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29 October 2015


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Col: Any chance you and PB will soon be posting another detailed analysis of the situation, including what's actually happening in and around Aleppo?

J Villain

I second that request. Much appreciation for the efforts of the authors.


i find it ironic a dictatorship/shiekdom is telling others who does or doesn't get to lead some foriegn country.. i thought that right was only given to those (honourable?) countries of the west who still favour regime change? even more ironic is that these leaders of fiefdoms appear to have the support of the usa in this as well.. yemen, with it's ''exiled leader'' back hanging out in some office in riyadh (it is dangerous in aden still apparently) is demonstrating typical saudi arabia tolerance for women in aden at present. "The University of Science and Technology there announced that classes will now take place according to this gender schedule: one week for men and another week for women, as long as the two don't mix." combine this with the crazy headchopping cult responsible for a lot of the fanatics driving planes into buildings on 9-11 and one comes away with a surreal sense of how the dictatorship plans on proceeding further from here.

J Villain

Before any one starts thinking that the linked stories in the BBC article are indicative of any thing keep in mind that most of the news papers in the ME are massively bribed by the Saudis to say the right things.


About the Palestinians for any one that doesn't know. When the nakba happened in 1948 huge swaths of Palestinians were forced out of the territory the Jewish army was invading. A large segment of those ended up in Syria and have been living in settlement camps there ever since. The PA tried to stay neutral in this war as they were grateful for the protection Assad has given them but don't want to upset the Sunni states who they are dependant on. When ISIS attacked one of the refugee camps and slaughtered a large number of Palestinians they picked sides. As far as I know all these Palestinian fighters are from Syria. If any one knows different I would appreciate it if you posted.

Abbas has asked repeatedly to be allowed to settle Palestinains refugees from Syria in the West Bank but Israel has continuously refused to permit it.

Trey N

Well, this truly is wonderful news:


Without their oil money, the Wahhabi fanatics will no longer be able to finance their takfiri terrorists and foreign madrassas. Even better, the whole damn sorry kingdom could well implode and the world will get to enjoy the spectacle of royal heads being slowly hacked off on youtube.

Of course, that would also mean the final death of the petrodollar and of the dollar's status as the reserve currency of the world. That, in turn, would put more than a crimp in the MIC and the ability of the US to stick its nose into every corner of the planet. Goodbye (and damn good riddance) to the neocon fantasy of world hegemony. Even better -- just imagine what this turn of events would mean for the Izzies....

Chris Chuba

I concur with Matthew. I found your explanation combined with your maps very enlightening. I was so inspired that I created my own graphic on my facebook page combining two different maps with yours on the left. The one on the right shows the air strikes and it is form BBC.

I hope that you are okay with my usage of it. The opinions are my own of course.


Re the bbc video, interesting that Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has no beard and the lady interviewer has no headscarf. How in the world can he restrain his raging teenage hormones?


IMO he needs hormone treatments. pl


Strangly for some reason he talks bigger than he or his county is, which like in case of Israeli PM' recent world stage political experience, overall, and at the end of the day, is not too good of a time to bluff، specially when holding a very weak hand. They have a lot of manure to deal with in south, Bahrain,Egypt, internally in east, as well as low oil price and not too much demand, one Sondra what he thinks he has going for him? He is not a politician, more like an idiot.

Ishmael Zechariah

1-AKP and the tayyiban in Turkey are a Saudi/neocon operation.
2-TSK will NOT invade Syria or confront the Russians or the Americans. PKK or its allies are a different matter.
3-Those who speak about the "economy improvement" under AKP and the tayyiban are deluded, ignorant or worse.
4-All takfiris must be sent to their just reward where 40 virgins and 40 whatever else are waiting for them. Bless the Rus for expediting this.
KSA delenda est (deepest respects to Cato the Elder's memory).
Ishmael Zechariah


This seems as a well-done parody on Saakishivilli and McCain: http://fortruss.blogspot.de/2015/10/ukrainian-wikileaks-mccain-and.html

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I was disappointed when you didn't refer to him as 'the chihuahua'. I much enjoyed your use of this term when he was the ambassador in Washington.

