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15 November 2015

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no one

CP, That is a great interview, but honestly, it all seems so obvious that it shouldn't be considered unorthodox thinking.

Well, I'm glad someone stating the obvious can at least be heard once in a while.

J Villain

In case any one was worried that things would get better. Fresh off the press today:

"The United States and Russia must cooperate in fighting Islamic State in Syria, the president of the European Council said on Sunday, stressing Russia should focus its military actions there on the radical Islamists and not the Syrian opposition."

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/US-Russia-cooperation-key-to-fighting-Islamic-State-in-Syria-EU-says-433137

"US Deputy National security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Sunday, after attacks in Paris killed 129 people.

Speaking in an interview with US network NBC's Meet the Press on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Turkey, Rhodes said getting arms directly to fighters on the ground in Syria and Iraq seemed to be working in the fight against Islamic State."

"http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Rhodes-G20-US-to-work-with-France-to-intensify-air-strikes-in-Syria-Iraq-433154"

Chris Chuba

1. I wish people like Joshua Landis, would OCCASIONALLY be interviewed on U.S. cable news instead of the endless stream of Borg. Col. Lang, I have a question for you. FOX keeps digging up CIA and Military guys who are 100% Borg, is the military officer corp. totally like that or is there more diversity of thought in the military than we would think given these interviews?

2. It looks like Kerry and Lavrov have agreed on a timeline for a Syrian peace plan that would be extremely productive and is in line with what the Russians and Assad have been offering ...http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/260170-kerry-diplomats-agree-to-syria-transition-plan
In essence, a cease fire between Assad's forces and rebel groups who are non-Jihadists and willing to accept and participate in a new constitution and election in 18 mo's. This could free up resources for a real campaign against ISIS by the SAA with Russian support.

I know that Assad will accept the plan but the rebels will likely reject it at first. The key thing to look for is to see if Obama will be willing to pressure the rebel groups by holding back supplies of things like TOW's to accept the plan.
Any thoughts on this Col. Lang?

Chris Chuba

In your first link Donald Tusk said that Russia must focus on attacking DAESH instead of the moderate rebel opposition. The only reference I found to Donald Tusk was that he is a Polish Politician. Anyone who is still pushing this line is part of the problem, not the solution because this is factually untrue.

1. Al Nusra and other Islamic Front forces are co-mingled with the FSA and make up over 50% of the fighters.
2. They are ignoring the FSA's recent combat against ISIS, the raising of the siege of Kuweires air base and the engagement of ISIS from Aleppo to as far south as Homs.
Also, Assad cannot possibly fight ISIS with the FSA/Al Nusra coalition holding a knife to his juggler vein.

turcopolier

Chris Chuba

They go looking for ass kissing sycophants. the officer corps as a whole are much better than these people. pl

charly

Slight correction, Shevardnadze was foreign minister of the USSR and president of Georgia who was kicked out by a color revolution

Babak Makkinejad

Landis has found religion, he was an early supporter of the so-called Syrian Revolution.

confusedponderer

Charly,
you are of course correct, thanks for spotting it.

confusedponderer

And I recall that one: After meeting Reagan at Reykjavík, Shevardnadze reportedly said to Gorbachev (or it was the other way around): 'I just met a caveman'.

And, the sad thing is, that caveman had more sense then what passes as presidential material at today's GOP. He'd be a leftist there. And he had the good sense to ban the (neocon) crazies into the basement - choice advisors in today's GOP, despite their record of jackass screw-uppery. Some people never learn I guess, and that goes for the neoconmen themselves and the loons to take them on as advisors.

mike

"After all, when did Al-Qaeda pour into Iraq? Only after Saddam was deposed and the Americans ruled the country."

Possibly. But I seem to remember that Sadaam imported some jihadis in the time frame leading up to GW2. Sadaam's Fedayeen were of course mostly young Iraqis formed back in 95 by Sadaam's son Uday. But sometime before the Americans invaded in 03, jihadis from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and elsewhere were brought into Iraq.

On the march up to Baghdad at Tuwayhah, RCT-5 under the command of Joe Dunford now CJCS, captured two Egyptians, seven Jordanians, and six Syrians. They did not bother counting the hundreds of dead foreign fighters. I seem to recall that elements of the 3rd Infantry Division also had some encounters with foreign jihadis on their way to Baghdad also. And wasn't there also resistance by foreign jihadis in Baghdad itself at the University?

VietnamVet

CP

These interview highlights make sense. The United States and Europe have three problems; its allies: Israel, Turkey and the Gulf Monarchies. The Islamic State terrorist attacks will continue and escalate as long as radical Islamists are supported by these states and by elements within the ruling parties of the West.

Chaos and profits have a higher priority than Western citizens’ lives and peace.

