The events of the last three weeks in Europe, i.e., the collapse of the Euro and the political chaos in Greece, are but a prelude to more dramatic and consequential events. The European economy is struggling to stay afloat. Germany has been fine and is helping keep the rest of Europe above water. However, a strong swimmer cannot save a swamped boat of passengers who can’t swim in an ocean. In fact, even the strong swimmer could drown under the weight of the others.

It appears increasingly likely that Greece will leave the Euro and the future for that country is uncharted. But Greece is not the only challenge confronting the European Union–Spain, Italy and even France are facing a tsunami of debt. In Spain, for example, housing prices have crashed and unemployment is in excess of 25%. You cannot have this kind of sustained economic turmoil and pain without a political backlash. The last time the world was in this kind of situation we saw the rise of Adolf Hitler, Mussolini and the outbreak of the most horrific war in the history of this earth.

Despite what the moronic Obots, like PPAA/lola828, keep saying, the economic turmoil in Europe will have a net negative effect on our economy and make it even more difficult to revive the economy here.

Compounding these daunting problems are the latest developments in the Middle East.

Egypt, despite the naive delusions espoused by Obama, is not moving towards democracy and will either move decisively into the camp of radical Islam or see the re-emergence of Mubarak supporters. Neither outcome will produce political stability or reassure Israel that the future is bright.

Then there is Syria. World opinion seems to be on the side of the Syrian opposition. This is more naive Arab spring bullshit in my view. The Government of Bashir Assad at least understands where their interest lies. While some of the opponents are sincere, many are aligned with the radical Islamists that sympathize with and support Al Qaeda and its ilk. Unfortunately, Barack Obama and his Administration do not have a damn clue about what to do. They are currently pursuing policies and tactics that both weaken and enable the Sunni and Shia opponents in this conflict. This also is an indictment of Secretary Clinton, I’m sad to say. The U.S. efforts underway to dislodge Bashir Assad and the Syrian Ba’athists, while well-intentioned are incredibly naive. Replacing Assad is being viewed entirely through the lens of trying to contain Iran without any regard to the consequence of installing a Sunni-led regime in Syria that will in turn persecute and destroy the minority Christians and Shia who have backed Assad.

Lest you think this is all about beating up on Obama, I must point out that Romney and his crew are indulging in the same bizarre delusion. Per The Weekly Standard:

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called the Syrian regime’s latest atrocities “horrific.” He also said that “it is far part time for the United States … to put an end to the Assad regime. . . .

The Annan ‘peace’ plan—which President Obama still supports—has merely granted the Assad regime more time to execute its military onslaught. The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. The bloodshed in Haoula makes clear that our goal must be a new Syrian government, one that contributes to peace and stability in the Middle East and that truly represents the brave Syrian people.”

Finally, there is Iran. Per the Financial Times:

The attempt by six world powers to persuade Iran to scale back its nuclear programme suffered a setback on Thursday when talks to defuse the crisis failed to make any progress.

After an often fraught two days of negotiations in Baghdad between the six powers and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief negotiator, both sides agreed to hold more talks on June 18. However, western diplomats at the Baghdad meeting conceded that the discussions had been difficult – and they only managed to extract an agreement from Iran to agree to the meeting in Moscow in the final hours of negotiations.

A failure to set a date for a new meeting would have indicated that the talks between the six powers and Iran had completely broken down.

Western diplomats appear to have spent much of Thursday putting pressuri Mr Jalili to avoid this outcome, amid fears that it would have made conflict between Israel and Iran unavoidable.

Israel wants to bomb Iran and the United States, via these talks, is trying to by time to keep it from happening. Iran will continue to try to string things out and Israel will become more impatient. Failure to make tangible progress in these talks makes an Israeli strike on Iran inevitable before our elections in November. Why should we care? Such a strike will cause a jaw breaking blow to the global economy and disrupt oil markets. It will also likely bring about a surge of terrorist activity around the world. And, depending on how China and Russia react, could provoke a global conflict. Nothing good will come of this.

Regrettably, neither Obama nor Romney nor anyone in political leadership here in the states has the balls to tell Israel to stand-down and back-off. A majority of the American public have bought into the myth that Iran must be stopped. There is no chance, in my view, for a rational debate to push the position of doing nothing.

Take all of this together and you have the ingredients for a mega-shit sandwich. Your thoughts?

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.

    backtrack manages to  insult another ally. This time it is Poland


    things seem to be heating up on Syria.

    US expells Syrian ambassador

    Netherlands declares Syria ambassador person no grata

    India advising against travel to Syria

    • HELENK2

      UN threatens military action after houla massacre

    • seattlegonz

       While I agree with Larry about most things…if anything was worth going to war for it is to prevent the massacre of innocents.

      It’s not naivete, and I’m a pacifist, but a pacifist won’t win a fight with a brutal commander who is ordering the army to execute civilians.

      We can’t just let the people of Syria be slaughtered. 10,000 dead…is that enough?

  • Vivian Berryhill

    Larry, as usual, you have hit-the-nail on the head.  I believe in my heart that Israel’s Netanyahu will not blink an eye in regards to bombing Iran to stem that country’s push to develop nuclear arms.  I would love for you to give your take, Sir, on the weekend developments where:
    Iran Activates Alternative System for SWIFT.  Give it to us straight please.  Thnks!


    what is with these people and the diarhea of the mouth???????

    special forces on the ground

    • Hokma

      “diarhea of the mouth”

      Having heard that one in years:)

  • Flop_Flipper

    All this talk of the impending gloom and doom is bumming me out. To groovy things in, I share with you a performance from Janis Joplin, recorded two months before her death. She always makes me feel better.

