The Not So Great Game

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When the driver of the car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand got confused about the route and had to stop and turn around, no one thought this would be the moment that changed history. No one who knew Gavrilo Princip to that point would have imagined that he would be the man who changed the world. He was the son of poor rural peasants and should have grown up to be a poor rural peasant, but instead fate led him to that cafe just as the car of the Archduke arrived.

Of course, Gavrilo Princip was not a victim of circumstances. He willingly joined Young Bosnia, a radical separatist group. He was part of the planned conspiracy to kill the Archduke, who was on tour from Austria. For its part, Austria-Hungary decided to issue a démarche to Serbia known as the July Ultimatum, which led up to the outbreak of World War I. They made the assassination look like it was planned and executed by the Serbs, rather than pan-Slavic separatists.

The Great War and the events leading to it are a useful example of how the participants in a game will not deviate from their strategy on the assumption that they know the strategy of other players and therefore think their initial strategy will result in the optimum outcome, despite the initial results. The fact that the players did not fully understand the thinking of the other players and their desired outcome was not part of the set of possible outcomes led to disaster.

This is something to keep in mind when trying to understand what is going on in the present-day great game. We now have two hot wars involving proxies of the Global America Empire, Ukraine, and Israel. There is a third war in the planning phase using Taiwan against China. American planners are sure they know the strategy of Russia and China, so it is full speed ahead with the grand plan to defeat these two adversaries and bring about the long-promised end of history.

We got a glimpse of this last summer when the imperial planners mapped out the great Ukrainian offensive that was supposed to break Russian defenses. They were sure they understood how the Russian army would react in the field. They were sure they knew how this would impact Russian domestic politics and global politics. When it was clear from the start that things were not unfolding according to plan, they stuck with the strategy, assuming it would result in the desired outcome.

We are getting another glimpse of this in the Levant. Like the group that plotted the assassination of the Archduke, this Hamas cell that plotted the attack on Israel was acting outside the game. They relied on old analog techniques to coordinate their efforts, thus avoiding detection by Israel and other players in the region. This attack is a new element to the game, but the players are all acting on the old strategy, under the assumption that they know what everyone else is doing.

For example, the United States has sent at least two carrier groups to the region as a threat to Iran, which is assumed to be backing Hamas. There is no evidence to suggest Iran had any role in this event, but the American side is undeterred in their belief that Iran is the primary instigator in the region. In fact, the entire American strategy in the region depends on this assumption. The United States has issued an ultimatum to Iran assuming they must respond in a specific way.

It is an interesting example of asymmetric thinking. Like the great powers of Europe before the Great War, you get the sense that American planners want a war with Iran, so they are acting in a way that will bait the Iranians into acting. Israel gets to indiscriminately bomb Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, but if anyone in the region reacts to this, then the United States will consider it an act of war. Like the Serbian government in 1914, Iran is slowly being boxed in by events.

Of course, all of this is operating within the context of the greatest of great games, the challenge to the unipolar order ruled by America. Russia and China are sure they know the strategy of America, as American leaders are public about it. They seek to regime change both countries and turn them into provinces of the empire. The same holds for the lesser powers like Iran and maybe even India. For its part, the imperial schemers are sure they know the plans of their intended targets.

That is the lesson from the Great War. When all sides are sure they fully understand the strategy of the other players and they remain convinced their strategy will get the optimal result but all of them are wrong on both counts, disaster follows. The world seems to be inching toward this exact scenario. Everyone is increasingly sure of how the game must play out, so they are locking in their strategies. They are doing so despite events routinely showing them to be wrong.

There is another piece though, one that may prevent the players of this great game from blowing up the world. Great cataclysms like the Great War seem to require a bit of chance to keep the game going. Gavrilo Princip was not the cause of the Great War, but it is hard to imagine events playing out as they did that summer if he had not been in that cafe at that very moment. Throughout the war, bits of randomness worked to keep both sides locked into destruction.

Those random events worked to continue the game because all sides were locked into a myopic view of the game. In this version, the only player suffering from this is the Global American Empire. The rest of the players seem to understand that the West is acting on an internalized script. The way to avoid catastrophe is to avoid playing the designated role in that script. Russia has managed this in the Ukraine war and Iran seems to be doing this so far in the Gaza war.

That said, one should never be too optimistic about these things. The Thirty Years War happened. The Napoleonic Wars happened. The Great War happened. The Second World War happened. The theme in all of them was the players became convinced they had the optimal strategy, because they thought they knew the strategy of the other players in the game. History says that creating such conditions is easier than it should be, so this great game could end poorly.


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260 thoughts on “The Not So Great Game

  1. O/T or Orthogonal to Thread; watching certain Open Society Open Borders Special People in hiding …is Hilarious. I may have to alter my position on Open Borders for Islam. John Podhertz is most upset.

    https://nypost.com/2023/10/26/opinion/rather-than-protecting-jews-authorities-are-telling-us-to-hide-again/

    No of course they’re not protecting you, you put the protectors on trial.

    I’m really not antisemitiic but this is on them, and they bought ruin on us all and can be enriched by the Diversity.

  2. I am late to the parade here, and have only read the first few sentences of Z’s essay. What is this crap about ‘The Searchers’ introducing racism in film? This is false. Watch ‘No Way Out’ from 1950, with Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. Now THAT is a movie about racism.

  3. When I want to see a new movie I check the drudge reports weekend gross. The first week ,w all the hype and marketing, of course it’s going to make 700-800 million for 2 weeks. The third week it might only have a 10/15 million drop. The fourth week is the tell, if it drops to 50 million, it’s a dud but if it stays close to the original it’s a hit,

  4. Hey Zman, if you’re looking for new digs might I suggest the Upper Peninsula. Sure we got endless bugs, endless winter, and we’re a couple hundred miles past the edge of the known world, but it does keep the riff-raff out.

    If I didn’t get my morning dose of rage from the internet (possible only due to a satellite) I’d think the world was a wonderful place, and all the people in it moved here from Mayberry.

    I’ve lived all over this country, and being a Yooper is the best. I was born here under the bridge when my dad worked for Pontiac, moved away when I was 6, and now as I’m nearer the end then the beginning I’ve finally found home.

    “And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time.” (Eliot)

  5. Oh, so that’s why they allowed him to be Speaker:

    NOW – New U.S. House Speaker Johnson: “The first bill that I’m going to bring to this floor will be in support of our dear friend Israel.”

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  6. I still think the point of the Hamas attack was to bait Israel, and to draw Iran into a war. It’s not unlike the strategy used in Ukraine. Talk up Ukraine in NATO (ie Israel in Gaza), get the Russians to invade (ie Iran enters war), and off we go…

  7. Z… if you run for president, I’ll make an exception of my 20 plus year boycotting of voting, to cast my rare vote for you. You rock brother!

  8. An army recruiter speaks in a Minnesota high school:
    “Thank you, principal. It is an honor to be able to speak to such a diverse and no doubt accomplished group of young men and women. Now, who here has relatives who have served in our armed forces? No-one? Well no matter, I hope some of you can start your own legacies of service and stand as proud examples of the new face of America. Has any one of you considered the Army as a career option? No? I will tell your more about the benefits you can expect, but first I will tell you why brave soldiers are needed now especially. As you may be aware, Hamas has just launched a brutal attack on Israel, slaughtering hundreds of civilians. But they do not stand alone! America will stand with them. Who will answer the call of duty?”
    “By Allah, I will go!”

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  9. Monday morning quarterbacking, Thursday afternoon locker room rallying aside the one truism of the great game; we’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t.

  10. The actions of the US make sense when viewed through the lens of economics and the bond market. The official figure for the US deficit for fiscal year 2023 is approximately $1.7T, but without accounting gimmicks deficit spending is approximately $2T/year. This deficit cannot be closed without gutting entitlements and the military budget, which is not possible under our current governmental structure.

    US debt is approaching $34T, and could easily hit $40T by the time the next president is sworn into office. It it now rising at an almost parabolic rate. This debt and deficit spending could be financed when interest rates were near zero, but now the 10 year treasury is at 4.95%, after briefly crossing the 5% threshold. Interest expense on US debt will soon exceed the military budget.

    The US government desperately needs foreign wars to drive flight to safety demand for US treasury bills. The US can keep muddling along for a while with the 10 year treasury at 5%, but if it rises to 6% or 7% it’s game over. Setting the world on fire is the price the US government has to pay to keep kicking the can down the road for a while.

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    • The paradox in the plan is that simultaneously the safety doesn’t look quite as safe as it used to

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    • “The actions of the US make sense when viewed through the lens of economics and the bond market.”

      Guest, I appreciate your economic explanation because, in spite of my technical background, I rarely feel that I have a firm grasp on macroeconomics.

      Nonetheless, I suggest to you that even if our country’s finances were in order, we would be backing Israel just as much because Tribal loyalty > economics.

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    • WHAT actions by the US? So far it has done basically nothing in Israel. And how the weapons dump into Ukraine is supposed to help the bond market is unintelligible to me. Mainly it has undermined the dollar, to opposite effect.

