« Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) - Letter To Angela Merkel Re: Ukraine. Posted by Walrus. | Main | The purple assed mandrill of peace »

02 September 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The beaver


Looks like a second journalist was killed by ISIS (Sotloff).

FYI: US takes over presidency of UNSC today (or yesterday).
So it's going to be a very interesting month, what with Ukraine, ME, and Afghanistan.


So IS beheaded another American citizen. Will they stop? No.

This is Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad and Apocalypse Now all rolled into one. I don't blame IS thinking that the best way for fighting in the jungle is by jungle rules, but they are grossly mistaken to assume that they are in a jungle.

Nothing short of an all out in and out Airborne and overland lightning strike of all involved states will stomp out these IS people. That includes unlikely players as Syrians and Iranians.

Turkey will have to be exposed for her role in creating this menace, and made to move to make good.

In an airport in Southeastern Turkey, Adana, or Gaziantep, or Hatay, it is not beyond imagination to see IS recruits from US or UK sitting at Starbucks at an opposing table from US Army personnel on leave to Europe.

IS has its greatest strength from the Sunni tribes that have been wronged. They can be persuaded to change sides if left to an able Lawrence.

I think "No boots on the ground" motto will slowly wear out, and leave it to "Let's get this done and over with." Especially if IS proves its terror reach beyond its stomping grounds.



On the internet, Empire of Chaos is the latest name for the Western petrodollar hegemony. For good cause if one looks at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Gaza or Ukraine. War Profiteers, Flight Capital Managers and Resource Extractors see profits in chaos and its spread. But, they all have one fatal flaw. They depend on a secured and safe base to gather and enjoy their wealth. They just don’t see it. They have unleashed the Hounds of War who are a hell of a lot better than they are at chaos. They are coming and will leap into their gated communities and splash into their swimming pools. The rest of us will be collateral damage unless the world's War Promoters are impounded and the keys thrown away.

FB Ali


You seem to share this pipe dream of Western "boots on the ground" solving problems. "In and out" will be even less effective.

Aren't the lessons of the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan stark enough to put this mirage finally to rest? The Iraq war (and the Syrian R2P) created this IS monster. The Afghan war lasted over 10 years, yet the Taliban seem in a good position to again establish themselves in Afghanistan.


Col. Lang,

SITE(the Israeli propaganda mouthpiece) has reported on the beheading of the journalist. Now the group as made Putin a target via the Chechen branch. Let us remember who supports the Chechens.


What coincidence that the people who the neocons don't like are on the IS hit list. Not.

Nto only has Netanyahu and that failed state Israel stolen more land, they're responsible for another provocation.


FB Ali


For anyone interested in doing some background reading on a couple of the topics Col Lang has dealt with in this post, here are two links (fair warning: rather longish pieces!):

On the Afghan boondoggle:


On the Islamic State:


 Ishmael Zechariah


1-The Daash operation was initiated and run with full knowledge and connivance of the West. Everyone in Adana, or south-east thereof, knows/says this. Remember that Turkish security personnel who inspected ordnance trucks around Adana were demoted, fired or prosecuted.
2-More parties, not just Turkey, have to "fess up".
3-Senior military at SST may correct me for this -I was a lowly infantryman of TSK- but IMO Daash cannot be cleaned out with a "lightning" strike. I envision at least a six months+ campaign of a field army. Even then there will be non-negligible casualties.
4-I would not put a single Turkish private's life on line for this until the tayyiban, who were instrumental in creating this mess, are dealt with according to the rule of law.
4-I hope there will be some leaks from the IC on who really formed Daash and for what purpose.

Ishmael Zechariah


"The Daash operation was initiated and run with full knowledge and connivance of the West." conspiracy theory BS. There is no evidence of this visible to me. Many of you folks insist on believing in "the hidden" hand in situations in which simple ineptitude. is the answer. pl


There was a report on Indian TV (Times Now) that a Taliban faction in Pakistan has signed up with ISIS.

no one


No they will not stop (of course).

IMO, they are going after Israel, and soon. Israel is relying on Hizbullah and the Labanese Army to provide a buffer zone to the North and East. Probably that works. I wonder about Hamas in the South. How will they play this. If they manage to attack Israel, I envision all hell breaking loose.

I don't know much about Islamic religious politics; especially re; IS, but it seems to me that their fanaticism will be their undoing (and good riddance/the sooner the better) in that they keep killing Shia. From what I have seen they don't really offer an opportunity to convert to the true path. It's just chop or shoot in the ditch.

If IS could cooperate with Shia, they could join forces to attack Israel. This would serve as the great recruitment program, if nothing else, and their ranks would swell to the point where they would be unstoppable sans US/NATO boots on the ground intervention.

IS being IS they won't be flexible. They burn out fighting against the LA and Hizbullah on one front, the Syrian Army on another and the Kurds on the Western front.

