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31 December 2015


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Ennahda's stance on accepting the outcome of elections saved Tunisia. That's the only ground truth we have. The rest is speculation about might have beens.


"President Sisi and the Egyptian Army saved their country from this chaos. Does no one recognize that? pl "

Apparently they don't. Western Liberals don't want secular dictators. They don't even want the military to have too much power, even if that is the only that keep the state "secular". They want "moderate" Islamist who would run secular states in the ME.

So in the end those moderate Islamist's and western liberals can get to together in to one warm, fuzzy, happy family and live happily ever after.

A happy new year to you and everyone at SST.


rakesh wahi

very hard to have any respect for Egyptian military- they gave ludicrous reports of strength to Nasser in 1967, buzzed Dimona and then let the entire Air force be destroyed on the ground- did not do all that well in 1971. Mubark was a military man and dis not do much for the country either. Too early to say Sisi saved "the Country"


TTG, Colonel,

This one originated on a Pakistani defense forum, and has been marinating for 4 days on the internet. Leave this one to your judgment if it is indeed true or somebody's propaganda that the Turk MP if in fact stated this:

Turkish MP Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu boasted on Turkey TV a warning/threat to Russia quote "We can occupy you in less than seven days" (his caveat was 'with NATO and our regional allies')

I found this one somewhat profound and thought I'd bring it to your attention.



Deluded 3rd world nonsense. pl


rakesh wahi

A search for perfection is a search for unreality. You would have preferred an MB/salafi government? pl



"The rest?" What does that mean? We do not accept vagueness here. pl



Ah, "the rest" is my analysis. Well you can go to hell! That is what I do - analysis. If you don't like it go somewhere else. pl


the first half of your sentence contradicts the second half,

yes a democratically elected MB/salafi government would have been better than a military dictatorship overthrowing it.

every muslim brotherhood/salafi supporter has been told in no uncertain terms that their only path to a government the reflects their views is to take up arms,

as aiyman al zawahiri predicted before the elections,
and said "i told you so" after the coup.

A Pols

Those called by you "The children's crusade" still bewail the "Coup" that deposed the MB and "destroyed Democracy" in Egypt. They have no idea what a near run thing the sequel to Mubarak's fall really was. That schmuck, Morsi, was cooking up a devil's brew for Egypt. Ordinary Egyptians may have different views of all this, but they were lucky...



Ah, you conveniently ignore the fact that Sisi was subsequently elected president of Egypt post-coup and that the vast majority of Egyptians support him as the alternative to the sharia law state that his predecessor was clearly intent on creating. pl


Deluded it may be, but that's precisely where the danger comes from. Erdogan, Davutoglu, and their merry band of islamist neo-ottomans are itching to use the shield of NATO membership to pursue their neo-ottoman agenda. That's what makes them so dangerous. I used to think them rational, but their actions are giving me pause. It is not just Syria and Iraq, the Balkans are also fast turning into a target of these fools. It has flown under the radar in the West, but it is a fact. Over the past two weeks the Bulgarian ethnic Turk party, the MRF, has seen its leader deposed by its founder and honorary chairman, on the charge that the party has taken an anti-Bulgarian, pro-Erdogan turn. The party claims that Turkish diplomats have been exerting enormous pressure on MRF functionaries to support the deposed leader and his pro-Turkey stance. The Bulgarian PM also claims that Davutoglu called him and insisted that he back the deposed neo-ottoman puppet. This is an imperial behavior, one that is very dangerous anywhere in the Balkans, much less in Bulgaria. So deluded the neo-ottomans are, but that's precisely what makes them so dangerous.


Read this on twitter today: My 2016 prediction 4 the Mideast: The amount of horror will stay the same but Turkey & Saudi will get more of it & Syria less. Payback year.

Happy new year to all at SST.


Indeed. Sisi got 97% of the vote in 2015. Mubarak in 2005 only got 89%.



Recently I viewed videos of frontline towns in this war. They for most part are rubble and depopulated. There are so many jihadi groups with changing alliances who knows where they'll be tomorrow. Thousands of fighters have come from all over in some quest for salvation. There's no better way to describe it than anarchy. Clearly, the US played a major role in this descent to anarchy. But so did many others including the Europeans, Israel, Sauds, Turkey and Emirati. But the people of the ME have to take the ultimate responsibility because it's their intolerance, hatred and bloodlust for each other at a micro level of sectarianism and tribalism that is at the root of this death and destruction.

