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13 October 2012


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Colonel, did you watch Nasrallah's latest speech? he implied (thats what most commentators are saying at the moment) that if NATO invades Syria Hezbollah will not stand idle.



IMO HB would retaliate against Israel, believing that Israel and NATO are so tied together that they are one enemy. Whether or not they would employ their considerable ground capabiliity somewhere in Syria is unknowable. A presumption of coming US naval air action against HB installations and defenses would probably trigger an early heavy use of HB missile and rocket assets against Israeli countervalue targets. HB would probably believe correctly that US air would be more effective against them than was the IAF. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Dr. Cliffird Kirakofe:

So, in effect, the Islamic Republic of Iran has become the also defender of religious minorities - similar to the role she played during the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

And the "We-are-Pluralistic-Democracy" crowd - US, Canada, and EU states - have become enemies of religious minorities in the Middle East.

The world is a very strange place, indeed.



A "Guns of August' scenario is quite possible in which Syria, Hizbullah Russia and Iran line up against NATO, Israel and the US. The catastrophic implications of such an evolution are obvious. pl


Col. in this scenario which camp would China drift to or would they sit it out?


RE: She [Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix] described "a hidden will to empty the Middle East of its Christian presence."

God forbid if that ever happens.

The Christian minorities bring wealth & at least modicum of civilized sanity to the damn region [of extremist sh*ts].

As Mr.Makkinejad mentioned in a previous post: "The young people in the Middle East have nothing and will have nothing...."



IMO they would sit it out while maneuvering for advantage behind "the curtain." pl


Take very serious note of Col. Lang's comment about the Guns of August. The incident involving the Turkish intercept of the Syrian commercial plane going from Moscow to Damascus, based on a "tip" from an undisclosed source (MI6? CIA? Syrian National Council?) prompted Putin to call an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Friday. Col. Lang is absolutely correct that this could get way, way out of hand very rapidly, with Turkey threatening to invoke Article V of the NATO charter, bringing other NATO countries (ie. the USA) into conflict with Syria. Given that Gen. Dempsey and the JCS have been adamently opposed to a no-fly zone over Syria, and given the Russian and Chinese UNSC vetoes, this is already on the edge of a big explosion. Will Erdogan walk himself back from the edge? I don't know.

The issue of the ethnic cleansing of Christians from Syria is profoundly disturbing, as is the continuing flow of arms and cash to the neo-Salafist extreme elements of the armed opposition to the Assad regime. I am told by US intelligence source that the Saudis, through the World Muslim League, have handed at least $150 million in cash to the neo-Salafists to build up their position within the Syrian armed opposition. And Qatar has been pouring similar large amounts of funds to the Syrian Muslim Brothers. Back in December 2009, according to a document made public by Wikileaks last year, Secretary of State Clinton created a special task force, headed by the late Richard Holbrooke, to shut down the money flows to Al Qaeda and Taliban. The memo made clear that the US has detailed evidence that Saudi Arabia is the number one funder of the radical Jihadi terrorists. This is obviously a sensitive issue, given the role the US plays as the guarantor of the free flow of oil and the maintaining of some degree of price stability. But if we look the other way, or even collude with regimes that are pouring money into neo-Salafist groupings, the longterm consequences are going to be really bad. They might make the Afghan war "blowback" look mild in comparison. This is already a problem that will be with us for decades. Our "humanitarian interventionists" and "R2P" fanatics are so hell-bent on bringing down the "Arab dictators" and bringing "democracy" to the Middle East that they are willfully blind to the consequences of what they are helping to create. To be tolerating the forced expulsion of Christians from the Holy Land (remember the Damascus Road?) is a sin. Every time I hear an American government official recite the mantra "Assad must go," I shake my head in amazement.


Dr. Kiracofe, I cannot help but recall that when the infamous Clean Break: A New Strategy for the Realm was drafted in 1996 by the U.S. princes of neo-conservatism, the policy was: regime change in Syria, regime change in Iran, regime change in Iraq, and the decapitation of the Palestinian Authority were the priorities that were laid out. This policy was openly embraced by the Bush-Cheney administration, and carried through the entire last four years of Obama. When Obama did nothing and ignored the infamous Israel Cast Lead massacre of civilians in Gaza, it should have already been obvious what the policy was. We are still in the process of that Clean Break policy being carried out. However, since the February 2012 Russia-China veto at the UN Security Council, there is a dangerous edge of confrontation with Russia -- it has already taken another step in that direction with Turkey's action against the Syrian commercial airliner traveling from Moscow. The Russians are angry -- Foreign Minister Lavrov's statements at the UN Security Council last week should be noted.

Daniel Nicolas

how does pakistan (or rather the various folks living in that area) fit into this picture of the future?

Also, a request:
I remembered reading this and found it again: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2009/11/peril-in-pakistan-fb-ali.html

if it suits you or FB Ali, I would love to read an update to that article in the context of what has happened in this region since publication.


Colonel, in the speech Sayed Nasrallah was addressing reports that HB are fighting in Syria he said that currently they are not but they might fight in Syria itself in light of future developments


Monsignore Colonel,

Je suis d'accord.

Vous monsieur êtes bénis avec sagesse.

Babak Makkinejad

The Peace following the Congress of Vienna lasted until 1914, eventhough the economic foundations of which had been dissolved by 1900.

Likewise, the Peace of Yalta ended in 1991 and the economic foundations of the interregum 1991-2011 dissolved last year.

So, a case can be made that the world is standing at the threshold of a third world war.


Any comments on Gen. Youssef bin Ali al-Idrisi replacing Bandar Bush (by request from the grave apparently), or if we're really working through Jordan now?

