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31 October 2014


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Indictments, travel probs, arrested Israelis outside of Israel? Wow! Consider this girl's mind completely boggled!!
Seriously though, I do feel that if this were to happen, then prominent American pols would intervene on behalf of their friends in Israel and the Israelis targetted by foreign countries. I do not think they should but I have a feeling they would intervene.


""Israel said it was recalling its ambassador to Sweden to Jerusalem for consultation, according to Paul Hirschson, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman. “It’s an expression of a certain level of upset from our side,” he said." NY Times""

I worked with Swedes for many years. They are usually in another universe of their own making. But they also surprised me frequently with a pretty sane view of the world. And, they do have the courage of their convictions. I guess they are still too polite to wish said Ikea furniture hit the Izzy ambassador's touche on the way out of the country.

r whitman

How can we call Obamas strategy a flop when we do not know if he even has a strategy? My feeling is that he has decided that the US will leave the ME soon and he is just giving lip service to the problems so we can bug out.

I just finished Bacevichs' MOOC course on "War for the ME". The simplest solution is pack up and go home.


On Iraq:

The Sunni are some 20% of the population but demand 40% of the budget.
The Kurd are some 15% of the population but demand 25% of the budget.
The Shia are 65% of the population and ask why they should cope with only getting 35% of the budget.

I have no idea how to solve that. Partition would hit the Sunni the most and therefore not solve the IS problem. Also the Kurds would start fighting each other as soon as they would have some more autonomy. They would lose their new loot in Tikrit and Kirkuk and would be pushed back into the mountains.

On Obama's plans:

There is a lot of pressure for Obama to hit the Syrian government. If he does so the Islamic State would soon rule in Damascus. In yesterday's Haaretz an Israeli senior officer said that he would like to see the U.S. to hit Assad first and only thereafter the Islamic State. That sounded like he would want to fight down to the last American soldier.

But the only sane solution against the IS is to collaborate with Assad (and Iran). Obama can not do that openly or he would loose the "coalition" and anti-IS support from the GCC states. Hence some "to be trained" new Fee Syrian Army as the carrot to keep the GCC and Turkey in the row.

Obama seems to want to punt those problems to the next president.



It has been so long since a reliable census in Iraq that nobody knows how many of each there are. pl

The Twisted Genius

If our stated mission truly is to degrade and destroy ISIS, then we better get busy degrading and destroying and count our allies as those who have the stones to join in the degrading and destroying. That would put us in league with Iran, Assad's Syrian forces, Hezbollah and the Kurds including the PKK and YPG. As my father would often say, "Shit or get off the pot!"

Our so called allies of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel clearly have different priorities. Fine, that's their prerogative. Just live with the consequences.

Babak Makkinejad

I think ISIS is thriving on the collective disposition of the Arabs in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq. I think only the federalization of Iraq could potentially address that situation - after ISIS is destroyed (over the long term).

Babak Makkinejad

I think all those things pale in comparison to the colossal failure of acceptance as a legitimate state in the Middle East and by the wider Muslim World.

All of the power of US and EU failed in that project and I think in the years and decades ahead its ramifications will sink in.


What time we live in when the basically undemocratic state of RF has been gaining an upper hand morally over the Western world? Putin is a ghastly figure, but he seems a head taller morally than the DC politicians that are bought thoroughly by the financiers and war profiteers. The DC has no humanistic ideas to uphold and defend. All what is left is the "baseline." Here is a black eye to Obama (and other bloviators about various "values"):


I always reckoned the US strategy in the Middle East to make the world safe for Israel. In that case, Obama has done just as well as his predecessors, if not better. The complete destabilization of Syria, a pro-Israeli (i.e. pro US money) junta in Egypt, and the participation of the Gulf 'leaders' in same, coupled with the usual cravenness in support of Israeli transgressions, have been quite effective.

Feces pullus, to give the epithet the decorum and dignity worthy of the office.


Col: Chas Freeman tees it up. See http://chasfreeman.net/the-collapse-of-order-in-the-middle-east/

Susan Rice isn't just incompetent on Syria and Iraq; she has also been called a "gladiator" for Israel at the UN. See http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/12/susan-rice-israels-gladiator-at-un.html


r Whitman: And put all those think tankers out of work?


