadists. Surely the White House, the State Department, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense were monitoring the Benghazi blitz in real time. The command and control principals are not featured or mentioned in Bay’s epic; a curious omission for a film based on “real events.”

The “why” of Benghazi, that large CIA presence at the “Annex,” gets short shrift too. There is one scene where agents purchase some shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles from nefarious characters, but the gun running operation probably had a much broader charter that had little to do with keeping lethal weapons out of the wrong hands. The CIA Annex was very likely moving all manner of Gadhafi era weapons to Iraq and Syria to other Sunni jihadists. Once Muamar Gadhafi had been lynched in Libya, Bashar Assad in Syria was next on the regime change shit list.

Michael Bay may have whiffed on the “who” and “why,” but he hit it out of the park with CIA trade craft, or lack of it. 13 Hours takes deadly aim at the agency practice of buying local Arab or sectarian tribes and then believing that the perfidious will stay bought. Ambassador Stevens was lost because Sunni Arab “allies” cannot be trusted, especially those who must be paid by Americans to defend their own country. CIA paying for “protection” in the Arab world is a little like some John wearing only a smile for protection after he buys a hooker.

The US State Department is apparently tone deaf on both national and personal security. Sending an openly gay ambassador to yet another failed Muslim state has to be some version of assisted suicide. Sexual orientations are no secret these days at Foggy Bottom; however, that culture plays no part in Bay’s film. Posting a gay man to Libya makes about as much sense as sending a petite blond reporter, Lara Logan for example, to cover an Arab Spring riot in Egypt – reckless endangerment  in both cases.

Chris Stevens, as portrayed in 13 Hours, is a weak sister too; at once naïve, another Foggy Bottom naif, a cowering victim, not a guy in charge of anything. We don’t really know how Ambassador Stevens died. Dead or alive, he was dragged out of the ambassador’s residence and through the streets of Benghazi before being recovered by Americans. The Steven’s autopsy is still a state secret, another CYA caveat designed to protect jihadist and Arab reputation – or keep Americans in the dark.

A gay diplomat in an Arab or Muslim country is not a role model; he’s a magnet, if not a target. Blatant homosexuality in most of the Ummah is a crime, indeed often a capital offense. Sending a gay representative to a Muslim country is an insult to Islam and common sense, a slur likely to be repaid with body bags. Well should we wonder why an American cabinet secretary and her staff could not know how Islamists treat homosexuals. It’s as if putting gay employees in harm’s way has become a closet strategy to poke the Prophet in the eye!

The summary execution of Chris Stevens, a career foreign service officer, is not as instructive about Arab and Muslim culture as it is about the kind of arrogance that thrives at Foggy Bottom, the US State Department. In the main, Americans deployed overseas live in a bubble. Ambassadors, for the most part political hacks, often do not speak the language and/or have little experience with diplomacy, culture, or foreign policy.

The same might be said of pampered embassy staffs that often rely on local or imported contractors. Embassy and consulate employees often live in gated, secured, isolated communities where contact with locals is discouraged, limited, or impossible. American embassies, even in free world countries, have special pay allowances, servants, pools, gyms, commissaries, liquor stores, chauffer services, and other perks that replicate or surpass the amenities of a Washington, DC posting. The ugly American is not just a metaphor; it is the reality of most American ambassadors and now an established culture in the Foreign Service.

We might add that the title “ambassador” today is another word for political baksheesh. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump take a candor bow here. If a government post can be bought, so can the appointee. The State Department is one of those American institutions where most of the principals are naive amateurs by design. Chris Stevens discovered the truth about his fey colleagues the hard way.

CIA, NSA, and DIA are embedded in the same bewildered bubbles where State Department vacuity flourishes. The cluelessness of Benghazi “Bob,” is of a piece with the legendary George Cave at the US embassy in Teheran in the 1970s. It’s not just that these guys couldn’t or wouldn’t see what was coming. When “it” got there, they didn’t recognize the threat, suffered indignities gladly – or were more concerned with covering their asses than they were worried about saving the day.

