Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Former Ambassador to Syria,  Robert S. Ford,  Quits State Department in Frustration with Obama.  Asks for More Arms Supply to “Moderate Rebels”.

Basic Conclusion:  Robert Ford and other U.S. Ambassadors around the world have become completely irrelevant, as has Sec State John Kerry.  This includes the entire 9,000+ state department.   A recent article in the NYTimes,  by Michael R. Gordon, June 10, 2014, entitled “Former Ambassador To Syria Increasing Arms Supply To Moderate Rebels” relates the trials and tribulations of a career Foreign Service Officer [FSO] and his professional and personal objections to the present US foreign policy which stipulates that CIA will vet out ‘moderate Syrian rebels’ and arm them accordingly without any major US weapons transfer.

If one reads between the lines of the story,  one conclusion appears paramount.  The State Department and those who have served the institution loyally have become irrelevant to any peace process or even the cursory concept of “DIPLOMACY”—whatever that might mean.
For over the past thirty or more years,  I have witnessed the steady demise of State Department’s once lofty presence and reputation.  Yes,  that part of our tax supported government which had pinnacled during my tenures in both the Kissinger and Baker administrations, waned imperceptibly over time.   This attrition of State’s basic power coincided with the increase in budget for military and intelligence functions.

In a far more palatable form,  one could say that the U.S. Military leaders like Gen. Petraeus,  Gen. Stan McCrystal and Gen Martin Dempsey, as well as others,  reflexively assumed the mantle of the Roman Centurion Guards who decided all matters concerning the management of war,  negotiations and policy-- without discussion or remorse.  Theirs was the only decision required and implemented.   The Roman Senators,  the Emperor and even the so-called diplomats were at best an inconvenience,  if not completely inconsequential. 
No Centurion Guard and eventual Emperor could have been more judicious in policy while at the same time acting more ruthlessly in battle than Marcus Aurelius,  the philosopher/warrior.  Clearly we Americans do not possess the likes of anything comparable to a Marcus Aurelius.   However,  we do have Centurion Guards disguised in such fancy and unintelligible acronyms as CINCPAC—Commander of The Pacific Fleet;  CENTCOM—Commander of Central Command [Iraq, Afghanistan, South Asia]; SOUTHCOM- Commander of Southern Command, et. al.
Over the past thirty years,  the military along with the CIA have assumed the functions of the Executive Branch;  the Legislative Branch; and the State Department.  If we taxpayers want to save hundreds of billions of dollars,  we can first eliminate the most antiquated of all parochial systems –The State Department.   At a time when the internet can access anyone/anywhere in nano-seconds,  the need for an Ambassador who in principle represents the POTUS becomes redundant.   Furthermore,  most FSOs are reduced to ersatz ‘travel agents’ arranging CODELS (Congressional Delegations) --- or ‘boondoggles’ for our legislators who have found nothing better to do than waste our taxpayer dollars traveling around the world in extravagantly inane self-designated missions/visits.
Robert Ford will never achieve his misplaced dreams of arming anything but his own pocketbook for espousing ideas which have very little currency in reality, and at best  expresses ‘much sound and fury’ signifying nothing.   I bid a fond adieu to a once noble enterprise entitled ‘Diplomacy’.   I must welcome in the disparate bureaucracies that will act as vultures on a carrion of flesh called “war”, “civil war”, “terrorism” or even “crises”.

Remember:  ‘Money makes the world go around’.
Not exactly a Marcus Aurelius’s aphorism.  But close…it’s from the musical “Cabaret”.
“Cabaret”--the more appropriate metaphor for today’s troubling times.


  1. What good is sitting alone in your room?
    Come hear the music play
    Life is a cabaret, old chum
    Come to the cabaret

    Thank you for your service to our Country Dr. P, and integrity, which in my book will never become irrelevant.

  2. "Money makes the world go round" (from my website) is from the 1891, It was inspired by Lewis Carroll's "love makes the world go round" (Alice's Adentures in Wonderland, 1865).

  3. Yes it's a return to the irrelevant status of the State Department in the 1950s and early 1960s when Admirals and Generals gave their advise to Presidents about purely political issues of communist penetration in various countries and what should be done about it.

