Stratego for Grown-ups

Toy PlaneI’m not at all trained in the so-called art of warfare. I missed out on the various gulf adventures that the Bush Crime Family inflicted on us, and so I know nothing of strategy except what I gleaned from watching Top Gun in my jaded golden youth. I know less about tactics.

Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who blogs with Brother Pierce at Esquire, however does know a great deal about strategy and tactics.

I bring this up only because today Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane after warning them multiple times that the plane was in Turkey’s airspace.

Says Bateman:

“Investigative reporters are repeatedly reminded three words: “Follow the money.” Always good advice. But military strategists also have a similar saying: “Tactics wins battles, but logistics wins wars.” So how does this apply to Putin and his efforts in a place that does not immediately adjoin his own borders?

“Well, yeah, he can provide food and armaments to those bases he has in Syria via airlift. That is possible, given the fairly small amount required to support Russia’s really limited forces in Syria, and even what they bring in to support Assad. But there is one immutable thing about Putin’s Russian forces in Syria, one that they can’t avoid. They need fuel.

“This is an issue, why? Because to supply the amount of fuel needed by an air campaign requires more than just an airlift. It has to come via sea. Getting fuel from Russia itself to the Russian bases on the coast of Syria involves getting from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Bit of a problem that, since that means going through the Dardanelles. Turkey, in short, owns Russia on that count. Unless Russia wants to start a shooting war with all of NATO.”

I believe in Bateman’s analysis, you know, based upon my extensive playing of Stratego (and never once winning).

The thing that gets lost in all of this is that Russia is supporting the brutal dictator Assad in a civil war there. Russia is not fighting ISIS, and if anything their actions might be empowering them (“the enemies of my enemies…”). They are certainly creating the refugee crisis. Not that reality matters to Wingnuttia, because it is easier to blame Obama than understand what is actually going on.

Hey Freud!



“I am lost between the glory of Reagan — monuments everywhere, trumpets, the great hero — and the trials and tribulations of my sons.”

— Former President George H.W. Bush

Is there a term that’s sort of like the Oedipus Complex (kill the daddy and marry the mommy), but when the Dad wants to murder the children? Anyway, it might explain the bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha over Poppy’s biography that has upturned ¡JEB! The Smartest Bush® campaign, what with saying that Blam-Blam and Rummy commandeered Chimpy’s Reign of Error and turned it into a cluster-fuck of unimaginable, un, fuckery.

It seems like every week someone from The Bush Crime Family reveals something that ¡JEB! was not prepared to deal with. But I would think that even a noted former pot-head like ¡JEB! must have been aware that there was a book in the works. Or perhaps it is the case that with that family’s trademarked lack of curiosity he didn’t think to ask? Or is it the case that Poppy did not think about telling him what he was saying? (see my question to Freud, above)

I’m guessing it is a combo of both. Babs-the-Impaler’s family is nothing if not dysfunctional, but I think feral might be a better word.

Satan Throws Another Log On The Fire…

cheney-devil.jpg…to welcome home Ahmed Chalabi:

Chalabi was a controversial figure, especially in the United States, for many reasons. In the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), with the assistance of lobbying powerhouse BKSH & Associates,[6] provided a major portion of the information on which U.S. Intelligence based its condemnation of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, including reports of weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda. Most, if not all, of this information has turned out to be false and Chalabi has been called a fabricator.[7] That, combined with the fact that Chalabi subsequently boasted, in an interview with the British Sunday Telegraph, about the impact that their alleged falsifications had on American policy, led to a falling out between him and the U.S. government. Furthermore, Chalabi was found guilty in the Petra banking scandal in Jordan. In January 2012, a French intelligence official stated that they believed Chalabi to be an Iranian agent.[8]

Initially, Chalabi enjoyed close political and business relationships with some members of the U.S. government, including some prominent neoconservatives within the Pentagon. Chalabi was said to have had political contacts within the Project for the New American Century, most notably with Paul Wolfowitz, a student of nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter, and Richard Perle. He also enjoyed considerable support among politicians and political pundits in the United States, most notably Jim Hoagland of The Washington Post, who held him up as a notable force for democracy in Iraq.[9] He was a special guest of First Lady Laura Bush at the 2004 State of the Union Address.[10]

Chalabi was “the George Washington of Iraq,” except for the part about not telling any lies.

What’s That Commandment About ‘Coveting’?

Jeebus weeps

Jeebus weeps

Hobby Lobby’s Christian owners under federal investigation for importing looted Bible artifacts from Iraq

“Federal authorities are investigating whether the owners of Hobby Lobby illegally imported stolen artifacts for their planned Museum of the Bible.

U.S. Customs agents seized up to 300 small clay tablets shipped from Israel in 2011 to the Christian business owners’ headquarters in Oklahoma City, reported The Daily Beast.

“…There was a shipment and it had improper paperwork—incomplete paperwork that was attached to it,” [Cary Summers, the president of the Museum of the Bible] said, suggesting that the artifacts were simply held up in customs by foot-dragging bureaucrats.

But a source familiar with the Hobby Lobby investigation told The Daily Beast that the clay tablets were described on their FedEx shipping labels as “hand-crafted clay tiles” worth about $300 each — far less than their true worth — and does not indicate they are part of the cultural heritage of Iraq.

Isn’t there a commandment about bearing false witness?

Anyway, the article implies that some of the collection that the Green family has amassed probably came from… wait for it… the raiding of the Iraq museum during the aftermath of Shock and Awe, so your tax dollars at work.

Your Bottomless Mug of Stupid is Served, ¡JEB!

¡JEB! is a son-of-a-Babs

¡JEB! is a son-of-a-Babs

“Not at all because if someone had evidence that there was a pending attack, there was – a lot of investigations after 9/11, if there was tangible evidence that there was an attack that was pending and no one acted, of course there would have been criticism, but that’s not the case.”

Wow. ¡JEB! the Smartest Bush® really wants us to dig up the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB and read it to him, along with Chimpy’s response? You know, while he was on his first month-long vacation at his dude ranch?

I Didn’t Know That… (UPDATED)

ThinkProgress did snark.

Best. Sunday. Read. Ever.

UPDATE 1: But it gets better: let’s watch Jake Tapper kick ¡JEB! in the oompa-loompas:

UPDATE 2: ¡JEB!, who is not pathetic, is now fundraising off of Chimpy’s failure to protect us.

Manhattan to go apeshit in 3… 2…

Hey Bobby: ‘ISIS doesn’t have aircraft’

The Leader of the Stupid Party, Bobby Jindal

The Leader of the Stupid Party, Bobby Jindal

And once again we turn to boy exorcist and noted volcano scholar Bobby Jindal to provide a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist:

“Jindal asserted that the U.S. should be arming the Kurds instead of the Syrian rebels. And secondly, the Louisiana governor called for the U.S. to “create a no-fly zone working with our Turkish and other allies.”

“Let’s talk about a no-fly zone,” Raddatz interrupted. “ISIS doesn’t have aircraft. So what would that no-fly zone really accomplish? When has it really worked?”

Great idea, Bobby. Let’s keep those imaginary ISIS aircraft on the ground. Putz.

The Quotable Grandpa Walnuts


“This terrible tragedy [the bombing of the hospital in Afghanistan where Doctors Without Borders were treating victims on the on-going battles] would not have occurred if the Taliban had not attacked the place to start with. I find it ludicrous and insulting that people would say because of this terrible accident that somehow war crimes are committed. To call that a war crime distorts the definition of a war crime.”

Sure, that makes sense: war crimes cannot happen in war zones. Got it.

¡JEB! The Smartest Bush® Speaks, Falls on Face

NotChimpy and Chimpy

NotChimpy and Chimpy

Is ¡JEB! The Smartest Bush® really this stupid?

¡JEB! only reminds us that his brother Chimpy was in charge before 9/11 and failed. But you know, Chimpy’s Reign of Error started on 9/12.

¡JEB! might as well have linked to the ad himself, as I found it right away on the first google search:

Falling… into history

Got it: white is patriotic.

Got it: white is patriotic.

[Ed: We’ve been running this post since the blog began nearly a decade ago. It is from the SF Chronicle from 2006, which seems like a lifetime ago, when we were younger and perhaps innocent. This essay has fallen into the void and is no longer on the Chron’s servers. I want to ensure that it remains on the web, so I am including it verbatim.

It was written by Neva Chonin, who has long since gone from The Chron. I still think this essay remains the best writing about September 11 that I have encountered. Oh, we’re keeping it on top today–Tengrain]

He’s one of those average men you pass without noticing. A little tubby, wearing beige Dockers and a pink polo shirt. Not much to look at, were it not for the fact that this particular guy is flying. No, flying is the wrong word — he’s falling, falling through the blue sky, a lifetime of memories clutched in his outstretched hands and nothing we know about below.

He’s falling into history.

I can’t remember when or why I started Googling the words “Sept. 11” and “falling.” I was looking for … something. Chills? Answers? What I found were pictures of the jumpers — the people trapped on the upper floors of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, who chose to breathe free one last time before dying. Some leaped from their offices holding hands, lines of them, clinging to one another until gravity and wind tore them apart. A solo jumper, dubbed “The Falling Man” by media, went on to become emblematic of that day’s unanswered questions.

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