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04 October 2010


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FB Ali

Some of the comments show that there is still some confusion in people's minds about the blocking of the Afghan supply route. The route was closed by the Pakistan army, not the Taliban.

This happened in response to a US helicopter attack on a Pakistani border post in which some paramilitary soldiers were killed. The army presumably did it to make quite clear that it is Pakistanis who call the shots within their country.



Sad to say, the Brits went back in two more times (1885, 1919), and kept up an incessant "frontier" effort right up to 1947. Hell, look at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan: the "Durand Line," drawn up on a green baize table by British officials.

One hopes, as an American citizen, that the governments of both Iran and Russia have been sufficiently bribed/cowed so that emergency evacuation and supply routes have been secured. Secretly, I'm sure, to save face. But secured.



I think the Pakistani's know this too.


Sayin Albayim,

Tesekkurler for the public validation, I did not expect it.
I had a similar hunting experience out in Duck Creek in southern Utah in early 90's with a deer. Scuba diving is very popular all along the west and south of Turkey now and done professionally. The cousine has taken off with the ascent of the new bohemian class, approaching a local derivative of "nouvelle cousine", merging elements of traditional with an international style of presentation and creativity. And there is no longer horse dung on the streets of Alsancak, presently "Fayton" drivers are obligated to fix "dung baskets" to the rears of carriage horses.

Please visit next chance you get, you and Mrs.Lang will be delighted. Bill Clinton loves it here, being the hedonist he is, and never misses a chance to participate in a conference or a summit of world leaders.

Patrick Lang


A line of communications must be developed with regard to facilities throughput capacity, security, etc. It is not just a matter of agreements. Iran is out of the question. pl


A point with regards to troops evacuating Afghanistan in an emergency, most would fly home from Bagram on charetered 747s and 767s while important equipment is stored in secure places to be shipped later. And while this is happening, the troops handling rear guard responsibilites would have a more "liberal" set of Rules of Engagement.

The current crisis shows that the US needs to settle with the Pakistan part of the Af-Pak equation first.

Norbert N, Salamon

ex-PFC Chuck:

I am aware of Mr. Franken's contribution in USa politics, I think more of his type and less of Lienreman type would greatly iomprove the USA Congress.


Charlie Wilson

Interesting discussion on how to get supplies into Afghanistan. The more things change the more they remain the same or a better way of putting it is For things to remain the same they have to change a lot. This reminds of an inscription on a wall in Winchester Cathedral remembering a certain English Colonel who was killed by a 'fanatic' in Peshawar in the then British India. This guy leaves merry England for a rock pile ostensibly to serve his country and hopefully make some money, gets his arse killed and the other guy is the fanatic.

Charlie Wilson


Are you a 'deep state' fellow?

Patrick Lang


And what is a "deep state" fellow?

"And hopefully to make some money." You sound like the usual pathetic New England anti-colonial stereotype. pl


Could someone explain why the goal of "defending America" seems to our political class to be equivalent to "offending Pakistan"?


Iran out of the question?

How long is the US/Iran nonsense going to continue? I think time is on the side of rapproachment. There are just too many bright people on both sides for it not to happen.

Politics aside, as the late General Odum stated many times, and I'm paraphrasing here, normalization with Tehran would allow for the implementation of broad, strategic U.S. objectives.

There are too many areas of common interest.

I dont know where the road to DC runs through, but maybe it really is, as Khatemi once stated, through Tel Aviv and maybe its well overdue for Qom to recognize this reality. And so what? Its called politics and the Israeli's play the game just like everyone else does, Iran included.

Tel Aviv

How has relying on the Sunni govts worked out since 1979? It seems to me not very well and the obvious and inevitable consequence of 2003 was simply the replacing the Iraq Sunni for the Iraq Shia. As someone else stated once, notwithstanding the possibility that this was more ignorance and stupidity over anything else, the US has appeared to re-orient the Shia-Sunni divide in Tehran's favor. Now Tehran should give something in return, such as passage for NATO re-supply through Iran.


"Are you a 'deep state' fellow?"

I take the question as a joke, but for the benefit of the respected audience here, the matter of "deep state" is a serious matter here in Turkey.

Nowadays, under the for now moderate Islamist government, it is the name given to anyone who is a staunch Kemalist who refuses to toe the line or dares to critizise the regime of Erdogan.

Code name “Ergenekon” the deep state, allages that there is an ultra nationalistic and secret core within the Turkish state apparatus that checks and limits the elected governments by any means, as they see threats to the unity and secularity of the state. Turkish Armed Forces is seen as the incubator of this core, and hence has been under relentless attack by the Islamists who practically dominate all organs of the state now, accusing it to plot the overthrow of the government.