    Today as the Shiites have fled northern Iraq and now left it to a Sunni militia.....

    Republicans are claiming that we should have "listened to our Generals who would have told us this would happen if we left! "

    Oh yeah....

    If it's up to the Generals we'd stay in Iraq FOREVER and stay in Afghanistan FOREVER and spend trillions and trillions for decades only to find that after fourty years of war THEY STILL WANT US OUT AND WANT TO DIVIDE THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

    Well Republicans and feckless Democrats like Hillary and John Kerry WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU WHEN THE DECISION WAS MADE TO INVADE THESE COUNTRIES IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Was it only myself with my years of experience and a few publications about those two countries who predicted that nothing the Israelis in the Bush White House was claiming about Iraq or Afghanistan was true???

    Did you REALLY believe that a civil war wouldn't start?

    Did you REALLY believe that the wars Saddam Hussein had been waging against the Kurds and the Shiites were just NOTHING and that once he was gone that somehow that conflict would just DISSAPPEAR? Or did you really believe the Israeli propaganda that the Kurds and the Shiites only wanted independence because they didn't like Saddam Hussein that's a funny one.

    After all none other than CIA case officer Robert Baer, an officer with no education in Middle East history and wouldn't know the Sykes-Picot Treaty from the local bar.......

    Even he tried to kill Saddam Hussein because, ignoramous that he was, he thought, "the only problem with Iraq was Saddam Hussein."

    Now that's a good one.

    Put that quote in "Bob's Book of Jokes" so it won't be forgotten at party time.


    1. Actually he thought Sykes-Picot was a Swiss watch...

  4. The State Department was nothing in the Nixon Administration until Kissinger took control at the end and then it was his tool. By that time what happened in Vietnam so humiliated the Generals that no one listened to anything they had to say, and Rumsfeld as SECDEF was such an absurdity that the Defense Department became a joke. Kissenger declared Rumsfeld, "a sick man...a madman" and so Rummy was left to preside over a military totally shot to hell with new recruits coming into the services who had never owned a pair of shoes.

    It was Carter and Brown who rebuilt the military from the ground up beginning in 1977 with rational reviews and recommendations which were put into effect with massive spending increases beginning in 1979. However when Reagan and Weinberger came in the rationality went out the window and the Pentagon went hog wild with anything they wanted, and huge amounts were wasted on black programs with no oversight such as "Global Analytics," a colossal new company doing only classified low observables research and which WANTED TO BUILD THE BIGGEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD to house their work, and Congress didn't even know they existed!

    That's when the Defense Dept came roaring back with great hubris and conceit, then when the 1992 war went well that ended their humility once and for all.

    That's how we got to this terrible state.

    1. There's nothing worse than a military officer who thinks he's a "rennaissance man" and that they should express their views on international politics and so forth.

      They were like the military counterpart of the "physicians against nuclear winter" or the shit Carl Sagan was publishing as though being a Doctor or an astronomer made you an expert on the Pershing II missile or what general war in Europe would look like.

      When I'd hear these MDs or Helen Caldicott going on about missiles and yeilds and CEPs....

      I would just roll my eyes and think, "what the fuck these people must have just learned this stuff thirty minutes ago and they want the public to think they're experts."

    2. For once and for all Dr.Caldicott,

      Nuclear war ISN'T A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE !!


    3. Carl Sagan used to be a heavy marijuana user, and I think his ideas about nuclear winter were hatched in a cannibus induced blurr......................

      As were many of his fanciful ideas such as his own importance and the "spacehip of the imagination...."

  5. Dr.P what is the name of that steakhouse in Alexandria? It has a white exterior with no windows? In the 1980s it was just one building among many similar ones there but since a lot of shopping malls and huge hotels now surround it...the steakhouse has their own parking....

    Anyway I used to eat there a lot when in Washington and a lot of Navy brass used to eat there too and I loved playing this little was so funny!

    This was right about the time the "Hunt for Red October" was real popular.

    I used to chat with whoever I went to lunch with and I would speak sort of loud and this is what I would say....

    "Everybody knows that the Soviets have those radar satillites that are tracking the Carriers every time they leave port! They always know exactly where they are and the Russian Navy has the SS-11 with a single one megaton warhead specifically designed to wipe out those carriers! Hell if war broke out the carriers wouldn't last twenty four hours regardless of what John Walker gave them !!!"

