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14 March 2016


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I find it - no snark intended - likely that in Putin we have an actual, rather than imputed, master of 11 Dimensional Chess.



I partly agree, however I must point out that the war between the states was not based on religion or one's interpretation of it.


With regard to Russian policy on Ukraine and Syria, and more pointedly eastern Mediterranean, IMO Putin, (unlike western press here I mean Russians) have achieved an important goal and have sent or established an important message. First the Russian/ and their Resisting allies goal of denying Mediterranean Sea to become a fully western NATO sea is now stablished both in Ukraine' Black Sea region and in Syria' Latakia coast. Secondly and as important the Russians have now sent an strong message to the west US that they still are a contender both in political and military terms. IMO in Russian policy makers view the rest is just an unnecessary expanse that need not to be paid now.

Ishmael Zechariah

Seems like you go by "writings" and not by actions. Ocalan has been singing this tune since his ass landed in jail. A craven coward and turncoat, he should have swung for his earlier actions. I knew him and his organization way back, in the seventies. He is a terrorist and will get his reward sooner or later. Just like Bayik will get his when the West wearies of this issue and goes home.
Since you "know" so much about "PekeKe", tell us how they fund themselves. You can also discuss the identity of the bombers.
As far as ISIS goes, we all know who supported/supports it.Same folks who supported tayyip a decade ago. Go read some Seymour Hersh. Then you can stand or sit as you may.
Ishmael Zechariah



Nah. I have been listening to that 19th Century Mahanian stuff about Russia's drive to warm water ports since I was a kid. that is far too mechanistic a view. Why don't you try listening to what they say? pl



Fred is right. The WBS was not in any way a war of religion. pl


My recollection was that Surkov and Kerry engaged in months of highly publicized negotiations before the Russian acceptance of Syria's invitation to help militarily. I suspected that one outcome of these negotiations was some kind of deal, which we are now seeing played out.


Putin and Lavrov are remarkably explicit about what they want and in communicating it through open media. I don't remember such clarity from Russia or the USSR in the past. Is it me or are others experiencing the same thing?

different clue

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg,

I looked at a map of Syria and it looks to me like almost all of Syria's water (except for what is retained on or under the land it falls on) is flowing down the Euphrates River. Some of that originates in Turkey and some of it originates in Syria itself. It looks to me like that almost-all-of-Syria's-water is way over in the other end of Syria from where the Golan Heights is. So Golan Heights water is very important to Israel's water budget but much less important to Syria's overall water budget.

I include a link to the map, so other people can tell me if I am reading it wrong.


Russia doesn't treat it's Muslim population any different. Don't have any links but Islam as far as I'm aware is beneficiary of the same conservative policies as christianity. May be a bit lagging behind but not significantly.

Babak Makkinejad

My understanding has been to play at the Grand Master, players study and memorize previous games of other masters and champions.

If the analogy obtains, one must expect that Putin has a very deep knowledge of historical events of the last few centuries in Europe and perhaps even earlier. He must also be a student of Machiavelli - at least the Prince.


I think one of the purposes of Biden's trip to Israel was related to the possibility that Hillary will be indicted and driven out of the Presidential race, leaving him as the candidate. He is probably not thinking about retirement. Apropos a longer comment I just posted on another SST thread.


Odd layout - I didn't see that until after I posted the comment. What happened was, I was composing the comment and I was called away from my computer for awhile. I came back to hit post and it told me too much time had passed and it wouldn't post the comment. So I copy/pasted what was in the box, put it into a new comment, and that other stuff was in it, alas.

There were several sources for the Israeli argument about Syria being "humpty dumpty" because I think it was said by multiple people over a pretty long period of time. I will look those up tomorrow and link one.


Perhaps Putin, unlike any recent US President, knows how to treat a recalcitrant subordinate ally.

Assad recently allowed distance to emerge between him and Putin over the political process outlined in Geneva.

Putin, judging that the situation is stabilized or ISIS is on the rope, wanted to send a message about who is in charge.

The Russians have greater situational awareness concerning Syria and the various factions at work than we do.

I disagree that this development hurts Bibi. Any situation that leads to potential Syrian partition (and partition in Iraq) serves their strategic goals: a divided and incoherent Arab state system.

The notion that Russia's aims center on a small port in the Mediterranean masks Russia's long term project (one that has been going on for nearly 50 years)--the Syrian Army.

Putin just created a gap between Assad's interests and those of the Syrian Army.


Putin thinks most of the time « out of the box », effectiveness and pragmatism.

The need for Russia to keep Tartous and Lattakié air base is too much an « empire»  idea and a 19eme century problem.
Putin was very clear when asked the question.:
Q: Will Russia keep Tartous and Lattakié airbase ?
PUTIN : We don't know, if we think it's neccesary, maybe, but nowadays, when you have 1800 km range Kaliber missiles , strategic bombardiers and submarines, the need for foreign bases must be evaluated cautiously.

Some comments are about a « deal » : Russia's withdrawal / Ukraine.
But, does Russia need a deal about Ukraine ?
IMO the answer is no, current situation can last many years,economic sanctions harm EEC more than Russia. Putin has already refused to let DPR and LPR join the Russian Federation and in the long term they will be russian political fifth column inside Ukraine.
So clever !

Russia's withdrawal
Lessons from Afghanistan remain clears :
« Don't look like an invader, don't stay too long ».



But would Putin LIKE a deal that reduces or eliminates sanctions? pl



I am assuming that Syria will not be partitioned and that the Syrian Army + friends will be a more potent potential opponent for Israel. pl


You'r absolutely right, and he was blocked to do so by crocodiles of the Baath Party.
At this time, he was only " the son of Haffez ".
Things have changed.

different clue


I can't imagine the government of Syria giving up in the longest run the Euphrates River or its valley or its watershed to some kind of rebel or ISIS control. Water is the fate of the state in a dry area. Perhaps the SARgov will allow itself to remain not-in-control of the absolutely most worthless totally desert areas for a while.

Babak Makkinejad

"The need for Russia to keep Tartous and Lattakié air base is too much an « empire» idea and a 19eme century problem.."

Then why are the English still in Gibraltar?

Babak Makkinejad

All right; consider World War I instead.


"Can Bibi restrain his natural inclination to kick over the chessboard that the Russians and perhaps the US are playing on?"

Or, can Israelis restrain Bibi's natural inclination to kick over the chessboard that the Russians and perhaps the US are playing on?

Do they want to?

William R. Cumming

Respectfully disagree with second sentence. Canadian/US relations becoming the most important "special" relationship.

William R. Cumming

IMO Mosul will NOT be retaken!


"Western Diocletian states?"

Why don't you simply call it "the West", as Pat "transcribed" it somewhere?

Seems the Diocletians are both black and white, good and evil.

white: culturally, no chance for the ones that where outside the limits at Diocletian times. No doubt some from the outside, like Russia and Poland slipped into the colonial spheres. But forget about the rest, other then some Diocletian adoptive-in-Waiting like Russia.

Black: since they are the above. Will they ever allow a legitimate Libyan goverment?

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