There is some truth to the notion of a state within a state in Turkey. This has been secretly planned and financed by the US immidiately after the entry of Turkey into NATO in 1952, perhaps as early 1947 as the Greeks were fighting the communists upon the mountains, as a contingency plan to continue organized resistance in case of a Soviet invasion or a communist takeover.

Arms were procured and stashed, key government officials, professionals etc. were recruited, trained and organized secretly. This core, unavoidably, as the Soviet threat waned over the decades, however many did not stand down but came to see themselves as sole and authorized the protectors of the unity of the state. “Gladio” has many similarities to the method and organization of this plan.

The Army did not object, if not secretly gave support, which resulted in many open coups or interfenence in the form of ultimatums to the legitimate governments, some justifiable upon national security grounds, some not, but all bungled eventually. The deep state indeed had had unbalanced influence upon the political process, but elements of it went rogue both within the civilians and the Army. A car accident in the early 90s revelaed assasination weapons and strange ties of the crime oganizations to secret government units politicians were not aware of, and a few years back records of Army staff exercises war gaming a coup in detail were made public. Subsequently arms caches, records, and materiel were discovered, although in plastic bags and in quantities not nearly enough to carry any coup. Finding a chink in the armor of both the seculars, who always gave unquestioned support to the Army, deep state or not, and the Army itself The Islamists seized the opportunity to persecute and jail vigourously anyone whose name came fore as a part of the deep state, or as a participant in a meeting, hence the case code named “Ergenokon”. The Islamists, with the help of vociferous supporting media neatly tied above two incidents, participans of perhaps now small and ineffectual minorities in their own groups, to the whole of the Army and the democratic seculars.

Retired Generals, journalists, university professors, Army officers of all ranks, in their hundreds are now over a year awaiting trial in a prison especially built for them in the outskirts of Istanbul.

So now, I relent and answer Mr Wilsons question, yes I am in deep state, in a deep state of shock of what is happening to the great dream of Ataturk.

R Whitman

There is a supply route from the Iranian port of Chah Bahar up thru Zahedan and then on into southwestern Afganistan.

It would not suprise me to find out that we have a working relationship with the locals on the ground there. A year or two ago a Revoluionary Guards General and his staff were killed in the area. Were they interfereing with the arrangements?


F.B. Ali wrote: " The army presumably did it to make quite clear that it is Pakistanis who call the shots within their country."

My historical impression (subjective as all impressions are) is; when one party has to demonstrate "who is calling the shots" in a nation (or relationship) there usually is some question about "who is calling the shots". Demonstrations notwithstanding.


These are the final tactical moves for US withdrawal, play hard cards as the ISAF get out of there, history replays itself....http://yorkshire-ranter.blogspot.com/2010/09/in-this-weeks-edition-of-low.html

Patrick Lang


I always get a kick out of those among you who think we are this clever. pl


If we were that clever, would we be in this position?

It's like we pick the worst possible outcome and follow it.


Kunuri, Colonel,

It appears that the Gulen movement has been taking a PR beating lately, especially with the September arrest of former police intelligence officer, Hanefi Avci. Avci was charged with aiding and abetting a left-wing terror group, a charge which he disputes and insists that his arrest is the result of a Gulen Movement plot against him. Avci believes the Gulen Movement’s motive is a desire to gain revenge for the publication of a book this August in which he alleged that the movement’s followers had infiltrated state bodies, including the police and the judicial system. The book, titled Simons on the Golden Horn, has been a publishing sensation, selling 600,000 copies in the first month. Gulen supporters meanwhile deny any involvement, and say it would be stupid of them to engineer an arrest of a known opponent. Avci has a reputation for integrity. In 1997, Avci stood up in front of a commission and gave evidence of the state's involvement with the mafia and murder. Almost everything he said was later substantiated. Avci publicly defended police investigations, cementing his truth-teller status resulted in his being promptly demoted for it.


If you follow Ahmed Rashid's view, the so-called "transport mafia" was a really important actor in the origins of the Taliban and of Pakistani forward policy in Afghanistan. As with the attack on GHQ in Rawalpindi, it's possible that they are overreaching and running into conflict with their major allies.



I always get a kick out of those among you who think we are this clever. pl

Problem is PL your US compatriots believe they are cleverer to boot.

Mark Logan

Not clever?

I challenge any nation to match our cleverness at PR spin!

A fuel shortage is simply "going green". Match that.

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