The theocratic coup in Iran was a landmark victory for the Shia jihad and theocracy, just as 9/11 was a benchmark triumph for the Saudi/Sunni jihad. Benghazi is just the Libyan feather in the Islamist keffiyeh. Thanks to regime change folly and blowback, Libya may now fall to ISIS just as Persia fell to the Ayatollahs.

The venality of CIA’s Benghazi station chief is an eerie echo of Barbara Bodine’s arrogance after the USS Cole disaster in Yemen, another jihad triumph. In both cases, US apparatchiks on station didn’t play well with real men carrying real guns. Both Ambassador Bodine, and now agent Benghazi Bob, were more concerned with Muslim sensitivities than they are with American lives. In both cases, Washington deferred to fear, flaccid diplomats, and timid Intel pukes, not real warriors. Foreign policy is not a team sport anymore.

The message to Americans abroad today; for citizen, soldier, and diplomat alike is clear now. Washington does not have your back. You are expendable.

The film 13 Hours gets it exactly right with “Bob,” the CIA apparatchik in Benghazi. Bob is timid by his own admission, he can’t make a timely decision in a crisis, and when things go south, he looks for someone to blame. In the Washington Post piece, CIA has Bob saying that he was waiting for help from Arab “locals.” Hard to believe that CIA has yet to admit that the locals in Benghazi were the problem all along. Muamar Gadhafi used to claim that so-called freedom fighters in Libya were jihadists. Now we know that he was correct. The Benghazi fiasco is just one symptom of chronic national security stupidity about small wars, Islam, jihad, and terror in the Obama era.

The very fact the CIA and State must rely on contractors gets to the heart of bureaucratic darkness. Every contractor attached to every embassy or CIA station abroad must ask the same question every day: “If we contractors are paid to do the heavy lifting, what are all these government slugs getting paid for?”

Withal, those CIA/State “contractors” at Benghazi, all former warriors, were patronized if not abandoned by their government handlers. Now those heroes have come home and returned the contempt in kind – in a book and on film. Two thumbs way up.

Where there is no justice, getting even will have to do. See something, say something, indeed!

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  1. Murphy Donovan, erstwhile military Intelligence officer, writes about the politics of national security. Colonel Donovan is a Vietnam veteran and was an Intelligence director under James Clapper when Clapper ran USAF Intelligence.

Images:

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRxc9KcBhjr-_1uwWZ3rlaHzlwK7L3GhlG_xtyDkInH5wcrWMJm

http://www.globalresearch.ca/obamas-gun-running-operation-weapons-and-support-for-islamic-terrorists-in-syria-and-iraq-the-objective-was-to-create-constructive-chaos-and-redraw-the-map-of-the-middle-east/5450832

Key Words: Washington Post, CIA, GRS, US State Department, Foreign Service, Benghazi, Chris Stevens, Adam Goldman, Greg Miller, Michael Bay, John Brennan, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bodine, 13 Hours, national security, Islamism, and foreign Policy.

 

 


Realism about Realists

January 12, 2016

See: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/01/08/what-would-a-realist-world-have-looked-like-iraq-syria-iran-obama-bush-clinton/

Not bad, I could agree with all these FP assessments save Israel. There’s no deal to be made with the Palestinians. Fatah and Hamas are extensions of a much larger Muslim problem. Creating another radical Sunni Arab state is not going to do anything for Israel, the Ummah, or the rest of us. Israel’s mistake was not taking a larger part of the traditional Jewish homeland to begin with – including the Temple Mount.

If you want an example of realists today, outside of America, Netanyahu and Putin are the most prominent examples. Aside from real politic deficit, there’s still an invisible elephant in the American mix; zero tolerance for dissent. Kennan couldn’t get a job on State’s PPS today. Indeed, Frank Fukuyama may have been the last original voice at State, as Mike Flynn was the last independent thinker at DOD. Look what happened to him.

The meme on both the Intelligence and policy sides of the national security megaplex is now a political monoculture. You either go along or get gone. Politics has always been an emotional, vice rational discipline. Yet, political venality, both Left and Right, is as bad today as I have ever seen it. A realist today is just another apostate; and as such, like the infidel, an enemy not an ally.