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25 November 2015

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Macgupta123

It is over 220 days since POTUS Obama nominated Adam Szubin to the post of Undersecretary of Treasury in charge of tracing and cutting off financing to terrorists. The Senate Committee that vetted him had absolutely no objections to him, finding Szubin fully qualified and suitable. But the Senate is in no hurry to bring Szubin's confirmation to a vote.

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There is the Pentagon investigation into CENTCOM that they cooked up a more optimistic story about the war on ISIS than the intelligence would support.

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How will we fight ISIS without a fully staffed and functioning government?

shaun

What is Obama doing? Anyone know? Seems he may be disoriented. Was he in Colorado with John Mayer, touring a Marijuana production facility? he isn't on TV today. I guess it doesn't matter, as long as other countries leaders do what is right. Its like the "No One" for President Campaign people at The Grateful Dead shows were on to something. "No One" may be better than the last several presidents we have had, given the situation. Or is Netanyahu President?

ISL

Thanks for the analysis. Do you think IS is close to the breaking point. They are being stressed very hard.

I also suspect that Russia would not backstab the Kurds as the west tends to do every few years (not because they are nice, but because their interests are unified, unlike the strategic incoherency out of washington).

The Twisted Genius

Macgupta123,

That delayed Senate vote for an important position just shows how pathetic our politicians are. Damned few statesmen, just a pack of partisan grifters.

The Twisted Genius

ISL,

IS close to a breaking point? Not at all, although they are finally being stressed. Closing their LOCs to Turkey will force them to adapt, but they've already proved they can adapt to changing conditions.

Ghost ship

Are we close to a tipping point in Syria. Many of the local Syrian rebels seem to have continued the fight in the belief that Turkey and/or the United States would intervene to create a "safe zone" or effect regime change. With that prospect now rapidly receding, the R+6 ramping up their operations, the imminent closure of the border and the amnesty for local groups probably still in place, will the local groups take the amnesty and switch sides. Outside of the coastal belt, Syria is not exactly ideal guerilla territory and relentless pounding from the air and modern rocket artillery combined with the inability to move without an immediate response even at night can be most tiresome.
Have the cruise missiles fired out of the Caspian Sea had the desired effect on the GCC?
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/ships/2015/10/11/caspian-sea-russia-navy-missiles-attack-strike-military-naval-syria-frigate-corvette-lcs-littoral-combat-ship/73671188/

Tyler

Interesting to see HA was an integral part of the rescue effort.

Not interesting as "out of their capacity", but more I'm curious of the ripples down the road after this Syrian mess is sewn up.

Tyler

ISL,

I think IS in Syria isn't "close to breaking" but this is just another step in the long game in which IS becomes purged from Syria for the most part.

IS, at its heart, is part of a cycle that seems to occur in Islamic countries where the cities become decadent, an austere forces appears from the desert to plunder the cities, and then ends up ruling. Eventually the plunderers become decadent, and the cycle repeats.

IS will likely go after one of the Gulf Sultanates.

FB Ali

This whole situation is much more complicated (and serious) than just dealing with the routes across the Turkish-Syrian border.

Th shooting down of the Su-24 appears to be part of an elaborate scheme to push Russia out of its ME foothold. The Russian forces in Syria are dependent mainly on a supply line through the Bosporus. In a military conflict Turkey can block the straits. If Russia tries to break through, Turkey can call upon NATO for assistance. The choice for Russia would then be: either face destruction or back down. That such a conflict would also destroy us all does not bother those who think enough people in the West could survive and recover in a thousand years or two.

For a more detailed discussion of these issues, see http://tinyurl.com/peclwwh

The hawks in the West think they are using Erdogan for their own scheme. He thinks he is using them for his ends. Between them they are blindly and heedlessly pushing the world to the brink. If the world comes through this crisis in one piece it will be due to Vladimir Putin and his colleagues.

Thank God he is both a Judo black belt and a chess champion!

BostonB

God bless this Syrian commando team and Hizbollah team. Learning about this helped ameliorate my outrage at this incident and my country's response to it (especially the occupant of the White House).

mbrenner

I think it is time that we accept the disturbing reality that the President of the United States has stopped thinking. That is to say that such mental processes that continue are devoted to two activities: formulating sound bites that pretend to address the issues that confront us; and registering the justifications offered by other leaders (in alliance with members of his own administration) for initiatives that serve their interests but not ours. The shooting down of the Russian plane and Obama's passive if automatic approval of it is the latest case in point. American foreign policy in the Middle East today is little more than the aggregate is what is being decided in Riyadh, Ankara and Jerusalem.

Obama has twisted reality into so many intricate knots that he is unable to deal with any aspect of the situation without untying them all. That he clearly is unable and unwilling to do. It is beyond his abilities; it is beyond the limits of what his timid personality can bear in the way of confrontation and conflict; and it may be beyond him intellectually since he evidently has learned so little over the past seven years about how the world works or how to conduct a purposeful foreign policy that is not guided by others.

Dubhaltach

"the execution of Lt Col Oleg Peshkov"

TTG

I keep on seeing this phrase elsewhere in particular MSM sources and am surprised it hasn't been challenged by veterans who surely know better. All the reports I've read of the circumstances in which he was killed lead me to conclude that he wasn't "executed", he was murdered, and his murder was yet another war crime by a pack of uncivilised thugs. Other than the method is there really any difference between this murder and the decapitation of captured SAR soldiers or the decapitation on Yazhidi civilians?

Du

SAC Brat

And a statesman. It is hard not to admire someone who doesn't engage in weasel-speak.

DeWitt

It is interesting that western media hasn't yet publicized the scoop about Bilal Erdogan's profiteering from trucking and shipping Daesh's oil, as well as the numerous G20 links to this activity. It seems so obvious to the point of being brazen - are people really that jaded and the propaganda effort so complete that these obvious connections are not remarkable?

bell

thanks for the article and your analysis ttg.. closing the border is another step along the way, so long as the west with turkeys stupid help, don't bring the planet to the brink.. i think the usa gave approval for this plane being downed.. it's hard to see it any other way.. the article in today zaman and john helmers latest post essentially confirm this..

Eliot

Tyler,

This experience must be priceless.

- Eliot

The Twisted Genius

Dubhaltach,

Okay, murder is the more appropriate term.

Babak Makkinejad

The way it looks to me is that no one in Washington DC or among EU leaders is willing to end the war to contain Iran - the sole strategic purpose, in my view, for the Syrian War.

As I said before, Obama can hold a summit meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei and settle all outstanding issues and thus revolutionize US position in the Middle East and indeed the world.

But, I ask, will he not be impeached then?

So, why try?

When so many in US, in EU and elsewhere among Turks, Arabs and Israelis could not even swallow the JCOPA with Iran?

I think you are being too harsh on Obama and not harsh enough on US Government, on US Electorate, on EU Governments, on the Arabs, Israelis, and Turks.

Obama is just one man - and he may be as anarchistic as any politician that has won or will win elections anywhere in the world. But that alone does not explain the present historical moment; in my opinion.


Babak Makkinejad

That is the observation that Ibn Khaldun also made in 14-th century which he set out to try to explain; one of the last Muslim Thinkers before it all ended in an Age of Darkness.

fredw

I don't see that this does any serious damage to the Russians. Escalation could be bad, but nobody wants it. It seems to me that the major effect will likely be to give Russians an excuse to seal the border from Turkish incursions. My understanding is that the Rojava Kurds want to push west but are being held back by Turkish threats. What are the odds now that the Turkish air force will be allowed to bomb them with impunity? I expect that the Russians would now jump at the chance shoot down some Turkish planes that have crossed the border. And everyone else would find it understandable.

The Twisted Genius

DeWitt,

It's not remarkable at all. The average man will consciously and unconsciously pick or ignore observations to fit a preconceived world view. It takes a disciplined mind to recognize this and reason beyond this process. Every grifter knows this and how to take advantage of it.

JMH

By the way, any Lt Col that suits up for that kind of mission is my personal f*#king hero.

PeterHug

It may take a few days to get set up, but I suspect that the Turks will be told their planes are no longer welcome in Syrian airspace, and that the Russians have been deputized by the Syrian government to make sure that is observed.

crone

wrt comments about Obama...

He is an "empty suit" - as was Dubya. Obama reads his script and plays golf.

Tyler

Eliot,

Its ironic that this started out as an attempt by the Sunni, Jews, and globalists (USA/EU) to isolate, fix and/or destroy the Shia and Christians in the region.

Instead they've taken the shards of Shia, Alawites, non Wahabbi Sunnis, Christians, and others and built bonds of brotherhood by putting them under fire and making them realize that united they stand. They've forged the sword of their own reckoning, and are in the process of handing it to Putin to wield against them.

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