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February 08, 2013



Can I really be first on this thread? Or is this just some cruel typepad trick.


reposting jimmyk's wsj link

Captain Hate

You obviously aren't following all the nuances of Smart Diplomacy.

God's will, and what is willed?

My father said that once the Sheiks of Araby had sold all their oil they'd own the London Stock Exchange. He didn't expect them to fund the recall of the Enlightenment.


But when Mr. Petraeus resigned because of an extramarital affair...

Last nights read, (in between Tyrannosaurus Sex) was Bruce Catton's Grant Takes Command, a history of US Grant after Vicksberg. This bit, from a letter of Union General Grenville Dodge, tickled me, as it shows what sort of trouble Generals got in back in those days of early 1864. Grant had just been appointed to the Supreme Command, and after his visit to DC, he took 9 days to hustle back to Nashville to settle his affairs there and appoint Sherman to command The Army of the West etc. (page 137)

After they got away from the State House the generals went to the theater to see Hamlet, even Rawlings apparently being of the party; and Sherman, who liked going to the theatre above all other pleasures, felt that the unskillful actors were murdering the play, and said so repeatedly, out loud, until Dodge managed to quiet him by pointing out that the audience was full of soldiers and that if their attention were drawn to Grant's party they would probably create a scene. When the play at last reached the graveyard sequence, and Hamlet picked up Yorick's skull to soliloquize over it, some soldier in the audience, who had seen enough skulls and open graves for a dozen dramatists, sang out: "Say, pard, what is it---Yank or Reb?" In the uproar that followed Greant's party left the theater, and then they went all over Nashville looking for a restaurant where they could buy some oysters. They found one at last, sat around a table talking brightly over bowls of stew, and dawdled so much that the proprietess (recognizing neither her customers nor the fact that they constituted enough top brass to suspend and military regulation) ejected them, with the remark that General Grant's curfew regulations compelled her to close at midnight.


hit and run

All differences aside between Libya and Syria -- and without defending the decision to go all kinetic in Libya -- the blather Obama used himself to justify Libya would make intervening in Syria a moral imperative.

"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and - more profoundly - our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."
--stuff Obama said (about Libya)

Or to put it another way...

"By not intervening in Syria I am brushing aside America's responsibility as a leader - and more profoundly - our responsibilities to our fellow human beings. And under such circumstances it is a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries, and the United States of America is no different. And as president, I choose to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."
--stuff Obama (of the Libya kinetic military action) would say as Obama (of the "I have a strongly worded letter for Assad" inaction)

Cecil Turner (on mini-pad)

The difference is obvious: it's in the national interest to intervene in Syria, and it wasn't in Libya.

I'm not sure "smart diplomacy" is an oxymoron . . . but it sure is the way this crew does it.

hit and run

I'm not sure "smart diplomacy" is an oxymoron . . . but

...Barack Obama is an omnimoron.

With an omnimpotent foreign policy.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

Even if Barry balked at arming the Syrians because he had seen the light that his Arab Spring spawn, fathered by his inseminating speech in Cairo, is just a lousy remake of The Bad Seed, it will take much more than blocking a couple of pallets of AKs and RPGs to put the genie back in the bottle.
We have many more than 1001 Crazy Arabian Nights to look forward to as the number of Jihadi nation states grows.
Barry's god forsaken legacy will precede him...from behind.


But no responsibility to protect Christopher Stevens?

Did you see Dempsey's comment about Benghazi? Then the exchange between McCain and Dempsey: “Our posture was not there because we didn’t take into account the threats to our consulate...”

But our posture was indeed there. Bent-over, cheeks spread apart; a posture so deliberate that requests for Cross-border Authority to rescue President Obama's personal envoy were denied.

Strange that John McCain and others so readily accept the absence of a US posture in Benghazi that night. Not only is US posture obvious, authority was withheld or otherwise used to protect and preserve that posture; bent-over, cheeks spread wide.

Jane (A dog in the crate is better than one on the plate)

Obama should be impeached for Benghazi. Period.