  11. The terrorist society Princip belonged to (Ujedinjenje ili Smrt, “Union or Death”, informally known as the Black Hand) was organized and supported (secretly) by elements of the Serbian government and military, so Austria was not wrong in blaming Serbia for the assassination.

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    • Where Austria went wrong was issuing that intolerable ultimatum to Serbia, the consequences of which started the avalanche to war.

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      • For a fascinating and troubling account of the Austro-Hungarian empire going into the Great War, read “A Mad Catastrophe” by Gregory Wawro. Among other things the book details how they saw themselves as more cosmopolitan than other countries due to the relative diversity of the population, as well as he corruption and rot from within of the ruling Habsurgs. In addition, they had a sizeable minority (Hungary) to whom they made constant concessions to (sound familiar?) in order to keep the empire whole. IIRC, it was the Kaiser who pressured them into the Serbian ultimatum that turned out to be the flashpoint.

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      • It triggered the Russian mobilization, which triggered the German mobilization… I remember reading that the Russian defense minister begged the Czar not to order the army mobilization to support the reckless Serbians. The Czar insisted, so the DM crossed himself and then signed.

    • The Head of the Black Hand Society, also the Head of Serbian military intelligence organized the plot.

      As for the overall war that had been building for 2 decades, and NONE of the powers of 1914 were innocent, including England.
      The decision to go to war unless Germany would kindly allow its southern flank to unravel was made years earlier.

      • Germany would have been much wiser to stand on the defensive in the West. As events showed they could defeat Russia while doing so even with England in, and England might not have come in without an invasion of Belgium.

  12. The Palestinians took Van Riper’s Millenium Challenge 02 strategy and tweaked it for an offensive operation.

    Doing so, they invaded the Jewish state, humiliated the Jewish government and reveal that the Jews are weaker now than they were in 2006. They did this with lawnmower engines and motorcyles.

    Now the Jew’s army will get to see what MC ’23 looks like on the defensive.

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    • Excellent observation, I think you’re right: Hamas studied Van Riper while the US rigged the rest of that war game to ignore Van Riper’s insight.

    • You are fantasizing. Hamas’ attack had zero to do with Millenium Challenge 02. And it revealed nothing about Israeli “weakness”. Israel can kill as many Gazans as it has the stomach for.

  13. Just remembered; Epstein worked for mossad as did his common law father-in-law Robert Maxwell. Right now everyone on the appropriations committee or with similar strings to pull, are being shown pictures of themselves in delicate if not compromising situations by the “cultural attache” from the Israeli embassy. Hunter’s not the only one with a laptop.

    That means they have them by the balls. And therefore GAE will do everything Bibi s rabbi wants. Even if it means nuclear war.

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    • And Bibi’s rabbi will just be carrying the instructions he gets from the Elders of Zion.

      You are a loon.

  14. >The United States has issued an ultimatum to Iran assuming they must respond in a specific way.

    I couldn’t find anything about an ultimatum to Iran. Maybe you mean the latest round of sanctions, issued last Wednesday?
    https://www.reuters.com/world/us-issues-new-iran-related-sanctions-treasury-dept-website-2023-10-18/

    It’s bizarrely comical really. It’s like watching the gibbering antics of a lunatic. The other nations are watching the spectacle in stunned horror.

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    • The comedy of this against the backdrop of The Precious trying to make rapprochement with Iran his signature foreign policy achievement.

      Long as I’m on the subject, we see a schism within the GAE leadership of the tribe supporting Her faction against the mud supporting Precious faction. She is trying to position herself to oust his avatar in 2024. Right this minute I’d say She’s winning.

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  15. I don’t think GAE has a real strategy. They are driving the other great powers, Russia and China, together and are stepping on the toes of the only country big enough to potentially match China in manpower, India. There seems to be no internal logic to GAEs moves. Maybe they just want America to lose?? Or they are not at all in touch with reality? From the evidence it seems either is possible

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    • I tend to agree with Miles Mathis that the Archduke assassination was fake…http://mileswmathis.com/archduke.pdf
      But that doesn’t change Z-man’s point, in fact it amplifies it…The Austro-Hungarian Empire was doubtless confident that it would prevail in the war, but like Israel, it was actually much weaker than it thought….

        • GAE knows their nukes are probably only 10 to 20% functional.

          Based on that, they are assuming everyone else’s nukes are in the same state of disrepair.

          Based on the performance of Russia’s hypersonics and air defense, that seems like a poor assumption.

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    • Spot on. The actions for the past few years seem to indicate they want the GAE destroyed. But who knows. Like you say they may be just insane.

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    • They do not have a strategy.

      Instead they had nine or ten differen strategies that were working simultaneously but are now at odds with each other.

      The result is to turn GAE into a dizzying and drain-circling combination of soft terror state and Rube Goldberg machine.

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      • The Rube Goldberg strategy confidently prepares to meet reality….. I’m sure it’ll be fine…[slight sarcasm inserted]

    • I suspect that the strategy is to attempt, at all costs, to roll the clock back to 2003. Perhaps they can even get GWB to come out of retirement when Brandon kicks off. The central engine of the US economy since the first Gulf War has been warfare, but a special kind of warfare. What is sought is a conflict in which gee-whiz high technology is used in extremely asymmetric, and yet extremely expensive, war with opponents living in Biblical lands and using mostly weapons King Saul and the Hittites would have been familiar with.

      Hamas’ actions must have delighted the Bushwar people from Tel Aviv to Langley. The problem is that Gaza is so crowded and close to adjacent Israeli towns that the usual Bushwar strategy of levelling everything from 50,000 ft and sending in armored vehicles would look a lot like genocide and would also be far too much of the close-in fighting that the Bushwarriors try to avoid in the first place by using air power.

      Perhaps they know this too and the real plan is just to saber rattle and send money to defense contractors for weapons that will never be used. It’s possible that this kind of potlatch economy can work in the sense of creating “jobs” and boosting stock values. Of course, it’s essential that no one ever really calls the GAE’s bluffs.

      I wonder though, if at this point the US is like the crazy old man in a small town who owns a big plot of land right on Main Street which he uses to pile up old tires, junk cars, and other eyesores. Everyone eventually starts to imagine how much better (and richer) the town could be if he were gone.

      Of course they know all this and this is why the focus is on Iran. Iran is the closest thing to a weak, hollow Middle East state that they can find. The problem is that it’s very much *not* Iraq where a phony “nation” was held together by the terror emanating from one man, nor is it Afghanistan, where a long tradition of tribalism made at least the initial incursions relatively easy. Iran has a decently modern military with many advanced weapons. It also has a population that very much would fight to preserve it

      • Israel would have zero problems leveling Gaza with minimal damage to itself. The “adjacent Israeli towns” of your imagination are insignificant.

  16. Like Z Man says they make assumptions. One goal seems sure to be attacking Iran. If that is true they must believe Russia will not intervene on behalf of Iran. However Col. Macgregor is of the opinion that Russia will intervene if Iran is attacked.

    Just goes to show that assumptions can be dangerous as Z Man points out.

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        • If we are still referring to WWI, actually, all sides lost. France was devastated—even though the proclaimed victor, and then defeated soundly 22 years later by a revived Germany. Russia was infected by the Germans with the disease of Communism and took 70 years to recover. America fought for 100 days or so in the field and lost 110k men, then went back to sleep. Nothing was gained by our entry into the brouhaha.

          Conclusion—it is possible for all participants to lose WWIII.

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          • Ah, but the war debts of the British Empire and France were still due.

            You can’t come up with the money without ruination? Fuck you, pay me. Totally in line with Wilson’s anticolonialist views.

      • None of the countries involved in WW1 in 1916 won in the sense that they were stronger after the war than before. America won both world wars. Partly by joining last.

        So all initial WW1 strategies failed miserably. Now factor in nukes and everyone can truly lose. Everything. Cockroaches are a strong candidate for winners if this all goes south

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        • You are referring only—at best—to technological 1st world countries. True, that’s all we are concerned with, but that leaves more than half the world out.

          • Upcoming (potential) unpleasantness as in a WWIIl nuke exchange. No one bombs shit-holes of no economic or strategic importance.

          • I have no idea what effects North America, Europe and Asia nuking each other out would be for Africa and South America but I don’t think it would do them any good. Let’s hope we don’t find out

      • “It says here in this history book that luckily, the good guys have won every single time. What are the odds?”
        …Norm MacDonald

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        • That is truly a brilliant insight. Really. The field of history has a very positivistic bent.

        • I fear that this kind of thinking greatly informs the GAE braintrust. It’s ingrained in their “philosophy” that “democratic” and “free” countries always prevail over those lacking these qualities. Thus, the GAE, being “free” and “democratic” is invincible.

          • Not only that, but whatever the GAE does, no matter how obviously pernicious and even evil, is nevertheless good because the GAE is the world’s only hyperpower. Might really does make right.

          • JZ-

            That is a great summary of the mindset behind the current expression of American exceptionalism.

    • Obviously, neither Russia nor China would allow an American victory over Iran, not that the feeble US Army is likely to win…They would never allow the US or NATO on their borders…

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      • What’s your idea of a win? It used to be a surrender, followed by an occupation, followed by a restructured, democratic and more peaceable society arising from the ashes. None of these things have happened in conflicts after WWII. What we’ve now degenerated to is bombing the crap out of shit-hole countries and parades back home. The effect is that the belligerent countries revert to the same hostile entities within a few years after we pack up and leave.