    I used to love watching the Navy guys choke on their food and strain to see who I was while trying not to indicate what they were doing.

    I gave those idiots a hard time and loved every minute of making them shit their pants AND RUIN THEIR STEAK LUNCHES....

    1. I laugh about this shit but it actually got me into trouble at MIT when my thesis included all this stuff about the cummunications systems to the SSBNs which I wasn't supposed to have, and then I had to withdraw my thesis because it couldn't be published.....

      I still don't know who squeeled on me about that matter but I still think it was Bill Kaufmann because he was the only one there who had those kind of ties and was really on the their side despite pretending to be otherwise......

      I never got along with Kaufmann and he gave me a lot of headaches while I was there. I recently heard he died of Alzheimers so I guess that brilliant mind went to shit after all. I just couldn't understand how he could have so many good ideas and then suddenly do such strange things. He was a strange little man.

    2. I can tell you this much though I made damn sure that everything I said in the steakhouse could be found somewhere in general literature. I honestly think they didn't know all this stuff was out there.

    3. You see when you're an agent you can pull this kind of shit and a lot more, but if you were an officer then forget about it. They have you by the shorthairs.

    4. Wish I was their at the steakhouse to see that, as funny as that sounded, I can't help but wonder, aren't aircraft carriers just sitting ducks?

    5. Well if the Russians would have used nuclear weapons against them either from submarines or the SS-11s or the Navy bombers they had then the Carriers would have been toast.

      The Navy built the SS-11 and maintained their own bomber fleet so they could seek to take out the Carriers independently.

      What the Navy didn't want the public to know was that the Russians tracked every carrier all the time with radar satellites. It was also at that time that the first anti-satellite weapons were being worked on but if that had turned into an arms race the US would have had more to lose than the Russians...

  6. After oil prices rose after 1974 Iraq was transformed.

    Iraq was the only country, under the Ba'ath, that actually used the bulk of the oil revenues for the public good, and in those few years they made more progress than any other Arab country.

    But then came the Iranian revolution and the Iranians threatened to destablize the Shiites in souther Iraq. That's what led to the Ba'ath giving Saddam unchecked power so that he could deal with that problem, and part of that was the war hes started in Khuzistan.....

    By 1981 the cost of the war had made conditons for Iraqis terrible, and all the projects underway were halted as everything went to the defense of the country. The Iraqis were fighting with an army of conscripts, most of which were Shiites who wished the Iranians would win.....Saddam Hussein was fighting with one hand tied behind his back.

  7. Syria, what only Syria? No, Iraq is in flames with mass casualties and, now, an enveloping insurgency in the North spreading from city to city.

    But for the Syrian Operation carried out by the CIA and others, Iraq would be more stable.

    Unless, of course, by this time, with Iranian influence, the central government is looked at with scorn.

    Total chaos, is the goal.

    It was a foreseeable certainty that flooding Syria with terrorist fighters (the most brutal tactics) would spill into Iraq -- maybe
    Syria is even a cover for throwing Iraq into total breakup.

    In any event Syria has had a successful presidential election. proceeded by parliamentary elections, and a constitutional referendum.

    This is the story:

    Bergdahl was a diversion.

    How are the neocons going to survive if Iraq totally falls apart as a result of the Syrian aggression?

    Especially, when Syria has demonstrated incredible cohesion in the face of a foreign insurgency?

    Syria has to be the next biggest disaster next to Iraq.

    Syria is a multi-cultural, multi-religious, secular society, right in the heart of the Middle East. Women and Men wear often wear western style clothes.

    If there is any successful multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country in the Middle East, it was Syria -- until the West, the specifically the CIA, along with Saudi, and the usual suspects -- attacked it in an intentional act of aggression.

    The whole Middle East is in flames.

    Because of the U. S. A.

    The American People did not sign up for this kind of disaster.


      You are listening to hustlers and liars.

      CIA has been lobbying to support the non-Salifists and that's why the CIA officer mentioned above resigned !

      You need to take Alex Jones and stick him under a fucking mattress where he belongs. He's lost all credibility with anyone who knows anything just as Tarpley has!