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21 October 2015


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Babak, the comments are pretty derisive. The author is Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

IMO this test balloon isn't going to fly very far before it deflates. The trend of supporting the rebel opposition seems be on the downswing in the Borg collective overall. I've been seeing an uptick in articles in Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy (the journals) decrying this strategy, and more support for working with the Russians and Iranians against ISIS/Daesh, at least for now. Henry Kissinger's recent interview at the WSJ advocates working with Russia to combat ISIS, though he's still an Iranophobe and thinks moderate Sunnis are the key to success in the ME.

Going directly to the WSJ link I was not able to read the article as I'm not a subscriber, but by going here first I was able to get to it http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2015/10/17/a_path_out_of_the_middle_east_collapse_367799.html

WSJ URL, via above link... http://www.wsj.com/article_email/a-path-out-of-the-middle-east-collapse-1445037513-lMyQjAxMTI1MjE2NzIxMDcwWj

J Villain

It appears the Russia and Assad are fine with the Kurds.


J Villain

If that was the Russians that would be quite ominous for the US's short term UAV plans. They would need to kick up the next autonomous part to counter it. It would be good news for innocent civilians though.

David Habakkuk

Patrick Bahzad,

Everything he produces under his own name has a highly distinctive style. The follow-up he has just produced to the 'rant' to which Bill Herschel linked being a case in point.

(See http://thesaker.is/dreams-of-a-sleeping-alligator-dream-three-a-surrender-a-meeting-and-a-rating/ .)

However, that does not mean that the operation as a whole is a 'one man' venture. Actually, 'the Saker' portrays himself as having plenty of helpers. Whether this is simply a voluntary effort – the product of spontaneous enthusiasm – seems to me a moot point. I am somewhat sceptical, just as the 'dreams of a sleeping alligator' idea, although ingenious, reinforces my doubts as to whether he is actually currently in Florida.

Actually I do not think 'the Saker' said he worked for Nitze. He did say that he had had 'the pleasure and honour to study with Paul Nitze'. According to his account, he did a MA at the SAIS at Johns Hopkins.

(See http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/crosstalk-containment-20-ft-stephen.html .)

Patrick Bahzad

That's not my point.

My point is that there are several "Saker" versions going in various languages. To me that suggests a little more than just a couple of helpers ... Ask PL how difficult it is to maintain something like SST in just one language. Imagine multiplying this effort by 3 or 4 and you get an idea of the effort/manpower potentially necessary. But be that as it may, I'm not particularly interested in Saker-ology. As I said, it was a side-note.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

I have read the article.

My impression has been that Iranians asked for something from US (may be on Yemen) and US declined. At which point Ayatollah Khamenei banned further negotiations with the United States.

Kissinger wants Iran to act as Westphalian state - I suppose that means Iranians take the lead and dismantle the Shia Crescent & her other alliances and relationships.

In other words, act just the way she did in 1980 on the eve of Iraq's war on Iran.

I do not think Kissinger can convince very many people in Iran.

Significantly, when mentioning all the countries aligned against the Shia Crescent, he had not included Turkey - "...a Sunni bloc consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States".

Per the Makkinejad Theses, the muddle in the Middle East is not across sectarian lines - it is a intra-civilizational one between Seljuk Islam and non-Seljuk Islam.

The best strategy is to superimpose a map of the Seljuk Empire on the contemporary Middle East and strengthen the state and governing structures of those within it.

Outside of it, I do not expect much.


Ah, the Westphalian state... but what is that really? Is this "creature" real or mythic or merely a convenient description for a certain IR mindset?

A cartoon explanation... http://www.toondoo.com/public/b/o/r/bordasz627/toons/cool-cartoon-2073434.png

An interesting student essay on the topic...
How ‘Westphalian’ is the Westphalian Model? http://www.e-ir.info/2014/02/03/how-westphalian-is-the-westphalian-model/

From your comment:
"My impression has been that Iranians asked for something from US (may be on Yemen) and US declined. At which point Ayatollah Khamenei banned further negotiations with the United States."

Interesting clue, thanks... I was wondering what the Ayatollah's latest frustration with the US was based on.



I've always been curious when I hear that the US aircraft that were flying the airstrikes in northern Iraq had to fly from the gulf on why the US couldn't use the airfields in Israel. After all, the US paid for a number of them. I note as well the US has munitions stores located there, too. So much for Israel being "our strategic partner".

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