ISIS is a magnet for every disaffected Muslim in the world. Every Muslim in any country who thinks they have been abused since 9/11.

Every Muslim who has had to tolerate the snide comments at work or school. The jokes about suicide bombers. The abuse in the streets over Burkhas and such, the endless unfair commentary in the mainstream media. The sober Christian commentators denigrating their religion. Then Al Ghraib, Falluja and the rest. Total disrespect for Islam and Arabs.

Does everyone understand the appeal of ISIS to any Muslim who wishes to think that they have had a bad treatment from some part of the West? If I was a Nineteen year old muslim with failing grades at school I'm sure I could.

I'm waiting for ISIS to start throwing our own commentary back in our faces; how do you say "kill them all and let Allah sort them out" in Arabic?

This conflict, which we brought on ourselves, is not going to end well for the West.


Gen. Dempsey and the JCS really need to put you into their speed-dials.

Babak Makkinejad

Being in league with Iran is possible but that would require the United States to accept all Iranian nuclear activities within the boundaries of NPT.

That will not happen and thus there will not be "being in league" with Iran.

US has spent too much now to call that quits over ISIS.


My assessment is that the Israeli political leadership believes ISIS/Al Nusra and Syria in chaos can be handled. It might result in some mortars being fired across the border or some suicidal infiltration attempts - all that can be handled and turned into political lemonade, proving once again that Israel is under attack and the only democracy in the ME etc. With a Syria in chaos or dominated by islamists there can be no question about returning the Golan heights, and oil, gas and water exploration can proceed.
To add - today the relations between Al Nusra etc and Israel seem quite cordial.
All that is good, and then there is the great bonus of reducing Hezbollah, and the strategic threat Syria's and Hezbollahs missile forces represent.



There is a plan. It is designed with four components that have been in place since 2001. First is to be Israel’s puppet. Second is to make money off of war and chaos. Third is to make Muslims the Others to scapegoat for the destruction. Fourth is to prop up the House of Saud and pump their oil. There is no American strategic plan to bring peace to the Middle East or contain the violence because the USA government is controlled by transnational plutocrats who are out to benefit only themselves and don’t give a whit about the American people.


Post Tuesday's election could get "interesting".

Secondly the idea of ISIS serving as a magnet for "mujahid wannabees" doesn't seem such a bad idea to me as it collects them in one area.

We shall see.

FB Ali

"Putin is a ghastly figure"

Why? He is a Russian leader who is doing the best he can for his country. What is "ghastly" about that, unless you are referring to the fact that he has successfully checkmated the US in its attempts to reduce Russia to a vassal.

Have you read the link you have given at the end of your comment? I don't see anything there to suggest that Putin is "ghastly".


Why, pray tell, is Putin a "ghastly figure"? Please be specific and make reference to the Russian historical experience. Start with the period 1941-1945 and go backwards. And is the "western World" really "democratic". Please reduce your Koll-Aid intake.


"...the existing political geography of the Arab world – not just the map drawn by Sykes-Picot – faces progressive erosion and ultimate collapse" (Chas Freeman).
The neocons' dream has become true. If only the neocons (and their enablers) were summoned and sent to this paradise that was accomplished thanks to an immense financial infusion from the US (to the delight of war profiteers and to the sorrow of those who paid with their limb&blood for the stupid imperial Doctrines).
The Teeth of Dragon have been sown.


"on “an unprecedented scale” and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism."

how many countries have saudi and other gulf funded madrasas preaching Wahhabi ideas?

While this is was not in western msm, this outcome is not unexpected.


"While this goes on, the Obama Administration dithers and waits for a miracle to occur, a miracle in which the Shia decide to share power with the Sunni Arabs. This miracle will NEVER happen."

No. This is not dithering. Recognition of the FU has dawned (time period when unknown ATM). Now its an exercise of "pass the parcel" to the next administration, which MO has been practiced by POTUS for the past 30 (?) years.

It is a long two years to go tho...



in addition to those with failing grades at school are that fraction of idealistic ones at school right along with new converts who are more Muslim than those raised with the religion.



On another note, Turkmenistan celebrated their Independence day on the 27th of October when they declared their independence from the former Soviet Union on 27 October 1991.

Notice how they pattern their parade after their former Soviet overlords.

It's been kind of bland there since the demise of the late Turkmenbashi Saparmurat Niyazov.



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