  • jrterrier

    Very interesting article in the NYTimes about drone strikes and the “kill” list.  And even more interesting the comments posted. 

    The condemnation of the Bush/Cheney policy of designating persons as enemy combatants subject to detention in Guanatanamo was loud and regular.  But at least that procedure allowed for a challenge, which the Supreme Court resolved by granting habeas rights to detainees, some of whom have been ordered released by fed judges.  There is no right of review or appeal for those on the “kill list” with criticism being quite muted.  

    I don’t profess to know the answer.  Is an all-out war that kills hundreds of thousands moral but a kill list not?  Once you concede the moral authority of a country to engage in war, the rest seems a lot more of a muddle for me.

  • jrterrier

    “This also is an indictment of Secretary Clinton, I’m sad to say.”

    I’ve been thinking along these lines for a while.  For better or for worse, Hillary is either implementing the President’s policy without having much influence on it or she is one of its chief architects.

  • Deapster

    If the Greeks are leaving the Euro and California is supposed to learn from the Greeks, does this mean California secedes from the US and goes it alone as the 7th largest economy in the world?

    Then we can start printing our own money, and poof, our problems in the Sunshine State are over.No other solution on the horizon for California. We will definitely have to keep our eyes on the Greeks.

    • Hokma

      “California secedes from the US”

      One can only wish. They already act like they are their own country. They could make George Clooney President and Sean Penn Secretary of State. Marijuana could be the official state flower. And we would not deplete any oil imports since they would all subsist on green energy.

      • foxyladi14


    • Hokma

      “California secedes from the US”

      One can only wish. They already act like they are their own country. They could make George Clooney President and Sean Penn Secretary of State. Marijuana could be the official state flower. And we would not deplete any oil imports since they would all subsist on green energy.

  • alicewolf

    Resolution 107 introduced by Congressman Jones is a good place to start.  This would outlaw any conflict that is not authorized by Congress.   At present, according to Panetta, if foreign powers, i.e. the UN deem it necessary to declare war then America has to fall in line if we have a relationship with the nations who are agressively pursuing conflict for one reason or another,  NATO is one of these foreign bodies.  Unfortunately the electorate has not say in this, so our elected representatives are not able to do what we want them to do.   The wars have badly affected the standing of the US, and the intentions behind them are so ill defined that seriously not many people understand what on earth is going on.   Cut off the banksters and the oligarchs who are looking to reduce the world population by four fifths or so by whatever means possible, and save civilization , and get on with a true human economic recovery, in science, agriculture, industry and space exploration etc.  Carry on with the policy of Barack Obama, John Kerrky, John McCain and Jo Lieberman et all, to do the bidding of the oligarchs, and Dr Strangelove here we come.  We have to make a rational decision  if we are to survive as a species, the future of the human race is hanging in the balance.   Thermonuclear war which is being threatened by the presence of the US nuclear armed submarines etc in the  Middle East and the Pacific Ocean etc is a sure sign that war could break out at any moment, and once that kind of weaponry is deployed forgetaboutit.

    • jrterrier

      don’t forget that the Iraq War was “authorized” by Congress.  They gave carte blanche to the President then most of them ran away from that decision when it got ugly. 

      • alicewolf

        Another example of backing the wrong horse.
        Russia and China deeply regret the fact that they allowed the ‘no fly zone’ diktat to go through for Libya, which is why they are so forcefully standing up for their own sovreignty right now.
        Sovreignty, and especially the sovreignt of the USA is up in the air, do We the People realize that if the attack on our sovreignt which is coming from without and within, is what will stop us from benefitting from the protection of the Constitution and it’s wonderfully unique principles which used to set us apart from the rest of the world. We had the right to remain sovreign, to utter sovreign currency, and to place the General Welfare before most all other considerations.
        With the power being in the hands of the FED to utter currency and a Treasury that is acting on behalf of the oligarchs who control the FED and t he rest of the international bank cartels, the notion of doing things for the general welfare of citizens is swept to the side. The idea of a Justic System and a Congressional System that have equal power so as to keep the PResidency in line as also been swept to the side, and we have been reduced to the role of helpless onlookers.
        If we go on without reinstating the Glass Steagall Standard, and don’t assert our right to have sovreign credit uttered by Congress for worthwhile projects that will put our people back to work and perform in the interests of advancing science, agriculture and industry, as well as a Space Exploration program, we are in the pit of hell. Yes, that’s where we are headed and the day of reckoning is nigh: Glass Steagall, sovreign credit
        being uttered for decent projects to rebuild our economy etc, and a patriot
        in the WH not another pawn of the international warmongering genocidal
        oligarchs, who have less money than even sense now, just look at the way
        Spain is spiralling out of control now, the hyperinflation is running ahead
        of the bailouts and there is no way that the bailouts can be conjured up
        any longer, the debts are too high and they are caused by gambling.
        Gambling with our lives, it is time to shut the casino down.
        I say let’s go with Glass Steagall and take it from their. War will only
        obliterate mankind from the face of the earth and civilization will be
        ruined completely, maybe for ever. Thermonuclear weapons are not a good
        way to go, the result of allowing Congress or the President or Eric Holder
        and his Justice Department to carry on with their dictatorial agenda is not
        what was being memorialized yesterday.

  • TeakWoodKite

    Iacta alea est.