        Conclusion—shit-hole countries remain shit-hole countries—because “people”.

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    • Russia will intervene how?

      MacGregor is an idiot. He swallows things like Russian estimates of Ukrainian losses whole. (Yes, Ukrainian claims are just as bad. A are the “visually verified” claims, which are an obvious psyop.)

  17. Related to the goings on in Israel and Gaza, there’s something I’ve been wondering about. It’s been widely reported that there were 1,400-1,500 Israelis killed in the Hamas raid. However, I had not read an estimate of how many Hamas soldiers participated in the raid.

    I checked around and I still haven’t found a single estimate of the numbers of attackers, which is kind of interesting. However, I did find this NBC article where Israel says they found 1,500 dead militants inside its border after the attack:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/hamas-fighters-bodies-israel-toll-gaza-ground-invasion-rcna119640

    Now, I don’t know if that represents 10% or 50% or 80% of the invading force, but however it shakes out, to launch a surprise attack on an unsuspecting mostly civilian area and to have your dead soldiers equal or exceed the number of the enemy you killed — that’s a pretty piss-poor outcome by any standard.

    I’m really curious to know if the invading force was 1,500 (a suicide mission), 3,000, 10,000 or whatever.

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    • One thing is sure. If some of those 1500 Israelis had access to weapons they could have blunted the attack and perhaps saved many lives.

      Hamas was going house to house killing people who had been disarmed by their own government. A lesson for us in America.

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      • I think the biggest lesson for us in America ought to be to stay out of millennia-old pissing contests between desert tribes.

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      • “Hamas was going house to house killing people who had been disarmed by their own government.”

        This is probably coming from the bullshit US MSM. They weren’t killing civilians. On the other hand, I’m getting reports that the IDF was indifferent to Israeli civilian hostages getting killed in its firefights with Hamas, and that this is IDF policy. Hamas can do without the rep of being mad dog killers.

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        • Really, one should view some of the GoPro video. Yes they (Hama) were killing unarmed civilians. Whether the number is 100 or a thousand is not the point. These civilians were *not* armed and were fleeing while being pursued by Hamas.

          Any village with folks possessing rifles in their homes could have put up a defense of sorts, they could not. Hamas simply walked around indiscriminately shooting one and all. A few rounds coming in their direction would have changed all that.

          That is the essence of having an armed populace. I was shocked that Israel had become that stupid and Leftist.

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      • The Israelis don’t want to arm very many of their Arab citizens, but I would have thought living or working in the immediate vicinity of Gaza would have constituted being in “an eligible location”. Are you sure THOSE Israelis were “disarmed”? Link?

        https://www.gov.il/en/departments/general/firearm-licensing-information
        https://www.algemeiner.com/2023/02/27/firearm-licensing-in-israel-how-strict-are-the-jewish-states-gun-laws/

        Dealing with packs of Hamas isn’t like taking out lone gunmen.

    • All of Israel’s reports on these events need to be regarded with extreme suspicion…Israel just claimed that a female Army platoon killed 100 Hamas terrorists, with zero evidence to back that fantastic claim…

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      • The Ghost of Kiev reborn!

        A side note, Pyrrhus…
        I observed you trying to inject some much warranted scepticism into the comments concerning the Israel/Gaza thing over at Conservative Treehouse a couple days ago, only to be called all sorts of things by the assembled Scofield Bible, hyperzionist commenters. I hope that that was an instructive moment for you, sort of a “don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they turn and trample you” moment. I honestly think that Sundance himself has lost his damn mind, which is a shame. These are not, by and large, and never will be, our people.

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        • There are two things you can’t do on conservative treehouse.

          They don’t want to accept any critical comments about their “Lyon” DJT.

          They don’t want to hear any talk of not “Standing by our Greatest Ally.”

          I have had a couple of comments removed from there with perfectly factual information that does not comport with the above views.

          Well his blog his rules. Disappointing though as one of the Sundance stated tenets is: “The Truth Has No Agenda.”

        • Evidently I got banned from there for saying something less than flattering about the Orange Man. Been a while so I can’t remember precisely what it was, but I seem to recall that it was just factual criticism, and wasn’t about me using profanity or “attacking” other posters or anything of that nature.

          • The one that got pulled for me recently was my opinion, and it was labeled as such, that Trump did not show up at the debates because one of the GOP establishment throwaways would bring up how the Covid disaster was handled.

            There is no way he can deflect that. He does not want to address that.

      • Yes. Col. Macgregor says his sources report that American and Israeli special forces entered Gaza for recon purposes. They were attacked and basically got ran out of Dodge with many casualties.

        So the girls kicked ass and the Spec Op boys were defeated. Or so we are led to believe.

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        • Urban combat versus a motivated foe on his home turf that they know in excruciating detail would seem to minimize most of the advantages special forces typically bring to the table.

        • “Col. Macgregor says his sources report…”

          Macgregor is a fool, or he thinks you are. And he’s right about the latter.

      • Well, yes, of course, so here I am laying out the claims. Isn’t it interesting to see what data isn’t included in the claims and wonder if the whole thing passes the sniff test?

        Too often, it’s just a barrage of noise from the media and we’re not encourage to try to build a coherent picture of the goings-on.

    • Ya know, I can’t say I find such reports via (((NBC News))), (owned by the (((Roberts))) family of Comcast fame), very compelling. Maybe all of those parentheses might have something to do with it?

      Maybe my attitude has something to do with just finishing watching this documentary on the USS Liberty, with all of the Israeli treachery, and the even greater treachery involved in the US response to same. Some things never seem to change, do they?

      https://www.cryptogon.com/?p=68105

      Take the time to watch the whole thing, as its abiding relevance to all our dealings with Our Greatest Ally since, especially in the present day.

      Yeah, yeah, Al Jazeera produced it; do you really think Western media, who were so utterly compliant then might have changed their spots and produced something this revelatory?

      I knew many of these details years ago, but much more has been revealed subsequently of which I knew nothing that fleshes out this production and the cautionary message it imparts.

      I used to read the blog of the late Col. Patrick Lang, who sat on the intelligence investigation in his capacity at the DIA, and he was embittered by the intercepted Israeli communications which they reviewed that, in the context of their certain knowledge that the USS Liberty was a US naval vessel, proved that this was a deliberate act.

      And here we go again, ladies and gentlemen, playing at stupid games for Israeli aims.

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    • There were some guys on Fedi/4Chan trying to squeeze information out of what little was available and one of the things they noticed was that it was likely that a lot of civies died in the crossfire between the Palestinians (who didn’t have reason to care) and whatever armed security was on the Israeli side (who, generally, don’t care nearly as much as their propaganda says). The other thing too was that (surprise) they were having issues substantiating any of the numbers the Israelis put out.

    • Your problem here, V, is that maybe you are thinking tactically and objectively, and only at this raid. Hamas does not want peace with Israel, they want to annihilate them off the face of earth.

      There is an important difference between the conflict in the middle east and the assassination of the archduke in WW1: in the opening stages of WW1 there was no real intent on igniting a global world war. For Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinians – that IS the goal. They want to draw anyone they can into the conflict on their side. Now, Israel does too.

      Perhaps expending 1500 soldiers to bring that about is chump change if they can bring that about? This is the problem in proxy wars – the proxies will seek proxies will seek to bring their former benefactors into the war when they start to lose. We see this with the Kraine – where Zelenski is telling us that we need to send our kids to die in their war. If he could bring that about by killing 1500 of his own people, it would be done before coffee time.

      But as the Dissidents caution – perhaps I am incorrectly assuming intents of the parties involved…

      4
      1
      • ehhhh… gawd… I need to proof read before I poast. Sorry for the inconvenience, all. This site needs an ‘edit’ function so that I can go back and arrange my muddled thoughts…
        🙂

      • No, I’m not missing anything. My observation doesn’t have anything about how many troops Hamas is willing to expend, my observation has to do with how poor the kill ratio was. Surely if Hamas was willing to expend 1500 troops for 1500 enemy deaths, then 1,500 troops for 3,000 enemy deaths would have been an even bigger PR victory for them.

    • “…to launch a surprise attack on an unsuspecting mostly civilian area and to have your dead soldiers equal or exceed the number of the enemy you killed — that’s a pretty piss-poor outcome by any standard.”

      That is the “standard” that Hồ Chí Minh set and won him the Vietnam war. In short, he traded lives for political gain (American morale) for his cause—a united country. Hell, he was even advised by China and Russia to accept a partition as did the Koreans. He said “no”, and was proven right.

        • But Vizzini, don’t you subscribe to the “domino theory”. Vietnam was just a “holding action”. Hell, we save the entire Southeast Asia! (Well, except Cambodia, and Laos, and…)

      • Hamas was attacking a soft target, supposedly. “Unarmed revelers at a rave, raping and killing at will.” “Going door to door to kill civilians.” And that’s all they could kill? If 1,500 Hamas dead for 1,500 enemy dead was a political victory, then 1,500 Hamas dead for 3,000 enemy dead would have been an even bigger political victory. The kill ratio sucked, or the numbers make no sense.