As for the US administration, it seems they have no self-respect when it comes to dealing with these degenerate oil sheikhs.


A few years ago I went to a social function (OGB) at either the Saudi or UAE embassy in D.C. I go to very few of these things so I have nothing to compare it with (like Trump, I hate formal social engagements/parties). Anyway, what struck me was the large number of U.S. military officers decked out in their dress uniforms being all chummy with Arab dignitaries and businessmen. Another thing that struck me was the dozen or so gorgeous Chinese/East Asian models apparently hired to just be there and look pretty. At least one of these Asian models was American because I heard her outside, cussing about her shoes, while hot-boxing a cigarette in the front of a giant "No Smoking" sign.


"Rather than Turkey becoming a ‘Sunni Great Power’ across much of northern Arabia – in lieu of Saudi Arabia - Turkey may be faced with a new power taking shape: the coalition of Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq, with which Erdogan will have to come to terms, less as key powerbroker, but more as supplicant. President Putin and FM Lavrov will no doubt do their diplomatic best to ensure that Turkey is assimilated into the new emerging order -- and is not humiliated."


FB Ali

My apologies. I originally wrote the line as "'Adil (the Chihuahua) Jubair, the commoner and flunky who now sits for a while in the Saudi FM's chair." pl


'the chihuahua'

Interesting, in hindsight. But concerning "no beard" and the lady not paying enough respect versus a headscarf, should I now ponder about why I find Lavrov a quite likeable man?

Of course leaving out that I find what he says presently more fitting into my present preconceptions?

Ok, I understand that he is given the platform and not Kerry to make us understand the Saudis are the drivers behind the "Assad must go" premise. What I am struggling with is, why would Saudi Arabia want a revolution to succeed that close. Do they really believe they can control it in the end in their own country?


a writer's choice sticks. ;)

I have to admit that I am pleased FB Ali kept that in mind.

Maybe sometimes a painter's too:
to stay with dogs, a friend of mine used the term "Wadenbeisser"/calf biter? for people - it puzzled me. Thus I asked. The explanation was: lots of noise but the worst they can do is biting the lower parts of your calves.



Yes. we use "ankle biters" or "rug rats" to refer to little children. When I taught AT WP I had a subordinate prof whose wife was German. her mother lived with thm. she referred to her son in law as a "dippel shisser" (phonetic) or an "ein albanischer garten zwerge." I share her opinion althought this officer could teach seven or eight languages. pl

Paul Escobar


An enjoyable read about Erdogan's big mouth...and the bitch-slap's delivered by the Russians:


Its first countermeasure was to stop issuing transit passage documents to Turkish trucks carrying Turkey’s exports to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Mongolia.

Turkish exports to the Middle East and the Gulf had already hit bottom when Turkish trucks lost transit routes because of clashes in Iraq and Syria. Now an annual $2 billion worth of exports to Central Asia is at risk with the Russian sanction.


There is a much more about Russia's clever use of oil/gas & the Kurds. And according to this article, there is little Erdogan can do to retaliate.


Abu Sinan

"How in the world can he restrain his raging teenage hormones?". The people I know at the Saudi Embassy said it wasnt a concern of his.

Abu Sinan

A few years back I met an officer who claimed to sit at the "Saudi desk" at the Pentagon. I am not sure what that means, but he did have a rather good command of Hijazi Arabic. In talks with him it seemed clear that such people regularly get invitations to such events.


Abu Sinan

I used to get such invitations by the dozens. I ignored most. I don't like being patronized by some snotty gulfie. pl

Abu Sinan

al Jubair now fills the same role as FM as he did as Saudi ambassador to the US. A commoner was put into these positions, normally held by members of the royal family, as part of what I see as a sort of power sharing agreement between opposing factions in the royal family. The issues between the long standing Ambassador to the US, Bander and his replacement, Turkey, are well known.

Jubair was brought in to bridge the gap.


Apparently ISIS is threatening a vital LOC for the Syrian Government.



For PL and PB. I don't know if you may have already commented on this or even seen it. If you have please point to where so I can read your comments. If not could you provide your thoughts on it perhaps? Thanks.


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