The Neutralist

Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Monday, September 03, 2018

John Bolton heads US Dept. of precrime - What is he smoking?

So the Syrian war is almost over, just Idlib to be taken and that's the game.  Some are desperate to see that not end with Assad in power.  What can be done?

With no evidence, John Bolton is saying that the regime is planning to use completely unnecessary chemical weapons on the remaining rebels.  Supposedly, the sainted White Helmets will be in place to swear that kids are dying in droves.

Un question, s'il vous plait, what has been the body count among the white helmets themselves?  If those lads are always in the thick of it, shouldn't there numbers be horribly diminished by the awful actions of the evil Assad?

During a search, there were numerous results for articles and posts citing their goodness.  How come it is difficult to find articles that come to the opposite conclusion, such as this one?

Let's hope for some sanity and that calmer heads prevail in the administration and at least one neocon is ignored.

We don't have to win in Syria, we don't need to be in the Middle East at all.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Mish Shedlock of Global Economic Trend Analysis and Patrick Armstrong of Russia Observer Display Common Sense-Nobody Will Notice

First, let's go with Mish.  You've seen all the ads, signs, bumper stickers telling us to support our troops.  Sometimes it will be accompanied with something saying that they are keeping us safe.  No one explains how some GI in an Afghan outpost is keeping us safe, but there it is.

Well Mish noticed:

This last weekend I saw a biker wearing a "support our troops" shirt. OK, what's the best way?
I know the answer. Do you?
The best way to "support the troops" is to not send them into stupid battles in places we ought not to be in the first place.
The War in Afghanistan is going on over 15 years. Yes, 15 years. WTF? For what?
The Neutralist has been asking the same question since 2008 on blogger.  No one cares to answer so it is good to see Mish make the point.
Now on to Patrick Armstrong.  In comments on Colonel Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis  Mr. Armstrong replied to a comment:
Seriously, what vital national interest of the USA qua USA is threatened if Russia has a big influence in Syria? Or if Iran is a big player in its corner of the world? Or if Venezuela has a somewhat socialist government? Or if China polices trade going in and out of China in the South China Sea? Etc etc.
Hypothetically, we bring all the troops home.  What happens?  Does anyone believe that Russia starts the tanks rolling west until they are in Portugal?  Does anyone think China will build an invasion fleet?  Iran does something horrible?  Will Venezuela start running an efficeint non-kleptocracy?

The Neutralist, waiting for an answer since 2008.  Actually, since the Carter administration. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

U.S. Provides Assad's Forces the Equipment for a Whole Armored Brigade

Shocking news.  We have been told for a long time how the Syrian leader is the most evil man since Hitler.  Okay, we are told that about everyone, but he is less than a nice guy with that genocidal war in Yemen.  Oh, one forgets, that is being waged by our ally, the saintly Saudis.

Anyway, we did not plan on arming the Syrians, it just kind of happened...stupidly.

From a post at Sic Semper Tyrannis,

The FSA unicorms have surrendered enough equipment to the SAA in the last couple of weeks to equip an additional armored brigade once the Syrian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SEME - my neologism) and their Rooshians work it over.  Hey! We Americans under Obama's policy paid for all that.  At last someone will know what to do with it.  

Well Done!  Arming the FSA (Free Syrian Army) was always a joke.

Like all our post 1945 interventions, Syria is not working out well.  for us, it is a zombie war.  We have no reason to be there, but we shall stay anyway.

Bring the boys and girls home.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Not even close, but certainly no Sigar-The latest lessons learned from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction is out

As mentioned in the title, The latest lessons learned from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR)  is out.  In the introduction there is a paragraph that says it all:

Our analysis reveals the U.S. government greatly overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan as part of its stabilization strategy. We found the stabilization strategy and the programs used to achieve it were not properly tailored to the Afghan context, and successes in stabilizing Afghan districts rarely lasted longer than the physical presence of coalition troops and civilians. As a result, by the time all prioritized districts had transitioned from coalition to Afghan control in 2014, the services and protection provided by Afghan forces and civil servants often could not compete with a resurgent Taliban as it filled the void in newly vacated territory.
Are there really any lessons learned?  I am guessing there are, but they can't be said or the the truth teller will be shown the door.  The truth is  there are three alternatives:

1. Continue leaving a garrison and pretend we are doing something.  That is what we are doing now.

2. Another surge with enough troops to destroy all our enemies.  That is probably impossible politically and economically.