Simply put, to defeat the Islamic State it will be necessary to kill the radicalized Islamist combatants and rebuild the Middle East to repatriate the refugees. I repeat, this will require an alliance with Russia and China and the mobilization of the West with hundreds of thousands of soldiers, police, doctors, teachers and engineers to rebuild Syria and Iraq.

Brunswick

Obama et. Al are still holding out for Assad's head on a stick and the de-Baathification of Syria.

http://m.voanews.com/a/paris-attacks-focus-world-powers-syria-talks/3057860.html

confusedponderer

Mike,
Saddam after a point made some moves to paint himself as a true muslim. You may recall he went to Mekka, and it seems that was simply about him presenting himself as a defiant leader, a Muslim leader, a new Saladin perhaps? I would not ascribe anything genuinely religious to Saddam.

http://tinyurl.com/oew8hbf

Or perhaps these pictures show his transformation into an Islamist? Will we ever know ... to imply that Uday's Fedayeen were at the root of Iraq's Islamist problem is at best misleading, perhaps deliberately so.

I recall, vividly, that at ca 2002 the meme went along the lines that 'Al Qaeda and Saddam were united by their hatred of the US, and thus cooperate' - BS.

Even if Saddam's government stressed Islam and allowed foreigners to join the Fedayeen, then for PR (casting Saddam as a pan-Arab defender of Muslim faith) and/or to create a problem for the US when they saw the writing at the wall and understood the US were going to invade no matter what. Given their penchant for self-preservation the Iraqis kept Islamists on a tight leash, if they tolerated them at all.

It is generally assumed that Jihadis streamed into Iraq only when the US generated chaos allowed them to, because Saddam's Muhkabarat didn't. Saddam regarded, with good reason, Al Qaedaites as his mortal enemies, and treated them that way. The story that Saddam 'sheltered' Al Qaeda figures was BS also. Given that the Iraqis offered WTC bomb builder Abdul Rahman Yasin to the US in exchange for lifting economic sanctions, they 'sheltered' him as a bargaining chip. There was no love lost.

The Bushmen brought up as evidence for Saddam's 'links' with Al Qaeda and Islamists every bit of unvetted raw intel they could find and it turned all out as BS.

As Larry Wilkerson put it:

"Saddam Hussein had his agenda and al-Qaida had its agenda, and those two agendas were incompatible. And so if there was any contact between them, it was a contact that was rebuffed rather than a contact that led to meaningful relationships between them."

Use Al Qaeda interchangeably with Islamists in general.

Haralambos

VietnamVet, given my recollections of your comments over the years, I can only imagine that your solution is in the genre of Swift's "Modest Proposal." My recollection of the numbers in Vietnam were confirmed by this: http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwatl.htm and my recollection of Iraq 2 are confirmed by this: atzman, Kenneth (5 February 2009). "Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security" (PDF). http://fpc.state.gov/. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 23 September 2014. "In the war, Iraq's conventional military forces were overwhelmed by the approximately 380,000-person U.S. and British-led 30-country18 "coalition of the willing" force, a substantial proportion of which were in supporting roles."

Be well.

J Villain

Please reread my first sentence.

Fred

Col.,

To quote Landis: "Family, clan, and village still predominate over a sense of the nation. Compromise is a bad word that signifies weakness. It is an important reason for the failure of democracy and secular nationalism."

The million or so invaders, refugees for the pc speakers, bring this attitude with them. Just how many generations would it take to make them into Europeans?

mike

CP - - I concur about the neocon BS that AQ & Sadaam were in cahoots. However, I surmise that Sadaam's Fedeyeen were possibly the initial germ of the idea that later drove some Iraqi Baathists officers to seek some type of stronger alliance with jihadis.

Chris Chuba

Dare I hope that Kerry is being snarky to pacify Turkey and Saudi Arabia but Dr. Jekyll, the one that negotiated with Iran, will emerge as the timelines emerge?

Kerry isn't stupid enough to believe that Assad has NEVER attacked ISIS positions in Syria after the Kuweires air base siege has been broken, or counter-attacked over that past two weeks to clear supply roads leading to Aleppo could he? If he is, then Lavrov would surely point that out to him. Also, every single rebel advance has been against 'regime' territory and NEVER against ISIS held territory, how does the Borg explain that? True the FSA has fought ISIS but only in a defensive posture, never for offensive operations, just like Assad has.

Regarding the accusation of the oil trade, that might be true but Kerry must be aware that ISIS is selling black market oil to FSA and other rebel groups as well as over the border to Turkey as well. I've read about that on regular media outlets, if Kerry is so fascinated regarding ISIS's oil trade, he must know that.

Hopefully, Kerry is stalling for time and will let a few rebel defeats cause them to accept the latest peace plan and negotiate with Assad's govt. Despite Kerry's horrible rhetoric, the table has been set.