    • I heard that one estimate was that at least 2500 Hamas militants participated in the Oct 7th attack, with about 1500 killed inside Israeli territory. The number of armed and trained Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip is believed to be around 40,000, which is about 2% of the population.

    • non-firm figures:

      “To carry out Saturday’s attack, the militant group used some of its most elite forces, namely the Nakba unit, which has 3,000 to 5,000 fighters, said Michael A. Horowitz, a geopolitical and security analyst who is the head of intelligence at the Le Beck consultancy.

      “So this means between half to around a third of some of Hamas’ elite commando force has been killed,” he said.

      The 1,500 reported killed could also include fighters from a smaller Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, according to Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.”

      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/hamas-fighters-bodies-israel-toll-gaza-ground-invasion-rcna119640

  18. Also concerning is when you compare the world politicians and leaders of 1914 to the U.S. politicians and leaders of today. Antony Blinken, Victoria Nuland, and neocon think tank leaders would never have positions of authority in 1914.

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  19. An excellent synopsis, Z.

    I wonder though. Our world is changing so much, so fast. How valid can a comparison of the modern arab world be to the old European empires and power players?

    Iran IS in this – up to their ears. All the arab countries are. In the arab world Hamas and Hezbollah are legitimate charities. You will see them soliciting everyday arabs for funds and contributions the same way the Salvation Army does here – outside the stores, in the markets and at social events – and the arabs are all generous with them. Palestinians in their lands are sympathetically looked at as second class citizens in their lands, the same way we might regard Mexican migrants. Arab diplomats might vigourously agree with the American Empire that those are terrorist groups, but will also fund and arm and train them off the books, unofficially. What I’m trying to say is, most Dissidents don’t understand them either. Iran is NOT innocent here, or any of the arab countries. The Palenstinians are expendable proxies to them, just as the Ukranians are to us. Not taking their side, of course, or advocating all out war on them as that fucking faggot, Lindsay Graham is – but we really need to know more about these guys in real terms. Complicating things is that all of us have been fed lies by both sides since the state of Israel was founded 70 some years ago. The correct course of action here as simple as it was in the Kraine. We need to sit down with both sides and negotiate. This is what America, Canada and the western countries have classically done in the past. The only guys talking that way right now are the Turks. So what has changed?

    You can call me nuts, and I won’t disagree… but I see that the aims of Globohomo Inc line up exactly with those of a certain tribe. A tribe, coincidentally, that hates Russia only slightly less than they hate arabs. As the wanks on Blab are meming right now – a jewish head of the Fed agrees with other powerful jewish politicos, that America can easily afford two wars against old jewish adversaries. I am beginning to suspect that the American Empire died long ago, and what we are seeing now is Globohomo Inc – which is merely an extension of the Jewish Mob. I further suspect that they’ve bought morons like Lindsay Graham, Joe Biden and the other brainless sock puppets, and parachuted them into our halls of power. I did not arrive at this on my own – smarter people than I have pointed this out and all I had to do was fact check them. Individual coincidences pile on others to the point where one has to ask if these are indeed coincidences, or maybe a concerted plan by (((others))). Historically, these others have profited immensely during WW1 and WW2. It is my suspicion that they are preparing to do so again – at the expense of everyone including their own people. Most of us have a better understanding of these people than we do of the arabs.

    But whadda I know? There are wheels within wheels, lies upon lies, and it’s all fun, games and profit until things go kinetic.

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    • Please to remember that Iran is largely full of Persians, with admixtures of Azeris (Turkics), Arabs, and Baluchis, for example.

      Persians are a different animal, and although certainly anti-Israeli, they are not to be confused with the various flavors of Arabs.

      19
      • Yep, I’m impressed by their military efforts wrt to drones and other cheap offensive capability. Don’t confuse them with rag-heads of the camel culture.

    • US has Europe by the balls, too. Europe needs to back Israel in the Middle East or the GAE withdraws support for Ukraine, leaving the Eurofags facing Russia alone with their gay pride marches and seething Mohammedan ghettos.

      4
      9
      • Yes, and we just know Putin is chomping at the bit to conquer everything from Oslo to Lisbon. :rolleyes:

        13
    • the aims of Globohomo Inc line up exactly with those of a certain tribe.

      Of course they do. That tribe owns Globohomo, Inc. lock, stock and barrel.

    • “I am beginning to suspect that the American Empire died long ago, and what we are seeing now is Globohomo Inc – which is merely an extension of the Jewish Mob.”

      This is exactly what I think. The American Constitutional Republic died in 1861 and was replaced by the 1rst American Empire, owned and led by New England WASPs and their collaborators. This lasted until the late 1960’s when they finally lost possession to the Jews and their multicultural allies of the central control nodes of neoliberal democracy: the manufacture of currency (very soon after made fiat) and the institutions through which it is injection into the real economy. I call the period of governance by the Jewish-led multicultural ruling class ‘2nd American Empire’ but only because most of the ruled are Americans.

      If power (the ability to coerce or persuade) does not lie within republican institutions (like Congress) then it is not a republic but something else. When money buys politicians, power belongs to those with money, not the people who only get to choose between one of two candidates both of whose loyalty has already been purchased by the oligarchy. Money is power in neoliberal democracies.

      12
    • “Palestinians in their lands are sympathetically looked at as second class citizens in their lands, the same way we might regard Mexican migrants.”

      Who is this “we”. I don’t view “migrants” (invaders) as any sort of citizen.

    • “We need to sit down with both sides and negotiate. This is what America, Canada and the western countries have classically done in the past.”

      There’s nothing to negotiate. Israel needs to win: Inflict sufficient pain to get to way more than even. then wall off the Arabs with a barrier that few bulldozers can’t get through. Drones, mines, barbed wire, booby traps, sensors, … If forever war is the only option then get used to it.

  20. Underlying economic conditions can also affect these scenarios. Before WW1, Germany was Europe’s China. Steel, new petrochemicals, everything was happening there. England was an old financializing empire back then. FDR proved his moral bankruptcy in 1938. The U.S. has slipped back into the thick of the depression after all the government spending of the 1930’s. Once he knew we were back in the hole he gambled it all on war, and happened to win. It helped that we had half the worlds energy resources at the time. So much of war is about energy. Not all of it of course. Eastern Ukraine happens to have Europe’s biggest natural gas fields outside Russia. Nordstream happened to be blown up in its first few weeks of service.

    Ukraine needs to get back in the game. The best way to do that is to blow up its own its own transmission line and blame “Russia.” Between that and the closure of the Tamar gas field north of Gaza, which was transmitting to Europe, suddenly wow, the vulnerability of the EU is amazing right now. Throw in that incident on the Balticonnector a few weeks ago…..hmmm. A picture of Western Europe emerges in my mind. The picture of Jack Nicholson frozen to death at the end of The Shining. How will that affect a teetering EU economy? If this is the end result of the American security umbrella, is it worth it?

    12
    • It is certain that Europe and Europeans will freeze over before they mobilize for war. Maybe Poland excepted.

      • Poland is probably the only European country even capable of mobilizing for war. Germany is hopeless in that respect.

        • Poland is the hyena of Europe, they’re trying to build big, modern military so the country will be bankrupt before they can use it. Their military is as likely to be used against their NATO allies as it is Russia so they can try to create their dream, a Baltic to Black Polish Empire.

    • There is the school of thought that assumes that all wars are strictly about money and power and sometimes, very rarely sex. They will say that WW1 was a war for markets with Germany, and that WW2 was a war with Japan for them. It may well be true of the modern western civilizations but in the case of the jew and the arab… I don’t think that holds.

      Those guys have and hold blood feuds that last centuries. A lot of them answer only to their God, and harbor faiths bereft of morality or justice. They will happily trade their lives and that of their families and tribes to draw the blood of their enemies. They are also deeply fractured – we have good friends and terrible enemies over there – we have to be super careful in making generalizations and assumptions about them. This is why we lost in all our recent wars of choice. In hindsight, we have often allied with the wrong people, and attacked the wrong people. I fear we are going to do that yet again.

      16
    • The Nordstream pipeline is minimally damaged and easily repaired. But just as easily damaged again, so the Russians won’t do it under current conditions.

      The Palestine and Ukrainian fields are insignificant.

      You’re just arm-waving ignorantly and incoherently.

  21. I suspect the GAE might possess some wunderwaffen that aren’t very publicly advertised. The Alex Jones viewers would say satellite mounted directed energy weapons or something like that. Or tectonic weapons. It could be something less sci fi, it’s no secret that they’ve poured billions into bioweapon research.

    Holding a trump card like that goes a long way in explaining why the GAE braintust acts in ways that would otherwise appear retarded. It should know even better than we do that it lacks the capability to fight any kind of large scale conventional war. They can’t possibly be so stupid as not to know that.

    10
    3
    • Maybe, but unless those wonder weapons can stop nuclear missiles launched from subs just off the coast, they aren’t much good.

      The rest of the world doesn’t want to confront or defeat the US. It just wants to walk away. No weapon can stop that if they have the ability to kill you too.