Iraq is FUBAR. The Shia government in Baghdad ain't gonna compromise with the Sunni of Anbar. They can't recreate the strong army that Saddam built. All they really have are Shia militias beholden to each of their warlords. This can only mean continued wanton destruction.

It seems in Syria R+6 are steadily grinding away the various jihadi groups on many fronts. But will the Syrian army be able to hold all these areas? How can these areas ever be reconstructed when the opponents are essentially well armed and mobile fighters only committed to fighting? Many have no allegiance to any state just some "holy" fight.

It would seem that the best the west and the US in particular could do is to get out and stop the funding and arming the various belligerents. In a few decades they may get exhausted and a new configuration of states may appear. But .... whatever we do we must expect the jihadists in the west already will continue their acts of terrorism. And if recent history is to be repeated we will continue to move towards more totalitarianism at home.

I have recently reread several books on the period leading up to the great war in Europe. No one could have imagined then considering the great prosperity, peace and social stability at the time that they would descend into chaos and utter destruction. On a hopeful note for the future is Ambrose-Evans Pritchard at the Telegraph.


Babak Makkinejad

It is profound all-right; profoundly stupid.

Just like Iran, in every war against Russia, she lost and lost decisively.

The English pulled her chestnuts out of fire numerous times during the 19-th century.

Ample bravado - zero substance - as per usual in the Middle East.



All that is true but the Sykes-Picot system was stable and maintained order in the madhouse. I worked within that system for a long time and knew many of the wardens, guards and trustees. We liberated the insane. pl


A few days ago he was assuring Russians in Turkey that relations with Russia would improve and every little thing gonna be alright.

"Meeting Russian citizens living in Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu assured them that strained relations between the two countries would return to the 'good old days' one day and that Russia was an important country for Turkey, 'which acts patiently and has not taken a negative step' since the start of the crisis between the two countries."

Has not taken a negative step, except for that shootdown of Russia's fighter jet, of course.

Cavusoglu is becoming Turkey's Baghdad Bob. He's the one who also said there were no Kurds on the western bank of the Euphrates, just Arabs.



You are right that Sykes-Picot worked with the secular strongmen running the place. Yes indeed we liberated the insane and let them run wild. In hindsight we should have let Saddam take Kuwait and Saudi. He would have provided a nice check on the Iranian ayatollahs and he would have happily sold all his oil and built more fine palaces.

Sir, why do you think Bush Sr. and Jim Baker wanted to nail the guy? I really liked Baker as SoS.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes and then there are insane people in US as well.

Donald Trump is the only US Presidential Candidate who is demonstrably sane:

"We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems – our airports and all the other problems we have – we would have been a lot better off. …


"We have done a tremendous disservice not only to the Middle East – we’ve done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away – and for what? It’s not like we had victory. It’s a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!"

However, likely, Mrs. Clinton would be elected purely based on the demographics of US population and their political affiliations.



Yes the US insane sponsored the liberation of the insane in the ME. I am being driven toward support of Trump in spite of my aversion to businessmen in government. pl



I played an inside role in those events and interacted with Bush 41 several times. IMO Bush had been angered mightily by all the spurious BS about his "wimpiness." Given his record Navy as a US Navy dive bomber pilot this was utter BS but it must have hurt. On top of thst Thatcher sought to shame him in his manhood. She succeeded. pl

rakesh wahi

I think it is too early to judge- however the passage of time has established demoralization of Nasser and end of pan Arabism as the major factor that made Saudi de facto leader in the region ( as far as Arabs are concerned) which has brought us to this point. Had Nasser succeeded we would be looking at a very different West Asia, far more progressive, more egalitarian and probably m0re prosperous.


rakesh wahi

That could be and the decision of the US to abandon Egypt to the USSR played a big role in that. pl


Col. Lang,

"All that is true but the Sykes-Picot system was stable and maintained order in the madhouse."

Critics have criticized the way the borders divided tribes and created multi confessional states. Was that, in truth, a strength?

- Eliot

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