Schlieffen Plan Deferred

Who would have thought that the 2008 version of the Marne would occur in New Hampshire. Apparently, no one. To watch Tweety’s rage, bewilderment and sputtering, one would think he was Moltke the Younger learning about Parisian taxi cabs and his ridiculous frontal assault at Nancy. It wasn’t just him of course. Every useless pundit and pollster got it wrong.

It was interesting to see the crown prince trying to turn his frown upside down as well. To mix historical metaphors/Central/Allies, perhaps the crown prince’s Kitchener brigades youth vote will materialize somewhere down the road. And likely suffer the same.

For all that, to watch a disheveled, hoarse and bilious Tweety rage on Morning Joe (or whatever that monstrosity is called) about the Clinton “machine” and likening the outcome to some dark alchemy is worth trench warfare for a bit. One can sometimes best savor life’s panoramic moments by noticing the detail in the small things.


  1. Anon says

    There is a high liklihood the veep was tanked when he shot Hank Wittington. No proof of that – though he did admit to some drinking. But it’s valid speculation to suggest that was why he waited 24 hours to report the incident. Luck is such a big factor in these things. Tweety didn’t press Cheney too much on the shooting issue, but maybe that’s because he could empathize. Speaking of drink and politics and the VRWC — we recall our first brush with it was at Tortilla Coast in the summer of ’92. That was when we first heard ‘the real case against HRC’ and she wasn’t yet elected. Strange –

  2. Anon says

    ” … [Hitch’s] A car engine gunning, in neutral, door slightly ajar, window down, and a draped drooling comatose figure dangling through the door.”
    Oh – that reminds us – college reunion is coming up. LOL.
    SB can take some comfort in the disgusting nature of the comments. Very revealing – you just know some of those folks have serious issues. It’s sort of a twitchy downscale version of the glee that the Bloomsbury set had over Conrad getting caught.

  3. Dr Leo Strauss says

    The Stiftung is quite proud to call Sid Blumenthal a friend and reader. He is a writer of grace, wit and passion. We stand by him and note that this particular incident is one many Americans can relate to in one way or another. We would urge the campaign to hang tough and ignore the bleating on the Right.

    Hitch would only drive if it was a Kurdish-made “Lincoln Brigade” automobile that had the sipping straw built into the seat belt for immediate and constant access. The good thing is the car would likely never go farther than 15 yards. For obvious reasons. A car engine gunning, in neutral, door slightly ajar, window down, and a draped drooling comatose figure dangling through the door.

  4. Anon says

    We saw the sid thing last night and were wondering why there was no blog reaction on the right. Well that’s no longer the case – they are all going nuts about this. Evidently Blumenthal touches the Id or whatever – But the glee is ferocious. Some blogs are spinning this as if HRC is somehow responsible – This shows a lack of discipline on the right blogosphere because they should know it is not in their self interest to establish a prescendent suggesting that campaign aides problems necessarilu apply to the candidate. Anyway, we wish SB well.

  5. Anon says

    re VRWC flashback – Take note of the vicious glee in the comments re Sid. The hatred is raw and it’s obviously rooted in history or perceived history. Surprise surpise – no one said that they wish him well or that he did nothing that Cheney didn’t do. Schadenfreud out of control. Hitch is now wondering if he should laugh and take comfort in the fact he doesn’t drive:

  6. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    Cato, the book (excellent, btw) is by Robert Stephan “Stalin’s Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence Against the Nazis 1941-45” from University Press of Kansas. Highly recommended.

  7. A Random Quote says

    We thought of that Tweety quote when Churchill came to mind above regarding Huckabee’s (demagogic but pleasant) use of analogy.

    Churchill would obviously have little repect for Chris Matthews because he would be appalled by Matthews disrespect for language and truth. But he would be appalled also by his draft dodging and his guilt-ridden, if selective, ass kissing of vets. He would also lament his cowardly inconsistancy – being anti war in Iraq, but then being pro war, objectively – but supportiing pro war pols like McCain and Rudy.