  • BuzzLatte2

    Greece is out as of June 18th(?).


    a story that the obots and the owies should read and take a lesson from

    revolutionary betrayed

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    lola wrote:  “Bain Capital is no role model for the U.S. or our economy.”

    President Obama said: “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

    You decide.

    • Hokma

      What Obama meant was government controlled investment (i.e. Solyndra – which clearly does not work).

      The brain-dead idiot that said  “Bain Capital is no role model for the U.S. or our economy” either has not even a fundamental understanding of economics or is a commie.

      • BuzzLatte2

        Demdrones are only programmed to spew.  No critical thinking or education needed to be one.

      • lola828

        Hokma why don’t you spell out to use the benefits of private equity as practiced by Bain to this country? What is Bain’s greatest achievement for the U.S.?

        • HARP2

          Here’s a quick list of Bain’s more famous successes: AMC
          Entertainment, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear
          Channel Communications (the largest radio network in America), Domino’s
          Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts, Guitar Center, Staples, Toys “R” Us, Sport
          Authority, Sealy Corporation,  Gymboree, D&M Holdings, Hospital
          Corporation of America, The Weather Channel, Houghton Mifflin, and
          Warner Music Group.”

          Those are huge companies, employing thousands of people and providing
          revenue and life to our economy. Yes, sometimes people have to be laid
          off, and it is a sad thing, but it is the cost of doing business. As
          much as we hate it, if letting go of 500 people saves 20,000 other jobs,
          then it has to be done. The alternative is to keep everyone and close
          the doors because you cannot afford to pay any of them.  I understand
          that 1 of the 500 would be upset, but what about the other 20,000?

          Remember, the object of business is to make money, it’s not charity.
          Employers hire people as the business demands requires, if the demand is
          no longer there then you cannot employ the same number of people.

          That’s the reality of business.

          On the other hand, our children and their children can inherit the
          bill for all these state and federally backed company’s failures, when a
          company like Bain Capital who these people attack could have
          potentially saved them from these catastrophic failures.

    • lola828

      Again, I will ask you how much money has the U.S. government lost on Solyndra? Do you know?

      Yes it is important that companies like Solyndra succeed, as they represent an important growth industry for the future.

      Less than 2% of companies have failed in the DoE loan program, which is a far better batting average than that of Bain Capital.

      There always has been a role for the U.S. government in supporting the energy industry in this country. Where are you complaints for all the tens of billions off subsidies given to the oil & gas, nuclear and coal industries in this country?

      • HARP2

         Lets see … 80% of Bains investments were successful.  That means they
        created MORE Taxpayers.  It also means your argument does not hold
        Bain didn’t increase the deficit, didn’t increase my taxes and
        didn’t waste my tax dollars on failed companies like Solyndra, Sunpower

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        How much energy that people use is provided by oil, gas, nuclear and coal?  How much is provided by solar?  How many jobs are provided by oil, gas, nuclear and coal?  How many by solar? What is the cost per American job created of government monies put into oil, gas, nuclear and coal? What is the cost per American job of government monies put into solar?

        I note that you agree with Mr. Obama that Solyndra and companies like it are a “true engine of economic growth.”

        One thing is for certain: In November, the voters will decide based on Mr. Obama’s economic philosophy and the results that they perceive that it has achieved during his term of office.  Nothing that is said on NQ one way or the other will change that.

      • jrterrier

        here’s a list of a few more solyndra’s, the tax dollars down the drain and jobs lost: 

        and by the way, you do know that 1100 people lost their jobs and were summarily fired without any retirement or other exit packages while the investors (one of pres obama’s bundlers) lost nothing because the loan guarantee was amended to have taxpayers cover the loss.

  • HARP2

    Tennessee Football Coach fired for making Obama
    song. He’ll make more money when this song becomes a big hit than he would
    teaching school.Tennessee middle school assistant football
    coach, age 26, fired for a song he wrote and played!This could be the next
    number one hit country song. It’s the best effort yet at encapsulating the
    outrage at the oversteps of this government in an entertaining song.
    Apparently, the guy was fired over the song because some parents complained.
    If you like it, help it go “viral” by passing it along to everyone you
    know.Click for a Great Song!!!

    • no_longer_a_democrat

      ah, see if it was about Booosh, he would have gotten a promotion.

      • HARP2

         There are all kinds of heroes

        Soldier reunited with abused Afghan dog he saved

        Staff Sgt. Nick B., serving in the Army for 13 years, has been
        reunited with Bodhi, an abused Afghan pup he rescued while serving in
        Afghanistan. Truly a great hero to this happy pup and to all of us:

        • jrterrier

          i love these stories of soldiers and the dogs they’ve saved.  obviously, the dogs are a great solace for soldiers in the midst of the hellish experience of war. 

  • lola828

    More fear-mongering…. can we expect you to ratchet up the rhetoric as we get closer to the election..

    Simple question for you Mr. Johnson. A weak European economy has been with us for some time now. Three years with a particular addition downturn in the last year in countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, U.K., etc. 

    Why has Europe so far had very little impact on the U.S. economy? In fact, during this period the U.S. economy has continued to improve?

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever that Europe has had any impact on the U.S. economy?


    According to your timeline, wasn’t that U.S. attack on Iran suppose to have started like a month ago?

    You are losing what little foreign policy crediblity you ever had?

    You cannot do rational analysis when you see everything through your hatred of Obama.

    I could come up with a top ten list of Larry Johnson predictions over the years that have completely failed to materialize.

    Funny to see you pulling out the term “tsunami” again. That term worked real well for you last time.

