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16 September 2014


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Oh dear God. "we will be able to recruit 5,400 previously untrained Syrians from refugee camps, send them to a year's military training in Saudi Arabia,"

If this comes with a salary, they will be able to recruit 54,00 from the refugee camps rather than 5,400. And right up to the point of deployment they will be willing and able. Then watch them suddenly disappear so quick you may be lucky if you had 540.

But two points I am struggling with:
If the US stated objective is to be rid of IS and not Assad, why this ridiculous plan that believes 5000 greenhorns couldn't do what the thousands of experienced and trained ex-AQ and ex-SAA could not? This "plan" does nothing to dissuade one of the notion that this is just Syrian-invasion Plan B

The second question is Turkey's behavior. Why is Turkey so fond of IS? As deluded as Erdogan is, does he really think that having these people at his doorstep and to continue having them under control is a viable plan? Does he think IS will be his New Model Army that will back the Caliphate to Ankara? Can he be truly that stupid?



Lordy! Lordy! Ah do declah! SIR Michael Caine. Lordy! Seriously, sort of, I first read "The Washing of the Spears" when it was published, 1965 maybe? I was in Panama in the 8th SFGA. I loaned it to another fellah and his pet ocelot et it, as Gonville or Chard would have said. This was a seriously good book The US Naval attaché wrote it in his spare time during his time in London. Great movie. I see that you live up near Arlington. Ever been to RTs? I was there the other night and et a lovely dish of haddock baked and stuffed with crawfish and little shrimp and finished with a slightly spicy beurre blanc sauce. Lovely. pl


I liked how they kept calling Special Operations "Special Operators". Which was a first for me. Am I wrong on this? Talk about surreal...the Dems are gonna get killed in Nov. Not saying it is the right thing or wrong thing. I just think it is gonna happen that way. Nation is ready to throw everyone out, if we could.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, Khamenei is a statesman, like Putin; the rest are midgets trying at being statesmen.

Babak Makkinejad

I think so too; NATO can invoke its Article 5 and then Turkey is contractually obliged to join the fight.

I think in case of ISIS, Turkey is acting like the old Persian proverb: "Thieves' Comrade and Caravan's Companion".


I propose that the 5400 men recruited shall henceforth be called the "Hauran of Sheep Martyr Brigade".


Appropriate to this conversation is an as always informed comment on this nonsensical policy which appeared yesterday by Andrew Bacevich:


Here's the money-quote:

The approach that the administration has cobbled together — American air power plus surrogates on the ground supported by a hastily assembled coalition vaguely promising to assist "as appropriate" — does not qualify as a strategy. It's another version of whack-a-mole. It's important to understand that point.

ISIS emerged from a set of nontrivial conditions afflicting many nations across the Greater Middle East. Figuring prominently among those conditions are political dysfunction, economic underdevelopment, and social alienation, along with the pernicious residue of European colonialism still lingering everywhere from arbitrary borders to thieving local elites. Those so inclined can throw into the mix the ongoing plight of the Palestinian people.

Were the United States and its partners miraculously to succeed tomorrow in destroying ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, those conditions would still persist. As a consequence, another "ISIS" under another banner, inspired by a new leader, would almost certainly appear. And we'll find ourselves right back where we are today.


Dear Colonel

Re: "you mean there are two kinds of Islam?"

could I suppose be rewritten:

"you mean there are more than two types of Islam and within each they dont agree on everything?" - unlike any other religion (irony alert).

I have continued watching Jalawla (a strategic city connecting Baghdad and Iran) developments, which remains under IS control. At one point, Iran reported significant troops fighting IS, then for unexplained reasons, they returned. Then the feared Pershamerga were going to retake Jalawla, but:


reports that a month ago they found urban fighting too challenging (I paraphrase) and retreated - despite Iranian air force and Iraqi air force strikes.

Most interesting is that the govt of Iraq is reported in the article to be recruiting a local tribe to fight the Pershamerga - not IS.

I suppose "with friends (allies to fight for us) like these, what could possibly go wrong?"

The Twisted Genius


Those in SMUs (special mission units) like Delta and ST6, or whatever they call themselves now, refer to themselves as operators. It's the term most prevalent among JSOC and SOCOM headquarters types. This is not so among the Special Forces Groups the last I heard. They are still Green Berets or soldiers.


Swerv21, Mo, the Col., and anyone else who may want to chime in:

Would not a Sunnistan Satrapy in Western Iraq and Syria be a convenient balance of power against Iran and Shia Iraq for KSA and Turkey?

Also, could there be a competition between Turkey and KSA for control of the Satrapy with IS and Al Nusra being proxies for the two competing sides?

This process would seem to be consistent with the evidence. IS seems to have sprung forth, fully formed with Turkey and KSA as its founding sponsors. IS is recruiting in Turkey and KSA with the cooperation of both countries. Turkey has allowed IS to us it as its rear support area and has provided safe transit and medical services to IS fighters. Turkey is friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood and is now giving some of its Egyptian exiled leaders sanctuary.

Perhaps Turkey, a majority Hanafi country, sees itself controlling the Sunnistan Satrapy with a subservient Muslim Brotherhood in power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh#Sunni_jurisprudence
Adding the MB to the control set of IS would fulfill the MB dream of controlling territory. By Turkey promoting having the MB take control over the Sunnistan Satrapy from the Hanbali IS, the change of management may make the Satrapy less horrid and more tolerable within the community of nations. After all, the world did not freak when the MB took over Egypt. If successful, Turkey would regain some of its Ottoman restoration dream.