    But Tweety wins awards from Chuchill cult groups – thus devaluing the Churchill brand. As controversial as WSC is – he was a great man of letters and that what makes it painful.

  8. A Random Quote says

    Here’s one of our favorite Tweety quotes – It captures his stupidity and his delusion – not to mention his garbage pail-like mind and mouth.

    It’s a veritable barfbag of malice and error – And he caps it off with a shocking anecdote about an honary degree from a college with pretensions to scholarship. Suffice to say – Obama rejected his counsel – But for laughs – audacity skeptic that you are, try to imagine Obama saying crap like this:

    “Here’s what I think Obama should say starting tomorrow night at the big MSNBC debate in my hometown of Philly. Quote, “This country’s in a rut, a rut that leads to endless war in Iraq, that leads to inevitable war with Iran. The American people, and not just the Democrats, want to get our country out of this rut. The great majority of them want this election to take us to a new place, not just led by someone smarter along the same rut. I promise to take us to that new place. Senator Clinton is smart. She’s hardworking. She’s serious. But every vote she has cast, every word she has spoken says yes to the status quo. She voted to approve the war with Iraq. She just voted with the hawks to target Iran. She always seems to choose the safe vote that leaves this country in the same rut, the rut of fearful politics and endless war. I promise change. I promise a new approach. I promise deliverance from the rut of endless war in Iraq, inevitable war in Iran. So there you have it. It’s for you, my fellow Democrats, to decide. If you think Bush would have been succeeded with his policies if they were better executed, then go with Senator Clinton. If you think the Bush policies were wrong, dead wrong, I’m with you.”

    Well, that’s what Senator Obama would say if he wants to really challenge Hillary Clinton for the leadership of the Democratic Party. And tomorrow night, the fight moves to Philadelphia for the big debate at Drexel University, where half my family went to school and I’ve got an honorary degree.” (10-29-07_

  9. A Random Quote says

    “The ambition of human beings to extend their knowledge favours the belief that the unknown is only an extension of the known: that the abstract and the concrete are ruled by similar principles: that the finite and the infinite are homogeneous.
    An apt analogy connects or appears to connect these distant spheres. It appeals to the everyday knowledge of the hearer and invites him to decide the problems that have baffled his powers of reason by the standard of the nursery and the heart. Argument by analogy leads to conviction rather than to proof and often led to glaring error.
    In spite of the arguments of the cynic the influence exercised over the human mind by apt analogies is and has always been immense. Whether they translate an established truth into simple language or whether they adventurously aspire to reveal the unknown, they are among the most formidable weapons of the rhetorician. The effect upon the most cultivated audiences is electrical …”
    ~Winston Churchill (1897)

    (This quote that came to mind when listening
    to Huckabee and recalling his highly
    suspect analogy comparing criticism of
    him with an air force plane taking flak)

  10. cato90025 says

    Thanks Aldershot for yours and Dr. and “comments”–comments–sounds redundant. Is it generally accepted that State had moles–or quasi-moles at high levels.

    Risen etc. mention Feith’s clearance being suspect/rejected until Senor Wolf. made his calls. Perle also had a similar halo. I suspect statistically, based on the backgrounds and dynamics it would be more shocking if the highest levels had not been compromised, NB amdocs…

    Have a good weekend gentlemen. Also Dr. Strauss–to which CIA book did you allude?

  11. Comment says

    Edmunds refers to people being quickly detained following the 9-11 and then let go for possibly spurious diplomatic reasons. Maybe – But there are other ways to interpret that – Also, it’s possible that some of those packages that concerned Edmunds were chickenfeed or trojan horses of some sort or a little of this and a little of that. Regarding multiple alliances in a ideological regime, we think those people are hired with eyes wide open (for the most part) and it’s not a zero sum game.
    Where is China and India in the story – China has a huge relationship with Pakistan and India has a very active intelligence community doing all sorts of stuff. But they seem absent from this tale.

