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04 October 2012


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How sure are the Turks that the artillery fire came from SAA positions? It would suck if this was a provocation by someone to get NATO involved.



A worthy caution. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I read that it was an artillery shell that hit the Turkish village.

I do not think that rebels in Syria have that type of weapons.

Additionally, states may decide to ignore such incidents because a military response may not be worth the potential for futher escalation.

Look no further than the case of USS Pueblo.

The Moar You Know

"Get it?"

It was hard not to. I note that the Syrians are apologizing like crazy today.

I share the concern about provocation.


I was going to say, its pretty convenient that Syria picks a fight with NATO so the US can get into the fight. Not that it will matter if Assad gets strung up that 20 years down the line it turns out we've been Tonkin'd yet again.


According to Michael Weiss the Turkisk bill was dated Sept 20

Al Spafford

Or, USS Liberty!


I've also heard a mortar or a rocket, which should be within the reach of Syrian rebels. The exact details are murky and the real truth will be difficult to verify, if anything for reasons of politics, unfortunately....


Why should a display of stupidity surprise us? Closer to home, it's become more the norm than the exception.

In addition, couldn't this well have been an action taken by a local commander in the emotional state of "hot pursuit' - the wartime equivalemnt of "irresistable impulse."



Occam's Razor would indicate that you are correct. In my old business the name of the game is often to fool Occam. pl


Col: I thought the point was Turkey has been asking for a "humanitarian corridor" inside Syria. Such a corridor would permit the Turks to keep fueling the rebellion against Assad while keeping the refugee problem inside Syria.

Does NATO assume that the Russians will just sit back and watch a NATO intervention? Is this calculation practically justified?


Syria has presented two letters to the UNSC re the shelling. The following article contains a live link to the text of one of the letters.

Michael Weiss is a UK neocon activist deeply involved in the "revolution". He supposedly connected missing American journo Andrew Tice with his people among the "opposition".


I am glad that Matthew raised the issue of how the Russians (and the Chinese) may react to this whole escalation. As of now, the rebels have been militarily set back significantly in the Aleppo battle II, and news reports indicate that there are no longer defections from the Syrian Army. It's a military stalemate, and both Egypt and Iraq have initiated efforts to reach a political settlement, in which the Assad government and legitimate opposition groups sit down in a neutral country outside the region to reach a political transition bargain. Now may be the time for that to actually succeed, although the Saudis, the Turks and Qataris may feel that this would allow Assad to seek revenge against those Arab brothers who tried to kill him. Col. Lang is absolutely right to raise the question of whether the Syrian Army command was so dumb as to invite NATO intervention. It's a great contribution, in itself, to have such serious questions posed when the fog of war can lead to consequences beyond anyone's expectations--like a Russian retaliation.


I hate the fact that your prognostications seem to be bearing a bitter fruit. This incident and rising eastern tensions betwixt China and Japan and No. Ko and it's southern neighbor will challenge the hoardes of the 'professoriait' types that inhabit/infest various semi-official think-tanks in the beltway. Did I forget to mention the Persian-Jewish stand-off ? And DC's growing 'consensus' re military action in Mali ?
A right rogering seems about to happen.
Sir, am I right to assume that the next presidential debate will focus on foreign affairs ?


It worked for them in Bosnia, but I don't know if anyone in Brussels got the memo that its not '94 anymore and Putin is not Yeltsin.



You could not be more bitter than I. pl

Babak Makkinejad

The "Persian-Jewish" dichotomy that you pose is invalid. Persian Jews are oldest continuous community of Jews in the world - more than 2500 years.

There is an Israeli-Iranian stand-off; that would accurate.

But event that is part of the larger Muslim-Israel confrontation over the disposition of Al Haram Al Sharif and Plaestine.

Babak Makkinejad

There will be no negogiated settlement there; Syrian Government - the Victor - will go on to full and complete victory.

Your list did not include Iran - she stood by Assad, the Alawaites, the Christians, the Armenians, the Druze, and assorted other minorities against the Jihadists, neo-Salafis etc.

FB Ali

As someone has pointed out above, the resolution presented by Erdogan to the Turkish parliament (and approved by them) was dated 20 Sept!

The resolution authorizes "sending the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries" as determined by the government. As one opposition MP said: "You can wage a world war with [the motion]."

It seems that Erdogan is trapped in his mistaken policy on Syria (which does not seem to have popular support) and is getting desperate.

Babak Makkinejad

His mistaken policy was what he owed to US and EU.


I never heard the expression "right rogering" - (English is not my mother tongue) - could you please explain?


Babak, what do you think is the role and goal of Kurds in this? Do they want to carve out some portion of Syria and join with their brethern in Northern Iraq?


Did not the late and highly acclaimed historian Barbara Tuchman have some salient views on the problem with alliances? Perhaps some should read or re-read her keen observations on this subject. The "Proud Tower" and especially her seminal, "Guns of August" come to mind.

Babak Makkinejad

I think Kurds in Syria could be happy that they finally obtained Syrian identification cards - in effect they are now recognized to be Syrian citizens.e

I suppose many would dream of an idependent Kurdish state.

I do not believe such a state can be constructed nor endure. If it could, it would have been created already - 3000 years is plenty of time, I should think.

In pre 2003 Iraq, in Turkey, and Syria the state maintains an official ethnic identity - Arab or Turkic - based on language and culture.

On both accounts, Kurds will always be an alien people in the body politic of these states - you become an alien on the lands that your ancestors had lived for thousands of years because a thug has gained power and enamoured of European ideas has so decreed.


And you suffer and die becuase of that absurdity.

I would like to point out that Iran has been more successful in this regard since the notion of Iranian-ness has multiple facets - religious, lingusitic, cultural, and historical.




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