3.  Time to say au revoir.  This is the only practical choice, but if we leave, why stay in the Middle East at all?  It's a debate we are avoiding.

Academic Thomas Nichols has written a book, The Death of Expertise.  In it he avers that the expert class, like Rodney, don't get no respect and that it should.  On Page 195 of the SIGAR report  there is a picture of what one would guess is the important people on the team and other government officers with the President Obama around a conference table.  They all look prosperous. These people and other staffers work hard to study what is going on and what must be done.  If they know the score, that nothing real can be done, and they are just saying only what is acceptable, it is an indictment of the Nichols' expertise class.  The Dangerfield Class of  experts only comes up with what has already been decided.

There are recommendations in the report, but no one expects that we will reach the broad sunlit uplands even if we follow them to the letter.

The Neutralist originally read about SIGAR at Colonel Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis.  He does not mince words, "This SIGAR report makes it crystal clear that the US lost its "hat, ass and overcoat" in Afghanistan.   We should wise up and go home resolved never, never to listen to the siren song of the COIN fantasy."

The Colonel is right, but you don't get to see him on TV as his is not the desired flavor.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Thanks Bibi for making The Neutralist case for us

Prime Minister Netanyahu's dog and pony show to prove the Persians are nuclear naughty was old wine in new skins, or something.

What he was really saying was we need a war.

We don't and we don't need one to suit the purpose of other countries.

Washington was right and we need to steer clear of foreign entanglements.

Bibi made the case for bringing the boys and girls home and staying out of another meaningless conflict.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Fake News-No this is really fake news or is it fake real news, or something - Whose watching the watch dog?

Moon Of Alabama displays an AP tweet with the words, “Watchdog group says bombs disguised as rocks in Yemen show Iranian aid,”

The title of the MofA article says it all:

“Arms Research "Watchdog Group" Lobbies For War On Yemen And Iran

Slant is the right word.

The late Larry Glick would always say on his radio show, “we’re going to get the story behind the story.”  Let’s call that the sbts.  there is little true journalism going on nowadays, but inadvertantly, the mainstream will give it away somewhere in the article.

Indeed, it is only in the seventh paragraph that we get the sbts.

Michetti’s organization, an independent watchdog group that receives funding from the United Arab Emirates, Germany and the European Union to research weaponry recovered in Yemen, said it examined a fake rock bomb in January near Mokha, some 250 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of the capital, Sanaa.

Watch dog does not mean a vicious doberman keeping evil robbers from stealing the family treasure while everyone is away from home.  Rather, it is a lap dog wagging its tale and barking on command.

One supposes that everyone knows in their heart of hearts that all news is propaganda, but that most people are happy to let it slide if it fits the narrative of what one prefers.   Here in the Nova Anglia, there are few who have not listened to someone breathlessly talk about something they’ve heard on NPR as if it had been given to Moses along with the Tablets.

This is, of course, another reason to we at the Neutralist push for a neutralist ethos.  There will always be a manipulation of news to go fight some war somewhere for some noble cause that will turn out to be not so noble in retrospect.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson and the Iran War

So we have the silly fellow, John Bolton, as National Security Advisor designate. One hopes that Trump is playing some deep 4D Chess game and Bolton is some kind of head fake.  That is probably asking too much.  His ridiculous thumping for an Iran war is not singular, unfortunately, but too much part of a chorus.

As we have made clear before, Neutralist policy on the Middle East is simple.  We don't have to be there.  Until someone can persuade us that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Qatar is going to have a carrier fleet that can take several armies trans-ocean and land them on the Jersey Shore and proceed to take over the lower 48, there is no reason for a US presence in the ME to stop that.

Yet we lack not for hacks to go on TV swearing that we better get moving on the Persians or it is the end of the end, or something.

Someone might say, if we leave, the descendants of Cyrus would develop nukes and begin again the march west that was only stopped by the miracle of Salamis.

Well, we might want to listen to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on the matter.  He gave a speech at the Israeli lobby conference sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy.

The tone of his talk was how misguided a get Iran policy is.  One thing he said that should give pause to those who think the beat up the Iranians project is a great idea:

... where Israel is headed: toward a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in, and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel, and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become. 

Maybe Wilkerson is a nutter and an Iranian adventure would be, oh, I don't know, a "cakewalk."  Did we hear that word in another life?  

Anyway, you can read the transcript here and the video is below.

Hat tip here where I first read the article.

Again, The Neutralist wants to make clear, we do not take sides in the ME.  All we want is for the United States to be left out.