They will probably also soon try to enhance recruitment by launching a terrorist in the US and probably in Britain, something at least quasi-spectacular and completely gruesome I'm sure. This will also leads to US boots on the ground.

IS's day in the sun is soon coming to an end, in my very humble and uniformed opinion.


Recommend "The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics", a readable 2011 exploration of dynamics by B.Bueno_de_Mesquita & Smith. Its main conclusion: The amount of dictatorship vs. democracy *actually* present is governed by the number of cronies keeping the big man in power. Few, corruption: graft & pork. Many, pie-growing.

* Foreign aid is ALWAYS payback for policy concessions and ALWAYS gets skimmed, it is NEVER actually for "humanitarian purposes". However, wars & natural disasters make great advertising / excuses to ask.

* The populace exists only to keep the oligarchs funded, through taxes. When a region is cursed with abundant natural resources, the populace is superfluous to the oligarchs.

Applying this theory to the Ukraine, the ethnic cleansing of the East will continue for as long as it is physically able to. Poroshenko and Kolomoyskyi have ZERO incentive to stop. (In fact, Kiev is promising Lebensraum "free homesteads" to its fighters.) It does not matter that bombing coal mines and factories destroys the Ukraine populace's industrial base; all the better for people who own oil & gas. Cf. Biden. Kiev will continue to milk the war, for foreign aid, for as long as it is able to. NATO will continue to milk the war, for the same. The fact that Russia keeps urging cease-fires and sincere talks between Novorussia and Kiev will continue to be ignored, and mean nothing. Ukraine is now registering 60-yr-olds for a third draft. The meatgrinder will continue as long as people are stupid enough to send money to the Kiev oligarchs (it will never get paid back), and as long as the neocons and Zionists are getting something out of it.

Unless things change, they will stay the same. Or grow worse.

So, here's what I'd like to see: Kiev stops ethnic cleansing, for its own long-term survival. Poroshenko stops the draft and stops pumping the war, thereby avoiding pitchforks in February. A neutral like China or South Africa comes in and runs another fair referendum on independence/federation in the East, and the US respects the results. Russia has already pledged not to invade Ukraine with its army, but could make this binding based on cessation of ethnic cleansing. And a live Kolomoyskyi volunteers to donate his holdings to the Ukraine, they get nationalized, in order to pay back the salaries and debts that the country has run up. Peace is cheaper than war.


Col et all.

There was a recent paywalled Haaretz article that cited "sources" indicating that Sisi will be introducing a proposal of a coalition of interested parties to address the Islamic State in Syria. The price will be Assad stepping down.

Here is the Al Rai story that I believe the Haaretz account is based upon in lousy translation:

Newspaper: Sisi is leading an initiative to dislodge Bashar al-Assad

Hassan Bahi | Wed 08/27/2014 13:36

"The newspaper «home» Saudi Arabia, citing sources Arab political, unnamed, that the next few days may witness the announcement of the Arab initiative led by Egypt, in order to «settle the Syrian crisis», and the formation of regional bloc and the international military to confront terrorism goal of «Daash», on be preceded by a head of the regime out of power in Damascus.

The sources added «reliable» resident in Europe for «home», Wednesday, is scheduled to pass the initiative to the Arab League, as a step paving the way for the international community to convince them.

The sources expressed, which quoted her newspaper Arabia, the concern of the collision of the project of the Arab regional project Iranian adopts the idea of ​​a transitional phase, headed by Bashar al-Assad, alluding to the remarkable activity of Iranian diplomacy recently to discuss the project in transition, and that the visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdallahaan to Jeddah, on Monday, This was in the frame.

And Egypt's role in the initiative, sources say: «Cairo adopted resolving the crisis on Syrian territory based on its desire to spare the country the risk of partition», stressing that Sisi put the initiative on the Russians during his recent visit to Moscow.

The sources revealed that «initiative settlement of the Syrian crisis» assume leave Bashar al-Assad, head of the Damascus regime of governance in Syria, in exchange for a fighter of terrorism growing on Syrian territory, embodied in the organization of the Islamic State «Daash», across the bloc «regional - and international», will be released soon , and passed on the Arab League to internationalization, and give them the green light, and thus placed on the table of the international community to adopt.

The sources indicated that the Egyptian role is aimed at «resolving» crisis, and linked it signals launched by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before a few days ago, when he said during a meeting with Egyptian newspaper editors: «Egypt does not support the Syrian regime or the Syrian opposition is not biased to any of them, interesting Egypt's sole focus is on preserving the unity of Syrian territory and protect it from the risk of partition, and Egypt is working to reach a peaceful solution to the situation in Syria. Egypt's efforts are focused on thwarting any scheme to divide Syria or undermine its territorial integrity ».

The sources pointed out that Sisi during his recent visit to Moscow with Russian officials spoke about the initiative, but did not give details of Moscow's reaction to the settlement initiative."