      10
    • > I suspect the GAE might possess some wunderwaffen that aren’t very publicly advertised.

      That would be very bad, as the GAE is notorious for overestimating their own technology, and grossly underestimating their opponent’s. Maybe the GAE has technology to essentially throw rocks from space onto Earth, but rest assured China has missiles with far greater reach than advertised that can wipe out carriers.

      10
    • I agree with our esteemed Blog Host that we need to understand our foreign enemies and allies far more than we currently do… but my fear is that we don’t understand ourselves.

      Is the Empire reflective of your values, your morals, and your desires? For many of us that answer is unquestionably a resounding “NO”. The next obvious question is – if they do not reflect ours… (((whose))) values morals DO they represent?

      I cannot begin to imagine. 😉

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    • Although these people have demonstrated a considerable capacity for self delusion. Maybe they still think their aircraft carries are invincible. Maybe they think their F-35s are so advanced they cannot be defeated, even though less than half of them can fly at any particular time due to maintenance issues.

      Maybe they think their smallish rainbow army can defeat every foe like Alexander’s original army.

      14
    • Bloated and corrupt military procurement means that the “Wunderwaffen” are likely “Blähwaffen”. Good only for fattening contractors.

    • You think ONLY the GAE has such weapons? (And nobody has tectonic weapons, and I’m very dubious about space lasers on vulnerable platforms, too.)

      It’s MAD all the way down.

  22. We are one black swan away from horrors beyond your imagination. It’s totally possible that all this is just another ripple of history, but it is also very possible that we are at an inflection point where the oscillations finally snap the swaying bridge.

    The black swan in 1914 was dejectedly sipping coffee in a cafe when fate landed. It was that one last breeze that, like a butterfly in the amazon causing a tornado in kansas, set in motion a chain of events just waiting for the right push. Draw your own conclusion on how that rhymes with today.

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  23. Isn’t there somebody’s “law” that says that when levels of complexity escalate, the element of chance increases in some sort of multiple progression? And with technology able simultaneously to record everything and alter what’s being recorded, how does anyone know what’s really going on?

    I’m told that major league baseball pitchers now pitch at such accelerated speeds that batters swing at where they expect the ball to be, and that expectation depends on a host of variables: the count, the situation on the field, the inning and score, the individual pitcher etc. Swing and take signals may even be flashed from the dugout based on instant AI analysis

    The point is that chance now factors into strategic planning to a huge extent. And chance itself may not be random depending on a host of variables that themselves are interdependent.

    I gaze into my crystal ball and assume that within thirty years, America, riven with “identity” conflict, will become a pan-Asian satrapy. So I purchase mutual funds denominated in yuans, wons, yen, roubles, rupees etc. Probability says I make a killing, go broke or tread water. Then gold is discovered in the Klondike and my strategy goes to hell.

    What might’ve happened if Gavrilo Princip’s pistol had hammed or if he’d decided, at the last instant, to pack it in and follow some pretty “lepa devojka” to a folk dance venue on that fateful day in Sarajevo?

    • I wouldn’t bet on the Yuan. Even looking through a glass darkly, it seems China is having major troubles. Xi supposedly now has a lot of rival factions who are dissatisfied in the military and in the party. One of the things driving the alleged dissatisfaction is the poor economy and widening unemployment. Then there’s the debt crisis. There is foreign disinvestment going on too. There are many deep social problems in China.

      Russia is far from immune to some of the problems we have and has its hands full in Ukraine. Japan is every bit as bad off as we are, at least for the time being. Unlike the US, a real war with widespread death and destruction is within living memory in Iran. If China decides to invade Taiwan, even if Taiwan repels her, it ain’t gonna be pretty. Taiwan will likely be a third world country in the aftermath.

      In the possibility that this all blows up into something major, it will likely change the world in extremely unpredictable ways.

      • The Eurodollar system will be replaced someday, but not because the world willingly decides to use something else. It’ll be replaced because the whole Eurodollar system implodes.

        • But that doesn’t mean it will be the Yuan. There is no (natural) law saying the Yuan has to be the currency in China. Just as the Dollar did not survive the Great Depression or the space race, though it did retain the name, the Yuan may not survive the unwinding of the Chinese bubble.. China has a debt and real estate bubble that dwarfs anything else in history, at least that I am aware of. China used more concrete in a 5 year period than the US used in the entire 20th century. They may manage this well and come out the other side very wealthy. But nobody can really know this in advance.

          To the extent that people make money speculating on currency, if the US collapses, it really won’t help that much other than the ability to flee the US. We now have a hyper-violent chaotic society and we’re supposedly still in the good times. Shortages cause real prices to increase, often by a lot. We really should not expect a repeat of the Great Depression, which was relatively peaceful. Al Capone was not nearly as violent as the average gang member today. Our cities were not dilapidated wrecks. Open looting was not a regular feature of life. We’re in the good times still.

          • The yuan will not become the next global reserve currency. No chance. They don’t even want it to become the GRC.

            The next GRC will be decided after the Eurodollar system implodes. I honestly have no clue how that will play out and what will follow, but it’ll be messy.

      • The Chinese one child policy is now coming home to roost, because Chinese people valued boys more than girls, millions of female fetuses were terminated in the 60’s through the 90’s, with the result now that there are tens of millions of military age males who will never hold jobs, marry, buy homes or father children. China can throw endless waves of armed angry incels at an enemy and overwhelm then with numbers.

        6
        2
    • No currency will even complete with, much less replace, the dollar until – at least – someone can offer a bond market or some other form of storing the currency that’s equivalent to the Treasury market.

      Also, what about that $19 trillion in dollar-denominated debt outside the US. That alone will mean that demand for the dollar remains for a long time to come, even if people started to take loans in other currencies starting now – which they aren’t.

      At the moment, there is no real competition for the dollar or for treasuries. Maybe someday there will be something. Maybe the world continues to use Eurodollars but switches to gold as a way to store their wealth.

      But, remember, storing wealth means being able to sell that asset for dollars in times of trouble. Maybe you can sell your gold for dollars but at what haircut. Short-term treasuries offer guaranteed dollars, assuming that they’re not confiscated.

      I’d bet that the whole Eurodollar system blows up before the dollar is replaced. In essence, the dollar kills itself as opposed to being killed.

      • “Also, what about that $19 trillion in dollar-denominated debt outside the US[?] . That alone will mean that demand for the dollar remains for a long time to come…”

        You seem confused about the direction of flow. Servicing the debt requires dollars to flow out of the US and will presumably result in a surplus of dollars in the world, not a demand for them.

  24. Another thought from history, the Confederacy firing on Ft Sumter gave Lincoln and the Puritan Yanks exactly what they wanted, a reason to invade the south.
    I often wonder what would have went down in that war under different circumstances.

    16
    • Perhaps that was the earliest example of the GAE prodding and goading its adversary into a casus belli, which it has repeated over the centuries to great effect. Supplying one itself when the adversary fails to. One can hope that today’s adversary is wise to that game, they should be, it has a 160 year track record, if we can see it so should they.

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    • It is the defining feature of the American empire. They provoke and then treat the response as an unprovoked act of war that licenses them to use any means necessary. They do this domestically and internationally.

      47
    • I often wonder how it would have gone down if Robert E. Lee had accepted Lincoln’s offer to command the Union armies at the outset. The war would likely have lasted six months and gone down as a footnote in history. Lee at the helm of the Union would have swayed a lot of other capable officers to forsake the Confederacy, and he would have sought a quick defeat of the Confederate armies and a fast, just peace. As it turned out, Lee saw his first duty as being to Virgina (although no doubt he agonized over the decision, knowing what the war would bring) and Lincoln had to go through several crummy generals before settling on Grant.

      • The will to fight and die that the Confederates demonstrated likely precludes any quick victory scenario by the Union, regardless of who was in charge. Lee (who was an overrated tactician) would probably not have been able to strike a decisive blow with the Union army that was available in 1861. It would have taken him time to build and train the necessary army, as it took McClellan time to do so. Trying to project, beyond that, what else might have happened to influence events is probably a book length subject, I guess.

    • Lincoln would have invaded the South as soon as his army was ready even if South Carolina had tolerated his fort remaining in a position to blockade its commerce.

  25. You know in those cheesy action movies where you have the despot of a small country with an ultra-powerful weapon give his great villain speech on how he wants the entire world under his heel, then laughs maniacally? Then the hero from the U.S. or British intelligence thwarts his diabolical plan?

    In a generation or two, the cheesy villain is going to be an American or Eurocrat who is going to talk about how he will flood every country with foreigners and create mass propaganda to keep the people sedated and ignorant. You’ll then see the hero from a small country save the day by blowing him to kingdom come.

    10
  26. Again, agree with you. One thing to add is that the mad dog (aka the GAE) wants a no-holds-barred war with anyone (Russia, China, Iran). The other powers know this and are trying to avoid the rabid dog. Recall that some days back the Iranians categorically stated that they would not back any action against Israel and even translated this message into Hebrew so that the Israelis would know. Even the Israelis are not mad dogs. Only the GAE is. The other powers know that a rabid dog has a very limited life span.