    • FormerLib160

      Obama worship is strong with this one.

      Is there a cure for this disease?

      • KenoshaMarge

        There is no cure for Oborg. The brain has long since atrophied but the mouth, keyboard, lives on. And on, and on…

    • Hokma

      “Why has Europe so far had very little impact on the U.S. economy? In fact, during this period the U.S. economy has continued to improve?”

      This is not worth a response it is so out of touch with reality and ignorant.

      • lola828

        You have no reply… you always do that when you have no reply.

        Answer the question…

        • Hokma

          Lola/Scottymac – you get no reply because your comment was flagrantly false for two reasons. You clearly do not have an education and have not desire to learn. So why should I or anyone else continue to waste time educating a fool. Back to the basement.

          • lola828

            Boy, that comment makes complete sense. My comment is false because I do not have an education. That just does not make sense. You seem confused as always.

          • Hokma

            lola/Scottymac –

            “My comment is false because I do not have an education. ”

            That’s the first bit of sense you have made.

    • DianaLC

      I have now convinded myself that PPAA is INDEED reincarnated as lola828.  My evidence, the same nonstandard usage that PPAA always used: “wasn’t that U.S. attack on Iran suppose to have started like a month ago?” 

      Tsk, tsk, tsk–don’t blame me.  I tried to give you some education:  “wasn’t the U.S. attack on Iran suppose to have started like a month ago.”  The proper verb sturcture in this passive voice construction requires the past participle “supposed.”

      Someone should tell Larry that PPAA must have found himself/herself/itself and new email address and/or IP address.

      • no_longer_a_democrat

        yep, I think you’re right….. same agitators AxeHole paid to disrupt hillary blogs.

      • lola828

        Always easy to run from a fight…  wouldn’t want to share a foxhole with you. First sign of any pushback and you run.

        • DianaLC

          Not sure how I run from you.  I’ve just made it clear that you don’t learn very fast.   A person who can’t learn is really not worth responding to since the stuff you write is devil and ungrammatical drivel at that.

           As for being in a foxhole with you, I would instead probably be in one OPPOSITE of you.  But then, aren’t you the one who admires Obaby so much for shutting down all the Republicans’ wars (at least that’s the way you see it).

          • lola828

            Not sure you get the point. You are quick to call for censorship the second you hear something you do not like. No courage or toughness in that.

        • DianaLC

          Frightened are you that you will eventually kicked of the site AGAIN? 

          Listen, it’s useless to argue with a two year old, and most two year olds are hard to reason with, as their reasoning skills are not yet developed.  That is how I view you.  For some reason, you can’t reason.  So why bother responding to your drivel?  Others do it just as well as I could, but you don’t respond to their responses very well either.  I am not fond of beating my head against a brick wall.

          In the past I have tried to reason with mortuus lark, with PPAA, with you and all I get is heartburn.

          I am not insecure enough in my beliefs to have to argue.  Me thinks it’s YOU who protest to much.  ODIOT.


    wonder what will come  from this meeting.

    bilderberg group to meet in US from May 30th to June 3rd

  • arabella_trefoil

    I read Larry’s post groaned in anguish.  Not the kind of thing I like to think about. But I know that Larry is right.

    How can we minimize the damage and protect those who are too weak to protect themselves? Right now I don’t even feel able to protect my own self.

    The truth hurts, but better to face it head on.

  • Flop_Flipper

    How China and Russia react. Yep. I read something a few days ago that said Russia was sending arms to Syria. This can’t have a good ending.

  • Popsmoke

     This is an example of the dangers of capitalism taking over the government…. No more treaties…. No more Senate Ratification. Just the “Art of the Deal”….

    Is the the government we really want?

    Foreign Agents Creep into U.S. & Canada Under Integration Scheme…

  • KenoshaMarge

    Not having the insight, experience or information available to me that LJ has I still had come to the conclusion that we were headed for a shit sandwich. A mega-shit sandwich? Worse than I thought.

    With all these problems we have a President who has been in campaign mode for most of his term and can be expected to remain there through October. Isn’t that just ducky?

    The pundidiots tell us that a “week” is  an eternity in politics. Isn’t that also true in world conditions? Wouldn’t it be best if a president was focused on that rather than making snotty comments about the business experience of Mitt Romney?

    Obama has enough surrogates to populate a small country, let them to the attacking and let him get, or try to get, focused on what can be done to protect this country and it’s people. All the people, not just the ones that will vote for him.

    We need leaders and we get politicians. And me not even flexible enough anymore to bend over to kiss my ass goodbye.

  • Popsmoke

    Some choices for president…

  • Deapster

    Does this now mean Obama will be a “war President” to ensure his re-election. He is a street fighter regardless of his “peace and love” fraud. And it is all about him. 

    What could Iran do in retaliation if Israel does strike first. Has American power shifted enough that we are no longer the exclusive party to the first or even the second strike? 

    How will this effect the still dominant US sea power role should Iran play their hand with the goal to get the US naval power drawn into a local Iran Israeli conflict?

    A ex-pat Persian friend told me Iran saber-rattling is done solely to increase the price of oil. Is this all really an economic dog and pony show, signifying nothing other than increased oil futures?

    Is Obama teasing Rommney out in the foreign arena because Obama knows this is a weak spot since the rest of the Rommney roll out attacks have fallen flat? Will Obama be hiding behind Hilary to strut out with who has the biggest stick on the block?

