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29 December 2015


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Col: I think these gentlemen just made Mr. Putin's targeting decisions a lot easier. He won't be hitting any "moderate" rebels.

The Twisted Genius

I wait with bated breath for the Borg spin machine to comment on these political demands. While they're at it, they can address IS policy on the treatment of sex slaves. Keep digging, you bastards, keep digging.


"...the U.S. must therefore look towards the Syrian opposition more broadly to find a way to contain these irreconcilable elements. A great power settlement, without the approval of some of the most powerful elements on the ground, will only protract the Syrian conflict and radicalize the opposition further."

What is to be done? Well the Borganism can continue mouthing its pious platitudes of inviolate Democracy while the professionals allow forces on the ground to continue the attrition of the powerful elements into petty elements. And encourage these Jihadis that true victory will be won only at the Dabiq cauldron.


By way of recent news, I will add these several bits of data. My apologies to all if it is not that relevant. Bloomberg yesterday had a piece up on the current oil revenue issues and expenditures and budget in Saudi Arabia: http://tinyurl.com/ped82qd

This is also up today in a mail from a friend on the ground in the Gulf for 30 years, the last 20 in Saudi Arabia: "91 octane went up 73% and 95 octane went up 50% as of midnight Mon/Tues. It's still dirt cheap by western standards but locals won't be happy."


"The groups that want this have been supported by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia."

What could possibly go wrong?



Thank you, sir: once again, we see no proof of any "moderate rebels." The President and US media continue to use that phrase, yet no one yet has propped one up for a photo. Unless the President considers sharia law in a predominantly Muslim country to be perfectly acceptable, and therefore "moderate." If that's the case, then the US people should begin having a serious discussion about whether as a matter of foreign intervention we should have anything to do with these people whatsoever.

Ishmael Zechariah

Re: "The groups that want this have been supported by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia."
I can understand the support provided by KSA and the Turkish tayyiban regime for the liver eaters. I can even understand why israel and its amen corner supports the liver eaters, but why does the USofA support them? As you said a few threads ago 'Cui bono`?
Ishmael Zechariah



You have asked the right question. The IO campaign that has resulted in this stupidity has obvious Zionist roots and has been sustained for decades. pl

robt willmann

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

When I read the last paragraph in the article referenced above from the Institute for the Promotion of War -- I mean, for the Study of War -- and saw the nice sounding phrase, "a unified, independent, and sovereign Syrian state", it sure sounded familiar.

Although I am reluctant during a holiday season celebrating peace and joy to present something that might cause nausea, it is useful to keep in mind the covering language and cognitive psychological techniques used by people who have no qualms about contributing to the death and destruction of others for reasons different than they publicly claim.

Courtesy of the U.S. Government Printing Office, also called the Government Publishing Office, I bring you back to April 10, 2003--

"[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: George W. Bush (2003, Book I)]
[April 10, 2003]
[Pages 330-331]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov]

Videotaped Remarks to the Iraqi People
April 10, 2003

This is George W. Bush, the President of the United States. At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power, and a long era of fear and cruelty is ending. American and coalition forces are now operating inside Baghdad, and we will not stop until Saddam's corrupt gang is gone. The Government of Iraq and the future of your country will soon belong to you.

The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world. Coalition forces will help maintain law and order so that Iraqis can live in security. We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq's future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave.

Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent, and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world...."


I wonder who wrote that for Mr. Bush jr?

alba etie

I think it might be possible that the neocon kabuki talking points currently coming from the USG do not reflect the real policy shift away from removing Assad . I am trying to see what actions the USG is taking as opposed to what talking points are being espoused. It certainly looks like the USG is stepping up support to the Kurds . It certainly appears that the USG did not get goaded into some kind of Article 5 nonsense after Tayyip shot down the Russian jet . Plus the Iran deal is holding . We shall see.



Isn't part of the Israeli reasons for their mad hatter approach to the Golan Heights has to do with all the rich goodies under it deep in the Earth?

Along with their mad hatter quest for unconditional Hegemony over the entire area.

