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05 September 2015

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J

Colonel,

Since Jeff has been employed by WINEP, my question is have you noticed anywhere where WINEP has taken Jeff's various analysis, and skewed Jeff's analysis to meet their and their Israeli masters political agendas?

I was just curious.

turcopolier

j

White and I were never close and I don't pay much attention to what he does or writes. pl

FB Ali

It is being assumed in the discussion above that the joint communique issued after the Obama-Salman meeting binds the Saudis in their Syria policy. That is doubtful. I think they will proceed as they think their interests dictate.

I believe their underlying aim remains to reduce (if not eliminate) Iranian power in the region. This is what led them to support the jihadi eruption in the ME. Admittedly, the rise of IS has produced a complication for them in that it also opposes their rule. The solution they are likely to pursue is to continue support of the al Nusra jihadis, whom they believe are much more manageable. They would be quite happy to have this jihadi force overthrow the Assad regime and take over Syria.

This policy is also that of Turkey. However, it is opposed by Egypt, but the Saudis probably believe that their financial support of al Sisi enables them to ignore him.

I think the recent Russian moves have occurred because they believe that the Saudis and Turkey will continue to back the jihadis in their effort to overthrow the Assad regime, and that the US will not be able to do anything about it.

turcopolier

FB Ali

"This is what led them to support the jihadi eruption in the ME." Perhaps more important is the long term Saudi "mashru'" (project)to re-establish Sunni rule in the Levant. pl

Bandolero

annamaria

I predict that as a result of the so-called "refugee crisis" in Europe politics of the EU regarding Syria will change. Stopping the war to stop the flow of refugees will become a bigger priority and Germany, which is taking the bulk of Syrian refugees in the EU, will take the lead of EU's Syria policy from Britain and France.

Explanation: Germany was so far mostly sitting on the fence regarding Syria giving Turkey, the US, France and Britain mostly lip service and small money to support regime change in Syria but little else. Yes, German Patriots are in Turkey, but they are so far behind the border that they can't shoot into Syria, and Germany has a couple of weeks ago announced to pull them out of Turkey soon.

Now that Germany takes in the bulk of Syrian refugees in the EU the German government will come under immense domestic pressure to do something about Syria. So I suspect Germany will claim soon EU leadership regarding the crisis in Syria with the argument that Germany is the EU country affected most by the crisis. Germany will pressure the EU and on world stage to quickly end the crisis in Syria by negotiations. The German desire to have Assad go will be overshadowed by the desire to stop the "refugee crisis" - even if it means that Assad will stay for a while. As Germany has tremendous influence in the EU and many other EU countries share German concerns regarding the so-called "refugee crisis" I predict that Germany will get it's way in the EU, and France and Britain and the Israel lobby will reluctantly accept it. And Germany also has quite some possibilities to put pressure on Turkey, from trade to tourism to helping Kurds and influencing the numerous expat Turkish people in Germany.

Insofar, cynical as it is, the so-called "refugee crisis" in the EU might actually prove to be quite helpful to come to a solution for the crisis in Syria.

JJackson

PL
I have no doubt you are right about the refugee flow not being a deliberate or desired outcome.
What I would question is whether 'a reasonable actor' should have been able to foresee that the creation of large refugee populations was a reasonable expectation, given past experience. If so is there not some duty of care for those embarking military adventurism?

FB Ali

I agree. Not just Sunni rule; rather, their own.

Since Turkey also desires to re-establish its rule over the ME, it will be interesting to see how these two work together while seeking opportunities to blunt the others aims.

b

This paper from Greece claims that Turkey initiated the migrant wave citing "diplomats".

http://www.ekathimerini.com/201239/article/ekathimerini/news/refugee-flow-linked-to-turkish-policy-shift
"Refugee flow linked to Turkish policy shift"

Besides that it is clear that there IS a very sudden and massive increase of Syrian migrants who have been living in Turkey for the last months or years. These are NOT people fleeing from war in Syria right now. Why have they, all at once, just decided to leave Turkey?

In light of the migrant wave lots of "western" voices now call (again) for bombing the Syrian government (see Kristof in NYT and others). One may think that they are just jumping on the migrant wave wagon. But one may also think that this is a designed campaign and that Erdogan was told to create the wave.

That the media are so all up in this and that one dead child is played up when at the same time hundreds of children die in war in Yemen and elsewhere is another sign that someone is using the mighty Wurlizer here.

turcopolier

b

"But one may also think that this is a designed campaign and that Erdogan was told to create the wave" Yes, you can think that if you are a paranoid nutter. You actually think that Erdogan takes US policy guidance? pl

turcopolier

FB Ali

The Saudis see themselves as the legitimate rulers of Islam. They do not care at all what anyone else thinks. pl

turcopolier

JJackson

"If so is there not some duty of care for those embarking military adventurism?" How should I address you out there in Barrow in farthest Cumbria? Squire? Vicar? Madam? We have had an extended discussion on SST for ten years on this topic. I hope it makes you feel smugly superior to ask the question. pl

turcopolier

Bandolero

The EU will be largely ignored in this matter. Russia, the US and Iran will continue to be the major actors. pl

Babak Makkinejad

The Muslim refugees from outside of Seljuk boundaries will pose an enduring collection of social, cultural and political problems for the European Union member states that give them refuge; for decades if not centuries.