Babak Makkinejad

I suspect that Erdogan's action in regards to the Syrian airliner was a provocation directed at US, Russia, and Syria - trying to get his chestnuts out of fire.

Syrians ignored it, US ignored it, and Russians reacted.

I doubt that Erdogan obtained what he was seeking.

I think he would attempt more provocations.

FB Ali


I had forgotten about that article! Your reminder sent me back to read it again. I would not change anything in the premisses upon which I based my argument there. If anything, the situation in Pakistan has deteriorated further, and anti-US sentiment has increased. This forced the Zardari government and the military command some time ago to cease even the limited efforts they were making in support of the US war in Afghanistan.

A point I made in that piece (and others subsequently) bears repeating. The people of Pakistan, including the military, by and large espouse political Islam. The Taliban, on the other hand, are religious Islamists, and their Pakistani version is generally unpopular, and often hated because of their attacks on the state and the people.

On the issue of political Islamists of a more radical hue taking over in Pakistan, we will have to see what happens in 2013. Elections early in the year are likely to produce a different government, and the army chief is also retiring.


A a modicum of civilized sanity? Maybe you should brush up on your Samir Geageas or Bashir Gemayels. The neighborhood has its fair share of crazies no matter what religious background so careful where you go with the generalizations.

Clifford Kiracofe


Yes, your formulation that the US-EURO-NATO is the enemy of Christians in the Middle East and other minorities is well taken. The root is the pro-Israel policy and the pro-Wahhabi/Saudi policy.

I might add that the EU today is hardly "Christian" in a traditional sense.

You may recall that during the Cold War, the so-called west aligned with the Wahhabi state/Saudi so as to confront "Communists" and "Nationalists" in the Middle East.

You may also recall the rapprochement between the Muslim Brotherhood/Egypt and the House of Saud in the mid-1930s. Thus, Usama bin Laden's professors were MB refugees in Saudi and so on.

If I were a Christian in Lebanon, at this time, it would be logical to look to General Aoun and to support the Christian alliance with the HB. I don't know what will happen to this alignment in the future but it is an option now. I recall that during the Civil War there, Shia took refuge with the Christians.

It is very interesting to me that the pro-Israel US news media completely blacks out the Christian-HB alliance in Lebanon.

It is interesting that one of the founders of the Ba'ath was Michel Aflaq, who was from a Christian/Greek Orthodox family.

Babak Makkinejad

For many people, Michel Aflaq is a damnable person, whose contribution to the creation of the Ba'ath political program only harmed Islam. That he was a Christian only makes more people suspect him, his motives, and his program.

On the other hand, I suppose he was modeling his ideas on Europe - believing in the normativeness of Europe. I think he was also trying to find/create a social an political space for Christians in the Middle East.

In that, his program and effort reminds me of the efforts of very many Jews in Europe who supported atheistic political programs such as socialism and communism to create an analogous space for themselves among Christians.

Neither effort worked very well over historical time.

FB Ali

I hope David Habakkuk picks up on your comment; he was once following the Bandar saga. I don't know if this is significant or not

Clifford Kiracofe

Yes, this is my sense that we are close to a Sarajevo moment leading to the Guns of August.

A late friend of my family was a little girl in Bavaria in 1914. She told me she was playing at some distance from their schloss with her mother when a maid ran down to them with an envelope. Her mother opened the envelope, read the contents, and turned white. It was a message from a friend that war had just started. My friend's mother converted the schloss, Neubeurn, into a hospital for officers. My friend's job as a little girl for the duration of the war became a nurses' assistant to the wounded. She told me how each day she would hold an ultraviolet lamp over the wounds and talk with the officers. Her presence seemed to help them. The story made an impression on me. During WWII, the local Nazi gauleiter attempted to seize the schloss but the family fought back and this was averted. The schloss is today a school for children.

The fact is that both the Democrat and the Repubican parties are complicit in this unspeakable policy. Americans should be deeply ashamed of and alarmed by their government. For the Democrats it is the "humanitarian interventionists" such as Rice and Samantha Power. For the Republicans it is the Neocons. It is the SAME policy: regime change in Syria.

The Obama people will continue it. The Romney people may be persuaded to drop it.

General Dempsey has good lines of communication with his counterparts in Russia and China. But even with this the politicians' insanity may ignite more than just a regional war.

Polling data shows about 60 percent or so of Turks are against Erdogan's policy. Well, when Turkey's Kurds and Alawites start to move then Turkey may have something more to think about on the home front. In some ways, Turkey has feet of clay...and now they have insulted Russia. something to think about.

An influential Austrian friend of mine of ancient family said to me some years back of Turkey: "Turkey in the EU? This is unacceptable because Europe's border will then be with Iraq." She had a point as we can see today.

Clifford Kiracofe


Yes. This is because the Neocons control Republican foreign policy and their similarly interventionist and pro-Israel friends, the Humanitarian Interventionists, control Democrat foreign policy.

If the American people really understood this I would think all these people would be hung up on meathooks at some point...Fascists that these people are.

For the original Clean Break paper by Perle etal:

For the related paper by Wurmser:

We should also recall that these strategy papers were worked out with Bibi Netanyahu.



The recent attack on 14 year-old Malala Yousafzai, and the shock with which the press and the general Pakistani public have reacted to that attack is the first thing that comes to mind when you mention the unpopularity of the Taliban in that region.

My question is what are the long-term implications, if any, to attacks like this with regard the power of the Taliban within Pakistan's borders? Surely acts like these would give pause to the general populace turning towards a more radical hue as you label it.


Sanity break. Enjoy:



I read somewhere that Bandar has been given the Syria portfolio because he was best capable of handling the multiparty diplomacy in which it is embedded.

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