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17 December 2015


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The Beaver


You are on a roll :-)
When I saw Yahya McCain , I had to laugh for it took me a couple of secs to the meaning (my grey matter is a bit slow this afternoon)

A Pols

The rigidity and unbending vilification of all things Russian seem obsessional in a clinical sense. He's got more than a touch of the "Captain Ahab" syndrome. The man's eyes blaze and his face contorts when he talks. PTSD.
A friend of mine served with him on the Forestall during the incident and has things to say about him that are less than kind, and that was before he got shot down and imprisoned..


Ah I think I know of whom you speak - AKA the Dragon Lady. She had a number of "disciples" including one I worked for. I never were sure whether or not they were true believers or simply seeking advancement. As I recall Gates too failed to force the USSR's collapse. When I worked in Heidelberg (1993) there were intelligence analysts there who still thought the whole thing was a trick and once we were lulled to sleep the Russians would overrun Western Europe....


Col: And the Angriest Man in Arizona is going to be even hotter about this story: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/12/16/iraq-declines-us-offer-more-troops-attack-helicopters/77420634/

A price for David Petreus's "strategery" about "moderate" jihadis?



Why don't you write something about this, mail it to me and I will make a front page of it. pl

William R. Cumming

Mandatory retirement for both SCOTUS and both houses of Congress at age 80?

Disclosure: Turn 74 in 2016!

FB Ali

Another angle to this Iraqi attitude may well be the expectation that, ultimately, they'll be able to get Russian support. That would be much more palatable to them compared to the US, with all the baggage it carries from the past.



That would be fine except for exceptional people like me. pl


Col: I would love to, but I am literally leaving for a cruise and am heading out of the office. May I send you a note about this topic and some related ones when I return next week?

Thank you.



I may write on this before you come back but I would like you to start authoring at SST. pl


IMO Iraqi goverment can't authorize any foreign troops deployment without the consent of Hozeh in Najaf, even if they wanted too, I don't think Hozeh will agree to politicly cover the goverment for any additional non Shia foreign troop deployment in Iraq. I think Iraq is now solidly a Shia country,and will have to fallow the politics of the communal Shia.


I would say the Russians also ate his strawberries.


One has to take account the effects of aging on the brain function. I would like to avoid being an ageist but one generally can not reverse the biological clock… yet. Prevalence of dementia is 20-40% at the age 80 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC486358/?page=2)

different clue


What if Russia were to make such aid conditional on the Shia government offering the Sunni Arab tribes the sort of fair deal that the Former Baathists would recognize as fair? Or at least those among them who are committed to ISIS strictly out of vengeance and bitterness rather than out of conviction and belief? Because Russia may well raise the question: without a square fairness deal, why would the Tribes help an anti-ISIS effort any more than they have up to now? And the Former Baathists may still trust the Russians in general, and may even know individual Russians still in military or diplomatic service. Perhaps Primakov could be the Russian Special Envoy in this effort.


yep, Yahwa is John
"Yahya (Arabic: يحيى‎, Yaḥyā), also written Yahia is a common Arabic male given name. Yahya (John the Baptist) having been a prophet of Islam, Yahya is a very common name in the Muslim world." wiki

in Greek it's yohanni, and in latin it was supposed to be be the same, but the latin j that was pronounced as y started being pronounced as J so we get John, Jesus, etc.

I remember in Latin class, the teacher explained that Julius was Yulius in classical (but not Church) Latin. But then he went on to say Yulius Seezar. I said wait a minute, you had just explained that C was pronounced as K and the s was soft. He said, old habits die hard: It's Yulius Kai-saar.

Glad to see John Sidney McCain has got primary competition. Maybe, he'll finally retire.


Mr. Cumming,

'Tis a tad bit early (since it's not New Year's Eve).

But, a Toast to your health,sir!


Sadly Old Fox is dead.


And in German it is Johann- pronounced "yo-hann". Same in the Scandinavian languages. Aut Deutsch, the hard 'K' yields "Kaiser" as being pronounced "Kai-saar" like you said in Latin class (mine too). The Russians took the word and made 'tsar'.

There is too much vilification of things Russian just for its own sake by people of a certain age; unfortunately, many are in government or in places where they can influence government.

Jim Jordan

Yes if you have a ouija board. Unfortunately Mr Primakov passed on in June.


Now McCain can also complain about those Germans.




Just wanted to share this article that appeared in NYT yesterday. The differences pointed out btw US Army SF and Navy SEALs were illuminating. R/JMH


The Beaver


Bits and pieces here and there:

1. Erdogan is in love again with Israel.
2. Turkey will expel Saleh al-Aruri, senior member of Hamas, who is based in Istanbul.
3.Turkey would also allow Israel to place a natural gas pipeline on its turf and will embark on discussions to purchase natural gas from Israel.

"Israel and Turkey have reached agreement on a political reconciliation that will end a five-year diplomatic estrangement and pave the way for talks on an undersea pipeline to export Israeli gas to the Turkish market.

Benjamin Netanyahu's Israeli government confirmed the outlines of the deal, a day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, signalled that the two countries were ready to normalise relations if they could agree on compensation for a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid flotilla in 2010."



After reading this yesterday, my question was who decided to send SEALS in to take over something that SF had set up?? And what were they thinking...


I don’t think at this time, Russians have much better chance to be invited in. Especially since things are getting more and more polarized, meaning Russians support Shias and the west supports Sunnis, still the ayatollahs wouldn’t want to intensify and widen the divide as much as possible, Shia is the minority and you wouldn’t want to widen the support of Takfiris into all the Sunni streets. This is different with the case of having Shia boots from Lebanon and Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, since that’s justified as coming to safeguard the shrines from Takfiri Sunnis coming from Europe and Russia, after all, still all politics are local.

different clue


I did not know that. Did he leave behind any respected proteges' ?

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