  12. Comment says

    We’ve followed the Edmumds case in the press since we read Grassley validate her bona fides. The Times story fleshes some things out, but we’ve long thought that much of what we were reading didn’t totally add up or makes sense in the way it was being contextualize by the oppposition. Leo, mentions the keyhole apspect – we thought of that too and we also thought there was some telescoping going on too. If you just follow the logic of Edmunds it becomes impossible because she paints a picture of a conspiracy so immense and nihilistically malicious that it’s hard to imagine people who are aware of the basic facts being so casual. No doubt some nasty stuff is going on. No doubt. Lots of crazy stuff happens on Wall St. but the SEC is pretty selective initiating actions against anything in particular. We often wondered if there was anything to those Denny Hastert stories Edmunds was telling – Hastert poured scorn on them, but then mysteriously tried to like Soros to overseas drug dealing when he was on MTP (we think it was MTP). This was such an unlikely smear to use on a famous billionaire like Soros, so we wondered why it seemed to be on Hastert’s mind.
    You have to admit, the whole story about Edmunds sounds odd too, but also sounds compelling – Anyway – reading that piece in the Times the other day, we found it raised many questions – We found all sorts of angles to it, but then “poof” we forgot all about it a minute later.
    Has anyone asked William Cohen about it?

  13. Dr Leo Strauss says

    re MoDo

    The Rosenthal reaction is more interesting than the whole L’Affaire MoDo. “It’s driving me out of my fucking mind.” Great stuff.

  14. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    re Cato’s link

    It makes a great deal of sense knowing what slight bit we know of the Turks — we have had some small dealings in the past working on matters related to Turkish FMS (foreign military sales). They do indeed forage and collect information (as many if not all powers, especially Middle Eastern powers, do).

    She (Edmonds), while there for limited time, because of her fluency, is in a relatively unique position to make allegations. So few Americans are capable of reviewing the material — wiretaps and transcripts (and they no longer exist if one is to believe her story about that, which we do for a variety of reasons). So it makes it all rather hard to judge from this remove.

    The other aspect re DoS is that an intelligence operation often is hard to distinguish from the real thing, i.e., often is as valuable to know what X is after and how X targets something than expelling one attache who will be replaced anyway. Eventually the chickenfeed tap dance comes in to play, or purposeful misdirection, etc. If it were the case, it would be compartmentalized and therefore no surprise that a retired officer or a “official” (who is at a 16,000 person bureaucracy) is not able to offer meaningful comment. Let alone someone just looking through a keyhole seeing a narrow field of view.

    Regarding penetration of the USG, it is always impossible to prevent it 100% anywhere, even the Sovs as the premier counter intelligence state never could. So we have to assume it is happening today here, has happened in the past and will happen in the future. The game is to identify, protect US interests and utilize them (either by rolling things up or playing them). For example, a very good recent CIA officer’s public book on the intelligence war on the Eastern Front spends not a little time trying to figure out how and where the Soviets penetrated the Corporal’s regime. Not just the obvious historical examples that the History Channel runs every 3 hours, but going down into the weeds of CoS and their adjutants of Army Group Center (not von Stauffenberg), etc., etc. all the way up still looking at Mueller and Bormann.

    Under this regime, were/are there dual alliances? The Stiftung is absolutely convinced of it, particularly at DoD but also elsewhere. Some of the personalities we have in mind had an earlier bite at the apple in the 1980s and are household names in our p.o.v. An intensely ideological and polarized regime always presents more dangers for dual (or multiple state) allegiances, because the loyalty is to the idea rather than the people of one (our) state. This regime positively ferments that kind of self-indulgent acting for higher good (idea or dough).