I wholeheartedly agree. To go to bed, to not call anyone and to fly to Vegas the next day to campaign is just unfathonable to me. He completely abandoned his job as President. Impeachment now!


I don't think he really was AWOL that evening. I think they came to him and asked what they should do about rescue efforts and he told them to do nothing.

Or - maybe - they couldn't get him on the phone, so ValJar told them to do nothing.

I think they decided "AWOL" was less damaging than the truth.

Jack is Back!

When it comes to these Libya, Syria, Iran, and Benghazi situations we face the new phrasing coinage should be WWWD.

What Would W Do?

You can bet your sweet bippy that America and its personnel whether civilian or military or diplomatic would be his first and only concern. W go to bed? Yeah, after the situation was resolved as fast and as deadly as he could have made it to save lives and protect assets. Oh, and does anyone doubt that if W wasn't around but Cheney was there would be a difference? BTW, where was Mr. Foreign Affairs Expert aka The Sheriff aka the Solon of Scranton or Mr. Foot in Mouth or Joe Biden (take your pick). Funny, how a guy who always brags about being right in the middle of historic events missed this one.


when the 3 am call came to Hillary and Obama both, it went to the answering service.

Jane - snowed in

I Just saw a split screen of Obama and Dr. Ben Carson at yesterday's prayer breakfast. That's the best thing I've seen since Obama's first debate.


I think you are right on this one


Well that's one explanation, but it's not born out by the facts, Has Bel Hadj been detained, or even moved against, he was running the pipeline out of Libya, Al Harzi's relative is with the Iraqi affiliate, One of the leaders, of the Al Nusra Front, Julani got his start operating in Iraq,

The more likely answer, is he has left the field to Doha and Riyadh, to pick and chose.

Frau Libby Krimi

I think they decided "AWOL" was less damaging than the truth.

"I think you (Porch) are right on this one again"

From his account of Grant surrendering his sword to Lee @ Appomattox.

"Nev' mind about me," said Grant, helping himself to a second, "I can take it or let it alone. Didn' ya ever hear the story about the fella went to Lincoln to complain about me drinking too much? 'So-andSo says Grant drinks too much,' this fella said. 'So-and-So is a fool,' said Lincoln. So this fella went to What's-His-Name and told him what Lincoln said and he came roarin' to Lincoln about it. 'Did you tell So-and-So I was a fool?' he said. 'No,' said Lincoln, 'I thought he knew it.'" The General smiled, reminiscently, and had another drink. "That's how I stand with Lincoln," he said, proudly.

H/t James T.


I once treated my husband to a surprise weekend at the Sausalito Hotel and silk and linen suits shopping for his birthday. We slept in Grant's bed, which had such a heavy-looking, wood-carved, Damoclean headboard that my husband said no wonder he drank.


Hey, Guest@4:41am. What hotel is that? I looked up "Hotel Sausalito" and their website didn't mention Grant's bed. I find it a bit curious, since I can't figure out why or how something like that would find it's way to CA.

I'm in MO - surrounded by Grant statues, Grant's Inns and Grant's Farms and Grant Parks and Grant Historic sites. No beds, so far as I know!


it's a skill, to get a story completely backwards, but they manage;



On Grant in California, maybe this will help trying to track it down. Page 118 of "Grant Takes Command, commenting on Grant's reluctance at being made a Lt General and getting Supreme Command.

After the War Grant told Washburne that "nothing ever fell over me like a wet blanket so much as my promotion to the lieutenant-generalcy," and he explained why: if he remained a junior major general he might, when the war ended, be given a command of the comparatively unimportant Pacific Coast division, with headquarters in San Francisco. (The last time he saw San Francisco he had been flat broke, a man without a future leaving the army under a cloud, and in order to get back east he had to borrow money from a fellow officer; he seems to have felt that it would be nice to go back to San Francisco permanently with a general's stars on his shoulders.)

Here's a link to Grant in California Perhaps he pawned all he had when he resigned in disgrace in San Francisco.


Thanks, daddy! Makes sense. I think he mortgaged and pawned "all he owned" a few times in his life.

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