    Meanwhile, the Euro was just an experiment. Old Europe did okay for itself for a very long time. New homogenized Europe might be losing more than it had tried to gain. I miss old Europe. I don’t like homogenized Europe. Can the clock be turned back. Can we again do Europe on $5 a day?

    • Popsmoke

      “A ex-pat Persian friend told me Iran saber-rattling is done solely to increase the price of oil.”

      Naaaa. Defense and national security industry is the dope dealer in this picture……

      • Deapster

        Good reminder to “follow the money” always – who benefits, who gains, who loses with any national level  assessment of the role of the US military in our economy, our federal budget and foreign policy

        However, I also recommend reading “The Next 100 Years” for a provocative **speculation** about what we label as our “military” which may well be protecting our commercial viability, far more than our boarders as  long as we control the global seas lanes. 

        And reminding ourselves, who else would or could take on this basically hidden “military” expense.

        We need to be more savvy about what our “military” budget actually buys: huge amount of direct employment; huge amount of private contracting; huge amount of global commercial sea lane protection; and finally some guns, bombs, boots on the ground with troop armor.

  • BuzzLatte2

    Any suggestions on who would be able to get through to Israel?  Will I get laughed at for just saying Boehner?  (First name that came to me – I know) – anyone?

    Edit: I have been watching a FB page that is supposed to be about good things happening in the world. I’ll leave it nameless at this time because they still need to prove that’s their actual intent. I suspect it’s being run by young “hipsters” that still think Obama is cool – and some identify themselves as being from other countries. Seriously, do young foreigners think that Obama is going to save the world??


    one sentence stuck out in this article
    the over regulation  and how it hurt industry.
    sound familiar????

    • Popsmoke

      Who said this?

      ” “I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed
      corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial
      of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

      • KenoshaMarge

        Thomas Jefferson.

        We were incredibly lucky in the infancy of this country to have great thinkers like Jefferson. Yet it always strikes me as “off” that a man who speaks so eloquently of “freedom” was a slave holder. And a man who worries about the “aristocracy of moneyed corporations” but was a member of the landed aristocracy himself.

        I end up thinking that like many of us, Jefferson was a man of many parts and some of those parts were flawed. Still a better man “flawed” than any politician I see around today.

        Today I am just filled with graditude for those who gave so much, which to me means any who served and not just those who gave all they had to give.

        We owe them thanks that we still have the right to sit here and talk about our differences.

        • HARP2

           Right on sister.

          (A Soldier Died Today)
          by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

          He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
          And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
          Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
          In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

          And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
          All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
          But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
          And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

          He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
          For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
          Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
          And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.

          When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
          While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
          Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
          But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

          Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
          A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
          Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
          Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

          A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
          Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
          While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
          Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

          It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
          That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
          It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
          Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

          Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
          Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
          Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
          His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

          He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
          But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
          For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
          Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

          If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,
          Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
          Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
          Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

          • KenoshaMarge

            Thank you so much for sharing those words Harp.

            I am an “army brat” and every Memorial Day, and other days, I remember my father, Sergeant Roy Milligan, and I am filled with pride.

        • EllenD818

          I agree, Marge. I would rather have a flawed great man than a perfect lesser man as a President.
          As to his positions of “freedom” and “slavery” – at that time freedom didn’t extend to women either.

  • DianaLC

    Another post I can’t really thank you for writing.  My gut tells me you’re telling the absolute truth. 

    I’m wondering what your estimation of  a Ron Paul type leadership in regard to foreign policy is. 

  • POdVet

    So what it comes down to. Is we are still on track for that prediction Nostradamus  made a few hundred years ago.

  • Fred82

    Well Larry,

    Let us not forget that segments of the Syrian opposition have American blood on their hands. In fact, the Syrian foreign fighters in Iraq tended to be quite fanatical. 

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Larry, I guess my first thought is:  Who do we want leading the U.S. at this time next year?  The former “head” of the Choom Gang who is at least in part responsible for getting us in the situation in which we currently find ourselves by trying to take “roof hits” from a hermetically-sealed Oval Office, or the former head of Bain Capital?

    • Larry Johnson

       No Choom for me.  I will vote for Romney, but the foreign policy side of the house worries me.  The GOP, like the Dems, seem to have learned nothing from the past 10 years.

      • Madame_deFarge

        Larry, at least Mitt is lucid. When he’s in the drivers seat he may see that unsuccessful strategies have to be changed. If Bozo is reelected
        …I can’t bring myself to even entertain the possibility. It can’t happen.

        • HARP2

          I`ve often wondered about those things. It`s one thing to say such and such about foreign policy but once in oval office you become privy to all sorts of information us mere mortals don`t have.

      • Popsmoke

        The foreign policy and national security side of Romney worries me. Another guy who is willing to continue the military build up but will not send his sons to uniform. Add to this those dumb bastards (both democrats and republicans) in congress and we have the makings of a real bad time downtown….

        But we then have Obama and his pile of progressives drone killing fanatics who want to prove that BHO is another Eisenhower.

        Of course the military/industrial complex needs a bad guy to push SDI. So Iran is it!

        • foxyladi14

           then we fire them too Larry.why don’t you run.

          • Flop_Flipper

            Romney-Johnson 2012?

      • lola828

        So you think the Dems have learned nothing. My ass. They are getting the country out of these stupid wars as quickly as they can. There is a massive difference between the Dems and the Repugs. The Repugs are clearly the party who has learned nothing.

      • DianaLC

        O.k.–I definitely missed the stuff about O’s high school yearbook and all O’s extraordinary accomplishments while in high school.  Here I was thinking you and Retired were speaking some kind of secret service lingo with this “Choom gang” stuff. 

