18 November 2015


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FB Ali

The Russians are not only being very effective on the ground, they are also displaying a sharp turn of phrase (something rare among leaders everywhere). In case some readers have missed these, I'm reproducing some of them below (the entire reports are well worth reading).

Putin: "They tell us, “You’re hitting the wrong targets!” Then we say, “Tell us where we should strike, give us the targets!” But they don’t give them to us. “Then tell us where we shouldn’t hit.” And they don’t tell us that, either. How, then, can we be criticised?

You know, I don’t want to sneer at this. Strangely enough, they have their own reasons for it. And one of them, I will tell you point blank, is that they are afraid to give us a list of territories not to strike, because they fear that this is exactly where we will strike, that we will deceive them. It seems they judge us based on their own notions of decency.

But I can confirm that right now (on the battlefield, so to speak), we have established contacts with some (not all, of course) of the uncompromising, even armed Syrian opposition groups; they themselves asked us not to strike the territories they control. We have reached these agreements and are fulfilling them." (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50704).

Lavrov, characterising US/coalition efforts against ISIS over the last year: "It looks like a cat that wants to eat a fish but doesn't want to wet its feet." (http://tass.ru/en/politics/837181)

For the latest on the R+6 ground operation, see: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50714.

(h/t Ingolf)


that's interesting your take on academics being suckers for the msm.. i guess critical thinking is out of fashion..


This must have been a painful, if not unexpected experience!

In my work world academics are largely clueless and most often are constraining real world solutions because they have not been the authors of such ideas. And arrogance apparently comes with the job or is a pre-requisite to get the job..


In defense of academics here is a piece from a smart one in Austria.

Gerhard Mangott, political scientist in Innsbruck:
Will the great powers become serious now in the fight against Daesh?

And a "must-read" by Alastair Crooke on U.S. cooperation with Jihadis:
Lost on the ‘Dark Side’ in Syria


Col, a little OT, but your guess a few months back about corruption having been part of the reason for the Nigerian Army's ineffectiveness seems to have been on the mark:

Ishmael Zechariah


Thanks for the report. Perhaps the ideas about KSA and the Tayyiban_Turkey espoused by these "academics" make sense if we postulate that both the House of Saud and tayyiban are/were constructs of the Borg.

Ishmael Zechariah

P.s: I thought the following two quotes from Upton Sinclair might be appropriate for this thread:
1-"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
2-"Journalism is one of the devices whereby industrial autocracy keeps its control over political democracy; it is the day-by-day, between-elections propaganda, whereby the minds of the people are kept in a state of acquiescence, so that when the crisis of an election comes, they go to the polls and cast their ballots for either one of the two candidates of their exploiters.


Upps the links did not pass

1st piece:

2nd piece:

James Doleman

Interesting piece from Pepe Escobar, detail on different teams involved in the Paris attacks was new to me.




Welcome Back. We westerners are so tied to our jobs and paychecks that we integrated the beliefs and customs of the ruling class that allows us to survive. A bunch of crooks seized power in the West but most still working dare not challenge the new world order lest their world splinter apart.

The problem is that a piecemeal World War III has started. The world is splintering. So we have liberals saying we must welcome millions of displaced persons caused by the very Crusade the West embarked on in 2001. The White House keeps saying Assad has to go because that is what Israel, Turkey and the Gulf Monarchies want. Factions within Western governments still support the ongoing proxy wars in Ukraine and Syria intent on destabilizing Russia and reducing the Middle East to warring tribes. Mobilization is not on the table due to the risk of a conscript army forcing the government to do what’s right for the people not Oligarchs.

As long as the Islamic State exists, attacks against citizens in the West will accelerate and expand. By not joining with Russia and China in an alliance to take down the radical Sharia State in the Middle East, World War III is bound to escalate. If not ended as soon as possible with a victory over radical Islam and rebuilding Syria and Iraq to return the refugees, the world war will inevitably escalate and one mistake will start a nuclear exchange that will end civilization in the Northern Hemisphere.

William R. Cumming

I would argue that the lack of quality input from the American academic social sciences post 9/11 is just one more indication of Harold Bloom's CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND [1984?]!


Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett are both capable academics as well as capable policy advocates. But they readily admit in public that they have paid a professional price for their unconventional views.



Of course there are exceptions, at least a few. pl


Alastair Crooke is a British diplomat, not an academic. BTW IMO Joshua Landis is a brilliant and valuable man. pl


Look at the lines of oil tanker trucks ... wow...