VietnamVet

Haralambos,

Yes, it may well be due to senility. But, my change in heart I’d like to think has to do with the influx of the projected 3 million refugees. Europe cannot assimilate that many displaced people who feel hatred in their hearts against the very people that made them homeless in the first place. There is no easy solution. Either Paris turns into another Beirut or the threat of radical Islam has to be ended. I have advocated for a quarantine. But, that has been undermined by austerity imposed on Greece and Erdogan’s release of the refugees from Turkey. But, Russia really upset the apple cart. A regional holy war is underway that has to be stopped. The only way I see is to win the war and sign a peace treaty before nuclear weapons are used. This requires an alliance between Russia, China and the West with mutually agreed upon goals that ends the Islamic State.

There are lots of myths about Vietnam War. Yes, there were lots of troops but even then we said it was fought on the cheap. There were never enough soldiers to seal the borders and eliminate the NVA or sufficient police to secure the countryside or manpower and money to rebuild it. In the end, after years of the conscript army learning and fighting the war, one year at time, over and over again, it mutinied when there was no end in sight.

The Iraq invasion had enough troops to seize Baghdad but not enough to secure the country. Also, it was the first implementation of globalist’s disruptive chaos to extract wealth for the benefit of the rich at the expense of everyone else.

Either the West mobilizes for self-preservation or we will split apart along our ethnic fault lines forced upon us by economic chaos and religious fanaticism. If not in my lifetime, in my sons.

confusedponderer

My (quite stereotypical, but there you go) schoolyard experience from about three decades ago suggests that when you messed with a Turk, you'd messed with his brother and his cousin and his brothers (resulting events were adrenaline driven but, thankfully, mostly ritualised). Also, word of mouth had an astounding weight as well as an even more astounding propensity to mutate. And then, there was that one kid, Oguz - nice, bright, great football player, popular - who, for shame, went back to Adana. He was the sort of guy you'd have wanted to keep.

That said, integration makes a lot of a difference. The better educated Turks (2nd generation, mostly) I know here in Germany are accultured, try to bridge the gap - not forgetting their roots, being short of apologetic as well as protective of their culture - and enjoying what out society affords them. But there often is that chip on the shoulder that they have to prove something.

And then there are the louts, bigger chip on the shoulder and their brother and their cousins and their brother and all that.

In that light, the refugees in any event will make for 'interesting times' in the very meaning of the Chinese proverb.

Im mean, who are we getting? Flotsam.

Among the fighting age males - those who dodged the draft in Assad's Syria because they didn't want to fight in a fight where the opposition simply doesn't take any prisoners (i.e. are, pretty much without exception, war criminals), those who fought against the Syrian army (and probably committed war crimes) and abandoned the fight, deserters from the Syrian army - and the rest.

Most of them, according to polls, virulently anti-Assad - which already led to conflict with Germany's resident Syrian emigrees who aren't. Just like their attitudes, they'll bring their politics witth them. They won't leave them at the door.

confusedponderer

Mike,
"possibly the initial germ of the idea that later drove some Iraqi Baathists officers to seek some type of stronger alliance with jihadis."

I don't buy it. It is on the record that in the case of ISIS the 'germ' was being locked up in the US prison Camp Bucca.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/camp-bucca-the-us-prison-that-became-the-birthplace-of-isis-9838905.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/was-camp-bucca-pressure-cooker-extremism

Fred

CP,

Thanks for the reply.
"Just like their attitudes, they'll bring their politics witth them..."
A point lost on a few academics I know. "interesting times" indeed. I wish you luck.

Poul

You're being far too critical. Landis has had a good idea of what the civil war would bring for ills. Not just for Syria but also for it's neighbours.


from 2012:
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syria-disintegrating/
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syrian-war-spillover-in-iraq-will-be-much-worse-than-in-lebanon/

Cee

All,

“Dore Gold, director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, expressed optimism that the refugee influx will shift Europe to the right, making it more sympathetic to Israel’s ‘security’ justification for its ongoing colonization of Palestine.

‘Israel always faced the problem in the past that its national security perspective was completely out of sync with how Europeans were viewing the emergence of the European community and the borderless world that was emerging,’ the American-born hardliner told The Jerusalem Post.

‘In the European models that existed 25 or 30 years ago, it is kind of difficult to hear an Israeli argument. But now things may be beginning to change a little,’ posited Gold.


https://medium.com/dan-sanchez/remaking-the-world-in-israel-s-image-b7cec683e2f3

different clue

Confusedponderer,

Thank you for posting this. I tried reading Prof. Landis's blog for a while and respected his work. But he went into such minute detail that it was like reading about every grain of sand on the beach. I lost patience and focus.

So if you had not posted this here, I would never have known it was there.

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