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27 May 2015


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William R. Cumming

Thanks P.L. for this post and your opinion on Anbar! IMO ISIS has decided to seize and hold Anbar but not sure why!

Richard Armstrong

Colonel as it seems I SIS will indeed be able to establish control over the Sunni regions of Iraq and Syriah I think the Obama administration needs to find their own Henry Kissinger . Old injury could do some back channel negotiations with IIS much like he did for Nixon Wayback before the 68 election. It seems obvious that the regions that were originally created by the Pico treaty will work any longer.

Whomever is President in 2016 needs to accept the Realpolitik and try and turn it to our advantage.


According to the DIA in August 2012

"The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria."

"AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media."


The borgs, like ambassador Ford, will of course know this. PBS is just playing dumb to fit their agenda.

In Ramadi there were a number of IS sleepers within the police plus IS cells within the civilian population. The defenders had VBIEDs coming from one side and were shot in the back from the other side. This after a year of nearly permanent low level fighting and with little support and bad logistics. There were no real lines to hold. No wonder they decided to get out of dodge until the situation cleared up and to live another few days.


Col. Lang -

After so much failure, starting with PNAC in 1997, how are neocons still holding any influence at all? Everything they've suggested has been a complete disaster. My biggest criticism of Obama is that he didn't send them all packing in 2009.


Col Lang

Your post briefly mentions that "the UN" believes that the 2013 sarin attacks in Syria were an infowar op. Are you able to elaborate on this statement about what the UN may have known?

I have been trying to find out more about this since coming across a passage in a book on French policy in Syria "The roads to Damascus" by two French journalists, Malbrunot and Chesnot, published last year. They state that "the UN investigated" the sarin attack in Khan-al-Assal in March 2013, and quote Mokhtar Lamani, then the UN Special Representative in Damascus, as telling them:

"A rebel group allowed chemical substances in through the border post of Azaz. An insurgent opened the products, which immediately provoked spasms. He died the next day. Informed of the incident, the al-Nusra Front (the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda) immediately surrounded the village and demanded the return of the products in question, under threat of an all-out attack. The jihadists recovered the products. We contacted the chief of the group that possessed the substances at the beginning. He acknowledged that he had given them up to the al-Nusra Front."

Lamani would almost surely have reported his findings to the UN Secretary-General, who in turn would have been likely to inform the US government. There may be some corroboration of this in an article by Phil Giraldi that you linked to on SST on November 14, 2013. He stated that "These concerns [of US intelligence analysts] were reinforced by subsequent [to an NIE prepared in late 2012] UN reports suggesting that the rebels might have access to their own chemical weapons." Could this be a reference to Lamani's report of the Azaz incident?

One reason why this is important to us in the UK is that on 29 August 2013 the Prime Minister presented to the House of Commons, as it prepared to debate war with Syria, a report from the JIC stating that stating "there is no evidence to substantiate possession of CW by the opposition" and therefore "no alternative to a regime attack scenario". If the JIC was aware of a UN report that the opposition had apparently been bringing CW agents into Syria from Turkey, this was clearly misleading. This would be contempt of Parliament, a crime that the House of Commons has sweeping powers to investigate and punish.

alba etie

As we watch the Sykes Picot map melt - is there any chance we might make a strategic realignment with Iran ? It seems to me that since Erdogan & the Gulfies have thrown all in with Daesh - now might be the time to let one of our overriding national interest which is making sure the Islamic State / Daesh does not follow us home to terrorize These United States ; coincide with the Persians desire to be the regional leader in the Middle East .


pmr9, regardless of the House of Commons' sudden outburst of common sense when they rejected the call to bomb Syria in 2013 (the previous Libyan debacle of course now approaching the point where the mighty navies of the EU are going to shell smuggling boats to prevent anymore boat people from washing up half-drowned on our sacred shores), the idea that that supine body would punish any member of the government for a lie is alas unlikely to happen. The Commons is not a strong assembly unlike the US Congressional system (however short-sighted, partisan and gerrymandered that body may be).

William R. Cumming

Now underway IMO! We have chose Persian over Arab!

William R. Cumming

Joh Brennan deeply influenced Candidate Obama and continues to do so. He is representative of the CIA leadership that longingly missed the COD WAR ENDING and long for a bilateral [not multilateral] world.

William R. Cumming

From my point of view the BORG will continue to be powerful after January 2017 whichever party in power.

Babak Makkinejad

I think there is no chance of such an strategic alignment between US and Iran.

The Gulfies, Israel, Turkey, many influential people in US, UK, France consider Iran worse than ISIS.

Patrick Bahazad stated that France consider ISIS an enemy.

But French assets in the Persian Gulf are not there to fight ISIS; they are there to fight Iran - in my opinion....

Likewise for UK -

I am still waiting for Germany to give Assad 1000 medium tanks and Russia another few hundred helicopter gunships to destroy ISIS in Raqqa.

Not going to happen....

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I think it is unclear how things are going to develop.

A critical point is that many people in Washington, and London, have been burying their heads in the sand – attempting to convince themselves that there is a strategy which enables them to reverse the empowerment of the Shia caused by the toppling of Saddam, without intensifying the jihadist threat to themselves.

How long they can continue to imitate the ostrich in this manner, and what will happen if they are finally unable any longer to continue evading reality, is a moot point.