        I had to do one of those Google searches to understand what you guys were writing about.  I am so very frightened now.  It’s like Beavis and his friend Butthead are running the country.

        Where is Mighty Mouse when we need him?

      • TeakWoodKite

        Popsmoke makes the valid point that those in the Romney FP camp have all roasted the same marshmellows before….Instead of learning from the past 10 years it is a strong possibility that them folks will think nothing of returning to old habits….
        I am more concerned about Russia than I am China.
        China it seems is at least predictible and transparently motivated. Russia want the status quo  in Syria and Iran. It doesn’t want any change in the formula for MAD, given our wanting to deploy anti-ABM tech ….even if BO decides to give them the blueprints, they will not be appeased so easily.

    • Popsmoke

       Interesting question… The devil we know or the devil we do not know? But no matter its still the devil we are dealing with. Is it not?

    • lola828

      What possibly would the former head of Bain Capital bring to the table? Zero. Bain Capital is no role model for the U.S. or our economy.

      Romney’s policies entirely mirror that of the previous adminstration. He has all the same Bush economic and foreign policy advisors. You want to put the guys who burned the house down back in power?

      Obama has done a very good job at turning this economy around and cleaning up the mess left by the Republican Party. The Republicans should not be given the keys back for at least a generation for what they have done and continue to do to this country. The most important number is consumer confidence. It is more important than the unemployment rate, which will likely be below 8% by election day and close to where it was when Reagan was re-elected. Consumer confidence is currently at a four year high. How do you explain that? And if the price of gasoline continues to fall, consumer confidence will continue to improve.

      • no_longer_a_democrat

        you have to be one of the most deluded economic illiterate people I have ever seen.

        • lola828

          Just answer the question: Why is U.S. consumer confidence at a four and a half year high?

          • Hokma

            The officially recognized index is from the Conference Board. Check that out and then get lost.

          • no_longer_a_democrat

            those that don’t see the financial implosion coming are the ones most dependent on the system.

            And oh yea, that financial implosion is coming, and when it does that same sentiment will plummet. Just as consumer sentiment is up, consumer’s finance confidence is at a 4 year low. And there is a difference, educate yourself



          • lola828

            per Hokma below…

            Officially recognized by who?

            The Michigan survey is just as respected, but don’t matter as the Conference Board consumer confidence numbers have not been this high since January 2008, so same difference.

          • Hokma

            Get lost. The Conference Board IS the longest and most accepyted source for consumer confidence index – maybe not by morons like you – but by intelligent people.

            So your view is that a decline is an improvement? Back into your basement before your mommy calls the men in white.

          • jrterrier

            why do more Americans watch the super bowl than the state of the union?

            why do more Americans know the name of Kim Kardashian than the name of the General in charge of the war in afghanistan?

          • Hokma

            Lola/PPAA/Scottymac –

            I guess your “good news” didn’t last long.

            House prices have dropped to post-crisis lows. Doesn’t sound good to me.

            And as far as Consumer Confidence, that too has taken a hit. The Conference Board just announced that Consumer Confidence in May declined to 64.9 from 68.7. So you understand that is an index – not a % of Americans. Positive consumer confidence should be well over 100.

          • lola828


            Yes, the Conference Board number was down for May. However, the longer trends has been up. It has been particularly volatile over the past few months with the stock market, gas prices, etc.

            The Michigan Index tells the same story – the general trend up.

            It was 25.3 in February 2009, when Obama took over. It has improved with the economy significantly.

            You should really read the articles you link to. House prices were up again in March. The housing market is showing increasing signs of improvement. Housing starts are up big time and at the same level they were at in early 2008. Prices are up in many markets.

            “Single-family home prices edged higher in March, the second month of gains in a row, adding on to signs the housing market is stabilizing..”

            “On balance, the most important take away here is that pricing trends are improving and if you look at the 10-city average, the 20-city average on a seasonally adjusted basis you see some modest price gains in each of the last two months.

            “In my mind there is no question that housing has bottomed, in terms of home sales, home construction and home prices but the recovery is still going to be very modest or very sluggish.”


        • FormerLib160

          Lola shows it with every post.

          Odiots, I call them.

          Obama’s Idiots

          • lola828

            Why don’t you school me then? Easy to throw the insults when you have nothing to add?

      • Hokma

        “Bain Capital is no role model for the U.S. or our economy. ”

        What Bain and other investment firms are about is at the very heart of free market capitalism – innovation and progress. Companies like Bain also have the talent and expertise to have some vision for a distressed company to turn it around. Sometimes it works – sometimes it does not. In Bain’s case it worked 80% of the time. What is Obama’s track record squandering taxpayer money?

        Okay scottymac/PPAA/lola/win (or whatever other alter ego you have, Norman Bates) show us what economic system is built on primarily “creating jobs?”

        • lola828

          What innovation and progress is Bain responsible for ? BS. They do not build or invent anything. They make money off other peoples ideas.

          All they do is sophisticated financial engineering. Their only goal is to make as much money in as short a time as possible for their investors. Their goal is not innovation or job creation or social equity. In fact, quite often the opposite of that. They typically load companies up with tons of debt in LBOs and then try and get their equity out as well as with as much profit as they can as quickly as they can, usually in high fees and special dividends. They then cut these firms lose to survive or not and in some cases in Bain’s case leaving taxpayers to pick up the pension expense after they stripped all the money out of these companies. Almost 1/3 of the companies they invested in under Romney went bankrupt. A terrible record.