Babak Makkinejad

David Habakkuk:

I break from this thread's topic to share with you something which I came across myself only a few minutes ago, something of a rather serendipitous nature - not too much unlike an instance of Jungian Synchronicity:

My musings on the role of Catholic Church in the Western History have evidently been anticipated by many others, including by one Keith Roberts in the SF book "Pavane" - 1968 - (please see below):


Babak Makkinejad

Decades is likely; Heinlein was a neo-conservative - among many other SF writers.



So far as I know nobody has found anything but an amount of oil so small that the Israelis decided not to drill for it. That was 30 years ago. The IDF's forts are right on the topographic crest. If they thought there was oil or other "goodies" there surely they would occupy as much of the ground as they could. IMO the Israeli interest in the Golan lies in preventing observed fire being place on Israel proper. pl


why would you want to draw Heinlein into this?

unreflected second question: Did you have a dispute with a Heinlein addict here?

Chris Chuba

The Borg will simply ignore these developments as they do with any news that does not fit their narrative. I was appalled, but shame on my for being naive at this point, when the news on the killing of Zahran Alloush was considered an act of bad faith. The one report I heard on CNN was that his group was not affiliated with either ISIS or Al Qaeda. The name of his group is Jaysh al-Islam, 'Army of Islam', should this give us in the west warm fuzzies? If they spin that story, does anyone think that they are going to cover the rebel demands with any depth or just guffaw at the Russians for being stubborn about keeping Assad in power.

On a separate topic, I hope that Trump gets some advisers on foreign policy that reinforce his good instincts. He makes references to discussing things with Generals but is vague. He made a frightening reference to Bolton, a Daily Beast article mentioned that he consulted with Col Jack Jacobs which would be fantastic but unfortunately the Col. denies even talking with Trump. I hope the Col. is just being discrete.


That fortified line also happens to coincide with the watershed of the Sea of Galilee. Having been raised in the Intermountain West, I know a water war when I see one.


rc, good question. Although by now I forget one of Bush jun's, some called him Bush43, if I recall the number correctly, writers.

If you allow my--on your part--miles of distance to your comment?

Maybe I only became aware of one. Which is more likely. As I recall his pride about a specific effective coinage made him surface into public attention... See me please, I wrote this. My coinage!!!

And I seem to remember he was a Canadian expat. Not that it matters, really. ;)


What I am trying to understand, beyond the fairytale world of a German author and his depiction of technocrats is this:


Not least since I needed to read this, to understand the author's usage of "technocrats" on his blog:


r whitman

Can anyone give me the relative manpower strengths of the various factions outlined in the main article. Are any of these as we say in Texas "all hat and no cattle"?


David, thanks for earlier feedbacks. I love your mental meanderings, maybe since they are close to mine? Mental meanderings.

Although, I would appreciate it if BM could link to the tread, treads of exchange he may be picking up here. ;)

Medicine Man

David Frum is who you are thinking of, most likely, Leander.



October of this year:




News to me. It remains to be seen if the production is worth the cost. pl

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

Thanks for that link, as for your earlier comments and links.

I much regret not ever having come across the Keith Roberts book, which I will certainly read. A matter of particular curiosity is how he deals with what one might call the 'Counter-Enlightenment case.' (The Inquisition has had some notable defenders!)

Actually, you may not be breaking so much from this thread's topic. And 'Enlightenment' and 'Counter-Enlightenment' were never as distinct as people often want to suggest.

Remember how the reflections of Thomas Hobbes on the effects of the impossibility of definitively establishing religious knowledge on a firm epistemological basis lead to an apologia for absolutism.

If the ghost of Hobbes could see what was happening in Syria and Iraq now, he might perhaps remark – just as I said.

It might be amusing to speculate on what Hobbes might have had to say about Francis Fukuyama.


J, these are not proven reserves but a resource with unknown costs for extraction. A few years back the USGS made a similar declaration of a huge resource in California's Monterey shale formation which was then redefined down by 99% after a bit more drilling.

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