KSA competes by trying to gain advantage for its jihadis hoping IS with its Mecca goal gets weakened or supplanted by KSA more controllable jihadis. While KSA may not like the MB much, KSA may see compromise with Turkey on the MB takeover of the IS as some insurance against the current Mecca aspirations of the current IS leadership.

Jordan gets billions in US "training" subsidies and hopefully, for it a sufficiently stable Sunnistan that may someday be able to repatriate some of the refugees.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Jihadis get their meme of a Caliaphate fulfilled, but in a watered down and more "controlled" version. (Of course, a more aggressive version cannot be ruled out.)

Lebanon loses its supply corridor to Iran through Syria and perhaps some territory to the glee of Israel.

Israel gets years more of chaos and division among its adversaries and a weakened Hezbollah.

For the world, the most vicious Jihadis get used up in the meat grinder and targeted airstrikes.

For the US, Iran and Shiite Iraq is balanced against Sunnistan, rendering both weaker in the future by facing each other down in unending competition.

Oil is cheaper and supply is increased because all Sunnistan needs to sell low to support its constant chaos and corruption to enrich the Caliph and his court.

The drug cartels get a jihadist Sunnistan that will be so corrupt and chaotic that the routes from Afghanistan via Iran through Sunnistan to the sea will be easily accessed. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-trafficking/index.html

Meantime, the lame duck Obama gets to play golf, siting on the sidelines waiting for the sorting-hat to work its wonders and posit the problems on the coming Republican President's administration. The military gets to fight enough to keep up its skills and gets some recovery time while doing some low level bombing practice against the worst of ISIL to remove appropriated US equipment and the worst jihadis from the theater. DoD gets the plum of a few more billions in budget. McCain and TOLFSC get to spend more taxpayer provided junket time in the Levant preening their egos smoozing with the "good" terrorists and puffing on morning shows about how incompetent the administration is. With the appearance of "doing something" now, if it all goes awry, no one presently in power has to take responsibility because the blow-back will fall on the next administration.

This all seems to fit the current evidence. Committee, is there any truth in the analysis?


The Sadrist Peace Brigades and Kitaeb Hizballah, 2 of the largest groups fighting IS in Iraq, are withdrawing from the fight due to US involvement.


I did not realize that Turkey et al were 'ours' to lose.


Mark Logan,

re: Assad forming his own "rebel" group (to receive US assistance?) Whoa... you just blew my mind


For years the Sunni have had the short end of the stick in Syria and Iraq. Is it time they had their own territory?

On the other hand, the current devastation is working to degrade the intense tribal nature of native Sunnis and force Wahhabism on them.

Also, there is the introduction of foreign genetic material to be considered.


I'm surprised Balls to the Wall McCain is not behind this full force. What am I missing?


If it ever comes up, it's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.



The person referred to was a member of the kitchen cabinet and did not know there were two main forms of Islam. pl


Two peas in a pod...Putin and Khamenei. Yeah, in a way, you are correct, they set the standard for what passes as "Statesmen' these days.


Really TTG, "operators"? Thanks for the heads up! Irony free I imagine. But it works for me. LOL...


Simple: It isn't enough.

He wants the US to bomb Damascus tonight. Chuck's and Marty's proposal postpone such blissfull phantasies for a year at least, unless it can't be otherwise helped, say, by an opportune reiteration of Ghouta.

robt willmann


Angling off topic, but on a current conflict and mess just the same -- Ukraine -- is this report true, that someone or some organization (possibly in Germany?) has offered a $30 million reward for information showing who did the shootdown of Malaysian flight MH17 and who was behind it? (Scroll down the webpage a little)--


Is it legitimate? Is it a false front for the perpetrators to find out who witnesses and whistleblowers are? Is it a hoax?


The only thing missing from your analysis is the "black swan"



Why blame conspiracy when incompetence will do? But, I agree with your post. It is supported by the following observations:

The Shiite Crescent is cut. The House of Saud paid lots of money to the Jihadists and they achieved their goal.

The Assad regime change campaign continues even though the Syrian Army with Hezbollah help is the only effective Jihadi killer in the Levant.

The Sequestration cuts to DOD are dead.

The Turkish border remains open for Jihadi recruits and supplies.

The ongoing religious war between Sunnis, Jews, Shiites, Alawites and Christians is gaining momentum. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a fluke. Hezbollah in 2006, the Syrian rebels in Damascus Suburbs and Hamas in Gaza have developed defensive tactics that make seizure of Arab rubble impossible unless encircled and starved out. All the USA can do is blow up sand, mud bricks and concrete until it goes broke.

As with all wars the unintended will happen especially religious ones fought without any strategy except to kill the unbelievers. The belief that there will be no blowback is farcical. Even Brian Williams, NBC News, reported that the world is falling apart:



Who knows when, but Black Swans often change the tilt of things. Perhaps she will alight in Dhu al-Hijjah 1436 AH somewhere in Mecca? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_Seizure

It would be fitting.



I do not view it as a conspiracy, but as a process resulting from the competing memes of Turkey and KSA, spiced by Israel as spoiler and the US as sucker.

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