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18 September 2015


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One thing must not be lost in the evaluation of the Syrian's plight ( as well as the Iraqi's) and it is that
the Turkish policy of dam proliferation along the Euphrates and other main rivers has reduced the water flow in Syria and Iraq to less than one fifth of what it was 20 years ago.

Therefore, yesterday's irrigated land have become barren and Turkey being the major military power of the region there is no promise of redress any time soon, specially considering that Turkey is planning hundreds more dams.

Therefore, frustrated peasant migrated to cities and became IS, AQ, AN, FSA recruits

It not only the encouragement to proliferate that causes Syria's problems.


Johnny, thanks for the restaurant rec... will add Harrelson's to my SE travel notes.

So many great salt marshes on the east coast, it's true. One of my favorites is in the area SE of Cedar Island, NC. I love taking taking the ferry over from Ocracoke and then driving as slowly as I can get away with on the beautiful (mostly salt marsh) scenic drive from Cedar Island to Morehead City.

Not as amazing, though still lovely and much closer to home, are the salt marshes at and near Plum Island in MA. http://bit.ly/1NKLneF

Feel free to recommend other salt marshes for consideration :)

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think that Western elites are the only ones who live in a bubble; I think hundreds of millions of people all over the world live in such ethno-linguistic or ethno-religious bubbles; the difference being that such people are only marginally influential on those who wield the levers of power.

I suspect that non-Western elites are in fact more cunning that their Western counterparts simply due to the difficult conditions obtaining in their countries. They are more aware but much less visionary (if at all).

Consider the following as another one of Makkinejad's Generalizations:

"Western Elites' Vision is Deep informed by Ignorance and non-Western Elite's Deep Cynicism is informed by Realism."

Babak Makkinejad

I agree and that is why I do not see how a political settlement based on essentially a Forgive-and-Forget basis can be constructed there.

I think a cease-fire with the new state - ISIS - is the only likely outcome; barring a concerted effort to destroy ISIS by destroying her populations' will to resist - as WT Sherman observed in a different context.

Patrick Bahzad

sure they could. better fight them abroad than in Russia I guess. but it certainly isn't the main reason for their deployment


Patrick and all other correspondents: this gas attack is the clearest CW attack evidence I have seen up until the recent mustard gas attack against the kurds.
Is this also mustard gas? Looks like a blistering agent.
This attack has zero MSM coverage, remarkable given it's proximity to Israel.

Johnny Reims

Thanks for the beautiful pic. Captures the essence, for sure, for sure.

My fiancée was just up your way in Boston and had a chance to see the more remote parts of Cape Cod and loved it. And Pawleys runs pretty deep in her blood. She also is locked into the beauty of the NH/Vermont area as, over the years, she has visited a cuz from Virginia who is now a chemistry prof at the “Big Green”.

If you haven’t already checked out the Georgia islands, you may like them. Thanks to Jimmy Carter, they are undeveloped for the most part. Cumberland Island may capture your fancy.

Many moons ago, I found myself on a small prop plane flying from Jacksonville up to Athens GA. (a place you may like, btw, home of REM, B-52’s). As a favor to me, the pilot dropped the plane to a few hundred feet as we flew over the Georgia coastal islands. It was autumn, and the sun, setting to our left, bathed everything in gold much like that photo you linked. I would look down and see the wild horses running on the beach. Christ...I thought I was seeing the world at the beginning. Will never forget it.

Again, thanks.

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