          Job creation is based on innovation. Job creation is about supporting companies with a good economic environment, which means a strong middle class, good healthcare and rules of the road that drives behavior away from that that brought this economy down.

          • Hokma

            Your answer displays absolute ignorance on so many levels.

            I asked you what economic system is based on “creating jobs” rather than “creating wealth?”

            I know the answer. I’m waitng for a dimwitted Obot like you to say it.


          • jrterrier

            All these bold statements you make are supported by what — your study of Bain, of the companies Bain invested in, of campaign ads? 

            And by the way, a lot of Bain profits go to pension funds held by private and public employees. 

          • lola828


            Don’t believe me then read it for yourself in the WSJ:

            or read it here:

            “The Wall Street Journal examined 77 companies Bain invested in during Mr. Romney’s tenure, and found that 22% either filed for bankruptcy or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after the initial investment. The Journal also found that Bain under Mr. Romney produced exceptional profits for its investors of roughly 50% to 80% annually, but that most of those gains were produced by a relatively small number of deals, and some of these winning companies later ended up filing for bankruptcy protection. ”


            Don’t beleive me then read anything that even his GOP opponents have said.

          • Hokma

            lola/PPAA –

            Is being ignorant fun for you?

            You just admitted that Bain had an 80% success rate. Any friggin’ idea just how good that is in the world of investment banking?

            You still have not answered my question, what economic system is based on “Job Creation” (what you and Obama believe in) rather than “Wealth Creation” (what the rest of us believe in)?

            You’re wasting thread with a constant stream of ignorant or uninformed comments.

        • jrterrier

          here is the Conference Board’s consumer confidence chart that Hokma referred to above:

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Thanks.  One vote for roof hits of Choom.

      • jrterrier

        here’s your answer:

      • jrterrier

        Oh, and by the way, the most important number is not consumer confidence.  The most important number is the actual state of the economy.  More people out of work and out of the labor force in more than 40 years; lowest number of new house construction; greatest fed debt as a percentage (102%) of GDP since WWII.  The only other time in our nation’s history that the federal debt exceeded 100% of GDP was during WWII.
        On any measure that counts, the economy is not doing well.

      • jrterrier

        oops, look at this:

        Americans’ confidence in the economy in May had its biggest drop in eight months as consumers fretted about slow hiring, a big stock market drop and the global economy, says a private research group.

        The Conference Board says its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 64.9, down from a revised 68.7 in April. It was the biggest drop since October 2011.
        Economists were expecting a reading of 70, according to a FactSet poll of analysts. The current level is below February’s 71.6, which is the highest level it’s been in a year.

        Consumer confidence is widely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. The measure is significantly below the 90 reading that indicates a healthy economy. But the current level is well above the 40 it hit last October.

        But the latest reading is expected to be well above the 40 figure reached last October and the all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.–finance.html

      • jrterrier

        here’s a video about Pres Obama’s “successess” giving away tax payer money. 

        At least when Bain loses money, it’s money that people chose to risk.  When President Obama loses money, it’s money that US taxpayers were required to give the govt:

    • Hokma

      They say that who gets elected President is a reflection of the times we live in. After Vietnam and Watergate we needed a “time out” and got Smilin’ Jimmy Carter.

      After the humiliation of the Iranian hostage crisis and our economic malaise we wanted to be back in charge and elected Reagan.

      After the endless wars in Afghanistan a nd Iraq we needed a “time out” and elected Obama.

      And after bowing to every country in the world as well as having another econmic malaise the country, like after Carter, will turn to someone who will solve the economic malaise as well as re-establish our respect in the world.

      • lola828

        Carter was a very good President.

        On the economic front the average growth rate of the U.S. economy during his term was just about the same as it was under Reagan. He and Volker also tamed the massive inflation that he inherited from Ford which set-up the 80s for its growth. He made the tough economic decisions required to tame that inflation.

        He started no stupid wars and the U.S. was the most energy independent it ever has been under Carter.

        • Hokma

          Will the administrator please try and ban this idiot for wasting thread with intentionally ignorant comments. No one should have to respond to baseless claims like this.

          • DianaLC

            He/she/it is either (like PPAA, who I think he/she/it really is) using an IP address that is not in the U.S. or is too young to remember living through Carter’s administration. 

            And I, by the way, did like some things about Carter, but the economy was quite bad under his administration.

          • seattlegonz

             Yeah, idiot is right. Inflation low under Carter? That’s painfully laughable.

          • lola828

            What exactly is baseless?

            GDP growth under Carter was almost exactly the same as it was under Reagan.

            Reagan 3.5% average GDP growth
            Carter 3.2% average GDP growth


            Read the plenty of scholar work done about the Carter Adminstration and you will see that inflation was tamed under Carter setting up the 80s for its growth. Carter made the hard decisions to raise interest rates to tame inflation. It probably cost him his re-election, but he stabilized the economy. By 1981 when Reagan came to power inflation was in full retreat.

            What exact military action happened under Carter?

            And there are plenty of studies that show that energy independence was at its highest level under Carter. Carter was the guy who put solar panels on the WH roof after all. Energy independence was a key priority for Carter.

            If you dispute these facts then prove me wrong.

          • Hokma

            Lola/PPAA –

            Look you can’t just make shit up.

            Your source is called “fun with numbers” and meaningless without context and other facts.

            On Carter”s the word Stagflation was invented: DOUBlE digit inflation, DOUBLE digit interest rates, and DOUBLE digit unemployment and the economic malaise  Carter referred to. It carried into the Reagan administration where the economy recovered and grew.