I spent Six years dealing with Academics in a University setting and I have to agree with Col. Lang there are some very flaky academics out there. This should not come as a surprise to anyone because the Academic community is a mirror of society, populated as it is with the full spectrum of behaviour from absolute saints to sinners.

What does mark a good academic is a rigid adherence to academic rigour, often displayed in the hunting down and punishment of other academics for sins such as plagiarism. However that is about the limit of their morals. Academics can be just as loony, vain. venal, greedy, grasping, dishonest, cheating, lying bastards as the rest of the population and I have the scars to prove it. Many of them are quite willing to adopt a particular worldview if the money is right and this is by no means a new phenomenon.

The image of the Universities as fountains of new knowledge and the flowerbed of democracy, new learning and intellectual freedom is seriously flawed as I am sure most members of SST would know.


Did anyone at the conference suggest that someone (Nato perhaps) should organize a Muslim Legion out of those strapping young Muslim lads hiking northward through Europe claiming to be fleeing ISIS. I suspect it's true in many or most cases. And a decently trained couple of Muslim brigades could help out the Kurds and Hezbollah, no? Like the above-named academics, I don't have much military knowledge, so this may be impractical for some obvious reason. But it's not obvious to me, and I hope someone of influence is at least thinking about this option.



The Kurds ARE Muslims with the exception of tiny minorities. Hizbullah are ALL Shia Arab Muslims. Those in flight are fleeing because they don't want to fight IS, JAN, et cetera. what sort of inducement do you want to offer them to fight? Truth be told, not everyone is material that soldiers can be made of. The rest know that and for that reason seek to denigrate and disdain soldiers. The US attempted to build the force you want and failed. Who do you wish to nominate as the organizing force? Saudi Arabia? pl pl



Just a small vignette of how deeply entrenched Borg beliefs have permeated the majority of our people. Even with the shock of Paris none of my partisan friends both Democrat and Republican countenance any complicity on the part of our government and the West in the metastasis of jihadism that now impacts us in our streets. They believe we are in a state of war and should allow free reign to our government to combat it even if that means civil liberties at home are compromised. Only the RonPaulistas believe that we must not only destroy the jihadists there but expose and remove the Borgistas at home.


Yes, I know most of those fleeing would rather receive government housing and free education in Hamburg than fight ISIS. Most of us would. But one could me made a condition of the other. That might be a persuasive inducement. Yes I know Kurds are Muslims, ditto Hezbollah. But one aren't Arabs, the other aren't Sunnis, right? Some Arab Sunnis might help. I guess your point is that if they couldn't be organized to fight in Syria, they aren't going to be in Germany or wherever. But I'm not sure that's so--it's precisely the question I want to raise.


Peer pressure is enormous. Especially in the soft sciences. If there is something our leaders say we should care about, then closure and conformity of opinion crystallizes.

PL, during this conference in which you participated did the subject of Thailand come up? I bet the opinions of the "thinkers" would be more nuanced and varied on that subject, since the US government hasn't taken a strong stand on anything to do with that country, which despite having had a military coup, suspension of democracy, and ongoing issues with southern Islamic insurgents, gets nothing much more than a shoulder shrug from the west and our leaders. Compare this the instant conformity of western opinion on the subject of whether a certain Malaysian man is in distress due to being gay, and the US taking a stand on that.



Would you be a combat soldier if housing and food were your inducements? I doubt it. You don't sound like someone I would want to serve with. In my experience a coward is a coward wherever he is located. Recruiting, training and creating soldiers is not an exercise in industrial recruitment. Men do not risk their lives for housing. pl



Lots of people are willing to fight and die for ideals and ideas.

I don't think that many in the ME or Afghanistan are willing to fight and die for the vision the Borg has for their nations.


It's interesting, in a familiar way, how coverage in today's NYTimes of attacks on the tankers didn't mention the Russian attacks. It was also interesting, really, how the Times article made a point of saying that A-10s and B-2s were involved. The msm has picked up on the beleaguered status of the A-10s, more than worthy competitor to the fantasied F-35 in this sort of mission.


scott, you appear to think that everything can be bought for a price.. at least that is the impression you leave me with, in your comment here.. bravery? how much does it cost to buy it? you seem to be a product of this materialist viewpoint that everything can be bought for a price... you can't buy integrity, just like you can buy someone into being a soldier.. hopefully i understand your question wrong and you just have to explain it better..



Those who fled to Europe are not among the brave. pl

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