    18
    • Netanyahu comes close. For him, it’s personal. He came close to being ousted before the attack, and when he’s no longer Prime Minister, he can no longer protect himself from the law and will probably go to jail. He has no qualms about hurting his country to prevent that. I still think he’s underestimated the damage he is doing to Israel right now.

  27. Unlike their counterparts of WW1 and WW2, US Generals today have a chest full of medals, earned from wars they have never won. Not unlike the North Korean army Generals who have so many medals they have to pin them on their hats and pants.

    It seems the US military’s only goal in these shite country conflicts is to convert the few remaining vets, who are dumb enough to sign up, into even more crippled homeless people.

    But thanks to the woke agenda of the US military, at least the next cohort of crippled vets will be a much more diverse group.

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    • “US Generals today have a chest full of medals, earned from wars they have never won.”

      The way you get your third and fourth star in the US is by being an ass-kissing desk jockey. Petraeus is an example. Milley another. They tell the unhinged neocons whatever they want to hear. They are not like Guderian, who could shout at Hitler. And so the beltway is one big echo chamber. There’s no-one to shout at these lunatics, “You’re a bunch of f***ing mad dogs.”

      30
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      • Milley is a good example of an office pogue who spent little time in the field. I cannot see John Kirby as an Admiral. He doesn’t carry himself as one and looks more like he should be doing stand up comedy at an officers club.

        15
  28. Thankfully, it appears that the other big powers – Russia, China and Iran – have learned that the big weakness of the US – and its middleman rulers – is disengagement.

    The more that you can separate yourself from the US, the better and safer you are. Get your economy as independent as possible. Have a strong military to force the Americans and the neocons to think twice about messing with you directly. Don’t allow (((Western))) money or organizations into your society, especially where they could influence the media, politics or banking.

    You can see the world trying to do all of that. It will take a long time, but the world is moving in that direction. Even with Gaza, you can see how China and Russia and even Iran aren’t trying to confront the US or Israel. They want to de-escalate. They want to move on.

    Unfortunately, the Muslim states will have a hard time keeping a lid on this. Their populations may not allow it.

    Regardless, unlike WWI, only one side seems to want to play. Let’s hope that it stays that way.

    30
  29. It’s easier for the leaders of a country to be reckless, daring, and bold when you don’t much care for your country or it’s people to begin with. Replace us with open borders, shuffle off more to fight in far away wars, all to welcome in a new browner more compliant population.

    29
    • a new browner more compliant population.

      This is the part I don’t quite get. What brown country has a compliant population? Seems they are always in turmoil. They may have lower IQs, but they have lower tolerance levels and impulse control to match.

      • I think the general argument is that they can be made compliant wit’ da’ gibz. Of course, with whitey no longer around to generate wealth…

        10
    • I don’t think it’s going the way (((they))) planned it. A good conman knows that smarter people make better marks, if you know how to play them. If only because there’s more money to make from them, but also because they tend to be very vain and suckers for flattery of their intelligence and sophistication.

      The great unpleasantness of the 1940s notwithstanding, I don’t think (((they))) will ever find a host population that is as accommodating and tolerant as White people, at least modern White people. The manipulation tactics based on guilt work best on Christians, because their religion is based on guilt. Chinese don’t give a damn about the Holocaust, and neither do Russians. For Blacks they are just ypepo.

      White Liberalism is the golem that did them a world of good, but they never know when to stop.

      • “A good conman knows that smarter people make better marks…”

        The Elders of Zion exist, and plan things, only in your fevered imagination (and that of other morons who flatter themselves that they are less suckers for idiocy than those with IQs above the room temperature readings, though they’re obviously not).

  30. I suspect that the greatest push factor for WWI, was that nobody had the slightest idea of what was coming. The American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War and the Second Schleswig War had offered hints, but nothing to suggest the mindless, industrial abattoir of WWI.

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    • If they had looked at the last battles of the American Civil War, especially the Siege of Petersburg, it was pretty clear what was coming.

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      • Yes, that was a hint, but Petersburg eventually fell according to standard doctrine and the CW ended with a proper, by-the-book military victory, so it’d probably have been easy to dismiss it as an uncommonly bloody siege in an otherwise normal war.

        Still, the casualties after six months of fighting were less than the first day of the Somme.

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        • True, but the trench warfare made the siege last a lot longer and inflicted huge loses on the North, i.e., defense was gaining the edge.

          It would have been a lot worse if the South had better digging equipment and more artillery.

          But, yes, it was possible to look at that battle as just another battle in the war.

      • Yes. Literal trench warfare in and around Petersburg.

        And much like the Battle of the Crater, giant mines would be set off under front lines during The Great War.

        • And inside the city according to an eye witness, a young Captain in the CSA who wrote an account:
          “Higher and higher the flames rose until great molten-like tongues seemed to lick the very clouds.The old men mounted the ladder like boys, and soon the tops of the surrounding buildings were lined with determined spirits, and the battle against the flames began in earnest. We could see their forms against the dark back-ground, running hither and thither, fighting with all the power and energy of the brave and fearless men they were. They paid no heed to the screaming, shrieking, bursting of shells all around, but battled bravely to save the city. I have seen many battles, but never more heroism displayed than by the old men and boys that night in Petersburg.”
          Captain Augustus Dickert, History of Kershaw’s Brigade.
          When I read the words of those who were there, my heart breaks for them, and us. My great-great-Uncle
          was killed defending the railroad at Walthall Station, age 23.

    • For what it’s worth, I’ve come to a couple of opinions about WWI over the years.

      First, America had no dog whatsoever in the fight and should never ever have gotten involved with troops on the ground. I’ve often wondered whether things would have gone a whole lot better if the U.S. openly declared total and complete neutrality and tried to help negotiate a settlement.

      Second and perhaps more controversally, Germany’s leadership was totally nuts! The plan was in response to even a minor provocation to literally go to war with every country on the continent! In their defense maybe they were looking back on Napoleon and saying that a-hole would pick a fight with anyone at anytime so why shouldn’t we? At the same time though, why would you think starting a continent-wide war over next to nothing is the way to go?

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      • The plan was in response to even a minor provocation to literally go to war with every country on the continent!

        The Germans didn’t go to war because the archduke was shot, they went to war because Russia – France’s ally – was mobilizing.

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        • Hindsight is definitely 20/20 so I’m sure that the German thinking leading to WWI seemed rational to them, but again I say “Russia’s mobilizing”. So what? Couldn’t they just have set up trenches and defensive positions? At the time given the history of the Napoleonic wars, Russian martial prowess couldn’t have been held in high esteem. And was there even a concern about French mobilization? Germany had just comprehensively kicked their asses in 1870, so again just set up some trenches and defensive positions and expect them them to lose or negotiate.

          Reluctantly I’ve come to the conclusion that Germany’s default plan seems to have been “Let’s just declare war on absolutely everyone” instead of allowing for the possibility of compromise or negotiation.

          • Imagine that overnight a new country appears that’s militarily, economically, culturally, and organizationally on par, or superior, to the great powers in the region. Extremely destabilizing.

            Nobody wanted the German Empire, except the Germans, and they planned accordingly.

          • “Russia’s mobilizing”. So what? Couldn’t they just have set up trenches and defensive positions?

            They didn’t do that because their strategy was incumbent upon avoiding a two-front war, so their plan was to knock out France before the Czar had time to muster his Asiatic hordes.

            You might find that plan dumb but that was what the general staff went with, and they had prepared and wargamed that plan in extreme detail, with timetables prepared for every individual train and cargo manifestos for every box car.

            That was why, once the Kaiser raised the flag, there would be no stopping the tiger mid-jump or start thinking of a plan B.

            Nothing to do with “declaring war on everybody.”

          • Felix,

            Yep, that incredibly tight battleplan timeline was why the Germans needed to make political decisions so quickly.

            They couldn’t wait and see how things turned out politically. Once there was a chance for war, they had to move fast.

            Then, once the Germans moved so quickly, so did everyone else. Funny how things start to get out of your control so easily.

          • Well, they didn’t look for a “chance” at war, they believed it to be inevitable once the Russians started mobilizing, that was their pre-determined trigger event.

            That may not have been the case – perhaps there were still a jaw-jaw solution – but they could not afford to take the risk, what with the Russians already on the march.

            I’m not trying to exonerate the Germans here, but they were among the least trigger happy countries in Europe; they already got what they wanted in the Franco-Prussian war.

      • Arguably, the US hasn’t need to get involved in any war since the American Revolution. Maybe the War of 1812, I don’t know much about it, so I’m neutral. But every other war since has been a war that the US didn’t need to fight.

        Granted, some wars, like the Mexican War got us a lot of land, so I’m not trashing it, but we didn’t need to fight it.

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      • “… to literally go to war with every country on the continent!”

        Austria-Hungary (which is the country that actually started the war) was on what continent?

    • Everyone thought the war would last six or eight weeks and it would all be over well before Christmas of 1914.

      • This is the common denominator in most every single war ever fought: one or both sides thought it was going to be easy. Sometimes they were right, sometimes not.

    • Between the end of the American Civil War and the start of WW1 are two inventions that account for the vast majority of casualties in WW1:

      – high explosives: TNT in 1863, dynamite in 1867. Artillery killed most soldiers in WW1.

      – The Maxim gun in 1884. They had Gatling guns in the Civil War, but the Maxim gun was what made storming a fortification mass suicide.

      HE artillery grenades and modern machine guns together account for almost all casualties in WW1.

  31. “The enemy also gets a vote”

    It’s been commented on endlessly elsewhere that the current generation of military, state department, and politicians in Washington have been there for at least 30 years. They’ve never been humbled by mistakes, never paid a professional (or in many instances, a personal) price for decades of failed wars, energy policies, immigration, insane monetary policy, deficits, damaging top-down social/sexual fads, etc.

    Instead they retire with millions or to multiple sinecures as “advisors”.

    America won’t stop until it gets punched in the nose, HARD. Maybe BRICS and a self induced energy crisis will do it. Sigh.

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    • What’s the comparison I’ve heard for years, a rubber band snapping back, but boy, this rubber band is clearly very strong and has been stretched a long way, that snapback is going to be brutal!

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    • GAE seems hellbent on blowing the world up over, what would seem to an outsider, very petty issues and it looks like China and Russia (and maybe India) are doing their best at this point to subtly say “we’d really rather you’d not”. An idea may be coalescing among them though that the only way to get the lunatic under control is to put them in their place, which as Z notes, might not go as expected, though proxy-warring GAE’s assets in landlocked areas in Syria and Iraq seems pretty safe on it’s face.

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    • America in your sentence needs to be replaced with DC. Please don’t include most of us in the same sentence as those DC bastards.

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    • Don’t forget journalists or pundits. There are a lot of people like Fukuyama or Krugman who have made a lucrative career out of being wrong every single time for decades.

      I will never understand why anyone is still listening to a word Tom Friedman is saying after the Iraq wars.

  32. If the population that the GAE Regime has declared is the number one domestic enemy were to mutiny in the form of mass resignation, the GAE and the Regime would be finished – overnight.

    I am not saying that is going to happen. It probably won’t. In the meantime, the civilian population of the Historic American Nation needs to address its most pressing problem – the education of its children outside of the system that is bent on its destruction.

    The GAE plays its pieces on the board. The HAN needs to play its own game on its own board here at home.

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    • I have a friend that’s a whose son is a marine sniper. His whole, I don’t know, crew, I don’t know what they’re called, just resigned. The son says the leadership is totally woke but not the rank and file and the white guys are looking to get out. I found that to be some good news

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    • To bang the same drum I regularly do, this is happening now in a slow but steady way with the Great Sorting and internal dissolution and fragmentation. The concern has to be that the GAE, if it is humiliated again abroad and finally realizes it no longer can unilaterally exert its will, may turn even harder on the Heritage population and increase its oppression and attempt an overt genocide (note that it has absolutely no problem with the ethnic cleansing of the Gazans). It very well also might get its ass handed to it with that madness but people will suffer horribly in the process.

      The GAE seems to act erratically and impulsively abroad these days and all attempts to ascribe some grand strategies are stretches. It acts similarly on the domestic front and lashing out seems to be all it does now. As noted often, move as far away as possible from its psychotic hives and try to make yourself less fragile. It won’t provide much protection from nuclear fallout, but it will from rampaging and desperate hordes of praetorian imports.

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    • In anticipation of something like what you suggest, the bad guys have imported our “replacements”—not voters but a street corps to murder us. Nationwide they heavily outnumber us. In some target areas they don’t, so they’re being delivered. (The largest Spanish-speaking population in Florida is…Venezuelans. Suddenly. DeSantis’s calm competence has led to a flourishing of innovations in makeshift rafting.) A doubtless error-ridden Excel formula will tell them when it’s time. They’re telegraphing a post-election plan but whenever it happens it’ll be an impulsive freakout over something insignificant *to us*, so we can’t anticipate it. A guy sitting in Pelosi’s chair got us a military coup—so we pretend it didn’t happen.

  33. More than anything, these historical disasters show the pitfall of entangling alliances, which create perverse incentives that can lead to disaster (as G. Washington understood so well).

    Like Serbia, which always thought Imperial Russia would back them up, started sh*t with Austria, so too did Ukraine (with Russia) and Israel (with all neighbors) thinking that the US would back them up no matter what.

    It’s just axiomatic in the “game theory” of power alliances that the weaker links will be the most provocative, as they seek to leverage the strength of the dominant power. Ukraine would have settled its beef with the Russkies had we not meddled. If Israel had a more neutral relationship with us, they would be forced to seek a peaceful modus vivendi with all the neighboring knuckleheads.

    So we return to the timeless wisdom of George Washington, who warned future Americans about exactly this problem.

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    • Agreed, Poland was another example in the interwar years. They assumed Britain would back their play against Germany. The example that should be the model is Finland. In the Cold War, Finland was on good terms with both sides and avoided involvement in their clashes. The solution in Europe is the Finlandization of the Visegrad and the Baltic states, but West cannot contemplate it.

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      • Even Finland doesn’t follow the Finland model anymore. Clown world, indeed.

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        • That’s because Finlandization was never a model, it was total communist subversion of our society, and Finns have been joining Western institutions to avoid it ever happening again.

          The clown world part is that our boomers who were traumatized by Finlandization haven’t upgraded their worldview and they still think America is the model country of the patriotic right-wing Christian.

          All my Finnish boomer conservative relatives are ecstatic about NATO membership because they think they’ve finally beaten the Left. They complain about rainbow flags, gender ideology and BLM but they refuse to believe that this stuff comes from America since in their minds Russia is the left-wing country and America is the right-wing country.

      • Poland’s alternative was what, exactly? They could have given up the Corridor, I guess, but wouild that have prevented their partition?

    • Forget who said it, but the saying is something like “Ask 100 different Europeans about the root causes of WWI and you’ll get 110 different answers.”

      Personally I think it was boredom from men in factories, the first effective use of mass propaganda, and no living memory of of just how destructive awful industrial capacity wars are.

      Kinda like now.

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      • Most of the men in factories were older than the troops that enrolled voluntarily, and, anyway, only England relied substantially (initially) on volunteers.

        No one had any memory of a type of war that had never happened, but that kind of memory didn’t prevent WW2.

    • Washington and the other founding fathers warned us about a lot of things none of which are taken seriously by the leftist forces that run America.

  34. The “elites” in 1914 were bad; largely in-bred “aristocrats” that in retrospect didn’t seem to be able to add 2 & 2 & nor the ability to deduce the repercussions of their actions. That said, upon the outbreak of war in 1914 there were enthusiastic celebrations in every capital in Europe so there was something going on with the regular people as well.

    The “elites” today are arguably worse; the 1914 variety were @ least patriots, those today not @ all unless you define “patriotism” as flooding your country with illegal aliens accountable to no one, lopping off the genitalia of children in the name of “trans rights”, & pushing pedophilia & homosexuality on schoolchildren.

    Russian dissident Alexander Dugin recently made some perspicacious observations vis-a-vis “the west”; strictly speaking from an American perspective, what’s to fight for- Globalhomo & the United States of Transgender?

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    • It really is a great puzzle as to why no one seem to see what could lie ahead in a war. The political side was locked in the pre-industrial age of statecraft, where wars were relatively low-cost extension of statecraft. Their military advisers, however, had to know better and it had to be clear once the war started.

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      • Z –

        Well Great Britain was @ the height of her imperial arrogance, shortly before this (around 1900 or so) proclaiming “God himself is an Englishman” & after a few bloody noses – Islandlwhana, South Africa for example – had riveting victories @ places like Roarke’s Drift in 1879 more than likely gave the Britishmthe feeling that Queen, Country, & Tommy would carry thru.

        Amazingly, there are precious few senior leaders – particularly in the Europe’s militaries of the time – who were able to add it all up: machine guns = cavalry charge & infantry assault not an option. It took years of unadulterated slaughter before the French said “enough!”. The French Army basically mutinied in 1916 & refused to continue the futile assaults against German trenches. The apocalypse @ Verdun was the final straw, putting so much strain on the French Army that the British Offensive on the Somme 1916 was largely an attempt to relieve the pressure on them. In this it succeeded, but gave Britain the eternal nightmare of “The Blackest Day of the British Army” where they lost 60,000 men on,the first day of The Somme Offensive. Britain never got over this. Britain’s small professional Army had been decimated by 1916 & Lord Kitchener rolled out his idea of “Pal’s” Battalions where a group of friends could all sign up & serve together. This led to all the young men from towns & provinces being completely wiped out.

        The only commander that comes to mind who seems to have a hint of how to fight it smart was General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck; he fought a guerrilla-style campaign in Western Africa with 3,000 German troops & 11,000 Africans. He held up & outfoxed upwards of 300,000 British & allied troops.

        To the end he remained undefeated: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Paul-von-Lettow-Vorbeck

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        • I know you mentioned it but it needs reiterating:

          The Somme was bloody because the British launched the offensive weeks early after the French,who were losing at Verdun, begged them to draw off German reserves and artillery. The British did not have the logisitcs or artillery in place that they thought was necessary for victory.Hardly a sign of arrogance ,more humility and intelligence involving huge sacrifice to save an ally.