I would draw your attention to the remarks by the former MI5 officer Annie Machon in Nafeez Ahmed's report on the August 2012 DIA paper which anticipated the subsequent successes of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, to the effect that 'within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.'

(See http://tinyurl.com/kwfvgq2 .)

Also, if I recall right, Colonel Lang suggested that on closer reading the paper read as though it could be an Israeli analysis circulated by the DIA. Rereading it, it does indeed seem to me that it could very easily be the work of elements in the Israeli intelligence community who think Netanyahu is a lunatic.

As you will recall, last month we had both a former head of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, and the former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, coming out in public saying, in essence, that Obama's strategy of seeking a deal on Iran's nuclear programme makes sense, and that Israel should collaborate with it.

(See http://tinyurl.com/qafhog2 .)

robt willmann


Information disputing the story that the Syrian army / government had done the gas attacks showed up fairly soon thereafter. I think a professor at a U.S. university looked at the trajectory of the shells, the distance they were supposed to have traveled, the type of shells used to deliver the gas, and who controlled the area(s) from which the attack came, and concluded that the "official story" that the Syrian government did it could not be true. Right now I do not have time to search for it, but I think there was an article or two about his work.

Russia took this position--


The lies by various political entities have gotten so bold and brazen over the last 25 years that sometimes basic math and science can reveal the falsehoods fairly easily.


I believe that the man to whom you refer is a Professor at MIT - engineering or physics. Forget his name unfortunately. He is the same person who did a systematic study of the performance of Israel's anti-missile defenses at the time of the first Gulf War. His analysis demonstrated that it didn't work. The explosions that were seen were not "hits' but rather were produced by the warheads breaking away from the incoming missiles. That conclusion is now almost universally accepted. So, there is good reason to believe that he is correct this time around as well.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

Today, EU renewed her sanctions on Syrian Arab Republic.

I think this means that EU wishes for ISIS to prevail against Assad.

I am including France and UK in my opinion - notwithstanding what PB had stated.

Patrick Bahzad

I think you're underestimating the current scyzophrenia that is predominant in most western states: defeat ISIS and the other jihadi groups but at the same time hope for the fall of Assad, not thinking about what would come after him.
The people we are killing in the Sahara are the same we have indirectly supported in Syria ... Scyzophrenia through and through !


Professor Theodore Postol (a professor of Science, technology and National Security Policy at M.I.T.)

Critic of Patriot Missile system

David Habakkuk

robt willman,

The professor was Theodore Postol of MIT. The report he co-authored with the hformer UN weapons inspector Richard Lloyd was discussed in another RT story, which appeared in January 2014. It contains a link to the report.

(See http://rt.com/news/study-challenges-syria-chemical-attack-681/ .)

This incidentally illustrates a reason why Russian 'propaganda' has been increasingly successful. Obviously any reasonably discerning reader/viewer knows that RT will focus on information which supports the Russian government's case. But it does frequently provide links and citations to sources, which can enable one to see whether the claims will withstand scrutiny.

different clue


The failure to engage with reality extends far beyond neocons. Professor Juan Cole (whose site I read) is hardly a neocon. And yet he fervently believes in the Assadd Diddit myth of the gas attacks. So if our politicrats decide to reject neocon thinking, where do they turn? To better-informed realists like Professor Juan Cole?

( I sometimes try commenting there and sometimes my comments run and sometimes they don't. I never know why but I can guess. He did print a comment of mine suggesting the way forward was to back Assad and assist in the total encrushment of the Cannibal Liver-Eater rebellion in Syria. At least he let that print).


Hi Pat,
During the first 15 minutes of last night’s Frontline we were listening to Michael Gerson and David Brooks debate ethics and morality on CSPAN. When we tuned in the Frontline, we lasted about 5 minutes before turning the TV off in disgust. So glad we are helping to pay for this…
a bit off topic.
We are fortunate to have a very good Middle Eastern restaurant nearby We have gotten to know the owner/chef during the 6 or 7 years that we have been going there regularly. He is a Syrian Christian originally from one of the villages where Aramaic is still spoken and still has members of his extended family live in or around Damascus. Since the onset of the civil war, we have discussed the situation in Syria and its impact on his family members remaining there. He has always been cautiously optimistic. Neither a supporter or critic of the Asad’s he has maintained that as long as one didn’t engage in inappropriate political activity the regime would let one carry on his daily affairs as he saw fit. He was critical of extreme excesses of some of the opposition but did not condemn those advocating transition. So when we were there last Saturday (seated in front of a mural of Palmyra on the wall). We talked with a man badly shaken by recent events and seemingly pessimistic about the future for his family and homeland.

Charles Dekle

M Brenner,

I think that you are referring to Prof Theodore Postol. http://tinyurl.com/p2ekqta is a link to an article written by Professor Postol which accuses MIT of covering up flaws in the national missile defense system.

Here is a link to an article from International Business Times concerning the Israeli missile defense program: http://tinyurl.com/oqu7sdu


Babak Makkinejad

We will know more, I should think, in a few days after the meetings between Kerry & Zarif this weekend.

I would not be surprised if these negotiations fail; to put it charitably, due to the "Scyzophrenia" of NATO states, as you put it.


William -

It does seem to be a serious bipartisan problem. I just don't understand why they gained so much influence so quickly.

William R. Cumming


William R. Cumming

Few Americans pay much attention to FP or military affairs and certainly most elections turn on making sure Americans don't pay attention to FP and military affairs IMO.

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