Given that the shameful political calculus of the @$#%&^ who are more concerned about somehow "abetting" Assad, Hezbollah and Iran than addressing Daash in Syria appears to be the primary reason we are hanging back from disturbing the jihadis nests there...could THIS be the coalition administration officials hint about?

Zvi Barel, author of the Haaretz article "Choosing Between Hezbollah and the Islamic State" seems to believe that we are on board.



I his sounds like a typical Egyptian pipe dream. Why would Assad resign? He knows that he will be pursued and executed if he does. And furthermore the Egyptian army is no more effective than the Iraqi army recently defeated. pl


"IS is a new breed that has caused much confusion to international actors who can’t decide what to do against IS. We are facing an organization and a modus operandi we are not at all familiar with."

I have been trying to find another example in revolutionary history of a group that was on death's door making such a quick and devastating return. I am not having any luck.

ISIS transitioned over one of the most difficult hurdles for any guerrilla/revolutionary movement, the transition from guerrilla warfare to conventional warfare, in what is a world record time. Even the great Maoist guerrillas struggled with this transition. Three years? Unheard of.

cville reader

Kolomoyskyi holds dual citizenship in Ukraine and Israel but actually resides in Switzerland. He has his own private militia and has threatened to blow up nuclear power plants if his interests come under attack. Many also consider him responsible for the atrocities that occurred in Odessa a few months ago. Do you really think he will ever voluntarily give up his holdings in Ukraine?



I don't know what would compel Assad to strike such a bargain. He and his family being turned over to a mob of the democracy lovin' exiled Syria activists? The latter's dream come true.

Could the grand bargain be presented as such to the IC as perfectly reasonable and Assad (worse than Hitler) a raving blood lusting maniac if he refuses. Yada yada yada; thus justifying a coup if need be.

Perhaps I'm too cynically fanciful.


Is the Egyptian really army on par with the Iraqi version? How heavily were we involved with their training, etc? What regional State army could be effective on the ground? Turkey?

The pressure is on to do Something in Syria without cooperating with the most motivated & experienced forces already at the battle at hand.


I posted a reply; instantly deleted.




Is that the one you posted twice? pl



Cuba. Las Mercedes to Santa Clara in six months.



since you have informed me that you are a working class hero with a library card I welcome you aboard. pl


Ahor - the tactics/strategy of ISIS reminds me a little of Dzinghis Khan (Ddzinghis Chaghan) - or maybe more of Timur Lenk - the atrocities, the skull pyramids, Heads on spikes, that is spreading terror; Dzhinghis Khan was however more 'statesman' in that regard that cities which surrendered right away wee spared, but the ones which did resist, were treated without mercy.


Thank you for these insights. Late last year I declined an opportunity to become involved in a neocon-inspired programme related to communal land rights in NE S America and the Caribbean. As Nancy Reagan (I think) said "Just say no"


Only if it were in his own best interests. For instance, if Poroshenko were to move to take him down before he overthrows Kiev, mooting a dead-or-alive contract on his head and forced nationalization, perhaps something mutually beneficial could be worked out. Kiev has eaten its own children so much that only the oligarchs have any capital left in the country; so nationalization, forced or voluntary, starts to become a forced move. ...Offering alternatives and concentrating on what I'd like to see, not what I hate, might perhaps unstick the situation. He who has the best ideas, wins.

Mark Kolmar

The notion that Assad might resign is a distant dream, maybe less ridiculous than it sounds.

Whether Maliki would have exited anyway due to pressure from his party and Iraqi politics, pressure from the U.S. related to military cooperation and air strikes may have made a difference.

In Assad's case, the premise is that his rule is illegitimate, not merely that he is politically unhelpful. I wonder whether any appeals to Assad's nationalism, party politics, vanity, and physical safety, etc., could persuade him to take another job. That could be anything from head of a local welcome wagon, to a position at an eye care clinic in Venezuela....

Unlikely as it is, in that event is anyone in Syrian government in a position to take over from Assad? Would anyone be qualified to represent a break from the Assad regime, and be able to salvage any of Syrian institutions and civil society?

Unless for example Islamic State makes significant gains against Syrian government forces, Assad has no reason to step down, and Ba'aath Party insiders have little reason to push him out (assuming someone could). Promises of target intelligence or other cooperation from the U.S. to the Syrian government against Islamic State seem unlikely to change that. Open cooperation with the Assad regime, even while Assad is at the head, is untenable for the Obama administration.

If Syrian forces do not contain Islamic State, and outside forces (such as U.S. air) don't particularly help them do so, internal pressure eventually could cause Assad to leave power if an alternative is available. A plausible excuse for an orderly transition could become a way out.


Any comment about the situation in Pakistan? It seems that the mostly peaceful protests are turning "hot".

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad