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26 December 2015


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Seamus Padraig

Cui bono? Well, one way to parse that question is to focus on who _consumes_ most of that oil: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-buys-most-oil-smuggled-from-isis-territory-report-1001084873


Treasury undersecretary Adam Szubin took some time out of promoting the Borg threat of Iran: "Adam Szubin says Iran will continue sponsoring terrorism regardless of the sanctions deal with Iran," to analysis the ISIS oil theft and trafficking.


"According to Adam Szubin, acting undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence with the Treasury, told an audience at Chatham House in London that, 'ISIL is selling a great deal of oil to the Assad regime."'



That was one hell of a presentation. Packed with facts and evidence plus visuals. Even a inexperienced war map reader could understand them. The video evidence and dissecting the maps into segments with data, painstaking detail. The 9 minute length was very smart. Long enough to provide a large amount of information, short enough to ensure that most people would watch the whole thing. The combo of no frills and professionalism was very effective. I suspect that since the Russians are under the magnifying glass and any mistake will be pounced upon, they are going to great lengths with these presentations. Or maybe that's just how they roll all the time, I don't know.

Bill Herschel

I am becoming increasingly impressed with the utter seriousness of the Russian military intervention. Serious in the sense that not a single Republican candidate for President or Clinton is a serious person.

Let's start with this article on December 25th: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/26/world/middleeast/zahran-alloush-syria-rebel-leader-reported-killed.html

"The commander of one of the most powerful Syrian insurgent groups in the suburbs of the Syrian capital, Damascus, was killed Friday in an airstrike... The death of the commander, Zahran Alloush, is a significant blow to the armed opposition, bolstering President Bashar al-Assad ahead of a planned new round of peace talks.... Mr. Alloush led the Army of Islam, a group that had recently agreed to participate in a political process seeking to end the five-year-old conflict." In other words, he was a good jihadist in the view of the United States.

Then we move to this article from the 19th: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/12/19/world/middleeast/19reuters-mideast-crisis-syria-jaramana.html

"A number of rockets hit a building in the Damascus district of Jaramana on Sunday, reportedly killing Lebanese militant leader Samir Qantar who is reviled in Israel for a 1979 attack that killed four people. Two Israeli warplanes carried out the raid which targeted the building in Jaramana and struck the designated place with four long range missiles"

I won't bore you. Russia said, "We will permit you to kill Qantar, if Mossad gives us targeting information for Alloush." Consider how much more Alloush means to Russia than Qantar means to Israel. I am heartened by this interpretation simply because, as I have said before, Russia is Israel's natural ally in the ME. Yes, Israel publicly just got into bed with Turkey, but given the seriousness of Russia I would be extremely nervous if I were Erdogan. Turkey is not Erdogan.


Russia and Israel are not exactly natural allies. That sounds more like Russia and Iran. But...

Russia and Iran relationships does not include Hezbollah (more than that there is famous story concerning Hezbollah and 5 Russian diplomats in 80s). And that makes Russian - Israel relationship free to continue to mutual advantage. Both have nothing against each other and a lot cultural and economic (including arms trade) connections.

Btw I saw here in one of the recent threads link posted to one of Sacker's articles about Russia and Jews. Don't believe Sacker when he goes on about Jews or/and Russian history. Those articles should be read only for fun.


well, it appears that someone needs to disturb Szubin's slumber or hand him new talking points. Note his use of the phrase 'Assad regime', by-the-book delegitzimising DC newspeak.

Syria's oil, pre-civil war, was STATE OWNED. IS seized these oil fields as Assad had to withdraw under the onslaught of foreign funded groups. IS now sells it back to Assad at an inflated price. Assad pays, due to the embargo, for lack of a choice

Elsewhere one does call that sort of deal not collusion but extortion. It is frankly dishonest to accuse Assad of complicity in IS shaking him down.

I'd also wager a bottle of top-shelf scotch that whatever Iran pays to 'sponsor terrorism' (read: support Hezbollah) pales in light of what the Gulfies and Turks funnel and have funneled into the various head-chopping and Sharia imposing Jihadi franchises they support.

Bill Herschel

Saker whose military analyses seem pretty good, is a nutcase when it comes to Jews. He has a problem.

Israel's ability to bomb Damascus, whatever else it proves, proves that there is an understanding between Russian and Israel that involves coordinating military aviation at a very great level of detail. I think that Russia would rather negotiate than fight always, and this proof that they are able to negotiate with Israel must be good news.



A headline from todays news (Al Monitor):

'unspeakable violence' against Mideast Christians
US President Barack Obama lamented the “unspeakable violence and persecution” that has driven Christians from their “ancient homelands.”


In case of Syria:
During the Hafez Assad years and while Bashar held complete sway over Syria one never heard of gross mistreatment of anyone based on religion. Specially not the christians. Once the so called civil war was encouraged and deepened by those opposed to the Assad secular regime things went down hill . The takfiris rebels made sure of it.
Now the question reading the following headline is, how can we bemoan something we and we and our ME regional allies helped engineer in great measure?

I apologize if this is only tangentially related to the main topic here.

different clue


Do the Saker's theories on Jewish and/or Russian history represent a strand of thinking in parts of the Russian "think-o-sphere" that predate the Saker and co-exist along with him? Or are his theories entirely unique and idiosyncratic and arise from strictly within his own mind?

different clue


Perhaps if those above us in Authority over us decide to consider this a bad outcome really and for real, those in Authority might be moved to back away from the Axis of Jihad and begin supporting the Coalition Of Lawful Authority.

Perhaps those of us out here in citizenland who want those in Authority to back the right side in this war could send cards, notes, letters, phone calls, etc. to our elected Officeholders.


I haven't seen something exactly like this but generally his theory looks like something radical Russian nationalist would write. On the other hand this crowd hates Putin while Sacker is his fanboy as I understand.

Bill Herschel

He is a deeply, emphasis deeply, Orthodox Christian.


"his theory looks like something radical Russian nationalist would write"

For whatever reason I would offer two more suggestions, and on the second factor I may be misguided--said with a nod to our dear David Habakkuk:

a) a strand within the Russian Orthodox Church. But I am no scholar on the Czar and/or the Church, much less a historian.

b) some type of descendants of a certain strain within White Russian refugees. Like someone originating from this guy:


if not some type of intelligence activity that is, of course.

What seems interesting about the Saker though is his wide reach:

But then Daniel Pipes has that too. ;)

All that said, so far I did not stumble across the Saker's provider. Meaning at least to this nitwit unusual.


Thanks for the observation different clue. Indeed every chance we get is a good time to voice these Concerns .


Bill, whoever "the Saker" is, or who "the Sakers" are:


The same thing was on my mind. Although not quite as pointedly. ;)


Judging solely from the information Saker has provided in passing on his web-site, Saker's Orthodoxy is non-standard and sectarian (schismatic), not being in communion with the bulk of Orthodoxy (his group broke away from ROCOR, the Russian Church Outside of Russia, when ROCOR re-established communion with the Moscow Patriarchate). Writings from his group tend to be very fanatical ("Patriarch Kyrill = KGB; Moscow Patriarchate is the work of God that has become work of the Devil"). Despite this, Saker has a very positive attitude to certain Muslims, especially a certain Muslim sheik. In other respects he seems rather open-minded for someone belonging to this group, especially in his attitude to Putin and the current Russian political elite. Very odd combination, producing some cognitive dissonance. I'm not competent to judge whether his sociological assessments of Russian politics, society and history are accurate. His miltary analyses seem worth thinking about but I'm speaking as a layman.

different clue


It occurs to me that Conservative Christians and maybe even "moderate" Evangelicals might consider this threat to Christians in the Arab World to be very serious and worth reversing . . . if they fully knew about it and grasped its fast-forward deterioration. Who or what would get the word and the explanation to them? If they understand the mechanics of the issues, they might also start writing their officeholders to support Assad to save the Christians.

The Rapturanians and Armageddonites ( Hagee, Robertson, etc.) will stealth-support the terrorists regardless . . . under cover of "Assad must go", because they believe a jihadi terrorist conquest of Syria will bring the War of Armageddon closer, and that is what the Hageeans and the Robertsonites are working for.


Greek and Turkish dogfight over Aegean . No casualties. Turkish incursion http://www.ekathimerini.com/204669/article/ekathimerini/news/greek-and-turkish-jets-in-dogfight-over-aegean

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