    So while the Stiftung is critical of the Bureau in some regards, we have always believed that their counter intelligence mission is unbelievably difficult. As we wrote over at STSOZ 1.O (we think), the WFO is a very good shop that does its best under the circumstances. As always, the resources are under what is required, and the flood of hostile collection from all corners of the globe ever increasing. Particularly when a superpower goes rogue. But even in general.

    Having said all of the above, there is also another thing to keep in mind. Consider the case of defectors back in the day. After a while, sooner or later, they ran out of things of interest. Craving attention and a sense of “being in the frission/fray” it was not uncommon for them to begin to extrapolate or even outright make things up, just to get someone to pay attention to them again/make them feel important.

    This also applies to whistleblowers sometimes. Or ex-Ambassadors to an African country . . . we are just saying.

  15. Aldershot says

    “Comment knows women know plenty about sports – If that’s what they want to know.”

    You are so easy!

  16. Comment says

    Tweety will face increasing trouble if anyone aside from Mrs. Clinton becomes President. Even if she wins, he is in trouble. No matter what he says, his hate filled way of talking about women is not a feminist issue and it has lost whatever schtick excuse he could have. The whole cable media landscape is ready for a real rain to wash much of it away.
    Comment knows women know plenty about sports – If that’s what they want to know. But note the context above – it was in the context of Matthews and his worldview of relying on stereotypes and various gender tropes. His endless focus pseudo gender experts etc is all part of a piece – His attempt to frame the world in guys v. chicks landscape reminsicent of some old movies.
    So we were pointing out a way Keith (who has vast knowledge of sports) could hoist Matthews on his own petard because the sports stereotype in one of few remaining ones that still has some resonance with parts of the culture at large.

  17. Aldershot says

    “MoDo’s era of influence is disappearing. It’s Karmic that she should be attacked on something somewhat overblown, since that’s what she made her career on”

    I wonder about Tweety, too. He will continue on another ten years, or so, but will be mainly the butt of jokes.

  18. Anon says

    Leo – Put your audacity skepticism aside for a moment and recall that on these pages a few days ago it was noted that Maureen Dowd was unable to find her thread – She was losing her MoDo, if you will. It was obvious – she was scatterbrained and her unfair jibes lost resonance. This was attributed to some Obama mysticism – but it’s just a turning of the page. Now comes the MoDo controversy – Modo is being attacked (and defended) for something Tom Friedman does all the time. We see symbolism here. MoDo’s era of influence is disappearing. It’s Karmic that she should be attacked on something somewhat overblown, since that’s what she made her career on:

  19. Aldershot says

    re, cato’s times article…wow. Now that would make a movie. This is shocking stuff, will it go anywhere, Doc? And exactly who are they talking about? Come on, you can tell us.

  20. Comment says

    A good way Keith Olberman could embarass Tweety the next time they are on the tube together would be to consistantly use sports metaphors that Matthews would be unfamiliar with. Matthews relies on a few sports tropes – mostlt related to vintage games or one chronicled in film.

    We think this would be a good way to neuter (forgive the pun) Matthews in his commentary. Afterall, the audience will wonder, how can Mattthews rag on a woman if his knowledge of pro and college sports is at womanly levels himself.

  21. Comment says

    Le Monde suggested that Huckabee’s use of a bass guitar on the campaign was “strategy.” At first we thought that was wrong – But Le Monde’s may be right to suggest it is not mere tactic. We would love to think Livia’s tactical tears were really strategic tears. Alas, we think the tears were real – due to exhaustion and frustration. We noticed Kristol on FNC say the tears were fake. Kristol’s confidence in this assertion suggests that he privately believes otherwise and decided to pretend Hillary faked crying or possible he assumed she did because he would be inclined to counsel such a stunt. Whatever – we see flaws in the analysis that says the crying worked – What worked in HRC’s favor was the sexist (a word we shy away from) cackle and transparent malice that accompanied the endless re-showing of the cry.

  22. Comment says

    It’s great that Keith is annoying Matthews – Those food fights are always entertaining. But since they both case GE checks, it has to simmer below the surface. We haven’t read the NY Post as much as we used to, but we suspect they could really work to tweak these divisions.