            Carter’s foreign policy of human rights at all costs threw the Shah of Iran under-the-bus and handed the keys to the Ayatollah Khomeini. By the time he realized the err of his ways it was too late, particularly after the embassy workers were taken hostage.

        • TeakWoodKite

          That was why I was working a gas line…You are an idiot and not even hatched yet 1979.

        • TeakWoodKite

          That was why I was working a gas line…You are an idiot and not even hatched yet 1979.

    • jrterrier

      perhaps a bit OT, but it’s amazaing that “the Choom Gang” was not a more prominent issue in 2008.  how many front page stories would the NYTimes and WAPO have run if Romney or McCain or George W had been one of the leaders of the Choom Gang? 


    Right now we do not have a government strong or wise enough to handle a crisis that would effect the whole world.
    We have raised a generation where many, not all, can not think beyond themselves and their wants.
    The rude awakening that is coming will not be pretty and I pray the genes of the people who made this country great will come out and strenghten our people

    • MunnyCakes

      I think a problem with our system, capitalism, is that things have the potential to be too good for too long and people start living in this dreamland where literally everything is there when you need it. Then when things get bad they forget what helped us attain that high standard of living in the first place, and start looking for a “new” solution especially when we get all of these young world travelers who just get out of college or study abroad and see europe and are all “OMGZ!! best time of my life we need to be like them!”  and they really have no idea what life is really like over there, now I could be talking out of my ass because I’ve never been there…(broke looking for work)…but from what im reading things aren’t all that rosy over there for the people actually living lives there right now. Im sure it is an awesome place to visit, so much history and culture it would be hard to not have a good time, but in terms of a system it is failing right in front of our eyes and yet people are still in this fucking dreamland. Things have been too good for too long here and we have started taking prosperity for granted….the economic problems are going to be bad enough, but waking up from a great dream is going to be really shitty for a lot of people….and no one will believe anything until it hits them square in the forehead. And the reaction could some how be worse than the actual event itself

      • HELENK2

         many will have to  learn the lesson
        you have to earn to eat, there is no such thing as a free lunch

        The strong will find a way to survive and prosper.

        • Popsmoke

          What happens to the weak?

          • KenoshaMarge

            We should, we must, always take care of the weak and the helpless. It is our duty as decent human beings.

            That doesn’t mean we have to be responsible for the feckless and the parasitical.

          • HELENK2

             they will survive with help.
            help that does encourage dependency

          • TeakWoodKite

            The earth is theirs, if they can keep it.

          • jrterrier

            Depends on how you define “the weak”? 

            What do we do with the young man who has fathered 30 kids by 11 different women and now cannot support the children?  Or Octamom who opted to have octoplets to add to her already large brood even though she lacks any way to support (financiall or emotionally) them. Or with the pedophile who became what he is because he himself was victimized by a pedophile.    

        • elizabethrc

          When I was growing up, one felt pride in accomplishments.  We envied, but were not jealous of the business owners, the people who had ‘made it’ and sought to emulate them.  Not all of us, of course, but that sentiment, that goal was widespread.
          Now I think people are embarrassed to admit they’d like to attain wealth, run a company, invent a successful product.  Isn’t that a sad turn of events?

        • foxyladi14

           we need to get rid of American Idol.and American Idle too.

      • DianaLC

        Your estimation of the way things appear over there as a tourist/visitor compared to the way it is to actually live there is probably right on the money. 

        When I was in Turkey a few years ago, I made some sort of comment about how great it would be to live there so close to so much history–being the ancient history nut that I am.  The concierge at my hotel who spoke very good English stopped me and said something to this effect:  No, you just keep coming back to visit; it’s better to live in the United States.

        • Popsmoke

           As much as we complain we have even more to be thankful for.  No matter who is in the WH….

      • EllenD818

        Munnycakes, Europe is made up of a lot of countries so I’m not sure you can generalize.
        Denmark still keeps coming up as a happy place. I have a friend there and she is very happy.

        • MunnyCakes

          I’m glad your friend enjoys her life there, im sure there are plenty places around europe  and the world that are doing well, but when people come away amazed about what they experienced i just get the feeling that they are comparing two different things and then making them one…Europes political system and the history/culture that makes it so interesting….and this is basically how i feel…keep europe in europe and the US in the US…..sure if you have 1000’s of years of great civilizations, wars, art, philosophers etc you are going to have great culture and history but i find it tough to imagine that their system is inherently better than ours, if we got back to our roots it wouldnt even be close….we have just been inching towards a more european system and now the jump doesnt seem that far, but we have to think if we really want to jump to the other side…and i sure as hell dont….

          • EllenD818

            They have a number of different political systems based on their cultures. We have ours. I don’t see how the US is moving towards any of them.
            Tourists are an unreliable source of how it is to live in another country, but I generally listen to Americans who have actually done that.
            There are things in each country you like and things you don’t like. But Americans are always Americans so no need to be defensive.
             The US will always be a beacon for most expatriates.
            As for each country – to each his own.

    • KenoshaMarge

      I also suspect that a rude awakening is coming. For many of those who walk around with a cell phone attached to the side of their head and that head up their ass it will be brutal. When reality and fantasy collide it ain’t pretty.

      Maybe if more remembered what this day really means. And it ain’t  beer and brats…

  • MunnyCakes

    At least we will be able to taste the shit sandwich, instead of hearing how it was down the road by whoever writes the history