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For MEB, forever.

For clarification puposes, what I have written in the past as to the threat of the use of force was based on the literature on such things, which is that a credible threat to use force is often efficacious. If people are doing that, as in preparing to… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Of course Kenya refers to the country of one half of the President's origin, and the tragedy of the mall attack this weekend. One would think the President would feel more strongly about that a little bit, as Kenya is the country of his father, if of course he was… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

One could almost add in Tokyo, as Japan has very significant nvestments in Iran's oil and gas industry, imports traditionally 0ne half a million barrels of oil a day from Iran, and would be plunged into an emergency if the Persian Gulf were closed by Iranian military actions.… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

This is in response to an article by Tom Nichols of the Naval War College and John Shindler in the National Interest, claiming that American policy in the Middle East has collapsed.

The author does not concur, if there are serious problems because of the kvetching over the… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

On reflection, that is the most important part of the Lavrov-Kerry deal, should of course it be implemented, which means an act of serious Syrian good faith in the WMD field sooner than later, as to trades on the question of the use of force.

But the bottom… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

There is no need of defense of theory as applied to political science, as everyone has a theory under which they operate, more or less specified and more or less robust to changes in specification being the real differences.

And yet of course, it is often populat to… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That question, "what has been the utility of the threat of the use of force in the Syrian crisis of 2013," still matters.

It matters because the Russians and Chinese have to concur on the Security Council with the Western Bloc of Britain, France, and America on the conditions… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That is the most important feature of the Kerry-Lavrov accord on Syria; the admission that Syrian WMD exist at all.

Most people thought that the case, although that thinking was true with Saddam the second time around (there was zero question they existed the first time around for… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

The author conducted an intensive examination of the Syrian case in May of this year for an online group he belongs to due to the nature of certain mainly analytical work that he performed over the years.

Crisis is an apt word to describe what has transpired in… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Fifty years ago today, there was a church bombed in my hometown of Birmingham, Allabama that killed four little girls goiong to Sunday school.

It elicits a sick feeling whenever I think about that. Black people here llike to dress up for church at least as much as… Read full post »

Alas, I am still dead, if some in Labor might fear that were not the case. I shall not disappoint in that regard.

Laughter, at the Last Lioness, appreciated far more in retrospect than in her time.

I come to you to ask for your reconsideration on the matter of Syria,… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Unfortunately in the Middle East, they are mainly Muslims, as to rocks and and places.

Since we are not generally speaking Muslims here, that will always be a source of disagreement here about what to do there.

Some people like the Muslims, or Arabs, some don't. None… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

The name As(s)sad is in parentheses, because you see it both ways, if specialists use one S more, the reason for the difference being different systems of transliteration.

I wanted to see exotic Vietnam... the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulati… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Senseless in this case refers to Clausewitz in his classic On War, and refers to his core notion that war is the pursuit of policy by other means.

There is an unavoidable policy rationale for some strong signal in the Syrian use of chemical weapons, military action the… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

People have different strategic tastes, as to stating exactly what one would do or not do, historically speaking Republicans preferring what John Lewis Gaddis called an "asymmetric approach," on average, Democrats preferring to specify contingencies.

As an example, Ambassador Glaspi… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

It would be risky because it would tempt a response, but clever, because if there were not a response, it would have system impact on credibility of American statements on national security.

It would be clever to try to label a chemical attack a false flag, seeming to… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That is a good thing about chemical weapons, that it minimizes property damage.

Thank Dr. Assad for reminding us of the good features of chemical weapons, a higher form of killing.

On reflection, maybe we should have more of it in the future: "Just spray them, like cockroaches."… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That of course is what the President has decided to do, to ask the Congress for authorization to use force against Assad, after having deployed such a lovely strike force to do that already.

Clearly there was the potential for a significant bombardment of the Assad regime, easily… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

In the Balkans, tens of thousands died, until the United States finally got embarrassed enough to do something about it, which did require the use of force.

The massacre at Srebrinica was important in that process.

For all the critics over the years, the peace has held in… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

In a populist democracy, popularity wins, and so perhaps we'll see a stunning about face, if then I bet we'd regret that a little while down the road.

That is a different question than waiting for UN Inspectors to make their conclusions.

But as to why the Syrian… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Member States of the UN make certain committments, one of which is to not initiate the use of weapons of mass destruction, clearly at issue in Syria.

More than likely, the Syrian government initiated the use of weapons of mass destruction as a challenge, in order to achieve… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

It is of course true that the use of chemical weapons as a "false flag" or psychological-military information support effort has been claimed to have been in the offing, if by pro-Russian sources in the main.

That almost looks like a passive-aggressive tactic, to stage a confrontati… Read full post »

This contains material from NSA intercepts of the meeting between Dr. Pest Control Assad and Jessie and Mr. White.

"Yo, Dr. Assad, gassing thousands of people, way to go biatch!"

"Nice to meet you too Jessie. I have admired your scientific efforts for some time now."

Assad then turns to Mr.… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

WMD, weapons of mass destruction.

Most would agree that the use of chemical weapons munitions of a lethal quality by their nature, would be a use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which is what has been alleged to have occurred in the Syrian suburb of Ghouta, Damascus region.… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

That remains unclear as to whether or not Assad did use chemical weapons, if the timing would make sense one could argue, possibly.

As to the difficulty, if he used chemical weapons on a major scale, that is a direct affront to U.S. policy as to that issue,… Read full post »