          The French mutiny occurred in 1917 after the abject failure of the Nivelle offensive.

          The blackest day of the British army -you are corrupting the quote which was “the blackest day of the German army” after their defeat at Amiens in 1918 by the British. Ludendorff said it.

          Britain did get over the Somme , a defensive victory which saved the French. Britain inflicted the largest defeats on the German army it ever experienced.You can look it up it’s called the glorious 100 or 100 days offensive.

          You seem to have a very idiosyncratic understanding of WW1.

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          • Yes – 1917. Typo on my part. “The blackest day” came from Martin Middelbrook’s epic work ( https://www.amazon.com/First-Day-Somme-Martin-Middlebrook/dp/1473877164/ref=sr_1_2?crid=32R32I3QH6MFQ&keywords=First+day+on+the+Somme&qid=1698246736&s=books&sprefix=first+day+on+the+somme%2Cstripbooks%2C71&sr=1-2) & The Somme is something the British never got over; it colored everything they did in WWII. Thames production of the classic 1973 documentary the British guests are on camera talking about it, not only The Somme but Passchendaele. British generals were under pressure not to lose so many men since the British people had no stomach for it.

          • “Britain did get over the Somme , a defensive victory which saved the French.”

            British historiography is reliably tendentious. Consider the Brit-infected section “Who Won the Battle of the Somme?” at history.com (https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-the-somme): “The Allied victory at the Somme—despite its horrific costs—inflicted serious damage on German positions in France, spurring the Germans to strategically retreat to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 rather than continue battling over the same land that spring.

            Though the exact number is disputed, German losses by the end of the Battle of the Somme probably exceeded Britain’s, with some 450,000 soldiers lost compared with 420,000 on the British side.”

            The German retreat to the Hindenberg line was of course an improvement in their position. Also, this biased Anglophile accounting leaves out the 200,000 FRENCH casualties. And, of course this oddly-characterized “defensive victory” of which you speak was an ATTACK under WW1 conditions on a line chosen by ther Germsns (i.e., the Germans had better ground) so if they had actually lost more casualties than the attackers it would be very hard to explain. Bit it isn’t, because it didn’t happen. Sheesh.

      • Looking at two books I have at hand: The Real War 1914-1918 by Captain B.H. Liddell Hart and World War 1 by S.L.A Marshall the military’s first concern during July and August 1914 was getting a jump on mobilization. All the great powers had drawn up plans for mobilizing their standing armies and reservists. Once one military (in this case Germany) mobilized, every other military knew they needed to mobilize their troops ASAP and get them to the front faster than their opponents. The aim was to win a stunning and decisive victory at the outset.

        As expected, military decisions quickly outstripped political attempts to diffuse the situation (That is, for those who wanted the situation stopped). The rough analogy for mobilization is turning the launch keys in an ICBM silo: Once it’s done there’s no turning back. The missile flies, the troop trains roll, and war begins.

        Generals were sure their plans would win and the boys would be home by Christmas.

        They were, but it was Christmas 1918.

          • “Over There, Over There, Send the word, send the word Over There. . . .”

            “Pack up your troubles in yer old kit bag and smile, smile, smile . . . ”

            “It’s a long way to Tipperary,
            It’s a long way to go.
            It’s a long way to Tipperary,
            To the sweetest girl I know!
            Goodbye, Piccadilly,
            Farewell, Leicester Square!
            It’s a long long way to Tipperary,
            But my heart’s right there.”

        • ” Once one military (in this case Germany) mobilized, every other military knew they needed to mobilize their troops ASAP and get them to the front faster than their opponents.”

          The Russians began mobilization first and, if I recall correctly, invaded Germany first, not the other way around. German mobilization ought to have been faster, but in the event that was the sequence. Which really PO’d the Germans when they were forced to sign a Versailles Treaty falsely declaring otherwise.

      • If they had known better they wouldn’t have employed the tactics actually employed in 1914. Not everyone was a bad as the French, with colorful uniforms on their charging troops and little in the way of heavy artillery, but even the Germans had a tendency to use dense columns.

  35. At least MAGA disrupted the domestic political situation. The thing still has a lot of inertia but it’s being driven by desperation imo. To use the WWI analogy, it would be like the Ottoman Empire— the ‘sick man of Europe’ at the time— spoiling for war. GAE is probably more likely to collapse than grind, thank God.

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    • Trump was a last throw of the dice in a desperate attempt to “save America”. Of course he was not up to the task – nobody is, now. We don’t produce top-quality leaders anymore.

  36. Raise your hand if you would love to see a US aircraft carrier at the bottom of the Mediterranean.

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    • That is a good example of the general theme of my post. Many people on our side think the sight of a US carrier on fire would be a good result, maybe force the regime to rethink things. It is also possible that it leads the regime to declare total war on the world, thus triggering an escalating crisis that leads to nuclear war.

      That is why I suspect Putin made the point that Russian aviation in the Black Sea equipped with hypersonic missiles can reach those naval assets in the Mediterranean. It was not a threat in the conventional sense, but a test to see how Washington would react in order to determine if they might welcome such an outcome.

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      • A US aircraft carrier sunken to the bottom of the Mediterranean would cause a standard of living decrease for Americans.

        Our currency is backed by our military might. If our military strength is diminished in the world, so to will our financial strength. Those aircraft carries and military bases help keep our currency afloat.

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        • how many new carriers and other large ships are in production right now in USA? If one per day were sunk or rendered inoperable, how long before “and then there were none”?? Do we even have the capability to process raw material into finished product here, or are we buying parts from other countries and “assembled in America”?

        • Destruction of our currency is the prerequisite for our freedom. In fact, this is the least difficult path to the destruction of the Managerial State. What you are suggesting is that we avoid the kind of sacrifice that will be required to save our civilization. Monetary collapse is far more preferable to the sort of authoritarianism we are currently headed for.

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    • To those who downvoted Gotterdams post, a question.

      Are the existing flat tops doing anything to mitigate the invasion at the border?

      Didn’t think so.

      The reality is that the current system in the US has done more harm to me and my family than any Russian or Iranian.

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      • Thank you. That’s why I posted that. The US government is not our friend. They literally ARE the main enemy now.

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        • They are the enemy. Getting rid of them without nuclear war is like getting rid of cancer without killing the patient

        • Have you forgotten about how the Iranians wrecked our education system and the Russians opened the gates to every kind of sexual perversion in our midst? Getting some serious 1776 vibes here, dude!

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        • Most are not, but I imagine some are. Grilleritis hasn’t been totally eradicated even on the DR.

          • In my case it was meant more of a stylistic critique. The “Raise your hand” FreerepublicGPT bit is beyond parody by this point.

      • While I agree that the US regime is no friends of ours, I downvoted because I think our current crop of leaders actually wants a US carrier sunk.

        It would cost them nothing. They don’t care about the young soldiers who would die because the carriers aren’t filled with (((their people))). They don’t care about the lost carrier because they’ve got others.

        They would, however, use such an attack, including flag-draped coffins, as a good excuse to declare war on Israel’s enemies, which would enable them to march a bunch of dirt people off to war.

        Currently, the dirt people are disengaged from this whole conflict. Our (((crazed leaders))) are desperate to change that. The odd thing is, today’s dirt people might not respond the way our leaders expect. Rather than baying for the blood of “muzzies,” the dirt people just might bay for the blood of the corrupt leaders who sent those assets there in the first place.

        Here’s the fly in their ointment: Thanks to the war on whitey, far too many dirt people realize that our government hates us and wants us dead.

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        • I’m English, no way are my boys going off to die for this government or country.
          The US will instruct all the vassals to front up for them, as they did in Ukraine. I doubt they’ll get much support from those who are supposed to do the dieing.

        • If the US were filled with relatively intelligent people, I would think the sinking of a carrier would be the death knell to war mongering. But as you point out, there is a significant risk that the “average” Amurrican would take the wrong lesson from such an event.

          • Sadly, you are entirely correct. “America’s” human capital is at low ebb. Even whites in this godforsaken wilderness are a degraded and contemptible lot.

      • If anything, the GAE military will someday be used to escort the invaders from the south. No foolin’.

      • The US military has zero to do with the US failure to keep out the Invasion.

        To wish for sinking USN ships is to wish for something incredibly risky, and you are a moron to do so.

    • I fear nuclear war if that happened. Can you imagine the shrills inside the beltway if the USS Ford went down. Lindsay graham wanted to nuke Russia a year ago if memory serves. Which means the pressure on Putin to preempt must be insane at that point. And there goes the whole game. This could happen

      • Russia could sink ALL our aircraft carriers in one hour. Would we then proceed to all-out nuclear war? Doubtful. Even the maniacs in London and New York want to remain above the grass.

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        • So far GAEs response to failure has consistently been to double down. Once a carrier or two is wiped out are you confident you know what Lloyd Austin, miss Graham and others would and wouldn’t do? I’m not

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          • Are they suicidal? I think not. Hypersonic missiles would land on D.C. before those lickspittles could find the exit.

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        • You have far greater faith in the rationality of the maniacs in the imperial capital than I, Gunga Din.

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