    Keith must be a nigtmare to work for/with in some contexts -Obviously the same with Chris. Keith probably sublimates and transfres much of ire against Chris onto Bill O.

    Matthews has become way too influential.

    re Gore – That walk over during the debates was demented indeed. Chris Lehane was probably the one who urged that – telling Gore to imitate the cursor on a computer screen moving in accordance to Fitts law.

  23. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    “In the interview with Paul Tullis, one focus is Olbermann’s habit of, “trashing people publicly, even his employers.”

    But he seems to be doing well for himself in the office now. Tullis cites a senior executive at MSNBC, who says, “Keith runs MSNBC. It’s been an amazing turnaround, because two years ago they were going to cancel him. Because of his success, he’s in charge. Chris Matthews is infuriated by it.”


  24. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    re Impeachment, we were deeply inside the VRWC at the time and it was indeed a joyous, righteous, enraged coup d’etat. HRC was indeed right to call it a VRWC — and all of us knew it when she said it, although it was easy in meme war to turn it against her and BC.

    W probably owes alot of his calamitous presidency to Naomi Wolff and Gore’s weird debate performances, such as that demented walk over to W or Gore’s impassioned invocation of Dingell-Norwood.

    All of the above further proof that history is made of pebbles, grains of sand and flatulations — in all spheres of life. So much for drums and trumpets.

  25. Anon says

    Btw – anyone notice that bizarre way Hume asked about the confrontation with the Iranians in the Hormuz strait? Brit tried to pitch his answer in such a way that it was conventional wisdom to sink the Iranian boats, but that Navy’s possibly excessive passivity was the controversy.
    Yeah whatever – Paul blew his chance to mock Hume’s way of phrasing the question – It would have thrown Brit off and made FNC have to dedicate a week to trashing Paul and it would have boxed them into letting up in future debates so as not to look petty.
    Whatever – The NY Times seeme skeptical about the Pentagon’s version – McCain ironically a victim of LBJ’s Tonkin Gulf lies acts like a man embracing his oppression.

  26. Anon says

    Matthews is on Morning Joe defending his above comment – But the real irony is that George Bush, more than Hillary Clinton, owes his victory to the Lewinsky event.

    Leo – recall the heady days of the VRWC when impeachment happened and all of sudden W had 90 percent approval ratings even though a lot of people thought it was the Dad they approved, rather than the occupier of the largely ceremonial Governorship in Texas = Then he was able to get people to pilgramage down to Austin. None of that would have been possible without impeachment and impeachment was about much more than Bill trying to avoid Paula Jones. Demented – the whole mess.

  27. Comment says

    Kerry has a valuable database of over three million proven – with proven donors. That money will come in handy now. He helps Obama with some establisment types and local pols in NJ. Overall, we think he’ll benefit from this – especially now that it’s out of the way and other news in the future will crowd out anydownside. Plus its a vouch for some in the establishment who are friendly with Kerry. Most of them are supporting HRC, but many are on the fence waiting to see which way the wind blows. Interesting Obama the orator made better sense of Kerry’s Vietnam record – in its various aspects in just a few sentences than Kerry did during his whole campaign. Millions of people can understand, via instinct and experience, how one could be both proud of one’s service but change ones mind about one’s feeling about a war. But Kerry lacked the ability to communicate the obvious – years of Senate service and endless political advice, squeezed the common sense out of him. Bush could just make things up because he didn’t really care.

  28. cato90025 says

    Caught part of the post-debate coverage. As a casual observer, it did seem as if Lunz and his petri-dish group was skewed.

    His whole group said Paul lost when he won the debate–per the “equally” scientific and random callers. Did anyone address this glaring contradiction–or is it a wink-wink those nutty Paulites?

    Paul is not presidential–but he is a gadfly that keeps the debate less dishonest.