As an example, none of these refugees will ever become acolytes of the Cult of Shoah - nor their progeny. Ever.

But that is a dominant cult in Europe.

Secondarily: all these refugees believe as a undisputable Truth that Christianity and Judaism are both obsolete religions. They are refugees from the war in Syria but not from Islam.

Thirdly, these refugees, coming from outside of Seljuk Lands, will not have had the benefit of exposure to Greek Rationalistic Tradition - while Europe West of the Diocletian Line has lived with that for 2000 years.

Fourthly, given the historical absence of religious pluralism in Europe, I find it hard to see anything but future conflicts as these waves of refugees settle in Europe.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

US & Iran could someday resolve all their outstanding difference and have normal relations; not so Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The day will not come when Arabs rule Islam again.

Babak Makkinejad

I just do not see Turkey wishing to rule over "despised Arabs" again. I think the Turkish Government is using the Arabs as their useful idiots to try to combat Iranian power.

That refugees are flooding EU rather than Turkey is just another way for Turks to spite EU for having spurned their overtures to enter EU.

Admission to EU, to Turks, would have meant finally being admitted to the councils of "Civilized Nations"; they would have "arrived". It would have been the culmination of 100 years of "Westernization".

BrotherJoe

In an emergency moral turpitude is a pretty good substitute for conscious evil.

Or were the neocons operating under the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen and when it does those people really deserve it ?

turcopolier

Babak
No. They don't want to "rule" Syria but the Erdogan crypto-Islamists want to see Sunni Islam be supreme there. pl

J

Colonel, TTG,

Colin Powell on NBC's Meet the Press, chimed that the Iran Deal is a pretty good deal. I'm sure those comments are causing consternation in the Bibi related camps. Which I find amusing.

American foreign policy for American (not Israeli) interest, imagine the thought.

Babak Makkinejad

Both the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office, I should think, should have or could have seen all of this coming.

But UK leaders evidently had determined that is its absolutely essential for UK to be on the right side of the United States - come Hell or High Water.

Unless you want to maintain that UK - and indeed none of EU member states - are "reasonable actors".

Which then begs the question of who are reasonable actors; China or Russia or North Korea?

Haralambos

Col. Lang and others,
As I attempt to educate myself in regard to some of the long background to these issues, I have come across two recent pieces with a third forthcoming. Many of you will know this already, but, in the case that some do not, I will paste the two links to Professor Polk's piece here:

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/08/05/why-many-muslims-hate-the-west/
https://consortiumnews.com/2015/09/04/muslim-memories-of-wests-imperialism/

oofda

More on the Russian build-up, from the Israeli point of view
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.674779

Will

Agreed, not deliberately produced. not with the intention, conscious desire to do the act. But still blameworthy on other grounds. Should have known, or acting in reckless disregard of consequences. Think of it this way- a shooter in a crowded theater may not act for the purpose of doing harm, he might just want to enjoy the noise, but he is still culpable for injury and death because of the disregard of the foreseeable consequences. What are the acts? Patriot missiles on Turkish border (as if the Syrian Air Force posed a threat to Turkey?), Robert Ford's actions, and Obama's declaration that Assad had to go, supplying the unicorns and running a rat line of Libyan arms to Al Qaeda in Syria. Just who gives the NeoKons and R2P'rs the right to decide that a sovereign government and member of the UN has to be taken down.

How are the US actions not a factor in the refugee crisis?

turcopolier

will

"How are the US actions not a factor in the refugee crisis?" Did I say they were not? Pay Attention! pl

turcopolier

Babak

It has been about fifty years since there was last a Colonial Office in the UK government. pl

Haralambos

Col. Lang,
This is up in the Greek news tonight. I do not know how much I trust this hearsay posing as news, but some of this makes sense to me, since it does not require a grand conspiracy theory: http://www.ekathimerini.com/201239/article/ekathimerini/news/refugee-flow-linked-to-turkish-policy-shift

These are the key quotes:

'“Turkey is facilitating or at least is not hampering the movement of illegal immigrants toward Greece, thinking that in this way it will limit the risk of a possible new terrorist attack on its territory as a reprisal for the military operations it has carried out on Syrian soil,” the official said.

'Another diplomat said Turkey wants to create a “dead zone” on its border with Syria that would allow the Turkish military to freely move against jihadists and Syrian Kurds. “This is why it is encouraging, or at least not obstructing, the movement of refugees from camps near the Syrian border to the Aegean and Greece,” he said.'

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