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08 April 2015


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Talk about cognitive dissonance. See http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/04/iraq-is-finished-isis-origin/389901/#disqus_thread]

This article demonstrates exactly why we should not help the Sunni in Iraq. ISIS is Sunni. It has conquered Sunni areas and been head-chopping the locals.

These tribes have to make a choice. If they haven't decided by now that ISIS is the "evil"--and it is an evil that transcends the failings of Iraq's sectarian and corrupt government, then maybe they need to live under the head-choppers for a few more years without outside help.


Iran has more water than KSA, Libya and others, and also has ancient systems of tapping water from deep below the desert -- qanats, for example. http://tinyurl.com/nnd6au5

Tehran is at the base of Alborz Mountains. One of the first things one notices in the heart of Tehran is the channels of water along city streets and through parks. Iran has a long history of water management.

According to the (linked) Scientific American article, Persians brought the qanat system to Egypt.

Do other Arab/Islamic desert states have similar water management systems?

Does the very long presence of a system to 'supplement' nature's stingy provision of water create any change in the negotiating style of the states that are able to access more water?



"but we had real trouble getting the job done until contact was made with Ibadhi Berber tribes in the Nefusa Mountains (Djebel Nefoussa) South-West of Tripoli. It was Ibadhis and Berbers from that area (the so-called "militias from Zintan") who stormed down on Tripoli..." This is fascinating. TTG will be intrigued I am sure as will the other SF brethren here. pl

Patrick Bahzad

Story is open source now, but not sure there is much about it in English. Could do a short piece about the anti-Ghaddafi campaign and some of the antics we had to put up with sometimes.
Like having our great philosopher and humans' rights activist "Bernard Henri Levy" get a local security detail made up entirely of former AQ activists, while giving interviews saying that the Salafi/Djihadiss involved in the rebellion were only a minority ! That's for the fun part ... unfortunately, some casualties as well though.

The Twisted Genius

PB and pl,

I wrote this back when operation "Mermaid Dawn" was about to kick off.

"The military success of the mostly Berber rebel groups from the Nafusa Mountains have been remarkable. They have managed to raise, equip, train, lead and employ an effective, albeit still rag tag, army to the brink of victory. Perhaps the largely rural, pastoral nature of these hill people provided a more suitable pool of recruits than the coastal urban areas. However, the exploits of the boyos from Misrata offer an effective counterpoint to this argument. What was common to both fronts was that the terrain was more suitable to guerilla operations than the area from Benghazi to Sirte. And the rebels in both the Nafusa Mountains and Misrata knew their operational areas like the back of their hands."

Of course, in my naive enthusiasm, I thought Libya was a clean slate for whatever came next. Babak wisely called out my naiveté and predicted the chaos that followed. You live and you learn. I would very much like to hear more of the Berbers from Djebel Nefoussa from Patrick Bahzad. I will be more that just intrigued by the story.

Babak Makkinejad

"Secular Catholic"?

What does that mean?

Babak Makkinejad

And I suppose his statements urging the nobles to burn and destroy those animals ("The Peasants") were also accidental?

Not to mention his threat to German Jews to "convert or else".

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