CIA

Burns/Novick's Vietnam War: Former CIA guy all concerned for "human beings"

So here we are in Episode 10, the North Vietnamese Army and National Liberation Front have taken over much of the country, and they're about to enter and liberate Sài Gòn. At the US Embassy (and all the CIA "safe spots") things are falling apart. It's chaos.

All the Vietnamese that have been loyally working for their US Imperial masters are, not surprisingly, desperate to get out, and expecting the Americans to take them. And, suddenly, here's Frank Snepp, talking to us. Interestingly, he's identified as "CIA," which was largely not true of the other CIA nobs Burns/Novick had talking to us.

Syrian "Revolution": Campists unite!

We're duds!

Those of us who support the elected Syrian government over the foreign-supported and supplied proxy war, the fighters of which are a wahhabist, head-chopping rabble, have it all wrong. We're not anti-imperialists, we're "campists."

Former CIA spook endorses Clinton! WaPo!

(Achtung! I despise Donald Trump. Maybe even more than you. I've despised him for many, many years, since long before he decided to run for POTUS. This is not a pro-Trump piece. I discuss here what I believe to be the actual situation.)

Achcar: Left confused about Syria. Me: Oh, really?

Is the "left" confused about Syria? Are we overlooking the revolutionary possibilities in the Syrian "uprising"? According to Gilbert Achcar, we are. He's just published a piece in Jacobin magazine...

RIP, "blowback"

We're in the process of losing a really good word: "blowback."

How are we losing it? A lot of writers think it's a pretty cool word, and writers like to use cool words. Unfortunately, they don't know what it means. They think it means "reaction."

It doesn't. It's a word invented by CIA operatives to describe the negative, often surprising, consequences that rebound on an actor because of things that actor does in pursuit of their own objectives. It's a very special type of reaction. Here're some examples:

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