It appears to me that we have lost Confused Ponderer as a guest author. After he suddenly stopped posting I pulsed his e-mail several times and have received no reply. He always told me he was German but the only person of the same name who died at the right time was American, so, who knows. pl
There will be no further discussion of US politics on SST. You trolls can fight it out elsewhere. Violators of this policy will be banned at the first violation. There will be no discussion of this policy. pl
Lately there has been a spate of comments offered that have little or nothing to do with the matter under discussion in a particular post. These seem to represent personal "hobby horses" or in some cases a wandering consciousness more severely impaired than my own. Be advised that such comments belong in Open Threads and when they appear as intrusions will be omitted. pl
I am told that the lieutenant in charge of the two boats decided to re-set his navigational electronics to make a plotted course more of a straight line. That is what brought the boats into Iranian territorial waters. So much for the hysterical, jingoist crap being pushed on TV by CNN and in the senate by Tom (Woof-Woof) Cotton and the senior madman from Arizona. Ah, and then there was the ranting of Joe "Turgidson" Scarborough this morning. The other people on the set were clearly embarrassed. That was justified by his ridiculous over-reaction. pl
Be advised that anyone who sends me lunatic ME/SA conspiracy BS will be banned. For example theories that the CIA is behind jihadi attacks. I have dealt with nuttiness in the ME/SA for a very long time and will not tolerate it. IMO such nuttiness reflects a childish inability to accept reality. pl
(It appears to me that I have not made an appeal for money for some time. Anyone want to buy SST?)
I think it is time for me to make another appeal for contributions from those of you who wish to see SST continue. This site takes up at least two hours a day of my time. I could quote my consulting rate to you but that would not be in the style of this blog. Think of this appeal as something like the appeals made by PBS for money. There is a button for contributions on SST. Thanks in advance. pl
There will be a 4th turn. It will be played out in the days following the conclusion of the nominating process by the two main American political parties. This should be sometime in early September, 2016. Game Time addressed in Turn 4 will be the six months following the 2 November election.
At that time there will be posted two scenarios (turns 4a and turn 4b) These scenarios will address likely alternative futures in the context of the possible presidencies of the two candidates.
To summarize play at the end of Turn 3:
R+6 hold all of western Syria. The Turkish border has been almost completely sealed by YPG Kurds, US air and R+6 forces west of the Euphrates. there are pockets of SNC forces throughout the west. These continue to be reduced through attrition. Israel and Russia observe an uneasy avoidance of hostilities with each other. Negotiations for a new Syrian constitution to be followed by a referendum continue. Aleppo is entirely in government hands. Reconstruction has begun with heavy Chinese participation. Refugees are returning from Europe and ME countries to government held areas. An EU air and sea lift is facilitating this from southern European ports. Russia now has three ground division equivalents; an airborne division, two motorized rifle divisions and ancillary units in Syria. There are three RuAF regiments spread across many bases. China is heavily subsidizing this effort. Russian 58th Army is the C2 element. The SE suburbs of Damascus are once again in government hands. Jordan has closed its borders to the Syrian opposition. Turkey has not followed through on its threat to close Incirlik air base to the US. Lebanon remains without effective government. IS continues to hold eastern Syria and much of Iraq including Ramadi and Mosul.
The scenario for Turn 4 will resemble this summary.
SST thanks you all for your attention and help. pl
I wish to make it clear to everyone, especially to newcomers that SST is not an arena for childish troll behavior or senseless, empty challenges to serious contributors here. This is a place for earnest discussion, not a place for scoring points. If you wish to protest your treatment, write to me. There is button on the blog for that purpose but I will not have people who go to a lot of trouble in writing for SST abused verbally. pl
SWMBO slipped and fell on some narrow stairs in this old house. This happened last night. She has torn ligaments and fractures and can't do much at the moment. I am fully engaged as nurse/handyman and will be taking a day or two off from SST. pl
I was on Ray Suarez' show "Inside Story" on 14 September at 1830 to discuss post deal US/Iran relations. Because of some legal problem AJ America cannot post or stream their own shows on their own website.
I will post advanced notice of any future appearances there. pl
"A certain little fish had always wanted to fly. It was kept in a very small, clear bowl, and swam round endlessly in circles during the day, and slept a bit at night, at the bottom of its bowl. The fish liked the clear water of his bowl, and he liked the flakes of the fish food which drifted down like tiny, dead leaves." Richard Sale
LTC Michael Oren (IDF Retired), former ambassador to the US, current member of the Knesset and former American citizen has written a book.
He was just on FZ's Sunday newsie slugging it out with Martn Indyk, former British something or other, former Australian official, former Assistant Secretary of State, etc., and currently an American citizen.
I find Indyk amusing. He called me up on behalf of his neocon pals (probably) to reproach me with not "confessing" to being a registered (FARA) agent (Syria). I told him that I was not and had never been but had been the registered agent of a Lebanese businessman as head of his family foundation, the foundation having been involved in funding various pro-peace studies that were provided to the State Department. He hung up, but, today he walloped Oren hard and I can only offer my congratulations.
I have decided to close comments on the two Charleston threads. Comments have become too divisive for my taste. We will not publish Roof's supposed manifesto. I doubt that he wrote it. He doesn't seem up to that. pl
I am very grateful to Dr. Silverman for the fine work he has done on SST the last few days. I am feeling better and will now resume the management as of now. The statue is of Major John Mason, an ancestor. pl
SSTers, I just wanted to do a bit of housekeeping as we keep things going here while COL Lang is on hiatus.
I would like to ask the other front pagers: TTG, Patrick Bahzad, Confused Ponderer, Mr. Sale, Babelfish, Harper - did I miss anybody? - to just keep posting as regularly as you like. If there are any problems on anything and you need to reach me, I've set up a gmail address for myself just for SST stuff while COL Lang is away. It is: adamlsilvermanSST@gmail.com.
I'm going to try to do one to two posts a day, plus respond to comments. The latter will likely be in the evening (US EDT)
If I miss something, please let me know.
A thank you in advance to all the other front pagers and all the commenters that will keep everything running as well as possible until COL Lang gets back.
I've been ill the last month and need some time off from SST. Adam Silverman is the Deputy Moderator of SST and will deal with the blog until I return. BTW, IMO the best thing on TV just now is "Wolf Hall." Pat
"Long did I seek her in disreputable alleys and taverns. It was more difficult to learn to do without her than to lose the taste for Greek wine. Some months after I lost sight of her, I learned by chance that she had attached herself to a small company of men and women who were followers of a young Galilean thaumaturgist. His name was Jesus; he came from Nazareth, and he was crucified for some crime, I don’t quite know what. Pontius, do you remember anything about the man?”" Anatole France