    Off topic–did anyone read this article, nd will it ever hit
    the MSM?

  29. Dr.LeoStrauss says

    The Kerry endorsement puzzled me as well — everyone kept saying how astute and brilliantly natural the crown prince is as a politician. So he wants the arm of Kerry around his shoulder? Perhaps the campaign is rattled. But the auguries, signs and portents point to protracted conflict. Perhaps the crown prince has Dukakis on stand by for California. . .

  30. Comment says

    Also – we doubt that Thompson won the debate – That was Luntz’s skewed audienced. We were very suspicious of the last Luntz panel that said Mitt triumphed in the last NH debate when we thought it was clear that Mitt was annoying and petulant and tha McCain won the debate. Luntz always seems shocked and saddened by the netroots loathing of him. He wonders why they don’t credit him with supporting some liberal positions and helping some Dems – But its because Luntz so often lacks sincerity and he so obviously games his results in ways that seem like he has some sort of semi hidden agenda.

  31. Comment says

    Debate note – Luntz always seems to try to skew his post debate panel via audience selection (Citidel). It was obvious that he would have a panel that would suggest Paul lost even if it was obvious that Paul won. IMO Paul blew a number of moments in the debate, but he probably achieved his own purpose by dominating a segment of airtime.
    We would never want Paul to actually be President, but his grenade-like utility is apparanent. He annoys lots of people and that’s all to the good.
    Last night Frum was on Daily Show and it was great to see this pained expresssion on him when Paul’s name came up – He obviously wanted to dump on Paul, whom he loaths for raising issues he would rather have bracketed out of legitimate debate. But he was uncomfortable dumping on him in a particular way because he knew he would be avalanced with annoying Paulistas on his case. Then Stewart mocked Rudy and called Paul the only real conservative. It was hilariouos because Stewart was just riffing an impression.

  32. Comment says

    Matthews is not pro Obama , no matter what he says now – He just hates Hillary (actually he is personally sad and blames HRC for this, partly)

    Just last week = Matthews was transparently try to pass the false Muslim rumor against Obama, while shifting the blame to Hillary and neocons like Pipes.

    Repeatedly Matthews lied to his audience and said falsely that Obama’s mother and maternal grandmother were Muslim. This is a falsehood and Matthews knew it was false and it that was obvious. He kept repeating this falsehood long after he would have corrected by staff communication into his microphone.

    Earlier – casual listeners of his show were given the impression that Obama was a drug dealer and Matthews tried to blame Penn for this. But Matthews hyped this story and he mislead people we know – repeating the C word over and over again even tough there was nothing in Obama’s book, the presumed source, to indicate anything like that.

    Obama’s Mom and maternal grandmother are not Muslim – nor were they ever – Tweety said they were = Tweety defenders will suggest that he misspoke and misconstrued something. But this not the case – because he repeated this otherwise hard to formulate phrase.

  33. Comment says

    Comment has always like McCain and Lieberman on a personal level – while being appalled by their war advocacy. That being said, this “surge worked” meme is getting out of hand and people should push back – The surge achieved none of its stated goals. When the media says it worked, implicitly they are saying that officialdom was lying when they said it was designed to achived political goals allowing for gradual withdrawl. It’s discounted in the analysis – Mere reduction in violence, while fortunate, is otherwise a novel way to measure the success of policy goals.
    That’s what we find interesting – The surge did not work when judged by its stated aims – But the media just ignores that, as if all grownups know that was bs to kick the can down the road.
    The Petraeus cult is getting out of hand too.

  34. Comment says

    Ah – Leo, It’s all over now. Kerry endorsed Obama and in doing so introduced a novel metaphorical construction – He said that Obama did not just break the mold, but “shattered the mold” into thousands of pieces.
    Shattered mold. Got that, Doc? Shattered. Shattered, Just like that Rolling Stones tune.

    Tweety senses everyone is on to him and his pathologies. He still has his creaky armour on, but it’s rattling his skull.

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