Then what?

Bird Dog's picture

Ukraine. I predict that Putin will continue to lie and blame-shift. The following paragraphs do not confirm that the blood of 298 innocent civilians (including one American) is on Putin's hands, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.

Syriaq round-up

Bird Dog's picture

Nonsensical rationale for sending 300 special forces. At his press conference a week ago, Obama said:

Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military actions that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.

More on that Iraq-Syria problem

Bird Dog's picture

The red-headed general is back. To get an idea of how badly al Maliki has alienated everyone who isn't Shiite, even Sufis have joined ISIS.

Some observations on this Middle East meltdown

Bird Dog's picture

Here is just one reason why Obama's complete cut-and-run of US combat forces was a major mistake.

Earthquakes domestic and abroad

Bird Dog's picture

Domestic. The term "earthquake" has been overused in reference to the Virginia Congressional primary, but Eric Kantor's loss to Dave Brat was a major political temblor. There have been all kinds of reasons cited for why Cantor lost. Erick Erickson will tell you that Kantor lost because he and his staff were a bunch of as**oles, which sounds sort of plausible.

The Violent Hominid

A recent research paper makes a compelling case that male human faces are the way they are (comparatively ugly, once could say), because they have evolved to take a punch. In essence the paper determines that the hand structure became capable of making a fist at right about the same time that Australopithecus evolved reinforcements to bone structures in the face, but only for males.


Take Iraq, please [Update: Mosul taken by an al Qaeda offshoot]

Bird Dog's picture

Although written over a month ago, this piece by Dexter Filkins is indispensable journalism. The topic is mostly about al Maliki and his management style, or mismanagement style as it were. The first problem was that we backed him in the first place. Yes, there weren't many good choices to be had, but that goes to the management style, or mismanagement style, of the Bush administration.

June 6, 1944

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field,

as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

A better Bergdahl rant [ADD]

Jay C's picture

(h/t Balloon Juice)


One Jim Wright (USN, ret.) has up, on his blog Stonekettle Station, one of the better "analyses" - well, not really an analysis,  actually more of an angry rant - about the wingnut* freakout over the return of SGT Bowe Bergdahl than I have read on the 'Net so far.


No comment, really, other than I (disclaimer: lifelong civilian) agree with it 110%.



Two new foreign policy wrinkles

Bird Dog's picture

It is now the tacit policy of the United States that it does negotiate with terrorists, specifically the Taliban. Somehow, that little nugget didn't get into Obama's Big Speech at West Point a few days ago. The five Taliban released from Gitmo are bad guys (h/t Blaise).

"The Brotherhood Will Be Back"

Bird Dog's picture

The above title is the title of this NYT piece by Shadi Hamid. The URL is "more democratic less liberal" (was that the author's preferred title?). There a couple of things that bother me about it. For one, this:

But there is a different, deeper failure, one that is likely to plague the region for decades to come: the fundamental inability of secular state systems to accommodate Islamist participation in the democratic process.

More problems with the RTMNBN*: Iran edition

Bird Dog's picture

If you live in Iran and make a video of dancing un-hijabbed women, you too could get arrested.



Who should we support Open Thread.

mmghosh's picture

eeyn posed an interesting question about who are the good guys in Libya, and BlaiseP summed it up, accurately IMO, that there are no "good guys" - both supposed secularists and obvious Islamists can be both good and bad.


Cut to Syria where a chemical weapon-using supposed secularist is fighting tunnel-bomb using Islamists.



You know there is something wrong with Islam when...

Bird Dog's picture

...a militant Islamist group kidnaps hundreds of young girls from a school and pledges to sell them on the open market, with purported leader citing Allah as his moral authority.

The War of Madmen: Ukraine analysis

The idiots in Kiev have begun an assault on Slavyansk.  Two MI-24 helos have been shot down with surface to air missiles, another badly damaged and several prisoners were captured.  Where once Ukraine had a tactical advantage, besieging Slavyansk, held the highway on both sides, holding their fire, playing for time, the one commodity both sides need, Ukraine have now only further enraged the ethnic Russians. 


For their part, the Russians and their Little Green Men stupidly continue to seize government buildings. rioting in Donetsk. Putin bluffs, demanding Ukraine pull its troops from the southeast. 


Clearly Ukraine's military has no concept of how to manage a combined arms assault.  Russia has successfully infiltrated superior troops and weapons systems into Ukraine's eastern corridor but such troops are spread thin across many towns and cities.  To win, the Russian elements must hold out long enough for the Kiev government, such as it is, to flinch.


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